South Florida Hospital News
Thursday April 24, 2014
April 2014 - Volume 10 - Issue 10




As part of a commitment to improve employee health and well-being, Miami Children's Hospital (MCH) Health System in 2013 partnered with Interactive Health, to expand the hospital’s incentive-based employee health and wellness program. The new program provides each participating staff member with a comprehensive understanding of his or her individual health status, identifying and providing support for team members in need of attention for underlying medical issues or who are at risk.
The enhanced program, administered by Interactive Health – a leader in outcomes-based wellness solutions – utilizes lab results from participating employees to help identify those requiring treatment and lifestyle changes, and provides resources to help employees and spouses make those changes. A total of 92 percent of the 3,200 health system employees participated in the program.
Following the onsite health evaluations, Interactive Health contacted 399 MCH employees whose test results showed they required immediate medical attention, and 636 employees were enrolled in health coaching as a result of newly discovered health risks. All employees participating in the program received a confidential report explaining their test results. Interactive Health provides guidance and resources to help employees strive toward health and wellness by modifying behaviors and helps facilitate employees obtaining medical care as needed.
"At Miami Children's Hospital, the health of our highly specialized and experienced workforce is essential to our success,” said Michael Kushner, Senior Vice President and Chief Talent Officer. “Through our work with Interactive Health, we are increasing our commitment to supporting our employees through enhanced assessment and intervention assistance. Those identified with health risks can engage with their physicians and all employees are provided tools and resources to help them improve their health as well as incentives for taking ownership.”
Previously, the hospital offered an employee wellness incentive program in which participants received monetary rewards for participating in fitness testing and health educational activities. The Interactive Health program enhances employee health assessment, providing extensive lab testing aimed at identifying those at risk for diabetes, kidney, liver, heart and thyroid conditions. The new program goes beyond a simple know- your- numbers campaign to provide tailored health coaching and a personal health score and goal for all participants.
Those who participated in the program by undergoing the free lab testing receive a $150 per year decrease in their health insurance premium. To encourage staff ownership and participation, employees who do not participate in the new program will be responsible for a larger portion of their health insurance premium. Employee spouses who are insured through the hospital could also undergo testing and receive the health premium decrease, making it possible for a couple or family to receive a larger decrease in their annual health insurance premium.
Going forward, employees and participating spouses are provided with attainable health goals. Each participant will have their own personal goal, which is either to maintain good health or make health improvements. Those who achieve their personal health goal will be eligible for the insurance premium reduction next year.
Improved employee health will support Miami Children’s Hospital in curbing increases in employee medical insurance rates. Employees share in the success of the program by enjoying better health and reduced premiums.
Baptist Cardiac & Vascular Institute announced that it has joined the WomenHeart National Hospital Alliance, a program of WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease. The alliance brings together hospitals throughout the country that are committed to advancing women’s heart health.
By joining the WomenHeart National Hospital Alliance, the Institute will be part of the WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease – the nation’s only organization providing peer led patient support for women living with heart disease. Women heart patients who are trained at the annual WomenHeart Science & Leadership Symposium at Mayo Clinic will work alongside the Institute team to bring important messages of prevention, early and accurate diagnosis and proper treatment to all South Florida women. WomenHeart will also provide heart health information to women heart patients at the Institute.


Physicians at Jupiter Medical Center, who are participating in the Palm Beach Accountable Care Organization (ACO), are piloting an innovative technology called “MicroBloggingMD” created by M2 Information Systems, Inc. This technology allows physicians to receive secure emails and text message alerts when Medicare beneficiaries, enrolled in the ACO, have any encounter at Jupiter Medical Center including the ER and Urgent Care Center.
MicroBloggingMD provides doctors with ‘real-time’ patient status updates instead of learning about them hours or days later. Example notifications may include admissions, discharges, consult requests, radiology reports and labs. In addition, various clinical information is sent directly to the physician to speed up the diagnosis and treatment process.
With their clinical automation, MicroBloggingMD reduces texting demand thus improving accuracy and efficiency for hospital staff. The speed at which the information is received may improve outcomes for patients, while reducing cost for the hospital, insurance company and ultimately the patient. This secure and HIPAA-compliant messaging also spurs collaboration among doctors, another benefit to the patient.
Delray Medical Center is among the first hospitals in South Florida to offer Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS) via the Olympus EVIS EXERA III video endoscopy system. This technology, through the collaborative use of a video processor, light source, endoscope and monitor, enables physicians to peer inside the human body to diagnose, detect and treat gastrointestinal (GI) diseases and other conditions, such as colorectal cancer (CRC), at an earlier stage when treatments are most successful.
EUS is a combination of endoscopy with ultrasonography. It helps assess the anatomy of the GI tract by using ultrasonography. EUS is a minimally invasive way to get samples for pathologists to evaluate lesions. This technique uses no radiation.
The third-generation EVIS EXERA III system boasts enhanced image quality, added brightness and several key technologies such as HDTV for superior clarity, next-generation Narrow Band Imaging for enhanced observation of mucosal tissue and dual-focus capabilities that allow physicians to switch the depth of field from normal focus to near focus for more detailed observation of suspected lesions. These new technologies are designed to help physicians provide their patients with more accurate and earlier diagnoses.
In addition, Delray Medical Center is the only hospital in the area that offers double balloon enteroscopy by Fuji. This technology enables the physician to visualize the small bowel and treat arterial venous malformations and remove polyps and biopsy lesions in the small intestine. At discharge, patients are given a report with pictures for their records and written instructions. The program can also fax results to doctors and issue referral letters.

(l-r) Arthur Unger, Linda Quick, Sidney Goldin, Jayson Rittenberg, Jeffrey Freimark, Alfred Katzin, Barbara Salazar and Jeffrey Rittenberg.

Miami Jewish Health Systems recently opened a new Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) center in Westchester, the third senior center of its kind in Miami-Dade County. PACE is a Medicaid-only or Medicaid and Medicaid program to help seniors 55+ maintain their highest level of independence and reduce hospital stays.
Edilia Alzugaray, M.D., Medical Director of Miami’s PACE centers says the new location is the only multidisciplinary senior center of its kind in Westchester, a neighborhood with more than a quarter of its residents age 65 and older.
“We work every patient to enrich their overall quality of life: physically, emotionally, socially and spiritually,” says Alzugaray. “In addition to providing much-needed, daily services for hundreds of seniors in the area, the Westchester PACE center will also care for adults 55 and older with physical disabilities and mental health issues.”
Florida Representative Jeanette Núñez was on hand to help inaugurate the center and says the PACE program’s level of excellence in healthcare for seniors is unmatched in her district.
Larkin Community Hospital recently commemorated its official Grand opening of The Center for Advanced Orthopedics at Larkin with tours, delectable hors d’oeuvres, a ceremonial ribbon cutting and an emotional video welcoming Dr. Carlos J. Lavernia as Medical Director of the center. At least 150 guests, including prominent physicians, community leaders, Miami celebrities, board members and hospital employees celebrated alongside Larkin Community Hospital at this event.
Pictured (l-r) are Dr. Jack Michel, President of Larkin Community Hospital; Alba L. Michel, Home Health Services at Larkin; Caridad Lavernia; Carlitos Lavernia; Dr. Carlos J. Lavernia, Medical Director at The Center for Advanced Orthopedics at Larkin; Anna Sofía Lavernia; and Sandy Sosa-Guerrero, CEO of Larkin Community Hospital.
Good Samaritan Medical Center is proud to be the exclusive hospital sponsor for the Palm Beach Outlet Mall. Hospital staff was excited to participate in the mall’s three-day grand opening celebration.
The mall hosted an “open doors open hearts” charity shopping event. Ticket proceeds benefitted 20 non-profit organizations including Urban League of Palm Beach County, Inc., Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League and Gulfstream Goodwill Industries, Inc. During the charity event, Good Samaritan Medical was on-site promoting 3D mammography and the comprehensive breast center.
The next morning, members from the city of West Palm Beach celebrated with the Palm Beach Outlet Mall leadership team during the ribbon cutting ceremony. On the third day, Good Samaritan Medical Center sponsored the celebrity style fashion show hosted by Mario Lopez.
Pictured (l-r) are Tom Barlow, lobbyist, Barlow Consulting; Mark Nosacka, CEO of Good Samaritan Medical Center; Mayor Jeri Muoio; Dorritt Miller, Deputy City Administrator of the City of West Palm Beach; Scott Kelly, Assistant City Administrator of the City of West Palm Beach.
Coral Gables Hospital celebrates The DAISY Award For Extraordinary Nurses recipient Carmelo Del Valle, R.N., of the Intensive Care Unit.
Del Valle is described among coworkers as compassionate and caring toward patients in the ICU. Patients and their family members share the same sentiment. They have told staff members that they feel “at peace” while under Del Valle’s care, especially when they are not feeling well or in pain. He has a way of making his patients feel at ease while at the hospital. Del Valle always makes a personal connection with his patients and it hasn’t gone unnoticed. The charge nurses he reports to have also complimented him many times for helping his coworkers.
Hialeah Hospital proudly honored Alberto Portuondo, Emergency Room Technician (holding plaque), as its Employee of the Year for 2013. For more than 30 years, Portuondo has been a part of the Hialeah Hospital family and has worked to provide patients quality medical care. He was chosen as the 2013 Employee of the Year among a dozen candidates that were nominated last year by their directors and colleagues.
Portuondo’s work ethic and level of expertise set him apart as a leader as well as a preceptor for all new ER technicians in the hospital’s Emergency Department. Among his colleagues he is described as a knowledgeable and creative individual who has acquired a broad perspective of the healthcare field. His hard work, professionalism and loyalty serve as proof of his dedication to providing each and every patient with quality care.


Coral Gables Hospital proudly honors Virgilio Ambut, R.N., of the Intensive Care Unit, as the Employee of the Quarter from October through December 2013. He was chosen as the Employee of the Quarter by his director and the hospital’s administrative team.
His colleagues describe him as a compassionate individual who is always willing to lend a helping hand. They stated that Ambut’s hard work, professionalism and loyalty serve as proof of his dedication to providing each and every patient with quality medical care.
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