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March 15, 2011


Featured in the March/April Issue of HJBR


The March/April issue of Healthcare Journal of Baton Rouge has hit the streets and is also available online at www.healthcarejournalbr.com. Be sure to check out the following features:


         An exploration of how patient advocacy is manifested in Baton Rouge

         One on One with Gary L. Curtis, President and CEO of eQHealth Solutions

         New guidelines for coding

         Michael Bertaut discusses the future of provider compensation

         A new column from DHH Secretary Bruce Greenstein

         And much more!




LHA Highlights Patient Safety

The Louisiana Hospital Association (LHA) and hospitals throughout the state celebrated National Patient Safety Awareness Week March 6-12, 2011. During patient safety week, the LHA, in partnership with the Health Research and Education Trust, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, trained 10 teams of Emergency Department physicians and nurses in "Door to Doc," a team oriented method for improving efficiency and care in hospital emergency rooms. The "Door to Doc" initiative in other states has been successful in reducing patient wait times, which also decreases the number of patients who leave the hospital without receiving treatment, thereby improving patient safety.

LHA and its members also used the week to celebrate recent successes in patient safety. These included:

Participating in the nationally acclaimed On the CUSP: Stop BSI Bloodstream Infection Reduction Collaborative with 13 hospitals across the state. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cited this national collaborative in a recent report showing a 58 percent decline in Intensive Care Unit bloodstream infections between 2001 and 2009. Additionally, other hospitals across the state are undertaking similar initiatives to reduce and eventually eliminate central line associated bloodstream infections

Joining Gov. Jindal's Birth Outcomes Initiative to improve pre-natal health for mothers and infants and to encourage a change in hospital policy to eliminate pre-39 week elective deliveries, which increase risk and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit stays for infants

Partnering with eQHealth Solutions, Louisiana's Medicare Quality Improvement Organization, in April and May to educate hospitals on ways to reduce avoidable inpatient hospital readmissions in fragile patient populations.

National Patient Safety Awareness Week is coordinated by the National Patient Safety Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving patient safety and reducing medical errors.



JonesWalker September


Get a Head Start! on Heart Health

On Saturday, March 26th, The American Heart Association invites teams of walkers to raise money and show up in big numbers for a free event for the whole family. AHA reports that thousands have already registered and more are welcome. The day, which begins at 8 a.m., will feature live music, free Subway, refreshments, a T-shirt contest, Jambalaya cook-off, rock climbing, and an eighteen foot slide along with a Kids Zone and Health Screenings. Walkers will have their choice of 1 mile and 3.1 mile routes around the LSU Old Front Nine. Once again this year, Jared Fogle, Subway national spokesperson will be leading the walk.

Start! is the American Heart Association's campaign to get people moving for better health. Every minute of walking can add two minutes to a person's life expectancy. More than 33% of all deaths in the capital area are a result of cardiovascular diseases.

The 2011 Capital Area Start! Heart Walk is sponsored nationally by Subway and locally by Amedisys Home Health Services. Local sponsors also include: Albemarle Foundation, People's Health, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, Ochsner Health Systems, Baton Rouge General: Womack Heart Center, Edgen Murray, and Smoothie King.

You can join the thousands registered to walk or donate to help the Capital Area's thousands affected by heart disease and Start! walking. Go to www.capitalareaheartwalk.org to register.





Amedisys Named Heart Walk Champion


Amedisys, a Baton Rouge based home health care and hospice company, has been recognized by the American Heart Association as a 2010 Heart Walk Champion. Twenty-five companies are being recognized as leaders in supporting the American Heart Association through the Heart Walk, the association's largest grassroots fundraiser. Amedisys ranks second in the nation in fundraising next to only the American Heart Association itself.


Locally, Amedisys' involvement includes participation in the Capital Area Heart Walk and nationally as a top team through fundraising, volunteerism, the My Life Check assessment, implementing Start! and being a platinum level Fit Friendly company.




Ochsner Hosts Annual Medical Staff Meeting


Ochsner Medical Center - Baton Rouge recently held its annual medical staff meeting. Members of the physician team discussed 2011 quality and patient satisfaction goals and upcoming hospital renovations. In addition, members recognized 2010 achievements including the opening of the Family Birthing Center and the establishment of a strong hospital medicine program.Ochsner Leadership


Pictured are Chief of Staff Jay Brooks, MD; Board Members George Bayhi, Bob Breaux and Bill Golden; Vice President of Medical Affairs Ralph Dauterive, MD, and Ochsner-Baton Rouge Chief Executive Officer Mitch Wasden.



New LCHE Board Members Appointed

The Louisiana Center for Health Equity (LCHE) announced the appointment of seven new board members. The seven new members join three officers to comprise the Board that oversees LCHE's finances, policies and practices, strategic planning and statewide outreach. LCHE is a 501(c)(3) charitable non-profit organization working to address the increasing disparities in health and health care across Louisiana. "LCHE will reach out to the local communities by providing information and education, and identify and distribute information about effective and proven practices," said Alma Stewart, LCHE President.

New members include:

         Melody L. Counts, MD, is a board-certified family medicine physician in Clinton. She completed her family medicine residency at the Baton Rouge General. She is on the Louisiana Physician's Council on Cancer and has participated in the Felicianas Asthma Coalition and Louisiana Tobacco Disparities Coalition. She enjoys providing medical care in underserved areas.


         Gina E. Eubanks, PhD, has served as Vice Chancellor for Extension at the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center since 2002. Among her duties, Gina provides strong intellectual leadership for all extension educational programming; participates as a team member of the Chancellor's executive council in policy-making, strategic planning, goal-setting and troubleshooting on issues that impact the Center; maintains and updates memorandum of understanding with the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center; reviews and assists in the preparation and implementation of the Center's budget and other fiscal matters; serves as liaison for the Center through service to the community and coordination with federal, state and local advisory groups; and assist in seeking external funding for the Center.


         Diane Hargrove-Roberson, MSW, is the Total Community Action Neighborhood Center Supervisor of the Central City Economic Opportunity Corporation located in New Orleans, Louisiana. She has worked as a public health professional and a community organizer for 25 years in areas including emergency preparedness planning, the prevention and elimination of tobacco use, and working to control and prevent chronic diseases. Her particular interest focuses on the elimination of heath disparities among special populations, with a philosophy of client empowerment as her guiding principle. As a long time community activist, she advocates for improving the health of families and communities. Diane serves on many boards, committees and task forces. 


         Arthur James Lathan is the Co-Founder and serves as the Executive Director of Gibsland Youth Community Resource Center. He is retired from the United States Air Force and is very active in his community. Mr. Lathan serves on several local boards and commissions in Bienville Parish, and holds leadership positions in his church. His passion is working with youth and helping families with dealing with problems, sponsoring local activities that focus on family involvement, such as parenting classes, recreation activities for youth, and social events to enhance spiritual growth in the community. He work with all races to help combat health disparities within local communities, especially with the underserved and rural population.


         Tiffany D. Magee is Director of Financial Aid at Our Lady of the Lake College. Magee, who has over twelve years of experience in higher education, is also a site coordinator for College Goal Sunday. She is the State Director for Miss Black Louisiana USA, an affiliate of Miss Black USA. It is the mission of Miss Black Louisiana USA to provide educational opportunities via scholarship and financial literacy to outstanding young women of color and to develop the "whole woman mind, body, and spirit" while serving the communities within the state of Louisiana.


         Dr. Paul Race, JD, MD, joined the Southern University Law Center Faculty in 2003 as a visiting professor. Race, formerly in private practice in Durham, North Carolina, earned his juris doctorate in 1997 from Duke University School of Law. He earned a bachelor's degree in biology from Rice University in Houston, Texas. Dr. Race has specialized in non-profit and small business law, as well as medical malpractice, personal injury, and insurance fraud.


         Mayor Bobby Washington currently serves as the president of the Louisiana Municipal Association (LMA). In addition to serving in his fifth term as Cullen mayor, a post he has held for the past 19 years, Washington is also on the board of directors for Carter Federal Credit Union. He is actively involved as Pastor of Holy Temple First Church of God in Christ and serves on the board of Springhill Medical Center, National Conference of Black Mayors and Coordinating Development Cooperation.



Healthcare Journal of Baton Rouge
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