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February 1, 2015  |  VOLUME 31, NUMBER 2

Burn center treats deep physical and psychic wounds

Burn Center


MILWAUKEE — On the night of June 3, 2012, Cedric Jones lit a cigarette, unaware of a natural gas leak in his northwest Milwaukee home. "It was," he says, "a done deal after that." His house exploded. Jones suffered burns to 50 percent of his body including his face. He lost the fingers on his right hand.

Jones was an inpatient at Columbia St. Mary's Regional Burn Center for 144 days. Thirty-five percent of his burns were third degree — a classification for the most severe burn injuries that destroy every layer of skin and may damage blood vessels and nerves. Jones was in a medically induced coma the first months of his treatment. When he regained consciousness: "I just wanted them to let me go. God said that wasn't happening."

He knew what was coming. He'd been burned once before. Although that injury was severe, it was primarily to his arms. Still, his recovery had been so excruciating, Jones said he didn't think he had it in him to go through it again.


Parishioners in Lincoln, Neb., labor to build their church

Hospital's stained glass gets second life at parish


A resourceful Catholic parish in Lincoln, Neb., is building a church using materials and labor in a manner sure to cement the parishioners' attachment to the new church and to each other.

Volunteers from the St. Patrick Church congregation are using wood milled from trees harvested from farmland owned by fellow parishioners and others in the region to build the altar, custom cabinetry and pews. 

Trinity Health forms joint venture with Heritage Provider Network

Trinity Health and Heritage Provider Network announced a joint venture on Jan. 12 to build care networks to provide population health management in specific markets.

St. Francis de Sales

St. Francis de Sales nears opening as teaching hospital


Almost five years to the day after an earthquake destroyed St. Francis de Sales Hospital and much of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, a jubilant group of Haitian and U.S. government and church dignitaries mark a milestone of recovery and renewal at the dedication of the new St. Francis de Sales Hospital.


IRS finalizes ACA requirements for tax-exempt hospitals

On Dec. 31 the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Department of the Treasury published in the Federal Register final rules that address the Affordable Care Act's requirements for maintaining hospital tax exemption, including conducting community health needs assessments, developing implementation strategies to address identified community health needs and establishing hospital financial assistance and billing and collection policies.

The final rules apply to a hospital's taxable years beginning after Dec. 29, 2015. Until that time, hospitals can follow proposed rules, which have offered compliance guidance in the recent past. Many hospitals have been doing community health needs assessments for over 20 years, but the reviews became mandatory for all tax-exempt hospitals with the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010.

In a blog post accompanying the release of the final rules, the Treasury Department commented that the requirements added by the ACA were intended to protect patients and ensure that charitable hospitals meet their obligations to improve community health. The post said the final rules follow the same framework as the proposed regulations but "simplify the compliance process for charitable hospitals, while continuing to provide meaningful guidance on protections for patients and requirements to assess community health needs."

Faith is integral to Mercy spine surgeon's practice


Dr. Charles Edwards II's Christian faith is central to his medical practice at the Maryland Spine Center at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore.

Alongside the popular magazines in his waiting room and exam rooms the orthopedic surgeon provides Bibles and spiritual books. During medical exams, he may inquire of a patient whether and how she is drawing on her spirituality in coping with her spine problems.

Mercy Canton employee bikes to fight cancer

A staffer of Mercy Medical Center of Canton, Ohio, has bicycled 2,014 kilometers (1251.4 miles) across southeastern France and northern Italy on his own personal "Tour de Mercy."

Keeping Up


Monica Hilt to president for St. Elizabeth Hospital of Appleton, Wis., and regional vice president for the eastern region of Milwaukee-based Ministry Health Care. She was regional vice president of Ministry's northern region.


Matthew R. Kenney to vice president, mission and ethics, for Saint Francis Care in Hartford, Conn.

Dr. James Bleicher to president of the physicians' organization of SSM Health of St. Louis.

Saint Francis Care to purchase Johnson Memorial

Saint Francis Care of Hartford, Conn., plans to purchase Stafford Springs, Conn.-based Johnson Memorial Medical Center, which is reorganizing under a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. The organizations have signed an asset purchase agreement, and Saint Francis Media Relations Manager Fiona Phelan said the deal could become effective by early 2016, pending bankruptcy court and regulatory agency approvals. The organizations are not disclosing financial details of the deal at this time.


Hospital Sisters Health System joins clinically integrated network in Wisconsin

The Wisconsin divisions of Springfield, Ill.-based Hospital Sisters Health System have joined Integrated Health Network of Wisconsin, a clinically integrated network in Wisconsin that already includes four other Catholic health systems.

With the addition of Hospital Sisters Health System's six Wisconsin hospitals and the Prevea Health physician organization, Integrated Health Network of Wisconsin now includes more than 5,000 physicians, 42 hospitals and 500 clinics.

Ascension Michigan moves to buy Crittenton Hospital

The nonprofit, independent Crittenton Hospital Medical Center, a 290-bed acute care hospital located about 30 miles north of Detroit, may be sold to the Ascension Health Michigan system following a six-month period of due diligence announced in January.

Ascension Health Michigan includes St. John Providence Health System in Warren, Borgess Health in Kalamazoo, Genesys Health System in Grand Blanc, St. Mary's of Michigan Medical Center in Saginaw and St. Joseph Health System in Tawas City.

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