Healthwaves Summer 2020

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A wellness magazine from Bayhealth | SUMMER 2020 | KENT–SUSSEX

Katie's race to recovery

BAYHEALTH AGAIN ACHIEVES MAGNET® RECOGNITION Bayhealth attained Magnet recognition for the second consecutive time, a testament to its continued dedication to high-quality nursing practice. The American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Magnet Recognition Program® distinguishes healthcare organizations that meet rigorous standards for nursing excellence. This credential is the highest national honor for professional nursing practice. Receiving Magnet recognition for the second time is a great achievement for Bayhealth as it continues to proudly belong to the global community of Magnet-recognized organizations. Just 8 percent of U.S. hospitals have achieved Magnet recognition, while Delaware has three Magnet-

designated organizations (Bayhealth, Christiana Care Health System and Nemours Children’s Health System). “Magnet recognition is a tremendous honor and reflects our commitment to delivering the highest quality of care to this community,” said Senior Vice President and Chief Nurse Executive Brenda Blain, DNP, RN-BC, FACHE, NEA-BC (pictured at right). “To earn Magnet recognition once was a great accomplishment and an incredible source of pride for our nurses. Our repeated achievement of this credential underscores the foundation of excellence and values that drive our entire staff to strive harder each day to meet the health care needs of the people we serve.”

Healthwaves is a quarterly publication of Bayhealth. The information is intended to inform and educate. It’s not a substitute for consultation with a physician. Always consult your physician for individualized care. Bayhealth complies with applicable federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex. If you have questions, please call JoAnn Davis at 302-744-7405. Bayhealth’s TDD or State Relay number is 866-237-0174. TERRY M. MURPHY, FACHE President and CEO, Bayhealth

DANIELLE PRO-HUDSON Editor, Healthwaves

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Media Center Coordinator II, Bayhealth

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LEIGH ANN COLEMAN Photographer, Healthwaves

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AMANDA C. BOWIE Editor, Healthwaves

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640 South State Street Dover, DE 19901 302-674-4700

100 Wellness Way Milford, DE 19963 302-422-3311

IN THIS ISSUE... Feature story:

4K atie’s

race to recovery

Pictured on cover: Katie Piotti has been a dirt bike enthusiast from a young age, and she’s using her passion to enhance the knowledge of young girls and boys wanting to follow in her footsteps. When a serious elbow injury sent her to the Bayhealth Emergency and Trauma Center, Sussex Campus, she relied on Orthopaedic Surgeon Andrew Park, MD, to get her back on the track.

6 Sensory-friendly environment for patients with ASD 7 Reducing anxiety with robotic seals 8 Lending some weight to a life-changing elective surgery 10 Teaming up in advancing technology 12 Family Medicine Residency Program earns ACGME accreditation 14 Undergraduate Medical Education completes its first year

16 When summer bugs bite 17 Taking the worry out of pregnancy pain 18 Gastroenterology program expands at the Sussex Campus 20 Spotlighting staff who go above and beyond 22 Local rescue gets national attention 23 Longtime donors support Bayhealth Nemours medical office building

15 Surgery center undergoes renovations




Patient Story

Katie's race to recovery Since age 7, Katie Piotti has raced bikes and has had more than her fair share of orthopaedic injuries. While practicing on the local race track for the upcoming bike motocross (BMX) national final, her tires slipped around a turn. She knew immediately she’d broken her elbow after landing on it. She was rushed by ambulance to the Bayhealth Emergency and Trauma Center, Sussex Campus five miles away. The 34-year-old had significant wounds and an open fracture of her elbow. “When the bone goes through the skin and is exposed to the outside environment, it can affect healing and be more challenging to treat,” explained Andrew Park, MD, of Bayhealth Orthopaedics, the orthopaedic surgeon on call that evening. The high speed and impact from Piotti’s crash, coupled with the fact that she’d had prior elbow fractures that affected the way the bone broke — a fragment of bone pulled away with the tendon — further complicated matters. Piotti is an Arizona native who moved to Wilmington, Delaware, just five years ago. Initially she was hesitant about an overnight stay and surgery in a hospital that was unfamiliar to her. She also


had concerns about permanently losing any range of motion or strength that would limit her racing abilities. Through the largest BMX racing organization, she’s ranked fourth nationally for amateurs in her age group, and first in her region. As a teen, she’d decided against going professional after a severe hand injury. College and a future career suddenly moved up her priority list. Now she works in analytics, building custom reporting software by day.

And she returned to the sport she loves two years ago as a way to become more connected here on the East Coast. She began coaching young riders, from ages 4 to 17. “I mentor a lot of female riders. There’s some stigma around it for girls, particularly as they

get older, so I help them work through the pressures of the sport and how to balance it with other aspects of their lives,” she said. Dr. Park had presented Piotti with treatment options, but said that surgical repair within 24–48 hours would minimize infection risk and provide the best outcome. After a frank and thorough discussion, she felt comfortable about his expertise, in traumatic upper extremity injuries specifically, and was ready to move forward. “My background is in engineering, so Dr. Park explained mechanically what my injury looked like and how the surgery would work,” said Piotti. “He totally put me at ease.” The next morning, Dr. Park surgically repaired a lot of Piotti’s soft tissue and implanted a permanent stainless steel plate with screws to secure her elbow joint. “We were both very open and honest with one another about expectations,” he said. “She was a very motivated patient and was able to get all her motion back sooner than expected.” Hand and upper extremity injuries require specialized care, as well as therapies, for optimal rehabilitation. While Piotti did her physical therapy close to her


home up north, Bayhealth has certified hand therapists who work one-on-one with patients with conditions affecting anywhere from shoulders down to the fingers. Our orthopaedic surgeons collaborate with them to restore patients’ function and get them back to their previous activity levels.

In Piotti’s case, she’s working out on her own to regain full strength in her triceps muscle, but can fully bend and straighten her arm and, remarkably, has already returned to racing. “Dr. Park was absolutely fantastic. Overall it was a really good experience,” she said. And her mentees, who she says

were more devastated than she was about missing the finals and showered her with warm wishes after her injury, are excited to have her back at the track. ■




Expanded Service

Sensory-friendly environment for patients with ASD Needing urgent medical care can be a stressful situation for anyone. For those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or other developmental disabilities, visiting a crowded Emergency Department (ED) waiting room can easily cause sensory overload, making it difficult for these patients to function. To better accommodate them and their caregivers, Bayhealth Emergency and Trauma centers at both Kent and Sussex campuses and Bayhealth Emergency Center, Smyrna have created sensory rooms.


Each room is equipped with sensory-friendly items including dim lighting, a calming LED light projector, weighted vests, noise-canceling headphones, a tablet with special communication applications, a robotic seal, and social stories — booklets to explain common procedures using imagery and simple language. They’ve also added new tools and staff training to reduce the obstacles faced by patients with ASD and their caregivers.

on behalf of people with special needs and first suggested the idea. The Patient Experience Champion Team and the EDs teamed up to form a steering committee of subject matter experts, and a focus group comprising parents of people with ASD, to guide a process to make it a reality. “To avoid families having to leave without being taken care of, or having to drive further for treatment, we can now offer this room,” said Sheets.

ED Nurse Derek Sheets, RN, has a passion for working with and


Kimberly Hopkins, a focus group member and mother of a 10-year-old with ASD, said she was impressed by Bayhealth’s drive to better serve people with special needs and meaningfully involve their families in the project. “Bayhealth did a great job. They were very inclusive, asking our group for feedback on every aspect and applying it to create positive change,” said Hopkins. Speech Pathologist Arielle Allentoff, MS, CCC-SLP, helped develop the social stories, which team members have found useful not just for those with ASD, but

children of all ages, as well as adults with dementia or intellectual disabilities. ED Senior Nurse Manager Brad Crabtree, MSN, RN, CEN, said all ED staff now have mandatory ASD education. And there’s a process for adding notification to electronic health records for these patients to aid in their future care. “This is helping achieve better outcomes and is directly related to the patient experience, which is a priority for us,” said Crabtree. Hopkins emphasized the community impact of these new sensory-friendly protocols and rooms. “It means so much knowing

that if my son needs emergency care, we can go to a safe and private space that won’t be overwhelming to him, and to me as his parent,” she said. “This will help so many people on the spectrum and their families feel more supported in our community. This is what patient-centered care truly means.” Bayhealth welcomes families of those with ASD or other developmental disabilities to arrange a time to visit the ED, to help increase familiarity for potential visits in the future. ■


REDUCING ANXIETY WITH ROBOTIC SEALS Two new members recently joined the pet therapy team — Klondike Bar and Sully, both of which are therapeutic robotic seals. Each hospital has one seal. Klondike Bar is at Bayhealth Hospital, Kent Campus and Sully is at Bayhealth Hospital, Sussex Campus. Each seal has a main handler and can be requested through Patient Advocacy. The goal is to make the seal visit a therapeutic treat. At the end of each day, the seals go through an extensive cleaning process. Lead Patient Advocate Jane Hewitt has already seen the benefits of the seals on patients. “They have a calming effect. They’re also

interactive and respond to patients when they’re spoken to,” Hewitt said. “Caring for patients is about the body, mind and spirit, and our use of the seals supports that. This very much fits into our Planetree philosophy of care.” Along with using them for dementia patients, Hewitt said the seals can also be used for patients with autism spectrum disorder.

care. Visit to learn more about how Bayhealth became a Planetreerecognized healthcare system. ■

Use of the robotic seals is just one example of the work Bayhealth team members do to follow the Planetree philosophy of care. Bayhealth is a Planetreerecognized organization, and follows Planetree’s mission to make patients partners in their



Patient Story

Lending some weight to a life-changing elective surgery Kimberly Maher admits she’s been overweight all of her life. The Harrington native was willing to live with the extra pounds until a trip to her primary care doctor changed everything. “My doctor wasn’t thrilled with my cholesterol and said it was time for medicine. I was only 29 years old,” said Maher. “I just kept thinking — this is just the start. Today it’s my cholesterol, but what’s going to be the issue tomorrow? I knew then I had to make a change. It was my wake-up call.”


That’s when Maher decided to investigate weight loss surgery. She’d seen friends document their own weight loss surgery journeys on social media and decided she was finally ready to learn more. She started by attending a weight loss seminar hosted by Bayhealth.

That’s where she met Bariatric Surgeon Thomas Barnett, MD, and learned about his team and the procedures they offered. From there, Maher progressed through the Bayhealth Bariatric Program, meeting with a dietitian and the other required physicians before having surgery. Maher ultimately decided on the laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy procedure. The procedure transforms the stomach from the size of a football to the size of a banana, limiting the amount of food that can be ingested at any given time without altering the normal absorption of vitamins and minerals.


“The laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy procedure is now the most common weight loss procedure in our country,” said Dr. Barnett. “We have a tremendous number of patients who are doing really well after this surgery with very minimal complications.” Maher said she was ready when surgery day finally arrived in February 2019. Maher learned she was the first laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy patient at the new Bayhealth Hospital, Sussex Campus, which had opened earlier that month. “The care team at the hospital was amazing. It was a really great experience,” said Maher. “I was 250 pounds at my first consultation. I was 231 pounds on the day of my surgery after working with my dietitian, and now I am happy to say I am in the 160s with a goal to lose another 20 to 30 pounds.” “Kim has done very well since her surgery,” said Dr. Barnett. “She’s lost nearly 100 pounds, which is an enormous accomplishment. I always tell my patients these surgical options are merely a tool. It is imperative that patients have the motivation to make meaningful changes, and Kim clearly has that drive.”

“We have been so impressed with Kim’s progress,” said Bariatric Program Coordinator Patty Deer, MSM, BSN, RN, CNOR, CBN. “Kim has been an ideal patient since the start, following the meal plan and recommendations, really making lifestyle changes and using the surgery as a tool to help her achieve her goals.” “It’s definitely an adjustment. I think about food differently now. I look at the food labels, I scrutinize what I’m going to eat,” said Maher. “I’ve learned so much along the way, including the realization that the number on the scale isn’t everything. There’s so much more to living a healthier life than the numbers.” Maher has seen significant changes in herself besides just the weight. “I can say with confidence that I’m more comfortable in my own skin,” said Maher. “I take more pictures of myself. I actually enjoy shopping for clothes and have a much easier time finding things. I can wear skinny jeans, even leggings now. It’s really awesome.”

sooner,” said Dr. Barnett. “It’s so great that Kim didn’t wait, and that she pursued this procedure even before she was 30 years old. She’s now living a happier and healthier life as a result.” Maher’s advice for others who feel they are struggling with their weight is simple: Learn more. “If you’re considering weight loss surgery, just go to a seminar at Bayhealth. The only thing it will cost you is your time, I promise,” said Maher. “When I was overweight, I felt like I was acting old way before my time. There was so much that I just couldn’t do. Now I spend so much time with family and friends and have no trouble keeping up with the little ones in my life. I have my life back and I love it.” ■

Maher has completely changed her approach to eating and exercising. One of the biggest changes has been her approach “Most of my patients tell me they to fitness. Maher now exercises wish they had done this procedure daily. Additionally, she focuses on eating well-balanced foods that provide sufficient protein VISIT BAYHEALTH.ORG/SURGICAL-WEIGHT-LOSS TO LEARN and nutrients. MORE ABOUT OUR PROGRAM AND HOW TO GET STARTED.




IN ADVANCING TECHNOLOGY Bayhealth’s Information Technology team consistently leads innovative approaches in technology throughout the healthcare system. Their dedication to exemplary service is proven by the many accolades bestowed upon them and the organization in recent months. They are proud to collaborate with interdisciplinary teams throughout Bayhealth to enhance the patient and provider experience. MOST WIRED Bayhealth has earned the 2019 CHIME HealthCare’s Most Wired recognition as a certified level 7 for the inpatient hospital settings and certified level 8 for ambulatory settings through the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME). The Most Wired program conducts an annual survey to assess how effectively healthcare organizations apply core and advanced technologies into their clinical and business programs to improve health and care in their communities.


“Healthcare organizations across the globe are continually striving to raise the standard of care, pushing themselves and their peers to do better,” said CHIME President and CEO Russ Branzell. “We designed Most Wired to identify and share those leading practices so everyone can benefit. It is an honor to be among those that perform at the highest levels, knowing that the excellence they achieve will impact patients for years to come.” A total of 16,168 organizations were represented in the 2019 Most Wired program, which this year included three separate

surveys: domestic, ambulatory and international. The surveys assessed the adoption, integration and impact of technologies in healthcare organizations at all stages of development, from early development to industry-leading. HIMSS 7

Bayhealth was recently awarded the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics Stage 7


validation for Inpatient and Ambulatory services, the highest recognition available for the use of technology to improve patient care and outcomes. Bayhealth is the first adult healthcare system in the state of Delaware to achieve Stage 7 recognition. The HIMSS model ranks from Stage 0 to Stage 7. Higher rankings indicate a higher rate of adoption and use of electronic health records (EHRs). To date, only 7 percent of hospitals and 10 percent of ambulatory practices in the United States have achieved Stage 7 recognition. Evidence indicates this type of recognition is directly correlated with better clinical outcomes. “The use of our electronic health record by physicians and staff members at Bayhealth is driving improvements in safety and patient care for those we serve,” said Chief Information Officer Rick Mohnk, MSA, MT(ASCP). “The physician and nurse surveyors noted how engaged

and excited our team is about the usage of our electronic health record. This is something we are truly proud of.” APPLE RECORDS Bayhealth now supports Health Records on iPhone, which brings together hospitals, clinics and the existing Apple Health app to make it easy for patients to see their available medical data from multiple providers whenever they choose. Previously, patient health records were held in multiple locations, requiring patients to log into each care provider’s website and piece together the information manually. Apple worked with the healthcare community to take a consumer-friendly approach and created Health Records based on FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources), a standard for transferring electronic health records.

Now, patients will have medical information from participating institutions organized into one view, covering allergies, conditions, immunizations, lab results, medications, procedures, and vitals, and will receive notifications when their data is updated. Health Records data is encrypted and protected with the user’s iPhone passcode, Touch ID or Face ID. Visit health-records for more information on Health Records. MYCHART

A key benefit of Bayhealth’s electronic health record, Epic, is the patient portal MyChart. The MyChart portal makes it convenient for patients to take a more active role in the management of their healthcare through easy access to their records. Visit to learn more about our patient portal that gives direct and secure access for all Bayhealth patients to the electronic health record (EHR). ■



Family Medicine Residency Program earns ACGME accreditation In 2018, Bayhealth began the process to launch graduate medical education (GME) programs for physicians who have recently graduated from medical school, also called residencies. While there have been many months of developing and planning the program, one of the biggest hurdles is becoming accredited. Bayhealth is pleased to announce the Family Medicine Residency Program earned accreditation


from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) on Feb. 3, 2020. “We are so excited to share that the Bayhealth Family Medicine Residency Program has earned its accreditation. The family medicine residency will not only bring formal academics to our healthcare system, but will also bring much-needed primary care to our community,” said Bayhealth Family Medicine Residency Program Director Brintha Vasagar, MD, MPH, FAAFP.

“We are committed to recruiting only the highest-caliber medical students to join our first class of residents and establish a culture of excellence.” With the Family Medicine Residency Program accredited, Bayhealth now has a confirmed start date of July 2021 for the first class of family medicine residents. The residents will report directly to Dr. Vasagar but will work with a large faculty of attending physicians at Bayhealth.



One of the key benefits of the Family Medicine Residency Program is that it will provide more licensed physicians to care for the community. The program will add eight new resident physicians each year, each of whom will practice for three years. Residents, under the supervision and guidance of attending physicians, will learn to provide excellent care for all ages. When the program reaches full capacity, the 24 residents, in addition to the faculty, will add more than 30,000 patient care visits for the community each year. Moreover, the goal is for many of the residents to ultimately choose to continue to provide care in our community. As Bayhealth continues to develop the residency program, Dr. Vasagar will begin recruiting fourth-year medical students. Match Day — where residents are paired with a GME program at hospitals across the country — will take place in March 2021. That’s when Bayhealth will announce who has been selected to join the inaugural class of Bayhealth’s Family Medicine Residency Program starting in July 2021. ■

MEET BAYHEALTH’S FAMILY MEDICINE RESIDENCY PROGRAM DIRECTOR Brintha Vasagar, MD Dr. Vasagar is Bayhealth’s Family Medicine Residency Program Director. She is also a primary care doctor who treats patients from infancy to geriatrics. After earning her medical degree from American University of Antigua College of Medicine, Dr. Vasagar went on to receive a master’s in public health from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is focused on what the true needs of medicine are today and is deeply committed to providing an innovative program that will meet those needs in our community and allow residents to hone their skills as exceptional physicians.

MEET BAYHEALTH’S INTERNAL MEDICINE RESIDENCY PROGRAM DIRECTOR Joseph Deutsch, MD Dr. Deutsch joined Bayhealth as its Internal Medicine Residency Program Director in March 2020. He attended Jefferson Medical College and is board-certified in Internal Medicine. Having grown up in Delaware, Dr. Deutsch is looking forward to educating the next generation of Delaware’s physicians to care for the community. Dr. Deutsch’s goals for the program are to improve healthcare in this area and to recruit new physicians who will embrace the community and respect their patients while providing the highest-quality level of care.




Undergraduate Medical Education completes its first year Last year in July Bayhealth launched Undergraduate Medical Education (UME). A cohort of 11 third-year medical students from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) just completed their core clinical rotations at Bayhealth for one year. Each year beginning in July, a new group will join Bayhealth for UME. One purpose for the program is to act as a natural progression into Graduate Medical Education (GME), more commonly known as residency programs. The

residency programs will begin at Bayhealth starting on July 1, 2021. The first year of the UME program at Bayhealth went very well. Students praised Bayhealth as well as the physicians who educated them. PCOM medical student Lauren Chew had an overwhelmingly positive experience. “I have thoroughly enjoyed the time spent at Bayhealth over the past year. The physicians, nurses and ancillary staff were incredibly welcoming. They always made sure that I was learning as well as contributing to the

team and to the care of the patient. I feel that I have been prepared extremely well as I start this next chapter in becoming a physician,” said Lauren. The next group of students will start their year of rotations beginning July 1, 2020. The hope for the future is that a GME program at Bayhealth will entice medical students like Chew to stay in Delaware to pursue their residencies and continue their careers. ■

Lauren Chew was among the first class of UME program students to complete her core clinical rotations at Bayhealth. Graduate Medical Education Chair and Colorectal Surgeon Assar Rather, MD, FACS, FASCRS, served as one of many mentors for the UME students.


Expanded Service

SURGERY CENTER UNDERGOES RENOVATIONS Bayhealth Surgery Center, Kent Campus was recently renovated to improve the workflow for staff and the patient experience. Some of the highlights of the renovation include: • Adding another operating room, bringing the total number to three • Replacing the carpeting in the waiting area with new laminate flooring • Installing a new heating and air conditioning system to create a more climate-controlled environment

“We have compassionate and skilled perioperative staff who realize people want to return to their active lives, so efficiency and ease of use of the center are a must,” said Senior Director of Perioperative Services Faith Colwell-Dorio, MSN, RN, IA, VHA-CM, NEA-BC. The surgeons using the facility span a wide range of specialties, including general, orthopaedic (adult and pediatric), oral, dental, ENT (ear, nose, throat), pain management, plastic, and podiatry. ■

“Renovating the center has made us more efficient so patients spend less time waiting,” said Lynn Truitt, MSN, RN, NE-BC, CNOR, nurse manager for Bayhealth Surgery Center, Kent Campus. “The changes also enhanced the benefits the center offers to patients, such as personalized care.” Along with a quick turnaround time and personalized care, patients also benefit from a convenient location with easily accessible parking, and friendly and knowledgeable staff.




Health & Wellness

WHEN SUMMER BUGS BITE When summer weather hits, it’s important to know how to deal with creepy, crawly insects. Their bites may not pose a serious health hazard, but they can be itchy, uncomfortable and may cause illnesses. Thanks to a mild winter, these pesky insects will most likely be more rampant. Bayhealth Primary Care, Milford Physician Antonio D. Zarraga, MD, suggests that prevention may lessen negative insect contacts. “It’s safe for adults and children older than two years old to use insect repellent containing DEET,” he said. “It lasts for four to five hours. Don’t be afraid to use it.” Perhaps one of the biggest nuisances of outdoor fun is the mosquito. Reactions to mosquito bites vary. Dr. Zarraga points out that mosquitoes are most active in early morning and at dusk. If preventive measures like wearing long sleeves and using repellent don’t work, you can treat bites


with a topical treatment, such as Calamine lotion, or by taking an antihistamine like Zyrtec at night to calm the itches. Of course, these options are off the table for those who have a serious allergic reaction to mosquito bites that requires an EpiPen®. Ticks can also wreak havoc. Delaware ranks eighth nationally for Lyme disease. “We are an endemic area for Lyme disease,” said Dr. Zarraga. Once again, prevention is worth the effort. Wear clothing to cover all exposed areas when outdoors. Check for ticks right away, and gently remove them with tweezers. “Don’t smother them with nail polish or Vaseline.”

In Delaware, several kinds of ticks potentially carry other illnesses in addition to Lyme disease. But contact with a tick does not necessarily result in the disease. If bitten, people need to watch the area. “The Lyme rash — characterized by redness with a bull’s-eye center — takes two weeks to a month after the bite to present. It takes a month for the antibodies to develop, to show up in a blood test, so we don’t test until a month later,” explained Dr. Zarraga. However, patients don’t have to be tested to be treated. Less than 50 percent of people have a rash, so it’s important to watch for other signs such as pain in the joints or muscles, whole body fatigue or fever, or stiffness or swelling of the joints. ■


Expanded Service

Taking the worry out of pregnancy pain Bayhealth’s Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) Community Group and Bayhealth’s Pain Management Team recently partnered on a new approach to helping pregnant women who are concerned about pain management during labor and delivery. The NAS Community Group came up with the idea to be more proactive with communication and outreach to patients regarding pain management. “We wanted to find a way to manage their concerns before or as they came in the door so they could enjoy the birthing experience and not be worried about pain,” said Bayhealth’s Women’s Services Clinical Coordinator Donna Souza, BSN, RNC-MNN. “We especially wanted to reach those with a history of opiate, narcotic or daily pain medication use,” added Bayhealth’s Women’s and Children’s Services Senior Nurse Manager Karen Kelly, MSN, RNC-OB.

letter, patients are notified that Bayhealth’s Pain Management Team is available to assist them with a pain control plan before they’re admitted. However, they must speak to their OB-GYN or prenatal provider first. The letter also provides contact information for setting up appointments with Arthur Aduma, PharmD, pain management coordinator at Bayhealth Hospital, Kent Campus or David Bot, PharmD, pain management coordinator at Bayhealth Hospital, Sussex Campus.

Although they’ve only taken this approach with pregnant patients so far, due to its success, Aduma said he would like to see it expanded to other patient populations. ■

“The goal is to meet with the patients beforehand, when it’s less stressful for them and the medical team,” said Aduma. “We try to make appointments as convenient as possible for the patient. Doctors’ offices have been reaching out on behalf of their patients as well.”

As part of the collaboration, they created a letter to distribute at OB-GYN offices, clinics and drug treatment facilities. In the



Expanded Service

Gastroenterology program expands at the Sussex campus Bayhealth Gastroenterology, Sussex Campus welcomed three new providers to the specialty clinics at Bayhealth Outpatient Center, Sussex Campus late last year. Shruti Patel, MD, and Vineet Gudsoorkar, MD, joined


Gautamy Chitiki Dhadham, MD, in the practice. Nurse Practitioner Tiffany Edwards, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, also joined the practice earlier in 2019. Both Dr. Patel and Dr. Gudsoorkar specialize in treating problems of the gastrointestinal tract, including

the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon and rectum, pancreas, gallbladder, bile ducts, and liver. They are trained in various diagnostic gastrointestinal procedures, including endoscopy and colonoscopy.



Dr. Dhadham joined Bayhealth Gastroenterology in 2015. Since then she has helped to grow the program at Bayhealth Gastroenterology, Sussex Campus. Dr. Dhadham has immense expertise as an advanced therapeutic gastroenterologist. She specializes in endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) and endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography

(ERCP). EUS is a minimally invasive diagnostic procedure used to assess the digestive tract and other organs such as the pancreas. The ERCP procedure is used to diagnose and treat conditions such as gallstones, acute pancreatitis and chronic pancreatitis. Dr. Dhadham earned her medical degree at Sri Venkata Sai Medical College, Mahabubnagar in India. She completed her residency in internal medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in Paterson, New Jersey. Additionally, Dr. Dhadham completed her fellowship in gastroenterology at Seton Hall University School of Health and Medical Sciences in South Orange, New Jersey. Dr. Dhadham pursued further fellowship training in advanced gastroenterology, where she specialized in endoscopic oncology diagnostics, mastering the EUS procedure, and therapeutics at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida. MEET DR. GUDSOORKAR (CENTER RIGHT)

Dr. Gudsoorkar comes to Bayhealth from Houston Methodist Hospital and Weill Cornell Medical College in Houston, Texas. During his residency he served as chief resident in their Department of Internal Medicine, and then completed his gastroenterology fellowship there. He holds a bachelor of medicine and surgery

from Terna Medical College, Maharashtra University of Health Sciences in India. Dr. Gudsoorkar has a clinical interest in inflammatory bowel disease, closely monitoring and providing long-term care to patients with this condition. MEET DR. PATEL (CENTER LEFT)

Before coming to Bayhealth, Dr. Patel was at Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, New York. There she did an internal medicine residency and completed a fellowship in gastroenterology and hepatology. She holds a medical degree from SBKS Medical Institute and Research Centre in Vadodara, India. MEET TIFFANY EDWARDS (FAR LEFT)

Edwards holds a doctor of nursing practice degree from the University of Alabama. She received her nursing diploma from Beebe School of Nursing. Before joining the team at Bayhealth, Edwards worked at Nanticoke Health Services in Seaford, Delaware. All three physicians and the nurse practitioner see patients in the Bayhealth Gastroenterology, Sussex Campus practice located at 100 Wellness Way in Milford, Delaware 19963. â–




Spotlighting staff who go above and beyond The Spirit of Planetree Awards recognize those who go above and beyond to promote person-centered care and improve the patient experience. The awards, which are given annually and are based on nominations, include Caregiver, Physician Champion and Pet Therapy Animal. The 2019 winners were recently selected, and they are:

CAREGIVER: AKIYA LEWIS BAYHEALTH HOSPITAL, SUSSEX CAMPUS One nominator wrote: “Akiya is constantly rounding on patients, offering little comforts that mean so much to them. She extends that same care to the patient’s family and visitors. She consistently goes above and beyond for her patients and coworkers to make sure her unit, 5A, is the best possible place to be. Supporting her teammates and peers means providing person-centered care because she knows that when they are taken care of, they can take better care of their patients.”


PHYSICIAN CHAMPION: LORETTA EDMONDSON, MD BAYHEALTH HOSPITAL, SUSSEX CAMPUS One nominator shared the following comment from a patient: “Dr. Loretta Edmondson truly cares about her patients and their family members. I am sure I would not be here today if she were not my doctor. She is a true activist for her patients and makes sure they receive the best care possible, stepping in to call specialists and/or insurance companies if needed.”

PET THERAPY ANIMAL: BRUTUS One nominator wrote: “Brutus and his owner, Sharon Conley, are a team in a true sense of the word. They mentor new pet therapy groups, cheer on veteran teams and ensure all they meet have a better day. On any given day, they will come into contact with approximately 60 patients, visitors and staff members. When the Child Care Center requested pet therapy teams visit during the Week of the Young Child, Sharon and Brutus were there spreading love and snuggles to more than 90 students.”


For more than four decades, Planetree International has maintained a focus on creating a standard of person-centered care to humanize the patient experience to improve outcomes. Planetree is a not-for-profit organization that helps patients, families and staff members deliver care from the patient’s perspective.

PHYSICIAN CHAMPION: JOHN FINK, MD BAYHEALTH HOSPITAL, KENT CAMPUS One nominator wrote: “Throughout his career, Dr. Fink has been intimately involved with quality improvement projects at the clinics, private offices, hospitals, and nursing homes where he has worked. Even though he is now part of administration and sees patients on a part-time basis, he still will take the time to respond to a patient’s needs. Dr. Fink is easily approachable and open to new ideas that will improve patient outcomes and the patient experience. He is a true role model for person-centered care at Bayhealth for physicians, staff and his patients because of his passion, patience, approachability, respect, and expertise.” ■

Its mission is to inspire caregivers to make patients their true partners in their care, with hopes to change the culture of healthcare and revolutionize the industry. Planetree introduced their recognition level in 2012, and since then Bayhealth has been awarded Silver Certification for Excellence in Person-Centered Care. This prestigious honor marks Bayhealth as one of only three healthcare organizations in the U.S., and one of seven internationally, to be designated with Silver Certification. Bayhealth’s drive doesn’t end there — we’re aiming for Gold Status. There were several areas where Bayhealth transcended, including patient-directed visitation, opportunities for patient and family input through patient partners, community access to health and wellness programs, family involvement in care through the Care Partner Program, and sensitivity around the cultural norms and preferences of patients.




Our Community

Local rescue gets national attention A sweet little white-and-gray kitten, a big senior yellow lab and their rescuer, Bayhealth Nurse Morgan McKenzie Webb, MSN, RN, CMSRN, had their moment in the spotlight — a feature in People magazine’s March 2, 2020 Pet section.

Webb said that she was at first very skeptical when the reporter contacted her. “How do I know you’re not a scam artist?” she asked. Webb investigated the reporter’s credentials, and the story — one with a happy ending — was documented.

So how did tiny Polly, the kitten, Paxton, a nearly 13-year-old lumbering, giant dog, and Webb become overnight sensations from their rural Milford-area farm? Social media, of course, and specifically because a freelance reporter spotted the Instagram page Webb created for the two.

First, Webb is quick to note that Paxton and Polly have other furry siblings, three other cats and a horse. Webb’s husband Steve is a farmer, and he told his wife about the kitten he heard crying. “I first thought her mom’s coming back,” said Webb, but the crying turned into screaming. “At midnight, I heard her, but I couldn’t see here,” she said, noting her concern that foxes prowl outside the chicken houses. Another cat, Abel, accompanied Webb in a small all-terrain utility vehicle to complete the rescue mission. “Abel would meow, and she would meow back,” Webb said. The tiny kitten had sought refuge inside a log. “I put on gloves to get her; she was covered with fleas, and I could tell her belly wasn’t full.” She placed


the kitty in the pocket of her scrubs, and that’s how she got her name: Polly Pocket. First things first! “I put her in the sink and washed her with Dawn, and I had to pick off the fleas with tweezers,” Webb explained. Next, she drove to Walmart to pick up food, specifically cat replacement milk that she fed to Polly night and day for the next two weeks. Of course, the milk dribbled, and Paxton started to lick the growing kitten clean. “That’s when they began to develop a bond,” noted Webb. And Polly’s life began to improve. “I thought she was blind when we found her, but I just didn’t realize how fresh she was. When I took her to the vet, the vet thought she was only about four days old,” she said. Now, nearly seven months old, Polly’s developed a unique personality. “She’s obsessed with water,” said Webb. Polly likes to drink from the faucet. And thanks to her bond with Paxton, she exhibits some distinctly caninelike characteristics. “She doesn’t know how to ‘cat.’ She howls, not meows, and she growls at cars passing by our home. She loves to roughhouse. She is one crazy mama,” Webb said. “All of our cats — now four of them — are rescues. It’s been a very rewarding experience.” ■

Our Community

Longtime donors support Bayhealth Nemours medical office building Mel and Peni Warren are longtime Bayhealth donors. Most recently they made a generous contribution to the Bayhealth/Nemours Sussex Campus Campaign in support of Bayhealth’s continued mission to bring specialized care to central and southern Delaware.

pediatric care in the region. When we heard about the location of the Nemours facility in Milford, we were impressed by the access to care it would give many families in southern Delaware,” said Peni.

“We have enjoyed watching and supporting Bayhealth’s quest to bring specialized care to the community,” said Mel Warren, who was a member of the Steering Committee for Kent Expansion. “In recent years, we’ve been thrilled to witness the partnership with Penn Medicine for cardiac, orthopaedic and oncology care and the multiple large expansion projects at both the Kent and Sussex campuses.” The pediatric component of the Bayhealth/Nemours Sussex Campus project is especially important to the Warrens. Peni’s brother was born at Milford Memorial Hospital with a rare neuromuscular disease. According to Peni, he received continued care from Nemours duPont Pediatrics and A.I. duPont Hospital for Children during his childhood and even beyond due to the rare nature of the disease. “We want to commend Bayhealth for recognizing the need for

Growing up, Mel also witnessed the positive working relationship his mother had with A.I duPont Hospital for Children, as both of his parents worked in the Capital School District, and his mom was a special needs care coordinator. “We have lived the need for having a strong community hospital. Both of our sons were born at Kent, our parents received care there and our clients use Bayhealth. We always say, ‘It’s

not if, but when you will need hospital care,’” said Mel. The Nemours Sussex Medical Office Building is on schedule to open in fall 2020. Nemours duPont Pediatrics and Nemours SeniorCare will occupy the first floor of the facility. Bayhealth physician practices will occupy the second and third floors. The financial commitment of Bayhealth and Nemours to build, outfit and prepare the facility is over $35 million. Nemours and Bayhealth have embarked on a joint campaign to further engage the community through philanthropy, with the goal of raising critical funds to support the building as well as the expanded pediatric services and programs that Nemours will provide within it. Donors can choose to make a gift or pledge that can be used in three ways: equally split between Bayhealth and Nemours, directed to Bayhealth in support of their capital investment in the building or directed to Nemours in support of their investment in the services and related equipment capital that will be offered at the facility. ■ ■




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