Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Heart-Warming Hospital Heroes

We recently celebrated Hospital Heroes who help to bridge the gaps in healthcare by providing exceptional care to their patients and their families, and who, through a deep desire to serve and connect, have left an indelible mark on their communities. They are specialists and nurses as well as volunteers, program directors, social workers, and surgeons. What follows is the last in a series of profiles of these heroes.

As Director of Clinical Process Improvement, ProvidenceTarzana Medical Center
Risk Management, Sharon Gross’ work touches all aspects of the organization and extends beyond the hospital walls. She recently designed and implemented ‘Community Outreach’ and Walgreen’s Pharmacy programs to ensure patients successful transition from inpatient to outpatient settings. Additionally, she has worked with the community to develop both TelePsych and TeleStroke programs contributing to the hospital’s own unique service delivery mission. The program brings psychiatric and specialty stroke care to Providence Tarzana within moments via robotics. Sharon has also led important improvement processes that directly impact patient care. She has led our hospital through many successful Joint Commission, Stroke Center and other surveys allowing us to provide the level of care required by our community. Sharon has assumed responsibility for important system initiatives centered around high reliability, patient satisfaction and patient throughput. In just a few short months PTMC has seen a significant rise in patient throughput which has resulted in improving patient satisfaction scores as a result of her leadership.

A psychiatric nurse for more than 30 years, Jeannine Loucks, RN-BC, MSN
works tirelessly and compassionately to serve patients with psychiatric disorders. Not only is she a devoted care provider as the manager of the Emergency Clinical Decision Unit (ECDU) at St. Joseph Hospital of Orange, she also advocates for patients outside the health care setting by teaching law enforcement officers how to interact effectively and respectfully with people with mental illness. In response to an increase in officer encounters involving mental health issues, Jeannine reached out to the Orange Police Department and offered to develop a training curriculum to help ensure people will mental illness are treated with respect in the community and receive the care they need. Field encounters were often resulting in lengthy intervention times and subsequent visits to the hospital emergency department or incarceration. Jeannine’s innovative program has enhanced each officer’s knowledge and confidence to appropriately interact and refer individuals in crisis to community resources such as the Orange County Mental Health Association Drop-In Center or Mercy House, instead of the emergency room. Her enthusiasm and support of this underserved patient population has always extended beyond the walls of our facility, but her involvement with law enforcement is something unique.

Michael Young, OT, is UCIrvine Health’s hospital hero but he will tell you it took a team to help Cory, a trauma patient.  On May 5, 2015 Cory was riding his motorcycle to take a final exam at Long Beach State University when the throttle stuck.  As he attempted to slow in traffic, he slammed into the center divider on a busy Southern California freeway.  He was left paraplegic, with rods, screws and a cage to replace missing vertebrae.  It was the worst traumatic spine fracture UC Irvine Health had seen. Cory was just one week away from graduating from college. Missing his commencement was inevitable, but Michael saw to it that Cory’s graduation would be celebrated. Sounds simple…but it took a committed college president in full cap and gown, psychology professor, dean of students, family members, staff and Michael to realize the dream.  Traumatically injured two weeks prior, Michael and the Surgical ICU team eagerly accepted the challenge to prepare for a graduation ceremony. Michael focused on Cory’s passions and strengths and on May 28, 2015 Michael entered Cory's room with great vigor, on a mission to coach Cory to dress, groom and mobilize to the cardiac chair.  Cory didn’t know it, but he was getting ready to graduate!  This was an advanced OT treatment session, but necessary to make wishes like this happen.  Michael reflects, "We are creative and open minded, allowing great patient accomplishments to occur every day".
Cory received his degree at UCI Medical Center in Orange, CA. Thursday May 28, 2015 after a motorcycle accident on May 5th left him paralyzed from the chest down. (Thomas R. Cordova Press-Telegram/Daily Breeze)

National Health Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving and enhancing the healthcare of the underserved by developing and supporting innovative programs that can become independently viable,
provide systemic solutions to gaps in healthcare access and delivery, and
have the potential to be replicated nationally.

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