Friday, December 31, 2010

Client News: Inova Doctors, Patients Jumping on Trend of Concierge Practices

Source: Reston Patch
Written by: Kim Underwood
Some Reston-area residents are taking part in an increasing health care trend: primary care physicians who are changing their practices to "concierge" practices.
Concierge medical practices charge a membership fee to join – which critics say makes them "too exclusive" for the average patient. However, in return, concierge doctors conduct more extensive annual physicals and testing, offer "assured appointments," detailed lab results, health risk analysis, and assessment of long-term wellness goals.
One Reston physician who has made the switch is Dr. Kevin Kelleher. Kelleher, with business partner Dr. Mark Vasiliadis, founded Executive Healthcare Services in 2004, leaving their traditional practice, Generations Family Practice, located next door.
Kelleher and Vasiliadis still own and operate Generations, but see only patients at Executive Healthcare.
Vasiliadis first heard about concierge medicine in 2001 from MD², the first concierge practice in the US, started in Seattle in 1996.
Vasiliadis' and Kelleher's family practice, Generations, had been growing very well, but they "were very busy, hurried, seeing 25 to 30 patients a day," Kelleher says.
The doctors said they were stretching to see patients earlier in the morning and later in the evening.
"We weren't able to implement fully the primary care aspects of medicine that we wanted to," Kelleher said.
They concluded that concierge medicine was a better model for family care. They could be stronger advocates for patients as their personal physicians.
"I know the people in my care," Dr. Kelleher said. "I have the time to implement the health improvement steps we have outlined, and early detection is better."
Kelleher's patients get 24-hour access to their physicians through e-mail, cell phones, pagers, and they always have a doctor on call. The doctors also make house calls, if requested. There are small perks, too, like snacks in the waiting room. An Executive Physical can take two-hours, and is more comprehensive than most physicals, says Kelleher.
Kelleher says the practice has established a relationship with specialists, offering them "the complete picture of a patient's health," and all related laboratory work and data.
Still, Kelleher acknowledges not everyone can afford concierge care.
The fees at Executive Healthcare, which are in addition to any monthly health insurance costs, start with the Initiation (and first month's) fee of $1500 (for individuals or families). Individuals then pay $250 monthly, while the first adult of a family pays $250/month; the spouse, $200/month; and any children, $50/month. Families with college-age students (18 to 25 years) can pay $150/month for their coverage.
Corporate members, meanwhile, pay $3100 annually, which includes their Executive Physical.
For any patient, office or in-house testing visits are extra, starting at $60/visit. For insurance, the practice is considered an out-of-network provider. Most of their patients do keep their health insurance and get reimbursed for some of the office visit costs.
Executive Healthcare limits the practice to about 300 patients per doctor to be able to focus on those patients. At a traditional practice, it is about 1,000 patients per doctor.
Kelleher says he has a 98 percent patient retention rate. "Patients rarely leave our practice," he said, "and if they do, they come back."
Tom and Marion Rametta, who lived in Reston for 30 years before moving to Dumfries a few years ago, have been under Dr. Kelleher's care for 25 years and said they easily made the switch to the concierge practice.
"It is fabulous," Mrs. Rametta said. "We feel very specially cared for. It makes medicine so different." They rarely see other patients in the waiting room, and they don't wait long to see Dr. Kelleher."
Meanwhile, Inova recently began a concierge medical program.
Dr. Craig Cheifetz, medical director of the Inova VIP 360 program, thinks it is "the ideal practice – it is what every patient wants."
Cheifetz also emphasized the low patient-to-doctor ratio. He says their program has about 200 patients per doctor, while the average internal medical doctor has 3,000 to 4,000 patients.
He echoed Kelleher's assessment that concierge medicine allows doctors to effectively care for and teach their patients, given more time for office visits. "We see outstanding results and they know how to implement the health plans we have developed together," he noted.
At the Inova VIP 360 program, there is reserved parking, on-site lab work and a fitness consultations. The annual cost for Inova Fairfax's program is $1,800 per person.
Concierge care comes at a price to non-concierge patients, said Arthur Caplan, Ph.D, Director at the University of Pennsylvania Center for Bioethics.
"I think there is a move toward concierge care, no doubt about that, but it is not going to become a tidal wave," said Caplan. "The costs involved are not something that most Americans can carry, or even want to carry. Most people in this economic climate don't have the money to spend three, four, five thousand dollars or more to retain a concierge physician [in addition to paying for insurance costs]. So it is an upperclass phenomenon, in my view."
Caplan sees the trend as negative for patient care for most Americans.
"The downside of concierge medicine is that for every doctor who goes into concierge medicine, it means fewer primary care physicians for the rest of the population, and there weren't that many to begin with," he said.
Caplan also cautioned against assuming that concierge doctors are superior.
"There is no evidence that doctors attracted to concierge practices are better physicians," he said. "It may mean a faster response from a doctor, less waiting time, etc., but it does not mean the best doctors are going there – that is just a marketing implication of the term concierge."

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Client News: Shannon Clinic Physicians Named Super Doctors

Source: Shannon Health Press Release

Three Shannon Clinic physicians were recently named Super Doctors® by Texas Monthly Magazine in its December 2010 issue. Ernest Charlesworth, M.D., Ty Hughston, M.D., and Denver Marsh, M.D. were recognized on the magazine’s annual list of physician specialists “highly recommended by their peers,” according to the magazine. Only five percent of the physicians in Texas were selected.

The list of 2010 Super Doctors was determined by a survey administered by Key Professional Media that polled thousands of medical professionals to nominate one or more doctors, other than themselves, from specified medical specialties based on the question, “If you needed medical care, which doctor would you choose?” In addition, the list includes other Texas doctors who have achieved special recognition from their peers or have demonstrated other indications of expertise in their specialties.

Dr. Charlesworth, a specialist in allergy and immunology and dermatology, has practiced at Shannon Clinic for eleven years and serves as chairman of the allergy/dermatology department where he combines the practice of both specialties. He has been included on the Super Doctors list since 2005. Dr. Charlesworth received his medical degree at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and completed his internship and residencies in dermatology and internal medicine at Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center in San Antonio. He also completed his fellowship in allergy and immunology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore where he used skin as a research model for the study of allergic disease. Dr. Charlesworth is board certified in dermatology, internal medicine and allergy and immunology. He serves as a clinical associate professor of medicine in the department of dermatology at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston and in the department of allergy/immunology at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. He has served in various leadership positions and received numerous honors from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

Dr. Hughston, specializing in internal medicine, has practiced at Shannon Clinic for 20 years. He received his bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University in Lubbock and his medical degree from the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock. He completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at Scott and White Memorial Hospital in Temple. Dr. Hughston is board certified in internal medicine by the American Board of Internal Medicine.

Dr. Marsh, a specialist in cardiology, has practiced at Shannon Clinic for 16 years and has practiced in San Angelo at Shannon Medical Center and St. John’s Hospital since 1976. He has been named to the Super Doctors list since 2004. Dr. Marsh received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas in Austin and his medical degree from Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. Dr. Marsh completed his internship, residency and fellowship at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. He is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Disease. Dr. Marsh is also a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology.

Client News: Inova Alexandria Continuing a Tradition of Excellence

Source: Alexandria Gazette Packet
Written by: By Christine Candio

I look forward to what 2011 has in store for Inova Alexandria Hospital, I can’t help but look back on the many successes we had in 2010.

Last year, this column focused on our services, but did you know there is a secret to our nearly 140 years of providing quality care? The secret is our selfless and compassionate employees, physicians, and volunteers who go above and beyond to make all our accomplishments possible.

In 2010, American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, the largest specialty nursing organization in the world, awarded the Medical Surgical Intensive Care Unit at Inova Alexandria Hospital its prestigious Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence. This award is a testament to the high standards of care we deliver to our patients daily. The hospital is one of just six hospitals in the Washington, D.C. region to achieve this status.

Another area that earned notable distinction was our Respiratory Care program, which earned a two-year accreditation from the College of American Pathologists (CAP). CAP is a national accrediting organization that sets the standard for quality respiratory care throughout the country. This recognition, based on the results of an onsite survey, proves that respiratory care at the hospital is specially designed to ensure the highest standard of care for our patients.

Inova Alexandria Hospital employees and volunteers value community outreach as well. We rallied together to participate in the city’s Walk to Fight Breast Cancer in October. The overwhelming support helped raise more than $130,000. This annual event supports free mammograms for women in Alexandria who are unable to afford this diagnostic screening.

As part of our mission to improve the health of the community we serve, we provide education. Earlier this year, Inova Alexandria Hospital was named Alexandria City Public Schools "Partner in Education" for introducing iPATH, a program which encourages healthy eating and exercise among school age students. iPATH not only aligns with our mission but can ultimately save lives.

Nearly 100 women attended our annual Women’s Health Expo, another educational opportunity we offered our community, to learn more about reproductive issues, preparing nutritious meals, infant CPR, heart health and many other issues that affect women and their families.

We’ve provided just a snapshot of our hospital’s many accomplishments in 2010. We certainly look forward to continuing our tradition of providing excellent care and community outreach in 2011. Most importantly, we thank the community for their long time support.

For more information about Inova Alexandria Hospital awards and recognition visit:

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Special Message From Your Friends at Unibased . . .

May your holidays be filled with joy, and your New Year abundant with health, happiness and prosperity!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Client News: Mon Health System Board Names COO Duncan as President/CEO

Source: Mon General Press Release

The Board of Directors of Monongalia Health System has named Mon General Hospital Chief Operating Officer (COO) Darryl Duncan as the new President/Chief Executive Officer of Monongalia Health System.

Duncan will succeed David Robertson as President/CEO effective Feb. 1, 2011. Robertson is stepping down on Jan. 31, 2011 to become Senior Vice President and Executive Officer for the Oklahoma and Arkansas region of the Voluntary Hospitals of America (VHA).

Duncan, 47, is a native of Charleston, WV, and has served as Mon General’s COO since June 2006. During his tenure, Duncan has spearheaded physician recruitment at Mon General, adding more than 30 physicians to its staff.

“Although we are saddened by David Robertson's departure, and certainly wish him the best as he ventures into his new position, we, the System Board, tried to be prepared for such an event,” said Patrick Martin, Chair of the Monongalia Health System Board of Directors. “When Darryl was hired in 2006 as COO, the Board's main focus was to have a viable candidate to succeed the CEO.

“Since then, Darryl has been an excellent COO often demonstrating the skills and attributes to move up and be a successful CEO,” Martin said. “He is bright, analytical, and energetic which, when coupled with his experience via his background and clinical knowledge, should serve him and our System very well as we move forward in our mission to deliver the best healthcare.”

"While we are grateful for the leadership of Dave Robertson as CEO over the past eight years and sad to see him leave, I am very pleased and happy to welcome Darryl Duncan as the new CEO of the Health System,” said Sister Nancy White, Chair of the Mon General Hospital Board of Directors.

“Darryl had a wide breadth of Administrative experience when he came to the hospital in 2006 as COO and has proven over his years here that he is very knowledgeable of the Mon Health System, especially the inner workings of the hospital,” White said. “Darryl is very dedicated to our mission ‘to deliver the best healthcare’ and I believe he will continue to work hard to move us into the future with integrity and creativity.”

“As we implement health reform in this nation, Darryl’s knowledge of Mon General Hospital, his strong clinical knowledge, and his experience in hospital operations will greatly benefit our organization,” said outgoing Mon Health System President/CEO David Robertson. “I wish him well as he leads the Health System into the future.”

“I am excited about this opportunity and consider it an honor to work with the employees, physicians, and volunteers associated with the Health System,” Duncan said. “Healthcare is about to embark on some significant change, but I feel confident we are strongly positioned to continue to provide the best healthcare to this region of West Virginia.”

Duncan has a Masters Degree in Hospital and Health Administration from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Masters and Bachelor degrees in Industrial Engineering from West Virginia University (WVU). In 2001 he was inducted into the Industrial & Management System Engineering Distinguished Alumni Academy.

As President/CEO, Duncan will oversee the operation of Monongalia Health System, which includes Mon General Hospital, Mon HealthCare, Mon EMS, and The Village at Heritage Point. He will serve on both the Mon Health System and Mon General Hospital Boards of Directors.

In his current role as COO, Duncan is responsible for the day-to-day management of the hospital. All hospital based services, including Patient Care, Medical Affairs, and Quality and Information Systems report directly to Duncan.

Prior to his arrival at Mon General, Duncan had served as COO of Provena Saint Joseph Hospital, a 251-bed acute care hospital in Elgin, IL. While at Provena Saint Joseph Hospital, Duncan planned a $97 million hospital construction and renovation project, which included constructing a four story wing, adding 99 private patient rooms.

In addition to serving as COO at Provena Saint Joseph Hospital, Duncan has also served as COO of RML Specialty Hospital in Hinsdale, Illinois and as Senior Vice President for Oncology at Physician Health Corporation, an Atlanta based physician practice management company. He also has served as Chief Executive Officer for several smaller hospitals, including Transitional Hospital of Chicago in Chicago, IL, and Alexander Community Hospital in Taylorsville, NC.

Duncan resides in the Cheat Lake area with wife Shelly. Their daughter, Courtney is a sophomore at WVU studying biology.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Client News: Oakwood One of Nine Hospitals Nationally Chosen as Learning Lab for the Language Quality Improvement Collaborative

Source: Oakwood Heatlhcare Systems Press Release

Oakwood was one of nine hospitals nationally chosen to be a learning lab for the Language Quality Improvement Collaborative (LQIC), designed to reduce language barriers in healthcare while improving quality and safety for limited English proficiency patients.
The LQIC has concluded an 18-month study that began in April 2009. The study, sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Aligning Forces for Quality, had the purpose of lifting overall quality of healthcare in targeted communities, reducing racial and ethnic disparities and providing models for national reform.
Oakwood presented its study findings and was the only hospital able to collect all of the required metrics and show proof of its quality improvements.

The Oakwood team is compromised of: Barb Medvec, CNO; Moe Rustom; Sharon Menzel; Diane Lopez; Margaret Smith and Jacqueline Mohs, MD. They traveled recently to receive the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Award.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Press Release: Unibased Receives “Best in KLAS” Recognition for the Market Segments Enterprise Scheduling and Surgery Management for Eight Consecutive Years

Unibased Systems Architecture, Inc. (Unibased) has achieved the “Best in KLAS” Awards for both the Enterprise Scheduling and Surgery Management market segments for the year 2010, reflecting outstanding product quality, system reliability and client satisfaction. With its focus on revolutionizing access to care and enhancing the patient experience, Unibased strives to improve the coordination, quality and efficiency of healthcare services for patients, physicians and providers. Achieving “Best in KLAS” as published in the annual year-end “Top 20 Best in KLAS Awards” report for the last eight consecutive years exemplifies Unibased’s deep commitment to its clients and unparalleled service and support.
“Since 1998, the objective of the ‘Top 20 Best in KLAS Awards’ report has been to help healthcare providers make informed decisions,” said KLAS President Adam Gale. The Best in KLAS distinction represents a commitment to meeting customer expectations and we congratulate the vendors making strides in every phase of customer relations—from the sales presentation to implementation to ongoing service and support.”
Unibased Systems Architecture's Resource Management System (RMS) ranked #1 in the Enterprise Scheduling category as well as its periOperative Resource Management System (ORMS) ranked #1 in the Surgery Management category in the 2010 “Top 20 Best in KLAS Awards: Software & Professional Services” report. Both solutions have been the top ranked system in their respective market segments for the last eight consecutive years (2003-2010).1
Larry Covington, Unibased’s President and CEO, stated, “Healthcare providers are facing the perfect storm of increased demand, reduced reimbursement from third party payers, increases in self-pay and consumer’s portion of the bill, and a 9.5% unemployment rate. Resource productivity and better utilization of resources, including both fixed and variable costs, is critical to provider survival. For 24 years, Unibased has focused on provider efficiency, which includes software products that are lights out in availability and reliability, and easy to use and support. Our reference is our entire client list, no exceptions. We ask our clients that if we are not their best vendor, please tell us why and we will make adjustments. We are proud of our eight consecutive years as first in our market segments, and we expect to be highly competitive in 2011.”
According to the 2010 “Top 20 Best in KLAS Awards” report, KLAS evaluates 200+ vendors, 750 products, within 4,500 hospitals annually. As indicated in the annual “Best in KLAS Awards” report, for the market segments of Enterprise Scheduling and Surgery Management, Unibased competes with GE, McKesson, Cerner, Epic, Siemens, Meditech, QuadraMed and other smaller vendors as listed by KLAS.1
About Unibased Systems Architecture, Inc.: Celebrating its 24th year in the healthcare information technology (HIT) industry, and having achieved “Best In KLAS”1 for 8 consecutive years (2003-2010) in the market segments of surgery management and enterprise scheduling, Unibased Systems Architecture, Inc. (Unibased), an Amerinet supplier, markets various products that are open, scalable, integrated client/server and web-based solutions, designed to meet the unique needs of healthcare organizations and improve the coordination of healthcare services. In the HIT industry, Unibased offers ForSite2020® as an integrated solution that provides improved access management processes including scheduling, EMPI and registration, and tracking patient resource needs from pre-access through follow-up. ForSite2020 monitors the effectiveness of clinical programs, financial productivity and capacity management to improve quality, safety and efficiency of healthcare delivery.
ForSite2020 has an integrated surgery management module which coordinates surgery procedures and surgeon scheduling, pre-admission activity monitoring, surgeon preferences, suite utilization, materials management, clinical worker training and certification, perioperative charting, and surgery-based EHR. ForSite2020 improves the communication between hospitals and physicians through its physician portal, automated order creation, and business intelligence analytics. ForSite2020 impacts the revenue cycle through functions such as validation of patient demographics, patient’s current insurance eligibility checking, assurance of medical necessity compliance and estimation of the patient’s out-of-pocket expense based upon scheduled and ordered services.
Unibased solutions will increase provider sales quickly, through its physician and consumer portals as well as its call center management capabilities. They will reduce provider debt associated with patient payments and minimize claim denials associated with inaccuracies and missing documentation. Most importantly, providers realize these benefits within months, not years. All Unibased solutions are supported by integrated automatic data collection processes such as bar coding, facsimile collection and retention, optical and intelligent character recognition, and document image collection and storage – all linked to the appropriate patient and administrative records. Unibased Systems Architecture, Inc. is a private corporation founded in 1986 and is based in Chesterfield, Missouri. All Unibased products are made and supported in the United States.
1) 2003 - 2010 Top 20 Best in KLAS Awards: Software & Professional Services, December 2010. © 2010 KLAS Enterprises, LLC. All rights reserved.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Client News: Florida Hospital Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon Performs Rare, Life-Saving Procedure Using a Titanium Rib

Source: Florida Hospital Press Release

Dr. Woo implants the titanium rib on 2-year-old Logan to help save his life by expanding his rib cage.
Two-year-old Logan Gould has been in and out of hospitals his entire life. He was born with a rare condition called Thoracic Insufficiency Syndrome (TIS), which means his chest cavity, or thorax, cannot support normal respiration or lung growth, and can cause life-threatening breathing problems. Some of the abnormalities associated with TIS include rib fusion and scoliosis, or a crooked spine. After dozens of trips to the hospital, the Gould family came to see Dr. Raymund Woo, a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon at Florida Hospital for Children, who offered them the option of inserting a titanium rib to help save Logan.
Dr. Woo is one of a handful of surgeons across the United States who performs expansion thoracostomy and insertion of the Vertical Expandable Prosthetic Titanium Rib (VEPTR) device. The goal of this operation is to provide the rib cage and lungs more space and room to grow.
"Logan has been so sick his entire life, and his rib cage is severely deformed," said Erin Gould, Logan's mother. "We talked about going to Boston or Texas to have the procedure performed. But when we heard Dr. Woo was performing this unique procedure, we felt extremely blessed to be closer to home to get this life-saving procedure for Logan."
The VEPTR device, which is curved to fit the back of the chest and spine, is inserted vertically against the spine to help keep the chest wall expanded. The device also helps to straighten the spine and make it grow in a more normal way. As the child grows, the device can be made longer by performing a simple outpatient procedure. This is typically done twice a year until the child reaches skeletal maturity.
"Each child with TIS comes with a unique combination of medical problems but under the right circumstances, the VEPTR device can be life-saving," said Dr. Raymund Woo, medical director of pediatric orthopaedics at the Walt Disney Pavilion at Florida Hospital for Children. "In addition to getting the VEPTR device implanted, my patients also receive a multidisciplinary approach to make sure they are well cared for before, during and after their stay in the hospital. This team includes a pulmonologist, cardiologist, nutritionist, intensivist, anesthesiologist and surgeon."
The insertion of the VEPTR device does pose several risks including infection from multiple surgeries, drifting of the Titanium Rib, or weakening of skin around the incision site. But to many parents, including Erin Gould, the benefits far outweigh the risks.
"He now has the chance to live a normal life," said Erin. "His quality of life will be so much better and I am so thankful for that."

Monday, December 13, 2010

Client News: Driscoll Hires Susan Evans-Mueller as IT Director

Source: Driscoll Children's Hospital Press Release

Susan Evans-Mueller has joined Driscoll Children’s Hospital as the new Information Technology (IT) director.

Evans-Mueller started her Information Technology & Systems career as a technical consultant and technical trainer. She has more than 12 years of healthcare IT&S leadership experience and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in IT&S and business.

Evans-Mueller grew up in Corpus Christi and has spent the past nine years in Houston with a for-profit healthcare organization. Her background includes IT&S and project management.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Client News: New Oakwood Medical Center to Open on Old Montgomery Ward’s Site Opens January 3

Source: Press & Guide Newspapers
Written by: J. Patrick Pepper

Mayor John B. O’Reilly, Jr., Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano, Dr. Mark Saffer, president of Midwest Health Center, Brian Connolly, president and CEO of Oakwood Healthcare, and Dale Watchowski, president and CEO of REDICO pose with the topping off beam at the Dearborn Town Center development in 2009 on the site of the former Montgomery Ward. Photo by Millard Berry.
A new medical center with two of the biggest local names in healthcare is on schedule to open next month in the heart of the city’s east downtown.
Named Dearborn Town Center, the $70 million facility is located at the southeast corner of the busy Michigan Avenue-Schaefer intersection, across Schaefer from City Hall.
The complex will house offices for Midwest Health doctors, administrators and support staff, as well as Oakwood Hospital specialists. Including maintenance and other ancillary positions, there will be about 500 people working at the building at any given time, development officials say.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for Dec. 15 and Jan. 3 is when the place will be open for regular business.
The completion of the project marks a corner-turning for one of the city’s marquee corners. That’s because when the Montgomery Ward that formerly occupied the site closed for business in 2001, it began six years of uncertainty.
An investor first purchased the parcel in 2001 for $1.8 million and then sold it for a profit the following year. The buyers included Talal Chahine, the founder of the defunct LaShish restaurant empire who is wanted for tax evasion, and partner Kayed Bazzi.
With Chahine on the run from federal agents and city officials unsatisfied with the ideas being proposed for the site, the city bought the building for about $3.5 million in 2005. Two years later, Southfield-based REDICO was chosen to develop the property based on a proposal to build a medical facility.
Dearborn Mayor Jack O’Reilly, who has been a vocal advocate for the project throughout, said Monday that he’s happy to see it finally coming to fruition.
“I really think this is going to be a great thing for the businesses around here, and the facility itself is in one of the few growth industries around here,” O’Reilly said.
With its brick-and-limestone facade and curved architecture at the most visible part of the building, the 125,000 square-foot structure shares some of the aesthetics of the Montgomery Ward department store.
Also like Ward, the facility’s main entrance is at the rear of the building, putting it in closer proximity to the municipal parking deck built for the project.
The roughly $11 million deck will be paid for using tax capture revenues from the new development, which is already 96 percent leased, and any shortfalls will be made up by the developer.
REDICO will complete the project in line with projected timelines, though some of the elements in the initial development proposal have been shelved because of the economy.
Those items include senior housing, which eventually is supposed to run along the residential neighborhood to the east of the property, as well as some retail suites. Development officials said these aspects would be built when the economy improves.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Client News: Gettysburg Hospital joins Campus Kitchens Project

Source: WellSpan Website

Gettysburg Hospital recently became the first medical facility in the country to be a formal partner with The Campus Kitchens Project, a national leader in community service for students and anti-hunger programs for communities around the country.

Working with Campus Kitchen at Gettysburg College and the hospital’s food service partner, Nutrition Management Services, the hospital is donating unused food to support The Kitchen’s efforts to provide hot meals to people in the local community who are economically disadvantaged.

By the end of 2010, Gettysburg Hospital will likely have donated more than 500 pounds of food items that include soups, casseroles and leftovers from various catering events to the college’s Campus Kitchen.

“The hospital’s dietary department reviews its production system to make sure it’s utilizing all food items possible. In the past, there were cases in which food was produced but couldn’t be utilized and it resulted in the item being discarded,” said Kevin Scritchfield, director of Gettysburg Hospital Dietary Services.

“There are strict regulations through the Pennsylvania Department of Health that govern how food is handled, temperature guidelines and rules related to safety and sanitation.

“Since the hospital’s dietary department meets all of these guidelines, we are able to donate unused food items to Campus Kitchen and help others in the process.”

Nationally, The Campus Kitchens Project empowers thousands of students each year to recycle food from cafeterias, turn these donations into nourishing meals and deliver those meals to people who need it most.

“While the Campus Kitchen helps families close the food gap, it also works to establish relationships that break down barriers and stereotypes. The result is the stronger, more united community. We are grateful that Gettysburg Hospital has become a partner,” said Kim Davidson, associate director of the Center for Public Service at Gettysburg College.

Students at each of the 25 Campus Kitchens around the country are responsible for running the program’s operation, including menu planning, collecting food, managing cooking and in some cases teaching culinary skills to unemployed adults.

The students also manage all records, organize fundraisers, develop nutrition curriculum and recruit new students to get involved.

The Campus Kitchen at Gettysburg College, the first in the state, began in November 2007. The project is managed by the College’s Center for Public Service and student program coordinators.

As it reaches its third year in operation, the Campus Kitchen has recovered more than 28,000 pounds of food and served more than 15,000 meals to local residents in need.

Client News: Lancaster General Health Recognized as Best Places to Work in Pennsylvania

Source: Lancaster General Health News Release

Lancaster General Health was named one of the Best Places to Work in Pennsylvania for 2010, ranking 36 among the top 50 companies in the large company category.

The recognition was announced during the Best Places to Work in PA awards ceremony on Tuesday, Nov. 30, at the Lancaster County Convention Center in Lancaster. The awards program, created in 2000, is one of the first statewide programs of its kind in the country. The program is a public/private partnership between Team Pennsylvania Foundation, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and the Central Penn Business Journal.

This survey and awards program was designed to identify, recognize and honor the best places to be employed in Pennsylvania, benefiting the state's economy, its workforce and businesses. In the past, employers were categorized based upon the number of employees they had in Pennsylvania. This year, employers were categorized based upon the total number of employees they have in the United States. This change was made to ensure the proper alignment of organizations and to avoid naming large national employers to the small/medium list simply because they have fewer employees based in Pennsylvania. This change did not have any impact on which organizations made the list, just how they were categorized.

To be considered for participation, companies had to fulfill the following eligibility requirements:

- Have at least 25 employees in Pennsylvania;
- Be a for-profit or not-for-profit business;
- Be a publicly or privately held business;
- Have a facility in Pennsylvania; and
- Be in good standing with Commonwealth agencies under the Governor’s jurisdiction.

Companies from across the state entered the two-part process to determine the 100 Best Places to Work in PA. The first part of this process was evaluating each nominated company's workplace policies, practices, philosophies, systems and demographics. This part of the process was worth approximately 25% of the total evaluation. The second part consisted of an employee survey to measure the employee experience. This part of the process was worth approximately 75% of the total evaluation. The combined scores determined the top companies and the final ranking. Best Companies Group managed the overall registration and survey process.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Client News: OSF Healthcare Holiday Cards to Benefit Children's Hospital of Illinois

By: Carin L Thumm, MFA
After Thanksgiving is over, the focus shifts to thoughts of holidays in December. There's shopping to be done. Meals to be cooked. Sweets to be baked. Packages to be wrapped. Friends and family to see. And cards to be mailed.

Put another way - there's a lot going on preceded whatever holiday you and yours celebrate.  One simple way to share in the holiday spirit and brighten a child's life is to purchase cards that are made by children where the proceeds go towards helping children.
If you haven't already, when you pick your holiday cards please consider visiting OSF Healthcare Systems and check out this year's holiday card contestant winners.  All the proceeds from card purchases go to the Children's Hospital of Illinois - and as Brooks Bankord, a contestant winner and a former children's hospital patient, said "I really wanted to give back to the place that gave me a chance at life, and it would be awesome for other kids to get that chance too."
Click here to purchase cards from OSF Healthcare Systems.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Client News: Oakwood Heritage Hospital Honored as "Top Improver"

Source: City of Taylor Website

Oakwood Heritage Hospital in Taylor is one of only 10 hospitals nationwide to be recognized with a Top Improver award by Press Ganey Associates, Inc.

The award, which is based on patient satisfaction scores, represents the ongoing goal of ensuring every single patient has a memorable experience with the hospital, said Kelly C. Smith, chief operating officer of Oakwood Heritage Hospital.

“I am very proud of the entire team at Oakwood Heritage Hospital and I am pleased for our community,” Smith said. “This award symbolizes our never-ending quest to always deliver very good care to our patients.”

For the 2010 award, Press Ganey looked at facilities that ranked in the top five percent of improvers across the country. Only 29 facilities nationally -— and only 10 inpatient facilities across the country -— were honored from among the more than 2,000 facilities that participate with Press Ganey in the United States. The award recognizes facilities that have shown continuous improvement in patient, physician or employee satisfaction scores.

“Their dedication to continuous improvement serves as a model for all,” said Richard B. Siegrist, Jr., chief executive officer of Press Gainey Associates, Inc.

The team at Oakwood Heritage embraces a philosophy of “patients come first,” Smith said. To demonstrate this philosophy, the team implemented a number of key strategies that emphasize customer service as the number one priority. The leader of each unit visits with all patients every day to ensure they are happy and healthy, Smith said. On rounds, nurses and aides visit patients at least every hour to keep them informed and comfortable. They also call patients at home after they are discharged to check on how they are feeling and to answer any additional questions. Further, the team does many spontaneous things for patients, such as providing special meals, custom notes, treats and small gifts to make them smile.

Brian Connolly, president and chief executive officer of Oakwood Healthcare Inc., said the staff at the hospital provides an outstanding model for all employees across the system to follow.

“At Oakwood, it is our privilege to provide high-quality patient care with a personalized touch," he said. "I am immensely proud of the staff at Oakwood Heritage Hospital for receiving national recognition for their achievements in patient satisfaction. Their commitment to those we serve inspires all of us.”