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Care Knows no Boundaries
Self-Care is the Prescription
Patients making journey to Paris Pulmonary Clinic to continue seeing Dr. James Carruth
By BETH SIMKANIN
With the demand to perform in a stressful, and sometimes chaotic, environment for long hours at a time, physician and nurse burnout has become such a concern in recent years that several health institutions now offer solutions to increase the resilience of medical students, physicians and nurses in the classroom and the workplace. From compassion fatigue rooms to meditation classes, local healthcare entities acknowledge the growing problems associated with burnout and are providing tools and implementing programs to assist medical professionals in achieving a healthy work/life balance. “Many health professionals don’t have a history of self care,” said Kathy Gibbs, assistant vice chancellor of the office of student academic support services and inclusion at the Univer-
When Henry County Medical Center in Paris expanded its service line to include pulmonology and the Paris Pulmonary Clinic opened in April, longtime Jackson pulmonologist James Carruth, MD, and his Nurse Practitioner, Lachelle Moss, jumped at the opportunity to be a part of the growth. While it may be a new town, a new hospital, new staff and clinic, many of the patients are the same.
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Profile on page 3.
Healthcare Trends: Compensation Still Rising
Leading with Commitment and Sense of Purpose
Execs, Physicians Among Those Seeing Increases
Jackson Clinic Chairman, Dr. William Preston, merges personal and organizational goals
It’s a simple case of supply and demand. An aging population, sicker patients, move to new models of care and emphasis on technologies to increase efﬁciency have driven up the demand for skilled clinicians, administrators and industry executives.
By SUZANNE BOyD
Story on page 5.
After ten years on the Board of Directors of the Jackson Clinic, PC, William Preston, MD, stepped into the lead position as president and chairman of the board on July 1st. While he has had several leadership roles during his tenure on the board that have prepped him to take the reins, he takes the helm with a sense of purpose and commitment to leading the clinic into the future. A native of Boonville, Mississippi, Preston came from a family of physicians. His father and maternal grandfather were both doctors and medicine was all he ever remembers wanting to pursue. He received his undergraduate degree in biology as well as his medical degree from Vander(CONTINUED ON PAGE 6)
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Care Knows no Boundaries
Patients making journey to Paris Pulmonary Clinic to continue seeing Dr. James Carruth By SUZANNE BOYD
When Henry County Medical Center in Paris expanded its service line to include pulmonology and the Paris Pulmonary Clinic opened in April, longtime Jackson pulmonologist James Carruth, MD, and his Nurse Practitioner, Lachelle Moss, jumped at the opportunity to be a part of the growth. While it may be a new town, a new hospital, new staff and clinic, many of the patients are the same. No stranger to West Tennessee, Carruth was born in Hartsville and grew up in Milan. Although he initially thought architecture would be his career because of his prowess in math, Carruth found that the field bored him. His brother, Larry Carruth, MD, was 14 years older and a physician. Being around his older brother in the hospital setting, greatly influenced Carruth’s interest in medicine. He graduated in 1985 from the University of Tennessee at Martin with a Bachelor of Science degree. When Carruth entered East Tennessee State University’s Quillen College of Medicine, his thoughts were to pursue internal medicine or surgery. “I went with internal medicine with the intent of going into cardiology,” he said. “However, when I got into my internal medicine training, it was apparent that cardiology was just not for me. I was more intrigued by intensive and critical care patients so pulmonology was a nice fit for that. My older brother was also a pulmonologist, so it was a specialty I had been exposed to.” He received his medical degree from East Tennessee State University and completed his post graduate work, including his internship, residency, and fellowship at the University of Arkansas. In 1995, as Carruth was completing his fellowship, he would return to West Tennessee to help provide hospital coverage for his brother’s patients. In June of 1996, he joined his brother in practice full-time. “Last April, my brother retired. We
Is the missing
had been in practice together for nearly 24 years,” said Carruth. “As my brother approached retirement, it gave me a chance to really assess things. The medical community in Jackson was changing rapidly and I had been approached by the hospital in Paris about their plans to add a pulmonologist to their staff. I had always planned to move there, this just accelerated those plans.” Henry County Medical Center had never had a pulmonologist. This meant that the program had to be built from scratch, something Carruth has played
G. Coble Caperton
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an active role in even before he joined the clinic. “From the time we started discussing the possibility of me relocating here, there was a lot to be done since most patients that needed pulmonology care had to be transferred out,” he said. “Once I made the decision to come, equipment had to be ordered and the staff brought up to speed on procedures, bronchoscopy, ventilator support and non-invasive ventilation. Most everything was in place when I started in April.” The hospital is currently building a new step-down unit for its ICU. “This will
further enhance the services we can provide patients,” said Carruth. “We have a lot of patients on sophisticated equipment and it will be nice that they will be able to get that level of care here, especially with fall and winter seasons which bring an increase in respiratory illnesses.” One of the things Carruth enjoys most about Henry County Medical Center is the family atmosphere. “It seems as though everyone knows one another, and they are happy,” he said. “We try to have that family atmosphere in my practice. My nurse practitioner is like a sister to me. Everyone in our clinic is happy and we try to impart that to our patients. It is also an important part of our philosophy to treat patients as though they were a member of our family.” While he is not surprised at how quickly the clinic and program have grown, Carruth says that he is not quite as busy as he was at his previous clinic, but that he is as busy as he wants to be. This also allows him time to interact and teach students in the Physician Assistant program through Bethel University. He currently has one student a month that he works with but hopes to eventually add precepting medical students. “One of the best parts of being a physician to me is developing a relationship with my patients, especially since many of them are long-term patients,” said Carruth. “It has been a bit humbling to see the number of patients who have chosen to continue their care with me, despite my relocating to Paris. Many of my brother’s patients have also made the move with me.” Carruth is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and is board eligible for certification in Pulmonary Medicine. He is also a member of the American College of Chest Physicians. Carruth and his wife, Leslie, have one son, Kyle. He enjoys golf, boating, trail riding and spectator sports. He is a Tennessee Vols fan and loves to travel with his family.
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BURNOUT, continued from page 1 sity of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC). “Life happens while students are here, and it will continue to happen when they become physicians. We want to help them develop healthy Kathy Gibbs ways to cope and manage stress while maintaining a healthy work/life balance.”
Medical Students and Physicians
According to a survey published this year by the American Medical Association, the Mayo Clinic and Stanford University School of Medicine, 43.9 percent of physicians exhibit at least one symptom of burnout. Burnout is defined as long-term unresolvable job stress, which leads to exhaustion, a lack of joyfulness, a reduced ability to show empathy toward patients, job dissatisfaction, a sense of failure and depression. Another survey conducted this year by the National Academy of Medicine, which released its results last month, stated the percentage is much higher for medical students – almost 60 percent. The report from the survey stated that physicians are “more prone to burnout because of the workload, pressure and chaos they deal with each day.” “Doctors are under a lot of stress and make hard decisions every day,” said Kimberlee Strome, wellness and yoga director for the Mind Body Wellness Center at UTHSC. “They are interacting with patients and their families and then must come home whole to their famiKimberlee Strome lies. It’s a demanding profession.” To assist in combating the national problem, the report suggested that medical and nursing schools should train students to deal with burnout. According to Gibbs and Strome, UTHSC has developed many initiatives over the past year to tackle medical student and resident burnout. Last September, UTHSC launched the #takecare program, an initiative designed to support the emotional health and well being of medical students by focusing on early intervention to help them successfully cope with the emotional, academic, social and physical demands of pursuing an advanced health science degree. UTHSC added counseling personnel, improved student access to mental health services and destigmatized mental health care by marrying it with academic support services and moving it out of a clinical setting. According to Gibbs, whose department oversees the program, the purpose is for students to recognize that they must take time 4
for self care. Besides offering counselors to students and residents, the university provides faculty panels from various colleges to discuss skills and techniques to better manage and handle the demands of medical school. Last December, UTHSC hosted a speaker to provide suicide prevention training to faculty, students and UTHSC staff. “The rates of depression, anxiety and suicide are high for health professionals,” Gibbs said. “They are 10 to 30 percent higher for medical students than the rest of the population. One physician commits suicide in the U.S. each day. It’s extremely important to feel well-balanced. We have to communicate that they need to be cared for, so they can show caring for others. Counselors are trained to see how the student is doing emotionally. For instance, is the student using alcohol or drugs to calm down or sleep?” UTHSC set up an online portal where faculty, staff and students can anonymously share concerns 24 hours a day. Additionally, the university provides educational specialists to assist medical students in developing good study habits. “Students come to medical school academically strong, and some haven’t had to spend a lot of time studying,” Gibbs said. “They haven’t developed good study habits, and when they enter medical school, it’s like drinking out of a fire hose. There is more to learn and less time to learn. They start to question their abilities and whether or not they should be here. This environment is dysfunctional. It’s tough and stressful, and the students must maneuver and learn to thrive in this environment to become successful health professionals. This initiative is designed to be preventive. We want students to feel comfortable to reach out if they are overwhelmed.” To assist students in managing overall wellness, UTHSC dedicated 3,214 square feet for its new Mind Body Wellness Center, which is under construction on the second floor inside the university’s studentalumni center. The center will house a fully equipped studio for yoga, barre and pilates classes, a meditation studio and balcony study area. The student-alumni center also houses a kitchen, which will be used to demonstrate healthy cooking habits for students. All services will be free to students and faculty. “We are giving medical students the tools to shut out the world for five or 10 minutes and calm their minds, which will give them a new perspective when they go back to their studies,” said Strome, who is the director of the center and the wife of the executive dean of UTHSC’s College of Medicine. “My hope is that this helps students long-term as they become physicians and must learn to be present for each patient. A simple mind body exercise can help sharpen concentration. I’m giving them tools they can do at work before they see a patient.” Wellness programming began in April for students with a 90-minute yoga hike at Shelby Farms Park, yoga classes at Health Sciences Park marketed through the Memphis Medical District Collaborative and a happiness workshop. “As a wife of a physician, I understand how demanding this profession can be,”
Strome said. “This is a gift we are giving students.” The UTHSC Mind Body Wellness Center is scheduled to open in January.
It’s not just physicians and medical students who are affected by burnout. Studies show there is statistical significance between nurse engagement and patients having better experiences. The National Nursing Engagement Report, which was completed by a national healthcare market research company, said 15.6 percent of nurses reported feelings of burnout. The percentage rose to 41 percent for nurses who are unengaged. Earlier this year, Shelley Shellenbarger, director of cardiology services and the neurology telemetry unit at Saint Francis Hospital, Bartlett, was completing her final project for her master’s degree in nursing. She looked at studies on nurse burnout and compassion fatigue. “Nurse burnShelley Shellenbarger out and retention are national issues, and I wanted to see what we could do to reduce compassion fatigue,” Shellenbarger said. After much research, she discovered that nurses could benefit from a “serenity room,” a quiet, calm environment where nurses could take a moment during a demanding shift. She saw benefits of a similar room for nurses at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “Sometimes all nurses need is a few minutes to reflect or regroup during a long, 12-hour shift,” Shellenbarger said. “The hospital was supportive of my idea. It’s a little thing that makes a big impact. It benefits the quality of service at the hospital while being sensitive to the needs of the nurses and staff.” Shellenbarger presented her idea to Saint Francis Hospital leadership in February. One month later, the hospital created two compassion fatigue rooms for hospital staff. The rooms, which are on the second and third floors of Saint Francis Hospital, Bartlett, are painted pale blue. Essential oils, water bottles, snacks and a massage chair are available for employees to use. Shellenbarger says every hospital leader has key card access to the rooms and is trained to recognize someone who may be experiencing compassion fatigue during a shift. They can offer use of the room. Additionally, any hospital staff employee can request to visit the compassion fatigue room. The average break time is 15 minutes. Other Mid-South hospitals, including Baptist Memorial Health Care and Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, offer employee assistance programs where employees and their families have access to professional counseling services. Methodist launched a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program in 2015, which consists of a six-week mindfulness and meditation course for its employees. Offered five times
a year, the course focuses on meditation techniques. According to Donna DiClementi, director of the employee assistance program for Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, the hospital system receives resilience feedback from an internal survey each year. Hospital officials say Methodist Le Bonheur’s resilience score is “well above the national average benchmark.” According to Melissa Wilkes Donahue, director of concern employee assistance program for Baptist Memorial Health Care, Baptist is in the process of launching telehealth counseling for employees. All Baptist employees will be able to conference with a licensed counselor over their smart phone through a mobile app. Regional One Health has a pastoral care department, which is made up of chaplains who can provide spiritual support to hospital employees in times of crisis. Lisa Schafer, executive vice president and chief nursing officer for Regional One Health, said pastoral care coordinates Code Lavender, which provides emotional and spiritual support, grief counseling and crisis debriefing when a team or nurse needs additional support. “Members of pastoral care have carts of soft, treasured things like candy or something soft to hold, “Schafer said. “Because we are a level one trauma center, our nurses are constantly bombarded with tragic circumstances, one right after another. They may need a moment to recover in a debriefing room.” Schafer says the hospital provides a day course for nurses on de-escalating aggressive behavior in the hospital. As part of nurse orientation, nurses interact with actors in a simulation lab and learn how to handle aggressive behavior. “We support our nurses and focus on gratitude, but we can do a lot more,” Schafer said.
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Healthcare Trends: Compensation Still Rising Execs, Physicians Among Those Seeing Increases By CINDY SANDERS
It’s a simple case of supply and demand. An aging population, sicker patients, move to new models of care and emphasis on technologies to increase efficiency have driven up the demand for skilled clinicians, administrators and industry executives. A shortage of providers across multiple disciplines and a tight labor market have made finding and retaining knowledgeable staff a priority … and that comes at a price.
“In general, there’s been greater compensation delivered over the last one to two years as the economy has improved,” said Bill Hopkins, senior manager with Global Reward Services for KPMG, LLP. Over the past few years, he said salary increase budgets have inched up from the 2.5 percent to 2.7 percent range. “Those increase budgets are now creeping Bill Hopkins back up to the 3 percent level,” he added. “And general increases for higher earners and performers tend to be above that 3 percent level.” Hopkins continued, “Turnover is very costly to organizations, especially in healthcare.” Employers have to factor in both the cost to recruit and train a new hire and lost productivity during the time it takes to get that new physician or manager up to speed. “Bringing in physicians is particularly costly because it takes time to build up a practice. A new physician isn’t going to produce at the same level as the one that left,” noted Hopkins. “Highly productive, high performance physicians are in high demand. Organizations, when looking at compensating them and making increases, want to make sure they retain them,” he said of the demand for competitive salaries and benefits. Hopkins added the same sentiment applies to any employee with institutional knowledge, with the stakes rising as you move up the organizational chart.
Physician Compensation Trends
At the end of May, the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) released its 30th annual Provider Compensation and Production Report, a comprehensive view of compensation across the country with data from more than 147,000 physicians and non-physician providers (NPPs). Pointing to the latest data, Andrew Hajde, CMPE, assistant director of Association Content for MGMA, noted primary care physicians saw a 3.40 percent westtnmedicalnews
increase in median total compensation from 2017 to 2018. Specialists saw a 4.41 percent increase on average, and NPPs realized an increase of 2.95 percent. The Midwest and South reported Andrew Hajde, CMPE the largest compensation for physicians last year. The report also showed the largest increases in total compensation for established providers were for the medical specialties of diagnostic radiology, general obstetrics and gynecology, neurological surgery, noninvasive cardiology and neurology. Hajde said providers have seen around a 7 to 11 percent increases in total compensation over the last five years. In comparison, inflation rates have been right around or below 2 percent since 2012. “They (providers) are continuing to be better off year-0ver-year,” he noted. However, he said it might not always seem that way from the physician’s perspective. “What it doesn’t take into account is the amount of effort they have to put in to achieve that salary,” Hajde explained. “Is it worth it to get that extra few percent if it takes 25 percent more effort?” Cristy Good, MPH, MBA, CPC, CMPE, senior industry advisor with MGMA, said compensation is being driven by competition and those numbers extend beyond physicians. Other providers also are being actively recruited with good wages and benefits to fill gaps in care. Cristy Good “We’ve seen an increase in NPPs,” said Good. She said there is both a greater need for advanced practice providers in the wake of physician shortages and more capacity for individuals to become physician extenders with expanded programming at colleges and universities. “It allows a physician to be effective in a different way,” she added of the increased need for these clinicians. Both Hajde and Good said they expect to see continued high demand and tight supply of physicians and other providers in the near term.
Ownership vs. Employment
Citing a 2019 American Medical Association report, Hajde noted the national organization’s Physician Practice Benchmark Surveys found that fewer physicians are now owners than employees.
The AMA Policy Research Perspective by Carol Kane, PhD, stated, “2016 was the first year in which less than half of practicing physicians (47.1 percent) had an ownership stake in their practice. With this report a new milestone has been reached — 2018 marked the first year in which there were fewer physician owners (45.9 percent) than employees (47.4 percent).” The report also found the distribution of physicians continues to slowly shift from very small practices to much larger ones. The reasons for the changes, which have been part of a longer trend, are multifactorial. Good said there is certainly a “hassle factor” when it comes to addressing myriad regulatory requirements as an owner, but she also sees the move as a generational shift. “There’s probably more of a security factor in going to an employed model rather than starting your own practice,” she pointed out. “To start a private practice and to build your patient base when you’re up against all these big organizations, it’s challenging.” She also noted supply and demand play a big role in employed physician recruitment. Quite simply, she said if a hospital or health system has a need for a particular specialty, “then you may see them reaching out to private practices to entice those physicians into employment.” Finding a work/life balance is another consideration between being employed and owning a practice. Hajde noted physicians have to consider whether they are willing to see patients 40-50 hours a week and then spend another 30 hours a week being a business owner.
The Impact of Tax Reform
Could tax reform turn the tide on the trend towards employment over ownership? Do new tax rules benefit private practices? The trio agreed it’s too early to determine the answer to the first question. However, Hopkins noted, “The spirit of Section 199A and the way it’s designed should give solo practices and smaller groups, especially those in the rural areas, more incentive to stay independent.” Hajde agreed, “If they have more money than ever before in their pockets, they aren’t going to be as prone to seek out a different situation.” As for the overall employed physician trend, Hajde continued, “I expect, at the very least, it may slow down. Will it reverse? I don’t think we have the data to know that, yet.” He added monetary considerations are only one part of the equation in any decision to leave an ownership position for an employment model. As for whether tax reform benefits private practices, the answer is quite possibly. Hopkins said considering median incomes for many physicians, the Section 199A deduction for pass-through organizations
could be beneficial to practice owners. “As long as their taxable income as an individual is below $157,500, they get the full benefit of the 20 percent deduction. From $157,500-$207,500, they get part of the deduction; and over $207,500, you’re out of the deduction,” he explained. However, Hopkins continued, those numbers double for married providers. Anything below $315,000 of taxable income (considering both partners) receives the full 20 percent deduction, with the deduction phasing out between $315,00-$415,000. Hopkins added the income threshold is based on taxable income so all other deductions should be considered first. He also said providers in private practice might want to weigh the benefits of taking time off to stay under the cap compared to making extra income. If the additional income pushes a provider past the deduction levels, it might be a win/win to earn a little less but realize a greater net income by keeping the deduction while achieving a better work/life balance. Tax implications also impact company decisions in structuring benefit packages. “Both tax exempt and for-profit healthcare companies are looking at bonus, retirement and tax deferred payment plans to make sure they are designed to be efficient given tax reform changes,” said Hopkins.
Burnout & Balance
While compensation is always important, Good and Hajde reiterated it isn’t the only consideration driving change. Burnout is very real for physicians and practice administrators. There is a growing sense of frustration over the ‘other things’ that get in the way of caring for patients. While administrative simplification has been a rallying cry for MGMA and provider organizations – and has even gained traction in D.C. – the promise has yet to become reality. When asked if there are any significant steps forward, Good noted, “We keep hoping, but I think from the physician’s perspective, they would say ‘no.’” While some physicians are all about the work 24/7, Hajde said some newer physicians are rethinking the model with a view toward achieving a better balance. “It’s very much a generational expectation in terms of what it means to be a physician,” he said. For those who want a distinct division between work and life, Hajde noted they tend to hover closer to the MGMA median of compensation. Those in the 75th percentile and up typically are working longer hours. “It can be done, but it’s a bit more difficult to have it all,” he said. On the flip side, it’s possible compensation evens out over time if those with somewhat shorter hours have longer careers by avoiding burnout. “It really depends on the individual philosophy of the physician,” Hajde added of the best path to take. NOVEMBER 2019
Leading with Commitment, continued from page 1
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bilt University, graduating in 1998.IRB His says it is about finding balApproved atPreston the Protocol ance Level between clinical, administration residency was completed at MedStar Jul 25, 2019 Georgetown University Hospital in Washand personal time, all of which he says ington, D.C. Preston joined the staff of the are hard to say no to. “I think that is the Jackson Clinic, PC upon completion of his conundrum many leaders face,” he said. residency in 2003. “As this organization is comprised of Besides a family of physicians, Presphysicians, I feel it is so important that ton says his family also instilled in him a the leaders be practicing physicians as it legacy of leadership. “Both my parents gives more street cred with those in the were always active in some form of leadorganization. We are pro physicians and ership, be it in the community I grew up feel like that is who needs to be leading in or in their career,” he said. “Being inus into the future. If we don’t lead, then volved in a leadership type role in my cano one is going to take us where we need reer sort of came with the territory. My to go which is why I think it is so imporfather always said that as a physician you tant for physicians get involved in leadhave the unique ability to make a positive ership. It gives you a completely different impact, one patient at a time, but that as perspective on healthcare, the practice of a teacher or leader, that circle of influence medicine and running an organization.” can be multiplied to many because you As the healthcare industry is in what also have an effect on those influenced by seems to be a constant state of flux, Presthe ones you first influenced.” ton says there are constant changes that Preston did not jump right into a have to be dealt with. “We are investing leadership role when he joined the clinic. a lot of time and money in shifting from He only became involved as a board the fee for service model to an outcome/ member ten years ago. In that time, he value-based model,” he said. “Moving served as secretary and vice chairman of forward, we want to expand our populathe board which he says has helped to tion health management efforts and our prepare him to take over as chairman. He primary care base as well as utilize what has also been involved with the board of we have learned to provide higher qualdirectors for the West Tennessee Hearing ity and more affordable healthcare to and Speech Center. our patients. We are also always looking “When I first joined the clinic, I was to partner with people and organizations not even thinking about becoming inthat share our mission and goals.” volved with leadership or management. I Alternative sites of care are somejust naturally gravitated to it over time,” thing the clinic is also exploring. “The said Preston. “I was interested in the issues healthcare system has been hospital cenfacing not only the clinic, but healthcare tric and patients, payors and employers in general. I knew if I did not become inare looking to shift away from that when volved in a leadership role as a physician appropriate,” said Preston. “We are lookthen how could I be sure that there would ing at high quality more affordable sites be someone who would take us where we such as urgent care centers, telehealth needed to go.” options or being able to provide other The biggest challenge of leadership, sites of care besides a hospital for proPreston says he has faced, is just the chalcedures since these can help overcome lenge of the change in perspective leadtransportation barriers that exist in rural ers must go through. “The challenge is healthcare.” to think organizationally rather than While the organization has goals, personally. You have to start looking at Preston says his view is more altruistic. what is best for the greater good, even if “It is all about how you prioritize. If you that does not line up with what may be put the patient first, not a department or best for your personal interests. I think even the clinic, then everything else will that is why some gravitate to leadership. fall in line,” he said. “It is really about It was definitely a motivational factor for being able to recognize and enjoy being me,” he said. “Over the past ten years, I a part of something bigger than yourself have learned how to have that mindset. and having a positive impact on that. The At first you have a narrower frame of clinic’s goals are my goals. If the organizareference that you filter things through. tion succeeds and grows, then that is part Then as you go along, it becomes easier of my legacy.” to think more globally about the orgaPreston is married with two children. nization.” His wife is a dermatology nurse practitioTime management is also a challenge ner. His children are avid soccer players for this busy otolaryngologist who has had which Preston says keeps them busy on to learn to juggle, not only a busy practice weekends. schedule, but the demands of his role at Jackson Clinic and that of husband and father. “You find the time to do what you really want to do and those take the time you have to give them,” said Preston. “It is like writing a term paper in college. If you have six days to write it, it will take that. If you only have four hours, then it will take that. It is really an evaluation of what you want to have as your priorities. I @westtnmednews cannot tell anyone how I find time to do it, I just do. Luckily, my family, friends and for updates and breaking news colleagues have been supportive.”
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GrandRounds Unity Taps Dr. Jethanandani for Double Duty
MEMPHIS - Unity Psychiatric Care announced Dr. Vijay Jethanandani has been named medical director for the Unity Psychiatric Care hospital in Memphis and will also serve as medical director for its 16-bed psychiatric hospital in Martin, Tennessee. Dr. Jethanandani Dr. Vijay Jethanandani will provide clinical oversight for the psychiatric nurse practitioners and support local AHC skilled nursing facilities, which are owned by American Health Partners, the parent company of Unity Psychiatric Care.
He is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in both general psychiatry and geriatric psychiatry and has more than 30 years experience treating mental illness and brain disorders in adults, with a special emphasis on older individuals. In addition to working directly with patients in the Martin facility, Dr. Jethanandani is specially trained in tele-psychiatry, which enables him to conduct remote video diagnostic evaluations for patients who otherwise might not be able to see a geriatric psychiatrist. Dr. Jethanandani also taught university classes, acted as a clinical preceptor, and volunteered with numerous international nonprofit and government agencies, including the World Health Organization.
James Ross to Serve as THA Board Chairman
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NASHVILLE - James Ross, president and chief executive officer (CEO) at West Tennessee Healthcare, Jackson, recently was installed as chairman of the 2020 Board of Directors at the Tennessee Hospital Association’s (THA) 81st Annual Meeting. Paul Korth, CEO at Cookeville RegionJames Ross al Medical Center, will serve as chairmanelect and Wright Pinson, M.D., MBA, FACS, CEO at Vanderbilt Health System in Nashville, will serve as immediate past chairman. Throughout Ross’s 34-year career at West Tennessee Healthcare, he has held various positions, including emergency medical technician, surgical intensive care registered nurse, critical care unit director, executive director of physician services and chief operating officer. He also serves on the Madison County Board of Health, and is a member of the American Nurses Association and American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE). In 2014, Governor Bill Haslam appointed Ross to the Tennessee Emergency Medical Services Board of Directors. With over 30 years of experience in healthcare, Korth was named CEO at Cookeville Regional Medical Center in 2013. He previously served as the hospital’s chief financial officer for 13 years. He is responsible for Cookeville Regional Health System, which includes the hospital, Cookeville Regional Medical Group and the CRMC Foundation. A member of the THA Board of Directors for many years, Korth was appointed by Gov. Bill Haslam to serve a three-year term on the Tennessee Health Services and Development Agency (HSDA). Other members of the 2020 Board of Directors include: • Tim Adams, CEO, Ascension Saint Thomas, Nashville • Rogers Anderson, board member, Williamson Medical Center, Franklin • Elizabeth Appling, chief diversity officer, Erlanger Medical Center-Baroness Hospital, Chattanooga • Stephanie Boynton, administrator,
Erlanger Bledsoe Hospital, Pikeville • Reginald Coopwood, M.D., president and CEO, Regional One Health, Memphis • Randy Davis, president and CEO, NorthCrest Medical Center, Springfield • Marvin Eichorn, chief administrative officer, Ballad Health, Johnson City • Keith Goodwin, president and CEO, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, Knoxville • Aaron Haynes, director of graduate medical education, UT Health Science Center, Memphis • Christopher Holmes, president and CEO, FirstBank, Nashville • Joseph Landsman, president and CEO, University of Tennessee Medical Center, Knoxville • Jason Little, president and CEO, Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation, Memphis • Wendy Long, M.D., president and CEO, THA, Nashville • Scott Peterson, CEO, Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Franklin • Janelle Reilly, market chief executive officer, CHI Memorial, Chattanooga • Heather Rohan, division president, HCA/TriStar Health System, Nashville • Phil Shannon, board member, Regional One Health, Memphisichael Ugwueke, president and CEO, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, Memphis • James VanderSteeg, president and CEO, Covenant Health, Knoxville • Robert Wampler, president, Mountain Division, LifePoint Health, Inc., Brentwood • Alan Watson, CEO, Maury Regional Healthcare System, Columbia • Donald Webb, CEO, Williamson Medical Center, Franklin • Mark Wilkinson, M.D., vice president of medical staff services and hospital-based programs, Ballad Health, Johnson City • Jeffrey Woods, division president, Acadia Healthcare, Franklin
Healthcare Organizations Call for Ban on Flavored Vaping
Some of Tennessee’s largest healthcare advocacy organizations are urging Gov. Bill Lee and the Tennessee General Assembly to take swift action in response to the emerging public health issues associated with electronic nicotine delivery systems. In a letter to Gov. Bill Lee, more than a dozen associations petitioned the governor to implement “. . . an emergency temporary measure to restrict Tennessee youth from obtaining vaping products,” and encourage the Tennessee General Assembly to “. . . take more permanent legislative action when it convenes in 2020.” The letter was initiated and coordinated by the Tennessee Medical Association. The groups cite an outbreak of vaping-related illnesses as cause for immediate governmental intervention, pointing to three dozen cases in Tennessee and more than 1,000 cases nationwide. Vaping use among teenagers continues to climb. Public health advocates are most concerned about flavored products that are intentionally packaged to mimic candy, juices or other kid-friendly products and marketed directly to adolescents.
Spero Health Brings Lifesaving Addiction Treatment Service to West Tennessee
DYERSBURG/JACKSON – Spero Health, a CARF-accredited organization and national leader in the treatment of substance use disorders, has announced the company will continue to expand local access to affordable, effective, physician-led outpatient addiction treatment with new clinics in Dyersburg and Jackson, Tennessee. The Dyersburg Spero Health Clinic, located at 433 East Parkview Street (in the old V.A. outpatient facility) opened its doors to new patients in October. Individuals who need addiction treatment services are encouraged to walk in for help or call: (731) 334-5390 for more information. The Jackson Spero Health Clinic is located at 172 West University Parkway Suite A, and opened in September to new patients — no appointment is necessary. Individuals who need addiction treatment services are encouraged to walk in for help or call: (731) 201-5590 for more information. Spero Health accepts TennCare and participates with select commercial insurance plans to help ensure individuals have an affordable option which is often a barrier to treatment. Dr. Alice McKee, board certified in Family Medicine, Palliative Medicine and board-eligible in Addiction Medicine, will be the medical director at the Dyersburg clinic. Dr. McKee has an extensive and distinguished background focused on substance use disorders in western Tennessee. Dr. Dustin Inman, who is boardcertified in Family Medicine and boardeligible in Addiction Medicine, will be the Medical Director and the lead physician at the Jackson clinic. A graduate of UT Memphis Medical School, Dr. Inman completed his residency in Jackson at the University of Tennessee Family Medicine Center where he was the Chief resident of the 2004 class. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in 2017, there were 1,269 overdose deaths involving opioids in Tennessee—a rate of 19.3 deaths per 100,000 persons, which is higher than the national rate of 14.6 deaths per 100,000 persons. The state has expanded resources to address the epidemic and leaders from Spero Health say they can be part of the solution as there is a considerable need for high-quality treatment providers locally. Tennessee remains in the top 15 of all states in drug overdose deaths. The epidemic is a multisystem issue touching individuals, families, schools, agencies, and employers locally, regionally and nationally. The Jackson location currently has several job openings. Spero Health is seeking qualified counselors, social workers and physicians for the new location. Applicants can view a list of job openings at https://sperohealth.com/ careers/. For more information about Spero Health please visit www.sperohealth. com.
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