Issuu on Google+

kentuckyone health Summer 2013 Vol. 2 Issue 1

The Face Of Heart Disease Susan Howard shares her story of survivorship

hope in Hard Times Thank You for saving

my life

Without [my coworkers], I wouldn’t be here.

and Fries

susan howard


en et tu C ck o yO n ne n Em ect pl e oy d ee a s. t or g

Cath Lab Supply Manager, Red Cap Ambassador



bye-bye Burgers

Letter from the CEO Introducing Our KentuckyOne Purpose & Values We have come a long way over the last 18 months – learning more about each other, solidifying our strategy for growing into one premier organization and building on our strong foundation. Every journey needs a clear road map. It gives me great pleasure to introduce ours – the KentuckyOne Purpose & Values. Notice that we are using the word “purpose” rather than the traditional “mission.” The mission statement of any organization is really an expression of its reason for being – its purpose. As we build a different kind of health system, we have chosen to express our mission – our purpose – in a different kind of way. The words Our Identity are succinct, yet powerful. They We are a comprehensive health system are the result of hours of candid strengthened by our Catholic, Jewish and conversation, input and soul academic heritages and inspired by our searching across the system. shared values. They reflect the missions of our three former organizations, while Our Purpose expressing how we see ourselves as To bring wellness, healing and hope to all, KentuckyOne – what is uniquely including the underserved. us. This is our purpose, what Our Future employees tell us gives their work To transform the health of communities, meaning and is essentially, our care delivery and health care professions so reason for being. that individuals and families can enjoy the Simply stated, this purpose provides our moral compass as we best of health and well-being. enter the next era of providing Our Values access and delivering health care • Reverence to everyone who needs us. Respecting those we serve and those who It is easy to say we want to serve be the best. We do. It is harder • Integrity to identify how the best should Doing the right things in the right way look, feel and conduct itself. But I believe we have accomplished for the right reason exactly that. • Compassion I am proud of our KentuckyOne Sharing in others’ joys and sorrows Purpose & Values and I am • Excellence confident they reflect not only Living up to the highest standards who we are, but also who we aspire to become. Our purpose and values will serve us well as we move forward in a rapidly changing health care environment. When we live by them daily, only the best can come of it. Let our journey together begin. Warmest wishes,

Common Thread is published quarterly by the marketing and communications division of KentuckyOne Health for employees and their families.

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 Laurie Fojut David McArthur Jen Rittenhouse Phyllis Shaikun Kathie Stamps Amy Taylor Tanya J. Tyler Jackie Zils

Photographers Robert Burge Ron Perrin Patrick Pfister Lee P. Thomas Tim Webb

KentuckyOne President’s Council

Ruth Brinkley, President & Chief Executive Officer Matt Gibson, VP, Chief Strategy Officer Sharon Hager, CHI VP, Legal Operations Betsy Hall, Division Corporate Responsibility Officer Don Lovasz, President & CEO, KentuckyOne Health Partners Allen Montgomery, SVP, Community Health & Advocacy Jeff Murphy, VP, Marketing, Communications, Physician Engagement Tanja Oquendo, SVP, Chief Human Resources Officer/Chief Administrative Officer Charlie Powell, President, Physician Enterprise Lynn Tanner, VP, Managed Care & Payer Relations Bev Weber, SVP, Chief Operating Officer Brian Yanofchick, SVP, Mission 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.

Ruth W. Brinkley, FACHE President & Chief Executive Officer, KentuckyOne Health

Cover Photograph By Robert Burge

Summer 2013



The Face of Heart Disease As a Red Cap Ambassador for the American Heart Association, Susan Howard will talk to groups about heart issues and share her personal story. She will put a face with the disease.

features 6 My Guardian Angel Patient finds friend, caseworker finds inspiration at Saint Joseph Cancer Center

8 Thank You For Saving My Life Patient Gary Davis appreciative of care he received at Jewish Hospital

20 Team Tylan

Crissy Wilburn shares her son’s health crisis, is grateful for support she received from coworkers at Saint Joseph Children’s Center

28 When Betsy Met Angela

A story about advancing stroke care with technology, knowledge and teamwork at University of Louisville Hospital

30 Health Takes Center Stage

Saint Joseph Berea community talent show puts spotlight on colon health

20 Summer 2013 common thread


Summer 2013


Departments 3



Connect to Purpose Margaret Neel provides free life-saving medicines to those in dire need. Quick Thread Saint Joseph Berea’s Quilt of Compassion unites 30 different departments.

11 Quick Thread Hubert Martin rescues an abandoned dog from the streets of Berea. 12 Connect to Purpose Kelli Green-Riley’s mission trip gave her a different perspective on life. 16 Inside Look KentuckyOne’s Brian Yanofchick shares a glimpse into his life and how he was invited to mission work.

11 Tell Us Your Story! |

17 17 Wellness at Work Heart attack survivor John Mader shares how new employee clinic saved his life. 19 Connect to Purpose University of Louisville Hospital rallies resources to help patients like Dennis Manners reverse harmful habits. 23 Wellness at Work Employees receive a wake-up call to get healthy thanks to free onsite screenings. 2

common thread Summer 2013

27 Health Care Hero SafetyFirst award-winner April Townsend’s brave actions kept a patient safe. 33 Quick Thread Dr. Jason Smith reflects on the University of Louisville Hospital trauma center response to last March’s tornado. 34 Health Care Hero Dynamic duo Jill Farmer and Karey McDowell strive to help rehab patients reach their goals. 37 Welcome to My World Liz Wilson lights the way for cancer patients.

Connect Health to Care Purpose HERO

Hope in Hard Times Margaret Neel provides life-saving medicines through Flaget Prescription Assistance Program By Amy Taylor

Picture a disabled farmer limping into your office in raggedy clothes. He and his wife have no health insurance. They can barely put food on the table, much less put gas in their truck. The husband, a diabetic, can’t afford insulin. Margaret Neel, the coordinator of Flaget Memorial Hospital’s Prescription Assistance Program (PAP), sees people like this every day. And every day she gives low-income people free medicines. “I help people who have no prescription medication insurance coverage and meet income guidelines,” the Nelson County native said. “I help people who have Medicare Part D when they’re in the ‘donut hole’ – that time when they’ve exhausted the year’s allowance for medicines. If they can’t do anything else, they come to me. I’m their last hope.” Some of Neel’s patients are senior citizens. Many are in their 40s or 50s. A few are immigrants. Many are disabled, but haven’t been declared disabled yet by the government, so they don’t qualify for Social Security disability payments. All of these people have one thing in common: hard times. Financial problems have forced them to go without life-saving medicines such as blood pressure pills, insulin, nitroglycerin, blood thinners and cholesterol-lowering medications. These patients touch Neel’s heart.

Photographs By Ron Perrin

Summer 2013 common thread


“If they can’t do anything else, they come to me. I’m their last hope.”

“Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect,” she said. “You don’t know their story; you don’t know what they’ve been through. That’s someone’s mom or dad, grandmother or grandfather. My goal is to treat people with kindness.” Neel realizes that without the prescription program, some of her patients might be facing poor health – or death. “I love my job,” she said. “I’ve always loved helping people. I thank God for this job every morning, and I ask Him to help me help the people who need my help.” Flaget pays Neel’s salary, pays for another hospital employee to work 20 hours a week in the program, and covers office space rent. Four volunteers also help out. The drugs for PAP patients are donated to the Bardstown hospital’s program by 49 pharmaceutical firms. All donated drugs are brand name – no generics – which is how Neel gave out more than $2 million worth of medications last fiscal year to about 275 patients. “Many of them need insulin,” Neel said. “I can also give out glucose meters and test 4

common thread Summer 2013

strips thanks to a donation from the Flaget Foundation.” With new applicants, it often takes a month to get them approved by pharmaceutical companies. If they’re out of their medications in the meantime, Flaget employee donations pay for vouchers that patients can use at local pharmacies to cover their medicines. Patients are also referred to the PAP after they’ve been treated in Flaget’s emergency department. They come from the hospital with a doctor’s prescription they have no cash to get filled. Neel issues vouchers on an emergency basis so they can get medicine. Lauren von Roenn is one of many grateful patients. Christmas of 2010 should have been a happy time for her – except the diabetic didn’t know how she would pay for insulin. Because her workplace health insurance didn’t cover prescriptions, “I couldn’t afford to pay for my medicines,” the Bardstown woman said. “Then someone told me about Flaget’s prescription program.” Von Roenn met PAP income guidelines. PAP began supplying her medications.

Then, in 2011, von Roenn was laid off. She received unemployment benefits, but after paying for living expenses, there was nothing left. Fortunately, Neel continued to supply the patient’s medications. “I don’t know what I would have done without Margaret and the program,” the grandmother said. “I literally could not afford to be alive. Margaret has been a blessing.” Neel doesn’t just run the PAP. She also organizes Flaget Memorial Hospital’s annual food drive for low-income residents. The last drive yielded 1,236 pounds of peanut butter and canned tuna and other nonperishable items. Every year Neel works tirelessly to inspire her coworkers to donate food so no one will go hungry. To Neel, needy people are a blessing. “Sometimes it’s hard to watch people come in here and ask for help,” she said. “That’s hard on them. Any one of us could be in their shoes. I think it’s wonderful that Flaget Hospital offers the program for people in this community. So many are in need. I feel privileged to be able to help them.”

Quilt of Compassion By Kathie Stamps

The Saint Joseph Berea Mission Council came up with the idea to



represent the hospital’s 30 different departments by making a quilt. Inspired by an article written by Jean Lambert, a vice president with Catholic Health Initiatives, the hospital’s “quilt of compassion” is not your typical quilt. In addition to traditional quilting, the piece is made from scrapbooking and photography. “We come together with individual pieces but together we make one beautiful piece of work,” said Flora Washburn, manager of mission services at Saint Joseph Berea. “We wanted to let everybody use their gifts and talents, so we decided to do a ‘photograph quilt’ on fabric.” Each department contributed an 8-inch square block of regular quilting or scrapbooking, which was photographed and then printed onto a canvas. Debra Hille, the hospital’s artist-in-residence, sealed the artwork with an acrylic finish and it was attached to a wooden frame. The quilt hangs on a wall across from the chapel. The original pieces will be framed and hung in the respective departments. “It does represent who we are as a hospital,” Washburn said. “What it meant to everybody in doing this was the creative aspect of who we are as a hospital. We all really do come together.” Of the 30 individual pieces, one of the quilted blocks is the broom, which represents housekeeping. Next to it, the accounting department’s square is an example of scrapbooking. “There’s been excitement to see what other people have done and how they’ve expressed their quilt,” Washburn said. “It’s been fun. It’s been meaningful.”

Summer 2013 common thread


My Guar Patient finds friend, case By Tanya J. Tyler

A cancer diagnosis is bad enough by itself. But what happens if you find yourself uninsured and unemployed when you are diagnosed with cancer? Where can you turn for help and resources – medical, financial, spiritual? The Saint Joseph Cancer Center offers patients in straits such as these much-needed support. Its services include one-on-one consultations with a nurse navigator, social worker and chaplain; a library with up-to-date material, such as books and brochures, from 10 national cancer organizations; and networking and support groups such as the Time Out Cancer Support Group, a general support group for anyone affected by cancer, and Rhythms Drum Circle, a music expression program. All the services are free and confidential. The cancer center has been a haven of hope and help for Mary Van Winkle, 53, who was diagnosed with colorectal cancer more than two years ago.

Patient Mary Van Winkle (left) found a friend and support through social worker Martha Keys (right).

Photograph by Lee P. Thomas


common thread Summer 2013

dian Angel worker finds inspiration at Saint Joseph Cancer Center “It was Feb. 28, 2011,” she said. “I might forget a lot of things, but that’s a date I’ll never forget.” She thought she had a hemorrhoid when she went to see her doctor, but he told her it was a tumor. However, he assured her it was very treatable with chemotherapy and radiation. Making matters worse for Van Winkle was the fact that she had recently lost her job and had no health insurance – and her husband, Steve, was battling mouth cancer himself. She explained her circumstances to the doctor who had diagnosed her. He asked Van Winkle what hospital she wanted to go to for treatment. She chose Saint Joseph Hospital because her mother had gone there for her own cancer treatment and because she had been raised Catholic. Seeking help was not something that came easily to Van Winkle. Having never been ill before or in such a dire situation, she knew she had to open up and let other people help her. Still, it was with some trepidation that she went to the cancer center. One of the first – and best – things that happened to Van Winkle was having Martha Keys, MSW, CSW, assigned to her case. Their initial meeting set the tone for all of Van Winkle’s subsequent interactions at the center. “With Martha, the wheels got going,” Van Winkle said. “She led me throughout this whole ordeal.” Keys, who has been doing medical social work for nearly 20 years, has been at the cancer center since it first opened. The center is dedicated to reaching out to people like Van

Winkle who have financial difficulties and few resources to fall back on, says Keys. “We’re a community-based service,” she explained. “We accept patients from all over. It’s just our mission to help people.” “We see on average about 45 new patients a month at our Lexington location,” said

“With Martha, the wheels got going. She led me throughout this whole ordeal.” Julie Steffey, MSW, CSW, OSW-C, manager of oncology support services at the cancer center. “Socially, emotionally, mentally, they have needs right when they’re diagnosed. The length of stay in the program depends on their prognosis. We empower the patients, through education, resource coordination, counseling and advocacy, to achieve the best life they can possibly have.” Patients in Van Winkle’s situation are not unusual, Keys said. She knew just what to do to help Van Winkle when she came to the cancer center. “The first thing we tapped into for immediate need was the Saint Joseph Financial Assistance [fund],” Keys said. “We also talked about Social Security disability counseling.” In the midst of taking care of all the practicalities, the two women formed a bond.

“She was like my guardian angel, walking with me along the way,” Van Winkle said. “She’s been more of a friend than a social worker doing her job.” “Mary needed to talk about some things, and I like to listen,” Keys said. Van Winkle says Keys learned more about her in the past few years than anybody else ever has. “She learns things about me every day that I never really turn loose to anybody,” Van Winkle said. “With Martha, I feel like I can be very open. She’s an inspiration to me.” The feeling of inspiration and admiration is mutual. “I am so inspired by the patients here,” Keys said. “They are people who are so brave and courageous in the face of this huge, scary thing. It puts my own life and my own troubles in perspective on a daily basis. There’s not a day that goes by that I’m not inspired.” Keys covenants to be with her clients no matter what. “I’m going to walk with them along with their fight and be there,” she said. Van Winkle is glad to have Keys in her corner. “I see her compassion,” she said. “In a situation like this you have to have somebody [like] Martha. Martha is like a sister to me.” She said Keys has even accompanied her to her doctor’s appointments, taking notes that she can later review. Van Winkle’s challenges have not abated. Last year she was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in the lung. “On the chart, it’s rectal cancer because it’s metastasized from where it originally started from,” she said. But she is confident that with the cancer center’s help and Keys as her friend, she can face whatever lies ahead of her. “Thank God for the [Saint Joseph] Cancer Center. I don’t know what I would have done without them,” Van Winkle said. “I love life and I don’t plan on exiting yet.”

Summer 2013 common thread


“These two nurses went outside the box – otherwise I would have died.” Nurses Diane Downey (left) and Valerie Kennedy (right) acted fast when Gary Davis, who sliced an artery in his hand, was found outside Jewish Hospital covered in blood.


common thread Summer 2013

Thank You for Saving My Life

Photographs by Robert Burge

Patient Gary Davis appreciative of care he received at Jewish Hospital By Amy Taylor

Gary Davis knows he’d be dead if two nurses hadn’t acted fast. The Louisville tool maker was buffing a piece of steel when he slashed his hand, slicing an artery. He wrapped the hand several times, but couldn’t stop the spurting blood. Not wanting to wait for the EMS, he jumped into his truck and drove past other area hospitals, heading straight for the Jewish Hospital campus. After he parked his pickup, the 61-year-old wandered around the outpatient building covered in blood, looking for the ER. Luckily for Davis, Jennifer Padgett, RN, was just getting off work when she spotted him. She got Valerie Kennedy and Diane Downey, both nurses, to grab some towels to stop the bleeding and a wheelchair. “He had a bath towel around his arm, and it was saturated in blood,” Downey said. “He had blood all down his pants. He looked pale, and he was talking slowly. He was getting ready to go into shock.” Summer 2013 common thread


Left to right, nurses Jennifer Padgett, Diane Downey and Valerie Kennedy kept Gary Davis from bleeding to death after the 61-year-old tool maker slashed an artery in his hand. They never reached the ER with their patient. They did, however, rush him to surgery recovery, where the staff there worked feverishly to save Davis’ life.

Kennedy and Downey rushed him toward the ER. Kennedy pushed the wheelchair, while Downey kept Davis’ hand elevated and held pressure on it. On the way, the patient’s breathing stopped. Since the nurses were next to surgery recovery, they rolled in there. Kennedy yelled out a code blue. Then the two small nurses hefted Davis’ body onto a gurney. A third nurse started chest compressions. After Davis revived, he went in and out of consciousness. He was able to say to the nurses, “Wow! I’m glad to see you ladies! I was having a bad dream.” The patient never reached the ER. Everyone in surgery recovery worked ferociously to keep him alive. “They were all there helping us,” Downey said. “One person was cutting off his bloody clothes; another was getting his vital signs. It was a huge team effort.” The staff crowded around Davis. Dr. Tomek Godlewski, an anesthesiologist who responded to the code, gave orders. The problem was they had no identity for Davis, no medical records, no blood type. They were forced to use four units of O negative, pumping it into him as fast as they could. A


common thread Summer 2013

tourniquet was applied to his hand. Giving blood that’s not cross-matched can be risky – but taking the risk paid off. The staff was thankful when Davis was stabilized enough to withstand a 3 1/2 hour hand surgery to repair the sliced artery. All this time, no one knew Davis was an open heart surgery survivor. Kennedy, the nurse manager for the endoscopy suite, the outpatient care center and the hand care center, pre- and post-anesthesia units, was scheduled to leave work that night at 5:30 p.m. But she stayed until 9:30 p.m., hovering over Davis until he was wheeled into surgery. Later, while the patient was in ICU, both nurses visited often. He let them know he had a white Ford pickup in the parking garage. Downey found it. After she clocked out, she personally scrubbed the blood out of the patient’s truck. “Diane is one of my team members,” Kennedy said. “She is definitely outstanding. I can’t thank her enough.” Kennedy is also very grateful to all of her coworkers for rushing in to help Davis. “He should have been treated in the ER, but there was no way we were going to make it there. So we rushed into the recovery room.

No one said, ‘This is not my patient.’ This is a true testament to the recovery room staff. Every patient who comes through their door is their patient.” Even for a surgery recovery team, “it was an extraordinary event,” the nurse said. “It gives you a sense of joy to know you’re helping someone. It makes you feel great when we can save a life.” After the surgery, Davis told Kennedy why he’d driven all the way from his Prospect home to Jewish Hospital, bypassing three other hospitals. “I work with my hands; I live by my hands,” he said. “I knew I would get great hand care here.” After he was discharged, he called and asked how he could thank the two nurses, and everyone at Jewish Hospital who helped save his hand and his life. He was invited to speak at a Safety Huddle meeting where he expected to see maybe ten people around a table. Sixty people showed up. Davis’ message earned loud applause. “These two nurses went outside the box – otherwise I would have died,” he said. “Everyone was so unbelievably determined to help me. Thank you for saving my life.”

Photograph by Tim Webb



Home at Last By Kathie Stamps

Last fall, employees at Saint Joseph Berea noticed a skinny black and white dog hanging around the field behind the hospital and roaming the streets of Berea. They tried to feed her, but she would run away scared. The little rat terrier wouldn’t let any human come close to her. One afternoon Hubert Martin, from the maintenance department, bought chicken livers at KFC. He was able to coax the little dog toward the plate, and soon she was eating out of his hand. He named her Betty D, after his aunt Betty Daniel. She wouldn’t let him touch her, though. Martin wanted to get her out of the cold weather and into a home. A “lost dog” notice in the paper produced a tearful “not our

baby” non-reunion. After weeks of buying treats and looking after her, Martin was beside himself. He had been praying for a Christmas miracle. On Christmas Eve he brought his pooch, Chloe, to the hospital, who jumped out of the truck and had a stare down with Miss Betty D. “I knew she was going to freeze to death or get run over,” Martin said. He told Chloe to tell Betty D to get in the truck. Chloe barked and sure enough, Miss Betty D jumped in. Martin took her to his home and there, on Christmas Eve, the little dog put her paws on his chest and her head on his shoulder. “You can see the appreciation in this little dog’s eyes for being rescued,” he said. She is still part of his family today.

Summer 2013 common thread


Connect to purpose

Changing the World, Paintbrush in Hand Kelli Green-Riley’s mission trip gave her a different perspective on life By Tanya J. Tyler

Kelli Green-Riley knew she should do it. She just wasn’t sure she could do it. She had previously gone on other mission trips with the youth group from her church in London, Ky. But those trips involved fairly simple outreach activities – hosting Bible schools in inner-city Indianapolis, for example, and sorting clothes and canned goods at a combination clothing closet/food bank. This trip would be different from any other she had ever participated in. Green-Riley and her fellow church members, about 30 people all together, including several teenagers, would be heading to Birmingham, Ala., to help Metro Changers do home repairs for local residents. Metro Changers is affiliated with an organization called World Changers, which works through construction and community service to demonstrate God’s love. It wasn’t so much the nature of the mission trip that worried Green-Riley; it was the physical aspect of it that gave her pause. “It was the first trip like this I’d ever been on,” said Green-Riley, who works at Saint Joseph London Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine. “It was kind of like working for Habitat for Humanity. I’ve never done work of this magnitude. I was very apprehensive before I left.” Despite her apprehension and lack of experience, Green-Riley was quite willing to do whatever she was asked. Most of the eight homes Metro Changers assigned to the workers needed work done on their roofs.

Some of them received new porches. During the five-day mission trip, Green-Riley worked with a group that did exterior painting and yard work, including landscaping. Making things a bit more – interesting – was the fact that they were working in Alabama in June. “It was 105 to 106 degrees every day, and we were working outside in jeans,” Green-Riley said. At night, the exhausted crews went to a local church/school to eat, participate in worship and rest. They slept on air mattresses in the classrooms. Portable showers were brought in via trailer. “At the end of the work day at three o’clock, there were long lines waiting at the showers,” Green-Riley said. “Most nights we were in bed by 10 and it was lights out by 11 o’clock.” By the end of the week Green-Riley felt very capable and was grateful she had gone on the mission trip. “Another parent asked me the second day if I would do this kind of work again,” she said. “At first I wasn’t sure, but by the end of the week I thought it wasn’t so bad.” She especially appreciated getting to meet people from a number of different states, including Tennessee, Arkansas and Georgia. A prime component of World Changers’ work is taking the opportunity to share the Gospel with others. Green-Riley said her group would sometimes share a testimony at the evening worship services, but they also spoke to people on the street. Many times residents of the neighborhood would stop to

watch them work and ask how they could get their own homes repaired. These sidewalk conversations were great opportunities for the groups to witness, Green-Riley said. All work and no play isn’t recommended for anyone, least of all teenagers. So Green-Riley’s group made sure to incorporate some fun activities into their trip. This included a visit to the Birmingham Zoo and an excursion to a local mall. “Whenever you have teenagers, you have to find a mall,” Green-Riley said, laughing. The hard-working youngsters deserved the treat. “They didn’t complain at all the whole time,” Green-Riley said. “They worked very hard.” Green-Riley said the trip gave her a different perspective on life and made her appreciate her blessings. “It made me think about the things we take for granted,” she said. “I always knew I should be thankful, but here were people who had it worse than I did. The people were just so grateful for the work we did. One woman came to the evening worship service and just wanted to thank everyone for working on her house.” Green-Riley now attends a different church than the one with which she traveled to Alabama, but she plans to tell her new congregation about her experiences and will urge the people there to consider doing something similar. “If I ever get the opportunity again, I’d do it,” she said. “It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.”

During a five-day mission trip to Birmingham, Ala., Kelli Green-Riley helped make home repairs for local residents in need.


common thread Summer 2013

“It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.”

Photograph by Tim Webb

Summer 2013 common thread


The Face of Heart Disease Red Cap Ambassador Susan Howard shares her story of survivorship

Photograph by Robert Burge


common thread Summer 2013

By Amy Taylor

It was a lazy Sunday afternoon. Susan Howard had just finished working on her hobby, crafting costume jewelry. Her husband was outside on the deck. All at once Howard was hit with pain that ripped right through her. “It was the most extreme jaw pain,” she said. “It was like someone was squeezing my head as tight as they could. I also felt terrible arm pain and nausea.” This was October of 2012. Howard, the supply manager for Jewish Hospital’s downtown cath lab, couldn’t admit she had symptoms of a heart attack. Despite her protests, her husband rushed her to Jewish Hospital Medical Center East. In a flash, she was on a gurney with an IV in her arm and EKG electrodes on her chest. The news was bad. She would need to go downtown to Jewish Hospital for a heart cath. “No way!” she told the staff. “I’ve been doing cardiac cath work for 25 years. I see this every day. This isn’t happening to me!” But the EKG showed signs of heart attack. So Howard was on her way. Cath lab cardiovascular technician Angela Herman was on call that Sunday. She got a call telling her to get to the cath lab STAT to help her coworker. Herman could hardly believe it. “Susan doesn’t smoke; she’s not diabetic; she’s not obese,” the tech said. “She’s really healthy. How could this be?” When she reached the cath lab and saw Howard in intense pain, “I was almost to the point of tears,” Herman said. “Susan is like family. This was one of our own.” Gina Hovekamp, RN, was also on call that Sunday. When she saw the way her coworker looked in the cath lab, she was struck with fear. “Susan was distressed, in pain and scared,” Hovekamp said. “At any time, she could have lost her heart rhythm, and we would have had to shock her. She was as close to death as you can get.” The cath revealed the problem: a rare condition called a coronary artery dissection. Her left coronary artery had split. A cardiologist removed a blood clot from the split artery. Then he tried to place a stent in the blood vessel to hold it open – but was not

able to advance the catheter. The decision was made to observe Howard for a few days to make sure she was symptom-free. This worked well until Tuesday, when horrible pain came back. Howard underwent open heart surgery. A vein from her leg was used for the bypass. The surgery worked for a few weeks – until pain hit again. Howard’s bypass vessel had blocked up. But the original split artery was open again, handling blood flow. So “they didn’t do anything except change my medications and keep a watch on me,” Howard said. She has done well ever since. To look at her, you’d never think of Howard as a heart patient. She maintains a healthy weight, exercises and eats a healthy diet. She doesn’t smoke or drink. But heart disease is in the family. Her brother died at 21 of a heart attack. Her father died in March of a stroke. Her mother’s heart is weak. The family history is the reason Howard has been a team captain for the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Louisville Heart Walk for the last 25 years. Because of her service to the Heart Walk – and because she is now a survivor – the AHA has named her the Red Cap Ambassador for the Kentuckiana region for 2013. “We recruit ambassadors – people to reach out and share their story with the public and to be at media events,” said Erika Furlong of the AHA. “Susan has been a really dedicated Heart Walk team leader. She’s been raising money in honor of her family for years. As a Red Cap Ambassador, she will talk to groups about heart issues. She will put a face with the disease.” Howard wakes up each day and finds things to be grateful for. She no longer sweats the small stuff. She spends more time with family, and treasures every minute. She’s so energetic in the daily Safety Huddle meetings that her coworkers ask, “What is wrong with you?” She’ll probably never be able to explain how excited being with them makes her feel. “These people save lives – do they not get it?” she asked. “It’s amazing what they did for me. I don’t know how to thank them. Without them, I wouldn’t be here.”

The 2013 Kentuckiana Heart Walk will be held Saturday, Sept. 21, at Louisville’s Waterfront Park Great Lawn. Opening ceremonies are from 8-8:15 a.m. One- and three-mile options are held from 8:15-10 a.m. The walk is free. Walkers are eligible to earn a free T-shirt once they have raised a minimum of $100. Prizes are awarded to participants who raise $100 or more. Register online at or call 502.371.6034. Summer 2013 common thread


Inside LOOK

Brian Yanofchick B

Invited to Mission Brian Yanofchick’s path to the position of senior vice president of mission for KentuckyOne Health began more than a decade ago, when he felt a tap on his shoulder while moving through the Baltimore/Washington International Airport. “I turned and saw Sister Rita Thomas of Bon Secours Health System, who I knew,” he said. “She said, ‘You have to come and work for us in mission.’ I liked the work I was doing for a managed mental health care provider, but it was an interesting invitation that I accepted about six months later. Now, I look back on that as a moment something like when Jesus invited Matthew to ‘Come, follow me.’” By Laurie Fojut


common thread Summer 2013

n What was your first job? Helping to set up a new warehouse for Gitane, the French racing bicycle manufacturer, in Falls Church, Va., in the summer of 1968. We built shelves and stocked them under the direction of a Frenchman who spoke no English. I used some of my earnings to buy one of the bikes. It’s a fantastic bike, I still have it.

n You were previously the senior director of mission integration and leadership development at the Catholic Health Association, so you relocated from St. Louis. What’s your favorite discovery about Louisville so far? I think it’s the attention that is paid to good bourbon. This is the Napa Valley of bourbon. I enjoy bourbon, but until I moved here I didn’t realize how very important it is to Kentucky’s culture. I look forward to becoming more sophisticated in my bourbon knowledge.

n What’s your favorite role at a party? I like to cook, and I like to have people over to talk while enjoying a meal that I’ve prepared. I have a specialty in Italian cooking, especially after I attended a week-long class at a cooking school in Tuscany about three years ago. The teacher was a very demanding but patient chef who taught us about all the wonderful tastes of Tuscany: the meats, cheese, vegetables and fruits, as well as pasta.

Photograph by Robert Burge

n Have you ever had a life-changing experience? My first trip to Italy, which was in the 1980s, was one such experience. On that same journey, I also spent a week in Israel. I met Israelis, and I met Palestinians – people on each side of a very deep divide. Being there, talking to the people and seeing how they live, gave me a very different view than what is generally presented in the media. It’s a very difficult situation with no obvious solutions. It can be hard to accept that some things in life are like that. I brought back a menorah from Israel and a replica of Michelangelo’s statue of Moses from Rome. I keep them close together in my office.

n If you could be a character from a book, movie or TV show, who would it be? Maybe someone like the TV character Gregory House, MD, but without the abrasive manner. He’s a character who isn’t perfect, who makes mistakes along the way, but gathers clues from his mistakes as well as his successes and uses them all creatively to solve a problem. He claims to work alone, but clearly builds on the experiences of others. In any real hospital, of course, he would be fired. But, his character reminds me that our natural gifts are always enhanced by interactions with others; knowing and being grateful for that is important.

Wellness at work

On-the-Spot Care Heart attack survivor John Mader shares how employee clinic saved his life

By Phyllis Shaikun

Although having a health issue at work isn’t something anyone looks forward to, KentuckyOne Health has made it far easier for employees in Louisville to receive medical assistance – should they need it – close to their workplace. Through the Clinic@Work program, now open at Our Lady of Peace, employees can receive free medical care. “Our goal,” said Deanna Hall, RN, BSN, KentuckyOne manager of health and wellness and corporate health, “is to keep employees healthy at work. We provide acute medical care on-the-spot for frequent issues such as rashes, colds and flu and urinary tract infections.” If an employee requires physician input, Stephanie Lokits, APRN, MSN, employee health nurse practitioner, works with doctors and can usually get an employee seen that same day. “We can also set employees up with a primary care physician if they need one,” she said. The two are excited to report the program really works. They were actually able to save an employee’s life at the clinic. John Mader, a KentuckyOne Health systems educator who has been with the organization for more than 30 years, is happy to share his story and his appreciation for the clinic and its staff. The long-time employee started at Our Lady of Peace as an attendant back in 1980, and took advantage of the education program by earning a BSN in 1988. Since then he has assumed numerous roles including staff nurse, house supervisor, charge nurse and lead nurse at an off-site child/adolescent partial hospital program in Elizabethtown. His role has expanded and now includes teaching CPR and safe crisis management, assisting with orientation (CE administration for nurses) and tracking CEU credits for the board. He is not a man to stay still very long.

Photographs by Robert Burge

Summer 2013 common thread


Behavioral Health Educator Yvonne Graves, left, and Employee Health Nurse Practitioner Stephanie Lokits, right, saved the life of John Mader, who was having a heart attack. Mader credits these nurses and the Clinic@Work program with keeping him alive. He was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease and in 2003 he received a kidney transplant at Jewish Hospital. He continues to do well on that front. On Jan. 8 of this year, however, he began having chest pains, which he attributed to severe indigestion. A coworker, Yvonne Graves, behavioral health educator, noticed he didn’t look well. “You’ve got to go see Stephanie about this,” she cautioned. He dismissed her concerns and told her he’d be fine. Unbeknownst to Mader, 18

common thread Summer 2013

Graves went to the clinic herself to apprise Lokits of the situation. By the time he arrived, Graves was already there. “Stephanie diagnosed me with signs of a heart attack,” he recalled, “and immediately called EMS. I was transported to Sts. Mary & Elizabeth Hospital where I was taken to the ER; I was having a heart attack.” Mader was on blood thinners for his history of atrial fibrillation, a condition that causes the upper chambers of the heart to beat erratically. Doctors gave him platelets so he wouldn’t bleed out during a life-saving procedure the following day. On Jan. 9, doctors performed a heart catheterization and discovered Mader had one artery completely blocked and a second 97 percent blocked! They inserted two stents to keep the arteries open, and a month and a day later, he resumed a full schedule at work. “By Feb. 8,” he said, “I could do everything.”

What would Mader tell others about the Clinic@Work? “Don’t put off seeking professional help if you are feeling poorly,” he said. “Everyone thinks they’re OK and illness can’t happen to them, but the first symptom of a heart attack is denial. How fortunate we are to have a clinic like this at our workplace. It is an invaluable resource if you are sick. I could have been stuck on the expressway with my heart attack. I feel that Stephanie and the clinic staff saved my life!” Mader continues to do well and has changed to a heart-friendly diet. He is anxious to begin an exercise program once he receives permission to do so. The Clinic@Work is open to employees of all KentuckyOne Health Louisville market locations on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Employees can call 502.479.4169 or 502.479.4187 to arrange a visit.

Connect to PURPOSE

A Family for Dennis University of Louisville Hospital rallies resources to help patients like Dennis Manners reverse harmful habits

The emergency department staff at University of Louisville Hospital surprised frequent patient Dennis Manners with a birthday celebration. The team has worked hard to support Manners as he’s battled several issues including alcoholism. By David McArthur

A hospital emergency department does not rank very high on the list of places that most people want to celebrate their birthday, but for Dennis Manners, he celebrated with family. The cake was a surprise from the team at University of Louisville Hospital, marking a huge turning point in Manners’ life. During the last several years, Manners became a frequent patient in the emergency department, sometimes being seen more than 25 times a month. In 2011 alone, his medical bills at University of Louisville Hospital tallied nearly $500,000. His complaints, pain and symptoms covered a wide span, but at the foundation was a problem with alcohol, joblessness and homelessness. While they saw a destructive pattern, hospital staff also detected a promising personality and a desire to change. So they began working on a new treatment plan to address Manners’ underlying symptoms. The hospital formed a community outreach coalition with other safety net providers, including social services and housing. University of Louisville Hospital made the

initial investment in Manners, sending him to an addiction treatment center outside Cincinnati. Ninety days later, sober and ready to re-enter life, he returned to Louisville with the continued support of his hospital family. Patti Stivers, RN, the hospital’s self-pay patient navigator, saw big changes. “For the first time, I saw a man looking forward to living,” Stivers said. “He is taking control, planning for the future and taking care of himself.” Treating all patients with compassionate quality care, regardless of the ability to pay, is at the heart of KentuckyOne Health. It’s a point of pride, but also a costly commitment. At University of Louisville Hospital roughly 22 percent of the patients cannot pay anything. Manners is one of 18 patients the coalition has now worked with, collaborating to tap appropriate community resources. By targeting root causes for health problems, the group is reducing emergency room visits and getting patients access to care at the appropriate levels. The patients are getting healthier and precious health care dollars are

being preserved to help others. The total team effort also is leading to increased morale. Barbara DiMecurio, RN, MBA, director of emergency services, said, “The entire staff has really embraced this concept, recommending patients they feel would benefit from the program, volunteering time and belongings to help patients, and a general feeling that their compassionate efforts do make a difference.” The hospital continues to work with Manners, now getting his seizures under control and creating a proactive treatment plan so he can better manage his health and maintain an income. He is sober, his blood pressure is under control and he’s keeping up with maintenance medications. While he remains close to his University of Louisville Hospital family, Manners’ life transformation has opened doors to reunite with his own family, after being estranged for many years. While long-term financial success of the program is still pending, it’s hard to overlook Manners’ smile as proof that it has enriched his life. Summer 2013 common thread



common thread Summer 2013

teamTylan Crissy Wilburn shares her son’s health crisis, is grateful for coworkers’ support By Amy Taylor

It’s a mother’s worst nightmare: hearing that your two-year-old has trouble breathing because he has holes in his heart. That’s exactly what Crissy Wilburn and her husband, Roger, faced four years ago when Wilburn, who takes care of her coworkers’ youngsters at Saint Joseph Children’s Center in Lexington, got bad news. Her son, Tylan, had ASD: Atrial Septal Defect. “He was born with three holes in his heart,” the 36-year-old said. “I was told that all children are born with a hole in their heart. For the majority of babies, that hole closes on its own. Tylan’s didn’t.” One day the toddler spiked a high fever. Wilburn took him to a pediatrician who detected a heart murmur. Tylan was sent to a pediatric cardiologist who found the holes in his heart. “I came out of that office bawling,” his mother said. For the next few years, Tylan endured

fevers, respiratory problems, 11 or 12 bouts of pneumonia, and various hospitalizations. Doctors told the Wilburns that when the child was ready, he would either need open heart surgery or a heart cath to put in a patch to cover the holes in his heart. For some time, “we were told he wasn’t a candidate for heart surgery,” the mother said. “I felt better thinking he was not going to have his chest opened and his heart stopped.” But on Sept. 10, 2011, the day of Wilburn’s grandmother’s funeral, Tylan’s parents got different news. The little boy’s physicians said they were going to schedule open heart surgery. On Oct. 26, Tylan had his chest cut open. His pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon found not just three sizable holes, but a section of his heart that was riddled with small holes. “The surgeon took part of his pericardial sac from around his heart to patch the holes, then stitched it all up,” Wilburn said.

“He was born with three holes in his heart.” Photographs by Lee P. Thomas

Summer 2013 common thread


Saint Joseph Children’s Center Director Brinley Curtis, left, and Nyra Grange helped Tylan read a book about horses. The Winchester resident serves as the preschool teacher coordinator at the Saint Joseph Children’s Center. She has worked there for the last 12 years taking care of her coworkers’ children. Her appreciative coworkers donated a total of six weeks of their PTO time to Wilburn so she could be home after surgery with her son. “I’m so grateful they did that,” the mother said. “I had only a week of PTO left. If they hadn’t donated, I would have been off all that time without pay. It would have been much more of a struggle for my family.” Coworkers also raised money through bake sales to help pay Tylan’s medical expenses. The boy, who is now 6, has a sister, Kaly, who is 10. Today the child is “healthy as a horse,” Wilburn said. “He loves baseball, trucks, tractors, and anything that can go in the dirt – the muddier the better. My husband hauls horses, so Tylan is horse-crazy. My husband used to be a bull rider before we got together, so Tylan swears he’s going to be a bull rider. He’s a little cowboy like his daddy.” Last fall, Tylan started his first year in kindergarten at an elementary school in Winchester. It was the first time the boy wasn’t cared for at the children’s center under his mother’s watchful eye. “It was hard sending him somewhere else,” Wilburn said. The director at the children’s center, Brinley Curtis, has supported the Wilburns through every crisis. “There’s nothing Crissy won’t do,” Curtis said. “We changed our kindergarten readiness program. She’s been so open to all the changes, so eager to learn.” Wilburn is passionate about the children, their education and their welfare, Curtis said. “She does things without being asked. She steps in when she knows my plate’s full. She’s just a very good person.” Wilburn can count on Saint Joseph Hospital employees to support her during the American Heart Walk, when coworkers, family members and friends have walked as members of Team Tylan. Her mother and father always take part. “Last year the walk was in March, and it was pouring rain and freezing cold,” she said. “Nobody so much as fussed at me.” Her coworkers have supported her family in many ways, the mother said. “Nyra Grange did a complete scrapbook for me – all about Tylan’s surgery, and his recovery,” Wilburn said. “She made me cry.” 22

common thread Summer 2013

Saint Joseph Children’s Center The Saint Joseph Children’s Center, located across the street from Saint Joseph Hospital in Lexington, is open Monday through Friday from 6:15 a.m. to 6 p.m. The center has provided care for the children of KentuckyOne Health employees since 1980 and is now open to the public and accepting applications. The center is licensed by the Cabinet for Families and Children for ages 6 weeks through 10 years old. The philosophy of the center is to educate the whole child, with focus on cognitive, social, emotional, spiritual, physical and creative aspects of child growth and development. Employees working at the center are employed by KentuckyOne Health. All staff members are CPR and first-aid certified. They attend continuing education courses throughout the year. The center is a well-child center and in accordance to state law, all immunization records are required. The center offers breakfast, lunch and snack with a rest time from 12 noon to 2 p.m. Parents are encouraged to visit anytime except rest time. Enrollment for eligible children is on a first-come, first-serve basis. If there are no openings available, you will be placed on a waiting list. Employees benefit from low rates.

For more information, call 859.254.7313.

Wellness at WORK

Bye-Bye Burgers and Fries Employees get wake-up call to get healthy thanks to free onsite screenings

It’s been a “really cool journey” for Rob Tussey, who dropped 60 pounds through thoughtful diet and exercise. Read on to learn why junk food no longer comes into his house.

Photograph by Lee P. Thomas

Summer 2013 common thread


By Amy Taylor

Rob Tussey was 38 when he took part in a Wellness@Work health screening. What he learned stunned him. “My cholesterol was beyond what their machine could read,” said Tussey, the environmental services manager at Saint Joseph East. “My blood sugar was the last number before diabetic. My waist circumference was far past the limits. I flunked basically everything.” That was two years ago, when almost every meal Tussey ate was fast food. Burgers, fries and fried chicken were his staples. On the plus side, he didn’t smoke. But he didn’t exercise, either.

Photograph by Lee P. Thomas

Kathy Graybeal’s health numbers were a recipe for a heart attack. She took action. She started cooking healthy foods and exercised daily. She lost 24 pounds.

Photograph by Robert Burge


common thread Summer 2013

Wellness at work

Listen to Your Body Ignoring chest pain – or screening results that point to heart disease – could leave you open for a heart attack. That’s what Beth Engler found out. During a Wellness@Work screening this February, Deanna Hall, RN, BSN, manager of health and wellness and corporate health for KentuckyOne, saw that Engler’s blood pressure was high. Engler told the screener she’d been having episodes of mild chest pain and “feeling that something was just not right.” “Deanna suggested I go see a cardiologist,” said Engler, the assistant to the president of Sts. Mary & Elizabeth Hospital in Louisville. “She said they might need to do a heart cath.” After she received that advice, Engler began monitoring her blood pressure. But she did nothing about seeing a cardiologist. “I was just too busy at work to take time off,” she said. Besides, “I had lost 27 pounds. I was also walking two to three miles per day. I just knew there couldn’t be anything seriously wrong with me since I have always worked so hard to be healthy.” Added to that, Engler didn’t smoke or drink. What the hospital employee wasn’t taking into account was her family history. Her father was only 53

Photograph by Robert Burge

when he was hit with a heart attack. Her pain got worse. One day Engler’s son insisted on taking her to a hospital. Tests performed there didn’t reveal heart disease. So the administrative assistant assumed her discomfort was gastric – until a nurse friend convinced her to see another cardiologist who ordered an ultrasound of her aorta. That test came back normal. Even so, the cardiologist ordered a heart cath “just to be sure.” The cath revealed an 80 percent blockage in the left coronary artery: perfect conditions for a heart attack. A stent was inserted to keep the artery open. Since then, Engler continues to exercise regularly and eat right. The other KentuckyOne manager of health and wellness, Michelle Eckhart, RD, LD, sees the Wellness@ Work screening as being important to Engler. Though the 50-year-old didn’t take immediate action afterward, “it got her thinking about it,” Eckhart said. “It got her paying attention to her body.” Engler agrees. “I had many different angels watching over me and pushing me to do the right thing,” she said. “I might not be here if they hadn’t.”

“When my BMI number came back showing I was obese – that really opened my eyes,” he said. “I’m 6-foot-1 and I weighed 264 pounds. That was the evidence I needed to wake up and take control of my health while I still could.” The KentuckyOne corporate health coaches at the screening suggested Tussey cut out white flour products, white potatoes and sugar in order to lose weight. But “that still didn’t get it,” he said. The Lexington man began regular, vigorous exercise and cut out high-fat foods, including fatty meats. That’s when he started to see results. He switched to a diet high in fruits and vegetables, with a bit of fish included.

Today meat is a luxury, not a staple. Desserts never reach his table. “I told my two teenage sons that if they’re going to put junk food into their bodies, they have to buy it themselves,” he said. “It doesn’t come into our house. It’s been a family awakening.” His 60-pound weight loss is gratifying. His blood pressure medicine went from a high dose to the lowest possible. He was able to toss the heartburn pills. The best thing, however, is how good he feels. Before the screenings, “just walking to my car after work would get me completely out of breath,” Tussey said. “Now I can walk all the way to the top of the hospital, which is six

floors up, without breaking stride. It’s been a really cool journey.” Tussey is convinced the health screening saved his life. “I was headed for the difficulties my parents have had with diabetes, heart disease and stroke. I want to break the chain of illness in my family. It has to start with me.” Deanna Hall, RN, BSN, is one of the managers of health and wellness and corporate health for KentuckyOne Health. Registered Dietitian Michelle Eckhart is the other. Free health screenings are offered to employees because “it fits right into our mission and vision,” Hall said. “We’re saving lives, which is what we’re all about.” Summer 2013 common thread


The free screening programs are somewhat different for different KentuckyOne facilities. The central and eastern Kentucky area uses “Healthy Spirit,” while the Louisville area uses “Know Your Numbers.” University of Louisville Hospital has a third program. By 2014, however, all facilities will start migrating to the same program. The important thing is “to remove barriers to our employees’ health,” Hall said. “Employees are our most valuable asset. When we wake up in the morning, that’s why we put our boots on – to empower our team members to live healthy lifestyles.” Kathy Graybeal took part in her first “Know Your Numbers” screening in March of 2012. “My weight was too high. My BMI, body fat, cholesterol were all bad,” said Graybeal, who serves as assistant to the director of Jewish Hospital Medical Center South. “Michelle told me, ‘This is a recipe for a heart attack.’” For three months Graybeal mulled over those frightening words. Then she took action. “I joined Weight Watchers and gave up eating out,” she said. “I also gave up soft drinks.” Graybeal started exercising daily and cooking healthy foods. Now every evening, while she waits for her husband to pick her up at work, she spends 30 minutes walking around the building. She has lost 24 pounds. Her test results from the March 2013 screening had her smiling. “Know Your Numbers is an awesome program,” she said. Scott Bowman was never big on paying attention to his health. Then, this past February, the facilities manager at Saint Joseph Hospital took part in a free KentuckyOne Wellness@Work health screening. “I maxed out the triglyceride machine,” he said. “My blood pressure was bad. Basically, everything was high.” A trip to his doctor confirmed a dangerously high triglyceride reading: 1,800. Normal is 200 or less. Bowman was shocked. Today he works out on exercise equipment at home. He brings low-fat lunches and snacks to work. He has dropped 23 pounds and gone down one belt buckle notch. The father of two little girls is extremely grateful that KentuckyOne provided him with free screenings. “You think of not being around for your kids,” he said. “That’s pretty scary.”

Scott Bowman has dropped 23 pounds and gone down one belt buckle notch. He’s grateful the free screenings opened his eyes. Photograph by Lee P. Thomas


common thread Summer 2013

Health Care HERO

Stepping Up to the Plate

April Townsend’s brave actions kept patient safe by amy taylor

April Townsend is used to dealing with dangerous patients. One day last winter, a mentally ill man came to the Our Lady of Peace assessment center. Townsend was one of two security guards on duty that night. The man asked to go to the bathroom. Townsend let him go, but stood outside the door. “He was acting kind of weird,” she said. “I felt like something was wrong.” She asked him if he was OK. He said he was. But something didn’t feel right, so Townsend jimmied the lock and opened the door. Blood was everywhere. “The patient had a razor blade,” Townsend said. “He was slicing his left arm.” The young man turned toward the bathroom wall. Since the guard was unable to get the blade away from him without cutting herself, she pinned his arms behind him and called for help on her two-way radio. The other guard got there in a flash. The patient dropped the blade without a struggle and allowed nurses to help him. “We decided he must have gotten through the metal detector by putting the blade in the heel of his shoe,” Townsend said. “I don’t think he was trying to commit suicide. I recognized him – he’s known to be a ‘cutter,’ a self-harmer. A lot of times they do this for attention.” At no point was the young guard scared, she said. After completing three years of active duty in the U.S. Navy in law enforcement, the 26-year-old has served three years in the reserves as a master-at-arms. She keeps herself strong with frequent trips to the gym. Besides, psychiatric patients have become a passion. “They’re like family,” Townsend said. “I love it here. I love the interaction with patients. Just knowing you’re helping people when they’re in crisis is a great thing. We

Feeling something was wrong, security guard April Townsend kept a watchful eye on a patient, intervening when he began slicing his arm with a razor blade.

have to keep everyone safe here, including the aggressive patients. We’re trained for this.” Because of her bravery and her dedication to safety, the Winchester resident won the 2012 Gibson-McAtee SafetyFirst Award from KentuckyOne Health. She has earned $500, a trophy, and a permanent place on a wall plaque in the Jewish Hospital Rudd Heart and Lung Center. Her supervisor, Sgt. Dexter Holland, believes Townsend richly deserves the award. She is the only woman on the nine-member security staff. “April is a joy to work with,” Holland said. “She’s one of the best people we have – friendly to everybody. I probably trust her more than any man here. I’ve seen her in action. She’s not afraid to jump in and help.” KentuckyOne Health system Director of Safety Belinda Beard, RN, is one of three people who review all SafetyFirst nominations and determine who gets the award. The others on this committee are KentuckyOne Chief Operating Officer Bev Weber, RN, and KentuckyOne Director of Quality Jennifer

Robards. A winner is chosen every November. Townsend won because “she went above and beyond,” Beard said. “She stepped up to the plate and made a difference – for safety’s sake. She has a passion about doing the right thing every time, because that has been embedded in her training. She has a deep caring for others.” A lot of people think SafetyFirst is just for doctors, nurses or technicians, Beard said. But “you could be a secretary seeing visitors getting ready to step onto a slippery floor. We all have a responsibility to speak up for the safety of ourselves and others, regardless of what our job is.” Townsend is the recipient of the second annual SafetyFirst award. The award was named in honor of Ashley McAtee, RN, and emergency department technician Jonathan Gibson, two Jewish Hospital employees whose steadfast commitment to error prevention helped save a patient’s finger after it was badly damaged in 2011. Criteria for nominees include: a team member or members whose actions have a direct impact on the safety of a patient or patients; a situation that requires the courage to act and a commitment to patient safety; actions that exemplify the type of behavior desired in all KentuckyOne team members; and actions that show behavior rarely demonstrated in the workplace. SafetyFirst was launched to emphasize making patient, employee and medical staff member safety a top priority. Across KentuckyOne, the goal is to reduce the number of serious safety incidents to zero by the year 2020. Employees are being taught to use error prevention techniques, and several meetings focus on safety, including Unit Safety Huddles (daily meetings between managers and employees where potential safety issues are identified and discussed), and Daily Check-ins (where leaders gather each morning in each facility to review safety issues and events). To nominate a fellow employee, contact your facility’s SafetyFirst leader to obtain a Safety Success Story form to fill out. Nominations can be submitted at any time during the year. Summer 2013 common thread


When Betsy Met Angela A story about advancing stroke care with technology, knowledge and teamwork By Jen Rittenhouse


common thread Summer 2013

Imagine feeling trapped inside your body. Words form in your brain but you are unable to speak to the people around you. You lose feeling on one side of your body and are unable to move. Your vision starts to blur. Angela Krohn knows exactly what that feels like. In 2005, 26-year-old Krohn arrived at University of Louisville Hospital with blurred vision, paralysis on her left side and unable to speak. She was terrified. “I went to bed with a bad headache and woke up having a stroke,” she said. “I didn’t know what was happening. At the beginning, I thought it was just something small – a stroke was the last thing I would have expected. I kept thinking that I had to call someone to sub for my class, but I couldn’t do what I needed to do – speak clearly or move.” Krohn’s husband drove her to a local hospital where doctors quickly assessed her. Doctors told the Krohn family she was having a stroke and needed to go straight to University of Louisville Hospital. The doctors at the local hospital were certain technology, expertise and care at University of Louisville Hospital could help save Krohn’s life.

Nurse practitioner and patient advocate Betsy Wise (right) was part of the University of Louisville Hospital stroke center team that cared for Angela Krohn (left), who suffered a stroke at the age of 26. Photograph by Patrick Pfister

Enter Betsy Wise “We’ve got one coming in.” Dr. Kerri Remmel, director of University of Louisville Hospital’s Stroke Center, told nurse practitioner Betsy Wise a stroke patient was en route to the hospital. Wise immediately went to the ER to wait for the patient to arrive. Wise remembers vividly seeing Krohn, a young woman close to her age, roll through the ER doors on a stretcher. She immediately began to talk to her. She held Krohn’s hand and told her the team at the stroke center would take good care of her. “It was scary for her and for us, too,” Wise said. “I’ll never forget seeing her. I wanted to get in my mind what was going on with her while at the same time letting her know she was in capable hands. You want to do so much when you see a stroke patient. You want to do everything you possibly can to bring them back to full function.”

New Technology Put to the Test In 2005, University of Louisville Hospital was the only facility in the area to offer the Merci Retrieval System®. This minimally invasive catheter-based procedure is designed to retrieve and remove clots in patients experiencing acute ischemic stroke. “The Merci Retrieval device looks like a little corkscrew, which you use to pull the clot out,” Wise said. “When Angela came in we had just gotten the Merci Retrieval System.” Using the new technology, the stroke center team removed the blood clot in Krohn’s brain and saved her life. Since then, even greater advances in technology offer safer, more effective and less-invasive treatments for patients. “The people behind the new technology are so creative and have made such advances and improvements,” Wise said.

Advocate, Educator and Physician Wise began working at University of Louisville Hospital as a nurse in 1995. Over the years, she has watched the stroke center grow to become the national model of excellence it is today. When Wise joined the stroke team, nurse practitioners didn’t have defined roles in stroke care. “I was the first NP that got to work with the stroke service so I had to kind of define my role – not define what nurse practitioners can do, but in an acute setting there just weren’t that many across the country,” Wise said.

“It’s a very intricate role, very detailed. A key part of what I do is what any nurse does – advocate for patients. Nurses are great at that since they’re with the patient more than anybody else in the hospital.” Wise’s role is an integral part of care at the stroke center. In addition to advocating for her patients, she also works to educate them about their health condition and explains the tests performed. She said she feels it’s her duty to help the patients leave the hospital informed. On her team, Wise also helps teach the nursing staff about stroke care. “You can have a four-year degree in nursing, but that’s nothing compared to what you learn when you start caring for patients,” she said. Beyond advocacy and education, Wise can order tests like a physician. She has worked closely with neurologists for years and feels confident when reviewing results with patients, sometimes without having to wait for the physician to come in. Her goal is to always keep the patient updated on their situation. Wise appreciates the togetherness of her team and recognizes the role each person plays each day. “At one time I never would have thought I’d have had that big of a part in it, but I do here at University of Louisville Hospital. And that’s what is unique about our stroke center,” Wise said.

Healthier and Happier Together In February 2013, University of Louisville Hospital was named the first Joint Commission-certified Comprehensive Stroke Center in Kentucky and the 20th in the nation. This accreditation recognizes University of Louisville Hospital’s ability to provide the most comprehensive stroke treatments available. Today, Krohn is a healthy mother of two, stroke survivor and advocate for stroke awareness. She says she is eternally grateful for the knowledge, technology and care that helped her that day. “I can never ever express how thankful I am for the stroke team at University of Louisville Hospital saving my life.” Wise knows the work she and her team does has a ripple effect. It not only helps the patient, she says, it also impacts families and the community. “I’m proud to be a part of that.”

Summer 2013 common thread


Photograph by Tim Webb


common thread Summer 2013

Health Takes Center Stage Saint Joseph Berea’s community talent show puts spotlight on colon health By Kathie Stamps

Being healthy is fun. Spreading the word about how to stay in good health can also be an enjoyable experience, instead of an intimidating one. This was the inspiration for employees at Saint Joseph Berea, who wanted to raise awareness about colon health in a way that people would listen. They staged a talent show for the community. The inaugural event at Union Church in March 2012 was a hit, and the second-annual show on March 8, 2013, was even better. It was held at Phelps Stokes Chapel on the Berea College campus. Spearheaded by Saint Joseph Berea’s interim director, Chris Schweighardt, who is also the hospital’s chief nursing officer and chief operating officer, the planning committee for the talent show consisted of community relations manager Katie Heckman; Debra Hille, the hospital’s artist-in-residence; Rex Music, director of radiology services; and Scott Thompson, manager of cardio pulmonary infection prevention and patient safety. A few years ago, when he was in the master’s degree program at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Ky., Schweighardt found out that Madison County was showing an increase in colon cancer, one of only

two counties in the United States with this unfortunate statistic. He knew something had to be done, so after a brainstorming session with Greg Gerard, hospital president of Saint Joseph London, Schweighardt came up with the idea of putting on a community talent show. He had high praise for the Berea College faculty and students who did such a good job with setting up the stage, handling the lighting and sound systems, and videotaping the event. “The college students took care of sound and lighting for us and made life easier for us,” said planning committee member Katie Heckman. Saint Joseph Berea employees were not allowed to participate in the show, in order to give members of the community – of all ages – an opportunity to show off their talents. The 2013 event drew a crowd of 200 attendees to watch 26 acts perform, ranging from fiddle players and clog dancers to singers and a sword performance. “It’s always a blast,” Saint Joseph Berea’s Scott Thompson said. He saw more musical talent this year than last, especially in the form of singers who wrote their own songs and played their own instruments. With his colleague Rex Music, Thompson helped the

Saint Joseph Berea’s planning committee for the talent show consisted of (from left) Rex Music, Chris Schweighardt, Katie Heckman and Scott Thompson.

Summer 2013 common thread


performers get on and off stage and wired them with microphones. Schweighardt was the master of ceremonies. In between each act he gave facts about colon cancer and prevention, throwing out T-shirts for correct answers to his trivia questions. For example: How old do you need to be to get a colonoscopy? That would be age 50. Instead of entering the venue on a red carpet, audience members walked through a huge inflatable colon over the sidewalk. As they toured through the prop, they were able to see locations of polyps and read information about diverticulitis, cancer and other colon issues. “We need to show what it means to have a polyp in the colon,” Schweighardt said. The Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation provided funds for the inflatable colon. It is a walk-through display, 10 feet tall by 20 feet long. When Saint Joseph Berea and the other Saint Joseph facilities aren’t using it, the inflatable colon is stored at Saint Joseph Berea. Inside the auditorium during the talent show, public service announcements from the American Cancer Society played on the screen before the first act and during intermission, encouraging people to get colon screenings. The foundation also donated the prize money for the talent show. As determined by a team of judges from the Madison County community, the $1,000 first-place winner was Clem Pearson, a student at Berea College who

played the fiddle. In second place, winning $500, was Theo MacMillan, who played a classical piece on an acoustic guitar. The third-place winner of $250 was Jessie Crouch, a gospel singer. Look for the March 2014 talent show to be at the Berea College chapel again, with expanded categories for ages and talents.

Instead of entering the venue on a red carpet, audience members walked through a huge inflatable colon over the sidewalk. As they toured through the prop, they were able to see locations of polyps and read information.

Stay Healthy. Get Screened. Colorectal cancer is the country’s second-leading cancer killer of men and women combined (the first is lung cancer). Symptoms of colon cancer include irregular bowel movements, blood in the stool, constant bloating and the feeling of being full. When found at its earliest, most treatable stage, colon cancer has a 90 percent survival rate. Early detection is critical, because colon cancer often produces no symptoms during the early stages. The American Cancer Society recommends that everyone get tested for colon cancer beginning at age 50. People should talk to their doctor about testing earlier if they have a family history of colon cancer or have a personal history of chronic inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.


common thread Summer 2013



A Miraculous Day By Jen Rittenhouse

March 2, 2012, began as a normal day. Dr. Jason Smith had been in the University of Louisville Hospital OR all day when the ER called and said, “We might have a disaster. There’s been really bad weather.” “I went downstairs to figure out what was going on and literally got to the ER when the first group of people started rolling in. These were the storm victims along with a couple from car accidents, too,” Dr. Smith said. “Then at 5 p.m. or so the tornado victims themselves started to arrive. It was pretty crazy.” Among the first to arrive was Stephanie Decker, now a local hero who sacrificed her legs to save her children from the tornado’s wreckage. Decker had a homemade tourniquet on her leg to control the bleeding from a severed artery. Dr. Smith recalls the conversation he had with Decker as he and his team worked quickly to get her to the OR. “I told her, ‘I’m not sure I’m going to be able to save your legs,’” he recalled. “My kids are all right,” Decker replied. “So you just do what you have to do.” Decker’s courage didn’t stop there. She has made a miraculous recovery that has included dancing on stage with Ellen DeGeneres and walking alongside President Obama at the White House. She’s happily returned to her routine at home which includes making school lunches and getting her children off to school. When Dr. Smith reflects on the work of everyone at University of Louisville Hospital the day of the March 2 tornado, he describes it as miraculous. From residents to nursing staff, housekeeping and everyone in between, every soul on duty that day did everything they could to ensure the best possible outcomes for the patients in their care. “I’m proud to work at University [of Louisville] Hospital,” he said. “You always practice and train for things, but you almost never have what we had that night. Having those outcomes with all those victims in that quick an amount of time really hit home for me as to what we can do as doctors and as a hospital.”

Pictured with Stephanie Decker are her children, Dominic (9) and Reese (6), her husband, Joe, and her trauma surgeon, Dr. Jason Smith. Photograph by Patrick Pfister

Summer 2013 common thread


Health Care HERO

Dynamic Duo

Jill Farmer and Karey McDowell strive to help rehab patients reach their goals

Photographs by Robert Burge

Jill Farmer, CTRS, CDSS, manager of the Therapeutic Recreation and Adapted Sports Programs for Frazier Rehab Institute, showed a patient how to use the handcycle, an adapted bicycle that is used for people with physical disabilities. The patient propels it using his arms instead of his legs, which gives him a great cardiovascular workout.

“Victims of spinal their injury, 34

common thread Summer 2013

Karey McDowell, MS, CTRS, CPT, supervisor of the Community Fitness and Wellness program, worked with a patient on his trunk control and core stability.

By Phyllis Shaikun

Over the last 10 years, Frazier Rehab Institute’s Jill Farmer, manager of therapeutic recreation and adaptive sport programs, and Karey McDowell, supervisor of community fitness and wellness, have been the dynamic duo instrumental in shaping Frazier’s programs in Louisville, especially those focused on training athletes with disabilities. Farmer is McDowell’s boss, and the two work together to benefit the many individuals who have sought their help to attain their full potential. Athletes come in many forms and sizes and participate in a wide variety of sports and leisure-time activities. Athletes with disabilities do as well, but they often have to work harder to achieve and require more support than their able-bodied peers. The

lucky ones have their champions, unsung heroes who spend hours of their professional and personal time helping them maximize their abilities. Farmer and McDowell are two of those life-enhancers. Farmer, a clinical therapist, has some 25 years of experience working in the fields of recreation therapy, wellness and disability. She knows that disabled athletes need a supportive and nurturing environment to succeed and she has ensured that Frazier is up to the task. “Other venues just don’t understand how to help them,” she said. She approached Dr. Susan Harkema seven years ago and was able to assist her in establishing Frazier as the lead center in the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation’s NeuroRecovery Network (NRN). The NRN is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through an

agreement with the Reeve Foundation and has the ultimate goal of retraining patients living with spinal cord injury and other neurological disorders to stand and walk again. McDowell, who has been working at Frazier since graduating from Eastern Kentucky University nine years ago, helped Harkema develop the Community Fitness and Wellness (CFW) NRN facility at Frazier and implemented four other CFW facilities in Minneapolis, Minnesota; South Jordan, Utah; Los Angeles, California; and Willow Springs, Illinois. She is now part of the NRN leadership team for the CFW, a cooperative network of cutting-edge rehab centers designed to provide and develop activity-based therapies that promote functional recovery and improve patients’ overall health and quality of life. Farmer and McDowell agree there have been huge changes recently as discoveries in medical research are now able to move directly from the workbench to the rehab world. “Victims of spinal cord injury and stroke used to think life was over after their injury,” Farmer noted, “but Frazier has been able to give them their lives back.” She and McDowell began a stroke survivor program that includes a nutritional component along with endurance training to help reduce issues stemming from high blood pressure and diabetes. The program also takes participants off-campus to malls and other community settings so they have the opportunity to practice life skills prior to returning to their home and community. McDowell has been into running and exercising for most of her life, and was anxious to develop a wellness program at Frazier to help patients stay active and healthy once they return home. “It is difficult for Jill and me,” she said, “to see former patients who have gained weight or lost function because they lacked resources in the community. It is critical for them to have the opportunity to work out and stay fit after their therapy is over. Everyone should have the option for exercise.”

cord injury and stroke used to think life was over after but Frazier has been able to give them their lives back.” Summer 2013 common thread


Through the development of Frazier’s Community Gym six years ago, adaptive sports athletes like rowing champion Oksana Masters can exercise year-round. “It gives them the chance to keep their bodies in shape when they aren’t in training season,” McDowell said. She and Masters met when Masters was participating in a sitting volleyball program and they trained together on a weekly basis. Masters also was in an adaptive rowing program and continued to train at the gym while qualifying for the 2012 Paralympics Games (where she earned a bronze medal). McDowell has served on the coaching staff of the U.S. Sitting Volleyball Team, attended the World Championships in Holland and hosted a sitting volleyball clinic in Louisville at the Ohio Valley Volleyball


common thread Summer 2013

“I always wanted to work at Frazier and love being here to provide services people can’t get anywhere else.” Center to raise awareness about adaptive sports. “I’m glad I did all of that back when I had more time,” said McDowell, who has been married for five years and is now the mother of two young daughters. “I always wanted to work at Frazier and love being here to provide services people can’t get anywhere else.”

Farmer said she believes she has “the coolest job in the world.” She gets to work with individuals with disabilities, even elite level athletes who compete in the Paralympics, and has started a fund to help pay their living/ training expenses while they are preparing for competition. This year Frazier hosted both the National Wheelchair Basketball and the National Wheelchair Rugby Tournaments, and has been asked to consider hosting the rugby event on a permanent basis. “It is great for us to see athletes, representing some 90 different adult and younger teams, come to Louisville to participate in the games,” Farmer said. She is grateful for the more than 150 volunteers who pitch in to help make things run smoothly during the games.

Welcome to My WORLD

Liz Wilson:

Lighting the Way for Cancer Patients By Jackie Zils

The buddy system is helping cancer patients through the treatment process at James Graham Brown Cancer Center. Oncology nurse navigator Liz Wilson, BSN, RNC, CCRP, OCN, coordinates patients and providers, answers questions and ensures the most positive experience for patients. Wilson became the first nurse navigator when the Brown Cancer Center started its multidisciplinary approach to cancer care about 10 years ago.

n How does the multidisciplinary team model work? In 2002 a group of our cancer providers wanted to improve patients’ cancer journey. So we developed a team approach. Every Friday morning we review each active patient’s status together. Oncologists, nurses, pathologists, dietitians, social workers – the whole care team talks about what’s best for each patient. Then we visit each patient as a team, too.

n What do you do as a nurse navigator? I usually have the first contact with the patient. Patients are overwhelmed when they are diagnosed with cancer. My job is to help them through the process, from the information gathering on their first visit to their post-treatment follow up. I become their best buddy. I also maintain the patient log for our weekly team meetings, and I facilitate a head and neck cancer support group.

n What led you to the role of nurse navigator? I came to James Graham Brown Cancer Center as a research nurse for radiation oncology 16 years ago. Somehow I just gravitated toward head and neck cancer, and became the first nurse navigator for our multidisciplinary team. Three other nurse navigators work in our cancer clinics, and we hope to be adding more.

n What motivates you to come to work every day? First, it’s the phenomenal team I work with. We’re a family; everybody cares. And it’s rewarding to see our young residents mature, move out into the community and send their patients to us. Second, I’m inspired by seeing our patients survive, and survive with a good quality of life. I’m blessed to come to work here every day.

n What’s on the horizon for cancer care? Robotic technology has helped us perform surgeries we couldn’t do before. We’re also seeing more young people with head and neck cancers caused by human papillomaviruses (HPV).

n Are screenings a part of your cancer care program? Screenings are so important to finding cancer early. That’s why we host cancer screenings at the state fair and at a Louisville Bats baseball game each spring. We also offer cancer screenings for our employees four times a year.

n How is your work affected by the partnership with KentuckyOne Health? Joining with KentuckyOne gives us an amazing resource and a way to make cancer care services available to people across the state.

Photograph by Robert Burge

Marketing and Communications Division One Saint Joseph Drive Lexington, KY 40504

Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage PAID Lexington, KY Permit #162

We’re pioneering the most innovative treatments in health care because you want to be here Better care is here. And here to stay. At KentuckyOne Health, we’re creating healthier communities across Kentucky by discovering new treatments that are changing the lives of Kentuckians for the better. As we welcome the University of Louisville Hospital and the James Graham Brown Cancer Center into our network, our more than 200 health care locations from hospitals to home health agencies are more committed than ever to delivering better care to those who need it most.

Continuing Care Hospital Flaget Memorial Hospital Frazier Rehab Institute James Graham Brown Cancer Center Jewish Hospital

Jewish Hospital Medical Centers: East, South, Southwest, Northeast Jewish Hospital Shelbyville Jewish Physician Group Our Lady of Peace Saint Joseph Berea

Saint Joseph East Saint Joseph Hospital Saint Joseph Jessamine Saint Joseph London Saint Joseph Martin Saint Joseph Mount Sterling

Saint Joseph Physicians Sts. Mary & Elizabeth Hospital University of Louisville Hospital VNA Nazareth Home Care The Women’s Hospital at Saint Joseph East

Common Thread Summer 2013