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kentuckyone health Fall 2012 Vol. 1 Issue 2

Everyday Heroes Employees share their remarkable rescue stories

I just did what I was “ supposed to do.”

matt taylor,

Radiology Technologist

Raising the roof

response Team A warrior’s Journey The Ultimate Anatomy Lesson

K Ge en t tu Co ck nn se e yO e pa g e 4 ne cte fo r d O da et ai nl t ls in e

God’s rapid

Letter from the CEO Common Thread is published quarterly by the marketing and communications department of KentuckyOne Health for employees and their families.

Better Care is Here KentuckyOne Health is celebrating our first year together this holiday season and I am so thankful for each one of you for your energy, passion and dedication. Because of you, we are realizing our vision. Better care is truly here. It’s hard to believe that KentuckyOne Health is nearly a year old. Since we came together in January, with a bold vision to create a health system that would change the way health care is delivered across the commonwealth, we have already accomplished many of the priorities we identified as key to shaping health care in Kentucky for years to come. We’ve created a new organizational and leadership structure; a statewide strategy focusing on growth; and we’re well on our way to creating a culture of excellence and performance where we partner with physicians and demonstrate quality. We’ve continued to implement synergy strategies to become more financially efficient. We’ve also made significant progress on developing our merged culture. We’re well on our way to creating a new identity that establishes us as one of the best health organizations in the country, while honoring the legacy of our founding organizations. This holiday season, we can reflect on our many accomplishments to date, and be thankful for our many blessings. As we begin 2013 together, we can feel good about how we are preparing for the changing health care landscape, always remembering the people and patients in our communities we’re working so hard to keep healthy and safe.

Contact Us 859.313.1845


KentuckyOne Health

Executive Editor Jeff Murphy


Kara Fitzgerald

Art Director Liz Sword

Graphic Designer

Laura Doolittle (Provations Group)

Contributing Writers Alice Bridges Laurie Fojut Barbara Mackovic Phyllis Shaikun Kathie Stamps Amy Taylor Tanya J. Tyler


Warmest wishes to you and your families,

Ruth Brinkley, FACHE CEO, KentuckyOne Health

Robert Burge Shaun Ring Lee Thomas Tim Webb

KentuckyOne Senior Leadership

Ruth Brinkley, Chief Executive Officer Bev Weber, Chief Operating Officer Tanja Oquendo, Chief Human Resources Officer/ Chief Administrative Officer Matt Gibson, VP, Strategy/Business Development Allen Montgomery, Senior VP, Healthy Communities/Advocacy Brian Yanofchick, VP, Mission Integration Bruce Klockars, Group President, Rural and Critical Access Hospitals Shelley Neal, VP, Ambulatory Services Valinda Rutledge, Louisville Market Leader, JH President John Smithhisler, Lexington Market Leader, SJH President KentuckyOne Health is dedicated to protecting and preserving the environment. Common Thread is printed on a Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC®) Certified Paper. The FSC promotes responsible forest management by ensuring certified products come from forests that are managed properly and are not depleted.

Cover Photograph By Shaun Ring

Fall 2012 features 8 The Ultimate Anatomy Lesson

Students take “virtual” trip into the OR

13 Raising the Roof

Employees make co-worker’s dream of homeownership a reality

19 The Importance of Encouragement Nursing unit lifts up one of their own



Everyday Heroes

Four KentuckyOne Health employees were at the right place at the right time, offering their health care expertise during “off-the-clock” emergencies.

26 Staging Benefits for Baily

From candy bars to Zumba, employees rally around young cancer patient

29 God’s Rapid Response Team

Nurse saved by persistent “angels”

32 Making a PACT to Stop Violence

Teens work to stop dating violence in their neighborhood

34 A Warrior’s Journey

Medical team refused to give up on soldier Greg Williams


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Fall 2012

Departments 3

New Threads KentuckyOne Health news, plus other hot topics

12 Quick Thread Mayor’s Mile promotes walking and wellness 16 Quick Thread London labyrinth offers a path to prayer 17 Inside Look Tanja Oquendo opens up about McDonald’s, guilt and the pleasures of Columbo 18 Welcome To My World Corliss Marie Brown conrtributes to anti-cancer efforts

25 28

25 Health Care Hero Security guard Dexter Holland patrols with principles 28 Quick Thread Elizabethtown couple “pay it forward” through international kidney exchange

Share Your Story We want to inspire others! How have you or someone you work with created meaningful change in your community or workplace? Do you know someone who is outstanding in his or her job? Tell us at Visit for more stories, updates and past issues of Common Thread. 2

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31 31 Quick Thread School art shines bright in Berea 36 Mission Moments Kathy Philpot “sole” searches her way to Guatemala



Growth KentuckyOne Heart and Vascular Institute: KentuckyOne Health announced it will invest an additional $30 million in its KentuckyOne Heart and Vascular Institute over the next three years. KentuckyOne has already invested more than $100 million over the past 10 years bringing the total investment to more than $130 million during that time. Plans for the additional $30 million include investments in outreach, collaboration, technologies and programs. Physician alignment will also be a large part of the investment.

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KentuckyOne Online is a news site dedicated to the employees of KentuckyOne Health, located at It’s your one source for late-breaking news, updates, ongoing communication and resources related to our facilities in the Louisville area and central and eastern Kentucky. Features include photo and video galleries, local news pages, timely and relevant information and human interest stories. Please get into the habit of checking the site frequently, and using it to share your news and events. To contact us or submit your news and story ideas, email news@

Heart Care in Berea: Saint Joseph Heart Institute is now open in Berea, offering non-invasive cardiology and diagnostic testing. Among several technologically-advanced services, it features a new cardiac camera that allows patients to sit comfortably, and upright, while the camera revolves around them, recording images. Saint Joseph Heart Institute is located in the Alfred M. Wood Building on the Saint Joseph Berea (SJB) campus.

On Sept. 13, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for the new Saint Joseph Heart Institute in Berea. Left to right are Dr. David O’Reilly, Dr. Asad Jadoon, Rural/Critical Access Hospitals President Bruce Klockars, St. Clare Pastor Father Michael Flanagan, SJB President Greg Gerard, Berea Chamber of Commerce Executive Director David Rowlette, SJB Cardiovascular Service Line Leader Elena Huffman-Baker, Berea Mayor Steven Connelly and SJB Foundation Director Chris Schill. 4

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SCN Medical Office Building: Flaget Memorial Hospital broke ground Oct. 2 on a $7.8 million medical office building dedicated to the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth (SCN). When finished in July 2013 the SCN Medical Office Building will be a two-story structure that contains approximately 32,000 square feet. Tentative plans call for locating the Flaget Center for Orthopedics on the first floor, along with outpatient rehabilitation services. The top floor will house physician offices.

On hand for the groundbreaking for the SCN Medical Office Building were, left to right, SCN Congregation President Sister Mary Elizabeth Miller, Sister Mary Loretto Krimple, Sister Carol McKean, Sister Janet Ballard, Sister Michaela Cronin, Sister Earline Hobbs, Sister Elizabeth Vanucci, Nazareth Retreat Center Director Sister Sharon Gray, SCN Congregation Vice President Sister Susan Gatz and Sister Ann Kernan. SCN founded Flaget in 1951.




Kentucky State Fair: KentuckyOne Health was a major sponsor of the Kentucky State Fair held in Louisville from Aug. 16-26 at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center. KentuckyOne had the largest health care exhibit, focusing on our new statewide health care structure and our unsurpassed leadership in cardiovascular care. More than 329 employees volunteered to provide thousands of health screenings and information. They also led visitors through a giant inflatable walk-through interactive heart.

Digital Mammography: Digital mammography is now offered at Saint Joseph Martin thanks to a capital campaign led by the Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation to purchase the technology. The new digital mammography suite at the hospital was named in honor of Drs. Chandra and Mahendra Varia who made the initial donation of $125,000. Dr. Chandra Varia is an OB/GYN at Saint Joseph Martin. Bardstown at Home: Flaget Memorial Hospital has been awarded a $77,200 grant to support Bardstown at Home, a program that offers services, such as transportation, to senior citizens that help them stay in their homes and maintain their independence. The grant has been provided by the Mission and Ministry Fund of Catholic Health Initiatives. A Brighter Future Campaign: The Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Foundation celebrated the completion of its “A Brighter Future” campaign, raising $25.5 million for facility advancements, advanced clinical research and more. The Foundation launched the comprehensive fundraising campaign in 2008 with a goal to raise $24 million to advance its medical mission and create a brighter future for others in the community.

Dr. Chandra Varia, an OB/GYN at Saint Joseph Martin, helped bring digital mammography to the hospital.

Louisville Heart Walk: KentuckyOne Health was the top team in raising funds for this year’s American Heart Association Louisville Heart Walk, which took place on Sept. 22, raising nearly $36,000 for the cause. KentuckyOne received the event’s “Hospital Cup” (this marks the third year in a row for the former Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare). Kim Hite from Jewish Hospital proudly displayed the Hospital Cup from this year’s Heart Walk in Louisville. Fall 2012 common thread


Honors & Awards Stroke Quality Achievement Award: Jewish Hospital received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes Jewish Hospital’s commitment to and success in implementing excellent, evidence-based care for stroke patients. Excellence in Liver and Kidney Transplantation: The Jewish Hospital Trager Transplant Center received national recognition for excellence in kidney and liver transplantation. Jewish Hospital received bronze level recognition by the Donation and Transplantation Community of Practice, an organization that works to increase the availability of transplantable organs. KODA Award: Both Jewish Hospital and Saint Joseph Hospital received the Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates (KODA) Tissue Donation Performance Award for 2011. The honor was presented to a select group of hospitals that achieved the highest tissue

donation rates in KODA’s three-state service area. The hospitals received recognition for assisting KODA in its tissue donation efforts and enacting wishes of the donors and their families through gift of life. Outstanding Patient Experience: Saint Joseph London was named among the top 10 percent in the nation for “Outstanding Patience Experience” in a recent report by HealthGrades. The HealthGrades report, issued in September, found that patients treated at 5-star rated hospitals like Saint Joseph London experience a 73 percent lower risk of mortality and a 63 percent lower risk of complications compared to 1-star rated hospitals. Top Performer Recognition: Saint Joseph Martin was named one of the nation’s Top Performers on Key Quality Measures by The Joint Commission. The hospital was recognized for exemplary performance in using evidence-based clinical processes that are shown to improve care for certain

The Healing Power of Art When the Saint Joseph Cancer Center in Lexington opened a second location at Saint Joseph East earlier this year, oncologists Jessica Moss, MD, and Donald Goodin, MD, who practice there, wanted to create an environment for peace and healing. With the help of the Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation and LexArts, a call was issued to Kentucky artists to submit works for possible placement throughout the new facility. Artwork was chosen based on some interesting criteria, including the healing powers of the colors used. For example, works with purple, an anti-nausea color, were chosen for treatment areas. In all, 33 individual pieces of art created by Kentucky artists were selected and displayed throughout the facility. Visit for more information about the center. Original Kentucky artwork graces the halls of several KentuckyOne Health facilities to provide our patients and families a peaceful, healing environment.


common thread Fall 2012

John Snell’s photograph, Ice Rainbows Oncologists Donald Goodin, MD, and Jessica Moss, MD, with Saint Joseph Cancer Center, stood next to a painting by Darrell Ishmael (using acrylic and Ky. river sand), titled Spring Cleaning.

conditions. The hospital was recognized for its achievement on the pneumonia care measure set. Cancer Rehabilitation Certification: Saint Joseph Outpatient Rehabilitation, with locations at Saint Joseph Hospital, Saint Joseph East and Saint Joseph Jessamine, is the first in Kentucky to be certified in a national cancer rehabilitation program called STAR — Survivorship, Training And Rehabilitation. The STAR program provides patients with comprehensive, coordinated cancer rehabilitation supported by our team of STAR Certified™ clinicians and providers. KHA Quality Award: Saint Joseph London, Continuing Care Hospital and Our Lady of Peace were honored by the Kentucky Hospital Association at the organization’s annual convention May 23. All facilities received a 2012 Kentucky Hospital Association Quality Award recognizing hospital leadership and innovation in quality, safety and commitment in patient care.

Milestones 10th Anniversary: Continuing Care Hospital (CCH) is celebrating its 10-year anniversary. CCH had its first admission in February 2002, starting with 14 beds at Saint Joseph East. In 2005, CCH expanded to 30 beds. In November 2007, CCH opened a 15-bed satellite facility at Saint Joseph Hospital. CCH has served thousands of medically complex patients over the past ten years by working in collaboration with acute care facilities in the region. 30th Anniversary: On Sept. 17, the Laryngectomee Support Group at Sts. Mary & Elizabeth Hospital celebrated 30 years of meetings. Group members discuss new equipment and techniques, to make their lives easier after surviving cancer and losing their vocal cords. The group offers hope, encouragement and education. It is the only lost cords group in the Louisville area.

135th Anniversary: Saint Joseph Hospital celebrated its 135th anniversary on Oct. 2. In 1877, five Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, with Sister Euphrasia Stafford as their leader, began their work at Saint Joseph Hospital on 320 Linden Walk in Lexington in a house that still stands today. In 1878, the sisters moved the hospital to Second Street, and in 1959 they moved it to Harrodsburg Road, where it still operates today. 100,000th Patient: Saint Joseph Jessamine RJ Corman Ambulatory Care Center has reached a milestone – 100,000 emergency department patient visits since opening in January 2009. The center is the first and only full-service, 24/7 emergency room in Jessamine County. In addition to emergency services, it offers a wide array of outpatient services including diagnostic imaging, lab capabilities, physical therapy and occupational therapy.

200th Lung Transplant: The Jewish Hospital Center for Advanced Heart Failure and Transplantation completed its 200th lung transplant recently, marking a major milestone for the facility. Transplantation has seen significant advancements since Jewish Hospital’s first lung transplant in 1991 and first double lung transplant in 1995. Through advances in anti-rejection medications, surgical techniques and other technologies, Jewish Hospital has been able to achieve three-year survival rates significantly higher than the national average.



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common thread Fall 2012

The Ultimate Anatomy Lesson

By Barbara Mackovic


rom the Louisville Science Center, middle and high school students from Kentucky and southern Indiana can watch open-heart and minimally-invasive heart surgeries being performed in real-time, thanks to Jewish Hospital’s “Pulse of Surgery” program. Surgeries performed in Jewish Hospital’s operating rooms are broadcast live via a broadband link to the center, where students interact with surgical teams about the procedure, and ask questions about cardiovascular disease and careers in medicine. They also have the chance to see and pass around surgical tools as the surgical team uses them in the OR and explains their functions. During the 2011-12 school year, 16 dates between Sept. 14 and May 16 were made available to schools in the area. Close to 2,000 students representing 13 counties in Kentucky and southern Indiana took advantage of the program – a 55 percent increase over last year. New counties participating this year included Warren, Nelson, Spencer and Pike. Pulse of Surgery, which launched in 2011, is modeled on a successful program created in Chicago in partnership with the Museum of Science and Industry and lead surgeon Dr. Mark Slaughter, professor of surgery and chief of the division of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery at the University of Louisville, director of the heart transplant and mechanical assist device program at Jewish Hospital and associate Photographs by Robert Burge

Fall 2012 common thread


medical director of the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute. Slaughter, along with cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Matt Williams and heart surgeon Dr. Ramesh Singh perform the surgeries. The program is important for several reasons. Many students lose interest in science, technology, engineering and mathrelated subjects during their middle school years and might avoid advanced science courses because of their limited exposure to science in earlier grades. The opportunity to interact with a surgical team before, during and after surgery could help recruit new minds to the medical profession. The program also teaches healthy habits and how to prevent heart disease. The hope is that students who see a heart

The Jewish Hospital surgical team includes: Mark Slaughter, MD, cardiothoracic surgeon Matt Williams, MD, cardiothoracic surgeon Ramesh Singh, MD, surgeon Jiapeng Huang, MD, anesthesiologist Michael Bouvette, MD, anesthesiologist Aneeta Bhatia, MD, anesthesiologist Kishin Dodwani, MD, anesthesiologist Thomas Maher, MD, anesthesiologist Dana M. Settles, MD, anesthesiologist Korey Plewinski, PA-C, first assistant Beth Venegas, RN, circulating nurse, OR educator, backup scrub nurse/circulating Brenda Kron, RN, heart & lung clinical OR coordinator, backup Andrea O’Connell, RN, circulating nurse


common thread Fall 2012

Bennie Thornton, RN, scrub tech/ circulating nurse Samuel Kelty, RN, scrub nurse Sarah Carpenter, RN Trevor Church, profusionist David Moehle, profusionist Tony Cromer, profusionist

The marketing/ communications and media services team includes: Mike McKune Barbara Mackovic Bill Blair Courtney Green

surgery will choose to lead healthier lives and prevent themselves from being in a similar position. Included in the program is a journal for recording observations, a DVD with supplementary photos and pre- and post-classroom activities. Slaughter is very pleased with Pulse of Surgery. He said, “The students are incredibly engaged and excited about the program. It is amazing how well prepared they are and the questions they ask are insightful and frequently challenging. We frequently take a poll at the end of the surgery/ program and we are gratified to know

that we have been able to influence many students to quit smoking and consider healthier eating habits.” Feedback has been universally positive. The Louisville Science Center shared the following comments from a grateful teacher: “The students learned so much. The environment and communication between the operating room staff and students was unique and informative. We talk to the students every day about healthy habits – not smoking, doing drugs, etc., but it really hits home when a professional tells it like it

is! The staff and doctors were so approachable for the students that many of them felt very comfortable asking their questions and learning about careers and schooling in the health fields as well as satisfying their natural curiosity about surgery and operation techniques. This has been one of the most beneficial trips we have taken … we look forward to participating again next year!” The program is funded by generous grants from the Greater Louisville Medical Society and the Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Foundation.

“The students are incredibly engaged and excited about the program.”

Fall 2012 common thread


Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and KentuckyOne Chief Operating Officer Bev Weber opened the Mayor’s Mile July 16 on the downtown Jewish Hospital campus.



A Mayor’s Mile

Photographs by Robert Burge

Walking trails loop around Louisville facilities Several KentuckyOne Health facilities in Louisville, including Our Lady of Peace, Sts. Mary & Elizabeth Hospital and the Jewish Hospital Medical Campus, now offer a great place for employees and members of the Louisville community to get some exercise: a “Mayor’s Mile.” These one-mile outdoor trails help facilitate walking for groups and individuals and are part of Mayor Greg Fischer’s Healthy Hometown Movement, which encourages increased exercise for the citizens of Louisville. Ground markers and pole signs designate every one-tenth of a mile. When the Mayor’s Mile opened this summer on the downtown Jewish Hospital campus, Steve Ahr, vice president of Frazier Rehab Institute, put it to good use. Ahr walked a marathon – 26.2 miles – around the pathway in about six hours. In addition to promoting wellness through walking, Ahr walked to raise funds for the Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Foundation’s Bayersdorfer Patient Assistance Fund. The fund helps ensure that patients in need have the medical equipment and other resources necessary for a successful transition from the hospital to home when they are discharged. Ahr has raised $4,600 toward his $5,000 goal. A video of his marathon walk is available at


common thread Fall 2012

raising the


Employees make co-worker’s dream of homeownership a reality

Photographs by Robert Burge

By Phyllis Shaikun

Mark Neal, Sts. Mary and Elizabeth Hospital

Fall 2012 common thread


In early June, Habitat for Human-

ity’s W4H group in Louisville raised the roof on its “Sweet Sixteen” home for one of our own – Mark Neal, a native Louisvillian and single dad who is employed with dietary services at Sts. Mary and Elizabeth Hospital (SMEH). W4H (Women for Habitat) is a group of women that sponsors construction of one Habitat home annually by raising $45,000 and recruiting volunteers – both women and men – to do the actual building each year. KentuckyOne Health employees were invited to share the gift of service with Neal, his family and other volunteers on Saturdays from June 23 through early September, when Neal, a first-time homeowner, received the keys to his new home. He considered building the house as a way to create a solid future for his family, and appreciated the help of all those who joined him to make his dream of homeownership a reality. Building days were long, but well worth the effort. Work began at 8:15 a.m. and continued until about 4 p.m., depending on the heat and the work required that day. A crew of 20-25 was there each Saturday. Neal, 49, actually began working with Habitat last November. He learned about their homeowner program from a friend who encouraged him to apply. “I always wanted to own my own home and have something to give to my children when I’m gone,” he said. “I thought it was time for me to get my own.” He lives with two of his children: a son, Michaele’, who is 20, and a daughter, A’Miracle, who is 3. A chef for more than 20 years, he was an assistant chef at the Galt House Hotel & Suites for five years prior to joining SMEH. He hears employees at the hospital say the food has been better since he arrived, so he said they pitched in to help him with construction as a sort of “payback” for his services. Neal said he believes the site he chose for his home is special because it is on a quiet street near other Habitat homeowners and close by the Portland Promise Center, a faithbased community development center that provides individuals and families in the area with resources and opportunities to grow within the community. He said the location is also good because he and A’Miracle can walk to the center to play games, and he now

“I want my children to know they can has a driveway to work on his classic car. “I want own a home my children to realize that I love and am looking out too.” for them,” he said. “I want


common thread Fall 2012

them to know they can own a home too.” His home did not come easily. Neal had to put in 400 volunteer hours with Habitat before being eligible to build his own home. He is humbled by the outpouring of support he received over the past few months. During the build, a group from St. Edward’s Church helped out at his home on the third Saturday of the month. For the past 25 years, the church has been involved in monthly activities for those in need. They and other volunteer construction workers are supported by landscape, heating and air conditioning and carpentry professionals who are on-hand to teach owners how to care for their homes. A number of Neal’s co-workers lent a hand to help the house take shape even faster. Jennifer Wright, who works in risk management at SMEH, admitted she did not know Neal personally, but said that everyone has “wonderful things to say about him.” She said he works to provide good food for the employees and she feels it is important to pay him back in some way. Julie Freiheit, who is a supervisor at SMEH’s sleep center, was not familiar with Neal either, but that did not stop her from picking up a paint brush and pitching in. “I just told someone the other day how good the garlic mashed potatoes were, and then I found out I was actually helping the person

responsible for them build his house.” Lisa Dolan, SMEH nurse manager, heard about the house when Cindy Vernon, RN, announced the project at a department leader’s meeting. Dolan and her son, Ryan, joined a dozen others to paint. She has helped with several houses and said she feels it is important for people to have a nice place to live. Neal said with a smile, before receiving the keys to his house, “I can’t wait to see the look on my baby girl’s face when she sees this home and realizes it is hers. She’ll even be able to kick her brother out of her room

when he gets on her nerves!” Though he learned many construction skills while in school, Neal said one of the most rewarding aspects of Habitat’s homeowner program is re-learning those skills. Volunteer builders spend time on-site showing prospective homeowners how to protect their property. “I won’t have to worry about someone charging me an arm and a leg for repairs when I can fix things myself,” Neal said. “I’ll be able to save money on maintenance!” One of his personal goals is to watch his children have their own Habitat homes. Neal appreciates everything that has

happened to him. “I feed them at SMEH and try to look after them,” he said, “and I believe they are paying me back. I try to coach the guys I work with to grow with the company and become team players. I sometimes even joke around and threaten to leave and go to Jewish Hospital if they don’t shape up!”

Jennifer Wright, SMEH risk management, volunteered to help build Mark Neal’s home. Fall 2012 common thread




Photographs byTim Webb


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Path to Prayer

Award-winning gardener designed hospital labyrinth By Tanya J. Tyler

Patients and visitors who come to the emergency room entrance at Saint Joseph London (SJL) probably won’t miss seeing a brick-paved, landscaped space in front of the hospital. And while many people mistake the area for a patio, it is so much more than that. It’s a labyrinth. Labyrinths have a long history of serving as a path to prayer. According to a placard at the entrance to the SJL labyrinth, the circular path is an ancient symbol relating to wholeness, combining the imagery of the circle and the spiral into a meandering but purposeful path. It represents a journey to one’s own center and back out into the world, refreshed and renewed. The SJL labyrinth was modeled after the famous one at Chartres, France, and designed by award-winning garden designer Jon Carloftis. It was first displayed at the 2010 FEI Alltech World Equestrian Games in Lexington. After the games, the labyrinth was disassembled and its pieces taken to London. The gray and charcoal stones are laser cut and form a 30-foot circle. Sharon Hershberger, SJL public affairs director, said the labyrinth corresponds well with SJL’s concept of a faith-based healing environment. “It’s such a calm presence while you’re here,” she said. “It fits in with the whole site, along with the

lake and the fountains.” Hershberger says the hospital has reached out to the London community to introduce people to the labyrinth and its purpose. “We ran an ad in the newspaper and invited people to come out and learn more about the labyrinth,” she said. “We also had a mini-class for the managers and directors here at the hospital.” Local bookstore owner Sharon Kidd led the classes. A labyrinth lover, Kidd enjoys helping people learn how to use them. “I talked about the history of the labyrinth and shared how it would be helpful for meditation and dealing with crisis,” she said. “It was very helpful in my own prayer to walk the labyrinth. It helps you think through what’s going on as you’re walking and centering. It brings everything into focus.” One way Kidd uses the labyrinth is to bring her prayer to the center and leave it there in God’s hands. “When I walk out I just feel so much lighter,” she said. She also walks the labyrinth before or after visiting someone in the hospital, praying for them. As minister of spiritual formation at First Baptist Church in London, Kidd plans to take prayer groups to the labyrinth. “I’m so glad to have a labyrinth in our community,” she said. “It’s so beautiful.”

Inside LOOK

Tanja Oquendo: McDonald’s, Guilt and the Pleasures of Columbo By Laurie Fojut

In this, our first in a series of profiles of KentuckyOne executives, Tanja Oquendo admits she is jealous of Kentucky race horses and is happiest with family, a beach and a book. On the job she is chief human resources officer, working to help build a culture where every employee can thrive. And at home? Read on for a glimpse into Oquendo’s life before KentuckyOne and away from the office. What was your first job? My first job was at McDonald’s. I only worked there a few months. I’ve worked in several different industries, but I think I was destined for the health care field.

How did you get into human resources? I stumbled into human resources. I studied sociology at the University of Michigan and went on to Wayne State University Law School. I moved to West Virginia after graduation and decided working in a law firm wasn’t for me. I took the position of director of human resources at Washington State Community College. I didn’t know a lick of human resources at the time and I loved it immediately. I was able to build the program from the ground up, literally. That experience led me to Spectrum Health in Michigan where I was ultimately the vice president of human resources.

What is your favorite discovery since coming to Louisville? Horse racing. I was able to go to Oaks this year and I was very excited. The horses are beautiful – the grace, the sheen. They have better manes than most people have hair!

What is that last book you couldn’t put down? James Patterson’s “Guilty Wives.”

What is your guilty pleasure? I have every episode of Columbo, Perry Mason, and Agatha Christie movies. I’ll put on “Columbo” and my husband will say, “I can’t watch one more of these …”

What is your favorite role at a party? I love to host gatherings for family and close friends. I took on the matriarch’s role with family while I was in Michigan and hosted Thanksgiving, Christmas and the Fourth of July. I’m looking forward to family coming to visit here this year.

What is your favorite kind of vacation? Lying on the beach. Just give me a beach, a book and beautiful blue water, and I’m good to go! Fall 2012 common thread


Health Care HERO

Welcome To My WORLD

Corliss Marie Brown: Contributing To Anti-Cancer Efforts By Kathie Stamps

Louisville native Corliss Marie Brown is the cancer registry coordinator at the former Jewish Hospital and St. Mary’s HealthCare. As a data management expert in cancer statistics, her work goes beyond reporting data; she plays a role in helping health care providers in the development of cancer programs. On Sept. 6, she was the recipient of the 2012 Judith Ann Cook Award for excellence in cancer registration, an annual honor given to an outstanding hospital-based cancer registrar in Kentucky. Brown earned an associate’s degree in business management from Jefferson Community College (now called Jefferson Community and Technical College) and has been with Jewish Hospital since 1996. Her designation as a CTR means she is a certified tumor registrar.

Photograph by Robert Burge

What is a typical workday for you? No workday is typical, and each day there are new challenges. I may begin the day with a certain list of tasks and by the end of the day I have done so many more things, from assisting the registry staff with difficult cases to working on the Commission on Cancer Standards for the Cancer Program Administration; maybe even an impromptu conference call with the Kentucky Cancer Registry. The only thing that is typical is my striving to make this day better and more efficient than the day before.

What do you enjoy most about working for KentuckyOne Health? I enjoy the opportunity to network with other cancer registrars that are on my same “team.” After the merger, I was suddenly part of a national oncology service line that saw the value in the data that the registry provides. It makes me more proud to be a registrar knowing that our work does not go unnoticed.


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Do you know someone who is outstanding in his or her job? They could be featured in an upcoming issue. Tell us at

What makes you good at your job? I love working at Jewish Hospital, and because I also love my job I give it 100 percent every day. I know that even though what I do does not have an immediate impact on patient care, the data we collect today will be used in the development of new treatments for cancer and hopefully a cure in the future.

How did you feel about receiving the 2012 Judith Ann Cook Award? I was completely surprised and speechless (which is unusual for me). It was a great honor, given the spectacular competition of all of the other Kentucky Cancer Registry registrars and to know that I have been honoring the legacy left by such a wonderful person as Judy Cook.

What inspires you throughout the day? It is important to me and my husband to show our children that you put God above all things, work hard, and give your best every day. Also, knowing that the data we collect has a profound impact on the future of oncology patient care.

What do you do away from work? I am either at church singing with the praise and worship team or teaching in children’s church, or I am spending time with my husband and three children and their activities.

Tell us about a recent rewarding experience.

I was recently given the honor of singing a solo, “America the Beautiful,” at the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall during a candlelight vigil hosted by my church. It was a great opportunity for me to show my gratitude for their sacrifice in the best way I know how.

The Importance of

Encouragement Nursing unit lifts up one of their own By Kathie Stamps

As an employee of Saint Joseph Hospital (SJH) for 21 years, Janet Carlos has always known her co-workers to be professional and kind to their patients. As a patient herself, she experienced that kindness and support firsthand. Carlos is a nursing assistant/ward secretary (SWAN) on the 2 East Unit at SJH. On Dec. 5, 2011, she was diagnosed with the uncommon disease anal cancer. She had ignored her physical discomfort and symptoms for almost a year. “I put my health on the back burner,” she admitted, citing a busy schedule. Her advice to anyone and everyone who will listen is to pay attention to your own body. “If anything is abnormal or not right in your body, have it checked,” she said. “Don’t put it off.” Her co-workers have rallied around her, including registered nurse and unit manager Rosemary Dailey. “I have known Janet for many years,” Dailey said. “Janet was always upbeat about feeling bad. She continued to work, continued to be a team player, always smiling and being there for the rest of us.”

Photographs by Tim Webb

Fall 2012 common thread


“We hold her close to our hearts.” To show Carlos how much they cared for her, many staff members on 2 East donated their vacation time so Carlos would be able to receive her paycheck every two weeks. They came up with a couple of fundraising ideas too. “We love and care for Janet,” Dailey said. “We hold her close to our hearts and we pray for both her and her family.” Gray T-shirts were ordered, showing a blue ribbon and yellow flowers on the front. Blue is the color for anal cancer awareness. On the back, the T-shirts were printed with “I wear blue for the bravest person I know,” followed by the words “Anal Cancer Awareness.” They raised $300 for Carlos by selling the T-shirts. “It wasn’t a huge fundraiser but it was a huge show of support for her,” said registered nurse Erin Carlson, who spearheaded the T-shirt drive. Anal cancer isn’t something people like to talk about, according to the nurse. “It makes them uncomfortable.” It meant a lot to Carlos for her co-workers to wear that bold statement. Patients always ask them what their shirts say and if they are referring to anyone in particular. “It gives us a chance to share Janet and her story,” Carlson said, “to talk about getting screenings and being pro-active.” Kristie Milam, a registered nurse in the critical care unit, came up with the idea of making flower badge reels, using the flip-off tops from medication vials. Milam fired up her glue gun and decorated the tops with flowers, butterflies and bears. “She is such a giving and loving person,” Milam said of Carlos. Other departments saved the flip tops from their medication vials in various sizes. “Pharmacy was a huge help,” Milam said. Many 20

common thread Fall 2012

Janet Carlos

Janet Carlos’ co-workers sold shirts to support her and share her story. staff members throughout the hospital wear these badge reels in support of Janet and continue to purchase them for $5 a piece. “I don’t know how to say thank you,” said Carlos, who truly appreciates how generous and kind her SJH family has been to her. She thinks of them as far more than co-workers. “They stayed by my bedside,” she said. “They were always here when I needed them. I was never alone in my room. If my

family wasn’t there my co-workers, who are my friends, were there.” Carlos has a profound respect for the core values of Saint Joseph Hospital: reverence, integrity, compassion and excellence. She has seen them in action from both sides of the hospital bed. “Saint Joseph is such a good place to work and to be a patient at,” she said. “They treat you with respect and kindness.”

Everyday Heroes Employees share their remarkable rescue stories By Tanya J. Tyler

A delayed flight. A rare lunch break. A regular drive home from work. An innocuous visit to a lawyer. All these seemingly dissimilar incidents share a vital link with four KentuckyOne Health employees: Each of them found themselves in a situation where they were able to offer their health care expertise to a person experiencing a medical emergency. All four employees strongly believe their involvement was a providential case of being at the right place at the right time. Coincidence? They think not.

Photographs by Shaun Ring

Roadside RESCUE Matt Taylor, a radiology technologist at Saint Joseph Hospital (SJH), had gotten off work early that July day and was heading home on I-64. He was looking forward to spending time with his newborn son. Then he realized there had been a car wreck on the interstate. A driver had come off the wrong ramp and hit another car head-on. Taylor got out of his car to help. He checked the victim’s pulse and respiration. As an X-ray tech, he has been trained to perform CPR and basic life-saving skills. While caring for the victim, who was an older man, he and some other motorists who had stopped to help noticed something else: The man’s car was on fire. “We knew we had to get him out of the car and get him to safety,” Taylor said. “It was scary.” Once the victim was removed from the car, an ambulance arrived to continue treatment. The interstate stayed shut until the victim was evacuated by helicopter. Taylor doesn’t know what happened to him after that. “All I knew was after I watched the news, they said he was in critical condition at [a local hospital], but I never caught his name,” he said. Taylor has worked at SJH since 2000. He says he enjoys helping people and explaining to them what’s going on and why they’re having a certain test. This accident on I-64 was not the first time Taylor had to step up to the plate to attend to someone in distress. “A couple of years ago, I had a friend who was killed on a motorcycle,” he said. “I had to give CPR to him on the side of the road. I lost him. That was hard.” With the birth of his son, Taylor has gained a new outlook on life. “Now that I have him, I get up and cherish every day and I keep a lookout for people,” he said. Reflecting on the I-64 trauma, he is glad he was there to help, but he doesn’t feel he is a hero. “I just did what I was supposed to do,” he said.

Fall 2012 common thread


Everyday Heroes

“What is Good and Right” It’s always frustrating when your flight is delayed or rerouted. But sometimes these things happen as part of a bigger plan and purpose. In June, Vicki Hamilton, an emergency room nurse at Saint Joseph Berea, was trying to get to Kansas City, Mo. A tropical storm had hit Florida, so her flight to Atlanta was delayed. She was rerouted to Detroit. The flight attendant was going through the usual final check before takeoff, but suddenly she came running up the aisle, screaming, “Medical emergency!” “My heart just sank because I know that sound,” Hamilton said. Apparently an elderly gentleman had fallen unconscious. Hamilton turned to her seatmate and said, “I’m an ER nurse.” He jumped up immediately and let her out. The victim was not breathing and did not have a pulse. Two other medical people, a pediatric nurse and an EMT, came to assist Hamilton. They placed the victim in the aisle and started CPR. While she worked on him, Hamilton noticed something that still touches her. “Out of the corner of my eye, right across the aisle, I saw a young man,” she said. “He had his head bowed and he was praying. I’ll be forever thankful for that little guy praying. That was important.” Eventually paramedics removed the man from the plane. Hamilton returned to her seat. Her seatmate gave her some water, kept people from bothering her and made sure she was the first one off the plane when it landed at its final destination. Hamilton doesn’t know what happened to the patient. The experience has made her more aware and empathetic and grateful to have been in the right place at the right time. “We did everything correctly. We did everything we could to help that fellow,” she said. “It’s funny how this all came together. I don’t know why I was on that plane. I don’t know why I ended up in Detroit. And I don’t even know if I made a difference, but it doesn’t matter. I did what I was supposed to do and what is right and what is good.”


common thread Fall 2012

On the Case

Everyday Heroes

BJ Preston, a radiology technologist at Saint Joseph Jessamine (SJJ), and her husband had just left their lawyer’s office when they heard the commotion. “My first thought was a case had gotten out of hand,” Preston said. “Then I heard somebody hollering that they need CPR.” From the courthouse across the street, a juror ran outside screaming for help. Andy Sims, 36, an assistant commonwealth’s attorney for Jessamine and Garrard counties, had collapsed in the courtroom. He wasn’t breathing and he had a big gash on his head. Preston sprang into action – literally. She was dressed up for the meeting with the lawyer, but she kicked off her high heels, ran across the oddly uncongested street and jumped a 5-foot wall to get to the stricken attorney. When she ran into the courtroom, she headed right for Sims. “I checked for a pulse but there was no pulse,” Preston said. “His color was already blue. It was scary.” She started doing compressions, straddling Sims’ 6-foot-6inch frame. “It took everything I had to do CPR on him,” she said. Another attorney, Dave Thomas, pitched in. They continued working on Sims until emergency services arrived. Preston wasn’t able to restart Sims’ heart, but he was revived at SJJ. Later he was sent to Saint Joseph Hospital (SJH), where he received a pacemaker. “This is the first time something like this has happened to me,” said Preston, who has worked for the former Saint Joseph Health System for 11 years. “I’ve done CPR on my job when you know it’s getting ready to happen and you have other medical personnel around, but this was the first time out in public.” Since the dramatic incident, Preston has met Sims again. When she was getting her boat license, a colleague of Sims’ took her to his office to see him on his first day back at work. Later, she X-rayed him when he came to SJJ to have a loose defibrillator wire repaired. Sims himself says all the things that happened weren’t just coincidences; they were miracles. Preston agrees. “I feel like I was in the right place at the right time,” she said. “I just felt like something was meant to be that day.”

Fall 2012 common thread


Everyday Heroes God’s Little angels Christine Wethington, an MRI technologist at Saint Joseph Hospital (SJH), doesn’t often go out for lunch. She still wonders why she did so on that particular day this past summer. She believes there was a higher reason for her unusual action. “I was in my truck on Waller Avenue, stopped at the red light,” she said. “I saw a young girl. She had already walked across the street. Then she sat down on the ground.” The temperature that day was in the upper 90s, so Wethington thought the girl was simply resting in the heat. “But then I saw her crawling on the ground,” she said. “She was leaning forward, reaching through the air, and I thought, ‘There is something wrong with her.’” The girl ended up lying on the ground. Wethington put her truck in park and ran over to her. “She kept hitting her head on this piece of concrete,” Wethington said. “I was trying to keep her from banging her head.” A young man in a pickup truck ran over to Wethington and asked if he could help. “I said, ‘Do you have anything in your truck so she doesn’t bang her head on the ground?’ And he brought me a pillow,” Wethington said. Other people, including a SJH physician, a police officer and some firefighters, came to assist the girl. It was later determined that she was having seizures, but Wethington doesn’t know what the final outcome was. “I know we just helped her,” she said. “We all did our little bit. It was unorganized and unplanned, but people were willing to work together. All God’s little angels showed up at the right time.” Wethington, like Taylor, doesn’t believe she is a hero. “A hero to me is the 911 people who went up into the fiery building and knew they were doomed,” she said. “All we did was help somebody who was not able to help themselves. The girl was taken care of, and we all went back to our little corners of the world.”


common thread Fall 2012

Health Care HERO

a Constant presence Security guard Dexter Holland patrols with principles

By Phyllis Shaikun

With more than 16 years of experience working security at Our Lady of Peace (OLOP), Dexter Holland knows just about everybody there and just about everyone has something nice to say about him. Nominated by his peers for his outstanding work ethic, dedication and ever-present smile, Holland was recently named Security Guard of the Year by the KentuckyOne Health facilities in Louisville. Born to an Air Force family stationed in Anchorage, Alaska, Holland actually grew up in Florida. While finishing a tour of duty with the Marine Corps, a friend invited him to come to Louisville to stay with him. “That,” he says with a smile, “was more than 20 years ago.” Now divorced, he has a son who is 27. Holland works with OLOP security department coordinator Reggie Stokes on planning meetings, schedules, timing of shifts and monitoring attendance. He spends time in the emergency department and fills in where needed at other facilities. He was shocked to learn he had earned the title. “I got a

Photograph by Robert Burge

plaque, a cake, a $50 gift card and a certificate,” he shared with a broad grin. “I just do what I can to help out. If they need an extra person, I’m OK with that. I just love working here.” His easygoing way with people has come in handy more than once. Holland recalls working second shift one time when a teenage patient was in emotional distress. He talked to the young man and tried to calm him down. When the hospital decided the patient needed medical clearance and had to be transported downtown, Holland was asked to go with him because the two had bonded. He stayed with the patient for four hours over his shift and then brought him back to the Children’s Peace Center at OLOP. Another time he was working transport and had to take eight children home. He waited for an hour for a “rider” (someone who could drive the van while he cared for the passengers), but no one showed up. So, Holland warned his young charges to behave and took them all home by himself. Stokes nominated Holland for this honor

because he said they couldn’t get the job done without him. “He is a humble person,” Stokes said. “He goes out of his way to get things done and is conscientious about finishing what he starts. He never takes off, always helps other departments and never gets upset. Folks here call him ‘Smiley.’ He has done so much.” Stokes joked, “He goes so far above and beyond that it makes me mad sometimes, but if I could go through the entire department to pick a partner, it would be Dexter.” Holland counters that he is invaluable to OLOP because he knows what each key on his mighty key ring is for. His co-worker, Dale Wallace, said Holland is the best. “He never complains, never turns you down to do anything, and never has a bad word to say about anyone – even when he should!” “I agree,” said Linda Woodward who works at the front desk. “We’re lucky to have him. There are not enough good things to say about [him]. He respects everyone and has earned their respect as well.” Fall 2012 common thread


Staging Benefits for


From candy bars to Zumba, employees rally around young cancer patient By Tanya J. Tyler

Left to right: Kristi Edwards, Rose Ford, Kathleen Hailey and Melissia Witt

“We’re just ordinary people Photograph by Tim Webb


common thread Fall 2012

When members of the decision support and reimbursement team at Saint Joseph Hospital (SJH) in Lexington learned about a co-worker’s granddaughter who was struggling with cancer, they decided they wanted – no, needed – to do something to help the child. Baily Ford was only 4 years old when she was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma in October 2011. Neuroblastoma is a type of cancer in which tumors form on the nerve cells in the body. The cancer spread to Baily’s bone marrow, adrenal glands and liver. This February, she underwent surgery to remove a section of her liver and an adrenal gland. She had six rounds of chemotherapy in six months and also had a bone marrow transplant in April. “She’s had a rough time these past few months,” said Baily’s grandmother, Rose Ford, a supply chain buyer at SJH. “It’s hard to watch.” Ford shared Baily’s story with some of her co-workers, who then, on their own initiative, began planning and staging benefits to help pay for some of the expenses Baily’s family was incurring, such as her parents’ stay at the Ronald McDonald House in Cincinnati, where the family traveled for Baily’s bone marrow transplant. “I was really shocked when they started these fundraisers,” Ford said. “It was awesome. I was really amazed.” “When the employees in our group learned of Baily’s situation and needs, their first instinct was to determine how to get involved and help,” said Greg Giles, director of decision support for the former Saint Joseph Health System and newly appointed system director of ambulatory operations and development for KentuckyOne Health. Decision support and reimbursement is a department in the finance division that maintains statistics and provides financial, operational and service-line analysis to support business decisions. “Our team spirit rose to a higher level as we banded together to support Rose, Baily and the entire family,” Giles said. “I’m proud of the team for demonstrating how they live our organization’s core value of compassion.” Melissia Witt, a financial analyst in deci-

sion support, felt compelled to do something to help Baily. “I’ve never done anything like this before,” she said. “I don’t know what it is, but I told my husband I have to do whatever I can to help her.” “What really hit me was just how young she was,” said Kristi Edwards, a financial analyst in reimbursement. “That’s the incredible part, to have to go through that so young.” “When I heard about Baily’s cancer, I talked to Melissia about it,” said Kathleen Hailey, decision support productivity coordinator. “We began brainstorming ideas to help with the expenses we knew went along with a catastrophic illness.” They started out selling candy bars, “just because candy’s easy,” Witt said. Their most successful benefit was a Zumba-thon held at Bracktown Baptist Church. Witt attends a Zumba class there and she asked her instructor if she would lead the Zumbathon. About 95 people attended the event, dubbed “Zumbaily” in honor of the little girl. The team sold T-shirts with a logo designed by Edwards. The logo read, “Come shake your booties to help this cutie.” “We raised $1,485,” Witt said. “It was awesome.” Other support activities followed. One of Witt’s neighbors works for Ruggles Sign Company, and she made a neon University of Kentucky basketball sign that was raffled off. Team members even donated blood for Baily, knowing she needed replacement blood when she had a bone marrow transplant. SJH employees also made $2 donations when they “dressed down” on Fridays. “We just felt like whatever we had to do, we were going to do,” Witt said. “We had to find some way to help Baily.” It’s not just SJH employees who have raised money for Baily. People in Versailles had a supper during the annual Christmas

Baily with her parents, Chad and Amy Ford. Chad is the son of SJH employee Rose Ford.

parade and collected donations for her. People at Baily’s school, Versailles Montessori, held a chili supper and auction. The Versailles Fire Department was very involved in fundraising activities (Baily’s grandfather is the assistant chief). The Corner Market in Midway also collected money for Baily. Baily’s father, Chad, is a Woodford County EMT, and the Woodford Police Department, the sheriff’s department and the Woodford County EMS have all held fundraisers for her. “It’s so heartwarming and touching to know that many people who don’t even know who she is are helping,” Ford said. “People look at her and say, ‘You’re in my prayers.’ The prayers are the most wonderful things they could ever do.” Baily was discharged from the hospital in late July. She will have to take more radiation treatments, but the prognosis is good and she celebrated a big and joyous birthday in September. “She is doing amazingly well,” Ford said. She is very grateful for all the support her co-workers have given her granddaughter and her family, but the team members believe they have received much more than they gave. “We’re just ordinary people just trying to help out and do something good,” Witt said. “It’s been a good experience. It’s brought our group a little closer together.”

just trying to help out and do something good.” Fall 2012 common thread




Paying it Forward Elizabethtown couple are part of historic international kidney exchange The Transplant Center at Jewish Hospital helped make medical history as part of the first international paired kidney donor exchange in America, with the help of the Alliance for Paired Donation. In a paired kidney donation, a donor who is incompatible with his or her designated recipient promises to donate a kidney to a stranger; this qualifies their designee to receive a compatible kidney from another stranger. JoAnn Breckenridge of Elizabethtown, Ky., received a kidney transplant at Jewish Hospital on April 19 as a result of the first international paired donation. Her husband, William, donated a kidney on May 1 to help another individual and continue the chain. The chain that gave JoAnn Breckenridge a new kidney began when a 31-year-old Oklahoma woman donated her kidney to Michalis Helmis of Greece. His wife, Theodora (Dora) Papaioannou-Helmis, had to campaign relentlessly to change a Greek law that made it possible for a first- or second-degree relative to legally donate a kidney to a recipient in Greece. The law, meant to prevent a black market in organ harvesting, had the unintended consequence of making paired kidney donation among strangers impossible. After her husband received the new kidney, Dora donated one of her kidneys to a recipient in WilkesBarre, Pa., completing the first intercontinental exchange of kidneys. A kidney from a donor in Wilkes-Barre was flown to Jewish Hospital for JoAnn Breckenridge, and thus the chain continued. Dr. Michael Marvin, director of transplantation at Jewish Hospital and associate professor of surgery at the University of Louisville, and Dr. Mary Eng, a transplant surgeon with Jewish Hospital and an assistant professor of surgery at the University of Louisville, were recognized by Vassilis Kaskarelis, ambassador of Greece, at the Greek Embassy in Washington, D.C., during the official announcement of the historical paired donation.

JoAnn and William Breckenridge and Jewish Hospital helped make medical history as part of the first international paired kidney donor exchange in America. Photograph by Robert Burge


common thread Fall 2012

God’s Rapid Response Team

“God has a ‘Rapid Response Team’ that’s always available for us in time of trouble.” Photographs by Tim Webb

Nurse saved by persistent “angels” By Amy Taylor

Although she felt chest pain, there was no way Renee Cairo was going to the emergency department. The Saint Joseph Hospital nurse was just too busy helping patients. Luckily for her, she was surrounded by “angels” who knew she was in danger. It was March 21 of this year when Cairo, who has a bachelor’s degree in nursing, was at work, sitting in a weekly meeting. The first pain in her chest felt like a cramp. The second pain had her tapping her chest and breathing deeply. “Chest pain is a tricky thing to admit, especially when you’re sitting in a meeting trying to make a beneficial contribution,” the nurse case manager said. “You really don’t have time to be interrupted by it. However, that Wednesday I learned that God has a ‘Rapid Response Team’ that’s always available for us in time of trouble.” That team is made up of co-workers Cairo calls angels. Melissa Eichhorn, RN, was sitting next to Cairo in the meeting when she saw her co-worker tapping her chest and sweating profusely. “I asked her what was wrong. She said she had chest pain,” Eichhorn said. But “she wouldn’t go to the emergency room.” Eichhorn called the nurses’ supervisor to get her boss to insist that Cairo go to the ER immediately. Cairo refused. After the meeting, at about 11 a.m., Cairo got back to her desk and made a phone call. Her worried co-workers were still watching her. Then “I noticed her tapping her chest again,” Eichhorn said. “I said, ‘You’ve got to get off the phone.’” Cairo still refused. This time co-workers took her blood pressure, which was elevated. They hooked her up to a tele-monitor that revealed irregularities. But Cairo was still too busy to go for help. That’s when she found out that “angels are not only visible, but they have names, and they come in all shapes and sizes.” “Angel” Sylvia Wiley, RN, had endured enough. She pulled a wheelchair up to Cairo and ordered her into it. This time Cairo surrendered. Angels, she discovered, can be unyielding. Fall 2012 common thread


“You have to know Sylvia,” Cairo said. “There was no way around her. She really meant business. I was on my way to the ER – sweating, trembling and scared!” Another co-worker was called in to reach the nurse’s husband. Since Rafael Cairo, a native of the Dominican Republic, speaks very little English, and “angel” Jesse Ibarra, RN, speaks Spanish, Ibarra was elected to contact him. In the ER, tests did not reveal a problem. Even so, a cardiologist, Dr. Richard Blake, was called in for a consult. “He said, ‘There’s nothing that screams out at me, but I really don’t feel right about letting you go,’” Cairo said. “‘I really want you to consider having a heart cath. If you’re OK, I’ll be the second happiest person in the room.’” The nurse felt inclined to refuse the test. Eichhorn and Wiley kept coming down to the ER that afternoon, then going back to work. When Eichhorn got off work at 4:30 p.m., she joined Cairo’s husband in the waiting room. Cairo told her co-worker to go home to her family. When Eichhorn wouldn’t leave, Cairo burst into tears of gratitude. Later Ibarra and another Spanish-speaking angel, social worker Carmen Allende, came to the waiting room to help Cairo’s husband. “Melissa never left my husband,” Cairo said. “She reassured him, making him feel comfortable, even though he did not know what she was saying until Carmen and Jesse, the interpreting angels, came to assist.” Cairo finally agreed to a heart cath, which revealed an 80 percent blockage in one of her arteries. Blake placed a stent in the blood vessel to keep it open. If she had gone home instead of getting treatment, he said, she could have suffered a heart attack. When the nurse was wheeled out of the cath lab, she was amazed to see that her angels were still waiting for her. “She broke down and cried,” Eichhorn said. “She knew we stayed because we love her.” Her angels were just treating Cairo the way she treats everyone, her co-worker said. “Renee has the most gentle, sweet, positive nature,” Eichhorn said. “She immediately puts you at ease. She has so much compas30

common thread Fall 2012

Heart Attack Signs

Left to right: Renee Cairo, Melissa Eichhorn, Jesse Ibarra, Sylvia Wiley and Shawn King sion. She takes care of patients as she would a family member.” Her angels never left her side until Cairo was tucked in to spend the night at the hospital. Then she was grateful for “the nocturnal angels – my nurse, nurse’s aide, EKG tech and lab tech.” She was also grateful for the visiting angels, like hospital chaplain Danny Partin. “If you still don’t believe in angels, come to Saint Joseph Hospital, 2 East Unit, enter the nurses’ station, and you will be surrounded,” she said. “Open your eyes and your heart, and you will see them floating all over the place.” “I thank God for every one of the beautiful, kind, loving, hardworking, compassionate angel-people who have blessed, and, along with God, have saved my life,” the nurse said. “It is a privilege to work in an environment where the Spirit of the Living God can work through His people. I will never forget your kindness as long as I live.”

A national study on women’s major symptoms prior to a heart attack showed that women can experience unusual fatigue, sleep disturbances, shortness of breath, indigestion and anxiety. Their symptoms during a heart attack included shortness of breath, weakness, unusual fatigue, sweating and dizziness. Classic symptoms for men can differ considerably. Men having a heart attack often experience crushing chest pain that runs down the left arm, shortness of breath, sweating and nausea. If you or someone you know is experiencing the symptoms of a heart attack, don’t hesitate. Call 911.



School Art Shines Bright in Berea Students supply artwork in exchange for health lessons

Photograph by Tim Webb

By Kathie Stamps Saint Joseph Berea (SJB) displays original creations from students at St. Mark Catholic School in Richmond, pre-school through fifth grade. In exchange for a fresh batch of colorful artwork each month during the school year, SJB staff members visit the school to talk to students about health and wellness. St. Mark and SJB have a special connection, as they are the only Catholic school and Catholic hospital in Madison County. First-grade teacher Sarah Johnson has been the school coordinator since the project started in 2009. “We send one piece from every class,” she said. “People just love it,” said Elena Huffman-Baker (pictured), a registered nurse and service line leader of SJB’s cardiovascular center. She gave health lessons for the kids the first year of the program, and other managers have joined in to share their expertise. For example, lab personnel had the kids scrape their shoes to show them what grows. “The community is very artsy,” Baker said. “It lends itself for the hospital to reflect that.” The students have also made get-well cards for patients from time to time. “I think this partnership is a great way for both Catholic institutions to work together to spread Christ’s love,” Johnson said. “As a Catholic school, these are values we instill in our children every day and this is a wonderful way for them to share those values with others.”

Fall 2012 common thread


“We each have a voice.” —Taleah Dallas


common thread Fall 2012

Making a PACT to Stop Violence Teens work to stop dating violence in their neighborhood By Alice Bridges

One in three teens in the U.S. is a victim of physical, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner, a figure that far exceeds rates of other types of youth violence. For 16-year-old Taleah Dallas, those statistics weren’t just numbers on a page but a startling reality in the neighborhood where she grew up. As a young woman committed to making a difference, Dallas joined the newly formed advisory board of PACT in Action, a youthled initiative to reduce the incidence of teen dating violence in the Park Hill, Algonquin and California neighborhoods of Louisville (PACT = Park Hill, Algonquin, California, Teens). The need in this urban community is great. The unemployment rate is 89 percent and average family income is just $8,029. More than 65 percent of adults never graduated high school. From 2008 to 2009, 136 youth were arrested for violent crimes, 29 percent for forcible rape. And a county school survey found that students from these neighborhoods ranked among the lowest in relationships with supportive adults and feelings of safety. “I don’t think we often recognize how big an issue teen dating violence is in our community,” said Khalilah Collins, manager of the project. “Parents aren’t equipped to talk about the issue with their kids either. How we talk about dating violence as adults is very different than the way young people talk about the issue.” To move the conversation forward and effect real change, Collins coordinates the work of a growing youth advisory board and community partners to achieve an ambitious goal: a 10 percent reduction in the incidence of domestic violence involving adults and youth in the PACT neighborhoods by 2020. “I

am excited to be on the front end of working with prevention efforts,” said Collins, who spent her middle and high school years growing up in the California neighborhood. PACT in Action is a partnership of KentuckyOne Health and the Center for Women and Families, a Kentuckiana non-profit that helps victims of intimate partner abuse or sexual violence become survivors through supportive services, community education and cooperative partnerships. The effort is funded with a grant from the Mission and Ministry Fund of Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI). As part of a national strategy to build

PACT in Action advisory board members healthier communities, all CHI organizations are working to achieve a measurable reduction in some aspect of violence by 2020. In Kentucky, violence reduction work is also under way in Martin and Lexington. Collins said the teens involved in PACT in Action are very talented and energetic. “They came in motivated and excited. They are not afraid to set big goals. These kids know what’s going on and they’re ready to do something about it.” The youth advisory board has completed training in conflict resolution and developed a strategic plan for the initiative at a three-day, overnight retreat. These sessions are designed to equip the youth with the

knowledge and skills to lead the PACT in Action effort. Dallas, a junior at Assumption High School, said it’s important to empower teens to make the change they want to see in their community. “I feel like it’s our turn as youth to decide what we want to do to prevent teen dating violence. We each have a voice. This group has showed me that we have power. It’s up to us to decide how we can make the world better and be examples for adults and our younger siblings.” She’s putting what she has learned to work in her daily life as well, particularly when it comes to resolving conflict. “Whenever friends have a problem, I use what I’ve learned to help them work through the conflict,” she said. “When emotions are high, thinking is low and you should give yourself eight seconds before you speak.” In late 2012, the group will launch a public awareness campaign to bring attention to the issue in their neighborhoods and across the community. In the long term, goals include enlightening providers of education, law enforcement, and health and human services to help them better understand the issue and how to work with teens to prevent teen dating violence. The group also hopes to influence policy changes that will contribute to safety. And a support group for victims of teen dating violence is on the horizon. In the meantime, Dallas has a goal of her own. “I want to be a leader and recruit more boys into the group,” she said. “We need to educate boys too about how to have a healthy relationship.” You can learn more about PACT in Action at their website (, on Facebook and Twitter.

Photographs by Robert Burge

Fall 2012 common thread



common thread Fall 2012

A Warrior’s


Medical team refused to give up on soldier Greg Williams By Barbara Mackovic and Phyllis Shaikun

In late 2011, 30-year-old Greg Williams was one of many heroes serving our country during two tours of duty in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. As an active duty Army communications specialist, he dealt with danger on a regular basis. When he contracted a cough during his time in Afghanistan, he thought little of it and attributed it to “getting the Afghan dirt out of my lungs.” After his tour, he returned to Fort Knox and the cough persisted. Finally his fiancée convinced him to go to the emergency room and was later sent to Jewish Hospital. Cardiologist Dr. Thomas Passo referred him to see cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Brian Ganzel. He had open heart surgery on Feb. 17, where Ganzel led a team to repair his heart, which nearly crumbled in Ganzel’s hands. The extensive 19-hour procedure saved Williams’ life, but he was still a very sick man. He had extensive bleeding during surgery and was given a tremendous amount of blood. It was touch and go, and the doctors did not know if his very weak heart would allow him to live. Cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Mark Slaughter implanted the ECMO heart-lung assist device, something not every hospital has, because it was clear Williams’ heart was not able to cope with the demands of his body. “What can I say,” Williams said. “I was in the hospital from the 17th of February until the 23rd of March. They put me in a drug-induced coma because they couldn’t stop the bleeding. My heart wouldn’t pump right – it was like everything that could go wrong was going wrong.” At one point the doctors manually massaged Williams’ heart while the ECMO heart-lung assist device was reimplanted emergently at the bedside in the ICU, a procedure that would have been time-consuming at another hospital, but was performed in what heart surgeon Dr. Ramesh Singh called “the drop of a hat.” Williams,

however, was far from out of the woods with major organs beginning to shut down. Yet the entire medical staff refused to give up on this soldier who had done so much for our country. Greg Williams and his fiancée, Beverly Powell After three weeks and declared it was “harder than basic rough weeks, the ECMO had to come out training.” His therapists pushed him like and everyone was praying and pulling for drill sergeants, but they also provided him Williams. Korey Plewinski, a physician’s assistant, summed it up thusly: “We just prayed with comic relief to take his mind off of the the good Lord would heal him because I’ve strenuous strength and endurance training. never even heard of anyone surviving the He finally got his muscle tone back and is problems he was facing.” When Plewinski continuing with outpatient therapy. He looks walked into the waiting room prior to the forward to being fully back, without using any procedure, he found it filled with Army assistive devices, over the next six to eight personnel who were there to support one months. of their “brothers.” It was a very moving Slaughter reflected that Williams was an moment, one that Plewinski had never seen inspiration for the team that came together before. He recalled everyone who ever knew to save his life. “Here is a young man that this fantastic person was sitting in that room, has devoted a significant portion of his life praying to God that he would be saved. And to serving his country. Many say he is a hero saved he was. to them – he fought for his country and When the device was removed, Williams’ they fought to save his life. His family and heart resumed adequate function, his blood fellow soldiers were at his bedside throughout pressure was normal; he could breathe on his his ordeal; they never gave up hope and own and was ready for chest closure by plastic neither did we. It’s the outcome we want for surgeon Dr. Gordon Tobin. This warrior’s everyone,” he noted, “but especially in his journey was still far from over, however, since case. We wanted him to get better and return he was very weak. He had lost 60 pounds of home – and he did just that.” muscle through the ordeal and his body was Singh said simply, “People like Gregory a shell of its former self. That’s when the team recharge your battery – they remind us why at Jewish Hospital and Frazier Rehab Institute we do what we do.” worked with him on his recovery. Williams left Frazier Rehab with gratitude “I had been in three different combat for what the doctors, nurses and therapists zones,” Williams said, “but the surgical procewere able to do for him. “I don’t think I’m a dures and rehab were the most difficult expemiracle at all,” he said. “I just went to sleep riences of my life.” He had therapy sessions at and woke up – they’re the miracles because Frazier Rehab up to five times a day for three they wouldn’t give up on me.”

Watch a video of soldier Greg Williams’ powerful story at Photographs by Robert Burge

Fall 2012 common thread



‘Sole’ Searching Kathy Philpot takes a step to bring shoes to kids in Guatemala By Kathie Stamps

The concrete structures are the neighborhood “laundromats” where Guatemalan women gather to do their wash. Then they carry the wet clothes home and hang them out to dry. Guatemalan children get their first (and sometimes only) candy suckers from the mission teams who visit them.


common thread Fall 2012


In January 2013 Kathy Philpot will travel with a mission team to Guatemala. Their goal is to take luggage and duffel bags filled with 1,000 pairs of shoes for kids in the community of Cerro Alto, Guatemala. Philpot is a registered nurse in the labor/ delivery unit at The Women’s Hospital at Saint Joseph East. This will be her sixth mission trip since 2005. She has been to Costa Rica and Guatemala twice, and Haiti once. “You get addicted once you start,” she said. “The people are all very gracious and grateful for anything you do.” A native of Ashland, Ky., Philpot went to high school with Jennifer Moyer, whose husband is the pastor of Louisa United Methodist Church about 30 miles south of Ashland. On a 2012 mission trip to Guatemala, Moyer decided the group needed to collect shoes. “I got caught up in it,” Philpot said. All year Philpot has been buying children’s shoes on sale at retail stores. She set out boxes at work for shoe donations, which she is accepting through December. “I blew up photos of kids and put a little note on them,” she said. “The kids are just gorgeous, with their dark eyes and hair, and most of them are smiling. They don’t know what squalor they live in.”

For the mission trip to Guatemala, Philpot is collecting shoes up to women’s size 6. “We prefer they be closed-toe shoes with soles,” she said. “They don’t have paved roads there.” Each bag will cost $50 to put on the airplane, but it’s the only way to ensure the shoes will arrive at their destination, as there’s really no legal structure to prevent anyone from taking the shoes if they are shipped. The mission team would also like to have a Brannock device, the metal instrument that measures children’s feet to see what size shoes they need. Whether it’s providing medical care in the form of baseline well-child exams or working on construction projects, Philpot is up for any challenge on her mission trips. “We have to be really flexible,” she said. “We might build a chicken coop.” She helped build a coop in Guatemala in 2009. It costs about $3,000 to construct a three-room house for a family, which includes furnishing it with beds and a wood-burning stove. “It just makes you grateful for the life you have, for all that you have,” Philpot said. “I’m a single mom. I’ve had financial struggles but they were nothing like what these people have. Nothing.”

Although Philpot uses her personal vacation time when she goes on these mission trips, she still has the full support of her department. Supervisor Carol O’Connell, BSN, RNC-OB, is happily shopping for children’s shoes for Philpot’s trip. “This allows those of us who aren’t able to commit to the travel to also help make a difference,” O’Connell said. “Kathy saw a need and has stepped out of her comfort zone and trusted in God to use her talents to meet the needs of His people,” O’Connell said. “She is an amazing person and adds so much to the morale of my staff with her positive attitude and contribution to our Saint Joseph East family!” In one of those miraculous “it’s a small world” moments, Philpot met another nurse, Fredda Hibpshman, on her first mission trip to Costa Rica in 2005. Five years later, she ran into Hibpshman again, this time in Lexington at The Women’s Hospital, where they both work in the same department. “As a unit we are spoiled with opportunities,” O’Connell said. “I am blessed with several staff that are willing to step up and do and aren’t afraid to ask each other to help.”

A hospital in Fort-Liberté, Haiti, December 2009

Photograph by Lee Thomas

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KentuckyOne Partners with UMC, UofL KentuckyOne Health has reached an agreement with University Medical Center (UMC) and the University of Louisville (UofL) to enter into a partnership with University Hospital and the James Graham Brown Cancer Center. The partnership will be structured as a joint operating agreement between UMC and KentuckyOne in which KentuckyOne will oversee most of the day-to-day operations. UMC will retain ownership of its assets and will operate the Center for Women and Infants. Thus, all current UMC policies for women’s health, end-of-life care and its pharmacy remain unchanged. The joint operating agreement has been reviewed and endorsed by Attorney General Jack Conway and signed by Governor Steve Beshear. UofL, UMC and KentuckyOne Health have entered into an academic affiliation agreement that ensures the continued training and education of the next generation of health care providers. At the same time, the agreement also provides UofL the resources necessary to recruit and retain the highest-quality faculty who serve as teachers, researchers and clinicians. This collaboration will improve health care outcomes for Kentucky through a shared mission focused on teaching and academics, charity care,

and research and innovation. This partnership will create an integrated, comprehensive health system that will change health care for generations to come. Together, we can reach farther, be better and do more. And we can move ever closer to our shared vision of a healthier Kentucky.

More information about the new partnership can be found at

Common Thread Fall 2012  

Everyday Heroes, Raising the Roof, God's Rapid Response Team, The Ultimate Anatomy Lesson and more stories from KentuckyOne Health

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