|Search the Press Room|
A cardiologist, dental hygienist and pediatric social worker were just some of the faculty and staff recognized for excellent performance during the annual meeting of the University of Rochester Medical Center Board on Jan. 29. Board Chairman Robert Hurlbut presented the 2006 Chairman's Excellence Awards to six employees and two teams whose professional and personal standards exemplify quality patient care, mirroring the values of the institution's Strong Commitment initiative: integrity, compassion, accountability, respect and excellence.
The Excellence Awards are one of the most prestigious honors for Medical Center employees, as they are the only institution-wide awards recognizing individuals from throughout the organization.
Joseph Delehanty, M.D., associate professor of Medicine and director of the Cardiovascular Center, was recognized with the Board Excellence Award for Physicians. He is known for his exceptional dedication to the Medical Center and the patients he serves, and is considered one of the very best critical-care clinicians in the region, providing expert care and outstanding clinical competency and judgment.
Donna Garfield, A.A.S., a Secretary 4 in the Adult Partial Hospitalization Program of the Department of Psychiatry, was recognized with the Board Excellence Award for Clerical Staff. She is known for her professionalism, dedication, and dependability. Patients often mention her on satisfaction surveys as one of the staff who has made a difference in their experience in the program.
Katherine McMahon Flynn, R.D.H., a dental hygienist with the Eastman Dental Center (EDC), received the Board Excellence Award for Dentistry. During her 27-year tenure with the practices at the EDC, she has successfully built a loyal patient base with personal warmth and a determination to see that her patients get the best dental care possible.
Halle H. McNaney, project director of the Allscripts Touchworks Project, was honored with the Board Excellence Award for Business Support. Under McNaney's leadership, this comprehensive electronic health record system is now operational at 19 clinical sites, both primary care and specialists. The 13-year Medical Center veteran has orchestrated the roll-out with such efficiency that outpatient sites are now literally "lining up at the door,"waiting to be next in line for implementation – perhaps a first for the introduction of a new IT project.
Patti Murray, R.N., B.S.N., coordinator of James P. Wilmot Cancer Center nursing operations, was recognized with the Board Excellence Award for Nursing. She was honored for her commitment to high-quality, compassionate cancer care and outstanding leadership of the inpatient oncology nursing staff.
Jeff Rideout, L.M.S.W., a pediatric social worker with Golisano Children's Hospital at Strong, was recognized with the Board Excellence Award for Clinical Support. He is known for his strong advocacy for and unwavering support of children at the Medical Center and for protecting pediatric violence victims from becoming victims again by connecting them with needed services prior to discharge.
A Board Excellence Award for Teams was presented to the 8-3400 Respiratory Special Care Unit for its superior teamwork and continuous commitment to improvement, problem-solving and patient satisfaction. The team is considered a model for excellence, providing an alternative to the ICU setting, and offering a sense of continuity to a complex patient population that frequently faces long lengths of stay. The award was accepted by Medical Director David Trawick, M.D., and Mark Ott, B.S.N.
A 2006 Board Excellence Award for Teams also was presented to the Communications Center for Strong Health. In any given year, the 20-member team processes 1.1 million pages, and answers more than 1.4 million calls. The group also manages the television and telephone systems for our inpatients. Under the leadership of Pam Pupatelli, the team has improved their workflow and added value to the Medical Center, such as the introduction of a Web Paging program. Now, all Medical Center staff not only can send pages via the web, but also can input and change department call schedules. The award was accepted by Pupatelli.
Five University of Rochester Medical Center community health programs, ranging from a county-wide report card on obesity to efforts aimed at preventing knee injuries in female athletes, were among the initiatives to receive Opportunity Grants from the Greater Rochester Health Foundation (GRHF). These are the first awards distributed by the Foundation which was created out of the merger of health insurers Preferred Care and MVP Health Care.
"The University of Rochester has a proud history of creating innovative community health programs and we are honored that the Greater Rochester Health Foundation has chosen to support these efforts,"said Bradford C. Berk, M.D., Ph.D., CEO of URMC. "This is the beginning of what I hope will be a long and productive partnership between the University, the Foundation, and the community to address the many urgent health problems we face in the region.”
Awardees include Golisano Children's Hospital pediatrician Stephen Cook, M.D., who will develop a Childhood Obesity Report Card to track the county-wide prevalence and distribution of obesity among children and adolescents. The program, which is being developed in cooperation with Rochester Community Pediatricians and the Children's Institute, will analyze the records of 8,000 children between the ages of two to 18 to gather data on height, weight, and demographics. These surveys will be used to determine the scope of problem in the community and assess the progress of local obesity prevention efforts.
Another initiative funded by the Foundation is an education program created by Michael Maloney, M.D., director of University Sports Medicine (USM), for female high school athletes. Maloney and a team of athletic trainers has developed a regiment of stretches, conditioning exercises, and prevention techniques proven to reduce the incidence of Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) tears among female high school athletes, who are at four to six times greater risk than males for ACL injuries. Through this grant, USM will bring the program to all 37 high schools in Monroe County, with a special emphasis on city schools. Females involved in JV and varsity level soccer, basketball and volleyball will be trained in the system, and USM will measure outcomes.
URMC received more than $1 million in total from the Foundation. Also receiving awards were:
"I foresee the Greater Rochester Health Foundation having a significant impact on the Medical Center's ability to work in collaboration with our partners in the community to improve health,"said Nancy M. Bennett, M.D., director of the URMC Center for Community Health. "The Foundation will play an important role in funding programs that would have otherwise struggled to find the resources. It is my hope that it will also serve as a catalyst to bring the community together to confront some of our bigger health challenges, such as obesity and health disparities in care.”
GRHF was created in 2006 and is one of the area's largest health foundations with assets of $200 million. The foundation is governed by a community-based board of directors and its major focus is to improve the health status of all residents of the greater Rochester community including people whose unique health care needs have not been met because of race, ethnicity or income. The Foundation plans to award approximately $30 million in grants to community health programs over the next 3 years.
University President Joel Seligman, who is serving as chair of the University's United Way Campaign, recently announced the goal for the 2007 University's United Way/Red Cross Campaign: $1.3 million, an amount that exceeds the 2006 fundraising total of $1.2 million in donations from faculty, staff, and retirees.
"In line with our commitment to support the Rochester community, our continued support of the United Way helps fund programs and services vital to so many individuals and families living in the Rochester area, including many of our own employees, retirees, patients and students,"Seligman said.
Seligman added that more than $1.9 million in direct allocations come back to support University programs, including Baby Love and Strong Start, Mt. Hope Family Center, the Children's Institute, and Visiting Nurse Service's Meals on Wheels and Day Care Consultation programs. In addition, through donor designation, an additional $100,000 comes into Strong Memorial Hospital to help Golisano Children's Hospital and Wilmot Cancer Center.
This year, Bradford C. Berk, M.D., Ph.D., Medical Center CEO, and Peter Lennie, Robert L. and Mary L. Sproull Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering, will serve as vice chairs for the 2007 campaign. President Seligman also will be assisted by Frederick Jefferson, Ed.D., professor emeritus and University Intercessor, who serves as vice-chair for the retiree campaign; Vicki Hines, president and CEO of Visiting Nurse Service, as vice-chair for the Visiting Nurse Service campaign; and Cindy Becker, vice president and chief operating officer of Highland Hospital, as vice-chair for the Highland Hospital and affiliates campaign. Andrea Lennon, executive director for the Center for Community Health, will again direct the 2007 University Campaign.
As the University continues to grow, so does our obligation to our community. Here are some things to keep in mind when considering making a pledge to the United Way campaign:
This year's fundraising effort officially launches on Feb. 26 with a kick-off breakfast for the more than 550 faculty and staff who volunteer their time to make the University-wide campaign possible. For more information, call the United Way Office at x273 -4722 or visit www.rochester.edu/unitedway.
Widely regarded as a "seal of approval" in the retirement industry, accreditation is a rigorous, voluntary process involving an extensive peer review and on-site survey by a team of CARF-CCAC evaluators.
"The five-year reaccreditation is both a testament of our past and a commitment to our future,"said Lloyd R. Theiss, executive director of The Highlands at Pittsford. "To get the ‘gold' is one thing, to keep it is another. This accreditation, coupled with our ties to the University of Rochester and Strong Health, establishes us as Rochester's finest senior care community, and places The Highlands at Pittsford among the best in the country."
"Providing the highest quality of care possible is what we are all about at The Living Center at The Highlands,"said Marvell Adams, administrator of The Living Center, the skilled nursing component of The Highlands at Pittsford. "Attaining reaccreditation validates the hard work and determination of our staff."
The Living Center's Orthopaedic Rehabilitation Unit, Memory Care Unit
and Traditional Care Unit, which specializes in life enhancement, were
all part of the reaccreditation process.
Under New Leadership
Joining Theiss is Ann Julien, director of sales and marketing as of December 2006. Julien holds a bachelor's degree from Syracuse University and has over 15 years experience in long-term care. She previously served as a long-term care planner for Genworth Financial, director of sales and marketing for Emeritus Corporation, and director of community relations for St. Ann's Community.
The Highlands at Pittsford is an affiliate of the URMC and Strong Health. A local pioneer in the continuing care retirement community concept, it opened in 1994 with 96 independent living apartments, 48 enriched living apartments, and a 122-bed skilled nursing facility with a 20-person adult day program. Since then, 36 cottage homes and 51 apartments have been added to the campus.
Big opportunities are available by thinking small, chemist Benjamin Miller, Ph.D., told an overflow crowd in the Class of '62 Auditorium Monday night in his presentation on Biomedical Nanotechnology: An Emerging Frontier in Human Health.
Miller, associate professor of Dermatology, Biochemistry and Biophysics, and Biomedical Engineering, delivered the keynote address to faculty, staff, students and visitors as part of the Medical Center Board's annual meeting in late January.
According to Miller, nanotechnology isn't just about tiny devices, millions of which could fit inside the period at the end of this sentence; it's also about the strange behaviors of ultra-small devices that offer unique opportunities to scientists and physicians.
More than a century has passed since quantum physicists began making predictions that still sound outlandish – solid objects passing right through one another, for instance – but it's only been in recent years that it's been possible to make objects tiny enough to test those predictions. In every case, the strange predictions of quantum mechanics have been borne out.
While no one is talking about making solid objects pass right through each other, some scientists are trying to capitalize on the physics of the ultra-small to work in applications from everything to electronics to food processing to human health. Miller believes nanotechnology has promise in three areas of health care:
The Federal government has plowed more than $2 billion in recent years into technologies based on devices just a tiny fraction of the width of a human hair, and in recent years, New York State has spent at least $500 million on this research. Yet, Miller said much of the research is aimed at electronics and computers, and biomedical applications are less common. Even among biomedical institutions that are putting nano-technology front and center, the University of Rochester presents unique strengths.
"Already the University has produced five spin-off companies based on biomedical applications of nanotechnology, and we have what is likely the strongest group in the world studying the potential health effects of nano-particles," Miller said. "We're ahead of the pack in that we have investigators from around the University – people in the College, people in engineering, several scientists and doctors at the Medical Center – already working together, crossing traditional boundaries to make new discoveries in this rapidly growing field. And these groups are already working with scientists at other universities and with counterparts in industry and in the national laboratories."