Wilford “Will” A. Payne spent his life providing medical care to the less fortunate, those the system left behind. On Saturday, July 2, when that system could no longer care for him, the man the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette called the “Johnny Appleseed of Local Health Centers” passed away at the age of 71.
He did not leave empty-handed. The fruits of Will’s labor can be seen in the thousands of Western Pennsylvania residents who owe their lives to the clinics he built in the region’s poorest neighborhoods. Will’s Primary Care Health Services Inc. treats more than 20,000 patients a year in Allegheny County and the model he developed as a pioneer in community health is employed in cities across the country.
Conemaugh Physician Group recently welcomed Dr. Jihad Azar to the practice of Conemaugh OB/GYN. Dr. Azar is a graduate of Lebanese University-Faculty of Medical Sciences, Lebanon. He completed a four-year residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at New York Medical College at Saint Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, Paterson, New Jersey.
“I lived in Johnstown for three years and really loved the people and the community,” says Dr. Azar. “I am glad to have this opportunity to come back to Conemaugh to practice obstetrics and gynecology.”
Dr. Azar has a special interest and training in minimally invasive gynecology surgery. He chose obstetrics and gynecology because it is a broad field and includes both medicine and surgery. “I love helping to bring new life into the world, it is a blessing to share this special moment with my patients,” says Dr. Azar. “I also like being in the operating room and helping people in the office setting. The variety is amazing and I enjoy all aspects of this field.”
When he is not working, Dr. Azar loves to be outdoors, biking, hiking, swimming, listening to music and working out. “This region is very beautiful and a perfect fit for my personality. I enjoy the quality of life and the variety of four seasons. This is also a very friendly region and I have always felt welcome and at home here.”
Conemaugh Physician Group (CPG), a member of Duke LifePoint Healthcare, is a growing multi-specialty group, physician-led and professionally managed with more than 120 primary care and physician specialists dedicated to outstanding patient care and clinical outcomes. Conemaugh Physician Group proudly cares for patients in more than 40 locations throughout a five-county region. To learn more, visit www.conemaugh.org.
By David Roddenberry
Despite the advancements in research, updated recommendations and guidelines for the general population, and a deeper understanding of the impact of poor lifestyle choices on our long term health, rates of overweight and obesity continue to be on the rise. Healthcare providers continue to struggle with supporting the overweight and obese population for any number of organizational and societal reasons. Here are five ways medical professionals can better support and engage their patients in weight loss:
Be informed. Few healthcare professionals receive formal training in weight loss, weight management or even nutrition. Fewer are aware of all of the tools and resources available to help their patients, which makes discussing the issue with patients even more difficult. Take the time to locate reputable dietitians, gyms, university programs, counseling options, support groups, or any other number of tools and resources that may be of help to your patients. Even better – partner with them! Providing resources rather than just making blanket recommendations helps your patients feel supported rather than judged.
Be realistic. This may come down to training again, but making recommendations for weight loss that are not realistic for your patients can serve to further the problem. They may feel they’ve failed yet another attempt, and be unwilling to return for additional support or advice. Take the time to find out one or two small changes a patient may be able to easily implement, and build on those successes. It’s also important to remember that even slight lifestyle changes and small amounts of weight loss lead to very positive changes in health outcomes. [Read more…]
Mount Nittany Health is pleased to announce the promotion of Randy Tewksbury, MBA, FHFMA, as senior vice president and chief financial officer of the health system.
Joining Mount Nittany Health in July 2015 as vice president of finance, Tewksbury previously served for 20 years in finance administration roles at Geisinger Lewistown Hospital, including controller and vice president for finance/chief financial officer.
“We are truly fortunate to have someone of Randy’s caliber as an integral part of the Mount Nittany Health family,” said Steve Brown, FACHE, president and CEO. “Randy brings more than 35 years of financial service in progressively-responsible managerial positions, and has extensive experience in all aspects of healthcare financial management.” [Read more…]
Board certified emergency medicine physician, Dr. Jennifer Savino, has been named Assistant Chairman of Conemaugh Memorial’s Department of Emergency Medicine.
Dr. Savino is a graduate of Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania and the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine in Biddeford, Maine. She completed an Emergency Medicine Residency at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pennsylvania where she also served as Chief Resident.
Dr. Savino comes to Conemaugh from Jameson Hospital in New Castle, Pennsylvania, where she served as Medical Director of the Emergency Department and also as an emergency physician at Forbes Regional Hospital in Monroeville.
“We are very pleased to welcome Dr. Savino to our team,” says Dr. Daniel Wehner, Chairman of Conemaugh Memorial’s Emergency Medicine department. “She is energetic and pleasant with great experience in emergency medicine, a wonderful addition for our region.”
In addition to serving as Assistant Chairman, Dr. Savino will be a core faculty member for Conemaugh Memorial’s Emergency Medicine Residency program.
Dr. Savino and her husband are from the region and are excited to be back home and closer to family and friends.
A renowned UPMC doctor is headed to the NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City to chair its department of opthalmology.
Dr. Joel S. Schuman had been director of the UPMC Eye Center and a professor and chair of opthalmology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center since 2003. He was also a professor of bioengineering at Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering plus had appointments to the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine and the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition.
NYU said Schuman had along with colleagues found a molecular marker for the eye disease glaucoma and helped develop a 3-D medical imaging system for the eye.
Quick Med Claims (QMC) recently announced Scott L. Powell as the Chief Operating Officer for the company. Scott comes to QMC from UnitedHealth Group in Philadelphia where he most recently served as the Senior Director of Global Resources. In his previous role, Scott was responsible for oversight and direction of captive and vendor resources, both domestic and abroad for commercial and government contracts.
In his new position at QMC, Powell will assume responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the organization. Mr. Powell will utilize his strengths to further develop and grow the organization.
Michael Lewis, CEO of Quick Med Claims stated, “Scott is an excellent addition to our leadership team at QMC. He brings with him a wealth of knowledge in healthcare reimbursement, contracts and information technology (IT). We are pleased to have Scott lead the operational aspects of our growing organization and I look forward to him further substantiating Quick Med Claims as a national leader in the revenue cycle management industry.”
All workplaces should have a set of expectations clearly outlined for employees; otherwise chaos would rule. Allowing your staff to dress like they’re partying at a nightclub, Skype their significant others while patients are checking in, or play on their Smartphone instead of taking patient calls could all negatively affect your image ultimately causing your patient list to dwindle over time.
Your expectations on how employees should act ethically, responsibly, and professionally while they are working for your organization can be addressed in a code of conduct.
Benefits of creating a code of conduct
Markus Wiegel, Ph.D., a staff therapist with the Behavioral Medicine Institute of Atlanta, says that the greatest benefit in creating a code of conduct is to let your employees know what is to be expected of them.
“Not being vigilant about little things typically leads to serious problems,” he says. “Part of avoiding averse transgressions later is setting expectations early and having a code of conduct that is reviewed regularly.”
Andria Lure Ryan, a partner with Fisher & Phillips in their Atlanta, Ga., office, agrees.
“Any employer, no matter how small, should have a code of conduct,” she says. “It’s important to let your employees know what your expectations are of them. Including the code of conduct in a simple handbook would suffice.”
Ryan suggests that you stress two things to your employees in an employee handbook—here’s what they are receiving as a benefit of working there and here’s what you expect of them in return – which should be set forth in your code of conduct.
Another reason to create a code of conduct is that it’s often the first step in defending an unemployment compensation claim. [Read more…]
Nine Factors That Are Keeping Today’s Doctors Stressed, Depressed, and Disengaged
In his new book, Healing Physician Burnout, Quint Studer lays out the avalanche of industry changes that are crushing the life out of physicians. The good news? When you can understand what’s causing the problem, you can take the needed steps to address and alleviate it.
By Quint Studer
Survey after survey proves it: Physicians are feeling exhausted, dissatisfied, discouraged, helpless, and hopeless. Burned out, in other words. Statistics indicate that one out of every two physicians is, has been, or soon will be suffering from burnout. And in some specialties, this estimate is too low.
As a nation and as individual health systems, we can work with physicians to solve the burnout crisis. In fact, it’s even better than can—we will solve it. I believe the recent changes in healthcare have created the sense of urgency we need to finally put the needed energy behind the issue. The key is getting physicians aligned and engaged with the organizations they work with and for—but first we need to understand what’s causing them to burn out in the first place.
Healing Physician Burnout provides a solution to health system leaders and for physicians themselves. A good portion of the book is devoted to explaining the pressures that squeeze physicians from all sides. [Read more…]