South Florida Hospital News
Thursday June 27, 2019
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September 2018 - Volume 15 - Issue 3

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New CEO Discusses Major Transformations Taking Place at Jupiter Medical Center

In January 2018, Don McKenna joined Jupiter Medical Center as its president and chief executive officer. He has more than 25 years of experience in the health care industry, and most recently led St. Mary’s Health Care System based in Athens, Georgia, where he improved the system’s financial performance, quality rankings and patient perception of care, and was named CEO of the Year by the Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals. He spoke with SFHN about his new role at Jupiter Medical Center.

SFHN: What do you see as Jupiter Medical Center’s biggest challenges? Biggest advantages?
 
McKenna: We face many of the same challenges that most hospitals face today. One of the biggest is balancing the increasing costs of health care–for medication, supplies, labor, etc.–against the level of reimbursements we receive from our biggest payors. Our challenge is to compensate for that differential and continue providing the high level of care and services that our patients expect. I’m happy to say that we are achieving that goal.
 
Our greatest advantage is being a not-for-profit independent medical center. We are not part of a system. We say it all the time; health care, like politics, is local and decisions should be made on the local level. The executives who lead this organization and the trustees who sit on our board and provide governance live and work in this community. They turn to Jupiter Medical Center to maintain their own health and have experienced its care and compassion first-hand. We are aware of local health care needs and because we are independent and not-for-profit, we are able to affect change in the manner we think is best for our community without answering to a faraway board or to shareholders.
 
SFHN: The Community Health Needs Assessment identified three priority health needs: cancer, heart disease and nutrition/exercise/diabetes. What are Jupiter’s plans for expansion in these areas?
 
McKenna: We are making a tremendous investment in cancer care. We are committed to utilizing advanced technology, such as the CyberKnife M6 for targeted radiosurgery, the da Vinci robotic surgical system, and electron beam intraoperative radiation therapy, also known as e-IORT. We are also building a new, state-of-the-art cancer center.
 
We are expanding cardiac services for the treatment of heart disease. We will begin offering open heart surgery and electrophysiology early next year, and to accommodate those new services, we are building two new operating rooms and a new cardiac catheterization lab. As part of our community outreach, we are involved in heart health events and educational programs and we host the Jupiter Heart Club, a popular cardiac support group.
 
We have a very robust diabetes and nutritional education program that provides training for adults and children throughout the community. We also partner with several community groups to address health and quality of life issues, including nutrition; diabetes awareness, prevention and management, and exercise. We’re especially proud of our affiliation with Healthier Jupiter, a community initiative funded by the Palm Healthcare Foundation that empowers residents to improve their own health. Earlier this year Healthier Jupiter and our Cary Grossman Wellness Center partnered with the Town of Jupiter Recreation Department to create a free, nine-week “Couch to 5K” training program that helped participants gradually increase their physical activity to walk/run in the Annual Turtle Trot at Ocean Cay Park.
 
SFHN: There are at least six new buildings in the planning stages at Jupiter. How are these progressing?
 
McKenna: I am pleased to report that we have surpassed the planning stages and all construction projects are underway. This creates some disruption for patients, team members and visitors, but we believe putting these new, world-class services in place as quickly as possible makes more sense than doing them one by one over a period of years.
 
Last year, we broke ground on the new 6,300 sq. ft. Mastroianni Family Pediatric Emergency Department, which is set to open in April 2019. The Pediatric Emergency Department adjoining the hospital’s main ED will offer our smallest patients top-quality pediatric care in a child-friendly environment. 
 
We also began construction in late August on our new, five-story Patient Tower that will become the new main entrance to the hospital and include our Level 2 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) as well as medical/surgical floors and a concierge floor. The tower is set to open at the end of 2019. We are also nearing the final stages of construction for our comprehensive stroke center, open heart surgery suites and 18-bed James J. Felcyn and Louise Brien Felcyn Observation Unit, all of which will be opening between December 2018 and January 2019. Our new comprehensive stroke center will allow us to provide the most advanced stroke treatments, as well as treat other complex neurological cases.
 
Our Timothy and Jayne Donahue Cardiac Surgery program, which will include open heart surgery, responds to a longstanding need in our community to treat complex cardiac cases and will enable us to provide a full range of the most advanced cardiovascular procedures. And, finally, construction is underway for the Anderson Family Cancer Institute which will include the most advanced technology and treatments for cancer. We expect it to be completed in early 2020.
 
SFHN: All of this growth requires funding. Is there a campaign in the works, or plans to expand fundraising opportunities?
 
McKenna: In 2015, Jupiter Medical Center Foundation launched the $300 million Vision. Innovation. Impact. campaign. Since the launch, the foundation has seen unprecedented philanthropy that would rival some major academic medical centers. It is because of the generous philanthropists who appreciate the value of having world-class medical care close to home that we are undergoing a major transformation. We are creating a comprehensive system of personalized health care that combines cutting-edge academic medicine and research through a blend of partnerships, and a world-class patient experience, often lost in large systems, predicated on customer service, quality and safety.
 
SFHN: How are you enhancing the patient experience?
 
McKenna: Quality care and patient satisfaction have always been priorities for Jupiter Medical Center. Our patient satisfaction scores are among the best in the area and better than both the state and national averages. We consistently receive the highest rankings in Palm Beach and Martin counties from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and that is not by accident. We have a Patient and Family Advisory Council, which consists of key staff members, as well as former patients and auxiliary members, who help us improve our programs, policies and practice standards. We also recently established a new initiative that will be under the direction of Joanne Miller, our new vice president and chief nursing officer, which will focus on developing programs and services to further enhance the overall experience of patients and their families. It’s part of our cultural DNA to put quality first in everything we do and ensure that we exceed our patients’ expectations.
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