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Dr. Teresa Regan joins Erlanger Signal Mountain practice

Dr. Teresa Regan has joined UT Erlanger Health and Wellness of Signal Mountain, former practice of Dr. John Cranwell. She will begin serving Signal Mountain residents and the surrounding community on September 2.

A primary care physician, Dr. Regan will see patients Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Nurse practitioner, Genna Barnett, is also seeing patients at Erlanger’s Signal Mountain practice.

Dr. Regan served her internship at West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine and her internal medicine residency at the University of Tennessee School of Medicine in Chattanooga. She has previously worked as a local primary care and emergency medicine specialist, and a hospitalist.

She is accepting new patients and appointments can be made by calling (423) 778-9434. The Erlanger primary care practice is located at 2600 Taft Highway on Signal Mountain.

Erlanger launches mobile heart screening center

Erlanger Mobile Health Center

Erlanger Health System announced today a partnership with HealthFair — a national testing provider that brings convenient and affordable health testing to community neighborhoods via its mobile health centers. Screenings will be offered throughout the region including areas north of Hamilton County and south into northern Georgia.

“Erlanger is fully committed to the prevention and early detection of diseases,” said Robert Brooks, FACHE, Chief Operating Officer of Erlanger Health System. “Since heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, our objective with these mobile health centers is to take heart screenings to convenient, public locations in an effort to prevent heart attacks and strokes, and improve the health of our communities.”

Starting Monday, August 25, the Erlanger mobile health center will begin offering residents screening tests to assess their risks of heart attack, stroke, aneurysm, and some cancers. Participants are pre-screened and testing is tailored to the needs of the individual. Both basic and advanced packages are available depending on the amount of testing the participant requests.

In about an hour, six tests can be performed to determine the individual’s risk for heart attack or stroke. Ultrasound screenings of the heart and arteries include:

 

  • Echocardiogram – Produces a video of the heart to detect enlargement of the heart, valve abnormalities, blood clots, and tumors.

 

  • EKG – Provides a picture of the heart’s electrical activity, which may predict pending heart attack, irregular heart rhythms and other abnormalities.

 

  • ASI – Measures the flexibility or hardening of the arteries.

 

  • Carotid artery ultrasound – Examines the carotid arteries in the neck to detect the presence of plaque, one of the leading causes of stroke.

 

  • Peripheral arterial disease test – Measures blood circulation to both the arms and legs. Poor circulation increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.

 

  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm ultrasound – Checks for aneurysms in the abdomen. A four-hour fast is required.

Each test in the Erlanger mobile health center is performed by specially-trained staff, and the results are reviewed by board-certified physicians. Participants will receive their results by mail and have access to them through a secure online portal. Individuals determined to be at high risk will be contacted by Erlanger’s staff to discuss and facilitate appropriate next steps.

While insurance does not cover the screening tests, tests are potentially reimbursable from a health savings account, depending on the insurance coverage. Participants are encouraged to check with their insurance provider regarding reimbursement.

For more information, visit www.erlangerhealthfair.com or call 855-755-TEST (8378).

Erlanger welcomes new rheumatologist

Crowe,JayneMDErlanger welcomes Dr. Jayne Crowe, rheumatologist, to the practice of University Rheumatology Associates.

Dr. Crowe received her undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia and doctorate of medicine from Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, Penn. She completed an internal medicine residency program at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia and a rheumatology fellowship at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, where she served as Chief Rheumatology Fellow.

She is a member of the American College of Rheumatology, the Georgia Society of Rheumatology, and the American College of Physicians.

Dr. Crowe joins rheumatologists Michael Brit, MD, PhD, and Elizabeth Turner, MD, at the offices of University Rheumatology Associates, 979 E. Third St., Suite B-805, Chattanooga, Tenn., and is currently accepting new patients. To make an appointment with Dr. Crowe, call 423-778-4396.

Dr. James Creel marks 30 years of board certification in emergency medicine

Creel, James MDErlanger Health System Chief Medical Officer and senior oral examiner for the American Board of Emergency Medicine for 25 years, James Creel, M.D., has marked more than 30 years being board certified in Emergency Medicine by the American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM).

ABEM Maintenance of Certification is a voluntary process that consists of activities to assist certified physicians stay current in medical research, provide opportunities in practice improvement and support appropriate communication and professionalism with patients. In addition, physicians must also pass clinically-focused, comprehensive examination.

This landmark of 30 years reflects Dr. Creel’s outstanding dedication to the specialty of emergency medicine, the recognition of the value to be board certified, his devotion to continuous learning and the provision quality care to all patients.

In addition to practicing emergency medicine, Dr. Creel has been a pioneer in the implementation of advanced skills for emergency medicine. He developed the first Emergency Medicine Residency Program at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine Chattanooga (UTCOMC) – the first program of its kind in the UT system – and currently serves as Interim Chair of the program. He has also served as Assistant Professor in both the Departments of Surgery and Internal Medicine for UTCOMC and as well as Erlanger’s Chief of Emergency Medicine, Vice Chief of Staff, Chief of Staff and Director of Hyperbarics.

Dr. Creel’s service to the community includes the roles of Medical Director for Hamilton County EMS and Walker County EMS, First Responders and Chattanooga Fire; Team Physician for Hamilton County SWAT; and Director of Med Comm.

Erlanger officials pleased with court ruling on Hutcheson foreclosure proceedings

The United States District Court temporarily postponed Erlanger’s foreclosure of the Hutcheson property in Fort Oglethorpe granted to Erlanger Health System for its $20 million line of credit three years ago. This ruling signified an effort by the Court to more fully educate patients and residents of the tri-county region about possible foreclosure proceedings on the north Georgia hospital.

The Court not only gave Erlanger a roadmap to enforce its rights under its loan documents, but also ordered the Hutcheson entities and Counties to provide additional notice to the residents of Walker, Dade and Catoosa of possible foreclosure on the Fort Oglethorpe campus in the near future.

Officials with the Erlanger Health System are pleased with the Court’s thoughtful decision regarding foreclosure proceedings on Hutcheson Medical Center. By filing the foreclosure notice, Erlanger was fully complying with the language in the controlling documents – language added by Hutcheson and the Counties – in its efforts to recover debts due to the Chattanooga health system.

“Despite Hutcheson’s failure to meet its obligations, Erlanger – without exception – met its obligations throughout this process,” said Erlanger Chief Administrative Officer Gregg Gentry following today’s hearing. Mr Gentry noted that Erlanger’s $20 million loan was fully secured by the property on Hutcheson’s main campus and further guaranteed by Walker and Catoosa Counties, up to $10 million per county.

“We have stated repeatedly that Erlanger remains committed to meeting its longstanding and continued support of the health care needs of northwest Georgia and we feel the Court understands that,” Gentry stated.

Erlanger appoints Phillip E. Jackson as new VP for health system

Dr JacksonErlanger Health System President and CEO, Kevin M. Spiegel, FACHE, is pleased to announce the appointment of Phillip E. Jackson, DSL, FACHE, as Erlanger’s new Vice President (VP) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Erlanger East and North Hospitals.

Dr. Jackson will assume his new position with Erlanger on September 1, 2014. Erlanger’s new health system VP is currently an executive with Davita HealthCare Partners, a Fortune 500 company which operates 2,100 outpatient dialysis centers worldwide. Dr. Jackson comes to Erlanger from Memphis, Tennessee, where he serves as Regional Operations Director for 20 outpatient dialysis centers, five joint ventures, and five home programs.

Dr. Jackson is board-certified in healthcare management and is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. He obtained a MSM in Finance from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. He also earned a Doctorate of Strategic Leadership from Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Dr. Jackson has 27 years of health care management experience working for the military health system, higher education, and for-profit health care.

Prior to his Regional Operations Director position, he served as Health Care Management Degree Program Chair for Baptist College of Health Sciences in Memphis. Dr. Jackson served honorably for 30 years in the United States Navy as an Administrator, Chief Administrative Officer, Senior Human Resources Executive, and Vice President in hospitals worldwide. In addition, his professional experiences span several years as a corporate financial manager and senior program/budget analyst for Navy Medicine and Department of Defense (Health Affairs).

As a lifelong learner, Dr. Jackson has remained active in higher education as an advisory board member, lead faculty for Ohio University MHA Program, and adjunct faculty for the University of Arkansas MSOM Program.

He and his wife, Hyung Mi, have two children: Sarah, in undergraduate studies at Harvard University and Jessica, in high school. “I am excited about the opportunity to serve at Chattanooga’s premier healthcare system,” Dr. Jackson said.

“With his distinguished history in executive healthcare leadership positions, Phil will be a tremendous asset to our executive team, our academic mission, this community and those we serve,” said Mr. Spiegel.

Tennessee Surgical Quality Collaborative Saves 533 Lives and $75 Million in Three Years

Program helps Tennessee hospitals improve quality, reduce surgical complications 

Chattanooga, Tenn. – A unique collaborative of Tennessee surgeons, hospitals, and insurers, established in 2008 to share data, compare results, and improve outcomes, reported impressive results to the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP®) National Conference in New York City this week.

Ten hospitals in the Tennessee Surgical Quality Collaborative (TSQC), including Erlanger Health System, the first Tennessee hospital to join the NSQIP and then participate in the collaborative, have reduced surgical complications by 19.7 percent since 2009, resulting in at least 533 lives saved and $75.2 million in reduced costs.

“It’s rare for three major stakeholders in healthcare—hospitals, surgeons, and insurers—to work together on measuring and improving the quality of surgical care in hospitals, but that’s exactly what the collaborative has accomplished,” explained Joseph B. Cofer, MD, FACS, of University Surgical Associates, and one of the authors of the study. “We also discovered that Tennessee hospitals have not only improved care, but sustained those improvements over time.”

Between 2009 and 2012, ten TSQC hospitals collected clinical, 30-day outcomes data on more than 55,000 surgical procedures, and researchers examined rates of 17 types of surgical complications.  In 2012 another eleven Tennessee hospitals joined the TSQC.

Compared with complication rates in 2009, the 21 hospitals in the TSQC achieved 19.7 percent fewer postoperative occurrences, and the postoperative mortality rate dropped 31.5 percent. Hospitals prevented an estimated 3.75 deaths per 1,000 surgical procedures and avoided $75.2 million in excess costs. The collaborative saw improvements in 13 of the 17 types of complications, and nine improved significantly, including surgical site infections, pneumonia, and urinary tract infections.

A study published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons in 2012 showed the initial 10 TSQC members reduced complication rates and saved more than $8 million in excess costs from 2009 to 2010. This new study shows TSQC hospitals continued to improve in the years after the program was launched.

The hospital collaborative is a partnership of the Tennessee Chapter of the American College of Surgeons and the Tennessee Hospital Association’s (THA) Center for Patient Safety, with support from Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Tennessee Health Foundation.

“The TSQC has helped align the efforts of hospitals and surgeons around quality improvement, which supports the THA board’s commitment toward zero incidents of preventable harm in our state’s hospitals,” stated Craig A. Becker, THA president.

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Study authors include lead author, Brian Daley, MD, MBA, FACS; Joseph B. Cofer, MD, FACS; William C. Gibson, MD, FACS; Scott A. Copeland, MD, FACS; Chris Clarke, RN; William Cecil, MBA; and Barbara J. Martin, RN, MBA, CCRN.

Participating hospitals in the Tennessee Surgical Quality Initiative include:

Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital (formerly Baptist Hospital)

Baptist Memorial Hospital – Memphis

Claiborne County Hospital

Cookeville Regional Medical Center – Cookeville

Cumberland Medical Center

Erlanger Health System – Chattanooga

Ft. Sanders Regional Medical Center

Henry County Medical Center

Jackson Madison Co General Hospital

Maury Regional Medical Center

Memorial Health Care System

Methodist University Hospital – Memphis

NorthCrest Medical Center

Parkwest Medical Center – Knoxville

Regional One Health – Memphis

Saint Francis Hospital – Memphis

Saint Thomas West Hospital

Summit Medical Center

University of Tennessee Medical Center -Knoxville

Vanderbilt University Medical Center- Nashville

Wellmont Bristol Regional 

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