TMC extends congratulations to the winners of the Influential Health and Medical Leaders awards

2015 Influential Health and Medical Leaders Awards

Pal Evans, M.D., left, receives Lifetime Achievement in Health Care award from Steve Pope, general manager, Arizona Local Media

Tucson Medical Center congratulates Palmer “Pal” Evans, M.D., for recognition of his Lifetime Achievement in Health Care by Tucson Local Media.

Dr. Evans, who was honored at an awards dinner Sept. 23, knew as a high school freshman that he would become a physician. He served as a practicing obstetrician/gynecologist in Tucson from 1974 to 1999, before launching his administrative career in 1996. He retired in 2005 as the former Vice President for Medical Affairs at TMC.

“Dr. Evans had a simple goal that was profoundly difficult at the same time: doing the right thing for patients, every time,” said Michael Duran, Vice President and Chief Development Officer for TMC. “The trajectory of his career reflects deep community involvement, an unflagging compassion for patients and an insatiable curiosity about improvement processes and health care models.”

Called into service again, Palmer returned as Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer in 2007 at the request of TMC HealthCare’s Board of Trustees.

As Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Evans led quality of care improvement efforts and oversaw the hospital’s participation in a national pilot study of what was then an innovative health care model, an accountable care organization.

He retired again in July 2010 – but seemingly only to redouble his community involvement.

Not only does Dr. Evans continue to serve in a senior advisory role to TMC and as Board Chairman of Arizona Connected Care, the first accountable care organization in Southern Arizona, but he continues to serve on the board of the TMC Foundation and is past Chair of the Pima Council on Aging. He serves as executive-in-Residence for The Center for Management Innovations in Health Care at the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management. He is a Life Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and Diplomat of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Dr. Francisco García, director of the Pima County Health Department, left, is recognized as Outstanding Health Care Executive from Steve Pope, General Manager, Arizona Local Media.

Francisco García, M.D., director of the Pima County Health Department, left, is recognized as Outstanding Health Care Executive from Steve Pope, general manager, Arizona Local Media

TMC also extends congratulations to Dr. Francisco García, the Director of the Pima County Health Department, who received recognition for Outstanding Health Care Executive.

“This is an exciting time in health care and Dr. García’s tenure has been marked by a commitment to collaboration, service and community outreach,” said Julia Strange, vice president of Community Benefit for Tucson Medical Center. “His leadership has really been defined by his passion for community and the belief that making Pima County a healthier place will demand a team approach.”

TMC is also pleased that the Save the Cord Foundation was honored with an award for Achievement in Community Outreach. The Tucson-based non-profit foundation works to advance umbilical cord blood advocacy and education globally. It serves as the educational arm for the Arizona Public Cord Blood Program, which TMC is proud to be a part of.

TMC is currently the only hospital in Southern Arizona to offer expectant parents the opstcf_logo_smallportunity to donate their baby’s umbilical cord blood to the Be The Match national registry as part of this program. Donating is free, easy and doesn’t hurt the mom or baby. Additionally, it does not change a woman’s labor or delivery.

TMC recently collected cord blood unit  number 900. So far, since the program started, 22 cord blood units have been selected for transplant into people with life-threatening diseases.

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.


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