OCTOBER 15, 2016  |  VOLUME 32, NUMBER 18

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SSM guides first responders in caring for its fragile patients in crisis


Shelby Cox, a longtime paramedic for an ambulance district in suburban St. Louis, loved her job.

But she sometimes felt uneasy answering calls for children in crisis.

For one thing, the majority of training for emergency responders is based on adult patients. But, medically speaking, children are not little adults. Ambulance calls to respond to a crisis involving a child with a serious preexisting medical condition or a condition that affects development or cognition can be anxiety-inducing for first responders. "It's terrifying, honestly," says Cox, who also works as an emergency medical service liaison for SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital in St. Louis. "You're walking into a scene where there's little information — a ventilator you've never seen, medical history you've never seen, medicine you've never seen."

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, about one of every seven children has a special health care need. Those can include cardiac issues, respiratory problems and seizures as well as autism spectrum disorders and developmental delays.

Catholic Health Initiatives, Dignity Health team up on precision medicine


Two of the nation's largest health systems, Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health, have created an alliance to spread the use of precision medicine in the health care systems. The Precision Medicine Alliance, a 50-50 joint venture between the two systems, was announced on Sept. 19.

Precision medicine is an emerging approach for disease treatment and prevention that takes into account unique characteristics of individuals including variability in genes, the collection of microorganisms in the body, metabolism, health history, lifestyle and diet.

Precision medicine is not currently in use for most diseases, according to the National Institutes of Health. Englewood, Colo.-based Catholic Health Initiatives and San Francisco-based Dignity Health want their new collaboration to speed the use of effective precision medicine throughout their two systems and believe their work will help to inform the use of precision medicine in health care more broadly, said leaders involved in the alliance.

Presence launches multimillion-dollar ad campaign focused on compassion


Chicago-based Presence Health is in the midst of a multimedia advertising campaign that underscores that the 11-hospital health system delivers high-quality care in a compassionate way.

The "This is Presence" campaign aims to build awareness of Presence Health and its mission and ensure people's perception matches the breadth of what Presence Health has to offer.

Dignity-backed nonprofit helps adults with autism gain independence


PHOENIX — As the mother of a son with severe autism, Denise Resnik often worried about the day Matt would graduate from high school and age out of comprehensive education and support services. What would happen when the school bus stopped coming? Could her son be guided to achieve some modicum of independence as he moved into adulthood?

Pittsburgh Mercy matches veterans' needs with service providers

Lee Tamburro's seven years as a security officer in the Air Force took him to Afghanistan and Germany, Russia and Japan. It was satisfying, well-defined work.

Life back home in Pittsburgh wasn't so clear.

"Civilian life seemed harder than military life," said Tamburro, 25, who was discharged in March. "I wasn't on base anymore. Nobody was telling me what to do. No set bedtime or when to get up. I found myself not wanting to do anything. I knew there were things I should do, but nothing lit a fire under me."

Ascension reorganizes, begins rollout of unified facility names


St. Louis-based Ascension is reorganizing its operating structure and has started rolling out a new branding convention that incorporates the system moniker into the names of Ascension facilities across the U.S.

Anthony R. Tersigni, president and chief executive of Ascension, said the changes are a continuation of an effort that started several years ago to create "one Ascension," an integrated network of the health system's facilities, using standardized approaches to delivering health care services. Ascension expects this integration to result in improved internal collaboration and better support for the system's clinicians and staff. The system also anticipates the changes will enable its facilities to provide more affordable and higher-quality care.

Trinity Health brings youth soccer program to communities in its network

Trinity Health is investing $500,000 in a U.S. Soccer Foundation program that teaches the fundamentals of soccer to children in underserved communities, while helping them establish healthy habits and develop life skills.

Livonia, Mich.-based Trinity Health's investment, announced Sept. 15, will allow for the expansion of the foundation's existing Soccer for Success program. Trinity Health said in a statement the investment is part of the system's Transforming Communities Initiative, which is focused on combatting obesity and tobacco use because these are among the leading drivers of preventable chronic disease and high health costs in the country.

Mercy Medical Center–North Iowa celebrates centennial year

Mercy Medical Center–North Iowa is marking its centennial. The Sisters of Mercy opened what was then St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in 1916 in Mason City, Iowa, as part of a broader effort by the congregation to open hospitals in rural towns and cities across Iowa. That effort had begun in the late 1800s.

The Mason City hospital, which opened with 120 beds, has almost tripled in size. In 1993, St. Joseph Mercy Hospital consolidated with North Iowa Medical Center, a Mason City facility founded in 1909 by a group of local doctors.

CHRISTUS Spohn to reconfigure two Corpus Christi campuses

CHRISTUS Spohn Health System is undertaking a $325 million project to reconfigure two of its Corpus Christi, Texas, campuses and to improve how it delivers care in the South Texas region of Coastal Bend.

CHRISTUS Spohn's "PATH" project will renovate CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Shoreline and consolidate inpatient services at that campus; and it will convert CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Memorial into a family health care center.

Ascension proceeds with sale of Lourdes in Washington, St. Joseph in Idaho

Ascension said on Sept. 28 that it signed definitive agreements to sell its Lourdes Health in Pasco, Wash., and St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Lewiston, Idaho, to RCCH HealthCare Partners. Terms were not disclosed.

Holy Cross to use $7 million gift to improve neurological services in South Florida

Holy Cross Hospital of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., will use a $7 million gift from a South Florida businessman to improve neurological care, with a focus on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. The donor has earmarked $2 million of the gift as matching funds in a community fundraising challenge.

Keeping Up

Trinity Health of Livonia, Mich., has made these changes: Edward Lamb to president and chief executive, Mount Carmel Health System, Columbus, Ohio. Lamb led IASIS Healthcare Corp.'s western division. IASIS Healthcare Corp. is based in Franklin, Tenn. Steve Kastner to president and chief executive of Trinity Health Senior Communities of Livonia, from president and chief executive of St. Joseph of the Pines, a senior living facility in Southern Pines, N.C. Kastner succeeds Ken Robbins, who retired.