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Catholic Health World

NOVEMBER 15, 2014  |  VOLUME 30, NUMBER 20

Program helps special needs children transition into adulthood


Most parents approach their child's 21st birthday with a sense of celebration for the exciting possibilities ahead and a dash of apprehension. But for the parents of severely disabled children, who lose many government-funded services at 21, it's a whole different story.

The Bolton family relaxes together at a July 4 picnic at St. Vincent's Adult Special Needs Services in Stratford, Conn. From left are Deacon Tim Bolton; Matthew, 13; Meagan, 26; Tim's mother, Alice Bolton; Mary Ellen Bolton, and Kaitlin, 22. Missing from the photo is son Tim, who lives in Phoenix.

"Even hearing and blind services go away when you turn 21," said Deacon Tim Bolton, coordinator of pastoral care at St. Vincent's Medical Center in Bridgeport, Conn., and the father of 22-year-old Kaitlin, who has Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome. "What, at 21 they're suddenly not blind anymore?"

But St. Vincent's Special Needs Services in Trumbull, Conn., has filled a need for the Boltons and many other families as their special needs children transition into adulthood.

The Changing Images program offered by St. Vincent's for special needs adults "is the only one of its kind in the entire Ascension Health system of (131) hospitals," said Raymond Baldwin Jr., president and chief executive of St. Vincent's Special Needs Services.

St. Vincent's Special Needs offers respite along with holiday festivities


The many pleasures of the holiday season — celebrating a meal together, sharing gifts, visiting with family — pose some challenges for families with a special needs child.

The Vernon family celebrates Christmas 2013. They are, clockwise, dad Walter Vernon, his mother-in-law Angela Crouse, Dina Vernon with her son Grayson on her lap, and his twin sister, Ava.

Holy Cross Health

Holy Cross Health opens hospital on community college campus

Holy Cross Health of Silver Spring, Md., has opened a $200 million, 93-bed hospital in Germantown, Md., in the same county about 20 miles northwest of the regional health system's 443-bed Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring.

Holy Cross Germantown Hospital is the first hospital in the U.S. to be located on a community college campus, according to information from the facility. Situated on the Germantown Campus of Montgomery County Community College, the hospital is the anchor for Hercules Pinkney Park, a science and technology business park.

Mercy Health's in harmony with professional, amateur musicians

Walk into a Mercy Health — Cincinnati hospital and chances are good that a volunteer pianist will be entertaining in the lobby. On special occasions, players from the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra perform at Mercy facilities as part of a partnership with the health system; and at other times, the Mercy Health hospitals stream the orchestra's concerts into patients' rooms over the hospitals' closed-circuit television networks.

Patients heal with time, and pleasant distractions like musical performances help time pass more quickly, says Dr. Stephen Feagins, vice president of medical affairs for Mercy Health–Anderson Hospital, in Cincinnati. A self-described lapsed amateur musician himself, Feagins used to play the guitar, the trombone, the piano and the drums.
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Patients become consumers in new models of health financing


CHICAGO — In shaping health reform, health policy makers built in economic incentives and disincentives intended in part to give rise to an informed and value-conscious health care consumer. While many experts in the business of health care already have shifted to calling patients "consumers," health care "shoppers" say health care providers aren't doing enough to make it easy for them to compare medical services, and access them easily.

That's the thread that runs through the 2014 Klein & Partners national "Kitchen Sink Survey" of health care consumers. Rob Klein, president of that Chicago-area branding and marketing research company, detailed the findings at a joint meeting of CHA's advisory committees last month at the Chicago Westin O'Hare.

School class

Through Crossroads, at-risk youth find route to productive lives


Until three months ago, Juan Flores, just 19, was already living a life of regret.

"I was at home, doing nothing, going nowhere. I wanted to get a high school diploma, get a job, even go to college, but I just wasn't making the effort," says Flores, who lives in Compton, a city in southern Los Angeles County notorious for gang violence.

Children playing

Kids hop, skip and jump for fitness

About 650 Los Angeles-area schoolchildren played their way through a circuit of interactive activities — and got a healthy dose of exercise in the process — at the "Cardio Carnival" organized by Providence Health & Services of Southern California.

The carnival for children in kindergarten through fifth grade took place in mid-September at South Los Angeles' 15th Street Elementary School and included activities that got the kids running, dancing and jumping.

Keeping Up


Kevin J. Slavin to president and chief executive of St. Joseph's Healthcare System of Paterson, N.J., from president and chief executive at East Orange General Hospital, East Orange, N.J. Slavin will succeed William A. McDonald, who is retiring at year's end.

Darlene G. Stephenson to chief executive of Bon Secours Mary Immaculate Hospital, Newport News, Va., from vice president of operations.

Kathy A. Young to president and chief executive of Borgess Health, Kalamazoo, Mich., from president of St. Joseph Hospital in Kokomo, Ind. She succeeds Paul Spaude, who 
has retired.

Gary P. Miller will retire as president and chief executive of CHI St. Alexius Health, Bismarck, N.D., 

Mental health program helps seniors deal with life's losses


The years of young adulthood and middle age are generally times of adding things — a spouse, a degree, a new job, a new house. But for many people, the senior years are a time of subtraction.

"As seniors age, many times what comes with that is losses — the loss of a home where you might have lived for 40 years, the loss of a spouse or other loved ones, maybe the loss of a driver's license," said Mark Staff, director of the Senior Renewal Program at HSHS St. John's Hospital in Springfield, Ill.

Holy Spirit Health System affiliates with Geisinger Health System

Holy Spirit Health System of Camp Hill, Pa., has become an affiliate of Geisinger Health System of Danville, Pa., in a deal that closed early last month. No money changed hands with the affiliation; nor did the organizations merge assets.

Expansion under way at two Mercy Health hospitals

The marching band of Cincinnati's Anderson High School greets arrivals to the groundbreaking ceremony for Mercy Health – Anderson Hospital, one of two Mercy Health hospitals in Cincinnati that are expanding in order to address a gap in services in the community.

Collaboration aims to lower costs, improve outcomes for knee and hip replacements


The Connecticut Joint Replacement Institute at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford is one of three project leaders on a collaborative organized by Harvard Business School faculty and staff and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement to improve the value of care by reducing costs and improving outcomes for knee and hip replacement procedures.

The collaborative, called the Joint Replacement Learning Community, runs throughout 2014. Harvard Business School faculty taught about 30 participating organizations how to use time-driven, activity-based costing methodology to map each step and cost involved with knee and hip replacements.

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