News Article | April 17, 2017
The University of North Carolina (UNC) Medical Center and its partner, Roundtable Analytics, Inc., have recently launched a full-spectrum analytics program to support the flagship emergency department (ED) in Chapel Hill, NC. As an academic, Level I Trauma Center, UNC’s main ED faces the challenge of seeing nearly 70,000 patients annually all while educating its resident physicians. But this tremendous operational challenge is now being approached with analytics, from a comprehensive understanding of past and current performance to predictive simulation modeling to routinely support key management decisions such as staffing, treatment area utilization, and much more. Working closely with UNC’s ED leadership team, Roundtable Analytics, Inc., customized its data reporting, visualization and predictive analytics suite to meet UNC’s needs. Roundtable’s full analytics offering leverages the Epic data UNC already collects and stores each day in Epic’s Clarity database, with no need to integrate into the live electronic medical record (EMR). To ensure accuracy and consistency, Roundtable Analytics statisticians customize an automatic processing layer that checks, cleans and standardizes the daily data. Roundtable’s automated data processing is essential for gaining accurate insights from ubiquitous EMR data, and serves as the basis for powerful, on-demand analytics. “It’s fantastic. We have access to data we’ve never seen before, whether it’s yesterday’s performance or last year’s metrics,” said Dr. Jane Brice, chair of UNC Emergency Medicine. “My entire leadership team can interact with the data one minute and then simulate potential management changes for our emergency department in response to what we see.” Roundtable Analytics, Inc. provides consulting and comprehensive data analytics for emergency departments, including easy-to-use, site-specific simulation models. Securely leveraging each ED’s unique data resources, Roundtable Analytics delivers its data services via SaaS to ED managers who can quickly assess the state of their ED and simulate the impact of key management changes using Roundtable’s Emergency Department Strategy Lab, or EDSL. This approach eliminates the risks of suboptimal patient care and financial losses that can occur during costly trial-and-error periods. Funded by a combination of National Science Foundation grants and private equity, the company created research partnerships with two major medical research universities, which led to the development of its analytics services and technology. Roundtable Analytics launched EDSL commercially in 2016.
News Article | May 5, 2017
Platelets promote immune tolerance to certain cancers by suppressing T cells and adoptive T cell therapy may be enhanced by adding antiplatelet drugs, report researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina in Science Immunology Blood platelets help disguise cancer from the immune system by suppressing T cells, report scientists at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in the May 5, 2017 issue of Science Immunology. In extensive preclinical tests, a promising T cell therapy more successfully boosted immunity against melanoma when common antiplatelet drugs such as aspirin were added. Zihai Li, M.D., Ph.D., senior author on the article, is chair of the MUSC Department of Microbiology and Immunology, the program leader for the Cancer Immunology Research Program at MUSC Hollings Cancer Center, and the SmartState® Sally Abney Rose Chair in Stem Cell Biology & Therapy. Li studies how tumors hide themselves from the immune system. Li's team found that platelets release a molecule that suppresses the activity of cancer-fighting T cells. That molecule, unsurprisingly, was TGF-beta, which has been recognized for decades for its role in cancer growth. Yet this study is the first of its kind. Most TGF-beta is inactive. Li and his group found that the surface of platelets has a protein called GARP, a molecular hook that is uniquely able to trap and activate TGF-beta. Platelets, which are small cell fragments that circulate throughout the blood and are normally involved in clotting, become the major source of activated TGF-beta that invading tumor cells use to suppress T cells. In other words, platelets help give tumors their invisibility cloak from the immune system. Scientists have known for several years that certain cancers suppress T cells to avoid the immune system. That is why adoptive T cell therapy is one of the most promising advances in modern cancer treatment. It is a type of immunotherapy that awakens the immune system by retraining a patient's T cells to recognize their cancer. T cells are isolated from a patient's blood and retrained, or "primed," to recognize tumor cells. They are then injected back into the patient's bloodstream where they can now hunt and fight cancer. There was some evidence that platelets might make cancer worse. For example, patients who have excessive clotting related to their cancer almost always have a worse prognosis, according to Li. "Over the years, it has become appreciated that platelets are doing more than just clotting," says Li. The first clue that cancer-fighting T cells might be suppressed by the body's own clotting system came when the researchers gave melanoma to mice with genetically defective platelets. Melanoma tumors grew much more slowly and primed T cells were much more active than in mice with normal platelets. Next, the team isolated platelets and T cells from blood drawn from humans and mice. In both cases, platelets with activated clotting activity suppressed T cell response. It then used mass spectrometry to thoroughly identify the molecules released by activated platelets that most suppressed T cell activity. The molecule with the most T cell suppression was TGF-beta. Li and his team then studied how platelets activate TGF-beta. In genetically modified mice without GARP, the molecular hook on the surface of platelets, adoptive T cell therapy was more successful at controlling melanoma. This meant that platelets without the ability to grab and activate TGF-beta were not able to suppress cancer-fighting T cells. Similar experiments confirmed this result in mice with colon carcinoma. Finally, mice with normal platelets that were given melanoma and then adoptive T cell therapy survived longer and relapsed less when aspirin and clopidogrel, two antiplatelet drugs, were added. The researchers noted that antiplatelet drugs by themselves were not successful in combating melanoma in their experiments. This study could inform future treatment of melanoma and other cancers and offers a sound reason to test antiplatelet drugs in clinical trials of adoptive T cell therapy. In patients with melanoma or other cancers, adoptive T cell therapy may be successful if highly available platelet-blocking drugs such as aspirin are added to the treatment. However, the current standard of care for melanoma is not adoptive T cell therapy, but so-called checkpoint inhibitors. Li and his group want to know if combination therapy with antiplatelet drugs could improve existing cancer treatment. They are waiting for approval to begin a clinical trial that will test certain checkpoint inhibitors in combination with aspirin and clopidogrel for the treatment of patients with advanced cancers. Li's trial will complement clinical trials that are already testing adoptive T cell therapy as a single treatment for cancer. "I'm very excited about this," says Li. "We can test simple, over-the-counter antiplatelet agents to really improve immunity and make a difference in how to treat people with cancer." Founded in 1824 in Charleston, The Medical University of South Carolina is the oldest medical school in the South. Today, MUSC continues the tradition of excellence in education, research, and patient care. MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and residents in six colleges (Dental Medicine, Graduate Studies, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy), and has nearly 13,000 employees, including approximately 1,500 faculty members. As the largest non-federal employer in Charleston, the university and its affiliates have collective annual budgets in excess of $2.2 billion, with an annual economic impact of more than $3.8 billion and annual research funding in excess of $250 million. MUSC operates a 700-bed medical center, which includes a nationally recognized children's hospital, the Ashley River Tower (cardiovascular, digestive disease, and surgical oncology), Hollings Cancer Center (a National Cancer Institute-designated center), Level I Trauma Center, Institute of Psychiatry, and the state's only transplant center. In 2016, U.S. News & World Report named MUSC Health the number one hospital in South Carolina. For more information on academic programs or clinical services, visit musc.edu. For more information on hospital patient services, visit muschealth.org.
News Article | May 3, 2017
Receive press releases from The Medical Center of Aurora: By Email The Medical Center of Aurora & Project Angel Heart Use Food as Medicine Aurora, CO, May 03, 2017 --( Patients who are released from the hospital typically have a discharge plan of care to ensure that they receive ongoing health care maintenance. This plan may include medications, follow-up doctor visits, and guidance for recovery. In this pilot program, Project Angel Heart will provide home-delivered, medically tailored food as part of the prescribed health care plan. TMCA patients who have recently undergone bypass surgery, experienced a heart attack, or who are diagnosed with COPD will be screened by the hospital’s registered dietitians to determine medical need for meals. Once the patient is identified and discharged from the hospital, they will immediately begin receiving medically tailored meals from Project Angel Heart. Project Angel Heart’s chefs prepare meals from scratch and an on-staff registered dietitian ensures they meet the dietary standards for heart and COPD patients, and the meals are delivered directly to the patient’s home once a week. “The partnership between The Medical Center of Aurora and Project Angel Heart is an exciting opportunity for two Colorado organizations to address the health of these patients by using food as medicine,” says Leslie Scotland-Stewart, Director of Business Development at Project Angel Heart. Initial results from a similar pilot at HealthONE’s North Suburban Medical Center revealed that meals greatly impacted hospital readmission rates, with zero pilot patients being readmitted within 30 days. Eighty-three percent of these patients also reported improvements in their health and energy levels. “We want to ensure that our patients are getting everything they need to help with their recovery after they’ve left the hospital,” said Brandon Mencini, TMCA’s Vice President of Business Development. “By connecting them with Project Angel Heart, we know they will be in good hands and will get the nutrition they need as they continue their recovery.” About The Medical Center of Aurora The Medical Center of Aurora, the first community hospital in the Denver Metro area to receive two-time Magnet designation for nursing excellence by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), is a 346-bed acute care hospital located in Aurora, Colorado. The Medical Center of Aurora is comprised of six campuses in Aurora and Centennial, Colo., including the Main Campus, located at Interstate 225 and Mississippi, the North Campus Behavioral Health and Wellness Center, Centennial Medical Plaza, Saddle Rock ER, Spalding Rehabilitation Hospital and a medical office building at Green Valley Ranch. The Main Campus facility is a Level II Trauma Center with Primary Stroke Certification and Chest Pain Center accreditation, serving the eastern metro area and I-70 corridor. The Medical Center of Aurora received ‘A’ grades from The Leapfrog Group (Fall 2015, Fall 2016), was named Colorado’s only 2016 Leapfrog Top General Hospital, was recognized as the #4 hospital in the Denver metro area and the #4 hospital in Colorado by U.S. News & World Report (2014-2015), and was one of only nine hospitals in the country to receive the Lantern Award for Excellence in Emergency Room Care by the Emergency Nurses Association (2013). About Project Angel Heart Project Angel Heart is a nonprofit organization that prepares and delivers medically tailored meals, free of charge, to men, women, and children living with cancer, kidney disease, HIV/AIDS, and other life-threatening illnesses. This year, the organization will provide meals for more than 2,900 people in the Denver metro area and Colorado Springs. Aurora, CO, May 03, 2017 --( PR.com )-- The Medical Center of Aurora (TMCA) announced today that they are partnering with Project Angel Heart in a groundbreaking pilot program whereby TMCA dietitians will help discharged patients connect with Project Angel Heart, who will then provide healthy meals to those patients for 30 days following their hospital stay.Patients who are released from the hospital typically have a discharge plan of care to ensure that they receive ongoing health care maintenance. This plan may include medications, follow-up doctor visits, and guidance for recovery. In this pilot program, Project Angel Heart will provide home-delivered, medically tailored food as part of the prescribed health care plan.TMCA patients who have recently undergone bypass surgery, experienced a heart attack, or who are diagnosed with COPD will be screened by the hospital’s registered dietitians to determine medical need for meals. Once the patient is identified and discharged from the hospital, they will immediately begin receiving medically tailored meals from Project Angel Heart. Project Angel Heart’s chefs prepare meals from scratch and an on-staff registered dietitian ensures they meet the dietary standards for heart and COPD patients, and the meals are delivered directly to the patient’s home once a week.“The partnership between The Medical Center of Aurora and Project Angel Heart is an exciting opportunity for two Colorado organizations to address the health of these patients by using food as medicine,” says Leslie Scotland-Stewart, Director of Business Development at Project Angel Heart.Initial results from a similar pilot at HealthONE’s North Suburban Medical Center revealed that meals greatly impacted hospital readmission rates, with zero pilot patients being readmitted within 30 days. Eighty-three percent of these patients also reported improvements in their health and energy levels.“We want to ensure that our patients are getting everything they need to help with their recovery after they’ve left the hospital,” said Brandon Mencini, TMCA’s Vice President of Business Development. “By connecting them with Project Angel Heart, we know they will be in good hands and will get the nutrition they need as they continue their recovery.”About The Medical Center of AuroraThe Medical Center of Aurora, the first community hospital in the Denver Metro area to receive two-time Magnet designation for nursing excellence by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), is a 346-bed acute care hospital located in Aurora, Colorado. The Medical Center of Aurora is comprised of six campuses in Aurora and Centennial, Colo., including the Main Campus, located at Interstate 225 and Mississippi, the North Campus Behavioral Health and Wellness Center, Centennial Medical Plaza, Saddle Rock ER, Spalding Rehabilitation Hospital and a medical office building at Green Valley Ranch. The Main Campus facility is a Level II Trauma Center with Primary Stroke Certification and Chest Pain Center accreditation, serving the eastern metro area and I-70 corridor. The Medical Center of Aurora received ‘A’ grades from The Leapfrog Group (Fall 2015, Fall 2016), was named Colorado’s only 2016 Leapfrog Top General Hospital, was recognized as the #4 hospital in the Denver metro area and the #4 hospital in Colorado by U.S. News & World Report (2014-2015), and was one of only nine hospitals in the country to receive the Lantern Award for Excellence in Emergency Room Care by the Emergency Nurses Association (2013).About Project Angel HeartProject Angel Heart is a nonprofit organization that prepares and delivers medically tailored meals, free of charge, to men, women, and children living with cancer, kidney disease, HIV/AIDS, and other life-threatening illnesses. This year, the organization will provide meals for more than 2,900 people in the Denver metro area and Colorado Springs. Click here to view the list of recent Press Releases from The Medical Center of Aurora
News Article | May 22, 2017
NASHVILLE, Tenn. & GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Envision Healthcare Corporation (NYSE: EVHC) today announced that Envision Physician Services acquired Gwinnett Emergency Specialists, P.C. (“GES”), an emergency medicine physician group practice located in Lawrenceville, Georgia. GES consists of more than 40 physicians and 30 advanced practice practitioners who provide patient care at two hospitals in Gwinnett County: Gwinnett Medical Center Lawrenceville, a Level II Trauma Center; and Gwinnett Medical Center Duluth. Annual patient volume for the group exceeds 150,000 patient encounters. GES has provided service at the Lawrenceville hospital since the physician group was founded in 1991. “We’re excited to be part of a growing national provider group that is committed to supporting physicians caring for patients in their local communities,” said Phillip Cannon, M.D., President of Gwinnett Emergency Specialists. “We have a long and successful record of service to patients at Gwinnett Medical Center and across this rapidly growing community, and we are excited about the vital infrastructure that Envision brings to our group to support our growth.” Many physician organizations across the country are responding to new reimbursement models that impact physician care, as well as hospital and health system care models. GES was drawn to Envision Physician Services’ comprehensive offerings that align providers and health systems around achieving quality outcomes in a cost-effective manner. “We’re pleased to be joining an organization that provides our physicians and clinical professionals with the resources to effectively migrate toward emerging reimbursement models that will recognize the value we bring to patient care,” said Carlton Buchanan, M.D., Medical Director of Gwinnett Emergency Specialists and President of the Medical Staff of Gwinnett Medical Center’s Lawrenceville and Duluth facilities. “Physician-led care teams have tremendous influence over health system resource utilization, including effectively managing episodic care as well as transitions of care that will lead to better patient outcomes and demonstrated value to patients, health systems and payors.” Following the acquisition of GES, Envision Physician Services staffs eight hospital-based emergency medicine departments in North Georgia, including the Atlanta metropolitan area. “We continue to expand our presence in attractive markets across the country as we demonstrate our position as trusted partners to physicians, health systems and patients in those communities,” said Robert J. Coward, President of Envision Physician Services. “We are excited about the addition of the clinical professionals of Gwinnett Emergency Specialists to our growing presence in Georgia.” Envision Healthcare Corporation is a leading provider of physician-led services and post-acute care, and ambulatory surgery services. At March 31, 2017, we delivered physician services, primarily in the areas of emergency department and hospitalist services, anesthesiology services, radiology/tele-radiology services, and children’s services to more than 1,600 clinical departments in healthcare facilities in 45 states and the District of Columbia. Post-acute care is delivered through an array of clinical professionals and integrated technologies which, when combined, contribute to efficient and effective population health management strategies. As a market leader in ambulatory surgical care, the Company owns and operates 264 surgery centers and one surgical hospital in 35 states and the District of Columbia, with medical specialties ranging from gastroenterology to ophthalmology and orthopaedics. In total, the Company offers a differentiated suite of clinical solutions on a national scale, creating value for health systems, payors, providers and patients. For additional information, visit www.evhc.net. Certain statements and information in this communication may be deemed to be “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Federal Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements may include, but are not limited to, statements relating to Envision’s financial and operating objectives, plans and strategies, and all statements (other than statements of historical facts) that address activities, events or developments that Envision intends, expects, projects, believes or anticipates will or may occur in the future. These statements are often characterized by terminology such as “believe,” “hope,” “may,” “anticipate,” “should,” “intend,” “plan,” “will,” “expect,” “estimate,” “project,” “positioned,” “strategy” and similar expressions, and are based on assumptions and assessments made by Envision’s management in light of their experience and their perception of historical trends, current conditions, expected future developments, and other factors they believe to be appropriate. Any forward-looking statements in this communication are made as of the date hereof, and Envision undertakes no duty to update or revise any such statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance. Whether actual results will conform to expectations and predictions is subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties, including: (i) risks and uncertainties discussed in the reports and other documents that Envision files with the Securities and Exchange Commission; (ii) general economic, market, or business conditions; (iii) the impact of legislative or regulatory changes, such as changes to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010; (iv) changes in governmental reimbursement programs; (v) decreases in revenue and profit margin under fee-for-service contracts due to changes in volume, payor mix and reimbursement rates; (vi) the loss of existing contracts; (vii) risks associated with Envision’s ability to realize the anticipated benefits of the merger of AmSurg Corp. and Envision Healthcare Holdings, Inc., including successful integration, synergies and ongoing business relationships; and (viii) other circumstances beyond the Company’s control.
News Article | May 19, 2017
Chronic pancreatitis (long-standing inflammation of the pancreas) (CP) is a challenging disease for health care practitioners because it is difficult to diagnose and treat. Although its annual incidence rate in the United States is low (5 to 12 per 100,000 persons), hospital admissions due to CP are on the rise. CP is characterized by severe abdominal pain and irreversible damage to the pancreas. In the past decade new medical and surgical treatments have emerged that enable multidisciplinary teams to better recognize and manage this disease. In 2014, gastrointestinal specialists at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), led by David B. Adams, M.D., professor of surgery and an expert in CP, organized the first international exchange of information on these advancements. The "2014 International Symposium on the Medical and Surgical Treatment of Chronic Pancreatitis" brought together experts from the fields of medicine, surgery, psychology, physiology, pharmacology and genetics. Last month, a textbook covering the information that came out of that meeting was published (Wiley-Blackwell, April 2017). "Pancreatitis: Medical and Surgical Management" (ISBN: 978-1-118-91712-1) covers acute pancreatitis (sudden inflammation that lasts a short time) as well as CP. Adams is the chief editor. Co-editors are Peter B. Cotton, M.D., professor of medicine at MUSC; Nicholas J. Zyromski, M.D., associate professor of surgery at Indiana University School of Medicine; and John A. Windsor, MBChB, M.D., professor of surgery at Mercy Hospital in New Zealand. The book provides gastroenterologists and gastrointestinal surgeons with an evidence-based approach to the most recent developments in the diagnosis and clinical management of pancreatitis. In addition to new surgical procedures such as endoscopic biliary intervention and minimally invasive necrosectomy, these advances include medical therapies, such as antiprotease, lexipafant, probiotics and enzyme treatment. "This book is the latest information from international experts in all of the relevant disciplines of medicine," says Adams. "This represents the first time all of these experts have come together to share their knowledge and experience." MUSC will host a second international CP symposium in 2018 in Charleston, South Carolina. International experts from the fields of medicine, surgery, psychology, physiology, pharmacology and genetics will confer and exchange ideas to identify the direction, trends and developments in the diagnosis and management of CP that are needed to enhance clinical effectiveness, encourage adoption by healthcare providers, and engage patients in best practice and cost-effective care. Founded in 1824 in Charleston, The Medical University of South Carolina is the oldest medical school in the South. Today, MUSC continues the tradition of excellence in education, research, and patient care. MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and residents, and has nearly 13,000 employees, including approximately 1,500 faculty members. As the largest non-federal employer in Charleston, the university and its affiliates have collective annual budgets in excess of $2.2 billion. MUSC operates a 750-bed medical center, which includes a nationally recognized Children's Hospital, the Ashley River Tower (cardiovascular, digestive disease, and surgical oncology), Hollings Cancer Center (a National Cancer Institute designated center) Level I Trauma Center, and Institute of Psychiatry. For more information on academic information or clinical services, visit musc.edu. For more information on hospital patient services, visit muschealth.org.
News Article | May 18, 2017
Women Opt To Skip Pelvic Exams When Told They Have Little Benefit This is a story about conflicting medical advice. One group of doctors, represented by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, recommends yearly pelvic exams for all women 21 years of age and older, whether they have symptoms of disease or not. But the American College of Physicians, representing doctors of internal medicine, says that potential harms of the exam outweigh benefits and recommends against performing pelvic examinations unless a woman is pregnant or has symptoms of disease such as bleeding, pain or signs of infection. In March, the influential U.S. Preventive Services Task Force concluded there just wasn't adequate evidence to recommend for or against annual exams. A study published Thursday says that when women were told that one prominent medical association strongly recommends against yearly exams, the number of women opting to have the exam dropped from 82 percent to 39 percent. "This is a dramatic, enormous effect for a five-minute education intervention," says Dr. George F. Sawaya, an obstetrician-gynecologist at the University of California, San Francisco one of the study authors. Saway and his colleagues wanted to know whether a woman's decision to have a pelvic exam might be influenced by knowledge about a particular medical society's recommendations. They showed 190 women visiting health clinics at UCSF and Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center illustrations of a pelvic examination. Then they were randomly assigned to review the summary of one of the two medical groups' recommendations. The summary by the ACP noted there are no known benefits of the exam, and included information about the potential for false-positive test results which could lead to unnecessary follow-up surgery. Sawaya says this typically means discovery of an enlarged ovary and possible removal of the ovary. The summary by ACOG noted no known benefits of the exam, but did not mention the possibility of false alarms and unnecessary surgery. The study was published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. The pelvic exam is typically performed by an obstetrician-gynecologist or other primary care provider and is done to manually check the overall health of a woman's reproductive organs, including the vagina, cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries. Sawaya says the reason most physicians give for the yearly exam is to detect ovarian cancer. But the ACP says there's no good evidence the exam actually picks up ovarian cancer. ACOG, however, stands by its recommendation that yearly pelvic exams are warranted for all women 21 years of age and older. Every year, millions of women have pelvic exams. "Given the potential public health impact of our findings, we think there is a pressing need for improving patient counseling concerning this exam," says senior study author Miriam Kuppermann, a UCSF professor in the departments of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences, and epidemiology and biostatistics. The vast majority of women in the study, more than 90 percent, said that potential benefits and harms should routinely be discussed with patients prior to the examination. But most doctors "probably don't discuss pros and cons of the exam with their patients," says Sawaya, adding that will likely change as debate about the value of the exams becomes more public. "I think this whole thing is going to go the way of extinction," he says. "We're just going to stop talking about it and stop doing it." However, there is one recommendation both medical groups and federal health officials agree on: Every woman age 21 to 65 who has a cervix should get a Pap smear every three to five years. Sawaya says there is good evidence that the periodic Pap test (which is often done in conjunction with a pelvic exam), can be a highly effective screening test for cervical cancer.
News Article | May 4, 2017
"We are grateful our proposal was seen as the most positive path forward for St. Francis," said Bob Page, president and CEO of The University of Kansas Health System. "We are proud to tell the people of Topeka St. Francis Health's doors will remain open. We understand the critical role hospitals like St. Francis play for patients, physicians, employees and the communities they serve. By marrying our resources as an academic medical center and Ardent's operational expertise, we secure the long-term sustainability of St. Francis Health." The University of Kansas Health System and Ardent Health Services will share governance with equal representation on the joint venture board of directors, and will establish a local board of trustees for the hospital. St. Francis Health will continue to be led by a local management. As the state's only academic medical center, The University of Kansas Health System offers more options for patients with serious conditions because of its expertise and leadership in medical research and education. Its physicians are researchers and educators expanding the boundaries of medical knowledge. Its major breakthroughs lead to the life changing treatments of the future. Working with The University of Kansas Health System and Ardent Health Services will provide St. Francis Health with the clinical, financial and operational resources needed to take patient care and quality to a new level. Patients will have access to a health system that brings together nationally recognized physicians and healthcare leaders. In addition, The University of Kansas Health System has a successful record of working with other healthcare institutions in a variety of partnership models, including with Hays Medical Center and others. Ardent currently operates 20 hospitals in six states with more than 500 employed physicians and 18,000 employees. The company maintains six joint venture partnerships with leading not-for-profit health systems including institutions such as Seton Healthcare, Hackensack Meridian Health Network, and Sacred Heart Health System, as well as two other hospital joint ventures. "We are honored to partner with the University of Kansas Health System to support the excellent work of St. Francis Health's dedicated physicians, nurses and employees," said David T. Vandewater, president and CEO of Ardent Health Services. "Our successful joint venture model will preserve local leadership while providing St. Francis with the resources, support and investment needed to maintain and grow the hospital." Leaders will begin work with the SCL Health and St. Francis Health teams to complete the transaction, including finalizing agreements and obtaining regulatory approval, with the goal of completing the work within 60 days of signing the letter of intent to acquire the hospital. About The University of Kansas Health System The University of Kansas Health System is the region's premier academic medical center, providing a full range of care. The hospital is affiliated with the University of Kansas Schools of Medicine, Nursing and Health Professions, and their various leading-edge research projects. The constantly growing facility contains 747 staffed beds (plus 24 bassinets) and serves more than 37,500 inpatients annually. Eleven of its medical and surgical specialty areas are ranked nationally by the U.S. News & World Report "Best Hospital" lists, including Cancer (#25), Cardiology & Heart Surgery (#38 tie), Diabetes & Endocrinology (#33), Ear, Nose & Throat (#31), Gastroenterology and GI Surgery (#35), Geriatrics (#13), Gynecology (#38), Neurology & Neurosurgery (#22), Orthopedics (#35), Pulmonology (#28) and Urology (#17). The cancer program is part of The University of Kansas Cancer Center, one of 69 National Cancer Institute-designated programs in the U.S. The hospital has received Magnet nursing designation three times in a row, reflecting the quality of care throughout the hospital, an honor awarded three consecutive times to only 3.7 percent of the hospitals nationwide. The hospital also houses the region's only accredited burn center, the area's only nationally accredited Level I Trauma Center and a leading quality transplant program in liver, pancreas, kidney, heart and bone marrow. For more information, visit KansasHealthSystem.com. The University of Kansas Hospital receives no state appropriations and is financed through operating revenue, bonding authority and philanthropy. Ardent Health Services invests in people, technology, facilities and communities, producing high-quality care and extraordinary results. Based in Nashville, Tennessee, Ardent's subsidiaries own and operate 20 hospitals in six states with 18,000 employees including 500 employed physicians. Ardent facilities exceed national averages in Overall Hospital Quality Star Rating as ranked by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; 87 percent of its hospitals received a three-star rating or above in comparison with 78 percent of all hospitals ranked. Five of the company's hospitals were recognized by Modern Healthcare as "Best Places to Work" in 2016 – more than any other system in the country. Ardent operations are owned by an affiliate of Equity Group Investments (EGI), a Chicago-based private investment firm; Ventas, Inc., a leading real estate investment trust; and members of Ardent's executive management team. For more information, visit www.ardenthealth.com. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/university-of-kansas-health-system-and-ardent-health-services-announce-joint-venture-to-acquire-st-francis-health-300451660.html
News Article | May 12, 2017
"Nurses are at the center of delivering a quality, compassionate patient care experience. AMN Healthcare is honored to recognize the exceptional service of nurses throughout the world this week," said Susan Salka, AMN Healthcare President and CEO. "We are also very proud that some of the finest nurses in the country have or are currently working with the AMN team providing outstanding care for our clients. Their commitment to their profession and their advocacy for patients and their families is inspiring to us all." Per diem and travel nurses have always been an essential part of any effective healthcare system and are becoming increasingly important as the healthcare industry faces a growing nurse shortage and increased need for workforce flexibility. Research confirms that per diem and travel nurses provide quality of care that is equivalent to their permanent counterparts. The following four outstanding AMN travel nurses were chosen by a committee of AMN clients, clinicians and recruiters. These nurses showed an unwavering commitment to excellence in the nursing profession that goes far beyond their job requirements. The nominations were a testament to the high quality of nurses that AMN Healthcare has on assignment. The Innovation Award went to Jennifer Ordonez, RN BSN, an ICU Nurse on assignment in Palm Springs, CA, for her ongoing pursuit of personal and professional excellence through innovation and the advancement of patient care. As her nomination stated, "Jennifer goes beyond the care and comfort of the patient to provide life-changing care. This is the definition of excellence." The Passion Award for exemplifying the highest standards of professional excellence through leadership and extraordinary commitment to service throughout their healthcare community went to Allison Griffin, RN, BLS, CHEMO, PALS, PMD, a Pediatric Nurse on assignment in Boston, MA. Allison was selected because she "is able to impact the lives of the children and their families with her care and compassion in a meaningful way each and every day!" The Customer Focus Award for demonstrating an unwavering dedication to the improvement of patient care across all specialties and embodying the core values of the nursing profession in actions and words went to Sandra Shrago, RN, ACLS, BSN, an ICU Nurse on assignment at NewYork-Presbyterian/ Columbia University Medical Center in New York, NY. Sandra was nominated for this award because she "encompasses all that nursing should represent, going above and beyond what is standard, setting a bar for herself, for her care of others. Her amiable demeanor, warm smile and linguistic adeptness proves to be a pleasure and an asset." The Overall Commitment to Excellence Award for all of these qualities, and continually striving to improve patient care through education and innovation, displaying an unmatched passion for the profession was given to Sonia Washington, RN, ACLS, BLS, PALS, an ICU Nurse on assignment at Hilo Medical Center in Hilo, HI. "Sonia's respect of patients, families, physicians, and quick adaption to local culture make her shine," said Sonia's supervisors at Hilo Medical Center. "Sonia demonstrated the professional conduct and compassion our ICU Beacon Status department is known for and expects. Sonia has an outgoing personality, participates in our teamwork philosophy… and works above and beyond as a patient advocate." NewYork-Presbyterian NewYork-Presbyterian is one of the nation's most comprehensive, integrated academic healthcare delivery systems, whose organizations are dedicated to providing the highest quality, most compassionate care and service to patients in the New York metropolitan area, nationally, and throughout the globe. In collaboration with two renowned medical schools, Weill Cornell Medicine and Columbia University Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian is consistently recognized as a leader in medical education, groundbreaking research and innovative, patient-centered clinical care. For more information, visit www.nyp.org and on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Hilo Medical Center As the Big Island's leading provider of nationally recognized 4-star care, Hilo Medical Center (HMC) delivers a full range of services and programs. Our 20-acre campus consists of 276 beds located throughout the 137-bed acute hospital, 20-bed behavioral health unit and a 119-bed long-term care facility. We have over 1,000 employees and a medical staff comprised of 250 physicians, physician assistants and Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, representing 33 specialties. As a medical center, we have a network of nine outpatient clinics offering primary and specialty care. The hospital is a Level III Trauma Center which includes the second busiest emergency room in the state that provides 24-hour care to nearly 48,000 patients annually. In 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) ranked HMC 4 stars for Overall Hospital Quality, putting our hospital in the top 20% in the nation, among the top 5 hospitals in the state, and named HMC the only 4-star hospital on Hawaii Island. Also in 2016, our Intensive Care Unit was designated as a bronze level for Beacon Award of Excellence – only the second ICU in the state to receive this designation. HMC received the 2016 American Heart Association Gold Plus Award for heart failure. HMC has also been recognized for quality long term care by Providigm for Quality Assurance & Performance Improvement Accredited Facility and Embracing Quality Award for the Prevention of Hospital Readmissions. Our long term care met the requirements for the American Health Care Association's Three Tier Level Quality Initiative Recognition Program. HMC ranks in the top 2% of hospitals in country and best in the state of Hawaii for preventing Hospital Acquired Conditions, according to CMS in 2015. The hospital is also a recipient of the 2015 Healthgrades Patient Safety Excellence Award™ and a past recipient of the Mountain Pacific Quality Health's Quality Achievement Award. HMC received the HIMSS Nicholas E. Davies Award for Excellence in 2015 for demonstrating EMR utilization to improve quality of care and financial management. We are part of the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation, a public entity established in 1996 by the State of Hawaii to fulfill the promise to provide quality, hometown healthcare. For more information, go to: www.hilomedicalcenter.org. About AMN Healthcare AMN Healthcare is the leader and innovator in healthcare workforce solutions and staffing services to healthcare facilities across the nation. The Company provides unparalleled access to the most comprehensive network of quality healthcare professionals through its innovative recruitment strategies and breadth of career opportunities. With insights and expertise, AMN Healthcare helps providers optimize their workforce to successfully reduce complexity, increase efficiency, and improve patient outcomes. AMN delivers managed services programs, healthcare executive search solutions, vendor management systems, recruitment process outsourcing, predictive modeling, medical coding and consulting, and other services. Clients include acute-care hospitals, community health centers and clinics, physician practice groups, retail and urgent care centers, home health facilities, and many other healthcare settings. For more information about AMN Healthcare, visit www.amnhealthcare.com. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/national-nurses-week-amn-healthcare-commitment-to-excellence-awards-recognize-importance-of-nurses-in-patient-care-300456603.html