Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital is Third in the World to Receive Fifth Magnet® Designation!

Emory Saint Joseph's Magnet Designated HospitalCongratulations to our team at Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital, who just received its fifth Magnet® designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center! Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital is one of only three hospitals – and the only community hospital — in the world to receive five consecutive designations.

Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital became the third hospital in the world to receive Magnet designation when it received its first designation in 1995. And, every four years since, the hospital has successfully achieved re-designation. While every designation is special in its own way, we like to think that our nurses live Magnet every day with every encounter. So, what does Magnet mean to you, our patients? Magnet designation means that:

  • We’re all in this together. Our nurses work in a collaborative environment and benefit from each other’s knowledge and breadth of experience.
  • Our nurses are the cream of the crop! Magnet facilities regularly attract and retain top nursing talent.
  • You can feel confident that you’re in good hands. The Magnet Recognition Program establishes standards of excellence which health care organizations like ours must attain and maintain.

We’re particularly proud that Emory Healthcare is the only health system in Georgia to have two hospitals designated as Magnet facilities – Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital and Emory University Hospital, which wasrecognized for the first time in January. Currently, there are fewer than 400 Magnet-designated facilities around the globe, and six of those are in the state of Georgia. We couldn’t be prouder of the hard work that our team has put in for years to get to this point!

We’d also like to thank all of our Emory Saint Joseph’s amazing nurses and nursing leaders for their perseverance and dedication on our road to Magnet designation. If you have an Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital nurse you’d like to give a special shout out to, let us know in the comments below!

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Emory Expansion Update: Psychiatry & Behavioral Science Department is On the Move!

Emory Healthcare ExpansionTo provide a better patient care experience and align demand with available capacity, many Emory Clinic and Emory Healthcare practices are relocating to redesigned clinical space and/or new locations. The new spaces will be more inviting for patients and more accommodating to the needs of our physicians as well.

As of April 1, 2014, the Emory Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences has moved to Executive Park, Building 12. This new facility, located at the intersection of I-85 and North Druid Hills Road, is a welcoming environment and more convenient for many of our patients.

Beginning Tuesday, April 1, 2014, all Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health patients previously seen on the Briarcliff campus, at Emory Clinic Building B, and the Tufts House will now be seen at our new Executive Park location. For more information, call 404-778-5526 or get details online, at:

Emory Wound & Hyperbaric Center Opens at Emory University Hospital Midtown

emory-university-hospital-midtownMillions of people suffer from chronic wounds that cause both significant physical and emotional distress. Fortunately, the new Emory Wound and Hyperbaric Center is now open at Emory University Hospital Midtown. The center provides comprehensive wound management using the latest evidence-based techniques, including specialized wound care, bioengineered skin grafts and hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

The newly renovated center is a consolidation of the Wesley Woods Wound Clinic and Midtown’s Hyperbaric Unit. Patients of the center will receive coordinated care by a team of specialists consisting of nurses certified in wound and ostomy care and board certified physicians, including a podiatrist with special expertise in wound care.

“Individuals with chronic wounds often require a variety of services and the expertise of different specialists,” says Doris Armour, MD, medical director of the center. “We now provide all of that care in one location.”

The treatment team will work collaboratively with other providers involved in the care of the patient, such as primary care providers and home health nurses, to ensure the patient’s wound care needs are being addressed.

“We also have access to specialists including plastic surgeons, vascular surgeons, and infectious disease doctors, whose assessment is often needed in the treatment of chronic wounds,” says Armour.

In addition to wound care, the center also offers hyperbaric oxygen therapy that is used to treat a wide range of conditions including carbon monoxide and cyanide poisoning, decompression illness, radiation injury and burns. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy helps improve healing by providing increased oxygen levels and improved blood flow to damaged, oxygen-poor tissues. Increased concentrations of oxygen are delivered within a pressurized chamber.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 404-686-2800.

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Emory Wound & Hyperbaric Center

Remembering Dr. Jeffery Curtis

curtis-jefferyWords cannot express our sadness at the unexpected and tragic loss of our Emory family member, Dr. Jeffery Curtis, who passed away in a plane accident at the LaGrange-Callaway Airport last Saturday (February 22) in LaGrange, Georgia.

We welcomed Dr. Curtis and his expertise into our Emory Specialty Associates family in 2012 where he served as the medical director of Emory – The Doctor’s Office, which includes several primary care locations in the Southern Crescent, which are now known as Emory at Peachtree City, Emory at Eagles Landing, Emory at McDonough and Emory at Sharpsburg. He and his colleagues provided outstanding care to the community for more than 20 years.

Dr. Curtis will be greatly missed, but his legacy and commitment to his patients and community will live on through his incredible team of doctors and staff at these four locations.

Please join us in remembering Dr. Curtis and celebrating his life. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends, The Doctor’s Office family and all who were cared for by Dr. Curtis. He will be deeply missed by his entire Emory family, including faculty, staff and his many patients whose lives he touched.

Patients with questions about their care may contact 770-631-9999. If you would like to share your favorite memory of Dr. Curtis, or express your condolences to the family, please do so in the comments section below.

Snow Baby – Winter Weather Can’t Stop Baby Luke

Atlanta Snow Jam Baby LukeOn Wednesday, February 12, most of Atlanta woke up to ice and snow. But, Nikole woke up in labor. Worried about icy roads, Nikole called the help desk at local TV station, 11Alive, to see if they could give her any insight to the safest route to take to Emory University Hospital Midtown. There, she was connected to multimedia journalist Julie Wolfe. Julie was able to get up-to-the-minute information on road conditions from the station’s traffic reporter. With the expert traffic report and chains on their tires, Nikole and her husband made the trek to Emory University Hospital Midtown, where she gave birth to their baby boy, Luke.

In this 11Alive clip, watch the story of Luke’s snowy and dramatic arrival at Emory University Hospital Midtown.

Taking a Stand Against Smoking

CVS Bans Sale of CigarettesThe dangers of smoking are well-documented, and public awareness campaigns and reports have gone a long way in in reducing the number of smokers. But for those who do still smoke, finding cigarettes might not be as easy as it used to be.

In a bold stand for public health, CVS Caremark Corporation announced plans to remove all tobacco products from its shelves starting by October, making it the first drug store chain to do so. CVS joins several organizations in its fight against smoking, including Emory Healthcare and Emory University, which both became tobacco-free in 2012.

“Tobacco use has been tied to some of the most devastating diseases including 30 percent of all cancers, and is the single most preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the United States,” says F. Kennard Hood, MD, a primary care physician at Emory at Eagles Landing and a medical director for MinuteClinic. “We’re very proud of CVS for promoting a healthier lifestyle by discontinuing the sale of tobacco products. As an Emory physician, it makes me feel very positive about the collaboration we have with CVS in our ongoing efforts to promote health and wellness.”

Through its 37 local neighborhood MinuteClinics located across the Metro Atlanta area, CVS also offers smoking cessation support. Through our clinical affiliation, Emory physicians serve as medical directors for MinuteClinic locations in metro Atlanta, as well as collaborate on patient education and disease management initiatives.

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A Glimpse Into our Magnet® Journey

Achieving Magnet designation is a journey years in the making. Our Emory University Hospital team worked tirelessly to prepare and submit the required Magnet documentation to the ANCC last June. After the ANCC reviewed our lengthy submission, they came on-site last month to meet the nurses, physicians and staff at Emory University Hospital to get a better feel for how our teams collaborate in providing exceptional care. Each and every one of our nurses and the entire Emory University Hospital team embraced the spirit of collaboration and teamwork that it takes to achieve Magnet.

Nurses Week Group Photo Emory University Hospital Nurses

Becky Provine

And, it is as a team that we commemorate this fantastic milestone while also pausing to remember our beloved friend and colleague, Emory University Hospital Chief Nursing Officer Becky Provine, who passed away last year.

Magnet was Becky’s passion, and she was a key driving force behind this amazing achievement. We’ll always be grateful for her leadership, commitment and vision.

A Peek Into Our Future

As we look forward to a bright future, here’s what you can continue to expect from us.

  • Teamwork – Our nurses, physicians and staff work in a collaborative environment and benefit from each other’s knowledge and breadth of experience. That’s not going to change. Throughout Emory Healthcare, we recognize that nurses play a pivotal role in creating outstanding outcomes and experiences for our patients and their families.
  • Excellence – Only seven percent of hospitals in the United States have been recognized with the prestigious Magnet designation. And, it’s more than just an honor. Magnet recognition has been shown to provide specific benefits such as lower mortality rates, lower hospital acquired infection rates and higher patient satisfaction.
  • Top talent – As leaders in nursing excellence, we are able to attract and retain the best and brightest nurses from around the country. And, nurses who work at Magnet facilities report higher job satisfaction.

Join Our Team

You, too, can become part of a winning team. Nurses looking for the opportunity and challenge to learn from our amazing nurses can join us at one of our upcoming nursing fairs on January 31 from 7 am to 3 pm or February 1 from 9 am to 3 pm at Emory University Hospital in the second floor auditorium or Emory University Hospital Midtown in the Glenn Auditorium.

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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia and Emory Healthcare Establish Partnership to Improve Quality & Reduce Costs

Emory Healthcare Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia PartnershipWe at Emory Healthcare, Georgia’s largest health care system, along with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Inc. and Blue Cross Blue Shield Healthcare Plan of Georgia, Inc. (collectively “BCBSGa”), the state’s largest health solutions company, have announced the signing of an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) agreement. Our partnership with BCBSGa is designed to enhance health care by reducing costs and improving quality through increased collaboration and efficiency.

Our partnership with BCBSGa better connects Emory Healthcare as a system with BCBSGa as an insurance carrier to hold us all accountable for the quality and costs of care we deliver to our patients. Through this partnership, Emory Healthcare patients with BCBSGa coverage will now have yet another great resource to ensure their health and well-being. This partnership will not only assist in increasing the coordination of care among employed and private practice providers in the Emory Healthcare Network, but will also promote patient engagement in making healthcare decisions in collaboration with their Emory physicians.

We are committed to providing the full scope of health services required for our patients, and together with BCBSGa, for delivering enhanced care coordination, quality and cost management across that continuum of care. In short, our partnership will help in:

  • Improving quality care while managing costs
  • Connecting patients with the right doctor
  • Ensuring patients receive appropriate care
  • Enhancing care coordination
  • Helping align the right resources that improve outcomes and patient satisfaction
  • Encouraging patients to take charge of their care
  • Population health management

In addition, this partnership fosters extensive collaboration among the Emory Healthcare Network physicians and BCBSGa’s care delivery teams, who share information to ensure our physicians’ plan of care is being followed. Our physicians will receive regular reports that alert them of any gaps in care in their practices, such as missed care recommendations or preventive care screening reminders. This information will help our physicians transform their practices, increase patient engagement and improve the health of our patients.

We’re thrilled to be partnering with BCBSGa to enhance the way we deliver care to our community.

Buzzing Bees Take the Sting Out of Shots at Emory Johns Creek Hospital’s Emergency Services Department

Less Painful Shots for KidsAs parents, we usually try to keep our kids and stinging insects more than an arm’s length apart, but the Emergency Services Department at Emory Johns Creek Hospital recently enlisted the help of a small bevy of bees to take the sting out of shots for its pediatric patients.

The “bees” are palm-sized vibrating devices, called Buzzies, designed to look like smiling bumble bees. When the Buzzy is placed against the patient’s body near the site of the nasty needle poke, the theory is it reduces the pain by confusing the nerves and distracting the patient’s focus away from the point of injection. For small children—and their parents—this can be a huge plus, especially during a visit to the local emergency room.

Natascha Barney, Directory of Emory Johns Creek’s Emergency Services Department, learned about the bee-like angels of mercy from one of the department’s staff nurses who discovered them on a visit to Children’s Hospital of Atlanta. “When she saw it, she got really excited about suggesting it for us,” Barney says. “Our staff is really thrilled to be able to offer a cute option like this to our patients.”

Using Buzzies also helps include family members in the care process, which is at the core of Emory Healthcare and Emory Johns Creek’s mission. “Parents can help us hold it in place while we give the shot,” Barney explains. “It gets them involved and helps decrease their anxiety levels.”

The device is the brain child of an Atlanta-area emergency health specialist and mom, who invented product after she sat through her own 4-year-old’s shot trauma. Several versions of product are manufactured locally in Alpharetta and Suwanee. In addition to pediatric uses, The Buzzy is marketed to diabetics and for use in a number of adult healthcare situations that involve needle sticks. Barney joked, “We’re probably going to need them for some of our big ‘kids.’”

The funds for the Buzzies were provided through donations from EJCH employees and the community through a program call MyEmory Healthcare. “We are thrilled to now have the ability to grant funds to hospital departments to help enhance the patient and family experience,” says Kathryn Albright, Emory Johns Creek’s Director of Development.” It’s heartwarming to see the wonderful things that can happen when people pull together for a great cause.”

Have you had an experience where a healthcare provider used a creative solution to make an uncomfortable situation easier? Share your story with us in the comments below.

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Emory Healthcare has Olympic Fever!

Olympic TorchAs the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia approach, here at Emory Healthcare, we can’t help but think back to our own brush with Olympic fame in 1996 when the Olympics came to Atlanta. Our biggest honor always been caring for our patients and families, and we love sharing our Olympic spirit with them! Though it was 18 years ago now, we’re reflecting with pride on the role Emory played as the world’s finest athletes descended upon our city. Here are a few fun facts about Emory’s Olympic legacy:

  • Emory University Hospital Midtown, then known as Emory Crawford Long Hospital, served as one of three main health care sites inside the Olympic ʺring,ʺ the imaginary circle encompassing most of the activity during the Atlanta Games in 1996. Among the nearly fifty athletes treated there was U.S. gymnast Kerri Strug, who sprained her ankle during the dramatic team finals.
  • Two Emory employees and more than 40 Emory alumni served among thousands of torchbearers in the 1996 games.
  • An Olympic torch from the 1996 games in Atlanta is displayed in the lobby of Emory University Hospital.
  • During the 1996 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony, Paula Saunders, a medical social worker for Emory University Hospital’s Rollins Pavilion and the bone marrow transplant program sang backup to Celine Dion’s stirring ʺThe Power of the Dreamʺ with the Centennial Choir in Atlanta’s 85,000-seat Olympic Stadium.
  • During the London games in 2012, Dr. Amelia Langston, Medical Director and Section Chief of the Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplant Program at the Winship Cancer Institute, started the Bone Marrow Transplant Olympics. Emory Healthcare staff, patients and family members participated in fun, lighthearted competition such as hula hoop contests, bedpan shuffleboard and wheelchair races.
  • Dr. Shervin V. Oskouei, an orthopedic surgeon with the Emory Orthopaedics and Spine Center, served as the event physician for the U.S. snowboarding finals on January 3, 2014 in Copper Mountain, Colo. The winners at that event qualified to represent Team USA at the Olympics in Sochi in February.

We’re sure more stories will emerge as the Olympic Games begin in Sochi, but in the meantime, to treat our Olympic fever, Emory Healthcare is proud to support the Science of the Olympics on 11Alive (WXIA), which will air in the weeks before and during the 2014 Olympic games. See if you can spot some of our doctors and nurses over the next few weeks as they introduce the Science of the Olympics!