the magazine from FirstHealth of the Carolinas
The New Generation of cancer care.
Battling cancer requires the most powerful and advanced technology available. FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital’s Comprehensive Cancer Center now offers a highly specialized radiation treatment called “Stereotactic Radiosurgery” that treats certain cancers once considered inoperable while sparing healthy cells and preventing harsh side effects. Delivering treatments identical to those of a CyberKnife® or a Gamma Knife®, the Trilogy™ Stereotactic Radiosurgery System not only performs stereotactic radiosurgery but can also be used for conventional radiation therapy treatments, making the new linear accelerator the most versatile cancer treatment system available. It’s the new generation of cancer care, available today at Moore Regional Hospital. For more information call (910) 715-1056.
A year of milestones
David J. Kilarski Chief Executive Officer FirstHealth of the Carolinas
s a new year approaches, we often reflect on the past year and look forward to the next. Since the past year was my first with FirstHealth, I am delighted to do both. 2012 has been a year of tremendous achievement for our organization. Here are some highlights.
Financial stability Even with the pressures of the national recession and the uncertainties of the Affordable Care Act, FirstHealth remained on solid financial ground (even while providing $14 million in charity care) as one of the smallest health systems in the U.S. to maintain an AA category bond rating with each of the rating agencies. Any discussion of our financial health must, of course, cite the Foundation of FirstHealth and its support of projects such as the new Hospice campus, the Clara McLean House and Reid Heart Center, which set us apart from organizations of similar size. Patient satisfaction Since FirstHealth’s core purpose is “to care for people,” we’re always happy to hear that the people we care for appreciate the way we address our mission. A recent acknowledgement of our success came in our HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) survey results for the third quarter of 2012. In this national ranking of publicly reported patient satisfaction information, Moore Regional, which includes the Richmond Memorial campus, placed in the 93rd percentile when compared to all hospitals in the national database. HCAHPS results are nationally acknowledged as both objective and credible because of the strict implementation, accountability and transparency standards imposed on the survey by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Hoke County I invite you to follow our efforts to bring FirstHealth services to Hoke County by observing the construction of Hoke Community Hospital through a website located at www.firsthealth.org/hokehospital. Images that are updated every two weeks will allow you to view the progress of Hoke County’s first hospital. Employee opinion survey When we say that our core purpose is “to care for people,” we mean the 4,000-plus people that FirstHealth employs in addition to our patients and their families. Because we value the opinions of our employees, we periodically survey them about their perceptions of FirstHealth as a work environment. In a 2012 survey with a response rate of 92 percent, our employees called FirstHealth a great place to work. When compared to other hospitals nationally, we scored at the 88th percentile. This was a huge improvement from a previous survey in 2010, underscoring the value we place on the opinions of our employees. Accolades Finally, I congratulate FirstHealth’s physicians, staff and volunteers for the national and state recognitions that came our way during 2012. Two especially stand out. The first involved our showing among North Carolina’s Best Hospitals as reported by Business North Carolina magazine. In a ranking based on Medicare and Medicaid data and information from the N.C. Hospital Association and various other sources, Moore Regional Hospital was named the seventh best hospital in the state. Later in the year, U.S. News & World Report ranked Moore Regional as the state’s fifth best hospital and among the best in the Piedmont. These rankings reflect the outstanding caliber of our physicians, staff and volunteers and put us on par with some of the state’s large teaching facilities. When I consider all of these accomplishments and our momentum in quality and patient and employee satisfaction, I can’t help but look forward to 2013 as another great year of caring for people.
155 Memorial Drive P.O. Box 3000 Pinehurst, NC 28374 Editor, FirstHealth of the Carolinas. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Brenda Bouser Managing Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jason Schneider Creative Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jan McLean Production Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Traci Marsh
f i r s t h e al t h .o rg
Amy Avery, Brenda Bouser, Erica Stacy
Board of Directors FirstHealth of the Carolinas Mr. Julian W. King, Chair Mr. H. Edward Barnes, Vice Chair Robert Bahner Jr., M.D. Mr. Alex Bowness H. David Bruton, M.D. Mr. James H. Bulthuis David M. Cowherd, M.D. John N. Ellis, M.D. Walter S. Fasolak, D.O. Mr. Hew Fulton Mrs. Carolyn D. Helms Mrs. Anna G. Hollers
Mr. David J. Kilarski Ms. Tracy Leinbach Dr. Susan R. Purser Mr. Joel Shriberg Bruce S. Solomon, D.O. William L. Stewart, M.D. Glen D. Subin, M.D. Mr. Robert E. Tweed Mr. David Woronoff
Corporate Officers Chief Executive Officer, FirstHealth of the Carolinas President, Moore Regional Hospital. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mr. David J. Kilarski Chief Financial Officer, FirstHealth of the Carolinas.
. . . . Mrs.
Chief Information Officer, FirstHealth of the Carolinas .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mr.
Chief Medical Officer FirstHealth of the Carolinas .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . John
Lynn S. DeJaco
David B. Dillehunt
24 Calendar 25
About the cover: Patient Rufus Glidewell and his wife, Nancy, meet with Jenifir Bruno, M.D., prior to his recent hospital discharge. The communication between physician and the patient and his family is an important part of “The Exceptional Patient Experience.”
I am the Patient Experience
Living the Exceptional Patient Experience
How to …
F. Krahnert Jr., M.D.
Chief Operating Officer, FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mr. Brian T. Canfield President, FirstHealth Physician Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Daniel R. Barnes, D.O. President, FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital President, FirstCarolinaCare Insurance Company .
. . . Mr.
. . . . . . Mr.
John J. Jackson Kenneth J. Lewis
President, Foundation of FirstHealth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mrs. Kathleen Stockham President, FirstHealth Montgomery Memorial Hospital. . . . Mrs. Beth Walker Vice President, Human Resources, FirstHealth of the Carolinas . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mr.
Vice President, Finance & Support Services, FirstHealth of the Carolinas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Vice President, Quality, FirstHealth of the Carolinas .
. . . . . . . . . . Mr.
Daniel F. Biediger Jeffrey A. Casey
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mrs.
The not-for-profit FirstHealth of the Carolinas is headquartered in Pinehurst, N.C., and is composed of Moore Regional Hospital, Montgomery Memorial Hospital, Richmond Memorial Hospital (a division of Moore Regional Hospital), the Foundation of FirstHealth, FirstCarolinaCare Insurance Company, and Regional Health Services. Comments on FirstHealth of the Carolinas magazine or changes of address should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or to (910) 715-4278.
FirstHealth of the Carolinas is published three times a year by Krames StayWell 407 Norwalk St. Greensboro, NC 27407 (336) 547-8970 President . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . William G. Moore Senior Staff Accountant. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sharon Tesh © Copyright 2012 by Krames StayWell, an operating company of StayWell/MediMedia USA, and FirstHealth of the Carolinas, Inc. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission from Krames StayWell. Articles in this publication are written by professional journalists who strive to present reliable, up-to-date health information. However, personal decisions regarding health, finance, exercise and other matters should be made only after consultation with the reader’s physician or professional adviser. All editorial rights reserved. Opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of Krames StayWell or FirstHealth of the Carolinas. Models are used for illustrative purposes only.
13 Patient Safety & Infection Control 14 Technology & the Patient Experience 16 Clara’s House
A place of compassion and respite during times of trial
19 Rounding with a Purpose 20 Your FirstHealth Hospitalist Service
am the Patient Experience The patient service representative who checks you in at the Emergency Department or the Outpatient Center is “The Patient Experience.” The young man from Central Transportation who pushes your gurney into the surgical suite is “The Patient Experience.” So is the smiling lady who delivers your lunch tray. And the cheerful volunteer who delivers your flowers. No matter what the job, what the level of care, what the background or education of the person providing that care, every person at every step of your FirstHealth of the Carolinas encounter is “The Patient Experience.” The concept of door-to-door health care is nothing new, but FirstHealth of the Carolinas has given it renewed focus with its Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC). It is the goal of this group’s 32 members to help set the standard for a patient experience that becomes an exceptional patient experience as outlined in FirstHealth’s Strategic Plan. Debbie DeLong, administrative director of Physician Recruitment, NICU and Hospitalist Services, serves as PFAC facilitator. She says each
am the Patient Experience Defining the Exceptional Patient Experience
member of the committee brings a personal experience to the council table, each providing “an area of opportunity.” Some of the experiAn exceptional patient experience with FirstHealth ences have been positive, she of the Carolinas is patient- and family-centered, safe, points out, while some have effective, timely, efficient and equitable. Exceptional been less so. care at FirstHealth facilities includes: “There is not a story without both,” DeLong says. “If 77 Listening to, taking seriously, and respecting you learn to use these stories patients and their families as care partners effectively, you have one of the best tools for change.” 77 Always being truthful Pinehurst resident 77 Communicating information to all care team Alexander Jacoby has been members a PFAC member since it 77 Coordinating care among all members of the was organized in October health care team across all settings 2011. He brings a personal perspective to the group 77 Supporting patients emotionally as well as but volunteers for a broader physically reason. 77 Providing high-quality, timely, safe care with a “Customer service is my human touch passion,” says Jacoby, who chairs the Customer Services Subcommittee. Committee member Katherine Dunlap, a Ph.D.-trained certified social worker who lives in northwest Moore County, volunteers as a former patient as well as the wife and sister of former patients. “I want to do all I can do to make sure that every patient has the progressive, positive encounters that I have had,” she says. “Life is precious and the people at FirstHealth know that. They do everything within their power to protect life and, when the end is inevitable, they do all that they can do to provide courage, strength and peace at the time of passing.”
Exceptional Patient Experience “I firmly believe that I have had an Exceptional Patient Experience at Moore Regional, and this is why I have become a member of the PFAC and its subcommittees. Thank you to all my doctors, nurses, radiation technicians, administrative support, financial aid support and all the friendly/helpful volunteers.” —Scott Provencher
The friend brought him back to Moore County and Moore Regional Hospital, Provencher says, “because he really liked this hospital for how they had treated his mother.” Provencher was admitted to Moore Regional on Aug. 9, 2011. Soon afterward, Arsenia Provencher, just arrived from Paraguay, met with neurosurgeon Larry Van Carson, M.D., for an update on her husband’s treatment and to learn that he needed surgery to relieve pressure to his brain and to biopsy a mass on his temporal lobe. Six days later, by the time Provencher had been moved from surgical to neuro ICU, Dr. Carson had
Provencher’s room to discuss his recommended plan of action: first, surgery to remove the tumor followed by radiation and chemotherapy. A six-hour surgery to remove the tumor took place on Aug. 16, 2011. On Aug. 25, after completing all of his required physical therapy, Provencher went home with a walker, a cane, a treatment plan and a Cancer CARE Fund scholarship to FirstHealth’s Cancer Wellness Program. Radiation therapy, with radiation oncologist For more than a year, Scott Provencher has deStephen King, M.D., began on Sept. 8 and ended fined his life by “moments that matter.” The Seven Oct. 26. Chemotherapy, under the direction of Lakes resident, husband and father of four medical oncologist Charles Kuzma, M.D., has collected a scrapbook of them. started a week later and continues. Provencher was diagnosed with Stage Provencher has encountered the usual IV brain cancer in August 2011, and has side effects of treatment as well as a since undergone surgery, radiation and couple of unusual ones, but remains chemotherapy. Three recent MRIs indicate optimistic. The seven weeks of exercise that he is now in remission. Because his and education with the Cancer Wellness cancer has a history of recurrence, howProgram at the FirstHealth Center for ever, his chemotherapy was continued Health & Fitness–Southern Pines undoubtbeyond the usual standard of care. edly helped. Despite the dramatic assault to his “(Instructor Cinnamon LeBlanc) got me health and his family’s well-being, this to really push myself,” he says. strapping former Marine generally feels The lengthy list of caregivers throughout well, remains upbeat and is determined to his “exceptional patient experience” also beat the disease that changed his life so includes hospitalist John Kerr III, M.D.; quickly. He is also eager to share his story “The eagle represents Dr. Carson, the fish represents nurses and volunteers throughout the and does that as a member of FirstHealth’s my dad’s brain tumor. The water represents my hospital whose efforts and concerns have Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC), daddy, and the sun setting means the cancer is meant so much to him and his family; and his gone and the day is over.” – Kirsten I. Provencher a FirstHealth initiative to improve patient “favorite” Outpatient Cancer Center nurses care while celebrating the “exceptional Barry Barber and Laura Ferrall, who brought patient experience.” in cake and ice cream when he finished his “It’s my way of paying it forward,” Provencher the results of the biopsy—glioblastoma multifirst round of chemotherapy. says. forme, the most malignant and fastest-growing Barber says modestly that “it was a community Provencher’s FirstHealth experience began with of all brain tumors—and an uncertain prognosis kind of thing” while Provencher recalls giving “a a trip to the Emergency Department at Moore of maybe a month, maybe three months, maybe lot of hugs that day.” Regional Hospital, of which he has no memory. a year. Seemingly able to put a best face on even the He was in South Carolina for a new job and had According to both Provenchers, Dr. Carson most difficult of circumstances, Provencher has begun to have moderate-to-severe headaches delivered the news straightforwardly but with teamed up with his daughter, Carina, to create an and nausea. His wife, in her native Paraguay with compassion, even speaking to Arsenia in her acronym to describe his chemotherapy. He uses it their children to care for her ailing mother, had native Spanish. when sharing all of the events of the past year. become increasingly alarmed by his slurred speech “Dr. Carson talked to us as though he was the CHEMO, he says, means Caring Hearts Equals and lack of engagement during their telephone patient,” Provencher says. Miraculous Outcomes. conversations and asked a friend to check on him. Later the same day, Dr. Carson returned to
Th e E xce ptional Pati ent Experienc e
Exceptional Patient Experience Chatham County employee Brenda Williams, Scotland County EMS Director Roylin Hammond and longtime Troy resident Ellen Turner share the exceptional patient experience of FirstHealth of the Carolinas care. You may have seen their faces in a series of television commercials highlighting FirstHealth’s orthopaedic, cardiology and cancer services. Here are their stories.
Brenda Williams, Siler City, Orthopaedics SILER CITY—Brenda Williams’ young grandson used to ask her why she “wiggled” when she walked. It was a difficult question to answer, because the walk wasn’t a wiggle, but a limp she had developed after long years of arthritis pain in both knees. Eventually, the pain in her knees became so severe that it was affecting her work as administrator of Chatham County’s Soil & Water Conservation Department as well as her personal life. She was asking co-workers to run on-the-job errands for her, and she was unable to play with her grandchildren the way she had before. “It was really affecting my life,” Williams says. Convinced that she needed knee replacement surgery, Williams sought the advice of David J. Casey, M.D., an orthopaedic surgeon with FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital. He wanted more information before he was ready to settle on surgery, though.
Brenda Williams returned to her job in the Chatham County Soil & Water Conservation Department eight weeks after having both of her knees replaced at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital. Before her surgery, Williams was so impaired by the pain in her knees that she had to ask co-workers to run errands for her because she couldn’t climb the stairs in the building where she works.
“You don’t let anybody operate on (just the basis of) your X-rays,” Dr. Casey says. “We have a successful surgery, but it definitely should be a last resort.” Dr. Casey tried various treatments, but Williams’ obviously impaired quality of life—coupled with the cortisone shots that helped identify her knees as the source of her problem—resulted in an “informed decision” to operate. Williams had her surgery in late January and knew immediately that she had done the right thing. She was still in pain, but it was a different pain from the bone-on-bone aches that had kept her
awake at night and on a regular program of ibuprofen and ice. Less than a week later, she was ready for physical therapy. Dr. Casey describes successful joint replacement surgery as “more than just the doctor.” “It’s the team,” he says, and Williams agrees. The week she spent in Moore Regional’s Center for Inpatient Rehabilitation wasn’t easy, but occupational therapist Dana McLean and physical therapist Heather Fraley were determined to help her return to the lifestyle she had come so close to losing. “I’ll rave about those folks,” she says about her inpatient rehab team. Eight weeks after her surgery, Williams was back at work and fully enjoying her grandchildren again. Dr. Casey and the therapists give a lot of the credit for her success to her personal motivation and hard work, but she shares her success with them. “The people in the hospital were so good to me and so kind,” she says. “I’m very pleased.”
Roylin Hammond, Laurinburg, Cardiology Services LAURINBURG—Roylin Hammond calls himself “one of the lucky people.” Lucky to live in a community that recognizes the importance of quality care for heart attack patients. Lucky that FirstHealth’s Reid Heart Center is an ambulance ride away. Lucky to be alive. “I’m here, living proof that the system really works,” he says. Hammond is Scotland County’s EMS director, so he was in one of the best places he could have been—at work—for the heart attack he had a few days before Christmas last year. Paramedics were just a few feet away and quickly noted his nausea, ashen ap-
pearance and dropping blood pressure and pulse. Because Scotland County has adopted the RACE (Reperfusion of Acute Myocardial Infarction in Carolina Emergency Departments) protocol for heart attack treatment, Hammond was on his way to Pinehurst and FirstHealth’s Reid Heart Center within minutes. When he arrived, a “swarm” of heart care professionals already familiar with his condition was waiting. “I didn’t realize that many people could work in one hospital,” he says. Within two hours of the attack’s onset, interventional cardiologist Peter L. Duffy, M.D., had performed a cardiac catheterization and then implanted a stent to reopen Hammond’s fully blocked right coronary artery. His cardiologist, Mark Landers, M.D., was also present for the procedure. Shortly afterward, Hammond was resting in a Reid Heart Center bed. The RACE plan that EMS Director Hammond had endorsed two years earlier probably saved his life by allowing a FirstHealth ambulance—one that is stationed in Laurinburg—to bypass a closer emergency department and take him to Moore Regional for emergency balloon angioplasty. Diagnostic information transmitted from the ambulance by paramedics confirmed a heart attack and allowed the hospital’s cardiac cath team to mobilize before he arrived. “When we rolled in the door, they were on me like white on rice for all practical purposes,” Hammond says. Although the stent took care of Hammond’s immediate problem, another blockage was also located and he returned to Reid Heart Center two months later for open-heart surgery performed by cardiothoracic surgeon Peter I. Ellman, M.D. After that, he participated in the Cardiac Rehab program at the FirstHealth Center for Health & Fitness–Pinehurst, learning how to adopt a healthier lifestyle through diet and exercise.
As EMS director for Scotland County, Roylin Hammond endorsed the county’s adoption of a heart attack protocol that probably saved his life by sending him to FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital and Reid Heart Center for treatment.
Th e E xce ptional Pati ent Experienc e
“You get into (the Cardiac Rehab) way of doing things,” he says, “things that I knew but I really didn’t practice until I went through this.” Hammond has since joined a local gym, lost weight and—with the help and “patience” of his supportive wife—embarked on a fitter way of life. He calls it “a real plus” that residents of Scotland County are so close to Reid Heart Center and the same level of care that he received. “When I woke up in the Reid Heart Center after the stent, I was a new man,” he says. “It’s like I’d been given a second chance.”
Ellen Turner, Troy, Cancer Services TROY—Just when Ellen Turner thought she was about to knock cancer’s fast ball out of the park, the disease threw her a curve. And then another. But neither Turner nor her FirstHealth of the Carolinas medical team was ready to strike out. Every time cancer played hard ball, Turner and FirstHealth’s Cancer Services staff found a sturdier bat. Turner’s first encounter with cancer occurred with uterine cancer, diagnosed in 2002 and apparently successfully removed without further treatment after a complete hysterectomy at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital. Two years later, the source of Turner’s severe pelvic pain was found to be an inoperable tumor that had wrapped itself around her bladder. This diagnosis required both chemotherapy and radiation, sometimes at the same time. Turner was sick for a year, especially after Moore Regional’s Cancer Services staff decided to hit the tumor with “the big boys in the chemotherapy line” and finish it off. By November 2006, Turner had every right to think that she and cancer had finally parted company, but then she found a lump in her breast. She had a lumpectomy at FirstHealth Montgomery Memorial Hospital and was then reintroduced to the same radiation oncologists at Moore Regional who had cared for her during the earlier bladder cancer episode. Despite some lingering after-effects that have put her on a first-name basis with much of the Emergency Department staff at Montgomery Memorial, this wife, mother, grandmother and retired administrative secretary has been cancer-free for five years.
Troy resident Ellen Turner used almost every cancer service FirstHealth of the Carolinas has to offer in her long battle to become cancer-free.
She credits God for her recovery, but is grateful for the exceptional care she received from gifted health care professionals at every step of her cancer journey: Ellen Willard, M.D., medical oncologist; Jeffrey Acker, M.D., Sushma Patel, M.D., and Stephen King, M.D., radiation oncologists; Janet Britt, P.A.; gynecologist Barry Buchele, M.D.; and the staffs of the FirstHealth Outpatient Cancer Center, FirstHealth Radiation Oncology and the Emergency Department at Montgomery Memorial Hospital. And many others. “I can’t praise these people enough,” Turner says. “They are so super. They are wonderful, wonderful people.”
Th e E xce ptional Pati ent Experienc e
For more information call (800) 213-3284.
… talk to your primary care provider
M Michael Antil, M.D.
ichael Antil, M.D., describes the relationship between primary care provider and patient as a “team effort” based on the willingness of each to communicate freely with the other. “Everything we talk about is open for discussion,” he says. “You’re here to let me help you.” As a specialist in internal medicine with Pinehurst Medical Clinic, Dr. Antil sees patients with physical ailments that might range from sore throat to chest pain. The relationship may last for years and often does. From the beginning, Dr. Antil has a message for his patients. “I tell every patient on day one ‘I’m not going to get mad at you,’” he says. That’s Dr. Antil’s way of encouraging patients to speak frankly and openly. He advises coming to any appointment with an agenda of the matters you want to discuss. Dr. Antil—and any other provider, he suspects—will have an agenda, too. A successful appointment will combine the two. “Don’t be afraid to let your doctor know what your agenda is,” he says. “Having it written down makes sense.” Central to any appointment is updated information on your current medications as well as a basic understanding of the services your insurance company will and will not provide. If nothing else, bring along a formulary, a listing of the medications your insurance company will cover and their payment level. Think of your primary care provider as the “first detective on the scene,” Dr. Antil advises. “Tell me everything,” he says. “Tell me what you’re feeling. A doctor who doesn’t listen is going to miss something, so it’s your job to tell us everything. You’re in that body, and I’m not. You’re an invaluable resource to figure this out.”
… talk to your hospitalist
U Jenifir Bruno, M.D.
nlike the primary care provider who follows you on a routine basis, your hospitalist will see you only during your hospital stay. Depending on the length of your hospitalization, you may even have more than one hospitalist, but all will be familiar with your case and each will be committed to your care. (See a related story on page 20) Since it’s just as important to communicate with your hospitalist as with your regular provider, having a family member or friend with you can help, says Jenifir Bruno, M.D., the assistant medical director of Moore Regional Hospital’s Hospitalist Service. The need can be even more critical with patients who are elderly or confused. “It’s important for the family to tell us what’s going on, to give us background, especially if the patient can’t do it,” Dr. Bruno says. “Patients do much better here if they have someone who is familiar to them.” While electronic medical records give the hospitalist access to the patient’s medical history and personal background, not all primary care practices use them and some patients – especially young adults – don’t have an established primary care relationship. A knowledgeable relative or friend can provide current information about medications, patient functionality (the ability to walk and talk normally and feed oneself) and social life (whether the patient smokes or drinks) if the patient can’t do it himself. “This helps us determine the patient’s (health) baseline and what is new,” Dr. Bruno says. “It’s important for us to have this information.”
Th e E xce pti onal Pati ent Experienc e
How to… … search the Web for health information
ith Internet browsers a mere computer screen away, it can be tempting to do a Web search about the suspicious-looking mole on your thigh or the source of the cough that’s been nagging you for months. You’ll get a lot of information if you do, and some of it will be reliable. However, much of the information could be misunderstood or lacking in clarity, according to Dan Oates, the chief librarian for FirstHealth’s Health Sciences Library. He advises getting help, and that help is easily available. “The help is the Health Sciences Library,” Oates says. “If you don’t really know what you’re looking for, a search can give you a million hits.” Located on the second floor of the Conference Center at Moore Regional Hospital, the Health Sciences Library is open to the public Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
There is no charge for the library’s services, which are provided by two master’s-trained librarians. The library’s collection includes books, journals and newspapers as well as access to a host of reliable databases including PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine. “It’s the most comprehensive health science library in the world,” says Oates. If you’re intent on doing your own search, however, Oates advises seeking information that is current, accurate, relevant to your situation, evidencebased, free of bias (does not promote a particular service or product), reliable, understandable and makes sense. “You want to find a reliable source in layman’s terms,” he says. Whatever the source, Oates cautions, never substitute the information for the advice of your physician.
… understand your insurance plan
nderstanding your health insurance coverage may be one of the most confusing aspects of your patient care experience. The following advice, from FirstCarolinaCare Insurance Company, should help.
77 Familiarizing yourself with some key terms can be helpful—especially terms
regarding what you, as an insurance plan “member,” may have to pay out of pocket:
44 Coinsurance: A set percent of the maximum allowable payment that members pay a provider for a covered service. 44 Copayment: The fixed dollar amount a member must pay a provider for certain covered services based on the Schedule of Medical Benefits. 44 Deductible: The amount of money paid by the member for covered services before the insurance plan starts paying (measured either on a calendar year basis or on an annual renewal date). 44 Out-of-Pocket Maximum: The maximum amount of deductible and coinsurance required to be paid by the member for covered services (also measured by calendar year or annual renewal date). 44 In-Network: Covered services received from a participating provider. (Check your insurance company’s Provider Directory for a list of participating physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, etc.) 44 Out-of-Network: Covered services received from a non-participating provider. (Some plans do not have out-of-network benefits.) Other points to remember: 77 Insurance plan members are responsible for service precertifications, so familiarize yourself with the list of services requiring a call to verify coverage before you can receive treatment. Many times, your provider can get the precertification approval for you.
77 Read your Certificate of Coverage or Summary Plan Description document,
paying particular attention to the list of Exclusions and Limitations. This document is a summary of what is and is not covered. The Schedule of Medical Benefits lists the benefits for a member’s plan and lists specific information such as copayment, coinsurance and deductible. 77 Understand your pharmacy benefits and refer to your plan’s formulary (a list of medicines covered by your plan). The following key terms are important to know about your pharmacy benefits: 44 Tier: The cost of a drug depends upon its tier or level. Tiers typically range from generic to preferred and nonpreferred drugs. 44 Step-therapy: The process by which less-expensive drugs must be tried and failed before more expensive drugs will be covered. 44 Prior authorization: Precertification of a drug. 44 Quantity limitation: The maximum amount of a drug that can be dispensed within a specific period of time.
Your health insurance coverage is a legal contract between you and your insurer, so you should take responsibility for understanding its terms and conditions to the best of your ability. The staff of FirstCarolinaCare is happy to help members with questions and will also help with an appeal if you believe a claim was unfairly denied or if the coverage level was incorrect. FirstCarolinaCare members who have questions can call the following numbers (toll-free): 77 For Precertification: (800) 574-8556 77 For Pharmacy Benefits: (800) 788-2949 77 For Member Services: (800) 811-3298
For more information call (800) 213-3284.
… speak up Safety is your right as a patient in a FirstHealth of the Carolinas hospital, so: 77 77
Speak up if you have questions. Make sure that a member of the staff checks your ID bracelet and asks your name and date of birth before you are given medications or have a procedure. Be sure that all of your caregivers clean their hands when they enter or leave your room. Make sure your visitors clean their hands when they enter or leave your room. If you are in pain, discuss a plan with your doctor and nurse. Call for help to get out of the bed or chair. Don’t risk falling!
During a medical emergency, call 911. It will be the best thing you can do for yourself and for the people you may encounter on your way to the hospital. “We want to discourage people from driving with chest pain, not thinking clearly or feeling like they’re about to pass out,” says Donna Strong, director of FirstHealth Regional EMS. “We don’t want them behind the wheel, endangering themselves or the lives of others.” All of the EMS dispatch centers in the FirstHealth of the Carolinas service area now have dispatchers who are specially trained in medical emergency call-taking protocols. This standardized approach involves specific questions that drive the conversation from one question to the next. The reason is twofold. “The caller is getting information from a medical professional who not only can ask the right questions, but who can also prioritize symptoms and go ahead and give the caller instructions on how to handle the emergency,” Strong says. That information may be as simple as taking medication, such as nitroglycerine or aspirin, or as detailed as how to perform CPR, control bleeding or even assist a woman in labor. Don’t be concerned that this question-and-answer format will cause a delay in getting an ambulance to you. “The whole time the dispatcher is giving instructions, another is dispatching the ambulance, so it’s not delaying getting the ambulance there,” Strong says. Top reasons for calling 911 include chest pain, symptoms of stroke, altered mental status, loss of consciousness, choking, seizure and significant blood loss. Trauma, whether accidental or crime-related, is yet another. It is especially important, Strong points out, not to deny the presence of certain symptoms or to assume they will soon go away on their own. “The longer you delay, the more damage,” she says. “I would encourage people not to delay calling, especially in the case of chest pain or signs of a stroke.”
Th e E xce pti onal Pati ent Experienc e
How to… … read your hospital bill
eading your FirstHealth of the Carolinas hospital bill just got easier. The statements have been revised to make them more concise and to include more related information. In addition to notifying you about what you owe, the new statements also have information on how to inquire about payment plans and financial assistance—all in easy-to-read form. According to Chris Fraley, FirstHealth’s director of Revenue Cycle Management, the most important thing you should know about your statement is that it will indicate the amount you owe FirstHealth for your hospital stay. “We won’t send a request for payment until after your insurance has paid,” says Fraley. “If you get a statement from us, it is the amount that we are sure is your responsibility.” The statement will also indicate the name of your insurance carrier (listed as primary) as well as the name of any supplemental carrier. A section labeled “Account Activity” will describe the services you received during your hospital stay and the charges for those services as well as the amount that your insurance company has paid toward them. The TOTAL ACCOUNT BALANCE at the end of the summary again states the amount you owe. Statements that include more detailed information are available upon request. Be advised that although you will receive only one bill from FirstHealth, you may get a separate bill or bills for some of the services you received during your hospitalization. Usually, the bill will come from one of the independent physician practices contracted to provide their particular service in the hospital: Sandhills Emergency Physicians, for Emergency Department care, for example; Pinehurst Radiology Associates, for imaging; and Pinehurst Pathology for biopsies or other tissue examinations. You can pay your hospital bill either by mail or electronically through FirstHealth’s convenient and secure online payment process (accessed at www.firsthealth.org/paymybill). Information on both options is also available on your statement. If a hospital bill is unpaid after the first statement, FirstHealth Patient Accounts will issue a second statement and then a third. If the bill remains unpaid, you’ll get a final notice and the information will go to a collection agency. Although an unpaid hospital bill will appear on your credit report, FirstHealth will If you need help paying your bill, FirstHealth of not resort to the heavy-handed collection the Carolinas offers several patient-friendly options. practices—including high interest charges, Trained financial counselors are available to help liens and property seizures—of some other with payment plans; walk the customer through North Carolina hospital systems. Medicaid or disability applications, if appropriate; or “We can help,” says Fraley. “We have a make referrals for financial assistance. lot of people who are versed in all the differ“The process is very easy for the customer,” says ent programs we have and in all the different Gay Green, assistant director of FirstHealth Revenue programs the state has to offer. (A hospital Cycle Management. “We want to work with you, and we welcome your phone call to answer any bill) is our last contact with the patient, and questions you may have.” we want it to be a positive experience.”
Financial assistance and charity care
For more information call (800) 213-3284.
Th e E xce ptional Pati ent Experienc e
Patient Safety and Infection Control
Paul Jawanda, M.D.
he expectation of any exceptional hospital experience is that you will 77 An Antibiotic Stewardship Program to assure that patients don’t get leave the hospital feeling better than you did when you were admitantibiotics they don’t need. “The patient may be started on more than one ted. Realistically, of course, that is not always the case, but it is still antibiotic when admitted, but then some or all of the antibiotics will be the goal of every member of a dedicated hospital care-giving team. stopped if it is determined they are not needed,” says Jayne Lee, director Central to that goal is another expectation—that you will be kept safe and of Patient Safety and Infection Control at FirstHealth Moore Regional free of preventable problems during your hospital stay. The responsibility for Hospital. that goal lies with a hospital’s infection control and patient safety program. 77 A falls prevention program to identify patients who are at high risk of “We do everything we can to ensure the safety and decrease the risk of falling and to educate all patients about the importance of calling for infection to our patients so that they leave the hospital healthier than when assistance before they get out of bed. they were admitted,” says Paul Jawanda, M.D., a board certified specialist in infectious diseases According to Lee, patient safety is a team with FirstHealth’s Infectious Disease program. effort and patients and families should be active “Some of the actions we take to decrease risk members of that team. It’s OK, she says, to ask involve moderate use of antibiotics, flu vaccinadoctors and nurses if they have cleaned their tions for all staff to prevent the spread of flu hands before they examine you. And it’s all right in the hospital, and pre-surgical screenings for to speak up if one of the medications that you MRSA and Staph infections for patients having get during your hospital stay doesn’t look like elective surgeries.” what you take at home or is a new medication FirstHealth of the Carolinas has dozens of on which you’d like more information. policies and procedures regarding patient safety At the same time, don’t get angry if you are and infection control issues. Some of them asked your name and date of birth several times Jaclyn Elliott, of FirstHealth Radiation include: over the course of a few hours. That’s an imporOncology, gets her flu shot from tant part of the patient identification process. pharmacy resident Andrew Krupp “It’s part of the whole patient safety move77 Hand washing, which is acknowledged as during the recent influenza vaccination ment to make patients aware of how they THE single-most important procedure for clinic at Moore Regional Hospital. can help,” Lee says. “We are partners in this preventing health care-associated infections. care experience, and we need to partner with According to FirstHealth policy, health care patients and families. We’re all in this together to make sure our patients providers must “decontaminate” their hands by hand washing or alcoholbased hand rub every time they enter or leave a patient care area. have a safe as well as an exceptional patient experience.” 77 Computerized Physician Ordered Entry or the electronic entry of physician orders for patient care. The use of CPOE decreases delay in order completion and reduces errors related to handwriting or transcription. 77 Medication bar coding, which helps with the validation and administration Working to ensure your safety of medications. Jayne Lee, R.N., BSN, Director, Patient Safety & Infection Control, 77 Mandatory influenza vaccinations: Every FirstHealth employee who Moore Regional Hospital routinely works in a patient care area must be vaccinated annually against influenza. Employees who cannot take the vaccination because of a Wanda Lewis, R.N., BSN, CIC, Safety, Infection Control & Discharge Coordinator, physician-documented allergy or medical condition must wear a mask Montgomery Memorial Hospital every time they are in a patient care area during flu season. In addition, Catherine C. Locklear, R.N., CIC, Infection Control/ Employee Health Nurse, hospitalized patients are offered a flu vaccination upon discharge. Richmond Memorial Hospital 77 Nasal swabbing to determine if patients about to undergo certain elective surgeries have MRSA or Staph aureus in their body. Those who do receive prophylactic medication.
Th e Exce ptio n al Pati en t Experienc e
Neurosurgeon Charles S. Haworth, M.D., uses 3-D images and GPS technology to pinpoint the precise location for a spine surgery incision at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital.
Innovative back surgery —without a 6-inch scar
By Amy Avery
nspired by techniques that allow surgeons to remove brain tumors without opening the skull, a pioneering neurosurgeon now with FirstHealth of the Carolinas realized years ago that the same idea could help people needing spine surgery. “If we could avoid having to make 6-inch incisions along the spine to reach the vertebrae, patients would recover faster and avoid many of the risks of traditional surgery,” says Charles S. Haworth, M.D., a neurosurgeon at Moore Regional Hospital. “Unlike the brain, however, the spine bends and twists, so there are extra challenges in this work.” Working with an international team for more than 16 years, Dr. Haworth overcame those challenges by using three-dimensional images and new computer navigation software that allow the neurosurgeon to guide surgical tools exactly where they need to be, without the need for a long incision. Since September, Dr. Haworth has been using this innovation at Moore Regional to treat patients with spinal stenosis, ruptured discs and vertebrae that have slipped out of place. “Before we had these new tools and techniques, spine surgeons used to
think that a long recovery was unavoidable and that patients’ ongoing back pain and stiffness were likely but necessary risks,” he says. “Now most of our patients are up and around the next day and back to their normal activities months earlier than before. Even I’m amazed by the advances we’re able to offer patients today.”
New tools make innovation possible Dr. Haworth has performed this and similar procedures on more than 1,000 patients. His innovation is called spinal navigation technology. In addition to complex software and real-time three-dimensional images, the technology uses a pencil-like pointing device to map the spine in a major advancement that works like the GPS navigation used in vehicles and cell phones. During the procedure, the surgeon places the pointing device at various locations along the patient’s skin directly above the spine. The device transmits these locations to a computer, which maps each point onto three-dimensional video images of the spine. Complex software compares the real-time images with previous CT scans that were used to create the plan for surgery. In this way, the computer
guides, or helps navigate, the physician to the precise area needing repair. From there, surgery involves tiny cameras and tools that are common to many surgeries today. Research shows that this type of surgery reduces the risk of infection and need for blood transfusions.
Small incisions, big benefits
In a related safety innovation to the customized computer software, Dr. Haworth also created a technique to take CT-quality images of the spine during the operation with 90 percent less radiation than that of a traditional CT. “These are all huge improvements for our patients,” says Dr. Haworth. “We’ve been excited by the interest surgeons around the country have in bringing it to their patients.”
The large incision of traditional spine surgery can damage muscles and cause painful scar tissue, and recovery can take weeks or months. “This technique at FirstHealth, on the other hand, allows us to slip tools in between the muscles, perform a repair and slip out again,” Dr. Haworth says. “There’s little damage to the surrounding tissues and less scarring.” The benefits of the advanced procedure have brought neurosurgeons from academic medical centers across the nation to meet with Dr. Haworth, who developed the technique with the help of medical equipment maker Stryker, along with national and international experts.
Dr. Haworth is a member of the FirstHealth UNC Neurosurgery team. The practice is located in the Pinehurst Surgical building across Memorial Drive from the main entrance to FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital in Pinehurst. All four of the neurosurgeons associated with the practice—Carol M. Wadon, M.D.; Bruce P. Jaufmann, M.D.; Larry Van Carson, M.D.; and Dr. Haworth—are board certified and are part of the clinical faculty at the UNC School of Medicine. For information on how to make an appointment with any of the neurosurgeons, call (800) 213-3284.
From 35 trips for cancer treatment to just a few
hen listing the benefits of a new cancer treatment at FirstHealth Moore Regional, Stephen King, M.D., and his colleagues in the hospital’s Radiation Oncology department get excited by what it means for their patients. Since October of this year, the new Trilogy Stereotactic Radiosurgery Linear Accelerator has made highly effective cancer care possible for some people who previously would not have been candidates for traditional cancer surgery. It allows others to avoid weeks of radiation treatments but with the same positive results. “Some cancers are inoperable because of their location, in the brain or spine, for example, and some patients are too weak for surgery,” says Dr. King, a radiation oncologist. “This treatment provides results that are just as good as traditional surgery and better than other types of radiation treatment.” Previously, patients and their families spent hours on the road traveling elsewhere for the same therapy. Today, they can get this powerful treatment at Moore Regional.
For more information
on cancer services offered by FirstHealth of the Carolinas, call (800) 213-3284.
Precise and powerful FirstHealth’s Trilogy Stereotactic Radiosurgery Linear Accelerator is used primarily for smaller lung and brain cancers and may be used in the future to treat the spine, liver and pancreas. During stereotactic procedures, physicians use computers and
advanced images to position the patient accurately, so they can precisely focus the radiation. Radiosurgery refers to the use of a very high dose of radiation in a single treatment session to destroy a tumor. The linear accelerator is the machine that generates the radiation. Key advances of the new equipment are its ability to focus an extremely powerStephen King, M.D. ful radiation beam on a very small area— and do so with great accuracy. “Because we can direct the beam so precisely, we’re able to protect healthy tissue next to the cancerous tissue,” Dr. King says. “And so, during every treatment, we’re able to use significantly higher doses of radiation aimed directly at the cancer.” With other radiation therapies, patients might need up to 35 treatments—35 visits back and forth from home and days of recovery between. “Now we can accomplish the same results in one or two super-focused treatments,” Dr. King says, “and patients remain here near their family and friends. Those are huge benefits for our community.” This latest addition to the cancer experts’ toolbox puts cancer care at Moore Regional Hospital on a par with some of the best available anywhere. The Trilogy Stereotactic Radiosurgery Linear Accelerator is one of the most precise and powerful radiation treatments for certain cancers. “The leadership at FirstHealth has been extremely supportive of bringing this cutting-edge cancer treatment to residents of our region, and we’re all very excited about it,” says Margie Thomas, BSRT, (R)(T), Moore Regional’s clinical director of Radiation Oncology. “Between our specialists and all the treatment options we offer, plus clinical trials, our patients can now remain here to get the same quality of care that they would get at almost any major medical center in the country.”
Th e E xce ptional Pati ent Experienc e
ClaraÕs House By Erica Stacy
ichard Smith and his wife Joan live in Cumberland County, about 40 miles from Pinehurst. In August, Joan Smith, a longtime asthma sufferer, was admitted to FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital with back pain related to her breathing. “She hadn’t been feeling quite well for a while,” her husband says. “We expected her to take a turn for the worse, but not so suddenly. When she was admitted to the hospital, I was dealing with vision problems related to macular degeneration. Driving back and forth so that I could spend as much time with her as possible was a challenge.” A nurse who was caring for his wife suggested that Smith look into the Clara McLean House at FirstHealth. “I made a few phone calls to learn more, then I decided to try it for a night,” Smith says. He stayed for five days. The Clara McLean House at FirstHealth or Clara’s House, as it is informally known, welcomed its first guests in April 2012, offering patients and families a comfortable sanctuary as they navigate hospital services, procedures and overnight admissions. The facility, which offers every comfort of home and more, is located in FirstVillage, across Memorial Drive from Moore Regional’s main entrance. Thanks to the generosity of visionary donors through The Foundation of FirstHealth, patients and families now have a place where they can rest between medical appointments, refresh between visits to the ICU, prepare a quick snack or a family meal, or spend the night before the next round of medical treatments or hospital visits. The day-to-day operations are also supported through philanthropic donations and financial con-
Clara’s House referrals come from many sources Clara’s House is “a place to call home” for patients and families who travel from outside the Pinehurst area for medical care at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital. Named for businesswoman and philanthropist Clara McLean, the 20,000-square-foot facility features 12 private guest rooms, a living room, library, family room, dining room, sunroom and a reflection room for private contemplation. Both overnight and daytime accommodations are available just minutes away from the hospital. In addition to the amenities of the house itself, the adjacent Healing Garden provides a place of respite in nature for quiet contemplation, prayer or conversation. Visitors from the hospital and the community as well as Clara’s House are welcome. Health care professionals from throughout the FirstHealth service area can refer patients and families for Clara’s House use. Referrals can be made through the staff at either of the three FirstHealth hospitals, FirstHealth Hospice, pastoral care, area physician practices and the Surgery Center of Pinehurst. Patients and families can speak directly to a member of the Clara’s House staff regarding eligibility by calling (910) 715-4220. Facilities are available to: • patients who are undergoing multiple-day hospital treatments (such as radiation therapy) and who are able to care for themselves or who are accompanied by a caregiver • immediate family members of patients • relatives of patients in the FirstHealth Hospice House Greatest priority goes to patients, to the relatives of critically ill patients and to individuals who live 30 or more miles away from the hospital. For more information, call (800) 213-3284.
A place of compassion and respite during times of trial
tributions from the community. Volunteers assist with every aspect of the house from preparing and serving a daily continental breakfast to maintaining the Healing Garden. With continued commitment, the house will extend a hand of kindness to those who need it most now and for many years to come. After just a few short months, Clara’s House is already making a difference, one family at a time. “Caregivers need a place to relax, regroup and recharge,” says Clara’s House director Rebecca Ainslie. “Sitting by the bedside, trying to comprehend instructions from the medical staff, coping with the physical and emotional needs of the patient, all far from the comforts of home is a stressful, taxing experience. We wanted to create a place where individuals could rest their bodies and their spirits.” (continued on page 18)
Th e E x c e p t i o n a l Pa tie nt E xperienc e
The “extras” that make a hospital different Although a hospital stay is unquestionably defined by the patient’s clinical outcome and the care and attention provided by the professional and compassionate staff of caregivers, there are “extras” that can help make that stay more pleasant. From wireless Internet to the availability of patient-preference meals, FirstHealth of the Carolinas offers various amenities to improve a hospital stay for patients and families. Here is a partial list. (Please note: Not all of these services are available at all three FirstHealth hospitals.)
• Parking Lot Assistance at Moore Regional Hospital, including a Volunteer (continued from page 17) Courtesy Van in the Main Parking Lot on Memorial Drive and a volunteer-operatRichard Smith understands. ed golf cart that is available during designated hours in the Outpatient Lot on “I couldn’t ask for any better care,” he says. Page Road “I’ve stayed at five-star hotels that weren’t as • Volunteer Magazine Cart Services nice. The facility put me at ease and was very • Pastoral care that includes chaplain visits as well as holiday services during the comfortable. The grounds were beautiful. I Christmas and Hanukkah seasons, Wednesday noon prayer and Sunday morning only wish I had known about it sooner.” services Smith has passed the information about • Gift shops that include delivery to patient rooms (The Gift Shop at Moore RegionClara’s House along to his daughter. “Her al is operated by the Moore Regional Hospital Auxiliary, and proceeds fund husband has heart trouble, and he is hospitalhospital projects.) ized from time to time,” Smith says. “I feel • “At Your Request” or patient-preference meals, when appropriate more comfortable knowing that she can stay • Daily courtesy meals for designated guests of Blair Hall patients at Montgomery at Clara’s House. It gives me peace of mind Memorial to know she would be safe even when she is alone, and she will be treated with kindness • Health Science and Cancer Center libraries at Moore Regional and consideration.” • Toymaker toys for pediatric patients and Toymaker baby bears for newborns • Crocheted/knitted caps and blankets for babies in the Clarke Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Moore Regional • Newborn photo service • Wireless Internet access • ATM machines FirstHealth employees and volunteers work together to • Publicly accessed cafeterias at Moore Regional and Richmond Memorial create a patient-centered environment of healing that enand The Bistro (with light fare, beverages and snacks) at Reid Heart courages visitation and recognizes each patient’s right to Center request and designate visitation preferences. This includes • FirstQuit (quit-tobacco) bags to assist tobacco-using visitors while they the patient’s right to designate a support person who can are on tobacco-free FirstHealth campuses be with him/her during a stay in a FirstHealth facility. • An “eCard” greeting card service This practice supports patients emotionally and enhances patient safety and healing.
Th e E xce ptional Pati ent Experienc e
Rounding with a Purpose
or a few days last year, registered nurse Evelyn Dimps-Williams found herself in the unfamiliar role of patient. Instead of providing patient care, the longtime clinical director of 2C, the 29-bed orthopaedic/urology nursing unit at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital, was receiving it. Her eye-opening experience proved uniquely helpful when her staff piloted a new nursing initiative for the hospital called Rounding with a Purpose. Other floors have since adopted the practice, which involves anticipating a patient’s needs rather than responding to them. During her self-described “role reversal,” Dimps-Williams was reminded of the value of “putting yourself in the other person’s place.” “Patients are looking for assurance,” she says. “They want to know you’re going to be coming back to take care of them.” Rounds are the usually hourly room visits that a nurse makes to check on a patient’s condition or to follow up on care. Rounding with a Purpose (or Purposeful Rounding as it is called in some health care institutions) takes the practice even further. “Rounding with a Purpose is a proactive approach for staff to check on patients on a regular basis to anticipate personal needs,” says Cheryl Batchelor, R.N., Moore Regional Hospital’s interim chief nursing officer. “Specifically, our staff focuses on patient pain levels, positional comfort and bathroom needs.” In other words: 77 Is the patient in pain? 77 Is the patient in a comfortable position, or need to go to the bathroom? 77 Are items that the patient might want or need—the call light, TV remote, tissues, water pitcher, reading glasses and materials, for example—within easy reach? “You go ahead and take care of things while you’re in the room,” says Dimps-Williams. Nurse Crystal Francisco, R.N., and patient liaison Doris Washington were involved with the program’s pilot and now continue the rounding and patient contact practices the 2C staff introduced and refined. “We used (the pilot) as a learning experience,” Francisco says. “Now we anticipate needs.” An extension of the Rounding with a Purpose program involves Washington as one of the first people a 2C patient family member meets and one of the last the patient encounters at discharge. In an effort to make patients and families feel more comfortable, Washington makes it a point to introduce herself and then follow up with periodic visits to the patient’s room with a courtesy cart filled with beverages and snacks. In an informal continuation of the inpatient rounding practice, she also calls the patient or family within 72 hours of discharge to make sure that all is well and that the patient is getting needed follow-up care. Any questions that Washington can’t answer are turned over to a nurse, to Dimps-Williams or to the floor’s discharge planner. Occasionally, one of these calls will help prevent a readmission. As well as contributing to “the exceptional patient experience,” these practices have helped 2C earn some of its best-ever patient satisfaction scores. “I think it shows patients and family members that we all work as a team,” Dimps-Williams says.
Sabrina Wheaton, R.N., enters patient information on a white board in a patient room on Moore Regional’s 4 Medical nursing unit, where the program has been piloted in anticipation of use in all patient rooms. Like Rounding with a Purpose, the customized white boards contribute to the exceptional patient experience and were developed with the cooperation of nursing and the Hospitalist Service with input from the Patient and Family Advisory Council. Each board will be updated regularly to include the names of the patient’s care team (physician, nurse and nursing assistant) and treatment plan information as well as the day’s date, the room number, telephone extension number and a number to call for meals. An area allocated for “Notes” can be used by family members or members of the care team.
Th e E xce ption al Pati en t Experienc e
FirstHealth Hospitalist Service
an Slaughter Jr., M.D., loves his job. He likes the “acuteness” of the patient contact, of seeing patients who need hospital-level attention and prescribing care that makes a difference. When his patients leave the hospital, Dr. Slaughter says, many have a big smile on their face because they feel so much better than they did when they came in. That makes this full-time practitioner of hospitalist medicine very happy. “Things can change very quickly in a hospital, so you are available for patient care for a patient’s acute needs,” he says. “You’re available to be at the bedside longer.” A decade ago, almost any reference to the term “hospitalist” would probably have been met with a puzzled “What’s that?” Now as many as 85 percent of the hospitals in the U.S. use these in-house, hospital-employed medical professionals. The three FirstHealth of the Carolinas hospitals are among them. Hospitalists are physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners who practice medicine inside a hospital. They don’t have an outpatient practice or work in an Van Slaughter Jr., M.D. outpatient clinic. Moore Regional Hospital has 28 hospitalist physicians, all of them board certified in internal medicine, as well as another 10 mid-levels (physician assistants and nurse practitioners) who assist them. Richmond Memorial has four hospitalists, and Montgomery Memorial has two. If you have been a patient at either of these hospitals some time in the past 10 years or so, your general medical care has probably been coordinated by a hospitalist. If you haven’t, you may not even know the program exists and/or how it functions. You may also be puzzled about why your primary care provider—in all likelihood a doctor who has been caring for you for many years—isn’t responsible for your hospital care as well. (Patients requiring specialty care are exceptions.) There is a good reason for this difference in providers, according to Michael A. Antil, M.D., a specialist in internal medicine with Pinehurst Medical Clinic and FirstHealth’s largest partner in the hospitalist program. “Hospitalists are an asset, because we primary care providers can’t be in two places at one time,” he says. Until a few years ago, primary care providers saw their patients in their office AND in the hospital, a practice that meant dividing precious time between the two locations. With the implementation of hospitalist care, primary care providers have been able to spend more time in their office where they can concentrate on preventive as well as urgent care. According to Dr. Antil, it comes down to a matter of efficiency. “It’s about providing the right care in the right place at the right time,” he says. “The care is more efficient, resulting in better outcomes in the end.”
Jenifir Bruno, M.D., checks on Nathan Campbell, a patient at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital. Dr. Bruno is assistant medical director for the FirstHealth Hospitalist Service.
The FirstHealth Physician Group All of the hospitalists who work in the three FirstHealth of the Carolinas hospitals are employed by the FirstHealth Physician Group, which is headed by Daniel Barnes, D.O. As well as being Physician Group president, Dr. Barnes also serves as medical director of the FirstHealth Hospitalist Services. He says the program has made a “significant impact” in the quality Daniel Barnes, D.O. of care as well as in the ability of the physician providing hospital care to respond faster and more efficiently to changes in a patient’s condition. This particular care model is aided by the availability of the electronic medical records that give the hospitalist electronic access to the patient’s general medical background and history while keeping the primary care provider informed about the patient’s inpatient condition, care and post-discharge follow-up needs. The result, says Dr. Barnes, is improved quality of care that enables everyone involved—including specialists and surgeons—to “be more efficient and care for more patients.” With hospitalist care, he says, “We have been able to provide a better patient experience. A physician is always available for the patient.”
Steven J. Filby, M.D.
James W. Shaffer, P.A.-C
FirstHealth Cardiology Services–Reid Heart Center Hospital Affiliation: Moore Regional; Richmond Memorial Training: M.D., Louisiana State University School of Medicine Internship/Residency: Stanford University, California; UNCChapel Hill, North Carolina; Cleveland Clinic, Ohio
FirstHealth FirstCare, Raeford Hospital Affiliation: Outpatient Practice Only Training: P.A., Methodist College, Fayetteville, N.C.
Lisa R. Cowan, M.D.
Helen Mantila, M.D.
FirstHealth FirstCare, Raeford Hospital Affiliation: Outpatient Practice Only Training: M.D., East Carolina University School of Medicine, Greenville, N.C. Internship/Residency: East Carolina University School of Medicine
FirstHealth Richmond Medical Group–Internal Medicine & Family Care Hospital Affiliation: Outpatient Only Training: M.D., Indiana University School of Medicine Internship/Residency: University of California-San Diego
Dennis A. Dolgan, M.D.
Mohammed Sharouk Khader, M.D.
FirstHealth FirstCare, Raeford Hospital Affiliation: Outpatient Practice Only Training: M.D., Northeastern Ohio Universities Internship/Residency: Akron City Hospital, Ohio
FirstHealth Richmond Medical Group–Internal Medicine & Family Care Hospital Affiliation: Richmond Memorial Training: M.D., Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute, India Internship/Residency: Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute; McLaren Family Medicine Residency Program, Michigan
Christopher McLaren, P.A.-C
Matthew L. Arroyo, M.D.
FirstHealth FirstCare, Raeford Hospital Affiliation: Outpatient Practice Only Training: P.A., Medical University of South Carolina
FirstHealth Hospitalist Service Hospital Affiliation: Moore Regional Training: M.D., University of Virginia Internship/Residency: Albany Medical Center, New York
Kristy R. Boan, P.A.-C
Melissa C. Brooks, M.D.
FirstHealth Hospitalist Service Hospital Affiliation: Moore Regional Training: P.A., University of Nebraska Medical Center
Pinehurst Surgical, Pinehurst and Sanford offices Hospital Affiliation: Moore Regional Training: M.D., West Virginia University School of Medicine Internship/Residency: West Virginia University Department of OB/GYN; Mountain Area Health Education Center, North Carolina
Ranjeet K. Goswami, M.D.
Dominique Butawan, M.D.
FirstHealth Hospitalist Service Hospital Affiliation: Moore Regional Training: M.D., Government Medical College Nagpur, India Internship/Residency: Coney Island Hospital, New Jersey
Pinehurst Surgical, Pinehurst and Sanford offices Hospital Affiliation: Moore Regional Training: M.D., University of Tennessee Internship/Residency: University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center
Scottie M. Shelley, N.P.
Marla J. Hardenbergh, M.D.
FirstHealth Hospitalist Service Hospital Affiliation: Moore Regional Training: N.P., University of South Carolina Medical School
Pinehurst Surgical, Pinehurst and Sanford offices Hospital Affiliation: Moore Regional Training: M.D., West Virginia University School of Medicine Internship/Residency: West Virginia University Department of OB/GYN
Charles S. Haworth, M.D.
Rasheed A. Yakubu, M.D.
FirstHealth UNC Neurosurgery Hospital Affiliation: Moore Regional Training: M.D., Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, N.C. Internship/Residency: LAC University of Southern California; University of Virginia
FirstHealth Richmond Medical Group–Women’s Center Rockingham and Troy offices Hospital Affiliation: Richmond Memorial Training: M.D., St. George’s University, Grenada, West Indies Internship/Residency: Jamaica Hospital Medical, New York
Louisa Stewart, P.A.-C
Arghavan R. Almony, M.D.
FirstHealth UNC Neurosurgery Hospital Affiliation: Moore Regional Training: P.A., St. Francis College, Pennsylvania
Carolina Eye Associates Hospital Affiliation: Moore Regional Training: M.D., University of Southern California Internship/Residency: St. John’s Mercy Medical Center, Missouri; Washington University, Missouri
Ophthalmology John W. French, M.D. Board Certified
Carolina Eye Associates Hospital Affiliation: Moore Regional Training: M.D., Medical University of South Carolina Internship/Residency: Medical University of South Carolina
Orthopaedics Daniel M. Williams, M.D. Board Certified
Pinehurst Surgical Hospital Affiliation: Moore Regional Training: M.D., Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, Maryland Internship/Residency: Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center, Georgia
Pediatrics Janie L. Jacobs, M.D. Premier Pediatrics Hospital Affiliation: Moore Regional Training: M.D., University of Missouri-Kansas City Internship/Residency: St. Louis Children’s Hospital, Missouri
Psychology Lindsay M. Johannes, Ph.D. FirstHealth Regional Behavioral Services Hospital Affiliation: Moore Regional Training: Ph.D., Ohio University Postdoctoral Fellowship: Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Ohio
For a complete listing of FirstHealth of the Carolinas providers, visit the website at www.firsthealth.org/physician. If you prefer a printed copy, call (800) 213-3284
Moore Regional/Richmond Memorial’s HCAHPS percentile ranking on a 0-10 scale of patient ratings for the third quarter of 2012. The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) is a nationally standardized, publicly reported survey of patient perspectives about hospital care.
Number of inpatient and outpatient orthopaedic surgeries performed at Moore Regional Hospital and Richmond Memorial Hospital in FY 2012.
The number of joint replacement surgeries performed at Moore Regional Hospital and Richmond Memorial Hospital in FY 2012.
The number of births at FirstHealth hospitals: 1,574 at Moore Regional and 383 at Richmond Memorial. (Montgomery Memorial Hospital does not have a Labor & Delivery Unit, but offers women’s services through the board certified OB/GYN specialists associated with FirstHealth Richmond Medical Group–Women’s Center.)
The number of people who participated in educational and preventive community health events at Richmond Memorial Hospital in the past year. The number includes educational programs as well as the annual Women’s Series that is sponsored by the FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital Foundation, Kid’s Day, the RMH Pregnancy Fair and Wellness Screening Day.
Get healthy … get fit … have fun Are you interested in nutrition? Losing weight? Managing a chronic medical condition? If so, a FirstHealth Center for Health & Fitness will have a class or activity you will find interesting. Check out the following list of upcoming events. Some of them are free of charge.
Christmas Massage Special Throughout December Center for Health & Fitness–Richmond One-hour traditional massage for $35
Metabolism Matters Thursday, Jan. 24 5:15 p.m. Center for Health & Fitness–Pinehurst Learn about the factors that affect your metabolism and what you can do to improve yours. FREE.
Metabolism Matters Tuesday, Dec. 18 12:15 p.m. Center for Health & Fitness-Pinehurst Learn about the factors that affect your metabolism and what you can do to improve yours. FREE.
Mission SlimPossible Jan. 21 to March 1 Center for Health & Fitness–Pinehurst Classes will meet on Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m.: Jan. 29, Feb. 5, Feb. 12 and Feb. 19. $230 members/$270 community
Nutrition Myth Busters Tuesday, Dec. 18 5:15 p.m. Center for Health & Fitness–Pinehurst Join our dietitian as she sets the record straight about common nutrition myths. FREE.
Golflexercise: Improve Your Fitness, Improve Your Game Tuesdays, beginning Jan. 29 11:30 a.m. Center for Health & Fitness–Southern Pines Former LPGA golf professional Anne Marie Scheuermann will take participants through a four-week program that begins with a focus on proper warm-up and concludes with keys to perfecting your swing. $60 members/$75 community; class size is limited to eight participants.
For more information on any of these classes, call (800) 213-3284
January 2013 Nutrition Basics for Better Health Thursday, Jan. 10 12:15 p.m. Center for Health & Fitness–Pinehurst Learn strategies for achieving or maintaining a healthy weight and managing chronic medical conditions. FREE. Yoga Explorations for Beginners Thursdays, Jan. 10-31 4:30 p.m. Center for Health & Fitness–Southern Pines A four-week program focusing on the foundational teachings of yoga. $40 members/$60 community Curb Your Cravings Thursday, Jan. 17 5:15 p.m. Center for Health & Fitness–Pinehurst Is your sweet tooth sabotaging your weight-loss efforts? Join us to discuss strategies for managing your cravings and achieving your weight-loss goals. FREE.
Winter Water Splash (for ages K-5) Friday, Jan. 18 6 to 8 p.m. Center for Health & Fitness–Pinehurst There’s nothing better than a pool party to break up the winter cold, especially if it includes music, games and fun for everyone. Registration is required two days prior to this event. $10 members/$15 community
February 2013 Valentine’s Special Throughout February Center for Health & Fitness–Richmond One-hour traditional massage for $35 Metabolic Effect Thursdays, Feb. 7-28 11:30 a.m. Center for Health & Fitness–Southern Pines Metabolic Effect is the after-burn created by a directed and intense 30-minute exercise. The goal of this workout is to push hard, force yourself to rest and then do it again. Four 30-minute sessions: $25/person for members or $33/person for nonmembers
Nutrition Basics for Better Health Thursday, Feb. 7 12:15 p.m. Center for Health & Fitness–Pinehurst Learn strategies for achieving or maintaining a healthy weight and managing conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. FREE. All about Chocolate Tuesday, Feb. 12 5:15 p.m. Center for Health & Fitness–Pinehurst Whether you’re a casual diner or a seasoned connoisseur, you will enjoy learning about the health benefits of chocolate as well as tips for enjoying it in moderation. $5 per person Parents’ Night Out (for children ages 15 months to 11 years) Friday, Feb. 15 5 to 8 p.m. Center for Health & Fitness–Pinehurst Parents can relax with an evening out knowing the kids are safe and having fun at the Center for Health & Fitness. Registration is required by Feb. 13 at 5 p.m. $18 members/$23 community; $12 members/$17 community for each additional sibling Heart Healthy Cooking Thursday, Feb. 21 12:15 p.m. Center for Health & Fitness–Pinehurst This class will offer tips for creating hearthealthy meals in your own kitchen. FREE. Metabolism Matters Tuesday, Feb. 26 12:15 p.m. Center for Health & Fitness–Pinehurst Learn what factors affect your metabolism and what you can do to improve yours. FREE.
March 2013 Boost Your Balance Tuesdays, March 26, April 2 & April 9 11 a.m. Center for Health & Fitness–Pinehurst A fitness program to help you tackle your everyday tasks and bring balance back into your life. Please register by March 21. $15 members/$30 community
Bariatric 7 p.m., first Thursday and third Monday of each month, Renaissance Room, Pinehurst Surgical, 5 FirstVillage Drive, Pinehurst
NAMI-MC (National Alliance on Mental Illness-Moore County) 7 p.m., first Monday of each month, Community Classroom, FirstHealth Specialty Centers Building, Moore Regional Hospital
Better Breathers noon, second Monday of each month, Conference Room 1, Montgomery Memorial Hospital, Troy. (No meeting June through August)
Post-Deployment Group 11 a.m., every Monday, Behavioral Services, FirstHealth Specialty Centers Building, Moore Regional Hospital
Breastfeeding Mothers 1:30 p.m., first Thursday of each month, Conference Room, Women & Children’s Unit, Moore Regional Hospital
Stroke 10:30 a.m., second Saturday of each month, Conference Center, Moore Regional Hospital
Cancer 2 p.m. every Tuesday, Resource Room, Cancer Center, Moore Regional Hospital
Susan Sharpe Cancer Support 6:30 p.m., fourth Thursday of each month, Conference Dining Room, Richmond Memorial Hospital
Cancer Survivors 11 a.m., second Tuesday of the month, Cancer Center Resource Room, Cancer Center, Moore Regional Hospital Fibromyalgia 7 p.m., second Tuesday of each month, Conference Room, Outpatient Center, Moore Regional Hospital FirstQuit (quit-tobacco) • Moore County: noon, every Thursday, Community Health Building, 5 Aviemore Drive, Pinehurst • Richmond County: 5 p.m., every Thursday, Conference Dining Room, Richmond Memorial Hospital Living with Loss (for those who have experienced the death of a loved one) 11:30 a.m., second and fourth Wednesday of each month, FirstHealth Hospice & Palliative Care, Pinehurst Lupus 4 p.m., third Sunday of each month, Conference Center, Moore Regional Hospital
Vital Connections (for those who have a loved one enrolled in a hospice or palliative care program) 11:30 a.m., first and third Tuesday of each month, FirstHealth Hospice & Palliative Care, Pinehurst Zipper Club (for men and women who had have open-heart surgery) 7 p.m., fourth Tuesday of each month, Conference Center, Moore Regional Hospital
Unless otherwise noted, support groups meet in the Conference Center of FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital, corner of Highway 211 and Page Road, Pinehurst. For more information on any of these groups, please call (800) 213-3284.
Speaker’s Bureau FirstHealth of the Carolinas provides informative health-related educational presentations at no charge to area clubs and organizations. Local health care professionals—including physicians, physician assistants, nurses, technicians, and health and fitness instructors—welcome the opportunity to share the latest health information with your group. For more information or to schedule a speaker, call (800) 213-3284.
Fitness Center donation aids North Moore High School team
Thank you so much for your generous donation of the weightlifting equipment to North Moore High School. Due to your contribution, the athletic program and weightlifting classes now have two more modern machines to help them reach their conditioning goals. Thanks for your continued support of our school. We appreciate your generosity to North Moore High School and the students of our community.
Charlie Pritchard (left), regional pool and equipment manager for the FirstHealth Centers for Health & Fitness, is pictured with former head football coach Greg Simmons in the North Moore High weight room. The Centers for Health & Fitness recently donated several pieces of weight-training equipment to North Moore for use in the school's athletic program and weight-lifting classes.
Greg Simmons Robbins, N.C.
MRH, RMH caregivers helped make best of “not-so-pleasant” situation In March 2012, it was decided that I would need a PICC line put in my arm to receive antibiotics for four weeks by (infectious diseases specialist) Dr. Gretchen Arnoczy, who is a very caring, compassionate doctor. From the moment this was decided, I cannot express the wonderful, incredible professional staff who worked with me. From the folks in Dr. Arnoczy’s office to the staff at Moore Regional who inserted the PICC line and administered the first dose of medicine, they all made the procedure easier and less frightening. The Outpatient staff at Richmond Memorial was outstanding. They did everything in their power to accommodate my work and weekend schedule. They even did a very early morning (6 a.m.) infusion so that I could make my granddaughter’s dance competition. I am very thankful that this could be done locally instead of my having to drive to Moore County. We are very fortunate to have this option available to us. I cannot name all the folks at Richmond Memorial; but, from the receptionist to all the nurses, I want to say a big “thank you.” You all helped to make the best of a not-sopleasant situation. Nancy Cauthen Rockingham, N.C.
Oncology patient navigator means “giant step forward” for cancer patient care
Support your local hospital
My husband and I chose to retire to Rockingham a few years back based on the As a relatively new patient of Dr. Raymond beautiful area, golfing and great weather yearWashington (general surgeon) and Dr. Todd Moore round. We have received a warm welcome, and (medical oncologist), I am in the midst of treatment that is appreciated. for breast cancer. My husband and I chose Moore I retired from a career of 42 years in health Regional Hospital for my care because of my desire care, ranging from nursing to a final job as to be close to home and because of its excellent director of Health Information Management and reputation in terms of patient care. Utilization. As a person interested in health care, I Once I met with Dr. Washington, I was delighted to was interested in our local hospital and the quality learn there would be a patient navigator, Lynn Agee, of care that would be provided by this medical R.N., who would walk with me through some confusing, facility. However, I was met with comments such Lynn Agee, R.N. even scary steps in this process. She is a gem! as “no good place, just an emergency stop-over.” Lynn has interceded on my behalf when I had concerns or questions about Well, I would like to express a different procedures or had more questions after an appointment that didn’t occur to me viewpoint and let the people of Richmond County when I was with the doctor. know my firsthand experience recently. I received Cancer is especially worrisome to someone like me who has no family the most professional, caring and quality care history. Because that anyone could ask for. I cannot begin to name surgeons like Dr. the nurses who provided my care, but, for sure, Washington care about they were angels from heaven and the best their patients beyond caregivers ever. the procedures they I was on second floor. Thanks to Heather are involved with, the Buie, physical therapist, who was treating me overall recovery process for rotator cuff repair, and referred me to see Dr. is enhanced by utilizing Kimberley Lingler. Thanks to Amanda Martin, another staff person ANP, and Dr. Lingler for initiating treatment to who can walk patients save my life and having me seen by the ED staff. through unfamiliar The ED staff was wonderful. Sorry, but I do not territory, allaying fears remember the physician’s name. and offering support when our busy doctors are doing their jobs unencumbered Then I was met by Dr. Mark Aarons and later by thoughts of dozens of patient phone calls that need to be returned promptly Dr. Shoukath Ansari who were just as great. I when the patient navigator could frequently deal with those concerns. later was transferred to UNC Hospitals at Chapel I commend FirstHealth for offering Hill and diagnosed with Henochthis service to patients and their Schonlein Purpora by the Mayo Clinic. families, and I hope it can be extended This is a rare disease for someone my to other areas of patient care. If healing age, and I will take a long time healing. in whatever way is the goal of patient But, with this caring staff, I am sure I care, this is one giant step forward. am in good hands. By all means, support your local I wish to extend my sincere thanks for the Mary Wallace hospital and thanks again to everyone financial assistance provided by your Cancer Pinehurst, N.C. CARE Fund. As a young woman, wife and mother who had a hand in my care.
“Sincere thanks” for Cancer CARE Fund
The oncology patient navigator position Mary Wallace references in her letter is funded through FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital and the Cancer CARE Fund of the Foundation of FirstHealth.
living with metastatic breast cancer, there have been many struggles, but the compassion and assistance from so many people have helped immensely.
Scarlet Rucker Rockingham, N.C.
Genevieve Sounia Pinehurst, N.C.
Hospice staff cared for family as well as patient
I am writing in regards to the FirstHealth Hospice House. The staff on board aided our family in such a pleasant way in dealing with the loss of my father, Shurley Young. My father was admitted into the Hospice House Wednesday, March 21, 2012. He passed away on Friday, March 23, 2012. The registered nurses, certified nursing assistants and licensed clinical social workers were remarkable in their job field. My family and I have never been as content in dealing with the loss of a relative as we were at the Hospice House. The staff was exceptionally caring, energetic and sympathetic to every situation that came their way. Not a moment passed where I and my family had to worry about my father’s well-being. After my father’s death, the staff generously assisted us in every way possible. Registered nurses Kathleen Vincent, Jessica Lucero, Ann Furr, Nancy Cameron and Genny Baucom, nursing assistants Carolyn Jackson and Venita Ross, secretary Lori Milliman, social worker Robin Lynn, social work intern Tera Duthie and any others who assisted in the help of Shurley Young should be recognized for their outstanding performance in assisting our family and our beloved father. Norma Steadman (for the family of Shurley Young) West End, N.C.
FirstQuit program “changed my life” Your FirstQuit program changed my life this year. For the first time, I care about my health and am actively engaged in improving it. Because of your program, I have been smokefree since Sept. 2, 2011. That’s 2,760 cigarettes I haven’t smoked. Your program should be named “LastQuit” instead of FirstQuit, because it’s the last time people will hopefully try to quit because they will be successful like me. Thanks for what you do. Kendal Rasor Cameron, N.C.
“Strength the foundation” of FirstHealth Hospice House Thank each of you in every department for your 15 days of love, support and care for Lynda Taylor and for us while she was at the FirstHealth Hospice House. Each of you has a very difficult station in life, not just a job, in caring for families as well as for patients facing their end-of-life issues. You all do it well. The Hospice House can only be as good as the relationship between one patient and one employee at any given moment. With that in mind, I can truly say the Hospice House is perfect. Thank each of you for turning Lynda’s last days on this earth into a beautiful experience and for seeing that her death was peaceful. Thank you for preparing my husband and me for being able to give her our support, which, without you, we would not have been able to do very well. We will never forget you. I will not attempt to thank each of you by name. Individually, you are gentle and tender; collectively, you are a strong team, and that strength is the foundation of the Hospice House. Thank you for giving of yourselves to Lynda and to us. Martha Lou Kirkland Southern Pines, N.C.
For more information on these or any of the services provided by FirstHealth of the Carolinas, please call (800) 213-3284.
The Journey to Weight Loss . . . Destination to a New You Begin the journey. Attend a FREE weight loss surgery seminar. For more information or to register, visit NCWeightLossSurgery.org or call (800) 213-3284.
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1273-83-12 Robotics Magazine Ad_RoboticsMagazineAd 12/6/12 10:16 AM Page 1 1107-40-10 Open MRI Magazine-Ad BACKPAGE_OpenMRI-Ad 3/27/12 3:30 PM Page 1
Da Vinci Precise Robotic Surgery The da Vinci system is state-of-the-art robotic technology that gives the surgeon precise hand movement with small surgical incisions. The system has revolutionized treatment for both men with early prostate cancer and women needing a
hysterectomy or other gynecologic procedures. Moore Regional Hospital in Pinehurst has four board certified Gynecologists and three board certified Urologists who have performed more than 800 surgeries in the past six years.
Moore Regional Hospital – precise and experienced in Robotic Surgery. Visit www.firsthealth.org/robotics to learn more.
Choose Our True Open MRI While others may claim to offer “open” MRI scanning, we have the only true open MRI system in our service area. Our open, full-body scanner offers greater comfort especially for large patients, older patients and those who experience anxiety in small, confined
spaces. Most importantly, our open MRI provides exceptionally high-quality images, allowing your doctor to have the highest level of diagnostic confidence. When it comes to MRIs, we are open for business – truly open.
FirstHealth Magazine published by FirstHealth of the Carolinas health care system. Magazine features information on health care services pro...