Page 1 MAY/JUNE 2014 VOLUME 44, NO. 3

BULLETIN Editors: Hillary Hultstrand, M.D. Erica Huffman, Executive Director

The Sharknado of Health Care Legislation

UPCOMING EVENTS Tuesday, August 12, 2014 | Rodizio Grill 5:30p Young Physicians Section Sponsors: Safe Harbor Tax Advisory, Catalyst CRE, Fisher Brown Bottrell Insurance, Southern Cloud Accounting, Dyken Wealth Strategies, McMahon & Hadder Insurance Sunday, September 28, 2014 | Hemingway’s on Pensacola Beach 11:00a-1:00p Women in Medicine Sponsors: Danna Gracey Insurance, Fisher Brown Bottrell Insurance, ProAssurance

Founded in 1873

A number of health care issues — operation of trauma centers, telemedicine and expanding powers of nurse practitioners — have been bundled under a single bill that was up for House committee discussion in mid-April. The bill is so massive and so unwieldy, it is being to referred to affectionately as the Sharknado of health care legislation. The Florida House Health & Human Services Committee passed this megabill on April 10, 2014 that combines three prickly issues, in the hope that packaging them will make it harder for the Senate to kill or maim any of them. HB 7113 would protect private for-profit trauma centers, allow for independent practice for nurse practitioners and allow out-of-state doctors to participate in telehealth without a Florida license. The Florida Medical Association opposes the latter two. Such a package is sometimes called a “train” in legislative parlance. The idea of a train is that it’s a bunch of connected railcars, and it would be hard to remove one of them without causing them all to derail. As a practical matter, it means some lawmakers have to accept a proposal they don’t like in order to get one they really want. Regarding expanding the scope of nurse practitioners, proponents of the bill state that data from other states show there is no significant difference in outcomes between physicians and independent nurse practitioners in primary care. There are currently 16 states (plus Washington, D.C.) that allow nurse practitioners to provide primary care with full independence — that is, without a mandated supervisory relationship with a doctor. There is an excellent article called Think twice before

throwing doctors to the wind in an online source called Remapping Debate. The article points out some of the differences and why it Dr. Susan Laenger is difficult to measure the impact of independently practicing nurse practitioners. The URL is http:// think-twice-throwing-doctorswind?page=0,2&sf25139045=1 In discussing out-of-state practitioners engaging in telehealth with Floridians, there are objections to the bill’s lack of a requirement that they have a Florida medical license. Without that, state authorities could do no background check or fingerprinting. While all of us are still feeling overwhelmed by mandates of implementing EHRs and ICD-10 (though that was recently put off until October 2015), we still need to engage in current legislative debates as these will shape the world of medicine for our practices and our patients. First and foremost, we must advocate for legislation that is aimed at protecting our patients. Being an advocate for our patients is what drew many of us in to the field of medicine. I would like to thank Dr. Ellen McKnight and acknowledge that she has taken a lead as an advocate for doctors. If each of us step up to do just a little bit, we become a stronger voice for the needs of our patients.


Page 3 - New Members Page 4 - Medical/Legal Page 7 - Practice Management Page 10 - In the Community

E.C.M.S. Bulletin

The Bulletin is a publication for and by the members of the Escambia County Medical Society. The Bulletin publishes six times a year: Jan/Feb, Mar/Apr, May/Jun, Jul/Aug, Sept/Oct, Nov/ Dec. We will consider for publication articles relating to medical science, photos, book reviews, memorials, medical/legal articles, and practice management.

Vision for the Bulletin:

路 Appeal to the family of medicine in Escambia and Santa Rosa County and to the world beyond. 路 A powerful instrument to attract and induct members to organized medicine.



New Members Patrick Dial, M.D. Surgical Oncology West Florida Medical Group 8333 North Davis Highway Pensacola, Florida 32514 (P) 850-494-6080 (F) 850-494-6107

Serda Hawthorne, M.D. Family Practice West Florida Medical Group 1190 East Nine Mile Road Pensacola, Florida 32514 (P) 850-857-4040 (F) 850-479-9180

Keith Golden, M.D. Electrophysiology Sacred Heart Hospital, Heart and Vascular 5153 North Ninth Avenue Pensacola, Florida 32504 (P) 850-416-4970 (F) 850-416-4969

Colby Maher, M.D. Neurosurgery Baptist Medical Group Neurosurgery 1717 North E Street, Suite 422 Pensacola, Florida 32501 (P) 850-469-0642 (F) 850-437-8318

Vicky Griffin, D.O. OB/GYN West Florida Medical Group 3261 Gulf Breeze Parkway Gulf Breeze, Florida 32563 (P) 850-916-4300 (F) 850-916-4399

Jessica Willert, M.D. Pediatrics West Florida Pediatrics 2120 East Johnson Avenue, Suite 103 Pensacola, Florida 32514 (P) 850-494-3965 (F) 850-494-3966


Never Forgotten Gerard “Jerry” H. Hilbert, M.D. (19252014). Dr. Hilbert was the President of the ECMS in 1963. He was also the first pathologist at Sacred Heart Hospital. He then served as Chief of Staff at Sacred Heart Hospital in 1960.

Moved/Relocated Leonardo Villegas, M.D. General Surgery, Oncology Gulf Coast Surgical Oncology 730 Bayfront Parkway, Suite 4A Pensacola, Florida 32502 Phone: 850-432-5488 Fax: 850-432-5228

Each year ECMS takes delegates to the FMA Annual Meeting to vote on legislation. This years FMA Annual Meeting will take place on Friday, July 25-July 27th in Orlando, Florida. Last year one of our very own, Dr. David Turner wrote a resolution about the Limits of Provider Responsibility which was published in the handbook and voted on. If you are planning to write a resolution below are the deadlines to submit a resolution: • On-Time Resolutions for distribution in Delegate Handbook – by May 30 • On-Time Resolutions for distributed in Handbook Addendum – by June 13​ For more information please contact the ECMS Office via email: director@ or via telephone: 478-0706 x2 and ask for Erica Huffman, Executive Director.

Congratulations to the Florida State University College of Medicine graduating class of 2014. Naomi Salz, M.D. who served on the ECMS board as a volunteer in her 3rd year of medical school matched a Family Medicine residency position at the New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, NC. Rick Sims, M.D. also served on the ECMS board as a volunteer for his 3rd and 4th year of medical school. Rick will start his residency in Anesthesiology at the University of Florida, Gainseville. Congrats to all of the graduates!

If you have not already received your copy of the 2014 Pictorial Directory please feel free to stop by the ECMS office or pick up your copy at one of our general membership meetings!


Medical/Legal Informed Consent: Substance and Signature


By Robert Morton, ARM, CPHRM, Director, Department of Patient Safety, The Doctors Company.

For decades, consent documents protected physicians against any legal recourse a dissatisfied patient might pursue. Times have changed. Modern medicine requires a more complex and complete acknowledgment of both the patient’s and the physician’s rights and responsibilities to each other. According to the Physician Insurers Association of America data, almost 6 percent of claims arise from lack of consent. True informed consent is a process of managing a patient’s expectations; it is not just a signature on a document. Achieving an accurate diagnosis requires the patient to provide accurate information to the physician. The physician must then provide sufficient information to the patient so that a reasonable and informed decision regarding a treatment plan can be made. This physician responsibility cannot be delegated. A successful exchange of information between the doctor and the patient accomplishes two things. First, when the physician explains diagnoses, treatments, expected outcomes, and potential risks to the patient, it demonstrates that the physician recognizes the patient’s rights and will remain responsive to them. Second, it shifts the decisionmaking responsibility from the physician alone to a mutual responsibility of both physician and patient. Informed consent should protect and inform both the patient and the doctor. Litigation often results from a discrepancy between the patient’s expectations and the outcome of treatment. Informed consent cannot completely eliminate malpractice claims, but an established rapport between the patient and the physician based on solid exchanges of information can prevent patient disappointment from ripening into a claim. The informed consent process is not limited to surgical procedures; it is also appropriate for comprehensive medical treatment plans. Physician-Patient Dialogue When discussing diagnoses, treatment plans, risks, and expected outcomes with the patient, use medically correct wording and names, but avoid medical terminology. If there are alternative treatment options, discuss them in detail. Also, outline the recovery process and the expected short- and longterm effect on the patient. Identify any uncertainty and risk involved with a specific treatment plan, including the probability factors, if possible. Discuss reasonable assumptions the patient may make about the treatment plan. Whenever possible, supply reading materials and the consent form document for the patient to take home and discuss with his or her family. Encourage questions. Questions provide a better understanding of the patient’s comprehension of the information and facilitate the dialogue between the patient and the physician. Where time permits, consider scheduling a second visit with the patient to review the consent form,

clarify expectations, and ensure patient comprehension of the proposed treatment—especially with elective surgery procedures. Documentation Documentation is another key component of the informed consent process that cannot be fully delegated to a nurse or other member of the healthcare team. If the doctor-patient discussion proceeds successfully and the patient requests treatment, the doctor is required in some jurisdictions to write a note in the patient’s record. Additionally, the consent document must include the patient’s name, doctor’s name, diagnosis, proposed treatment plan, alternatives, potential risks, complications, and benefits. To some extent, physicians who use an informed consent document can protect themselves further by including a statement to the effect that the form only covers information that applies generally and that the physician has personally discussed specific factors with the patient. The consent document must be signed and dated by the patient (or the patient’s legal guardian or representative). Many consent forms also require a physician signature. We offer more than 100 sample forms in our informed consent resource center at The information in the consent forms is for reference purposes only. The sample documents provide a general guideline, not a statement of standard of care. The documents should be edited and amended to reflect the policy requirements of the physician’s practice site(s) and the legal requirements of the individual state. Each sample consent form includes statements to be signed by the patient and the physician. The patient attests that he or she understands the information in the treatment agreement. The physician attests that he or she has answered all questions fully and believes that the patient/legal representative fully understands the information. This statement helps avoid any claim that the patient did not understand the information. Informed Consent in Special Situations The informed consent process for same-day surgery patients may occur in the physician’s office before scheduling the procedure. That will allow the patient time to think through the information, ask questions, and make an informed decision. Hospitalized patients must be informed as far in advance of the procedure as practicable. If time permits in an emergency where the patient is unable to provide consent, the physician must contact a legally authorized representative to obtain an informed consent. If the nature of the emergency does not permit time to contact a legally authorized representative, consent is implied. Consent may be waived under emergent




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conditions that threaten life, limb, eyes, and the central nervous system. If the patient is incompetent or otherwise cannot consent, the physician is legally bound to obtain informed consent from the incompetent patient’s authorized representative, except in an emergency. This type of consent should be thoroughly documented in the medical record.

Additional Tips and Suggestions • Develop and use procedure-specific forms that are signed by the patient when the informed consent discussion takes place. • Obtaining consent from the patient after a sedative or sleep-inducing medication is administered is not recommended. However, when there is a change in the patient’s condition that requires a change in treatment, consent should be secured from the patient. The facts and conditions surrounding the need for the revised consent should be thoroughly documented in the medical record. • Additions or corrections to the consent form must be dated, timed, and signed by the person making the additions or corrections. • Any member of the healthcare team may sign as a witness to the patient’s signature, although this serves only to verify that it was the patient who signed the form. The witness does not obtain consent or verify the patient’s competency to give consent.

Patient Safety Measures Every physician should develop his or her own style and system for the informed consent process, making it easier to avoid omissions and—more importantly—ensuring consistency of application. Do not speed through the process. Give the patient and the family time to absorb and comprehend the information. Preprinted materials are extremely helpful for patient understanding and will serve as a trigger for other questions. Assessing the patient’s level of understanding is the step just before documenting the process. One way of doing this is to ask the patient to repeat back to you his or her understanding of the information you have communicated. This will increase the likelihood that you will be able to manage the patient’s expectations effectively.

A patient’s questions or obvious lack of understanding about the procedure should be referred to the attending physician as soon as possible. Translate consent forms to the most common non-English language that you encounter in your practice, and verify that the form is translated correctly.

The guidelines suggested here are not rules, do not constitute legal advice, and do not ensure a successful outcome. The ultimate decision regarding the appropriateness of any treatment must be made by each health care provider in light of all circumstances prevailing in the individual situation and in accordance with the laws of the jurisdiction in which the care is rendered. Reprinted with permission. ©2013 The Doctors Company (




Malpractice Case Shows Risk from Physician Not Dating and Initialing Reports Physicians must be certain that there is a process in place to ensure that no imaging, laboratory, or consultant’s report is ever filed unless it has been dated and initialed by the physician as proof that it was reviewed. Many medical liability claims would be prevented by this simple policy. It is also important to create a suspense file or electronic health record (EHR) follow-up list for all ordered imaging studies, laboratory tests, diagnostic procedures, and consultations—to ensure that they were completed and that the physician reviewed the reports. The following case is an example of a “perfect storm” that led to a malpractice claim: A patient over the age of 50 was referred by the primary care physician to an orthopedist for evaluation of a two-year history of low back pain. The orthopedist ordered x-rays, which showed a questionable lytic lesion measuring 6 cm in diameter in the right iliac bone just superior to the acetabulum. The orthopedist’s routine was to personally review his patients’ x-rays, which he did in this case, but he focused on the lumbar spine and did not see the lytic lesion. The radiology report was sent to the orthopedist’s office and filed without his review. No office policy existed to ensure that reports were filed only after he had initialed and dated them. An x-ray taken eight months later again showed the large lytic

lesion in the pelvis. The orthopedist reviewed the films and again missed the lytic lesion. The radiology report was not found in the orthopedist’s file. Four months later, the orthopedist performed an L5 laminectomy. Follow-up x-rays again noted the expansile lytic lesion. These films were reviewed by the orthopedist, who focused on the operative site in the lumbar spine and failed to see the lesion. The radiologist’s report was faxed to his office and filed; it had not been brought to his attention. An MRI done one month later showed a lobulated, expansile lesion in the pelvis, suspicious for low-grade chondrosarcoma. The radiologist phoned the orthopedist to discuss the findings—it was the first time the orthopedist realized that an abnormality was present. The patient was immediately referred to a major medical center, where the patient underwent partial resection of the pelvis and hip with amputation of the right leg. A claim was filed alleging failure to appreciate the presence and significance of a lesion diagnosed as chondrosarcoma more than three-and-a-half years after it was first noted in the filed radiology reports. Contributed by The Doctors Company. For more patient safety articles and practice tips, visit

Taking Action By Dr. Ellen McKnight

This year I made a New Year’s resolution of sorts that I would get more involved in the politics and economics of medicine. I have come to realize that “Do No Harm” does not only pertain to patients’ medical well-being anymore. There are far too many forces trying to interfere with the sacred Doctor/Patient relationship; forces that are mostly political and economic. I decided, to get more involved in the political and economic aspect of patient care, I would attend a committee meeting in Tallahassee. I was accompanied by Erica Huffman, the Escambia County Medical Society Executive Director. Two bills were being proposed in the meeting that day and she prepared me with bullet points about these bills and introduced me to other physicians and supporting groups. On the agenda was a bill to expand the scope of practice of ARNP’s to allow non-physician providers of care to initiate and dispense controlled substances and to Baker Act patients with potential psychiatric problems. A Baker Act is an often involuntary emergency hospital/psychiatric admission for a mental status evaluation and a determination of potential future harm posed to self or community. I have great respect for and value the care provided by nurse practitioners and PAs and I have worked closely with these providers in the past. I did, however, speak in opposition of this bill because I

feel that both the dispensing of controlled substances and the process of Baker Acting patients should be reserved for physicians trained to do so. Medical Doctors have the necessary level of expertise required to make these decisions. I also waived in support of an insurance reform bill which will greatly benefit physicians and patients by streamlining prior authorizations, thereby getting rid of “treat to fail” protocols, and mandating that insurance pay for agreed-upon services. What struck me the most on my first venture into the politics of medicine was that physicians were still perceived to be all-powerful with no need for representation of their interests. This is a mistaken perception. Physicians, on issue after issue, mostly stand alone. We, as physicians, have no powerful interest groups representing us and we do not represent ourselves well. The interest of the doctor and the interest of the patient are inextricably linked and cannot be disassociated from one another. To stand for our interests is to stand up for our patients’ interest. We simply need more physician involvement. It helps us as doctors, helps our patients, and helps our community. Please join the fight in the next legislative battle as we stand for the benefit of our physician colleagues and our loyal patients.

Practice Mgmt.



Frequent Malpractice Risks Faced by Office Practices Revealed in Survey The most frequent malpractice risks medical office practices face are related to lab tests/referrals and scheduling/follow-up, according to a nationwide survey of practice environments conducted by The Doctors Company. The survey found that medical record documentation, medication management, and communication are other top areas of risk. Your office practice can follow these steps to lessen risks: Lab Tests/Referrals and Scheduling/Follow-Up • Ensure that the office staff knows how to reconcile tests, referrals, and consult orders with the results when received, and have a process in place in case of discrepancy. • Communicate all test results to patients. • Don’t rely on a return appointment or a “hold” on a medical record as a reminder that a test was not performed or the patient was not contacted about results. • Tell patients to contact your office if they have not received test results by a specified date. • Send letters to patients who fail to follow up and cannot be reached by phone; file all documentation in the medical record. • If using an electronic medical record, utilize the testtracking capability. Medical Record Documentation • Document allergy information in the same place on all medical records. • Keep a current list of all medications. • Maintain a current problem list with dates of problem identification, reviews, and resolutions. • Use the patient’s own words when documenting. • Indicate in writing or electronically that all results of tests, consultants, and referrals were reviewed. • Document all after-hours patient calls.

Medication Management • Ensure that the patient understands the reason for the medication, how to take it, and when to contact your office about side effects. • Store medication samples, syringes, and prescription pads securely. • Label all syringes and administer medications immediately—and don’t leave them unattended. • If you prepare medications to be used later, sign or initial the label and include the name of the medication, dosage, and date. • Maintain refrigerated medications at the correct temperature and keep a record of who performs the checks and what was discarded. • Ask verbal orders to be repeated back. • Identify all high-alert medications and follow guidelines to ensure they are ordered, stored, dispensed, and administered correctly. • Refer to your state law to determine which staff can call in new prescriptions and refills. Communication • Document all advice in the patient’s record. • Ensure that a licensed provider responds when the patient’s question is outside the scope of office staff knowledge. • Document the level of understanding during the informed consent process. • Use open-ended questions. • Incorporate a standard communication protocol to enhance the handoff process and reduce errors of omission. Contributed by The Doctors Company. For more patient safety articles and practice tips, visit patientsafety.



Practice Mgmt.

Addressing Healthcare Workplace Violence Violence in healthcare settings is very real, and hospitals are especially vulnerable. According to a study by the Emergency Nurses Association, the overall frequency of physical violence and verbal abuse for an ED nurse working 36.9 hours in a seven-day period is 54 percent.1 Nurses affected were most often involved in triaging a patient, performing an invasive procedure, or restraining/subduing a patient; patients were the main perpetrators in all incidents. The study also found physical violence rates increase as population density increases (9.1% rural vs. 14.1% large urban areas). The following tactics were found to decrease the odds of violence and verbal abuse: • Use of panic buttons/silent alarms • Enclosed nursing stations • Locked or coded ED entries • Security signs • Well-lit areas It’s also important to have a system-wide program in place to address workplace violence. The Joint Commission requires accredited hospitals to assess their risk of violence, develop written plans, and implement security measures.2 Risks may vary by facility and department, underscoring the importance of individualized analysis. A whitepaper on workplace violence in healthcare, published by ASIS International (an organization of security professionals with 35,000 members worldwide), recommends workplace violence teams adopt a multidisciplinary approach that includes: security, first responders, clinical staff, risk management, legal, human resources, administration, and other key stakeholders.3 They cite the following five components of an effective workplace violence program: 1. Management commitment and employee involvement 2. Worksite analysis (including evaluating the physical environment) 3. Hazard reduction and response

By: Laurette Salzman, MBA, CPHRM; ProAssurance Senior Risk Management Consultant

4. Training 5. Recordkeeping and program evaluation The ASIS white paper also includes a sample threat assessment checklist, a workplace violence policy, a list of common warning signs, and an assessment outline. Additional training may also be necessary for employees in high-risk areas. These areas typically include emergency departments, ICUs, behavioral health, and operating rooms. The 2013 Workplace Safety & Patient Care Standards for Nursing Professionals (posted on recommends that healthcare professionals, when confronted with potentially violent situations, should: • avoid confrontation and retreat to a safe place, if possible; • not approach or attempt to disarm an individual with a weapon; • summon security or a behavioral response team, or call 911; • remain calm—refrain from agitating or threatening a violent person; and • isolate the individual—lock doors, direct traffic away from the area, and evacuate if possible.4 Copyright © 2014 ProAssurance Corporation. This article is not intended to provide legal advice, and no attempt is made to suggest more or less appropriate medical conduct. 1Emergency department violence surveillance study. Emergency Nurses Association Institute for Emergency Nursing Research. November 2011. Accessed May 21, 2013. 2Preventing violence in the health care setting. The Joint Commission website. http://www. June 3, 2010. Accessed May 15, 2013. 3Managing disruptive behavior and workplace violence in healthcare. ASIS International Healthcare Security Council website. and healthcare/council_healthcare_ workplaceviolence.ashx December 2010. Accessed May 21, 2013. 42013 Workplace safety & patient care standards for nursing professionals. AMN Healthcare Education Services. 4d49cb51. January 2013. Accessed May 21, 2013.

In the Community



Baptist Hospital Baptist Health Care Earns Rating Agencies’ Confidence – Receives Upgrade Two of the world’s premier bond rating agencies recently completed an in-depth review of Baptist Health Care (BHC). Both have provided positive news about the current state and future outlook of the organization that serves as the area’s only locally owned, not-for-profit health care provider. Moody’s Investor Services has upgraded Baptist from a rating of Baa to an A rating. Additionally, Fitch Ratings reaffirmed Baptist’s BBB+ rating and elevated the overall outlook from stable to positive. Recognition by these agencies is a significant accomplishment in the health care industry when downgrades to bond credit ratings are the norm in light of increasing financial pressures and the impacts of health reform. An A rating from Moody’s indicates that Baptist is a low credit risk and worthy of superior rates to support ongoing financing needs. With this news, BHC plans to continue its efforts to invest in technology, services, and programs to continuously improve quality and access to care in the region. Baptist Heart & Vascular Institute is First in Florida Panhandle to Offer Revolutionary TAVR Procedure for Patients with Severe Aortic Valve Stenosis The Baptist Heart & Vascular Institute is the first team of cardiovascular specialists in the Florida Panhandle and one of the select programs in the nation to offer Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement or (TAVR) — a revolutionary new treatment option for patients with severe aortic stenosis who are not candidates for traditional open heart surgery. The multidisciplinary TAVR team at the Baptist Heart & Vascular Institute is unique to our area due to its size and collaborative experience. Board certified interventional cardiologists partner with a highly skilled cardiothoracic surgeons

to complete the procedure using the Edwards SAPIEN Valve — the first transcatheter aortic valve approved by the FDA for use in the U.S. To learn more about the many innovative cardiovascular procedures offered at Baptist Heart & Vascular Institute visit Baptist Health Care is First in Region to Offer Robotic Sleeve Gastrectomy Bariatric Surgeon Patrick Gatmaitan, M.D., performed the first robotic sleeve gastrectomy in the region at Baptist Hospital. The da Vinci® S HD Surgical System has been in use at Baptist Hospital since 2007 and will now be utilized for weight-loss surgery as a compliment to the Baptist Bariatric Surgery Program. The robotic sleeve gastrectomy is performed through five small keyhole incisions; the majority of the stomach is removed, leaving a narrow tube. As with gastric bypass, the smaller, sleeveshaped stomach that remains is sealed, significantly reducing the volume of food consumed, while still allowing the stomach to function normally. The small intestine is not altered, and there is no intestinal bypass involved. Patients often lose 60 to 70 percent of excess weight after undergoing this procedure. Dr. Gatmaitan is a member of The Surgery Group in Pensacola, Fla. and serves as the medical director for Baptist Hospital Bariatric Center of Excellence. For more information about robotic sleeve gastrectomy visit Fragility Fracture Care Program Now Available at the Andrews Institute Fragility fractures can dramatically change the quality of life for patients and their families due to a loss of independence, significant disability and even death. To help patients gain back their quality of life following a fragility fracture, the Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine has established the Andrews Institute Fragility Fracture Care Program. Led by Elise T. Gordon, M.D., primary care sports medicine, our dedicated team provides a customized, comprehensive postfracture health care plan and serves as the patient’s primary advocate to ensure proper follow-up care that also will reduce the risk of future fractures. To learn more about the Andrews Institute Fragility Fracture Care Program, call 850.916.8700 or visit



In the Community

Sacred Heart Hospital Bayou Tower to Open in July Construction of Sacred Heart Hospital Pensacola’s five-floor Bayou Tower – a prominent addition to the busy corner of North Ninth Avenue and Bayou Boulevard – is now in its final phase. Bayou Tower has been constructed on top of the existing threefloor Heart and Vascular Institute and will provide an additional 112 all-private rooms for adult patients. Final touches to the exterior of the tower, including illuminated signage, will soon be completed, and the green construction fences that have cordoned off the staging areas for the construction have been removed. That area will

once again provide patient and visitor parking after extensive resurfacing of the lot, curbing of the sidewalks and completion of the landscaping. After passing its AHCA inspections for construction and clinical readiness, Bayou Tower will be opened for patient care in mid-July. In late June, Sacred Heart will invite the community to its open-house celebration with tours of the building The new tower allows Sacred Heart to expand services, meet the community’s need for more beds for critically ill patients, and “decompress” existing nursing units to offer all-private rooms by the end of 2014.

11 On Thursday May 8th ECMS hosted our first Sexual Dysfunction CME which was presented by the hilarious Dr. Maureen Whelihan. The light-hearted topic kept medical students and physicians of all ages and all specialties on their toes. The event was held at the Pensacola Yacht Club on a beautiful spring day. We would like to thank our wonderful sponsors for helping to make this event possible: Danna Gracey Insurance The Doctors Company Gulf Coast Healthcare Home Instead Senior Care Safe Harbor Tax Advisory

8880 University Pkwy., Suite B Pensacola, FL 32514 Ph: 850-478-0706 Fx: 850-474-9783 Email: Executive Director: Erica Huffman


MECOP Reminder 45th Annual Pediatric Symposium

May 23-26, 2014 | Destin, Florida 13 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s) TM Please visit for registration and symposium information.

Ad placement Contact Erica Huffman at 478-0706

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View and opinions expressed in the Bulletin are those of the authors and are not necessarily those of the board of directors, staff or advertisers. The editorial staff reserves the right to edit or reject any submission.

ECMS Bulletin May/June