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Wednesday, January 7, 2015 at 10:44 am

UMMC's affiliation with Rochester General completed

post by Howard B. Owens in business, UMMC

Press release:

United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia has joined Rochester Regional Health System, becoming a full affiliate effective January 1, 2015. Rochester Regional is the newly formed health system that combined Rochester General and Unity Health Systems in July 2014.

The Genesee County hospital announced its intention to join Rochester Regional in February 2014. While United Memorial is very strong financially, hospital leaders recognized that changes in health care threatened the long-term outlook for independent rural health care providers. Joining the large regional system will enable continued and even enhanced local services for Batavia-area patients. United Memorial will maintain its name and a local board, and will continue its longstanding tradition of providing a wide range of medical and acute care services in Batavia.

“The full affiliation of United Memorial is another example of how Rochester Regional is creating a model health care system that helps communities get healthy and stay healthy,” said Eric J. Bieber, MD, President & CEO, Rochester Regional Health System. “Our model will maintain access and control cost by keeping care within the local community with seamless access to the highest quality specialty acute care for patients throughout the region, no matter where you live or through which system-wide door you enter.”

The partnership mirrors a trend among successful hospitals and health care systems nationwide. These system affiliations address the economic realities that community hospitals face with health care reform, enabling them to continue to offer a full range of primary and secondary services locally, while providing a gateway to the best clinical care available when more highly specialized care and technology – like cardiac surgery, stroke services, neurosurgery, and other complex services – are required.

“Joining Rochester Regional Health System secures our ability to provide quality health care to our community for the long-term,” said Dan Ireland, President, United Memorial Medical Center.

“Though most patients won’t notice any difference at the hospital, they will benefit from greater access to specialized services and technology available through the Rochester Regional network.”
The two health care institutions are no strangers to each other, having collaborated in the areas of Cardiology, Pathology, Surgery, Urology and Gastroenterology since 2008, and most recently partnered to open a Cancer & Infusion Center at United Memorial.

In making its decision to affiliate with Rochester Regional in early 2014, the United Memorial board cited the system’s longstanding focus on high-quality patient care and safety, its expertise in clinical integration, its comprehensive medical and surgical specialties that will enhance existing services available in the Batavia community, and its successful track record of collaboration with smaller acute care hospitals and physicians. 

Friday, January 2, 2015 at 1:05 pm

UMMC announces first newborn of 2015

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Pavilion, UMMC

Press release:

United Memorial Medical Center is pleased to welcome the Genesee County New Year’s Baby for 2015. Kynlee Lynne Holland, a baby girl, was born to Jonathon and Danielle Holland of Pavilion, NY on Thursday, January 1st at 1:25 a.m. at United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia. She was delivered by certified midwife, Kim Danser, CNM. Baby Kynlee weighed 7 pounds, 6 ounces and was 19-inches long. She is the second daughter for the new parents. She has a sister, Makenna, age 6, waiting anxiously for her at home.

Both parents work in shipping and receiving. Mrs. Holland is employed at Walmart in Batavia, NY and Mr. Holland works for Quaker Muller Dairy in Batavia, NY.

As the New Year’s baby, Kynlee and her parents received a $200 gift card to Target, an engraved feeding spoon, books and a touchless thermometer from United Memorial Medical Center.

In 2014, there were 646 babies delivered at United Memorial.

Friday, December 26, 2014 at 2:07 pm

Flu outbreak prompts new visitation rules at UMMC

post by Howard B. Owens in health, UMMC

Press release:

With the continued increase in the number of influenza cases at the Hospital and in the community, United Memorial Medical Center will be strictly following established visitor guidelines and implementing restrictions in order to safeguard the health of our patients.

• Effective immediately, patients in our facility will be allowed only two (2) visitors at one time between the hours of 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., except where more specific hours are posted for the care unit.

• No visitors under the age of 14 years will be allowed.

• Maternity patients may have visits from their spouse/birthing partner, grandparents of the baby, and others with no more than two visitors at a time. Siblings of the infant, under the age of 14 will not be allowed to visit.

• Individuals with a sore throat, runny nose, fever, or other influenza-type symptoms should NOT visit patients.

• A visitor, who is coughing persistently or showing signs of infectious disease such as influenza, will be given a mask and asked to leave the facility.

As an organization we understand the importance of loved ones and friends in the healing process. Exceptions to the visitor policy must be approved by the unit manager or nursing supervisor prior to the visitor’s arrival at the hospital. These restrictions have been put into place to protect those with weakened or fragile immune systems, and those who care for them, from harm during the influenza outbreak.

Everyone should remember to use appropriate hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette to prevent the spread of influenza. Symptoms may include fever, muscle aches, sore throat, cough or nasal congestion. Individuals with fever over 100˚F and any of the symptoms listed are urged to stay home, seek medical advice as necessary and limit the number of people exposed. Individuals with influenza are contagious for 24 hours prior to exhibiting symptoms.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014 at 7:52 am

Flooding at UMMC closes lab, which leads to emergency room shutdown

post by Howard B. Owens in UMMC

A basement flooding issue has forced UMMC to close its emergency room this morning, which requires any emergency patients to be diverted to the next closest hospital.

The flooding took out equipment in the lab, according to Colleen Flynn, spokeswoman for UMMC.

Most other departments remain operational, though surgery is delayed two hours.

The flooding was caused by a water line break.

There's no estimated time when the ER might reopen.

Some of the equipment that is off-line will need to be reinspected by manufacturer reps before it can be operational again.

An operational lab is essential to keep the ER open, Flynn said.

UPDATE 11:43 a.m.: UMMC's emergency room is no longer closed. It is open, fully operational and has resumed normal patient care capabilities.

Monday, October 20, 2014 at 1:34 pm

UMMC honors longtime employees at annual dinner

post by Howard B. Owens in announcements, business, UMMC

Press release:

United Memorial Medical Center honored the years of service of more than 70 employees at its annual recognition dinner on Oct. 1st at Terry Hills Restaurant in Batavia. Employees were recognized for their years of employment at five-year milestones.

Shirlene Edwards CNA, 2nd Floor Medical/Telemetry Unit; Anna Green RNFA, Surgery; and Patricia Young, Medical Records achieved the 45-year milestone. Patricia Cable RN, Health Educator with Healthy Living was honored for 40 years of dedicated service. Celebrating 35 years were Christine Hall RN, Pre/Post Surgery; Gwendolyn Seweryniak RN, Surgery; Joann Matla and Harold Mitchell of the Laboratory Department.

Honored for 30 years of service included Thomas Finn, RN Quality Assurance; Kathleen Heywood RN, 2nd Floor Medical/Telemetry Unit; Kathleen Porter RN, Pre/Post Surgery; and Deborah Taylor RN, Emergency Department.

Achieving 25 years were Darcia Barone CNA, and Stacy Culver Pre/Post Surgery; Rosanna Butler RN, 3rd Floor Medical/Surgical Unit; Laurel Carney and Darla Dawson-Decker of Radiology; Mary Ells, Switchboard; Sheri Ferris and Renee Long from Food Service, Jean Hutchinson, Medical Records; and Marylou Townsend RN, Hope Haven.

Those celebrating 20 years of service include Patricia Brunner, Food Service; Sonja Gonyea, Human Resources; Michelle Maniace NP, Corporate Health; Lori Schultz, Patient Accounting; Kathlyn Williams, Hope Haven; Charyl Wood, Radiology; and Diane Ziemba RN, 2nd Floor Medical/Telemetry Unit.

There were 50 employees who received recognition for five, 10 and 15 years of service. Each employee received dinner for themselves and a guest, flowers and a gift certificate. Employees with 25 years or more of service were honored individually by their manager and senior leader with a presentation highlighting their contributions.

United Memorial is the largest private employer in Genesee County with approximately 800 employees and an annual payroll and benefit expenditure that exceeded $43.5 million in 2013.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at 2:14 pm

UMMC, county officials preparing for Ebola, even if local outbreak seems unlikely

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, ebola, health, medicine, UMMC

It's been less than 10 days since new protocols related to Ebola were put in place at United Memorial Medical Center, but emergency room staff have already passed one key preparedness test.

In an unannounced drill, a man showed up claiming a fever and suffering from weakness and a headache, a staff member asked a newly implemented set of questions that included whether he had traveled recently from Western Africa.

He uttered, "yes," and within 60 seconds he was in an infectious disease isolation room.

"I was very encouraged by the outcome," said Dan Ireland, president of UMMC. "Any time we do an exercise, do a drill, we like to hear the positive feedback that things are working as they should be."

Following CDC guidelines, UMMC, the whole county's health and emergency response leadership, really, have been implementing Ebola protocols, even if it seems like a far-off, distant problem that may never reach Genesee County.

"We do a lot of things based on a long shot," Ireland said. "We prepare for the rare circumstances because those are the ones that can be really significant. Hopefully, it never happens, but we want to be prepared. I was here during the SARS era. We never had a SARS case in this facility, even while it was in Toronto, but we were ready. We have to be ready for those things or you're not doing the public the service that they need."

Ebola is a virus transmitted among mammals through contact with bodily fluid. Symptoms start with fever, sore throat, muscle pain and headaches, much like the flu. Death occurs in about 50 percent of the patients who contract it.  

The first known outbreak was in 1976 in South Sudan and there have been periodic outbreaks since. The latest outbreak started in March and currently about 10,000 people are believed to have the disease. But some scientists believe exponential growth (the number of people with the disease during an outbreak doubles about every 20 days) could mean as many as 500,000 in West Africa could be ill from Ebola (perhaps more than a million, if there is under reporting).

There is currently no Ebola-specific treatment or vaccine, though scientists are fast-tracking research.  

That's way isolation and quarantine are essential to controlling the disease.

Ireland said hospital officials are continuously communicating with staff about Ebola and CDC-recommended protocols.

It's a rapidly evolving situation, Ireland said, and directives and procedures sometimes change with little notice.

For example, today's identification protocol involves questions about travel. If the outbreak grows, that protocol could change.

"It could be very different story for you tomorrow," Ireland said. "That's health care and that's medicine. As new information comes out, health care evolves."

To help with the communication process, so essential to control of the disease should it ever reach Genesee County, the hospital hosted a meeting today of officials from UMMC, Genesee County Emergency Services and the County Health Department.

The word on how to deal with Ebola needs to get out to doctors and nurses throughout the local health community, including health workers at clinics and on ambulances, both paid and volunteer, as well as local law enforcement and fire chiefs.

Anybody who might come into first contact with an Ebola patient needs to know how to respond to the situation, since isolation and quarantine are so critical its control.

Tim Yaeger, emergency management coordinator for the county, said communication is already starting with the agencies his department deals with, and Ebola will be on the agenda of upcoming fire chief and fire service meetings.

"Our job is to maintain awareness and communication," Yaeger said. "We discuss it with our 9-1-1 center, emergency responders and law enforcement officers need to be aware and not make assumptions about how to protect themselves from people who might be infected. The common theme every day is that we're getting new information regarding Ebola and we need to coordinate that with emergency responders."

The county health department hasn't fielded any calls from concerned citizens about Ebola (there's been more calls about enterovirus, which has been reported in Rochester and Buffalo, but not Genesee County), but that doesn't mean county health officials aren't staying on top of the latest information, said Director Paul Pettit. 

The first person to contract Ebola in the U.S. is a Dallas nurse. She appears have been infected while treating a Dallas resident who contracted the disease in Africa.

Another health care worker in Spain contracted the disease after caring for a patient in that country.

In the case in Spain, it's been determined that the health care worker likely did not follow proper protocol for removing protective gear.

It's still speculation, but that may also have been the situation in Dallas.

Typically, health care workers are covered from head to toe in protective garb while interacting with Ebola patients (only those who have actually become sick can transmit the disease).  

The probable cause of health care workers in Spain and Dallas getting sick certainly has local nurses paying close attention to the proper procedures, said Mary Beth Bowen, vice president of nursing for UMMC.

"For the nursing staff, we practice infection protection every day," Bowen said. "It's now part of our training to practice for Ebola. We've put in a buddy system to monitor each other; video so they visually learn the procedures for putting on and removing protective gear. We're doing everything according to proscribed protocol. It's important to this organization that we minimize the risk of transmission."

There's even a place for chocolate syrup in the training.  

You see, if there's chocolate syrup on your protective gear and then you take it off and find chocolate syrup on your skin, you've done something wrong.

One reason Ireland wanted to talk about this issue, and bring these local experts together, is that he doesn't want anybody in the community to panic about Ebola.

He's concerned there's a lot of hysteria and misinformation in the media about the disease, and if panic sets in, it may lead to somebody avoiding medical treatment for other conditions, a decision that could be even more dangerous.   

If people understand more about the disease and what the hospital is doing to minimize any risk of transmission, he hopes it will eliminate any such panic in the community.

"We want to avoid any misinformation in the community," Ireland said. "We are doing everything by what the CDC advises."

Photo: Gathered at an office in UMMC to discuss Ebola are Tim Yaeger and Jim Bouton, Office of Emergency Management, Mary Beth Bown, VP of nursing, Paul Pettit, county director of health, and Dan Ireland, president of UMMC.

On the Web:

Wednesday, October 8, 2014 at 10:40 am

Free health screening offered to men and women in Genesee County

post by Billie Owens in Cancer Services Partnership, health, UMMC

Press release:

United Memorial Medical Center and the Cancer Services Partnership will provide free health screenings to Genesee County residents who meet specific age criteria residents of Genesee County -- women between the ages of 40-64 and men aged 50-64 with no insurance or high deductibles.

The screening will be available from 4 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct.29, at the Jerome Center, 16 Bank St., Batavia. Appointments are necessary for some of the screenings.

For women age 40-64, nurse midwife Cecilia Stearns, MSN, will perform women’s health screenings, including pap smears, pelvic exams and clinical breast exams.

Urologist William Guthinger, MD, will provide prostate screenings to men age 50-64. Additional services available at the event include mammography, total cholesterol and take-home colorectal cancer screening kits.

All screenings will be provided at no charge. Funds are available for follow-up care, if necessary.

Please call United Memorial’s Healthy Living Department to schedule an appointment at (585)344-5331. Light refreshments, health information and free giveaways will also be available.

Monday, October 6, 2014 at 5:00 pm

Sponsored Post: Purchase your pre-sale tickets for UMMC's Annual Autumn Auction today!

Tickets are available to purchase at the following Batavia locations between Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Jerome Center Gift Shop, 16 Bank St., and UMMC Cashier’s Office, 127 North St..

Saturday, September 27, 2014 at 10:11 pm

Emergency workers practice decontamination process at UMMC

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, fire service, UMMC

This morning at UMMC there were men in funny looking suits and teens getting sprayed with water, but that doesn't mean it wasn't serious business.

Local firefighters who comprise the county's hazmat team and hospital workers came together for a decontamination drill aimed at both practicing roles should some serious chemical ever get spilled in the county, but also served as a chance for evaluators to grade and critique how emergency responders handled their roles.

Typically -- we would expect -- if there was an event that required a number of people to be decontaminated it would happen somewhere out in the county, not in the hospital's parking lot, but for drill purposes the first decontamination tent (this stage is called "gross decontamination") was set up not far from UMMC's emergency room.

Patients were brought in either standing or on gurneys and sprayed down. 

The purpose is to remove as much of whatever is on them before transport in an ambulance.

Once they arrive at the hospital, hospital staff begins find decontamination -- scrubbing down each patient.  

From there, they pass into ER where a triage team determines what treatment is needed and who gets treated first based on the severity of their medical condition.

A good description for how it went would be managed chaos.  

There were some unexpected glitches -- such as gurneys not going through one of the side doors without volunteer firefighters to lift them because of a step -- but also everybody seemed to have a clear idea of their roles and patients were moved through the chain of treatment quickly.

The Byron-Bergen students who volunteered to be patients seemed to have fun. Several of them completed the decontamination process and then went back through it again.

To purchase prints, click here.

Friday, September 26, 2014 at 6:31 am

Don't panic if you see people in decontamination suits at UMMC tomorrow morning

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, UMMC

Press release:

United Memorial will host a multi-agency decontamination drill on the morning of Saturday, September 27th. Visitors to the hospital at 127 North Street, Batavia during this time should expect to see several emergency vehicles, first responders, increased activity and people wearing hazmat suits and hoods. This drill will test communication skills during a crisis across several agencies and caregivers; the effectiveness of the decontamination process; and our skill with specialized equipment. Additional staff will be brought in for the exercise and patient care will not be impacted.

The Hospital frequently performs drills to test and maintain skills needed to safely address true, large-scale emergencies. The patience and understanding of our visitors is greatly appreciated. Please contact the Community Relations office at United Memorial at (585)344-5415 or by email to [email protected] with any questions or concerns.

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