Page 1


Highlights A Highland Hospital employee newsletter.

August 2019

Saving the World, One Patient at a Time


At 40 years old, Jacquie Dobbertin, R.N., transformed her career from stay-at-home mom to registered nurse. While she realized a dream, she never imagined that in 10 years, she would be delivering medical care to residents of a remote village while traveling the Pomeroon River in Guyana, South America. “The biggest challenge was teaching patients about their medication, due to the language barrier,” said Dobbertin. “We would get up at 6 a.m. and either work all day in clinic or travel down the river. Traveling 50 miles-per-hour by boat with the rush of the river or seeing an anaconda snake always made me worry. We were dependent on local boaters to get us to each location safely.” Dobbertin plans to go back in 2020. Dobbertin works in the Radiation Oncology department at Sands Cancer Center Oncology outpatient facility. As a mother of three children, she went back to school to become a nurse and started her second career at Highland in 2008 on West 6. She worked in per diem and part time positions before transferring to her current role. While Dobbertin was in Guyana for a week, she was presented with a humanitarian award from the Guyana Outreach Mission for setting up outpatient clinics in local villages. Her team treated over 500 patients with respiratory conditions, diabetes, hypertension, skin rashes, worms, asthma, diarrhea, STDs, and back pain, which is common due to the amount of manual labor performed by villagers.



Said Dobbertin, “Since we could only resupply from the medicines we brought into the country, it was always stressful when our supply would get low. Yet, we were able to provide a state-of-the-art wheel chair to a 12-year-old boy living with Cerebral Palsy so that his family wouldn’t have to carry him when they traveled. It was such a privilege to care for the people of Guyana.” 5


1. Dobbertin earns a Humanitarian Award from the Canada-Guyana Outreach Mission for her dedication and commitment to the people of Guyana, South America. 2. Three students attend Karaburi Primary School where Dobbertin’s team delivered medical care. 3. Dobbertin stands with supplies as she prepares the pharmacy area before patients arrive. 4. Kids travel Pomeroon River by boat on their way to school. 5. Dobbertin stands with her medical team in front of a clinic after working with patients.

Message from

Steve Goldstein President & CEO

Fogarty Selected to Chair Department of Family Medicine Colleen T. Fogarty, M.D., M.Sc., FAAFP, has been selected as William Rocktaschel Professor and Chair of Family Medicine. Fogarty is the first woman to chair the department, succeeding Thomas L. Campbell, M.D., who stepped down after serving 16 years as chair.

Cindy Becker

Vice President & COO

On October 7, Highland will launch its engagement survey. We conduct this survey every two years to gain a better understanding of our employee’s morale, satisfaction, and engagement. Your opinions and suggestions are important to the future of Highland, and this survey is an opportunity to express your thoughts and feedback. Highland is known for its quality, compassionate care, and it’s our employees who deliver that care. Our people make Highland what it is. Everyone who works here has a role to play in delivering excellent care to our patients and their families. We understand that in order to go that extra mile every day, you need support. And that’s why we come back to you, to ask you what you think and learn how we can continue to improve your work environment. We use your feedback to update your benefits, launch innovative workplace practices, fine-tune our processes, and plan for the future. That’s why it’s important to complete your survey. Moreover, we encourage you to attend Town Hall, scheduled for September 20. Town Hall is an opportunity for us to speak to you directly, provide key information on how we’ve responded to your feedback from past surveys, update you on how we did in FY19, and give you a preview of the exciting developments coming our way in FY20. We will continue to fulfill our mission to care for our patients and their families, and realize the Highland Promise by living the ICARE values of Integrity, Compassion, Accountability, Respect, and Excellence each and every day. And, equally as important, we are also committed to caring for each other with those same values.

Left to right: Thomas L. Campbell, M.D., and Colleen T. Fogarty, M.D., M.Sc., FAAFP

“I am delighted that Colleen Fogarty has been appointed the next chair of Family Medicine,” said Campbell. “She is an outstanding leader who will bring new energy and innovative ideas to the department. I am very pleased to have her succeed me in this role.” As chair, Fogarty will oversee all elements of the department, including the Highland Family Medicine practice, which serves more than 25,000 patients annually.

Nuclear Medicine Camera Offers More Imaging Options Clear, informative images are vital to the diagnosis and treatment of injuries and disease. Highland’s Medical Imaging department ensures that state-of-the-art equipment is available and recently installed a new nuclear imaging camera that will allow increased capacity of patients, particularly those with cardiac issues. “The new $350,000 Siemens Symbia EVO is better technology and allows us to perform scans and produce results faster,” said Jeff Murad, MBA, CNMT, Program AdministratorMedical Imaging. “That means a better experience for patients as they are on the table a shorter period of time.” The new camera was purchased with staff safety in mind as well. “This is a safer piece of equipment for staff to run,” said Murad. “Less body mechanics are needed to operate the camera.”


Town Hall: September 20, 2019 Engagement Survey: October 7, 2019

Siemens Symbia EVO nuclear imaging camera performs scans and produces results faster.

Patients Benefit from Wilmot Cancer Center & Highland Hospital Connection Since July 1, 2018, a successful partnership between UR Medicine Wilmot Cancer Center and Highland Hospital has led to more than 470 Wilmot Cancer Center patients admitted to Highland and 10-12 beds used daily on East 5.

Some members of the OU interdisciplinary team: Eric North, R.N., Nurse Manager of OU; Youngrin Kim, M.D., Chief Hospitalist, and Katie Holloway, R.N., Assistant Nurse Manager.

Highland Observation Unit: Right Patient, Right Bed, Right Length of Stay

The observation unit (OU) at Highland is a 26-bed unit designed to cohort observation patients to effectively deliver high-quality, low cost care while decompressing the inpatient floors and decreasing ED overcrowding. Ideally the census in the unit would be 70% medical and 30% surgical patients who need a stay of 24-36 hours. Keely Dwyer-Matzky, M.D., serves as medical director of the unit, and last year developed a capstone project with several colleagues for her studies at the University of Rochester Simon Business School to improve utilization of the OU with appropriate patient population.

The Highland unit focuses on geriatric/medical oncology patients, although others are admitted as well. “This was a welcome initiative for us and fits with our clinical expertise,” says Corey Romesser, M.D., Geriatric Director of Inpatient Services at Highland who serves as the unit’s medical director. “Most of us in the unit at Highland are geriatric and/or palliative care certified. Working in conjunction with medical oncology, we are offering an excellent patient experience.” As UR Medicine Wilmot Cancer Center has grown, inpatient units were routinely stretched to capacity. This arrangement has helped to ensure that patients are in the correct location for care with staff who have expertise in oncology.

The purpose of the capstone project was to explore opportunities to better utilize the OU, thereby improving patient flow, alleviating ED boarding, and ensuring that the right patient was utilizing the right bed at the hospital. The team utilized one year retrospective OU data to create a predictive model to identify more appropriate observation patients for the unit. By doing this, it would cohort more appropriate patients in the OU, allowing the staff to more efficiently take care of these patients thereby decreasing the length of stay (LOS). This resulted in increased bed capacity in the OU and hospital. Ultimately, it helped improve patient flow, decreasing ED overcrowding, and decreasing the cost of observation patients at Highland. So far, LOS has decreased significantly in the OU, resulting in an increase in the volume of patients that are being admitted and discharged from the unit. Bed capacity has also increased. The team is continuing to work on identifying the right patients for the unit to maximize capacity use and growth. An interdisciplinary team including clinical and utilization management nurses, physicians, pharmacists, social workers, and administrators worked with Dr. Dwyer-Matzky to make the project a success.

Chloe Bond, R.N., BS, CHPN and Kelli Hawkins, R.N., BSN, care for a patient on East 5.

Use of the beds at Highland have helped decompress affected med/surg units at Strong and reduced by 10 percent the average time oncology patients had to wait in the ED for a bed once the decision to admit was made. It has also reduced the number of oncology patients boarding in the ED and the number of Surgical Oncology patients boarding in the PACU at Strong. Joyce Rampello, B.S., R.N., is Wilmot’s Patient Access Specialist (PAS) and ensures the success of Wilmot at Highland with her focus on streamlining the admissions process through Wilmot. The PAS debuted last spring, and has helped decrease the number of oncology patients having to go to the ED before unplanned or urgent admissions. Since April 2018, more than 330 patients have been diverted directly to beds at Wilmot and Highland instead of going to the ED.

Highland Wins Gold Highland Hospital received the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines®‐ Stroke Gold Plus and Target: Stroke Honor Roll and Heart Failure Gold Plus and Target: Heart FailureSM Honor Roll awards, which recognize the hospital’s commitment and success in ensuring patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research‐based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

Highland will be Awarded HEI LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader Designation Highland Hospital will be awarded the “LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader” designation in the forthcoming Healthcare Equality Index 2019, which will be released in July. “Highland Hospital is committed to creating both an inclusive work environment and patient care experience that welcomes all LGBTQ employees, patients, and their families. This award also has special meaning as we celebrate the accomplishment during Rochester’s Pride Week 2019,” said Amy Galiana, Chief Human Resources Officer. To earn the designation of LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader, Highland Hospital received the top score of 100 in the HEI 2019 survey, which included categories such as non-discrimination and staff training, employee benefits and policies, patient services and support, and patient and community engagement.

Cultivating Longevity at Highland Longevity is a crucial part of the unique culture at Highland. Each year during promise week, we celebrate milestone service anniversaries, and there are many: 8.25 percent of Highland staff members have been employed here for more than 20 years. This is almost double the national average of 4.4 years. So, why do so many of us stay? Long-term Highland employees weighed in on their years of service: According to Vivian Condello, R.N., Manager Employee Health Services, “The atmosphere and size of Highland creates a friendlier hospital. You get to know more people across many departments, there’s a lot of support from leadership, and there is also strong support for growth. I believe this combination of qualities drives longevity among Highland employees.” Condello has worked at Highland for 46 years. “My generation was the group that wanted to change things. We were vested and invested in our careers,” said Kathy Shanahan, R.N. “As my generation retires, we need to feel like we made a difference and that there is a plan before we’re gone. I believe that when leadership is focused on delegation, reward, and recognition and staff are networking and supporting each other, patients, families and Highland will benefit from those employees who choose to build a career here.” Shanahan has worked at Highland for 46 years.

Employees of the Month March 2019

Andrea Ross

Obstetrics Gynecology Department - East 5

April 2019

Kris Bittner, R.N., ASPN III Operating Room

May 2019

Gillian Olsen, R.N., ASPN III Same Day Surgery

Said David Munger, Gift Shop Manager, “Highland’s employee longevity is driven by the people who work here. I’ve seen many changes in my time at Highland yet, the constant factor has always been the caring people who work here. Highland should always be experimenting with new ways to facilitate relationships among its employees to help them build relationships and reduce turnover.” According to Amy Galiana, Chief Human Resource Officer, “While I am new to Highland, with almost 20 years working in the human resources field, it’s been my experience that the most successful organizations have roots in a strong and vibrant culture and healthy employee engagement which result in higher retention levels and reduced turn-over.”

Correction: The article “Highland Hospital Gala” [May/June 2019] wrongly identified Devina Balkissoon. This error has been corrected in the digital edition of the issue.

Recognition Awards: Jeanine DiBerardinis, R.N., B.S.N. Employee of the Year and Sharon Johnson, Director, Quality, Leader of the Year


10 & 15 Year Luncheon: Top, Kathleen Carter, R.N. and Barbara Jean Hebert, R.N. Middle, Katie Condello. Bottom, Sheila Wiley, R.N. and Heather Beach, R.N.

Cake Decorating Contest: A Promise Week cake created for competition during the Promise Week Cake Decorating Contest

20+ Year Dinner: Laurie Malsegna

The Cookout: Top, Tanya Members Bottom: Anna Gallwey and Marci Alexander

Larry Ealey and his wife

Audrey Barclay and Joyce Young

Profile for Highland Hospital

Highland Highlights August 2019  

Highland Highlights August 2019