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Out of 109 hospitals in Tennessee, only one is Baby-Friendly. Which one?

ERLA21900_BabiesRock_BlogPost

When it comes to delivering babies, the greater Chattanooga region expects leadership from the Erlanger Health System.  After all, more than 80% of the region’s babies are born at an Erlanger hospital each year.  But now, thanks to an elite new designation, Erlanger childbirth services are also being recognized on a national, and even international, stage.

Out of 109 hospitals in Tennessee, only Erlanger has earned the Baby-Friendly designation for its flagship Baroness Campus in downtown Chattanooga.  With this designation, Erlanger joins an elite group of only 219 hospitals in the entire country to meet stringent criteria set forth by the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, a worldwide program sponsored by UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO).

“We are very proud that the Baroness Campus is the first ‘Baby-Friendly Hospital’ in Tennessee,” says Traci Josephsen, Clinical Administrator for Women’s Services.  “To have two of the world’s leading authorities on infant health, UNICEF and WHO, recognize our efforts speaks volumes about our commitment to giving every child born at Erlanger the healthiest possible start.”

To earn this honor, hospitals must pass a demanding on-site review from Baby-Friendly USA inspectors, making sure that hospitals follow Baby-Friendly guidelines. “Our nursing staff and physicians have worked hard for the past two-and-a-half years to implement the ‘Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding’ and earn this prestigious international honor,” says Jan Keys, Erlanger Chief Nursing Executive.  The Ten Steps program is designed and proven to increase the initiation and duration of breastfeeding, which leads to healthier babies and more confident, better-prepared mothers.

For more information on the Baby-Friendly designation or the Ten Steps program, visit http://www.babyfriendlyusa.org/, or speak with Erlanger staff.

Natalie Johnson recognized as 2015 Alper Humanitarian Award Winner at Erlanger

Johnson Natalie

Natalie Johnson, DO

Natalie Johnson, DO and Chief Resident, OB/GYN with the UT College of Medicine Chattanooga (UTCOMC) was named the 2015 Alper Humanitarian Award winner during special ceremonies held at Erlanger’s Probasco Auditorium on March 20.

he Dr. Harold Alper Humanitarian Award is presented annually to a graduating resident of UTCOMC who has consistently demonstrated the humanistic qualities for which the late Dr. Harold Alper was known. Those qualities include integrity, exemplary compassion for patients, families and colleagues, community service and humanitarian qualities during residency.

This year’s honoree was on a medical mission in India and unable to accept her award Friday, but she sent a message of appreciation which was read by Dr. Robert Fore, UTCOMC Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

In accepting her award, Dr. Johnson wrote, “I just come to work wanting to be the best I can be for my patients; I am excited and feel blessed that I have a career where I can meet some many people from different walks of life and share in some of their most intimate moments – such as bringing new life into the world.  It is truly a privilege that I can help take care of people and show them love.  I hope to continue to show patients love and compassion, and I hope I never lose humility or passion for my work. Thank you for nominating me for such a wonderful award; I am very grateful and touched that people would nominate me.”

The other seven nominees for the 2015 Alper Humanitarian Award were: Drs. Nikhil Anand, Kevin Crawford, Rehan Kahloon, Shavonda Thomas, Apphia Wang, Chad Ward and Josh Worthington.

Keynote speaker during Friday’s ceremonies was Danielle Ofri, MD, PhD, a physician at Bellevue Hospital, the oldest public hospital in the country.  Dr. Ofri writes about medicine and the doctor-patient connection for the New York Times and she is the author of four books about the world of medicine, and doctor-patient communications.

During her talk at Erlanger, which highlighted the importance of humanism in medicine and how physicians’ emotions impact the delivery of medical care, Dr. Orfi discussed “How Emotions Affect the Practice of Medicine.”

Pictured at the 2015 UTCOMC Alper Humanitarian Award ceremony at Erlanger Friday are front row, Dr. Apphia Wang; keynote speaker Dr. Danielle Orfi with Bellevue Hospital, and, holding the 2015 Alper Humanitarian Award, the mother of Natalie Johnson, who accepted her in daughter’s absence.   Pictured on the back row are Drs. Chad Ward, Josh Worthington, Shavonda Thomas, Rehan Kahloon, Nikkil Annand and Kevin Crawford.

Pictured at the 2015 UTCOMC Alper Humanitarian Award ceremony at Erlanger Friday are front row, Dr. Apphia Wang; keynote speaker Dr. Danielle Orfi with Bellevue Hospital, and, holding the 2015 Alper Humanitarian Award, the mother of Natalie Johnson, who accepted her in daughter’s absence. Pictured on the back row are Drs. Chad Ward, Josh Worthington, Shavonda Thomas, Rehan Kahloon, Nikkil Annand and Kevin Crawford.

IHOP serves pancakes to patients at Children’s Hospital

IHOP associates flipped pancakes for patients at Children’s Hospital at Erlanger today to celebrate raising more than $8,000 during National Pancake Day.

On Tuesday, March 3, five local IHOP restaurants offered each guest a free short stack of their famous buttermilk pancakes on National Pancake Day. This family-friendly tradition raises needed funds and awareness for Children’s Hospital at Erlanger, a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital.

For every short stack of buttermilk pancakes served on National Pancake Day, IHOP guests were invited to make a voluntary donation to Children’s Hospital at Erlanger to celebrate this “Decade of Giving.” Since 2006, IHOP National Pancake Day has raised approximately $13 million to provide life-saving treatment, programs and medical equipment for pediatric patients — including more than 42,000 children treated annually at Children’s Hospital at Erlanger.

“Each year, our local IHOP restaurants and their associates step it up during National Pancake Day,” said Rebecca Brinkley, director of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at Children’s Hospital at Erlanger.  “We are grateful for their enthusiastic support for our patients and thank all the customers who donated to this year’s campaign.”

Kenneth Chope

Kenneth Chope with IHOP

Labrisha Toal serves Shelby Greenwood

Labrisha Toal serves Shelby Greenwood

Austin Kellar

Austin Kellar

Fred’s Super Dollar Stores raising funds for Children’s Hospital

Fred’s Super Dollar stores have kicked off its 10th year raising funds Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Fred’s customers and team members are once again supporting patients treated at Children’s Hospital at Erlanger during the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Miracle Balloon fundraiser.

Funds raised now through April 5 will provide medical assistance to more than 42,000 children treated annually at Children’s Hospital at Erlanger. This year, each donation at Fred’s registers will be rewarded with a $1 off coupon towards two bags of Mars candy.

“We are so grateful to have partners like Fred’s Super Dollar,” said John Lauck, president and CEO of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. “Their continued passion and dedication to raising vital funds for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals helps provide the life-saving care and needed treatments for kids at our member children’s hospitals. We appreciate the generosity of Fred’s team members and customers and celebrate them for reaching their 10th fundraising year.”

Fred’s has raised more than $4.9 million for sick and injured children since partnering with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in 2005. All donations made at participating local fred’s stores during the campaign will stay local to support pediatric patients in our region. Visit http://www.fredsinc.com to locate a store near you.

Erlanger implements region’s first wireless monitoring system for patients

SoteraWirelessErlanger Health System has launched the region’s first wireless monitoring system for patients at Erlanger East Hospital. Known as the ViSi Mobile System by Sotera Wireless, the wearable devices transmit continuous measurements of patient vital signs and allow patients to move freely without being attached to traditional monitoring systems that limit mobility.

“Erlanger is committed to patient safety, and the ViSi wireless system supports our commitment to improving safety for our patients. The devices allow us to continuously monitor vital signs without disturbing the patient – and a patient’s peace of mind can enhance the overall healing experience,” said Phillip E. Jackson, DSL, FACHE, CEO of Erlanger East Hospital and Vice President of the Erlanger Health System.

The ViSi Mobile System is the first body-worn monitor to noninvasively measure all core vital signs on a highly accurate, beat-to-beat basis. Patients can get out of bed, walk around, and undergo physical therapy – all while remaining connected to clinicians. The wireless devices continuously measure blood pressure without the use of a cuff and continuously monitor heart or pulse rate, electrocardiogram (ECG) or heart rhythm, blood oxygenation, respiration rate and skin temperature with the accuracy of monitors typically found in intensive care units.

The device, worn on the patient’s wrist, transmits vital sign data to clinicians on-site or remotely. The measurements can be seen not only on the patient’s wrist device, but also on screens positioned at nursing stations and the emergency department at Erlanger East Hospital.

Typically, clinicians check patient vital signs during routine rounds. The intermittent checks can disturb patients and only provide snapshots of vital sign data, rather than continuous information. Now, clinicians at Erlanger East Hospital can use the continuous data stream to identify early signs of deterioration, which could help prevent adverse events. Additionally, if a patient’s vital signs move beyond selected ranges, the system’s alarm system will warn clinicians, so the appropriate intervention can be taken.

Dr. Bradley Large, hospitalist at Erlanger East Hospital, checks the vital signs of a patient who is wearing the hospital’s new wireless monitor, known as ViSi Mobile System by Sotera Wireless.

Dr. Bradley Large, hospitalist at Erlanger East Hospital, checks the vital signs of a patient who is wearing the hospital’s new wireless monitor, known as ViSi Mobile System by Sotera Wireless.

Erlanger’s air medical program receives Advance Life Support Service of the Year Award

Accepting the award from TASA is Tim Perry, LIFE FORCE 2 Base Supervisor; Robert Brooks, Erlanger Health System Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer; Jason Clark, LIFE FORCE Clinical Educator; Ray Cadwallader, flight paramedic; Kevin Womac, flight paramedic; Matt Poteet, flight paramedic; Robbie Tester, LIFE FORCE Administrator; Jennifer Rogers, flight nurse; Stacy Prater, LIFE FORCE Clinical Educator; and Jim Fox, Business Development Manager.

Accepting the award from TASA is Tim Perry, LIFE FORCE 2 Base Supervisor; Robert Brooks, Erlanger Health System Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer; Jason Clark, LIFE FORCE Clinical Educator; Ray Cadwallader, flight paramedic; Kevin Womac, flight paramedic; Matt Poteet, flight paramedic; Robbie Tester, LIFE FORCE Administrator; Jennifer Rogers, flight nurse; Stacy Prater, LIFE FORCE Clinical Educator; and Jim Fox, Business Development Manager.

Erlanger’s LIFE FORCE air medical program recently received Tennessee’s Advance Life Support (ALS) Service of the Year award for the program’s outstanding achievement in providing medical service to the four-state region.

Each year, the Bob Thomas ALS Service Award is awarded to an EMS system that exemplifies outstanding professionalism and service to the community it serves during the TASA annual conference.

Throughout 25 years of service, LIFE FORCE has consistently sought to provide the safest and highest quality medical services in this region. Aviation, medical and communication teams’ commitment have resulted in LIFE FORCE as the industry leader in providing excellent care to Erlanger patients.

Advanced aviation and medical equipment are a vital aspect of safety which has been a cornerstone of operation since LIFE FORCE’s inception. From the youngest to the oldest patient, thousands have benefited from a legacy of exceptional service, superior medical care, cutting edge aviation capabilities, and an impeccable safety record.

The program operates four helicopters and services four states. Accredited by the commission for medical transport since 2011, LIFE FORCE is nationally ranked as one of the highest performing air medical services in the country.  LIFE FORCE receives approximately 5,000 calls a year requesting medical air transport service. Depending on weather, medical care and other flight conditions, LIFE FORCE operates approximately 2,000 flights each year. It is the only air ambulance program in the region that carries ultrasound, blood and plasma and is credentialed by physicians at Erlanger to perform emergency surgical procedures. All LIFE FORCE flight nurses and paramedics have board certification in critical care transport. LIFE FORCE is one of only 5% of the programs in the country that has achieved this standard.

2014 BlueCross Riverbend Run & Walk raises $10,000 for Children’s Hospital

Representatives from Children’s Hospital Foundation recently accepted a $10,000 check from BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee for proceeds raised during the 2014 BlueCross Riverbend Run & Walk.  

“We are so grateful for our partnership with BlueCross and the generosity of so many people who participated in last year’s event,” said Julie Taylor, Erlanger’s Chief Development Officer. “The money raised from the 2014 event will directly benefit the new Children’s Hospital fund.”

Organizers from the BlueCross Riverbend Run & Walk understand the importance of event participants knowing and believing their donations are going to a worthy cause. Many would agree the Children’s Hospital fund is the best partnership to enhance the education and awareness about the new hospital.

“We are pleased to announce Children’s Hospital Foundation is once again the beneficiary for the 2015 BlueCross Riverbend Run & Walk,” said Carla Raynor, vice president of strategic marketing for BlueCross. “We are thrilled to raise money for such an important anchor to the Chattanooga community, helping to support their ongoing great work and exciting new expansion.”

This year’s BlueCross Riverbend Run & Walk will take place on Saturday, June 6 at 8 a.m. Races are competitive events with overall cash prizes and age and gender category awards. Courses will be USA Track and Field certified. The Fun Run & Walk is a noncompetitive event designed to encourage everyone, including families, to take steps towards a healthy lifestyle.  Wheelchairs and strollers are encouraged during the fun run.

For more information about the event, visit http://www.riverbendfestival.com/runwalk.

BCBS Riverbend donation

Debby Alper, Children’s Hospital Foundation co-chair; Julie Taylor, Erlanger’s Chief Development Officer; Sarah Raines, BlueCross Blue Shield’s Sponsorship Manager; and Carrie Kennedy, Children’s Hospital Foundation co-chair.

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