Flu season procedures in effect to protect patients, visitors, staff

when to come to the ed with flu and when to stay awayWith Arizona currently experiencing a nearly 800 percent increase in flu cases over last year, Tucson Medical Center has implemented new visitation procedures to reduce the spread of the flu and better protect patients, families and staff.

  • Children can be highly susceptible to flu and those under the age of 13 may not enter patient care areas, although nursing staff will consider extenuating circumstances. Parents are asked to provide supervision while children are in other areas of the hospital, including public waiting lobbies and the cafeteria or coffee shops.
  • Please do not visit patients if you have flu symptoms yourself, including fever, cough, vomiting or other ailments indicating a contagious illness.

Please remember to wash your hands and use hand sanitizer frequently. Also, please keep your hands away from your face to reduce your risk of contracting the flu.

Support from family and friends is important in recovery. We thank you for your help in keeping your loved ones as healthy as possible during this severe flu season.

TMC receives recognition as top 100 hospitals, health systems with great neurosurgery and spine programs

Neurosurgery-spine-programs-2017

Tucson Medical Center was pleased to be named to Becker’s Healthcare’s 2017 list of “100 hospitals and health systems with great neurosurgery and spine programs.”

The list of organizations reflects those with extensive neuroscience and spine programs and that provide treatment and cutting edge research into neurosurgical disorders. The editorial team examined national and regional rankings and awards for neurosurgery, neurological care and spine surgery.

“The hospitals on this list have earned top honors for medical excellence in their spine and brain surgery departments and we are heartened to see that our hard work in achieving excellent outcomes for our patients has been recognized,” said Chief Medical Officer Rick Anderson.

Becker’s noted that TMC is a regional leader in spine surgery, with specialists performing about 1,000 spine operations per year. National organizations have taken notice of TMC’s neurological surgery program; CareChex ranked the hospital among the top 25 institutions in the country for neurological surgery in 2018. Stroke care is another focus for TMC’s neuroscience department, which boasts Tucson’s only comprehensive stroke center with 24/7 coverage.

Stroke prevention 2018

TMC also has earned comprehensive stroke certification from the Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program and received the Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association. TMC also has a robust brain tumor program, and the Center for Neurosciences worked with the hospital to develop the Brain Tumor Hotline for newly diagnosed patients.

To view the full list, please visit:

https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/lists/100-hospitals-health-systems-with-great-neurosurgery-and-spine-programs-2017.html

 

 

 

 

 

TMC welcomes Tucson’s first two babies of the New Year

Two families at Tucson Medical Center had a lot to celebrate when the clock struck midnight and the calendar turned to 2018.

Baby Nic Tribolet arrived at midnight on the dot, and Baby Aminah Albaka came into the world two minutes later.

Both babies came early, earning a place as Tucson’s newest residents.

“He’s a delight. He’s beautiful and he defies description,” said Nic’s dad, Dominic, of his 7 pound, 15 ounce bundle of perfection. “He’s definitely our New Year’s present.”

Aminah, meanwhile, a petite 5 pound, 10 ounce miracle, was described as a “peaceful baby” by mom Christina Bowe. After a long labor, Bowe said, “All my worries left when I saw her. She’s just a little blessing.”

For more coverage of the babies, check out the links to reports by the Arizona Daily Star and KVOA.

We offer free tours of our maternity departments. Find out more about our services here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mission Moment: Traffic accident allows TMC Security to shine

IMG_8780

TMC Security Officer Raymond Dugdale

On a recent weekday morning, an elderly gentleman lost control of his vehicle and struck one of the signs at the entrance to the hospital.

TMC Security made sure the man and his wife were not injured, ensured the electricity was turned off to the sign, and directed traffic around any blockages.

Officers Raymond Dugdale and Richard Jaeger didn’t stop there.

They waited with the man and his wife about two hours until the tow truck arrived for the badly damaged vehicle.

They made sure they had water.

They helped the couple cancel some later medical appointments that day, since they would be dealing with the fallout from the accident.

The man called to thank their boss for the kindness they demonstrated.

IMG_8781Dugdale, who came to TMC three years ago after being drawn by its mission and the quality of its Security Department, said people might be surprised at the ways they are called upon to assist patients, families and visitors. On any given day, help might include assisting with failing batteries and flat tires, to finding lost belongings or even helping frazzled family members find their vehicles after parking in a rush to go to the side of a loved one.

“I like to be able to help people,” Dugdale said. “I just put myself in their shoes and in this case, it was clear the gentleman was receptive to help and appreciated it, so we responded in kind.”

Jaeger, who came to TMC nine months ago, added, “I would do the same for anybody.”

He learned kindness, ironically, from working in the prison industry. “Just because someone is incarcerated, you still treat them as people and so you help them when they need it. It’s the same thing here. I try to treat people like family, because they could be going through a lot here at the hospital.”

“What I like about TMC Security is that it’s a lot more than that. It’s overall just helping people, no matter what the issue is – like a complete care package.”

Tucson Medical Center earlier this year adopted a new mission statement. To celebrate, we are sharing an ongoing series of “mission moments.”

What are mission moments? They aren’t necessarily dramatic stories of heroism, although our medical staff saves lives every day. These are moments that breathe life into words – moments that are profound or powerful or touching and that remind us why we do the work we do.

Hundreds of these reminders happen every day. Thank you for letting us share some with yo

Mission Moment: Life-saving care inspires first donation to Mix Miracles Radiothon

Phil WagmanAlthough Phil Wagman says he can never repay Tucson Medical Center for saving his granddaughter’s life, he certainly tries – making the first donation to the MIX Miracles Radiothon every year.

At just six-weeks-old, Wagman’s granddaughter, Kaylee, became extremely ill. “Little Kaylee had a terrible fever and other serious symptoms – we knew it wasn’t just a cold,” he explained.

Comprehensive tests at TMC revealed Wagman’s instincts were correct. Kaylee had a splenic infarction – a serious condition in which the oxygen supply to the spleen is cut-off and threatens the vital organ. “She could have died,” said Wagman. “Their equipment and expertise saved her.”

For the past six years, 94.9 MIXfm has broadcast the MIX Miracles Radiothon from Tucson Medical Center. The two-day, radio fundraiser benefits Tucson’s Children’s Miracle Network hospital – TMC for Children.

In 2011, the first Mix Miracles Radiothon got off to an early start at 5:30 a.m. The Radio DJs were surprised to find Wagman already waiting.

“I wanted to be the first donor – it was time to give back and keep giving back,” said Wagman, who has been the first donor of every Mix Miracles Radiothon.

Wagman takes his participation a step further than dollars, answering the phones and speaking on the radio. “I want to share our experience every year – so that everyone can feel confident their donation is going toward the medical equipment and programs that save children’s lives.”

How is Kaylee now? “She is a healthy young lady who will graduate high school in 2018,” Wagman said.

“She is wonderful and her family can’t imagine life without her.”

Wagman shared another aspect of Kaylee’s care that motivated his philanthropy. “At the time of Kaylee’s illness, her mother didn’t have insurance and that really added to her worry.”

Although, there was never a worry for Wagman. “A strong push for my loyalty and love of TMC is that care is the first and foremost priority. I also knew that TMC has a program to help families in financial need.”

The TMC Community Care program is designed to provide assistance for patients experiencing financial challenges. It’s another way TMC supports the community and provides exceptional care with compassion.

Wagman is a native Tucsonan, who grew up less than a mile from TMC – where he has worked for more than 25 years.

“As long as they have a Radiothon, TMC can count on me to be the first donor.”

Every dollar raised from the Mix Miracles Radiothon stays at TMC, helping purchase life-saving equipment, promoting health and safety education and expanding pediatric programs.

Tucson Medical Center earlier this year adopted a new mission statement. To celebrate, we are sharing an ongoing series of “mission moments.”

What are mission moments? They aren’t necessarily dramatic stories of heroism, although our medical staff saves lives every day. These are moments that breathe life into words – moments that are profound or powerful or touching and that remind us why we do the work we do.

Hundreds of these reminders happen every day. Thank you for letting us share some with you.

Do you have a TMC mission moment you’d like to share?

Send it to Communications@tmcaz.com.

 

Mission Moment: Transporter warms hearts with simple gesture

Transporter Christina Ruebush living the mission by going beyond.
When a simple get-well card brought joy to a discouraged patient, a TMC employee decided to provide a thoughtful card to every patient she serves.

TMC patient transporter Christina Ruebush joined the ranks six months ago, after having an exceptional health care experience at TMC. “The staff were so polite and thoughtful that I knew this would be a great place to work.”

Ruebush’s fast-paced position takes her back-and-forth across TMC’s 100-acre campus, but she doesn’t mind. “I really enjoy the patient interaction,” she said. “Anytime I can be supportive or help in any way, I do.”

Not long ago, a patient motivated Ruebush to start doing something new. “I had transported an elderly man several times – each time he was very unhappy, grumpy and even mean.”

Ruebush thought about what might help. “So I went out and bought him a get-well card.”

When Ruebush was called to transport him again, she handed the card to the patient. Although Ruebush didn’t expect anything in return, she received a new understanding that would change her forever.

“The patient’s demeanor was completely different – he kindly thanked me over and over, and explained that he was alone, with no friends or family – he really just wanted someone to talk with.”

After enjoying a conversation with the patient, Ruebush stopped by the dollar store on the way home. “I decided that I was going to give every patient I transported a get-well card.”

For months, Ruebush has been providing every patient she transports with a card offering kind and sincere wishes. “It’s well worth the heartfelt thank yous and smiles I get,” she said.

This week, Ruebush is doing even more – she is providing each patient staying at TMC on Christmas Day with a get-well card.

“At TMC, we thrive on patient experience,” said Ruebush. “No matter what they are experiencing, patients appreciate knowing that TMC cares.”

Tucson Medical Center earlier this year adopted a new mission statement. To celebrate, we are sharing an ongoing series of “mission moments.”

What are mission moments? They aren’t necessarily dramatic stories of heroism, although our medical staff saves lives every day. These are moments that breathe life into words – moments that are profound or powerful or touching and that remind us why we do the work we do.

Hundreds of these reminders happen every day. Thank you for letting us share some with you.

Do you have a TMC mission moment you’d like to share? Send it to Communications@tmcaz.com

Mission Moments: Cultivating kindness at a crosswalk

Audrey Fimbres has started building extra time into her walk across Grant Road as she heads to Tucson Medical Center’s surgical tower from her office across the street.

A nurse and the manager of Pre-Anesthesia Testing located across from the main hospital, Fimbres typically comes upon others in need at least three times a week, and particularly as they head to the Emergency Department.

Recently, she came upon a man on crutches, carrying two large bags of belongings and clearly in pain, trying to make it from Grant to the Emergency Department. She had him rest where he was while she got a wheelchair to get him more comfortably to his destination.

The day before, she met a woman whose car was stalled in the intersection. Fimbres helped her call for assistance, and in the interim, called an officer from TMC Security, who was able to jump her car, revive her battery and get her back on the road.

“I want to help people and be kind to people – because sometimes people aren’t kind,” Fimbres said, adding that commuters were honking and yelling at the woman whose car had stalled. “She was crying and she clearly needed someone to be kind to her that day. You can’t just walk past people who are in distress or who need help.”

Fimbres started cultivating kindness as a way of getting through those awkward years in middle school when kids can be mean – and it’s something she’s practiced the rest of her life. It’s why she got into nursing 16 years ago and why she has been at TMC for the past 11.

“I became a nurse to take care of people and my favorite part of working here is all the ways we get to engage with our community,” she said. “I just think it’s important to think about what kind of day other people might be having and what they’re going through.”

Tucson Medical Center earlier this year adopted a new mission statement. To celebrate, we are sharing a series of “mission moments.”

What are mission moments? They aren’t necessarily dramatic stories of heroism, although our medical staff saves lives every day. These are moments that breathe life into words – moments that are profound or powerful or touching and that remind us why we do the work we do. Hundreds of these reminders happen every day. Thank you for letting us share some with you.

Do you have a TMC mission moment you’d like to share? Send it to Communications@tmcaz.com.

Mission Moments: Health insurance a passion for outreach specialist

Sylvia Brown lives insurance.

As an assister who helps community members sign up for insurance on the marketplace or through government channels, Brown knows when open enrollment comes around in the fall, she will be fielding lots of insurance inquiries.

“Off hours, after hours, weekends – you have to help when you get the call, so if it’s 7 or 8 p.m., that just means I’m hopping on the laptop to walk someone through it,” said Brown, who has been helping community members with marketplace enrollment since its inception in 2014.

After open enrollment began this fall, Brown received a phone call from a woman who was worried about the high cost of insurance premiums through her employer.

Brown walked her through why it was going to be more cost effective to stay with the employer’s health plan – but insurance can be complex, and she knew the woman would benefit from coming in after work to go through it in person. While she was at it, she helped the woman understand other benefit fundamentals, such as the difference between a health savings account and a flexible spending account – and how those could help her meet her health care goals.

“Even though I knew it wasn’t going to change the outcome and it was going to be a late evening, I wanted to take the time to sit with her and go through numbers with her so that she had peace of mind that she was making the right choices for herself and her family,” Brown said.

She makes her personal phone number easily accessible on social media – and has become a bit of the go-to guru on insurance for her family and friends as well.

Brown is so committed because she knows all too well the difference that insurance can make for a family.

“As a young single mother of small children, having to provide coverage by myself for my kids, there was one time my daughter jumped off the bed and cracked her head on the dresser,” Brown recalled. “I was so thankful I had budgeted to have insurance – so I know firsthand how important health coverage is and I also know there are so many consumers out there are in need of information.”

Tucson Medical Center earlier this year adopted a new mission statement. To celebrate, we are sharing an ongoing series of “mission moments.”

What are mission moments? They aren’t necessarily dramatic stories of heroism, although our medical staff saves lives every day. These are moments that breathe life into words – moments that are profound or powerful or touching and that remind us why we do the work we do. Hundreds of these reminders happen every day. Thank you for letting us share some with you.

Do you have a TMC mission moment you’d like to share? Send it to Communications@tmcaz.com.

Mission Moments: Missing tennis shoes meet a bulldog of a nurse

After an elderly patient left Tucson Medical Center following a stroke, her sister called in a panic.
The patient had compromised movement with partial paralysis of the left side that required special shoes to help with her mobility. They would be important in physical therapy sessions to help rebuild her strength.

And they were missing.

Will Bascom was the charge nurse that evening in the Emergency Department when the frantic call came in. He promised to track them down.

They weren’t in the Emergency Department and they weren’t in the room she recovered in. It took a bit of sleuthing, but ultimately it turned out they already had been brought back to the patient’s care home and were waiting for pickup.

The patient’s sister called later to say how appreciative she was. “Amidst his busy scheduled, he hunted them down. I can’t say enough about how he treated me when we were going through such a hard time.”

For Bascom, of course, he was going to help.

“More often than not, we see people in some of the worst times of their lives. It’s as simple as that. So if I get a request like this – to help someone out at a time when they’re going through this life-changing event and even a small thing means the world in that moment – I’m like a bulldog,” he said.

Bascom said people typically get into health care because they have compassion and empathy for others. “I treat everyone like my own family. I don’t care why you’re here and where you’re from. I’m not a judge. My job here is to take care of you. I think many people just lead such busy lives that it’s hard to have time for anyone else. I’ve always done what I could to help others.”

Tucson Medical Center earlier this year adopted a new mission statement. To celebrate, we are sharing an ongoing series of “mission moments.”

What are mission moments? They aren’t necessarily dramatic stories of heroism, although our medical staff saves lives every day. These are moments that breathe life into words – moments that are profound or powerful or touching and that remind us why we do the work we do. Hundreds of these reminders happen every day. Thank you for letting us share some with you.

Do you have a TMC mission moment you’d like to share? Send it to Communications@tmcaz.com.

Because medicine is not static: Meet Lacie – authentic obstetric simulator

obstetric simulator obgynTMC for Women is the lead provider for childbirth in Southern Arizona. Whether a mother is seeking a natural birth with no interventions or a high risk pregnancy that requires interventions and everything in between, the staff at TMC is constantly updating their knowledge to be prepared. Thanks to the support of the TMC Mega Raffle, a lifelike training simulator is giving techs, nurses and physicians realistic preparation to best address birthing complications and challenges.

During childbirth, serious health risks can arise suddenly and clinical staff must act quickly to protect mom and baby. “The better the training – the better the patient outcomes,” said Stacie Wood, clinical nurse educator at TMC for Women. “Our simulator is a bridge between classroom learning and real-life clinical experience.”

Just what is an advanced obstetric simulator and how real is it?

“The simulator is a wireless, robotic mannequin that can talk, breathe, blink, and respond,” said Wood.

The authentic simulator, which the TMC for Women staff named Lacie, is intended to be as human as possible – even her skin texture is strikingly realistic.

Yet, there is more to this mannequin than a realistic appearance. Lacie can give birth, react to medications, simulate bleeding and record metrics, such as the force of CPR compressions.

“We are able to train for all obstetrical scenarios and emergency care,” Wood explained. “Lacie offers unrivaled realism and versatility for clinicians to practice high-risk scenarios.”

TMC has taken full advantage of the unique training opportunities that Lacie offers. Lacie is housed in her own simulation suite, built to resemble TMC’s patient rooms. There is an adjacent control room with a one-way mirror, through which specially trained nurses operate Lacie using a laptop computer.

The control room also serves as a debrief room. Debriefing is the most important part of the training exercises. Participants are asked to reflect on their actions and discuss key learning points, which can then be applied to real-life situations.

Why is training with Lacie better than a standard training?

“Lacie is interactive and that makes the clinical participants more than observers,” said Wood. “The clinical staff engage the emotional and sensory components of learning that are beneficial for critical thinking, decision-making and delegation.”

TMC is the only hospital in Southern Arizona with the advanced simulator and one of very few hospitals to have the in-depth training available on campus. “Going forward, we will provide quarterly simulations using Lacie, because enhancing staff education and proficiency means enhancing patient care and safety.” Wood said.

 

 

TMC receives Dietetic internship accreditation

dietetic internship tucsonTucson Medical Center has been granted accreditation for a Dietetic Internship Program by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). TMC will accept four interns per year to complete the 1,200 hours of supervised practice in order to be eligible to take the exam necessary to become a Registered Dietitian.

“For this first year what we really wanted to do is give back to TMC, so we did an internal candidate selection. We wanted either an employee or a volunteer,” says Beth Dorsey, director of food and nutrition services. The interns starting Jan. 2 are Zoe Schroeder and Lance Kokot, both Food and Nutrition Services Associates. TMC will participate in the national match program for the next round of interns.

“You have to complete an accredited supervised practice internship in order to sit for the examination to become a registered dietitian. There aren’t enough internships in the United States and of those internships, there is only a 60 percent match rate,” said Dorsey.

To be eligible for the nine-month TMC internship program, candidates must have a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition with a Dietetics emphasis from an accredited institution.

“While precepting interns is a time commitment, it encourages us to stay up to date on the most current research and nutritional practice. All of our clinical dietitians are qualified to precept dietetic interns because they are credentialed through CDR and maintain a current registration,” said Dorsey. “We have precepted interns in the clinical portion at TMC for years for other organizations; we’ve just never had our own baby, we’re really excited.”

The full dietetic internship program includes community, clinical, research and food service. To build the program prior to applying for accreditation, Dorsey and Patient Food Services Manager, Ruth Halter, reached out to consultant Apameh Bashar, “Her expertise was essential to the creation of this program and we are so grateful for her,” said Halter. After guiding them through the development and application process, Bashar joined the TMCOne staff as a certified diabetes educator.

Dorsey says, “Ultimately, it’s good for the Tucson community. The reason that we did this is because the University of Arizona has so many graduates in nutrition, approximately 150 a year, and there are very few spots in Tucson to get an internship … maybe ten spots for all of the graduates. And if they don’t get an internship in Tucson that means that we lose them and we want to keep them in the community of Southern Arizona.”

TMC resale boutique holds big sale to celebrate five years of helping patients

resale, tucson, thrift, sale,What’s better than a great sale on quality clothing and household items?

A great sale, combined with the knowledge that all proceeds go to help patients and families in need.

The Teal Saguaro, Tucson Medical Center’s resale boutique across from the hospital, is holding a fifth anniversary sale on Saturday, Oct. 28 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., with a whopping 50 percent off most items!

When TMC opened the Teal Saguaro, it was envisioned as another way to raise revenues to serve the community, with all proceeds directly support TMC and its services.

The retail space also serves as a family resource center, where families can pick up free booster seats and bicycle helmets for children. And because families can’t plan for emergencies, the shop accepts vouchers from the hospital so that families who dropped everything to come to a loved ones’ side, can pick out clothing or other necessities to help during their stay, which can sometimes be days, depending on a patient’s condition.

“The Teal Saguaro vouchers bring a lot of comfort – providing a fresh pair of clothes for child patients and parents who have had an unexpected hospital stay,” explained Jamie Antrim, a child life assistant at TMC for Children.

Director of Community Programs Hope Thomas, who opened the shop five years ago, applauded it as a great example of a volunteer-run business. “I think it’s been such a success because it really combines creativity, a clean shopping environment and a fabulous group of dedicated volunteers working to support those in need,” she said. “We are thrilled to be celebrating this milestone with our community.”

 

 

 

TMC wraps up summer challenge asking employees for their best ideas

Tucson Medical Center five years ago embraced the Lean management process, which works to eliminate waste and tap the knowledge of employees to make steady improvement every day.

The Summer of Ideas challenged employees to channel their creativity and share their suggestions across the hospital.

More than 250 ideas were submitted since the July kickoff. Awards were given for the team and the individual with the most ideas, as well as the best “out of the park” idea.

Some of the ideas included a TMC-specific rideshare program, new software for clinicians and an app to help patients and visitors navigate the campus.

LeanAmyThree of the four finalists – and the winner of the category – for the most ambitious idea generators work in Unit 750, an adult medical unit. Unit clerk Amy Hill, who came to TMC six years ago, won a reserved parking space for a month.

“What I really appreciate about TMC is that there is an acknowledgment that those who are closest to the work often have the best solutions to improve a process,” Hill said. “I appreciate that whether it’s finding root causes of a problem or finding the where efficiencies are, we can all have some ownership of making things better.”

Janet Heckman, the manager of Unit 750, applauded the efforts of her staff. “Taking ideas from the front line staff who actually do the work is very important as I may not realize there is an issue,” Heckman said. “I also believe being heard is a huge employee satisfaction point as they feel empowered and heard.”

Ideas were logged on a Lean tool known as an “idea board.” There are 120 idea boards throughout TMC as well as at TMCOne locations and TMC Hospice.

It’s different from a suggestion box in that ideas – as well as any outcomes or solutions – are visible to the entire team, who can contribute to the idea as it matures, said Pat Ledin, the manager of Lean and quality efforts at TMC. “We hoped the Summer of Ideas would serve as a fun catalyst to continue driving engagement and we were really pleased with the participation across so many of our departments, from environmental services to information technology to clinical staff.”

lean ideas

Medical librarian Marni Dittmar, who picked up an extra day off as an award for her most “out of the park” idea, is an example of how the process worked. She not only came up with her idea for new clinical software, but then researched it to determine the benefits and feasibility.

Click here to see a short video about how idea boards are igniting creativity and empowering staff at TMC.

TMC receives prestigious national procurement recognition

procurement team

Tucson Medical Center was one of only 242 hospitals and health systems nationwide that were recognized for significant supply chain savings through efficiencies in procurement.

“As a community hospital, Tucson Medical Center knows the importance of efficiency in managing health care costs, even while never compromising on the ability to deliver high quality care,” said Kim Moon, TMC’s supply chain director.

The recognition is particularly special, Moon said, because of the 3,000 members participating in Vizient Inc’s group purchasing organizations, only 500 are even eligible for the award by participating in Vizient’s Impact Standardization Program, which helps drive down costs through group buys.

Only hospitals that earn at least $250,000 in rebates on an annual basis are eligible for an award. TMC, which has received this recognition annually since 2010, reduced its costs by achieving nearly $400,000 in rebates in 2016.

The program works through capturing rebates and reducing variation through standardization – which helps with bulk purchasing prices, but as an added benefit, improves inventory management and provides greater consistency across the hospital.

“This is not an easy bar to meet, which is why we’re so proud to receive this award,” Moon said. “Through thoughtful sourcing and standardization, we’re able to drive quality patient care, while getting the best value at the same time.”

The effort dovetails with TMC’s other work around building efficiencies throughout the hospital. The hospital introduced Lean management practices in 2013 to help root out waste and streamline processes. And TMC participates in two accountable care organizations that reward value – not volume – in health care.

“As a community hospital, TMC is responsible for the health of the people who live in this community, but we must also maintain the financial viability of our organization and keep healthcare costs under control,” said Steve Bush, TMC’s chief financial officer. “Leveraging our purchasing power is just one of the strategies we are using to do that.”

vizient award

 

Tucson Medical Center certified as a great workplace

Tucson Medical Center was certified as a great workplace in early September by the independent analysts at Great Place to Work®.

Tucson Medical Center earned this credential based on extensive ratings provided by its employees in anonymous surveys. A summary of these ratings can be found at http://reviews.greatplacetowork.com/tucson-medical-center.

Overall, 80 percent of surveyed employees characterized their workplace as “great,” with 92 percent saying they feel good about the ways they contribute to the economy and 91 percent crediting TMC with a great atmosphere.

“We work hard every day to build a culture in which our employees are valued and supported in doing the best work they can every day for our patients,” said Alex Horvath, vice president and chief human resources officer. “We like to say we’re a family here. And to get to that place, you have to build relationships with each other and with the community you serve.”

Nearly 90 percent of employees said they were proud to work at TMC, which has 600 beds and has been providing quality health care to the community for more than 70 years. In addition to strong connections to the community, TMC is an award-winning hospital with an advanced information technology footprint, innovative programs to support new nurses, and a management philosophy that taps the expertise of all employees to drive improvements.

“We applaud Tucson Medical Center for seeking certification and releasing its employees’ feedback,” said Kim Peters, Executive Vice President of Great Place to Work’s Certification Program. “These ratings measure its capacity to earn its own employees’ trust and create a great workplace – critical metrics that anyone considering working for or doing business with Tucson Medical Center should take into account as an indicator of high performance.”

Tucson Medical Center employees completed 701 surveys, resulting in a 90 percent confidence level and a margin of error of ± 2.77.

About Great Place to Work®

Great Place to Work® is the global authority on high-trust, high-performance workplace cultures. Through proprietary assessment tools, advisory services, and certification programs, including Best Workplaces lists and workplace reviews, Great Place to Work® provides the benchmarks, framework, and expertise needed to create, sustain, and recognize outstanding workplace cultures. In the United States, Great Place to Work® produces the annual Fortune “100 Best Companies to Work For®” list.

Courageous TMC nurse takes on suicide stigma

Jason CuttingSeptember 10 – 16 is National Suicide Prevention Week – reduce the stigma, start a conversation and #StopSuicide.

Jason Cutting wanted to be in the middle of it all. He loved the arts and entertaining. RENT was his favorite musical, and he knew every word to every song. He put his heart into everything he did, whether crushing a performance in My Fair Lady or advocating for equal rights, regardless of sexual orientation.

Through it all, he struggled long and hard with mental illness. Even though Jason was lost to the disease when he died by suicide, he will always be a brave big brother to his sister, Sarah. She decided not to allow stigma to steal the focus from Jason’s beautiful memory.

Sarah, an Emergency Department nurse, is leading the effort to eradicate the stigma that surrounds suicide as the TMC champion for Tucson’s  Out of the Darkness Community Walk, an annual event hosted by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Suicide StigmaHard to say, hard to hear

The heart-wrenching loss of suicide – and the stigma around it – make conversations about it difficult.

“I didn’t even know how I was going to talk about it, because I was afraid people would judge, or react with shock or pity,” she said.

Sarah, though, was determined to make a difference and put aside her fears, directly challenging stigma. The open dialogue had an unexpected and positive result. “I found healing in talking about my brother, and I was surprised how many people approached me who have also lost someone to suicide.”

Better understanding, better prevention

Sarah also explained that more discussion brought about a better understanding of suicide.

Sarah Cutting“When survivors share their experiences, people will hear that suicide is not a selfish act,” she said. “Rather, people hear just how intensely someone was suffering, how they truly felt hopeless and believed they were a burden to all around them.”

Sarah believes that better understanding will lead to action. “With this knowledge, people will be motivated to learn the warning signs and feel more comfortable talking to someone they think may be having suicidal thoughts.”

 

 

You can have an impact

Out of the DarknessThe Tucson Out of the Darkness Community Walk is open to all, and free to attend. “This is a way to honor the memories of those we have lost to suicide, and the best way to start discussions and spread awareness,” said Sarah. “Join us!”

 

Walk Date: 10/14/2017                                                                 

Walk Location: Reid Park 

Check-in/Registration Time:  8:00 am

Walk Begins: 10:00 am

Walk Ends: 11:00 am

Donations can be made via Sarah’s donor page. Please note that all proceeds go to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Resources:

Suicide warning signs and risk factors

Pima County assistance resources

AZ Department of Veterans Services resources

National suicide hotline

The Trevor Project

Pima County Crisis Response Center: (520) 622-6000 or 1-866-495-6738

 

“Most Wired” designation shows TMC continues leading the way in information technology

MostWired2017_smlIncreasingly, technology is helping patients become more engaged in their own wellness and more active in their care.

For the sixth year running, Tucson Medical Center has secured a place among America’s “Most Wired” hospitals. The distinction recognizes hospitals that leverage information technology to provide stronger care for patients, to improve quality, to reduce costs and to streamline operations.

TMC was the only Tucson-area hospital to achieve recognition in HealthCare’s Most Wired® survey, released by the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) Health Forum.

“We know that data-driven decisions help us to better serve our patients, our employees and our community,” said TMC’s Chief Information Officer Frank Marini. “This designation recognizes that it’s not just about having the technology in place: It’s about using it effectively as we continue to strive for clinical excellence.”

“We also know that today’s patients are increasingly comfortable in a digital environment so it’s critical to provide mobile tools to increase convenience, access and engagement.”

Survey respondents demonstrate technology usage throughout the hospital industry is creating a new dynamic in patient interactions, although there is continued room for growth.

“The Most Wired hospitals are using every available technology option to create more ways to reach their patients in order to provide access to care,” said AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack. “They are transforming care delivery, investing in new delivery models in order to improve quality, provide access and control costs.”

Detailed results of the survey and study can be found in the July issue of H&HN. For a full list of winners, visit www.hhnmag.com.

TMC Lactation Services receives prestigious award for breastfeeding support

Tucson Medical Center was recognized for excellence in lactation care recently by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners and International Lactation Consultant Association.

Only those programs that employ lactation consultants five to seven days a week and provide yearly education to medical staff based on evidence-based guidelines are eligible for the recognition. In addition, the program must have completed a project in the previous two years that has the goal of protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding.

The TMC Lactation Services team – the only recipient of the award in Southern Arizona – established as its project an Outpatient Breastfeeding Support Clinic to meet the lactation needs of the community, including those unable to afford services.

A $30,000 grant from the TMC Foundation helped make possible the opening of the Lactation Outpatient Clinic in September 2015. The clinic serves new mothers in Southern Arizona who need additional help with breastfeeding after release from the hospital. TMC staff members, all of whom are International Board Certified Lactation Consultants, staff the clinic, providing one-on-one assistance for breastfeeding needs and challenges.

In 2016, 406 women and infants were assisted to establish and maintain breastfeeding.  These women exceeded national breastfeeding goals established by Healthy People 2020. Outpatient clinic clients accomplished an exclusive breastfeeding rate of 70 percent at 3 months compared with the national goal of just above 46 percent. And the gains at six months were no less impressive, with 55 percent of mothers nursing at 6 months – more than double the national goal.

“TMC is honored to achieve this recognition of the work done to advance nursing,” said Damiana Cohen, manager of the Mother-Baby Unit. “The success we’ve had with our mothers demonstrates the impact that professional help makes on extending the amount of time that a newborn exclusively breastfeeds.”

TMC now offering scheduled appointments for Pediatric Emergency Department visitors

TMC now offering online appointmentsEmergencies and convenience don’t often intersect – but for those who can wait to seek medical care, Tucson Medical Center now offers scheduled pediatric appointments to make emergencies just a little easier.

Emergency Department appointments are not appropriate for those children with emergent medical conditions.

But for others, the new service offers a convenient alternative that allows them to rest in the comfort of their own home while waiting for a prescheduled time.s.

The new tool, which is easily accessible on the TMC website at www.tmcaz.com, allows patients to go online to review a list of open appointment times and secure that time slot.

Patients should know that although TMC strives to see patients as close to their appointment time as possible, projected wait times may be impacted if patients with more significant emergencies present for emergency care or if their case is determined to be more serious after a medical screening exam by a provider.

For more information, please visit www.tmcaz.com

Tired of renting? TMC hosts Homebuyer Expo May 31

TowerresizedDozens of lenders and housing professionals will be available to provide free information to those exploring the path to homeownership at an upcoming event designed specifically for homebuyers.

The Expo, organized through the office of Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, will be held Wednesday, May 31, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. in TMC’s Marshall Conference Center, 5301 E. Grant Road.

Attendees can learn about mortgage options, find out how to improve their credit score and determine whether they might quality for down payment assistance programs.

Members of the public are welcome to join TMC employees at the event.

“We know homeownership strengthens neighborhoods. When residents have an investment in the community, they engage with the community, which is why this is an important priority for the city,” said Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild. “We also know there are more homebuyer assistance programs out there than people are aware of, so this is one tool we can use to help get the word out.”

Julia Strange, vice president of community benefit for TMC, noted the economic, civic and social benefits of stable home ownership are well documented. “We are pleased to participate in an event in which provides local community members an opportunity to explore whether homeownership is for them, in a friendly, one-stop experience,” she said.

Parking is available in the Catalina Garage just north of the northeast entrance.

For more information about the Expo, please contact Jaimie Galayda at 791-4201.

 

TMC adopts new testing system to rapidly identify infections, allow targeted antibiotic treatment

Accelerate Diagnostics 4Tucson Medical Center has adopted a new technology developed by local biotechnology firm Accelerate Diagnostics Inc. that is expected to save precious time in identifying the source of bloodstream infections and determine which antibiotics would be most effective in treating them.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration in late February allowed Accelerate to move forward with sharing information about the Accelerate PhenoTest BC Kit, which is designed to help save lives and reduce complications by initiating antibiotic treatment significantly more quickly in cases of bacterial or yeast blood infections.

About 2 million people are infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria annually in the United States and at least 23,000 die as a result, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Because these infections escalate very quickly, physicians concerned about a delay in treatment may sometimes employ a more broad-brush treatment. Over time, however, that builds resistance.

Accelerate Diagnostics“When we talk about heart attacks, we say that time is tissue, which is why we need immediate medical intervention,” said John Allen, director of TMC Laboratory Services. “When we talk about sepsis, time is life.

“We’re very excited by the promise of this test to help us find more targeted therapy as quickly as possible to improve patient outcomes and potentially save lives.”

TMC has worked closely with the company since it was recruited to Tucson in 2012, from providing specimens to helping run testing prototypes. “We’re very proud to work with the team at TMC,” said Lawrence Mehren, president and CEO of Accelerate Diagnostics. “Their dedication to providing the best care possible to our community is evident in the work they do each and every day.”

The company, which at the time pledged to add 30 jobs, has experienced rapid growth and now employs more than 100 people in leased space in the Abrams Public Health Center. “In addition to the life-saving work this company is doing, TMC is pleased to foster the biotech presence in our community and support local, ongoing economic development efforts,” Allen said.

Accelerate Diagnostics 3Traditional test results may take up to 48 hours after infection is detected in a positive blood culture. In a fraction of the time, the Accelerate PhenoTest BC Kit can identify more than two dozen species of bacteria and yeast that can cause infection, and help indicate its responsiveness to 18 different antibiotics, according to the FDA. It can also help identify whether the infection is showing indication of antibiotic-resistance.

FDA approval was based largely on a review of a primary clinical study, which determined the test correctly identified strains of bacteria or yeast more than 95 percent of the time in a sample of 1,850 positive blood cultures.

 

TMC celebrates the economic impact of hospitals in building healthy communities, healthy economy

Hospital WeekWhat does $740 million in total economic impact look like?

It comes in the form of:

  • Salaries for 5,800 jobs
  • Vast deliveries of office supplies and medical equipment
  • Nutritious ingredients for 3,200 meals served each and every day
  • Technological innovation and capital investment

In short, it looks like Tucson Medical Center – the area’s sixth largest private employer – and its total annual economic impact, most of which occurs at home in Pima County.

Hospitals play a strong role in improving the physical health of a community, from caring for people in emergencies, performing healing surgeries and welcoming babies into the world.

Hospital Week 2Beyond that important work, National Hospital Week, starting May 7, is an appropriate time to celebrate the economic contribution hospitals make. The sector is the largest employer industry in the state, making up 13 percent of Arizona jobs and contributing $22 billion in direct economic impact.

Last year, TMC invested $58 million back into the community, in the form of providing charity care, engaging the community in wellness and helping to fund Medicaid expansion. In fact, nearly 80,000 people were touched by TMC outreach and education programs in 2016, spread across 751 events.

“As one of this region’s largest employers, and as Tucson’s locally-governed nonprofit community hospital, TMC is proud to play an active role in supporting our local economy and helping improve the community’s health and wellness,” said Julia Strange, TMC’s vice president of community benefit.

New manager called out by her peers for being the Heart of Hospice

Stephanie Carter, center, is honored as Heart of Hospice with bereavement specialist MK LeFevour, left, and director Alicia Ferguson.

Unbeknownst to the new TMC Hospice manager, many of her colleagues had already tossed her name into the hat for the program’s quarterly recognition award.

“She holds the bar to the highest level and is always there to help you,” said Alicia Ferguson, director of TMC Hospice.

After a blind judging, Ferguson explained, Stephanie Carter, the home-care supervisor turned manager was named the Heart of Hospice last Thursday during a breakfast ceremony.

“It’s very telling you all voted your new manager to be your new Heart of Hospice,” quipped Alicia Ferguson, noting that nominations had closed prior to Carter getting her new role.

“Stephanie plays the role of RN, supervisor, case manager, EPIC super user, teacher, student and voice for the team,” according to one of the nomination forms. “She stands up for what is right for her patients, families, employees and peers and will not take ‘no’ for an answer with her patients and the team’s best interests at heart.”

In addition to her own caseload, according to those who nominated her, “she picks up visits to help out the team. Not one to complain, she works tirelessly to ensure patient and family satisfaction as well as to take care of her teammates. She has a willingness to learn more about hospice and leadership and is always open to doing more.”

Almost as if on cue, Carter is doing more in a leadership role, taking her new position two days prior to receiving the award. Carter has nine years at TMC and seven and a half with TMC Hospice, and, in her new role as clinical manager, she leads both the inpatient and outpatient areas of hospice.

The Heart of Hospice is someone who embodies the hospice philosophy and represents all that is good in health care:

Everything he or she does is for our patients and families and personifies compassion, kindness, empathy, a great work ethic and knowledge. The Heart of Hospice is also someone who is calm under pressure, is respectful, is detail-oriented, is a critical thinker, and has great communication skills. This person is someone who is always there to help his or her peers and does so with grace and skill. Being able to nominate someone for this award is a gift because it means you have observed greatness, not just once, but every time you have interacted with this individual.

In addition to being recognized among her peers, Carter has her name and photo displayed on a plaque in the entryway to Peppi’s House, received a “key” pin to wear on her ID badge representing the key to the Heart of Hospice, and parks in the designated Employee of the Quarter space at Peppi’s House.

Meet Holli, a TMC Hospice home care volunteer

In honor of National Volunteer Appreciation Week, Tucson Medical Center celebrates the passionate work of nearly 700 volunteers in TMC Hospice, TMC for Senior, Pet Therapy and the TMC Auxiliary. The dedicated patrons log more than 90,000 hours every year helping TMC patients have the most comfortable and pleasant experience possible, whether in the hospital or at home. Find more stories about TMC Hospice volunteers on our Facebook page.

Briefly describe yourself.
I’m Holli, and I am so fortunate to have been able to retire early and do more of those things that there was never enough time to do during my working years. I’m loving it! I’ve been traveling with my husband in our little camper/van and seeing lots of this beautiful country. I enjoy hiking with my friends (we call ourselves “a girl scout troop”), reading and doing volunteer work. I spent my career as a mental health therapist and I continue to work on the weekend at a behavioral health hospital. I am finding my retirement to be an exciting and fulfilling chapter in my life.

How long have you been a volunteer with TMC Hospice?
I have been a Hospice volunteer for two and a half years.

What role are you currently in?
I am a homecare volunteer.

Do you volunteer anywhere else currently? If so, where?
Yes, I am a reading coach with Reading Seed, a program through Literacy Connects. I spend time, weekly, reading 1:1 with 1st and 2nd graders with a goal of instilling in them a love of reading. I also volunteer each year at the Tucson Festival of Books.

Why did you choose hospice volunteer work?
During my years as a therapist I had the opportunity to help several clients’ deal with issues at the end of their lives. I found it to be some of the most rewarding work I did over the years.

I also experienced Hospice as a family member when my father and mother-in-law were dying. I found the Hospice staff to be so helpful; for me and my family. I am grateful that they were part of our support network.

What keeps you coming back? I love to hear people’s stories. I feel so privileged when patients’ and their families invite me into their lives.

Is there an experience that you have had through your volunteering with hospice that stands out? Please explain…

My first patient was a vivacious 96-year-old woman. When I met her she was feeling stronger after several months of being in and out of the hospital. She was very circumspect about her prognosis and had some things she wanted to do while she still could. #1 on her list was to feed a giraffe. We went to the Tucson Zoo and did just that. Her face lit up as the giraffe gently took the food from her hand. She was thrilled! There were other things on her list but in the week following our zoo visit she began to decline and died soon after. I am so honored to have shared that day with her.

When people say “I don’t know how you can volunteer at hospice, isn’t it sad?” What is your response?

Sad: yes, but so much more!

Any tips or suggestions for new volunteers coming in to hospice?

Be open! You may have some ideas about how you want your experience to unfold but set those expectations aside. If you allow yourself to be open to whatever presents itself, you may find the journey to be even more than you expected.

Would you like to add anything else?

Working with dying patients’ helps me to feel less fearful about the end of my life. it really clarifies how I want to make decisions about my care at the end of my life.

TMC Chief Medical Officer selected as an honorary commander for the Air National Guard’s 162nd Wing

Rick AndersonThere are a few things you may not know about the 162nd Wing of the Arizona Air National Guard, our neighbor adjacent to the Tucson International Airport:

  • From its roots as an adobe farmhouse and dirt-floor hangar 60 years ago, it has grown to be one of the largest Air National Guard wings in the country.
  • The 162nd Wing trains the world’s best fighter pilots and has graduated more than 7,000 pilots from 28 countries since 1969.
  • The unit’s Reconnaissance Group has remotely piloted more than 65,000 hours to support of efforts overseas.

For all of those reasons, Tucson Medical Center is proud that Dr. Rick Anderson, senior vice president and chief medical officer, has been selected by the commanders to serve as the honorary commander for the 162nd Medical Group for a two-year term.

The doctors, nurses and other medical personnel at the Medical Group work diligently to support the missions of the wing.  Many of these citizen-airmen work full-time in our community and serve our country part-time as guardsmen.

Dr. Anderson said he was humbled by the opportunity. “I believe this is an excellent way to connect with a vital part of our Tucson community,” said Anderson, who served four years active duty in the U.S. Army and is board-certified in family medicine. “As a veteran myself, it is an honor to better serve and connect with members of our Armed Forces.”

“The program is designed to educate community members about the mission, rigors, demands and camaraderie of the wing, as well as the Air National Guard,” said First Lieutenant Lacey Roberts public affairs officer for the 162nd Wing.  “We are pleased to welcome Dr. Anderson to our team and believe his knowledge and expertise will be a valuable asset to the program.”

Booster seats, bike helmets & ChooChoo Soul! TMC’s 13th annual Be Safe Saturday: March 18

Be Safe Saturday 045Becoming a parent brings a new focus to child safety.

Suddenly, you see your vehicle and your neighborhood swimming pool through a new prism. The same goes for bicycles and scooters and even everyday areas in your home.

TMC’s Be Safe Saturday, now in its 13th year, is designed to help parents and guardians create the safest environment for their children.

It will run from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. on March 18 on the TMC campus,  parking lot #11.

The event typically draws 13,000 people and provides families with free bike helmets and booster seats, as well as roughly 100 interactive booths to provide education and resources to help improve safety. Safe Kids Pima County and the Tucson Police Department will offer car seat checks from 9 a.m. to noon to make sure they are properly installed.

As a special treat, Disney’s Choo-Choo Soul with Genevieve will be performing throughout the event and food trucks will be on hand for families looking to purchase delectable goodies from a variety of mobile kitchens. A “happiness wall” will also allow families to pledge small, simple acts of kindness they can perform to give meaning to the upcoming International Day of Happiness on March 20.

“TMC is here to provide care when you need it, but our commitment is to empower the community to be partners in wellness and safety,” said Hope Thomas, director of community programs at TMC. “Events like this one are one of the many ways TMC shows its dedication to serving as this region’s community hospital.”

 

 

Peppi’s House celebrates Bogey’s 15th birthday

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Bogey first visited Peppi’s House, TMC’s inpatient hospice unit, when he was a wee pug pup of 6 months. Penny Lundstrom, his human companion, had him certified at as a therapy dog at 18 months, the minimum age. And the two have been visiting patients and families at Peppi’s House ever since. Today, Lundstrom and the staff at Peppi’s House celebrated Bogey’s 15th birthday.

“At this age he can barely walk up the street,” Lundstrom said. “But we come here and he runs!”

Bogey has soothed agitated patients and calmed nervous family members.

Once he was taken into a room with a woman who hadn’t communicated since she had a stroke two weeks prior. Her hand was placed on Bogey and she began to pet him. When he was taken away, she vocalized as best she could indicating she wanted the dog back.

The patient was one of thousands of people Bogey has visited over the years. While he might not run — or hear — as well as he did in his youth, Bogey puts on the charm as he greets people, sneaks a lick of icing and brings smiles to all he meets.

Love retail? We’re looking for you!

volunteers-needed-for-the-tmc-gift-shop-and-teal-saguaroTucson Medical Center is currently recruiting retail volunteers for the TMC Gift Shop and our resale boutique, the Teal Saguaro.

Both shops support the medical services and programs through Tucson’s locally governed, not for profit community hospital.

The Teal Saguaro, which offers quality, gently used items at 5395 E. Erickson Drive, is also accepting donations. Needed items include clothing for the entire family, footwear, household items, small appliances, books and more.

All funds raised directly support TMC and its services. The Teal Saguaro also serves as a resource center for families in need, providing booster seats and bicycle helmets for children, as well as emergency clothing for patients who weren’t able to prepare for their visit.

“Whether you are looking for a way to donate to TMC or on the hunt for a great buy, both stores offer a truly unique shopping experience,” said TMC Auxiliary President Dan Bailey.

Information about volunteer work at TMC and the application to become a volunteer is found at www.tmcaz.com/volunteers. Information about the Teal Saguaro may be found at http://www.tmcaz.com/tealsaguaro.

 

Hospice RN recognized for commitment to Benson community

The Southern Arizona community of Benson has one of TMC Hospice’s most dedicated nurses in Mary Ann Young.mary-ann-young-heart-of-hospice

Last week, Young was recognized as the Heart of Hospice, a quarterly award where Hospice staff can recognize their peers. Over the years, Young has had hundreds of patients in the Southern Arizona community of about 5,000 located an hour east of Tucson. She is on call around the clock, does the admissions work for her patients and is there following their deaths. She delivers medications and supplies, and she runs a bereavement support group, said Wiley Baker, a TMC Hospice social worker who nominated her.

“Mary Ann has been a steady dependable nurse for TMC Hospice for the last 22 years,” Baker said, acknowledging that Young is the reason Baker continues to cover Benson as a social worker.

Because of the foundation Young has helped to build in her community, patients are better able to stay in their homes at the end of their lives, and their families are also able to receive the support they need.

“Mary Ann certainly has heart and I’m pleased that she’s being recognized for her work in our community,” said Benson Mayor Toney D. King, Sr. “Because of her compassion and dedication, many families are able to keep their loved ones comfortable at home for the time they have remaining. That is just such a gift that can’t be understated. We are grateful to have her as a neighbor.”

The Heart of Hospice is someone who embodies the hospice philosophy and represents all that is good in health care:

Everything he or she does is for our patients and families and personifies compassion, kindness, empathy, a great work ethic and knowledge. The Heart of Hospice is also someone who is calm under pressure, is respectful, is detail-oriented, is a critical thinker, and has great communication skills. This person is someone who is always there to help his or her peers and does so with grace and skill. Being able to nominate someone for this award is a gift because it means you have observed greatness, not just once, but every time you have interacted with this individual.

In addition to being recognized among her peers, Young has her name and photo displayed on a plaque in the entryway to Peppi’s House, received a “key” pin to wear on her ID badge representing the key to the Heart of Hospice, and parks in the designated Employee of the Quarter space at Peppi’s House.

Celebrate movement, beauty through TMC’s Healing Art Walk

butterfly-bridge-part-of-tmc-healing-art-walkWhat better way to revel in the lengthening of the days and nature’s response to new warmth than taking a walk?

On Feb. 8, join TMC Senior Services, TMC’s wellness team, artist Gail Roberts and the Healing Art Program on a walk that will feature the newly installed Butterfly Project bridge on campus, which commemorates the children lost in the Holocaust through hand-painted ceramic butterflies.

The .7 mile walk, one-way, will also celebrate the Women of Honor courtyard at TMC, where guests can enjoy the sculptural garden and light refreshments. Guests can walk back to the starting location or hop on a courtesy shuttle for the one way return.

“TMC has long believed that patients, staff and visitors respond to surroundings that inspire, encourage and cheer them, whether through art or nature,” said Maya Luria, director of TMC Senior Services. “This walk is also an opportunity to make new connections and enjoy the outdoors, which is an important part of wellbeing.”

For more information or to register for the event, please visit https://www.tmcaz.com/body.cfm?id=324&registration=true&action=detail&ref=4090

“Yarn bomber” knits arts, dreams at TMC for Children

Why wouyarnbombingld an artist known internationally for large-scale fiber art installations travel to Tucson to drape the entire façade of TMC for Children in colorful displays of yarn from around the world?

Think of it as a big, cuddly embrace, rooted in Tucson’s response to the shooting tragedy of Jan. 8, 2011, and honoring the community spirit that brought people together to grieve, reflect and move forward.

yb2With Tucson Medical Center a major, lead donor of the January 8th Memorial Foundation, and a longtime supporter of Beyond, an event each January designed to promote the community health and well-being, Stephen Duneier found a natural alliance, given his own passion for drawing people outside to play.

Duneier has collected more than 10,000 square feet of yarn art, sent from knitting enthusiasts all over the globe, from Tasmania to Kuwait and Krasnoyarsk, Russia.

yb3He has wrapped giant eucalyptus trees and massive boulders in remote natural areas. Now, his “Dreamer” installation, in reference to the John Lennon’s song, “Imagine,” will be his largest installation ever, accessible to patients, visitors and staff at TMC, as well as to members of the community who are participating in an art walk on the TMC campus as part of the Jan. 14 Beyond event.

“There is something magical about people of all ethnicities, colors, races and religions, wealthy and poor alike, joining together from every corner of the map for a collective experience of pure whimsy,” Duneier said, of his first urban installation. In moments like that, you realize you’re not the only dreamer after all.”

Duneier’s visit as “artist-in-residence” was initiated at the request of Mary Reed, a survivor of the Jan. 8 shooting attack and the organizer of TEDx Tucson. “We were looking for an artist who would knit the community together and he did!” she said, noting there are contributions from all 50 states and several countries sending their love in the form of knitted and crocheted objects.

Julia Strange, vice president of community benefit for TMC, said as a community hospital, TMC has long believed that art and nature promote a healing environment. “This collaborative effort threads together community art and healing and we are pleased to celebrate that connection and to serve as a canvas for Duneier’s inspiration.”

Becker’s Hospital Review names Tucson Medical Center a top 100 Hospital

tmc-monument-signBecker’s Hospital Review has named Tucson Medical Center as one of the 100 Hospital and Health Systems with Great Neurosurgery and Spine Programs, featuring hospitals and health systems leading the way in neurosciences and providing treatment for patients with various brain and spine conditions.

Hospitals and health systems included on this list are equipped with state-of-the-art technology and provide patients with access to renowned experts in the neurosciences field capable of delivering comprehensive care for a variety of complicated conditions that affect the brain and spine.

“TMC is proud to be recognized – our dedicated physician leadership ensures our neuroscience teams utilize advanced technology to provide expedient and sincere care to the communities we serve,” said Julia Strange, TMC’s vice president of community benefit.

The TMC neurosciences program has received additional recognition from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, including the Gold Plus award and the Target:Stroke Elite Plus award. TMC is also certified as a Primary Stroke Center by the HealthCare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP.)

The Becker’s Hospital Review editorial team selected hospitals for inclusion based on national rankings and accolades awarded by several institutions, including U.S. News & World Report, CareChex national and regional rankings for neurological care, BlueDistinctionCenter for Spine Surgery designation, Healthgrades awards and Magnet designation for nursing excellence.

About Becker’s Hospital Review

Becker’s Hospital Review is a monthly publication offering up-to-date business and legal news and analysis relating to hospitals and health systems. Articles are geared toward high-level hospital leaders, and we work to provide valuable information, including hospital and health system news, best practices and legal guidance specifically for these decision-makers.

Dr. Lincoln returns as medical director for TMC Hospice

lincolnLast month, TMC Hospice announced the return of Larry Lincoln, M.D., as the full-time medical director for TMC Hospice.

Dr. Lincoln is board-certified in internal medicine, infectious diseases and hospice/palliative care. With the exception of a short retirement in 2015-16, he has been the TMC Hospice medical director since its inception in 1991.

“He has mentored many of the team members here at TMC Hospice so we are excited he chose to return to us,” said Alicia Ferguson, TMC director of Hospice & Palliative Care Operations.  “I am looking forward to partnering with him on many new and exciting projects and strategies we are planning for 2017 and beyond.  Be on the lookout for great things from TMC Hospice!”

Dr. Lincoln worked with hospice pioneer Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross for 10 years, leading her Life, Death and Transition Workshops in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Lincoln joins Rebecca Egbert, M.D., pediatric medical director, and Nicole Ralston, AGNP, in leading the care of TMC Hospice patients.

For more information about TMC Hospice, visit www.tmcaz.com/hospice or call (520) 324-2438.

Peppi’s House, other community organizations benefit from employees’ volunteerism

caring-closet

Debra Pina and Healther Burkett (front) deliver items for the Caring Closet at Peppi’s House. Helping receive the items are Diane Denien, Sara Arthur and Krista Durocher.

Employees on the hospital’s business side made a special delivery to TMC Hospice yesterday. It wasn’t a bill or a medical record, though you might expect it from the folks in the Revenue Cycle division, including the Business Office, Scheduling, Admitting and Health Information Management.

Instead the delivery was to help stock the Caring Closet at Peppi’s House, TMC’s inpatient hospice. The employees had personal items from pajamas and socks to items that help lift patients’ spirits such as make-up, nail polish, books, magazines, puzzles and playing cards.

The effort was spearheaded by Debra Rahn, a TMC admissions representative and a member of the Revenue Cycle Community Projects Committee, which gives back to the community through donations and volunteerism.

Each of the nine committee member submits recommendations on causes they are passionate about or have identified as a need in the community, explained Cathy Gragg, manager of TMC Enterprise Scheduling and committee chair. Then they vote on what to take on, usually one or two per quarter.

“Once the project is identified, we enlist the support of our division to collect donations or to sign up people to volunteer,” Gragg said. “We don’t really push this outside of our areas but since we interface with a number of other departments, sometimes they’ll bring in donations as well.”

Rahn’s effort to help Peppi’s House is just another area where she demonstrates her compassion and dedication, Gragg said. “I’m privileged to have her on our committee and as an employee I work with.”

In addition to collecting items for Peppi’s House, the committee this year has led efforts to:

Other committee members helping coordinate these efforts in addition to Rahn and Gragg include Briana Rodriguez, Debra Pina, Heather Burkett, Hope Maldonado, Lamanda Cruz, Patricia King and Tracy Tatman.

It’s LoveLights time!

lovelightsThe TMC Auxiliary hosts the annual lighting of the LoveLights tree on Thursday, Nov. 10, 5-6:30 p.m. next to the Labyrinth at Peppi’s House, 2715 N. Wyatt Dr.

This cherished tradition benefits TMC Hospice through the sale of lights to commemorate our veterans, honor someone special and memorialize lost loved ones.

“Our patients’ families love to reconnect with us and it’s a wonderful way to kick off the holiday season,” said Krista Durocher, TMC Hospice volunteer coordinator.

The event includes food, door prizes and music. Lights are $5 each or three for $10 and are available at the event as well as online by clicking 2016 LoveLights.

Donations are accepted through the remainder of 2016.

TMC chaplains help patients and families celebrate good times, support them through hard ones

TMC recognized members of Pastoral Services this week as part of Pastoral Care Week 2016. With full hearts filled with compassion and kindness, these chaplains offer spiritual comfort to patients, families and staff.

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TMC clergy, from l-r, Keith Huffman, Allen Breckenridge, Scott Simrall and Amy Barron-Gafford at the TMC Hospice Labyrinth & Garden

“It’s an honor to be invited into a sacred space of transition,” said Amy Barron-Gafford, a TMC chaplain who works primarily with hospice patients and their families, “whether it’s toward health and wholeness or death and wholeness.”

TMC chaplains help celebrate good news as well as be present for people in hard times.

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TMC clergy Mary Klaehn and Andy Corder inside the TMC Chapel.

They bless new babies and new buildings, including the TMC Surgical & Orthopaedic Tower when it opened. And, most importantly, they are available around the clock to support those in crises. Whether it’s bad news from a test or the loss of a loved one, TMC chaplains are part of our cadre of caring staff. Chaplains are trained and skilled in supporting people of all faiths or no faiths.

“Everyone wants to be seen and honored and part of our role is to see people for who they are, to offer compassion free of judgment,” she said.

 

Heart of Hospice ‘can make things happen’

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Heart of Hospice honoree Nancy Franklin-Hicks (front) stands with her colleagues (l-r) Krista Durocher, Alicia Ferguson and Lauren Lovato. Franklin-Hicks was selected by her peers for this quarterly honor.

“She’s an incredible resource” is how one colleague describes Nancy Franklin-Hicks, social worker for inpatient hospice. And not only for the patients in the unit at Peppi’s House, but also for patients in home care, and those still in the main hospital.

“If I can get a patient over to her, she can make things happen,” said Karen Novak, an outpatient hospice nurse. “And she is always available to discuss a visit or to go on a joint visit.”

The staff at TMC Hospice and TMC Chief Nursing Officer Marty Enriquez were on hand to recognize Franklin-Hicks this morning as its Heart of Hospice. Franklin-Hicks was nominated and selected by her peers in this quarterly recognition program.

“Hospice social work is a very tricky position,” said Dr. Larry Lincoln, covering medical director at TMC Hospice. “You need a firm hand and sometimes a firm foot, and an incredible amount of compassion because everyone’s in distress. Nancy can get people to do things without even a push.”

Franklin-Hicks has worked at Peppi’s House for 11 years and thrives because of her colleagues.

“What keeps me here is the family that we have,” she said. “Working here is life-giving.”

The Heart of Hospice is someone who embodies the hospice philosophy and represents all that is good in health care:

Everything he or she does is for our patients and families and personifies compassion, kindness, empathy, a great work ethic and knowledge. The Heart of Hospice is also someone who is calm under pressure, is respectful, is detail-oriented, is a critical thinker, and has great communication skills. This person is someone who is always there to help his or her peers and does so with grace and skill. Being able to nominate someone for this award is a gift because it means you have observed greatness, not just once, but every time you have interacted with this individual.

In addition to being recognized among her peers, Franklin-Hicks has her name and photo displayed on a plaque in the entryway to Peppi’s House, received a “key” pin to wear on her ID badge representing the key to the Heart of Hospice, and parks in the designated Employee of the Quarter space at Peppi’s House.

Free film about love at any age showing at TMC

theageoflove_2016_postcard_backAn inventive new documentary, “The Age of Love,” billed as a “story of the universality of love and desire, regardless of age” will have a special showing in the Marshall Conference Center at Tucson Medical Center this Friday, Oct. 7, 2 p.m.

The film follows the comic and poignant adventures of 30 seniors who attend a first-of-its-kind Speed Dating event for 70- to 90-year-olds, and discover how the search for love changes—or doesn’t change—from first love to the far reaches of life.

This special event, sponsored by the Senior Support Alliance, has limited seating, so RSVP to lauren.lovato@tmcaz.com or call 314-1011 soon. Free parking and shuttle service from Lot 29 (across from Peppi’s House) is available.

TMC congratulates 12th employee as future Habitat for Humanity homeowner

crystalCrystal Evans thought she was coming in to work Monday morning solely for her annual performance review.

The review was positive – but more good news was in store for the patient care technician, who joined TMC in 2014.

She was selected to purchase one of six new houses being raised in the Copper Vista II neighborhood through a long-standing partnership between the TMC Foundation and Habitat for Humanity Tucson, which began in 2005.

The previous 11 TMC employees selected for the program all continue to work at TMC.

Evans, a Tucson native who was born at TMC and works in the 16-bed TMC Geropsychiatric Center, said she was humbled and shocked by the honor. As a single mother of two girls – one in college and one in high school – Evans said homeownership has been a top priority that has had to wait as she worked to stretch finances and deal with losses in the family, including the passing of her grandmother, who raised her.

img_0560-2“This is something I’ve wanted for a long time, but it was always just out of reach,” Evans said. “I’m so excited now to be able to move forward. This is a dream come true.”

Although TMC volunteers will be on hand to help raise the walls on the home, located near Drexel Road and Park Avenue, the process in its entirety takes about nine months.

Evans said she’s ready for the work coming her way. Habitat homeowners must complete a minimum of 250 hours of “sweat equity,” participate in homeownership education classes, and ultimately, will pay a monthly mortgage, property taxes and insurance. Habitat homes are more affordable, thanks to a 0 percent interest mortgage.

“Homeownership is an investment in our community, which is why we’ve appreciated the partnership with Habitat,” said Donna Morton, development director at the Foundation.  “And from a more personal viewpoint, Crystal is the kind of employee who represents us well and we’re just excited to be able to invest in her future.”

Clinical Documentation Improvement Week: Ensuring a complete, accurate medical record

Sept 19-23 marks Clinical Documentation Improvement Week. The Tucson Medical Center Clinical Documentation Improvement team is a group of eight dedicated and experienced registered nurses who review records concurrently and retrospectively to obtain detailed, appropriate documentation.

They work with physicians and other providers to present a complete record to coding and billing departments. Their efforts provide accurate reimbursement to the hospital from Medicare and other insurances, including AHCCCS, as well as provide accurate data for TMC’s quality metrics.

The TMC Clinical Documentation Team from left sitting: Lisa Benson R.N., Vivien Bertram R.N., CDI Lead Patrice Kleber R.N. and Karen Daranyi R.N. From left standing: Sara Gadde RN, Kathleen Early RN, Susan Knight RN, Ron Singell RN

The TMC Clinical Documentation Team from left sitting: Lisa Benson R.N., Vivien Bertram R.N., CDI Lead Patrice Kleber R.N. and Karen Daranyi R.N. From left standing: Sara Gadde R.N., Kathleen Early R.N., Susan Knight R.N. and Ron Singell R.N.

 

TMC welcomes visiting experts conducting an assessment of Lean efforts

bdp32930_2400x-2Two years ago, Tucson Medical Center was accepted into the Healthcare Value Network, a prestigious association of health care organizations committed to continuous improvement efforts through the application of Lean management tools and philosophies.

Not only has that relationship allowed TMC to connect and share best practice with the 60 hospitals in the network, but it also affords us an important benefit: an assessment of where we are on our Lean journey and recommendations on how we can make the most impact in the next few years. The assessment, which will take place next week, will focus on 13 different areas of the hospital, including both clinical and nonclinical areas.

The networking group falls under the umbrella of ThedaCare, the Wisconsin-based health system that launched its Lean journey more than 10 years ago. Thedacare’s early efforts not only drove quality improvements, but also drove $20 million in efficiencies in those first few years.

The assessment of TMC’s progress will take place just days after TMC wraps up hosting the organization’s Southwest Regional Meeting. Leaders from 20 hospitals throughout the Southwest – all in varying stages on their Lean journeys – will gather to share ideas and see how TMC is using Lean to drive measurable improvements throughout the hospital.

“We’re looking forward to hearing from all the hospitals in attendance about their successes and opportunities,” said Lean Transformation Officer Cheryl Young. “We’re hoping this shared learning will provide some actionable ideas for attendees as well as for TMC.”

TMC receives 4-star hospital rating from CMS

tmc-for-children-patient-careTucson Medical Center is the only hospital in Tucson to receive a four-star rating in the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Overall Hospital Quality Star Ratings released on Wednesday.

The ratings are a composite metric of one to five stars, with five being the best. They intend to convey the overall quality of nearly 4,000 hospitals in the U.S and are posted to the CMS’ Hospital Compare site.

“We are very encouraged by the rating. It reflects the focus and hard work of the nursing and medical staff at the hospital to consistently provide high-quality care,” said TMC Chief Medical Officer Rick Anderson, M.D. “Though to be sure, this work is never done. There is always room for improvement, and we will continue to standardize our processes, reduce waste in the system and continue delivering high-quality care that TMC has been known for these 70-plus years.”

The new Overall Hospital Quality Star Rating takes 64 existing quality measures already reported on the Hospital Compare website and summarizes them into a unified rating of one to five stars, with five being the best.

The rating includes quality measures for routine care that the average individual receives, such as care received when being treated for heart attacks and pneumonia, to quality measures that focus on hospital-acquired infections, such as catheter-associated urinary tract infections.

“These easy-to-understand star ratings are available online and empower people to compare and choose across various types of facilities from nursing homes to home health agencies,” according to Dr. Kate Goodrich, director of the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality at CMS, in a blog post announcing the star ratings’ release.

Just 102 institutions out of 4,599 hospitals, or 2.2 percent, earned five stars. Of the rest of the hospitals, 20.3 percent garnered four stars, 38.5 percent received three, 15.7 percent earned two stars and 2.9 percent received a single star.

Homecare nurse named inaugural Heart of Hospice

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Carrie Linker, R.N., is named first Heart of Hospice quarterly honoree this morning.

When TMC Hospice decided to start an employee of the quarter program, the plan called for accepting nominations then having a team of peers review the nominations and determine the staff member to be recognized.

With the first Heart of Hospice, the team had nothing to do, Alicia Ferguson, director of TMC Hospice & Palliative Care, told the staff gathered at Peppi’s House this morning.

“Every nomination had the same name,” she said. “Our Heart of Hospice honoree is someone who exudes confidence, compassion, love, critical thinking and more. This person brightens the day of ever patient and family member, and every single one of you.”

Then Carrie Linker, R.N., was recognized as the first Heart of Hospice honoree. She provides care to hospice patients in their homes. She’s been at TMC Hospice for about a year, after transferring from the step-down unit.

“These people I work with are some much better than I am,” she said. “This is the most awesome group of people I’ve ever worked with.”

From the nomination form:

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Linker, center, wears her crown proudly as she stands with colleagues during a ceremony this morning to honor her as the Heart of Hospice.

The Heart of Hospice is someone who embodies the hospice philosophy and represents all that is good in health care. Everything he or she does is for our patients and families and personifies compassion, kindness, empathy, a great work ethic and knowledge. The Heart of Hospice is also someone who is calm under pressure, is respectful, is detail-oriented, is a critical thinker, and has great communication skills. This person is someone who is always there to help his or her peers and does so with grace and skill. Being able to nominate someone for this award is a gift because it means you have observed greatness, not just once, but every time you have interacted with this individual.

In addition to being recognized among her peers, Linker has her name and photo displayed on a plaque in the entryway to Peppi’s House, received a “key” pin to wear on her ID badge representing the key to the Heart of Hospice, and parks in the designated Employee of the Quarter space at Peppi’s House.

 

TMC named 2016 ‘Most Wired’ — using technology for a better patient experience

MW_Winner2016_ColorEPS.epsCHICAGO, July 6, 2016—Technology is improving the efficiency of care delivery and creating a new dynamic in patient interactions, according to results of the 18th Annual Health Care’s Most Wired® survey, released today by the American Hospital Association’s Health Forum.

According to the survey, Most Wired hospitals are using telehealth to fill gaps in care; provide services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; and expand access to medical specialists. This year’s results show:

  • The top three telehealth services offered in hospitals are consultations and office visits, stroke care, and psychiatric examinations and psychotherapy.
  • Stroke care is the most rapid growth area for telehealth services up 38 percent from 2015, as evidence-based studies emphasize the time urgency of stroke care.
  • More than 25 percent of hospitals use internet-enabled monitoring devices for chronic disease management of congestive heart failure, diabetes and heart disease.

“Today’s patients are technically savvy and are increasingly expecting their health care services to be provided where, when and how they want it,” said Frank Marini, vice president of Information Services at Tucson Medical Center. “TMC is stepping up to meet that challenge by investing in telehealth, e-visits and other mobile means of engaging our patients. Improving convenience and access to care will lead to improved patient outcomes.”

In redefining the way that they provide care in their communities, Most Wired hospitals are using technology to build patient engagement with the individual’s lifestyle in mind, which includes electronic access to their care team.

  • 68 percent accept patient-generated data through the patient portal.
  • 26 percent of Most Wired organizations offer e-visits through a mobile application.
  • 61 percent use social media to provide support groups.

“Hospitals are breaking out of their traditional four walls and providing care where and when patients need it,” said Rick Pollack, president and CEO of the AHA. “These Most Wired hospitals exemplify this transformation by harnessing technology, engaging patients and offering services remotely. And, removing policy and other barriers to telehealth will allow even faster adoption of these amazing technologies.”

Most Wired hospitals are utilizing population health management tools and partnering with other health care providers to share critical clinical information used in analyzing interventions aimed at key patient groups, such as those with diabetes. To get patients the right care, hospitals are using predictive modeling to eliminate preventable problems.

  • 53 percent interface electronic health record data with population health tools.
  • 62 percent stratify patients according to risk.
  • 51 percent aggregate data from patient encounters to create a community health record.

The versatility of mobile technologies makes it possible for clinicians and care team members to have the right tools for sound clinical decision-making wherever they are: 81 percent of Most Wired hospitals use mobile applications to notify clinicians of sudden changes in patient conditions and correlated events such as falls or respiratory distress or failure.

As they build out new capabilities, hospitals are also taking strong actions to ensure health data is secure.

  • More than 90 percent use intrusion detection systems, privacy audit systems and security incident event management to detect patient privacy breaches, monitor for malicious activities and produce real-time analysis of security alerts.
  • 84 percent conduct a third-party security audit annually to ensure that guidelines are followed.

HealthCare’s Most Wired® survey, conducted between Jan. 15 and March 15, 2016, is published annually by Health & Hospitals Networks (H&HN). The 2016 Most Wired® survey and benchmarking study is a leading industry barometer measuring information technology (IT) use and adoption among hospitals nationwide. The survey of 680 participants, representing an estimated 2,146 hospitals—more than 34 percent of all hospitals in the U.S.—examines how organizations are leveraging IT to improve performance for value-based health care in the areas of infrastructure, business and administrative management; quality and safety; and clinical integration.

Detailed results of the survey and study can be found in the July issue of H&HN. For a full list of winners, visit www.hhnmag.com.

About the American Hospital Association
The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are co
mmitted to the improvement of health in their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks and other providers of care. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information, visit www.aha.org.

About Health Forum
Health Forum is a strategic business enterprise of the American Hospital Association, creatively partnering to develop and deliver essential information and innovative services to help health care leaders achieve organizational performance excellence and sustainability. For more information, visit www.healthforum.com

TMC: Getting its kind on

mural 1 Triple digit temperatures didn’t dampen enthusiasm for dozens of Tucson Medical Center employees and volunteers who took shifts over Friday and Saturday to install a “Be Kind” mosaic mural in a patio near the Gift Shop.

The Kindness Patio was the latest evolution in TMC’s participation in the Ben’s Bells Kind Colleagues program, which asks businesses and organizations to place a priority on building a positive workspace.

The mural’s roots date to 2014, when TMC agreed to accept a Ben’s Bells kindness challenge and document 1 ,000 acts of kindness. Employees, patients and volunteers helped TMC surpass its goal, with 1 ,240 acts of kindness.

Earlier this year, Ben’s Bells Founder Jeannette Mare led a conversation on kindness for TMC managers, directors and executives, touching on scientific research around the power of kindnemural 2ss to heal, and tailored to the specific opportunities available in health care to practice self-kindness to reduce stress and boost productivity.

During Hospital Week at the beginning of May, staff volunteered to make the tiles that would become the mural. Hope Thomas, the director of community programs for Tucson Medical Center, said the choice to put the mural inside the campus, instead of on an exterior wall with greater public visibility, was a conscious one.

“We know our employees appreciate our relationship with Ben’s Bells and the work we’ve done to become a kind colleague in the community,” she said. “We wanted to find a space where they would have a chance to see the mural and where it could reinforce the work that we do here every day – particularly since the practice of kindness is already reflected in our mission and our values.”

Click for mmural 3ore information about Ben’s Bells’ Kind Colleagues program.

TMC Hospice continues 25th anniversary celebrations with new ramada, open house

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Some 75 people took advantage of Thursday’s cool morning to attend an open house and ramada dedication at TMC Hospice. This was the second in a series of celebrations at TMC Hospice this year as it celebrates its 25th anniversary.

“We are so excited and proud to be celebrating 25 years of service to Tucson and surrounding communities and look forward to continuing to partner with others in health care to provide the best of care to those who need us,” said Alicia Ferguson, director of operations for TMC Hospice & Palliative Care

The new medical director, Curt Gedney, M.D., and nurse practitioner, Nicole Ralston, AGNP, were introduced to the group, which included local physicians and, senior-living and home-care representatives as well as TMC board members, executives and staff.

The ramada was funded through a TMC Foundation grant and, according to Mary Kay LeFevour, TMC Hospice bereavement coordinator, will be used to host celebrations of life, memorials, weddings and more.

“Yes, we have weddings here at Hospice,” LeFevour explained. “Sometimes people will get married here so their loved one, who is in hospice, can be a part of it.”

Hospice hummingbirds fly the coop

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Earlier this month, TMC Hospice played host to a nesting hummingbird and her two chicks. While the quiet desert setting of Peppi’s House attracts critters of all sorts, a number of hummingbird feeders–donated, filled and cleaned by volunteers–attract these smallest of birds.

Each of the 16 patient rooms in the inpatient hospice facility opens to a courtyard. It was in a tree next to the sliding glass door of one of these rooms that the nest was spotted by family members of a patient. The family alerted the staff to the nest.

With an abundance of patience and a long lens, TMC staff member Alan Stock photographed the chicks throughout their nesting time. Less than two weeks later, they had flown the coop.

 

New nurse practitioner in Rita Ranch available to help you and your family with an assortment of ailments

TMC One welcomes Arvie Webster, a board-certified family nurse practitioner who is now available to see patients at one of TMC One’s Rita Ranch locations. Arvie brings a wealth of knowledge and life experience in providing compassionate care for you and your family.

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Arvie Webster, FNP-C

What is your background? 

I was born in Illinois and raised in Kentucky. I served in the military as a U.S. Army officer before practicing as a Nurse Practitioner. During that time, I was stationed all across the country. But I’m glad to have planted some roots in Tucson! I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in nursing from Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky. Then I spent 10 years in nursing, primarily in emergency and trauma, before returning for my master’s degree in nursing and health care systems from Grand Canyon University. After having an administrative nursing role, I realized my passion was patient care so I returned for my post-master’s degree in family nurse practitioner from the University of Phoenix.

What inspired you to go into primary care?

Growing up in a small town, our community had one family medicine physician. He practiced on the ground level of his house and his wife was his office manager. As a child, I remember him taking such great care of my family and me – everything from strep throat to high blood pressure to stitching us up when we had accidents. He was always so calm, friendly and put you at ease during visits. I was never reluctant to go see him. I think everyone should feel the same way about visiting their primary care provider. He was my inspiration for choosing primary care.

What made you decide to come to Tucson?

My husband followed me all over the country while I served in the military so once I was released from active duty, I told him he could choose where we lived. I’m so glad he picked Tucson! There is so much to do outdoors and I love the diversity here. We enjoy all the road biking, mountain biking, rock climbing and swimming that Tucson offers.

What do you think is the biggest health risk facing Southern Arizonans?

I think everyday stress is the biggest health risk facing Southern Arizonans. We are all so preoccupied with world events, disasters, politics, finances, hectic work schedules and trying to be involved in our children’s activities, that we rarely find time for ourselves to “unplug.” High levels of ongoing stress lead to unhealthy eating habits, lack of time and energy to exercise, sleep deprivation, anxiety and mild depression due to feeling so overwhelmed. One way to combat stress is by having a healthy work-life balance and understanding that it is OK to have time to yourself to pursue things that make you happy.

Do you have any areas that are of particular interest to you?

Special interests of mine include injury and disease prevention as well as screening-exam education. For example, I have a unique approach to conversations that most patients may find awkward. I empathize with my patients and handle these topics with great concern while doing my best to make them feel comfortable when discussing things like how to perform a self breast examination correctly, or the importance of young men examining their testicles. I also feel like it is my obligation to educate patients about what medications may put them at an increased risk for injury with even minor trauma. I am a firm believer that quality education raises awareness rather than fear and avoidance.

Why is it so important for people to get established with a PCP before they get sick?

Have you ever found yourself tasked with a project that you think will be easy and then you figure out that it is actually really complicated and you wish you had help? Health is very similar. For most people, it starts out easy but has the potential to get very complicated, very quickly.  By getting established with a provider before you get sick, you have help before things get complicated and can potentially prevent your health from getting complicated.

What has been your most valuable life experience that has impacted your medical career?

The military taught me many life lessons but the one lesson that always seemed to be natural to me was “take care of the soldier next to you.” This meant even if you didn’t see eye to eye with the person next to you, you still took care of them because they were your best chance of survival. In the civilian world, I believe this is also true for our communities. Even if we do not necessarily agree with someone, we must take care of each other in order to survive.

How do you approach your relationship with your patients?

My relationship with my patients is a partnership. I consider my patients experts with their own bodies because no one lives with their body as long as they do. I offer health education to prevent and manage illness, translate symptoms into health conditions and provide assistance in navigating the health care system, but  believe that both parties must be engaged in order for the partnership to succeed.

Arvie Webster is accepting new patients!
TMC One’s Rita Ranch location is at 9348 E. Rita Road, #100.
Expanded hours for your convenience! Appointments available as early as 6:30 a.m.
Call (520) 324-4760 to make an appointment.

TMC, TMC One now part of The Network – Arizona’s electronic health information exchange

HINAzToday Tucson Medical Center and TMC One join a growing list of Arizona health care providers electronically connected via The Network, Arizona Health-e Connection’s statewide electronic health information exchange, or HIE.

The Network aims to solve the challenge of knitting together a patient’s complete medical record in a traditionally fragmented system. Access to better and more complete information at the point of care can improve decision making and care management.

The Network includes a long list of providers, hospitals, reference labs and health plans. These entities can access and view a patient’s current and historical medical information from many sources. Additionally, the patient’s information can be queried and downloaded to a practice’s or a hospital’s electronic medical record.

The first time a patient is seen in one of these practices or visits TMC, including outpatient areas, the patient will be asked to sign an HIE notice explaining this secure electronic information sharing. Other than signing this notice, nothing needs to be done to have records made available to other providers. If a patient doesn’t want to share information, an opt-out form can be completed at this time. Patients have the right to change their mind at anytime to either opt out or to opt back in.

For additional information click for answers to frequently asked questions. You can also contact the Network directly, TheNetwork@azhec.org or (602) 688‐7200. The Network’s website is www.azhec.org.

Former chief of staff to be remembered Friday in memorial service at TMC

John WilsonFormer TMC Chief of Staff, founding radiologist of Radiology Ltd. and dedicated athlete John A. Wilson, M.D., died Feb. 2. He was 98. His memorial service is Friday, Feb. 12, 3 p.m., at the TMC Marshall Conference Center.

“When I read his obituary this morning, all I could see was John running through the halls of TMC to his car. He wasn’t in hurry, it was just that he was a great athlete,” said Palmer Evans, M.D., former TMC senior vice president and chief medical officer. “I can just see him running up to heaven.”

Roxanne Bacon, Radiology manager, remembers Dr. Wilson as “the kindest, most gentle man I ever knew.” She also recounted that Dr. Wilson practiced radiology before it went high-tech. In order to read X-rays, he always had a light on his head, and his ruler and magnifying glass nearby.

Dr. Wilson was also former president of the Pima County Medical Society. His greatest devotion was for family — his and others. “He was very involved with his family and knew all about yours,” Bacon said.

Dr. Wilson is survived by Helen, his beloved wife of 72 years, three children and many others. Click to read his full obituary at the Arizona Daily Star.


Tucson Medical Center | 5301 E. Grant Road | Tucson, Arizona 85712 | (520) 327-5461