April 15, 2018  |  VOLUME 34, NUMBER 7

University of Providence

University of Providence paves the way to careers in health


Providence St. Joseph Health has an innovative way to make sure it has the people it needs to fill the unrelenting demand for trained workers in a variety of professions: it's growing its own at its own university.

Last summer the system rebranded the University of Great Falls in Montana as the University of Providence and created a School of Health Professions. And plans are afoot to add or enhance at least 13 undergraduate and graduate programs in clinical, administrative and Catholic mission-related fields within 18 months. The goal is to build a pipeline for employment at, or advancement within, Providence St. Joseph Health. The programs include a residential campus, satellite campus and distance learning opportunities, or some combination of these.

Mercy Virtual

Mercy Virtual services help patients maintain better control of chronic illness

Telehealth services augment care, improve outcomes in and out of the hospital


CHESTERFIELD, Mo. — From her home in rural Washburn, Mo., Norma Stryffeler answers a video call on her iPad to visit with her Mercy Virtual navigator Christina Meckfessel, who is located more than 280 miles away in suburban St. Louis.

"Hi, Norma," Meckfessel says. "How you doing today? All your vitals and everything are looking good today."


Assembly speaker says design contributes to healing in individuals and communities


When building a hospital, MASS Design Group subscribes to the philosophy that there's no such thing as neutral architecture — it either contributes to or impedes healing.

Plastic Straws

Dignity Health facilities remove plastic straws, stirrers from cafeterias

A Girl Scout is the catalyst behind budding 'just say no' to plastic straws campaign


Dignity Health has removed plastic straws and plastic stirrers from the cafeterias in all 39 of its hospitals. The San Francisco-based system estimates the move will eliminate the use of about 4 million single-use plastic straws and stirrers annually.

Combat Medical Personel

SSM Health hospital trains military medical personnel headed to combat zones


The fog of war wafts from a smoke machine. The sounds of gunfire blare from a recording. The dark of night comes from dimmed lighting. The victim is a male simulation mannequin who has lost his lower leg in an explosion.

Improving Eldercare

Benedictine and partners pursue innovations to improve eldercare

Plan creates workforce pipeline, supports research


An unusual collaboration formed in 2015 by three Minnesota faith-based nonprofits aims to identify and address challenges in long-term care including workforce shortages and ways to continuously improve care quality.

The initiative marries the brain power and expertise of leaders of two aging services organizations with that of the faculty and students at a university with a focus on training health care professionals.

Sisters Of Charity

Sisters of Charity Foundation efforts help sisters transition ministries to laity

A set of initiatives from the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland and some of its regional partners is helping to identify and develop lay leaders capable of taking over the ministries of women religious who will be retiring in the coming years.

Mishawaka Medical

Mishawaka Medical team treats women with high-risk deliveries en route to hospital

A clinical team at Saint Joseph Health System Mishawaka Medical Center is improving the chances of a successful outcome for northern Indiana women with high-risk deliveries, and for their babies.

Hartford HealthCare in talks to acquire Bridgeport, Conn., hospital from Ascension

Hartford HealthCare and Ascension are in negotiations for Hartford to acquire St. Vincent's Medical Center of Bridgeport, Conn., from Ascension. The two health systems have signed a nonbinding letter of intent for the transaction.

Under the proposed acquisition, the 473-bed community teaching hospital, as well as its nearby 76-bed inpatient psychiatric facility, its provider group and its disability services program would join the Hartford, Conn.-based nonprofit system.


Keeping Up


Rand O'Leary is stepping down as chief executive of the Oregon region of PeaceHealth, effective April 20.

Facilities within Bon Secours Health System of Marriottsville, Md., have announced these changes: Paul Gaden to chief executive of Bon Secours Maryview Medical Center in Portsmouth, Va., and Bon Secours DePaul Medical Center in Norfolk, Va.