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PHYSICIAN SPOTLIGHT PAGE 2
William Kurtz, MD ON ROUNDS Fifty Years of Addressing Addiction Cumberland Heights Celebrates Half-Century Mark A little more than ﬁve decades ago, Nashville businessman Robert Crichton, Sr. brought up the idea of starting a nonproﬁt alcoholism treatment center in Nashville to his friend and personal physician Thomas F. Frist, Sr., MD ... 3
Residency to Retirement: A Physician’s Guide to Financial Health
Financial Experts Offer Step-by-Step Advice for Today’s Providers By MELANIE KILGORE-HILL
Pro athletes aside, some of the biggest paychecks in America belong to physicians. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, primary care physicians earn approximately $240,000 annually, with specialists clearing more than $400,000. While the promise of six figures has spurred on many a struggling med student, learning to manage those numbers is critical to a provider’s long-term financial success.
Student Debt First – the ugly. Physicians often enter the workforce with student loan debts in excess of $200,000. Marry another physician, and chances are you’re paying a half million dollars to Sallie Mae. Matthew Harrison, vice president of medical private banking at First Tennessee Bank, said school loan terms are typically 20 to 30 years with monthly payments similar to that of a house mortgage.
Prescription for Disaster? The Rise of Opioid Addiction in Tennessee & the U.S. It’s a ﬁne line to walk … managing patients’ physical pain without exposing them to the pain of addiction ... 5
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Leadership Health Care Completes Annual Delegation to D.C. By KATIE SCHLACTER
In the midst of a contentious presidential primary season, a delegation of more than 100 Nashville emerging healthcare leaders visited our nation’s capital to get an inside look at the state of healthcare policy. On March 14 and 15, the Nashville Health Care Council’s Leadership Health Care (LHC) initiative made its 14th annual trip to Washington, D.C., to hear from top officials about the latest healthcare developments “inside the Beltway” and around the country that will impact Nashville’s $73 billion healthcare industry.
VUMC Leading National Precision Medicine Study Vanderbilt University Medical Center has been selected to lead the ﬁrst-of-its-kind study, expected to change the future of precision medicine ... 9
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Innovation in Orthopaedics
William Kurtz, MD, Redefining the Future of Customized Joint Replacements By MELANIE KILGORE-HILL
For some physicians, the path to a medical specialty is disjointed. That wasn’t the case for Saint Thomas orthopaedist William Kurtz, MD. At 16, the young Texan was invited to work alongside an orthopaedic surgeon in his hometown of Houston, shadowing the family friend during countless joint replacement procedures. “I knew then I wanted to do that with my life,” said the Nashville surgeon. With one goal in mind, Kurtz pursued his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Rice University, knowing the training would prove beneficial in an orthopaedic residency. He graduated medical school from The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School at Dallas with Alpha Omega Alpha honors distinction. In 2000 Kurtz made the move to Nashville where he completed a residency in orthopaedic surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, followed by a subspecialty fellowship in adult reconstructive joint surgery at New England Baptist Hospital in Boston. Now a Tennessee Ortho-
paedic Alliance surgeon, Kurtz serves on the medical staff at Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital, Saint Thomas West Hospital and Centennial Medical Center. Today, Kurtz’s primary expertise is in the field of joint replacement and revision surgery for the hip, knee, and shoulder, and he performs more than 400 joint replacement procedures each year. He said orthopaedics has come a long way in a relatively short time.
Customization is a Game Changer “The greatest advance in orthopaedics is how healthcare can now be personalized,” Kurtz said. “When I replace a knee, I put in a personalized implant, which has been made specifically for that one patient.” Kurtz utilizes 3D scanning technology to provide patients with customized knee replacements from ConforMIS, where the surgeon serves on the surgical advisory board. Unlike “off the shelf” counterparts, ConforMIS’s femoral and tibial implants are individually sized and shaped to fit to each patient’s unique anatomy. Five to six weeks later, Kurtz receives an exact replica of the patient’s original knee, which he says means better outcomes and less down time for the patient. A Perfect Fit Utilizing his mechanical engineering training, Kurtz partnered with ConforMIS in 2011 to help develop the next generation of joint replacement. Now an influential part of the ConforMIS design team, Kurtz is widely recognized as an early adaptor and leading expert in the
field of customized implants. “We’ve taken charge in terms of doing research on implants and working on the ins and outs of developing the second generation of implants,” Kurtz said. “The product design element of figuring out what works well and what doesn’t has given me a more detailed understanding of replacement nuances.” Ever on the lookout for new ideas, Kurtz works continually in cadaver labs and experiments with new systems on the market to determine the best features to incorporate. He continues to develop technology privately, as well, and has filed more than 13 patents to date. “It’s been a passion of mine to improve care by improving tools and implants,” Kurtz said. “It truly is a dream job.”
Saint Thomas Joint Replacement Institute In August 2015, Kurtz and the STHS ortho team celebrated the grand opening of the Saint Thomas Joint Replacement Institute at Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital – a 94,000 square foot renovation with a $25 million price tag. (CONTINUED ON PAGE 6)
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Fifty Years of Addressing Addiction Cumberland Heights Celebrates Half-Century Mark By CINDY SANDERS
A little more than five decades ago, Nashville businessman Robert Crichton, Sr. brought up the idea of starting a nonprofit alcoholism treatment center in Nashville to his friend and personal physician Thomas F. Frist, Sr., MD. Crichton had recently returned from the well-respected Hazelden Treatment Center … forced to travel many miles from home to address his dependency on alcohol because there weren’t many other options in an era where addiction was seen as a moral failing rather than a disease. While Frist thought it was a good idea, he was in the midst of getting Park View Hospital off the ground. The story goes that Frist wasn’t sure he’d have the time or energy that would be required to start such an important venture from the ground up. However, the physician’s wife, Dorothy, thought differently. “By morning, Mrs. Frist had convinced him to do it,” Jay Crosson, CEO of Cumberland Heights, said with a chuckle. For Crosson, that decision to move forward with what would become Cumberland Heights turned out to be monumental from both a personal and professional standpoint. Purchasing a farm on River Road in the western part of Davidson County, Cumberland Jay Crosson Heights opened its doors in the summer of 1966 to offer treatment using the principles of the 12 steps with a focus on mind, body and spirit. “Originally, we only took alcoholic men,” noted Crosson. “We still use the farmhouse today for programs, but obviously the campus is much bigger now.”
Over the years, the scope of treatment has also widened to include drug abuse. Crosson said opiate addiction, including heroin, accounts for about 40 percent of treatment, with alcoholism being another 35-40 percent. The balance is made up of those with polysubstance abuse where a mixture of substances comes into play including alcohol, opiates, marijuana and meth. Today the main campus encompasses 177 acres on the banks of the Cumberland River and is licensed for 137 beds for detox and residential stays for adult males, adult females, and adolescent males. In the beginning, Crosson said everyone stayed for 21-day or 28-day programs. Now, there are a variety of options to meet people at their point of need, including two residential emersion programs where individuals can stay 30-120 days. Crosson said an important part of the program is recognizing the destructive nature addiction has on relationships. “Cumberland Heights had one of the first family programs in the nation,” he said. “We not only treat the patient, but we treat the family because addiction is a family disease.” Typically, families will come in for a mini-camp in the third or fourth week to learn about the disease of addiction and available resources. Toward the end of the program, patients and families interact and work to repair fractured relationships. In addition to inpatient programming, Cumberland Heights will soon have
Celebrating 50 Years of Sobriety
10 outpatient locations spanning a good portion of Tennessee from Chattanooga to Jackson. The ninth program opened in Crossville on March 7. “We’re getting ready to open our tenth intensive outpatient program on Music Row,” Crosson said, adding the program should begin accepting patients in the late spring or early summer. “We wanted something in the center of town that could address working people downtown.” Not only is the Music Row location ideal geographically, but Crosson said it also dovetails nicely with their work within the music community with both famous and not-so-famous artists, producers, songwriters and musicians. The treatment center’s commitment to the music industry was evident earlier this year as MusiCares and Cumberland Heights joined forces in Los Angeles to host a panel discussion for
the industry during the week leading up to the GRAMMY Awards. “Musicians have special occupational challenges,” Crosson said of the temptations available on the road or in late-night studio sessions. “One of the things a lot of people don’t know about are the celebrities who come through Cumberland Heights – and that’s the way it should be,” he said of the importance of protecting privacy and of treating everyone in the program in the same manner without regard to fame. He added the program for musicians is largely the same as for individuals from other occupations. However, a day of training is made available for the musician’s work family including managers, publicists and others to help colleagues better understand the obstacles to sobriety and ways to promote a healthful lifestyle. Cumberland Heights also has a music room to allow artists and others to work creatively while in treatment. “And there are meetings on Tuesday afternoons where recovering musicians and writers come out and talk to those in active treatment. These people have walked that walk,” he said. Crosson is equally excited about the (CONTINUED ON PAGE 10)
Healthcare coding changes do not follow conventional wisdom. Fortunately, we do. That’s just the way we do business.
There are a number of events planned to celebrate Cumberland Heights’ 50 Anniversary throughout 2016. In addition to the festivities, the treatment center has produced an anniversary booklet, commemorative coin modeled after the sober coins that are a fixture of recovery, and expanded their “Recover Life” communications campaign to raise awareness and honor the success of many who continue to triumph over their addiction each day. th
April 6: Women’s luncheon with guest speaker Liz Murray, best-selling author of “Breaking Night.”
May: Opening of the Music Row Intensive Outpatient Center Sept. 17: Alumni and staff picnic with entertainer Paul Williams as guest speaker. Oct. 5: John Hiatt & Friends fundraising concert at the Ryman. Fall: “Shelter at the Pond” commemorative ceremony as the original pond is restored and restocked with fish. December: Endowment Society reception. For more information on these events, please go online to cumberlandheights.org. nashvillemedicalnews
Using Data to Deliver Care, Decode Complex Treatment Options New Platform Looks to Improve Outcomes, Decrease Costs By CINDY SANDERS
There are few areas of medicine as complex and compelling as delving into the intricacies of the human mind. The very uniqueness that creates individuality means there are rarely ‘one-size-fits-all’ solutions to multifaceted physical and behavioral health issues. However, the team behind a newly launched national company believes they have crafted a way to inform clinical decisions and improve outcomes on a highly individualized basis while simultaneously lowering costs. Faros Healthcare, LLC – a spinout of Centerstone Research Institute and Indiana University Research & Technology Corporation (IURTC) – has developed a clinical tool that combines advanced predictive analytics with a patentpending artificial intelligence (AI) platform. The need for more sophisticated means to effectively treat the whole person has become increasingly evident as the industry moves toward value-based healthcare. “Behavioral health, in general, is really exploding,” noted Tom Doub, PhD, CEO of Centerstone Research Institute, one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit providers of community-based behavioral health and adDr. Tom Doub diction services. “The rest of healthcare is beginning to realize, based
on data and their own practice experience, that behavioral health is a very important part of achieving good health outcomes.” When depression or other behavioral health conditions are layered on top of chronic diseases such as diabetes or heart disease, Doub continued, the cost to care for that patient is two to three times higher than if the patient was dealing solely with the physical condition. And studies over the last two decades have consistently shown an increased prevalence of depressive disorders or other psychiatric conditions in the presence of chronic illness. “I think all of healthcare is really converging on not separating the body and the mind, and that goes along with the science,” Doub said of the rise in integrated care. Jim Stefansic, PhD, a biomedical engineer who serves as president of Faros, said finding the optimal route to treat complex physical and behavioral issues is part of the company’s core mission. Casey Bennett, PhD, the company’s co-founder and chief scientific officer, Dr. Jim Stefansic invented the analytics tool while working with Doub at Centerstsone Research Institute as a data architect and research fellow during graduate school at Indiana University’s School of Informatics and Computer Science. “We wanted to see if we could essen-
Neighborhood Health Receives Substance Abuse Services Grant The Department of Health and Human Services recently awarded grant funding totaling $881,931 to three Tennessee health clinics. In Middle Tennessee, Neighborhood Health’s grant was for $231,931 and will assist in expanding its program of screening patients for substance use disorders and providing intervention, counseling and referral. The organization will also use this grant to support medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder. The program will include assessment, therapy, education, peer support, and care coordination. Four staff members will be added to provide the additional services, and patient enrollment is expected to begin in August. “Tennessee is in the top 12 states in the country for prescribing opioid pain relievers, and unfortunately, ranks 11th highest in the rate of drug-related deaths,” said Mary Bufwack, PhD, CEO of Neighborhood Health. “The number of opioid overdoses continues to increase – 129 in Nashville/Davidson County in 2014 alone. We anticipate screening more than 3,500 Mary Bufwack individuals in the first year of this program and treating at least 60 in the medication-assisted treatment program.” In total, $94 million in Affordable Care Act funding was distributed to 271 health centers in 45 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico to improve and expand substance abuse services, with a special focus on the treatment of opioid disorders in underserved populations. It is estimated the number of unintentional overdose deaths from prescription pain medications has nearly quadrupled from 1999 to 2013, and deaths related to heroin increased 39 percent between 2012 and 2013.
tially develop a smart algorithm,” Doub said. “It’s not just one decision you have to make in healthcare, it’s many decisions; and the better you make those series of decisions, the better the outcome for patients.” With data and demographics from more than 6,700 Centerstone patients with a clinical diagnosis of major clinical depression, of which between 65-70 percent also had a chronic physical co-morbid condition, Bennett and IU Assistant Professor Kris Hauser showed the efficacy of applying the augmented intelligence platform. Using 500 randomly selected patients for simulations, the team was able to utilize AI to improve outcomes by nearly 40 percent compared to baseline while simultaneously lowering the cost of care by about 50 percent. The results were published in Artificial Intelligence in Medicine in January 2013, Stefansic explained Faros AI & Analytics Platform, which is co-owned by Centerstone and IURTC, personalizes the approach to care through the use of machine learning. Not only does the software make recommendations on the optimal course of treatment for complex conditions through data analytics from an initial set of parameters and markers, but it has the ability to learn over time and suggest adjustments to the protocol based on patient outcomes or changes in parameters while also calculating treatment costs. The cloud-based platform can update in real time to provide point-of-care notifications to providers, who can then factor the new cost and outcomes data into the decision-making process to determine whether or not a treatment plan should be modified. Stefansic stressed it was equally critical that providers both feel confident in the results and be able to access the information as part of their natural workflow. “Moving both sides of the costs-of-care value equation is essential in transforming
our healthcare system, and we’re incredibly excited to bring this power to providers,” Stefansic said of the platform that integrates with existing EHR and population health software. “What’s great about our technology,” he continued, “is it’s perfectly suited to treat complex health conditions, and behavioral health fits right in that wheelhouse.” He added the technology is not limited to those with a behavioral health diagnoses but also could be deployed for patients with any number of variables and co-morbid conditions that might complicate a treatment plan. Stefansic noted there are ‘big tent’ considerations when treating for a set of conditions. However, he continued, when you drill down into the patient population under that big tent, there are many variables. For example, he said, a 65-year-old, widowed diabetic who lives alone in the country probably faces different challenges … and potentially different outcomes … than a 45-year-old diabetic mother of two in the inner city. Doub likened the additional layer of machine learning on top of the predictive analytics component to the refinements over time in way-finding technology. “It’s like Waze vs. MapQuest,” he explained. “A decade ago, MapQuest told us the straightest route between two points, but it didn’t allow for variables like road closures or a traffic accident.” Similarly, he continued, both of the women in Stefansic’s example were trying to arrive at the same destination of optimal health, but their journeys would likely look different so the most effective approach to treating them might also vary. Stefansic added, “We trust the clinician knows how to get from point A to point B, but sometimes you still use your GPS because you don’t know what the conditions will be like. We just want to give them more tools.”
Patient Engagement Tablets Used in TriStar Skyline ER TriStar Skyline Medical Center is using technology to engage with patients during a visit to the emergency room. Patients and their visitors can now use a dedicated tablet for information, to provide real-time feedback or entertainment. “Our new tablets allow patients to use a familiar technology to connect with our staff and relevant health information and resources while they are receiving care,” said Heather Stafford, director of emergency and cardiovascular services at TriStar Skyline. The patient will have the capability to: provide real time feedback and reviews of their ER visit, receive information to make a physician appointment, read health content specific to their condition, access MyHealthOne patient portal, sign up for health insurance on the spot, and stay entertained by playing games.
Prescription for Disaster? The Rise of Opioid Addiction in Tennessee & the U.S. By CINDY SANDERS
It’s a fine line to walk … managing patients’ physical pain without exposing them to the pain of addiction. Making the balancing act even more difficult is the inability to tell which patients will use medications only as directed and which ones will escalate, sometimes very quickly, to drug abuse. The face of drug addiction in Tennessee and across the country has rapidly changed with images of the strung out, disheveled junkie being replaced by pictures of the quintessential soccer mom, established corporate executive or bright young college student. Recent assessments by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and others have found drug overdose deaths, driven largely by overdose from prescription opioids and heroin, have surpassed motor vehicle accidents and firearms as the leading cause of injury death in America. The report found 46,471 people died of drug overdoses in 2013 compared to 35,369 killed in car accidents and 33,636 killed by firearms.
The Federal Response In February, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration called for a sweeping review of agency opioid policies in the face of a national epidemic. FDA Commissioner Robert Califf, MD, MACC, said the agency would take a number of steps to reassess its approach to opioid medications including convening an expert advisory committee before approving any new drug application that does not have abusedeterrent properties. Additionally, he said the agency would improve access to naloxone and support better pain management options, including alternative treatments. In March, Califf announced the FDA would require new overdose warnings for all immediate-release opioids. On March 15, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidelines for prescribing opioids for chronic pain for patients 18 and older in the primary care setting. The guideline recommendations are specific to chronic pain outside of active cancer treatment, palliative and end-of-life care. In making the recommendations, the CDC noted healthcare providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for opioids in 2012, which is enough for every American adult to have a bottle of pain medication. “More than 40 Americans die each day from prescription opioid overdoses; we must act now,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH. “Overprescribing opioids — largely for chronic pain — is a key driver of America’s drugoverdose epidemic,” he continued, adding the guidelines will help phyDr. Tom Frieden sicians and patients make informed decisions about treatment. nashvillemedicalnews
In a teleconference announcing the guidelines, Frieden said the risks of using opioids far outweighs the benefits for most patients and noted safer alternatives exist. The 12 recommendations focused on three areas of consideration: determining when to initiate or continue opioid treatment; selecting, dosing, duration and discontinuation of a treatment plan; and assessing the risk and addressing the harms of opioid use. Key points include recognizing nonpharmacologic therapy and non-opioid therapy as preferred for chronic pain, establishing treatment goals with patients including realistic goals for pain and function, considering how opioid therapy will be discontinued if benefits do not outweigh risk, and engaging in ongoing discussions about the known risks and realistic benefits of opioid therapy. When starting opioid therapy, the recommendations call for prescribing at the lowest effective dosage, avoiding increasing dosage to ≥ 90 MME/day or carefully justifying that decision, prescribing for three days or less for acute pain and rarely more than seven days, evaluating benefits vs. harms within one to four weeks of starting opioids or escalating dosage, and continuing to evaluate every three months or more frequently. To assess risk, the CDC calls for clinicians to review the patient’s history of controlled substance prescriptions and to check state databases before and during opioid therapy, to use urine drug testing before staring opioid therapy and consider using urine drug testing at least annually, to avoid prescribing pain medication and benzodiazepines concurrently whenever possible, and to offer or arrange for evidence-based treatment for patients with opioid use disorder. Go online to NashvilleMedicalNews. com for links to the FDA announcement, CDC guideline recommendations, and CDC prescribing checklist.
The Problem in Tennessee In February, the Tennessee Department of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) reported the state has seen a steady decline in prescription opioid drugs seizures according to data from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. In 2012, there were 6,988 opioid seizures compared to 4,696 in 2014. The drop coincides with the launch of Tennessee’s Prescription for Success initiative. However, the law of unintended consequences might be in play as the state is seeing an increased appetite for heroin and painkiller replacement medication buprenorphine, which is now widely prescribed to ease opioid withdrawal symptoms and cravings. “It’s troubling to see these ‘so called’ painkiller replacement therapies dispensed by unlicensed clinics getting pa-
tients hooked and dependent on another drug, just as they were to prescription pain pills,” said TDMHSAS Commissioner Douglas Varney. “Our statewide, multiagency Prescription for Success strategy did an excellent job of reducing demand for prescription pain opioid medications, but once again I’m very concerned about what’s Douglas Varney emerging in our state.” There were 82 heroin seizures by the TBI in 2009, rising to 341 in 2014. Similarly, the 437 buprenorphine seizures in 2009 had increased to 1,085 by 2014. While approximately half of Tennessee counties had buprenorphine seizures in 2011-2012, that number rose to nearly 70 percent of counties in 2014-15. “There were very few heroin seizures by law enforcement in 2011 and 2012,” said Varney. “By 2015, seizures were occurring routinely in Tennessee’s larger cities and surrounding counties.” While the numbers of opioid seizures were down, information released late last year from TDMHSAS showed prescription pain medicine remained the reigning ‘drug of choice’ across most age groups and illustrates the gap between seizures
of illegally held opioids and the potential abuse of legally held prescribed drugs. Reviewing two decades of statefunded substance abuse treatment admission data (1992-2012), the research highlighted a trend of prescription drug use across multiple age groups. “Prescription drug use increased among all the age groups we looked at and jumped significantly among those in their 20s and 30s,” said Varney. Based on the data, 59 percent of those aged 21-24 listed prescription drugs as their primary substance of abuse, and 49 percent of those aged 30-34 said the same. While alcohol remains the substance of primary abuse among those 50-54, the number citing prescription drug abuse was also on the rise. “It’s very clear the addiction to prescription drugs continues to ravage Tennesseans of all ages with the greatest impact occurring among our young people in communities across the state,” said Varney. “We will continue to focus on strategies to reduce the supply and easy availability of prescription pain medicines, in cooperation with law enforcement and other Tennessee agencies. Additionally, we will ensure all Tennesseans have the opportunity to seek treatment and recovery for their addictions.”
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Residency to Retirement: A Physician’s Guide, continued from page 1 Fortunately, loan forgiveness grants are sometimes offered through employment at specific research institutions. “Depending on the specialty, physicians can Matthew Harrison train as long as 15 years,” said Harrison. “And they’re watching friends that may have started at similar salaries get into the workplace and work their way up, funding 401ks and starting families and their lives much earlier than they are.”
The Protection Phase The early years during residency and those immediately following are considered the ‘Protection Phase’ said TMA Medical Banking Division Head and INSBANK First Vice President Blake Wilson. He and Daniel Burke, Blake Wilson president of Burke Financial Group, LLC, collaborated to create a schedule of financial priorities for providers at various life stages. They said the Protection Phase typically includes 27- to Daniel Burke 33-year-olds with high debt and low income. “It’s important to remember that this
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time in their life isn’t about paying off loans or accumulating wealth, (but) rather making sure they’re maintaining an adequate emergency fund/cash reserve and locking in appropriate insurance coverage at a young age, especially if a spouse or children are depending on them,” Burke said. While saving during residency is unlikely, residents should avoid accumulating additional debt by living on less. Establishing a budget and not over committing to high rent, mortgages and car payments also will build good habits. For residencies less than five years, Wilson and Burke urge physicians to consider renting over buying, which might not be beneficial in the residency tax bracket. Take advantage of any employer retirement matches, and consider a Roth IRA for excess savings while you in a lower tax bracket.
The Role of Financial Advisors As residencies end, physicians are often married with families, living paycheck to paycheck and sometimes on credit to make ends meet. Along comes that first job, six figures, and a lifestyle that no longer includes Ramen noodles and PBJs. Harrison said the absolute first step physicians must make is to acquire a banker and financial advisor accustomed to working with providers. “A common misconception is, ‘I don’t have enough money yet to start financial planning,’” Harrison said. “They don’t really think those first years affect the planning process much, but any time you invest systematically for retirement you’ll end up with a larger amount by starting sooner than later.” While there’s no magic number for retirement savings, Harrison said retirees usually maintain a consistent lifestyle living on 60-70 percent of their salaries. Harrison said he’s seeing an industry shift toward paying off student loans in those first years post-residency and delaying big, pricey purchases. “This age group coming up now has lived through the recession, and they saw parents with stable incomes lose jobs or have to downsize,” Harrison said. “They’ve seen friends go to school and train for a position and come out with a master’s degree and not find a job. There’s a responsibility that comes with a good income, and the mindset of physicians today has changed from years ago.” That often means before the nice house, car, or much needed vacation, physicians are reviewing risk management and life insurance policies. Since a provider’s greatest ability is working with his hands, a good disability policy also is a must. Mortgage Loan Programs for Doctors For many new physicians, buying
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a home quickly follows suit. For some, particularly in markets where rents are astronomically high, that might mean purchasing during residency. For others, the first big job could require relocating a family to a new city. Throw in the desire to live in a safe neighborhood close to a downtown medical center, and housing costs can be staggering. Many banks today offer special finance options – including zero percent down - available only to physicians. “Clients are relieved to learn they can move into a new chapter of Stephanie Arcelay their lives in purchasing a home and not have to wait for 20 percent down,” said Stephanie Arcelay, mortgage loan officer and doctor loan specialist at SunTrust Mortgage. Their physician mortgage benefit is among the oldest of its kind in the nation, offering loans with zero percent down during internship, residency and fellowship to down payments of 5 or 10 percent post-training. In 2015 Arcelay closed loans for more than 150 area MDs, DOs, DDS and DMDs. “They often expect to pay a higher rate because there’s no private mortgage insurance, and they want to know what the catch is,” Arcelay said. “It’s an amazing product, but there’s no catch.” SunTrust’s Doctor Loan Program includes 15 and 30 year fixed loans, as well as adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs), most popular among residents temporarily moving to a new city like Nashville. “The Nashville market is very aggressive right now and consistently among the top rated areas to live,” Arcelay said. “You’ll have to pay to live somewhere; and right now with rates where they are, it’s cheaper to buy than rent, especially in popular areas.”
The Accumulation Phase Burke and Wilson define the ages from 35 to 55 as the ‘Accumulation Phase,’ when the shift moves from financial survival to accumulation. They encourage docs to develop a student loan repayment strategy and begin maxing out their qualified retirement plan for immediate tax deduction.
“This time period is when financial planning takes on an important role in defining a projected retirement age so they know how to accomplish their long-term goals and under what timeframe,” Burke said. “If you are a practice owner, invest in your practice. Consider utilizing debt to add staff, locations, equipment and real estate in addition to a working capital line of credit for temporary cash flow needs. With each and all of these investment decisions, try to survey each opportunity’s return on investment.” Wilson cautions providers to not take on more debt than what allows them to comfortably sleep at night and to carefully choose a banking partner that provides accessibility and understands their business. “If you are a practice or other business and real estate investor, be sure to make proper transition plans,” Wilson warned. Life insurance-funded buy/sell agreements should be considered, and you should have regular evaluations to assess agreements every one to three years. “If you have developed financial and investment skills, or if your entrepreneurial spirit is not quenched by being a W2 physician, consider diversified investments in businesses and real estate,” Wilson suggested. “Have skin in the game, be active, and stress-test for margin for potential economic recessions.” He added, “Investments in medical businesses and real estate may be of particular opportunity and expertise.”
Preservation/Distribution Phase From age 60 up, providers are in the ‘Preservation/Distribution Phase.’ Kids are out of the house, their debt load is lower or nonexistent, and investments have grown substantially. “Providers in this phase should begin heavily weighing their appropriate risk tolerance to ensure they properly mitigate against an economic downturn that could ravage their investment balance and retirement income,” Burke said. While estate planning should be done as early as the accumulation phase, it often gets delayed until the preservation/distribution phase. “Their focus often shifts from ‘How much can I accumulate?’ to ‘What kind of legacy will I leave, and will I outlive my savings in retirement?’”
Innovation in Orthopaedics, continued from page 2 The project features eight dedicated operating rooms that are larger and more appropriate for advanced total joint replacement procedures. The facility also includes dedicated pre-op and recovery units, as well as in-patient nursing units. More than 1,000 shoulder, hip and knee replacements have been performed at STJRI since its opening. “The Center has been phenomenal,” Kurtz said. “We focus on one topic over and over again, and there’s tremendous value in that.” A single focus means improved efficiency and the ability to keep clinical staff on the same page. Kurtz said taking
a product line and setting it apart also improves quality of care and patient experiences. “Everyone has a goal of getting patients taken care of in the best way possible,” he said. “It’s really improved patient experiences and streamlined the process. The personnel and staff are a lot of fun as well, and do a great job.” Kurtz and his wife Emily, a Vanderbilt cardiologist, have three children. He also serves on the board of Nashville’s Faith Family Medical Center, which provides care to the underserved in Middle Tennessee.
Bringing New Life to Senior Living Brookdale Keeps the Focus on Individuals & Innovation By CINDY SANDERS
For the nation’s largest provider of senior living services, the equation for success really comes down to the power of one – one individual making a real difference in the life of a senior. In the case of Brentwood-based Brookdale Senior Living, that ‘power of one’ is multiplied across 82,000 associates in more than 1,100 communities in 47 states. “They are the 82,000 folks forging relationships with our residents. They’re the ones who make the magic,” said Brookdale Senior Living CEO Andy Smith. With the capacity to care for approximately 108,000 seniors and their family members, the company’s mission is to treat each one of those individuals with compassion and respect and to view each day as an opportunity to “deeply connect with peo-
ple in a profound and personal way.” It’s those connections that have been captured in a national advertising campaign, which launched last year. “When we think about our brand, it’s a manifestation of our mission,” Smith said of the campaign. “The brand is an expression of who we are. It’s an expression of the
essence of Brookdale and what we do … and it’s always about our people.” He added the ‘stars’ of the television commercials who share touching and sometimes humorous interactions with residents are all real Brookdale associates with real stories about real people. “There are no scripts, just their expression of how important their residents are to them, and that’s told in their own words,” said Smith. “Our goal isn’t to be the biggest, it’s to be the best,” he continued. Of course, size also helps. “We’re the only participant in the senior living industry who participates in each vertical in the continuum of care at scale across the country,” Smith pointed out. Brookdale’s service levels run the
gamut from independent living and assisted living to memory care and skilled nursing. “Unique to the industry, we have a seamlessly coordinated ancillary services platform built into the company,” Smith said, adding those services include outpatient therapy, home health and a growing hospice care business. In addition to being able to meet varying levels of care, Smith said Brookdale also offers services to meet varying socioeconomic levels. While there are many highend communities, Smith said there are also many that are targeted to those in the middle, which is a space for which he believes demand will grow in the future. “Demographic tailAndy Smith winds are behind us,” Smith pointed out. “The country is aging, the numbers of seniors are growing, and the number of caregivers is going down.” He continued, “I think there is a longer term opportunity for Brookdale and a challenge for the country. We have to figure out how to care for folks.” (CONTINUED ON PAGE 9)
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NHC Place at the Trace Prepares to Open New Bellevue Facility Anticipates May Occupancy By CINDY SANDERS
National Healthcare Corporation (NHC) is nearing completion of its newest assisted living and skilled nursing center in Middle Tennessee. The Bellevue facility is anticipated to open this spring, according to Gerald Coggin, senior vice president of Corporate Relations for the publicly traded long-term care giant, which is headquartered in MurfreesThis one bedroom with den floor plan from the recently opened NHC Sumner Place in Gallatin will also be offered in Bellevue. boro. The new center, called 80 designated for assisted living. Of the asstated. “With that growth comes the need NHC Place at the Trace, represents a $38 sisted living beds, 20 will be for memory for broader healthcare services for our semillion investment by NHC that is excare patients, which Coggin said reflects nior population, including rehabilitation pected to create more than 200 jobs. True the growing need in the community for services and assisted living. We designed to its name, the 135,000-square-foot facility residential services that focus on patients NHC Place at the Trace is located at the foot of the Natchez Trace with memory issues. to provide those services Parkway at the intersection of Highway 100 In making the announcement about and to do so with the and Pasquo (Sneed) Road. Construction is this newest NHC facility, Coggin pointed high level of quality care expected to be complete at the end of this to the continuing growth of the southwest and innovative services month with the center officially accepting area of Davidson County and the expandfor which NHC is well assisted living residents later in May. ing need for quality senior care services. known.” NHC Place at the Trace includes 170 “This area of the county has been reAssisted living resibeds, 90 of which are rehabilitation and Gerald Coggin flective of Nashville’s overall growth,” he dents have six basic floor continuing care beds, with the remaining
Medication Errors & the Elderly Home Instead Senior Care Helps Families Avoid Medication Mismanagement By MELANIE KILGORE-HILL
“Just Say No.” For children of the 80s, the U.S. war on drugs was a vigilant one with warnings about illegal substances echoing from classrooms, televisions, and dinner tables. Today the tables have turned, and many of those children are now caregivers to elderly parents and grandparents. Swamped by a barrage of orange pill bottles and little knowledge of their intended use, these drugs might be legal but are potentially no less lethal if used improperly. That’s why Home Instead Senior Care is launching a national effort to educate seniors and caregivers on the risk of medi-
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cation misuse. Home Instead provides personalized care, support and education to help enhance the lives of aging adults and their families, including Alzheimer’s assistance and hospice support. In a recent survey of seniors, Home Instead found that nearly one-fifth of those taking five or more prescription medications have experienced challenges in managing their medications, including keeping track of which medications they have taken and when. Let’s Talk about RxSM offers families free resources and tips, as well as insight into potential medication pitfalls facing seniors.
Challenges for Seniors “We’ve been talking about medication management for a while now and have been diving in to have those conversations with families,” said Maggie Lea, Home Instead franchise owner for Middle and East Tennessee. Of seniors surveyed, at least 57 percent were taking four or more prescriptions, with oneMaggie Lea fourth taking six or more, and 20 percent admitted to experiencing challenges. “With those numbers, we really needed to look at med safety,” Lea said. Medication challenges extend beyond taking the wrong pill. Factors affecting mismanagement include costs, the ability to open bottles and read instructions, taking meds no longer
needed and simply remembering to take them.
All in the Family Lea said medication management should be a family affair. Learn about a senior’s medications and provide reminders as needed. A complete medication list should be reviewed often by the family and provider to ensure all drugs are still necessary. Use pill boxes and medication trackers, or look into pharmacies like Simple MedsSM that package medications and vitamins in single-dose packs. Many local pharmacies also are willing to bubble wrap medications together, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements, at no additional cost. Since some elderly adults refuse to take pills, families can also talk to the pharmacist about putting it in liquid form or the possibility of breaking medication up into food. “You have to be creative with what you do, but don’t get discouraged,” Lea said. “Ask a pharmacist for help and come up with a plan everyone in the household is comfortable with.” It’s also important for providers to have ongoing conversations with family members. “What we see with families is that no one is talking to them,” Lea said “They feel as though they’re on an island and don’t know where to go. Providers need to know how to start those conversations and provide families with resources to help.” For more information and tips, go to www.LetsTalkAboutRx.com.
plans with variations available on many of them. Quarters feature one bedroom and one bedroom with a study options, full baths and most include kitchenettes for simple meal prep. Residents and those undergoing rehab also have access to restaurant-type service in a large dining area with meal options available to accommodate special dietary needs. Following national trends, the facility also features amenities and activities requested by seniors. A theater, garden area, Wi-Fi throughout, and multiple gathering places, which includes cocktail and hors d’oeuvres socials, are all available. The facility also employs an activities director for onsite group functions and has a van available to allow residents to take advantage of area attractions and amenities such as the nearby Chaffin’s Barn Dinner Theatre, Cheekwood, and soon-to-be-open One Bellevue Place. Additionally, the new center features a number of distinctive design elements to enhance the level of care and the experience of patients and visitors, including: • Shorter hallways to provide closer proximity to patients for NHC partners (the name given NHC staff) and more comfortable space for the patients; • Special carpets and furnishings in the memory care space that provide a soothing environment and help patients with dementia recognize space and distance; • A more home-like design with higher ceilings, upgraded carpeting and more decorative touches; • A large and centrally located gym for both rehabilitation care and residential use; and • A centralized, professional kitchen to serve the entire facility to ensure consistency and quality of food service to all residents and guests. Coggin said these design elements are critical parts to a center’s success. In addition, NHC Place at the Trace incorporates a variable refrigerant flow mechanical system to enhance air quality while reducing energy consumption. Coggin said extensive meetings and planning between the facility designer Johnson + Bailey Architects and NHC’s varied healthcare departments helped shape the project and led to the incorporation of key design elements that improve comfort, quality and satisfaction. American Constructors is the contractor for the project. In addition to the new Bellevue facility, NHC operates nine affiliated centers in the greater Nashville area. The company opened NHC Place, Sumner, in Gallatin last year. A new center, in partnership with Maury Regional Medical Center, is slated to open this fall in nearby Columbia. NHC is also expanding several centers in South Carolina. nashvillemedicalnews
VUMC Leading National Precision Medicine Study By MELANIE KILGORE-HILL
Vanderbilt University Medical Center has been selected to lead the first-of-itskind study, expected to change the future of precision medicine. In February, officials with the White House and National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced VUMC would lead the Direct Volunteers Pilot Studies under the first grant to be awarded in the federal Precision Medicine Initiative Cohort Program. The program’s objective is to build a broad and diverse national research cohort of 1 million or more U.S. volunteers whose participation will provide the platform for expanding approaches to precision medicine to benefit medical science for decades to come. As part of the Direct Volunteers Pilot Studies, VUMC will create and optimize a prototype informational website that is engaging to a diverse array of potential volunteers and develop an interface for obtaining consent and basic enrollment and health information that is efficient, effective and secure. The initiative is supported by a one-year grant from the PMI Cohort Program.
A National Effort with a Familiar Face Joshua Denny, MD, MS, was named principal investigator for the unprec-
edented study. An associate professor of Biomedical Informatics and Medicine, he served on the national PMI Working Group of the NIH Advisory Committee to the Director. Denny, who has been a fixture at Vanderbilt since his undergrad years, began his work in genomics in 2007 when the NIH kicked off a program that would become the Electronic Medical Records and Genomics Network (eMERGE). “I had also been working on Vanderbilt’s biobank to help launch that,” Denny said. “I became very deeply in- Dr. Joshua Denny volved in the genetics aspect of medicine – how they alter metabolism and response.” He went on to lead the research warehouse side of BioVU, now the largest single site biobank in the world. Denny then joined an elite group of researchers partnering with the NIH and wrote a series of papers for internal consumption outlining key aspects of the precision medicine initiative. The group convened April 2015 and their report was released in September. In February 2016, the first of many anticipated grants was awarded to Vanderbilt. While VUMC will partner with other sites to collaborate on data collection and promotion, VUMC is the
Bringing New Life, continued from page 7 The company’s size and geographic diversity also provide a front-row seat to witness how seniors interact with the system across the continuum of care and the necessary scale to develop and implement innovations and best practices based on those Brookdale Belle Meade observations. and energy to really improve the quality of “It’s interesting to see how the senior care our residents receive every day.” living industry interfaces with the healthTechnology is playing an increascare system,” Smith said. “It’s an evolving ing role in social, emotional and physical and maturing relationship.” health. Smith said seniors are becoming He added it’s also a relationship in much more technologically savvy. Brookwhich Brookdale is playing a growing role. dale is currently working on a social media In light of newer payment models that emportal geared to seniors that would allow phasize keeping patients healthy, hospitals residents to communicate more easily with and health systems are paying much more family and friends. The company is also attention to where and how older patients using a host of technological tools and diflive and what impact that might have on a ferent methodologies in memory care units senior’s overall health. to stimulate seniors with some degree of A few years ago, Brookdale received a memory impairment. coveted CMS Innovation Grant to test the Other innovations are geared toward ‘Implementation of Innovations to Reduce improving quality of life. “Our culinary Acute Care Transitions’ (INTERACT) team has developed a special set of spices program in 75 communities. “We showed that takes the changing tastes of seniors into demonstrable improvement in hospital reaccount,” Smith said. admission rates and drove them down by 17 Whether it’s major care advancements percent compared to baseline,” Smith said. or seemingly minor acts of thoughtfulness, He added the company is actively enSmith summed up, “The very essence of gaged in other innovations around care, as Brookdale is our mission, which is to enwell. “We are spending a lot of time, effort rich lives. nashvillemedicalnews
only clinical site for the study and received the single scientific award. Denny hopes the program will become a decades long study, comparing it the famed Framingham Heart Study, which began in 1948 with 5,209 adult subjects and is now on its third generation of participants. That ongoing study is widely credited for revealing now common understandings about heart disease and heart health.
It Takes a Village … or Two The greatest initial challenge will be enrolling those 1 million volunteers: a feat Denny hopes to achieve in four to five years. “The biggest benefit of participating is contributing to science and being able to shape it,” Denny said. “Participants also win from the standpoint of being able to get some of their data back and be a part of communities where you can provide a voice.” While the program is still in its infancy, Denny hopes to soon learn how to research and engage that volume of participants so they want to stay involved. The next few months will be spent figuring out mechanics and building the initial infrastructure. Denny said local providers will play a key role in helping to recruit participants, as well. “There will come a time when pro-
viders will be more engaged, once we’re really ready to start recruiting,” Denny said. “Anyone in the country can volunteer, which means providers can share information with their patients. A lot of things come into play.” Vanderbilt researchers involved with the Direct Volunteers Pilot Studies also include Paul Harris, PhD, director of the Office of Research Informatics; Consuelo Wilkins, MD, director of the MeharryVanderbilt Alliance; and Sunil Kripalani, MD, director of Vanderbilt’s Effective Health Communication Program. Bradley Malin, PhD, founder and director of Vanderbilt’s Health Information Privacy Laboratory, will help construct platforms that protect the privacy of cohort participants. Jill Pulley, MBA, director of Research Support Services in the Office of Research, will oversee program architecture and organization. This summer, the NIH will award cooperative agreements for the full implementation phase, including establishment of a Coordinating Center to oversee Direct Volunteer recruitment, Healthcare Provider Organizations to enroll more participants, and a Biobank capable of storing and managing blood, urine and saliva samples for analysis.
Mark Your Calendar April 16: Installation of Meharry Medical College’s 12th President 10 am • The Temple Church, 3810 Kings Lane James E.K. Hildreth, PhD, MD, who began his tenure as president and CEO of Meharry Medical College on July 1, 2015, will be formally installed as the 12th president of Meharry during an Investiture Ceremony. The renowned HIV/AIDS researcher and Rhodes Scholar received his undergraduate degree from Harvard, his doctorate in immunology from the University of Oxford in England, and his medical degree from Johns Hopkins.
April 23: March for Babies 8 am • Nissan Stadium Riverfront The 2016 March for Babies raises awareness and funds for the March of Dimes mission with a three-mile walk – new this year, ‘Run for Babies’ 5K race. For more information or to register, go to marchforbabies.org/event/nashvilletn.
April 29-May 1: MedTenn 16 Embassy Suites Murfreesboro The Tennessee Medical Association’s annual convention is anticipated to draw 300 physicians, medical practice managers and other healthcare professionals to Murfreesboro for more than 32 hours of CME, installation of new officers, professional networking and the annual policymaking session of the TMA House of Delegates. For more information, go to tnmed.org.
The delegation featured discussions with members of Congress, administration officials and national thought leaders about key healthcare policy issues, federal healthcare spending priorities and healthcare reform implementation. On the first day of sessions, Darin Gordon, director of TennCare, discussed Medicaid policy issues with Matt Salo, executive director of the National Association of Medicaid Directors, and a panel of healthcare technology experts discussed the state of interoperability. During the keynote dinner hosted by the Nashville Health Care Council, Kristen Soltis Anderson, Republican pollster and author of “The Selfie Vote: Where Millennials are Leading America,” gave delegates an expert perspective on the 2016 presidential election. “The 2016 delegation provided our city’s emerging healthcare leaders with new insight into what’s happening – and what’s next – in healthcare policy,” said Hayley Hovious, Council president. “This year, the upcoming presidential election and its possible implications for national healthcare policy made for an enlightening and impactful experience.”
PHOTO: KEITH MELLNICK
Leadership Health Care Completes Annual Delegation, continued from page 1
Delegtates received insight and information from Washington insiders including panelists (L-R): Janet Marchibroda, Director of Health Innovation, Bipartisan Policy Center; Dr. Vindell Washington, Principal Deputy National Coordinator, Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology; Jitin Asnaani, Executive Director, CommonWell Health Alliance; Kerry McDermott, Vice President of Public Policy and Communications, Center for Medical Interoperability
The annual delegation to Washington is a signature LHC program. This year’s agenda also included: • U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (RTN) • U.S. Representative Jim Cooper (DTN) • U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) • U.S. Representative John Yarmuth (D-KY) • Jitin Asnaani, Executive Director,
Three Questions for Benson Sloan By CINDY SANDERS
Benson Sloan, board chairman for Leadership Health Care and director of Corporate Development for MEDHOST, shared his thoughts on the 2016 LHC Delegation to D.C., answering three questions from Nashville Medical News. Was there a specific speaker or panel discussion that particularly stood out to you? One of the most interesting speakers of the two days in Washington, D.C was the keynote speaker Kristen Soltis Anderson. Kristen’s portrayal of the millennial generation illustrated how we consume information in 140 characters or less, expect near real-time interactions with friends or co-workers, and would rather start a company than have a mortgage. The millennial generation is changing the way political candidates campaign, and soon the way they vote and operate. What are your key takeaways from this year’s event? The two-day lineup of speakers left the delegation with plenty to consider: • Solving for interoperability and creating a base architecture or platform for providers to administer care is critical to the evolving practice of value-based care. • InsureTN will need to seek creative solutions for gaining approval of expanding Medicaid. • It’s clear that bundle payments/alternative payment models will continue to be a fixture of CMS reimbursement. Judging providers on quality and value will reduce costs and improve the health of the patient but aligning incentives between providers, payers and technology vendors will be the accelerant. What is the value of the annual LHC Delegation to D.C., and do you think it impacts our local healthcare industry? Leadership Health Care nurtures the talents of up-and-coming executives in healthcare. The LHC Delegation to D.C. gives our members a rare opportunity to interact with members of Congress, top administration officials, and national thought leaders in a small-group setting, while learning about the latest healthcare policy developments. The chance for delegates to connect with D.C.-based leaders, as well as fellow delegates, over a two-day period is invaluable. On the other side of the coin, this trip is also a chance for LHC to showcase Nashville’s dynamic healthcare industry to the D.C. network. Building relationships in D.C. and educating policymakers about our perspective in the field highlights Nashville’s significant, diverse expertise. This is important as Nashville’s healthcare community works to move the industry forward.
CommonWell Health Alliance • Jeff Cohen, Executive Vice President, Public Affairs, Federation of American Hospitals • Richard G. Cowart, Esq., Chair, Health Law and Public Policy Department, Baker Donelson • Will Howorth, Director of Development and Special Assets, HCA • Kerry McDermott, Vice President, Public Policy and Communications, Center for Medical Interoperability • Janet Marchibroda, Director of Health Innovation, Bipartisan Policy Center • Meena Seshamani, MD, PhD, Director, Office of Health Reform, Department of Health and Human Services • Jake Sherman, Congressional Reporter, Politico • Kate Spaziani, Vice President, Grants and Federal Relations, New York – Presbyterian Hospital • Cathy Taylor, DrPH, Dean, Gordon E. Inman College of Health Sciences and Nursing • Vindell Washington, MD, Principal
Deputy National Coordinator, Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Seshamani headlined the delegation’s second day of sessions, updating delegates on the state of implementation for various healthcare reform initiatives. “The Washington, D.C., delegation always delivers new insights and information that LHC members can take home and use to enhance their business strategies,” said Benson Sloan, LHC chairman and director of Corporate Development for MEDHOST. “This event provides Nashville’s emerging healthcare leaders with speakers and networking opportunities that are unparalleled in quality.” Participants in this year’s delegation represented diverse sectors of Nashville’s healthcare industry, including hospital management, health insurance and healthcare IT, as well as professional services such as finance, law, communications and accounting. Delegation scholarships were awarded to Adam Harthcock, COO, Utilize Health, and Bryan Harris, chief Fellow, Infectious Diseases, Vanderbilt University Medical Center. PwC served as presenting sponsor for this year’s LHC Delegation to Washington D.C. Supporting sponsors were BDO USA, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, Change Healthcare, GE Healthcare and Kraft Healthcare. Lovell Communications served as communications sponsor. An initiative of the Nashville Health Care Council to nurture the talents of future leaders, LHC provides members with unique educational programs and networking opportunities. With membership of more than 900 up-and-coming healthcare industry leaders from 350 companies, LHC is the foremost organization for emerging industry leaders in the field.
Fifty Years, continued from page 3 Music Row center’s proximity to Belmont University and Vanderbilt University. He noted there is a large national movement called the Collegiate Recovery Movement that helps students with addiction issues and supports sober living. “We want to be part of that community, as well,” he stated. Everyone who participates in any of the programming is encouraged to participate in aftercare for a year or more, in addition to attending 12-step meetings. “Cumberland Heights is a safe place to come home to,” Crosson said of staying connected after the intensive portion of treatment ends. “It keeps them connected. In addition to that, you are with the same group of people. These people get to know you so if you don’t show up, they’ll call to make sure you are okay.” Crosson knows from first-hand experience how essential that level of care and accountability is to maintaining sobriety. “I was a patient here at age 26 in 1989,” he explained. After successfully finishing treatment, he became an active member of the alumni association and became an aftercare leader. He joined the staff
in 1993 and was serving as the organization’s CFO before stepping into the CEO position on an interim basis in 2014 and permanent basis in May 2015. “Because of my addiction, I needed a new start,” Crosson said. “Cumberland Heights is a place of second chances and new beginnings. That’s true for patients but also many employees.” In 1993, Crosson said there were about 100 employees. Today, the nationally recognized treatment center employs more than 350. Crosson said he thinks much of the success comes from being expertly focused on their core competency. Equally, though, he credits the “spirit of Cumberland Heights,” which he said is evident the minute you step on campus. That nurturing spirit is something the founders hoped people would find and latch onto when they arrived on the farm at a low point in their lives. “It’s a place of refuge,” Crosson said. “Nobody gets here at the end of a winning streak.” But over half a century, thousands have left with the tools to turn the game around. nashvillemedicalnews
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Capella, RegionalCare Merge In late March, Franklin-based Capella Healthcare and Brentwood-based RegionalCare Hospital Partners announced the intent to merge into a new company called RCCH Health Partners (RegionalCare Capella Healthcare). The new Marty Rash company will have 18 hospital campuses in 12 states with more than 13,000 employees, 2,000 affiliated physicians, and revenues of $1.7 billion. RegionalCare Board Michael Chair and CEO Marty Wiechart Rash will assume the role of executive board chair for the combined company and Capella President and CEO Michael Wiechart will lead the new company in the same roles, as well as joining the company board.
Sherry Leaving for Wisconsin It was announced last month Saint Thomas Health COO Bernie Sherry will lead Ascension Health’s operations in Wisconsin. His new role with Ascension, the parent company of STH, is effective April 4 and includes three health systems that combine to Bernie Sherry run 27 hospitals and 150 clinics in Wisconsin. A long-time health leader in Nashville, Sherry was president and CEO of the former Baptist Hospital (now Saint Thomas Midtown) before expanding his duties to include administrative leadership of Saint Thomas West, as well. Last year, he was promoted to COO of STH.
Bender Joins Mercy as Director of Development
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Mercy Community Healthcare recently announced the addition of Allison Bender as their new director of development. Bender brings an extensive background in development and fundraising to her new role with more than 20 years of event Allison Bender planning, donor development and grant writing experience. She served as executive director for The Shalom Foundation since 2008 and prior to that was regional director for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. In her prior roles, Bender impacted thousands of individuals with medical and behavioral health needs. A Nashville native, she received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee.
TriStar Skyline Welcomes Neurologist John Witt, MD, a neurologist and vascular neurologist, has joined the Neuroscience Center at TriStar Skyline Medical Center and has been named medical director of the Comprehensive
Stroke Center. Witt completed his electromyography fellowship at Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz. And his neurology residency at Washington University/Barnes Hospital in St. Dr. John Witt Louis. His areas of clinical interest include stroke, multiple sclerosis, dementia, neurorehabilitation, and electrodiagnostic medicine.
Combs Joins Centerstone Behavioral health provider Centerstone recently announced the addition of Heather Combs as vice president of Payer Contracting and Strategy. In her new role, Combs will be responsible for developing payer strategies, negotiating contracts, Heather Combs developing and managing client relations with the managed care industry, and overseeing emerging healthcare payer organizations. She has more than 16 years of experience working in the healthcare field in managed care contracting, account management and sales and previously worked with Cigna, MedSolutions, and UnitedHealthcare. Combs is a graduate of the University of Kentucky.
Patterson Named TriStar StoneCrest COO Sean Patterson assumed the role of chief operating officer for TriStar StoneCrest Medical Center in March. He joins TriStar StoneCrest from TriStar Skyline Medical Center, where he served as associate chief operating officer for the past two Sean Patterson years. During that time, Patterson orchestrated the expansions of the Neuro Intensive Care and Medical/Surgical units, piloted multiple tools to assist with MyRounding Patient Experience software, and managed staffing and labor productivity. He began his career with HCA as a manager of performance improvements in 2012 and before that was assistant administrator at St. Mary’s Health System in Evansville, Ind. Patterson earned both his undergraduate degree and MHA from the University of Kentucky.
TOA Moves to ONEC1TY Last month, Tennessee Orthopaedic Alliance opened a new office in Nashville’s ONEC1TY development. The practice’s newest and largest site is located at 8 City Boulevard and replaces TOA’s 301 21st Ave. N. office. Featuring new equipment throughout, including advanced imaging technology, TOA ONEC1TY offers physical therapy, hand therapy, MRI, the latest digital X-ray, and features new services including CT and fluoroscopic procedures. Additionally, the new location
offers an extended hours walk-in clinic that will provide both adult and pediatric patients with acute, but not life threatening, injuries immediate access to orthopaedic care. The walk-in clinic will also treat injured workers and offer drug-screening services to the workers’ compensation community.
Let’s Give Them Something to Talk About!
Awards, Honors, Achievements The University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) College of Dentistry Alumni Association recently presented its 2016 Outstanding Alumnus Awards, the association’s highest honor, to Philip Wenk, DDS ’77, president and CEO of Delta Dental of Tennessee, and Philip Wenk to Justin D. Towner III, DDS ’45, a longtime Memphis periodontist who helped found the association. The Middle Tennessee Chapter of Associated General Contractors (AGC) recently presented Turner Construction’s Nashville office with a Build Tennessee Award for the company’s work on the Saint Thomas Health Joint Replacement Institute. Turner Construction received an AGC Award of Excellence - the highest honor available within the Build Tennessee Awards in the $16-18 million renovation category. The Employer Support of Guard and Reserve (ESGR), an organization within the Department of Defense, has recognized Nurse Manager Kristi Crass, of Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital, for her unwavering support of her service member employees. The American College of Healthcare Executives of Middle Tennessee has announced the 2016 board members and officers. Bob Fink, FACHE, chief pharmacy executive for Community Health Systems has been elected president. Charlotte Burns, FACHE, vice president of network affiliates for the TriStar Division of HCA is president-elect; and Kevin Spiegel, CEO of Erlanger Health System, is the state regent. Andrew McDonald, FACHE, a partner in the Healthcare Consulting division for LBMC is immediate past president. Nashville-based HCA has been recognized as a 2016 World’s Most Ethical Company® by the Ethisphere Institute, a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices. This is the seventh consecutive year HCA has been honored.
The Money Trail
Nashville-based Urgent Team Holdings, which operates more than 20 clinic locations in three states, recently received a big boost from Texas investment firm Crestline to the tune of $35 million in debt and equity funding. APRIL 2016
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HONOREES Sharon Adkins, MSN, RN Executive Director Tennessee Nurses Association
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Nancy Schultz Vice President The North Highland Company
Stephanie Bailey, MD, MS Director of Public Health Initiatives & Dean of the College of Health Sciences Tennessee State University
Rita Johnson-Mills President & CEO UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Tennessee
Divya Shroff, MD, FHM Chief Medical Officer TriStar Centennial Medical Center
Beth R. Chase CEO c3/consulting
Amy S. Leopard Partner, Co-Chair of Privacy & Information Security Team Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP
Kriste Goad Chief Marketing Officer ReviveHealth
Karen Springer President & CEO Saint Thomas Health Senior Vice President Ascension Health/Tennessee Ministry Market Leader
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