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Monday, October 20, 2014 at 2:34 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 3:14 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.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014 at 11:40 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 6:00 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 11:11 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 7:31 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.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014 at 4:13 pm

Hospital CEO announces upcoming change in leadership

post by Billie Owens in UMMC

Press release:

Mark C. Schoell, CEO of United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia, today announced that he plans to step down from his role as the organization’s highest administrator on Dec. 31. This is the expected completion date for the affiliation process between United Memorial and Rochester Regional Health System (RRHS). He has been with United Memorial for 10 years; serving as the president and CEO for the majority of his tenure.

Betty Lapp, chair of the United Memorial Medical Center Board of Directors said “Mark’s expertise in finance and extensive knowledge of the healthcare environment has led United Memorial to a position of strength.

“His strategic vision has allowed us to continue to provide quality, locally delivered healthcare for the residents of Genesee County. On behalf of the Board, I can say that we deeply appreciate and respect all that he has accomplished.”

Last December, Daniel P. Ireland assumed the role of president of United Memorial as part of a long-term succession planning initiative. He will continue as president and become the highest ranking administrator at United Memorial. The responsibilities of the CEO will be maintained by the Rochester Regional Health System following the merger with RRHS. Beginning in January, Schoell will continue to contribute to the long-term viability of United Memorial by assisting with system integration and strategic planning at the discretion of the Hospital president.

“Mark Schoell is a transformative leader and as a result of his vision and guidance, United Memorial will join the Rochester Regional Healthcare System from a position of strength, becoming what we see as the Western hub of our system.” said Mark Clement, CEO of RRHS. “I look forward to collaborating with him on system integration. And knowing the strong and capable team Mark has built, I am confident that the transition will be smooth and effective as we work together to expand access and build a continuum of the highest quality care throughout this entire region.”

Schoell is a Fellow of the Healthcare Financial Management Association (FHFMA) and a graduate of Canisius College (Buffalo) with a bachelor of science degree in Accounting and earned his master of science degree in Business Administration from St. Bonaventure University (Olean). He has more than 35 years of experience in healthcare administration and finance. He has been the chair of the Western New York Healthcare Association and Genesee County Chamber of Commerce and served on the board of directors for Lake Plains Community Care Network, Healthcare Professionals Insurance Company, and Mercy Flight of Western New York. He is a member of Batavia Rotary and resides with his wife, Peg, in Orchard Park.

United Memorial’s accomplishments under Schoell’s leadership are innumerable. They began with the creation of a stable financial position where revenues have grown by more than 70 percent -- from $46 million in 2004 to approximately $80 million in 2013; and funds available for reinvestment into the organization after expenses have remained positive, allowing the investment of more than $75 million into local capital improvements.

Developing a master facilities plan in 2005, United Memorial made many advances in improving the physical plant. At the hospital, patient rooms were updated, both wings of the fourth floor Maternity Unit and the Pharmacy Department were completely renovated. Heating, electrical and air-handling systems were upgraded and to improve patient access; employee parking was moved off campus. From 2007-2009, the underutilized former St. Jerome Hospital campus was transformed into a vibrant outpatient healthcare center that includes affordable senior housing, occupational medicine, and urgent care services. One of the largest and most impactful projects included the 44,000-square-foot, $20 million surgical expansion project completed at the hospital in 2010. Unusual for a small community hospital, United Memorial has some of the most modern and up-to-date surgical suites in Western New York.

United Memorial’s strategic planning process guided the creation of several new services and recruitment of primary care providers and physician specialists to our region. New services include the Hospitalist program, Urgent Care, Wound Care and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, The Sleep and Wellness Center, Pain Management, Joint Replacement Center of Excellence, Community Pharmacy, Stroke Center and the Cancer and Infusion Center.  Women’s Care was extended into Orleans County and many new physician specialists have joined the Medical Staff; which has nearly doubled in the past ten years. In 2013, United Memorial became a teaching facility offering a Residency Program in Family Medicine and serves as a rural clinical rotation site for students completing their medical degrees.

As he was building, renovating and recruiting, Schoell kept a strong focus on improving quality of care through diligent quality measurement and patient outcomes by implementing best practices. United Memorial has been recognized for surgical care improvement measures, laboratory testing, communication with primary care physicians, our work with the Safe Haven program, and infant immunization, testing and breastfeeding. To maintain this momentum of quality improvement, Schoell fostered collaborative initiatives in stroke care, pathology, cardiology, urology, and oncology with larger recognized institutions. And, as national healthcare reform became a reality, he and the Board of Directors had the vision to investigate partnership opportunities with healthcare systems in order to protect local services.

United Memorial Medical Center has experienced a metamorphosis under the leadership of Mark Schoell, and “Quality care right at home,” has become our organization’s promise to the community.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014 at 11:56 am

Baby Cafe offers place for support and encouragement for breastfeeding mothers

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, UMMC

The Baby Cafe is a place of encouragement and support for breastfeeding mothers. UMMC opened the room at Cary Hall recently and held an open house yesterday.

Expectant mothers, breastfeeding mothers and mothers experienced with breast feeding are invited to the room every Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Baby Cafe is supported by a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping mothers who are breastfeeding.

Cary Hall is located at 211 E. Main St., Batavia.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at 10:47 am

UMMC and Rochester General announce finalized alliance agreement

post by Howard B. Owens in business, UMMC

Press release:

Definitive agreements have been finalized by Rochester Regional Health System (RRHS) for previously announced alliances with two hospitals in the greater Rochester and Finger Lakes region. United Memorial Medical Center (UMMC) in Batavia, Genesee County, and Clifton Springs Hospital & Clinic (CSHC) in Ontario County are both expected to join RRHS by the end of 2014.

The formal binding agreement with each hospital, which lays out the terms and conditions for the hospitals becoming a part of Rochester Regional Health System, was developed by the leadership of Rochester General Health System (RGHS) prior to joining with Unity Health System to form RRHS and the leadership of each hospital. The agreements were unanimously approved by the boards of RGHS, CHSC and UMMC late last month, and then assigned and accepted by the newly formed Rochester Regional Health System at its inaugural board meeting in July.

RRHS was officially formed on July 1 as a union of Rochester General and Unity health systems, with a mission to provide a 14-county region with seamless, highly coordinated care. By joining Rochester Regional Health System, the two hospitals will ensure that the patients in their communities will have the same high quality care they are accustomed to as well as improved access to an integrated network of nationally recognized specialty services when required. 

“As health care reform continues to cause the most sweeping changes to the hospital industry in more than a century, rural hospitals in particular are struggling throughout the U.S.,” said Mark Clement, co-CEO of Rochester Regional Health System, “Through these alliances, the forward-thinking leaders of United Memorial and Clifton Springs will enable the residents of Genesee and Ontario counties to continue to have access to and receive world-class care, right at home in their communities.”

Warren Hern, former CEO of Unity Health System and now co-CEO of the new system agreed, noting that this growing regional footprint was among the many factors that caused the Unity Board to decide nearly 18 months ago to join forces with Rochester General.

For a number of years Rochester General Health System had maintained clinical collaborations in key service lines with United Memorial and CSHC as well as other area hospitals, to help those providers better meet their communities’ needs.

“This is the logical progression of a longstanding relationship between United Memorial and Rochester General, which has enhanced our hospital services and benefited our community,” said Mark Schoell, CEO of United Memorial Medical Center. “With this permanent, comprehensive alliance, United Memorial will become the western hub of an emerging leader in integrated health services.”

“We’re excited to finalize our plans to officially join Rochester Regional Health System,” said Lewis Zulick, MD, acting CEO of Clifton Springs Hospital & Clinic. “In order for us to sustain the highest standards of community health, our patients must have access to the complete continuum of high-quality care. Working closely with Newark-Wayne Community Hospital, we look forward to serving the Finger Lakes region as the leading provider of comprehensive care.”

“We’re very pleased to be moving forward with formal plans to join forces with these respected organizations,” said Robert Dobies, board chair of Rochester Regional Health System, “and extend our footprint of extraordinary quality, patient satisfaction and value to the west and east.”

Friday, June 27, 2014 at 12:34 pm

UMMC participates in landmark Safe Motherhood Initiative

post by Billie Owens in announcements, business, UMMC

Press release:

United Memorial Medical Center is participating in the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology landmark effort, the Safe Motherhood Initiative to combat maternal mortality and morbidity in New York State.

The Safe Motherhood Initiative is working with healthcare providers and birthing facilities to develop and implement standard approaches for handling obstetric emergencies such as obstetric hemorrhage (severe bleeding), venous thromboembolism (blood clots), and severe hypertension in pregnancy (high blood pressure).

The project has one goal: to save the lives of women faced with severe complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. Close to 99 percent of the nearly 250,000 live births in New York State result in the discharge of a mother and her baby. Yet, there are mothers who die or suffer severe permanent harm. New York State currently ranks 47th in the country for its maternal mortality rate.

Participation in the program is an example of United Memorial’s commitment to patient safety and quality and to the continual improvement and implementation of best practices.

The program will provide maternal safety bundles consisting of clinical education videos, algorithms, step-by-step checklists and other hands-on materials to help obstetric providers adopt uniform clinical protocols to improve the diagnosis, prevention, and management of the leading causes of maternal death.

The program is funded by Merck for Mothers, a 10-year, $500 million initiative focused on creating a world where no woman dies giving life. Additional information may be found at www.merckformothers.com.

United Memorial Medical Center provides obstetric and gynecologic physician services through the Women’s Care Centers located at 33 Chandler Ave. in Batavia and at 100 Ohio St. in Medina. In 2013, approximately 650 new babies were safely delivered at United Memorial.

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