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PICTURE this U.S. News & World Report Top Rankings in 4 types of care for Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital. Excela Health Frick and Latrobe Hospitals also recognized as top performing hospitals. Dr. Howard Grill and the heart and vascular center at excela health earn the nation’s top rankings.


a letter to

OUR READERS How do you determine whether a hospital provides quality care? At Excela Health, we understand that "quality" can mean different things to different people. Some want to know how other patients feel about the care they received and about their interactions with hospital staff. Others want hard data about the success rates of certain procedures performed at the hospital. For many, it's a combination of both, but the task of gathering the right information to compare hospitals can be daunting. Fortunately, there are a number of organizations that rate and measure the quality of care provided by U.S. hospitals, and Excela Health is proud to rank among the best on a local, regional and national level, as showcased here. To achieve such ratings is not a matter of happenstance; rather the direct result of our long-standing commitment to continuous improvement across the enterprise. These accolades are based on achieving outcomes that are important to all health care organizations and offer the opportunity to benchmark the care and service we provide against the best of the best. Our accomplishments demonstrate that it is possible to build and maintain a care delivery system that blends cost, quality and compassion, as well as demonstrates value. It is our hope that this publication affirms for our community that one need not travel far from home to receive exceptional care delivered by experienced, expert physicians and clinicians – all sharing a common focus – you! We are privileged to be a health care leader, and your partner in health for a lifetime. Thank you for your trust and confidence in Excela Health. Sincerely,

Carol Fox, MD, FAAFP Chief Medical Officer


EDITORS: Jennifer Miele | Rob Firment | Amy Filer WRITERS: Robin Jennings | Linda Simon


THE Heart of the Matter


Cancer Treatment


PHOTOGRAPHY: Downs Creative PAGE 5

q Excela Health Orthopedic Team

PAGE 8 q

Why I Give



GRAPHIC DESIGNERS: Keri Sciullo | Lindsey Yowan | John Zylka

SUPPORT TEAM: Robin Mull | Mary Moximchalk | Patti Buhl | Jean Hacha | Emily Funyak | Frank Tenuta | Laura Sproull | John Munsch | Paul Hricik

To share your Excela Story, visit PAGE 10 PAGE 12

and click “feedback” at the bottom of the page.


heart THE





With a strong family history of cardiac problems, John Zylka knows the signs and symptoms of heart trouble. After several bypass procedures in the early 2000s, he became vigilant about regular visits with his cardiologist, Dr. Lawrence DeNino. In 2016, when he experienced shortness of breath and chest tightness, he wasted no time in contacting Dr. DeNino. After a few quick tests, he found himself at Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital for a catheterization followed by a rotoblation, a high risk procedure with Interventional Cardiologist Nevin Baker. Given Excela’s high rankings in heart care nationally, John had no doubts about putting his heart in Excela’s expert hands.

Excela Health system is ranked among the TOP


THE NATION % INfor Medical Excellence

IN HEART ATTACK TREATMENT No other health system in Western PA ranks higher.* 2017

CareChex® is an information service of Quantros, Inc. CareChex provides clinical, financial, and patient satisfaction findings to consumers, providers, and purchasers of U.S. medical care. Unlike other publicly available quality ratings, CareChex provides a composite evaluation of all components of medical quality including process of care, outcomes of care, and patient experiences. For access to provider quality ratings, visit * Market claims are based on CareChex® Composite Scores™ and nationally balanced scorecard criteria for health systems serving the combined statistical area (CSA) of Pittsburgh-New Castle-Weirton



Heart Vascular and

Center at

Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital received the U.S. News & World Report High Performing Hospital ranking, designating outstanding performance, patient outcomes and patient safety. Representatives of the cardiac team, pictured below, led by Dr. Howard Grill, Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory, along with Dr. Subhashish Pal, Co-Director of the Heart Failure Clinic, (front). For more information, visit

Heart Failure Clinic Medical Commons One, 530 South Street, Second Floor Greensburg, Pa. 15601 For an appointment, call 1-877-771-1234. 3

Dr. Dan Clark Specializing in minimally invasive and robot-assisted surgery, Dr. Clark, Excela Health General Surgeon, also serves as a national proctor for robotic surgeons.



% IN THE NATION FOR patient safety


no other health system in western pa ranks higher*


CareChex® is an information service of Quantros, Inc. CareChex provides clinical, financial, and patient satisfaction findings to consumers, providers, and purchasers of U.S. medical care. Unlike other publicly available quality ratings, CareChex provides a composite evaluation of all components of medical quality including process of care, outcomes of care, and patient experiences. For access to provider quality ratings, visit * Market claims are based on CareChex® Composite Scores™ and nationally balanced scorecard criteria for health systems serving the combined statistical area (CSA) of Pittsburgh-New Castle-Weirton


CANCER CARE WHY YOU SHOULD CARE ABOUT WHERE Christmas is the season of red and green. But in December of 2012, 45-year-old Cheri Cavanaugh was blue. She remembers wearing a wig to holiday parties, hoping to disguise her hair loss. The chemotherapy also took her appetite and her energy. And the same cancer she was battling took her mother far too soon. She wanted only one thing for Christmas: to beat breast cancer. And she was counting on a team from Excela Health to help her do it. They were there from the beginning, starting with her gynecologist Dr. Beth Maxwell. Cheri found the lump and Dr. Maxwell ordered an immediate mammogram. Proving inconclusive, the mammogram was followed by a breast ultrasound. Based on this result, radiologist Dr. Margaret Clark was persistent in finding a diagnosis and performed a biopsy. It revealed ductal carcinoma, a common cancer of the breast ducts. With the support of her loving husband and family, Cheri underwent a lumpectomy in October 2012, performed by Excela Health surgeon Dr. Dan Clark, discovering stage I breast cancer.

Cheri Cavanaugh Breast Cancer Survivor

Because of her young age, she was placed in a trial study along with a course of chemotherapy and radiation therapy at the Arnold Palmer Cancer Center. “My husband went with me as my course of treatment was planned,” she said. “Initially, he was very emotional and I was terrified. But with information and explanation about what was going to happen, we were more at ease.” As for the trial study, “It gave me the advantage of being reviewed by a whole panel of doctors.” Despite the holiday start of treatment, her last day of radiation in August of 2013 was acknowledged with a special gift from her husband and sons – a pink stone necklace – and later, a second “gift” was realized: a cancer-free bill of health.

Community Hospital Comprehensive Cancer Program at Excela Health Latrobe Hospital is accredited by the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons.

Dr. Dan Clark is the physician liaison to the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer.

With follow-up every six months and 3D mammograms at Excela Health, the latest in October 2016, the now 49-year-old wife, mother and career woman embraces her self-appointed role as breast cancer survivor advocate. Of her cancer journey she reveals that “My care at Excela Health was phenomenal. I am grateful for the many people who cared for me along the way. And I was confident in my choice of where to get treatment and never looked back.” 5

Dr. Michael Szwerc Medical Director Robotic Surgery

Director Center for Lung and Thoracic Disease Recruited in 2015, Dr. Michael Szwerc has helped to establish the Center for Lung and Thoracic Disease and the Advanced Lung Center for lung cancer screening at Excela Health. Since the inception, the Centers have had 3,000 patient visits and performed more than 1,000 procedures for patients including complex robotic esophageal and lung surgeries. The Centers offer the full spectrum of diagnostic and treatment options for patients with lung and esophageal conditions including: • Advanced robotic minimally invasive surgery • superDimension™ Navigation System, EBUS and lung cancer staging • GERD and reflux surgery and evaluation • Hyperhidrosis • Pleural disease management

To schedule an appointment for a low dose CT scan, visit and search “lung cancer screening” or call 1-844-2TestMe.

Lung Excela Health has been named a Screening Center of Excellence by the Lung Cancer Alliance


Designated Screening Centers of Excellence are committed to providing clear information based on current evidence about who is a candidate for lung cancer screening and comply with comprehensive standards based on best practices developed by professional bodies such as the American College of Radiology, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, and the International Early Lung Cancer Action Program.

a message

FROM the CEO “How can we help you today?” This simple question is not just the heading on our Web site. It’s Excela Health’s commitment to our patients and their families – to listen, understand and ultimately improve their health and well-being. As CEO, it is my job to support our care teams – physicians, nurses and all other staff – and to help them engineer efficient, safe care systems. It is my job, along with the management team, to create the conditions necessary to be a top community health system in the country. As you can see from this publication, our care is receiving national accolades from rating agencies such as U.S. News & World Report and CareChex. Our care teams are passionate about quality and patient safety. We will continue to pursue the highest quality rankings in each discipline at every one of our facilities. We hope to earn your trust with our actions every day and give you every reason to choose Excela Health as your health care partner.


Robert J. Rogalski Chief Executive Officer


For Patient Safety


An information service of Quantros, Inc., the most comprehensive resource for ranking hospital quality and patient safety.



The Blue Distinction Center + designation is awarded to health care facilities that not only meet quality criteria but go a step further in quality care, treatment expertise and overall patient results, among others. Criteria is based on thorough, objective evaluation developed with input from the medical community.

Dr. Christopher Bellicini

Dr. Gregory Lauro

Orthopedic Surgery

Orthopedic Surgery

Dr. Lance Brunton

Dr. Bryan Lee

Orthopedic Surgery - Hand Surgery

Primary Care Sports Medicine and Concussion Management

Dr. Jacob DiCesare

Dr. James Masterson

Primary Care Sports Medicine

Primary Care Sports Medicine and Concussion Management

Dr. Jennifer Erdos

Dr. Jack Smith

Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Surgery

Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Surgery

Dr. Ryan Flanigan

Dr. Arnold Wigle

Orthopedic Surgery – Foot and Ankle Surgery

Orthopedic Surgery

Dr. Daniel Haffner Orthopedic Surgery

Orthopedics and Sports Medicine To make an appointment, call 1-855-ExcelaDoc



Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital has earned a high performance rating significantly better than the national average. For more information, visit

DR. CHRISTOPHER BELLICINI Orthopedic Surgery at Excela Westmoreland Hospital

“As members of the Excela Health Orthopedics and Sports Medicine team, we strive to provide the highest quality care, integrate preventive measures to help patients avoid future difficulties, and aid in their return to an active lifestyle.� 9


Where Your Money Goes ... The most recent funding allocations from the Latrobe Area Hospital Charitable Foundation and the Westmoreland/Frick Hospital Foundation key on seven areas of support: Patient Care Enhancements

Quality and Patient Safety Initiatives

Student Scholarships

Family Medicine Residency

Facility Maintenance Professional Development

Community Health & Wellness Education


Please remember Excela Health and its Foundations in your estate plan.

With dedicated obstetricians, such as Drs. Lisa Hildenbrand and Bruce Williams, part of the Excela Health Medical Group, Excela’s maternity program was awarded the Blue Distinction Center+ designation. Shown here, Megan Kapolka, with Kelan, nearly 3, who experienced quality care firsthand. To schedule an appointment, call 1-855-ExcelaDoc.



Ten fingers, ten toes. A shock of brown hair … Megan Kapolka recounted her son’s tiny, perfect features as she prepared for surgery moments after delivery. As a nurse, she knew something was wrong. As a new mother, she saw images of missed birthdays, first steps, first words, first days of school roll through her mind in rapid succession. Who would guess a rare, serious condition could rob her of those moments and more, the ones all new mothers anxiously anticipate. In the ninth month of a normal pregnancy, Megan finished her work day only to head quickly to Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital. It was time! With her husband at her side, she witnessed Kelan Kapolka enter the world. But elation turned to apprehension when an unexpected aftermath of the birth was quickly identified by her obstetrician, Dr. Lisa Hildenbrand. Called uterine atony, the condition occurs after childbirth causing life-threatening blood loss. Rushed to the operating room, Megan underwent surgery performed by Dr. Hildenbrand and OB/GYN Dr. Bruce Williams. “Thanks to their quick action and skills, they saved my family,” Megan noted. “Now I look at Kelan and I am so grateful that I will be here to celebrate every milestone of his life.” For her, every Mother’s Day is special, one that has “extra meaning because I would not have been able to be here if not for the doctors and staff at the Family Additions Maternity Center.”


Nursing plays a large part in the care delivered to a new mother and child, oftentimes more than the caregiver knows. But letters from parents, grandparents and others share their sentiments about this special time … and the special people who “make it a beautiful experience” as one new mother explained. Shown here, Melissa Miller, a Labor and Delivery nurse, who was praised in one such letter as “ … kind, informative … excellent … a woman who loves her job and it shows. You just don’t get this kind of treatment anymore.”

The Blue Distinction Center + designation is awarded to health care facilities that not only meet quality criteria but go a step further in quality care, treatment expertise, and overall patient results, among others. Criteria is based on thorough, objective evaluation developed with input from the medical community. 13

Frick Hospital Captures Top Ranking for Heart Failure Care Cited as a “High Performing Hospital� by U.S. News & World Report, the Excela Health Frick Hospital team knows that care and caring go hand in hand. Represented by Dr. Richard Lynn (front center), along with nursing, pharmacy, cardiac care and beyond, Excela Frick Hospital realized this national award for heart failure treatment and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Westmoreland Hospital was also recognized for its care of COPD patients. To schedule an appointment with an Excela Health cardiologist, call 1-855-ExcelaDoc. and


PHYSICIAN GARNERS STATEWIDE RECOGNITION Dr. William Jenkins, Emergency Department Director at Excela Health Frick Hospital, was named the 2015 Emergency Physician of the Year by the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians. This statewide designation is given to a deserving emergency medicine physician of unusual merit, which was demonstrated over the course of his 23-year career with Excela and noted in his rousing endorsement from Excela’s leadership team and staff testimonials. He has played a key role in the renovation of Frick Hospital’s Emergency Department (shown here) as well as taken a leadership role in representing Excela Frick Hospital in the community, with local government officials and the media. Most recently, he aided in the announcement of a $14 million investment in Frick Hospital’s renovation and installation of new services. He has taken a proactive stance on the drug abuse problem in his role on Westmoreland County’s Drug Task Force, implementing a system-wide policy for narcotic awareness and appropriate treatment of pain. He has been recognized by his peers and staff as a Physician Champion for Service Excellence; by the Mount Pleasant community via its Recognition of Excellence Community Service Award and, along with the department staff, garnered a national patient satisfaction finalist award and the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) “Award for Operational Excellence - Emergency Department Service Excellence,” among others.


DOCTOR of the year 15

Excellence In Nursing We are a family of great people dedicated to the art and science of nursing. At Excela Health, we put patients first. Professional and compassionate nursing is at the heart of our patient care mission, and nurses play an integral role in Excela’s ability to deliver high quality care and achieve success. Whatever the setting — in one of our three hospitals, at one of our community practice sites, diagnostic and surgical facilities, or in the patient’s home — Excela Health nurses are passionate about their practice and committed to making a difference every day in the lives of the patients and families we serve. Excellence in nursing practice, exemplary quality outcomes, and an environment that fosters shared leadership and decision-making are the components that define Excela Health Nursing. As we seek Magnet designation, which recognizes nursing organizations that place heavy emphasis on quality patient care and healthy work environments, we remain focused on establishing a care delivery model built on evidence, innovation and outcomes. We also remain committed to providing nurses with the resources and educational opportunities needed to foster professional growth and development, personal satisfaction, and continually improve nursing practice. We want our unwavering commitment to nursing excellence to be the assurance of quality care for our community. All my best,

Helen Burns, PhD, RN, FAAN Chief Nursing Officer

The National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI) was established in 1998 by the American Nurses Association and is a leading quality improvement program that analyzes relationships between nursing and patient outcomes. NDNQI consists of a comparative national database of nurse-sensitive quality indicators at the unit level. Since 2014, Excela Health had provided data for benchmarking ourselves against other, similar bed size hospitals. As a system, Excela Health has outperformed the national median on three of the four nurse-sensitive quality indicators during six quarters from July 2014 – December 2015.




DAISY Nomination Letter:

My Mom had Pulmonary Fibrosis. She was not a smoker; she was a seamstress and got the disease from the dust, dyes and chemicals from the fabrics she sewed over the years. Once Mom entered the hospital, it seemed her health issues began to pile up. She had blood clots, then pneumonia and then we heard about the hole in her heart and the list goes on. I spent five nights in the hospital with Mom. They were hard nights. On the last night, Mom was truly struggling to breathe. Mom had a terrible time breathing and passed out on me as I tried to get her up to go to the bathroom. Things happened fast but when I called for help, I swear I got everyone on the floor coming to our aid. I looked at all of these very young kids. I am 54 and I swear not one of these kids was over 15. I wanted to say ‘anyone of you over 15 raise your hand’. I looked at their faces and I thought for a moment I may be the one in charge. Then a young lady, Sheilah Reskovac, who I thought was so young, stepped up and said we have a plan and here is exactly what we are going to do. She not only had the attention of everyone in the room, she had my respect. Her strength and training kicked in and she was in charge giving directions and giving them tasks. She was professional and showed true leadership. In the middle of a cold, snowy January night she was a rock. More than that as we were laying my mom down and getting her back into the bed I glanced up at her young face and one single tear rolled down her face. She had compassion for my dying mom. We all knew we were coming to the end. Sheilah Reskovac demonstrated strength and compassion beyond her years. Be proud of that young lady. Not only did I see the compassion in her, my three younger sisters told me she came to each of them and Sheilah Reskovac, RN hugged them just before they took my mom to the Hospice floor as we waited for the end. My sisters and I talked and each of us wanted to see her nominated for this special DAISY Award. She deserves it. We saw compassion and knowledge in formulating a plan and most of all a role model for others. My Mom was a special person and before she passed away each of us girls got a special lecture. The lecture she gave me was, ‘be kind’. Always be kind. Sheilah certainly was that to my Mom.

The DAISY Award is a nationwide program that recognizes nursing excellence. In memory of Patrick Barnes, the family recalled the skillful and compassionate care Patrick received from his nurses during his eight-week hospitalization. They wanted to say “thank you” to nurses everywhere by establishing a recognition program - The DAISY Award For Extraordinary Nurses to honor the super-human work nurses do every day at the bedside. DAISY Award recipients are registered nurses who exemplify the nursing values of Extraordinary Compassion, Courage and Integrity in every situation! These individuals consistently demonstrate excellence in the delivery of patient care and promotion of their professional nursing practice. To nominate an Excela Health nurse or nursing team for a DAISY Award, visit and search “Daisy Award.”

Excela Health considers patient satisfaction a key indicator of organizational success. Excela measures a patient’s perception of care using the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems, or HCAHPS, survey issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Nursing has many opportunities to impact the survey domains positively. Based on the many initiatives advanced over the past few years, it is clear Excela Nursing is trending upward on key survey questions. 17

Roy Hall

Jeannette Jayhawks Football Coach




When Roy Hall, head coach of the Jeannette Jayhawks, couldn’t formulate a successful game plan to lose weight, he turned to Excela Health. Today, Coach Hall is down 160 pounds thanks to bariatric surgery at Excela Health.



Excela Westmoreland Hospital

IN MARKET For Medical Excellence


Excela’s bariatric program has the highest national ranking among the hospitals in its market, one that includes Western Pennsylvania and parts of West Virginia. 18

To view our online seminar, go to and search “Bariatrics.” For more information, call the Bariatric Surgery Center, 724-850-3142.

Dr. Mark Zelkovic

Dr. James Longhi

General/Bariatric Surgery

General/Bariatric Surgery

Dr. Abid Fakhri Cardiologist

National Awards Recognize Latrobe Hospital’s Work in Heart Failure Thanks to the outstanding care and quality provided by the cardiac team at Excela Health Latrobe Hospital, their efforts were rewarded with recognition from U.S. News & World Report. With the expertise of staff and physicians, such as Dr. Abid Fakhri, Excela Latrobe was recognized as a “High Performing Hospital,” one that was evaluated on positive patient outcomes, nursing care and number of cases, among other aspects of heart failure treatment. For more information, visit


For Medical Excellence


CareChex® is an information service of Quantros, Inc. CareChex provides clinical, financial, and patient satisfaction findings to consumers, providers, and purchasers of U.S. medical care. Unlike other publicly available quality ratings, CareChex provides a composite evaluation of all components of medical quality including process of care, outcomes of care, and patient experiences. For access to provider quality ratings, visit 19


Welcome to


Of all the relationships we develop in life, one of the more important is that of the patient-physician relationship. The primary care physician holds the advantage of “knowing” you – your health history, your family’s health history, and your health status over time. Not only is this relationship important in controlling costs, but it’s a smart choice when talking about quality of care. When your doctor knows you and refers you to a specialist, it’s with your best interests in mind. If the time comes, it’s also important to have a specialist you can trust without having to travel great distances. Members of the Excela Health Medical Group, an expanding network of family medicine and internal medicine physicians as well as physician-specialists, are located throughout Westmoreland County right where you live and work. Supported by our hospitals, and their comprehensive array of services, many of our sites also include other medical services such as lab work, x-ray and outpatient rehabilitation.

Need a Doctor? Excelarate Your Search by calling 1-855-ExcelaDoc.

Excela Health: Pictures of Quality  

Winter 2017

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