Public Service Announcement

St. John’s Medical Center has issued the following statement regarding the fungal meningitis outbreak that resulted from a steroid injection used for back pain:

“In light of the recent national news about the fungal meningitis outbreak that resulted from a steroid injection commonly used for back pain, St. John’s Medical Center wants to assure its patients and the community at large that the product in question has not been used at St. John’s Medical Center, St. John’s Living Center or at St. John’s-owned physician clinics. A thorough check of the hospital and clinic medication inventory has determined that St. John’s has not purchased this medication (methylprednisolone acetate) or any other medications from the New England Compounding Center (NECC) for our patients. If you have any questions you are encouraged to call the hospital Community Relations office at 739-7380.”

Hospital Board of Trustees Candidates Forum

The St. John’s Medical Center Auxiliary and the St. John’s Hospital Foundation will sponsor a Hospital Board of Trustees Candidates Forum on Monday, October 29th from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. in the Boardroom at the hospital. Come meet the candidates and hear about their qualifications and interest in continuing their service to the community. The three incumbents are Scott Gibson, Zach Hall, and Dr. Bruce Hayse. To view candidate bios visit Time permitting, questions from the audience may be taken. Questions can also be submitted in advance to Call 739-7380 for more information.

News from St. John’s Medical Center CEO

Dear Community Members:

Following through on a commitment to provide community feedback at the end of my first three months as the CEO of St. John’s Medical Center, this letter is intended to discuss initial thoughts on the current state of the hospital and some insights into our future directions.

First let me say that my happiness at having the opportunity to serve our community and to lead the hospital has only been heightened by what I have learned in this short period of time. The commitment of our staff, physicians, board and community is special.

Much of my learning has occurred through meeting with small groups of our staff and community members. The suggestions for continued improvements are real and important. I have received feedback from those that utilize our facilities. I am happy to report that by far the positives outweigh the negatives. I have looked at our statistics compared to Wyoming and national hospitals, and the results of required submission of data to The Joint Commission that measures hospitals’ success in meeting federal program requirements. The latest composite score from The Joint Commission shows that St. John’s rate is 96.9% compliant for the standards such as the appropriate use of antibiotics prior to surgery, rapid antibiotic treatment of pneumonia, and several parameters for the treatment of heart attack care and heart failure. As this is based upon a rolling 12 months of data, the more important news is that over the past quarter we are reaching 100% in most of these areas. More data that shows St. John’s commitment to quality is our birthing statistics. There is a national awareness program by the March of Dimes to call attention to the fact that too many babies are being born via cesarean section. It is reassuring to know that St. John’s has one of the lowest cesarean rates in the country and that labor is not induced early for the convenience of the mother or physician which potentially increases complications.

My agenda for St. John’s includes: • Continuous improvement of Quality/Safety/Customer Service. Although often separated we have chosen to bring the three elements that make a difference to our community into a single mindset and action.

• Increased collaboration with physicians of our community to enable quality and safety.

• Becoming a center of health and wellness for our area, promoting prevention and well being for every segment of our population.

• Engaging with our community and having the community engaged with St. John’s. To this end we have begun meeting with representatives from our local government, sister health-related organizations, the latino community and local businesses. We are getting out beyond the walls of the hospital to understand how we can partner for the future.

• Our building project is moving ahead. A smooth transition and cost-effective utilization of the new facilities is critical to the future of health care in this community.

• Staying abreast of advances in medicine, such as genetics, is critical. For instance new treatment modalities for cancer, cardiac problems and the aging population are rapidly emerging.

• Collaborating with academic centers to understand changes, bring appropriate services to this community, and assure that our patients have access to the highest level of care when St. John’s may not be able to provide the specialty services needed.

• Health care reform is a major part of our nation’s election campaign. While much is uncertain, it is certain that health care will change, and there will be limits on the economic resources that will be available. To prepare, St. John’s must be as cost-effective as possible while maintaining quality care. We must work collaboratively with our physicians to serve the needs of our community.

The challenges are many and we have a lot of work to do. I am confident that St. John’s has the commitment of its staff, physicians and board to meet those challenges and be successful into the future as one of the best small community hospitals. I am excited and honored and greatly appreciate the support that you have shown through these early days of my tenure. Please feel free to engage me at every level; understanding will go a long way to our success.

Sincerely, Lou Hochheiser, MD, CEO

Seasonal Flu Shot Clinics

St. John’s Family Health and Urgent Care located in the Smith’s Plaza will hold flu shot clinics on Saturday, October 20th and Saturday, October 27th from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. The cost is $25 for adults or children 6 mos. – 18 years and we will bill your insurance. No appointment is necessary and walk-ins are welcome. Minors must be accompanied by a guardian. Call 739-8999 for more information. Each year, experts from Food and Drug Administration (FDA), World Health Organization (WHO), U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other institutions study virus samples collected from around the world. They identify the influenza viruses that are the most likely to cause illness during the upcoming flu season so that people can be protected against them through vaccination.

St. John’s Medical Center Receives Prestigious Award for Patient Care

  • St. John’s Medical Center has been named a recipient of the prestigious Path to Excellence Award by NRC Picker,a national organization dedicated to improving the quality of care provided in the healthcare industry. NRC Picker is the company utilized by St. John’s to measure patient satisfaction. “We’re pleased and grateful to have been selected for this award,” said St. John’s Chief Nursing Officer Lynn Kirman. “Measuring patient satisfaction is important so we can focus on the appropriate areas to improve. We’re glad to receive confirmation that our efforts are improving the patient experience.” St. John’s won the National Research Corporation Path to Excellence Award for its work on one of the Dimensions of Patient-Centered Care: involvement of family and friends. The award was based on the hospital’s performance on NRC Picker’s adult inpatient Dimensions of Patient-Centered Care. St. John’s has taken significant steps to improve the patient experience. In 2010 hospital departments began working together to adopt the philosophy of Relationship-Based Care, a model that focuses on the patient and family as the center of all they do. The hospital implemented specific programs, including hourly rounding and a bedside report that includes patient and family. “As a small community hospital,” said St. John’s CEO Lou Hochheiser, MD, “we are dedicated to treating all of our patients like family members.” The Path to Excellence Award was presented at the 18th Annual International Patient-Centered Care Symposium, September 16-19, in Chicago.

    Women Tee It Up for St. John’s Oncology

  • Teton Pines Womens Golf Association held its 9th Annual Teton Pines WPGA Charity Golf Tournament at the Teton Pines Resort & Country Club on August 16 with proceeds donated to the St. John’s Medical Center Oncology Pavilion. Carol Schwender, chair of this year’s tournament, said the club was excited and energized by a recent opportunity. “Our club got to thinking about our friends and families. In past years we’ve given to Susan G. Komen. We’ve decided to go in a different direction. We want to give closer to home where we can support those of us who are going through or have gone through treatment,” Schwender explained. In early August the association approached St. John’s Hospital Foundation President Liz Finegan with their idea. The club’s campaign, “Women Tee It up for St. John’s Oncology” proposed a $150,000, five-year pledge to the building of an oncology patient exam room at St. John’s Medical Center. Originally, this year’s goal was set at $20,000, but two families came forward with matching gifts. Shirley and Paul Piper proposed the first match and, on the day of the golf tournament, Cynthia Fayard offered a second. “The members of the Teton Pines Country Club and in our community overall are a remarkably caring and generous group of people,” Schwender went on to say. The total raised by the club this year is $70,203, more than tripling their the golf club’s expectations. The funds raised will provide patients with a larger, more private exam room in an expanded and renovated oncology pavilion.