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 Information about the Teal Saguaro may be found at


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

“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 or call (520) 324-2438.

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


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.


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.


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’


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 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


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:


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

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

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

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.


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, or (602) 688‐7200. The Network’s website is

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.

UFC champion Frank Shamrock visits TMC for Children patients

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Frank ‘The Legend’ Shamrock, retired four-time undefeated UFC Middleweight (Light Heavyweight) Champion, met with patients and families at TMC for Children as part of a Southern Arizona visit.

He arrived around noon and went from room-to-room visiting patients and their families who were delighted to see him.

Shamrock will make several appearances in Sierra Vista over the weekend.

During major makeover, temp entrance serves Labor & Delivery

Women's Center smaller Ext Rendering SE

Patients and visitors heading for TMC Women’s Services are using new access points during construction around Tucson Medical Center’s Southeast Entrance, at the Grant/Craycroft corner of the hospital campus.

A temporary entrance is now open for Labor & Delivery while the current Southeast Entrance is being turned into additional patient service areas. The temporary entrance is along the south end of the unit, facing Grant Road – and is marked with special signage and awning structures. A patient drop-off lane, reception desk and small lobby are in place for those going to L&D or the NICU.

Other areas also used the old Southeast Entrance, so during the construction visitors heading for Pediatrics, Peds ICU, Mom/Baby Postpartum unit, and Childbirth Tours are directed to the TMC for Children entrance.

Inside the Southeast Entrance, corridor improvements will affect some offices. The Desert Cradle boutique for newborn and breastfeeding supplies has temporarily relocated to the patio behind the main Gift Shop, and the Business Office has moved its public access to Admitting near the Northeast Entrance.



The project is transforming the Joel M. Childers, MD, Women’s Center within TMC into a more welcoming and comfortable environment, connecting with new and upgraded facilities for women’s health care. Among the new features in our future are four additional labor/delivery/recovery suites and a new private testing and triage area for expectant mothers – all near the new entrance facing Craycroft Road being built for the Women’s Center.

Earlier this year, TMC for Women opened its renovated Childers Women’s Surgery Center. The work has been supported through the TMC Foundation’s ongoing capital campaign Making HerStory to help centralize and consolidate services.



Tucson Firefighters make a Santa-sized toy delivery to TMC for Children

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They’re not dressed in your typical Santa suits, but Tucson firefighters played St. Nick today, dropping off a new toy chest for TMC for Children chock-full of toys for pint-sized patients.

The chest – which looks like a mini fire truck – provides toys to children who are undergoing medical procedures or who just need a little boost during their stay.

“It is our pleasure to be able to partner with TMC for Children,” said Joe Gulotta, Tucson Fire Department assistant chief. “Day in and day out, there are clinical folks who work hard to get these children better. Our hope is that this is another resource for them – that these toys bring a smile to a child who is having a tough time. Even if it’s for one minute out of their day, we want to take their mind off the problems they’re experiencing. We want to give them something else to focus their attention on other than the reason they’re in the hospital.”

Helping out children in need is in line with what these first responders do every day. Gulotta adds that TFD has teddy bears stocked on their fire trucks in the event they encounter a child on scene who needs to be comforted. “We meet children who have been in bad accidents or experienced a fire at their home. Or maybe their parent is sick and they’re scared about what’s happening. It’s amazing how a simple teddy bear can re-direct their attention and give them something else to think about.”

Gulotta says TFD has been fortunate to have such great sponsors who support the project wholeheartedly including the Tucson Firefighters Association, Old Pueblo Rotary Club as well as two local businesses, Mr. Janitor and Signs Now Tucson.

Please click here to see news coverage from Tucson News Now.
Please click here to see news coverage from KVOA News 4 Tucson.

Thousands of twinkle lights make the TMC campus sparkle for the holidays

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It’s not quite the Winterhaven Festival of Lights, but the TMC campus is impressively festive during this holiday season! Tens of thousands of twinkle lights and other decorations, including more than 50 elf and snowmen cutouts, have been used to illuminate and adorn the 114 acres the hospital sits on.

“It’s an enormous undertaking,” said Richard Parker, director of TMC Facilities and Plant Services. “We have an enthusiastic team made up of employees from many different facilities crews who commit themselves every year to brightening the holidays for patients, visitors and staff. In order to get it all done, oftentimes they logged hours when most of us were still asleep, and even came in on their weekends in order to decorate in a discreet way that didn’t impact the campus during regular business hours.”

“The joy these decorations bring to everyone who visits or works at TMC is the kind of thing you just can’t put a price tag on,” said TMC carpenter Dan Bittner. “It’s worth every minute and every dime we spent putting it all together. The enthusiasm and the positive reactions from people on campus make it well worth the effort. It’s a pleasure to see how people enjoy our work.”

Last year, TMC for Children patients and their siblings were alerted via closed-circuit television that Santa had landed on TMC’s roof as part of his test flight a few days before Christmas. The children headed to a nearby courtyard where they could visit with Santa, eat cookies, listen to stories and enjoy enchanted snowfall. We’ll have to see if the jolly old elf pays TMC for Children a visit again this year…

TMC’s new Women of Honor Courtyard is open – and it’s beautiful!

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The TMC Foundation is proud to announce that the TMC Women of Honor Courtyard is now open following a six-week renovation. The courtyard publicly and permanently celebrates women who have enriched the lives of others in our community. The focal point of the courtyard is the Women of Honor sculpture that embodies the spirit of every woman who has graced TMC’s hallways. It represents TMC for Women and the physicians, nursing staff and, most of all, patients and families.

The courtyard is part of the new Joel M. Childers, M.D., Women’s Center and was designed as a pathway through all stages of life. It is a serene environment for patients who are about to have a baby or undergo life-saving surgery. It provides them and their families with an aesthetically pleasing space to spend time together in a setting that feels less like a hospital. Two sets of doors and additional windows were added to the courtyard to bring more natural light into the hospital and increase access to this beautiful area.

Additionally, the courtyard allows community members to commemorate outstanding women in their lives. Please click here for information about how you can honor a loved one in a public and permanent way.

Later this month, the courtyard entrances by the women’s lobby and across from administration will close for five weeks so that crews can finish construction on Shropshire Hall, the hallway adjacent to the courtyard. During this time, the courtyard will still be accessible from Drachman Hall.

A community-wide celebration will be held in mid-January when that work is complete.

TMC is a leader in addressing women’s health care needs using advanced technology and establishing innovative programs. The addition of the new Joel M. Childers, M.D., Women’s Center allows TMC to continue to be the premier state-of-the-art hospital for compassionate women’s health care in Southern Arizona.

Peppi’s House labyrinth area adorned with twinkling “LoveLights”

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The crowd counted down – “5…4…3…2…1!” And with that, the TMC Hospice LoveLights tree was illuminated – a breathtaking moment in which thousands of twinkle lights glistened on a brisk evening outside Peppi’s House, just south of the labyrinth. For some, the lighting of the LoveLights tree symbolizes an official start to the holiday season.

The event is put on each year by the TMC Auxiliary as a benefit for TMC Hospice. The Auxiliary raises money by selling “lights” on the LoveLight Tree that represent loved ones who have passed away and are being memorialized, or as a way to honor those who are still living.  The tree also showcases gold lights in honor of veterans and those serving in the military.

At the annual event, hundreds gathered around dusk while they enjoyed delicious food, raffle prizes and great company.

The money raised – nearly $5,000 – goes to the emergency fund at TMC Hospice. This money is used for all sorts of things, like funerals for families who can’t afford to bury their loved ones, plane tickets for family members who can’t afford to come to Tucson to say goodbye, even things like utility bills and groceries for families who otherwise can’t afford it when they’re going through such a sorrowful time.

Special thanks to TMC Auxiliary Vice President Jon Schwindt for organizing this year’s event. “This event has a lot of history behind it – it’s been going on for many years – and it was an honor to coordinate it this year,” said Schwindt. “Peppi’s House is a beautiful place many people feel connected to. In talking with folks at the event, I was moved by what the LoveLights event means to them. I met people who came because their mom or dad passed away at Peppi’s and they wanted to give back for the care they received. For some families, the event is an annual tradition to honor a loved one who has passed. I even met a man who purchased some LoveLights for some servicemen who passed away. These are people who made a point to attend and support TMC Hospice. And the TMC Auxiliary is so grateful.”

The tree is located at Peppi’s House, on the northwest end of the TMC Campus, 2715 N. Wyatt.

It will be shining brightly until the New Year.

Business group honors TMC’s Steve Bush as top nonprofit CFO

SteveBushTMC Senior VP and Chief Financial Officer Steve Bush won first place in the nonprofit organizational category at the third annual Inside Tucson Business CFO Awards, announced at a dinner event Nov. 5 at Casino del Sol.

Since Bush’s arrival as CFO in September 2009, TMC has had a positive operating margin each year, maintaining the rise from operational deficits that began in late 2007 under then-new chief executive Judy Rich. Bush is responsible for planning and operations of the organization’s financial affairs including revenue cycle, supply chain, budgeting, financial reporting and managed care contracting.

“The most enjoyable part of my job is working on a variety of projects, which gives me the chance to interact with numerous individuals including other members of the management team, employees, board members, physicians and community representatives,” Bush said. “The most rewarding part of my job is the ability to help TMC achieve its mission by working with others to provide a financially stable organization. I have worked in several health care organizations in my career and I feel that TMC is unique in the way employees, management and our Board of Trustees work together in the best interests of our patients. We can all take pride in the value TMC provides to our community and I feel my award reflects in a small way, the pride our community has in TMC.”

Inside Tucson Business teamed up with event Platinum Sponsor BeachFleishman and Gold Sponsor Casino Del Sol to locate and honor chief financial officers from around Southern Arizona. Nominations were open to working financial executives in Pima, Cochise and Santa Cruz counties, with several award categories:

• Nonprofit organizations
• Government, quasi government agencies and education
• Companies with $15 million or more in annual revenue
• Companies with less than $15 million in revenue

“The most challenging part of my job is trying to find the balance between need and resources,” Bush noted. “The finance team and I work closely with the other members of the management team and make difficult choices on almost a daily basis as to where to spend our money. Our fiscal challenges will continue with the changing health care landscape and new competitors in the market, but I am fortunate to work with a great team and feel confident in our ability to keep TMC fiscally strong.”

Prior to joining TMC as vice president and chief financial officer, Bush held senior financial positions at several health care organizations including Aurora Healthcare in Milwaukee, OhioHealth in Columbus, and Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, Maryland. He was born and raised in Montreal, Canada, and moved to the United States shortly after earning his undergraduate degree from McGill University. He has an MBA and CPA and is a fellow in Healthcare Financial Management.


TMC’s Leapfrog Hospital Safety Score moves up to a B.

HSSThe Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit representing large employers and other health care purchasers, released its fall hospital safety scores on Tuesday. Tucson Medical Center was among only two Tucson hospitals to receive an upgraded score, moving from a C to a B.

This Hospital Safety Score rates some 2,600 U.S. hospitals on 28 measures that include patient injuries, medical and medication errors, and infections. The scores are derived from public data and from a voluntary hospital survey that TMC completes each year.

TMC’s improvement can be attributed to the work to standardize processes across the organization, implementation of everyday improvements and focus on culture change. ThToweris progress can also be seen by TMC’s recent accreditation by The Joint Commission.

“This B grade represents steady incremental quality improvement over the last 4 years. We still have great opportunity to improve.  We will go forward with renewed energy to employ Lean as our process improvement tool and work with staff to make TMC the best option for high quality care in Tucson,”said Judy Rich, President and CEO, Tucson Medical Center.

TMC owes that to the patients and the community it serves.


TMC One’s new nurse practitioner ready to partner with you and your family


Maria “Maricruz” Bustamante 
Family Nurse Practitioner

Maria “Maricruz” Bustamante is a board-certified family nurse practitioner with TMC One who is ready to provide compassionate health care for you and your entire family during every phase of life. Bustamante partners with her patients of all ages to help them achieve health and well-being with a focus on disease prevention. She blends her expertise and passion about fitness, nutrition and wellness coaching to help her patients achieve their goals, whether they be weight loss, increasing strength, reducing or eliminating medication, managing chronic health concerns, or decreasing pain.

Bustamante is also fluent in Spanish.

▪ What is your background?

I am a registered nurse with more than 12 years of intensive care experience. I have worked at all the local ICUs in town throughout my career. I decided to further my education in hopes of preventing patients from being admitted to the ICU from things like a high blood pressure crisis and diabetes complications.

▪ What inspired you to go into primary care?

I am a firm believer that health care starts in the home. I enjoy empowering parents to lead the way for their children in the hope that good health will be passed from one generation to another. I want to care for the whole family. Knowing and understanding the dynamics of an entire family allows me to better tailor the care plan for the family as a unit.

▪ What made you want to practice in Tucson?

I was raised here, so Tucson is and always will be a special place for me. I understand the culture and I see the need for people to do better for themselves. It is my sincere hope to help them make that happen by focusing on health care as wellness, not disease management.

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

I believe the biggest health risk facing Southern Arizonans is obesity. In most cases, obesity is preventable. I strongly believe that if we educate our patients and empower them to take control of their well-being, many diseases can be prevented.

▪ Do you have any areas both in your practice and outside of work that are of particular interest to you?

In primary care, I love caring for the entire spectrum from newborns to the elderly. I especially enjoy pediatrics and women’s health, as well as helping patients manage their diabetes. When I’m not working, you’ll likely find me outside hiking and enjoying nature. For indoor activities, I love breaking a sweat with Zumba classes and really experience the health benefits of yoga.

▪ Why is it important for people to get established with a primary care provider before they get sick?

It is so important for people to get established with a primary care provider before they get sick because many specialty care needs can be prevented. I strive to help my patients and their families with disease prevention. I approach every patient holistically and team with them to best meet their health care needs. Being under the supervision of a primary care provider can also help in coordinating care for those times when specialty care is needed.

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

My most valuable life experience that has impacted my medical career has been my time as an ICU nurse. It taught me not to take life for granted and showed me how quickly our loved ones can be taken from this earth.

▪ How do you approach your relationship with your patients?

I approach my relationship with my patients as a partnership. I love empowering them to take control of their health and will be there for them along the way, acting like their biggest cheerleader and guide.

Maricruz Bustamante is located at TMC One, 5295 E. Knight Dr., right across from TMC.
She is accepting new patients! Call (520) 324-1010 to make an appointment.

Phoenix Children’s now providing pediatric intensive care, hospitalist coverage for TMC for Children

TMC for Children patient careTucson Arizona, June 8 — Phoenix Children’s Hospital, one of the largest children’s hospitals in the country with a staff of nearly 1,000 pediatric specialists working across more than 75 pediatric subspecialties, has assumed coverage for intensive care and hospitalist services for TMC for Children. The transition, which began on June 3, was a smooth handoff from the long-standing service by University Physicians Healthcare.

“Not only does this relationship ensure stable, predictableTMC for Children 4C coverage, but Phoenix Children’s has a
philosophy that fits very well with our patient-centered approach,” said Brooke Casebolt, a registered nurse and the director of patient care services at TMC for Children. “Phoenix Children’s emphasizes daily rounds and family engagement in its approach, and has a clear understanding of the need to draw from multiple disciplines in providing the best care for the children and families we serve.

PCH_hospital_stk_PMS 2New to Tucson are several members of the Phoenix Children’s staff, who are based in this community and call TMC their hospital home. They include, Dr. Heather Hanley, medical director for the pediatric intensive care unit and Dr. Kevin Carter, medical director for pediatric hospitalists.

“While Phoenix Children’s shares our philosophy that care provided closest to home is preferable whenever possible,  this relationship will allow TMC to explore new opportunities to further build the pediatrics program,” said TMC Chief Medical Officer Rick Anderson, noting Phoenix Children’s will augment specialty services where gaps might exist.

Phoenix Children’s joins a team of other long-standing pediatric providers on campus, with Pediatrix TCPS Logoproviding medical coverage to TMC’s newborn intensive care unit. Pediatric specialty coverage is provided by Tucson Community Pediatric Specialists, a community-based, accessible and a valuable part of the TMC for Children care team. Tucson Community Pediatric Specialists include physicians who specialize in anesthesiology, cardiology, dermatology, emergency medicine, ENT, neonatology, neurology, ophthalmology, oral surgery/dentistry, orthopedics, plastic surgery, pulmonology, radiology, surgery and urology.

Tucson Medical Center latest member of Mayo Clinic Care Network

MayoAnnouncementTucson Medical Center is now a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, a national network of organizations committed to better serving patients and their families through collaboration.

The Mayo Clinic Care Network extends Mayo Clinic’s knowledge and expertise to physicians and providers interested in working together in the best interest of their patients.

“As an independent, nonprofit community hospital, Tucson Medical Center has a long history of building collaborative relationships that enable us to better meet the needs of our community,” said Judy Rich, TMC’s president and CEO.

The network allows physicians aligned with TMC to connect to more than 4,500 physicians and scientists at the Mayo Clinic, said Wyatt Decker, M.D., vice president, Mayo Clinic, and CEO of Mayo Clinic in Arizona.

Physicians aligned with TMC will now be able to connect with Mayo Clinic specialists on questions of patient care through electronic consulting and will have access to Mayo-vetted medical information. These tools, in addition to health care consulting, will help TMC provide the best care for its patients as well as improve its systems and the health of the community.

The tent that provided shade to attendees at the announcement was symbolic in some ways, Dr. Decker said. “Tucson Medical Center is now under the tent together with the Mayo Clinic. We are going to link arms with TMC and other like-minded organizations around the country and across the world to do our absolute best in caring for patients. With that formula, nothing can stop us and the future of health care in the United States is very bright.”BDP31584

Rick Anderson, M.D., chief medical officer at Tucson Medical Center, said TMC’s membership in the network allows physicians to collaborate and access the expertise that is a hallmark of Mayo Clinic, even as patients continue receiving care as close to home as possible.

“The foundation for this relationship is a shared treatment philosophy that is focused on best practices and evidence-based medical care,” Dr. Anderson said. “We look forward to the resources that this collaboration will bring to the high-value care we already provide our patients.”

TMC cuts ribbon for newly renovated, expanded Women’s Surgery area

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Tucson Medical Center cut the ribbon for a newly expanded operating suite for the Joel M. Childers, M.D., Women’s Surgery Center featuring the latest technology and improved workflow.

As of Monday, women coming to TMC for gynecological surgery will be cared for in the upgraded operating rooms, with dedicated waiting areas for patients and families.

The former women’s surgical suites are being revamped to continue to serve Labor & Delivery for cesarean sections.

The work has been funded through the current capital campaign, Making HerStory, the TMC Foundation’s current effort to raise $12.5 million to help centralize TMC’s Women’s Services, which have been spread throughout different areas of the hospital. Consolidating resources and creating a dedicated entry point for services will increase efficiency, enhance privacy and improve quality outcomes.

Find out more at Making HerStory.

1,000 acts of kindness and counting…

ResizedKindnessWith a party, a song and a dance, Tucson Medical Center accepted the Ben’s Bells Be Kind Challenge last month as it pledged to record 1,000 acts of kindness. As of Monday afternoon, TMC had 1,014 acts recorded with more than half the month to go.

Let’s see what the next couple weeks bring as momentum continues to build. Visit the #BeKindChallenge to see what other businesses, schools and organizations have accepted the challenge and to learn more about the endeavor.

Mlawsky named new COO for TMC

Karen MlawskyTucson Medical Center is pleased to announce that Karen Mlawsky has been appointed senior vice president and chief operating officer.

Mlawsky previously served as the senior vice president and chief executive officer of the Hospital Division of the University of Arizona Health Network, where she was responsible for leading two academic medical centers with more than 700 beds and 4,500 staff members.

“Karen is a respected and trusted leader with more than 25 years’ experience in driving strategic growth, building key relationships and shepherding improvement initiatives,” said Judy Rich, president and CEO of Tucson Medical Center.

“I have immense confidence in Karen’s ability to help lead TMC through this exciting period of dynamic change in the national and local healthcare marketplace. As a nonprofit, locally-governed hospital whose mission is rooted in community, we are thrilled to have someone who knows this region join us in the next phase of our commitment to deliver comprehensive community care, embrace innovation and inspire operational excellence.”

Mlawsky, who came to Arizona after serving as executive director of The Ohio State University Hospital East, joined the University Medical Center in 2006 as vice president of UMC North and Oncology Services, where she led a team to develop and implement a strategic plan to expand services at the Arizona Cancer Center Clinic. After serving as vice president of Clinical Operations for UA Healthcare, she assumed leadership as CEO of the Hospital Division for the University of Arizona Health Network in May 2011.

“Southern Arizona is a special place, and I am looking forward to continuing to serve this community,” Mlawsky said. “I have always admired TMC’s commitment to its patients, its connections to the physicians who practice there and its deep ties to the community – and I am excited to be part of an organization that is committed to those priorities and values.”

Mlawsky, who will assume her duties the last week of April, replaces David Ressler, who left in February 2015 to assume the executive director role for a multi-state organization formed in cooperation with a Colorado-based rural hospital network.

TMC physician Gayle Dean named Healthcare Woman of Influence

Tucson Medical Center congratulates Dr. Gayle Dean, department chair of TMC OB/GYN, for her recognition among Tucson’s Women of Influence, awarded March 5. She took top honors in the Healthcare Champion category.IMG_1289_RT

Dr. Dean, a board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist, practices with Crossroads OB/GYN, part of the Genesis medical group. Crossroads recently moved its practice into a building on the TMC campus.

Dr. Dean also serves as co-chair of the major expansion project getting underway as the Joel M. Childers MD Women’s Center at TMC.

The 12th annual Women of Influence award was presented by business publication Inside Tucson Business, in partnership with Quarles and Brady LLP and Cox Business. Forty women from Southern Arizona were honored in categories ranging in healthcare and education to community and public service.  This year’s theme is “Well Behaved Women Seldom Make History.”

Women of InfluenceTMC also congratulates Ann Fulton-Cavett, Tucson attorney, for being the Women of Influence runner-up in the Community Service category. She has served as chair of the TMC Foundation Board of Trustees.


1,000 acts of kindness by April? Game On!

Last month, Tucson Medical Center accepted Ben’s Bells Be Kind Challenge. Catch a view of our fabulous party hats and tremendous spirit in the video below, which highlights what it means to be a kind workplace, as we attempt to record 1,000 acts of kindness by the end of April.

Since there are probably 1,000 acts of kindness that occur here at TMC every single day, we’re convinced we can make it!

Visit the #BeKindChallenge to see what other businesses, schools and organizations have accepted the challenge and to learn more about the endeavor.

Avon Breast Health Outreach Program awards $26,000 to TMC

Avon Foundation for Women issued the following release on Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015:

Avon Breast Health Outreach Program Awards $26,000 to Tucson Medical Center

to Support Breast Cancer Prevention and Screening in the Tucson Area

 Organization Recognized Nationally for Unparalleled Work

The Avon Breast Health Outreach Program has awarded a $26,000 one-year grant to Tucson Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona, to increase awareness of the life-saving importance of early detection of breast cancer, prevention and risk-reduction strategies. Dr. Marc Hurlbert, Executive Director of the Avon Foundation for Women, presented the check to Tucson Medical Center officials in a public ceremony on Tuesday.

Dr. Marc Hurlbert, Avon Foundation; Karen Narum, TMC Nurse Practitioner; Denise Navarrete, TMC Program Coordinator; Michael Duran, TMC Vice President & Chief Development Officer

Dr. Marc Hurlbert, Avon Foundation; Karen Narum, TMC Nurse Practitioner; Denise Navarrete, TMC Program Coordinator; Michael Duran, TMC Vice President & Chief Development Officer

“Tucson Medical Center was selected from a national pool of more than 160 proposals, and this award is a true testament to the Center’s work in the community,” said Hurlbert. “It is an honor for Avon to recognize the excellence of such an amazing program that provides essential breast cancer screening, prevention and treatment services to women in Tucson.”

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women in the United States.  According to the American Cancer Society, 4,750 new cases of breast cancer will be detected in Arizona this year and 770 lives will be lost. While advances have been made in prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure, early detection still affords the best opportunity for successful treatment. The Tucson Medical Center breast health outreach program will help ensure that all women have access to early detection information and options, even poor and medically underserved women.

“We are proud that the Avon Foundation for Women shares our mission and has chosen to support our program. With these funds we will be able to reach women with breast cancer information and resources to help overcome factors that keep them from practicing good breast health,” said Denise Navarrete, TMC Program Coordinator.

“This award from the Avon Breast Health Outreach Program will enable Tucson Medical Center to screen nearly 300 additional women and educate more than 5,000 women on breast health and cancer risk-reduction strategies,” said Avon Regional Sales Leader Pia Montoya-Kuhl. “Tucson Medical Center’s commitment to quality breast cancer screening and treatment services is exemplary, and it is a true honor to recognize this organization on a national level.”

Since 1993, the Avon Foundation, an accredited 501(c)(3) public charity, has awarded more than 1,600 grants to community-based breast health programs across the United States, including Tucson Medical Center. The Avon Foundation awards funding to beneficiaries ranging from leading cancer centers to community-based grassroots breast health programs to support breast cancer research and access to care. Many programs are dedicated to educating underserved women about breast cancer and linking them to early detection screening services. Visit for more information.

For more information on Tucson Medical Center, visit To learn more about the Avon Breast Health Outreach Program, visit

KOLD News 13 highlights emergency response team’s community dedication

Tucson News Now reporter Morgan Kyrklund highlighted how TMC’s Hospital Emergency Response Team is ready to be a first receiver for any hazardous situation – everything from a toxic fuel spill to a terrorist attack.

The all-volunteer team recently expanded to 15 people, and leader Ted Voss is always looking for more TMC employees to join.  The role of this team: to protect the hospital from contamination.


Kind acts touch many as TMC takes the #bekindchallenge

bekindchallengeSince Tucson Medical Center kicked off its #BeKindChallenge a month ago, more than 50 acts of kindness have been reported. The effort, part of Ben’s Bells Project “Kind Colleagues” program, is based on the belief that everyone has the capacity to be kind, and that it is ultimately a skill that can be cultivated. TMC’s goal is to record at least 1,000 acts of kindness before the end of the school year in May.

Here are some of the best acts of kindness reported so far:

Nicole Durazo and Amy Hill

Nicole Durazo and Amy Hill

Nicole Durazo – We had a patient who was wheelchair-bound, writes patient-care tech Amy Hill, who works on the adult telemetry unit. He just wanted to go outside. When he was Nicole Durazo’s patient, she would take him outside. One Sunday when he WAS NOT Nicole’s patient, she took the time to come over to the other side of the unit to take him outside so that he could see the moon.


Amy Duschinski

Amy Duschinski

From the other side of the hospital, we have this:

Amy Duschinski – a registered nurse on the mother/baby unit, Duschinski was recognized by the unit’s assistant manager, Angelica Hibbs, for stepping up. “Amy offered to help one of her co-workers with a less than glamorous task,” Hibbs wrote. “She helped her co-worker administer a hi/lo enema that took over 40 minutes. Not only did she help the patient feel better, but she was also there to support her co-worker.”

Hibbs also awarded a kindness coin to Maria Romero, a patient care tech also on the mother/baby unit. Hibbs writes:

Maria Romero

Maria Romero

I had a wonderful experience helping Maria get a patient up to the bathroom. Maria has truly mastered the art of getting up patients in the most gentle, non-rushed and KIND way. The patient was in a lot of pain after her tubal. When the patient stood up she hugged Maria and started crying on her shoulder. You could tell that she had developed trust in her. Maria was so encouraging and patient with her. The patient told Maria she reminded her of her mother. This is not the first time Maria has heard this. She hears it from her patients often. Maria was also my PCT 12 years ago when I had my son and I still remember the great and kind care she gave me. Gracias Maria!

Sue Taylor, M.D., who specializes in hospice and palliative care medicine, shared the following:

I recently did family conferences with Neva Corbell, Lisa Vasquez and Gina Luna, all registered nurses, and can attest to their kindness.

Neva, Lisa and Gina

Neva Corbell, Lisa Vasquez and Gina Luna

In each case, families were unable to accept their loved one’s terminal condition, and unable to face the inevitable grieving. In each case, the care had reached a level deemed non-beneficial, which was causing distress. I asked these bedside nurses to attend the family conferences. Then, I asked them to share their opinion. After all, they are the ones who bear witness to the suffering, to the pain, to the daily/hourly decline, to the burdens of treatment, and to the immense faith, hope and love of families.

These nurses responded with truth telling, and tears, and, most importantly, clear and heart-felt direction that it was time to lovingly transition to care directed at comfort. They spoke honestly, using plain language, and with a level of detail that comes from hours and hours and hours of hard won experience. They knew what the consultants had said; they knew the conflicts; they knew the issues. I didn’t. Families respect that.

Amazingly, each family member agreed. They trusted these nurses, and wanted to work with them to do the best, and right thing. One mentioned that he could see through the curtains, and had been watching the entire unit. He was so impressed by the staff, and how they treated everyone. He knew he could let go now, because he knew that everyone was handled with gentleness.

Please thank Neva Corbell, Lisa Vasquez, and Gina Luna for their exemplary contribution to the mission of TMC.

TMC thanks these nurses and all the staff for the kindness the show towards patients, families, visitors and each other.

At TMC, the goal of is to create a kind workplace, thereby reducing employee stress, increasing productivity and creating a better environment for both staff and patients. TMC is the first hospital in Tucson to participate in this program, which is quite an honor, and it is a great opportunity for TMC to embed kindness into the core of our culture.

TMC baby’s sequential birthday leads to national news coverage

From left to right: Dad David Jones with Mom Katherine, baby Victoria, Dr. Monique Schoenhage and nurse Jawna Stickney Photo courtesy: KGUN 9

From left to right: Dad David Jones with Mom Katherine, baby Victoria, Dr. Monique Schoenhage and nurse Jawna Stickney  Photo courtesy: KGUN 9

“I was due New Year’s Eve, and all my friends kept saying, ‘if you just wait until 12:01 on New Year’s Day, you’ll be on the news!’” laughed new mom Katherine Jones.  Jones, along with her husband, David, and baby, Victoria Marie, received national news coverage after little Victoria decided to come into the world on a numerically special birthday, at 10:11 a.m. on 12-13-14. “The doctors just said it had to be like right now, and none of us realized what time it was,” David Jones told CNN. “Her nurse, Jawna, alerted us with a scream that coincidentally that we had a 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 baby,” said Dr. Monique Schoenhage, who delivered the baby.

Both parents are Navy veterans, and they were happy to be able to cheer on the Navy as they took on the Army in football while resting peacefully with their newborn. Victoria must have been good luck, as Navy beat Army, 17-10 for the 13th straight game.

Victoria Marie Jones Born at TMC at 10:11 a.m. on 12-13-14 Photo courtesy: KGUN 9

Victoria Marie Jones
Born at TMC at 10:11 a.m. on 12-13-14
Photo courtesy: KGUN 9

Little Victoria came in at 5 pounds, 10 ounces and 18 inches long.

According to KGUN 9, Saturday’s sequential date won’t happen again for 89 years. The next sequential date by the MM-DD-YY method is 1-2-3, happening Jan. 2, 2103. Similar sequential dates will take place Jan. 2, 2034 or 1-2-34 and Jan. 23, 2045 or 1-23-45.

The media attention is certainly exciting for TMC’s Labor & Delivery, which delivers the most babies in the state.

“I guess babies come when they want to come!” said Katherine.

Please click here for KGUN 9’s coverage of the story.

Please click here for CNN’s coverage of the story.

Please click here for KTLA’s coverage of the story.

Saguaro Physicians’ new administrator has precision focus on patient-centered care

Susan Vance

Susan Vance

The new year brings new changes to Saguaro Physicians, which is taking on a new name.  TMC One will officially launch on Jan. 1. The updated look and fresh focus will create a stronger connection with Tucson Medical Center and serve as one stop for wellness and primary care.

As part of the changes, TMC will welcome Susan Vance as TMC One’s director of administration early next year. She comes to TMC from Scottsdale Lincoln Health Network where she currently serves as the Senior System Director. She also worked with Mayo Health Systems and is a seasoned professional with more than 16 years of healthcare experience including at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Scottsdale Healthcare Family Care. The Louisiana State University graduate is also currently pursuing her master’s degree in leadership.

Vance knew right away that TMC’s focus aligned with her own values as a healthcare executive. “During my interviews and all of my subsequent interactions at TMC, from the executive team and beyond, there was such a strong dedication to the patient,” she said. “During every conversation, literally, it is clear that the focus is taking care of the patient, growing the organization and building a team. These are also my top priorities and I am so excited to be a part of it. It feels like I am coming home.”

Vance’s commitment to patient-centered care was established at an early age when she learned by example from her father – whom she describes as her mentor. “My dad was a primary care physician when doctors used to still make house calls. I remember waiting outside of people’s homes or in the parking lot of a hospital emergency department while my dad was visiting patients,” she said. “He always taught me that the patient comes first. So this has always been key for me. In coming to Tucson, it was important to me to make sure that the organization that I work with had the same mission. And, I really wanted to work with a community hospital dedicated to staying independent and carving out a niche that always stays focused on taking care of the community,” she said.

Vance and her family are looking forward to settling in Tucson shortly, as she will start her new position in late January.

TMC pauses to reflect on seven decades of community service

Tucson Medical Center has been providing continuous service to Southern Arizona from the day it admitted its first patient – Nov. 9, 1944. In the 70 years that have passed since then, through good times and bad, TMC has never stopped delivering on its mission as a community nonprofit hospital.

TMC’s roots extend back to the 1920s, when the internationally known Desert Sanatorium began operating as a tuberculosis treatment center and health retreat. Some of the original buildings from the Desert San remain in service today, as a testament to the long history of health care delivered on this site. The desert landscaping and sun-drenched patios of today are part of the heritage established by the Desert Sanatorium.

Erickson HouseThe original vision for the Desert San came from Dr. Bernard Wyatt, who saw the health benefits of a dry, sunny climate. Through time, ownership of the institution transferred to financial backers Alfred and Anna Erickson of New York. (The Erickson home, pictured left, is still used for offices.)

Anna Erickson usually divided her time between New York City and Tucson, especially after her husband’s death. After struggling through the Great Depressing and the arrival of World War II, it was becoming apparent that the Desert San’s days were numbered.

Tablets summarizing TMC’s history are installed at Founder’s Park, a shady retreat near the Beverly Avenue entrance to the TMC campus. Here is the way the hospital’s origin is described in the TMC history plaque, prepared in part by TMC history buff and retiree Jerry Freund:

By 1943, the world was at war. Everything around Tucson and the Desert Sanatorium changed dramatically. Tucson found itself stripped of many of its resources – namely, housing and hospital beds. The Desert Sanatorium feared there would be no research money, no world-renowned physicians, and no paying guests. Anna Erickson foresaw troubling times ahead and decided to close the Desert Sanatorium for the summer of ’43 – and maybe forever.

Out of the chaos of the times came the strength of the Tucson community. Organizations such as St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, the American Red Cross and the Pima County Medical Society rose to the occasion to see what could be done, and to take necessary action. Anna Erickson, seeing the community response, declared that if certain goals could be met, she would donate the Desert Sanatorium to the community. Committees were formed and goals established to form a new hospital – a new Community Hospital open to all physicians and all patients who needed care.

On Nov. 2, 1943, the articles of incorporation were filed, and after a successful community fund drive, Tucson Medical Center was officially established in January 1944. The first patient was admitted Nov. 9, 1944. The life of this hospital is tied to the life of the community, the founders, the benefactors, the physicians, the employees, and those dynamic individuals who had the courage to shape and reshape the vision we share today as Tucson Medical Center.

It was something of a Christmas miracle that TMC was created in late 1943. One man who helped make the dream come true was Roy P. Drachman, a well-connected realtor and visionary. His memoir (called “This Is Not A Book: Just Memories”) includes his first-hand recollection of how TMC came to be:

It was learned that Mrs. Erickson, owner of the Desert Sanatorium on Grant Road, under certain circumstances, might make a gift of the institution to the community. The group encouraged Rev. Ferguson to pursue the matter with Mrs. Erickson.

A short time later we found that she would make the gift providing the money would be raised by Tucsonans to convert the sanatorium into a community hospital to be operated by a board of directors made up of a broad-based membership representing all segments of the area. It was estimated that $250,000 was needed to make the conversion.

After many other meetings, to which more people were invited, the group officially formed itself as the first Board of Directors of the Tucson Medical Center. It was decided to go to the community and ask for contributions to the $250,000 fund. I was appointed chairman of the fund-raising committee. The campaign was conducted during December of 1943 and the early part of 1944. (Photo, right, TMC staff in 1948) 

One of the most generous contributors was the Rosensteil family who kicked off the drive with a substantial gift. The financial drive was successful in reaching its goal, and the Tucson Medical Center became a reality.

No one knew for sure whether TMC would survive when the new hospital opened. But Tucson has never had a day without TMC since Nov. 9, 1944, and there’s no end in sight.


Check out these blogs on TMC’s history:

1928 building getting total makeover as part of TMC’s campus upgrade.

‘Strange potency’ of Tucson’s desert sun and air drew health enthusiasts

What about the decree that kept TMC a single-story hospital?

To stay open in 1940s, TMC developed perks for employees

Thank the ‘Kactus Kid’ for TMC’s landscaping legacy

Volunteers have helped TMC grow since hospital’s earliest days

TMC’s first baby has nearly 70 years worth of recollections

Founders Park monuments add new tribute to TMC’s history


Tucson Marathon Relay major ‘FEAT’ for TMC employees

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TMC fielded 10 teams at the Holualoa Tucson Marathon Relay this past Sunday, Dec. 8, as part of the first event for the TMC Fit Employee Ambassador Team, or FEAT.

I am overwhelmed by the success of the entire team,” said Amy Mattox, employee wellness specialist, who organizes FEAT efforts. “My hope was that we’d all get together and do something great, but I had no idea how much effort and heart they would all put into it! The incredible teamwork, the amazing attitudes, and the way we all cheered each other to the finish…it was truly inspirational for us all.”

Each relay team consisted of four runners and walkers who covered the entire Tucson Marathon course by working together. The first leg was 5.9 miles, the second leg 6.6 miles, the third leg 6.4 miles, and the final leg was 7.3 miles to the finish line. The teams could be all male, all female or co-ed.

“All 10 teams of four finished strong (three teams came in under 4 hours!),” Mattox said. “And both Dianna Desborough and Michelle Spohn finished the full 26.2 miles, finding encouragement along the way from the other teammates in our matching TMC teal team shirts. It was quite the sight!”

TMC FEAT participants could take advantage of an eight-week 10K training plan that started in October. There were also weekly core workouts on campus geared especially for runners.

2015 holds even more promise for FEAT, according to Mattox.

“I absolutely cannot wait to grow this team throughout 2015, getting more TMC employees involved in FEAT, as we inspire each other. Together, we can reach our goals. This group proved that this past weekend, and they’re already asking: ‘What’s next?!’ ”

Hats off to FEAT members: Mary Atkinson, Kathryn Beals, Stacey Bell, Alix Bennet, Sue Bingham, Darby Conroy, Allan Curry, Martha Demer, Dianna Desborough, Crystal Elefante, Ramon Figueroa, Rebecca Fitzpatrick, Christina Franklin, Jeremy Friezen, Ruth Galvon De Ramirez, Michael Gatwood, Benjamin Gerkin, Amy Hill, Ohia Hodges, Kim Huffman, Lisa Kobran, Patti Kubista, Pat Ledin, Fabian Lucero, Frank Marini, Jessica Markley, Dennis McKinney, Damhnait McLaughlin, William Meyer, Alysha Molina, Jessica Monroe, Scott Morris, Philip Moya, Marcia Obara, Barbara Philipp, Chris Ritchey, Michelle Spohn, Julia Strange, Rachel Tineo, Alexis Vasquez, Jenn Waugaman and Danica Williams.

Founders Park monuments add new tribute to TMC’s history

Tucson Medical Center is marking its 70th anniversary this year, commemorating the day its first patient was admitted, on Nov. 9, 1944.

70th Anniv Display updateWhile Tucson Medical Center was upgrading its roads and walkway over the past few years, the timing was perfect to create a new distinctive space to honor its history at the corner of Grant Road and Beverly Avenue.

TMC’s Founders Park is a shady retreat located at the intersection that has been the historic main entrance for decades.  The spot is next to the Arizona Building and across from the Patio Building, two historic structures dating back to the 1920s – and Founders Park is just south of the new Orthopaedic and Surgical Tower, which opened last year with new operating rooms and patient care services.

Founders Park houses permanent displays highlighting people and events important to the history of the Desert Sanatorium and its successor institution, Tucson Medical Center.  The five large columns that define the space carry three plaques: one describing the Desert Sanatorium, one covering Tucson Medical Center, and the third honoring the benefactors who were most instrumental in the growth of both institutions, Alfred and Anna Erickson.Founders Park monuments update

More recently, another touch has been added.  Five pedestals line the walkway through Founders Park, and each now carries a list of milestones from across the decades. The timeline stretches from the start of construction at the Desert Sanatorium through the latest developments on the campus of TMC.

2014 Display updateInside the hospital’s West Entrance, a new display case has been created to illustrate a condensed version of the timeline, alongside several items from TMC’s long history. The new feature enhances previously created display windows with other historical highlights.

As TMC celebrates its 70th anniversary, visitors can linger at the sheltered space along the hospital entry road and at the new exhibit along a busy hospital corridor to learn more about how this place of healing came to be.


Southern Arizona Ebola risk remains low; TMC is prepared

TMC emergency department nurses learn how to properly put on and take off personal protective equipment with the help of hazmat team captain Ted Voss. Photo courtesy: Arizona Daily Star

TMC emergency department nurses learn how to properly put on and take off personal protective equipment with the help of hazmat team captain Ted Voss. Photo courtesy: Arizona Daily Star

The Pima County Health Department is leading the county’s Ebola preparedness efforts, despite Southern Arizona being identified as at low-risk of having someone diagnosed with the disease.

Dr. Francisco Garcia, director and chief medical officer for the Pima County Health Department, has been in contact with federal, state and local officials about the potential risk in Southern Arizona. In addition, he recently gathered health officials from around the county to discuss and coordinate how health care workers in our community would respond to a suspect Ebola-infected patient. “While the risk of having an Ebola case in our community remains very low, we all recognize the importance of having these conversations before an emergency happens,” said Dr. Garcia.

TMC is aiding in the PCHD’s efforts to create a county-wide response plan that is expected to be released next month. It will include input from public health officials, hospitals, health care providers, first responders and emergency managers who are committed to a coordinated effort to protect the community.

Hazmat team member and TMC emergency department nurse Remington Stickney helps train other emergency department nurses and physicians about personal protective equipment. Photo courtesy: Arizona Daily Star

Hazmat team member and TMC emergency department nurse Remington Stickney helps train other emergency department nurses and physicians about personal protective equipment. Photo courtesy: Arizona Daily Star

TMC is following all guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and has an updated response plan that ensures the hospital staff detects possible Ebola cases, protects employees, other patients and their families or visitors, and responds appropriately. TMC administration is working diligently with TMC’s Infection Control department, as well as officials at the county, state and federal level.

Here are some of the proactive steps TMC is doing to maximize our preparedness efforts:

Prepare to detect:

All front-line clinical staff members are well educated and well trained; their ability to follow hospital protocol for this situation has been drilled and tested.

All patients are asked the following screening questions:

  • Have you traveled to West Africa, including Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal or Sierra Leone within the past 30 days?
  • Have you had physical contact with anyone who has been to one of the countries mentioned above within the past 30 days?
  • Have you been in physical contact with someone who is suspected of being infected with Ebola, or who has been diagnosed with Ebola?

Any patients who are suspected of being Ebola-infected will immediately be placed in a private room inside the TMC emergency department.

A suspected Ebola-infected patient will stay in that room and assessed for any other symptoms of Ebola until test results come back, which can take an estimated 12 hours.

Protect our employees, patients and their families or visitors:

Health care workers have drilled how to properly put on and take off personal protective equipment, or PPE.

Health care workers use a “buddy system” when caring for patients, and when putting on and removing PPE.

TMC has a 30-day inventory of available PPE suitable for a suspected or confirmed Ebola-infected patient.

Any equipment or other materials that are used on a suspected Ebola-infected patient will be triple bagged in a red biohazard bag, collected and incinerated.

Respond appropriately:

If a patient is diagnosed with Ebola, the patient will be transported to a pre-determined isolation unit that is equipped to care for these patients.

The health and safety of other TMC patients and their visitors will not be in jeopardy while this patient is being transported.

A dedicated team will be assigned to care for only this patient; they will not provide care to any other patients.

The CDC has assured us that it will have a team here on site within 24-hours of any positive diagnosis.


To see more pictures in the Arizona Daily Star of TMC staff during PPE training sessions, please click here.

It takes a village – celebrating achievement of meaningful use, stage 2

It was time to celebrate following Tucson Medical Center’s successful attestation for Stage 2 of meaningful-use requirements for its electronic medical record this past July. On Wednesday, TMC hosted a breakfast to recognize the 150 team members whose hard work and dedication led the organization to achieve this milestone.

“This was a huge, coordinated effort among a lot of different departments, and everybody really stepped up to the plate to make this happen,” said Chief Information Officer Frank Marini. “And the results are really impressive.”

He shared TMC’s results in meeting the objective measures set by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. As shown in the chart below, TMC beat most measures by 20 points or more.

MU chart

The team had remarkable depth and breadth from areas throughout most clinical areas of the hospital and beyond. In addition to significant resources from Information Services, the team included physicians, registered nurses, patient care techs, lab workers, pharmacists, case managers, infection control specialists and more.

Team members represented all the major clinical areas: cardiac, emergency, general/vascular surgery, geriatrics, geropsych, hospice, intensive care (adults, children and newborns), labor and delivery, mother/baby, neurosurgery/neurology, orthopaedic surgery, pediatrics, post-cardiac care, pre-anesthesia testing, transitional care and women’s services. Other ancillary areas included case management, clinical education, diagnostics, imaging, lab, nursing practice, pharmacy and volunteer services.

In addition, non-clinical areas included admitting, communications, community benefit, enterprise-wide scheduling, finance, health information management (formerly medical records), infection control, patient accounting, professional staff, quality, risk management and surgery scheduling.

Because the transitions-of-care measure was critical, representation was needed from outside the hospital campus. The measure called for the ability to send an electronic version of a patient’s medical record and plan of care in a format the receiving physician or care facility could understand. Staff from business development reached out to community physician groups including Saguaro Physicians, Saguaro Surgical and Southern Arizona Infectious Disease Specialists. In addition, the accountable care organization, Arizona Connected Care, of which TMC is a part, was part of the coordinated effort. All of this work had the support of the board of trustees and the C-suite, with the bulk of the Executive Team having a role to play.

TMC continues to optimize its electronic medical record and next up will be Stage 3 of meaningful use, which will focus on improved outcomes. Though the final rules for Stage 3 are still being developed by the government, TMC continues to look at ways to optimize the electronic medical record to increase quality, safety and efficiency in order to improve patient outcomes.

MU stage 2

A group of staff from Information Systems kicks off the morning festivities to recognize the team that work to meet requirements for Stage 2 meaningful use of the hospital’s electronic medical record.

This blog is one in a series as part of the Oct. 22 celebration at Tucson Medical Center for successfully attesting to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for meeting Stage 2 Meaningful Use requirements of its electronic medical record. This success was a great and collaborative effort across many areas of the hospital. It represents another milestone achieved toward improved patient care and safety.

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