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connect Lawrence Memorial Hospital

In this issue Experts in surgical care Sports performance program Peer support for older adults

LMH named one of the country’s 100 Top Hospitals



Spring 2013

One of the

very best

LMH selected as one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals®

LMH boasts additional honors In addition to being named one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals®, LMH is regularly recognized for quality and service: • Named one of the nation’s “Most Wired” Hospitals (2012 and 2011) • Listed among the Best Companies to Work For by Ingram’s Magazine • Recognized as a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures™ by The Joint Commission • Earned an “A” Hospital Safety ScoreSM by The Leapfrog Group • Received an A1 Credit Rating by Moody’s Investors Service


Truven Health Analytics (formerly the health care business of Thomson Reuters) named Lawrence Memorial Hospital one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals® in the February 25 issue of Modern Healthcare magazine. This is the first time LMH has been recognized with this prestigious award. LMH is the only hospital in Kansas or Missouri that made the 2013 list. Community hospitals such as ours continue to be a critical component of the health care continuum and are often an anchor of health and employment within the community, providing patients with top-quality care close to home. With this award, LMH continues its persistent drive for excellence to be the very best community hospital in the country. The Truven Health 100 Top Hospitals® study evaluates performance in 10 areas: mortality; medical complications; patient safety; average patient stay; expenses; profitability; patient satisfaction; adherence to clinical standards of care; post-discharge mortality; and readmission rates for heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia. The data reflects five-year performance in most of the categories, and three years for others, including length of stay, complications and mortality. The study has been conducted annually since 1993. Lawrence Mayor Bob Schumm, center, is pictured with LMH President and CEO Gene Meyer and Says Gene Meyer, LMH president and chief LMH Board of Trustees Chair Allen Belot. LMH executive officer, “We are so proud to share this received special recognition from the mayor for recognition with our community. The award is based being named among the 100 Top Hospitals® in on a set of measures that reflect highly effective the country. performance across the whole organization, including board members, medical staff, management, nursing and volunteers. It takes a hospital-wide commitment to excellence and an unwavering focus on patients to realize this kind of achievement. Going forward, we will build on these results to continue demonstrating excellence in all aspects of patient care.” To conduct the study, Truven Health researchers evaluated 2,922 acute care hospitals. They used public information — Medicare cost reports, Medicare provider analysis and review (MedPAR) data, and core measures and patient satisfaction data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Compare website. Hospitals do not apply, and winners do not pay to market this honor. The study evaluated hospitals in five categories: major teaching and teaching hospitals, and large, medium and small community hospitals. LMH was one of 20 winners in the medium community hospitals category (100-249 beds). According to the study, 100 Top Hospitals® outperform their peers by demonstrating balanced excellence — operating effectively across all functional areas of their organizations. Patients at 100 Top Hospitals® benefit with better survival rates, fewer complications and better long-term outcomes. Patients return home sooner and report a better overall hospital experience. Additionally, it is noted that winning hospitals, such as LMH, hold down expenses and follow accepted care protocols and patient safety standards more closely. Jean Chenoweth, senior vice president at Truven Health Analytics, says, “The winners of the 100 Top Hospitals® award have driven the national benchmarks higher every year for 20 years. This year’s winners have brought even higher value to their local communities — better quality, higher efficiency and high patient perceptions of care — while confronting the challenges of massive industry-wide transformation to implement health care reform. More information on this study and other 100 Top Hospitals® research is available at —Christy Moore

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Experts in surgical care, close to home

Surgeries and the way they are being performed have changed drastically over the last 25 years — and that is good news for patients. At Lawrence Memorial Hospital, whether you are having surgery to repair a hernia or spine, have a hysterectomy, or fix a knee or shoulder, you can be assured that our medical professionals have the experience, skill and technology to achieve the best possible outcomes. LMH surgeons can perform a broader range of complex, minimally invasive procedures thanks to advances in technology. LMH has more than 40 highly trained, experienced surgeons. The hospital offers a full range of procedures — including dental/ oral, ENT, general, gynecology, ophthalmology, orthopedic, plastic and reconstructive, podiatry, urology and vascular surgeries — in state-of-the-art surgery suites. To continue to provide optimal patient care, the surgical team at LMH stays abreast of advances in knowledge and surgical skills, allowing them to diagnose and treat a variety of conditions while offering the benefits of modern technology. In mid-February, LMH began using the new da Vinci surgery system to perform procedures such as hysterectomies, prostate and kidney surgeries, and certain types of general surgery procedures. Sandy Flowers, director of surgical services at LMH, says that laparoscopic and robotic technology like the da Vinci provides patients an additional level of service. “I think having this technology at LMH is tremendous,” Sandy says. “Our surgeons are very actively involved in the community and take great pride in providing the latest technology and surgical techniques that will provide the best outcomes for their patients.” In 2012, LMH surgeons performed 4,200 procedures. With six surgical suites equipped with the latest technology, LMH has the capacity to continue to grow and offer quality outcomes. General surgery and orthopedic surgery (such as total hip and knee replacement) have seen the largest growth rate in cases. With the addition of general surgeon Chad Tate, MD, patients now have greater access to a wide variety of


General surgeon Chad Tate, MD, with the new da Vinci surgical system at LMH.

simple to complex surgical services right here in Douglas County. General surgery focuses on abdominal organs such as intestines, stomach, colon, liver, gallbladder and spleen. Our surgeons can also treat hernias, thyroid and parathyroid disease, and perform surgical breast care and trauma surgery. Dr. Tate often treats conditions with minimally invasive or laparoscopic surgery. “You don’t have to leave the comfort of your community to have the best surgery,” says Dr. Tate. “You are surrounded by people who know you and your family and are committed to taking care of you and getting you home quickly.” LMH also has introduced a new laser cataract extraction surgery with the addition of the LenSx laser. Mary Pat Lange, MD, whose ophthalmology career spans 23 years, couldn’t be more excited about technology advances and the addition of the LenSx laser to LMH’s service offerings. She believes this addition puts LMH at the forefront of technology when it comes to cataract surgery. “We are really lucky to have it.

This is a great addition and improvement for our community,” she says. “This is huge!” The LenSx laser brings image-guided computer precision to refractive cataract surgeons by using a femtosecond (a quadrillionth of a second) laser to produce pulses of energy that are able to make incisions for cataract surgery. “It does five of our nine steps of surgery and each incision is customized for the patient and more accurate,” Dr. Lange explains. “There are also no blades needed for the surgery. All incisions are formed for us, and have perfect architecture and depth and are just right for the patient.” The end result? In addition to decreasing complications, patients have a better chance of corrected vision without being dependent on glasses. In addition to enhanced cataract surgery, the LenSx laser aids in specialty/premium lens implants, making it more likely for individuals to see better longer. —Christy Moore

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Young athletes benefit from sports performance program at LMH


Sports Performance Training at LMH offers individual, small group and sports group training for budding and experienced athletes, ages 8-18.


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The inconspicuous door off of one hall at LMH’s 4th Street Health Plaza doesn’t look like it would lead to much, but it does, in fact, lead to a lot — an impressive 5,000 square-foot expanse that has been outfitted with artificial turf, weights and even paintings of junior high and high school mascots on the walls. What has redefined this former storage space into an athletic trainer’s dream is the Sports Performance Training program that began at LMH in 2012. The program, designed for ages 8-18, offers individual, small group or sports group training for budding and experienced young athletes. Using sports science and research-based practices, the trainers work with kids to develop skills intended to maximize performance in their sport. Adam Rolf, ATC, physical therapist, athletic trainer, and certified strength and conditioning specialist, is the main trainer for the program. With a support staff including exercise physiologists, Adam individualizes each training session to build on foundations and increase core strength, agility and speed, while also training to reduce injury. “The program,” Adam says, “is built on two principles: preventing injury, and enhancing physical performance on the field. Our development philosophy is that we can’t get better in one day — it takes time and training. So we take a freshman who wants to play on varsity, and help in that pursuit. The small-group setting — three to six kids per coach, with close interaction between trainers and kids — maintains our high quality with attention to detail.” The athletes train with free weights, suspension trainers, resistance bands, weighted sleds, training ropes and medicine balls, and work on linear and lateral speed on a 15-by-60 foot piece of AstroTurf. Working under this medically supervised program, athletes work on functional strength, balance, coordination, posture, footwork and flexibility. The Sports Performance Training Program is available to club teams in specific sports, as well as individuals who want to attain higher levels of performance in their sport. Training camps over school breaks and summer are also available. For more information, contact Adam at 785-505-2719 or —Daisy Wakefield

More than just a friend

Pilot program for high-risk patients offers a goal for wellness Lawrence Memorial Hospital and the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare are teaming up to develop the Peer Support and Wellness for Older Adults program. Funded by a $25,000 grant from the Kemper Foundation and written by the LMH Endowment Association, the program aims to match volunteers age 55 and older with individuals who have a chronic disease, or are at high risk of Peer support volunteers are paired with patients of a similar rehospitalization, for age and with similar interests. weekly home visits. The first of its kind in a hospital setting, the program could become a model for hospitals and communities across the nation. Patients receive instructions from the hospital when they are discharged about readjusting to their normal activities; however, many find themselves overwhelmed and without the support to adapt to changes once they return home. This new program offers patients some extra support — a person with whom they can confide in and ask questions when navigating their new lifestyle plan.

“The idea that the volunteer is someone who is 55 years of age or older, someone who can talk to the participant on a level of similar life experience and understanding, is something they won’t get any other place,” says Allyson Leland, director of volunteer services. Once trained, volunteers become advocates for wellness, providing encouragement for positive change and personal growth, and offering tips for adjusting to major life changes. The program volunteer and patient participant meet in the participant’s home for one hour, twice a week, for a 10-week period. The support can be invaluable to individuals facing anxiety, loneliness, depression, grief or recent diagnosis of a medical condition. Allyson emphasizes that the volunteers for this program do not have to have a medical background. Volunteers are not professional psychologists or advice givers; rather, they are individuals who genuinely respect and listen to others. “We give volunteers some information to help them understand more of what the person they are matched with is going through and dealing with,” she says. “They won’t be asked to do anything medically related or give any medical advice.” The program will also help volunteers assess each participant’s strengths and how they can help him or her achieve goals such as reducing dependence on health care, maintaining health and reducing chance for re-hospitalization. These factors can help improve the person’s overall quality of life. —Christy Moore

Want to be a peer support volunteer? Volunteers for the program must be 55 years of age or older and have access to transportation. An interview and screening process will take place, and if chosen, training will occur before being matched with a participant. Training includes: identifying mental health symptoms that are associated with chronic diseases, reviewing the basics of COPD and heart failure, and strategies and tips for helping recently discharged patients manage their condition. Contact Allyson Leland at 785-505-3141 or Sarah Landry at 785-864-3823.

DocTalk Michael D. Magee, MD Michael Magee, MD has joined the Hospitalist Service at Lawrence Memorial Hospital. He earned his medical degree from the University of Kansas School of Medicine in 1997, after receiving a bachelor of science degree in respiratory therapy from KU in 1991. Dr. Magee completed a combined internal medicine and pediatric residency at KU in 2001. He worked as an internal medicine and pediatric physician in Wisconsin and in the Kansas City area for seven years before joining Shawnee Mission Medical Center as a hospitalist in 2008. He is board certified in internal medicine and pediatrics.


Hyperbaric oxygen treatment Going on a dive at LMH may not involve ocean waters and SCUBA gear, but it involves much of the same physics. At the Wound Healing Center, patients going on dives in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber receive pressurized oxygen in order to help healing of wounds and other medical conditions. These include diabetic foot ulcers, osteomyelitis (infection of bone), failed skin flaps or grafts, radiation tissue injury and carbon monoxide poisoning. Patients undergo treatments of 90 minutes each, gradually reaching correct pressure. The breathing of 100 percent oxygen in the enclosed cylindrical chamber circulates through the patient’s body and serves to rebuild cells in the body, facilitating wound healing. The treatment allows patients to receive up to three times the normal amount of oxygen to induce cell and vessel repair, and heal infections and inflammation. The medical staff at the Wound Healing Center consults with each patient’s primary or specialized physician to determine how many treatments are needed. Depending on the condition, patients may receive from six to 40 treatments. Baseline tests are taken of the patient’s wound site to assess how much oxygen is circulating through the area at normal atmospheric pressure as well as in the pressurized chamber. The tests are repeated through the treatment period to determine continued efficacy of the therapy. The Wound Healing Center works in conjunction with other LMH departments such as oncology, family practice and orthopedics. Toni Blankenship, assistant director of the Wound Healing Center, says, “Oxygen serves to kill infection, so with wound treatment, IV antibiotics and dives, you’re getting the full benefits toward optimal healing.” —Daisy Wakefield


Community leaders volunteer time and talents to advance LMH When you think of hospital volunteers, you probably imagine the hundreds of people who care for patients and comfort family members during difficult times. While the halls of Lawrence Memorial Hospital are filled with these types of volunteers, a handful of community leaders also volunteer their time and ability to make decisions that shape the future of health care here in Douglas County. That’s right, members of the LMH Board of Trustees are also hospital volunteers. Led by Chairperson Allen Belot, a local architect, these generous and highly qualified professionals choose to devote time and talent to help LMH navigate important issues and decisions, which in turn affect Allen Belot the entire community. Allen says that because LMH is self-funded from its operations and receives no tax support from the City of Lawrence or Douglas County, it’s important to help serve the community’s health care needs as a member of the board. Appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the Lawrence City Commission, each of the nine trustees may serve up to two, four-year terms. When a vacancy occurred, Allen jumped at the opportunity. “My father was a physician at LMH for 50 years. I have a special place in my heart for our community hospital,” says Allen, who currently is serving his seventh year on the board. LMH President and Chief Executive Officer Gene Meyer says that having a background in health care or a hospital-related field is not required to be a trustee. Each brings a unique skill set that enhances the the board as a whole. Those skills include a history of achievement, ability to work in a team-oriented environment, philanthropy and governance experience, and a willingness to be trained. Each new trustee attends a formal orientation and participates in ongoing education to stay current with changes facing the health care industry. Gina Watson, who is just beginning her second year as a trustee, feels it is an honor. Her expertise as an owner of an engineering and consulting firm is important, as she

currently leads the facilities planning group and sits on the human resources and credentials committees. “Our role is to bring opinions and insight from the community to allow Gene and his staff to make informed, precise deciGina Watson sions,” she says. The trustees also contribute personal attributes such as compassion, independence, intelligence, integrity and objectivity. Each volunteers an average of 20 hours per month in committee meetings, education and community meetings and regular monthly board meetings where decisions are made. “In my years at LMH, I have been very fortunate to work with board members who are committed to what we are trying to accomplish here,” Gene says. “Their dedication, insights and support have really contributed to LMH being named one of the 100 Top Hospitals in the country.” Joe Flannery, president of Weaver’s Department Store, has served two terms on the board and also filled the last two years of another’s term when he had to leave the country. “Even though the amount of time is Joe Flannery demanding, we are unified in our goal — to provide Lawrence and our region the best quality health care possible,” he says. “The position has been as fulfilling as any responsibility that I have ever undertaken.” The following people serve on LMH Board of Trustees: Allen Belot, chairperson; Mike Wildgen, vice chairperson; Chuck Heath, treasurer; Jane Blocher, secretary; Rob Chestnut; Joe Flannery; Gina Pacumbaba-Watson; Lee Reussner, MD; Cindy Yulich; and Charles Yockey, MD, chief of staff, an ex officio member. The LMH Board of Trustees meets at 9 a.m. the third Wednesday of the month in the LMH Auditorium. Meetings are open to the public. —Christy Moore


Community health assessment provides snapshot of Douglas County Lawrence has long prided itself on being a community that cares. Residents of Douglas County enjoy being part of a tight-knit community. The benefits of such community-mindedness are many. One such benefit is the recent development of the Douglas County Community Health Assessment. With the motto “healthy people build strong communities” in mind, the Douglas County Health Department convened some partners to get a snapshot of this community’s health. In doing this, the group hoped to develop some priority areas to target for improving the wellness of their community. Vickie Collie-Akers, associate director of health promotion research at KU’s Dole Center, headed up a work group to begin this process in 2011. The group developed an assessment tool and surveyed the community, seeking feedback from people in all

walks of life. Focus groups were held, online surveys were completed, and community leaders were interviewed in an effort to get a very comprehensive view of the state of Douglas County health. Five focus areas emerged as major factors in health improvement: access to healthy food, physical activity, access to health services, mental health recognition and treatment, and poverty. Five groups, one assigned to each area, are charged with developing a five-year plan for the community. Set to be released in May, the plan will encourage community members and employers to focus on policy and program changes to affect long-term change. The groups are suggesting efforts in many areas, large and small — from changes in food vending services to encouraging mental health treatment in primary care. Sheryle D’Amico, vice president of the physician division at LMH, is heading up

the group on access to health services. That group is currently discussing how, as a community, we can have a primary health care system that is effective and efficient — and also timely, accessible and affordable. Chris Tilden, director of community health at the Douglas County Health Department, explains that this is a community-led initiative, and that the goal is to be transparent in talking with the community about our overall health and goals. “This is a great opportunity for the health department and for the community,” Chris says. He hopes organizations will look toward the plan and embrace it. With more involvement from residents, organizers, city and county government, this “snapshot” can become a path to better health, lowered health care costs and an overall stronger community. —Megan Stuke

IN CASE OF EMERGENCY To most people, this past winter’s

back-to-back blizzards meant a few days off from work or school, hunkering down in a warm home. But to Tom Damewood, the snowstorms constituted emergencies. As chairman of the Emergency Preparedness Committee at LMH, Tom drew from plans that were in place for such an event, enacting systems for getting medical staff and personnel to and from the hospital in adverse driving conditions. Locations within the hospital were identified for staff to be able to stay overnight if necessary, and shower facilities and food were made available. Extra lodging for staff at the nearby Holiday Inn was arranged as well. Though the storms may have been mild compared to some situations that classify as disasters on Tom’s list, the fact that there was a plan in place made all the difference in carrying out a smooth system of response operations. “The last thing you want is to try and figure out what to do when the disaster hits,” he says. “To the best of our ability, we need to plan for particular problems and put people in place to address it, so that we can test the plans with exercises and modify as necessary.” To that end, the committee prepares for emergencies by designing plans for specific scenarios and then testing them.The committee collaborates with Douglas County Emergency Management to orchestrate city responses, as well as Northeast Region for Emergency Preparedness and Kansas City Region for Emergency Management.The latter two are regional networks of hospitals that provide assistance and additional support in case of emergency. Between collaborating with these groups and conducting internal exercises, LMH plans for and carries out eight to 10 emergency preparedness exercises a year. LMH and Douglas County Emergency Management each have a scoring rubric for emergencies, dependent upon factors such as possibility/ probability and preparedness level. The top scenarios are targeted for exercise and action plans. There are three types of exercises for disaster preparedness. In a “tabletop exercise,” coordinating agencies come together to communicate and plan for networks to be in place in case of disaster. LMH participated in one


such exercise in the fall of 2012 with Douglas County Emergency Management, Douglas County Fire and Medical, Lawrence Police Department, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Douglas County Health Department and Homeland Security, with the scenario involving an active shooter.The agencies planned and executed the exercise, and then discussed what went well and what didn’t, and how they wanted to improve.The goal,Tom explains, is to “eliminate assumptions, and know more about what other agencies would do to support us and what we would do to support them.” The other two types of exercises, “functional exercise” and “full-scale exercise,” use resources and simulated patients in smaller and larger degrees to test the plans. Last summer, LMH participated in a full-scale exercise with the scenario involving a crop dusting plane releasing pesticide over a Topeka rally. Emergency preparedness is a factor in LMH’s accreditation as a hospital by The Joint Commission. —Daisy Wakefield

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325 Maine Street Lawrence, KS 66044

LMH Growing a stronger, The Business Health Center is healthier workforce growing and changing in exciting ways. The in Lawrence program, which began in 1989, was originally intended to provide occupational medical services to area employers. In its almost 14 years of operation, it has done exactly that, with ever-expanding programs and services. The clinic has grown significantly, from handling 1,157 clinic visits in 1990 to more than 13,000 in 2012. The growth is a testament to the center’s excellent customer care as well as its ability to adapt to the needs of the community. In recent years, the center has added many employment-related services, such as drug testing and injury management, as well as many wellness services designed to help employers encourage a more healthy workforce and reduce healthcare costs. These new wellness services fall under the umbrella of the LMH WellCare program. The WellCare program’s mission is to provide convenient and personal access to quality wellness activities and to improve the health status of its customers through proactive intervention — all while lowering the costs of employer-sponsored health plans by reducing the cost of maintaining good health. The program identifies risk factors in an employer’s population and provides chronic disease management services such as the creation of health improvement plans for individuals and referrals for education in diet and fitness, and to primary care physicians and specialists

as needed. The program seeks to have ongoing consultation with individuals in order to have long-term effects on the overall health of the community. Currently, 18 of Lawrence’s biggest employers utilize the services of the LMH WellCare program. Because of the growth of programs and clients, the Business Health Center recently moved from its original home in the emergency department to a new suite of offices in the 4th Street Health Plaza. The new offices offer a one-stop shop for all manner of services that clients previously would have had to go elsewhere for. Patients can now have access to EKG treadmills and physical therapy, see doctors, and receive pre-employment testing and physicals. Greg Windholz, the center’s director, says he and his staff are committed to providing comprehensive programs and following up after the employment health fair wherein employees traditionally learn about their overall health through body fat analyses, blood work to test cholesterol and triglycerides, and a metabolic panel. With closer attention to the needs of the individual and plenty of follow-up care, the Lawrence workforce can be stronger and healthier. —Megan Stuke

LMH partners with City of Eudora Police Department

LMH and the City of Eudora Police Department are teaming up to provide officers with complete physical exams and medical evaluations in order to assess and improve wellness. Each officer also receives consultations with medical personnel such as a certified athletic trainer or physical therapist to develop a personalized fitness program. The fitness program includes components related to flexibility, cardiovascular, strength and conditioning.

connect is published by Lawrence Memorial Hospital.The information in this newsletter is intended to educate readers about subjects pertinent to their health and is not a substitute for consultation with a personal physician.To have your name added to or removed from this mailing list, please call 785-505-3317.


Gene Meyer | President and CEO, Lawrence Memorial Hospital Editorial Board | Sheryle D’Amico, Janice Early, Melissa Hess, Sherri Vaughn, MD, Kathy Clausing Willis

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Profile for Lawrence Memorial Hospital

Connect Spring 2013  

is published by Lawrence Memorial Hospital. The information in this newsletter is intended to educate readers about subjects pertinent tothe...

Connect Spring 2013  

is published by Lawrence Memorial Hospital. The information in this newsletter is intended to educate readers about subjects pertinent tothe...