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April 1, 2015  |  VOLUME 31, NUMBER 6

Home visits give doctors insights into obstacles faced by chronically ill

Billie Joe Kesson gets a house visit from Dr. Libu Varughes.

It takes a community to care for a patient


Billie Jo Kesso, 43, has been struggling to manage her diabetes and its complications since she was 22. Two years ago, she and her teenaged son moved from Chicago to Phoenix to live with her mother, a retiree.

"I was unable to live on my own but I felt like my disease was suffocating me," she says. "I was afraid to leave the house because I worried about passing out whenever I was alone. But at home, my mother — who had already lost another daughter to diabetes — hovered over me. I was struggling financially and physically, and emotionally I just felt so isolated."

That's when Kesso's mother encouraged her to make an appointment at the Internal Medicine Clinic at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix.

Cynthia DiFilippo, left, has a preliminary discussion with discharge nurse Cla

Oklahoma, New Jersey laws require hospitals to educate family caregivers


After taking her husband to the emergency room at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center in Camden, N.J., in February, where he was admitted for eight days because of gastrointestinal bleeding, Charlotte Finlay wasn't sure what to expect. Before diagnosing 68-year-old Dennis Finlay with an ulcer, doctors thought he might have a cancerous tumor. He also has a history of seizures as well as high blood pressure and atrial fibrillation, and underwent back surgery about six years ago.

Video interpreters' service makes prayer connections

As Fr. Tim Bushy administered the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick at Providence Newberg Medical Center, a Spanish-speaking interpreter provided a real-time translation via a two-way video for the elderly Hispanic patient. The patient was so moved by the ability to pray together with the priest through the aid of the interpreter, she thanked Fr. Bushy repeatedly and kissed his hand, he recalled.

To craft prayers that resonate, writers listen deeply to patients and colleagues

Susanne DeCrane takes part in a 150th Anniversary Mass of Thanksgiving.


Sr. Renee Yann, RSM, has offered prayers in Catholic health care settings for more than 30 years. Her capacity to inspire and comfort through prayer has deepened through experience, active listening and learning from what didn't go over so well. One anecdote comes to mind:

Name that robot

Eighth graders from Robert L. Vale Middle School in San Antonio watch as classmate Kevin Paulino (not pictured) manipulates the da Vinci Surgical System armature at CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital - Westover Hills. Paulino won the invitation to the San Antonio hospital for his science class in a "name the surgical robot" contest. His entry, SARAH, short for Surgical Attendant Robot And Helper, was chosen from dozens of entries. The class met with a surgical team on Feb. 27, and students were able to control the robot's fine motor movements and attempt to place candy and wrappers into some plastic cups. A surgeon had used the robot about a half hour earlier during a minimally invasive hernia operation.

With Prime deal's collapse, Daughters of Charity Health System seeks new buyer


Robert Issai

Prime Healthcare Services of Ontario, Calif., has decided not to purchase the six-hospital Daughters of Charity Health System. Its decision came 17 days after California Attorney General Kamala Harris approved the proposed sale, with conditions that Prime called "extensive."

When fourth graders buddy-up with seniors, fun and learning ensue


Ask the fourth graders at Clearview Elementary School near St. Cloud, Minn., what they've learned from participating in an intergenerational program at nearby St. Benedict's Senior Community and their answers are as varied as the children themselves.

For 10-year-old Kira Frisbie, whose special partner is Lila McIntyre, a former fourth grade teacher herself, it's a chance to "practice being patient and not being shy." Most important, though, says Kira, it's "learning to work like a team."

Keeping Up


Facilities within Englewood, Colo.-based Catholic Health Initiatives have announced these changes: Chad S. Aduddell to interim market chief executive for CHI St. Vincent in Little Rock, Ark., from executive vice president and chief operating officer of CHI St. Vincent and president of CHI St. Vincent Infirmary of Little Rock. He succeeds Peter Banko, who in September became CHI senior vice president of operations and chief integration officer. Also, Joseph Messmer to interim president of CHI St. Alexius Health of Bismarck, N.D., from interim president of CHI Mercy Hospital in Devils Lake, N.D. Additionally, James M. Hobson has resigned as chief executive of CHI Memorial in Chattanooga, Tenn. Ricky Napper, CHI Memorial senior vice president and chief operating officer, will lead the organization on an interim basis.

CHA's Fr. Nairn appointed as adviser to international Catholic committee on nursing, medical workers

CHA Senior Director for Ethics Fr. Thomas Nairn, OFM, is confirmed to a four-year appointment as the ecclesiastical advisor of the International Catholic Committee of Nurses and Medico-Social Assistants.

Ministry members called to protect environment, decrease carbon footprint

Climate change isn't just an ecological crisis, it's also a moral issue and public health concern, said presenters during a recent CHA webinar on "Climate Change: An issue of Concern to the Church, Pope Francis and Catholic Health Care."


CHA engages bioethics expert to provide consults, other services

CHA has contracted with bioethicist Fr. Kevin FitzGerald, SJ, to provide consultations to CHA members, contribute to publications of the association, participate in its programs, provide his expertise to its board of trustees and support its ethics staff.

Prime to acquire Mercy Suburban from Mercy Health

Prime Healthcare Services of Ontario, Calif., plans to acquire Mercy Suburban Hospital from Mercy Health System of Conshohocken, Pa., potentially as early as July. The acquisition is to include the 126-bed East Norriton, Pa., hospital and its affiliated physician practices and ambulatory care facilities. East Norriton is about 20 miles northwest of Philadelphia.

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