St. Clair Hospital HouseCall _Vol V Issue 4
St. Clair Hospital’s community newsletter sharing new medical technologies, patient stories and health tips. This special issue celebrates the Hospital's 60 years of exceptional care with a look back at how a community vision came to life.
VOLUME V ISSUE 4 HouseCall 60 Years Ago A Community Vision Came to Life inside St. Clair Hospital marks its 60th anniversary with a timeline and reflections on how the Hospital has changed lives and the community. donations, the children who sold flowers, the women’s groups who united to form an extraordinarily effective auxiliary, and the business leaders who volunteered their expertise. Imagine the joy and pride they all felt when, after years of fundraising, St. Clair Hospital opened its doors in February 1954. In these pages, we celebrate St. Clair’s achievements, in pictures and words, and there is much to celebrate: six decades of expansions, innovations, improvements and awards. The spirit of this special Hospital is evident: the dedication to excellence, the responsiveness to community need, and the humanity of the physicians, nurses and caregiving staff. In 60 years, St. Clair has come far, from a small general hospital offering medical-surgical, maternity and emergency care to a highly honored, independent, acute care medical center with 328 beds and five satellite locations, offering advanced, high-quality care in multiple specialties, including heart, oncology, orthopaedics, mental health, women’s and children’s services, stroke care, and more. St. Clair’s evolution mirrors the history of the South Hills; the Hospital expanded its reach into northern Washington County and the western Allegheny County suburbs to keep pace with population growth, and innovated to keep pace with medical advancements, all to improve the lives of its patients. Change has been constant at St. Clair, a sign of health and vitality. T Celebrating 0 YEARS of qualitycare, growth, and medical innovations he history of St. Clair Hospital is distinctive. This is not a hospital that was built solely by banks, foundations and corporations, but by ordinary people who wanted a hospital of their own, close to home. On this anniversary, we remember the volunteers who went door-to-door soliciting 6 This aerial photo of St. Clair Hospital’s main campus in Mt. Lebanon shows how the Hospital has grown since it was originally built in 1954. 2 I HouseCall I Volume V Issue 4 Volume V Issue 4 I HouseCall I 3 PITTSBURGH, IN 1944. A nation at war and a city at work. Pittsburgh was a booming manufacturing center and factories lined the riverbanks. The city was bursting at the seams, and inevitably, people began moving to the outskirts, where there was space, clean air and the promise of new modern housing. That movement started in the ‘20s and ‘30s with the development of the automobile and bus. To accommodate these vehicles, Allegheny County began building roads in the city and out into the new “suburbs.” The so-called South County region was slow to develop, however, as it was not easily accessed — there was that massive obstacle known as Mt. Washington. South County, therefore, was considered “the country” — a bucolic region of large farms and coal fields, with rolling hills dotted by grazing cattle, and few paved roads. That changed with the construction of the Liberty Tunnels and Bridge in the mid-’20s, which opened up South County and triggered its dramatic transformation from farm community to residential suburb. The tunnel and the new roads paved the way, and the people came: from 2,258 in 1920 to 45,000 in 1936. Housing developments, schools, churches and businesses replaced the farms, and communities were born. In the ‘40s, post-war prosperity and returning soldiers, eager to have homes and families, fostered further development. By 1944, the population of the South Hills had swelled to more than 104,000. A community vision comes to life. A group of devoted volunteers begins work to build a hospital. Great Vision and Tenacity Inspire a Community Arthur S. Haines, M.D., a Mt. Lebanon physician, begins his campaign for a hospital in “South County” as the South Hills was then known. Dr. Haines was concerned about the healthcare needs of this surging population, and he had an idea: to build a hospital to serve the South Hills residents, in their own community. Pittsburgh had plenty of good hospitals, but the people of the South Hills had a disadvantage. Getting to those hospitals was difficult, especially in emergencies, and time consuming, as traffic tended to bottleneck at the tunnels. It could take 45 minutes to drive to the city hospitals. To Dr. Haines, this was unacceptable. He met with local leaders and held community meetings, and before long, he was leading a coalition of like-minded people. It would take almost 10 years, with setbacks and obstacles along the way. Haines never gave up. He was a man of both vision and tenacity. His vision inspired an entire community and his tenacity made the vision a reality. CELEBRATING YEARS 1954-2014 The first meeting at Mt. Lebanon Presbyterian Church attracts 22 community leaders. I 4 I HouseCall I Volume V Issue 4 LEADING PHYSICIANS & MEDICAL STAFF I ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY I GROWTH & EXPANSION Planning Begins Planning for St. Clair Memorial Hospital begins in 1944. The name honors Arthur St. Clair, a patriot, statesman, and Revolutionary War general, who became president of the Continental Congress during the period of the Articles of Confederation, making him, in effect, the president of the United States. A charter for a non-profit corporation is obtained. The Community Comes Together A group of 40 women, representing various service clubs, meets with Dr. Haines to form an auxiliary to raise money for the Hospital. With 28 vanguard members, the Women’s Hospital Auxiliary sets up shop in the Washington School in Mt. Lebanon and launches a colossal effort called “Together We Can Do It.” Fundraising efforts include bake sales, raffles, card parties and fashion shows. Children participate by selling flowers. A Location is Secured Nearly two dozen sites are considered for the new Hospital. Local businessman and civic leader Arthur Silhol, recognizing the need for the Hospital, agrees to purchase a 30-acre plot of land on Bower Hill Road and hold it until there is adequate funding to buy the land and build the Hospital there. 104,000 AREA POPULATION BOOMS! The area’s population rises dramatically as soldiers return 45,000 from World War II; many move to the South Hills area and start families. 2,258 1920 1936 1944 I EXCEPTIONAL PATIENT CARE I COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT Volume V Issue 4 I HouseCall I 5 A new hospital is born. And the number of patients exceeds all expectations. The Building Cornerstone is Laid The cornerstone for the Hospital is laid on May 23, 1953 by local civic leaders. The front lobby features a bronze plaque honoring the soldiers of World War II, donated by Arthur and Sara Silhol. Construction Begins After years of planning and fund raising, ground is broken on Bower Hill Road on October 20, 1951 and Hospital construction begins. First Hospital Administrator Takes Post Courtland E. Chandlee is named first Hospital Administrator. Women's Auxiliary Harlequin Ball to Raise Funds The first Harlequin Ball is held October 29, 1954, beginning a 50-year tradition with this highly successful fundraising event. The Womenâ€™s Auxiliary membership swells to 1,000 members. I 6 I HouseCall I Volume V Issue 4 LEADING PHYSICIANS & MEDICAL STAFF I ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY I GROWTH & EXPANSION A Grand Opening for Patients and the Community St. Clair Hospital opens February 22, 1954 with 104 beds and 35 bassinets. The new ultra-modern hospital is the first in the region to have piped-in oxygen and a voice intercom in every room. Over 10,000 people come to the open house and police are needed to direct traffic. Patients First On February 22, 1954 two-year-old Antonietta Daris arrives as the first patient, several hours before the doors are due to open. The staff admits her and treats her for an infection. On February 23, Mary Clair Barszczowski is the first baby born at St. Clair; her middle name marks the occasion. First Year Exceeds All Expectations 4,500 patients are admitted, 1,200 babies are born and 8,500 are treated in the ER, immediately validating the great need for the Hospital. The Hospital reaches full occupancy within months. The medical staff numbers 120 physicians. Population Boom Creates Need for Expansion In just two years, St. Clair is operating at capacity, treating 50 percent more patients than two years earlier. At its current size, the Hospital can barely accommodate the explosive growth of the South Hills â€” the population has more than tripled in a 20-year period. An expansion is urgently needed and another $600,000 is raised, culminating in a new wing housing an additional 40 beds and offering new services. Caring Nurses In addition to their regular clinical duties, nurses continue to cook and serve all meals to patients. I EXCEPTIONAL PATIENT CARE I COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT Volume V Issue 4 I HouseCall I 7 Continued growth. Expansions meet new needs of a booming population. A Major Expansion Begins As the Hospital consistently exceeds 95 percent occupancy rates, plans for additional expansion move forward. New patient care facilities will double the Hospital’s capacity from 160 to 300 beds. Every department and service is expanded or upgraded. This marks the Hospital's busiest time ever, forcing administration to move temporarily to trailers in the parking lot to accommodate continued growth in patient admissions and care. Fundraising Continues in Earnest The whole community takes part in raising funds for expansion. Local news personalities such as Marie Torre lend their name and talent to the effort in a bowling for charity event. As the nation’s space race heats up, the Women’s Auxiliary adopts a race to the moon theme for its annual Harlequin Ball. I 8 I HouseCall I Volume V Issue 4 LEADING PHYSICIANS & MEDICAL STAFF I ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY I GROWTH & EXPANSION Nursing Shortage Increased public access to healthcare and the effects of the Baby Boom create a nursing shortage. Nurses come out of retirement to help fill the demand at St. Clair. Multi-Million Dollar Expansion Complete The latest expansion makes room for a social service department, an additional 140 medical and surgical beds, six new operating rooms, a new maternity department, a larger nursery, an outpatient department, and expanded emergency facilities. Notably, the new wing is now air-conditioned. Leading Technologies Technological advances at the Hospital include the addition of the world’s fastest X-ray processing machine. The Hospital also introduces advanced Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) techniques. Critical Care In 1967, the Hospital adds a new Intensive Care Unit (ICU) as part of its $4.5 million expansion. In 1968, a state-of-the-art Coronary Intensive Care Unit (CICU) is added and medical staff can more closely monitor patients’ heart rhythms. Junior Volunteers The Hospital’s Junior Auxiliary, then known as the Clairettes, enters their second decade of service to the Hospital. Their legacy continues today. I EXCEPTIONAL PATIENT CARE I COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT Volume V Issue 4 I HouseCall I 9 Meeting the demands of today and tomorrow. Hospital introduces new technologies and new ways of delivering care. Emergency Transport Network Initiated Efforts to establish emergency transport via ambulance begin in the South Hills, spearheaded in part by Dr. Clara Jean Ersoz, Director of the Critical Care program at St. Clair, who provided medical guidance and research assistance. A critical gasoline shortage forces the closing of gas stations throughout the region. St. Clair cancels all non-emergency admissions and surgeries due to the subsequent shortage of supplies and the transportation DR. CLARA JEAN ERSOZ Director of the Critical Care Program difficulties faced by staff. First baby born at St. Clair, Mary Clair Barszczowski, helps the Hospital celebrate its 20th Anniversary on February 22, 1974. Demand for Services Increases in Record Numbers In just the past 10 years, admissions have nearly doubled, surgical operations have more than doubled, and emergencies and outpatient visits have tripled. The New Emergency Department is completed (May 1975), and a four-story 500-car parking garage is constructed. The maternity department expands visiting hours, offers sibling visitation, and begins prenatal classes for expectant parents. Ryan Homes owner Ed Ryan offers to donate winnings of his trotterâ€” renamed Intensive Clair by Hospital employees. She goes on to win more than $19,000 for the Hospital. Benjamin E. Snead appointed Hospital Administrator Succeeding the long-standing Courtland E. Chandlee. I 10 I HouseCall I Volume V Issue 4 LEADING PHYSICIANS & MEDICAL STAFF I ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY I GROWTH & EXPANSION Major Expansion Doubles the Size of Hospital St. Clair is again operating at 95 percent capacity, demanding another major expansion. A $28.5 million project, the largest in St. Clairâ€™s history, adds 99 more beds and doubles the square footage of the Hospital. At the grand opening of the new wing, Antonietta Daris Menke, St. Clairâ€™s first patient, cuts the ribbon while local high school bands and the community celebrate. A new logo, which includes cupped hands, indicates the caring environment the Hospital provides. Enhanced Services Added St. Clair develops new and enhanced services in same-day outpatient surgery, cardiac care, maternity care, and advanced diagnostic technology. I EXCEPTIONAL PATIENT CARE I COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT Volume V Issue 4 I HouseCall I 11 Expansions increase access to advanced care. Bringing doctors, patients and treatment closer. New Technology St. Clair begins using a CT scanner at the Hospital. CT scanners offer new, cutting-edge technology, helping doctors make more accurate diagnoses and improve treatment. An outpatient surgery center opens with 12 rooms, and the Occupational Therapy Department is established. A new GI Lab offers fiberoptic endoscopic diagnostic procedures, markedly improving visualization of intestinal problems. I 12 I HouseCall I Volume V Issue 4 LEADING PHYSICIANS & MEDICAL STAFF I ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY I GROWTH & EXPANSION New Diagnostic and Treatment Options Introduced The Greater Pittsburgh Cancer Treatment Center opens at St. Clair Hospital, offering outpatient radiation treatment. St. Clair opens South Hills Magnetic Imaging Institute in Bethel Park. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is considered state-of-the-art technology for diagnostic images of internal organs, spine and joints. Expansion Moves Physicians Closer to Patients St. Clair erects a three-story Professional Office Building adjacent to the Hospital, putting physicians just steps away from their hospitalized patients and offering convenient access to outpatients. The Parking Garage is expanded again, with two floors added. Family First The maternity department is renamed The Family Birth Center, reflecting the departmentâ€™s holistic philosophy. New ER Unit The Emergency Department adds a Minor Treatment Area to more quickly treat patients with less severe illnesses and injuries. St. Clair opens a new Mammography Center within the Medical Imaging Department. I EXCEPTIONAL PATIENT CARE I COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT Volume V Issue 4 I HouseCall I 13 Delivering new ways of care. Addressing the changing needs of patient care. Critical Patient Transport Through Auxiliary funding, a helipad is built to facilitate transfer of critical trauma patients via medical helicopters. In 1995, a Courtesy Van Transportation Service is launched for patients having difficulty securing private or public transportation, and valet service is added. Sleep Disorders Center Launched Providing comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders. State-of-the-Art Cardiac Cath Lab Opens A new Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory is built and staffed with a highly skilled team that includes board-certified cardiologists, specialty-trained nurses, and radiologic technologists. Leading the Way with the Nation’s First Robotic Pharmacy St. Clair Hospital dramatically changed the landscape of hospital pharmacy when it launched McKesson ROBOT-Rx, the first robotic drug distribution system designed to automate dispensing and restocking of bar-coded medications. St. Clair’s leadership paved the way for the nation’s hospitals to help achieve better medication management that improves patient safety and enhances operational efficiency, while also reducing costs. I 14 I HouseCall I Volume V Issue 4 LEADING PHYSICIANS & MEDICAL STAFF I ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY I GROWTH & EXPANSION Hospital Undergoes Extraordinary Expansion The Hospital’s Emergency Department is upgraded with the most advanced medical equipment. A new ‘C’ wing is added and the Emergency Department expands once again. The Family Birth Center adds an LDRP (Labor, Delivery, Recovery, Postpartum) wing. Another addition houses nuclear medicine, ultrasound, and MRI. New Heart Center Opens St. Clair opens a Heart Center in response to the high incidence of heart disease in the community and begins offering advanced, comprehensive coronary services to patients. Area residents now have the convenience of using the same hospital for testing, treatment, recovery and rehabilitation. The Operating Rooms undergo expansion, further advancing cardiac care capabilities. I EXCEPTIONAL PATIENT CARE I COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT Volume V Issue 4 I HouseCall I 15 The region’s leading healthcare provider. Recognized for technology, innovation and patient outcomes. Pioneering Patient Safety St. Clair deploys hand-held barcode scanners for bedside medication administration and shortly thereafter invents the first dual scan hand-held device that includes RFID (radio frequency scanning). Named VeriScan, the system further reduces medication errors and significantly improves patient safety. The technology is later sold to Hospira, and such devices become the standard of care in hospitals across the U.S. Improving Patient Care St. Clair begins using dedicated, ‘round-the-clock’ physician intensivists in critical care units. New, advanced imaging services, including MRI and advanced mammography, are offered at Early Intervention Program Adopted St. Clair becomes one of the first hospitals in the region to offer hearing screening to all newborns in 2000. the St. Clair Hospital Outpatient Center–Village Square in Bethel Park. A new 21-bed Nursing Unit and a 12-bed, state-of-the-art ICU open. Cancer Treatment Center Opens The Cancer Center, a partnership with UPMC, opens, offering residents access to advanced, comprehensive, and high-quality care close to home. A PET scanner is purchased, adding enhanced diagnostic capabilities. St. Clair is name d one o 100 Be f the st Plac es to W ork in Pennsy lvania a nd is th only Pit e tsburgh h ospital make th to e list six years in a row. I 16 I HouseCall I Volume V Issue 4 LEADING PHYSICIANS & MEDICAL STAFF I ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY I GROWTH & EXPANSION James M. Collins Appointed President and CEO Mr. Collins takes over the helm from the retiring Benjamin E. Snead who has led the Hospital since 1974. New ER Quickly Becomes the Region’s Busiest, with Shortest Wait Times A newly expanded Emergency Department opens at St. Clair, with the capacity to serve 80,000 patients per year. The 19,000-square-foot addition includes 46 treatment rooms, which include six pediatric rooms, seven Fast Track rooms for minor injuries and three Behavioral Health rooms. St. Clair’s Emergency Department soon becomes the busiest in the region. Multiple renovations of patient rooms and treatment areas continue, greatly enhancing patient flow and the patient and visitor experience. Benefactor Ada Rossin and granddaughter Liz Stephans cut the ribbon for the newly expanded ER. Prestigious Recognition St. Clair is honored by the Hospital Association of Pennsylvania for having the fastest “door-to-balloon” rates among all southwestern Pennsylvania hospitals. “Door-to-balloon” refers to the time that elapses from the moment a heart attack victim enters the ER until he or she is treated in the Cardiac Cath Lab with balloon angioplasty. St. Clair achieves the highest ranking for patient satisfaction of hospitals nationwide. Hospitals across the U.S. and abroad visit St. Clair to study its use of "lean engineering" to improve processes. I EXCEPTIONAL PATIENT CARE I COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT Volume V Issue 4 I HouseCall I 17 Center of exceptional care. Ranked among the100 Top Hospitals in the nation, St. Clair provides advanced, high-quality healthcare to more than 480,000 residents of southwestern PA and is the largest employer in the South Hills. Robotics Enhances Minimally Invasive Surgery with da Vinci Si System St. Clair surgeons begin using the world’s most advanced robotic surgery system — the da Vinci Si — in a specially designed OR suite. This new sophisticated robotic platform is designed to expand the surgeon's capabilities and offer state-of-the-art minimally invasive surgery. Three new leading-edge operating rooms open, bringing the Hospital’s total number of OR suites to 13. Each year, more than 14,000 surgical procedures are Attracting Leading Physicians We have a growing staff of the area’s leading physicians who choose to practice here because they see St. Clair as a state-of-the-art hospital committed to outstanding patient care. performed at St. Clair. Nursery Nation Honoring the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2010 Super Bowl run, St. Clair’s “Nursery Nation” became an international Internet sensation and media phenomenon, reaching an estimated 26 million TV viewers. I 18 I HouseCall I Volume V Issue 4 LEADING PHYSICIANS & MEDICAL STAFF I ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY I GROWTH & EXPANSION Expanding Outpatient Care The Outpatient Center at Village Square more than triples in size, bringing physicians in many specialties and comprehensive diagnostic services, including lab, Specialty Services Enhanced St. Clair opens a new Breast Care Center at its Outpatient Center at Village Square, offering the most advanced diagnostic services for women, including the South Hills’ first 3D mammogram, all in a spa-like setting. The Cancer Center, a joint venture between UPMC and St. Clair, undergoes a major expansion that includes the addition of a cutting-edge linear accelerator for the radiologic treatment of cancer. imaging, cardio-diagnostic testing, and more, under one roof. St. Clair opens a brand new two-story, 40,000 square foot Outpatient Center in Peters Township that also features comprehensive diagnostic services and physicians in a patient-focused environment. The Sipe Infusion Center opens, providing a comfortable setting for patients receiving chemotherapy, transfusions and IV medications. Quality Urgent Care St. Clair opens its first Urgent Care at the Outpatient Center at Village St. Clair is named one of the 100 Top Hospitals in the U.S. by Thomson Reuters for outstanding performance in clinical outcomes, patient safety, patient satisfaction, and clinical efficiency. Square in Bethel Park, offering “non-emergency” medical services 12 hours a day, seven days a week throughout the year by board-certified physicians. I EXCEPTIONAL PATIENT CARE I COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT Volume V Issue 4 I HouseCall I 19 C E L E B R AT I N G 60 YEARS St. Clair Hospital not only serves a community, it is a community. It’s a community populated by many different kinds of people: people who have shaped this institution, and people whose lives have been impacted by it. It’s a community of healthcare professionals — professional, competent and caring — and of those whose work supports the care they provide. It’s also a community of patients; of people who live in the neighborhoods that surround St. Clair and seek the expert care that the Hospital has always delivered. It’s everyone in the South Hills, western suburbs, and northern Washington County who comes together at St. Clair Hospital. In this section, we introduce you to 10 individuals who form a mosaic of people who help make up the St. Clair community, including: A retired couple who support and donate their time to the Hospital in myriad ways. A trio of brave sisters who met breast cancer head on. An obstetrician who devoted his 55- year career to the care of women and infants at St. Clair. A woman who has a distinct and special relationship with this Hospital, going all the way back to the day it opened its doors. A physician administrator whose visionary leadership echoes that of his predecessors who founded and nurtured this Hospital. Each one is special and each has a unique and personal story to add to the thousands of stories that comprise the history of St. Clair Hospital. St. Clair Hospital is their hospital, and they are eager to share their stories of why it means so much to them. Our Very First Patient is captured in two artifacts within the Hospital archives: a black-and-white photograph of a little girl, her mother and a nurse; and a battered green ledger book filled with handwritten, fountain-pen entries listing each admission to the Hospital. There, in fading blue ink on the top line, is the No. 1, followed by the name “Antonietta Daris” and the date. Antonietta Daris Menke T AntoniettA DAris Menke hroughout her life, Ann Menke has had a special relationship with St. Clair Hospital. That relationship began 60 years ago on the day that the Hospital opened its doors and welcomed Ann, then known as Antonietta Daris, as its very first patient. That moment 20 I HouseCall I Volume V Issue 4 serving the community “ I still find it hard to believe that I was the very first patient at this hospital ... in addition to delivering my babies here, I’ve had several surgeries ... no one knew I was ‘a VIP’ — but then, at St. Clair, everyone is treated like a VIP . ANTONIETTA DARIS MENKE FIRST PATIENT AT ST. CLAIR HOSPITAL ” The photograph has become an iconic representation of the early history of St. Clair. The images of the beautiful baby with the blonde curls, her pretty young mother with a protective arm around her child, and a caring nurse reaching toward the baby with her skilled hands, sent an important message to the community: here, in this hospital that we built together, the sick are healed. This is why we worked so long and so hard to build St. Clair Hospital. Every picture tells a story, but sometimes it doesn’t tell the whole story. Although Ann Menke was only 17 months old and has no memories of her week-long admission, she has heard the story in detail from her parents, and as a loving and loyal daughter, she knows well their stories and the events that brought them to that moment. Margherita and Marcello Daris were a young married couple, in their early 20s, who immigrated to the United States from Italy in 1951. Neither spoke English. Marcello was from Trieste, and Margherita hailed from Naples. They came first to Verona, Pennsylvania, where their sponsor placed them, with their infant daughter, Gina. They later moved to a small house in Bridgeville and before long, a second daughter, Antonietta, arrived. In February 1954, 17-month old Antonietta became ill with a gastrointestinal virus and had difficulty keeping any food or fluids down. She soon developed a fever, and the fever climbed higher as she became dehydrated. Her parents were frightened and not sure what to do. Fortunately, a neighbor came to their aid, taking the baby and her mother to see her own doctor, who happened to speak Italian. He examined Antonietta and instructed Margherita to take her to the hospital in Mt. Lebanon, first thing in the morning. He didn’t mention that it was not yet open. On the morning of February 22, 1954, Margherita and Marcello bundled up the sick baby and drove to nearby Bower Hill Road. Another neighbor came along to translate for them. Marcello, who still resides in Bridgeville, dropped them off at around 9 a.m. — one hour ahead of the scheduled 10 a.m. opening — and went on to work. Little Antonietta was seen in the Emergency Department, where the doctor told the family that she needed to be admitted immediately. For the staff of the new Hospital, this pediatric admission was a surprise. Everything was ready for the first patients to arrive: the Hospital was immaculate and well equipped, and the staff was so excited that most had arrived for work an hour early. Courtland Chandlee, the administrator, expected the first patient at around noon; a gentleman had called the day before, asking if he could reserve a room. It was assumed that he would be the first admission. But instead, Antonietta Daris became St. Clair’s first patient. For her mother, who was just 25, the experience was initially frightening. “My mother told me that she was already scared, with such a sick baby,” Menke recalls. “Then she noticed as the nurse took us to the room that the Hospital was completely silent. She realized that every room they passed was empty. She became alarmed and wondered, ‘What kind of hospital has no patients? Where is everybody?’ She didn’t know if this was what American hospitals were like. But she stayed, so that I could get well. I often think of how brave she was to stay, once she knew that it was a brand new, untested hospital and we were the only people there. She didn’t speak English so she couldn’t understand what people were saying to her, but she stayed with me the whole time, and she told me that they took good care of me.” Five other patients were admitted on that inaugural day of operation, including a woman in labor who gave birth the following day to St. Clair’s first baby, Mary Clair Barszczowski. Continued on page 22 The original handwritten ledger shows Antonietta’s name as the first patient. Volume V Issue 4 I HouseCall I 21 C E L E B R AT I N G 60 YEARS Continued from page 21 On day two, the number of admissions doubled to 12, and by the end of six months, there had been1,999 admissions. From there, St. Clair’s admissions skyrocketed and the growth has never slowed. When Menke, who now lives in the Morgan section of South Fayette and works as a medical secretary, visited St. Clair in October 2013, she was greeted ceremoniously and presented with a commemorative etched silver frame containing the photograph of her 1954 admission. “I’ve been back to St. Clair many times, and it’s always nice to be here. I still find it hard to believe that I was the very first patient at this hospital that has become so big and so busy. In addition to delivering my babies, Kim and Lori, here, I’ve had several surgeries and I’ve always had a good experience at St. Clair. With those other admissions, no one knew I was ‘a VIP’ — but then, at St. Clair, everyone is treated like a VIP.” A St. Clair Pioneer FrAnk A. reDA, M.D. O n July 1, 1958, Frank A. Reda, M.D. first entered the front lobby of St. Clair Memorial Hospital as a member of the medical staff. He walked the 60-foot distance from the front entrance to the maternity department and began his life’s work, delivering babies and caring for women as an obstetrician-gynecologist. He delivered 6,300 babies over several decades, all at St. Clair. “Every single one,” he says, “was a special event for the family and me.” St. Clair’s maternity department in 1958 was a world unto itself. Dr. Reda, 90, recalls that all parts of it — labor rooms, delivery rooms, the postpartum unit and nurseries — were located together in one wing on the ground floor, so it was a neat, compact place. This was unique, he says. “We all worked closely together and got to know each other quickly; everyone on the staff became one big family. The maternity department was right off the lobby so women in labor didn’t have far to go. Fathers waited right out there in the lobby. It grew very quickly. We were delivering on average 100 babies a month in no time at all, drawing from all the South Hills communities, which had many young families.” Dr. Reda grew up in Clarksburg, West Virginia, and went to college at Duke and West Virginia universities. He was drafted into the Army medical corps and after 18 months of service he was discharged to attend medical school at Virginia Commonwealth University. He served an internship in Kings County, New York, and started a practice in Terra Alta, West Virginia. I’ve been here for each addition and I’ve watched [the Hospital] grow to where it is today… To be rated among the 100 Top Hospitals is amazing – it speaks for itself. FRANK A. REDA, M.D. “ ” “I did a little of everything; I gave anesthesia, delivered babies and assisted in surgery. I liked obstetrics and pediatrics best.” It was after a residency at the Medical College of Virginia that he was drawn to Pittsburgh, where his brother lived in Mt. Lebanon. “My sister-in-law had an OB that she liked, Dr. Reese Dawson. He was chair of the OB/GYN department at St. Clair Hospital and I visited there and met him. I liked the hospital and I was fortunate to be invited by Dr. Dawson, an excellent OB, to join his practice. I joined the medical staff at St. Clair Hospital on July 1, 1958.” Dr. Reda witnessed transformative changes in obstetrics over his years of practice. “When I started practicing, fathers were not very often in the labor room. Things changed, with fathers coming first in the labor room and then for the delivery. Some obstetricians didn’t want fathers in, especially during difficult deliveries or C-sections, and not all fathers wanted to be there. Eventually, the father’s participation became more common; now it’s accepted as the norm.” 22 I HouseCall I Volume V Issue 4 serving the community When Dr. Reda was a young obstetrician, he and his partner were on-call every other night. “We didn’t get a lot of sleep in those days, and I think it’s better now that there are large practices and the doctors can rotate on-call responsibility.” A significant change in OB, he believes, was ultrasound. “Ultrasound enabled us to follow the course of the pregnancy and identify problems early without the patient getting x-rays.” St. Clair’s maternity department has also undergone transformative change since 1955. Today, it is known as the Family Birth Center, a name that reflects the family-centered philosophy that permeates the environment and clinical practices. Babies share rooms with their mothers and are cared for with their mothers by a single nurse in a model known as “Mother-Baby Care.” In this system, the nurse acts as expert resource, educator and role model. The Family Birth Center emphasizes comfort and recognizes that childbirth is a family event, but doesn’t sacrifice safety; every room is fully equipped for emergencies and there is a six-bed, Level II neonatal intensive care unit. In-house pediatric coverage is available 24/7 to assure the well-being of the more than 1,400 babies born at St. Clair every year. Being a part of St. Clair Hospital for more than five decades is a source of enormous satisfaction for Dr. Reda. “I’ve been here for each addition and I’ve watched it grow to where it is today, offering many new procedures including laparoscopy and robotics, expanded care for cancer, interventional radiology and the outstanding cardiac center. To be rated among the 100 Top Hospitals is amazing — it speaks for itself.” Barbara J. Bahl, Ph.D. and Frank A. Reda, M.D. Volume V Issue 4 I HouseCall I 23 C E L E B R AT I N G 60 YEARS Cindy Gaber, R.N. comforts orthopaedic patient Denise Lazzini of McDonald. The Heart of St. Clair CinDy GAber, r.n. O ne might say that Cindy Gaber is loyal to St. Clair Hospital. She was born at St. Clair Hospital, and has worked at the Hospital as a registered nurse for 26 years — almost her entire professional career. Except for a brief period living in Texas and working in home healthcare, the Upper St. Clair resident has always lived in Pittsburgh’s South Hills and worked at St. Clair. Gaber says she is proud to be a nurse at St. Clair, a hospital that she says is designed entirely for patient satisfaction and excellent patient outcomes. “This is a great hospital,” she states with conviction. “St. Clair has to be exceptional in order to retain our independence.” As nurse manager of Unit 5A, the orthopaedic unit, she supervises the care of patients undergoing joint replacements, surgery for fractures and spinal problems, and treatment of trauma and back pain. The unit includes 22 orthopaedic beds and an eight-bed rehabilitation unit. She oversees an interdisciplinary team of approximately 50, including nurses, nursing assistants, and unit secretaries, and is responsible for clinical and non-clinical operations of her unit. In her crisp white uniform, Gaber is the very picture of a professional nurse. At St. Clair, she explains, a nurse wears white — something that is unusual in this era of multicolored scrubs. “All the registered nurses wear white at St. Clair,” she says. “We went back to white uniforms about five years ago, as a courtesy to patients. Wearing white makes it easier for the patients to identify the nurses.” Gaber continues to practice as a clinician as much as possible, despite her 24 I HouseCall I Volume V Issue 4 serving the community administrative responsibilities. It’s her preference to be a “hands-on manager” who gets out on the floor to interact with her staff and help care for the patients and families. She feels that it gives her greater credibility as well as firsthand knowledge of any challenges the staff is confronting. And, it gives her personal satisfaction. Given her longevity at the Hospital, Gaber is well aware of St. Clair’s history and evolution. She says she can remember when there were just two floors, and she is amazed by the ongoing growth. “Not everyone realizes how much specialty care we provide and how progressive we are. Our care is outstanding in many specialties.” That includes her own specialty, orthopaedics, which has one of St. Clair’s highest patient satisfaction scores. “We strive to improve patient care and have made some significant changes that produce great results. My unit initiated a bedside change-of-shift report and bedside charting, as part of an effort to provide more patient-centered care. My unit also developed a mentor program for new nurses that has been very successful.” Over the years, she says, changes in the healthcare industry have forced healthcare professionals to adapt their practices. One such change is in reimbursement patterns, which led to shorter stays that she believes made nurses become more efficient. “We had to prepare patients for discharge in far less time. When you have to do in two days what you once had a week to do, you learn to work smarter and faster. All the technological advances took some getting used to, but ultimately they have improved patient care and patient safety. We have a team-oriented, patient-centered work environment; the physicians here respect the nurses and collaborate well with us; the respect is mutual.” “My work is never boring,” Gaber says, “and the days go fast when you’re so busy. I get a lot of satisfaction from my work; I love to see patients going home with renewed mobility or decreased pain, and I appreciate the positive feedback from families. I also love watching new nurses grow in confidence. St. Clair Hospital is a good place to work: turnover is low, morale is high and we have good teamwork. “I’m proud to tell people where I work.” of the Hospital’s existence; he knows it as well as anyone can. St. Clair Hospital is a much different place today than when Dr. Yeasted first arrived in 1978. He was a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and was board-certified in internal medicine, with a private practice. The Hospital was just 24 years old then, and, despite four expansions in those years, had become overcrowded. With the population of the South Hills continuing to climb, the occupancy rate was running consistently near 95 percent, straining the resources of the Hospital. St. Clair’s administrators and directors knew that expansion was essential, but that this one had to be different. With wisdom and foresight they embarked on a bold strategic plan that would add physical space, enhance existing services, and add new ones that would revitalize St. Clair and position it favorably within an increasingly competitive environment. That mid-’70s expansion would give St. Clair the capacity to be the place where all residents of the South Hills, from infants to seniors, could turn to have their healthcare needs met. It was not simply about expanded space; it was about expansive ideas. And fortuitously, Dr. Yeasted came to St. Clair just as all this ramping up was underway. In 1986, he was named chairman of the Department of Medicine, and in 1993, he joined the board of directors. He became Chief Medical Officer in 2000. “St. Clair Hospital has an interesting history,” Dr. Yeasted says. “It was established because people didn’t want to go into the city for medical care, and sometimes they literally couldn’t. There’s an old story about a trolley accident in the South Hills, and there was a critical delay in moving injured Chief Medical Officer, G. Alan Yeasted, M.D. Leadership and Vision G. AlAn yeAsteD, M.D. ChieF MeDiCAl oFFiCer hen G. Alan Yeasted, M.D., executive vice-president and Chief Medical Officer at St. Clair Hospital, speaks about the Hospital’s 60th anniversary, he likes to refer to it as “only the first 60 years.” His optimism about St. Clair is boundless, and his vision of the institution’s future is bright. He has been with St. Clair for more than half W Continued on page 26 Volume V Issue 4 I HouseCall I 25 C E L E B R AT I N G 60 YEARS “ We have leading technology and excellent care, which attract the best and brightest doctors. G. ALAN YEASTED, M.D. CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER ” G. Alan Yeasted, M.D. with the Hospital’s first-ever patient Antonietta Daris Menke. Continued from page 25 victims to the emergency rooms, because traffic was so bad at the Liberty Tunnels. It made it clear that the South Hills needed its own emergency room and hospital. The founders recognized this and created St. Clair to meet that need.” St. Clair continues to do exactly that, he says, although with a level of sophistication that the founders could not have imagined. “St. Clair is often distinguished by the Heart Center, Cancer Center and the Emergency Department. Cardiac and cancer care are two services that you want to have as close to home as possible. Cardiac care is one of the most important services a hospital can offer a community, and the Heart Center at St. Clair is outstanding. In order to deliver these services at our level of quality, you need to have support services, such as Infectious Disease and Radiology. “Our Emergency Department (ED) is extraordinary. The processes and environment are designed with a ‘lean engineering’ approach for efficiency and a patient-centered focus. Every room is identically equipped to enhance efficiency. The ED staff has great ‘esprit de corps,' the nursing staff is top-quality, and all of our physicians are board-certified.” Women and Children Services is also an essential service to the community, Dr. Yeasted says. “Patient satisfaction with maternity services is exceptionally high, and we will continue offering this service. We have excellent OBs, including some recent additions to the staff. We have 24/7 in-house pediatric coverage so a pediatrician is on hand for every delivery.” Dr. Yeasted also touts the Hospital’s new Breast Care Center at St. Clair’s Outpatient Center in Bethel Park. The 26 I HouseCall I Volume V Issue 4 center’s spa-like ambience is designed to provide patients a calm, warm environment amidst its state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging technology, including stereotactic biopsy and 3D breast tomosynthesis. He believes that St. Clair has numerous strengths that set it apart, not the least of which are its progressive care and highly credentialed physicians. “St. Clair was once seen as a small community hospital. Today, it’s an independent, acute care hospital providing high quality, advanced care to more than 480,000 residents of Western Pennsylvania. The core of our strength comes from our nurses and our growing number of leading physicians. We have low turnover among nurses, so the combination of longevity and experience means clinical excellence. We’re able to recruit phenomenal physicians. For doctors, St. Clair is ideal. We have leading technology and excellent care, which attract the best and brightest doctors.” St. Clair’s independence is a major strength. And the Hospital’s success, Dr. Yeasted believes, is fostered by stability in leadership. “We are fortunate to have had only three CEOs in our history — something quite rare. Our board of directors, who hire the CEO, had the foresight to make a deliberate decision regarding this, knowing that CEO turnover is not healthy for the facility.” Donald Orr, M.D., a radiologist and chair of the Hospital’s Medical Imaging department, has known and worked closely with Dr. Yeasted since 1980, and credits Dr. Yeasted’s leadership as CMO to the Hospital’s success. “Dr. Yeasted is St. Clair’s overall champion of quality. There are numerous examples of quality improvement initiatives for which he deserves credit: the addition of 24/7 intensivists for the critical care units; more robust, 24/7 in-house pediatric coverage; the expansion and development of the ED; and successfully establishing an Electrophysiology Lab at St. Clair. He plays a primary role in the recruiting of new doctors. He also plays a major role in regulatory compliance.” “St. Clair is a well-respected, independent hospital of superior quality,” Dr. Yeasted says. “The 60 year anniversary is wonderful, but it’s only the first 60 years. We have a very bright future.” serving the community Embodying the Spirit of St. Clair volunteers AnD beneFACtors DiCk AnD AliCe pAtton school English teacher, church organist and choir director, has served as president of the St. Clair Hospital Auxiliary and was the editor of the Auxiliary newsletter. She edited the St. Clair Hospital Auxiliary Cookbook, produced in 2000; she reviewed 600 recipes for that project. Both have been deeply involved in Auxiliary events over the years, helping the Auxiliary in their efforts to raise $6 million for new equipment, programs and projects. The Pattons reside in Upper St. Clair and are New Jersey natives who chose to retire in Pittsburgh. “We had lived here before and we loved Pittsburgh,” Dick explains. “We love the arts and this area has so much to offer. After we moved back here, we began volunteering, as a chance to give back and meet people; St. Clair is the principal place we volunteer and we love this Hospital.” Dick says that serving as an escort is interesting and satisfying. “I meet so many wonderful people, and they want to talk. The escorts often hear their entire story, because they see us as regular people and feel safe with us. My favorite part of the job is escorting the new babies and mothers when they are ready to go home.” Continued on page 28 W hen I am working at the information desk in the front lobby, I am the face of St. Clair Hospital,” says longtime volunteer Alice Patton. And what a wonderful face she has: smiling, welcoming, and emanating warmth and concern for the person in front of her. It’s a face that puts anxious people at ease and offers them an immediate human connection. “Working the front desk is much more than giving directions to the right hospital department,” Alice says. “It’s greeting people, listening to them and helping them.” Alice Patton and her husband, Dick, have been volunteers and financial donors at St. Clair since 1996. They have contributed to the Hospital in many capacities. Dick, a retired pharmaceutical company executive, volunteers as an escort once a week and has also helped manage the Gift Shop for the past 15 years, overseeing the finances and buying. He actually helped design the present Gift Shop and has served on numerous Hospital committees and fundraising projects. Alice, a former high Dick and Alice Patton Volunteers Mary Blume, June Conroy, M.T. Geraci, and Dick Patton. There is such satisfaction in knowing that when a patient or visitor needs someone, you can be that someone. “ DICK PATTON ” Volume V Issue 4 I HouseCall I 27 C E L E B R AT I N G 60 YEARS Continued from page 27 As parents of three children themselves, the Pattons appreciate the excellence of the care provided at St. Clair. They started donating to the Hospital when their children were treated in the Emergency Room here. “Our kids were 13, 11 and 9 when we first moved here, and we always received good care, so we wanted to support the Hospital,” Dick says. “I used to work for Merck and Company, Inc., and Merck always matched our gifts; in fact, they still do.” Dick and Alice Patton embody the spirit of St. Clair Hospital: caring, giving and neighborly. They are devoted to the Hospital and proud to be associated with it. “St. Clair is a very caring hospital, interested in people and concerned for community,” Alice says. “The staff is superb; the nurses are so nice. The Hospital keeps on top of things, always having the latest technology, services and equipment. At St. Clair, they are always looking to the future, for new ways to care for people. People love this Hospital.” When the Pattons report for their volunteer hours, they wear their “uniforms” — for Dick, a bright red escort jacket, and for Alice, the white blouse and olive vest that identifies her as a front desk worker. Both also wear a scattering of honor pins, indicating the Hospital’s appreciation of their service and the thousands of hours of their time that they give to St. Clair: since 1996, they have together contributed 25,000 hours of service. “The pins are nice, but the great reward is in the work itself,” says Dick. “Meeting and greeting people in a time of need, and helping them. There is such satisfaction in knowing that when a patient or visitor needs someone, you can be that someone.” St. Clair Forever Changes Their Lives the resnik sisters I n 2012, the Resnik sisters — Lori, Cindy and Linda — made a brave decision to share with the public their very private experiences with breast cancer, by telling their story to HouseCall. Their goal was to express their gratitude for the outstanding care they received at St. Clair Hospital and to educate other women about breast cancer and encourage them to get screening mammograms. Their story was compelling, but not just because of their medical circumstances, unusual as they are. Breast cancer has impacted their family in a way that almost defies belief: all four sisters in the family have had to confront the disease, each in a different way. Four sisters, four journeys, braided together in their mutual support and dignified response to unimaginable adversity. That was the real story, the story that resonated with HouseCall readers throughout the St. Clair Hospital communities. The Resnik sisters, Lori, Cindy and Linda at the family farm in Weirton, West Virginia. 28 I HouseCall I Volume V Issue 4 serving the community Lori and Cindy were diagnosed with breast cancer, but with different kinds. Each had a bilateral mastectomy and breast reconstruction, and underwent courses of chemotherapy and medication. Linda had a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy because of her high risk for breast cancer. And their sister Dianna died from breast cancer, 10 years ago. Lori Resnik Hawthorne was post-mastectomy and in the midst of chemotherapy when the story was published in 2012. She has had two more surgeries in 2013: the “exchange” procedure, in which tissue expanders in her chest were replaced with silicone implants, and one month later, the removal of her ovaries and fallopian tubes, all performed at St. Clair Hospital. She is doing well, and says that because her type of cancer carries a high risk of recurrence, she is followed closely by her doctors, breast surgeon Raye J. Budway, M.D., and oncologist Vincent Reyes, M.D. “I had some side effects from the chemotherapy but it’s improving,” Lori says. “I kept working full time, just missing some work after each surgery. I’ve realized that being strong is not a quality you are born with; you learn to be strong. I’m optimistic; I fought through all of this and I’ll keep on fighting.” The story made the sisters local “celebrities” and brought them an appearance on KDKA-TV. “After the story came out,” says Linda, “I was amazed at how many people told me they saw it. It was a little overwhelming — strangers would come up to me! Several women said to me, ‘I saw your story and it reminded me to schedule my mammogram.’” Lori says that although seeing herself on posters at bus stops and in shopping malls took some getting used to, it was fun to hear the comments and encouragement from people. “Overall, telling our story was a positive experience. It made women stop and think. Dr. Budway gives copies of the story to her patients in similar circumstances, so it’s still having an impact.” A Multi-Generational Impact And for the next generation of women in this remarkable family, the impact has been profound. Cindy’s daughter Kristen was so moved by the HouseCall story that she took a quote from it to a tattoo artist and had a fragment of the words tattooed on her right side, where they are a permanent and very personal testament to her mother and her aunts: “Together, they are a powerhouse: a formidable and unstoppable force, eloquent and honest, deeply wounded but heart-strong.” Sharing Their Experience Helps Others Her younger sister, Cindy Resnik Bartram, is also doing well and is focused on the blessings that her own cancer journey brought to her. “As bad as this was, it brought my husband, our four kids, and me closer. It made us realize what matters. My friends and co-workers appreciated the story because, although they knew some of what was going on, they knew more after they read the story and they understood better; they became even more supportive. That was an unexpected benefit. We were all approached at times by women with breast cancer who viewed us as a resource. That felt great. We knew when we agreed to do this that we were opening up our lives, but it was worth it. Even in our own family, the story inspired some cousins to have BRCA gene testing.” Linda Resnik Russell, the youngest sister, had a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy and breast reconstruction one year ago — the same surgery that received recent worldwide media attention when actress Angelina Jolie had it done. Linda says that although the recovery was tough, she is confident that she made the right choice. Linda’s sisters and many others are proud of her for having the courage to make the decision, because of the family history. “ Several women said to me, ‘I saw your story and it reminded me to schedule my mammogram.’ LINDA RESNIK RUSSELL ” A pasture at the Resnik family farm. Volume V Issue 4 I HouseCall I 29 C E L E B R AT I N G 60 YEARS New Physicians Helping Expand the Future of Medicine jeFFrey C. liu, M.D. T he rapid growth of the South Hills, northern Washington County, and the western suburbs of Allegheny County has created a need for high quality physicians to meet the healthcare demands of the area’s burgeoning and diverse population. As St. Clair Hospital looks to the future, a key strength is its ability to continually attract top talent from worldrenowned medical schools and teaching hospitals, offering multiple specialties. One of the many outstanding young physicians who have joined the medical services staff is a cardiac electrophysiologist — an addition that further enhances the Hospital’s highly respected, award-winning, cardiac care program, and showcases its fast-paced journey into the future of modern healthcare. Murrysville native, now Shadyside resident, Jeffrey C. Liu, M.D., is a board-certified cardiologist who specializes in the treatment of cardiac rhythm disorders, or abnormal heartbeat patterns. He diagnoses and treats “arrhythmias” using the most advanced technologies in this dynamic, rapidly growing field. With Dr. Liu on board, St. Clair Hospital has added to its spectrum of cardiac services a comprehensive cardiac Electrophysiology Lab that offers heart rhythm patients the most sophisticated and progressive diagnostic and therapeutic care — care that previously was available only in the region’s larger, academic medical centers. With multiple options of where to practice, Dr. Liu says he chose St. Clair Hospital because St. Clair is at the leading edge of cardiac care, with the most advanced diagnostic and therapeutic technologies for the care of patients with heart problems. “St. Clair Hospital has long had a very strong cardiology program with an excellent electrophysiologist, Puvalai M. Vijaykumar, M.D. Together, we enhance the Hospital’s capacity to provide advanced cardiac services, including cardiac ablations, to correct rhythm disorders,” says Dr. Liu. “I’m honored to be here at St. Clair, to be playing a part in this progress.” Cardiac electrophysiology is a specialty within a specialty and is currently the most progressive discipline in cardiovascular care. Physicians in this specialty complete fellowships in cardiology and then do a second fellowship in the study, diagnosis and treatment of rhythm disorders, which are an increasingly common form of heart disease. Although the field developed in the early ‘80s, new technologies have fostered advances that are emerging “on an almost monthly basis,” says Liu, making the field one of the most exciting in medicine. “EP has many different aspects, including the implantation of pacemakers and defibrillators, and there has been an incredible explosion of progress recently. St. Clair has the most advanced, state-of-the-art technology, which makes diagnosis and treatment of arrhythmias extremely precise and effective. This is reassuring to the patients,” Liu says. The heart has a natural pacemaker that sends out impulses to the heart muscle that regulate the heartbeat, stimulating it to contract and relax, pumping blood to the lungs and body “ We are at the leading edge of cardiac care... new technologies have fostered advances that are emerging on an almost monthly basis. JEFFREY C. LIU, M.D. ” 30 I HouseCall I Volume V Issue 4 serving the community in a steady rhythm. When the electrical signals go awry, the result is an abnormal heartbeat, which can be uncomfortable and in some cases, may interfere with the heart’s ability to pump effectively. Irregularities in the heart’s electrical system arise from a specific, tiny spot in the heart muscle and can produce feelings of lightheadedness, palpitations and a racing heart. Liu’s expertise is in treating these erratic heartbeats with a procedure known as cardiac ablation, in which the diseased tissue is burned away and a normal rhythm re-established. “Most of the ablations I do are for supraventricular tachycardia, a fast rhythm from the upper chambers. Most people who have this have otherwise healthy hearts,” he explains. Cardiac ablation is performed in St. Clair’s expanded Cardiac Catheterization Lab under light sedation. A thin catheter is placed peripherally and threaded to the heart. Dr. Liu employs a highly specialized technique called cardiac mapping, which creates a 3-D image without using any radiation. At St. Clair, a mapping system called the EnSite Velocity is used, and is so precise that only the smallest area of tissue is targeted and burned away. The procedure cures the disorder and recovery is rapid. “With the Velocity system, we can sense the heart’s electrical activity, we can pace the heart, we can study the abnormal rhythms, and we can identify their source. It’s a critical tool,” according to Dr. Liu. JEFFREY C. LIU, M.D. Dr. Liu earned his medical degree at Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia. He completed residencies at Baltimore VA Medical Center and University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore. Dr. Liu completed fellowships in Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology and Cardiovascular Medicine at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He is board-certified in Cardiovascular Diseases by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Liu with a sophisticated mapping system in the new Catheterization Lab at St. Clair Hospital. Volume V Issue 4 I HouseCall I 31 C E L E B R AT I N G 60 I YEARS Building on the PAst for An eVen stronger future The Perspective of the Chairs of St. Clair’s Boards of Directors n today’s turbulent healthcare environment, every hospital needs masterful leadership in order to compete, survive, grow and thrive; it needs leaders who possess vision, courage and practicality. St. Clair Hospital has had such exemplary leadership since its beginning, and is fortunate to have exactly that kind of leadership in 2014, personified by Melvin D. Rex, Chairman of St. Clair Hospital, and Thomas M. Medwig, chairman of St. Clair Health Corporation, which operates St. Clair Hospital, St. Clair Medical Services, St. Clair Hospital Foundation, and other subsidiaries. Mel Rex, a longtime resident of Upper St. Clair, has been a member of the Hospital board of directors for the last seven years. He had previously served on the board in the ‘90s and was happy to become involved again. For Rex, the Hospital’s 60th anniversary is an occasion for the entire South Hills region to celebrate. “St. Clair Hospital is a huge asset to this community,” he says, “and the fact that we have grown so much and become more of a tertiary-level healthcare facility is remarkable. This growth is terrific for the people of the region, because it has allowed us to bring in excellent medical specialists MELVIN D. REX and new services. In 2013, CHAIRMAN, ST. CLAIR HOSPITAL St. Clair can meet virtually all the healthcare needs of the people of the surrounding communities.” Rex has the highest praise for his colleagues on the board of directors and for the current administrative team. Rex takes great pride in the fact that St. Clair has been gaining attention both regionally and nationally for the exceptional growth and expansion of the past decade. The Hospital’s growth, with more services and more advanced care, has strengthened its reputation for excellence, he says, and has attracted top notch physicians who are leaders in their specialties. Known particularly for progressive, state-of-the-art cardiac care, emergency care, cancer care and surgery, St. Clair is now at the forefront of advances in clinical management and diagnostics. Increasingly, it is the hospital of choice for those who want the highest quality care. “You have to have the right vision, the right culture, and the right technology to attract the best doctors,” Rex explains. “We’ve been able to bring all those elements together.” We have rapidly become a center for advanced acute care and we want to attract people who expect that level of care. In terms of our accomplishments, our results speak for themselves. St. Clair is one of the very few hospitals in the region that is showing an increase in patients.” For certain, there are challenges ahead. “No one can predict what the final impact of the Affordable Care Act will be, and every hospital is going to have to find a way to deal with — and survive — the cuts in Medicare reimbursement,” Rex says. But such challenges energize this board chairman. With a laser beam focus on mission, he and his fellow directors constantly strategize to strengthen the community lifeline that is St. Clair Hospital. St. Clair’s board of directors is highly collaborative and “like a family,” according to Rex, which makes working together pleasant and productive. “Our board members are people from the community and physicians, and we work in committees, with physicians on every one. That’s important to us, to have a strong, healthy relationship with the medical staff. When we interview a prospective board member, we make it clear that we expect active participation. Board members attend many meetings, serve on committees and attend outside events — it’s a major commitment of time. We’re fortunate to have a wonderful group. I worked in business for many years and I love what I’m doing now. I feel that I am making an impact and giving back to the Hospital. What we do today is moving St. Clair Hospital into a thriving future.” “ We have rapidly become a center for advanced acute care and we want to attract people who expect that level of care ... our results speak for themselves. St.Clair is one of the very few hospitals in the region that is showing an increase in patients. ” Melvin D. Rex Chairman, St. Clair Hospital 32 I HouseCall I Volume V Issue 4 T om Medwig, chairman of the St. Clair Health Corporation and a member of the Hospital’s board of directors, attributes the dynamic growth and success of St. Clair Hospital to the “good people” who guide this institution and care for patients. St. Clair’s transition, from a small community hospital to the financially healthy, progressive acute care institution it is today, has required visionary leadership and the right people, he says — key community members, expert physicians, a talented staff and committed directors, all sharing that vision. It is, he believes, the quality of the people at St. Clair that distinguishes it among hospitals. “At St. Clair, we have the highest possible level of excellence and integrity among the physicians and in the administrative team. Many factors make us exceptional, but first among them is physician leadership. We’ve always had doctors who were medical leaders but we needed them to become Hospital leaders and strong administrators. We were fortunate to have people like Dr. (Donald) Orr, Chairman of THOMAS M. MEDWIG Medical Imaging at St. Clair, CHAIRMAN, ST. CLAIR HEALTH CORPORATION and Dr. (G. Alan) Yeasted, Chief Medical Officer at St. Clair, who have been outstanding leaders. They’ve created a practice environment that appeals to doctors; we have doctors asking us if they can come on staff. Dr. Orr was the first physician in Western Pennsylvania to be the chairman of the board for a hospital. The second factor is the administrative team which has been able to improve our finances and bring in tertiary procedures and technologies that continue to attract top-notch doctors. We’re proud of our relationship with all the doctors.” Medwig is equally proud of St. Clair’s independent status. “We are fiercely independent at St. Clair. We choose to maintain our independence and we have not only survived but thrived. St. Clair Hospital is better than ever. There is a St. Clair culture and I describe it as, ‘Working together, caring for patients and each other.’” A deeply engaged board of directors, Medwig believes, is yet another asset. “We have a hands-on board, characterized by high ethical standards. We don’t get involved in hospital operations but we oversee them and provide vision. Historically, that has been the case.” Medwig is a Carnegie native who has lived in Mt. Lebanon for 39 years, so St. Clair has always been a part of his life. He has four children and six grandchildren, with two on the way — all of them born at St. Clair. He feels that St. Clair belongs to the people of this community, represented by the trustees. St. Clair, he says, is a “people’s hospital.” “At our 60th anniversary, it gives me great satisfaction to look at where we were and then to see where we are today. There has been enormous growth — now we have the Heart Center, the Cancer Center, the Family Birth Center, and so much more. My hope is that we will continue to improve in quality of care and financial health, continue to treat our employees well, and become one of the best hospitals in the U.S.” the BoArds of direCtors* St. Clair Health Corporation Thomas M. Medwig, Chairman Joseph B. Banko James W. Barson Louis A. Civitarese, D.O. James M. Collins David R. Heilman Bryan Hondru David R. Jardini Donald J. Jenkins Donald P. Orr, M.D. Melvin D. Rex Harry E. Serene, M.D. Gary J. Zentner St. Clair Hospital Melvin D. Rex, Chairman Andrew Aloe Frank Arcuri, Esq. Joseph Banko Stephanie Brown, M.D. Karl E. Bushman, M.D. Louis A. Civitarese, D.O. James M. Collins Mario J. Fatigati, M.D. Gary Glausser Andrew R. Hays David R. Heilman David R. Jardini Donald J. Jenkins Joan L. Massella Thomas M. Medwig Donald P. Orr, M.D. Harry E. Serene, M.D. Joseph B. Smith G. Alan Yeasted, M.D. Gary J. Zentner St. Clair Hospital Foundation Gary J. Zentner, Chairman Robert L. Allman II Andrew Aloe Jodi Amos Joseph Banko Edward B. Dunlap (Honorary) Bryan Hondru Vicki McKenna Thomas M. Medwig Jack B. Piatt Stephen F. Reich Andrew F. Rodgers Harry E. Serene, M.D. Robert N. Shogry, M.D. C. Vaughn Strimlan, M.D. St. Clair Medical Services, Inc. David R. Heilman, Chairman Joseph Banko James W. Barson Karl E. Bushman, M.D. James M. Collins Mario J. Fatigati, M.D. Gary Glausser Thomas M. Medwig Donald P. Orr, M.D. Melvin D. Rex SCNSC Properties, Inc. Harry E. Serene, M.D., Chairman Thomas L. Ague Herbert E. Cable Daniel Carney James M. Collins Nicholas DiTullio, M.D. Kris Ellis, M.D. Robert E. Flanigan, M.D. Charles Richardson St. Clair Hospital Senior Management James M. Collins President and Chief Executive Officer Richard C. Chesnos Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Michael J. Flanagan Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Holly M. Hampe Vice President and Chief Quality Officer Andrea L. Kalina Vice President of External Affairs and Chief Human Resources Officer Joan L. Massella Administrative Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer Richard J. Schaeffer Vice President and Chief Information Officer G. Alan Yeasted, M.D. Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Barry S. Zaiser Senior Vice President, Strategic Development and Operations * As of December 2013. St. Clair belongs to the people of this community, represented by the trustees. St.Clair is a ‘people’s hospital.’ “ ” Volume V Issue 4 I HouseCall I 33 C E L E B R AT I N G 60 HOSPITAL YEARS St. Clair Hospital’s Annual Economic Development Impact St. Clair Hospital plays a pivotal role in the economic health and vitality of the community, with a direct and indirect impact on the area’s economy. 550 PHYSICIANS DIRECT IMPACT • 2,200 EMPLOYEES • 286,858 PATIENTS EACH YEAR INDIRECT IMPACT Non-hospital employment • Regional spending • State and local tax revenues State economic development support Hospital employment • Hospital spending Emergency department capacity • Regional vitality • Community health $6.3 MILLION TAXES PAID TO THE COMMUNITY TOTAL SPENDING COMMUNITY BENEFIT PROGRAMS • Community Health Improvement • Cash and In-Kind Contributions Services & Community Benefit • Community Support Operations • Community Health • Health Professions Education Improvement Advocacy • Subsidized Health Services $222,772,394 ECONOMIC RIPPLE EFFECT $246,386,268 TOTAL BENEFIT TOTAL VALUE $ 5,826,764 $469,158,662 SALARIES HOSPITAL CHARITY, DISCOUNTED AND UNCOMPENSATED CARE • Charity Care • Discounts to Uninsured/ Underinsured • Unpaid Patient Expenses • Under-reimbursed Medicare • Under-reimbursed Medical Assistance $83,575,916 ECONOMIC RIPPLE EFFECT TOTAL VALUE $64,545,680 TOTAL $28,527,194 VALUE OF QUANTIFIABLE SERVICE TO THE COMMUNITY $148,121,596 Source: The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania, April 2013. $34,353,958 TOTAL VALUE 34 I HouseCall I Volume V Issue 4 As A leADinG heAlthCAre proviDer, st. ClAir hospitAl is A MAjor eConoMiC Driver, with 550 physiCiAns AnD 2,200 eMployees. the hospitAl reMAins CoMMitteD to its Core vAlues As it CAres For More thAn 286,858 pAtients eACh yeAr. Dear Friend of St. Clair Hospital, This special edition of HouseCall tells the story of how, some six decades ago, area residents saw a critical need for local, quality healthcare. Their grassroots fundraising campaigns resulted in the opening of St. Clair Hospital in 1954. Now an integral part of the community, St. Clair continues to grow and remains one of the Pittsburgh area’s few independent hospitals. As a leading healthcare provider, the Hospital is a major economic driver, with 550 physicians and 2,200 employees. While St. Clair has grown in ways the founders might never have anticipated, the Hospital remains committed to its core values as it cares for more than 286,858 patients each year. Of course, the changing medical landscape across the country has set all hospitals on an uncharted course, challenging healthcare providers in their efforts to continue growing and to offer the most advanced, yet still affordable, medical services to their patients. As depicted in the historic photograph on the front cover of HouseCall , St. Clair has from its very beginnings counted on the support of the people, organizations and businesses of this community. Please continue that legacy of giving forged some 60 years ago and help ensure St. Clair’s mission of providing the highest quality healthcare is available throughout our region. We invite you to use the enclosed response envelope to make your gift to St. Clair Hospital today. If you have any questions, please contact the St. Clair Hospital Foundation at 412.942.2465 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your time and consideration. Yours in good health, G. Alan Yeasted, M.D. Gary J. Zentner Executive Vice President and Chairman, Board of Directors Chief Medical Officer St. Clair Hospital Foundation Co-Chair, 60th Anniversary Committee St. Clair Hospital Richard Sieber Executive Director, Development St. Clair Hospital Foundation St. Clair Hospital Foundation 1000 Bower Hill Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15243 • 412.942.2465 • schfoundation@ stclair.org If you have recently made a gift toSt.Clair Hospital, please accept our sincere thanks. St.Clair Hospital 1000 Bower Hill Road Pittsburgh, PA 15243 www.stclair.org General & Patient Information: 412.942.4000 Physician Referral Service: 412.942.6560 Medical Imaging Scheduling: 412.942.8150 Outpatient Center–Village Square: 412.942.7100 Outpatient Center–Peters Township: 412.942.8400 HouseCall is a publication of St. Clair Hospital. Articles are for informational purposes and are not intended to serve as medical advice. Please consult your personal physician. Follow us on twitter at: www.twitter.com/stclairhospital A 60th birthday is a landmark in the life of any institution and an occasion worth celebrating. On February 22, 2014, St. Clair Hospital reaches that milestone, and we’re marking that achievement in this special issue of HouseCall. Over the last 60 years, many of you may have made a connection with us. You might have welcomed a child here, visited an ailing friend, or made an unexpected trip to the ER. All such events add up to our collective experience — and that’s what we’re celebrating this year. In this issue of HouseCall you will see snapshots of the past — stories that detail our history and accomplishments. We hope you enjoy this look back, and we look forward to achieving more milestones with you.