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Winter/Spring 2013

Special Programs of St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center Network

Message from the President On March 7, 2013, St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center held a grand opening for the Janus Park Sleep Laboratory. This laboratory represents a commitment by the St. Joseph’s system to the advancement of healthcare in this community.

Frank L. Smith, Jr.

As part of this system, Franciscan Health Support will work closely with the laboratory, providing patients with high quality sleep services. Quality…that’s the name of the game. We need to achieve the highest level of quality so all the patients that use these services and any of the Franciscan services can be assured of the “state of the art” care. Franciscan has been a leader in providing home care solutions for our patients. We want our patients to have a quality of life that is rich with opportunity. We want our patients to be able to stay at home and enjoy their families and friends without being confined to a nursing home or hospital bed. This goal requires high quality equipment, but more importantly, compassionate healers. Our employees pride themselves as being compassionate healers. With spring and summer around the corner, we at Franciscan want all of our patients to know “we care” and we want them to know we are there to help them with their medical problems. Thank you for your loyalty, and God Bless you and your family.

Frank L. Smith, Jr. President and CEO, Franciscan Companies

New Sleep Laboratory Opens to the Public People who are concerned about their sleep now have a new high-tech option when it comes to sleep centers. St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center opened a new sleep laboratory in Liverpool. The full-service sleep lab includes 16 comfortable bedrooms Pictured l-r are: Dr. Sherif El Bayadi; Frank L. Smith, Jr., President & CEO with hotel-like of Franciscan Companies; Stephen Swierczek, Director of Respiratory Care; Kathryn Ruscitto, President & CEO of St. Joseph’s Hospital. amenities. It is staffed by certified sleep 35 percent of the population suffers technicians and registered respiratory from it, only 1 to 2 percent are therapists who operate high-tech diagnosed. It’s growing in prevalence as people age and as society becomes more obese. Warning signs include: a 16 inch or greater neck in women and 17 inch or larger neck in men; a feeling of tiredness during the day; waking with morning headaches; and snoring.

All bedrooms are equipped with large beds and hotel-like amenities.

sleep technology. The $1.3 million expansion officially opened for patients on February 14, with a ribbon cutting and open house on March 7. Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a largely undiagnosed condition. While 25 to

Medical patient on 2 New  3  Alert Option the go

The new sleep lab brings the total to three in the St. Joseph’s Hospital system. Since 1986, the hospital has performed nearly 38,000 procedures and evaluated more than 20,000 patients for Obstructive Sleep Apnea and other respiratory conditions. The new lab is located on the North Medical campus at 7246 Janus Park Drive, Liverpool. Patients are being accepted. Call 315-218-9804 for additional information.



Medical Alert for Cellular Customers People without a home telephone line now have an option to safeguard themselves in case of fall. Franciscan Lifeline is offering a cellular medical alarm, monitored by Doyle Medical Monitoring. The service provides users with a button to wear that they can press if they need help. The customer is put in immediate contact with the response center which will dispatch nearby friends, family or emergency services if needed.

“It allows me to be active without worrying about falling. I feel safe.” Linda Lewis from Jordan signed up for the service after she fell for a second time. “I slipped and fell under my dining room table,” she says. “A chair fell on top of me and I panicked! Then a bookcase fell, too. I was really scared. I yelled but no one heard me; I must have been under there a good two hours!” Without a home phone line, Lewis’ options for a medical alert service were limited. Those she saw advertised nationally were priced out of her budget. Then, Franciscan added a cellular service. A technician from the company installed and explained the unit and Lewis has been wearing it ever since. “I love it, I feel very happy to have it,” she says. “I think everyone should have it if they’re older. You never know if you’re going to fall. When I fell, I was only 63.” More than 30% of homes had only a wireless phone as of the latter half of 2010, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Up until now, these people were at risk in case of medical emergencies such as falls because most medical alarm systems use landlines. Franciscan’s new cellular service alleviates the concern and connects customers to the help they need immediately. Call (315) 492-8175 for more information.

Eyes and Ears At Home Franciscan Companies’ Registered Respiratory Therapists are playing the role of physicians’ eyes and ears in the homes of their patients. The respiratory therapy/medical equipment company’s new program called TLC (Teach, Learn, Comprehend) increases the education patients receive when discharged from the hospital. It helps them stay out of the hospital because they are taking charge of their health. “It’s a fresh new program that no other companies are doing,” says Joseph Nicoletti, RN, RRT, Executive Director of Clinical Services. “It takes our care to another level. We are not a drop-ship type of organization. While we are equipment-oriented, we also focus on patient education.” The process is simple. With a referral from a physician, a respiratory therapist goes into the home and does an assessment, then admits the patient into the TLC program – at no charge. The patient receives ongoing support, education and guidance to manage their condition at home. They learn how to breathe and exercise correctly, the importance of taking their medications, how to read food labels and track their weight. The RTs also inform the patient of what is considered normal and what warrants a call to their doctor. Michael Coomey “We find that patients respond much better to this type of education when it’s done in the comfort of their homes,” Nicoletti says. “They go to the doctor and emergency room less frequently and their quality of life improves.” The therapists relay concerns to the doctor early enough so they can make changes in the patients’ care at home, including medication and activity level, to keep them out of the hospital. Rather than wait until it escalates, complications can be caught early. The TLC program has proven especially helpful for people with CHF (congestive heart failure) and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder) because both conditions have very high incidences of re-admissions. Franciscan is expanding the TLC program into the Oneida area. For more information or to refer a patient, call 458-3200.


A Difficult Life Made Easier Destiny USA is an attraction for most 23-year olds… and Vinnie Carroll III from Jamesville is no different. Sure, it takes more time and effort to get there – being that he uses a walker and wheelchair, and is connected to a trach and ventilator 24/7 – but he gets there. And, he enjoys it. “He would come every day if he could,” says Vinnie’s father, Vinnie, Jr. “As it is, someone brings him two to three times a week.” Vinnie has had a life more difficult than any of us can imagine. He was born with prune belly syndrome, a condition that causes a build-up of fluid where your organs should be. He underwent two kidney transplants – one was rejected when he developed lymphoma; the second time, the medication caused him to develop pneumonia and lose most of his hearing. He also has severe scoliosis which required surgery. His family has been through it all – a revolving door of doctors, therapists and treatments. “I want to give him as much normalcy and the best quality of life that I can help him have,” says his mother, Therese. That quality of life depends greatly on his ability to leave the house and have fun. “We go to the movies, we go to the mall,” Therese says. “He loves to go in the summer to the Nationals Car Show at the fairgrounds. He loves to go to the fair and SU basketball and lacrosse.” None of these activities would be possible if Vinnie still had the ventilator of the past – the “big old monster” as his mom calls it. It made leaving the home difficult. Registered Respiratory

Vinnie Carroll III enjoys spending time at Destiny USA with his father.

Therapists from Franciscan set Vinnie up on a Trilogy 100 ventilator by Philips Respironics in the past year. It weighs 10 lbs, comes with a shoulder strap and a 6-hour internal battery life. “It allows the patient to have a life again,” says Tim Curtis, RRT. “They absolutely love it; they love the fact that they can get out and do things they have to do. Their breathing is easier for them and they are able to live a more normal life.” Franciscan has the most advanced vents on the market – which accounts for the company serving more ventilator patients than any other company or hospital in the region. “We take a lot of pride in our ventilator patients and the fact that we can take care of them away from the hospital,” says Curtis “They don’t have to stay in the hospital. They can come home and have a life.” “It’s so much lighter and so much easier,” Theresa recounts. “My husband and I are both 53 years old, we throw it on our shoulder and hold Vinnie’s hand. It’s much more convenient and smaller; it’s much easier to move around. If Vinnie still had the big, bulky unit, we wouldn’t be able to go out. His

wheelchair can’t accommodate that unit.” The advanced technology, along with the support of Franciscan, has helped improve Vinnie’s life – and kept him the spitfire that he is. Monique Finan “Our Respiratory Therapist Tim Curtis comes in anytime there’s an issue. I call him if I need him and he’s here in 20 minutes,” Therese says. “If there’s an issue with Vinnie’s breathing, there might need to be tweaks or changes to the settings, Tim will get on the phone with the doctor to make the changes. Franciscan has been fabulous supporting us.” For information on Franciscan’s ventilator program, call (315) 458-3200.

Rewarding our Readers Be sure to read each issue carefully, as the names of three readers are now included in the text of each issue. If you find your name, call 315.458.3600 ext. 123 and you’ll win a $25 gift card!


Through the Eyes of a Caregiver Jude Hughes describes her parents as the perfect couple. “She had the operations and he had the mechanics.” It wasn’t until her mother passed away unexpectedly that Hughes and her siblings realized there were deficits – her father, Matthew Pelletier, had always been spry and independent. But, he was becoming quite forgetful. Hughes recalls a turning point when she was driving behind her father after church. “He went through a stop sign and a red light,” she says. “And, he didn’t even realize it.” At the advice of doctors, the children had the very difficult task of addressing the problems with his driving. Then, they discovered he wasn’t eating the meals they delivered daily, he became weak and he fell. Lois Dickson “It all went downhill fast,” Hughes says. “We didn’t know what to do - didn’t know if we needed to place our dad somewhere.’’ Hughes had heard of Embracing Age, a membership program through Franciscan Companies that provides the support services needed to remain living as independently as possible. She met with Mary Gualtieri, a Social Worker with Embracing Age, who guided the family through the process of caring for their father. “You have no clue what you’re doing. The family was questioning, ‘where do we go next?’ Knowing Mary’s there, being a resource and a support system is invaluable,” Hughes says. Pelletier couldn’t safely remain at home, so Gualtieri helped the family decide on the best option. They settled on Menorah Park – where Pelletier can receive care 24 hours a day. Hughes says the decision was a stressful one, but it’s the right one. “You don’t have to feel ashamed like you’re putting your parents away

somewhere,” she says. “There is that fear – ‘am I doing the right thing? What if he’s mad at me? How am I going to get through this?’ But with the support from Embracing Age, I know, when it’s all said and done, we did the best job we could. Down the road, that will give us comfort.” Hughes only wishes she sought out Embracing Age a few months sooner, rather than wait until a crisis occurred. She says the experts at Embracing Age can prevent crises before family members end up in conflict.

Jude Hughes visits her father, Matthew Pelletier, often at his new residence, the Inn at Menorah Park.

“When I think of Embracing Age, the one thing I think about is calm, rational and sane support,” she explains. “This is a real community resource and whether you like it or not, you’re going to need it. People think they can handle it. But you can’t. And you have help right next door!”

Embracing Age is located in DeWitt and offers companions, transportation, light housekeeping, home repairs, spiritual care, home health aides and more. Contact their office by calling (toll free) 1-855-MY-HELP-2 or go to

Welcome Home With Home health care has proven to be an effective alternative to hospitalization by transferring skilled services and products into the safe, comfortable environment of home.

Therapies provided: • Total Parenteral Nutrition

• Steroid Therapy

• IV Antibiotics

• Hydration Therapy

• Remicade

• Pain Management

• Immune Globulin Therapy

• Chelation Therapy

• Epogen, Neupogen, Leukine Therapies

• Growth Hormone Therapy

• Chemotherapy

• Synagis • 315.424.7027


“ENCORE, ENCORE” New technology is allowing sleep experts to better track the effectiveness of Obstructive Sleep Apnea treatment. Franciscan Health Support is using a software program called Encore Anywhere to collect data from Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines to ensure they are being used correctly in the patients’ homes. The information provided is pertinent data that can be accessed by the physician, homecare provider and/or insurance provider.

Franciscan Companies Expands Home Care Agency to Absorb Patients and Employees of Home Care of Cortland County Franciscan Companies is expanding services to include the patients and employees of Home Care of Cortland County. After operating for nearly 40 years, the Cortland-based agency has ceased operations due to the changing economics of the home care industry. The licensed home care arm of Franciscan Companies, Franciscan Health Support formed a partnership with the agency as a way to avoid a gap in home care services in the Cortland area.

“One of the most important aspects of patient care is compliance. If patients don’t use their CPAP equipment correctly at home, they may not experience an improvement in their conditions,” says Neil Widrick, RRT, RPSGT, the manager of the Sleep Laboratory at St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center. The ability to track what is going on in the home from a remote location allows providers greater access to patientdriven data. Providers can download information from a secure website and make needed prescription changes with the push of a button, saving time and money for all involved. Encore Anywhere replaces the traditional method of delivering a card or the entire CPAP machine to a homecare provider, downloading the information manually, and printing it out and delivering the data to a physician. Instead, Encore Anywhere allows the homecare program (such like Franciscan Health Support), the ordering or consulting physician or provider, as well as other assigned entities such as insurance companies, to analyze and provide recommendations without transporting equipment and making a number of trips back and forth. “Real-time access to patient data enables providers to adjust therapy quickly, which improves the outcome of sleep apnea treatment,” Widrick adds. For information on Encore Anywhere, contact Franciscan Health Support at 458-3200.

“We are very comfortable transitioning our patients to Franciscan based on our mutual philosophy of taking excellent care of our patients,” said Michael Pizzola, President of the Home Care of Cortland County board of directors. Franciscan hired most of Home Care’s aides and nurses, who will continue to provide service to nearly 200 patients. Many of the employees worked for the agency for 10 to 15 years, and it was important to the board of directors and Franciscan Companies’ leadership that these staff members are retained during the transition. “It’s excellent to be able to transition employees to Franciscan. What a wonderful way for patients to continue to receive high quality services,” said Pizzola. “It’s a win-win for everybody,” said Megan Hollister, Executive Director of Franciscan Health Support’s Licensed Agency. “We were able to keep the same people in place – local people who know the community and the patients.” As a company, Franciscan ensures that employees are competent and prepared to provide exceptional services to our clients. Patients needing home care services can call (315) 458-5600 or toll-free 1-855-877-3477.


special programs Franciscan Companies 333 Butternut Dr., Suite 100 DeWitt, NY 13214 315.458.3600

Auburn Health Support Services 333 Butternut Dr., Suite 100 DeWitt, NY 13214 315.294.5464

CNY Infusion Services 333 Butternut Dr., Suite 102 DeWitt, NY 13214 315.424.7027

Embracing Age 333 Butternut Dr., Suite 100 DeWitt, NY 13214 1.855.MY.HELP.2 1.855.(694.4572)

FHS Services, Inc. 333 Butternut Dr., Suite 100 DeWitt, NY 13214 315.458.3600

Franciscan Health Support, Inc. 333 Butternut Dr., Suite 100 DeWitt, NY 13214 315.458.3200

Franciscan Health Support Services, LLC 333 Butternut Dr., Suite 100 DeWitt, NY 13214 315.458.3200

Lourdes Health Support, LLC

St. Joseph’s Sleep Lab

1155 Upper Front Street Binghamton, NY 13905 607.724.0115

Franciscan Management Services, Inc. 333 Butternut Dr., Suite 100 DeWitt, NY 13214 315.458.3600

945 Genesee Street Syracuse, NY 13210 315.475.3379 and 7246 Janus Park Drive Liverpool, NY 13088 315.218.9804 and 4400 Medical Center Drive Fayetteville, NY 13066 315.329.7378

Oneida Health Support 333 Butternut Dr., Suite 100 DeWitt, NY 13214 315.458.3200

St. Elizabeth Health Support Services, Inc.

Kinney Drugs at Franciscan 101 Union Avenue Syracuse, NY 13203 315.474.8851

3899 Oneida Street New Hartford, NY 13413 315.734.4407

Loretto Health Support Lifeline

The Sleep Center at Oneida Healthcare

St. Francis Social Adult Day Care

333 Butternut Dr., Suite 100 DeWitt, NY 13214 315.492.8175

601 Seneca Street Oneida, NY 13421 315.363.4419

1108 Court Street Syracuse, NY 13208 315.424.1003

Beyond the Walls is published by Franciscan Companies Comments, suggestions or inquiries should be directed to Kelly Quinn, Director of Marketing and Public Relations, at 315.458.3600 ext.123 or Franciscan Companies  333 Butternut Drive, Suite 100  DeWitt, NY 13214

Older Americans Month National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month 29 National Senior Health & Fitness Day

MAY National Donate Life Month National Minority Health Month 1-7 National Public Health Week


26 American Diabetes Alert Day


Calendar of Events

DeWitt, New York 13214 333 Butternut Drive, Suite 100 Syracuse, NY Permit No. 276


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Beyond the Walls  

Winter / Spring 2013

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