Posts tagged ‘collaboration’

Zeke pays a visit to the Life Lion team

On April 4, Zeke, the Harrisburg canine officer who was recently shot in the line of duty, and his handler, Cpl. Ty Meik, were reunited with the Penn State Hershey Life Lion Critical Care Transport team that treated Zeke in the moments after the shooting and flew him to an animal trauma center. It was at that center that Zeke received life-saving care.

Crew members say caring for Zeke was a first, but it was made easier by his demeanor. “He was never, ever nasty toward anybody,” said Steve Weihbrecht, flight paramedic. “Obviously, he was extremely frightened. Ty, his handler, did a great job of keeping him under control.”

 

“It looks like he’s doing well,” said Daniel Mease, a flight nurse who administered intravenous fluids to Zeke after the March 15 shooting. “It was fun watching him on the news, getting better each day.”

April 5, 2013 at 3:20 pm 1 comment

Network development and regional integration

This is an excerpt from the January 2013 edition of Perspectives, an electronic newsletter from Harold L. Paz, M.D., chief executive officer, Penn State Hershey Medical Center, senior vice president for health affairs, Penn State, and dean, Penn State College of Medicine.

Dr. Harold Paz

Harold L. Paz, M.D., M.S.

In recent years, the American health care system has experienced dramatic change and restructuring.  One of the more noticeable changes — one which is quite evident here in central Pennsylvania — is a growing trend toward the formation of large, integrated health systems. Many different factors are driving this trend, including health care reform legislation, other changes in how health care is paid for, economic factors affecting the financial performance of hospitals and providers, and a growing focus on the need to improve the safety and quality of care. As we look to the future, even more dramatic restructuring lies ahead, and Penn State Hershey must be prepared for a future in which larger and well-integrated health systems are the norm.

We have already made great strides toward developing a more integrated approach to care, through the growth of the Penn State Hershey Health System that expands our network of affiliations and partnerships. In the future, we will need to focus even more heavily on growing our network, not only in order to remain financially strong, but also to better serve the health and well-being of our patients and our region. Our announcement last month of a new agreement with Holy Spirit Health System to provide cardiovascular surgery services is just the most recent example of how we are working in collaboration with other health care organizations to expand access to expert care and the resources of our academic health center, while at the same time making it easier for more patients to receive this care as close to home as possible.  Agreements like our new cardiovascular partnership with Holy Spirit offer opportunities to improve patient care while at the same time increasing efficiency and controlling costs.

Before looking at some of the other ways in which Penn State Hershey is developing its network, it’s worth taking a closer look at the trend toward more integrated systems.  America’s current health system is expensive and often inefficient, in part because health care is fragmented, resulting in delays in care, duplicated tests, and other inefficiencies. Hospitals and clinicians are still largely reimbursed on a fee-for-service or utilization basis; in other words, we are paid more for doing more to treat people once they are sick. In an outcome-driven, value-based system, we will be paid to keep the population we serve healthy.  Health care reform is driving this transition, particularly by encouraging the formation of Accountable Care Organizations (ACO), which will provide care for a population of patients and be reimbursed on the basis of keeping their patient population as healthy as possible, improving health outcomes and health care quality, reducing costs, and enhancing access. Integration is the defining characteristic of ACOs and similar networks or health systems; these systems will include community, specialty, and tertiary/quaternary care hospitals, primary care and specialist physician practices, urgent care sites, home health, and long-term care.

Read more about our network development and regional integration in the complete “Perspective” here >>

January 15, 2013 at 2:52 pm Leave a comment

When it all comes together… How the nurses of 7West put together a perfect wedding with some help from their friends

Wedding programs

The wedding was perfect—a beautiful bride in a white dress, gorgeous autumn flowers, an outpouring of love from friends and family. The only difference between this wedding and a fairy tale was its locale, which was the surgical waiting room on the first floor of Penn State Hershey Medical Center.

The November 10 wedding, for 19-year-old leukemia patient Courtney Sprenkle and her then-fiance Scott Shelly, was pulled together in about a week’s time. Courtney and Scott had originally planned to get married next year but, after already putting much of their lives on hold during her fight with cancer, she decided the time was right.

Courtney was originally diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia two years ago. During that time, she had three rounds of chemotherapy and two bone marrow transplants, all with Scott by her side. While each treatment was temporarily successful, the leukemia always returned a few months later. After her most recent relapse in October, she talked with her care team about her dream of a picture-perfect wedding.

“We said ‘if she wants it, we’ll make it happen,’” recalls Carol Magee, one of Courtney’s nurses on 7 West, Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital. (more…)

December 3, 2012 at 2:06 pm 53 comments

The Four Diamonds Fund celebrates forty years

Charles Millard with child at THON

Charles Millard (pictured) and his wife Irma founded The Four Diamonds Fund on the day their son Chris passed away in 1972.

It all started with a call to arms—conquer childhood cancer—that hasn’t changed for forty years.  When the Four Diamonds Fund first appeared in 1972, there was little chance for a cure and treatment choices were limited. Since its inception, however, Four Diamonds has provided more than 3,200 children and their families touched by cancer the means to fight back.

From Despair to Hope

The vision for the Four Diamonds Fund began during the darkest days of Charles and Irma Millard’s life. In 1970, the couple was visiting Children’s Hospital Boston with their beloved 12-year-old son, Chris, who was being treated for rhabdomyosarcoma of the nasopharynx. There, the Millards discovered the Jimmy Fund, a program that covered all out-of-pocket medical costs for children receiving therapy for cancer at the hospital. “That’s where we came up with the idea to start a fund that would benefit families in central Pennsylvania,” Charles Millard says. “In 1972, on the day Chris died at Penn State Hershey Medical Center, we initiated the Fund.”

For the couple, then living in Elizabethtown, their main goal was to relieve the financial burden that other young families may face during their battle with cancer, while providing support for the best medical care available. “In the first five years, it was slow moving, but we continued to do fundraisers,” Millard says.  “We felt really thankful that we had the opportunity to take this negative experience in our lives—the loss of our son—and turn it into something so positive.”

A Place of Healing and Caring

The mission of the Four Diamonds Fund is to conquer childhood cancer by assisting children treated at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital and their families by funding superior care, comprehensive support, and pediatric cancer research.

Over the years, the organization has expanded its ability to take care of these desperately ill children. Today, a world-class team of professionals provide comprehensive medical care—including pediatric oncologists, nurse specialists, social workers and child life specialists. Some 100 new patient families benefit from Four Diamonds each year. That support includes getting the cost of all uncovered medical bills paid.

“Drawing on these resources, we are able to provide a level of cancer care, second to none,” says A. Craig Hillemeier, M.D., chair, Department of Pediatrics, at the Children’s Hospital. “If you are treating a child with cancer, you are really treating the whole family, and because of the Four Diamonds Fund, we are able to give a much more complete response to the terrible reality that the child and family experience.”

(more…)

July 30, 2012 at 4:00 pm 2 comments

Into the Future – Memories & Milestones

Part 19 – Into the Future

Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center continues to be forward-thinking in the commitment to enhance the quality of life through improved health, the professional preparation of those who will serve the health needs of others, and the discovery of knowledge that will benefit all.

Feel free to share these posts with your colleagues, friends and family.

>> View all 19 segments of “Memories & Milestones” on the Penn State Hershey website.

May 15, 2012 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

Continuing the Legacy – Memories & Milestones

Part 18 – Continuing the Legacy

Milton S. Hershey’s legacy and vision carries on through the continuing work of the Medical Center and College of Medicine.

Feel free to share these posts with your colleagues, friends and family.

May 8, 2012 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

Trauma Center – Memories & Milestones

Part 17 – Trauma Center

Penn State Hershey is the only Level One Trauma Center in Pennsylvania accredited for both adult and pediatric patients. The Life Lion helicopter program was named by the winner of a medical student contest.

Feel free to share these posts with your colleagues, friends and family.

May 1, 2012 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

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