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Improving lives

Patients share their experiences SPRING 2019 SPRING 2019







Improving lives


Building for today and tomorrow...................................................4 Eva Nelson feels like a new woman..............................................6 Mother-daughter physician duo really delivers ...........................6 Infant Nutrition Lab........................................................................7

23 Senior Horizons Tasty Tuesday Luncheon & Speaker, 11:30 a.m. Trinity United Methodist Church Call 256-265-7950 for reservations. 26 Madison Hospital Volunteer Luncheon 30 Senior Horizons Tour of Huntsville Hospital's Hospice Family Care Inpatient Hospice Facility - 1-2 p.m. (reservations required) Call 256-265-7950 for reservations.

When your patient is a child..........................................................8 Caring for Kindall............................................................................9 Close to perfect................................................................................10

The right treatment, right on time..............................................14

1 Senior Horizons Spring Picnic, 11:30 a.m, Madison County Nature Trail, Green Mountain. Call 256-265-7950 for reservations.

Forget Me Not................................................................................. 15

6-12 Nurses Week

Pat McAfee's reason........................................................................16

9 Huntsville Hospital Foundation Classic Dinner and Concert

Electrophysiology program in rhythm.........................................10 A volunteer with a heart for a good life...................................... 11 All about our new EMR system...................................................12

Talking big about colorectal health............................................. 17 Community Health Initiatives at work ......................................18 Huntsville Hospital Foundation...................................................19

11 Huntsville Hospital Foundation Classic Golf Tournament

On the cover

14 Senior Horizons Lunch Brunch, 11:00 a.m. Below the Radar, 220 Holmes Avenue, 35801

Each year, more than 100,000 patients receive life-changing care at our hospitals in this community. For the Spring issue of Source, we photographed seven of these special patients relaxing together at Honest Coffee Roasters in downtown Huntsville. Pictured from left to right are Samantha Hemphill, Sonya and Kindall Welch, Pat McAfee, Tiffany and Kennedy Lane and Eva Nelson.

All rights reserved. No material in this publication may be reproduced in any form without prior written permission from the publisher. Articles in this magazine are written by Huntsville Hospital professionals who strive to present reliable, up-to-date information, but no publication can replace the care and advice of medical professionals. Contact your physician when considering and choosing health care treatments. For more information on the editorial content of Source, please call Huntsville Hospital Public Relations at (256) 265-8317 or Huntsville Hospital Foundation at (256) 265-8077. Please contact us if you wish to have your name removed from the list to receive fundraising requests or other mailings supporting Huntsville Hospital Foundation in the future.




21 Senior Horizons Tasty Tuesday, 11:30 Trinity United Methodist Church, 607 Airport Road. Reservations required by May 14. 256-265-7950.

For a complete list of blood drives, health screenings, support groups and other community events, visit


A message from our CEO


s the Alabama Legislature continues in its regular session, our state has an opportunity to generate *$11 billion in economic activity over the next four years while creating more than 30,000 jobs for our state. We can do this by expanding our Alabama Medicaid program. There are a lot of opinions about Medicaid, but the case for expansion is strong. Consider these facts from the Alabama Hospital Association:

• By expanding Medicaid, Alabama could provide health care coverage to an estimated 340,000 adults who don’t currently have health insurance. • The rate of adults without health insurance dropped from 35 percent to 16 percent in states that expanded Medicaid (2008 – 2016). None of the 36 states that have expanded Medicaid have reversed their decision. • Hospitals are 84 percent more likely to close in non-expansion states. • Medicaid expansion leads to earlier cancer detection, fewer deaths, and better outcomes for patients. • Expansion states have increased access to substance abuse treatment and other critical mental health services. • Alabama will receive $9 in federal funds for every $1 it spends indefinitely. It’s true that Alabama missed out on the first three years of 100 percent federal funding to expand Medicaid, but the benefit of getting 90 percent funding, estimated to be $1.8 billion per year, is too great to ignore any longer. Hospitals in our state are in a precarious position with upcoming federal cuts to Medicaid which Congress mandated when it passed

the Affordable Care Act. The assumption was that states would expand Medicaid to help cover the uninsured. Alabama hospitals stand to lose $119 million in federal funding unless there is action from Washington and from Montgomery. It’s a very serious issue for patients and families, jobs and hospitals all across our state. Elsewhere in this issue of Source is an article on construction that’s underway on our campus. As you may have noted in driving around the hospital, we’re investing in our facilities across the campus. The Orthopedic & Spine Tower across from our main entrance will be completed in 2021; and a new 480-car garage is only a few months away from opening adjacent to Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children on Lowell Drive. We’re excited at how these projects will enhance patient care and your experience at Huntsville Hospital. On a personal note, I want to recognize a member of our team who has had a great impact on our organization and community for more than two decades. Candy Burnett, president of Huntsville Hospital Foundation, is retiring at the end of June. Thank you Candy for your untiring contributions in helping develop so many generous supporters of our hospitals.

David Spillers

CEO, Huntsville Hospital Health System

David Spillers Chief Executive Officer Jeff Samz Chief Operating Officer Health Care Authority of the City of Huntsville Philip W. Bentley, Jr. Chairman Mike Goodman Vice-Chairman Frank Caprio Secretary-Treasurer Amit Arora, MD Kerry Fehrenbach Bhavani Kakani Macon Phillips, MD Beth Richardson David Smith OUR MISSION Provide high quality care and services that will improve the health of those we serve. OUR VISION To be one of the best health systems in America and consistently strive to provide clinical and service excellence. OUR VALUES Integrity, Excellence, Innovation, Accountability, Compassion and Safety

*Economic activity estimate from a report by David Becker, PhD, at the UAB School of Public Health.




Orthopedic & Spine Tower


very week it seems like our community receives more accolades on its growth and quality of life. The same is true of our health care. Huntsville Hospital Health System is responding to the needs of our growing region with more advanced services and facilities. Just recently, the hospital broke ground on one of the most exciting projects in our 124-year history.

the new Q:Describe project that’s

underway on Huntsville Hospital’s main campus.


The Orthopedic & Spine Tower is a lynchpin in our strategy for serving patients for many years to come. When construction is completed in 2021, the seven-story, 375,000square-foot Tower will have 72 new private patient rooms for orthopedic and spine patients, as well as 24 new state-ofthe-art operating rooms with pre- and post-surgical areas. Among the services that will be relocated there is Joint Camp, our joint replacement program, along with physical therapy services.

Sivley Road. A pedestrian bridge over Gallatin Street will connect to the main hospital.

will the new Q:How Tower enhance the patient experience at Huntsville Hospital?


With the rapid growth in our region, additional surgical capacity will offer more timely access for patients needing orthopedic and spine procedures. Also, 72 more private patient rooms will be welcomed by all. These additional rooms will help reduce the need for most of the double occupancy accommodations which the hospital has historically used during high volume periods.

is the Q:Where about parking Orthopedic & Spine Q:What and other amenities? Tower located?


The Tower is across from the hospital’s main entrance, occupying a block that’s bordered by Gallatin Street, St. Clair Avenue and




Visitor parking for the Orthopedic & Spine Tower will be in the existing garage along St. Clair Avenue and Sivley Road.

The Orthopedic & Spine Tower is a lynchpin in our strategy for serving patients for many years to come.

Many of our employees who now park in this garage also work at Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children. They will soon have access to a new 480-car garage on the Women & Children’s campus. In addition to convenient parking, the Orthopedic & Spine Tower will also have space on the first floor for a restaurant and other retail operations.

does this project Q:How compare with others in

Huntsville Hospital’s history?


By any measure, it’s the largest health care construction project in four decades in our community. Construction cost is $150 million, not counting equipment, furnishings and operational expenses for the first year. The new facility creates approximately 200 new jobs at the hospital, bringing the hospital’s employment to more than 9,000 in Madison County, and approximately 15,000 in the Huntsville Hospital Health System across the region. Chapman Sisson Architects designed the Tower and construction is managed by Robins & Morton.

Opening in 2021, the Orthopedic & Spine Tower is the largest construction project in Huntsville's medical district in nearly 40 years. (Rendering courtesy of Chapman Sisson Architects)


Eva Nelson feels

like a new woman


uscle Shoals resident Eva Nelson’s struggle with back and neck trouble began in her 20s. As the pain got progressively worse, she sought help from more doctors, chiropractors and pain clinics than she cares to remember. Nothing worked. By age 45, Eva couldn’t stand up long enough to make dinner for her family. After missing her son’s 8th grade graduation while stuck in bed, she decided she had to do something. At the urging of a church friend, Eva went to see neurosurgeon Rhett Murray, MD, who specializes in the treatment of spine, cranial and peripheral nerve disorders at Huntsville Hospital’s Spine & Neuro Center. “When he said he could help me, I cried,” she said. Dr. Murray scheduled Eva for lumbar fusion surgery at Huntsville Hospital, which is ranked among America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Spine Surgery by Healthgrades. She had follow-up surgery a few months later to fix a severely herniated disc in her neck. Today, Eva feels like a new woman. She can drive again. She can walk without a cane. She can get down on the floor and play with her grandchildren.

“I can actually dance,” Eva said, laughing. “Slow dancing, line dancing — you name it.”



OBGYN Dr. Anne Marie Reidy (center) and her daughter, anesthesiologist Dr. Jessica Ivey (left), teamed up to deliver Tiffany Lane’s first child.



BGYN Anne Marie Reidy, MD, estimates she’s delivered 4,000 babies during her career. But the birth of little Kennedy Lane at Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children ranks as one of the most memorable. That’s because the anesthesiologist assigned to the case was Dr. Reidy’s own daughter, Jessica Ivey, MD. They are the only mother-daughter physician duo at Huntsville Hospital. “It’s so cool for me to have Jessica be a colleague here,” said Dr. Reidy. “I’m so proud of her and excited that we are working together.” Their first case together couldn’t have gone more smoothly. Dr. Ivey placed the epidural; a little while later, Dr. Reidy, who practices at Women4Women OBGYN, delivered a healthy, 6-pound-15-ounce baby girl. And it turns out they both had a connection with the mother, Tiffany Lane. Dr. Reidy has been Tiffany’s OBGYN for years. Dr. Ivey and Tiffany got to know each other last year as bridesmaids for a mutual friend. Dr. Reidy and Dr. Ivey expect they’ll be seeing each other regularly on the Labor & Delivery floor. “My patients keep saying, ‘Now that your daughter is working at the hospital, can she be my anesthesiologist?’” said Dr. Reidy.




he new Infant Nutrition Lab at Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children is the first and only facility of its kind in North Alabama. Babies in the region's only Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) require highly specialized care, and the state-certified Infant Nutrition Lab is a key part of that care. Mothers with babies in the NICU are encouraged to provide pumped breast milk each time they visit. The milk is labeled and stored in the clean, secure Infant Nutrition Lab for when it’s needed. “It provides a peace of mind,” said Samantha Hemphill, mother of twin girls who were recently patients in the NICU.

NICU COMING SOON Expansion Community growth is driving our Level III Neonatal ICU to begin its first expansion project this year. The expansion will add 10 new patient beds to provide

Infant Nutrition Lab staff prepares breastmilk according to each baby’s personal nutrition plan.

The new Infant Nutrition Lab at Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children is the first and only facility of its kind in North Alabama.

Cameron and Addison were born at 33 weeks. Being premature, they required additional calories and nutrients that the Infant Nutrition Lab’s certified technicians added to the breast milk before delivering the feedings. The different caloric and nutrient requirements for Cameron and Addison were addressed by their personal nutrition plan. Every baby in the NICU has a

nutrition plan developed by a team of neonatologists, neonatal nurse practitioners and registered dietitians. The Infant Nutrition Lab staff deliver feedings for nurses to provide to babies. “The Infant Nutrition Lab helps the nurses with their time because they are not measuring milk for all of their patients or keeping it at the right temperature for each baby,” said Hemphill. “The lab does it all.”

Samantha Hemphill with her twin girls, Cameron and Addison.

family-centered care for critically ill newborns with complex care needs.



When your patient is a child


ichelle Barksdale, a Child Life Specialist at Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children, builds trust for a living. The young patients she serves are often anxious about being in the hospital, and her challenge is to help them feel at ease. “We can offer an advanced level of pediatric care because of the physician specialties on our campus and the latest pediatric medical equipment in our hospital,” said Cathy Hubler, Director of Women and Children's Services. “And our staff knows how to treat and interact with our patients differently because a child’s perspective is different, and the way they cope with stress is different.”



Helping patients have a more positive hospital stay is important, and another goal is to keep children calm during exams, tests and procedures so treatment can begin as soon as possible. The child life team, pediatric nurses and other staff have a toolbox of positive distraction techniques to help with this task. Some of the more popular tools include movie goggles, iPads, music therapy, video games and the special VECTA system – a mobile sensory integration center with lights and textures to explore. Maybe the most visible tools of the trade are the Kids Care ambulances. From hospitals throughout the region, Kids Care transports critically ill children and

“Caring for children is a passion for everyone working in our children’s services. When you combine that passion with knowledge, experience and training, you get powerful medicine.” — Dr. Mark Sapp, Medical Director

of Women and Children’s Services

newborns to Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children for specialized care including the region’s only Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and region’s only Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Able to provide critical care transport 24/7, the Kids Care fleet is made up of two ambulances that are “ICUs on wheels” outfitted with equipment and medical teams specialized in pediatric and neonatal care.

Sonya and Kindall Welch

Caring for Kindall With the addition of Kids Care 2, Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children now has two colorful, speciallyequipped ambulances to transport critically ill children and newborns.

The newest Kids Care ambulance and all of the lifesaving equipment onboard were purchased thanks to record proceeds from Huntsville Hospital Foundation’s 2018 Huntsville Classic and Swim for Melissa events. The Foundation also funded a new design for both Kids Care vehicles.


he first thing Sonya Welch saw after the impact was blood coming from her six-year-old son’s mouth and a rapidly swelling spot on his forehead. The motorcycle had hit her car exactly where her son Kindall was sitting and trapped him in his car seat, unresponsive. As an ambulance transported Kindall to the region’s only statedesignated Level I Trauma Center at Huntsville Hospital, Sonya remembers feeling devastated, scared, and panicked. “I could hear the team working with him. They were reading off vital signs, visible injuries, trying to calm Kindall down. He was screaming and crying for me.” After the trauma team’s initial assessment and treatment, she was allowed to be at Kindall’s side as they ran tests and continued care, which included stitching up severe cuts on his hands. Kindall was admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children. His injuries included

a concussion, bruised lung, lacerated liver, lacerated spleen, broken finger, and contusions on his head and right thigh. Because Kindall has asthma, the pediatric intensivists — physicians specialized in caring for critically ill children — also needed to monitor his breathing and heart rate. When Kindall told nurses that his eye hurt, physicians ordered an ophthalmology consult. They discovered two pieces of glass had lodged under his eyelid. A quick but delicate procedure took care of the problem, and after a four-day stay at the hospital, Kindall was on his way to a full recovery. Today, he's playing multiple sports and back to being the little boy he was before. He doesn’t remember the accident or his hospital stay, but his mom does. “There's not a day that goes by that I don't think of the accident and the whole experience. I'm so grateful that God was watching over Kindall and grateful for the type of care he received.”


Close to


Electrophysiology program in rhythm


untsville Hospital Heart Center is in elite company thanks to a recent technology upgrade. The Heart Center is the only health care facility in North Alabama — and one of just a handful nationwide — using Siemens’ top-of-the-line cardiac computed tomography (CT) scanner. Most of the others are located at renowned teaching hospitals like Mayo Clinic. “This exact scanner is used by some of the most prestigious institutions in the country,” said cardiologist Michael Ridner, MD, medical director of the Heart Center’s cardiac CT program. “The images we are getting are close to perfect in terms of allowing us to visualize the heart, blood vessels and surrounding structures. The clarity is truly remarkable.” Older cardiac CT machines take about 15 seconds to fully scan the heart. Because the heart beats the entire time, the resulting images typically have some motion blur. Dr. Ridner said the new Siemens model is a huge leap forward because it can fully scan the heart in less than a second, which virtually eliminates motion blur. It’s also safer because patients are only very briefly exposed to radiation, he said. With the new CT images, physicians can see tiny bits of plaque inside the arteries that are early warning signs of heart disease.

Cardiologist Dr. Michael Ridner says the Heart Center’s new cardiac CT scanner provides remarkably detailed images of the heart and coronary arteries.



Huntsville Hospital’s cardiac electrophysiology physician team (from left to right): Drs. John Jennings, Paul Tabereaux, Michael Kaufmann, Jay Dinerman and Scott Allison.


he cardiac electrophysiology (EP) team moves at a fast rhythm, with cardiologists on track to perform approximately 2,500 delicate procedures this year. As the region grows and the population ages, the pace is expected to get even quicker. The leaders of the EP program – electrophysiologist Jay Dinerman, MD, and Cath Lab Director Chris Thornton, RN – estimate patient volumes will increase by nearly 20 percent over the next three years. That’s why Huntsville Hospital recently doubled the space available for electrophysiology procedures and invested in technology for two new EP labs. An EP lab is a special room dedicated to testing and correcting abnormal heart rhythms, known as arrhythmias. Aging, high blood pressure and other issues can disrupt the heart’s electrical activity and cause it to beat in an irregular pattern. Depending on the type and severity of the problem, a cardiologist might recommend a pacemaker, an implantable cardioverter defibrillator or a cardiac ablation, which uses radiofrequency energy or extreme cold to destroy the heart tissue that is triggering the abnormal rhythm. “As the Baby Boom generation reaches the age where heart issues become more common, it’s important that we have enough space for EP procedures,” Thornton said. “These two new labs allow us to take care of more patients.”

Hospice Family Care's new inpatient facility

A volunteer with a heart for a good life


ichard Willey is no stranger to the Caring for Life services – Huntsville Hospital’s medical program for chronically ill and terminal patients. He is a former board member of Hospice Family Care and has been a volunteer at Hospice Family Care and The Caring House for more than two decades. Willey first became involved in 1984, when he made a hospice donation in memory of a colleague and was then asked about his interest in volunteering. Volunteers provide patients, caregivers and family members with physical and emotional support during this important and stressful time. Twenty-five years later, he still is volunteering and has easily totaled up thousands of hours spent with families and patients. A recent volunteer assignment was spending time with a hospice patient with whom he shared a favorite pastime.

"After work every Friday night for about a year, I would go to my hospice patient’s home and we would play chess,” Willey recalled. Now, celebrating its 40th Anniversary, the hospice program has evolved and offers more services. One in particular that Willey enjoys is the Caring House. The Caring House is a refurbished, cottage-style home near Huntsville Hospital where hospice staff provides bereavement counseling for children and teenagers to allow them constructive means to express their grief over a loved one’s death. While some people might think The Caring House would be a sad place, Willey says it is a positive and relaxing environment. “To me, hospice care is very important, but bereavement and follow up have since become embedded in my mind as being critical as well,” said Willey.



Caring for Life


n the late 1970’s, a group of local families who were dealing with providing comfort care for their loved ones developed a bond that was instrumental in the development of Hospice Family Care. For more than four decades, Hospice Family Care has been Madison County’s oldest and only notfor-profit hospice. Since then, the program has grown to offer more services for patients and families. To better represent the broader capabilities, Caring for Life is the new name that encompasses Hospice Family Care in its new 15-bed inpatient facility, as well as respite care, bereavement support for children and adolescents, and plans for additional outpatient palliative care.




All about our new EMR system



PATIENT Here are some of the ways we are working to improve the hospital experience for patients and visitors.


untsville Hospital, Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children and Madison Hospital recently rolled out a new Electronic Medical Record (EMR) for patients. Called 1Chart, the computerized system allows caregivers in any part of the hospital to access, search and share patient information including medical history, lab and test results, and physician orders. Source spoke with Chief Operating Officer Jeff Samz, Chief Nursing Officer Karol Jones and Director of Clinical Nursing Practice Arin Zapf about how patients will benefit from 1Chart.

More parking

If you’ve driven on our campuses lately, you know parking is a challenge. That is why we’re building a new 480-space parking deck adjacent to Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children. On track to open this fall, it will be a convenient parking option for patients, visitors and employees.

Hand hygiene ID badges worn by our employees also track hand hygiene compliance. The badges record whether a caregiver sanitizes their hands before and after patient contact. Proper hand hygiene is the best and easiest way to prevent the spread of infection. 12


Q: How will patients benefit from the new 1Chart system? Samz: An integrated medical record provides our

clinicians with a complete picture of a patient’s problems and health information. Having all that information available in one place can improve decision making. The new 1Chart system also includes bar code medication administration. Every medication used by the hospital is labeled with a unique bar code, so we can be sure that patients get the medications that were prescribed for them in the correct dosage. This is a significant safety improvement for the thousands of medications that we provide to patients every day.

Q: Why is it called 1Chart? Zapf: Now, all hospital departments are using the same

electronic chart (1Chart) to document patient information. Before, many departments were using different systems that didn’t always speak to each other.

Q: Does this mean that the hospital will no longer use paper charts?

Zapf: We will continue to have some paper but it has been drastically reduced, and this reduction will continue.

Q: Keeping patients safe is very important. Will this new system help reduce medical errors?

Samz: 1Chart will absolutely make us safer.

Features like computerized provider order entry and bar code medication administration are core components of modern hospital patient safety plans.

Q: The hospital invested a lot of time and money

implementing this new system. Why is it so important?

Jones: Our old system was no longer supported by

the company that made it, so we had to make a change. Our new system was designed by Cerner – one of the two leading vendors in the hospital EMR market. This investment forms the backbone for health information in the Huntsville Hospital Health System for the next several decades, and it creates a foundation for a community health record. Eventually, all Health System hospitals, primary care and specialty practices across North Alabama will use the 1Chart system, allowing them to seamlessly share patient information.

Palm scans

Did you know the vein pattern of your palm is different from everyone else on Earth? We use these unique biological markers to help prevent insurance fraud, eliminate medical errors and identify patients who arrive at the hospital unconscious.

Better lungs

Orthopedic trauma nurse Fredricka Williamson, right, and internal medicine specialist Dr. Alan Baggett enter patient information into the hospital's new 1Chart system.

In January, the Huntsville City Council OK’d a public health measure that prohibits smoking or vaping on hospital sidewalks. Smoking is only allowed in two newly designated areas. One is located in the corner of the Visitor’s parking garage at Huntsville Hospital and the other is behind Women & Children.


The right treatment, right on time


Gold Plus: Recognizing excellence in stroke care For the ninth year in a row, Huntsville Hospital has earned the Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. The Gold Plus award recognizes hospitals that consistently ensure stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally-recognized guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence. Huntsville Hospital’s multi-disciplinary stroke care team treats about 1,100 patients annually – more than any other hospital in North Alabama. The hospital also participates in the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Target Stroke Program to reduce the time between a patient’s arrival at the hospital and emergent treatment.



Nelta Benson

elta Benson felt dizzy and strange as she opened the Huntsville Hospital Gift Shop on a Thursday morning in early February. She put her head down on a desk, hoping the sensation would pass. When Benson lifted her head a few minutes later, she realized her left arm wouldn’t budge. “It was like dead weight,” the longtime hospital volunteer said. “I had to use my right arm to pick up my left arm and put it on the desk.” Benson wondered if she was having a stroke, even though she didn’t have all of the classic symptoms. The acronym BE FAST can help you remember the warning signs of stroke, and what to do if someone is experiencing them: Balance, Eyesight, Face drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty, — Nelta Benson Time to call 9-1-1. Luckily, the hospital’s volunteer services director, Pat Legg, insisted on calling for help. Moments later, a nurse showed up with a wheelchair to rush Benson to the Emergency Department. She was sent initially for a series of CT scans, which revealed a small clot restricting the blood flow to her brain. Neurologist Theodros Mengesha, MD, recommended tPA, the clot-busting tissue plasminogen activator, which is most effective within the first few hours of the onset of stroke symptoms. Benson agreed to the treatment. “In less than an hour, I was feeling better with full use of my arm,” she said. “It was like a miracle had happened.” An MRI image taken 24 hours later confirmed a stroke on the right side of Benson’s brain. Thanks to the quick treatment, she has little lasting damage. Today, Benson is once again volunteering at the hospital gift shop and taking Rock Steady Boxing classes to help slow the progression of her Parkinson’s Disease. She wants others to know that stroke symptoms might not always be the familiar ones, and that anyone in doubt should seek help immediately. “By all means call – even if it’s a false alarm,” she said.

It was like a miracle had happened.




id you know Alzheimer’s disease kills more Americans each year than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined? All staff at Madison Hospital is responding to this growing health crisis by training to recognize the signs and symptoms of dementia – and how best to care for those affected. The initiative is called Forget Me Not. The hospital recently added a “Basics of Dementia” class to its new employee orientation program. The goal is for the current 660 employees to take the class – including those who work in environmental services, food services and building maintenance. Employees directly involved in patient care are offered specific training in how best to respond to aggression, delusions and other behaviors often associated with dementia. Also, Madison Hospital brought in the Virtual Dementia Tour to help employees understand what it’s like to have dementia. For the training exercise, employees wear patented devices that alter their senses while they try to complete everyday tasks. The goal is for caregivers to experience for themselves the physical and mental challenges faced by those with dementia.

Madison Hospital's Forget Me Not program grew out of conversations between hospital President Mary Lynne Wright and John Allen, whose mother died of Alzheimer's disease.

Huntsville Committee of 100 CEO John Allen, whose mother died of Alzheimer’s disease in 2012, said he’s thrilled to see Madison Hospital take the lead in providing better care for dementia patients. During his mother’s illness, he encountered doctors who didn’t seem to understand what his family was going through. “It’s an unbelievable meat grinder of an experience caring for a loved one with dementia,” Allen said. “It’s physically, emotionally and financially draining. If this Forget Me Not training can help give hospital employees a higher level of empathy and understanding, then it’s an absolute home run.” Forget Me Not is funded by a generous grant from a local family foundation to the Huntsville Hospital Foundation.

Alzheimer’s disease kills more Americans each year than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. Madison Hospital uses forget-me-not ID bands, pillows and door magnets to remind employees that a patient has dementia.



Madison Hospital’s knee replacement surgery program is rated Five Stars by Healthgrades.

My reason “T


hose lightning strikes of pain were not going to get better. Once you need a new hip your body doesn’t just miraculously heal itself. I learned that from my first hip replacement. I volunteer at Madison Hospital but wasn’t looking forward to going there for surgery, even though it was to be a less invasive anterior approach with a smaller incision this time. When my orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Christopher Parks, came to see me the day after surgery, I was so happy that I actually stood up with a walker to give him a huge hug. He said I was doing so well I could go home as long as I did my rehab. I know I have a soft spot about it because I spend time there as a volunteer, but I love that hospital — and my new hip!

These physicians from The Orthopaedic Center (TOC) perform various types of joint replacement surgery at Madison Hospital: Patrick Boyett, DO James T. Hughey III, DO Howard G. Miller, MD Christopher T. Parks, MD Thomas Thomasson, MD J. Bradley Sabatini, MD

Good. We’ll have the coffee and doughnuts waiting! Find out how to keep your doctor with NO copays and get the same coverage as BCBS C+ at a lower cost. Give us a call or stop by our office today.

MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT 256-532-2783 or 1-800-734-7826 699-A Gallatin Street Huntsville, AL 35801

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Karen Lingar Director


Talking big about


colorectal health

olleen the Rollin’ Colon — Huntsville Hospital’s giant, inflatable, walk-through colon — just celebrated her first birthday and is still proving to be a great conversation starter. As people giggle and point at Colleen’s oversized malignant polyps and cancer cells, there’s an opportunity for nurses to talk to them about the importance of colorectal screenings. Colleen is bright pink, stands 12 feet tall and is the most visible part of Huntsville Hospital Cancer Committee’s campaign to raise awareness about colorectal health. Huntsville Hospital Foundation provided the funding for Colleen at the request of the Cancer Committee in 2018. Since then she has made public appearances across the community including many health fairs and corporate events. “We definitely have room for improving colon cancer screening rates,” said Karen Adams, RN, BSN, director of the hospital’s Cancer Program, Cancer Registry and Center for Lung Health. Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths, behind only lung cancer. More than 50,000 Americans are expected to die from colon cancer this year, including nearly 1,000 people in Alabama. “Colon cancer and colon health are uncomfortable topics for some people,” said Heather Whorton, RN, director of Huntsville Hospital’s HealthWorks and Corporate Wellness programs. “Colleen helps facilitate the conversation about the importance of screening and early detection.”

NEW ENDOSCOPY CENTER The new outpatient endoscopy center is open at Madison Hospital. The 10,000-square-foot center offers a full range of endoscopy procedures. The most common types are colonoscopy and esophagogastroduodenoscopy — commonly referred to as an EGD or upper endoscopy.

Dr. Suresh Karne, Diane Lester, RN, Kerrie Creswell, LPN, Pamela Robinson, LPN, Marsha Osborn, RN, Kate Marquez, RN, and Deidra Carter, CRNP, stand next to Colleen the Rollin' Colon.

Citing a rise in the number of young adults being diagnosed with colorectal cancer, the American Cancer Society (ACS) now recommends regular screenings starting at age 45. Previously, the recommendation was to start at age 50. Adults with an average risk of developing colorectal cancer should have a colonoscopy every 10 years. People with a family history of colorectal disease or polyps, and those with an inflammatory bowel problem such as Crohn’s disease, may need to start colorectal cancer screening sooner. “The data clearly supports starting colon cancer screenings at age 45,” said Huntsville Hospital Digestive Disease Center gastroenterologist Rami Hawari, MD. “ACS should be applauded for being the first to recommend the change.”


Community Health Initiatives AT WORK


Top: Dr. Robert Serio examines April Robinson at the Community Free Clinic. Middle: Clinic volunteer Martha Townsend helps fill a prescription for a patient. Bottom: Director Shotsie Platt says the clinic uses Community Health Initiative grant dollars to keep its pharmacy stocked.



very Tuesday and Thursday people with little or no health insurance line up at the Community Free Clinic in Huntsville to be seen by volunteer physicians. The clinic functions like a typical primary care office, with one big exception: everything is free, including prescription drugs. The clinic uses grant funds from Huntsville Hospital’s Jean Wessel Templeton Community Health Initiative (CHI) to keep its pharmacy well stocked with medications. CHI dollars also cover the cost of a part-time nurse practitioner – the clinic’s only paid medical provider. Over the last 20 years, CHI has provided $10 million to nonprofit groups working to keep Madison County healthy. The Community Free Clinic’s $100,000 annual CHI grant award is its biggest source of revenue. “We wouldn’t be here without Huntsville Hospital and the CHI program,” said Clinic Director Shotsie Platt. The clinic serves a mix of working poor, disabled, homeless and down-on-theirluck adults with a wide range of health problems including diabetes, hypertension, COPD and seizure disorders. “We’ve had patients from every zip code in Madison County,” said Platt.

ONLY hospital in Alabama to be named in the top 5% in the U.S. for Spine Surgery.




Societies of 1895 & 2012 The Foundation honored its major donors at the 33rd Annual Societies of 1895 & 2012 Recognition Dinner on Nov. 8, 2018. These generous individuals, corporations and organizations make it possible for the Foundation to provide cutting-edge technology and crucial programs that serve Huntsville and Madison Hospital patients. Congratulations and thank you to the 2018 Societies of 1895 & 2012 award recipients: Patricia Bailey, RN, Outstanding Employee Volunteer; Dr. Amit Arora, Carl A. Grote, Jr., MD, Outstanding Physician Advocate; Liz Hurley, Doctor of Philanthropy; Tracy and George Jones and Patsy and John Shields representing Century Automotive, Outstanding Foundation Corporate Partner; Rusty Bates, Outstanding Foundation Volunteer; and Jason Landers, Trustee Leadership.

Huntsville Hospital Health System CEO David Spillers with Foundation Trustee Lisa Caprio and Huntsville Hospital Health Care Authority Board Member Frank Caprio

Drs. Aruna and Amit Arora, Authority Board Member; Dr. Alex Johnson, Trustee Emeritus, and Janice Johnson, Foundation Trustee; Dr. Michael Butler and his wife Kelly; and Dr. Paul Tabereaux, Foundation Trustee

Liz Hurley, WAFF anchor and founder of the Liz Hurley Breast Cancer Fund, receives the Doctor of Philanthropy Award at the Societies Dinner. Liz is pictured with her physicians, who assisted with the award presentation: Michael Yates, MD, Marshall Schreeder, MD, and Bud Lancaster, MD. The Doctor of Philanthropy is the Foundation’s most prestigious honor, reserved for individuals who have demonstrated an extra measure of support to the Foundation.

Drs. Craig and Libby Shadinger, Huntsville Hospital Foundation Board chairman, and Drs. Stephanie and Keith Jiminez

Buddy and Carole Jones, Trustee Emeritus, with Alice and Frederick Lanier, Trustee Emeritus



15th Annual Liz Hurley Ribbon Run A sell-out crowd of 6,500 runners joined Huntsville Hospital Foundation for the 15th Annual Liz Hurley Ribbon Run 5K and Survivors’ Walk last fall. A record $381,792 in net proceeds benefited the Liz Hurley Breast Cancer Fund, and enabled the Foundation to purchase a new ultrasound machine and three ultrasound upgrades for Huntsville Hospital Breast Center. Proceeds also went toward the purchase of a new 3D tomosynthesis machine for Madison Hospital Breast Center. Thank you to all event sponsors, runners and volunteers for their support! OrangeTheory Fitness boasted the largest Ribbon Run team in history with 529 team members.

Male Overall Winner Josh Whitehead and Female Overall Winner Justyna Mudy-Mader with Liz Hurley, founder of the Liz Hurley Breast Cancer Fund at Huntsville Hospital Foundation.

Daniel and Hope Bradley, Shana Freeman, and children from Team Erin show off their creative “Check 1-2” custom T-shirts prior to the race.

Breast cancer survivors, including Mix 96.9 Midday Show Host Bonny O’Brien (third from left), walk arm-in-arm during the 2018 Survivors’ Walk. PR ESENTING SPO NSO R




Ribbon Run co-chairman and breast cancer survivor Marijane Jerauld proudly crosses the 5K finish line with husband Gary and son Eric.



PATR O NS Cepeda Systems & Software Analysis, Inc. Clearview Cancer Institute LG Electronics Chicken Salad Chick Colonial Printing Topgolf Chugach Government Solutions, LLC Huntsville Track Club


BMW Brunch Also last fall, the Foundation hosted 335 guests at the 33rd Annual BMW Brunch at Century BMW. Guests enjoyed a delicious New Orleans-style brunch catered by Cotton Row Restaurant. Event proceeds benefited Hospice Family Care's Caring House, and will help children and teens work through the grieving process after the loss of a loved one.

Silver Sponsors Donna and Tony Palumbo enjoy pre-brunch festivities with Jan Howle and Lee Shaw of Hospice Family Care.

Thank you to the 2018 BMW Brunch Committee: Margaret Gleason, Ashley Mitchell, Elaine Coley, Dr. Kristin Deaton, Summer McClung, Nicole Farrell, Bree Wilbourn, Loni Cleave and Andrea Hatfield

A special thank you to our major sponsors!

Sanders Clayton, Frances Clayton, W.F. Sanders, Jane Troup, Wes Clayton and Nancy Davis at Silver Sponsor HighTower Twickenham’s table.

Mr. and Mrs. Lewis A. Palumbo

Sarah and Parker Jones and Tracy and George Jones of Century Automotive present the keys to a 2019 BMW X3 to grand prize winner Mandy DeOrio (second from right).

Party in the Park Madison Hospital’s seventh birthday was celebrated with a new take on the hospital’s annual fundraiser, Party in the Park. The Foundation hosted 319 guests for dinner and a show featuring stand-up comedian Henry Cho. Proceeds will purchase an MRI-compatible anesthesia system for Madison Hospital.

Madison Hospital Women’s Council members Julia Schmidt, Sheryl Thomason and Mary Beth Jernigan

Steve Burcham celebrates unlocking $2,000 in gift cards as the winner of the Treasure Chest Giveaway.

Madison Hospital Board Member and Foundation Trustee Krishna Srikakolapu and his wife Sudha with Jolly and Dr. DJ Mahapatra

Boots Wright, Madison Hospital President Mary Lynne Wright and Huntsville Hospital Health System COO Jeff Samz

Candace Brown, Kate Noble and Dr. Mark Purvis, Dr. Will Stroud and Dr. Rachel Acuff representing sponsor OB-GYN Associates



Hank Isenberg

Hank Isenberg, president and CEO of IronMountain Solutions, knows firsthand how beneficial it is to have access to one of America’s 50 Best Cardiac Surgery programs right here in Huntsville. After undergoing cardiovascular surgery at Huntsville Hospital’s Heart Institute, Hank chose to give back to the department that saved his life.

Donor Spotlight:

On July 3, 2014, I underwent a triple bypass after a catherization revealed blockage that needed attention. You know it is something serious when you hear a doctor say, ‘We need to talk about this.’ From the moment I heard those words, to the surgery, and later during the recovery process, I found the doctors at Huntsville Hospital to be top notch in their skills, professional and caring.

— Hank Isenberg

The Heart Institute Waiting Area is named in honor of Hank Isenberg, following his extraordinary gift. This generous donation will benefit patients for years to come.

Q: Why is it important that Huntsville residents have access to the level of technology and treatment available at Huntsville Hospital? A: As someone who has needed the lifesaving services from Huntsville Hospital, it is nice to know outstanding medical care is right here in my own backyard. We live in a great community with the best-of-the-best people on a personal and professional level. It is important to give everyone who calls this area home the best care because they do so much to maintain the robustness of our community.

You can support the Heart Institute at the Foundation’s 31st annual Huntsville Classic! ••• An Acoustic Evening with Lee Brice and Randy Houser May 9, VBC Propst Arena Concert tickets start at $15 at For sponsorship opportunities, contact 22


“I think it’s wonderful that we have generous and grateful patients who realize the importance of philanthropy in health care. Many patients will benefit from this generosity. Thank you, Hank!” — Frank Caprio, Huntsville Hospital Health Care Authority Board

Q: What inspires you to give to Huntsville Hospital Foundation? A: Huntsville Hospital takes care of us, so we should take care of them. We take health care for granted until we need it, but what we don’t always think about is there is always someone who needs medical attention. It is important to give back so that no matter who is in need, they are always receiving the best care possible. Q: This year’s Huntsville Classic benefits the Heart Institute/ Cardiovascular Services at Huntsville

Hospital. What does it mean to you that IronMountain Solutions is involved as a sponsor, and that our community will be raising money to support this cause that personally affected you? A: As a small business in Huntsville, we always strive to give back to the city and its charitable causes. Beyond just me, we have several employees at IronMountain Solutions who have dealt with heart issues either themselves, or supported loved ones in their battle. We feel strongly that being a good community member means supporting those who need it.


Community support The Epsilon Gamma Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. kicked off Heart Month by “adopting” the Heart Institute at Huntsville Hospital. Members are stocking the unit's waiting area each quarter with healthy snacks to serve patient families.

Generous employees of Integration Innovation, Inc. (i3) donated 61 care packages for families of patients in the Level III Neonatal ICU.

Huntsville Hospital’s St. Jude Affiliate Clinic received a new Starlight Fun Center thanks to the generosity of Starlight Children's Foundation. The new game system provides entertainment, distraction and a sense of normalcy for pediatric cancer patients.

Huntsville Hospital has some amazingly talented employees! These artistic talents were celebrated at the inaugural Employee Art Show awards reception, made possible by the Arts in Medicine program, funded by the Foundation and generous donors.


PRSRT STD US Postage PAID Birmingham, AL Permit #40 101 Sivley Road, Huntsville, AL 35801

Improving lives across the Tennessee Valley

We are the Huntsville Hospital Health System, a team committed to bringing better health care to you and your family. We’re all across the Tennessee Valley with more resources, more services and more locations — we’re improving lives, together.

Huntsville Hospital Health System includes Huntsville Hospital, Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children, Madison Hospital, Athens-Limestone Hospital, Decatur Morgan Hospitals, Helen Keller & Red Bay Hospitals, Marshall Medical Centers, Lawrence Medical Center and Lincoln Health System in Tennessee.

Profile for Huntsville Hospital Health System

Source - Spring 2019  


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