News

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!

Emory Johns Creek Hospital Earns Chest Pain Center Accreditation

Chest Pain Accreditation Emory Johns Creek HospitalCongratulations to Emory Johns Creek Hospital, which has received Chest Pain Center with PCI (percutaneous coronary intervention) from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC). This achievement signifies that Emory Johns Creek meets or exceeds quality-of-care measures in patients who arrive at the hospital with symptoms of a heart attack.

“We are so proud of the phenomenal work by this multidisciplinary team,” says Marilyn Margolis, MN, RN, Emory Johns Creek Hospital’s chief nursing officer and vice president of operations.” This accreditation shows our ability to provide the community with the best heart care available.”

To achieve Chest Pain Center Accreditation, the hospital engaged in rigorous evaluation by the SCPC for its ability to assess, diagnose and treat patients who may be experiencing symptoms that indicate heart disease or a heart attack. It also has demonstrated that it has processes in place that meet strict criteria to help:

  • Detect and treat symptoms that may lead to a heart attack, thus avoiding a heart attack and therefore avoiding heart damage.
  • Provide the community with education and information about early heart attack care to improve wellness and the quality of life.

Emory Johns Creek Hospital is one of three hospitals in the Emory Healthcare system to achieve Chest Pain Center Accreditation. Emory University Hospital and Emory University Hospital Midtown are accredited Chest Pain Centers. Hospitals must reapply for their designation every three years.

“It took a team of dedicated people across many hospital departments and services to achieve Chest Pain Center Accreditation at Emory Johns Creek Hospital,” says Craig McCoy, CEO of Emory Johns Creek Hospital. “We are excited about this designation and know it will benefit many patients during the critical and early stages of a heart attack and throughout their recovery.”

As great as this news is for Emory Johns Creek Hospital, what it means for Emory Johns Creek’s patients is what’s most important, says Jeffery Hershey, MD, who serves as chair of the Division of Cardiology and chief of medicine at Emory Johns Creek. “Heart patients at Emory Johns Creek Hospital can expect a continuum of care from the very start of the patient’s symptoms until discharge from the hospital,” Hershey says. “This includes care starting with emergency dispatch to EMS in the field to the emergency department to the cath lab to the observation unit to cardiac rehab and through discharge from the facility. We have enhanced the quality of care for cardiac patients and are committed to these higher standards of care.”

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Emory Nurses are Amazing! Emory University Hospital Receives Prestigious Magnet Designation!

Emory University Hospital Magnet DesignationCongratulations to Emory University Hospital, who just received designation as a Magnet® facility from the American Nurses Credentialing Center! This outstanding achievement is a significant milestone for Emory University Hospital and the culmination of the relentless pursuit of excellence on the part of our nurses, physicians and staff.

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 with this recent recognition, Emory Healthcare becomes the only health system in Georgia to have two hospitals designated as Magnet facilities – Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital, and now, Emory University Hospital! 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 that Emory University Hospital has joined the ranks of these distinguished facilities!

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

Emory Healthcare Partners with National Testing Provider, HealthFair

Mobile Health Screening Bus

Emory Healthcare is pleased to announce a new partnership with HealthFair – a national testing provider that brings convenient and affordable health testing to community neighborhoods via its mobile screening buses. HealthFair is a Joint Commission-accredited mobile screening company that works with academic medical centers as well as community hospitals across the United States.

Beginning January 2014, Emory Healthcare will collaborate with HealthFair to provide cardiovascular screenings to organizations and communities in the Atlanta area. Mammography screenings will be available in the Spring of 2014.

Screening plans are tailored to the needs of the participant, and all tests are read and evaluated by Emory Healthcare physicians. This collaboration will provide metro Atlanta communities with greater access to important screening services and to Emory Healthcare physicians and providers.

Upcoming screening dates and locations:

  • January 20, Rite Aid – Kennesaw
  • January 21, LA Fitness – Douglasville
  • January 22, Fitness 19 – Woodstock
  • January 23, Walgreens – Atlanta
  • January 24, CVS – Dacula
  • January 25, Just Fitness 4U – Marietta
  • January 27, Publix – Powder Springs
  • January 28, Parc at Piedmont East Cobb – Marietta
  • January 29, Dogwood Forest- Fayetteville
  • January 30, Kroger – Atlanta
  • January 31, Walgreens – Kennesaw
  • February 1, Publix – Covington
  • February 4, Walgreens – Alpharetta

For more information on the different screening options and/or to schedule your screening appointment, visit www.emoryhealthcare.org/screening.

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