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common thread Bringing Together the Saint Joseph Health System Family

November/December 2009

Christmas Deliveries Barbara Baumgardner opens ‘shop’ for another season of giving

Lights for Life Inspired by a Child Journey to Bolivia Plus, Holiday Trimmings!

Win a $75 Visa Gift Card! See Details Inside

Inside Our Family A note from Gene Woods

Dear Saint Joseph Family, The holidays are a wonderful time to remind us of the important people in our lives. Whether it’s a family member or close friend that we see all the time, or someone with whom we reconnect around this time of year, there is no other time like Thanksgiving and Christmas for remembering how we are blessed. One of the highlights of this season for the Saint Joseph Health System family is the incredible Christmas program, coordinated by the Appalachian Outreach Program, to help those who need it most. Each year, Barbara Baumgardner, a registered dietitian with the program, coordinates gifts and other holiday needs for dozens of families across eastern Kentucky. These items are generously donated by many employees across Saint Joseph Health System. Barbara’s perspective on this wonderful example of our mission is the featured story in this issue. Also in this issue of Common Thread, you will learn more about: the Lights for Life program at Saint Joseph - Berea, which helps underserved patients receive emergency care and medications; Saint Joseph Hospital biomed employee Darren Maas and his wife, who offer their personal story of taking care of those in need, which in their case, means adopting children with special circumstances; Karen Robeck, a Flaget Memorial Hospital nurse who overcame a spiral fracture, and volunteers at the Nelson County Community Clinic; a Bolivia mission trip that changed the life of Saint Joseph Hospital ED tech Katherine Vaughan; and Judy Salyer, who explains the multiple hats that she wears while providing social work and discharge planning for the patients of Saint Joseph - Martin. During this particular holiday season, there is great anticipation about the future of health care in the U.S. And while some are anxious about the profound nature of the changes being contemplated, I am comforted in the legacy we inherited from our foundresses of both

Publisher Saint Joseph Health System

Executive Editor Jeff Murphy

serving those in need with compassion and excellent care, and of innovative adaptation to whatever changes there have been in the industry over the past century. Throughout our history, every time we have confronted what seemed to be an insurmountable obstacle at one of our hospitals, not only have we survived, but we have figured out a way to become a stronger and more vibrant organization. Our coming together as a unified ministry in Kentucky is a case in point. So while the specific details of health care reform remain to be finalized, rest assured that Saint Joseph Health System is very well positioned to continue to grow our ministry during this time of historical change.


At this time of the year when we give thanks for our many blessings, I offer a special thanks for each of you and what you do for our patients every day. You are true Christ-like ambassadors and the very embodiment of our mission throughout Kentucky. May God bless each of you and your families.

Kym Russell

Kara Fitzgerald

Production Coordinator Liz Sword

Editorial Contributors Angela Florek Neva Francis Katie Heckman Sharon Hershberger Tonya Lewis Stephanie Sarrantonio

Contributing Writers Kathie Stamps Amy Taylor

Photographers Ron Perrin Steve Porter Lee Thomas Tim Webb

SJHS President’s Council

Gene Woods CEO

Gene Woods, CEO, SJHS Ed Carthew, CHRO, SJHS Gary Ermers, CFO, SJHS Jackie Kingsolver, Associate Counsel Jean Lambert, VP, Mission Integration Mark Streety, CIO, SJHS Daniel Varga, MD, CMO, SJHS Virginia Dempsey, President, SJL Greg Gerard, President, SJB Ken Haynes, President, SJH/SJE/SJJ Bruce Klockars, President, FMH/SJMS Kathy Stumbo, President, SJM Common Thread is published bimonthly by the Communications/Public Relations/ Marketing department of Saint Joseph Health System for employees and their families. Visit to submit news, story ideas or photos. Or, write to us at Saint Joseph Hospital, C/O Kara Fitzgerald, 1590 Harrodsburg Rd., Lexington, KY 40504. You may reach our office at 859.313.1845.


common thread Volume 2, Issue 6

on the cover

Appalachian Outreach Program registered dietitian Barbara Baumgardner has opened “shop” and gathered her “elves” for another season of giving. Every year she coordinates the program’s Christmas Partners Project, linking employees with families and individuals in need. Her list is long and rivals Santa’s; learn more, including how you can help, on page 6.


table of contents


2 Inside Out View snapshots of Saint Joseph events and happenings inside and outside our walls. 4 New Threads Keep informed of late-breaking news. 6 Cover Story Barbara Baumgardner manages a long wish list for those in need of a Christmas.


8 Role Models Rebecca and Darren Maas’ ministry is to grow their family through adoption. 10 Health Care Hero Karen Robeck treats free clinic patients with reverence and dignity.

11 Mission Moments Katherine 14 Feature Lights for Life Vaughan travels to one of South program helps less fortunate patients receive free America’s poorest regions to emergency care and offer medical care. medicines. 12 Welcome to My World 16 Common View Judy Salyer makes a difference Neuropsychiatrist Robert in patients’ lives with her Granacher consults on heart of gold. complex cases, guides patient care. 13 Holiday Trimmings Get into the holiday spirit with a pumpkin soup recipe and ideas on how to “give back.”

Give Back! 14

Donate some of your accrued PTO hours to a fellow employee in need. Learn how to donate on page 13.

To submit your story ideas or news to Common Thread, visit

Reader Reward

A $75 Visa gift card could be yours if you can answer this question correctly:

Who enjoys a cup of coffee at a local café every day at 3 p.m.? Somewhere in this issue of Common Thread you’ll find the answer. Submit your answer at Correct answers will be entered into a drawing on December 9 for a chance to win one of three $75 Visa gift cards. Only employees can enter this challenge. Congratulations to previous winners Paula Miles (SJMS), Donna Brown (SJH) and Blythe Howard Baker (SJL).


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Stay informed on the latest Saint Joseph Health System news by reading “New Threads” in every issue of Common Thread. Bruce Klockars SJMS interim president

Growth Breaking Ground Saint Joseph Health System (SJHS) held the official groundbreaking ceremony for the new Saint Joseph - Mount Sterling (SJMS) on September 29. The ceremony was held at the site of the new hospital, on Falcon Drive in Mount Sterling (near Days Inn on Maysville Road, just off exit 110/I-64). Construction will begin this fall on the new all-private room hospital, scheduled to open in the summer of 2011. Speakers included Gene Woods, CEO; Bruce Klockars, interim SJMS president; Tom Byron, SJMS hospital council member; Mike Fiechter, SJHS board chair; and James Rollins, MD, SJMS medical staff president, who all shared comments with attendees about exciting plans for the new facility. During the ceremony, Lexington Bishop Ronald Gainer blessed the site and SJMS employees sang the hymn, “Holy Ground.” 4

Marketing New Maternity Spot Saint Joseph Health System has produced a new television spot to promote the upcoming opening of The Women’s Hospital at Saint Joseph East. The spot, currently running in the Lexington market, is a continuation of the popular maternity spot that ran last year and early this year

featuring the same couple that announced at the family dinner table they were having a baby … at Saint Joseph East. The Women’s Hospital is anticipated to open March 29, 2010 with a grand opening celebration to coincide with the annual Maternity Fair in May. To learn more, visit

New Weight Loss Surgery Campaign Saint Joseph Health System has produced new television, radio and print advertising spots to promote its weight loss surgery centers: Saint Joseph Center for Weight Loss Surgery (located at Saint Joseph East and Saint Joseph Hospital) and Flaget Center for Weight Loss Surgery (located at Flaget Memorial Hospital). The spots are an extension of a previous campaign that ran in central Kentucky and will feature a theme surrounding the desire for a post-op patient to live a full life after weight loss, including activities and adventures she can pursue at her healthy weight. The spots are currently running in the Lexington and Bardstown markets. To learn more about the centers and procedures offered— gastric banding, gastric bypass and gastric sleeve— visit and

SJMS’s patient-centered, multidisciplinary team approach for total joint replacement care for the diverse population served by the hospital. The team decreased process variation, complications, post-operative infections, and improved patient, staff and physician education.

H e a lt h i e r Communities Tobacco-Free Anniversary Saint Joseph Health System (SJHS) is celebrating the one-year anniversary of its tobacco-free initiative. This time last year, November 20, 2008, SJHS implemented a tobacco-free campus policy prohibiting the use of any tobacco products on hospital grounds. The initiative further demonstrated SJHS’s commitment to healthier communities and the national and state efforts to reduce the negative effects related to tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure. To enroll for free in the Quit for Life Program, call 1.866.QUIT.4.LIFE or visit


Oncology Service Line Jane Berz, MSN, RN, is the interim administrator for Saint Joseph Health System’s (SJHS) oncology service line. Berz has more than 13 years of comprehensive oncology experience, from advanced hands-on clinical practice to executive administration. She has consulted with institutions and medical staffs across the country in their planning of comprehensive programs,

including National Cancer Institute-designated Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. Enhancing the delivery of oncology care is a key strategy as SJHS further integrates its network of hospitals across the state. With Berz’s expertise in this area, she will help build the vision and plan for an outstanding oncology program that includes all SJHS facilities.

Awa r ds

Anthem Quality Award Saint Joseph - Mount Sterling (SJMS) received the 2009 Successful Practice Award for its Orthopedic Joint Care Program during an awards ceremony October 8. The hospital was one of only two hospitals in Kentucky recognized by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield with such an award. The Successful Practice Award is in recognition of

HealthGrades’ Ratings The largest annual study of patient outcomes at each of the nation’s 5,000 nonfederal hospitals found a wide gap in quality between the nation’s best hospitals and all others. According to the study, issued October 13 by HealthGrades, the leading independent health care ratings organization, patients at highly rated hospitals have a 52 percent lower chance of dying compared with the U.S. hospital average, a quality chasm that has persisted for the last decade even as mortality rates, in general, have declined. The new 2010 ratings for individual hospitals are available to the public at, where you can compare the quality of care at local hospitals for 28 different procedures and treatments. A snapshot of Saint Joseph Health System’s clinical achievements is listed on the right.

HealthGrades’ Ratings Saint Joseph - Berea 5 Star Rated for CHF

Saint Joseph East Orthopedics 5 Star Rated for Total Hip Replacements 2009 Best in Lexington for Overall Orthopedics 2009/2010 2010 5 Star Rated for Spinal Fusion

Saint Joseph Hospital Patient Experience 2009/2010 Recipient of the HealthGrades Outstanding Patient Experience Award Among the Top 10% in the Nation for Patient Experience The only Recipient in Lexington, KY

GI 5 Star Rated for GI Surgery and Procedures

Critical Care 5 Star Rated for Sepsis 5 Star Rated for Respiratory Failure

Saint Joseph - London Cardiac 2009/2010 Recipient of the Cardiac Surgery Excellence Award Among the Top 5% in the Nation for Cardiac Surgery 2009/2010 Best in the Area for Cardiac Surgery 2009/2010 2009/2010 Recipient of the HealthGrades Overall Cardiac Excellence Award Among the Top 5% in the Nation for Overall Cardiac Care 2009/2010 Best in the Area for Overall Cardiac Care 2009/2010 Best in the Area for Cardiology 2009/2010 Best in the Area for PCI 2009/2010 5 Star Rated for CABG 2009/2010 5 Star Rated for Heart Attack Care (4 Years in a Row) 5 Star Rated for CHF (4 Years in a Row) #1 in the State of Kentucky for Overall Cardiac Care #1 in the State of Kentucky for Cardiac Surgery Among the Best in the State for Cardiology (#3)

Women’s Health 2009/2010 Recipient of the Women’s Health Excellence Award Among the Top 5% in the Nation for Women’s Health 5 Star Rated for Women’s Health

Pulmonary 5 Star Rated for COPD 5 Star Rated for CAP Recipient of the Pulmonary Excellence Award Among the Top 5% in the Nation for Pulmonary Excellence

Critical Care Sherry Tichenor, vice president of quality; Tammye Hood, SJMS risk management/infection control manager; Donna Rhodes, SJMS quality manager; Shelly Sanders, SJMS same day surgery manager; Sheila Barnes, SJMS operating room manager; Cinda Fluke, SJMS chief nursing officer; and Bruce Klockars, interim SJMS president, received the Anthem Quality Award on Oct. 8

5 Star Rated for Sepsis 2009/2010 5 Star Rated for Respiratory Failure 2009/2010

Saint Joseph - Mount Sterling 5 Star Rated for Respiratory Failure

Flaget Memorial Hospital 5 Star Rated for COPD 5 Star Rated for Hip Fracture Repair



My whole job is rewarding, but this is one of the best things I do. At Christmas, to see how much you’re helping—it just gives me a great feeling.”


ll year Barbara Baumgardner and her co-workers in the Appalachian Outreach Program (AOP) drive miles and miles to deliver free services to thousands of people in eastern Kentucky. It’s a wonderful ministry, according to Baumgardner. But it twinkles like a star at Christmas when the registered dietitian and her helpers turn their office in the Parker House at Saint Joseph Hospital into Santa’s workshop, and transform themselves into elves for the season. Many “elves” help with the Christmas Partners Project (CPP). Departments and individuals at Saint Joseph Hospital (SJH), Saint Joseph East (SJE), Saint Joseph - Mount Sterling (SJMS) and Saint Joseph - Berea (SJB) “adopt” a needy family, couple or single person for the season. This year, Saint Joseph - Jessamine will join the cause. “My whole job is rewarding, but this is one of the best things I do,” said Baumgardner, who serves as the coordinator of the project. “At Christmas, to see how much you’re helping—it just gives me a great feeling.” Baumgardner, M.S., R.D., L.D. and C.D.E., is a SJH employee who travels all year providing free nutritional counseling to people discharged from Saint Joseph Health System (SJHS) facilities or referred by local doctors or clinics. Her co-workers in the AOP are Sister Joan Wilson, SCN,

Christmas who provides free pastoral counseling and other services, and Jeanie Lawson, L.S.W., who offers free social services and referrals to resources. Sister Mary Stuart, Ph.D., R.D., who started the nutrition component of the program as an employee, has “retired,” and now serves the AOP as a volunteer. Baumgardner and the AOP staff make note of families’ needs year-round as they provide needed services for patients living a distance from Lexington. When the Christmas program is gearing up, staff members jot down the names of families and their needs. Other agencies also refer families to the CPP, such as family resource centers, doctors’ offices and clinics,

according to Sister Joan Wilson. Then “we assign a hospital department or individual to a family,” Sister Joan said. “We list their needs, including clothing sizes, children’s wishes, household goods or small medical supplies. Food or gift cards are always a welcome gift. Some departments pay utility bills.” Baumgardner can recall hundreds of touching stories from the CPP—like the elderly man and wife who were both patients of SJHS. The wife was receiving chemotherapy at SJB. That meant the couple spent a lot of gas money getting to Berea from their home in McKee. “When I called to ask if it would be OK to put them on the Christmas list, the husband said he didn’t need

Barbara Baumgardner opens ‘shop’ for another season of giving By Amy Taylor

anything,” Baumgardner said. “But he wanted his wife to have Christmas gifts because she was sick. He could come up with lots of things she needed, but was too proud to ask for himself.” Finally the elderly man gave Baumgardner an idea of some of his Christmas needs. “He needed diabetic socks, which cost $3.99 a pair, a price he couldn’t afford,” she said. “The department that adopted the family got him blue jeans, clothes and even tools, because he built birdhouses.” A month after Christmas an AOP staff member saw the husband, who was wearing his Christmas finery.

“He said, ‘Look at me today—I’m all decked out in my Saint Joe clothes.’ He was so proud of what Saint Joseph had done for him.” When the CPP began, and numbers were small, the AOP staff did all deliveries. As the program grew, however, additional volunteer drivers were recruited to deliver in their home areas. Clinics in some counties became dropoff points where families could stop in for their Christmas gifts. Baumgardner cherishes many memories from the CPP. When her children were younger, she said, she often enlisted their help, which Continued on page 17


role models

Inspired By A Child

Rebecca and Darren Maas at home with their children (from left) Jacob, Ethan, Faith, Gabriel and Miranda.

Rebecca Plus and Darren By Kym Russell


arren Maas, who has worked in Saint Joseph Hospital’s biomedical department for 14 years, finds his inspiration to serve others starts at home. Two years ago during the Christmas holidays, a baby from China expanded his capacity to give in what continues to be an exciting–and often challenging–journey of faith. The baby girl, Faith, was an orphan born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate. She had been abandoned as an infant on a street sidewalk in China. Darren and his wife Rebecca traveled to the orphanage and brought her home to live with their two biological children, Miranda and Ethan.


“People sometimes ask if I can love an adopted child as much as my own. The answer is yes. The love is immediate. I can’t imagine it being any different,” Rebecca said. What is different is how the Maas family defines family. “We started the adoption process not knowing where it would take us. We have so much, we feel called to share it. We’re putting God first. This economy, the uncertainties are just as real to us as other families. Growing our family is our ministry,” Darren said. Faith was one of many orphans with medical needs that can hinder their chances of being placed with permanent families. Today, after corrective surgery, her tiny lip is perfectly shaped

and her smiles erase fears of what might have been a dramatically different life path. Since her arrival, the Maas family has grown to embrace two more adopted children born in Ethiopia. Gabriel is a healthy 3-year-old. His 2-year-old new brother, Jacob, has quadriplegia cerebral palsy and cannot use his arms or legs. Now with holidays around the corner, the Maas family is expecting, again. Very soon, the family will welcome two

more children: two girls, a 15-month-old with medical needs and a healthy 7-year-old. The toddler has polydactyl of the hands and feet (more than five fingers and toes) and nsystagmus (a condition that affects her eyes). The clan has grown from two children to seven. “We were hopeful the girls would be here at home with us in time for Christmas,” Rebecca said, “but, it’s taking a little longer. We could be on a waiting list for a perfectly healthy child but helping those with medical

needs is what we’re called to do. Why wait to help?” Darren and Rebecca are not deterred in their mission to bring help and hope to children with physical challenges. Rebecca, a social worker, explains that the urgent conditions in Africa are a major factor in their decision to adopt children from Ethiopia. For their Ethiopia adoptions, the Maas’ have worked with Celebrate Children International. They have also relied on the adoption services offered to

employees of Saint Joseph Health System. These benefits help cover legal costs and other expenses incurred for adoptions. In addition, the Maas’ have raised funds for adoptions in various ways–donations from church to garage sales and personal savings. While their family is growing, Darren and Rebecca are quick to say they have faith that God will provide. In fact they feel that they, even more than the children, are receiving the greatest blessings of all. “Especially now, at Christmas, we want people to know the blessings for us are truly great, these children bring much more to us than we could ever express. It’s the giving aspect that we want to share. Jesus came to give His life, and we want to give of our lives, too,” Darren said. “We hope to inspire others to consider adoption and create a ripple effect that touches more and more families. Our message is to be blessed by what we have and serve others.” Meet the Maas family and follow their story at

Adoption Assistance

Growing our family is our ministry.”

Saint Joseph Health System employees can apply for adoption assistance through Catholic Health Initiatives. Reimbursement is provided to benefits eligible full- and part-time employees for some of the financial obligations related to adopting a child. For more information, look under the My Handbook tab on HR/Payroll Connection (Benefits & Time Off >Miscellaneous) or call the HR/Payroll Connection Support Center at 1.888.450.9450.


health care hero

The Least of These

Karen Robeck treats free clinic patients with reverence, dignity By Amy Taylor


I’ve always felt very fortunate, so I like to share what I have with other people.”

here are many special volunteers who help people in Nelson County who lack health insurance get free care at the Nelson County Community Clinic (NCCC). Karen Robeck, however, has gone the extra mile. She has never let a family tragedy or serious injury keep her from volunteering for long. At the end of 2008, Robeck, a B.S.N. working at Flaget Memorial Hospital (FMH) in Bardstown in cardiac care and pulmonary rehab, was volunteering at the NCCC in her


free time. On October 8 she fell, sustaining a serious fracture to her right arm. Two weeks later, her husband, Jimmy, passed away. That November her 15-year-old son fractured his leg bones, requiring extensive surgery. Yet Robeck was back to work and volunteering within a few months. “She’s an amazing person,” said Rhonda Wathen, R.N., her supervisor in cardiac and pulmonary rehab. “She has had more handed to her than I could ever handle. She is not one who

wants pity or to cause extra work for anyone else.” Robeck’s injury was a spiral fracture that tore the radial nerve, paralyzing her hand. For months she wore a specialized brace that supported the arm and the useless hand. Since her bone would not heal, she underwent bone graft surgery in May. “It’s still not fully healed,” said Robeck, who has been back to work and volunteering for some time. “But it’s a whole lot better. The nerves are coming back in my hand.” The nurse has been with FMH for 15 years. When the NCCC started up in 2006, she was one of the first volunteers to sign on. “She is available any time I call her to come and fill in for someone else,” said NCCC

Director Bobbi Harned. “She’ll do just about anything.” Robeck can’t imagine life without volunteering, she said. “I’ve always felt very fortunate, so I like to share what I have with other people. I like to keep busy.” The free clinic is an especially gratifying place to volunteer, Robeck said. “I’ve noticed that patients are so grateful and appreciative,” she said. “If you have to tell them their medicines aren’t ready and they’ll have to come back, they’re still grateful.” The volunteers also have a great attitude, she said. “There’s never any mention of, ‘You don’t have any money.’ Nobody’s better than anybody else here. In fact, there’s a reverence for patients.” The clinic was started with a $277,000 CHI grant made to FMH. The NCCC is open two evenings a week, and provides free basic medical, laboratory and dental services, and free prescription medicines, to low-income county residents with jobs, but without health insurance. NCCC logs in about 80 medical visits, 20 dental visits and 350 free prescriptions filled per month. About 50 volunteers staff the facility. Many of them are FMH employees. It’s volunteers like Robeck who make this ministry possible, Harned said. “She’s such a calming influence on people,” the nurse said. “Patients always comment on her kindness and caring.” “… whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40

mission moments

Journey to Bolivia Katherine Vaughan’s medical mission to one of South America’s poorest regions By Kym Russell

Some days, seeing so much sickness and disease, just brought me to my knees … seeing the love in people is why I’d go back.”

T flight from Kentucky

raveling on a 37-hour

to Bolivia gave Katherine Vaughan, a SRNA in Saint Joseph Hospital’s emergency department, plenty of time to think about what in the world she was doing. “It was the first time I’d flown alone. I didn’t sleep. I’d been on mission

trips before. But, this time I was on a medical mission as a health care professional and I was on my own.” Vaughan was on her way to volunteer in one of South America’s poorest regions with the Hospitals of Hope organization in Cochabamba. It was the middle of night

when she arrived at the home of her hosts. The entire household woke to greet her. “They gave me the warmest welcome ‘home.’ I felt it. Then, I finally slept.” As it turned out, Vaughan had joined an international family of more than 20 volunteers who had come from all over the world to be a part of

the 12-week mission. At first, Vaughan worked at the local hospital with the program’s local medical director. After two weeks, her medical team set up clinics in remote mountain areas. Vaughan not only assisted in emergencies, she worked in the operating room to help care for patients after surgery. She taught first responder’s classes to local EMS personnel. And, nearly everywhere, Vaughan helped screen for chagas, a widespread disease caused by a bug bite that can cause chronic health problems if untreated. “The people were so happy to get medical care. Some days, seeing so much sickness and disease, just brought me to my knees. I know it sounds cliché but looking past the disease and seeing the love in people is why I do this. It’s why I’d go back.” She recalled one tough day in particular. A husband and wife were injured in a bus accident. The husband had a serious head injury, yet no one tried to stop the bleeding or wrapped the wound on the way to hospital. His wife’s injuries were minor but she rode with him, strong by his side, as he bled to death. Continued on page 17

A Letter Home:

June 10, 2009, Cochabamba, Bolivia

This morning was not exactly the best. We were all woken up at 4 a.m. and told to go to the ER. There had been a massive bus accident in La Paz. One man looked like he’d been burned from head to toe but he had been cut so badly he had blood everywhere. They got an IV in him and fluids. We wheeled him in the X-ray room. Another volunteer hung a bag of saline. But the radiology tech didn’t see it so when she pushed the bed out of the way, his IV came out. There was no one around to stick him again but me … I knew it had to be done. If I had been in the States it would be another story. We saw 15 critical patients all at once and had 12 fatalities. The man I helped with the IV, survived. 11

welcome to my world

A Heart of Gold Judy Salyer, MSW By Kathie Stamps


n April 1995 Judy Salyer interviewed at Saint Joseph Martin (SJM), then Our Lady of the Way Hospital, never dreaming she would get hired. Her supervisor, Billie Turner, said Salyer “just seemed like the right person for the job.” Salyer received a bachelor’s degree in social work from Morehead State and a master’s in social work from UK. Today she is a department of one, as the director of social work and discharge planning at SJM.

What do your duties include? My job is so interesting, I can’t plan anything. I never know what kinds of situations I’m going to be involved in every day. It might be arranging a nursing home bed, crisis intervention for a teen, sending someone for substance abuse treatment, procuring medication assistance or trying to get somebody into assisted housing.

What makes you good at your job? I have a genuine concern and desire to help people. I like knowing that I’ve made a difference in someone’s life. I keep myself familiarized with all the resources in the community. In my absence, I have a social work resource guide in the ER, Med/Surg and in our clinics.

“ 12

Tell us about a rewarding experience.

He came back this spring and thanked me for never giving up on him ...”

One alcoholic I had been seeing 10-12 times over a six-month period had gotten into an altercation and needed to be transferred to another facility. At his discharge from this facility, they sent

him to a homeless shelter because he lacked having transportation back home. He hit rock bottom. He came back this spring and thanked me for never giving up on him. He said, “You thought I wasn’t paying attention, but I was.” Now he is leading AA meetings in the area. That meant a lot, to have someone come back and say thanks for helping, thanks for caring.

What type of outreach are you involved with? I’m the chairperson here for the Kentucky Blood Center. We do three or four blood drives throughout the year at the hospital. During the holidays, we have an annual food drive, collecting food items from the staff and donating them to a local church for needy families. For the spouse abuse shelter, we give them items from our Hasbro toy collection. The Angel Tree project is spearheaded by the mission committee; we join forces with the Department for Protection and Permanency in Floyd County to provide clothing and gifts for needy children. I take my kids with me to get Continued on page 17

Holiday Trimmings Green Gift Ideas

• Donate time or money to a charity in honor of the gift recipient. • Prepare an organic meal for someone. • Stuff stockings with energy-saving light bulbs or organic chocolate holiday treats. • Wrap gifts with colorful newspaper “funnies” or magazine pages. Re-use old linens. • Send E-cards. If you do send cards, use 100% recycled paper. From the Saint Joseph Health System “Working Green, Living Green Team”

Give Back! SJHS PTO Donation Bank Just a few hours of PTO can make a big difference to someone in need. The Saint Joseph Health System PTO Donation Program allows you to donate some of your accrued PTO hours to your local facility’s PTO Bank. You can donate to the general bank, or you can choose to donate to a specific person by listing them on the Donation to MBO PTO Bank form. Donated hours will be given to fellow employees who are suffering from a serious health condition or caring for a family member with a serious health condition and have exhausted all available leave. The PTO Donation Form to MBO PTO Bank can be found under the My Handbook tab on HR/Payroll Connection. Search for it by clicking on “find the forms you need” in the top right corner of your screen, then on “Benefits.”

Saint Joseph - Berea Lights for Life Make a $10 donation and recognize a special person on the Lights for Life Christmas Tree. The Lights for Life program helps low income and uninsured patients receive health-restoring prescription medicines at no cost, emergency medical care and patient/family assistance. Attend the tree lighting ceremony Friday, December 4 at 6:00 p.m. on the hospital lawn! Contact Katie Heckman at 859.986.6535. Christmas Partners Project Partner with the Appalachian Outreach Program in providing Christmas for families. Contact Jeanie Lawson at 606.843.0920.

Saint Joseph East Saint Joseph Hospital Saint Joseph - Jessamine Christmas Partners Project Partner with the Appalachian Outreach Program in providing Christmas for families. Contact Barbara Baumgardner at 859.313.4447.

Project Outreach Make a donation to the Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation in honor of someone on your gift list through “Project Outreach.” The recipient will receive a card in the mail that informs them a gift has been given in their honor. Submit donations by December 16 to allow for processing and delivery. To order your holiday cards, contact the Foundation at 859.313.1705, or visit to download the form and send via interoffice mail.

Savory Pumpkin Soup

Submitted by Chef Terry Crist Saint Joseph - London’s Professional Chef

Toys for Tots Saint Joseph East’s maternity education office (located in the MOB Education Center, suite 200) is holding a toy drive for the Toys for Tots program, sponsored by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves. Bring your new, unwrapped toys to maternity education to be distributed as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community. Contact Diane Prewitt at 859.967.2229.

Saint Joseph - London Shop With A Cop Partner with local law enforcement officers and help grant children in need a Christmas “shopping spree” in December. Children are identified by the local police department and given a voucher for $100 ($70 must be spent on clothing and the remaining $30 can be spent on toys). Employees are needed to assist with various tasks. Contact Sharon Hershberger at 606.330.3135.

Saint Joseph - Martin Christmas Angel Program The Christmas Angel Program will provide Christmas for 150 of the neediest children and disabled adults in the county. Look for the angel tags on the trees. The participants list clothing sizes and several wish list items. Gifts are due early December. Play Santa and fulfill a child/disabled adult’s wish list. Contact Judy Salyer at 606.285.6580.

Saint Joseph - Mount Sterling Clothing Bank The SJMS clothing bank welcomes donations of gently used clothing for adult and children patients. Contact Lynn Duvall at 859.497.7715 or Nathan Eldreth at 859.497.7755. Christmas Partners Project Partner with the Appalachian Outreach Program in providing Christmas for families. Contact Sr. Joan Wilson at 859.498.2585.

Flaget Memorial Hospital Christmas Family Sponsorship Sign up to support a family of limited means for Christmas. The hospital will be receiving referrals from the local Community Action Agency in early December for families of various household sizes with limited means. Volunteer alone or team up with your department! Contact Grace Craig at 502.331.9553.

Approx. 6, 8 oz servings 2 Tbs Butter ½ c Diced Onions 2 cups Chicken Broth ¼ tsp Pepper ½ tsp curry powder ½ tsp garlic powder

1 tsp Salt 1 tsp Ground Dried Sage ½ cup half and half 1 29 oz can Pumpkin Puree ½ cup Sour Cream

Cook onions with butter and salt over low heat until soft. Add sage, pepper, curry, garlic powder, pumpkin, half and half and chicken stock. Simmer for 30 minutes. Puree in blender in small batches. Serve with a dollop of sour cream. For pumpkin bowl, cut tops of each pumpkin and clean out the seeds. Roast upside down in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Cool to the touch and fill.

Lights for Life Home-grown program helps low-income, uninsured patients receive free emergency care and medicines By Amy Taylor

Social worker Brian Thacker (left) helped Ed North receive a 30-day supply of free medicines after discharge to keep his heart rhythm and his breathing Socialcontrolled worker Brian Thacker (left)stable; helped Ed North receive a 30-day supply of free medicines after discharge to keep his heart rhythm controlled and his they stable; cost far they morecost thanfar themore cabbie breathing than the cabbie could afford. could afford.



f you seat yourself at a table at the Black Feather Café in Berea at 3 p.m., you’ll see Ed North, a local taxi driver, enjoying coffee before his 4 p.m.-2 a.m. shift. Most likely the friendly cabbie will be discussing world events with other patrons. He’s been having his coffee there forever, it seems—except for one day last April when his heart went into atrial fibrillation. North made it to the Saint Joseph - Berea (SJB) emergency department, where he was put on life-saving medicines that brought his heart back to normal rhythm. “It took five days for them to get my heart going right,” he said. “Then it took four more days in the hospital to arrange for me to get a heart cath with the VA Hospital in Lexington.” Since the cab driver had no health insurance, most of his care was covered by an inpatient charity care program. North had no way to pay for medicines once he left the hospital, however. That’s why Brian Thacker, L.S.W., M.A., the clinical social worker in case management at the hospital, made arrangements for North to pick up a 30-day supply of free medicines after discharge. These drugs were needed to keep his heart rhythm controlled and his breathing stable, and they cost far more than the cabbie could afford: Lovenox, Lanoxin, Zocor, Zythromax, Duoneb, Albuterol, Prednisone, ASA, Aldactone and Amiloride. Thanks to the Lights for Life program, which pays for emergency care and medications for low-income patients without health insurance, North was able to access these vital medicines

When medications are expensive, some people do without. That’s how people end up back in the emergency department.” until Thacker could get him set up with a VA health care program. “Along with the medicines, there was a respirator to help me breathe,” North said. “I am eternally grateful to this program.” A number of SJB employees donate to Lights for Life in memory of a loved one. So do several doctors, and quite a few members of the community, according to Thacker. “I’m so grateful to the people who donate,” he said. “I think their generosity is awesome.” By law, hospitals must provide emergency department care to anyone who needs that care, Thacker said. But emergency departments often send patients home with written prescriptions patients can’t afford to fill. “When medications are expensive, some people do without,” he said. “That’s how people end up back in the emergency department.” All year long, Lights for Life, SJB’s home-grown program, helps low-income and uninsured patients get free emergency care and medicines, according to SJB Community Relations Manager Katie Heckman. “People can give to the fund year-round, but every holiday season, a big push is made for donations,” Heckman said. “The goal of the program is twofold. For each donation of $10, a light is placed on the Lights for Life Christmas tree in honor or in memory of a friend or loved one. Then we have a tree-lighting ceremony every December on the front lawn of the hospital, with music and refreshments.” Just as important, the donations are used to pay for

emergency care and medications for those who can’t pay for care, she said. This year the newlyformed SJB Patient/Family Assistance Fund (PFAF) will be added to the Lights for Life program. “We’re excited about this change,” Heckman said. “Now we will be able to meet urgent patient/ family needs associated with hospitalizations of low-income and uninsured patients.” Thacker has seen the Lights for Life fund bless many people down on their luck. “So far, in 2009, Lights for Life has helped 70 or more patients,” the social worker said. “And we’re still going strong.” Thacker treasures his many memories of people helped by the program. In one case, a homeless man in his early 20s sought care from Continued on page 17


common view

Mindful Expert By Kathie Stamps

“ R

The way we’re progressing we will be a major player in Kentucky in health care.”

obert Granacher, M.D., has always had an interest in medicine. By the time he was in fourth grade he decided to be a physician. “I had a close social relationship with family doctors when I was a boy,” he said, “who further reinforced me in that regard.” After receiving a degree in chemistry from the University of Louisville, he went to med school at UK to become a surgeon. However, by his third year of studies he had to have reconstructive


hip surgery, so he needed a profession where he wouldn’t have to stand on his feet all day. He chose psychiatry. “I walked on bad hips for many years,” he said. “They’re now replaced with titanium.” He served as a fellow at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital and received an MBA from the University of Tennessee. Today Dr. Granacher (pronounced grannaker), specializes in forensic psychiatry. He is a practicing neuropsychiatrist

Neuropsychiatrist Robert Granacher consults on complex cases, guides patient care and a clinical professor of psychiatry at UK. He provides consultation on complex cases to Saint Joseph Hospital (SJH). He also writes textbooks and trains other doctors on how to assess brain injury. “There are two boardcertified forensic specialties in medicine,” he explained, “pathologists and psychiatrists. The chief medical examiner and the behavioral part.” He testifies in legal cases all over the country about forensic psychiatry. “In my case, I have sub-specialized in forensics with brain injury.” For the board of directors for Saint Joseph Health System (SJHS), Granacher chairs the quality and process improvement committee, which provides oversight for the quality systems that guide patient care. The committee also credentials physicians and allied health personnel throughout SJHS. SJH is where Granacher’s career began. “I’ve developed a close affinity and love for the facility and the people,” he said. “I feel like it’s family now. I’d be lost if I weren’t involved.” His philosophy of medicine is that hard work, scientific knowledge and compassion lead to good patient care. “The way we’re progressing we will be a major player in Kentucky in health care,” he said, of Saint Joseph Health System. “The more proficient we get at what we do, the greater role we’re going to take in shaping health care delivery in Kentucky, partic-

ularly central and eastern Kentucky.” Granacher’s father was a county agricultural agent who brought the family to Meade County, Kentucky, when young Granacher was two years old. Today he and his wife, Linda, live in Lexington during the week and spend their weekends at their farm in Boyle County. Granacher’s favorite hobby is horticulture. He grows all kinds of orchard crops and raises Red Angus cattle on the farm. At Second Presbyterian Church in Lexington, he has served on the board of deacons and serves on the board of trustees.

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the emergency department for a respiratory infection. “This young man sticks out in my mind,” the social worker said. “We let him go upstairs into a room and take a shower. We paid for the medicines he needed, and then we got him a voucher that paid for a taxi to take him to a homeless shelter in Lexington.” In another case, a woman who had suffered a small bowel blockage received a free life-saving surgery at SJB, then spent about a month recuperating in the facility. When she was discharged, Lights for Life paid for her medicines. When a young child was hospitalized with bronchial pneumonia, his mother was unable to pay for costly drugs required for his breathing treatments at home. Lights for Life purchased enough medicine to see the child through the crisis. At many hospitals, these patients would be discharged without needed medications, Thacker said. “I’ve worked in places where it could take 30 days to get medicines from a prescription assistance program,” he said. “I think it’s just awesome that we have a fund here that can be used for immediate help. It gives me such a good feeling to be able to get patients their medicines.” The fund must be replenished if needy patients are to continue to receive life-saving care. To donate to Lights for Life, which is in its 23rd year, contact Katie Heckman at SJB at 859.986.6535. The tree lighting ceremony will be Friday, December 4 at 6:00 p.m. on the hospital lawn.

Later, in the chaotic ER, the woman wept. Vaughan consoled her as did others on her medical team. Even in her grief, the woman told Vaughan that she didn’t understand the compassion she was receiving. Never had she experienced such care from strangers. Now, back at home, Vaughan is studying to be a registered nurse. In the meantime, she continues to work in the emergency department. “I was getting my degree in business management but one of the doctors here suggested nursing, instead. I’m grateful she did. And, I’m grateful that Saint Joseph Hospital made it possible for me to go on the medical mission to Bolivia. It was a learning experience I’ll never forget.”

our items. Zac is 11 and Ethan is 4. I make sure they know this may be the only gift these children get.

To submit your story ideas or news to Common Thread, visit

Christmas Deliveries Continued from page 7

exposed her youngsters to the plight of the needy. “When my son was 18 and home from college, he went with me on deliveries. On the last trip one night we pulled up to a small house. The husband was out chopping wood for the fire. When he saw the Saint Joseph car, he welcomed us into his home so graciously.” “We walked into the house; it was a tiny place, maybe two rooms, with no TV. There was a three-foot Christmas tree and four little children. The wife gave me a big hug and asked, ‘Have you had dinner? What can I get for you?’ She insisted, so we had hot chocolate. When we brought the presents in, the mother told her kids to go get their old coats.” “As they were gathering the coats, the mom said, ‘I’ve heard that Lexington takes old coats and cleans them to give them to people in need. Would you take these coats back for us? That way maybe we can give something back.’” Thinking about it later, Baumgardner had a strong response to the mother’s generosity: “How much more beautiful can that be?”

What do you do away from work? My husband Tommy and I do a lot of outdoor activities with our boys. My husband and I are very active in youth services at Salyersville Freewill Baptist Church. I live 35 miles west of Martin so when I’m driving home I have time to release some energy and think about how the day went. Welcome to My World provides a brief walk in another Saint Joseph employee’s shoes. Do you know someone who is outstanding in his or her job? Nominate them at

Growing from 20 families in its first year, 1992, the CPP served 87 families and individuals in 2008. Baumgardner has a dream of uniting all the SJHS hospitals in this effort, she said. That way, if one hospital’s departments can’t serve all the needs in an area, another facility’s employees could pitch in. “As Christmas gets closer, we continue to find families and individuals who need help, and I’m always asking individuals and departments to adopt another person,” Baumgardner said. “I have even used neighbors and my own family as sponsors to help fill all the requests—even the week before Christmas, if needed.” Baumgardner’s supervisor, Rose Rexroat, helps coordinate Christmas deliveries, and makes deliveries. “To hear the stories as staff members go out on deliveries—to see children excited or parents in tears—that’s a special thing,” Rexroat said. “So many people live in remote rural areas. For somebody to come into their homes and take that time—they’re just thrilled to death. They need that attention.” To help out with the Christmas Partners Project, call Baumgardner at 859.313.4447 or e-mail The AOP is funded by SJHS and the Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation.


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Celebrating Our Daisies! Saint Joseph Health System (SJHS) held an appreciation dinner on September 30 for recipients of the Daisy Award for Extraordinary Nurses. In fiscal year 2009, 23 nurses received this honor. SJHS adopted the national program in 2008, with the support of the Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation, to recognize the super-human efforts of nurses. The 23 nurses who received the award in fiscal year 2009 were invited to celebrate with the co-founders of the national Daisy Foundation,

Mark and Bonnie Barnes. They began the recognition program in honor of their son, J. Patrick Barnes, who died at age 33 of complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP). DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System. They were so impressed by the skillful and compassionate care he received from his nurses, they wanted to recognize remarkable nurses across the country. Honored nurses: Carrie Barnett, Cindy

Blake, Diane Bowling, Kristy Carter, Melanie Donnelly, Shannon Evans, Sylvia Eversole, Sarah Fitch, Theresa Gordon, Vanessa Harris, Rhonda Hunt, Allison Manning, Jeanetta Marcum, Darcy Maupin, Frances McKeehan, Michele Phelps, Sue Raney, Pat Russman, Linda Underwood, Susan Webb, Whitney Webb, Sarah Willoughby, and Jenna Wimsett. To learn more or to nominate someone, visit, or look for Daisy Award nomination boxes throughout your hospital.

Bonnie and Mark Barnes (far left), co-founders of the national Daisy Foundation, joined SJHS CEO Gene Woods and SJH Foundation CEO Barry Stumbo (far right) in celebrating the fiscal year 2009 recipients of the Daisy Award.


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