The Hardin Memorial Health (HMH) Board of Trustees approved a plan to purchase a new CT Big Bore Oncology Scanner at today’s board meeting. The $509,000 system will replace the existing equipment with newer state-of-the-art technology housed in the hospital’s Radiation Therapy department.
The cylinder or bore size of the new scanner is 85 centimeters (approximately 33 inches) and has a weight limit of 650 pounds, compared to the 50-centimeter (approximately 19.5 inches) bore size and 330-pound weight limit of the current scanner.
The new scanner’s increased size and capacity will better serve bariatric patients, reduce scan times and provide increased tumor targeting accuracy. HMH Radiation Oncologist Richard Seither, M.D. calls the investment a very positive step.
“In the past 10 years, demand for HMH cancer care services grew more than 13 percent. That means it is critical that our equipment be modern and able to accommodate all patient populations,” said Seither.
Seither is a member of HMH’s multidisciplinary breast and lung teams, groups comprised of physicians representing a variety of specialties, who collaborate on the most effective course of cancer patient’s treatment.
“It is rare for a healthcare system of HMH’s size to have two multidisciplinary cancer teams. With growing patient volumes, we need to invest in the latest equipment so our providers have the very best tools with which to fight cancer.” said Dennis Johnson, HMH President and CEO.
Internal medicine and pediatrics, a unique speciality, is growing rapidly in Radcliff. Physicians at this practice are board certified in both specialties and therefore can treat entire families.
HMH Chief Medical Officer John Godfrey said the HMH Internal Medicine and Pediatrics group is the only practice of its kind in the region. Godfrey touted the talents and comprehensive care the physicians and staff provide. Meade County native Amanda Chism, M.D. was on hand at the board meeting. Godfrey said that while Chism’s schedule is full, her fellow providers at the practice are accepting patients.
HMH Chief Nursing Officer Sharon Wright shared news of HMH’s recent top ranking from Anthem Insurance. The Anthem Quality-In-Sights Hospital Incentives Program (Q-HIP) rates hospitals on patient safety, health outcomes and patient satisfaction. Wright said HMH ranks second in Kentucky among hospitals of its size.
Wright said the Q-HIP ranking is a testament to the entire HMH team. She then introduced a new award program at HMH called the Honey Bee award that recognizes and celebrates nursing support staff members who go the extra mile for patients and their families.
Becca Smith, a HMH Patient Care Assistant, received the first HMH Honey Bee award for the “above and beyond” support she provided a homeless patient. Smith bought winter clothes for the patient who was admitted in shorts and flip-flops. She let the patient use her cell phone to call family, transported her to the bus stop and waited with her until she was safely on her way.
Wright said Smith’s actions remind us that the care HMH provides patients often goes far beyond the medical treatment. “Smith recognized that we are all God’s children and deserving of help,” said Wright. Wright added that Smith is pursuing a nursing degree.
In other board news:
• Financials. The board also approved financial reports for January and February. Through February, HMH has an operating income of $6.2 million compared to a projected $2.5 million, putting HMH nearly $4 million ahead of plan. HMH Chief Financial Officer Lennis Thompson pointed to higher than projected volumes and higher patient acuity (severity of illness) as major factors in financial performance.
• *Ambassadors. *Shirese Parker and Jeanie Vanname were named HMH Ambassadors of the Month for February. Tina Thompson and Kelly Henderson were named HMH Ambassadors of the Month for March. Patients and co-workers recognized all of them for their caring nature and dedicated support.
• Daisy Award. HMH’s Lori Gandy, a nurse manager in the hospital’s north tower, recently received the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses. Coworkers and staff called her passion, dedication, skill and willingness to teach and mentor exemplary.