All posts tagged community

Police: Emergency room doctor, five others arrested in ‘major … – KATU – KATU

by Joe Douglass, KATU News

From left to right: Mark Rose, 61, George Nelson, 42, and Jeremiah Hart, 42. Police said the three men and three other suspects were arrested this week for allegedly taking part in an illegal butane hash oil manufacturing operation.

Police said an emergency room doctor and five other people were arrested in a major drug bust in Linn and Benton counties this week.

Officers said Dr. Mark Rose, 61, is not accused of committing crimes on the job but KATU discovered he is facing repercussions professionally.

Rose and others are accused of illegally manufacturing butane hash oil, also known as butane honey oil, BHO or dab. The substance is a concentrated byproduct of marijuana that’s extracted through a highly-flammable, potentially dangerous process.

“We know it’s a highly-lucrative business. We know that there’s a lot of money to be made,” Captain Eric Carter, of the Albany Police Department, told KATU on Thursday.

He said a major drug bust at two locations started at a property on the 36000 block of Crackerneck Drive in Scio Monday morning. Carter said inside a barn officers from the Linn County Interagency Narcotic Enforcement Team found a lab manufacturing butane hash oil.

“What really sets this apart is this was a commercial-grade operation,” Carter explained. “What was missing in this operation is they weren’t licensed or sanctioned by the state to produce the BHO.”

At the Scio location, Carter said two men, George Nelson, 42, and Jeremiah Hart, 42, were arrested on suspicion of illegally manufacturing and having marijuana. He said Hart also had ecstasy.

Three other people were cited for frequenting the location and released, according to police.

“The (lab) in Scio was actually completing a process when the search warrant was executed,” Carter said.

Around 1 a.m. on Tuesday, carter said officers paid a visit to Rose’s house on the 2700 block of Marshall Drive in Corvallis.

There he said they found another lab and three 55-gallon drums worth of marijuana.

Carter said Rose was linked with both operations.

“The property in Scio belongs to him,” Carter explained. “And so he owns the property and knew of the people that were on that property manufacturing BHO.”

At the Scio location, Carter said officers found 6.5 pounds of finished butane hash oil product with a street value of about $115,000.

“We’re trying to close the loop on exactly where it was being distributed at,” Carter said. “We know from the investigation it was illegally being sold by people and we also have indications that we’re following up on that it was also being sold to marijuana dispensaries in the Willamette Valley.”

A spokesman for Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital told KATU due to his arrest Rose is suspended from his job as an ER doctor pending further investigation. The CEO of the hospital said Rose has worked there for 13 years.

A deputy at the Linn County jail said Rose posted $111,500 bail on Tuesday and was released. He’s due in court on Sept. 6.

Below are the charges faced by those arrested in the raids:

– Nelson was booked on manufacturing marijuana, delivering marijuana and possession of more than 4 ounces of marijuana.

– Hart faces manufacturing marijuana, possession of more than 4 ounces of marijuana and possession of ecstasy charges.

– Rose faces two counts of manufacturing marijuana, two counts of delivering marijuana and two counts of possession of more than 4 ounces of marijuana.

– Jennifer Marie Pechar, 40, of Scio, was cited for possession of methamphetamine and frequenting a place where controlled substances are used.

– Kimberly Jeanet Wolf, 36, of Lebanon, was cited for frequenting a place where controlled substances are used.

– James Eugene Mobley, 33, of Lebanon was cited for frequenting a place where controlled substances are used.

Read the original post:
Police: Emergency room doctor, five others arrested in ‘major … – KATU – KATU

Read More...

A View of the Epidemic: At the ER, New Complexities – Valley News

Lebanon Its hard to imagine someone more directly involved in the opioid epidemic through his work than Thomas Trimarco. Hes an emergency medicine physician at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, where hes worked since 2012.

Emergency rooms, of course, in some ways serve as one of the front lines in dealing with fallout from the epidemic. Its where opioid users are taken when theyve overdosed. Its also a place where users might go to feign a condition in the hope of securing narcotics.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock officials couldnt readily produce statistics on the number of opioid-related cases it handles in the emergency room, but Trimarco, 37, has no doubt it has increased substantially in the number of people he sees with serious, chronic conditions resulting from intravenous drug use, such as infections of the spine, heart and brain.

Those can lead to significant problems that cant necessarily be taken care of at the smaller, community hospitals, said Trimarco, who also serves as medical director for 27 local emergency medical service agencies. So, weve seen a significant increase in the amount of patients who are being transferred from (other) hospitals that are ending up in our emergency department and in our facility with these more serious, long-term complications.

Such cases were once relatively uncommon, but the amount that were seeing now is very significant. Instead of kind of an interesting, once-in-a-while case, its a pretty common case these days.

While some patients come to the emergency room seeking drugs to feed their habit, Trimarco said DHMC has not seen an increase in such patients recently.

I dont think were known as a candy shop, he said.

Because drug seekers often come in complaining of pain-related conditions, such as those that are commonly treated with opioids, it can sometimes be difficult for providers to determine whether a patient is seeking drugs to feed a habit or is in need of medication to treat an acute medical need, he said.

We like to think the best of patients and surely we will give them the benefit of the doubt, Trimarco said.

His job though is to evaluate a patient to determine what their medical need might be.

Once weve eliminated the acute medical issue that might be going on other than the substance abuse … We try to be upfront and honest about our ability to prescribe (opioids) for chronic pain issues out of the emergency department, he said.

There are times when Trimarco has to speak firmly and bluntly with patients who just want to feed their habit.

Most of the time the overall interaction is reasonable and goes well, he said. But, patients can get upset and angry when they are looking for what they think they need or deserve in coming into the emergency room.

In some cases, patients may become violent, Trimarco said.

Trimarco was assaulted twice while working in an emergency room in Cincinnati, prior to coming to DHMC. In one instance, he was punched in the face, in the other he suffered a broken rib. Though both assaults predated the opioid epidemic, they did involve substance use, he said.

Violence against health-care providers is a problem throughout this system and the nation, he said. Its certainly complicated and, perhaps, increased by the opioid epidemic that were seeing. We are seeing more instances of risk to providers both in the ED as well as in the hospital over the last couple of years.

Health care providers face another danger as a result of the epidemic: toxic substances. Even a trace amount of fentanyl or carfentinal narcotics frequently used by addicts could cause a fatal overdose. Such substances may lurk on patients clothing or belongings when they arrive in the emergency room or when emergency medical personnel arrive on a scene, Trimarco said.

No longer can we just kind of dive in and start treating that patient, he said.

If providers suspect patients may have toxic substances on them, they may need to remove and bag their clothing, or take a shower, Trimarco said.

He and the emergency room staff have to deal with overdoses and medical conditions related to intravenous drug use, but the epidemic has also forced him to question whether the standard emergency-room approach is adequate to the task.

As emergency physicians, were really trained to diagnose and to stabilize the acute medical problem thats in front of us, and once that stabilization is achieved were able to hopefully pass that patient along to another provider that would specialize in the longer term care of whatever the ailment, injury or illness is, Trimarco said.

What weve recognized, though, is the exposure that we have to a patient in the emergency department is sometimes the only chance that the health care system has to access these patients and to offer them this support that they may be in need of.

Aiming to break the cycle of addiction, emergency-room staff have started a peer-recovery coaching program.

We will identify patients who may benefit from this program and well call in a recovery coach to spend some time with that patient and offer some support to that patient, both for their current emergency department visit as well as, hopefully, going forward as they try to deal with the long-term addiction that theyre struggling with, he said.

Shifting to addressing patients longer-term needs, however, has come at a cost. What might previously have been a one- or two-hour visit can sometimes last much longer, which can mean longer waits for other patients, he said.

It does have significant downstream effects for all of the other patients in the community who are coming in for emergency care, but these patients are as important as all of our other patients and we still prioritize them and all of our patients according to severity, said Trimarco.

Providers approach those struggling with substance abuse differently than they did in the past, Trimarco said.

I think we all do a little bit of a better job of recognizing the significant struggle that our patients are having dealing with substance abuse these days, he said. I think the patients are less stigmatized than they have been in the past, perhaps.

In some cases, health-care providers also struggle with substance abuse.

Before coming to D-H, I worked at a hospital and we had a young, tremendously talented nurse in our emergency department that died of an overdose, and so I dont think anybody is immune to this epidemic, he said. You see it in many different ways, both when youre working clinically and … it certainly spills over to our personal side as well.

Its a privilege to be able to see and treat patients in some of the worst times of their (lives), but at the same time that can take a toll on you and you certainly need to find a way to appropriately and positively deal with those stresses to be able to continue to do your job and serve the patients that we try to serve, Trimarco said.

Sometimes you just need a little bit of a breather, he said. A lot of times the issues that we see just constantly remind us of the blessings and the amazing things in our own lives.

Staff Writer Nora Doyle-Burr can be reached at ndoyleburr@vnews.com or 603-727-3213.

Go here to see the original:
A View of the Epidemic: At the ER, New Complexities – Valley News

Read More...

Think you need to go to ER? If your insurer doesn’t agree, you could pay – WHAS 11.com

(Photo: Thinkstock / Getty Images, Custom)

(INDYSTAR.com) – Indiana Anthem policyholders may soon discover that what they consider a medical emergency does not necessarily align with what their insurer considers a medical emergency.

Under a new program, Anthem will require Indiana policyholders who seek emergency care for certain nonemergency ailments to foot the emergency room bill. The insurer would still pick up the tab if the patient opted to go to a retail health clinic, urgent care center or doctors office.

Concerns over the high costs of emergency room care, combined with overcrowded emergency rooms, led to the new policy, said company spokesman Tony Felts in an email.

The ultimate goal of this is to encourage more efficient utilization of health care resources, relieve pressure on ERs that are already stretched thin and strengthen the relationship between our members and their primary care doctors, who are in the best position to influence the health of their patients, Felts wrote.

Scott Swan went to the ER: It was the right decision

Step inside a micro-hospital: St. Vincent debuts Noblesville neighborhood hospital

Emergency room care costs 12 to 18 times as much as a visit to a retail health clinic, eight to 12 times as much as a visit to a doctors office and six to seven times more than an urgent care visit.

While Anthem officials say they have not yet set the date for when the program will begin in Indiana, it is already in place in three other states.

Emergency room doctors and patient advocates decry the new policies, saying they put patients in the uncomfortable position of making critical decisions about their health, when time may be of the essence.

Patients will be too often forced to be their own doctors, said Scott Mulhauser, board member of the advocacy group Consumers for Quality Care. Consumers shouldnt be evaluating their care in these tense moments . You dont want to guess wrong because the consequence can change your life forever.

With the new policy, patients may delay getting care they need, afraid of incurring a hefty bill, said Dr. Chris Burke, a board member of the Indiana American College of Emergency Physicians.

Because many nonemergent conditions present with similar symptoms to emergency ones, identifying the true emergencies can be challenging for a lay person, he added.

The problem is that many diagnoses, their symptoms overlap, and without a thorough evaluation by a physician, you cant tell until that evaluation is complete, said Burke, an emergency room physician with Medical Associates who practices at Community Hospitals East and North. Its wrong to insist that patients should self-diagnose. Most are not able to do that. I think most who come to the emergency department believe that they have a problem.

A patient could misinterpret a bad headache, for instance, as a migraine, failing to recognize it as a stroke that requires emergency care. Or nausea or indigestion could be mistaken for a gastrointestinal condition rather than a heart attack.

If a patient with the same symptoms wrongly concludes a heart attack, the good news that the condition was not more serious could lead to the bad news of being saddled with the full bill for the emergency care.

This past week, the advocacy group sent Indiana Insurance Commissioner Stephen Robertson a letter asking that he reject the policy.

The insurance department conducted a review and decided not to act further, said Jenifer Groth, director of communication and outreach.

“IDOI completed its review and determined the program is not changing any prior coverage and does not constitute a procedural or benefit change,” she wrote in an email. “The program is to make policyholders aware of the process for payment of ER claims by sending information that outlines how coverage of claims will be handled.”

Anthem officials say that they decided to implement the policy after studies showed that about 75 percent of the 6.5 million emergency room visits made by those younger than 65 annually are for conditions that do not actually require immediate medical care.

Four emergency room doctors helped the insurer draw up a list of about 300 medical codes that would be considered nonemergencies, such as suture removal, athletes foot and the common cold, Felts said in an email.

A medical director will review any claim made for care delivered in an emergency room rather than a more appropriate setting. The symptoms that drove the patient to the emergency room also will be taken into account, he said.

Only about 10 percent of all 190,000 emergency room visits in Indiana annually would be reviewed, and likely only about 4 percent would be denied, Felts said.

But according to the companys own research of its policyholders, many patients dont necessarily know where to go for immediate care. About two-thirds go to the emergency room if they are sick and the doctors office is closed. One-quarter think the emergency room is the best place to go no matter their ailment or the time of day.

Half of those surveyed said they knew about retail health clinics and walk-in centers and opt for the emergency room and just under three-quarters of people who have made emergency room visits are familiar with urgent care centers.

While Anthem said that concerns about rising health costs and overcrowding contributed to the development of the new policy, Burke, who has been in practice for three decades, said that this policy will likely have little impact on either of those.

Emergency room care nationwide only accounts for about 2 percent of health costs, he said. While crowded emergency rooms do exist, its often because theres no room in the hospital to admit patients, rather than rampant overuse.

Anthem has already put the program into effect in Kentucky, Missouri and Georgia and could eventually extend it to additional markets. Each state market determines its own list of what will and wont be covered, Felts said. In Indiana about 300 out of 2,000 diagnoses considered to be nonemergencies are included in the new policy.

The policy will not apply to pediatric patients younger than 14, those referred to the emergency room by medical providers, visits made on Sundays or holidays when other clinics and offices are closed and for patients who live farther than 15 miles from an urgent care facility.

Ideally, the new policy will strengthen the relationship between patients and their primary care providers, Felts said in a statement.

[W]e are committed to promoting care delivery in the most appropriate clinical setting; for nonemergent care, generally this is the patients primary care provider, he said. Anthem believes that primary care doctors are in the best position to have a comprehensive view of their patients health status and should be the first medical professional patients see with any non-emergency medical concerns.

But health care advocate Mulhauser said that the policy could actually lead to high health expenditures if people wind up delaying needed care and end up worse off than if they had seen a health professional in a timely fashion.

When time matters and in those crisis situations, you want to feel the comfort of knowing that youre getting best medical care possible and not worrying about whether or not your insurer will cover your visit in a split second, he said. Forcing patients to make their own medical decisions that create incentives for them not to get the care they need can create real problems.”

Call IndyStar reporter Shari Rudavsky at (317) 444-6354. Follow her on Twitter and on Facebook.

INDYSTAR.com

Originally posted here:
Think you need to go to ER? If your insurer doesn’t agree, you could pay – WHAS 11.com

Read More...

Influx of seniors challenge emergency room system – Thousand Oaks Acorn

The number of older people in emergency rooms is expected to increase significantly over the next 30 years, doubling in the case of those older than 65 and potentially tripling among those over 85.

Our healthcare system is in critically short supply of primary care physicians and geriatric specialists to treat seniors. As a result, many seniors end up in emergency rooms rather than being treated in the community.

The emergency room can be an overwhelming place for seniors, as they must enter an unfamiliar environment, field rapid-fire questions, then experience fear and anxiety about the diagnosis that awaits.

Are our emergency rooms prepared for this significant growth in senior patients? The answer might be no, unless we heed a call to arms in the following critical areas.

Mental health

Nationwide, more than half of the people with mental illness go untreated, according to Mental Health America. Many seniors with mental illness dont realize they have it because they are dealing with multiple medical issues.

Their challenges are rarely purely psychiatric, and consequently, its hard in the ER to receive prompt comprehensive care for their mental illness.

Two hospital studies conducted from 2007 to 2010 found that the number of patients age 65 and older coming to the ER with mental health issues such as dementia, Alzheimers and depression increased nearly 21 percent. A lack of awareness among the general population about the mental illnesses facing seniors leads to older patients often ending up in the ER when a crisis occurs.

Drug side effects

An increasing number of older people are arriving at the ER as a result of side effects or adverse reactions to the prescription drugs they are taking.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 35 percent of ER visits due to adverse events from prescription medications in 2013-14 were by adults age 65 years and older, compared with 26 percent in 2005-06. Among that group, seniors made up 44 percent of those who required hospitalization as a result of the drugs adverse effects.

Blood thinners, antibiotics and diabetes agents were involved in almost half of the prescription-drug-related visits.

In our fragmented healthcare system, patients are often seen by multiple physicians, each having an incomplete view of the patients drug use. Clinicians often hesitate to discontinue medications because of lack of familiarity with the medication or patient.

Opiates

Just last week the California Health Report published an article stating that the rate of patients over 65 seeking care at hospital ERs for opioid-related issues in California was second only to Arizona among the 50 states.

Often, older Americans who struggle with opioid addiction have been prescribed the medication to deal with managing pain upon being discharged from the hospital following surgery.

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, of those who received an opioid prescription, more than 42 percent still had the prescription in place 90 days after they left the hospital.

ER visits often focus on the physical injuries (pain and broken bones from a fall that really was due to the loss of fine motor skillsa result of long-term opioid use) and push the root cause into the background. Because of the stigma, seniors also struggle with admitting drug dependency.

Identifying the caregiver

Almost half of all seniors over the age of 70 live alone today. Who advocates for them and how are these advocates identified in the emergency room?

Seniors enter the ER either from home, an assisted-living facility or, in some cases, from the streets. Frequently they do not have a family caregiver or an individual who is operating as their designated healthcare proxy with them.

The ER can be an overwhelming place, and a second set of ears, eyes and voice can lead to a better set of outcomes. Family caregivers also play critical roles in transitions from hospital to home or other post-acute settings.

As a community, we have an opportunity to work together to educate seniors and caregivers on what to expect when they enter the hospital and to inform hospital staff about the many challenges todays seniors face.

Consider joining Senior Concerns as it hosts a seminar titled Things You Should Know Before Your Next Hospital Stay from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tues., Sept. 19 at 401 Hodencamp Road, Thousand Oaks. Call (805) 497- 0189 to reserve your seat.

Andrea Gallagher, a certified senior advisor, is president of Senior Concerns, a nonprofit agency serving Ventura and western Los Angeles counties. For more information, visit http://www.seniorconcerns.org, and for comments or questions, email agallagher@seniorconcerns.org.

Go here to read the rest:
Influx of seniors challenge emergency room system – Thousand Oaks Acorn

Read More...

Neighbors ER: Market saturation forced closure of College Station location – KBTX

COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) – One of the many free-standing emergency rooms that have popped up around town is no longer open for business.

Neighbors Emergency Center on University Drive across from the campus had only been open since October of 2016. At least 30 employees lost their positions with the closure last weekend.

The Houston-based company says the local market is simply too saturated with freestanding ERs.

In a statement to KBTX, a spokesperson for the company says, the entire industry is compressing due to oversaturation in some markets. College station is fortunate to have multiple points of access to care in the community. Many towns across Texas, especially in rural areas, are not as lucky.

Dr. Andy Wilson of Caprock ER, the first free-standing ER in College Station, says while over saturation locally is a concern, there’s also an ongoing battle between all types of licensed emergency rooms and insurance companies. He says that’s also making it difficult to stay in business.

Insurance companies have spent millions of dollars to try and convince there enrollees that emergency care is ever out of network, said Wilson.

The Texas Department of Insurance says under the law you can go to any emergency room, but payment responsibilities may vary depending on the type of insurance plan you carry.

A spokesperson sent KBTX the following statement:

Consumers in a health maintenance organization (HMO) plan or exclusive provider organization (EPO) plan who get emergency care from an out-of-network provider in an emergency situation arent responsible for amounts above their normal copay’s and coinsurance for in-network care. Consumers with coverage through preferred provider organizations (PPO) who get out-of-network care may be balance billed even for emergency services meaning the consumer may be responsible for the amount not paid by the plan.

Wilson says balance billing is usually not the practice of most free-standing emergency rooms.

It will always be in network, said Wilson. If its not appeal it and we will appeal it with you and we will win.

The Texas Department of Insurance says its a good idea to know the closest emergency room in your health plan’s provider network.

See the original post:
Neighbors ER: Market saturation forced closure of College Station location – KBTX

Read More...

ER data: More weather-related injuries, less flu in 2017 – Bend Bulletin

A-A+

Bend residents will remember the winter of 2017 as one of the worst in a long time. And data from the emergency room at St. Charles Bend supports that notion.

Doctors saw an increase in head and neck injuries in the first quarter of the year that may reflect a larger number of slips and falls, according to emergency room data.

Reports from early in the year suggested a number of people had fallen while trying to clean the snow off their roofs. The number of emergency room patients with head injuries rose 45 percent, from 55 in the first quarter of 2016 to 80 this year.

Cases of neck strain rose 28 percent, from 67 patients last year to 86 in 2017.

Another large change was the number of flu and pneumonia cases it decreased. The number of patients presenting with flu symptoms was cut in half, from 130 in 2016 to 61 in 2017. Pneumonia cases, which often start with flu infections, dropped from 91 to 59.

That could represent the cyclical nature of the flu. Some years, flu strains spread more easily and cause more severe illness. Other years, flu seasons are much more mild.

Whats odd about the 2017 flu numbers, however, is that most of Oregon experienced its worst flu season in a long time.

By all of our measures this year, flu was particularly bad, said Dr. Ann Thomas, public health physicians with Oregon Public Health Division.

OHA tracks flu hospitalizations in the Portland tri-county area, and by that measure, the state had never seen a flu season this bad. Before 2017, flu hospitalizations had peaked around 800. This year, they hit 1,614.

Thomas attributes that to the circulating strain, an influenza A H3N2 strain that is associated with more severe illness and deaths, especially in older people and young children. Oregon also broke the record for the number of flu outbreaks reported to the state this past flu season.

So why were emergency visits for flu cut in half from the previous year in Bend?

It may also be due to the record snowfall. The heavy snows and concerns over the safety of school roofs resulted in an almost unprecedented number of snow days for Bend-La Pine Schools. After not a single snow day in the first quarter of 2016, schools were closed six to eight days in 2017. (Not all schools reopened at the same time.)

Scores of studies have documented that schools play a major role in the community transmission of the flu virus. Kids are enclosed in tight quarters through much of the day, allowing them to pass on the virus quickly and efficiently.

Studies have shown the usual winter break impacts flu transmission rates, with cases dropping during the vacation then picking up again when students return.

Thats why many public health emergency plans for dealing with flu pandemics include the possibility of closing schools. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed the experiences of two school districts in Texas during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, one of which shut down schools as a precaution. In the district where schools were closed, there was no increase in flu-related emergency room visits. But in the district that kept schools opened, emergency room visits doubled.

While it would be difficult to conclusively prove school closures in Bend kept flu in check, Thomas said its a viable theory.

School-age kids are the ones that spread it around a lot, especially in middle school and high school, where youre not just infecting 30 other kids, its like 150 going to different classes each period, she said. And then they bring it home and spread it to their families and grandparents.

Then again, flu behavior is notoriously hard to predict and often just as difficult to explain.

You never know enough, Thomas said.

17651641

More:
ER data: More weather-related injuries, less flu in 2017 – Bend Bulletin

Read More...

Topeka VA’s hospital to expand emergency room – Modesto Bee – Modesto Bee

The Topeka Veteran Affairs’ hospital is planning a $4.5 million modernization project this fall.

Internal emails obtained by the Topeka Capital-Journal show that the project entails expanding the emergency department into the facility’s specialty clinic, which has moved to another location. It also includes private patient bays, a central physician and nursing hub, and a dedicated waiting space for families.

Chief of staff Alexander Hallock said the project will increase space, access, privacy and help deliver on suicide prevention.

Hallock said funds have already been allocated for the two-year project.

The project comes as the hospital struggles with a staffing shortage. The emergency room was closed from January 2014 to late June 2015 because of the shortage.

“I think there’s a staffing shortage in health care across the country, especially in the Midwest,” Hallock said. “We have a shortage of primary care providers, we have a shortage of emergency department providers, we have a huge shortage in psychiatrists.”

Less than 50 physicians are currently assigned to the Topeka VA, according to physician recruiter James Pryan.

Last month, the eastern Kansas VA system initiated the Physicians Ambassador Program, which uses volunteer, retired doctors.

“We have people in the pipeline that are there and that’s another mechanism that we are touting out to those physicians in the community,” Hallock said. “You want to keep your skills, come and volunteer with us. Be a physician ambassador from the community and show the veterans how much you care about what they have done for you.”

Hallock said the modernization project will help attract employees to the system.

The women’s health department also will be upgraded through a grant. The project is expected to double services for female veterans.

Follow this link:
Topeka VA’s hospital to expand emergency room – Modesto Bee – Modesto Bee

Read More...

Pediatric ER open to public – Valley morning Star

HARLINGEN Super heroes, magicians, and colorful decorations set the scene last week for the unveiling of Valley Baptist Medical Center-Harlingens newest offering in its commitment to providing comprehensive pediatric healthcare to the community.

During the Valley Baptist-Harlingen Pediatric Emergency Ribbon Cutting event on Friday, August 4, hospital leadership with the help of government officials and the local area chamber of commerce shared the opening of the new dedicated, 12-bed pediatric unit with the community.

While adults toured the unit, children were treated to a bevy of activities, including magic shows, live science experiments, photos with their favorite super heroes, and tasty treats and snacks.

At Valley Baptist, we have had the privilege to serve the children of the Rio Grande Valley since 1925, and over the years we have added services to help meet the needs of our littlest patients, said Valley Baptist Health System CEO Manny Vela. To that mix, we now add the only dedicated, hospital-based Pediatric Emergency Room. We designed this 12-bed unit for families, and look forward to serving yours should they need emergency care.

Harlingen Mayor Chris Boswell said new services provided by Valley Baptist-Harlingen will continue to benefit the community and improve the quality of life for local residents.

The continual improvement of Valley Baptist healthcare through the development of this new pediatric emergency room is an indicator of the great quality of life that we have in our community, Boswell said.

Harlingen resident and parent Jim Young said the new Pediatric Emergency Room should help put parents and young patients at ease during trips to the hospital.

Its important for parents to have a place that theyre confident in when their little one is sick or when an accident happens, because that can be a traumatic experience, he said.

Vela said the new Pediatric Emergency Room will help Valley Baptist-Harlingen achieve its goal of making sure local residents do not have to leave their community to receive quality healthcare.

One of our goals at Valley Baptist-Harlingen and Valley Baptist-Brownsville is to be differentiators in regard to the service lines that we offer. Even so, it goes deeper than that. Our goal is to offer services so that members of our community do not have to go north to receive any treatment whatsoever, he said. Were chipping away at that in a very deliberate and progressive way, and this is just one more example of how we continue in Cameron County to offer an outstanding level of care to our pediatric community. The Pediatric Emergency Room is a continuation of our commitment to our youngest residents.

Dr. Betzaida Gonzalez, Valley Baptist Emergency Room Medical Director, said upgrades like the Pediatric Emergency Room show a continued focus on expanding services at Valley Baptist-Harlingen.

This Pediatric Emergency Room is specific to the needs and concerns of children and their caretakers. Children will receive specialized attention during emergent situations that will allow parents to find comfort in the quality of the care their children are receiving, she said. Being able to provide these specialized services to the residents of our community shows commitment to the peace of mind and advancement of emergency care for our children.

According to U.S. Census Bureau reports from 2016, more than 31 percent of the population in Cameron County was younger than 18 years old. Caring for such a large portion of the community is what makes the Pediatric Emergency Room project so critical to providing quality healthcare, said Alan Johnson, Valley Baptist Board of Trustees Chairman.

This is something that has been needed for a long, long time, he said. We all know that we have a very young population here in the Valley, and thats all the more reason to open this unit. This is something that we need to take care of the young people in our community.

Now open, the Pediatric Emergency Room adds to the comprehensive pediatric care offered at Valley Baptist-Harlingen. In addition to offering the only Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Harlingen, Valley Baptist-Harlingen also offers high-quality healthcare at the Matt & Patty Gorges Childrens Center.

The center, which is filled with colorful artwork and bright dcor to help raise childrens spirits during their stay, also includes a 14-bed Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.

View post:
Pediatric ER open to public – Valley morning Star

Read More...

SMC emergency room gets remodel as part of construction project – KMAland

(Shenandoah) — As a major construction project continues at Shenandoah Medical Center, officials are putting the finishing touches on the hospital’s emergency department.

The new and expanded emergency room is expected to be fully operational by the end of this week. The improvement is part of phase two of the hospital’s $22 million upgrade. The new ER includes five exam rooms, three trauma bays, a triage room, a specialty room for psychiatric patients, secure facilities and a new ambulance bay. Dr. Santosh Kumar is medical director for SMC’s emergency department. He says with the added space comes several new services the department can offer.

“We have included quite a few new services which includes things for our surgery side, psychiatric and mental health services, better trauma beds, more trauma rooms and a physician-staffed ER 24/7, which is a huge accomplishment for us,” said Kumar.

Kumar says the new ER was in the planning stages for quite some time.

“My guess that thousands of hours went into the planning for this,” said Kumar. “We spent six or seven months where all we did was plan. We visited big ERs and small ERs at lots of hospitals. I personally went to Nebraska Medicine because they were doing renovations, and we wanted to learn what mistakes they made in planning or what they did which worked well for them.”

The new department is near where the old ER was located on the west side of the hospital. ER staff has been in place using most of the remodeled space for the past couple months, as the finishing touches are being put on additional space. Kumar says his staff is delighted with the increased space and modern facility.

“It’s like we were driving a Chevy and now we have a Cadillac,” said Kumar. “You can just feel the excitement. We are all very, very excited. More than that, we are all from the community, so it’s excitement for us in two ways; as a staff working here and as people in the community. This is huge for us.”

Kumar says a hospital’s emergency department must be equipped with the latest technology, because it’s often where people are most nervous when they visit the hospital.

“Most healthy people’s visit to the hospital is either for well-check or you come to the ER for some reason,” said Kumar. “When you come to the ER, it’s the most anxious part of the hospital. Either you or your family member is sick and they need help right away. That’s when the ER makes a difference. It leaves an ever-lasting impact. If you have a good experience with the ER, it sticks with you for a long time.”

Kumar says he hopes the community and surrounding area will take pride in having a state-of-the-art facility in their backyard.

“This is not just one person’s dream,” said Kumar. “This is the whole community, every staff that works with us and some staff who left, this is all their dream. It took a lot of effort from every one of us. I really thank our board for making this happen.”

The completion of the new emergency department is part of phase two of the remodeling project at the hospital. Phase one included a new medical office building, clinic and front entryway, which was unveiled last December. The rest of phase two includes remodeling of the surgical center, which is expected to be completed this winter. A $20.35 million USDA loan is covering the cost of a majority of the project.

Follow this link:
SMC emergency room gets remodel as part of construction project – KMAland

Read More...

Valley Baptist-Harlingen Pediatric ER set to open – Valley morning Star

HARLINGEN Demonstrating its commitment to providing quality and comprehensive healthcare to the community, Valley Baptist Medical Center-Harlingens new Pediatric Emergency Room will open to receive patients on Monday, August 7.

The new, specialized unit within Valley Baptist-Harlingens existing Emergency Room will feature 12 dedicated pediatric beds in a pediatric-friendly environment designed to provide a more comfortable and secure setting for pediatric patients.

This Pediatric Emergency Room will include features designed for maximum safety and security specifically for children. Valley Baptist-Harlingen has been a leader in pediatric care in Cameron County. We have the only Pediatric ICU in the county, as well as the only Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and only Pediatrics Department in Harlingen, said Valley Baptist Health System CEO Manny Vela.

Work on the Pediatric Emergency Room began in March and was celebrated with a groundbreaking ceremony on March 13. During the event, hospital leadership joined Valley Baptist Board of Trustees members in rolling a variety of pastel paints chosen as part of the dcor for the new unit on a wall in hospitals Emergency Room.

Vela said the new Pediatric Emergency Room will help Valley Baptist-Harlingen achieve its goal of making sure local residents do not have to leave their community to receive quality healthcare.

One of our goals at Valley Baptist-Harlingen and Valley Baptist-Brownsville is to be differentiators in regard to the service lines that we offer. Even so, it goes deeper than that. Our goal is to offer services so that members of our community do not have to go north to receive any treatment whatsoever, he said. Were chipping away at that in a very deliberate and progressive way, and this is just one more example of how we continue in Cameron County to offer an outstanding level of care to our pediatric community. The Pediatric Emergency Room is a continuation of our commitment to our youngest residents.

Dr. David Sauceda, Chief of Pediatrics at Valley Baptist-Harlingen, said that providing a safe and separate area for children to receive emergency care demonstrates the hospitals commitment to area children.

Our children deserve their own space for emergency care, and we look forward to serving the community, he said.

Dr. Betzaida Gonzalez, Valley Baptist Emergency Room Medical Director, said upgrades like the Pediatric Emergency Room show a continued focus on expanding services at Valley Baptist-Harlingen.

This Pediatric Emergency Room is specific to the needs and concerns of children and their caretakers. Children will receive specialized attention during emergent situations that will allow parents to find comfort in the quality of the care their children are receiving, she said. Being able to provide these specialized services to the residents of our community shows commitment to the peace of mind and advancement of emergency care for our children.

According to U.S. Census Bureau reports from 2016, more than 31 percent of the population in Cameron County was younger than 18 years old. Caring for such a large portion of the community is what makes the Pediatric Emergency Room project so critical to providing quality healthcare, said Alan Johnson, Valley Baptist Board of Trustees Chairman.

This is something that has been needed for a long, long time, he said. We all know that we have a very young population here in the Valley, and thats all the more reason to open this unit. This is something that we need to take care of the young people in our community.

Once open, the Pediatric Emergency Room will add to the comprehensive pediatric care offered at Valley Baptist-Harlingen.

In addition to offering the only Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Harlingen, Valley Baptist-Harlingen also offers high-quality healthcare at the Matt & Patty Gorges Childrens Center.

The center, which is filled with colorful artwork and bright dcor to help raise childrens spirits during their stay, also includes a 14-bed Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.

View post:
Valley Baptist-Harlingen Pediatric ER set to open – Valley morning Star

Read More...