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EXECUTIVE PERSPECTIVE Celebrating Our Culture of Caring The Frist Humanitarian Awards hold a very dear place in my heart. Initiated in 1971 by my father, Dr. Thomas F. Frist, Sr., the Awards honor employees, volunteers and physicians who personify the values upon which our Company was founded. Each year when I attend the Celebration of Giving ceremony where we recognize the national Frist Humanitarian Award recipients, I am reminded how universal and enduring these values are. These attributes are the glue that binds us together, the common threads that are interwoven throughout the fabric of this great Company of ours. This something special is, as our CEO Richard Bracken likes to call it, “our HCA DNA.” My dad was many things: husband, father, physician, entrepreneur. He lived the values upon which the Frist Humanitarian Awards, and our Company, are based: caring, compassion, integrity, loyalty, charitable giving and going the extra mile. Dad passed along these values to his children and grandchildren, and he mentored others to live them daily. The same principles that guided his life are shared among the individuals you will read about inside. Meeting them and learning about the service they give to their fellow men and women deeply moves me. You too will be inspired. Our Frist Award winners have ranged in age from Charlie Griffin, who, in 2006, was our oldest winner at the age of 100, to the youngest-ever winner, JB Bermudez-Koch, who at 18 was inducted this year. My father would have been so proud to see his legacy being carried on through people like Charlie, JB, and the many other Frist Award recipients. Many of you might not know that a big part of my dad’s life was his involvement in missionary work. He was founder and member of the board of directors of the Medical Benevolence Foundation for Presbyterian Medical Missionaries, an organization that for decades has given hope and healing to those most in need. How fitting it is, therefore, that we celebrate our annual Hope Fund Campaign winners in this same issue, making this a true Celebration of Giving. Through the Hope Fund, and your charitable giving, hope and healing are extended to our colleagues in need. Since its creation in 2005, the HCA Hope Fund has distributed more than $15 million in badly needed assistance grants to our colleagues all across the country; and it all has been possible because of your generosity, compassion and caring. My dad believed, as I do, that good people beget good people. Without individuals who care about their fellow human beings, we could not help, heal or give hope. Since we founded HCA in 1968, our Company has grown to more than 200,000 associates. I never thought HCA would be this large, but we have been able to grow, sustain and succeed because of you. Thank you for all you do every day, and thank you for carrying on our culture of caring. Sincerely,

Thomas F. Frist, Jr. Founder, HCA 2 you Fall | 2013

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HCA Mission Statement Above all else, we are committed to the care and improvement of human life. In recognition of this commitment, we strive to deliver high-quality, costeffective healthcare in the communities we serve.

HCA Values In pursuit of our mission, we believe the following value statements are essential and timeless. We recognize and affirm the unique and intrinsic worth of each individual. We treat all those we serve with compassion and kindness. We act with absolute honesty, integrity and fairness in the way we conduct our business and the way we live our lives. We trust our colleagues as valuable members of our healthcare team and pledge to treat one another with loyalty, respect and dignity. We foster a culture of inclusion and diversity across all areas of our company that embraces and enriches our workforce, physicians, patients, partners and communities.

HCA Chairman and CEO Richard M. Bracken President and CFO R. Milton Johnson Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs Jana J. Davis Director, Corporate Communications Richard Jonardi Send comments to

Designed and Published by Parthenon Publishing President Bobby Stark Chief Operating Officer Carlton Davis Managing Editor Joe Morris Creative Director Michael Ray Nott Cover Image: Peyton Hoge



5 Walk This Way

Heart doctor to get her entire Texas community on their feet.

6 Frist Humanitarian Awards

HCA’s culture of service shines once again as our national recipients are honored.

10 Tim’s Take

Blogs have a go-to way to get out your message, even if you’re a busy hospital CEO.

11 Seeing The Benefits

Health coaching pays off at a hospital, from top executives on down.

12 Real-Life Training

Simulation center gives student nurses hands-on training that’s about as real as it gets.

13 Ancient Disease, Modern Solution

When a child presented with strange symptoms, doctors had to confront a case of bubonic plague.

14 Our Youngest Patients

Child Life Specialists ensure that the hospital is a less frightening place for children.

15 Global Caring

When a girl in Guinea needed complicated surgery, an HCA hospital made it happen. D E PA RT M E N T S

3 Regional Roundup

News from around the divisions.

16 Enhancing Your Security

Beginning this fall, some facilities will see security improvements by way of off-duty police officers.

Blankets for Babies provides warm start for newborns San Jose, Calif. When Kathi Hamilton’s husband, Joe, began his oneyear term as District Governor of Rotary International District 5170 in July 2012, she planned to accompany him on visits to the nearly 60 clubs in the district. By tradition, many clubs gave Governor’s wives gifts such as scarves and jewelry, but Kathi wanted to do something that would be beneficial to the community rather than herself. She was familiar with the CudThe Blankets for Babies program keeps dler program for NICU babies at nurses well stocked with presents for Good Samaritan Hospital, where newborns and their mothers. specially trained members of the Auxiliary cuddle premature and sick newborns when family members are away. Remembering those tiny babies, she came up with the idea that any club considering a gift for her donate a blanket for a sick, premature or needy newborn in the community.

Supporting the community From that generous mindset came the Blanket for Babies program which has donated more than 4,000 new blankets, both store-bought and handmade, to San Francisco Bay Area hospitals. Mrs. Hamilton wrapped each blanket in a protective sleeve, applied a sticker telling the Blankets for Babies story and tied each package with a decorative ribbon. Then she personally presented the blankets to NICUs throughout the Bay Area, including Good Samaritan Hospital. The blankets are stored on the Mother/Baby floor, as well as in the NICU, so staff can take them for patients who will need them. “These blankets are given to patients that we identify as needing extra resources, or just some extra feeling of support from the community,” says Ann Kaye, RN, Director of the Mother/Baby Unit. “It is a lovely way to help people feel supported in this time of a major family and life change.” What’s more, she adds, “It does a lot for our nursing staff, feeling that the community is out there supporting and trusting us to direct these gifts to those who need it most. It reaffirms the feeling that we are a community hospital.”

18 Ready For Flu Season?

Red Cross honors employee for disaster planning Nashville, Tenn.

19 Heroes Among Us

As an engineer for HCA’s Information Security Assurance team, Keith Walker knows a thing or two about making sure information gets communicated safely and effectively. The Red Cross has been taking full advantage of his know-how as it works to bolster emergency preparedness throughout Tennessee, and has now honored Walker for a second year in a

National Immunization Awareness Month a good reminder of HCA’s flu-safety program.

New feature at showcases the caring spirit of HCA employees.

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REGIONAL ROUNDUP row for his assistance in meeting that challenge. “A number of years ago I began searching for a Red Cross volunteer who would be willing to lead our Emergency Communications Department on a statewide basis,” says David Kitchen, Chief Emergency Services Officer for the American Red Cross’ Tennessee Volunteer Region. “Over the last two years, Keith has single-handedly transformed the entire Emergency Communications area as it relates to the Red Cross.”

Connecting emergency responders For his work, Walker received the Special Citation for Exceptional Volunteer Service. Last year, he was honored as the New Volunteer of the Year. But even with all the recognition, Walker says he’s really just doing what comes naturally. “I saw this little project and thought it would be interesting for me to do,” he says. “But once I got into it, I saw ways we could keep going and developing the system.” What he has overseen is the development of a radio communications network that can function if a major disaster, such as an earthquake, should occur. Using grant funds, he led a team that developed a drop kit that could be helicoptered into affected areas and provide The Red Cross’ David Kitchen, left, radio equipment capable of gives Keith Walker top honors. connecting emergency agencies, as well as send and receive email communications. People who work with Walker say his going the extra mile does not surprise them, adding that this is a common trait among HCA employees. “It’s part of our company culture that we really support community involvement,” says Paul Connelly, Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer. “When we have someone willing to make the extra effort like Keith is, and they can find a place where they can hone their skills and make a difference, it’s a great combination.”

Hospital arranges for kidney recipient to meet donor San Antonio, Texas Since the mid-1980s, Ralph Gonzales’ life has been a series of doctor and hospital visits. He suffered from end-stage renal disease at age 10, received a kidney transplant two years later, suffered through a second kidney failure and was placed back on dialysis. His name eventually was placed in a database operated by the Texas Transplant Institute’s Kidney Live Donor Program, which has been the No. 1 program in the nation in terms of volume since 2009 — and a major reason why so many kidney live-donor transplants are being performed. But getting a new kidney would not be easy, even with a willing living donor. It turns out that his wife, Elizabeth, was not a match. 4 you 2013 | Fall

Baseball Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan was a part of Ralph Gonzales’ special day at the ball park, where he met his kidney donor for the first time.

Willing donor not always enough “As a result of a previous transplant, Ralph has so many antibodies in his blood that finding a match for him was statistically extremely unlikely,” says Dr. Adam W. Bingaman, Program Director of Abdominal Organ Transplantation, and a kidney and pancreas transplant surgeon at the Texas Transplant Institute. “We knew what we were looking for and when our team finally found a match for him, we were thrilled to transplant him as part of a 12-patient exchange transplant.” In July 2012, Ralph received a new kidney that involved Elizabeth giving a kidney to someone else while he received a kidney meant for someone who also had an incompatible willing donor. The surgery was a success, and like many recipients, Ralph hoped he’d someday be able to meet, and thank, Angelina Pena, his donor. Imagine his surprise when hospital staffers made that wish came true — at a Texas Rangers baseball game.

Donor’s goal: make recipient ‘free’ “I have seen how hard it is, and you’re giving someone the chance to break away from [dialysis] and be free from all that,” says Pena, who donated a kidney in hopes of it being a match for her aunt, but after that couldn’t happen was happy to see it successfully transplanted into Ralph. “He’s not hooked up anymore,” she says. “He’s living life. He’s free.” “The story of Ralph and Elizabeth is truly amazing,” says Daniel Stanton, MHA, MBA, FACHE, Vice President of Transplant Services at Methodist Specialty and Transplant Hospital. “The Texas Transplant Institute exists to help improve the lives of people like Ralph, and we are always excited to see these life-changing transplants occur. Of course, our Incompatible Transplant Program couldn’t exist without the amazing and selfless ‘Gift of Life’ that donors like Elizabeth and Angelina make. It is a humbling experience, and we really are proud to be a part of something so special.” The Texas Transplant Institute is a department of Methodist Hospital. Methodist Specialty and Transplant Hospital is a campus of Methodist Hospital.


The walkers are raring to go every Saturday morning.

Walk This Way Getting heart patients fitter, one step at a time When her patients say Dr. Elissa Thompson talks the talk and walks the walk, they’re not kidding. As a clinical cardiologist at Austin Heart, an HCA-employed physician group based in Austin, Texas, Dr. Thompson preaches fitness and exercise to all her patients. When she relocated to Marble Falls, Texas, from Washington, D.C. to practice medicine, she found there was a distinct lack of “get up and go” with many of the patients she treated. And with trails, tracks and sidewalks in which folks could safely walk in the community, she knew it wasn’t due to a lack of facilities. No, she found the problem was motivation, or lack thereof. Undaunted, she set about devising a plan to get people outdoors and begin a consistent exercise routine. She was certain that all it would take was a slight “push” and her commitment to lead folks in a weekly walking event. Dr. Thompson developed creative ways to motivate participants. She met with the town’s business owners to establish inducements for participation. From discounts at local merchants to free healthy meals from restaurants, Dr. Thompson began building an incentive system that got people

up and moving around more frequently. “I realized that if I could start a partnership with different businesses to give people prizes, that might get them engaged,” Dr. Thompson says. “Over a couple of months, we put together offers such as, ‘come 10 times in a row, get 20 percent off eyewear at the eye center, or come 20 times, and get a free cut and blow dry at a salon,’ and then we added everything from free lunches to nutritional consultations. Then we were ready to get started.”

Putting the tools together

what I do, and also to do what I love.” The first walking group met at 9 a.m. on Oct. 27, 2012 at her office, and Dr. Thompson greeted them with free coffee, water, t-shirts, even scarves and mittens in case anyone got chilly. And she also made sure that everyone knew she would be there, every week, to walk with them and cheer them on. “I have 103 committed walkers now, and many will even leave me a note if they can’t participate one week,” she says. “Now the town manager has had the city mark off permanent quarter-mile increments on our sidewalk, so I’m not doing it with chalk any more. We have people walking as much as eight miles, and it’s very exciting to watch people who use walkers, or who have had their hips replaced, get out there. People bring their church groups. It makes me happy, because I know people are actually listening to what I tell them. People are getting healthier, and the businesses are getting customers. There’s really no downside to it.” Now she’s taking her message to town. “The Rotary Club invites me to talk, and when I first went to the restaurant where they meet, I noticed their diet wasn’t the healthiest,” she recalls. “Now they sell out of oatmeal. The mayor says he wants to put Marble Falls on the map by building it up as a destination for Hill Country sports. We’re well suited for that here, but my goal for now is to get that man out to my walks.” Through her grassroots efforts, Dr. Thompson has single-handedly created a fitness program that has been embraced by her community and is growing each week. Step by step, she is making Marble Falls a healthier place to live.

Utilizing a brand new, wide sidewalk near her office, Dr. Thompson began marking a path for her walkers. There are few children in the area, and not much traffic, so everything needed was there. Dr. Thompson checks vitals “When I was in D.C., before and after the walks. I would say to patients, ‘it would make me so happy to meet you on the trail one day; it would be one of the most exciting things in my life,’ and I meant it,” she says. “And it’s the same way here. I have people with every reason in the world to exercise, but I needed to get them motivated. I had to imagine what it would take to get people to do

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Going Above and Beyond Frist Humanitarian Award recipients demonstrate the power of doing good

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Every year, a few dozen HCA employees are tasked with an enormous challenge, but one they are eager to meet head-on. They are the group chosen to select the finalists and the recipients of the Frist Humanitarian Awards from those who already have been honored at the facility level. Members of the review committee always say that the hardest part is singling out just three from an amazing group of people who routinely go above and beyond what’s expected of them to make their communities better places. “Our employees spend an inordinate amount of time at their professional occupation, and many of them find extra time to do even more,” says Dr. Thomas Frist, Jr., co-founder and chairman emeritus. “They know giving to their community and improving the quality of life is the right thing to do.” There’s no shortage of inspiration from this year’s recipients, who have done everything from traveling the globe to serve others to ensuring that the most gravely ill are accorded laughter, love and dignity. And as HCA honors its youngest Frist Humanitarian Award recipient ever, we all learn that there’s no such thing as “too young” when it comes to pitching in and finding ways to make a difference. In talking about the compassion and integrity that were hallmarks of Dr. Thomas F. Frist, Sr.’s life, and that his son, Tommy, continues to embody, HCA Chairman and CEO Richard Bracken notes, “These awards bestow a significant honor, and they show that it is up to each of us, collectively and individually, to see that those values endure.”

Dr. Frist had high praise for the 2012 Frist Humanitarian Award recipients.

Physician Recipient Dr. Dennis McCarthy Memorial Hospital, Jacksonville, Fla. When it comes to helping people, Dr. Dennis McCarthy literally takes a global view. In addition to his work at Memorial Hospital, he also makes sure the less fortunate are taken care of, whether that’s down the street or halfway around the world. A Jacksonville native, Dr. McCarthy has twice been chosen by his peers to serve as chief of anesthesiology at Memorial, proof of the esteem in which he is held. Outside the hospital he and his wife, Dr. Karen McCarthy, founded and operate a medical clinic at the City Rescue Mission, offering a growing roster of services to people who are in its residential addiction-recovery programs. They, along with their children, also devote multiple hours to local homeless shelters on major holidays. Dr. McCarthy also lends his services overseas, having traveled to several different countries in more than 29 years of medi-

cal mission work. Most recently, he visited Haiti, caring for more than 10,000 patients in the aftermath of that country’s massive earthquake. “He has an unparalleled dedication to serving humanity, both in Jacksonville and internationally,” says Jim O’Loughlin, Memorial’s president and CEO. “He exemplifies the qualities and attributes of the Frist Humanitarian Award.” For his part, Dr. McCarthy says it is an honor to receive an award named after Dr. Thomas Frist, Sr., someone he holds in high esteem. “I am in medicine because I want to promote welfare,” Dr. McCarthy says. “[Dr. Frist] said that people have so many different ways to love thy neighbor as thyself,” Dr. McCarthy says. “And he founded HCA, which helps millions of people. I thank my wife and family, as well as the people at Memorial, where it is a privilege to work because they are a tribute to caregivers.”

Employee Recipient Crystal Glass Manager, Anatomic Pathology Laboratory and Transfusion Services OU Medical System, Oklahoma City It would be easy to simply commend Crystal Glass for the outstanding work she does to ensure every patient at OU Medical System gets the correct diagnosis every time — no exceptions. “My goal is to have the most efficient and effective histology lab in the

universe,” she says. But her work overseeing the Anatomic Pathology Laboratory and Transfusion Services is just the start of her service for patients with cancer. Children are near and dear to her heart, so she began the “Turtle Club” for young patients, letting them know that she is praying for them, and explaining that just like a turtle carries its shell, she is there to help them carry their burden. She also serves as a board member for the Cavett Kids Foundation, which provides camping experiences for terminally and chronically ill children along with other programs and support. She, along with her wigs, costumes and more, is a fixture at Camp Cavett, the foundation’s weeklong camp. She also exports her expertise, traveling to Nigeria as a volunteer instructor to promote better diagnosis and detection of cancer. She worked with 70 Nigerian laboratory techs and also helped set up the first-ever cancer screening labs in Abuja and Lagos. At home, she is a tireless traveler throughout the western United States, speaking to young adults at rallies and church camps about how to prevent lung, liver and cervical cancer by making smart lifestyle choices. “She gets it,” says Jenny Rodgers, executive director of the Cavett Kids Foundation. “It’s like she is a walking magnet. People are just naturally drawn to her with minimal effort on her part. Whether it is the janitor working a late shift or the President of the United States, “she will genuinely care about them exactly the same.” “I am a 40-year-old trapped in a 14-yearold body, while Crystal is a 14-year-old in the body of a 40-year-old,” adds Halie Parker, a Camp Cavett attendee. “We even have the same blood type. That’s important, because if I ever need blood, Crystal will give me some of hers.” “Crystal sees past children with a disability. She doesn’t see us as broken. She sees us as people with a story. She wants to Fall | 2013 you 7

OUR CULTURE connect, and that’s what she does.” Having lost her own father at age 10, Glass says that “life-changing moment” allows her to have a special connection to children. “When I was Interviewed, I was asked why I connect with children,” she says. “It never occurred to me that I shouldn’t.”

Volunteer Recipient JB Bermudez-Koch West Valley Medical Center, Caldwell, Idaho Just reading a list of JB Bermudez-Koch’s achievements is exhausting, so it’s small wonder that at age 18 he’s the youngest person to ever receive national recognition as a Frist Humanitarian Award recipient. The patients and staff of West Valley Medical Center are the main recipients of his generosity. A hospital trip as a child led to a lifelong desire to help people, which has manifested, so far, in volunteer work as an emergency room greeter (he speaks both English and Spanish), filing medical records and, after going through training with his dog Gelsey, working as a certified pet therapist. JB also has worked with fellow students at Greenleaf Friends Academy to organize canned food and quilt drives to raise awareness about heart disease and volunteered at Missionary Aviation Fellowship, helping to prepare medical supplies for delivery to people in need. “JB has achieved more in a few short years than most people do in a lifetime,” says Julie Taylor, West Valley’s CEO. “And he’s just getting started. When he’s faced with challenges, he finds ways to improve the situation, or learn from the experience. He spreads sunshine throughout our organization, especially in stressful and less 8 you 2013 | Fall

glamorous parts of the hospital.” JB has also managed to excel in sports, maintain a 4.0 grade average, become class valedictorian and more. But lest anyone think it’s all gone to his head, he notes that, “When I won this award, I didn’t know what the word ‘humanitarian’ meant, so I had to look it up.” That pretty much sums up a young man whose “work ethic, grit and determination coupled with his compassion will ensure that the award is bestowed upon someone who will represent it well,” according to Jody Powers, one of his teachers at Greenleaf Friends Academy. “His determination to do all things well, while showing concern and compassion for others, is the hallmark of true leadership.”

National Physician Finalists Dr. Donald Dewey West Florida Healthcare Dr. Donald Dewey lends his skills to many worthy organizations, including the Children’s Foundation, Florida Children’s Medical Services and the Special Olympics of Florida. He also is the primary orthopedist for the Northwest Florida CAMEO missions organization, in which he performs orthopedic surgery for handicapped children in the Caribbean, and cares for disabled orphans in Ukraine to increase their chances for adoption. He also is a skilled musician and plays piano and percussion at benefit concerts. These and other accomplishments often go unnoticed because the Pensacola native and father of six is reluctant to talk about his achievements, says Brian P. Baumgardner, president and CEO of West Florida Healthcare. “Dr. Dewey loves children, no matter what their circumstances in life,” Baumgardner says. “He uses his unique skills and compassion to change the lives of children from literally around the globe.”

Dr. Ghulam D. Qureshi Retreat Doctors’ Hospital, Richmond, Va. After a long and successful career combining the practice of medicine with teaching and research, Dr. Qureshi currently chairs the teaching conferences of the Cancer Center at Henrico Doctors’ Hospital and is a member of its steering committee. His research discoveries have been presented at national and international meetings, and he has published papers in scientific journals, and a book in the field of fibrinogen (a protein produced by the liver that helps stop bleeding). He continues to practice hematology and medical oncology, and volunteers his time at the Boys Club of Virginia and Care-Now, a charity care arm of the Virginia Academy of Medicine. He also founded the Virginia Cancer Foundation to provide cancer care for the needy and poor, and often invites those needing help into his home.

National Employee Finalists Kadiatu Kallon Retreat Doctors’ Hospital A native of Sierra Leone, Kadiatu Kallon was the first of her family to attend school, becoming a secretary and shorthand teacher before immigrating to the United States in 1991 — one month before civil war consumed her homeland. After coming to the United States, she studied nursing, eventually becoming a Registered Nurse while also working multiple jobs and raising five children. At the same time, she and her husband purchased land in their native country, and in 2007 she built a hospital there.

Dr. Brailsford has also taken part in seminary training, and serves as a volunteer chaplain at LewisGale along with taking mission trips. “Dr. Brailsford is a shining example of the difference one person can and does make,” says Victor E. Giovanetti, president of LewisGale Regional Health System. The 2012 Hope Fund campaign was wildly successful, raising more than $3.5 million from almost 21,000 employee participants. Three HCA hospitals led the way in their categories. From left, HCA Chairman and CEO Richard Bracken; Chris Accashian and Windley Gravatt, Retreat Doctors’ Hospital (1-499 employees); Todd Caliva and Carol Melville, West Houston Medical Center (500-999 employees); Jacob Cintron and Carla Sierra, Del Sol Medical Center (1,000+ employees); HCA President and CFO Milton Johnson, Dr. Thomas Frist, Jr.

It has 20 beds, a full staff of nurses and a physician. Kallon and her husband pay all salaries and operating expenses. In addition, all prenatal care and care for children up to 5 years old is free — and after that, registration for care is $1, which often is waived. On top of this endeavor, she also has begun an extended family orphanage and a library, and routinely sends clothes, overthe-counter medicines, shoes and more back to Sierra Leone. “Kadiatu has been doing extraordinary things while working for us, but we just recently learned of the depth of her generosity, which appears to be immeasurable,” says Pat Farrell, CEO of Henrico Doctors’ Hospital.

William Moore Jr. West Florida Healthcare As Director of Orthopedic and Acute Therapy, Bill Moore leads a talented staff and derives great pleasure in helping them learn about orthopedic conditions. He holds multiple degrees in various disciplines, and also has worked as an instructor. He says that practicing and teaching physical therapy is rewarding because he is able to “help others reach their goals, whether a student, patient or tee-ball player.” His mission work has included multiple visits to Andros Island in the Bahamas, as well as trips to Jamaica, Nigeria and, most recently, Nepal to help build homes for

Habitat for Humanity’s Global Village. Back at home, he has coached children’s athletics teams for more than 20 years, as well as developed and implemented health screenings for athletes and dancers. Habitat for Humanity, Manna Food Bank and the American Diabetes Association are just some of the local charities he supports, along with work as a Cub Scout leader and as local games director for the Special Olympics.

National Volunteer Finalists

Vickie King Ogden Regional Medical Center Ogden, Utah As a member and one-time president of American Search Dogs, Vickie King has participated in more than 300 search and rescue operations. She has participated in hundreds of wildlife and safety demonstrations for children, and mentored search and rescue teams in seven states. During a presentation at a camp for children with cancer, Vicki put a sad young boy “in charge” of her dog, Bert, while she presented. When she saw the two in a fullbody hug, she wasted no time enrolling Bert in pet-therapy training. In September 2011, she and Bert were one of the first teams to begin volunteering at Ogden Regional Medical Center, where they have logged more than 800 service hours. At first the medical staff was cautious, but now several departments have laid in supplies of dog treats to lure Bert to their

Dr. Lucien Brailsford LewisGale Medical Center, Roanoke, Va. As a cardiac surgeon, Dr. Lucien Brailsford cared for others throughout a long, successful medical career. When he retired in 2007, he found a new way to take care of people as a volunteer at LewisGale Medical Center. Along with his duties at LewisGale, Dr. Brailsford puts in time at another local hospital, and also donates his time and talents to the medical clinic at the local Rescue Mission. He has served as a physician for Mobile Meals in South Carolina and helped found a Spartanburg, S.C., Free Clinic.

areas. Vickie and Bert also attend health and patient-experience fairs, and Bert has developed quite a following on the hospital’s Facebook page. When he accidentally swallowed a tennis ball and had to have surgery, his post-op updates were some of the page’s most popular posts. Fall | 2013 you 9


Tim’s Take Blog connects CEO to staff, community When he became the CEO

of your everyday job. I hope that it inspires them to see that other of Chippenham & Johnston people recognize the work they do. Willis Hospitals in June 2012, Telling stories in this format can Tim McManus had plenty to do that.” do. Still, he thought it was McManus maintains an openimportant to introduce himself door policy with his blog, allowing to the staff, as well as the readers to post comments, and he community, and what better works to get back to them when way than through “Tim’s Take,” Tim McManus they raise issues or questions that a blog he’d begun in October 2011 when he helmed operations at Reston sometimes take him or other members of management to task. Hospital Center. “When weaknesses come out, those are “I blog once a week. It takes time, but things I try to focus on,” I’m really faithful with it,” McManus says. he says. “It might be our “I keep it extremely topical, because if business plans, or action it comes off at all like it’s marketing, no steps around improving one will read it. And it has to not only our employee environment be something from my perspective, but and driving a more sucalso something of value to our employees cessful culture. I know how and our patients. It centers around what many people are viewing people care about, what’s coming down the blog, and I read all the pipeline here, and my vision for our comments. I also hear a organization.” lot of comments when I am doing rounds, because Spotlighting the caregivers people will come to me to say they’ve been To that end, McManus says he fothinking about what I said, and have some cuses on stories that showcase how well thoughts on the blog. The blog starts a patients are being cared for, and how dialogue, and hopefully puts a human face employees at every level make a differon me because I’m talking about things we ence. In the spring, a patient was brought can do together.” in from Belize for open-heart surgery. Above all, he says, he wants the blog to Everything, from his hospital stay to his be a vehicle for sharing his take, owning physician bills, was provided at no cost to up to mistakes just as much as offering the patient. praise and inspirational ideas. “The whole team got behind this “It’s not meant to be perfectly polished,” 20-year-old young man,” he says. “When he explains. “Sometimes you think you you’ve got 3,300 people working in a have your finger on the pulse, and based hospital, it’s easy to get lost in the cycle

on the feedback I get it’s clear that sometimes I don’t. Our employees hold our leadership team accountable. It allows me the opportunity to get information directly to our stakeholders and offers another channel to get the message out.” Given the blog’s success, McManus says he hopes to incorporate other communication tools to reach even more employees. “We do traditional CEO town meetings every quarter, and we get 800 or more people to those, but there are many others who can’t get off the floor, are out sick or are on vacation,” he says. “If we video those and put them on our intranet, then more people can be informed on our quality outcomes, growth agenda, service line development and Human Resource plans. We could talk about other news, such as updates on what’s happening with Medicare, on video as well.” With a blog readership of nearly 52,000 people, McManus’ chief goal is to keep that conversation alive. “It just takes a couple of minutes to read it,” he says. “It’s as dynamic a form of communication as you can have. Now we want to work on getting people to follow it, and also to link to Facebook and Twitter, so we can keep it growing.” Follow the CEO at http://timstakenow. com/ to read about the good, the bad and the heartwarming stories at the CJW Hospitals.

“It centers around what people care about and my vision for our organization.”

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Seeing the Benefits CEOs give testimony on how health coaching benefits them and their employees

H2U’s coaching program has been a gamechanger for many. It provides the support needed to reach a healthier weight and prevent or manage chronic diseases by improving nutrition and movement. In fact, having an H2U health coach “on his team” helped Damond W. Boatwright, CEO at Damond W. Overland Park Regional Medical Center in Overland Park, Kan., not only establish a base- Boatwright line for his health, but also take some weight off and improve his eating habits.

Finding a place to start “I began coaching in February, and my last session was in July,” Boatwright says. “I began working with a coach after I did my health assessment and screening to establish a baseline for my overall health. After being invited to participate in coaching, I looked at my results and decided to work with my H2U coach to focus on a balanced diet and exercise.” Having a coach was important for accountability, structured check-in times and to help Boatwright set realistic, achievable goals. “I set a weight target I felt comfortable with, and then weekly and three-month goals for how much exercise I thought I could fit into any given week,” Boatwright says. “My coach also helped me set goals for improving some specific indicators, such as my cholesterol.” Boatwright was able to hit his new target weight, but more importantly also develop a healthier diet and consistent exercise

Get a Fitbit at a great price It’s not too late to order a discounted Fitbit One and start tracking your activity. Eligible employees who have not yet ordered a Fitbit through the HCA Wellness Program have until Sept. 30, 2013, to purchase a Fitbit One at a discounted rate of $72 (the device normally retails for $99.95) plus any applicable taxes. Take advantage of this opportunity by logging on to and clicking on “H2U.”

schedule. And all, he says, by working with the support of a coach and advocate who was accessible through H2U’s remote video technology. “For me, having a coach added the right level of encouragement, and it was nice to have someone to work with me not just to set up goals, but to explore options to make those happen,” he says. “I believe to my core that as healthcare employees we have a role to play in – and a responsibility for – promoting good health. Using H2U allowed me, in a very easy way, to make better health decisions. As a result, I am happier and healthier, and a better leader.”

Noticing big changes in staff At TriStar Skyline Medical Center in Nashville, CEO Steve Otto says that H2U health coaching has paid tremendous benefits for many staff members, including major weight loss. “We had two employees, a husband and wife, lose more than 100 pounds combined by engaging with H2U health coaches,” Otto says. “That’s the kind of thing that literally changes someone’s Steve Otto life, and it really gets noticed by everyone around them.” The help employees can get through the H2U coaching program really works, he adds. Seeing the success of colleagues who use a coach to help modify behaviors and make lifestyle improvements can be very motivating. Plus, it’s already a part of the overall HCA benefit plan, so it’s a benefit just waiting to be used. Otto adds, “It’s a great opportunity for me, and for HCA, to demonstrate to employees that we are committed to promoting good health and well-being, but also to involve everyone in a meaningful way. Having access to a personal coach that the company pays for is something that, as an administrator and employer, I am very proud of; I think it’s something that’s going to continue to get more participation over time. Coaching really helps us connect the dots when it comes to our personal health and our benefits plan.”

Use a Fitbit to track your steps every day, set weightloss goals, log exercise, keep a food journal and more.

Fall | 2013 you 11


A manikin that can give birth is a part of the Center’s training equipment.

True to Life

Students learn by doing at the Research College of Nursing’s simulation center Imagine walking into your very first job as a nurse confident that you can handle anything. That’s the intent behind The Seelos Center at HCA-owned Research College of Nursing in Kansas City, Mo. With four hospital rooms, a nurses’ station and three exam rooms that are set up like a clinic or doctor’s office, the simulation center recreates a true working environment for nursing students. They encounter scenarios that require both clinical and communication skills. In addition to patients portrayed by actors who come in to play a role, the center has four manikins that can exhibit physical symptoms. The adult female can even give birth.

The $1.5 million center, funded by a generous donor, started its first simulations in March, and the response was overwhelmingly positive. Students get immersed in all aspects of a true nursing job, from taking orders from a doctor over the phone, to speaking with a patient’s spouse to managing more than one patient

at one time. And then there are the manikins — one infant, one 5-year-old, one adult male and one adult female. They do things even the most dedicated patient actors cannot do. “You can’t have an actor change their heart rate or have a certain blood pressure, but we can do that with these simulators,” says Stosberg. Instructors can control the way the manikin’s heart sounds, give them an erratic pulse, make their lungs sound a certain way. They can have seizures. Their eyes respond to light. They blink and they produce bowel sounds. “You can even feel contractions on the abdomen of the birthing manikin,” says Stosberg. “It’s all pretty amazing.”

Follow-up is key Following any scenario, students come together with instructors to discuss their experience and their actions. “The debriefing is just as important as the actual scenario,” Stosberg says. ”It’s where we can find out the student’s thought process — why they did something a certain way.” At the moment, the students all come from the Research College of Nursing, which partners with nearby Rockhurst University to offer a bachelor of nursing degree and a graduate program of its own. There are talks about extending access to other HCA entities that are interested in training nurses or doctors for specific certifications.

Real-world settings “The goal is for the students to come into an environment that is realistic to what they will see in clinical practice,” says Tobey Stosberg, director of The Seelos Center. “Instead of sitting at a desk and learning by reading a book or hearing someone give a lecture, they are learning by actually doing.” 12 you 2013 | Fall

Manikins present symptoms nurses are likely to encounter with real patients.


Plague Stoppers

“Black Death” is no match for docs and staff A child with high fever and seizures is cause for alarm. When Dr. Jennifer Snow got a call from an emergency room 400 miles away, she immediately made arrangements to have the 7-year-old patient transferred to HealthONE’s Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children in Denver. While these symptoms could be caused by a variety of illnesses or infections, it turned out that Sierra Jane Downing was Colorado’s first reported case in years of bubonic plague, or what was known in medieval Europe as “The Black Death.”

Hospital ready for rare case “Fortunately, the system is in place for such rapid transfers, and there are specialists ready to go once these patients arrive,” says Mimi Roberson, President and Chief Executive Officer of HealthONE Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children at Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center. “One of the most important aspects of helping Sierra was getting her to our hospital from Pagosa Springs, so we could provide a higher level of care,” Roberson says. “We have pediatric specialists here 24/7 serving the entire Rocky Mountain Region.” When Sierra arrived, she had a bumpy few hours. Her fever rose

Great products, services and companies often begin with a single great idea. HCA was created out of the vision of its founders, Dr. Thomas F. Frist Sr., Jack Massey and Dr. Thomas F. Frist Jr. Forty-five years later, the company continues to innovate how it runs its healthcare system and cares for its patients, in large part from ideas coming directly from our employees. The HCA Innovators Award, named after Dr. Tommy Frist, Jr., continues the tradition of recognizing innovative thinkers. Employees throughout the organization have submitted more than 1,400 ideas during this year’s competition. Judging is currently taking place at the local level for ideas in the categories of Service Excellence, Quality and Safety, and Financial Impact. Facility winners will receive $1,000 and have their ideas promoted to their division for the next round of judging. Later this fall, divisions will select

to 107 degrees. Later, she reported that she was cold, followed by feeling hotter and hotter. Fortunately, her parents were able to give Dr. Snow, an intensivist, helpful information about Sierra’s days before she fell ill. They reported that the family had been picnicking in a campground. After an ultrasound showed a swollen lymph node in Sierra’s groin, and insect bites were found on her torso, the pieces began to come together. “The parents’ communication with me was one of the most important aspects of this little girl’s care,” Dr. Snow said. She knew that wild animals in the vicinity of that campground had carried bubonic plague in the past, and Sierra’s symptoms fit with the disease. When Sierra put her sweater down near a squirrel carcass she came upon, it’s believed that fleas jumped to it and then infected her when she put the sweater back on. After consulting with pediatric infectious disease specialist Dr. Wendi Drummond, the team started Sierra on a rigorous course of antibiotics. Her condition was critical for a few days, then she began to improve. After 17 days, she headed home, happy and healthy, to start the second grade.

their winners, award them $2,500, and advance them to corporate for the final round of judging, where the top prize is $10,000 plus the coveted Tommy Award. “This Award demonstrates how employees anywhere in the company can have impact at their facility and throughout the organization,” says Jeff Prescott, Vice President of Communications Operations. “These creative ideas showcase the work being done every day in our facilities and corporate campuses and are proof positive that even the smallest idea can have enormous potential to help our patients or improve our business practices.” Full-time employees can log on to the Innovators

Innovators Award Judging Underway site and see the ideas submitted by co-workers from their facility. Division judging will continue through September. The national winners will be announced in December. We will feature the corporate level winners in the next issue of YOU. Fall | 2013 you 13


Child life specialists provide parent and sibling support by: • Teaching parents how to keep the child comfortable and secure during procedures, letting the child sit in a parent’s lap or hug the parent • Coaching parents and children through open conversations about what’s happening • Conducting memory-making activities, such as taking the child’s handprints or saving a lock of hair, for families in bereavement situations

Child Life Specialist Melissa Ramirez helps a young patient understand what’s going on during a hospital stay.

• Providing resources to help families cope with the loss of a child and age-appropriate explanations of death for siblings

Child’s Play Specialists use fun approach to communicate with kids

Being sick is never easy. You’re in the hospital, you’re having tests done, and you aren’t sure what’s going to happen next. Now imagine going through all of this as a five-year-old. Child life specialists at Wesley Medical Center are helping kids understand what is going on. Equal parts teacher, guide, and friend, child life specialists help kids connect the dots between what’s happening and why. “Our job is to help the child and the family to cope with the hospital experience,” says Melissa Ramirez, child life coordinator. “Whatever their diagnosis may be, we help them understand their disease in kid-friendly ways.” For most children, that means playtime. “It is a huge coping mechanism for them,” says Ramirez, “because it’s what they do as kids – they play!”

Watch and learn “We’ll see a little girl putting a bottle in a baby’s mouth because that’s what she’s seen, and that’s how she makes an understanding of her world,” she says. “In the same way, we’ll provide a child with a doll to be able to insert an IV into it so [she] can understand what’s happened [to her] and why it’s happened.” Observing playtime can also help specialists answer questions that children don’t even realize they have. “A lot of times we see kids have misunderstandings about what’s happened, and that provides us with opportunities to correct those misconceptions.” Patience and understanding are crucial for child life specialists, and sometimes the best way to provide these is through creativity. 14 you 2013 | Fall

“We do something with our kids with leukemia called ‘blood soup,’” says Ramirez. “We’ll sit down with them … and we’ll use different items to let them ‘make’ blood.” Making blood means letting the kids create a physical representation of healthy and sick blood out of different kinds of candies. The healthy blood is a mix of red blood cells (cinnamon candy), white blood cells (marshmallows), platelets (sprinkles) and plasma (corn syrup); the sick blood has very few of these healthy cells and is mainly made up of cancer cells or “blasts,” which are represented by black jelly beans. “It helps us explain to them in a very tangible way what is happening to their body,” says Ramirez. “It shows them the type of cancer they have, and why the doctors have to do what they need to do in order to fix it.”

A welcome distraction Child life specialists also provide distractions during procedures by letting kids play with an iPad, bubbles or a look-and-find book. While these are effective, Ramirez says some kids cope better by watching what’s going on. “If a child wants to watch the IV being inserted, we’re not going to take that away from them,” she says. “We’re going to let them watch.” This kind of tailored treatment also helps keep children calm during procedures that are often performed under anesthesia but don’t really have to be. And reducing the need for any additional stress is a goal for the child life specialists. “Really, a CT scan takes a total of three to five minutes, and there’s no reason to have to sedate a child – a 5-year-old – who’s perfectly capable of getting through a non-invasive procedure that doesn’t hurt at all without sedation,” Ramirez says. That kind of initiative is good for the patient and the clinicians. “Our intensivist sees this as a great benefit to our hospital because it saves time and resources!” says Ramirez, “[And everyone] gets their job done quicker.”

THE HCA WAY Dr. Susan HardwickSmith, left, with Hadiatu Jalloh and Woman’s Hospital of Texas CEO Linda Russell

Her Smile Says It All The Woman’s Hospital team gives African girl life-changing surgery At only six years old, Hadiatu Jalloh endured pain that even the strongest adult would find unbearable. After a poorly performed female genital cutting procedure (a common cultural practice) in her native Guinea, the young girl developed complications including uncontrolled bleeding and a severe restriction of her ability to urinate. Her mother, Umu, knew something had to be done, so she began a walk that would carry them halfway around the world, to The Woman’s Hospital of Texas. First, Umu walked with her infant son on her back, and Hadiatu in her arms, all across Guinea. Unable to find the level of care her daughter would need, she trekked across the border into Sierra Leone, but doctors there could not provide the advanced surgery Hadiatu needed either. But they knew someone who could. Dr. Susan Hardwick-Smith, an obstetri-

cian-gynecologist with The Woman’s Hospital, had recently returned from a medical mission to Sierra Leone. When hospitals in that country contacted her, she wanted to help. She knew local surgery wouldn’t be an option, so she turned to others at the hospital for help. In short order, she had commitments to cover all the girl’s medical needs, as well as a private donor who would pay for all flights and accommodations.

Team swings into action Ten days later, the patient was en route and the team was assembled. Once Hadiatu arrived, preparations were made for surgery. Dr. Hardwick-Smith assisted Dr. Eric Jones, a pediatric urologist, in the operating room along with a full, all-volunteer, surgical team. Happily, most of the complications were resolved by the removal of scar tissue, and at last Hadiatu began her

recovery and return to a normal life. “This little girl had been sitting in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, for three weeks with no care at all,” Dr. HardwickSmith says. “No one knew how to fix her problem. I knew we could take care of it here, so they got busy working on a visa on that end, while I called Linda Russell, our CEO, right away. I didn’t even have to finish my request before she said we would absolutely do the surgery here.” Patient Advocate Kelli Hughes helped pull together a team that included stand-by surgeons in case there were complications, and worked with department heads in nursing, registration and surgery, even taking care of arranging for a translator and child care. “She got here and had care that was appropriate for a princess, and after a 30-minute surgery she’s back to being more or less normal,” Dr. Hardwick-Smith says. “She went from being in terrible pain and smelling bad to being able to go and play. All these people came together as though this was just a matter of course; no begging or pleading from me. It was watching in action all the things we talk about at HCA in terms of teamwork and dealing with unusual situations. People just snapped into action, and it all worked.” Fall | 2013 you 15


Extra Protection Police officers will improve safety Some HCA hospitals will soon have onsite security in the form of off-duty police officers stationed in their emergency departments (EDs) around the clock, a move designed to improve safety for everyone. “We’re continuing to be proactive in providing a safer and more secure work environment for employees, staff, patients and visitors,” says Tim Portale, Chief Safety & Security Officer.

EDs often need extra attention Real and threatened incidents of violence can happen in EDs because of the crowded and stressful situations that accompany emergencies. ED patients are sometimes involved with crimes, weapons, or violence at the hands of other people that could escalate and put employees and others at risk. Uniformed, armed police officers will help deter violence and be equipped to react should they need to intercede or call for back up. “We continue to work with hospitals to evaluate their security needs. Based on recent reporting, sentiments shared by employees on the survey and operators’ suggestions, we are taking deliberate steps to help ensure our EDs are safe, welcoming places for everyone,” Portale says. “That doesn’t mean we can’t have security elsewhere in the building. If there was an identified need for that, it could be staffed by the hospital as they need it.” “Another reason that we are starting in emergency departments

is that 50 percent of near misses, or cases where a violent incident is narrowly averted, occur there,” Portale adds. “Allocating resources to that specific unit will make it safer right away.”

A commitment to a safe and healthy work environment In recent years, HCA has increased efforts and made significant investment to help make our workplaces safer. Improvements in lighting, access control equipment, duress alarms, surveillance, training and tracking of incidents have helped reduce risk in hospitals and office settings. Many of the ideas for increased security have come directly from employees. “Safety is everyone’s responsibility and we are doing everything we can to deter aggressive actions,” Portale says. “Placing police officers in many of our EDs will be a very good thing for both employee and patient safety.”

You can schedule screenings by logging on to and clicking on “Schedule a Health Screening.”

Schedule your Wellness Program screening THE ANNUAL HCA WELLNESS PROGRAM, administered by H2U, is underway. Benefits-eligible HCA-affiliated employees at participating facilities* are encouraged to participate as a way to focus on healthy living and determine the next steps on your pathway to better health. Here’s how to participate:

STEP 1: Get screened (July 8 - October 18). Biometric screenings are scheduled at HCA-affiliated facilities across the country. The screening is the first step toward participating in the wellness program. 16 you 2013 | Fall


Take the Personal Health Assessment (PHA) (August 6 - November 30). Log into and click on “Take the Personal Health Assessment (PHA).”

STEP 3: Take Action and Earn Wellness Credits. PHA and screening results determine whether you qualify for the H2U Health Coaching Program (higher-risk health status) or the H2U Health Action Plan (lower-risk status). If you qualify for coaching, you must enroll in the program within 30 days after completing the PHA. You will then have seven months from the date of PHA completion to complete four coaching sessions and learning assignments.

If you qualify for the Health Action Plan, you must create your plan within 30 days after completing the PHA. If you complete the required actions, you will be eligible to earn Wellness Credits in a Health Reimbursement Account. Your health plan is committed to helping you achieve your best health and earn financial rewards. If you think you might be unable to meet a standard for a reward under the HCA Employee Wellness Program, you might qualify for an opportunity to earn the same reward by different means. Contact H2U at and they will work with you (and, if you wish, with your doctor) to determine how you may be able to participate in an alternative wellness activity to earn the reward. * Due to a collective bargaining agreement, the HCA Wellness Program is not available to employees in the Far West Division.


Clean Hands

Reminders will help lower infections by increasing hand sanitizing

Badges help monitor employees’ compliance to handsanitizing protocols.

Reducing infections is at the core of

“HCA has a long history of successful programs to reduce healthcare-associated infections, and developing and providing tools to promote compulsive hand hygiene is essential,” says Dr. Jonathan B. Perlin, President, Clinical & Physician Services, and Chief Medical Officer. “Compulsive hand hygiene is the single most powerful act of prevention that care providers can perform to break the cycle of healthcareassociated infection. These new tools remind us to be our best and seek perfection in preventing avoidable harm. After all, isn’t that what we’d want from our caregivers, if we were patients?” Currently several HCA facilities are testing different systems. Palms West Hospital in Loxahatchee, Fla., has been using the UltraClenz Patient Safeguard System™ with great success. Staff who interact with patients wear a Creating a better system badge which has an LED and buzzer built While nurses and other staff who interin. Soap and sanitizer dispensers have act with patients are extremely vigilant beacons. When a badge’s wearer activates a about hand hygiene, in the fast-paced hosdispenser, her/his badge turns green. When pital atmosphere it is possible to overlook he or she enters the “patient zone,” an area washing. New, card-activated technology defined by UltraClenz will remind individuals to be three feet in all about hand cleaning, directions from the as well as track their Moments for bed, a beacon commucompliance so they can Hand Hygiene nicates with the badge be made aware when 1. Before touching a patient to find out whether it’s they are missing an red, yellow or green. opportunity. 2. After touching a patient Depending on the reThe way it works is 3. Before an aseptic task ply, it changes the LED the caregiver wears a 4. After body fluid exposure risk from green to yellow, tag that communicates meaning cautionary with a sanitation station 5. After contact with patient surroundings but sanitary patient in the patient’s room. Source: World Health Organization contact, or red, which The system knows if the means non-compliant, unsanitary contact. wearer uses sanitizer or soap and water, The system has been very helpful to staff and keeps track of the number of opportuto strengthen their hand-washing pracnities for cleaning. many patient safety efforts throughout HCA, and now new technology is helping to make the first line of defense – good hand hygiene – even easier. Everyone who comes into contact with patients, or enters patient rooms, should have clean hands. But sometimes when there’s a great deal of activity going on, it’s easy to forget a quick hand-wash when entering or leaving. That’s why devices, synched with a card employees will carry, are being placed in rooms to remind staff about hand hygiene. “Hands are the most common vector of germ transmission between patients, so not only are we providing waterless hand sanitizers in multiple locations, we also are installing them in what we think of as traditional hand-washing locations so it’s even more convenient for staff to comply with the expectation,” says Jason Hickok, AVP of Critical Care, Infection Prevention and Lab for HCA’s Clinical and Physician Services Group.


tices, according to Palms West officials. “Our staff has been extremely engaged in this process,” says Madeline Nava, Chief Operating Officer at Palms West. “Patient safety is a priority, and they support the hospital’s continuing mission of providing excellence in all we do.” Patients too are taught how the system works, Nava says, adding “I think [patients] are impressed that we’re doing this, and the staff is very committed to it.” In fact, when one staff member was told she was not in compliance, she was very upset, hospital officials say. As it turned out, her name tag had a dead battery.

Eliminating infections With hospitals’ recent successes in reducing MRSA and bloodstream infections, improving hand hygiene is a logical next step to further improve results with hospital-acquired infections, Hickok says. “The way many drug-resistant organisms are transmitted between patients is through the hands of the nursing staff and other caregivers,” he says. “We monitor compliance with almost everything we do inside a hospital. What we’re doing now is providing another way to reinforce that core behavior so we can reduce infections.” Fall | 2013 you 17


Ready for flu?

Awareness month highlights need for annual vaccine National Immunization Awareness Month, or NIAM, is a time to remind people to obtain their immunizations in order to protect their health. NIAM is every August, an important time of year because that’s when adolescents, preteens, teenagers and even college students need to receive the appropriate vaccinations before returning to school. NIAM also serves as a reminder for pregnant women to receive immunizations to protect their baby from diseases such as pertussis. It also reminds adults to check to make sure that their immunizations are up to date. That’s important, because the influenza season is just around the corner. The regular flu season can begin as early as October and will last into late May. During the season, flu-related deaths can number between 3,000 and 49,000, so it is very important to protect yourself and your family members. Everyone older than 6 months should receive an influenza vaccine. Those who are more likely to develop pneumonia or 18 you 2013 | Fall

other complications because of the flu virus include people 65 and older, pregnant women and people suffering from asthma, diabetes or chronic lung disease. As part of the HCA Influenza Patient Safety Program, influenza vaccinations are offered at no cost to employees. Employees who are unable to receive the vaccine, are required to wear a mask when within six feet of patients or in designated areas. Along with vaccination or mask use, staying home when sick, using engineering controls and “cough and sneeze” stations with hand sanitizer, masks and tissues helps protect patients from the flu while in our care. This flu season, we will again use an electronic form for employees and others to indicate their consent, declination or show that they have received the vaccine from a third party (remember to bring proof of vaccination to your facility). If you have any questions concerning HCA’s Influenza Patient Safety Program, you may send them to

Heroes Among Us

HCA Today web site showcases the human side of HCA You needn’t go far to find inspiration at your HCA facility. Just look around you. A series of videos featuring your colleagues is currently posted on HCA Today (www. There you will find true stories about amazing people, barriers overcome and unmatched compassion for others. These are must-see testimonials for inspiration and motivation. “Last year, we began looking at our site to see what was getting the most attention, and found that the most visits were to stories on our blog which featured [real stories] from real people,” says Chris Mason, Social Media Strategist. “So we began kicking around the idea of how we could take those and do more with them. That’s how we ended up with HCA Heroes.”

No shortage of potential subjects HCA Heroes features people who have extraordinary stories to tell, says Mason, “Because of the kind of people who work here, and the size of the company, we have plenty to choose from.”

for information. “People have emailed saying how much they like the videos, and asking how they could help,” Mason says. “That really wasn’t our [initial] intention, but it’s awesome to see the reach of these stories go much further than we expected.”

Improving the human spirit Each piece involves a story about one of our employees. “What we want to do is find a story that may have been promoted really well locally, within the hospital and community, and give it a bigger stage,” Mason explains. “These are individuals that the company is proud of, and we want to highlight them because many people know the individual hospitals, but outside of the business and the community, they do not know who HCA is. We want to humanize the company, and this is a really good way to do that.” So far, the reception from both employees and the public at large has been overwhelmingly positive. In fact, a side benefit has been a heightened awareness of specific charities and philanthropic endeavors that the subjects are involved in, followed by requests

The stories also give a window into the extraordinary lives of people who have been able to overcome serious challenges of their own, then be able to make a difference for others. “A recent piece is on Bob Whitford, who is a Senior Occupational Therapist at St. David’s Medical Center,” Mason says. “He lost an arm when he was young, and eventually competed in the Paralympics as a cyclist. Today, he builds bikes for patients who have experienced limb loss.” “Our story shows him working with a college student who survived meningitis, but lost most of the digits on her hands and both legs below the knees,” Mason continues. “He developed bikes for her and introduced her to the world of competitive cycling. It’s inspirational to hear him talk about it, because we don’t often think about going from limbs to not having limbs, and not being able to do something as simple as ride a bike any more.” “We’re showing people who are doing things that are out of the norm, who are really agents for change,” he says. “That always makes a good story.” Fall | 2013 you 19





Mummy Dearest

Advanced imaging technology peers into ancient mysteries.

Imaging center’s advanced technology unwraps centuries of secrets When the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts decided to take a peek under the wrappings that enshrouded Tjeby, a 4,000-year-old mummy that anchors its Egyptian collection, they knew that the high-tech equipment at Independence Park Imaging in Richmond could help. “We’ve had him since 1953, and actually had him scanned in 1986,” says Dr. Peter J. Schertz, the Jack and Mary Ann Frable Curator of Ancient Art at the museum. “But at that point the technology was pretty basic — sort of like a high-powered X-ray. Recently, we hosted an exhibition about mummies and realized how far the technology had advanced. After discussing Tjeby with my colleagues, we decided that because he is an unusually early mummy, we could

potentially learn a great deal about the history of mummification by making a new scan of him.” Dr. Mary Ann Frable, a major supporter of VMFA’s ancient art department, put Dr. Schertz in contact with Dr. Jim Snyder a diagnostic radiologist at Independence Park Imaging, and together they made arrangements to transport Tjeby to the center. Because of the mummy’s fragile condition, the process took a lot of special care, says Dr. Snyder. “The good thing is that he wasn’t alive, so we didn’t have to worry about radiation exposure,” he says. “We could scan multiple times at different energies without hurting him. And that was necessary, because we needed to vary the imaging strength so we could differentiate between the wrappings and the tissues as much as possible.”

Redefining skin and bone

3-D images will be used for facial reconstruction.

Tjeby’s soft tissue was pretty much gone, the scans found, and so it took some wizardry on the part of Dr. Snyder, who along with Dr. Tom Underhill, spent a great deal of time studying the images, and then creating 3-D models to define what was left, as well as sort out bones that had shifted within the wrappings. Still, there were some surprises, as well as

some new mysteries to solve. “We found out things that they could not know at the museum, such as how he was preserved,” Dr. Snyder says. “We learned that his organs were not placed back in his abdomen, and because he was on his side, the pitch resin they poured in his head had leaked out. That let us see that there were some finger bones in his head, which we can’t explain.” The scans also revealed that Tjeby is wearing a funerary mask under the wrapping, and even the strings that bound it around his head were distinguishable. That alone gives Dr. Schertz and his colleagues lots of grist for the research mill. “The arms and legs were individually wrapped, which was unusual, and the mummy mask underneath the wrappings was very unusual because usually they are outside the wrappings,” Dr. Schertz says. “Now we are able to take this information and ask some new

questions about mummies from this period.”

Putting a face on Tjeby Next, the museum will work with Dr. Jonathan Elias of the Akhmim Mummy Research Consortium to produce a 3-D print of the images of the skull and jawbone in order to do a facial reconstruction of Tjeby. That, in turn, will lead to a new presentation for Tjeby, one that discusses how 21st-century science continues to advance investigations of the past. The museum has photos of Tjeby’s excavation in 1923, so it can tie his history to the continuing stream of information he provides to researchers. “Twenty-five years ago, when the first scan was done, we didn’t see the mask,” Dr. Schertz says. “In another 25 years, who knows? We may be able to isolate individual mineralogical signatures and study the ancient pigments used to paint the mummy mask!”

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