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in a small house

FALL 2016


FALL 2016

In THIS ISSUE Facing healthcare challenges: Q&A with our CEO .............................. 4 The beat goes on................................................................................................... 6 National magazine gives high marks........................................................... 7 News & Advancements ..................................................................................... 8 Smart posture for smartphones ................................................................... 9 After breast cancer, finding a new normal .............................................10 Caring for moms-to-be....................................................................................11 Big hope in a small house................................................................................12 Stroke. Know the symptoms. Know where to go.................................14 Swim for Melissa and Miracle Bash ..........................................................16 Out and about in our community ...............................................................18 Liz Hurley Ribbon Run......................................................................................19 Senior Horizons ..................................................................................................20

On the Cover: Five-year-old Alice Kenny, shown with parents Jeremy and Hallie Kenny of Madison, joined Hospice Family Care’s bereavement support group for kids following the death of her baby sister last spring. The Caring House program operates from a restored 1950s bungalow near Huntsville Hospital.

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.

Upcoming classes and events November All month – Flu vaccines, no appointment necessary at Huntsville Hospital Walk-in Clinic and Physician Care at Hampton Cove 9 Free smoking cessation class 12 Free smoking cessation class 16 Free smoking cessation class December 6 Free bariatric (weight-loss surgery) information session 7

LifeSouth blood drive at all Wellness Center locations

13 LifeSouth blood drive at Heart Center 20 Free bariatric (weight-loss surgery) information session January St. Jude Affiliate Clinic 10-year anniversary

Med Mall Wellness Center’s Exercise is Medicine program monthly kick off

Breast Center’s Surviving & Thriving class series kick off

February Madison Hospital Celebrates 5-year anniversary

Food for Thought – Your Spine Dr. Christopher Parks of TOC

Community Health Initiative’s grant program opens

Cardiology Update for clinical staff

Check our calendar for more events and dates:

Your Community Hospital Our staff works hard every day and we greatly appreciate the kind letters that are received from our patients and families. Providing excellent service is something we emphasize at every level of our organization and in all of our facilities.

David Spillers, CEO

Our Mission Provide high quality care and services that will improve the health of those we serve.

At the same time that we focus on service, we realize that our mission is to deliver the best medical care that we can. Not everyone, however, is able to measure the quality of care that a hospital provides. That’s why we were very pleased recently when the U.S. News & World Report published its Best Hospitals edition. This annual publication is one of the most reliable sources for recognizing where quality medical care is available. The hospitals in this edition are considered “high performers” in the delivery of care in specific medical procedures. Huntsville Hospital was ranked #2 among the Best Performing hospitals in Alabama for the second consecutive year. U.S. News & World Report went on to recognize our hospital as “high performing” in seven of the nine clinical areas that were measured, including abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, heart bypass surgery, heart failure, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), colon cancer surgery, hip replacement surgery and knee replacement.

Our Vision To be one of the best health systems in America and consistently strive to provide clinical and service excellence.

We received some more good news when Healthgrades, a national organization that rates hospital quality, released its 2016-17 ratings that singled out the cardiovascular program, spine surgery, and neurosurgical services at Huntsville Hospital.

Our Values Integrity, Excellence, Innovation, Accountability, Compassion and Safety

I want to congratulate our nurses, staff and physicians who helped us earn these distinctions. They make the difference in the care that is delivered in our facilities across the region. Thank you for choosing us when you need health care. It is our privilege to serve you.

Source | Fall 2016


Every day our employees work together to reach the hospital’s goal of ranking among the nation’s best for quality and customer service while keeping costs low.

FACING HEALTHCARE CHALLENGES Huntsville Hospital Health System CEO David Spillers sat down with Source magazine to discuss the future of Alabama’s cash-strapped Medicaid program; why Medicare reimbursement rates for Alabama hospitals are among the lowest in the U.S.; and his new role as chairman of the state hospital association. Q: We seem to be at a crossroads with health care in Alabama. Medicaid is underfunded. Our Medicare reimbursement rates are among the lowest in the nation. What do Alabama’s hospitals need to do to survive in the current climate? A: Alabama has some of the lowest Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements in the country, and also the lowest commercial insurance reimbursements. So the key to survival is efficiency. When we look at Huntsville Hospital compared to our peer hospitals, our cost per discharge is in the lowest 15th percentile nationwide. But our revenue generated per discharge is around the 16th or 17th percentile. So if we’re not unbelievably efficient, then we have no resources to reinvest in the organization. Many public hospitals in the state are only surviving because they get tax support. Huntsville Hospital does not get any tax support. There’s no question that we in Alabama ask our hospital employees to do more with less than just about anyplace else in America. But they do it, and they do a very good job. 4

Q: After rejecting the governor’s lottery proposal, the Legislature voted to use part of the BP oil spill settlement to plug the state Medicaid shortfall for 2017 and 2018. Do you see a longer-term solution on the horizon? A: The BP oil money was a two-year stopgap measure, and it alone wasn’t sufficient to adequately fund the Medicaid program. So we’ll be back at the table two years from now trying to figure out what to do for the future. We have about a million people out of a population of 4.8 million on Medicaid, so we have to figure out how to fund it long term. Whether that’s the lottery or some other method, I’ll let the legislators decide. Q: Huntsville Hospital has been working to set up a Regional Care Organization (RCO) to coordinate the care of Medicaid patients across North Alabama. Are you still confident the RCO idea will happen given Medicaid’s unsettled finances? A: I am confident that we would provide better, more proactive care to the Medicaid population through the RCO. But I’m not confident that RCOs are going to work because they require

“It’s truly impressive to me that despite our declining Medicare reimbursements, Huntsville Hospital is continually recognized as a top hospital, including one of America’s 50 best cardiovascular programs.” — David Spillers a level of funding from the state that’s currently not there. For us to assume the risk of these patients, we have to build a new insurance company. That’s an extremely expensive process. Meanwhile, the state only has funding – and not even sufficient funding – for the next two years. That’s like asking Walmart to build a new Supercenter on land they can only lease for two years. Those of us looking at starting these RCOs are going to have to decide if we are willing to invest lots of money to create a company that may not exist two years from now. It’s going to be hard for us to recommend that to our Health Care Authority Board. Q: Turning to Medicare, Alabama hospitals are reimbursed less than hospitals in almost every other state for the same procedures. Why is that? A: The Medicare funding system as it stands penalizes efficient providers over non-efficient providers. The more efficient you are, the less you get paid. When that happens, you have to cut costs even more. Huntsville Hospital’s payment from Medicare will significantly fall again next year because we have become more efficient than we were two years ago. Meanwhile, hospitals that are less efficient have rising costs and Medicare pays them more. It’s just all the wrong incentives. I tell people that if you want to solve the national Medicare cost problem, send all your patients to Alabama. We can treat them for significantly less money and still have great outcomes. It’s truly impressive to me that despite our declining Medicare reimbursements, Huntsville Hospital is continually recognized as a top hospital, including one of America’s 50 best cardiovascular programs. Q: Besides Medicare and Medicaid, what other issues keep you up at night? A: It’s making sure that we’re addressing the growing demand for health care in our community. The Huntsville area is just exploding with growth, and patients are coming faster than we can add facilities. There are days when our emergency departments in Huntsville and Madison are full. We’re going to have to invest huge sums of money to build additional facilities

to alleviate those problems. We also have to replace our 15-year-old patient information system with a new electronic medical record that will allow us to eliminate paper records. We’re in the final stages of making that selection. It will be painful to pay for, but it will pay huge dividends for the patients and clinicians once it’s up and running. Q: You were recently installed as board chairman of the Alabama Hospital Association. What are your top priorities for your tenure as chairman? A: We’re working in Washington, D.C. to try to make sure Alabama hospitals get paid more fairly by Medicare. That would give every hospital in the state more resources to care for their community. I also want to work on state hospital licensure issues. There are small communities in Alabama that could benefit from converting their capital-intensive, outdated inpatient hospital to something more in line with their needs today. We’ve got to find a way to let some of these hospitals reinvent themselves. Q: You came to Huntsville Hospital 10 years ago from Mission Health System in Asheville, N.C. Can you reflect on some of the changes at Huntsville Hospital during the past decade and talk about what might happen in the next 10 years? A: I came here believing we had the potential to be bigger than Madison County and have relationships with other hospitals in the region that were mutually beneficial. That’s proven to be true. We’ve developed a good system with great relationships in the communities where we work. I truly believe some of these communities wouldn’t have hospitals today if we hadn’t partnered together. But they have also made us better. It’s hard to predict out 10 years, so we just need to focus on the things we can control. Our goal is to have our quality and customer service rank in the top 10 percent of hospitals nationally while keeping our costs in the lowest 25th percentile. If we can do that, we’re going to be OK whatever changes happen in the health care industry. Source | Fall 2016


Cardiologist Mihir Kanitkar, MD, says the MitraClip device can provide almost immediate relief to many patients suffering from mitral valve disease.

The beat goes on Huntsville Hospital’s nationally-ranked cardiovascular program has a new weapon in the battle against heart disease. The hospital is the first in the region offering MitraClip, an FDA-approved alternative to open heart surgery for certain patients with a leaking mitral valve. Interventional cardiologist Mihir Kanitkar, MD, cardiothoracic surgeon Shaf Holden, MD, and cardiologist Sean Groark, MD, have performed a half-dozen nonsurgical MitraClip procedures since May with excellent results. Dr. Kanitkar and Dr. Groark are with Huntsville Hospital Heart Center; Dr. Holden is with Huntsville Cardiothoracic Surgeons also part of Huntsville Hospital. “The majority of patients feel significantly better as soon as we do the procedure because there’s an immediate reduction in the amount of the leak,” said Dr. Kanitkar. Mitral valve disease occurs when the two flaps of tissue known as leaflets that control the flow of blood through the mitral valve stop working properly. If the flaps become misaligned, blood can flow backwards through the valve and pool in the left atrium. That’s known as mitral regurgitation, and it’s a dangerous condition that often causes shortness of breath and an enlarged heart. Left untreated, it can lead to heart failure. Until recently, open heart surgery was the only way to fix the problem. However, some people with mitral valve leaks may not be strong enough for open heart surgery. The reasons might include advanced age, frailty, prior open heart surgery or other serious medical conditions. 6

That’s why Dr. Kanitkar considers MitraClip an important breakthrough. The tiny metal device is attached to a flexible catheter that is inserted into the patient’s femoral leg vein and then carefully advanced toward the heart. When deployed, it permanently clamps together the mitral valve leaflets to reduce or eliminate the backwards flow of blood. The procedure is done in a Huntsville Hospital Hybrid Catheterization Lab and usually takes less than two hours. “The cool part of this technology is that the valve can be repaired with just a catheter,” said Dr. Kanitkar. “There’s no open heart surgery, and most patients can go home the next day.” The hospital mobilizes its Heart Valve Team for every MitraClip procedure. Dr. Groark runs the echocardiogram machine that produces detailed images of the patient’s beating heart and blood flow. Dr. Kanitkar and Dr. Holden rely on those images to guide the MitraClip device into place. “It’s really a team effort,” said Dr. Kanitkar. “The imaging cardiologist is our eyes during the procedure.” The new MitraClip procedure underscores Huntsville Hospital’s role as a regional leader in cardiac care and adds to the Heart Valve Team’s already successful TAVR program for nonsurgical replacement of aortic valves. Healthgrades has ranked Huntsville Hospital in the Top 5 percent of U.S. hospitals for cardiac surgery for four years in a row and as one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals for Cardiac Surgery for three consecutive years.

National magazine gives high marks

A few of the many team members who helped Huntsville Hospital earn U.S. News & World Report’s “High Performing” label in seven clinical areas.

U.S. News & World Report’s latest analysis of American hospitals confirmed what many North Alabama residents have long known – Huntsville Hospital is one of the best places to receive medical care in the state.

The magazine rated each hospital’s performance in nine common surgical procedures or medical conditions, measuring factors such as 30-day mortality, readmissions, length of stay, patient volume, nurse staffing and patient satisfaction.

The popular magazine and website ranked Huntsville Hospital No. 2 in Alabama for 2016-17, second only to UAB Hospital in Birmingham. In addition, seven of nine clinical areas were rated as High Performing:

Robert Chappell Jr., MD, Huntsville Hospital’s Chief Medical Officer, said the recognition by U.S. News is a byproduct of the hospital’s continual focus on improving quality and patient care. Every two weeks, Dr. Chappell and Samz teach a “Margin of Excellence” class for employees which includes a frank discussion about steps the hospital needs to take to rank among the top 10 percent of hospitals nationally for quality and customer service, and the lowest 25 percent for cost. About 4,000 employees have attended the classes.

– Abdominal aortic aneurysm repair

– Heart bypass surgery

– Chronic obstructive pulmonary d isease

– Hip replacement

– Colon cancer surgery

– Heart failure – Knee replacement

“This recognition by U.S. News & World Report is confirmation of the great work done every day by our nurses and staff,” said Huntsville Hospital Chief Operating Officer Jeff Samz. “It’s nice when our team is singled out for excellent performance by a respected source.” For its 2016-17 hospital rankings, U.S. News analyzed publicly available data from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, American Hospital Association and several other sources. The evaluation covered more than 100 hospitals in Alabama and nearly 5,000 nationwide.

“The Margin of Excellence is the difference between being an ordinary hospital and an extraordinary hospital,” said Dr. Chappell. “It’s doing that little bit extra, like checking patient armbands and sanitizing hands 100 percent of the time – not 99 percent.” “We don’t sit around thinking, “How can we get listed as a top hospital in U.S. News & World Report?’ he added. “But we believe that when you get the right people engaged and you get the right processes in place, these types of accolades will follow.”

Source | Fall 2016


Auxilary volunteer recognized by AHA One of Huntsville Hospital’s most passionate volunteers, Audrey Gustafson, was named the state’s 2016 Outstanding Auxilian by the Alabama Hospital Association. Gustafson has given more than 11,500 hours of her valuable time to the hospital since 1985. Her volunteer service includes stints as Teen Auxiliary Program chairwoman, Gift Shop manager, ICU Waiting Area hostess, three terms as Auxiliary president and various leadership positions on the state hospital auxiliary board. “Audrey truly embodies a life of service,” said current Huntsville Hospital Auxiliary President Suzanne Westenhofer. “The impact she’s had on patients, families, visitors and other hospital volunteers is immeasurable.”

New inpatient hospice facility taking shape Construction is under way on Madison County’s first inpatient hospice facility. The $10 million structure at Redstone Village is on track to open in the fall of 2017. Operated by Hospice Family Care, it will have 15 private suites where patients with terminal illnesses can spend their final days in a home-like setting surrounded by family.

“Morning Joe” welcomes Sweet Caroline Emily and Matt Wilt welcomed their first child, Caroline Grace, on Aug. 21. Emily’s father texted a picture of Caroline to his brother – Joe Scarborough, host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” talk show. The next morning, Scarborough took a break from the day’s headlines to gush over the picture. “She’s so beautiful,” he said. “See how pretty she is.” Will Stroud, MD, of OB-GYN Associates in Madison, delivered baby Caroline. Joint Commission certifies stroke program The Joint Commission, an accrediting body for health care organizations, recently gave high marks to Huntsville Hospital’s stroke program. Following a two-year review, the hospital maintained its certification as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center. For each stroke patient, the hospital activates its multi-disciplinary Stroke Team of board-certified neurologists, neurology-trained nurses and nurse practitioners, Emergency Department physicians and staff, interventional radiologists and other providers.

Honor the physician, nurse or other caregivers who made a difference during your hospital stay.


Early detection is key. If you are 55 or older, ask your doctor about a lung cancer screening. Holly Zywicke, MD, a neurosurgeon at Huntsville Hospital Spine & Neuro Center, says poor posture while reading a smartphone can take a toll on your spine.

Call (256) 519-8146 for more information.

Smart Posture for SMARTPHONES According to the National Institutes of Health, 80 percent of adults will experience back pain at some point in their life. Did you know your smartphone could be contributing to the problem? Holly Zywicke, MD, a neurosurgeon at Huntsville Hospital Spine & Neuro Center, said the way many people read a smartphone or tablet – neck down, shoulders hunched – is bad for your spine. Fortunately, there’s an easy fix: Hold your device at eye level instead of chest level. If you’re sitting at a table or desk, lean forward and rest on both elbows with your back straight and phone held out in front of you. The same advice applies to reading a book, newspaper or magazine. “In this case, it’s OK to be rude and put your elbows on the table,” said Dr. Zywicke.

Even with proper reading posture, occasional back pain is a way of life for millions of Americans. Spinal wear and tear is visible on MRIs and CT scans by age 40. By 50, arthritis often starts to stiffen the knees, hips, neck and back. “Whether you’re sitting, standing or lying down, your back is always at work,” said Dr. Zywicke. “And when it hurts, it’s hard to focus on anything else.”

November is

Lung Cancer Awareness Month

Here are some tips for maintaining a healthy back and spine, no matter your age: Use the right pillow. Sleep on your back. Get moving. Stay hydrated. Eat right. Stop smoking.

In partnership with Southeast Lung Alliance

Source | Fall 2016


Wellness expert Lydia Cole, RN, foreground, leads the exercise portion of a Surviving & Thriving class for women recovering from breast cancer.

After Breast Cancer, Finding a new normal Sandy Cross, RN, a breast health navigator at Huntsville Hospital’s Breast Center, has seen it happen many, many times. A woman will show remarkable strength, grace and resilience through her breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. But once the treatment ends, fear and doubt start to creep in. What if it comes back?

“We created this program to be a bridge to help women discover and embrace their new normal including health, wholeness and beauty,” said Cole. “Every aspect is positive and designed to help these ladies be their best.” Every Surviving & Thriving class starts with 30 minutes of yoga, Pilates or Nia, a user-friendly exercise taught by Cole that benefits body, brain and emotion. Cross said studies have shown regular physical activity can greatly reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrence.

“When you’re going through treatment, fighting cancer becomes a full-time job,” said Cross. “Then all of a sudden the doctor says, ‘You’re done, you can get back to normal now.’ But you don’t know what ‘normal’ is anymore.”

“The exercises we teach are fun and beneficial,” she said. “You can do them at home or at the gym.”

The Breast Center’s Surviving & Thriving program aims to help women live life to the fullest after breast cancer. The free eight-week program is taught by Cross and Lydia Cole, RN, a professional development coach, fitness instructor and wellness expert at the hospital’s Corporate University.

In addition to exercise, Surviving & Thriving offers skill-building activities designed to help women be their best. Topics include nutrition, cooking with healthy foods, dealing constructively with negative thoughts, managing stress and sexuality following cancer treatment.


The program is funded by Huntsville Hospital Foundation’s Liz Hurley Breast Cancer Fund. Because women with breast cancer spend so much time in medical offices, organizers chose a non-clinical setting for Surviving & Thriving. Classes are held at Corporate University across from Huntsville Hospital. About a hundred women have graduated from Surviving & Thriving since the program launched in 2014. Sessions are held four times a year.

For more information, call Sandy Cross at (256) 265-2293 or Lydia Cole at (256) 265-8147.

CARING FOR MOMS-TO-BE Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children has opened the region’s first Obstetric Emergency Department (OB ED). The OB ED began seeing patients in late August and treated nearly 160 women in its first week, and more than 950 in the first two months. Women with severe nausea, vaginal bleeding, early contractions and other pregnancy-related complications or complaints are being treated by a medical team that includes five board-certified obstetricians as well as labor and delivery nurses and nurse practitioners. Located on the second floor next to the Labor and Delivery unit, the 10-bed OB ED is open around the clock with at least one physician present at all times. Previously, women with pregnancy-related problems were treated in the Huntsville Hospital Emergency Department or by nurses in the Labor and Delivery triage area at Women & Children, depending on the baby’s gestational age. Now, mothers-to-be at any stage of pregnancy are being referred to the OB ED. Walk-ins are also welcome. The Huntsville Hospital ED will continue to see pregnant women with heart trouble, difficulty breathing, broken bones and other trauma. “We’re improving the standard of care and the quality of care for our obstetric patients,” said Jade LeCroix, nursing director for Women & Children’s OB ED, Labor and Delivery and Antepartum units. Five OB-GYN hospitalists with more than a century of combined medical experience – Drs. Lynda Gilliam, Timothy McMichens, Gary Pugh, Amy Takacs and Mistye Taylor – manage the OB ED and stay in close contact with each patient’s primary obstetrician. Dr. Gilliam serves as medical director.

Nearly 1,000 women visited the new Obstetric Emergency Department during its first two months. The unit is led by Medical Director Lynda Gilliam, MD, above right, and Nursing Director Jade LeCroix, RN.

Our Expectant Family classes can help prepare the whole family for a new arrival. Boot Camp for New Dads Breastfeeding* Cesarean Birth Childbirth* Childbirth Refresher Grandparenting Marvelous Multiples Maternity Tours* Parenting* Sibling For more information or to register call (256) 265-7296. Registration made easy: *Class also offered at Madison Hospital

“We’re all part of one big team working to achieve the best patient outcomes,” she said. Source | Fall 2016


Big HOPE in a small house Hospice program is changing the dynamics of childhood grief. Not long after their infant daughter was born with a serious genetic disorder, Jeremy and Hallie Kenny reached out to Hospice Family Care.

She used exercise to help Alice see that her own health was not affected by Mae’s illness. While Mae needed supplemental oxygen to breathe, Alice could run and do jumping jacks with ease.

The Madison couple knew they would need hospice nursing help for baby Mae. And they wanted to get older daughter Alice involved with The Caring House, Hospice Family Care’s grief support program for children and teens.

When Mae died at home in March 2016, Alice was not caught off guard. That day, she drew pictures of heaven and released a balloon into the sky for Mae.

Hallie Kenny had tried to explain to five-year-old Alice that Mae had been diagnosed with Trisomy 18, a chromosomal defect.

“As we watched it go up and up,” said O’Leary, “she was smiling and waving at her sister in heaven.”

“But it was hard for me to find the right words,” she said, “and I was so consumed with Mae’s care that I worried Alice wasn’t getting enough attention. To have The Caring House staff come in and give their full focus to Alice was just … amazing.

A safe place

Kim O’ Leary, a child life specialist with The Caring House, visited the Kenny home numerous times to help Alice understand – in developmentally appropriate terms – what was happening with her baby sister. Alice was given the opportunity to touch and feel real medical equipment just like the equipment used in Mae’s care. That experience made those unfamiliar objects less threatening.

There’s a Volcano Room where children are encouraged to release emotions in a safe setting. There’s a play room where they can act out images stuck in their mind from a hospital room or funeral. There’s a well-stocked art room where they can express feelings in paint and Magic Marker.

“Young children can’t grasp the specifics of a chromosomal disorder,” said O’Leary, “so you try to work with what they can physically see and understand.” 12

In late August, The Caring House program moved from the Hospice Family Care business office to a restored 1950s bungalow on Longwood Drive in Huntsville’s Medical District.

On a recent visit, Alice drew a sidewalk chalk portrait of Mae wearing a lavender hair bow.

The first fundraising event to benefit The Caring House, hosted by the Huntsville Hospital Foundation, will be the BMW Brunch on Sunday, Nov. 20, at Century BMW in Huntsville. Alice Kenny draws a sidewalk chalk portrait of Mae on The Caring House porch. At right, Hospice Family Care Executive Director Kristina Johnson and Business Development Manager Lee Shaw.

For more information on that event or to make a donation to The Caring House, please call (256) 265-8077. For online donations, visit

‘To the next level’ “I think this great space is really going to take The Caring House program to the next level,” said Lee Shaw, Hospice Family Care’s business development manager. “It’s much more inviting than the office we were in before, and it’s also larger so we can accommodate more children and teenagers.” Hospice Family Care is part of the Huntsville Hospital Health System, and many hospital employees rolled up their sleeves to make The Caring House a reality. Huntsville Hospital Foundation President Candy Burnett volunteered her interior decorating talents. Madison Hospital President Mary Lynne Wright, who is also a master gardener, designed the landscaping. “When you think of the name ‘Caring House,’ this house fits that picture,” said Hallie Kenny. “They had an incredible setup before, but it was in an office building. Now when you walk up and see the white picket fence and the colorful front door, it gives you a feeling of calmness.” The teal front door is The Caring House’s most eye-catching feature, but it wasn’t chosen just for the curb appeal: Teal is the color associated with childhood grief awareness. All the difference When Mae was born on Oct. 14, 2015, doctors at Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children noticed her feet were curved – a possible sign of a chromosomal abnormality. The test results came back a week later: Mae had Trisomy 18. The Kennys were told their infant daughter was unlikely to live past her first birthday.

While Hospice Family Care nurses taught the couple how to use the feeding tubes and bottled oxygen that Mae required, O’Leary gave Alice information about Mae’s illness and tried to prepare her for the inevitable. “Instead of Mae’s condition being some big scary thing, Alice knew what to call it and how it worked,” said Hallie Kenny. “That was so important.” After Mae died, Alice joined The Caring House’s bereavement support group for children who have lost a parent, sibling, grandparent or other loved one. The meetings, led by Hospice Family Care grief support specialists, take place at The Caring House. The program is also offered at 28 public schools across Madison County. “There’s so much value in that peer support and knowing that you’re not the only child dealing with death,” said O’Leary. “It’s a safe place for them to share things about their loved one and to learn from others. Children have all the same emotions about death as adults do, but they may not always know how to express it in the healthiest way.” Hallie Kenny said she realized how much Mae’s illness was weighing on Alice when Alice asked for a medical-themed Doc McStuffins birthday party. “Kids have these huge feelings about death,” she said. “To have someone come in and listen to Alice talk about her sister at her own pace made all the difference.” Source | Fall 2016



Know the symptoms. Know where to go. Know the symptoms. Act F.A.S.T. Face droops on one side Arm drifts downward when raised Speech is slurred Time-call 911 immediately

What you need to know and where you need to go for stroke care. The southeastern United States is known as the Stroke Belt. The stats bear it out. Why are we at such high risk? Poor diet, diabetes, lack of exercise, smoking and high blood pressure are given a lot of the credit. Until we modify some of those risk factors we will likely remain at higher risk for stroke. Because a stroke can be devastating and even fatal, it’s crucial that you know the symptoms of a stroke. And just as importantly, you need to know where to seek immediate treatment when a stroke is suspected.

Anjaneyulu Alapati, MD

Huntsville Hospital is a Primary Stroke Center certified by the Joint Commission and is the most capable facility in the region for treating an acute stroke. More than a thousand patients are treated by Huntsville Hospital’s Stroke Team each year. Our team is prepared around-the-clock to perform rapid diagnostic evaluations and to deliver comprehensive neurological treatments that are based on best-practice guidelines. When you choose Huntsville Hospital for your stroke care, you are choosing the most experienced and advanced team in North Alabama.

Amit Arora, MD

– Board-certified Neurologists

Aruna Thotakura Arora, MD

– Board-certified Neurosurgeons from the Spine & Neuro Center

Jitesh K. Kar, MD

– Board-certified Interventional Radiologists with the latest advanced technology

Theodros Mengesha, MD

– Board-certified Emergency physicians and staff

Tejanand G. Mulpur, MD

– Stroke-trained Nurse Practitioners

Rama M. R. Nadella, MD

– Dedicated Neuro-Intensive Care Unit

Neurologists and Neurosurgeons on Huntsville Hospital’s Medical Staff. Neurologists

Neurosurgeons Jason T. Banks, MD Derrick Cho, MD Rhett B. Murray, MD Joel D. Pickett, MD Cheng W. Tao, MD Holly Zywicke, MD 14

– Stroke Unit with Neuro-trained nurses – Pharmacists – Physical/Speech/Occupational therapists Seconds really do count when a person has a stroke. But minutes count when you’re not where you need to be for treatment. What you don’t know about stroke care can make all the difference. Get to Huntsville Hospital.

Source | Fall 2016


Thomas Paul Glenn and Anthony Landers had a blast at Swim for Melissa!

The 11th annual Miracle Bash and Swim for Melissa, held in August, benefited the Neonatal ICU and Huntsville Hospital’s tiniest patients. During the two-day event, Miracle Bash guests, swimmers and volunteers of all ages partnered together to raise funds in support of Huntsville Hospital Foundation’s Melissa George Neonatal Memorial Fund. Melissa’s fund was established by Amy and Chris George, who have worked tirelessly to raise funds for the NICU. The Georges’ daughter Melissa passed away shortly after birth and her sister Ann Catherine, now 11-years old, was a patient in the NICU for 68 days. Supporters of the Miracle Bash and Swim for Melissa helped provide the following for the NICU: – Giraffe Warmer and incubator, both of which provide developmentally supportive microenvironments that help preterm infants thrive

Amy and Chris George enjoyed the 11th annual Swim for Melissa with their daughters Lily Baker (left) and Ann Catherine (right).

Believe in Miracles was a top fundraising team at Swim for Melissa. Pictured are Claire Davis, Brooke Hatfield and Kayla Hatfield; and in back, Connor Simpson, team captain Tripp Oakley, and Cole Simpson. 16

– A cooling system which safely monitors and controls an infant’s body temperature

– Syringe pumps which are used to safely and accurately infuse medication – “Beads of Courage” for parents to commemorate their baby’s milestones while in the NICU – Funding for the NICU Family Support Program

Left Above: Pierce and Megan Lehr with Lauren and Dag Rowe at the Miracle Bash. Right Above: John and Leslie Jeffery, and Sarah and Graham Burgess supported the Miracle Bash and Melissa’s fund.

The Miracle Bash volunteer committee planned a perfect event on a beautiful evening. Pictured at the Bash are committee chairmen (front): Bash chairman, Andrea Hatfield, Lindsey McLain, Caitlin Thomas, Amy George, Anna Manning, and Kacie Simpson, Bash co-chairman. (back): Ginger Liles, Molli Kirby, Katherine Hanback and Anna Claire Vollers.

Give Simply is an easy, secure and consistent way to invest in the health of your community. As a Give Simply donor, you can give the gift of health every month, and make a daily impact on the lives of Huntsville and Madison Hospital patients. Your pre-determined online monthly gift is an easy way to manage your budget, plus it helps provide items, like the ones listed here, all year long. Give Simply – it all comes back to you!

Can provide a bereavement kit for a Caring House child grieving the loss of a parent

Can help provide portable pulse oximeters for Respiratory care patients

Can help provide a chemotherapy chair for Oncology patients

Can help provide vital signs monitors for patients at Huntsville and Madison Hospitals

Source | Fall 2016


Out and About

in our community with the foundation

The Huntsville Hospital Auxiliary provided an ultrasound machine for the Endocrinology & Diabetes Clinic – just one of many purchases funded by the Auxiliary through its generous $185,810 donation to the Foundation. Pictured are Auxiliary Board members Doris Ellison, Suzanne Westenhofer, Alice Damphouse and Diane Pratt, with Emergency Department physician Ric Solis, DO; Emergency Service Line Director Greg Lochner; and Emergency Department physician Sherrie Squyres, MD.

Jacob Brown, a patient at Huntsville Hospital’s St. Jude Affiliate Clinic, had a special wish on his 10th birthday—he asked family and friends to donate Lego sets to the Clinic instead of giving him gifts, so that his friends could have fun while there for treatments. Jacob, an avid hockey player, is pictured with family, friends and MTSU hockey players as he donated 300 Lego sets to the St. Jude Clinic.


Grace Margaret, daughter of Kristen and George Twitty, is a precious bundle of joy, and safely tucked in with her Huntsville Hospital sleep sack. Halo Sleep Sacks, designed to guard against Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) are given to all infants born at Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children, Neonatal ICU infants, and to babies 6 months and younger who are patients at the hospital. The program is generously funded by Dynetics, Inc.

Friends gathered to raise funds for the Liz Hurley Breast Cancer Fund at the annual Think Pink party hosted by Lori Gregory, Ginney McDonald, Donna Shergy, Marie Newberry and Kelly Thomas. Pictured are special guests, all breast cancer survivors. (row 1) Debra Chandler, Susy Thurber, Annelle Craig, Cathy Lee; (row 2) Nancy Van Valkenburgh, Marian Prucha, Stephani Sherman, Pat Cross, Joanne Hodges; (row 3) Rosalie Smith, Mary Siebert; (row 4) Susan Frederickson, Martha Patz, Suzanne O’Connor, Tricia Bobo, and Debra Harris (row 5) Ashlee Duesing, Jean Ann Carter and Stacey Stone.


Ribbon run LIZ HURLEY

The 13th annual Liz Hurley Ribbon Run took place on October 15 at Huntsville Junior High School. More than 5,700 runners and walkers came out to support the Liz Hurley Breast Cancer Fund at Huntsville Hospital Foundation. Proceeds from this year’s event will be used to purchase a biopsy system that will be used in conjunction with the 3D mammography, purchased with 2015 Ribbon Run proceeds, and an ultrasound system. This technology will enhance Huntsville Hospital Breast Center’s screening capabilities.

Torch Technologies’ Breast Friends gathered for a team photo before the race.

Brownies and Cub Scouts cheered for runners along the race course.

Members of the duMidi Woman’s Club lead the Survivors’ Walk every year.

Liz Hurley (second from the left) with Ribbon Run chairman, Annette McAdams; Huntsville Hospital Foundation president, Candy Burnett; Ribbon Run event director, Suzanne Mohler; and co-chairman, Marijane Jerauld.

Huntsville Hospital’s Team GMT Surgery has participated in the Ribbon Run for several years.

Liz Hurley Ribbon Run overall winner Brandon York finished with a time of 15:11

Team spirit was demonstrated by teams participants who wore custom-designed t-shirts and “dressed up” for the Ribbon Run! Source | Fall 2016


SAVE THE DATE November 10 Lunch Bunch, 11 a.m. D & L Bistro (American) Main Street South, 7500 Memorial Parkway, 35802 12 Holiday Card Making, 9:30 a.m. – Noon 13 “Inspecting Carol,” 2 p.m. (a Christmas Play) 2500 Meridian Street, 35811 December 1 Day Trip to Nashville, 7 a.m. - 5 p.m. 13 Lunch Bunch, 11 a.m. Royal Rose Cafe (American) 1009 Memorial Parkway, 35801 20 Tasty Tuesday Potluck Christmas Luncheon 11:30 a.m. 30 Eve of New Year’s Eve Lunch Bunch, 11 a.m. 1892 East (American) 720 Pratt Avenue, 35801 January 5 “Space Between Us” (Movie time, cost and location TBA) 10 Lunch Bunch, 11 a.m. The Boot Pizzeria (Italian) 11505 South Memorial Parkway, 35803 February 14 Lunch Bunch, 11 a.m. AM Booths Lumberyard (American) 108 Cleveland Avenue, 35801 16 Day Trip to Red Bay, 2:30 - 11 p.m. Dinner & Show 25 Local Outing, 10 a.m. 22nd Annual Storytelling Festival Trinity United Methodist Church 607 Airport Road, 35802 MARCH 7 Tasty Tuesday, 11:30 a.m. 14 Lunch Bunch, 11 a.m. Olive Garden (Italian) 3730 University Drive, 35816 23-27 4-Day Trip to Natchez & Biloxi, Mississippi and Theodore, AL with Excursions Unlimited Call (256) 265-7950 for reservations. Huntsville Hospital Senior Horizons 101 Sivley Road · Huntsville , AL 35801 20



TASTY TUESDAY Tuesday, December 20, 11:30 a.m. Location: Trinity United Methodist Church, Wesley Hall 11 a.m. – Blood Pressure Checks 11:30 a.m. – Potluck Luncheon Bring your favorite holiday side dish or dessert. The hospital will provide a main dish of chicken and dressing, rolls and beverages. We will celebrate the season with holiday music and a Christmas reading.

LOCAL OUTINGS “Inspecting Carol” Sunday, Nov. 13, 2 p.m. Location: Lee High School Theater, 2500 Meridian Street, 35811 Cost: $17 Laugh your way into the holiday season with the Independent Musical Production of “Inspecting Carol.” Don’t confuse its title with the Charles Dickens version. This hilarious hit involves a man who asks to audition at a small community theater and is mistaken for an informant for the National Endowment for the Arts. Everyone caters to the bewildered wannabe actor, and everything that could go wrong, does go wrong.

“The Space Between Us” (Movie) Thursday, January 5

Matinee time, cost and theater TBA A space shuttle embarks on the first mission to colonize Mars, only to discover after takeoff that one of the astronauts is expecting. Her extraordinary child, Gardner Elliot, grows to the age of 16 having only met 14 people in his very unconventional life. When Gardner finally gets a chance to visit Earth, he is eager to experience all of the wonders he could only read about while on Mars. 22nd Annual Storytelling Festival

Date: Saturday, February 25, 10 a.m. Location: Trinity United Methodist Church, 607 Airport Road, 35802 Cost:$15/person festival and $8/person for lunch Warm-up your winter with this local festival that will make your face hurt from smiling. Award winning storytellers Donald Davis, author and minister from Waynesville, NC, and Michael Reno Harrell, songwriter and master teller from Southern Appalachia, will delight devoted fans.


All Senior Horizons trips and local outings are open only to its members. For information on becoming a member, or to learn more about trips and outings, call the Senior Horizons office at (256) 265-7950. Trips and activities fill quickly. Please make reservations early!

Day Trips Nashville, Tennessee Date: Thursday, December 1, 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Cost: $77 Join us as we celebrate the season with a quick trip to Nashville. We will leave Huntsville early enough to enjoy a deluxe, Tennessee breakfast at the Loveless Café followed by a matinee performance at Chaffin’s Barn. The performance, “Tuna Does Vegas,” is the newest installment from the award winning Greater Tuna creative team. The lovable and eccentric characters from the fictitious, third smallest town in Texas are re-united in this unique format of just two actors playing all the characters.

Red Bay, Alabama Bay Tree Council of the Arts production of “Curious Savage,” by John Patrick and dinner at the Weatherford Center Date: Thursday, February 16, 2:30 – 11 p.m. Cost: $65 (still verifying the cost) In this entertaining and fanciful play, Mrs. Savage wants to make the best use of the $10 million her husband left her. Her greedy step-children cannot manipulate Mrs. Savage in to giving-up any of the money so they have her committed to a sanatorium. There she meets good people who have just had difficulty adjusting to life. Find-out what happens to Mrs. Savage, her step-children and her new friends. A tasty dinner precedes the play.

Natchez & Biloxi, Mississippi and Theodore, AL with Excursions Unlimited Dates: Thursday-Monday, March 23-27, 2017 Deadline for deposit: December 5 Deadline for full payment: February 15 Cost: $790 double, add $250 for single supplement Trip Cancellation Insurance: $75 Join us for 4-day trip to celebrate spring in the South. We will enjoy Natchez, Mississippi and the spring pilgrimage of historic homes and plantations, explore the spring Festival of Flowers at Bellingrath Gardens and Home outside of Mobile, followed by an overnight stay and dining at the elegant Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi. This trip includes a professional tour guide, transportation, lodging, tickets to the pilgrimage, shows, events, activities and eight meals. Full itinerary is available through the Senior Horizons office. This tour requires average physical activity. Travelers should be in good health, able to climb stairs and walk reasonable distances, possibly over uneven ground.

Destination Travel

with Collette Vacations

Important Note: Prices include round trip air fare from Huntsville, air taxes and fees/surcharges and transfers. A $250 deposit is required to initiate the reservation process. Travelers have seven days to withdraw their reservation to receive a full refund. Prices are subject to increase prior to the time travelers make full payment. Cancellation insurance is available. Reservations are limited and available on a first come, first served basis. National Parks – Tour # 764714 Dates: August 15-26, 2017 (12 days) Deadline for deposit: February 9, 2017 Cost: $4,499 (double) Final payment due: June 14, 2017 Highlights: Scottsdale, Lake Powell, Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Zion, Salt Lake City, Jackson Hole, Grand Teton & Yellowstone National Parks, Old Faithful, Sheridan, Bighorn Mountains, Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse Memorial. Reflections of Italy – Tour # 764712 Dates: November 9-17, 2017 (9 days) Deadline for deposit: May 4, 2017 Cost: $3,699 (double) Final payment due: September 7, 2017 Highlights: Rome, Colosseum, Assisi, Perugia, Siena, Florence, Chianti Winery, Venice, Murano Island, Milan Southern Charm Holiday – Tour # 764717 Dates: December 3-8, 2017 (6 days) Deadline for deposit: May 30, 2017 Cost: $2,629 (double) Final payment due: October 1, 2017 Highlights: Historic Charleston, Boone Hall Plantation or Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum, James Island County Park Holiday Display, Savannah, Andrew Low House, Jekyll Island, Christmas Caroling Spotlight on San Antonio Holiday – Tour # 782318 Dates: November 30-December 4, 2017 Deadline for deposit: June 22, 2017 Cost: $2,179 (double) Final payment due: September 29, 2017 Highlights: The River Walk (Paseo del Rio), Mission San Jose, The Alamo, LBJ Ranch, Fredericksburg, El Mercado, Olive Orchard Source | Fall 2016


Out and About WITH

senior Horizons

Far left, top Bess Webb, Donna Lewis and Jerry Lyon meet Nubian Goat, Farah Fawcett, at 1818 Farms Far left, bottom Feeding the pretty chickens at 1818 Farms Left Hold still cutie, I want to take your picture!

New Mercedes Sportscar for Joyce and Charles Purple

Terry Nix, Kathy Bazzell and Diane Bowman at the historic Jemison-Vande Graff Mansion in Tuscaloosa

Jackie and Wallace Turman, Charles Purple, Marie Morris, Dianne Cochran at the Senior Expo

What a great gift idea!

Give a Senior Horizons membership to someone you care about. Cost is $20 for an individual or $35 per couple. Senior Horizons Benefits: Free Source magazine

Free notary services

Social activities and day trips

Free valet parking (65 years & older)

Wellness Center discount

Destination travel

Cafeteria discount

and more‌

Professional motorcoach tours

For more information, call (256) 265-7950.

Free health seminars Free photocopying 22

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o Call andpetraslokn!t a real MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT 699-A Gallatin Street Huntsville, AL 35801

256-532-2783 or 1-800-734-7826

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SOURCE 101 Sivley Road, Huntsville, AL 35801

FRIDGE WORTHY. As report cards go, we are proud of these.

U.S. News & World Report’s No. 2 spot in Alabama for Overall Excellence and High Performing in seven clinical areas Healthgrades 2017 Top 5% in the Nation for Cardiac Surgery, Top 10% in the Nation for Spine Surgery and Top 5% in the Nation for Cranial Neurosurgery

Source - Fall 2016  
Source - Fall 2016