This week I had the privilege to attend a very informal and transparent, meeting with some of our surgical oncologists. It was one I had mixed feelings about because it could have turned into a “bash marketing” meeting. The meeting was called so the medical director of GHS Cancer Center could hear the surgical oncologists’ ideas about marketing. I was there as a guest attendee.
Note: the meeting was held the medical director’s home; a very warm, open and honest setting. Everyone felt comfortable sharing their ideas. Egos weren’t a factor among them. There was mutual respect.
Sitting there just listening, one thing became very clear to me. And, it made me feel so proud to work for an organization that employs physicians like those in attendance.
These doctors really care about their patients, and all people with cancer.
The most important thing to them is that people with cancer get the right or best treatment as close to home as possible. It angered them to hear about patients in the surrounding area being sent further than necessary to receive treatment. And, they practice what they preach. Since they are surgeons, they typically don’t see the patient for a long-term treatment. If the patient needs follow-up chemo or radiation, they refer them to their local oncologists whether that is here in Greenville or not. One gave the example of a patient he did surgery on from a county about 45 minutes away. He referred the patient to the oncologist in his home town – not the oncologists in Greenville – because the patient could receive the follow-up care he needed close to his home. As they all said, “cancer patients don’t need to travel to receive treatment”.
For two hours I listened to their thoughts about marketing. And, it wasn’t at all about them and bringing them more patients. It was about educating patients about getting the right care, at the right place, at the right time.
On a personal level, this meant the world to me and wanted to share. I feel that at times physicians get a bad rap and people think they only care about the money. Not this night. It was all about the patient.
I hope you or a loved one is never diagnosed with cancer, but if this does happen, you have my prayers for a healthy recovery – more importantly, know there are physicians at GHS who really care about you.
Learn more at www.ghs.org/cancercenter.
I read a startling study this week from the Mayo Clinic that says skin cancer (also known as melanoma) is on the rise among young people, especially young women. As someone who spent all of her childhood summers at the neighborhood pool, this study certainly got my attention!
The study found that between 1970 and 2009, the incidence of melanoma increased by eight-fold among young women and four-fold among young men. This is significant in that the incidence of melanoma is generally higher in men than it is in women. Researchers surmised that this finding may be explained by some gender-specific behaviors that lead to different UV light exposure. For example, young women are more likely than young men to participate in activities that increase the risk of melanoma, including voluntary exposure to artificial sunlamps and tanning beds.
The good news, however, is that death from melanoma is actually decreasing in young people, most likely due to earlier diagnosis. This is why annual skin screenings are so important, and why GHS and the Piedmont Dermatological Society are teaming up to offer a FREE screening this Saturday, May 19, 9-11 a.m., at GHS’ Patewood Medical Campus. There are only a few spots left, so register now at www.ghs.org/360healthed. (If the screening is full, you can schedule an appointment with your own dermatologist or find one at www.ghs.org. Be sure to click “Find a Physician” on the left side of the home page.)
It’s also important to practice sun safety when you are outdoors. One easy way to remember what to do is to recite the American Cancer Society’s catch phrase: Slip! Slop! Slap! …and Wrap! This means …
1) Slip on a shirt (long sleeves and a dark color recommended)
2) Slop on sunscreen (SPF of 30 or more is recommended)
3) Slap on a hat (2-3” brim all around is recommended)
4) Wrap on sunglasses (99% UV absorption recommended)
The American Cancer Society also recommends seeking shade and avoiding tanning beds and sunlamps. More information can be found on their website: http://bit.ly/JgXzxz.
It’s also important to remember that not all melanomas can be prevented, but you can start taking steps now to reduce your risk.
Many of you know I was in the Marine Corps, what many of you may not know is where the Marine Corps started. The Marine Corps Birthday is 10 November 1775. Since that time and even in modern times, Marines gather to celebrate the birth of the Corps. So, where was the delivery room? It was in a Bar. The Tun Tavern in Philadelphia. Perhaps an auspicious start to what many consider, especially Marines, the best fighting force in history.
So, with the premise that good things can happen at drinking establishments and with a little exaggeration on my part, let me tell you what will be happening at a modern day Tun Tavern. This Friday evening we will be having a Nurse Anesthesia Graduation Party at Larkin’s Sawmill.
When it comes to Academics in Greenville, much has happened these last 100 years and in particular, the last couple of years. A lot of energy and excitement has been generated about the USC School of Medicine Greenville and our first class is on track to arrive this summer. But, there is this is small group that is making history now.
Here is what Richard Wilson, the Nurse Anesthesia Program Coordinator let me know: Prior to January 2010, we were an affiliated site for the USC Nurse Anesthesia Program. In January 2010, we became a primary training site for the USC Nurse Anesthesia Program as part of a workforce development project and to strengthen our collaboration with USC. The Nurse Anesthesia Program, on the GHS campus, is the first program where the students complete their entire training – classroom and clinical – at GHS.
This year 5 students graduated from the program and 3 of them will come work for GHS. Why I love this story is that we not only address clinical needs for our hospital, but we train nurses, therapists and physicians that help other hospitals in the state and the region.
The Marine Corps Motto is Semper Fidelis (Always Faithful), perhaps when I drop by this Friday I will toast the Graduates with Semper Primus (Always First).
Periodically, we get reviewed by the various rating agencies – Moody’s, S&P, and Fitch and, appropriately, they want to know who is in charge. I thought you may want to see some of the senior leaders at GHS as well as read what we think we are about from a management perspective. I think this is a talented group of leaders – the best I have worked with.
The following is part of the write up we submitted to the Agencies.
The President of the Greenville Hospital System, as the Chief Executive Officer responsible to the Board, has been delegated the authority by the Board to organize, manage, direct, plan, coordinate and implement all activities, services and programs of the System.
Management of the System is provided principally using a team based approach consisting of clinical and administrative leadership. The System is committed to being a physician led organization, with the overall senior physician leadership as well as the Chairs of the various clinical departments having an active voice and role in the establishment of strategic direction and operational decisions. Three Councils have been established which provide strategic and operational leadership and resource prioritization direction. Membership on the Councils varies with each having a strong contingency of clinical, academic and administrative executives. The following is information concerning the President and Chief Executive Officer and certain other management personnel of the System:
MICHAEL C. RIORDAN (53), President and Chief Executive Officer, joined the System in 2006. Prior to joining the System, he served as president, CEO and trustee of the University of Chicago Hospitals and Health System and as senior associate hospital administrator and then COO of Emory University Hospital and Crawford Long Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. He also served three years in the United States Marine Corps as a lieutenant. Riordan currently serves as an assembly representative for the Association of American Medical Colleges and is on the administrative board of the Council of Teaching Hospitals and Health Systems. He is chairman of the Greenville Chamber of Commerce and serves on the governing boards for Health Sciences South Carolina and, as of July, Furman University. In addition, he is on the advisory board for Clemson University’s Robert J. Rutland Institute for Ethics. Riordan earned a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts/English and a master’s degree in education/psychology from Columbia University in New York, as well as a master’s degree in health systems from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
JERRY R. YOUKEY, M.D. (64), Executive Vice President, Medical and Academic Affairs and Dean of the University of South Carolina School of Medicine-Greenville. Prior to joining the System, Dr. Youkey served as Chief, Department of Surgery, and Director, Peripheral Vascular Fellowship program, at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, Pennsylvania. Dr. Youkey earned a medical degree from Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and a bachelor of arts degree from Stanford University, Palo Alto, California. He served a rotating internship and general surgery residency at William Beaumont Army Medical Center, El Paso, Texas and a fellowship in peripheral vascular surgery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C. Dr. Youkey served 11 years in the United States Army and was honorably discharged in August 1984 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, Medical Corps. Dr. Youkey is certified by the American Board of Surgery in general vascular surgery. He is a member of numerous professional societies and is widely published in his specialty field of general vascular surgery, having authored books, abstracts and journal articles. Dr. Youkey holds the academic appointment of Professor and Dean at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine-Greenville.
GREGORY J. RUSNAK (51), Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, joined the System in 1996. Prior to joining the System, Mr. Rusnak held senior executive level positions with Sutter Health, a major health system serving Northern California. Before that, Mr. Rusnak was a hospital administrator with the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Mr. Rusnak earned a master in health services administration degree from The George Washington University, Washington, D.C., and a bachelor of science degree in biology from Gannon University, Erie, Pennsylvania. He is a Fellow with the American College of Healthcare Executives and a Member of the South Carolina Hospital Association.
SPENCE M. TAYLOR, M.D. (54), Vice President for Academics and UMG Executive Medical Director joined the Greenville Hospital System University Medical Center (GHS) in 1992. He was named Chairman and Program Director in 1998. He stepped down as Surgery Chair in June 2010 to chair the LCME Institutional Self-Study Task Force and to edit and co-author the documents supporting the Preliminary Accreditation of the USC School of Medicine-Greenville. Dr. Taylor is certified by the American Board of Surgery in general surgery, general vascular surgery, and is a registered vascular technologist. He is a member of most major surgical organizations and has held offices in several. He is a Director on the American Board of Surgery. He has authored numerous book chapters, abstracts, and journal articles. In addition, he holds the academic appointment of professor at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. Dr. Taylor earned a bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from Clemson University and a medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina. He did his internship and general surgery residency at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston and a residency in peripheral vascular surgery at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.
ANGELO SINOPOLI, M.D. (56), Vice President for Clinical Integration and Chief Medical Officer, joined Greenville Hospital System University Medical Center (GHS) first as a resident in 1982. After completing his residency here in 1985 he returned in 1987 as a member of the Pulmonary Critical Care faculty. Dr. Sinopoli is Board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Medicine and Critical Care Medicine. He is a member of several professional societies, has authored numerous abstracts and journal articles, and presented at multiple conferences. He holds a professorship position at the University of South Carolina School Of Medicine. He has earned several teaching awards from the Medical School. Dr. Sinopoli earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of South Carolina and a medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina. Following his internship at GHS, he completed a fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine.
MALCOLM W. ISLEY (48), Vice President, Physician and Strategic Services, joined the System in 2007. Prior to joining the System, Mr. Isley was at Duke University Health System where he was the executive responsible for business and network development for hospital and physician services. Mr. Isley earned a master in health administration degree from Duke University, Durham, North Carolina and a bachelor of arts degree from North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina.
JOSEPH J. BLAKE JR. (62), Vice President, Legal Affairs and General Counsel, joined the System in 2007. Prior to joining the System, Mr. Blake was a shareholder and former managing director of Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, P.A., a law firm located in South Carolina. Mr. Blake earned a bachelor of arts degree in economics from Washington & Lee University, Lexington, Virginia and a juris doctorate from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a member of the South Carolina Bar and the American Health Lawyers Association.
TERRI T. NEWSOM (47), Vice President Financial Services and Chief Financial Officer, joined the System in March 2011. Prior to joining System, she was the Associate Vice President for Ambulatory Care Finance at Duke University Health System and the Divisional Chief Financial Officer of Duke Raleigh Hospital. Newsom has been involved in healthcare since 1991 when she joined Duke University Hospital as a senior budget & financial analysis analyst. While at Duke, she served on the boards of community and civic organizations and was also a member of the North Carolina Chapter of the Healthcare Financial Management Association. She earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Appalachian State University and is a certified public accountant.
By Michelle Taylor-Smith, RN BSN MSN NE-BC FACHE
GHS Chief Nursing Officer
Three million nurses in the United States join in celebration and recommitment to our profession and the care of patients and families in a myriad of venues this week, which is National Nurses Week. One of many unique characteristics of the profession of nursing is the diversity in which we may practice —hospital bedside, classroom, clinics, shelters, in the community, churches, schools, mission… and the list goes on and on!
As the chief nursing officer at Greenville Hospital System, I am proud to be part of such a noble profession.
In nursing, there is never cause to be bored. But certainly cause to pause and be thankful for the opportunity to serve. To be thankful for the opportunity of choice. To be thankful for the opportunity to be an active participant in a profession more than 150 years old.To be thankful for the opportunity to partner with our physicians in the care of human life across the lifespan!
There is so much change in our immediate environment and overall healthcare landscape today. Patient complexities, technology, research, resources, legislation, workforce challenges and overall healthcare access are just a few of the priority issues that could potentially impact the way we provide care to our patients.
One key mission for us as nurses is to foster healing and represent hope in whatever setting that we are present. On the clock … or off!
As Florence Nightingale, our founder of nursing as a modern profession, so well articulated:
Be Proud. Go Forth and Serve, Re-Commit to Professional Excellence via Life-Long Learning, Evidence-Based Practice and Research, and Remember that “Nursing is the Finest of Arts.”
Every 90 days since I have been at GHS we have done Town Hall Meetings. Time has gone quickly and we are about to begin the 23rd series of quarterly Town Hall Meetings.
This is one of our routine methods for connecting with front-line staff. The meetings allow me, along with our Campus Presidents, the opportunity to communicate progress on organizational goals and to provide updates on other topics of general interest to employees. My sense is the broader community may like to see and hear what is going on.
This quarter, we are highlighting:
(1) Progress on reviewing our values statement;
(2) Results of our 2012 Employee survey; and
(3) Other system-level goal updates
Below is a copy of the PowerPoint slides that will be presented at the Town Hall. If you cannot see the presentation, CLICK HERE to download a PDF of the presentation.
Also, below is a video of this quarter’s GHS 360 News – the video update of news around the system connected to our six Pillars of Excellence.
If you cannot view this video above, CLICK HERE to open the YouTube video.
Last night, May 3rd, I had the opportunity to attend the GSA Business Health Care Heroes award event. Let me explain what I mean when I said, “I had the opportunity to attend.” In fact, I whined about going to my assistant, co-workers, family and anyone else who would listen. The one positive was that I did not have to make any remarks…I was talked out. In addition, I had been out several nights already. Our middle daughter was getting back from college this evening. My in-laws were in town and, surprising to some, I do enjoy being with them. You get the picture, I was the complainer refusing to take responsibility for my self, even my wife said I was acting like a “victim.” That little jab actually helped get me back on track.
So, I went to the event, awkwardly interacted during the social hour, got my picture taken, was given instructions on where to sit and how the evening would go and told I had 2 minutes in which to make comments. That last bit of news prompted to start whining again, I did not think I had to get up in front of the group…I didn’t even wear a suit that day. Then a shift occurred. I saw Melinda Hudson Gillespie and Linda Rettew, both employees at GHS, and discovered they were also nominees. There were several categories of nominations: Physician, First Responder, Nurse, Community Outreach, Health Care Professional, and Volunteer. The GHS nominations were: Linda Rettew for Nurse, Melinda Hudson Gillespie for Community Outreach and me for Health Care Professional.
As the dinner portion of the event ended, the awards part of the program began. The finalists were called up to the podium as Carol Goldsmith from WYFF read the nomination. They each received the plaque and made some brief remarks. The last person called up in each category was the Health Care Hero. Hearing Carol read the accomplishments of all the finalists was wonderful and, for me, made the night worthwhile. In case you are wondering, I was not selected as the Health Care Professional Hero (more about that later), but I did have an opportunity to make some comments: I told the audience that I was grateful and accepted the award on behalf of the Upstate Community, Staff, Clinicians, Physicians and Patients. I also thanked our Marketing Department for buying the Gold Sponsorship and thereby assuring my nomination – that did get a chuckle. Finally, I spoke to the other finalists and thanked them for connecting me back to purpose and love in our shared calling. Little did they know how dramatically I shifted from where I was when the night started, to where I was as I listened to their stories.
Although I did not win the hero award, which competitive Mike did not like, my ego was comforted by hearing Tracey Jackson from Piedmont Care speak about her organization – a deserving leader and organization that provides AIDS/ HIV care. We did have one Hero in the GHS ranks, however, Melinda Hudson Gillespie (doesn’t she know it is not good to do better than the CEO?). She was gracious in her acceptance and clear in her recognition, as she thanked God, first and foremost. I was grateful to be in the presence of Melinda and Linda that evening.
The warm weather is here and that means one thing to me … people will come out of hibernation to get out on the GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail. In fact, this Friday night close to 5,000 of them will be participating in the annual GHS Swamp Rabbit 5K. More about this later.
I’ve posted about the trail in the past (http://tinyurl.com/7bcbqt6) – about how proud I am of GHS being the title sponsor, how the trail is an example of us improving the health of the communities we serve, and also contributing to economic development of the area.
A recent study, which was a collaborative effort between Greenville County Recreation District (GCRD), Upstate Forever, and Furman University’s Dr. Julian Reed, provides data supporting these ideas. A few key findings from the study:
Wow! How awesome! (To learn more impressive findings, CLICK HERE.) I was so excited to read this article. We all know how it feels to have our expectations met. In this case, the benefits of the trail have exceeded my personal and professional goals. The trail is and will continue to be a community asset.
If you’re local and haven’t been on the trail, come try it out Friday night during the GHS Swamp Rabbit 5K. You can still register in person Thursday at the Greenville Hilton from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. or at Gateway Park in Travelers Rest Friday starting at 11:00 a.m. Cash and check accepted. The fee is just $11 and you’ll still get a T-shirt!
You can walk, run, push strollers … sorry, no bikes or pets. Even if you’re not local, Greenville is a great place to visit. The trail is the icing on the cake, and so much more.
As the saying goes … “Happy trails to you!”