When Two Become One: Dynamic Duo Takes Center Stage

The Brooks-TLC Hospital System, Inc. infection control team of Lisa Barone, BSN, RN, CIC, director of infection control (L), and Theresa Schrantz, LPN, CIC, employee health coordinator (R), is well-known throughout the hospital system for doing an impressive job keeping patients and staff free from infection. But now, their coordinated approach to infection prevention and control (IPC) and occupational health (OH) has made them subject-matter experts on a national level.

The “dynamic duo”, as they’re referred to in editor Kelly M. Pyrek’s article “Occupational Health: Joining Forces With Infection Prevention” from the October 31, 2018 issue of Infection Control Today, is showcased for their integrated approach to fighting infection.  As the go-to source for infection preventionists and their colleagues in operating rooms, sterile processing, environmental services and materials management, Infection Control Today is considered the leading industry publication in the field.

In her research, Pyrek came across the Barone/Schrantz evidence-based model entitled “Employee Health and Infection Control: It Fits. Putting the Pieces Together,” a co-presentation from the 2017 Annual Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) Conference. She reached out and interviewed both women to gain insightful perspective on the combined approach that works particularly well for the Brooks-TLC Hospital System.

As excerpted from the article with editor permission…

In some hospitals, Occupational Health (OH) services and Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) are handled by one leader tasked with leveraging the synergies of both disciplines into a comprehensive healthcare worker and patient safety program. Personnel can be cross-trained in core activities such as surveillance, as well as receive education and instruction around the importance of personal protective equipment (PPE), vaccination, sharps safety and handwashing, among other interventions.

Conversely, collaboration is clearly key at Brooks-TLC.

“In our perspective you need to embrace each other’s knowledge and work together because so much of what we do is connected and affects each other,” says Schrantz. “To our readers who have any doubt consider this… if IPC focuses on patients, and OH focuses on employees, and employees take care of patients, and patients rely on employees for safe care, how do remove any part of this equation?”

Barone explains that having a plan that is understood by both departments is essential to a high-functioning safety culture. “It is important that OH knows and understands the Infection Control Plan that is developed at the beginning of the year to identify and minimize risk to both patients and healthcare workers,” she says. “For example, if hand hygiene compliance is both a risk and goal, OH should be aware because the more employees clean their hands, the higher risk of dermatitis, and other skin issues. During Influenza season, OH should be aware of the number of patients admitted with flu and flu-like symptoms for employee illness tracking.”

Kelly Pyrek’s article can be found in its entirety at https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/occupational-health/occupational-health-joining-forces-infection-prevention.

Infection Control Today has been serving hospitals and their critical information needs in the area of infection prevention since 1997. Infection Control Today magazine, website and e-newsletters deliver the timely, relevant practice guidance that medical professionals need to protect their institutions, their patients and their fellow healthcare workers, and to eliminate healthcare-acquired infections.

 

BROOKS-TLC EMPLOYEES DONATE TO LOCAL CHARITY

It was a heart-warming gesture of kindness and generosity displayed by Brooks-TLC Hospital System, Inc. employees at both the Brooks and TLC campuses. It took four (4) carloads and eight (8) volunteers to transport and sort the array of clothing, toys, and books that were donated to families served by The Master’s Plan Community Church in Dayton.

 

Following an employee nomination process, The Master’s Plan was selected as this year’s charity to receive gifts from the annual Giving Tree at both the Brooks and TLC campuses. The ministry is run by Angie Mardino-Miller, RN, Emergency Department, TLC Campus, and was nominated by TLC employee, Jane Thomas.  While other worthwhile charities were nominated for consideration, those organizations did not have a need for children’s Christmas gifts at this time.

So, this year’s Giving Tree partnership was formed.

Each year, The Master’s Plan serves 6500 community members in need with its FREE food pantry, Thanksgiving dinners, household items, toys, clothing, school supplies, and rescue housing for abuse or home fire victims.

Brooks-TLC Hospital System, Inc. and The Master’s Plan wish to thank those who donated to help make the holidays brighter for those less fortunate in our community.

Photo:

Front row L to R: Roberta Johnston, Christine Matthews, Angie Mardino-Miller, Sheila Walier (Brooks-TLC)

Back row L to R: Paul Ellis, Julian Matte, Don Mitchell, John Pellin, Mike Matthews

Thank You Auxiliary and Medical Staff

Employees enjoyed a holiday tea at both the Brooks and TLC campuses courtesy of our dedicated Auxiliary. As an added surprise, all 635+ employees received a Tops gift card from our talented and generous medical staff. Happy holidays from our family to yours!

Hallway of Heroes

Brooks-TLC nurses had the honor of participating in Dunkirk Elementary School #3 Hallway of Heroes celebration along with veterans, police, fire and EMS professionals.  In addition to corresponding by written letters to inquiring students, nursing staff received the honor of a hero’s welcome by cheering schoolchildren asking for autographs. The celebration culminated with a Q&A by inquisitive students asking about the nursing profession.


Photo 1: Brian Pitts, Director of Nursing, Acute Care and Specialty Services signs an autograph for an aspiring young hero

Photo 2: Pictured L to R: Jodi Witherell, Evan Davis, Brian Pitts, Julie Morton, Katie Tomkiewicz, Jordan Sliwa

BROOKS-TLC ROCKS OUT HUNGER

To further serve those who are in need this Thanksgiving season, Kaleida Health and its affiliates are joining 97 Rock and WKBW 7 ABC to sponsor the 13th annual Rock Out Hunger to benefit the Food Bank of WNY. Brooks-TLC Hospital System, Inc. will join this effort to make a difference in our community by making donation containers available to collect non-perishable food items from October 25 through November 12.

Community members are welcome to participate in this worthwhile cause by bringing food donations to collection bins located in hospital lobbies and at outpatient entrances.

Most needed items include: Cereal • Peanut or other nut butters • Canned tuna and chicken • Canned soups, stews and chili • Canned fruit • Canned veggies • Beans, canned or dried • Boxed mac & cheese • Pasta and rice • Spaghetti sauce • Baby food, formula, and diapers • Canned green beans • Canned sweet corn • Canned yams • Boxed turkey stuffing • Canned or packet gravy • Instant mashed potatoes • Cornbread mix • Applesauce • Canned cranberry sauce • Canned pumpkin or fruit pie filling.  Low sodium, low sugar, and whole grains are preferred.

Local families benefit from the Food Bank of WNY at the Salvation Army – Dunkirk, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Food Closet, Forestville Food Pantry, Inc., Cassadaga Food Pantry, Silver Creek Food Pantry, Tribal Advocate Seneca Nation, Operation Good Neighbor – Angola, Forestville Food Pantry, Inc. and the Eden-North Collins Food Pantry.

For more information on making your donation at the Brooks or TLC campus, contact Sheila Walier at        363-3313.

Photo caption:  Joe D’Amore, Brooks-TLC Director of Environmental Services, donates canned goods to help those in need in our community.

 

 

NEW Your Health Hospital Patient Portal Offers Convenient Access to Your Health Records

Access the Your Health Hospital Patient Portal on your schedule, whether at home, on vacation, or at another medical office. The Your Health Hospital Patient Portal is a secure website that offers patients quick and easy access to certain hospital medical records including lab results, radiology reports and health summary.

Ask about Your Health Hospital Patient Portal at your next visit on or after October 1.

Your Health Hospital Patient Portal

Coming October 1st

In an effort to serve you better, beginning October 1, 2018 all Brooks-TLC Hospital System, Inc. patients have the option to become enrolled in our new Your Health Hospital Patient Portal.

Stay tuned for enrollment details!

NEW Patient Registration Process to Begin October 1

Paint Night to Benefit Patients at Both Campuses

Explore your creativity at Brooks’ most popular fun-raising event. Last year’s fun-filled paint night, facilitated by Anne Davis, raised over $2200 for medical equipment and technology at the Brooks campus.  This year, we’ve joined forces with our partners at TLC to host the event one night only!  Tickets are selling quickly for the August 2nd get-together at  St. Columbans on the Lake, Silver Creek.  Reserve your spot today by calling 363-3313 or email swalier@brookshospital.org.

 

Brooks-TLC Clinics Achieve NCQA PCMH Level 3 Recognition

Brooks-TLC Hospital System, Inc. has announced its Gowanda Medical Center and Forestville Primary Care Center have each achieved recognition as a Level 3 Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) by the National Center for Quality Assurance (NCQA).

PCMH is a model of care in which providers build better relationships between patients and their clinical care teams. It emphasizes use of systematic, patient-centered, coordinated care that supports access, communication and patient involvement.

Recognition as a Level 3 PCMH demonstrates that the clinics have scored the highest grades in six standards set by the NCQA, including patient-centered access, team-based care; population health management, care management and support; care coordination and care transitions; performance measurement and quality improvement.

“PCMH recognition is an important accomplishment and underscores our commitment to providing the very best care to our patients,” said Ken Morris, vice president of operations at Brooks-TLC Hospital System, Inc. “I commend our physicians, advanced level providers and the entire staff for their exceptional work in providing safe, quality patient care.”

The National Center for Quality Assurance (NCQA) seal is a widely recognized symbol of healthcare quality. Accredited providers face a rigorous set of more than 60 standards and must report on their performance in more than 40 areas in order to earn NCQA’s seal of approval. For consumers and employers, the seal is a reliable indicator that an organization is well-managed and delivers high quality care and service.

NCQA recognition programs empower employers, health plans, patients and consumers to make informed heath care decisions based on quality. Participation in a NCQA recognition program demonstrates that the practice or clinician values quality health care delivery and the latest clinical protocols to ensure that patients receive the best care at the right time.

The NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home program reflects the input of the American College of Physicians (ACP), American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and American Osteopathic Association (AOA) and others. It was developed to assess whether clinician practices are functioning as medical homes and recognize them for these efforts.

Photographs:

 Gowanda Medical Center team:  (L to R) Tracy Stevens, Director of Primary Care Services; Susan Caldwell, LPN; Cheryl Matern, Receptionist; Nancy Lance, Physician Assistant; Ken Morris, Brooks-TLC VP Operations.  Missing from photo Danielle Alimonti, LPN and David Hallasey, MD.

Forestville Primary Care Center team: (L to R) Joel Yoviene, MD; Tracy Stevens, Director of Primary Care Services Andrea Kickbush, LPN; Michele Matyjakowski, LPN; Jackie Cortright, Receptionist; Ken Morris, Brooks-TLC VP Operations; Ronald Greco, MD.  Missing from photo David Hallasey, MD.