Showing all Releases for July 2013

  • Westar Energy Foundation Helps Kids Fight Cancer

    Monday July 29, 2013

    Thanks to a more than $10,000 gift from Westar Energy Foundation, children of northeast Kansas are better equipped to fight cancer. 

    When the Cotton O’Neil Cancer Center opened in 2007, only patients over the age of 16 were served. More than six years later, the community has proved a need and Stormont Vail HealthCare has responded by recently adding a second Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist, Dr. Youmna Othman, to join Dr. Jakica Tancabelic at the Cancer Center. Drs. Tancabelic and Othman are the only two Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologists in Northeast Kansas. This allows for not only more children to be seen, but also a 24-hours/day, 365-days/year rotation of care. 

    Using evidence-based practices and financial support from the Westar Energy Foundation, a project was developed to enhance the exam and treatment rooms at the Cotton O’Neil Cancer Center so that children may be treated and heal more comfortably. The project was coordinated through the Stormont Vail Foundation. 

    This project transformed a portion of the Cancer Center from an adult-oriented treatment center to include an area that is a child/young-adult oriented treatment and healing center. New enhancements include: 

    • video gaming system
    • children and young adult bibliothearpy library
    • two exam and one treatment room updates

    This enhancement project allows families to have a better experience at the Cancer Center. The enhancements are already impacting young patients. Imagine laughter coming from a treatment room as two brothers fight a dragon or the chance a mother might have missed if not for the books available to read to her children while she receives treatment. 

    These small changes are having a great impact on the lives of the families from around northeast Kansas. Dr. Tancabelic raved about the enhancements. 

    “It’s good for teens and small kids—it’s lively,” said Dr. Tancabelic. “We are thrilled to have this update. Even the parents are excited. The kids love the video games.”

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  • Stormont Vail Health Receives Blue Distinction® Recognition

    Thursday July 25, 2013

    Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas has recognized Stormont Vail HealthCare with a Blue Distinction Center® designation for delivering quality cardiac care, as part of the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care® program, according to Andrew C. Corbin, BCBSKS president/CEO. Stormont Vail is the first hospital in the health insurer’s 103-county service area to be recognized for its cardiac care.

    Blue Distinction Centers are hospitals shown to deliver quality specialty care based on objective, transparent measures for patient safety and health outcomes that were developed with input from the medical community. The Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program was developed in 2006 to help patients find quality providers for their specialty care needs, while encouraging health care professionals to improve the care they deliver.

    To receive the Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care® designation, Stormont Vail demonstrated success in meeting both general quality and safety criteria (such as preventing hospital-acquired infections) and cardiac-specific quality measures (related to lower rates of complications and death following cardiac surgery; and non-surgical procedures, such as cardiac stent placement).

    “Our Blue Distinction program recognizes hospitals that demonstrate higher levels of quality care for patients,” Corbin said. “Improving quality of care is integral to transforming the health care system. Since cardiac procedures, including bypass and stent replacement, are among the most common major medical procedures provided by the U.S. health care system, it is imperative that we strive for quality and safety.

    “Everyone at Stormont, especially those directly responsible for its cardiac program, should take pride in being named a Blue Distinction Center,” he said.

    This is the third Blue Distinction designation for Stormont Vail, which has previously been recognized for its spine surgery and joint replacement programs.

    "We are proud to receive this recognition affirming the high quality care we provide in cardiac services and other services closely tied to cardiac care. The honor compliments our accreditation as a Chest Pain Center and the many other honors we have received for quality patient care. It is truly a reflection of the great work our physicians and staff do at every level," said Randy Peterson, Stormont Vail HealthCare president and CEO.

    Stormont Vail HealthCare has long been a leader in heart care, performing Topeka's first open heart surgery in 1975, and establishing the Cotton O’Neil Heart Center in 2001. Stormont Vail cardiovascular services is led by 18 cardiologists and cardiovascular and thoracic surgeons, and a wide range of clinic and hospital patient care staff providing a continuum of care for heart patients across northeast Kansas. Three new cardiologists, one who joined this month, and two joining later this summer, will enable Stormont Vail to offer some heart services previously not available in Topeka. Stormont Vail HealthCare cardiovascular services has received accreditation as a Chest Pain Center from the Society of Chest Pain Centers and has received the American College of Cardiology (ACC) Foundation's NCDR ACTION Registry - Get With The Guidelines (GWTG) Platinum Performance Achievement Award. 

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  • Stormont Vail Foundation receives $10,000 grant from the March of Dimes

    Monday July 15, 2013

    (Topeka, Kan., July 15, 2013) – The Stormont Vail Foundation has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the March of Dimes to enhance current programming at Stormont Vail HealthCare that improves the health of our community through the reduction of premature births. 

    In an effort to reduce the infant mortality rates in Shawnee County, the March of Dimes and Stormont Vail HealthCare will continue to offer an incentive-based pre-natal class free of charge for community members as well as a free pre-natal class to students in the USD 501 school district. Research proves that the programming is improving birth outcomes. 

    “The Stormont Vail Foundation’s partnership with the March of Dimes improves the lives of mothers and infants in our community,” said Jane Mackey, president and executive director of the Stormont Vail Foundation. “Creating a healthy community depends on these strong partnerships.” 

    Stormont Vail HealthCare has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Prematurity - recognizing it as a national leader by demonstrating compliance with The Joint Commission’s national standards for health care quality and safety in disease-specific care. The certification award recognizes Stormont Vail HealthCare’s dedication to continuous compliance with The Joint Commission’s state-of-the-art standards. The March of Dimes and their programming is one of the many collaborative efforts that has helped Stormont Vail attain this level of distinction. 

    The March of Dimes programming helps mothers have full-term pregnancies and healthy babies. Additionally, they research problems that threaten babies and work on preventing them. Stormont Vail HealthCare system has a long standing relationship with the March of Dimes. Their partnership includes raising money for research and implementing programming using evidence-based models created by the March of Dimes for community programs. 

    Each year Stormont Vail HealthCare employees participate in the annual March of Dimes’ March for Babies event and raise funds to support their programs. In 2013, ten teams, comprised of 200 employees, participated in the walk that was held on May 4 at the State Capitol grounds. In 2013, Stormont Vail HealthCare employees also raised $23,800 through fundraising efforts for the March of Dimes.

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  • Stormont-Vail’s Neonatal Intensive Care Recognized as National Leader: One of Eight in U.S. to Achieve Certification from the Joint Commission

    Monday July 1, 2013

    (Topeka, Kan., July 1, 2013) – Stormont Vail HealthCare has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Prematurity by demonstrating compliance with The Joint Commission’s national standards for health care quality and safety in disease-specific care. The certification award recognizes Stormont Vail HealthCare’s dedication to continuous compliance with The Joint Commission’s state-of-the-art standards.

    The Stormont Vail Neonatal IntensiveCare (NIC) department underwent a rigorous on-site review in June 17, 2013. A Joint Commission expert evaluated the Stormont Vail NIC for compliance with standards of care specific to the needs of patients and families, including infection prevention and control, prevention of skin breakdown and supporting the utilization of mother’s milk.

    “In achieving Joint Commission certification, Stormont Vail HealthCare has demonstrated its commitment to the highest level of care for its patients with prematurity,” says Jean Range, MS, RN, CPHQ, executive director, Disease-Specific Care Certification, The Joint Commission. “Certification is a voluntary process and I commend Stormont Vail for successfully undertaking this challenge to elevate its standard of care and instill confidence in the community it serves.”

    “With Joint Commission certification, we are making a significant investment in quality on a day-to-day basis from the top down. Joint Commission accreditation provides us a framework to take our organization to the next level and helps create a culture of excellence,” says Nicki Bradbury, MSN, RN, NE-BC, director of NIC. “Achieving Joint Commission certification in prematurity, for our organization, is a major step toward maintaining excellence and continually improving the care we provide.”

    The Joint Commission’s Disease-Specific Care Certification Program, launched in 2002, is designed to evaluate clinical programs across the continuum of care. Certification requirements address three core areas: compliance with consensus-based national standards; effective use of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines to manage and optimize care; and an organized approach to performance measurement and improvement activities.

    Stormont Vail is one of eight hospitals in the nation awarded this certification. The other seven hospitals are: Mississippi Baptist Medical Center, Jackson, Miss., St. Vincent Hospital, Indianapolis, Ind., Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center, Lincoln, Neb., Plantation General Hospital, Plantation, Fla., Carolinas Medial Center, Charlotte, N.C., Inova Fairfax Hospital, Falls Church, Va., and Henrico Doctors’ Hospital, Richmond, Va.

    Neonatal IntensiveCare at Stormont Vail, is Topeka’s only Level III neonatal intensive care unit. It was founded on a tradition of compassionate, expert care for critical babies in 1985. The Stormont Vail NIC is staffed with four full-time neonatologists and five neonatal nurse practitioners along with many specially-trained nursing and patient care staff. The unit offers 27 spacious private rooms, specially designed to accommodate state-of-the-art neonatal care equipment. All babies can be monitored and cared for individually in private quiet, light-controlled environments that enhance the little ones’ ability to thrive. A six-bed “step up” unit is available for babies who are nearing discharge to home.

    Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission evaluates and accredits more than 20,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States, including more than 10,600 hospitals and home care organizations, and more than 6,600 other health care organizations that provide long term care, behavioral health care, laboratory and ambulatory care services. The Joint Commission also certifies more than 2,400 disease-specific care programs such as stroke, heart failure, joint replacement and stroke rehabilitation, and 400 health care staffing services. An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Learn more about The Joint Commission at

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