• Cotton O’Neil Digestive Health Center’s Endoscopy Unit Recognized by ASGE for Quality and Safety as Part of Its Endoscopy Unit Recognition Program

    Wednesday December 21, 2016

    The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) has recognized Cotton O’Neil Digestive Health Center’s Endoscopy Center as part of its program specifically dedicated to promoting quality in endoscopy in all settings where it is practiced in the United States. The certification came in July and a celebration for staff was held on Dec. 13 at the Digestive Health Center.

    The ASGE Endoscopy Unit Recognition Program (EURP) honors endoscopy units that have demonstrated a commitment to patient safety and quality in endoscopy as evidenced by meeting the program’s rigorous criteria. These include following the ASGE guidelines on privileging, quality assurance, endoscopic reprocessing, CDC infection control guidelines and ensuring endoscopy staff competency. To date, more than 500 endoscopy units have been recognized by ASGE. There are only three EURP certified units in the state of Kansas. The other two units are in Kansas City.

    “We are proud to acknowledge these endoscopy units for their commitment to promoting the highest standards of safety and quality,” said Glenn Eisen, MD, FASGE, Chair, ASGE Quality Assurance in Endoscopy Committee. “By ensuring infection control principles are adhered to, the competency of staff is continually assessed, and patient satisfaction is monitored, ASGE-recognized units address the cornerstones that inspire the public’s confidence in endoscopy, a life-saving technology.”

    To be recognized by ASGE, a unit, through a peer-reviewed application process, must attest to the continued competence of all staff relative to their roles, demonstrate the adoption of unit policies specific to ongoing assessment of performance relative to key quality indicators, and attest that the unit has an established infrastructure and personnel dedicated to infection control and prevention. The program is applicable to all settings in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands where endoscopy is practiced, including office-based endoscopy units, hospital-based endoscopy units, and stand-alone ambulatory endoscopy or surgery centers.

    “We have a very experienced and loyal staff who are dedicated to excellent patient care,” said Robert Ricci, MD, Medical Director, Cotton O’Neil Digestive Health Center. “It is rewarding to be part of such a great team.”

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  • Cotton O’Neil Neuro & Spine Center Now Open and Delivering Comprehensive Coordinated Spine Care

    Monday December 5, 2016

    The Cotton O’Neil Neuro & Spine Center is now open and seeing patients on the first floor (main level) in the Cotton O’Neil Kanza Park building, located at 2660 S.W. Third St., north of Sixth and MacVicar.  

    Advanced, comprehensive spine care is now available at one convenient location. This new center includes five board-certified spine surgeons, a neurologist, specially trained advanced practice providers, physical therapy located on the same floor at Cotton O’Neil Physical, Occupational & Speech Therapy, and onsite digital X-ray, with space for future MRI imaging. Surgical suites are located in the lower level of the building at Stormont Vail Single Day Surgery.

    A care manager at the Neuro & Spine Center will coordinate all aspects of a customized care plan with the patient and their primary care physician.

    “Patients with neck and back pain are best served by comprehensive evidence-based protocols,” said Matthew Wills, M.D., medical director for the center.

    The 10,000 square foot space offers beautiful views and has easy access from I-70. Parking and entrance for this service is on the west side of the building.

    Talk to your primary care physician about a referral to this specialty center.

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  • Stormont Vail Hospital Receives National Recognition for Excellence in Financial Interactions with Patients

    Tuesday November 22, 2016

    Stormont Vail Hospital has achieved recognition as an Adopter of the Healthcare Financial Management Association’s (HFMA) Patient Financial Communications Best Practices®. As a best practices adopter, Stormont Vail Hospital demonstrated that it follows nearly 100 best practices covering all aspects of financial interactions that take place in a variety of care settings.

    “In a time when patients are paying more out-of-pocket for their health care, the financial conversations we have with patients have never been more important,” said Kevin Han, Stormont Vail Health vice president & Chief Financial Officer. “We have taken steps to ensure that patients are treated with compassion and respect in financial matters, and this recognition confirms that.”

    “When people are dealing with health issues, they should be focusing on their health, not trying to decipher confusing financial information,” said HFMA president and CEO Joseph J. Fifer. “Stormont Vail Hospital has demonstrated its commitment to ensuring that patients have a good experience when it comes to the financial aspects of their care.”

    Stormont Vail Hospital joins a select group of hospitals, health systems and physician practices that have received this first-of-its-kind, national recognition. A blue-ribbon task force developed these best practices to help improve communication between health care providers and consumers about financial matters. The task force included representatives from major industry groups, including the American Hospital Association, America’s Health Insurance Plans, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the National Patient Advocate Foundation, among others. The best practices are part of HFMA’s Healthcare Dollars & Sense® initiative. More information is available at hfma.org/dollars.

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  • Cotton O'Neil Emporia Patient Thankful for Quick-Thinking Angels Who Helped Save Her Life During a Severe Allergic Reaction

    Tuesday November 22, 2016

    Emporia resident Roberta Jacobs has a lot to be thankful for this season after a couple of quick-thinking and calm individuals came to her aid after she suffered a severe allergic reaction to an antibiotic she took just ten minutes before.

    In early November, Jacobs went to her see her physician, Dr. David Kemp, at the Cotton O’Neil Emporia clinic, hoping to find some relief from an infection she developed after a recent surgery. After her exam and having no known allergies to any antibiotics, Jacobs was prescribed an antibiotic called Levaquin. Jacobs left the clinic, stopped by the pharmacy to get the prescription filled, then headed home to change clothes before leaving again for work. As Jacobs ran out the door, she took one of the prescribed pills and drove to the Lyon County Bank to make a deposit. Within ten minutes of taking the medication, Jacobs started to notice something wasn’t right. She started coughing and getting itchy and remembers the bank teller asking if she was all right. Jacobs said she was, but as she drove away from the bank her symptoms started to get worse. She quickly pulled over into the Reebles grocery store parking lot and placed a call to the Cotton O’Neil Emporia clinic hoping to get her medication changed. She reached Susan Huntsinger, RN, Dr. Kemp’s nurse.

    “Roberta called me and was having trouble breathing and said her tongue was starting to swell,” said Huntsinger. “I knew right away it was an allergic reaction.”

    “My ears started to burn and my tongue started to swell and I just felt really funny,” Jacobs remembers. “I knew something was wrong, and then I was having trouble breathing, and I couldn’t communicate very well. I felt like a fish out of water and everything was happening so fast.”

    As Jacobs struggled to speak with Huntsinger, a passerby came up to Jacob’s car window and noticed she was in trouble.

    “A woman came up to my car and asked if there was anything she could do to help me,” said Jacobs. “I immediately handed her the phone.”

    The passerby stayed on the line with Huntsinger and helped Jacobs get the urgent care she needed.

    “I stayed on the phone with the passerby and was able to find out what color car Roberta was in, said Huntsinger.  “I was able to relay that information about her vehicle and where she was parked to dispatch.”

    The EMTs who came to Jacob’s aid worked quickly to get her stable and transfer her on to Newman Regional Health. After a few hours at the hospital, Jacobs was released and is now feeling much better.

    “I feel like I have a few angels out there,” said Jacobs. “I am very thankful for everyone who helped save my life.”

    Jacobs still does not know who the mystery woman was who stopped to help her in the grocery store parking lot, but she would love to be reunited with her angel someday to say thank you in person.

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  • Stormont Vail Health Nurses Recognized as Nurses of the Year by the March of Dimes’ Kansas and Greater Kansas City Chapter

    Tuesday November 15, 2016

    Stormont Vail Health is proud to announce that Michelle Clark-Galvan, BSN, RN, CCRN, Critical Care, and Lisa Quilling, BSN, RN, CEN, TCRN, Emergency, were named Nurses of the Year in the March of Dimes’ Kansas and Greater Kansas City Chapter 2016 recognition program.

    Michelle received the honor in the Critical Care category, and Quilling received the award in the Emergency/Transport category.

    Michelle started working at Stormont Vail Health as a surgical tech in 2003 and became a nurse in 2009. Lisa has been employed by Stormont Vail Health since 2012 and has worked in the Emergency Department since 2013.

    In all, six Stormont Vail Health nurses were finalists in the annual recognition program that recognizes and honors distinguished nurses for their outstanding contributions. Nurses can be nominated by patients, friends and families, and colleagues, and then finalists are selected.

    The Nurse of the Year Awards were announced Oct. 29 at an awards dinner in Kansas City.

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  • Ryan Tomlins, M.D., Joins Cotton O'Neil as a Non-Operative Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Physician

    Monday November 14, 2016

    Ryan Tomlins, M.D., has a passion for both sports and health care. He was a student athlete, playing multiple sports at several levels, including basketball for Washburn University. He followed in the footsteps of fellow family members with medical careers by choosing to pursue sports medicine. Dr. Tomlins respects the amount of dedication and time athletes put into their sport, and he understands that recovering from a sports injury takes the right course of treatment to get athletes back in the game as soon as possible.

    “Pain from orthopedic issues and injuries in sports medicine can be debilitating,” said Tomlins. “Treating a patient and seeing them return to what they love makes it worth coming to work every day.”

    Stormont Vail Health is proud to announce that Dr. Tomlins has joined our medical team and will practice as a non-operative orthopedics and sports medicine physician. His practice will be located at Cotton O’Neil Kanza Park, 2660 S.W. Third St. in Topeka.             

    Dr. Tomlins received his medical degree at American University of the Caribbean, St. Maarten, Lesser Antilles NA, in 2009. He completed a family medicine residency in 2012 at Greenville Health System, Greenville, South Carolina. He completed a primary care sports medicine fellowship in 2013 at Andrews Sports Medicine Institute, Birmingham, Alabama.

    Dr. Tomlins and his wife, Erin, have two children, Grayson, age 3, and Avery, age 20 months. Dr. Tomlins enjoys playing golf, running and participating in triathlons.

    Dr. Tomlins is accepting new patients. To schedule an appointment, call (785) 270-8880. 

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  • Signing Ceremony for Stormont Vail Health Joining U.S. Army’s Partnering for Youth Success Program

    Thursday November 10, 2016

    Members of the media are invited to Stormont Vail Health’s formal signing ceremony to become a partner in the U.S. Army’s Partnering for Youth Success (PaYS) program at 8 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 11, at the Maner Conference Center, Capitol Plaza Hotel.

    The ceremony will feature representatives from Stormont Vail Health, the U.S. Army, the Topeka West JROTC program, and city officials.

    If you would like to set up an interview at the symposium, please contact Nancy Burkhardt, director of Marketing & Communications, at (785) 354-6927 or nburkhar@stormontvail.org.

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