leapfrogCambridge, Ohio – The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit organization committed to driving quality, safety, and transparency in the U.S. health care system, today released new Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades, which assign A, B, C, D and F letter grades to hospitals nationwide. Southeastern Med was one of 823 hospitals to receive an “A” for its commitment to reducing errors, infections, and accidents that can harm patients.

Southeastern Med CEO, Ray Chorey remarked, “As part of our Mission to provide high quality care to our patients, their safety while in our Medical Center and our affiliated services is our first priority. We expect no harm to come to our patients while they are under our care. This award is national recognition that the efforts of our staff, physicians and Board to continuously improve our processes to make them as safe, effective and patient-centered has been successful.”

“Hospitals that earn top marks nationally in the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, have achieved the highest safety standards in the country,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “That takes commitment from every member of the hospital staff, who all deserve thanks and congratulations when their hospitals achieve an ‘A’ Safety Grade.”

HG Outstanding Patient Experience Award Image 2017Cambridge, OH – Southeastern Med recently received the Outstanding Patient Experience Award from Healthgrades.

This award is given to the top 15% of hospitals nationwide, based on the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) patient survey, which evaluates a hospital’s performance across 10 measurements related to communication, cleanliness and noise levels, and medication and post-discharge care instructions.

While the award recognizes the top 15%, Southeastern Med actually performed among the top 5% of hospitals in the United States, according to patient survey feedback.

Southeastern Med is the only hospital in Southeastern Ohio to earn the award this year and one of only 450 (out of 5,000) hospitals recognized nationwide.

NCRA2Cambridge, Ohio - Staff from Southeastern Med recently attended a conference hosted by the National Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA) in Washington, D.C. from April 5-8.

During the 4-day conference, multiple staff members from Southeastern Med presented information about cancer research. Dr. Michael Sarap spoke about teambuilding and how highly functional teams operate in a successful cancer program. Some of the highlights from his presentation included the role of emotional intelligence in the workplace and the value of creativity and innovation when driving success.

bue star recognitionThe Ohio Partners for Cancer Control and the American Cancer Society honored Southeastern Med with the Blue Star Recognition for its increased colorectal cancer screening rates. The recognition is given to hospital systems making efforts to perform more colorectal cancer screenings.

The goal of the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable – established by the American Cancer Society – is to have 80 percent of adults 50 and older screened for colorectal cancer by 2018.

Rick D2Cambridge, Ohio - Richard Degenhart describes himself as an “old, country social worker” who “just does his job.” His colleagues, however, paint him as someone with a deep compassion for the fragility of the human spirit and an ardent belief in its resilience. That compassion and belief is, perhaps, what led him to spend the entirety of his career in patient care and advocacy, and definitely what prompted his peers to nominate him for Ohio Hospital Association’s Albert E. Dyckes Health Care Worker of the Year Award.
Great leaders help those they encounter recognize their full potential and take the actions needed to achieve it. Richard Degenhart is a great leader.

His voice doesn’t boom with authority; his words echo with quiet reflection. He doesn’t issue directives or write the letter of new procedures; he develops the confidence of those around him.

Richard’s unique leadership style revolves around asking questions and listening to the answers, which gives his peers and patients the freedom to explore their own ideas and determine how to implement them effectively – turning them into leaders in their own right.

Of course, like any supportive mentor, Richard is happy to offer insight and provide connections to necessary resources. Under his guidance, Richard’s colleagues have developed their professional skills, his patients have found their voices and taken an active role in their care plans, and our hospital has expanded the services we’re able to provide.

He doesn’t regard his actions as such, but Richard often goes above and beyond the call of duty in service to his patients and his colleagues. As Director of Case Management in the Quality Care Management department, Richard is responsible for discharge planning. He assesses patient needs for outside services and makes arrangements for patients before they leave the hospital, including liaising with insurance carriers and coordinating additional financial resources, so there’s no gap in the continuum of care.

One area where Southeastern Med had a care gap was mental health services. If a patient presented in crisis, we could treat immediate conditions but had no way to evaluate a need for or facilitate referral to outside services. Richard fostered a partnership with Allwell Behavioral Health that allows our patients to receive free mental health assessments. He also assigned a dedicated case worker to the Cancer Center who helps with resource acquisition, referrals and emotional support.

Richard uses his experience in patient care and advocacy to help with personal matters, too. He’s connected colleagues with programs and resources for aging parents struggling with dementia, teenagers battling depression and many other private circumstances.

Richard truly embodies the hospital’s mission of providing high-quality, comprehensive, affordable, patient-centered health care that addresses community needs. As Case Manager Director of the Quality Management Department, his primary focus is always what’s best for the patient. Richards works closely with our physicians, nurses and medical staff to maintain the highest standards of patient care during treatment and after discharge. He speaks for the patients, giving a voice to those who are often voiceless, and provides families with all the information and resources they need to act as advocates on behalf of their loved ones.

Richard also goes out of his way to serve the often neglected and misunderstood populations of those with mental health disorders and substance abuse problems by participating in local community programs focused on expanded specific services in our community.

Currently, he’s a member of CHOICES, a multi-disciplinary community-action coalition fighting systemic drug and alcohol addiction in the region. He also serves on the Mental Health & Recovery Services Board’s Guernsey County Criminal Justice Collaborative, which is developing a mechanism for a specialized court docket for individuals with mental illness and/or addiction disorders who may benefit from intensive court‐monitored behavioral health treatment.

Richard also spent several years as a volunteer for the Red Cross and served as a sworn officer in the Police Auxiliary.

For all these reasons, and innumerable others, Southeastern Med is proud to nominate Richard Degenhart, Case Manager Director of the Quality Care Management Team, for the Ohio Hospital Association, Albert E. Dyckes Health Care Worker of the Year Award.

106Cambridge, Ohio - Few people fear anything more than being diagnosed with cancer. For Cambridge’s own Jeff Milton, that fear became a reality.

While he could have traveled to Zanesville or other surrounding cities for treatment, Jeff knew he would receive high-quality healthcare at Southeastern Med’s Cambridge Regional Cancer Center, and not having to travel would make it easier and less hectic for him to receive treatment.

As Jeff began his cancer treatment, his oncologist, Dr. Alkhouri, discovered that he had an abdominal aortic aneurysm. This condition occurs when the lower region of the aorta becomes enlarged and weakened. It’s often called a “silent killer” because symptoms don’t manifest until it is too late.

healthyguernseyCambridge, OH – Southeastern Med recently took a leadership role in improving the health of Guernsey County residents by bringing together area health professionals and agencies to form the community action coalition Healthy Guernsey.

Healthy Guernsey, which has been meeting monthly since January, is focusing on providing residents with easy access to health and wellness information, initiating a health and fitness campaign, developing community partnerships, and forming support connections to engage local residents in healthy living initiatives.

The formation of Healthy Guernsey comes on the heels of the 2016 Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA), which found a number of health problems in the county are linked to lifestyle related disease and health risks. Those risks include smoking, lack of exercise and being overweight.

  • 17% of residents lack health insurance
  • 21% of adults smoke, with 30% of mothers reporting that they smoked at the time of their child’s birth
  • 36% of residents are obese
  • Guernsey County ranks 81st out of 88 counties in Ohio for healthy behaviors

March is Colorectal Cancer Month

supercolon resizedIf you could predict the future, you’d take steps to prevent accidents and other bad things from happening, right?

You don’t need a crystal ball to know that colon cancer is the third-most diagnosed cancer and the third-leading cause of cancer death, or that regular screening and testing can help prevent it.

Treatment advances and an increased awareness of the importance of regular screenings have contributed to a decline in colorectal cancer mortality rates over the last 20 years, yet 41% of people aged 50 and older aren’t getting tested in accordance with current screening guidelines. The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates that there will be 95,520 new cases of colon cancer diagnosed in 2017.

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Southeastern Med reminds you to make your health a top priority by being proactive and informed.

OP Lab sizedCambridge, OH February 23, 2017 – Southeastern Med is making it easier for you to get the care you need, close to home, with the opening of their new, outpatient lab draw station.

Conveniently located across the street from the hospital, the outpatient lab draw station will open on March 8, 2017. Area patients who have a lab work order signed by a physician or other licensed healthcare provider will now be able to get their labs drawn easily, without having to go into the main hospital building.

The staff at the new lab location includes highly trained, experienced phlebotomists who specialize in safe, clean and professional specimen collection services for adult and pediatric patients.

Southeastern Med’s new outpatient lab draw station will also offer convenient hours: Monday – Friday from 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Appointments are not required, but patients should check with their insurance carrier regarding coverage for outpatient laboratory services.

EvanchoTimothy Evancho was named Vice President Chief Financial Officer at Southeastern Med by the Board of Guernsey Health Systems last week.

Evancho, a Cambridge native, has been with Southeastern Med for nearly 30 years.

“I started my career at Southeastern Med in 1988 as a staff accountant,” said Evancho, who has bachelor’s degree in accounting from The Ohio State University. Two years later, he was promoted to Director of Accounting Services, and he became the Director of Fiscal Services/Controller in 2010. For the last four years, Evancho has served as the Assistant Vice President, Chief Financial Officer – a position he says “prepared him well” for the new role he’ll begin in January 2017.

Evancho’s vast experience and 20+ year membership in the Healthcare Financial Management Association contributes to his deep understanding of the financial aspects of the healthcare industry and how important the fiscal health of an organization is to the people it serves.

As the Vice President Chief Financial Officer, Evancho will work closely with the Board of Directors and the hospital’s senior leadership to steward Southeastern Med through the evolving healthcare landscape and keep healthcare costs affordable and transparent for the community. His other duties will include overseeing fiscal activities including accounting, budgets, audits, taxes, preparing regulatory agency and government reports, and implementing and monitoring systems and procedures to ensure and maintain efficient financial control.