Volume 5 No. 1 January 27, 2012
Friday Flash Gets A Helping Hand Lori Washburn is a lady of many talents. On the job with New York Oncology Hematology for the past 15 years, she has an insider’s perspective on knowing how and where to get things done. From front office operations and behind-thescenes support services to Survivors Day festivities and myriad other activities, Lori has long-been recognized as a go-to member of the Latham staff. Perhaps not as well known – especially to newer members of the NYOH family – was Lori’s role as editor of “Pulse Line,” a predecessor of today’s employee newsletter, the “Friday Flash.” Her interest in all things communication began early, as early as age six when she was handed her first camera. She’s been taking pictures ever …continued on page 5
Jennifer Carroll Named Employee of the Quarter
Job Well Done — Staff at the NYOH Amsterdam Cancer Center gathered last week for a luncheon in honor of Jennifer Carroll, center, who was named Employee of the Quarter. Taking part in the festivities, from the left, Kelly VanDusen, oncology liaison; Sonya Briggs, front office coordinator; Dr. Arsyl De Jesus, radiation oncologist and Joe Magliocca, oncology liaison.
Jennifer Carroll, a member of the NYOH staff since 2001, has been named Employee of the Quarter. A graduate of Point Pleasant High School in New Jersey, Jennifer serves as IT Support Coordinator for the NYOH practice network. She has been actively involved in survivor day celebrations and in fund raising walks to benefit cancer patients. Kelly VanDusen, Oncology Liaison, noted in her nomination form, “Jen has always gone above and beyond with helping me and the site during my time as practice manager. When power or computer services were either compromised or lost completely, she quickly did what needed to access available programs.” There were also times, Kelly continued, “when I would ask for her assistance
The Beginning of Something Special Then and Now Almost everyone loves a reunion – that moment of discovery when longlost friends and family members, schoolmates and sweethearts find each other after years apart. Such was the moment in November, 2011, between Ely Delgado-Reyes and former First Lady of New York State Matilda Cuomo. Ely, a member of the NYOH Charge Entry staff since 2007, had once been a weekly visitor to the governor’s mansion in Albany during the late 1980s and early ‘90s. She was among the first children to be enrolled in the NYS Mentoring Program established by Mrs. Cuomo to match at-risk youngsters with supportive adults in an effort to reduce the state’s drop-out rate. Hand-picked by her teachers at School 20 in Albany, Ely became Mrs. Cuomo’s personal mentee. …continued on page 2
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Volume 5 No. 1 January 27, 2012
Employee of the Quarter…continued from the cover knowing she was already busy but not once did she ever say ‘I don’t have the time’ or ‘that is really not my job.’ I have seen her being asked for help knowing she would just like to walk away, but she takes a deep breathe, and moves on to help.” Sharing similar sentiments is Sonya Briggs, Front Office Supervisor at NYOH Amsterdam Cancer Center. I feel that Jen goes above and beyond on a regular basis to help everyone. She is always willing to help, even without being asked. I recently had the back-up battery for IMPAC fail on us at the end of a day and Jen stayed to help me change it. Anytime that I have an IT or computer issue, she is always there to help and guide me so I can learn as the IT point person. The lab computer caught fire one day and Jen stopped everything she was doing to assist me and get the lab up and running so that the lab had very little down time. Jen helps with anything asked, big or small. She is always willing to help and is pulled from all directions, in this office and others. I think that most staff would agree that Jen deserves this award and I also know that she would be honored to receive it.”
Pretty in Pink
NYOH was well represented at the 7th annual Pink Ball to benefit To Life. Joining Laurie Abbott, To Life’s Executive Director, left, at the November gala, were Mary Ann Cocca, Mary Bowen, RN, and Dr. Karen Tedesco with daughter Michaela. The ladies are shown modeling feathered hats on sale that evening to benefit To Life.
The Begining of Something Special …continued from the cover
Over the next several years, she was a familiar presence in the Cuomo’s household, was featured with Mrs. Cuomo in numerous magazine articles and appeared with her in public service announcements on television. Mrs. Cuomo went on to become the founder of Mentoring, USA, drawing on the success of the program in New York to create a national organization in 1995. Ely went on to earn an Associate in Applied Science Degree from Hudson Valley Community College, have a family of her own and join the staff of New York Oncology Hematology. Nearly 17 years had passed since they’d last seen each other. On Nov. 14, Mrs. Cuomo was scheduled to receive an award at the Century House in Latham for her work on behalf of children. Ely learned of the event from one of her sisters who saw an article in the local newspaper. “I called the Maternity and Early Childhood Foundation,” Ely says, “and told them about my relationship with Mrs. Cuomo. I’m not sure if they believed me but they said I could buy a ticket and come to the event.” Mrs. Cuomo was in the midst of a television interview when Ely entered the ballroom. “When she saw me,” Ely explains, “she came running with tears in her eyes. ‘Where have you been?’ she asked me. ‘We’ve been looking for you everywhere.’” In accepting her award that November afternoon, Mrs. Cuomo introduced Ely to the attentive crowd. “Even my
grandchildren know about Ely Delgado,” she said. And now that we’ve found her, “she’s got to be incorporated back into the Cuomo clan.” Instead of this being a great ending to their reunion story, it’s the beginning of a new chapter. Earlier this week, Ely traveled to New York City where she and Mrs. Cuomo were interviewed for a segment on The VIEW (air date, Jan. 27).
Ely Delgado-Reyes, photographed as a school girl in 1989 (on cover) with New York State’s First Lady Matilda Cuomo and again (above), this past November at a luncheon in Mrs. Cuomo’s honor.
Volume 5 No. 1 January 27, 2012
Holiday Flashback Special Delivery – Among Santa’s many hard working helpers are staff members at the NYOH Amsterdam Cancer including Joy Gardner-Zilles, Chief Radiation Therapist and her husband Keith. With support from the Capital District Cancer Resource Foundation numerous patients and their families received toys, groceries and gift cards this holiday season.
During a recent visit to the NYOH Hudson Cancer Center, Nancy Izzo, Director of Managed Care, enjoyed a Kodak-moment with Bogustawa “Bogie” Snyder, Senior Medical Records Technician.
Special Guests – Congressman Chris Gibson, 20th District, NY, second from left, and Nathan Cook, Manager, Government and Community Relations, McKesson/US Oncology were welcomed at the NYOH Hudson Cancer by John Yezzi, Practice Manager and Dr. Nini Wu, Board President. The December visit provided an opportunity to share local and national perspectives on important health care issues. Also taking part in the meeting were Padraic O’Brien, Constituent Representative and NYOH staff members Nancy Izzo, Director of Managed Care; Alison Pepe, Practice Director; and Ceil Mack, Director, PR & Marketing.
Celebrating the Season – Members of the NYOH Board of Directors gathered in December to celebrate the season and, to recognize Kevin Wilson for his leadership role as executive director. Kevin, who has recently accepted a new position with McKesson, was joined at the reception by his wife Mary Ann; also shown, McKesson executives Chuck Dowling and Ella Friedman and Dr. Nini Wu, NYOH Board President. Enjoying the holiday festivities, from the left, Drs. Karen Tedesco, Howard Schlossberg and Stewart Silvers.
Deck the Halls – Sharon Morrill, center, art teacher at Albany High School and a patient at the NYOH Albany Cancer Center, crafted a shimmering pink tree to be enjoyed by patients and staff during the holiday season. Taking time out for a photo-op with Sharon, from the left, Mary Sokoloski, RN; Lisa Mahan, RN, OCN; Amy Gietl, RN and Hong Chen, RN, OCN.
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You’ve got questions. We’ve got answers. by Alison Pepe, NYOH Practice Director
What Does Meaningful Use Mean? Two of the hottest words in health care today are “meaningful use.” This new buzz reflects a national effort to raise the bar on information technologies and the quality of patient care in hospitals, private practices, nursing homes and virtually every other point of service. To ensure the best possible answer, I’m turning this question over to Barb Ponzillo and Maureen Baxter, RN, who are coordinating the Meaningful Use initiative at NYOH. Keep your suggestions coming. — Thanks! Ali P.S. Watch for the new Meaningful Use blog, coming soon on the NYOH intranet! “Meaningful Use” is a government-driven initiative that is currently underway nationwide. Its purpose is to ensure the adoption and use of certified health information technologies by eligible health professionals and institutional providers. In 2009, federal legislation was passed that authorized additional funding – also known as incentive compensation – to eligible providers of Medicare and Medicaid services who could demonstrate meaningful use of health information technologies. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) has developed specific objectives and measurements along with a reporting process known as attestation so that eligible providers can verify their meaningful use status. Among the core objectives in the initial phase are the use of electronic health record (EHR) technology for computer-based order entry by physicians and other licensed health professionals. Other objectives include maintaining medication and allergy lists, generating and transmitting e-prescriptions, gathering and reporting patient demographics and providing clinical summaries to patients at the time of each office visit.
The benefits of building an integrated system of electronic health information are enormous. They include but are not limited to: • Faster, more accurate exchange of information among authorized providers • Enhanced coordination of care • Improved communications • Increased emphasis on safety and quality Perhaps one of the most important things to understand about meaningful use is – according to the US Health and Human Services website – “that all of our nation’s health care system will benefit from an IT infrastructure in which electronic health information can be collected, exchanged, and innovatively deployed to improve the safety, quality, and cost effectiveness of American health care.”
It’s important to note that meaningful use changes will happen in stages, beginning as a combination of both mandatory and optional measures and evolving over time into required elements of providing care. A letter to patients explaining meaningful use is being developed and staff training is underway to ensure optimal use of the EHR by all authorized NYOH users. Champions of Change – NYOH is taking a proactive approach to the rapidly changing world of information technology, in particular, the Meaningful Use initiative. With guidance from Dr. Michael Willen (center), Chairman of the NYOH IT Committee; Barbara Ponzillo (left), Medical Records Manager and Maureen Baxter, RN (right), Nurse Manager, the objectives and outcomes associated with Meaningful Use are being incorporated into routine office operations. (Photo by Lori Washburn)
Volume 5 No. 1 January 27, 2012
In the Zone Dr. Nini Wu, NYOH Board President, was honored at the 12th annual Pink Zone reception and basketball game hosted by the Siena College Women’s Athletics Division. Proceeds from the event effort benefits CRAAB (Capital Region Action Against Breast Cancer). Presenting the award is CRAAB President Joan Sheehan. On hand to celebrate the Pink Zone event – along with Dr. Wu’s family – were Dr. Joe Magliocca, NYOH Oncology Liaison and his daughter Hannah. Check out the event posted by the Siena Saints at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yb2RgBKVNZc.
NYOH Shines at NE Health Gala Dr. Lawrence Garbo, Chairman of the NYOH Research Committee, was honored with a Founders’ Award at NE Health’s Jewels in the Night Gala earlier this month. Sharing in the celebration were family members including his wife Elizabeth, shown, and daughters Rachel and Stephanie. Seated with Dr. Garbo and looking fabulous in evening attire were Drs. Karen Tedesco and Nini Wu; standing, left to right, Lisa Wolf, PA, Carrie Kreitner, NP, and Drs. Todd Doyle, Peter Lamparello, Joe Dudek (2011 awardee) and Ira Zackon.
Friday Flash Gets A Helping Hand …continued from the cover
since and gathering relevant information to help convey the back-story – particularly in the realm of fire fighting. It’s a role she thoroughly enjoys as an associate member of the West Sand Lake Fire Department and honorary member of the Latham Fire Department. (Of note, her father, Lawrence, is the oldest member of the Latham Fire Department, having served for 58 years!) Lori’s experience as a photographer and news gatherer will be put to additional use in upcoming issues of the Flash. She’s agreed to lend a helping hand – adjunct to her administrative assistant role in Latham – with gathering the facts, coordinating photo assignments and tracking down good news stories throughout the NYOH network. Continue to submit story ideas and photos to the NYOH Marketing Dept. by calling 489-3612, ext. 1202 or via email to email@example.com.
Heartfelt Holiday Tradition
The family of the late AnnMarie Richardson held its 13th annual Toy Party in early November. The generosity of 250 guests – all bearing gifts of new, unwrapped toys - helped make the Christmas season a more joyful time for many NYOH patients and their loved ones. The memory of AnnMarie – sister of NYOH staffers Nancy Izzo and Patricia Ramnes and patient of Dr. Ferraro – is honored each year by friends and family including Ann Marie’s grandchildren Madeleine, Elle, Nicholas, Olivia and Colin.