August 15, 2018  |  VOLUME 34, NUMBER 14


Be prepared: Planning, relationships key to disaster response


The Carr fire crests a hilltop less than a half mile from Dignity Health’s Mercy Medical Center in Redding, Calif., on July 26. The hospital remained open throughout the fire, though it evacuated six babies from the neonatal intensive care unit, and cancelled elective surgeries. As Catholic Health World went to press, a hospital spokesperson said the fire risk to the hospital had ended.

Since late July, a wildfire has raged near Redding in northern California, and it still was only about 50 percent contained by early August. The New York Times said it already had claimed seven lives. And, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, by Aug. 8 it had consumed about 173,000 acres and destroyed more than 1,000 homes. Despite personal property losses, dozens of clinicians and staff at Dignity Health North State Service Area health care facilities were continuing to come to work, providing care to fire victims and other patients.


Sisters of Providence integrate housing, health care for frail seniors in Massachusetts

The Sisters of Providence broke ground earlier this month on a $9.25 million project to construct 36 affordable apartments for frail, low-income elderly in West Springfield, Mass. The housing will be integrated with health services already offered on the same campus through Mercy LIFE, a Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE).

Sr. Kathleen Popko, president of the Sisters of Providence, said the project is "a conscious, deliberate effort to integrate housing with health care" to keep a vulnerable population living with maximum independence.

Mercy Children's Hospital offers nurses summers off

Trial program addresses seasonal fluctuations in patient census and nurse satisfaction


What do you do about staffing when your pediatric census is seasonal, down in summer and full in winter?

Mercy Children's Hospital St. Louis in Creve Coeur, Mo., has a plan to address the problem. The new program offers nurses the opportunity to take a summer off with full benefits and a stipend. Participating nurses may choose to spend time with their families or fill short-term jobs offered in other cities. Either way, they keep their jobs and their seniority when they return to Mercy at summer's end.


Lower demand for care by improving health

Ascension member is part of a collaborative remaking health care delivery in Austin, Texas


Yolanda Pacheco, 63, finally found the courage to leave an abusive spouse in San Antonio four years ago. Unfortunately, when she fled her home, she also left behind her job as an administrative assistant in the public school system, and with it, her health insurance.


Trinity training program increases staff understanding of military culture

Goal is to improve care for service members, veterans, loved ones


While Dr. James DelVecchio surely has treated countless members of the military, veterans and military family members, in the past he was only aware of that fact when his patients or their loved ones volunteered that information to him.


Dignity Health applauds mindfulness, kindness in latest installments in campaign


Four years ago, Dignity Health came up with a "recipe" for its culture of spirituality: life-giving relationships, meaningful work and reflective pause; and it emphasizes these ingredients in its ongoing Hello humankindness campaign. This year, the health system added some spice to the mix with a visit from a celebrity and with videos documenting sweet, altruistic gestures made by elementary school students.


Paper calls out ways to ensure medical device donations benefit rather than harm


For more than 15 years, Bruce Compton has been working to ensure that medical equipment donated by the United States to low-income countries is usable, helpful and sustainable. His commitment stems from firsthand experience while living and working in Haiti for a nonprofit clinic that did public health outreach.

Keeping Up

Lisa Vance to chief executive for Providence Health & Services in Oregon, from senior vice president of clinical program services for Providence St. Joseph Health of Renton, Wash. Vance replaces Dave Underriner, who departed the position in April.

Christopher P. Brabant to president and chief executive of HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital of Oconto Falls, Wis. He was HSHS Eastern Wisconsin Division's executive director of surgical services for the Heart, Lung and Vascular Center and Prevea Health Vascular Surgery in Green Bay, Wis.