Operations and Accomplishments
ECMC Earns Joint Commission's Gold Seal of ApprovalTM
In 2010, the Erie County Medical Center Corporation earned The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of ApprovalTM for accreditation by demonstrating compliance with The Joint Commission's national standards for health care quality and safety in hospitals. The accreditation award recognizes ECMC's dedication to continuous compliance with The Joint Commission's state-of-the-art standards.
ECMC underwent a rigorous unannounced on-site survey in August 2010. A team of Joint Commission expert surveyors evaluated ECMC for compliance with standards of care specific to the needs of patients, including infection prevention and control, leadership, and medication management.
"In achieving Joint Commission accreditation, ECMC has demonstrated its commitment to the highest level of care for its patients," says Mark Pelletier, R.N., M.S., executive director, Hospital Programs, Accreditation and Certification Services, The Joint Commission. "Accreditation is a voluntary process and I commend ECMC for successfully undertaking this challenge to elevate its standard of care and instill confidence in the community it serves."
"While we are aware of the quality of care we provide for our patients, it is always gratifying to have an outside organization recognize our efforts," says Jody Lomeo, CEO. "This accreditation is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our physicians, nurses and staff as they strive for excellence every day. Joint Commission accreditation provides us with a framework to take our organization to the next level and helps maintain this culture of excellence."
The Joint Commission's hospital standards address important functions relating to the care of patients and the management of hospitals. The standards are developed in consultation with health care experts, providers, measurement experts, and patients. Accreditation is a way of evaluating quality and safety at ECMC and other hospitals by auditing the delivery of critical services and patient care. The unannounced survey is a validation of ECMC's continuous improvement efforts and underscores the dedication and professionalism of our staff since The Joint Commission's methodology focuses on the direct care of the patients at the Medical Center.
Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission evaluates and accredits more than 18,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation's oldest and largest standards setting and accrediting body in health care.
In Improving America's Hospitals - The Joint Commission's Annual Report on Quality and Safety - 2010, the Commission reported a significant improvement on hospital accountability measures over time and concluded that "this improvement has greatly enhanced the quality of care provided in America's hospitals and has resulted in better patient outcomes." ECMC is proud to be a part of this continuing growth of excellence in healthcare for our patients and the WNY community and to have earned The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval.TM
ECMC invests $150 million in ‘Health Campus' Great Lakes Health collaboration stimulates Centers of Excellence and expansion
On November 23, 2010, Erie County Medical Center outlined a dramatic expansion of its ‘Health Campus,' highlighting $150 million in work on a new long-term care facility, a 333-vehicle parking ramp, a transplant and kidney center of excellence, an orthopedic expansion, a refurbishing of the adolescent psychiatric clinic, and other major projects to enhance patient care at the Medical Center.
Expansion work on the Health Campus commenced this fall on a $27 million Center of Excellence for Renal Disease and Transplant Services that is part of a consolidation of the Transplant and Dialysis programs with Kaleida and Great Lakes Health.
Work on the new state-of-the-art 390-bed long-term care facility on the Grider campus begins next spring.
When complete, ECMC's Health Campus will provide good-paying jobs and health-focused economic development centered in a section of Buffalo that has seen too little of both. The project, which includes demolition of eight buildings on the 65-acre ECMC property, will also support hundreds of construction workers over the next 18 months.
The expansion around and beside the existing hospital and clinic buildings represents a strong commitment to Buffalo and ECMC, hospital officials said.
"This expansion of our Health Campus brings real economic development to the City of Buffalo. It will also bring much sought after jobs to the city and top-notch health care for our community," said Jody L. Lomeo, the hospital's CEO. "Our collaboration with Kaleida and Great Lakes Health and this expansion will mean we can attract new patients and more easily recruit doctors and nurses and staff to more modern facilities. Also, families of people we care for on our Health Campus will have the most convenient parking and visiting arrangements."
The $150 million price tag for the work, financed in part by a capital improvements fund the hospital's board set aside in 2009 and a bond issue, is the largest investment in Buffalo's East Side in many years. ECMC already supports nearly 2,500 jobs there.
"This is the type of project that turns a community around. Between the Medical Corridor and the expansion of the ECMC Health Campus, we are seeing a transformation of our city and health-care system," said Sharon L. Hanson, chair of the ECMC Corp. board. "Health care is a growing economic development sector here and nationally. We have not seen this kind of growth in health-care for the residents of our community for decades."
Transformation of the Health Campus, which now has 550 beds and had 60,000 ER patients in 2009, actually began in the last year. In June, ECMC announced its expanded $2.9 million Emergency Department, with eight new trauma exam rooms and two new trauma surgical suites. The hospital performed 9,831 surgeries in 2009 and project that to grow to 11,381 in 2011.
ECMC is already home to the state's top-rated Adult Regional Trauma Center and in May 2009 opened a refurbished 12th floor surgical wing with $725,000 worth of improvements. With an estimated overall economic impact on the region of $750 million, ECMC had total revenues in 2009 of $440 million.
"Buffalo's inner city residents need opportunity, and ECMC's expansion offers it," said the Rev. Jeff Carter, pastor of Ephesus Ministries at 341 Grider St., across from the hospital. "Our congregation and our families understand the impact this project will have on their neighborhoods and this whole community."
The orthopedics center, including a Women's Bone Health Center, will expand ECMC's capabilities and further enhance the coordination of services between all of the Great Lakes Health centers. The orthopedics center for the Health Campus is in the planning stages and is expected to file for a Certificate of Need with the New York State Department of Health in early 2011.
"This is not the ECMC of yesterday," Lomeo said. "This is a new Health Campus growing to serve the needs of patients from every corner of Western New York and not just ER patients, but elective surgery patients, rehab patients, out-patients, orthopedic patients, transplant patients and those selectively choosing ECMC for the care they need. These are historic initiatives not only for ECMC, but our community."
ECMC currently has 136 skilled nursing beds, and the Erie County Home has 550. The new $87 million long-term care facility will handle about 400 residents, incorporating both current operations into one new one. The existing home needs about $18 million in capital improvements and is losing more than $10 million a year in operations.
"ECMC's decisions will make a real impact in our community, bringing jobs and economic development," said the Rev. Dr. William Gillison, pastor of Mt. Olive Baptist Church, 701 E. Delavan Ave. "We continue to work with ECMC's leadership in ways that will aid the hospital and our neighborhood."
Great Lakes Health is the organization formed 18 months ago that is combining operations of ECMC and Kaleida in the most efficient and effective ways possible to enhance the region's health care system.
"Great Lakes, ECMC and Kaleida are forming a health-care system based on excellence that's also designed to keep Western New Yorkers close to home for treatment. ECMC's expansion is a major step toward that goal," said James Kaskie, CEO of Great Lakes Health and Kaleida. "We know that people will come from all over to obtain care at our centers of excellence. Western New York is becoming a destination for health care and that has been our goal from the beginning."
KeyBank Living Skills Suite on the Rehabilitation Unit
Physical and occupational rehabilitation patients are now utilizing the KeyBank Living Skills Suite. The purpose of the Living Skills Suite is to offer ECMC rehab patients a supervised stay in a home environment prior to discharge from the hospital to identify any safety or judgment issues that the patient may have prior to going home and a plan for addressing these issues. This tool assists patients with a more successful re-entry to their home and the community. The patient remains under hospital care. However, they are expected to manage activities for themselves such as meal preparation, bathing, dressing, grooming, and household management.
Seventy-five percent of the patients admitted to the Rehab Unit would benefit from a stay and evaluation in this newly created suite. The KeyBank Living Skills Suite is the only Rehab Unit in WNY offering this type of service for patients. Thank you to KeyBank for their most generous support of this project.
"WNY Runs for Heroes 5K Run & Healthwalk" of October 16th
The ECMC Lifeline Foundation held its fourteenth annual 5K run and healthwalk fundraiser on Saturday, October 16, 2010. The "Western New York Runs for Heroes 5K Run & Healthwalk" took place at the Parkside Lodge and Ring Road in Delaware Park. The event honors Western New York police officers and firefighters injured in the line of duty and treated at ECMC. In 2008, the event was further expanded to recognize physicians, nurses, and other emergency life-savers.
WNY Runs for Heroes honorees include: Buffalo Firefighter Mark Reed; Buffalo Police Officer Patricia Parete; Buffalo Police Officer Carl Andolina; Lockport Police Officer Steven D. Ritchie; Lockport Police Chief Lawrence M. Eggert; and Jamestown Police Detective David Mitchell.
Buffalo Firefighter Mark Reed was transported to ECMC on June 10, 2007, after a brick chimney collapsed on him while fighting an arson fire in a vacant house in the City. Reed arrived at ECMC with multiple, life-threatening injuries. Yet, after undergoing multiple surgeries and extensive care, Reed was discharged from ECMC on August 1, 2007. Since that time, Mark has made incredible strides in his recovery and volunteers weekly in the trauma unit at ECMC. Firefighter Reed, a 5K Run & Healthwalk honoree, is participating in the healthwalk again this year.
On December 5, 2006, Buffalo Police Officer Patricia Parete and her partner Officer Carl Andolina were dispatched to a downtown gas station where a fight had been reported. The officers chased a suspect and ordered him to take his hands out of his pockets when he then began shooting at both officers at point blank range.
Officer Andolina tackled him to the ground. Both officers were injured in the gun battle, with Officer Parete sustaining severe injuries from a gunshot to the spine. Officer Andolina was shot three times, treated at ECMC and discharged. Officer Parete underwent extensive emergency/trauma surgery and care at ECMC. Officers Parete and Andolina are 5K Run & Healthwalk honorees (for the fourth year).
Lockport Police Chief Lawrence Eggert and Officer Steven Ritchie were injured in the line of duty in February of 2003, during a gun battle with a man they pursued for shooting a Lockport bar patron and riddling a building with bullets with a semi-automatic weapon. Both officers were injured and treated by ECMC emergency/trauma teams. Ritchie was brought to ECMC in critical condition. Chief Eggert and Officer Ritchie are returning honorees (for the seventh year). Officer Ritchie has participated in the healthwalk (for five years). This year, both Officer Ritchie and Chief Eggert will compete as runners.
In September of 1999, after sustaining life-threatening injuries when shot in the line of duty, Jamestown Police Detective David Mitchell was transported to ECMC for emergency, trauma, and follow-up care. Detective Mitchell is a tenth year honoree and will compete as a runner in the 5K event (for the tenth consecutive year).
WNY Runs for Heroes 2010 co-chairpersons are: ECMC Lifeline Foundation Board Member and Rural Metro Division General Manager Aiden Bradley; and ECMC Lifeline Foundation Board Member and Buffalo Ultrasound President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Straeck.
WNY Runs for Heroes 5K Run & Healthwalk competitions include the competitive run as well as a healthwalk. The course is USA Track & Field certified and sanctioned by the USATF. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Medical Center's Adult Regional Trauma Center and patient centered care.
Originator of the DEU tours ECMC
On October 27, 2010, Kay Edgecombe, MN, RN, visited and toured ECMC's Dedicated Education Units (DEUs).
A Dedicated Education Unit (DEU) is an inpatient clinical unit that is developed into an optimal teaching/learning environment. Through the collaborative efforts of nurses, management, and faculty, the clinical setting is designed to provide students with a positive clinical learning environment that maximizes the achievement of student learning outcomes. It utilizes proven teaching/learning strategies, and capitalizes on the expertise of both clinicians and faculty. The objectives of the DEU are to: utilize staff nurses to assist in the clinical competence of undergraduate students; provide clinical education for an increased number of students; assist and support the professional development of staff nurses; and provide a prepared pool of potential resources for workforce recruitment.
An abiding interest in the nexus between practice and learning has been Kay Edgecombe's main focus as a lecturer in nursing at Flinders University. Her clinical specialties of wound management and infection control have driven her ongoing teaching and research agendas. Alongside her general teaching in the master's and undergraduate practice-focused topics, she developed and maintains Australia's longest running infection control course for nursing clinicians.
In 2009, Edgecombe was awarded the Australian Learning and Teaching Citation (ALTC) for her work titled "The Dedicated Education Units: An internationally-acknowledged, strategic, sustained collaboration utilizing the attributes of patients, nurses, academics and students to provide an optimal clinical learning environment for undergraduate students." Her academic research focus has been on the transfer of learning from theory to practice, having developed and investigated a variety of different models to facilitate practice-based learning and teaching, including the conception and initial implementation of the Dedicated Education Units (DEU) in 1996. Edgecombe has presented numerous workshops on her DEU model internationally. Her most recent publication, "The Ongoing Search for Best Practice in Clinical Teaching and Learning: A Model of Nursing Students' Evolution to Proficient Novice Registered Nurses," appeared in Nurse Education in Practice in 2009.
Further development of the DEU is being explored via the current tour of a number of schools of nursing throughout the USA, culminating in this visit to the University at Buffalo and ECMC. ECMC nurses became the first in the region to serve as active mentors for UB undergraduate nursing students in order to immerse each student in a hands-on clinical experience. The initiative included the establishment of two DEUs at ECMC. Within ECMC's DEUs, each designated Clinical Instructor/Teacher mentors two students for one clinical rotation and becomes the students' main instructor with overall guidance from the University.
NYS approval announced for Long Term Care facility on ECMC campus
In 2010, Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) Corporation officials announced that it received New York State approval of its Certificate Of Need (CON) to construct an all new 390-bed skilled nursing facility and adjacent 333-vehicle parking ramp on the ECMC Grider Street Campus in Buffalo's urban core.
"This expansion brings real economic development to the City of Buffalo, and, most importantly, state of the art nursing care for our community's elderly and their families." said Jody L. Lomeo, the hospital's CEO."
Construction work is anticipated to commence in the spring of 2011 on the new long-term care facility, which will include a new parking ramp for the convenience of patient's and their families. The new facility will replace the Home in Alden, New York, as well as the skilled nursing facility occupying two floors of the Erie County Medical Center. The new long-term care facility on the ECMC campus will accommodate 390 residents.
The new five-story structure will be connected to the Medical Center which will provide more convenient and timely medical care for residents. A unique feature of the Home will be a "neighborhood" design for person-centered care and efficiency. The new facility will include a 66-bed short-term rehabilitation unit, a 20-bed ventilation unit, a 16-bed behavioral intervention unit, and dedicated beds for Alzheimer's, dementia, multiple sclerosis, and traumatic brain injury residents.
The decision to build the new skilled nursing facility resulted from a vision to create a state-of-the-art facility in the City of Buffalo to bring care to where many families live. A 2009 study concluded that the existing Home in Alden, New York, would have been too expensive and inefficient to operate moving forward. Following completion of the 2009 study, the decision to build the new facility was approved by the ECMC Corporation Board of Directors and the Board of Trustees of the Great Lakes Health System of Western New York.
ECMC "Camp 9-1-1" back by popular demand
Safety Training and Injury Prevention for Children
On August 24, 2010, ECMC held the first of two (2) Camp 9-1-1" events scheduled for 2010. The popular "Camp 9-1-1" is designed to provide children, ages 10 through 13, with an introduction to emergency medical services. The camp emphasizes safety, injury prevention, bystander care, learning and fun through an enjoyable interactive program.
Child learning opportunities for this year include: gaining knowledge about performing adult and infant CPR; practicing basic first aid skills and bystander care; receiving Internet safety through an FBI instructor; touring the ECMC Emergency Department to see EMS professionals in action; touring the ECMC rooftop helipad and Mercyflight helicopter; receiving animal safety care and instruction from Lancaster Small Animal Hospital staff; observing police dogs in training; watching a vehicle rollover demonstration; seeing a Rural Metro Ambulance demonstration on patient care and safety; gaining valuable health care career information.
Camp 9-1-1 is funded by the Emergency Department Physician Group (University Emergency Medical Services) and the Erie County Medical Center. Interest in the "Camps" has been growing each year for the past ten years. A second 2010 Camp was scheduled for August 25th. The day camp is 6.75 hours in duration, from 9:00 A.M. to 3:45 P.M, including on-site registration. The Camps are offered free of charge for those children who have been pre-registered.
Farmers Market at Grider Grand Open in new permanent location is attraction for residents and promotes healthy eating
On August 6, 2010, the grand opening ceremony for the Farmers' Market at Grider was held to officially open "The Market" at its permanent location on a paved and landscaped lot across from Erie County Medical Center on the east side of Grider Street, between Kensington and East Delavan avenues, adjacent to the Ephesus Ministries and former Catholic Charities buildings.
"The Farmers' Market at Grider is a marketplace that offers a variety of approaches to healthy living," said ECMC CEO Jody L. Lomeo, who first proposed the market. "The purpose is to increase access to healthy food; promote healthy lifestyles; create an engaging, interactive community gathering place; and inform/educate the community on health/wellness and green initiatives."
Sharon Hanson, chairwoman of the ECMC Corp. board, was present for the dedication.
"As part of the continual ECMC commitment to the community, the implementation of this outdoor market is expected to encourage the development, promotion, and expansion of critically needed fresh food to our neighbors in the community," she said. "The project also supports ‘growing farmers' and serves to promote business growth, community building, and healthy, nutritious diets."
Participating community representatives included: Pastor Jeff Carter, Ephesus Ministries; Alfonso Barnes, Delavan Grider Community Center; Daryl Rasuli, P2 Collaborative of Western New York, Inc.
The Rev. Dr. James A. Lewis, III, Director of Pastoral Care at ECMC, conducted a market blessing.
Grand opening day Farmers' Market at Grider celebration highlights included: the grand opening and ribbon cutting; music; tai-chi demonstrations; and a bicycle giveaway for pre-selected community recipients through Green Options Buffalo. Vegetables/fruits, plants and flowers and many other farm products are made available by local farmers/vendors.
The Farmers' Market at Grider was open every Friday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through October 29, 2010. From May 21, through July 30, 2010, the Farmers' Market at Grider was temporarily situated in an ECMC visitor parking lot.
Headed by the Erie County Medical Center Corporation, Buffalo area community partners, including area businesses, organizations, churches, and residents of the Delavan-Grider Community joined to establish the Farmers' Market. The Delavan-Grider neighborhood and its residents now have access to fresh, wholesome, locally grown produce.
ECMC Cleve-Hill Family Health Center Open House and Health Screening
Area residents from the City of Buffalo and nearby suburbs (Cheektowaga and Eggertsville) attended the ECMC Cleve-Hill Family Health Center Open House and Health Screening event held August 25, 2010. The event was held to help to improve the health and wellness of area residents by promoting healthy lifestyles and informing/educating the community on health/wellness.
Cleve-Hill Family Health Center Medical Director Dr. Khalid Malik, who has recently returned and is accepting new patients, guided physicians, nurses, and other clinical staff members conducted free blood pressure and pulse rate screenings, as well as height and weight measurements.
ECMC Stroke Coordinator Paula Quesinberry, RN, provided stroke health education. Exercise demonstrations were conducted and physical fitness information was distributed. Music helped to make the event more enjoyable.
About the Cleve-Hill Family Health Center: Cleve-Hill is a community-based health center offering a full range of health care services for patients of all ages, from care for expectant mothers to pediatrics to geriatric services and the treatment of acute and chronic illnesses. With lab facilities on site, a professional staff of physicians, and access to the full resources of ECMC, Cleve-Hill Family Health Center is well equipped to care for the entire family. Appointment scheduling is flexible, allowing patients with urgent needs to be seen on the same day or within 24 hours.
ECMC Lifeline Foundation 2010 Tournament of Life Golf Classic raises $100,000
The 2010 Tournament of Life Golf Classic held August 16, 2010, at the beautiful Park County Club was once again a sold-out success! This year's tournament raised $100,000 net of expenses. This success was possible with the generosity of major sponsors and underwriters including: Presenting Sponsor, Buffalo Hospital Supply; and Diamond Sponsor Rural Metro.
E.J. Meyer Memorial Hospital School of Nursing Alumni Class of 1959, 50-Year Anniversary Tour of ECMC
Members of the E. J. Meyer Memorial Hospital School of Nursing Alumni Association Class of 1959 visited and toured ECMC on October 1, 2010. The tour included visits with some old friends and new acquaintances in some of the newly renovated areas including the: Emergency Department, Trauma Intensive Care Unit, Pre operative/Post-operative Anesthesia Care Unit, 7th Floor, and inpatient Rehabilitation Medicine Unit.
The E.J. Meyer Memorial Hospital and School of Nursing played significant roles in the provision of healthcare in Western New York, pioneering standards of nursing care practiced throughout the world, including the invention of the first crash cart. The Nursing School Alumni members who visited are among those nursing care pioneers.
ECMC receives American Stroke Association's Get With The GuidelinesSM Bronze Performance Achievement Award
On July 8, 2010, Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) Corporation officials announced that ECMC recently received notification that it has been awarded the American Stroke Association's Get With The GuidelinesSM Stroke Bronze Performance Achievement Award. The award recognizes ECMC's commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of stroke care by ensuring that stroke patients receive treatment according to nationally accepted standards and recommendations.
With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Bronze Performance Achievement Award addresses the important element of time. ECMC has developed a comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients admitted to the emergency department. This includes always being equipped to provide brain imaging scans, having neurologists available to conduct patient evaluations and using clot-busting medications when appropriate.
To receive the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Bronze Performance Achievement Award, ECMC consistently followed the treatment guidelines in the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke program for 90 days. These include aggressive use of medications like tPA, antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, DVT prophylaxis, cholesterol reducing drugs, and smoking cessation. The 90-day evaluation period is the first in an ongoing self-evaluation by the hospital to continually reach the 85 percent compliance level needed to sustain this award.
"The American Stroke Association commends ECMC for its success in implementing standards of care and protocols," said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., Vice-Chair of the national Get With the Guidelines Steering Committee and Vice-Chair of the Neurology department and director of acute stroke services at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. "The full implementation of acute care and secondary prevention recommendations and guidelines is a critical step in saving the lives and improving outcomes of stroke patients."
Get With The Guidelines-Stroke uses the "teachable moment," the time soon after a patient has had a stroke, when they are most likely to listen to and follow their healthcare professionals' guidance. Studies demonstrate that patients who are taught how to manage their risk factors while still in the hospital reduce their risk of a second stroke. Through Get With The Guidelines-Stroke, customized patient education materials are made available at the point of discharge, based on patients' individual risk profiles. The take-away materials are written in an easy-to-understand format and are available in English and Spanish. In addition, the Get With The Guidelines Patient Management Tool* provides access to up-to-date cardiovascular and stroke science at the point of care.
"The time is right for ECMC to be focused on improving the quality of stroke care by implementing Get With The Guidelines-Stroke. The number of acute ischemic stroke patients eligible for treatment is expected to grow over the next decade due to increasing stroke incidence and a large aging population both nationally and especially in the Western New York region," explained Mark C. Barabas, D.H.A., F.A.C.H.E., President and Chief Operating Officer, ECMC Corporation.
According to the American Stroke Association, each year approximately 795,000 people suffer a stroke - 610,000 are first attacks and 185,000 are recurrent. Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States is suffering from a stroke. This deadly condition accounts for 1 out of every 18 deaths in the United States.
NCCC Surgical Tech Program Training now conducted at ECMC
Through a mutually agreed upon arrangement made during 2010, ECMC now provides training facilities for a Niagara County Community College (NCCC) Surgical Technician Training Program. The agreement covers a five-year duration. NCCC was no longer able to operate out of its previous location, which prompted the new arrangement.
With a simulated laboratory and private classroom, NCCC holds not only the core curriculum courses at ECMC, but also required courses such as medical terminology. The simulated lab gives the students an opportunity to learn the basic skills prior to their clinical Operating Room (OR) experience. During the second year of this two-year associate's degree program, the students perform their "clinicals" in ECMC's Operating Room.
"Conducting this program at ECMC is a win-win for the college and ECMC. Our students are able to train in a facility that offers exposure to advanced technology and expertise in their chosen field of study," said Gema Fornier, Surgical Technician Training Program Professor, NCCC.
"This course is an excellent ‘feeder' program that enables ECMC to hire techs that are very well-trained in the classroom setting and through direct interaction with our operating room technical/clinical staff members right here in our facility," explained Jim Turner, RN, Vice President of Surgical Services for ECMC and NCCC Surgical Program Advisory Board Member, who also graduated from this program.
ECMC appoints Donna Brown to new post
On June 28, 2010, Erie County Medical Center CEO Jody L. Lomeo confirmed the hiring of Donna M. Brown, deputy mayor for the City of Buffalo since 2008, as the hospital's first director of patient satisfaction and cultural awareness.
The position, for which the hospital recruited Brown, is specifically designed for someone with strong community relations experience who does not have a health-care background. That way she can be a patient advocate with a patient's perspective, and help guide the hospital and its staff to raise patient services to the highest level, Lomeo said.
"We created this job because we needed a proven leader who can drive a patient-centered culture to unsurpassed heights at ECMC," Lomeo said. "Donna is a perfect fit for this significant executive position because she'll have the clout to reach into all corners of our operation and collaborate with doctors, nurses and staff to create an atmosphere of patient appreciation and diversity that becomes a national standard."
Brown served as Mayor Byron W. Brown's deputy since 2008, during which time she helped develop the City of Buffalo Poverty Reduction Blueprint. She was honorary chairwoman of the 2009 National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women's Clubs convention held in Buffalo, and has been involved with city efforts to reduce the amount of time city employees spend on injury leave.
A 1983 graduate of D'Youville College with a B.S. in business management, Brown held previous positions with L.P. Ciminelli [2002-07]; Kensington Bailey Neighborhood Housing Services [2000-02]; HSBC Bank [1989-96] and the United Auto Workers-General Motors Human Resource Center [1984-89].
Lomeo said he approached Mayor Brown earlier this year about hiring Deputy Mayor Brown because Lomeo thought she'd be ideal for the position. The mayor was not thrilled at the prospect of losing her, but said he would not stand in her way, Lomeo added.
"Donna Brown served the residents of the City of Buffalo with great dedication and a commitment to making the city a better place for all," Mayor Brown said today. "While she'll be missed, I know she will continue to provide the same level of professionalism and hard work that made her such an asset to my administration. I wish her great success in her new career at ECMC."
Deputy Mayor Brown said the ECMC job is a perfect fit for her.
"I want to thank Mayor Brown for two great years of public service and policy opportunities," Brown said. "When Jody described this position, I saw the next phase of my career unfolding before my eyes. I feel like everything I've done until now was building toward this work, where I can channel the superb motivation and productivity of ECMC's staff into positive improvements on behalf of all the hospital's patients."
"Our goal is clear: We want people who have benefitted from ECMC's care to rave about their entire hospital experience to everyone they meet. And if they're not doing that already, they will."
The position reports directly to the CEO and the official description says the job is to recommend "processes for training internal staff development pertaining to customer service, organizational development, patient satisfaction services and diversity programs within Erie County Medical Center Corp. ... coordinates the Medical Center's transformation to a patient-centered organization through customer service and cultural awareness."
"At ECMC, if people don't already know this they will: We're all about the patient. We want you to want to come here for elective care, but even if you come in through the ER, we want your experience to be memorable in a good way and something you'll recommend enthusiastically to friends and family," Lomeo said. "That's why, with the help of our board, we created this position and I'm very happy Donna accepted the challenge."
John Eichner appointed Controller
During 2010, John P. Eichner, Certified Public Accountant (CPA), was appointed Controller for ECMC Corporation. John's prior experience includes five years at Olean General Hospital (OGH). He was hired at OGH as Controller and was promoted to Chief Financial Officer. While at OGH, he worked on a team that helped form Upper Allegheny Health System, an integration of Olean General Hospital and Bradford Regional Medical Center. John also served 15 years at Lumsden & McCormick, LLP, a CPA firm located in Buffalo. When asked about his new position, John said, "I'm thrilled and humbled to be a member of the ECMC Corporation team. I look forward to working with the many talented individuals on our staff."
Deborah Cudzilo returns to ECMC as Revenue Cycle Vice President
In 2010, Deborah Cudzilo returned to ECMC Corporation and was re-appointed Vice President, Revenue Cycle. Revenue Cycle includes the departments of: Patient Financial Services, Health Information Management (HIM), Patient Registration, Financial Counseling, and Charge Master. The main goal of the Revenue Cycle Team, is to be certain that, from start to finish, all pertinent patient information is obtained at registration for medical records and billing purposes. Doing so ensures that the revenue due to ECMC Corporation is received. This includes optimizing the opportunities available for ECMC patients who qualify for government programs, discounted rates or charity care, to obtain applicable financial coverage. Debbie has worked in revenue cycle management for more than 30 years. She has applied her skills at several facilities through out Western New York. Before moving to the southern United States, she previously worked for ECMC Corporation. Prior to this, she worked for such hospitals as: DeGraff, Millard Fillmore, Niagara Falls and Mt. St. Mary's. When asked about her decision to return to ECMC, Debbie said, "It is a pleasure to be back at ECMC." Debbie is a member of the Health Care Finance Management Association (HFMA). She has served on several revenue cycle committees as well as Past President of the WNY Chapter.
Dr. Arthur Orlick appointed Medical Director of ECMC Observation Medicine Service
During 2010, Dr. Arthur Orlick joined ECMC as Medical Director of the ECMC Observation Service. Dr. Orlick has a wealth of healthcare experience coming to ECMC from Lifetime Health and holding positions in several other area institutions. He has direct experience with Observation Medicine and reviewing patients for admission criteria. He provides overall direction and administration of the ECMC Observation Service. Dr. Orlick acts as physician of record for cardiology patients on the Observation Service and develops Performance Improvement (P.I.) measures and appoints P.I. teams for Observation Service initiatives.
Dr. Orlick completed his Postdoctoral Fellowship in Cardiology at Stanford University, Stanford California (1975-77). He completed his Residency and Internship in Medicine at the State University of New York (S.U.N.Y.) at Buffalo Affiliated Hospitals (1972-75). Dr. Orlick earned his M.D. (cum laude) at Albany Medical College, Albany, New York (1972) and his B.A. (Sociology) at S.U.N.Y. Buffalo (1966).
Dr. Orlick has served in previous positions as: Chief Medical Officer and/or Chief Operating Officer of Lifetime Health Medical Group (2005-2010); Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Buffalo General Hospital (2002-2005) and Physician Director for Cardiovascular Services, Kaleida Health System (2000-2005). He has also held several other key positions with area healthcare organizations including: Medical Director of Univera Healthcare and North American Health Plans, Inc.; Director of Cardiac Care Units, Vice Chief of Cardiology, Director of Non-invasive Cardiac Laboratory and Chief of Cardiology at Millard Fillmore Hospital; Partner, Cardiology Group, as well as the Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at S.U.N.Y. Buffalo.
Dr. Orlick's Specialty Certifications include: American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review Physicians (1993); American Board of Cardiovascular Diseases (1977) and American Board of Internal Medicine (1975). He was honored in 1972 with the Simon Van Oakley Award in Medicine and belongs to several Societies including; Fellow, American College of Cardiology; Fellow, Council on Clinical Cardiology, American Heart Association; Past President, Western New York Cardiovascular Society; American College of Physician Executives and Co-Chair, Medical Directors Forum, New York State HMO Conference. Dr. Orlick is well published.
ECMC responds to market demand with addition of three Surgeons to Medical Staff in 2010
Raphael Blochle, MD: Vascular surgeon Raphael Blochle, MD, has been appointed Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Dr. Blochle was born in Germany and grew up primarily in Europe and Latin America. After earning his medical degree in Guadalajara, Mexico, he worked as a general practitioner in Mexico before moving to Buffalo to begin his General Surgery residency at the University at Buffalo. He recently completed his vascular fellowship with the University at Buffalo. Research interests include endovascular solutions to vascular trauma. He has been the recipient of local teaching awards granted by the UB medical student body, residency program, and the Medical Society of Erie County.
Jeffrey Brewer, MD: Jeffrey Brewer, MD, has been appointed Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Dr. Brewer earned his Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Chemical Sciences at Florida State University and his medical degree at the University at
Buffalo. Prior to his appointment, he recently completed his residency in General Surgery at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston Salem, North Carolina.
Michael Chopko, MD: Michael Chopko, MD, has been appointed Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Dr. Chopko earned his Bachelor of Science in Biology at the State University of New York at Geneseo and his medical degree at the University at Buffalo. He completed his Internship in General Surgery at Saint Louis University before moving back to Buffalo to complete his residency. Prior to his appointment, he recently completed a fellowship in Surgical Critical Care and Trauma Surgery at the University of Rochester.
ECMC receives American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines Silver Performance Achievement Award
On June 25, 2010, ECMC Corporation officials announced the notification that ECMC Corporation had received the Get With The GuidelinesSM Heart Failure Silver Performance Achievement Award from the American Heart Association. The recognition signifies that ECMC has reached an aggressive goal of treating heart failure patients with 85% compliance for one year to core standard levels of care as outlined by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology secondary prevention guidelines for heart failure patients.
Get With The Guidelines is a quality improvement initiative that provides hospital staff with tools that follow proven evidence-based guidelines and procedures in caring for heart failure patients to prevent future hospitalizations. According to Get With The Guidelines-HF treatment guidelines, heart failure patients are started on aggressive risk-reduction therapies such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, aspirin, diuretics and anticoagulants in the hospital. They also receive alcohol/drug use and thyroid management counseling as well as referrals for cardiac rehabilitation before being discharged.
"The full implementation of national heart failure guideline recommended care is a critical step in preventing recurrent hospitalizations and prolonging the lives of heart failure patients," said Gregg C Fonarow, M.D., National Chairman of the Get With The Guidelines Steering Committee and director of Ahmanson-UCLA Cardiomyopathy Center. "The goal of the American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines program is to help hospitals like ECMC implement appropriate evidence-based care and protocols that will reduce disability and the number of deaths in these patients."
According to the American Heart Association, about 5.7 million people suffer from heart failure. Statistics also indicate that each year more than 292,200 people will die of heart failure.
"ECMC is dedicated to making our care for heart failure patients among the best in the country. We will continue in our efforts and build off the success of this award by continued implementation of the American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure program that allowed us to accomplish this goal," said Jody L. Lomeo, CEO, ECMC Corporation.
Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure helps ECMC's staff develop and implement acute and secondary prevention guideline processes. The program includes quality-improvement measures such as care maps, discharge protocols, standing orders and measurement tools. This quick and efficient use of guideline tools will enable ECMC to improve the quality of care it provides heart failure patients, save lives and ultimately, reduce healthcare costs by lowering the recurrence of heart attacks.
ECMC Offers Advanced Treatment for Blood Clots
During 2010, ECMC emphasized that it is among the leading edge institutions now using isolated pharmacomechanical thrombolysis with the Trellis® Peripheral Infusion System for rapid, safe and effective removal of deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
Deep Vein Thrombosis occurs when a clot forms in the deep veins of the leg or arm. It happens to over 600,000 people each year. Left untreated, it can lead to a potentially life-threatening condition called Pulmonary Embolism (PE) or a long-term life limiting condition called Post-thrombotic Syndrome (PTS).
Historically, DVT has been treated with blood thinners, a treatment called anticoagulation therapy. Anticoagulation alone will help prevent the clot from propagating and can protect against PE. However, anticoagulation alone does not remove the clot; rather it relies on the body's own internal mechanisms which may take as long as several months. PTS can occur in as little as one month and is a direct result of injury to the vein due to the long-term presence of the clot.
ECMC selects Allscripts Electronic Health Record
Academic medical center will provide EHR to 100 employed physicians, connect it with hospital system, and use it in RHIO
In 2010, ECMC Corporation selected the Allscripts Electronic Health Record (EHR) and Practice Management solution for 100 of its physicians to enhance the quality of patient care, improve physician and patient communications, and better manage the cost of care delivery in its 30 outpatient clinics.
A major teaching facility for the University at Buffalo, ECMC also is a key participant in a regional health information organization (RHIO) that recently received a $16 million federal grant to increase the use of health IT in the Buffalo area for clinical quality improvement. ECMC selected Allscripts in part for the company's relationship with the RHIO as well as the adoption of its Electronic Health Record by UBMD, the University at Buffalo faculty practice. Equally important to ECMC was the value of the Allscripts solution in helping the practice to satisfy the "meaningful use" requirements of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which provides physicians between $44,000 and $64,000 for adopting an Electronic Health Record.
"The ability of Allscripts to make our healthcare system more efficient and to meet the needs of our clinicians is very important to us," said Leslie Feidt, Chief Information Officer of ECMC. "The Allscripts EHR will also help us satisfy the government's ‘meaningful use' requirements, in part by enabling us to collect and report quality data. This will be very important in improving the quality of care and patient outcomes."
Katrina Karas, Director of Ambulatory and Renal Services for ECMC, commented, "The Allscripts EHR meets the needs of our primary-care clinics as well as our many specialties, ranging from surgery and orthopaedics to gastroenterology and anti-coagulation therapy."
ECMC is linking the Allscripts solution to the hospital's inpatient Meditech Electronic Health
Record and billing system, ensuring that their physicians inside and outside the hospital have access to the same patient information. ECMC is also implementing the Allscripts Analytics solution to run quality reports and display them on an easy-to-use dashboard. According to Leslie Feidt, ECMC will use the analytics application, not only for external reporting of quality data, but also internally to help physician leaders identify and remedy gaps in care.
Additionally, ECMC is deploying the Allscripts Universal Application Integrator (UAI), which enables customers to interface the Allscripts EHR with medical devices and third-party software without writing special interfaces. UAI allows Allscripts to add best-of-breed functionality quickly, often 12 to 18 months faster than other vendors can achieve the result using traditional development methods.
"At a time when information silos, whether paper or digital, hamper the ability of providers to care for patients, building interoperability among health IT systems is more important than ever," said Glen Tullman, Chief Executive Officer of Allscripts. "The Erie County Medical Center and its physicians are ahead of the curve in their focus on interoperability, not only connecting our solution with their own inpatient system, but also helping to create a community platform that will improve the coordination of care and care outcomes for all patients in the Buffalo area."
ECMC receives portion of Hepatitis C funds
In 2010, ECMC Corporation announced that it will share in more than $2 million in state funding to expand its capacity to provide on-site hepatitis C care and treatment. The program is one of 13 programs statewide funded through the new allocation. All provide primary care, HIV care and substance use treatment. ECMC will receive $132,500 in total funding. More than 240,000 New Yorkers are infected with the hepatitis C virus. Within HIV-infected populations, approximately one-third are co-infected with hepatitis C. According to a prepared release, the programs to be funded will ensure comprehensive and coordinated quality care for people infected with hepatitis C and HIV/hepatitis C, including the uninsured. Re-printed as reported on Business First of Buffalo web site.
ECMC Laboratory Certified for HIV Rapid Testing by US HHS-CDC
During 2010, the ECMC Department of Laboratory Medicine announced that it received certification from The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases as the ECMC Diagnostic Immunology Laboratory through the Model Performance Evaluation Program for HIV Rapid Testing (MPEP).
Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo presentation to ECMC Corporation Board of Directors regarding Grant to ECMC AIDS Center Parenting Program
Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker, President/CEO of the Community Foundation For Greater Buffalo thanked all present during a June 1, 2010 ECMC Corporation Board of Directors meeting for the stewardship of the ECMC Foundation. Ms. Perez-Bode Dedecker provided a background on how the hospital was selected for a grant and the genesis of the funds to support the ECMC Designated AIDS Center Parenting Program. This is a program in which 62 HIV-positive mothers will receive specialized training for parenting under the special circumstances that these women face as HIV-positive patients.
AAA Teams with ECMC to Provide Driving Evaluations & Rehabilitation
Partnership serves growing need for Western New Yorkers with serious injuries or special needs
On June 23, 2010, AAA Western and Central New York and the Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) Corporation formally announced the establishment of a public-private partnership to provide comprehensive driver rehabilitation services for special needs clients and at-risk older drivers. Services include driving evaluation, training, and vehicle modification recommendations.
AAA and ECMC provide a variety of services for individuals whose driving skills have been affected by injury, illness, or natural age related changes. ECMC's Driver Evaluation Program assesses an individual's ability to begin or resume driving, taking into consideration their physical, cognitive, or visual status. Upon completion of an in-clinic and behind-the-wheel assessment, a recommendation is made regarding a client's driving safety and the vehicle modifications, training, or restrictions required to improve driving performance. AAA's involvement completes ECMC's "Circle of Care" by providing the necessary behind-the-wheel driving instruction, with and without vehicle modification, as well as providing relevant safe driving tips. At the completion of driver training, AAA will also provide the client with all necessary support to comply with the NY State Department of Motor Vehicle standards.
"AAA is pleased to be partnering with ECMC to provide this much needed service for Western New Yorkers," said Tom Chestnut, President/CEO of AAA Western and Central New York. "AAA understands the importance of both personal mobility and traffic safety. Our expertise in these areas will contribute to the ongoing success of ECMC's Driver Evaluation Program."
AAA and ECMC Corporation's partnership has successfully served approximately 40 patients within the last 18 months of operation. Close to 250 patients in the Buffalo area are in need of this type of service each year.
"The result of this alliance is that the community now has access to a comprehensive driver evaluation program through the partnership of two well respected organizations," said Jody L. Lomeo, Chief Executive Officer, ECMC Corporation. "We are pleased to augment this service for our patients and others in the community, with ECMC providing the medical, clinical and therapeutic components, and AAA offering the driver training and instruction piece. We look forward to a long and productive relationship with AAA."
ECMC driver evaluations are conducted by Occupational Therapists specifically certified and trained as Driver Rehabilitation Specialists. Knowledge of medical diagnoses combined with nationally recognized functional and standardized testing is utilized to complete an accurate assessment.
AAA's driver training specialists are skillfully trained in driver rehabilitation and certified by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The in-car training provided will combine safe driving skills, DMV road test requirements, and the use of adaptive devices, such as hand controls and steering wheel spinner knobs, installed on specially equipped vehicles.
Award-winning Summer Youth Self-development Program hosted by ECMC for 3rd consecutive year
The Summer Youth Self-development Program, in partnership with the Mayor's Summer Youth Program, took place at ECMC over a four week period from July 19th through August 12, 2010. The program provided 76 student interns (10th, 11th, and 12th graders in fall 2010) from36 area high schools, with opportunities for self-development through exposure to a variety of hospital-based health careers.
Participating high schools for this year included: Alden Senior, Amherst, Bennett, Buffalo Academy of Science Charter, Buffalo-Visual and Performing Arts, Buffalo Seminary, Cardinal O'Hara, City Honors, Clarence, Depew, East High, Fredrick Law Olmsted, Frontier Central, Holy Angels, Hutchinson Technical,
International Prep at Grover Cleveland, Iroquois, Kenmore West, Leonardo Da Vinci, Lewiston Porter, McKinley, Mount Mercy, Mount Saint Mary, Nardin, Nichols, Oracle Charter, Park, Sacred Heart, St. Joseph's Collegiate, Tapestry Charter, Tonawanda, Williamsville East, Williamsville North, Williamsville South, WNY Maritime Charter.
On Tuesday, July 13th, ECMC kicked-off the Summer Youth Self-Development Program for 2010 with an orientation event for the students. Participants in the orientation event included: Buffalo-area high school students; Rita Hubbard-Robinson, Corporate Training and Community Outreach Director, ECMC; Kim
Willer, EAP Coordinator, Prism Quality EAP; and ECMC internship site supervisors and coordinators.
To complete the program and celebrate achievements made over the summer, ECMC hosted a Culmination Luncheon on August 17th, where awards and certificates were presented. Culmination ceremony participants included: Buffalo-area high school students; Buffalo-area high school administrators and teachers; Sharon L. Hanson, Chair, Board of Directors, ECMCC; Jody L. Lomeo, Chief Executive Officer, ECMCC; Anthony J. Colucci, III, Managing Attorney, Colucci & Gallaher, P.C., the sponsoring organization contributing toward Dell netbooks donated to interns to "journal" their daily experiences; Rita Hubbard-Robinson, Corporate Training and Community Outreach Director, ECMC; and ECMC internship site supervisors and coordinators. Guest speaker Khalid Malik, MD, Director, Clinical Chief, UB Department of Family Medicine, shared his career story and encouraged the students to apply themselves and work hard to set and achieve their goals.
ECMC's pharmaceutical waste compliance program and reusable sharps containers program improve air and water quality for community health
On June 11, 2010, Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) Corporation announced its commitment to minimizing environmental impact and making good decisions for the benefit of community health and safety by being the first hospital in Buffalo to implement the Pharmaceutical Waste Compliance program and also one of the first to install the Sharps Management System using Bio Systems reusable containers by Stericycle Inc. (NASDAQ: SRCL) based in Lake Forest, Illinois.
Hospitals like ECMC are serious about examining the ways pharmaceutical waste is being disposed. Using these services ECMC is ahead of the curve with green initiatives as several states begin to legislate "no flush" laws, while leading the trend toward reusable sharps container systems in the healthcare environment.
Hospitals are becoming increasingly aware of their role within and responsibilities toward the environment. A study by the University of Chicago Hospitals and published in JAMA1 found that the American healthcare sector accounts for 8% of the U.S. carbon footprint. The analysis found that hospitals are by far the largest contributor of carbon emissions in the healthcare sector. The need to address both air and water quality issues is imperative as the number of drugs in the marketplace keeps growing as do carbon emissions if steps like these are not taken by healthcare administrators.
Between 1993 and 2009, more than 1,500 drugs were approved by the FDA. The 1999-2000 U.S. Geological Survey found 80% of streams sampled had at least one waste contaminant1. Waste contaminants included pharmaceutical drugs such as endocrine disrupters and antibiotics. In a similar study in 2008, an Associated Press survey reported a detection of pharmaceuticals in drinking water that serves 41 million Americans.
Hospitals, which are major users of pharmaceuticals, are seeking assistance to effectively manage pharmaceutical waste. The process can be complex. Pharmaceutical waste must be characterized, segregated, and transported. The disposal must also be documented.
Many states are passing legislation. In Illinois beginning January, 2010 the Safe Pharmaceutical Disposal Act began prohibiting the disposal of unused medication into a public wastewater collection system or septic system. Knowing legislation is likely to increase, ECMC is ahead of the compliance curve by using Stericycle's Pharmaceutical Waste Compliance Service.
"Each year, more regulations, especially at the state level, are enacted to require appropriate segregation, transportation and treatment of all healthcare waste. We want to be more than compliant. We want to keep staff, patients and the community safe," says Randy Gerwitz, R.Ph., director of pharmacy.
As hospitals continue to explore best environmental practices, "green teams" seek ways to improve additional facility and health systems' practices. Few tools exist that specifically help determine a hospital's environmental impact.
A tool called the Carbon Footprint Estimator2 is designed to help U.S. hospitals determine the amount of plastic and cardboard containers, and resulting CO2 emissions that they would keep out of the environment by switching the facility's use of disposable sharps containers to reusable containers. Each reusable container saves the equivalent of 600 from later going to landfills.
Since 1986, the Stericycle Sharps Management System using Bio Systems reusable containers has kept almost 80 million sharps containers out of landfills. Using this system, ECMC has seen 71,000 pounds of carbon emissions prevented from 121,000 pounds of plastic and 6,000 pounds of cardboard diverted from landfills in the past year. This amount is the equivalent of 3,651 gallons of gasoline.
According to Juan Santiago, assistant vice president of support and hospital services, ECMC, "By switching to Stericycle's Sharps Management System using Bio Systems reusable containers, ECMC has been able to realize significant efficiencies while leading our region within the healthcare industry in environment-friendly initiatives."
ECMC Opens New ER, Surgical Suites
Renovation of ER, new surgical suites add capacity for Adult Regional Trauma Center
On June 7, 2010, Erie County Medical Center announced the opening of its newly renovated, state-of-the-art Emergency Department, featuring eight new exam rooms and a major trauma treatment room.
The department handles almost 60,000 visits a year, and the hospital recently received a top ranking in the New York State Department of Health's Trauma System Report. The official opening was scheduled for June 14, pending state Department of Health approval.
The $2.9 million project also added two trauma operating rooms at ECMC to its existing 10 operating rooms, where trauma surgeries rose from 6,749 in 2002 to 8,919 in 2009. Surgeries and ER visits are expected to increase by double digit percentages in the next decade.
"We are pleased to open this new ER, which is an expansion to meet increased demand. Our trauma center needed more space because of the increased demand from patients and doctors in Western New York who are choosing ECMC for care," said ECMC CEO Jody L. Lomeo. "As ECMC moves to combine with Kaleida and Great Lakes Health System under the leadership of the ECMCC Board of Directors, we want the region's only Adult Regional Trauma Center to continue to be the one with some of the best outcomes in New York State."
Congresswoman Louise Slaughter secured critical funding, obtaining nearly $300,000 for the project from the fiscal year 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Bill.
"Thousands of lives depend on the continued excellence of ECMC, so I'm always pleased to work with the hospital and make sure this great facility has the federal funding needed to continue superior patient care," said Rep. Slaughter, whose district includes Buffalo's East Side.
"Today I'm proud to join ECMC in unveiling the refurbished emergency department, and I am equally delighted to announce 25 new jobs that will come as a result of the federal funding. I have no doubt that ECMC will continue to meet the growing demands of our community with distinction."
ECMC operates at nearly full capacity on a regular basis and 35 percent of its patients receive financial assistance. More than 300,000 outpatients are also served by ECMC each year in its clinic system, making the new emergency department and additional positions vital assets to the health center.
Surgeries increased steadily for the past several years, and this growth is projected to continue for years to come. The following number of surgeries were performed (by year): 2005, 7,329; 2006, 7,454; 2007, 8,031; 2008, 8,695; 2009, 8,919; 2010 projected, 10,323; 2011 projected, 10,839; 2012 projected, 11,381.
Emergency department visits since 2000 were 41,876; 2001, 43,101; 2002, 46,205; 2003, 46,965; 2004, 48,838; 2005, 48,670; 2006, 50,535; 2007, 52,142; 2008, 54,768; 2009, 58,492.
In April 2009, ECMC received $282,150 secured by Rep. Slaughter to help pay for the expansion. The federal "Health Care and Other Facilities" appropriation comes from the Health Resources Services Agency at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
In December 2009, Rep. Slaughter secured an additional $300,000 in the Fiscal Year 2010 Consolidated Appropriations Act for the development of ECMC's Women's Bone Health Center. The Women's Bone Health Center is part of ECMC's expanded orthopedic health care services to provide superior musculoskeletal care to patients, particularly in light of Western New York's aging population.
The biggest surgical increases at ECMC in recent years came in orthopedics, general surgery and vascular surgery. Since 2006, additional surgeons joined the staff, including three general surgeons, one vascular surgeon and one plastic surgeon.
"These Emergency Department additions, which Rep. Slaughter so clearly saw the need for, are designed to help our excellent physicians, nurses and staff serve the patients from Western New York's eight counties, and beyond, in the best, most sophisticated ways possible," said Sharon L. Hanson, chairwoman of the ECMCC board of directors.
Upon the opening of ECMC's new Emergency Department Unit, a specially equipped Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (SAFE)/Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) emergency exam room was dedicated in memory of one of ECMC's original Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners, Sandra A. Kowalewski, RN, SANE-A, who passed away on November 3, 2007. With family and friends of Sandy Kowalewski present, ECMC Corporation CEO Jody Lomeo and Emergency Department Clinical Nurse Specialist Karen Beckman, MSN, RN, commented about Sandy. "Sandy ‘K' provided high-quality nursing care to our patients and their families. Sandy was the epitome of an ER nurse. She held several certifications, including: Advanced Cardiac Life Support for Adults/Pediatrics, Flight Nurse, and Advanced Trauma Care for Nurses. She was committed to the SANE program, taking and passing the national certification exam while receiving chemotherapy for incurable pancreatic cancer. Dedicating our SANE room to Sandy is just a small way of giving back to someone who has given so much to ECMC, the Emergency Department, and victims of sexual assault."
ECMC Trauma Center Top Ranked in State
Western New York Region has best score for adult trauma survival
On May 18, 2010, ECMC Corporation officials announced that the New York State Department of Health completed a report that showed a top ranking for Erie County Medical Center, Western New York's only Adult Regional Trauma Center, and that the region had the best score for trauma survival.
The report also showed that although ECMC had the second-highest "Expected Mortality Rate" in the state, it was one of only three hospitals that was significantly better than the state average for trauma survival.
The ECMC Adult Regional Trauma Center, which handles almost 60,000 visits a year, is the most successful statewide, according to the Health Department's 118-page report released last week called The New York State Trauma System 2003-2006. The time period is the most recent for which the department could report full statistics for all the state's 29 regional adult trauma centers.
One significant finding in the report was that ECMC faced some of the toughest cases and had some of the best results. Nine percent of all high-risk injuries statewide occurred in Western New York during the period the state studied, a disproportionate amount by population. With 909,247 people, Erie County is just 4.6 percent of the state's 19.5 million people.
"ECMC's superior outcomes are not only a tremendous benefit to the residents and taxpayers of Western New York, whose injured friends and relatives receive treatment here, but also demonstrate how our skilled surgeons, nurses, staff and the EMS community save lives every day," said ECMC CEO Jody L. Lomeo. "We cover a large region with patients who present multiple challenges, but we want everyone to know that they have a better chance of surviving coming to ECMC. That's why some call ECMC the ‘Erie County Miracle Center'."
State statistics compiled for the report show that 147,944 trauma patients - those at risk of dying - were admitted to trauma units in the state in 2007, a decrease of 4.1 percent from the 154,054 trauma patients admitted in 1990. But the number of those patients listed by the state as having the highest risk of dying from their injuries rose to 26,815, 9.2 percent more than the 24,564 patients statewide in 1990.
Nationally, the age-adjusted trauma mortality rate per 100,000 people in the population was 6.97, compared to 5.54 for New York.
In terms of expectations, the Department of Health said based on age, health factors and other demographic markers, ECMC had an expected mortality rate, of 8.76 and a "Risk Adjusted Mortality Rate" of 6.06.
The Western New York region had the best mortality "z-score" at -2.52. The z- score compares survivors in the study with expected outcomes. The z score indicates the statistical variance and significance of the difference between actual versus expected survivors.
ECMC, Albany Medical Center and University Hospital Stony Brook all had inpatient mortality rates significantly lower than the statewide mean.
"This report shows that seriously injured Western New Yorkers have a world-class trauma center an ambulance ride away from where they live, and once they arrive, they have a better chance of surviving than anywhere else statewide," said Dr. William J. Flynn Jr., ECMC clinical director of surgery. "Trauma is a complex system. From the 911 call to the ambulance to surgery to a patient's stay at ECMC, every step must go well and we are fortunate in Western New York to have the experts to create great outcomes."
Emergency room visits at ECMC since 2000 were 41,876; 2001, 43,101; 2002, 46,205; 2003, 46,965; 2004, 48,838; 2005, 48,670; 2006, 50,535; 2007, 52,142; 2008, 54,768; 2009, 58,492.
The hospital, which will retain its Adult Regional Trauma Center as it consolidates with Kaleida Health under the Great Lakes Health umbrella, is opening new private ER rooms in early June as part of a $2.8 million upgrade in facilities.
The report is available at: http://www.nyhealth.gov/nysdoh/ems/pdf/03-06_trauma_report.pdf
ECMC Associate Medical Director Dietrich Jehle, M.D., receives prestigious American College of Emergency Physicians Advancing Emergency Care Award
On June 3, 2010, the Board of Directors of the New York American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) informed Dietrich Jehle, M.D., F.A.C.E.P., Board of Directors Member and Associate Medical Director for ECMC Corporation; and Professor and Vice Chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo (UB) that he was selected to receive the prestigious Advancing Emergency Care Award for 2010.
Dr. Jehle joins a distinguished list of past award recipients. This year, this award will recognize Dr. Jehle and two other New York ACEP members for significant contributions in advancing emergency care in New York State. Contributions include; Patient Care (improved delivery modes, quality care improvement, cost containment); EMS (organization, service, public education, disaster plan); Education (new or improved teaching methods, publication(s), education programs, evaluation mechanisms); Research or major contribution to a New York ACEP priority objective.
"On behalf of the membership and the Board of Directors, I want to congratulate you (Dr. Dietrich Jehle) on being chosen as a 2010 recipient," stated Gerard X. Brogan Jr., MD, FACEP, President, New York A.C.E.P.
The awards were announced to the membership and presented at the New York ACEP Annual Meeting on July 7, at the Sagamore Hotel in Bolton Landing, New York.
Dr. Jehle earned a B.A. in Mathematics from the University of Virginia (1975), an M.D. from the University of Virginia, School of Medicine (1979), and his Post Doctorate degree from the Graduate School of Public Health-Biostatistics at the University of Pittsburgh (1989). He completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at the Hospitals of the University Health Center of Pittsburgh, Presbyterian-University Hospital, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (1979-1982).
Dr. Jehle is Board Certified in Emergency Medicine (since 1988, recertified 1997) and Internal Medicine (since 1982). He is a dedicated clinical service provider, superior teacher, and an administrative leader. He has been instrumental in the development of Emergency Medicine at ECMC, having served as the Emergency Department Director for 17 years (1990-2007). ECMC's Emergency Department is now the busiest in the region and a preferred clinical site for medical students and residents training in the field of emergency medicine.
Dr. Jehle is both a researcher, having conducted extensive research on a variety of topics reflecting the broad clinical range of patient conditions seen in emergency medicine, and a reviewer for national journals in emergency medicine. In addition to pioneering ultrasound research, he has performed a number of studies in resuscitation, investigated motor vehicle crashes, and brought new technologies to emergency medicine. By mid-2009, he had published five books/book sections, 15 book chapters, 47 peer reviewed publications and 36 abstracts in medical literature. Dr. Jehle has been successful in obtaining significant government and non-governmental funding from 15 research grants totaling in excess of $12 million. He has also earned numerous national and local teaching awards.
In October 2009, the ECMC Corporation Board of Directors honored Dr. Jehle by presenting him with the "Extraordinary HERO Award," stating, "Dr. Jehle represents the very best at ECMC and he exemplifies the expert care delivered at the Medical Center every day." On September 3rd, 2009, Dr. Jehle was traveling to a Buffalo Bills football game where he provides medical care to fans and support medical care to players. While in route on the southbound Niagara Thruway, Dr. Jehle observed a multi-vehicle crash that occurred immediately ahead of him. At the scene of the accident, Dr. Jehle directed, triaged and administered emergency care to treat crash victims. As part of his response, he also put his life at risk directing/assisting in the rescue of a driver and two young passengers from a burning and severely damaged car. Dr. Jehle has also been recognized as a hero by Western New York news media for this lifesaving rescue.
The ECMC Lifeline Foundation recognized Dr. Jehle as the Springfest 2008 Distinguished Physician Honoree for outstanding dedication and service to ECMC and the community. In 2007, Buffalo Business First recognized him with the "Health Care 50" award for his level of involvement in medical care in the Buffalo community.
For the last 16 years, Dr. Jehle has provided supervision of medical care given to Buffalo Bills fans on game day at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, NY. Over a five year period, he was a 24 hour-a-day volunteer medical consultant for the Western New York Poison Control Center, and for the last 15 years has been an Associate Medical Director for ten volunteer ambulance companies. The Specialized Medical Assistance Response Team (SMART) that provides physician support in pre-hospital care at accident/injury scenes was co-founded with Dr. Jehle's assistance. He helped to establish a child safety seat program and founded Camp 911, an introduction to emergency medical services, safety, injury prevention, and bystander care for children. He instituted a rear seat belt use awareness program and has also worked with the Buffalo Bills on a bicycle helmet safety program. Dr. Jehle served on the Emergency Services Task Force created by Erie County Executive Chris Collins to make recommendations to the county for improving the quality of emergency services provided to Erie County residents.
Hospital and health plan CEOs sign patient consent forms, kick off industry drive
Drive continues the momentum from recent $16.1 million Beacon Community Award from Obama Administration to HEALTHeLINK
On June 2, 2010, the CEOs of the region's leading hospital systems and health plans who also represent the founding organizations of HEALTHeLINK, the Western New York Clinical Information Exchange, launched a month-long drive to increase the number of completed patient consent/election forms. The
CEOs gathered at Computer Task Group (CTG) headquarters on Delaware Avenue to sign their own consent/election forms as part of an effort to obtain an additional 10,000 forms from their employees. By signing a consent/election form, a patient indicates their choice as to whether or not they would like their clinical information accessible to physicians and other healthcare professionals through HEALTHeLINK. It is to the patient's benefit to have his or her wishes about access to their information acknowledged before they are faced with a medical emergency.
"Today marks yet another example of the unprecedented level of collaboration among the leaders of the region's health care system," said Daniel Porreca, executive director, HEALTHeLINK. "This collaboration has been critical to the success of HEALTHeLINK which was illustrated through the recent announcement by the Obama Administration where our organization was awarded $16.1 million, which was the largest Beacon Community Program allocation in the United States."
Among the CEOs who signed their consent/election forms at the event at CTG were Alphonso O'Neil-White, president and CEO of BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York; Joseph McDonald, president and CEO of the Catholic Health System; Jody Lomeo, CEO of Erie County Medical Center Corporation; Dr. Michael Cropp, president and CEO of Independent Health and the chairman of the board of directors of HEALTHeLINK; James Kaskie, president and CEO of Kaleida Health; Dr. Donald Trump, president and CEO of Roswell Park Cancer Institute; and Art Wingerter, president and CEO of Univera Healthcare.
About HEALTHeLINK: HEALTHeLINK, the Western New York clinical information exchange, is a collaborative effort among various organizations to share clinical information in efficient and meaningful ways to improve the delivery of care, enhance clinical outcomes, and help control healthcare costs throughout the region. The not-for-profit organization was established through funding from The
Catholic Health System, Erie County Medical Center Corporation, HealthNow New York (BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York), Independent Health Association, Kaleida Health, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Univera Healthcare and the Health Care Efficiency and Affordability Law for New Yorkers Capital Grant Program (HEAL NY) from New York State. HEALTHeLINK also received the country's largest grant as part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services' Beacon Community Cooperative Agreement Program. HEALTHeLINK stakeholders include a broad representation of healthcare professionals and organizations throughout the eight-county Western New York region such as the Buffalo Academy of Medicine (BAM), Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH), State University of New York at Buffalo and the WNY R-AHEC (Rural Area Health Education Center). For more information on HEALTHeLINK, visit www.wnyhealthelink.com or call 716-206-0993, ext. 311.
ECMC Orthopaedic Ads Win National Award Steve Christie campaign for orthopaedics claims bronze in major competition
On May 12, 2010, Erie County Medical Center Corporation officials announced the receipt of a bronze medal in the 27th Annual Aster Awards sponsored by Healthcare Marketing Report for the hospital's advertising campaign featuring former Buffalo Bills placekicker Steve Christie endorsing ECMC Orthopaedics.
With more than 4,000 entries nationwide in 70 advertising and media categories, the ECMC campaign by Eric Mower and Associates' Buffalo office won the bronze medal for the largest entry group - hospitals with 500 or more beds - and in the biggest category, "Total Advertising Campaigns."
"Our ‘Steve Christie' campaign was particularly successful in raising awareness of ECMC's first-class orthopaedic services and doctors. It created a lot of interest and calls from new patients," said Thomas Quatroche, PhD, ECMC senior vice president of marketing, planning and business development. "As we coordinate specialties with Great Lakes Health, ECMC will become home to a new bone health center, with expanded orthopaedic care, and we're pleased to see that this advertising campaign, when judged against those of the largest hospitals nationwide, stood out among its peers."
The campaign, which ran in television, print, radio and Web versions last fall and early this winter, aimed at athletes and former athletes and other active people who, like Christie, remain energetic in later life. An active life that includes skiing, gardening, home renovation and gym workouts can lead to knee, shoulder, ankle and hip, spine, hand and wrist problems and ECMC surgeons are equipped to handle all of them.
"We were pleased to collaborate with ECMC, CEO Jody Lomeo, Tom Quatroche and their premier surgeons on this notable campaign," said Doug Bean, EMA managing partner. "Tom signed Steve Christie for us and then we all ran with it. I want to thank our creative team members for their inspiration and Steve for being such a trouper and effective spokesman."
The advertising award competition, the oldest and largest of healthcare advertising awards, recognizes outstanding work and creative inspiration. A national panel of judges determined the awards for "those entries that exemplify exceptional quality, creativity and message effectiveness," according to the award brief.
Healthcare Marketing Report is widely regarded as the national newspaper of healthcare marketing. Entries were judged on creativity, layout/design, typography, production, knowledge transfer and overall quality.
"This campaign attracted attention because it included a well-known and respected Buffalo Bill and community member who Western New Yorkers related easily to, both because he was recognizable, and because he is a now a ‘regular guy' who could experience an orthopaedic injury," Quatroche said. "This was a great team effort and created more interest than we could have ever hoped."
EMA's Buffalo office, ranked the region's largest by Business First, is one of the independent agency's eight nationwide. It employs 42 people who handle accounts including HealthNow, Fisher-Price, Ford Dealers of Western New York, Transition Lenses, North American Breweries/Labatt and National Fuel Gas.
Healthcare Professionals honored May 1, 2010, during ECMC Lifeline Foundation Springfest gala
Springfest 2010, the ECMC Lifeline Foundation's annual black-tie gala, was held on Saturday, May 1, 2010, at the Adam's Mark Hotel. Springfest is the premier fund-raising event conducted each year by the Lifeline Foundation for ECMC Corporation. Attendance for this 2010 function exceeded 750 and included medical and corporate leaders.
Three awards were presented: The Lifeline Chairman's Distinguished Service Award will be given to the Great Lakes Health of Western New York Inaugural Professional Steering Committee comprised of ten physicians from ECMC and Kaleida Health. Honoree Brian M. Murray, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, ECMC Corporation, will be recognized as the Distinguished Physician Honoree; and Linda M. Schwab, M.S., R.N., Trauma Program Coordinator, ECMC Corporation, as the Distinguished Nursing Honoree.
The Lifeline Chairman's Distinguished Service Award Honorees: Great Lakes Health System of Western New York Inaugural Professional Steering Committee members: Lawrence B. Bone, M.D., Inaugural Chair; Kevin J. Gibbons, M.D., Current Chair; Yogesh D. Bakhai, M.D.; Gregory J. Bennett, M.D.; James G. Corasanti, M.D.; Merril T. Dayton, M.D.; David G. Ellis, M.D.; Kathleen T. Grimm, M.D.; George E. Matthews, M.D.; James J. Reidy, M.D.
Formed as part of the agreement between Kaleida Health and ECMC, the Great Lakes Health System of Western New York (WNY) Professional Steering Committee (PSC) was established in 2008 to make recommendations to the Great Lakes Health System of Western New York Board in developing selected clinical services within the new health system. Over the subsequent months, the committee worked with some 70 private practice and academic physicians from both Kaleida and ECMC to develop a plan for improved and streamlined clinical services and a strengthened alignment between the two organizations. The Professional Steering Committee led by ECMC and Kaleida physicians has approved a vision for the Great Lakes Health System of WNY. At the ECMC campus, this vision will create an Orthopaedic and Bone Health Center with an expansion of orthopaedic capabilities, and a Renal Disease and (kidney/pancreas) Transplant Center. At the Buffalo General Campus, cardiac services will be centralized at the new Global Vascular Institute. A separate task force is looking at the level of cardiac services needed at ECMC to support trauma and a very busy emergency department. The Committee also recommended the creation of a new transfer center to ensure the smooth transfer of patients from outlying hospitals and community physicians. Thanks to the vision and dedication of the Professional Steering Committee, department assignments and expansions were developed at Kaleida and ECMC. The collaboration and collegiality of the committee served as a model for the new Great Lakes Health System of WNY and inspired the transformation and future of both Kaleida and ECMC.
Distinguished Physician Honoree: Brian M. Murray, M.D., Chief Medical Officer and Attending Physician, Internal Medicine, ECMC Corporation; Associate Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine, State University of New York at Buffalo. Dr. Brian Murray, an exceptional physician throughout his career, has distinguished himself as a teacher, administrator, and medical research investigator. Since his early years as a student of the natural sciences at Trinity College, Dublin, he has devoted his life to the study and practice of medicine, particularly the field of nephrology and renal disease. In addition to his responsibilities as Chief Medical Officer of ECMC Corporation, Dr. Murray is also an attending physician in internal medicine, and an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University at Buffalo. He is a member or chairman of more than a dozen medical and administrative oversight committees at ECMC and nearly an equal number of University committees. He has served as preceptor, lecturer, and supervisor of clinical research projects by renal fellows and medical residents for nearly 25 years. He served as President of the Medical Dental Staff from 2000 to 2002. Over the past six years, in recognition of his work and achievements, Dr. Murray was presented with the Gift of Life Award by the National Kidney Foundation of Western New York; the Best of the Best Award-the region's highest healthcare honor-by the Niagara Health Quality Coalition; and was selected for inclusion among the Best Doctors in America. Dr. Murray is a tireless warrior in the fight against chronic kidney disease. He has been the principal, site, or co-investigator on more than 25 research projects to study, increase understanding, and improve treatment of all aspects of chronic kidney disease including dialysis and transplant outcomes. He is a founding member of the Western New York Kidney Disease Project, a collaboration of physicians, administrators, insurers, and other organizations formed to improve the quality and cost effectiveness of kidney disease treatment. In addition, he is the author of countless published articles, reviews, book chapters, and abstracts on a range of renal and other medical issues.
Distinguished Nursing Honoree: Linda M. Schwab, M.S., R.N., Trauma Program Coordinator for ECMC Corporation and the Western New York Region. Linda Schwab is a recognized leader in the field of trauma care, administration, and education. As Trauma Program Coordinator, Linda Schwab works with regional and statewide committees to implement research-based improvements in trauma care and public health policy. A tireless advocate for injury prevention education, Linda Schwab has presented violence prevention programs to children and young adults and was instrumental in the development of a program that shows high school students the reality of being a victim of a motor vehicle collision and the consequences of driving while impaired or distracted. The program has reached thousands of high school students and has been recognized by Business First and AM Buffalo. During her nursing career at ECMC, Linda Schwab has served as case manager for surgical specialties, trauma intensive care nurse, and nurse clinician for the Roger W. Seibel, M.D., Burn Treatment Center. Through her research activities, clinical publications, active involvement with the community, and leadership role in numerous professional organizations, she has had an important impact on the quality of nursing care at ECMC and throughout New York State. Her experiences in ECMC's Trauma Intensive Care Unit have laid the foundation for many of her professional achievements and her lifelong commitment to the care and management of burn and trauma victims. As adjunct faculty to the University at Buffalo School of Nursing, she has lectured on the assessment and management of burn patients and served as a clinical practicum preceptor. She has volunteered to share her knowledge at fire companies and received a community service award for her role in the establishment of the Juvenile Fire Education and Response Organization. Nurse Schwab was chosen by the New York State Chapter of the American Trauma Society as the 2007 Trauma Coordinator of Distinction for New York State and was presented the 2004 Nurse of Distinction Award by the Professional Nurses Association of Western New York and The Buffalo News. Linda Schwab is the Education Committee Chair of the New York State Chapter of the American Trauma Society and a member of the New York State Trauma Advisory Committee. She has served as lecturer, instructor, course director and course coordinator for many trauma and burn care courses, events, and presentations throughout New York State and Southern Ontario.
Springfest 2010 commenced on Saturday, May 1, at the Adam's Mark Hotel with cocktails and a silent auction, followed by a brief program and dinner. Important individuals were recognized at Springfest 2010 for their contributions to the Western New York community. Promoted as Springfest Swingfest, the event was an enjoyable evening with the music of nationally acclaimed Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.
Dr. Pranikoff in Africa on HIV Pilot Mission
ECMC Urology Head a Member of the Male Circumcision Task Force
Thanks to many factors including the greater availability of care and new antiretroviral treatment, the mortality rate from AIDS is decreasing worldwide. However, according to a 2009 United Nations AIDS epidemic report, 33.4 million people, or 0.5% of world's population, are infected with the HIV virus. And more than two-thirds of them live in sub-Saharan Africa. Of all the countries in this part of the continent, Swaziland, surrounded on three sides by the Union of South Africa and on the east by Mozambique, has the highest prevalence of HIV. In this small independent kingdom, one in every four adults aged 15 to 49 was infected in 2007.
In February 2010, the American Urology Association (AUA) was invited by the government of Swaziland to conduct a pilot mission and organize a male circumcision program. On April 21, a group of four physicians from the AUA's Male Circumcision Task Force (MCTF) arrived in Swaziland. One of the volunteers was Dr. Kevin Pranikoff, Clinical Director of Urology at ECMC.
"On a map of sub-Saharan Africa, those countries with the highest prevalence of HIV also have the highest percentage of uncircumcised males," says Dr. Pranikoff. The importance of this correlation was first appreciated in the mid-1980s. Subsequent randomized controlled clinical trials conducted between 2002 and 2006 in Uganda, Kenya, and the Union of South Africa confirmed that circumcision of the uninfected male population decreased the risk of HIV transmission by 50-60% in heterosexual men. This led the World Health Organization to recognize male circumcision (MC) as an important additional strategy for use within an HIV prevention program. However, the epidemiologic projections describe a need for 50 million procedures to be performed in sub-Saharan Africa in the next ten years. The task of providing that many circumcisions, especially under relatively adverse conditions, creates not only a medical challenge but a huge industrial engineering problem incorporating travel, labor, legal, financial, supply, and logistical issues.
The ministries of health in the African countries have turned to the countries of North America and Europe for help in setting up programs to combat HIV. A surgical procedure has never before been used to battle an infectious epidemic. Working with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as Jhpiego (an international non-profit health organization affiliated with Johns Hopkins University), philanthropists like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, policy makers like the World Health Organization (WHO), and funding organizations like PEPFAR (President's Emergency Plan for Aids Relief) and USAIDS, Swaziland and other southern African nations hope to create an infrastructure for male circumcision that will help to combat the spread of HIV.
In April of 2009, Dr. Pranikoff became a member of the AUA board of directors and was asked to serve on the AUA's MCTF steering committee. As part of the initial Task Force mission, he joined three other physicians and worked with local surgeons, performing about 400 MCs in eight days. The purpose of the mission, however, was to create relationships, test procedures, and try different methods and systems. For example, the team learned that the capacity of the system to perform MCs is considerably greater than what was achieved in the pilot mission. Through task sharing techniques, it's actually possible for a single surgeon to perform 40 to 50 MCs in eight hours. Thus, the team projected that if 20 sites have two surgeons each doing 40 MCs daily, each site could do 400 MCs per week and 20 sites could do 8,000 per week. It would thus take 25 weeks to perform the 200,000 MCs needed in Swaziland under ideal conditions.
In 2009, the USAID studied the potential cost and impact of expanding male circumcision to reach 80% of adult and newborn males in 14 African countries by 2015. The study concluded that such a program would require 21 million MCs in its first four years and then 3-5 million per year for another 11 years. More than four million adult HIV infections would be averted between now and 2025 at a estimated cost of one billion dollars.
"This program makes good economic sense because it will save money in the long run," says
Dr. Pranikoff. "A billion dollars spent up front is going to save twenty billion down the road. It's more than philanthropic. It makes economic sense to us because the US taxpayer-through PEPFAR and USAID-is footing a large part of the bill. If we don't pay for the prevention program right now, we'll be paying for the treatment program."
In Swaziland, a country roughly the size of New Jersey, 49% of pregnant women aged 25 to 29, and 26% of all adults are infected with HIV. The average life expectancy, which was 61 years in 2000, has plummeted to 31, and more than ten percent of the nation's population is comprised of its 120,000 AIDS orphans. Yet Dr. Pranikoff was struck by the kindness and gentle manner of the health professionals he worked with. He also met many physicians and nurses who had fled Zimbabwe because of the Mugabe regime and were now working in Swaziland.
"Swaziland is an interesting mosaic of African and Western cultures and the attitude of the African people was wonderful," reports Dr. Pranikoff. "The males we circumcised the first day were mostly adults and then the school holiday started and we worked with the boys. There is currently a big push in the schools for circumcision and kids as young as 13 and 14 are being circumcised. The kids were polite and gentle and arrived by themselves, without their parents. They seemed more mature than American kids of the same age. Yet it's a very different culture, one where privacy in the clinic was almost non-existent and conditions were relatively primitive. We live in a bubble in the West compared to the rest of the world."
Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Educational Program conducted at ECMC
On April 21, 2010, the Western New York Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Network educational program was conducted at ECMC. The goal of the SANE educational program is to provide the SANE nurses of Erie County the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues and members of the Sexual Assault Response Team.
Karen Beckman, MSN, RN, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Emergency Department, ECMC, welcomed guests and presented an introduction to the area SANE nurses in attendance. Rebecca Roloff of Women and Children's Hospital introduced keynote speaker Rosanne E. Johnson, graduate of the SUNY at Buffalo law school and prosecutor at the Erie County District Attorney Office for 22 years, who currently serves as Bureau Chief for the Special Victims Bureau where she oversees the prosecution of all sexual assault and child abuse cases in Erie County. Amanda Kramer of Kenmore Mercy Hospital and Lynette Wryk of Sisters of Charity Hospital discussed nursing documentation. Holly Franz of Crisis Services made closing remarks.
By the end of the educational program, those in attendance were expected to be able to discuss the SANE nurse role(s) and responsibilities in the judicial process, explore legal and ethical issues in SANE forensic documentation, and discuss/demonstrate SANE documentation.
ECMC and two other WNY hospitals receive National Recognition for Highest Organ Donation Rates in the Country
On April 15th, 2010, a prestigious national award from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) was presented to three area hospitals for their success in increasing the number of organs available for transplantation in 2009. Upstate New York Transplant Services (UNYTS) joined hospital leadership, transplant recipients, donors and supporters of the Gift of Life to recognize the dedication and hard work of these organizations.
ECMC, Millard Fillmore Gates Circle Hospital and Mercy Hospital of Buffalo received the Silver Medal of Honor for sustaining an organ donor conversion rate of 75% or higher and a greater than 10% Donation after Cardiac Death (DCD) rate in a twelve month period.
Organ donor conversion rate is the percentage of eligible organ donors whose family or next-of-kin consent to donate organs and tissue with the consent resulting in a successful transplant. Based on circumstances necessary for organ donation, fewer than 2% of all deaths qualify - making consents crucial to helping those in need.
Cheryl Nicosia, RN, Clinical Nurse Specialist from ECMC's Trauma Center, was awarded the Health and Human Services (HHS) Regional Champion Award for her outstanding leadership in promoting organ donation and transplantation in the Western New York area. As ECMC's UNYTS liaison, Cheryl Nicosia always works to ensure that a donor family's needs are being met during such a traumatic and stressful time.
Today in the United States there are over 106,000 individuals awaiting a life-saving transplant - nearly 10,000 from New York State - and many thousands more in need of tissue and cornea transplants. In WNY alone there are over 650 individuals waiting. Sadly, an average of 18 patients dies every day, simply because the organ they needed did not become available in time.
NYS Department of Health grants approval for Renal Disease and Transplant Center at ECMC
On April 13, 2010, Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) Corporation officials announced that The New York State Department of Health Project Review Committee of the State Hospital Review and Planning Council granted approval to ECMC Corporation for a $22 million Renal Disease and Transplant Center at ECMC.
ECMC Corporation President and Chief Operating Officer Mark C. Barabas, who is overseeing this program and related projects/services with Kaleida Health Department of Surgery Chief of Service and Great Lakes Health System of Western New York Professional Steering Committee Member Merrill T. Dayton, M.D., attended the March 18th meeting of the SHRPC Project Review Committee, in which he testified/responded to questions on record, and witnessed the Committee's vote for contingent approval of the Renal Disease and Transplant Center at ECMC.
The final approval vote, of April 8, 2010, was contingent upon the submission of an executed HEAL NY Phase 11 grant contract that was acceptable to the Department of Health. ECMC Corporation will provide $14,536,116 in equity from operations, while the remainder of $7,486,600 will be provided through the HEAL NY Phase 11 grant funding.
"This physician-led project is about taking what we have today, which is very good, and making it even better for the patients we serve," said James R. Kaskie, CEO of Kaleida Health and Great Lakes Health. "Aligning the two programs will assist in the retention and recruitment of physicians, and, just as important, will enhance Great Lakes Health's ability to serve more renal and transplant patients in the future. The state's approval is great news and serves as tangible evidence that with the proper vision and planning, we can grow while we are evolving."
"This is an important step with the Great Lakes Health System and Kaleida Health toward providing world-class healthcare for our region. It has taken cooperation from many parties to make this a reality and is proof that we can accomplish great things for our community when we all work together," stated Jody L. Lomeo, Chief Executive Officer of ECMC Corporation.
"This announcement by the Department of Health granting approval to the Great Lakes Health System to establish the (Renal Disease and) Transplant Center at ECMC marks the dawning of a new era in healthcare in Western New York," said Merrill T. Dayton, M.D., Chief of Service, Department of Surgery, Kaleida Health and Member, Professional Steering Committee, Great Lakes Health System of Western New York. "Make no mistake-the successful merger of two transplant programs that were forever competitors is the first test case of the Kaleida-ECMC merger. Our ability to make this first scenario work out successfully bodes well for future efforts to establish ‘Centers of Excellence.' "
"Since the elderly are the fastest growing population group of ESRD (end stage renal disease) patients and because the Western New York region includes a significantly large aging population, the decision and approval to invest in this specialized service was determined to be a necessity for a community in need of an advanced renal program." explained ECMC Corporation President and C.O.O. Mark Barabas. "The consolidation of transplant services will provide the opportunity to develop a World Class program."
As stated in the State Hospital Review and Planning Council (SHRPC) Executive Summary, "The proposed project is consistent with the Berger Commission's recommendation for Kaleida Health and Erie County Medical Center Corporation to consolidate services to further right-size healthcare delivery in Western New York. The project represents the consolidation of Buffalo General Hospital's and ECMC's renal transplant programs."
The consolidation of Renal Disease and Transplant Services will take place on the ECMC campus. The project proposes a comprehensive renal disease and transplant center to include 48,012 square feet of hospital renovations. A total of 43,412 square feet of the 10th Floor of the Medical Center will be renovated for the Renal Services and Transplant program.
ECMC Campaign for the Haiti Home for Children and Hope Village
On March 26, 2010, the Erie County Medical Center Corporation held a fundraising event at ECMC to benefit the Haiti Home for Children and Hope Village to provide financial support toward the rebuilding of this vital institution for children after the devastation caused by the January 2010 earthquake.
The Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus performed a variety of music for this event. Giving personal accounts of their experiences in Haiti and at the Haiti Home for Children included such speakers as: Blair Buczkowski, R.N., an ECMC nurse and mother of two children adopted from the Haiti Home for Children; Sandra K. Scruggs and Denis Alston, of Zion Dominion Foreign Mission, both having recently returned from Haiti; and Pastor Chuck Whited, First Trinity Lutheran Church, who has a building effort in progress in Haiti. ECMC physicians and administrators were also on-hand to speak to those in attendance.
Under the leadership of Jody Lomeo, Chief Executive Officer, ECMC Corporation, Dr. Timothy DeZastro, Director of Radiology, ECMC; Dr. Shantikumar Bedmutha, Radiology Department, ECMC; ECMC nurse Blair Buczkowski, R.N., and other ECMC staff members, it was determined that this event and associated fundraising campaign would be an opportunity for everyone at ECMC, including visitors and patients, if they wish, to make a generous and meaningful contribution to help relieve some of the suffering of some of the most vulnerable Haitian people.
During the planning meeting, Dr. Bedmutha said, "We have to do something in Haiti that will have a lasting impact."
ECMC nurse Blair Buczkowski, who adopted a daughter in 1991 and a son in 1995 from the Haiti Home for Children, explained that the orphanage from where her children were adopted was deemed uninhabitable by the recent earthquake. Nurse Buczkowski was a volunteer at the orphanage and Hope Hospital, which is part of the community of supportive services funded by the Fondation Pour les Enfants d'Haiti (FEH).
"The children had great needs before the earthquake, and I have plans to go there this year to volunteer again. It is wonderful to be able to do something for the children," said nurse Buczkowski.
The Haiti Home for Children is a safe, clean, Christian based orphanage for up to ninety children ages two to fourteen. The United States Foundation for the Children of Haiti (USFCH) working as a 501c3 organization, is dedicated to providing financial, medical, and religious support and assistance to the needy children of Haiti through its alliance with Fondation Pour les Enfants d'Haiti. FEH is a Haitian organization, without ties to the Haitian government, which works to save the lives of children in Haiti. FEH is recognized by the governments of both the United States of American and Haiti as an official non-government organization (NGO). This organization oversees the following ministries: the Haiti Home for Children, Hope Hospital, a nursery program and a school. Hope Hospital suffered minor damage and has been able to provide treatment for many of the victims of the earthquake in Port au Prince. However, the orphanage will require extensive work to make it safe and functional again.
All of the proceeds of this campaign were donated to the USFCH for the re-building of the Haiti Home for Children in Port au Prince, Haiti. Over 95% of the monies raised are being used specifically for the rebuilding of the orphanage. For more information on USFCH, the FEH, and the Haiti Home for Children, log-on to: http://www.usfch.org/
UB-ECMC physician Dr. Lawrence Bone in Haiti with nine other orthopaedic trauma surgeons to treat Haitians injured in quake
Lawrence Bone, M.D., Orthopaedics Department Chair, Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, State University of New York at Buffalo (UB), and Orthopaedic Trauma Surgeon at ECMC, joined nine other orthopaedic trauma surgeons from across the country as members of the Orthopaedic Trauma Association (OTA) who volunteered and traveled to Haiti in February 2010 to treat Haitian patients injured during the January 12 earthquake on the U.S. Navy hospital ship, the USNS Comfort.
Comfort departed its homeport in Baltimore Jan. 16, and arrived three-and-a-half days later and immediately began supporting humanitarian relief efforts in Haiti. Prior to anchoring off the coast of Port-au-Prince Jan. 20, Comfort was already receiving patients in transit via airlift. During portions of the relief effort, nearly 1,300 medical personnel from the U.S. military and various non governmental organizations (NGOs) were embarked and treating earthquake survivors. Comfort had more than 540 critically injured patients on board within the first ten days. Over the course of seven weeks, the ship's U.S. military and civilian medical personnel treated 871 patients injured (during the quake) receiving at the height of the recovery effort one patient every six to nine minutes.*
The Navy requested specialists due to the overwhelming number of patients requiring orthopaedic trauma care. Approximately 90 percent of the injured patients sustained complex fractures requiring the surgical expertise of orthopedic trauma surgeons.
The ten OTA surgeons had previously volunteered in Landstuhl, Germany, and were credentialed by the U.S. Army which helped to expedite their credentialing by the U.S. Navy. The Comfort was mobilized from Baltimore in a 48-hour notification after the earthquake. The OTA surgeons arrived on Feb. 3, accompanied by volunteers from Project Hope and Operation Smile. These organizations provided nurses, nurse anesthetists, and operating nurses. From Feb. 3 through Feb. 15, the OTA surgeons performed more than 200 operations on complex and difficult injuries that were already three to five weeks old.
The Comfort, a converted oil tanker the size of an aircraft carrier, has 910 beds, 12 operating room, a 40-bed Emergency Room, and 90 intensive care beds. "It is twice the capacity of ECMC. The ship was admitting 50 patients a day. It was like emptying ECMC and filling it twice over a three week period. The Navy crew and medical staff did an unbelievable job," stated Dr. Bone.
As stated on the U.S. Navy web site http://www.navy.mil/, in the 3/9/2010 news release, Hospital Ship USNS Comfort Completes Important Relief Mission in Haiti: "Prior to anchoring off the coast of Port-au-Prince Jan. 20, Comfort was already receiving patients in transit via airlift. During portions of the relief effort, nearly 1,300 medical personnel from the U.S. military and various non governmental organizations (NGOs) were embarked and treating earthquake survivors. By early February, as relief efforts increased and medical treatment facilities ashore expanded in their ability to treat more patients and provide greater care, the amount of earthquake victims requiring transit to Comfort naturally declined."* The mission to Haiti was a Navy relief mission funded by the U.S. Navy.
About OTA: The mission of the Orthopaedic Trauma Association (OTA) is to promote excellence in care for the injured patient, through provision of scientific forums and support of musculoskeletal research and education of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the public. The OTA is adaptable, forward thinking and fiscally responsible and is composed of a diverse world-wide membership who provide care and improve the knowledge base for the treatment of injured patients. OTA members provide worldwide leadership through education, research and patient advocacy. For more information about the OTA, log-on to: http://www.ecmc.edu/tools/tinymce/jscripts/tiny_mce/plugins/paste/www.ota.org.
About the U.S. Navy and Operation Unified Response: While deployed for Operation Unified Response, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command (NAVSO) had operational control of all maritime assets in the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) region. In support of Operation Unified Response, NAVSO is tasked to coordinate the U.S. Navy's response to disaster relief in Haiti following a 7.0 magnitude earthquake Jan. 12. The focus of Operation Unified Response is to alleviate the suffering of survivors and support humanitarian relief efforts. For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/cusns/.
Sharon L. Hanson reelected Chair of ECMCC Board
On February 23, 2010, the Erie County Medical Center Corporation's board of directors announced that Sharon L. Hanson, a 13-year board member, was re-elected to a second consecutive term as chair.
By their vote, the board's decision confirmed that Ms. Hanson, Director of Government Relations for Time Warner Cable in Buffalo, is successfully guiding the medical center's board/corporation.
Ms. Hanson served on the ECMCC board of directors and the former board of managers since 1996. During that time, Ms. Hanson chaired the board's Human Resources, Building and Grounds, and Performance Improvement committees; she also served on the Executive, Executive Compensation and Governance committees. Ms. Hanson is also a member of the ECMC Lifeline Foundation Board of Directors.
Other board officers formally reelected for 2010, include: vice-presidents Kevin Cichocki D.C., CEO of Palladium Health Care, and Kevin Hogan, a partner at Phillips, Lytle; Michael A. Seaman, City of Buffalo Director of Treasury and Collections, as treasurer; Bethesda World Harvest International Church Bishop Michael A. Badger as secretary; ECMCC Chief Financial Officer Michael J. Sammarco, as assistant treasurer; and Patricia M. Grasha as assistant secretary.
Ms. Hanson served in a variety of leadership positions in Buffalo and Erie County. She was special projects coordinator at the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority for the Airport Improvement Project, which led to the new Greater Buffalo Niagara International Airport.
Ms. Hanson also provided leadership at Resource Planning Associates as the project director for the Buffalo Minority Business Development Center, where she helped several minority and women business enterprises get started.
Ms. Hanson is a graduate of Canisius College with dual Bachelor of Science degrees in English and Political Science. She is also a graduate of the Leadership Buffalo Class of 1997 and the Dale Carnegie Classic Course. She serves on the boards of directors/trustees of Trocaire College and the Evergreen Association. Ms. Hanson is active in the community as a member of the NAACP, Women in Cable, and the Public Relations Society of America.
Ms. Hanson received the NAACP 2009 Rufus Frasier Human Relations Award. She was recognized by the National Federation for Just Communities of Western New York's with a community service/volunteerism award. She also received honors from the ECMC Lifeline Foundation; Black Achievers in Industry; Everywoman Opportunity Center; YWCA Leader Luncheon; as Calvary Outstanding Woman of the Year; the YWCA Board of Directors; Minority Business Development Center; and Bethesda Full Gospel Church.
Ms. Hanson has been recognized by VH1-Save the Music and the African American Women Community Builders of Western New York as Uncrowned Queen. A lifelong Buffalo resident, she is a member of the Chapel at CrossPoint and a mother and grandmother.
ECMC represented at the National Conference of the American Physical Therapy Association
On February 19, 2010, Angela Jocoy, PT, MS, NDT, and Pamela Bartlo, PT, DPT, CCS, presented at the national conference of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). The APTA's Combined Sections Meeting is held yearly and is attended by about 8,000 physical therapists and physical therapy assistants. Ms. Jocoy and Dr. Bartlo presented a programming session titled, "Endurance in the Neurologic Rehab Population: Assessment, Intervention, and Outcome Measures." The session focused on patients with stroke, spinal cord injury, and traumatic brain injury and was attended by approximately 340 physical therapists and physical therapists assistants.
Ms. Jocoy is a Senior Physical Therapist in the eight floor rehab unit. She received her Master's Degree in Physical Therapy from Boston University. She subsequently obtained certification in Neurodevelopmental Treatment. She has been employed at ECMC for 13 years. Within the Rehab Therapy Department, she has played an integral role in patient management, acute rehab services administration, and student fieldwork supervision. Within the hospital, Angela has served on various task forces, sub-committees, and has worked to make the rehab unit the respected treatment program that it is. Ms. Jocoy also serves as adjunct faculty at several local college teaching labs and as a guest lecturer in their physical therapy programs.
Dr. Bartlo is a Clinical Assistant Professor at D'Youville College in the Physical Therapy Department. She received her Bachelor's Degree in Physical Therapy from Daemen College and her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from D'Youville College. She is an APTA Board Certified Specialist in Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy. She has been on faculty at D'Youville College for six years and is a former ECMC employee. Dr. Bartlo's primary areas of teaching and research are cardiovascular and pulmonary care. She has presented research at national conferences and has been published in peer reviewed journals and textbooks.
During the combined sections meeting, Dr. Bartlo presented standardized tests of endurance such as the Six Minute Walk Test, Shuttle Run Test, and Sub-Maximal Stress Tests for patients with stroke, spinal cord injury, or traumatic brain injury. She also discussed the reliability and validity of all the standardized tests presented, and gave recommendations for standardized test use based on current literature. Severity of patient presentations was also discussed in regards to the logistics and appropriateness of each test.
Ms. Jocoy presented the clinical assessments of a patient's endurance, such as their ability to hold an upright posture, their tolerance to therapy and muscle tone impact. She also discussed the intervention strategies used to address endurance, and gave examples for the assessment and intervention strategies applied in a variety of patient severities. The impact of secondary complications on endurance was also briefly presented. Angela provided the attendees with examples regarding documentation of endurance and presented information about the outcome measures of endurance.
ECMC featured in Health Management Technology trade journal
In the February 2010 issue of Health Management Technology, ECMC Director of Pharmacy Randy Gerwitz, R.Ph, describes ECMC's transition in the implementation of medication distribution technology using Omnicell medication storage systems now in use in the Medical Center's Operating Room(s). In the article, Gerwitz explains, "It became apparent that automated dispensing cabinets within the operating rooms would enable our facility to more fully meet these challenges by providing medications at the point-of-care."
Gerwitz credits the success of the transition to this new system and technology to the collaborative efforts of numerous staff members in the Departments of Anesthesiology, Pharmacy, and the Operating Room. He stated recently as well that, "They (the staff members of these ECMC departments and others) were phenomenal partners in this effort and deserve much of the credit for a successful project."
To read about this initiative and the resulting accomplishments, see: http://www.healthmgttech.com/index.php/solutions/hospitals/medical-center-automates-storage-with-cabinets.html
Critical Diagnostic Procedure Available at ECMC
Endoscopic ultrasound used in cancer diagnosis and management
In January of 2010, ECMC announced that it offers endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) procedures for patients of oncologists, gastroenterologists, pulmonologists, thoracic surgeons, and other referring specialists. EUS is an endoscopic procedure that provides a detailed view of organ walls and adjacent organs where malignancies such as esophageal and rectal cancer may have been detected or suspected. EUS, a subspecialty of gastroenterology, is a complex procedure performed by an experienced endoscopist that offers cost-effective, non-surgical assessment of certain diseases. ECMC is one of the few hospitals in Western New York where the EUS procedure is now performed.
Dr. Shahid Mehboob, a gastroenterologist, has been performing EUS since 2002 and is now accepting referrals for the procedure at ECMC. Dr. Mehboob is a faculty member of the Division of Gastroenterology Hepatology & Nutrition at the UB School of Medicine and Biological Sciences. He is also affiliated with the VA Hospital Gastroenterology Department where he also conducts the EUS procedure for that hospital's exclusive population. His work has encompassed the evaluation of patients sent to Buffalo from the VA system in Eastern and Central New York.
The most common reason for doing the EUS procedure is the presence of a lump or tumor in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Primarily used to determine esophageal and rectal cancer stages, EUS tells oncologists how far, or how deep, the cancer or tumor is, which offers more insight into whether to pursue chemo-radiation or go directly to surgery.
EUS is also used for pancreas and bile duct diseases such as, uncertain cases of common bile duct stones or possible masses or cysts in the pancreas. In addition to ultrasound and graphic images, the technology also encompasses ultrasound guided Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA), a procedure in which a needle is inserted through the lining of the stomach or bowels to assist in diagnosis. This procedure may be done when the stomach lining looks normal, but the endoscopist finds a lump underneath the lining. The FNA can determine whether the lump or tumor is malignant or benign.
The endoscope is a thin, tubular instrument with a light and a lens for viewing. The ultrasound probe bounces high energy sound waves off internal organs and tissue which create a picture on a monitor. This picture enables the endoscopist to see where to place the FNA needle. EUS is an important tool for cancer staging in the GI tract, especially in the esophagus and the rectum, and for looking at the character of the tumor in the pancreas. It is also used for pancreatitis patients, patients with a suspected stone in the bile duct as well as lymph nodes in the chest.
"We can take samples through fine needle aspirations from a mass in the thorax and from lymph nodes," says Dr. Mehboob. "This can be done without chest surgery. It's a half-hour to an hour procedure that is performed as an outpatient."
Many studies have confirmed the cost effectiveness of the EUS procedure. In a case of esophageal cancer, a patient may be sent directly to surgery. However, if an ultrasound finds that the tumor is invading the surrounding organs, the patient may undergo chemo-radiation to shrink the tumor before surgery. The ultrasound enables cost savings by avoiding surgery beforehand by learning that the tumor is too large or deep to remove surgically.
Studies have also shown that the use of chemoradiation before surgery to shrink down the tumor boosts survival rates compared to patients who did not have the shrinkage with chemoradiation. Surgery may require a patient to be in the hospital for a few days. EUS can provide the same diagnosis by simply having the patient come in for the procedure and go home the same day. This diagnosis only takes an hour or two with minimum risk and has a significantly lower cost.
While EUS technology has been in place for approximately two decades, the equipment at ECMC is the latest generation, state-of-the-art endoscopic ultrasound. The procedure, which takes one or two hours, provides invaluable information on whether a tumor has eroded into the organs or vessels around it. This enables a physician to make an enlightened, cost-effective decision on whether or not to prescribe chemoradiation to shrink the tumor before surgery. With this technology EUS can effectively become part of the cancer management and staging protocol.
ECMC patient Michael Gifford, Mother Bonnie and other family members present check to ECMC for Trauma Intensive Care, Medical/Surgical and Rehab Units
On January 21, 2010, Michael A. Gifford of Youngstown was seriously injured when his sport utility vehicle rear-ended a state Department of Transportation plow truck doing patching work on the Robert Moses Parkway near Pletcher Road. Michael A. Gifford, 18, was taken by Mercy Flight to Erie County Medical Center, where he was treated for multiple fractures and received emergency, trauma, medical/surgical, as well as in-patient rehabilitation care.
The Gifford family held a benefit on April 11, 2010, from which proceeds were intended to be donated to ECMC, Mercy Flight, Upper Mountain Fire Department, and the Lewiston Fire Department #1, which provided emergency services at the scene of the accident and/or emergency transport to ECMC.
On June 17, 2010, ECMC patient Michael Gifford and family presented a check in the amount of $7,000 to ECMC, in appreciation of the life-saving and follow-up care received. The Gifford family members expressed their appreciation to ECMC through the donation earmarked for the departments that saved Michael Gifford's life and provided follow-up care: the Trauma Intensive Care Unit, $4,000; the Medical/Surgical Unit (7th Floor), $1,500; and the Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit (8th Floor), $1,500.
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