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Joint Commission awards Tuality a three-year accreditation

June 19, 2015

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Tuality Healthcare has received a three-year accreditation from The Joint Commission for its two hospitals, service lines and outpatient clinics, signifying the organization’s commitment to quality care of its patients.

Tuality President and Chief Executive Officer Manny Berman received notification this week of the three-year renewal of The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval™ in a letter from Mark G. Pelletier, Chief Operating Officer for The Joint Commission. The accreditation is effective March 14, 2015 and expires on March 14, 2018.

“Staff at all of our facilities worked very hard to achieve this accreditation,” Berman said. “They should be proud of this honor. And it signals to our patients that Tuality Healthcare takes quality care of our patients very seriously.”

A five-person Joint Commission survey leadership team comprised of a physician, nurse, life safety engineer, a home health expert and durable medical equipment expert spent time in early March at Tuality and many of its facilities. What they found is a healthcare organization that is in the forefront of best practices in a number of areas and is open and honest about its efforts to perfect protocols and procedures.

Tuality also hosted a survey team from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in May and a surveyor who looked strictly at Tuality’s Stroke Program in June. All of the surveyors were complimentary of Tuality Healthcare and its staff.

The Joint Commission, an independent, not-for-profit organization, accredits and certifies more than 20,500 health care organizations and programs in the United States. Joint Commission accreditation and certification is recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to meeting certain performance standards. To earn and maintain The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval™, an organization undergoes an on-site survey by a Joint Commission survey team at least every three years.

Tuality Healthcare Foundation awards scholarships to area students

May 14, 2015

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

The Tuality Healthcare Foundation recently awarded scholarships to two area high school students pursuing health-related careers.

Liberty High School graduate Rohi Gheewala is the recipient of the Dr. Marvin J. Robb Memorial Scholarship. Rohi is the daughter of Mitesh and Dimple Gheewala of Hillsboro. She plans to attend Portland State University and major in Pre-Medicine. 

Glencoe High School graduate Kari Zicke is the recipient of the Flo Rhea Health Careers Endowment Scholarship. Kari is the daughter of Scot and Jennifer Zickel of Hillsboro. She will be attending Seattle University and majoring in Nursing. 

The Tuality Healthcare Foundation offers scholarships to local high school students each spring who have a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or better and plan to pursue a human health-related career. For more information about Tuality Healthcare Foundation programs and services, visit www.tualityfoundation.org.

 

Tuality stroke team lands fourth Gold Plus award for stroke

May 07, 2015

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Tuality Healthcare in Hillsboro has received a fourth straight Gold Plus stroke award from the American Heart Association. The 2015 award, called the Get With The Guidelines®–Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award, follows similar Gold Plus awards in 2012, 2013 and 2014. 

The four Gold Plus awards signify that patients will consistently receive the best stroke care from Tuality Healthcare’s dedicated stroke team. These high standards result in a reduction in death and disability from stroke and improvement in the quality of life for stroke patients. The award honors the stroke team for 85 percent, or higher, adherence on 10 quality stroke achievement measures over a 24-month period.

“This is great news,” said Manny Berman, Tuality’s President & CEO. “It is another example of the quality care we provide to residents of Washington County.”

Tuality’s stroke team is made up of three neurology specialists – Dr. Dan Friedman, Tuality Stroke Center director, Dr. Barbara J. Hills, and Dr. Anup Panduranga, as well as two neurosurgeons, Dr. Fred C. Williams, and Dr. Bradley J. Bergquist, plus Emergency Department, nursing staff and other Tuality Healthcare personnel.

Tuality received a Silver Plus award from the American Heart Association in 2011. Tuality also is certified as a Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission.

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States, according to the American Stroke Association. It is also a leading cause of serious, long-term disability. In stroke cases, the faster the diagnosis and treatment, the better the chance of limiting brain damage and potential long-term disability.

Recognizing the signs of stroke and calling 9-1-1 for transport to a hospital are crucial aspects of stroke treatment. The best way to recognize the signs of stroke is by learning and using the acronym F.A.S.T.

F stands for checking for facial droop or an uneven smile
A stands for checking for arm numbness or weakness
S stands for recognizing slurred speech or difficulty speaking
T stands for time to the hospital.

If a citizen sees any of these signs, they should call 9-1-1 immediately.

View a video featuring Dr. Friedman on stroke and stroke care →

Registration opens for 15th Annual C.A.T. Walk & Fun Run

April 15, 2015

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Registration for the 15th annual Cancer Awareness and Treatment Walk & Fun Run, an annual Hillsboro 4th of July tradition, opens Wednesday, April 15, 2015.

The Walk & Fun Run attracts over 1,000 walkers and runners on the 4th of July in downtown Hillsboro to support the fight against cancer. The event organized by the Tuality Healthcare Foundation serves as a prelude to the annual Hillsboro Rotary Club 4th of July parade.

For serious runners, the Foundation received exciting news recently that the 5-kilometer course has been certified by USA Track & Field (USATF), the sports’ governing body in the United States. A USATF course is a road race course whose has distance has been certified. Courses must be certified for any performance to be accepted as nationally ranked.

The easiest way to register is to go tualityfoundation.org and click on the Upcoming Event C.A.T. Walk & Fun Run area, then the Registration button. Fill out the convenient online form and you’re signed up for a 4th of July tradition.

The 2014 event raised more than $71,000 for cancer programs and services, pushing the amount generated to almost $1 million in 14 years. We hope you'll join us this year to help us continue our quest to fight cancer. The C.A.T. Walk & Fun Run benefits all of the cancer related programs and services provided by Tuality Healthcare. Our cancer services provide families in western Washington County convenient access to state-of-the-art treatment options close to home.

In addition to the timed 5K walk and fun run, the annual event also includes a Kids’ Dash and a Kids’ Zone featuring children’s activities and carnival games. An adjoining health fair showcases some of the event’s corporate sponsors and highlights many of the quality services provided at Tuality Healthcare

 

Bladder preservation treatment available at Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center

March 19, 2015

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

A new bladder-preserving approach for the treatment of bladder cancer is now available at the Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center. The traditional approach has been to surgically remove the entire bladder when cancer has moved deeper into the tissues.

Supported by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network evidence-based guidelines since 2013 as an alternative to bladder removal surgery, this approach treats the tumor while preserving the bladder. The first step is for the patient’s urologist to remove the cancerous tumor inside the bladder. A regimen of chemotherapy and radiation therapy follows five days a week at the Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center for duration of four weeks. The patient then takes a four-week break from treatment followed by another two and a half weeks of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The patient’s urologist will perform regular checkups to monitor the effectiveness of the treatment.

“Patients who complete bladder preservation treatment modality will most likely keep their native fully-functional bladders for the rest of their lives,” Dr. Timur Mitin, medical director of the Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center, said of the desired outcome of organ preservation.

Mitin is a specialist in this type of bladder cancer treatment and received his training at Massachusetts General Hospital under the guidance of Dr. William Shipley, a pioneer and advocate for bladder preservation. This approach has been used over the past 40 years, with over 1,500 patients treated on multiple clinical trials in the U.S. and more patients undergoing bladder preservation treatment in Europe. Data shows that over 70 percent of patients will be free of tumor recurrence inside the bladder and therefore will never need bladder removal. 

“I think we need to make physicians and patients in Portland, and in Oregon in general, aware of this work. Patients need to know they have alternatives when it comes to making clinical decisions regarding their health,” Mitin said.

Patients receive follow up urological evaluations every three to six months initially, then less frequently, to look for recurrent tumors. If no evidence of recurrent tumors exists after three to five years, Mitin said it is unlikely bladder cancer will return. However, the patient’s oncologist and urologist will continue monitoring on an annual basis to check for recurrent tumors.

“What I want to make patients aware of is that even patients who are surgical candidates, who could have surgery, they still have an option to keep their bladders with the bladder preservation,” Mitin said.

For more information on bladder preservation and bladder cancer, contact the Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center at 503-681-4200 or visit us online at tuality-ohsu-cancercenter.org.

Watch video of Dr. Mitin discussing bladder preservation →

Lung cancer screening at Tuality Healthcare now covered by Medicare

February 18, 2015

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Tuality Healthcare’s Low-Dose Computed Tomography (CT) Lung Cancer Screening Program received a boost recently from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). 

Effective Feb. 5, Medicare will cover lung cancer screening with a low-dose CT scan once a year for Medicare beneficiaries who meet strict criteria, including:

  • Age 55-77 who currently smoke or have quit within the last 15 years.
  • Have a tobacco smoking history of 30 pack years (an average of one pack a day for 30 years).
  • Receive a written order from a physician or other practitioner. 

“Lung Cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death largely because patients are diagnosed in advanced stages,” said Dr. Peter Hahn, a Tuality Healthcare pulmonologist who has long championed the use of low-dose CT lung cancer screening in place of the more traditional chest X-ray. “We believe the use of low-dose CT scanning will allow us to diagnose lung cancer in an earlier, treatable stage.”

In 2011, the results of the National Cancer Institute-sponsored National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) showed that high-risk patients were 20 percent less likely to die from lung cancer if they were screened with low dose CT scans. The CMS decision is largely based on the results of this study. “By diagnosing lung cancer in its earliest stages, we can actually save lives,” said Dr. Srinivas Mummadi, a Tuality pulmonologist.

Tuality Healthcare’s Low-Dose CT Scan Lung Cancer Screening Program started in June of 2013. It was the first program in the Portland metropolitan area to be designated a Center of Excellence by the national Lung Cancer Alliance. The program was supported by the Tuality Healthcare Foundation, enabling lung cancer screening for high risk patients prior to the CMS and United States Preventative Task Force decisions. The program consists of the low-dose CT scan, consultation with a pulmonologist to review the results, and a visit with a nicotine dependence counselor. The entire program takes less than 4 hours to complete.

Lung cancer screening using low dose CT has been officially endorsed by the United States Preventative Task Force, the American Cancer Society, American College of Chest Physicians, and many other national cancer and lung organizations.

A CT scan is medical imaging procedure that generates a three-dimensional image that is a better diagnostic tool for doctors than the traditional chest X-ray. A low-dose CT scan reduces the amount of radiation delivered to the human body. Tuality features a new state-of-the-art 128-slice CT scanner with low-dose capability.

Hillsboro celebrates 30 years of the Dinner Dance

February 02, 2015

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

The Tuality Healthcare Foundation’s Dinner Dance, a Hillsboro tradition for 30 years, raised over $74,000 to fund medical and health education projects that improve health care for the greater Hillsboro community. 

The theme of the event, held Saturday night, Jan. 24 at the Tuality Health Education Center, was the Pearl, which is the traditional gift for a 30th wedding anniversary. In this case, the Pearl signifies the lasting bond between Tuality Healthcare and the western Washington County community. A slide show commemorated each of the themes of the past 29 years of the event.

The evening gala included a presentation by Tuality President and CEO Manny Berman, Randy Bateman, past chairman of the Tuality Healthcare Foundation, and Tuality Healthcare board chairman Mark Rosenbaum honoring three outstanding doctors for their years of service. The retiring doctors honored were:

  • Dr. Edward F. Clarke, a primary care doctor with deep roots in the community.
  • Dr. Laurence Hornick, a radiologist who helped found the ¡Salud! Wine Auction.
  • Dr. Charles Rosenblatt, a gastroenterologist and longtime Tuality Healthcare board member.

“We are extremely grateful to these doctors for their many years of service,” said Foundation Director Cece Clitheroe. “We felt the 30th Dinner Dance was a wonderful way to honor them.”

Close to 200 attendees dined on great food created by Eat Your Heart Out catering and Chef Monica Grinnell. Following dinner, attendees were able to dance to the music of Nobody’s Sweetheart, a top Portland band that plays classic hits.

Proceeds from the event will fund many worthwhile educational and medical programs. “The annual event would not be possible without the generous donations of the Hillsboro community,” Clitheroe said. “That includes a number of event sponsors who have provided support for us throughout the years.” They include:

Tuality adds cutting-edge technology to Catheterization Laboratory

December 01, 2014

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Tuality Healthcare has modernized its catheterization laboratory with state-of-the-art technology that will make for better treatment options and increased safety for patients and providers. 

The new lab located in the Tuality 7th Avenue Medical Plaza building targets patients needing advanced diagnostic and interventional cardiac procedures.

“It is one of the best facilities of its kind in the Portland metropolitan market,” said Dr. Vincent Reyes, a leading cardiologist in the Portland area and based in Hillsboro Oregon.

Since June, the new laboratory has performed an average of 50 catheterization procedures per month. “It is working great, and is the latest and greatest,” said Brody Ferguson who serves as the catheterization laboratory manger. “As more procedures become less invasive, you’re going to see less and less surgeries, and more and more procedures done in the catherization laboratory."

With larger and higher resolution monitors, doctors can view anatomical images in greater detail, making non-invasive procedures safer and more efficient for the patient. The new laboratory is larger in size for patient comfort and offers enhanced technology for staff convenience. It also features Clarity software, which offers an 80 percent reduction in radiation, making anatomical imaging radiologically safer for the patient and staff.

Rotational angiography, a new feature in the laboratory, uses a swing arm, which takes images from different angles of the anatomy as it rotates around the patient. Rotational angiography allows physicians to view a 3D image of the patient’s entire coronary anatomy.

“With a single injection, you can look at the entire coronary anatomy per artery in a 3D fashion,” Reyes said. “It’s very helpful. It shortens procedure time and reduces contrast and radiation. In that sense, it’s both much better from a diagnostic standpoint and from a safety standpoint.”

Surgeons also perform catheter procedures placed into the coronary system or the periphery of the left radial artery with greater ease and comfort for the patient. The patient’s arm is laid out to the side and the catheter is inserted into the wrist for arterial access.

“In the past, it was very difficult, because you had to first access the left radial artery and then move the arm way over, which was very inconvenient for the physician or uncomfortable sometimes for the patient,” Reyes said. “With the new laboratory, we have a slave monitor, which allows us to keep the left arm out, it allows us much more comfort, and that’s important for an angiography and an interventionist, especially when you are doing a long case. You have to stand comfortably; the logistics of the laboratory have to be comfortable.”

The table can rotate up to 180 degrees, allowing staff to move the patient into multiple positions for different procedures. The laboratory features six patient rooms where they can view their images and have private consultation with their doctor. A central system allows staff to monitor patients during surgery and in their rooms after surgery.

For more information about our new catheterization lab, call 503-681-4026 or check out our YouTube video at: http://youtu.be/cJoai6cvEKo

 

Tuality Healthcare preparing to care for patients with Ebola

October 27, 2014

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Tuality Healthcare, in cooperation with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Oregon Health Authority, is putting a series of steps in place to successfully care for patients with symptoms of the Ebola virus at its facilities in Hillsboro and Forest Grove.

The steps include specialized training and advanced personal protective equipment (PPE) for employees who could come in contact with a patient with Ebola symptoms, identified isolation rooms, and procedures for caring for patients who present at urgent care and other community clinics.

A team of a dozen managers and staff at Tuality have worked over the past two weeks to create operating procedures to follow should a patient with Ebola virus present at one of our locations.  “We are taking the possibility of an Ebola patient visiting one of our facilities very seriously, said Joan Otterman, RN, Tuality’s infection prevention specialist. “With training and heightened precautions in place, we can safely handle a patient of this type at Tuality.”

As of Oct. 24, several cases of Ebola have been confirmed in the United States. The odds of a patient of this type presenting at Tuality are remote. So far, Oregon has had no Ebola patients. In fact, no patients state-wide have been tested for the virus.

Tuality has been pro-active in its response to Ebola. Beginning August 1st, staff at the Emergency Departments in Hillsboro and Forest Grove began asking patients about recent travels to West Africa or contact with those who had traveled to West Africa. Staff at Tuality Urgent Care are also asking patients about recent travel to West Africa.

The State of Oregon has created an incident management team and an operations center in Northeast Portland to serve as a clearing house between hospitals, the Oregon Health Authority and the CDC.

Tuality’s response is based on guidelines from the CDC. Patients will only be tested and quarantined if they have a fever of at least 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, have other symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea and have either visited one of the affected African countries – Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone, or have had contact with an infected individual.

Here is a recap of steps that Tuality has taken to be prepared for an Ebola patient:

  • Staff at the Tuality Emergency Departments in Hillsboro and Forest Grove and at Tuality Urgent Care are asking patients about recent travel to West Africa or interactions with those who have traveled to West Africa.
  • Isolation rooms have been identified for use for treating patients with Ebola virus at the emergency departments at both facilities as well as in the Intensive Care Unit at the Hillsboro campus.
  • Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) kits consisting of gowns, hoods, face shields, boots and gloves have been assembled and are available to employees. Rolling carts with all of the necessary equipment are being assembled so they are ready should a patient with Ebola virus present.
  • Key clinical employees and support staff are receiving extensive PPE training.
  • Tuality will use the “buddy system” with one Registered Nurse going into the patient room and a second Registered Nurse observing from outside the patient room to verify they use adequate care putting on and removing PPE.
  • A response team to deal with potential Ebola patients will include two nurses and an onsite manager to verify all precautions are followed.
  • If a patient presents with Ebola symptoms, a specimen will be sent directly to the CDC for testing.
  • A table-top exercise and hospital drills in preparation for the potential arrival of a patient with Ebola are occurring this week.

To find out more about Ebola, go to the CDC website: www.cdc.gov.

 

The Human Bean fundraiser for breast cancer scheduled Oct. 24

October 07, 2014

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

The Tuality Healthcare Foundation and The Human Bean coffee shops in Hillsboro and Cornelius are teaming up again this year to raise money to benefit breast health programs supported by the foundation.

The annual Coffee for a Cure event is scheduled for Friday, October 24. Each year, The Human Bean shops donate 100 percent of their proceeds from beverages and pastries on that day to organizations that provide mammograms, education and post-diagnosis support. The Tuality Healthcare Foundation is the organization of choice for the Hillsboro and Cornelius shops during October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness month. 

Last year’s event raised around $2,500 from the Hillsboro and Cornelius shops for breast cancer programs. The Coffee for a Cure event involves all 51 The Human Bean franchises in eight states. The two shops in our area are at 998 SE Oak St. in Hillsboro, and 2355 E. Baseline St. in Cornelius. 

Tuality has two locations for breast health patients. Tuality’s Breast Health Center, located in the Seventh Avenue Medical Plaza building, features the latest in digital mammography technology. Tuality’s mobile mammography van brings mammograms and other breast health services to businesses, care homes and other facilities. It makes regular stops at Intel, Nike and in small towns like Vernonia.

 To find out more about The Human Bean, go to www.thehumanbean.com. For more information on the foundation, go to www.tualityfoundation.org.

 

Tuality Healthcare achieves Stage 6 of Electronic Medical Records

September 25, 2014

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Tuality Healthcare has joined a very select group of hospitals in achieving Stage 6 of adoption of Electronic Medical Records. Currently, only 15 percent of hospitals across the United States carry the Stage 6 designation from the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). 

Tuality received the news recently in a letter from H. Stephen Lieber, president and chief executive officer of HIMSS, a global non-profit which focuses on better health through information technology.

 “Tuality Community Hospital is a great example of how a vision can become reality in the world of healthcare information technology,” Lieber said in his letter.

 The EMR adoption model has eight stages. Tuality has achieved seven of the eight stages. By achieving the final stage Tuality will truly be a paperless facility which will no longer use paper charts to deliver and manage patient care.

 “Stage 6 recognition is a very significant milestone for Tuality Healthcare,” said Manny Berman, Tuality President and Chief Executive Officer.  “Stage 6 acknowledges the continued leadership and innovation supplied by our Information Technology department. We are delighted to be one of the leading hospitals in the country regarding Electronic Medical Records.”

 A Stage 6 hospital has achieved the following:

  • Have made significant ideological and financial commitments to reach this stage.
  • Have almost fully automated/paperless medical records for inpatient care settings.
  • Have either started to evaluate data for care delivery process improvements or have already documented significant improvements in this area.
  • Have begun to create strategic alignments with medical staff to use information technology to improve patient care.
  • Are well positioned by provide data to key stakeholders – payers, government, physicians, consumers and employers.

 “The key part of this for the public is we have significantly improved patient safety,” said Sonney Sapra, Tuality’s Chief Information Officer and Director of Information Systems.  “I would like to thank every Tuality employee and our employed and community providers and stakeholders for making Healthcare IT an important part of the organization. The big winner in all of this is the patient. By achieving Stage 6, we are telling our patients that Tuality Healthcare provides the safest healthcare possible.”

 

Hillsboro Hops, Tuality Healthcare team up to fight cancer

August 18, 2014

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

The Hillsboro Hops, one of the hottest teams in minor league baseball, are teaming up with the Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center and the Tuality Healthcare Foundation to sponsor a Cancer Awareness Night on Saturday at Ron Tonkin Field in Hillsboro.

The event, called Hop 2 A Cure, will raise funds for cancer awareness and treatment in Washington County. Saturday’s game between the Hillsboro Hops and the Spokane Indians begins at a special time, 5:03 p.m.

According to the American Cancer Society, cancer remains the second most common cause of death in the United States, accounting for nearly 1 of every 4 deaths.

But there is hope. Death rates for the four most common cancers – prostate, women’s breast, lung and colorectal – have declined since 1998. The keys to fighting cancer are research dollars to find a cure and making people aware of the early signs of cancer.

“Nearly everyone is touched by cancer, whether personally, through a family member, a friend, or a co-worker,” said Tina Dickerson, director of the Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center. “The survival rate for people with cancer is increasing every year. The Cancer Center is proud to partner with the Hillsboro Hops to raise money for research and to make people aware of the early signs of cancer.”

Providers from the Cancer Center will be staffing a table on the stadium concourse to provide information about cancer and to accept any donations from the public.

For more information on the Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center, visit www.tuality-ohsu-cancercenter.org

Tuality Endoscopy Center invests in patient experience

July 31, 2014

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Posted on a wall in Tuality Healthcare’s Endoscopy Center are several comment cards and they all have one thing in common, patients are thanking doctors and staff for an outstanding job.

That kind of positive experience is part of the Endoscopy Center’s commitment to quality and safety for their patients.

Endoscopy is a minimally invasive diagnostic medical procedure. It is used to examine the interior surfaces of an organ or tissue. The endoscope can also be used for enabling biopsies and retrieving foreign objects.

“We want our patients to receive the best possible detection and treatment of diseases in the gastrointestinal tract,” said Jeremy M. Lake, M.D., a gastroenterologist with Hillsboro Gastroenterology who practices at Tuality. “Our medical team is focused on quality, safety, and performing above the national standards set for endoscopy.”

To reach this level of excellence, the center invested over a million dollars in the past year and a half to upgrade its facility. The center is now equipped with the latest high definition endoscopes including a minimally invasive endoscopy capsule.

The safety standards have also been improved with new endoscope washers equipped with computer tracking software to ensure superior quality control during the cleaning and sterilization process.

This investment in advanced endoscopic technology and safety standards has helped increase the number of patient procedures by 20 percent.

Recently, the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) has granted the center a consecutive three-year renewal recognition for quality and safety. This is the second time the center has met ASGE’s rigorous criteria.

“We are honored to be recognized once again by ASGE for our efforts to enhance quality and safety in our endoscopy unit,” Dr. Lake said. “The ASGE drives us to meet the highest standards of gastrointestinal endoscopy.”

Dr. Lake says the center is continuing to improve quality of care by participating in a groundbreaking initiative that collects and electronically reports on quality indicators for colonoscopy. The Gastrointestinal Quality Improvement Consortium, Ltd. (GIQuIC) is a national database that assists physicians in improving clinical and patient outcomes.

The center has not only advanced technology and safety standards but is listening to its patients. The doctors implemented a questionnaire to improve the patient experience.

One patient wrote, “Dr. Watson and his staff were very friendly and did an outstanding job … made myself as a patient feel very welcome.”

Responses like this are a reminder to those in the Endoscopy Center that their efforts are having a positive affect on improving patient care at Tuality.

New 3-D mammography study backs views of Tuality radiologists

June 27, 2014

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

A study released this week in The Journal of the American Medical Association confirms what Tuality Healthcare radiologists have known for some time – that 3-D mammography, or Tomosynthesis, has a higher rate of detection for breast cancer than traditional screenings. Use of Tomosynthesis also results in lower recall rate for more imaging.

Tuality Healthcare’s Breast Health Center has been using the new 3-D mammogram technology since April. From a patient’s perspective, 3-D technology may not appear much different than a traditional mammogram. In a traditional mammogram, the machine is stationary. In Tomosynthesis, the machine moves around the breast and takes many X-rays at difference angles that create a three-dimensional image of the breast.

“Breast Tomosynthesis is a new twist on an old technology,” said Dr. Geoffrey M. Gullo, a Tuality Healthcare radiologist. “It allows us to make very thin slices and look at them in 1 millimeter increments. By seeing through the overlapping tissue, it has been shown in big studies that we find more cancer. It has improved the detection of cancer by somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 percent… We don’t have extensive feedback yet, but it has become obvious that this is going to be a game changer.”

The study published in JAMA confirmed two distinct findings:

  • Tomosynthesis improved cancer detection. Cancer was found in 4.2 of every 1,000 scans with digital mammography alone. The rate increased to 5.4 per 1,000 when Tomosynthesis was added.
  • Adding Tomosynthesis lowered recall rates. With digital mammography alone, for every 1,000 women, 107 were called back for more imaging. With Tomosynthesis added, the figure was 91 recalls.

Tuality’s Tomosynthesis technology also includes C-View technology, which lowers the radiation dose that patients receive. Other benefits of Tomosynthesis include a decrease in biopsies and the procedure being particularly effective for women with dense breast tissue and those with an increased risk for breast cancer.

To schedule a mammogram with the new technology, please call 503-681-4035. To discuss Tomosynthesis with Breast Health Center staff, please call 503-681-1758.

Use this link to view a video on Tuality Healthcare’s 3-D Mammography program:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeQaTh2HHtM

 

Read the New York Times article on the study in The Journal of the American Medical Association: www.nytimes.com/2014/06/25/health/breast-cancer-3d-mammography-test-x-ray.html?_r=0#

 

Dr. Aga named medical director of Tuality Center for Geriatric Psychiatry

June 12, 2014

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

The Tuality Center for Geriatric Psychiatry in Forest Grove has a new medical director – Dr. Vimal M. Aga. His appointment was announced this week by Dr. John Coletti Jr., Tuality’s Vice President of Health Care Development.

“Dr. Aga is a respected clinician and we look forward to his leadership of this unique facility,” said Coletti in announcing Dr. Aga’s appointment.

The Tuality Center for Geriatric Psychiatry is an acute psychiatric facility serving patients age 60 and older. The program provides comprehensive inpatient mental health treatment in a positive and supportive environment.

Dr. Aga has worked as a psychiatrist at Tuality since January of 2011. “This is a great opportunity to move a great program forward,” Dr. Aga said of his appointment as medical director. “I don’t anticipate a lot of change because many things are working well at the center.’

Prior to joining Tuality, Dr. Aga worked as a psychiatrist at Oregon State Hospital’s Geriatric Psychiatry Program in Salem. He is board certified in Psychiatry and Geriatric Psychiatry and completed his Psychiatry residency as well as Geriatric Psychiatry fellowship training at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He holds a medical degree from Maharani Laxmibai Medical College (Bundelkhand University) in Jhansi, India and also completed a residency in Psychiatry in India. 

“Dr. Aga has a  wealth of  experience in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of seniors with mental health issues such as depression; and for those suffering with cognitive disorders such as vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s,” said Laura M. Bryant, RN, MSN, program director at the Tuality Center for Geriatric Psychiatry. “He has an excellent knowledge of the medications that are best used with individuals suffering with these illnesses. I am honored to have the opportunity to work with and provide leadership with Dr. Aga.”

 

Tuality Healthcare physicians win national award for communications

June 11, 2014

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Tuality Healthcare’s hospitalist physician group was honored with a first-place award at a recent conference in Denver for the work the physicians do in communicating with patients.

Tuality’s hospitalists received the PX Summit Award for finishing in first place in the category Highest Top-Box Scores for HCAHPS Communications with Doctors.

Tuality’s hospitalist physicians provide care for Tuality’s inpatients. These physicians are affiliated with Sound Physicians, a Tacoma, Wash., based group which provides physicians for inpatient healthcare delivery at hospitals around the country.

“This is a very deserving award for our hospitalists,” said Tuality President and CEO Manny Berman. “Providing excellent inpatient care requires a commitment to communication and an excellent patient experience. This award signifies these physicians take communicating with their patients very seriously.”

The award was presented at Sound Physicians’ eight annual National Leadership Conference.

"We are very excited to receive this award and feel that it reflects the ongoing efforts of each member of our group to provide quality communication with our patients and their families," said Dr. Angela Alday, Tuality’s co-chief hospitalist and Patient Experience Champion.

The award is based on Tuality’s score on the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey, a national, standardized, publicly reported survey of patients' perspectives of hospital care. The “top-box” score is the most positive response to HCAHPS survey questions. The “top-box” response is "Always” for five HCAHPS composites - Communication with Nurses, Communication with Doctors, Responsiveness of Hospital Staff, Pain Management, and Communication about Medicines.

 Sound Physicians’ PX program is designed to give providers the tools and training that empowers them to provide superior patient and family experiences through effective communication.

“We are incredibly proud of the commitment and progress our physicians demonstrated to improve the patient’s acute care experience in the past year,” said Dr. Mark Rudolph, Vice President of Patient Experience and Physician Development for Sound Physicians based in Tacoma, Wash.

 

 

 

 

Tuality Healthcare Foundation awards scholarships to area students

May 16, 2014

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Two area high school students who are pursuing health-related careers were awarded scholarships recently by the Tuality Healthcare Foundation. 

Jonathan Faris, a Forest Grove High School graduate, is the recipient of the Dr. Marvin J. Robb Memorial Scholarship.  Jonathan is the son of Geoffrey and Annette Faris of Forest Grove.  He plans to attend Duke University and major in Biology. Faris was named a Forest Grove High School valedictorian. 

Tabatha Murdock, a Banks High School graduate, is the recipient of the Flo Rhea Health Careers Endowment Scholarship.  Tabatha is the daughter of Rodney Murdock and Brenda Stokes.  She will be attending the University of Oregon and majoring in Biology. She served as president of the National Honor Society at Banks High School. 

The Tuality Healthcare Foundation offers scholarships to local high school students each spring who have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or better and plan to pursue a human health-related career.  For more information about Tuality Healthcare Foundation programs and services, please visit www.tualityfoundation.org.

 

Tuality stroke team lands third Gold Plus award for stroke

April 29, 2014

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Tuality Healthcare in Hillsboro has received a third Gold Plus stroke award from the American Heart Association.  The 2014 award, called the Get With The Guidelines®–Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award, follows similar Gold Plus awards in 2012 and 2013. 

The three awards signify that patients at Tuality Healthcare will receive the highest standard of stroke care from its dedicated stroke team. The highest standard results in a reduction in death and disability from stroke, and an improvement in the quality of life for stroke patients.  The award honors the stroke team for 85 percent, or higher, adherence on 10 quality stroke achievement measures over a 24-month period. 

“Great job,” said Eunice Rech, Tuality’s chief clinical officer and administrator of quality services. “Thank you to all members of the stroke team. Your commitment to excellence is a great example of cooperation, coordination and patient centered care.” 

Tuality’s stroke team is made up of two neurology specialists – Dr. Dan Friedman, Tuality Stroke Center director,  and Dr. Barbara J. Hills, MD, and as well as three neurosurgeons, Dr. Fred C. Williams, MD, Dr. Keyvan Abtin, MD, and Dr. Bradley J. Bergquist, MD, plus Emergency Department, nursing staff and other Tuality Healthcare personnel. 

The 2014 Gold Plus award is the fourth year in a row Tuality has been honored by the American Heart Association. Tuality received a Silver Plus award in 2011. Tuality also is certified as a Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission. 

According to the American Stroke Association, stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States. It is also a leading cause of serious, long-term disability. In stroke cases, the faster the diagnosis and treatment, the better the chance of limiting brain damage and potential long-term disability, said Dr. Friedman. Neurologists use the term Stroke: Time = Brain. 

Recognizing the signs of stroke and calling 9-1-1 for immediate transport to a hospital are crucial aspects of stroke treatment. The best way to recognize the signs of stroke is by learning and using the acronym F.A.S.T.  F stands for checking for facial droop or an uneven smile; A stands for checking for arm numbness or weakness; S stands for recognizing slurred speech or difficulty speaking; and T stands for time to the hospital. If a citizen sees any of these signs, they should call 9-1-1 immediately. 

To view a video featuring Dr. Friedman on stroke and stroke care, go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1mr9lOvMN4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center names new medical director

March 19, 2014

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

The Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center is pleased to announce that oncologist Timur Mitin, M.D., Ph.D., has joined the joint venture as medical director. 

Mitin, who specializes in the field of radiation oncology and joined Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) this year, has practiced and trained at several of the nation’s leading academic health-care institutions including Harvard Medical School at  Massachusetts General Hospital. 

Mitin succeeds Charlotte Dai Kubicky, M.D., Ph.D., who joined the cancer center as medical director in 2007. Kubicky will continue in her role as an assistant professor for the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, as well as seeing patients at the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute clinic in Beaverton. 

Mitin is a native of Moscow, Russia, who came to the United States at age 16 to pursue his education. He received his B.A., cum laude, in chemistry and biology at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. He pursued his medical training in a combined M.D./Ph.D. program at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston.

“We are delighted to have Dr. Mitin join us at the Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center,” said Tina Dickerson, cancer center director. “His credentials are amazing, and we as a cancer care team look forward to what he will bring to our program.  At the same time, I would like to thank Dr. Kubicky for her years of service. She is an outstanding physician, and both our patients and our group here will miss her.”

During his doctoral training, Mitin studied cancer immunology and defended his thesis work on hormonal regulation of drug metabolism. Upon graduating from Tufts, he completed an internship year in internal medicine at Providence St. Vincent Hospital in Portland, and returned to Boston for his training in radiation oncology at the Harvard University Radiation Oncology Program.

After completing his residency program, he was invited to join the faculty of Harvard Medical School at the Massachusetts General Hospital, where he specialized in treatment of patients with genitourinary malignancies.

Mitin is a first author of several review articles as well as Radiation Therapy Oncology Group publications in the field of bladder preservation in patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer. He has lectured extensively on a variety of radiation oncology related topics.

“I’m looking forward to joining the Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center staff and bringing cutting edge cancer treatment practices to patients in Hillsboro,” Mitin said.  “One of my first tasks will be to meet the many providers in the community and discuss how we can team up to provide the best care possible for our patients.”

The Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center is a joint venture between Tuality Healthcare and the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University to deliver advanced cancer care to patients in the Hillsboro community. 

Tuality to offer new community education program

February 06, 2014

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

The Tuality Healthcare Community and Clinical Education Department is pleased to announce a new educational program called Community Teaching Community. The goal of the new program is to provide an avenue for community leaders, professionals and experts to share their knowledge and expertise with the community.

Tuality will play host to these teaching events, which must have a health education or personal/community well-being focus. Examples of potential events, speakers and topics are:

  • A police officer teaching a class on personal and home safety.
  • A local chef conducting a healthy cooking class.
  • A financial planner discussing how to handle your finances during stressful times.
  • A public health nurse providing guidance on childhood immunizations and how to stay “flu free” during flu season.
  • An athletic trainer describing how to craft a fitness program, or how to prepare your child for school sports.

A grant from the Tuality Healthcare Foundation will provide a $25 per day stipend for the event presenter. The department will need to review and approve presentation materials. Room space and presentation equipment will be provided. The department will also market and advertise the event.

Presenters will be responsible for submitting materials in advance for approval and providing a backup presenter in case of illness. In the case of a series of events or classes, the presenter will need to review and sign a Community Volunteer job description/agreement, submit to a criminal background check and wear a Tuality ID badge that says “Volunteer Community Instructor.”

For more information, or to discuss education event ideas, please contact Susan Downs, Clinical & Community Education manager, at susan.downs@tuality.org, or 503-681-1768.

 

Tuality Healthcare Foundation announces fund to honor Stenson

February 05, 2014

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

The Tuality Healthcare Foundation is pleased to announce the establishment of the Dick Stenson Building a Healthier Community Fund to honor the long-time Tuality Healthcare president and chief executive officer.

Stenson is retiring on Feb. 28, 2014 after serving 22 years as the leader of the Hillsboro-based health care organization.

The fund intends to continue the rich legacy of community support embodied by Stenson. His dedication to Hillsboro, Forest Grove and western Washington County helped create the Hillsboro Health & Education District, the Tuality Health Alliance, the Tuality Healthcare Foundation’s ¡Salud! Services program, the Tuality Breast Health Center, the Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center and much more.

You can celebrate Dick Stenson’s numerous achievements and devotion to our region by contributing to this endowment in two ways. You can make a secure online donation by visiting the Tuality Healthcare Foundation’s website at www.tualityfoundation.org and clicking on the Dick Stenson Building a Healthier Community Fund link. Or, you can send a donation by mail in care of Cece Clitheroe, Tuality Healthcare Foundation, 335 SE 8th Ave., Hillsboro, 97123.

The foundation will announce initial contributions at Dick Stenson’s retirement celebration on Feb. 26, 2014.

Bollywood theme a hit with Dinner Dance attendees

January 29, 2014

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

A trip to another continent and culture highlighted Tuality Healthcare’s 29th annual Dinner Dance on Saturday night at the Tuality Healthcare Education Center in Hillsboro.

The event’s theme – A Night in Bollywood – was evident in the Indian attire, food and music at the sold-out event.  Many women wore traditional Indian dresses called Saris; men wore long coats and trousers called Sherwanis.  Food provided by caterer Food in Bloom had a decidedly spicy Indian flair. And, the night’s featured music supplied by renowned DJ Prashant had attendees trying out new moves on the dance floor.

The event raises funds for medical equipment and community health education programs and classes at Tuality Healthcare. The 29th annual event was a sellout with almost 200 attendees and raised almost $70,000 for the hospital.

The events’ Bollywood theme has its roots in the Indian film industry, which showcases song-and-dance music in cinema. The name Bollywood is actually a compilation of the Indian city of Bombay (now called Mumbai) and Hollywood and reflects a distinctive style of cinema.

“We wanted to try something a little different,” said Cece Clitheroe, director of the Tuality Healthcare Foundation. “We’ve received lots of positive feedback about the event. It really did turn into a magical evening.”

The evening began with cocktails and conversation. Then, Clitheroe and Tuality’s new CEO, Manny Berman, welcomed guests and thanked them for their support of Tuality Healthcare. Other greetings were delivered by Mark Rosenbaum, incoming Tuality Healthcare board chairman and managing partner of presenting sponsor Rosenbaum Financial, and Randy Bateman, board chairman of the Tuality Healthcare Foundation.

Then it was on to a sampling of Indian dinner dishes - Chicken Makhani, Kashmiri Lamb Stew and Paneer Makhani – prepared by caterer Food in Bloom.

The night’s music featuring Bollywood-style Indian pop music displayed on video screens throughout the Tuality Healthcare Education Center Auditorium closed out the event. DJ Prashant even managed to teach some of the attendees the finer points of Bollywood dance.

“I would like to thank all of our sponsors and those in attendance for making this a night to remember,” said Clitheroe. “I would especially like to thank presenting sponsor Rosenbaum Financial and platinum sponsors Frontier Communication, Henningsen Cold Storage and law firm  Keating, Jones & Hughes, P.C.”

Tuality Healthcare adopts new Vision, Mission statements

January 13, 2014

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Tuality Healthcare is starting the New Year with updated corporate Vision and Mission statements that promise an increased emphasis on quality of care and customer service from the region’s health care provider.

The new Vision and Mission statements are the result of extensive brainstorming by hospital executives, as well as listening to feedback from employees at 11 Town Hall meetings to preview the new statements. The statements were approved by the Tuality Healthcare Board at its December meeting.

New Vision Statement

To be the health system of choice for our region, our patients, our providers, and our employees by delivering the highest quality care at an exceptional level of service.

New Mission Statement

Using skill and compassion, we are building a healthier community by bringing quality clinical care and unparalleled service to our region in partnership with our patients, physicians and health care professionals.

“These new statements reflect several points I would like to emphasize,” said Tuality Healthcare President and CEO Manny Berman. “First is that our patients expect quality clinical care. Second is that exceptional customer service will set us apart from our competitors. And, finally, this is a team effort involving all Tuality employees and our providers.”

Berman pointed out that the previous Vision and Mission statements were over 20 years old and needed to be refreshed to reflect the changing nature of healthcare delivery.

The journey to new Vision and Mission statements began last summer with a series of meetings involving Tuality Healthcare administrators, board members, directors, and representatives of the Advisory Board, a leading healthcare think tank based in Washington, D.C. The work continued through the fall and culminated with the Tuality Healthcare Board approving the new statements.

 

The work on the Vision/Mission statements also produced a new Strategic Business Plan with five corporate goals – Exceptional Organizational Culture, Destination Health Care Employer, Community Reputation for Unparalleled Value, Preferred Provider for Area Physicians and Service Line Excellence.

 

Each of these corporate goals has a number of objectives that will help Tuality Healthcare achieve these goals. The Strategic Business Plan also incorporates a number of themes stressed by employee during the 12 Town Hall meetings.

Portland Monthly magazine names Nash a top doctor

January 08, 2014

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

The medical director of the Tuality Center for Geriatric Psychiatry in Forest Grove has been chosen as one of the top doctors in the Portland metropolitan area by Portland Monthly magazine in its January, 2014 issue.

Dr. Maureen Nash is listed among the top psychiatrists in the metro area in a vote of Portland-area doctors, nurses and physician’s assistants. The magazine named 464 top doctors in 79 specialties from Washington, Multnomah, Clackamas and Clark counties. Nash was one of 10 doctors selected in the specialty field of psychiatry.

Nash, MS, MD, FAPA, is an attending psychiatrist and internist at Tuality Forest Grove Hospital. She is a recognized expert on treating dementia-related behavior and has given presentations on the subject at major conventions in the U.S. and abroad. She participated in the State Plan for Alzheimer’s Disease in Oregon and serves on the board of directors of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry. She has a clinical appointment at Oregon Health & Sciences University and works with physician assistant students at Pacific University.

The Tuality Center for Geriatric Psychiatry in Forest Grove is the largest acute care geriatric psychiatry hospital unit in Oregon and southwest Washington and receives  referrals involving challenging patients from all parts of Oregon and beyond.

Dr. Nash is board certified in both psychiatry and internal medicine and earned her medical degree at the University Of Kansas School Of Medicine in Kansas City. She completed her residency at the combined internal medicine/psychiatry residency program at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H., where she served as chief resident. She also was an instructor in psychiatry at Dartmouth Medical School in Hanover, N.H. She joined Tuality’s Center for Geriatric Psychiatry in 2005.

Tuality Sleep Laboratory receives 5-year accreditation

December 30, 2013

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has awarded Tuality Healthcare a full 5-year maximum accreditation as a recognized Sleep Center. Tuality Healthcare’s Sleep Center conducts overnight sleep studies for a variety of conditions, including obstructive sleep apnea, periodic limb movement disorder, chronic fatigue/sleepiness, chronic insomnia and heavy snoring.  

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine uses a rigorous evaluation process to accredit sleep centers, including requiring a certified medical director, a board certified sleep specialist, testing bedrooms designed for sleep testing and many other quality measures.

Dr. Peter Hahn, medical director of Tuality’s Sleep Center at the Tuality Forest Grove Hospital, received word of the accreditation earlier this week. “This is a great achievement,” Hahn said. “It was made possible by the hard of work of many and the leadership of David Miller (director of emergency services), Sasheen Pack-Gilbert (Sleep Center supervisor) and Maria Adrian (lead Sleep Center technician).

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine sets standards and promotes excellence in the study and treatment of sleep disorders. To read more about the academy, go to www.aasmnet.org

Humana Signs Agreement with Tuality Healthcare

November 26, 2013

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) and Tuality Healthcare have announced an agreement that provides Humana’s Medicare Advantage (MA) members access to the medical group’s 350-plus physicians.

During the Medicare Annual Election Period (AEP), which began on Oct. 15 and runs through Dec. 7, 2013, Medicare beneficiaries in Washington County will be able to enroll in the Humana Medicare Advantage HMO plan. The open enrollment period ends on December 7, 2013. The new agreement with Tuality Healthcare will take effect Jan. 1, 2014.

“The addition of Tuality Healthcare offers our members in Oregon a wide range of new options for accessing care with their Medicare Advantage plans,” said Oraida Roman, President of Senior Products for Humana’s Intermountain Region. “Geographically, the west side of Portland is an exciting expansion for us, complementing our existing strong relationship with Adventist on the eastside. Tuality is a highly respected healthcare system throughout western Washington County and we are delighted to be affiliated with them.”

Humana’s Medicare Advantage HMO plan in Oregon is rated 4.5 (out of 5) stars for 2014. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) uses information from member-satisfaction surveys, health plans, and health care providers to give overall star ratings to plans. The rating system uses more than 50 different quality measures in five categories, including:

  • Staying healthy via preventive services
  • Managing chronic conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure
  • Evaluations of a plan’s responsiveness and service
  • Complaints, appeals and voluntary disenrollments
  • Assessments of the quality of customer service

“Tuality Healthcare is very patient minded. We are focused on delivering the Triple Aim – providing better care and creating greater health outcomes for individuals at a lower cost – all while ensuring the patient experience is enhanced,” said Manny Berman President and CEO of Tuality Healthcare. “This is a natural collaboration, given Humana’s excellent programs, and we look forward to a strong, ongoing relationship.”

Tuality has provided care to western Washington County residents since 1918. Today, the organization is the only local, independent, community-governed health care system in the area, offering inpatient and outpatient treatment, specialty services, health education, and more. Its larger facilities include Tuality Community Hospital in Hillsboro and Tuality Forest Grove Hospital.

In addition, Tuality has numerous medical clinics and outpatient facilities, which offer medical care to the communities in western Washington County, such as Aloha, Beaverton, Hillsboro, Forest Grove, Cornelius, and the smaller communities of the Coastal Range foothills.

“The expansion of Humana’s participating hospital and physician network in Oregon is a key to the health care options that we offer to individuals eligible for Medicare,” said Roman. “Our network includes some of the most respected hospitals and physicians in the area, providing a comprehensive range of treatment and diagnostic services.”

iSalud! Oregon Pinot Noir Auction Raises $710,000

November 20, 2013

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

iSalud! The Oregon Pinot Noir Wine Auction, raised $710,000 from the two-day event, held November 8 and 9, 2013.  Other contributing fundraising initiatives brought this year’s project total to $900,000 and over $10 million since its inception. The iSalud! program is supported by the Oregon wine community and Tuality Healthcare to provide Oregon’s seasonal vineyard workers and their families with access to healthcare services.

Friday’s special Tasting and Big Board Auction at Domain Drouhin Oregon set the pace, raising a record amount for limited cases of exclusive 2012 Oregon Pinot Noirs crafted by 43 top wine producers who comprise the “Vintners Circle.”

Spurred on by lead gifts from the Erath Family Foundation and Willamette Valley Vineyards, Saturday’s auction guests pledged generously at the Special Appeal to support a new mobile wellness clinic. The vehicle will be built to specifications set by the clinical staff to allow better access to vineyards and wineries. It will be owned by iSalud! and Tuality Healthcare, saving the program over $30,000 annually by reducing dependence on contract services from outside providers.

iSalud! Services Manager, Leda Garside RN thanked supporters: “Your support goes a very long way to provide services which would otherwise be out of reach for thousands of people. On their behalf, I thank you for championing iSalud! and for recognizing their contributions to our great Oregon wines.”

The mission supports workers who cannot receive health insurance benefits due to the brevity of employment with any one winery or vineyard. In 2012, 4,009 workers and family members registered in the program, and over 7,400 medical and dental encounters documented. Through iSalud! workers receive access to primary care, health education, screenings, dental care, assistance with medical paperwork and more.

The 2014 benefit will be held November 14 and 15.

2013 Vintners Circle wineries:

Adelsheim Vineyard; Alexana Winery; Amalie Robert Estate; Antica Terra; ArborBrook Vineyards; Archery Summit; Argyle; Ayres Vineyard; Beaux Frères; Bergström Wines; Bethel Heights Vineyard; Brittan Vineyards; Brooks Winery; Chehalem; Cristom Vineyards; Dobbes Family Estate; Domaine Drouhin Oregon; Dukes Family Vineyards; Dusky Goose; Elk Cove Vineyards; Erath Winery; Hamacher Wines; Hyland Estates; Ken Wright Cellars; King Estate Winery; Lange Estate Winery; Patricia Green Cellars; Patton Valley Vineyard; Penner-Ash Wine Cellars; Ponzi Vineyards; R. Stuart & Co.; Raptor Ridge Winery; ROCO Winery; Scott Paul Wines; Shea Wine Cellars; Sokol Blosser; Soter Vineyards; St. Innocent Winery; Stoller Family Estate; Trisaetum; WillaKenzie Estate; Winderlea Vineyard & Winery; and Witness Tree Vineyard.

Tuality Healthcare Nurses recognized for distinction in patient care at award events

November 01, 2013

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Tuality Healthcare nurses demonstrate excellence daily for the care of patients in need. Recently, several nurses from Tuality were recognized as top performers in their profession.

On October 27th, Sandy Madsen of Tuality Healthcare, brought home the Northwest Parish Nurse Ministries (NPNM) Annette Stixrud Parish Nurse of the Year award, which recognizes those for their dedication, success and passion for patient care. A Parish Nurse is a registered nurse who has additional training in lifestyle, faith and wellness counseling. Candidate peers nominate nurses on the merits of their dedication and professionalism to the field of parish nursing. “I was given this award based on my work as a Parish Nurse Coordinator here at Tuality, serving as a Parish Nurse in my own church, Trinity Lutheran Church in Hillsboro, and supporting NPNM as their Education Coordinator for training, and supporting Parish Nurses in the Pacific Northwest region, ” said Madsen.

Two of Tuality Healthcare’s Nurses were also nominated at the March of Dimes 2013 Nurse of the Year Awards breakfast on October 25th, which is presented by Providence Health and Services, and Oregon Health and Science University. Kathy Gilbert was 1 of 9 nominees for Nurse Specialty and Eileen Portesi, 1 of 10 nominees for Nurse Leader. “Eileen is a delightful person to work with. Always has a smile and a cheerful greeting to everyone she meets. She rates real high on customer service,” said Joyce Teninty who serves as a Nursing Administration Supervisor for Tuality Healthcare. “Kathy is more than you could ever ask in a nurse,” said Teninty. “She has a great personality, is friendly, kind, compassionate and fun to be around.”

The March of Dimes Nurse of the Year award seeks to honor Oregon nurses in 17 categories, ranging from distinguished nurse, community health, emergency, mental health, among many more. Out of the 17 categories, there were 364 nominees, 150 finalists and 16 winners. In 2012, Leda Garside of Tuality Healthcare won the Distinguished Nurse of the Year Award.

Tuality Healthcare receives third Patriot Award for service to veterans

November 01, 2013

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

On October 28th, Veterans Representatives from the State of Oregon awarded Tuality Healthcare two Patriot Awards for service to veterans during the Washington County/WorkSource Beaverton/Hillsboro Job and Resource Fair in May. Representatives gave the first award, highlighting individual contributions to veterans, to Library Manager Judith Hayes for her efforts in organizing and setting up the job fair. This is her second Patriot Award for her efforts organizing and supporting the May event. Tuality received the organizational award for hosting and hiring 20 veterans in 2013.

The two awards signify the first time an employer and individual won awards together. “It feels really good to be able to participate in helping people find jobs, which this job fair certainly did. Ten to fifteen percent of the 500 or more veterans who attended received job offers as a result of the connections made here at Tuality,” said Hayes.

There were 60 employers and 15 community service and training resource providers available to assist veterans with their employment and educational needs. Of the roughly 500 veterans who attended, 50 found employment with companies including Intel, Comcast, US Bank, the City of Hillsboro and many more. “Many employers stated, ‘it was the best job fair they have been to,’” said Kurt Carlsen who serves as a Veterans Representative for WorkSource Oregon. “Tuality Healthcare won the employer award for their continued support of veterans and helping veterans find employment with the hospital,” said Carlsen.

Tuality Healthcare and WorkSource Oregon are planning another career fair in May of 2014 as a resource for veterans. The Patriot Award began in 2006, with Stimson Lumber as the first recipient for its support to veterans. Past award recipients include Wal-Mart, Western Washington Oregon Employer Council, Walking Point Farm and others.

Helping the Pink Cause One Cup at a Time

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Results of the Human Bean’s annual “Coffee for a Cure” event show just how much folks in Washington County adore their morning java and are committed to the health of their community. The event, a partnership between Tuality Healthcare Foundation and The Human Bean, raised nearly $2,600 to benefit education, outreach and treatment for patients with breast cancer at Tuality Healthcare.

Friday, Oct. 18, was an extra busy day for both the Cornelius and Hillsboro locations of The Human Bean. At any point in the day, lines of customers packed the drive thru and lobby, ready to give back during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

“We always look forward to this wonderful event,” said Cece Clitheroe, director of Tuality Healthcare Foundation. “I extend a big thank you to The Human Bean and to all those that supported this great cause.”

45 of the 50 Human Bean franchises took part in this annual event, raising a grand total of $108,822.41 to aid various breast health programs. “The people of Hillsboro and Cornelius are extremely generous, thank you for helping us to provide great services and care for the many patients dealing with breast cancer,” said Jackie McGrath, marketing director for The Human Bean corporate office.

Tuality has two options for breast health services - Tuality’s brand new, state-of-the-art Breast Health Center, located in the Seventh Avenue Medical Plaza building as well as the mobile mammography van, which is the only one of its kind in Oregon and travels to businesses, care homes, and other facilities. To schedule an appointment with our Breast Health Center, call 503-681-4111.

To find out more about The Human Bean, go to http://www.thehumanbean.com/

Cancer treatment advances at the Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center

October 15, 2013

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Installation of a new radiation therapy treatment machine and a remodel of the radiation treatment room have combined to make for a very busy summer and fall at the Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center.

The new machine, an Elekta Infinity™ linear accelerator, will enable Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center physicians to offer radiation therapy treatment capabilities not previously available at the Cancer Center. The new linear accelerator will help patients in several significant ways:

  • Greater ability to target a cancerous tumor while avoiding damaging nearby non-cancerous tissue.
  • A shorter treatment time thanks to the machine’s technological advances.
  • Greater comfort for the patient undergoing radiation therapy.
  • And, better outcomes with fewer side effects for cancer patients.

“Our patients deserve the very best in technology,” said Tina Dickerson, director of the Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center. “With our new accelerator, we have the latest in treatment modalities to offer. We’re excited to have the Elekta at the Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center and are ready to begin treating patients very soon.”

The installation took over two months because of the complex nature of the construction. The linear accelerator is a very heavy machine, requiring a very thick concrete floor for support. During construction, Tuality/OHSU radiation therapy patients were treated at the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute clinic in Beaverton. The new linear accelerator will be used to treat its first patient on Oct. 16, 2013.

“This technology has really matured in the past 10 years. It allows us to combine the delivery of radiation therapy with precise localization of the target through imagining. It also allows us to deliver radiation faster and more precisely,” said Dr. Charlotte Dai Kubicky, the radiation oncologist who serves as medical director of the Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center.

The capability of the Elekta machine makes it possible to visualize the treatment target with the real-time imaging, minimizing the dose to the normal structures surrounding the cancer lesion, while increasing the ability to ensure that the target is getting the full dose of lethal radiation, Kubicky added. This advantage might prove to lead to better outcomes, higher cure rates and less toxicity associated with the treatment. With this treatment option, physicians also will be better positioned to enroll Tuality/OHSU patients in national clinical trials investigating new cancer treatment approaches, most of which require the modern technical sophistication available on the new Elekta machine.

A radiation therapy session using the old linear accelerator could last from 30 to 40 minutes. The new machine can deliver the same therapy in as little as 5 minutes, Kubicky said. “Sometimes patients have a hard time holding still for 40 minutes on the machine,” she said. “Five minutes is a lot easier for the patient. It’s a significant improvement in quality of life.”

Adding the new linear accelerator makes it possible for patients to get state-of-the-art treatment in their community. “With this machine, we have technology that is on par with any hospital in the Portland area,” said Richard Crilly, medical physicist at the Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center. “It has the ability to allow us to see where we we’re going to put the radiation and, with this increased accuracy, the probability of a positive result goes up.”

Dickerson said the entire Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center treatment team is very excited about the new linear accelerator. “It’s a wonderful machine,” she said. “It will offer a lot of benefits for our patients.”

The radiation treatment room also was completely remodeled. According to Steve Krautscheid, Tuality director of facilities and properties, the goal was to “provide a superb patient experience.”

For more information on the Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center, visit the website at http://www.tuality-ohsu-cancercenter.org

Tuality stroke team to hand out free pill boxes

October 08, 2013

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Can something as simple as a pill box save a life? You bet it can, says Dr. Daniel Friedman, a neurologist and the stroke team director at Tuality Healthcare. Friedman and his team will start handing out free pill boxes in mid-October to any stroke patient at Tuality Healthcare.

The goal is to get patients to take their medications regularly and to reduce the need for emergency room visits or readmissions to Tuality or Forest Grove Community Hospital.

Friedman cited national research as the reason for the free pill-box giveaway. Research by the New England Healthcare Institute found that an estimated one third to one half of all patients in the U.S. do not take their medications as prescribed by their doctors. Non-adherence has been shown to result in $100 billion each year in excess hospitalizations alone. Funding for the pill boxes was provided by a grant from the Tuality Healthcare Foundation.

“Not taking your medications can cause a whole host of problems,” Friedman said. “We do know that people who struggle with taking medications on a regular basis have a higher risk of stroke.”

To combat this problem, any Tuality patient who has a stroke or Transient Ischemic Attack event will receive a visit from a Tuality Healthcare Home Health nurse who will teach them how to properly use the pill box.

These pill boxes have capacity for patients who take medications in the morning, at noon, in the evening, and at bedtime. The boxes are color coded by time of day – yellow is morning, red is noon, blue is evening and purple is at bedtime.

Tuality personnel will call each patient after three months to check up on the use of the pillboxes. The result, according to Friedman, is that the patient will use the pill boxes regularly and not be subject to costly hospital readmissions.

Funding the pill boxes was an easy decision, said Cece Clitheroe, director of the Tuality Healthcare Foundation. “We’re finding that smaller projects like this can have a big, immediate impact,” she said. “It also supports the Foundation mission, which is to help Tuality Healthcare build a healthier community.”

Foundation-funded laptops a boost for area athletes

October 08, 2013

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

A grant from the Tuality Healthcare Foundation will pay big dividends this fall for high school athletes in western Washington County. The $10,500 grant will arm each of Tuality Healthcare’s five certified athletic trainers with a secure laptop computer and specially designed software that will log and track athletic injuries.

The five trainers have provided training services to athletes at Hillsboro, Century, Glencoe, Liberty and Forest Grove high schools since 1997.

“Our trainers will benefit greatly from the use of laptops for several reasons,” said Kim Lierman, Tuality’s clinical program leader for athletic trainers. “One is efficiency and continuity of care. They will be able to get live results or follow athletes that have been sent through our system.

The foundation decided to fund the grant, said Foundation Director Cece Clitheroe, because high school sports are an integral part of the Hillsboro community and to support Tuality’s unique relationship with the schools where the company shares paying the trainer’s salary with the schools.

John Hakkila, Tuality’s new director of rehabilitation services, said timely and thorough documentation of injuries is a hallmark of good athletic training. He listed three areas as identified by the National Athletic Trainers Association where good record keeping is vital:

  • Communication. Good medical records are the foundation for quality health care delivery. It allows correct planning and execution of care and eliminates confusion about diagnosis and prognosis.
  • Liability. Documentation is critical in health care lawsuits.
  • Research. Detailed documentation will help spot trends and evaluate best practices.

“We’d like to thank the foundation for helping make Hillsboro and Forest Grove a safer place for high school athletes by funding the laptops and software,” said Lierman. “It will allow us to do a better job treating our student athletes.”

Joint Commission recertifies Tuality Healthcare stroke program

October 02, 2013

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Tuality Healthcare’s stroke treatment team received more good news recently – a recertification of Tuality’s standing as an advanced stroke center by the Joint Commission, the national accrediting agency for hospitals.

Tuality’s stroke program is on quite a roll. This is Tuality’s first recertification following the initial certification two years ago. Tuality also has received three prestigious awards from the American Heart Association – a Silver Plus award in 2011 and Gold Plus awards in 2012 and 2013 all for the stroke program at Tuality Healthcare.

“What this means is Tuality is certified to give the highest level of care possible for stroke patients,” said Dr. Daniel Friedman, a neurologist and Tuality Stroke Center director. “It is also very important in meeting the Meaningful Use guidelines of the Affordable Care Act.”

A team of experts from the Joint Commission made a site visit to Tuality and looked at charts and other documents and interviewed dozens of Tuality staff, including doctors, physical therapists, nurses, admitting personnel, lab personnel, radiologists and many more.

Tuality’s stroke team is made up of three neurology specialists – Dr. Friedman, Tuality Stroke Center director, Dr. Barbara J. Hills, MD, and Dr. Wan-jui Chen, MD, as well as three neurosurgeons, Dr. Fred C. Williams, MD, Dr. Keyvan Abtin, MD, and Dr. Bradley J. Bergquist, MD, plus Emergency Department, nursing staff and other Tuality Healthcare personnel.

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States, according to the American Stroke Association. It is also a leading cause of serious, long-term disability. In stroke cases, Friedman said, the faster the diagnosis and treatment, the better the chance of limiting brain damage and potential long-term disability. Neurologists use the term Stroke: Time = Brain.

Recognizing the signs of stroke and calling 9-1-1 for immediate transport to a hospital are crucial aspects of stroke treatment. Friedman recommends that everyone should be able to recognize the signs of a stroke by learning and using the acronym F.A.S.T. F stands for checking for facial droop or an uneven smile; A stands for checking for arm numbness or weakness; S stands for recognizing slurred speech or difficulty speaking; and T stands for time to the hospital. If a citizen sees any of these signs, they should call 9-1-1 immediately.

Click here to view a video featuring Dr. Friedman on stroke and stroke care

Click here to view a 30-second television commercial on the GoldPlus award

Tuality Physical Therapy at 9th and Cedar will be closing

September 18, 2013

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Tuality Healthcare’s long-time Tuality Physical Therapy facility at 9th and Cedar, located next to Hillsboro’s Shute Park Aquatic Center, will close Sept. 27 to allow personnel to transfer to the soon-to-be-expanded Tuality HealthPlace location on Cornell Road at Northeast 48th Avenue.

The change, according to John Hakkila, Tuality’s director of rehabilitation services, will allow Tuality to ramp up services at Tuality HealthPlace. Construction is underway to expand the Tuality HealthPlace facility to include more sports-medicine oriented services along with office space for several specialty surgeons, including a second physical medicine doctor, Dr. Adam Soll, who joined Dr. Daniel Albrecht’s practice in August.

Kim Lierman, the clinical program leader at 9th and Cedar who also oversees the athletic trainers, will move to Tuality HealthPlace along with support staff. Hakkila said Lierman is highly regarded by physicians and the bulk of her client list is expected to move with her to Tuality HealthPlace.

Tuality will continue to provide aquatic therapy at the Shute Park Aquatic Center.

Construction on Tuality HealthPlace is expected to be finished in mid-November. When finished, Tuality will occupy almost the entire building.

Tuality Healthcare President and CEO, Dick Stenson, announces retirement

September 13, 2013

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

[Hillsboro, OR] Tuality Healthcare President and CEO Dick Stenson announced today that he will be handing off his leadership responsibilities to his long-time co-executive on November 15th. He has served in that role since June of 1992. Stenson will be succeeded as President and CEO by Manny Berman, who has extensive knowledge of Tuality, having joined Tuality on Labor Day 1983. Berman is the current Administrator and Chief Operating Officer of Tuality Healthcare. At the request of the Tuality Board, Stenson will remain as a Special Advisor to the Board through next February, when he will retire.

Stenson has led Tuality in the development of award-winning and innovative patient care programs, including development of the Hillsboro Health & Education District, a collaborative involving Tuality Healthcare, Pacific University, Virginia Garcia, The City of Hillsboro and TriMet. He also was the leader in developing Tuality’s Breast Health Center, which features state-of-the-art digital mammography equipment, The Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center, award-winning stroke and cardiac service lines and Tuality Health Alliance. Through innovative collaborations with Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center, Pacific University, Community Action Organization, and the Washington County Commission on Children and Families and others, Stenson has shaped Tuality's focus on community health care and wellness throughout western Washington County. Another program that has blossomed under Stenson’s leadership is the ¡Salud! Service program to provide outreach health care screening and services to migrant families in our area. The ¡Salud! program, sponsored by the Tuality Healthcare Foundation, is funded by Oregon’s premier, nationally recognized Pinot Noir wine auction every November.

In a letter to all hospital staff and employees, Stenson said that after 22 years, this was "the best time to plan my retirement and let someone else lead the next charge", which will include an aggressive new long-range strategic plan focused on Tuality's growth in a changing market place. “Having worked with Manny for all these years, I know I am leaving Tuality and the community’s health care leadership in very capable hands.” Stenson, 66, plans to spend more time with his family, playing music with different groups, and increasing the number of motorcycle rides with friends.

Darell Lumaco M.D., Chair of the Tuality Healthcare Board said "The Tuality Healthcare board is grateful for the leadership Dick Stenson has provided and his unwavering commitment to the special role we play as a Community Hospital in the health and wellness of our entire community, including our most vulnerable members.”

One of Stenson’s desires is to keep Tuality an independent, community hospital that partners with other organizations to bring the best health services to the community at the lowest cost. He is also a supporter of the Tuality Forest Grove Hospital. In Stenson’s 20+ years in charge Tuality has seen its facilities and employees grow significantly.

Before coming to Tuality, Dick Stenson was Administrator of Straub Clinic & Hospital and Straub Health Plan in Honolulu for 17 years. At Tuality, Stenson has been active in community affairs, serving as Chair of several organizations, including Portland Community College Foundation, Hillsboro Community Foundation, Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce, Washington County Community Action and Oregon Health Forum. Stenson helped lead Oregon's health reform "transformation" by Chairing the Delivery System Committee of the Health Fund board. Additionally, Stenson has been a strong supporter of the Hillsboro Hops Baseball team. Tuality serves as the official healthcare sponsor of the Hillsboro Hops.

 

Tuality changes lab draw location at Forest Grove hospital

September 13, 2013

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Patients who patronize the Tuality Forest Grove Hospital will find some changes in patient flow starting in October. The biggest change will involve patients seeking laboratory blood work.

Beginning Oct. 7, patients will have their blood drawn by a trained emergency room technician in the hospital’s emergency department. Previously, blood draws were handled by phlebotomists working out of the small laboratory location near the main entrance in the morning and by emergency room technicians in the afternoon. To access the new blood draw location, patients should enter the hospital through the Emergency Department entrance, not the main entrance. Personnel at both entrances will have a convenient map of the hospital showing patients the new locations.

To help with this transition, hospital administrators have decided to move Admitting Desk employees from the main entrance to the emergency department entrance. Patients seeking emergency room help, lab work, X-rays or sleep studies should enter the hospital through the emergency department entrance. The main entrance will be utilized principally for patients seeking access to other services in the hospital including the outpatient Geriatric Psychiatry services and the Raines Dialysis Center.

Hours for laboratory work will remain the same: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, closed for lunch, 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m.; 8 a.m.-noon on Saturday.

Task force findings back Tuality’s Lung Cancer Screening Program

July 30, 2013

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Tuality Healthcare’s innovative Lung Cancer Screening Program, the only one of its kind in the Portland metro area, received a nice boost from an influential government panel regarding low dose CT scans and there use in diagnosing early stage lung cancer.

After extensive review of the current evidence, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force concluded that older smokers at high risk of lung cancer should receive annual low-dose CT scans. The panel said the benefits to smokers in the 55 to 79 age group far outweigh the risks associated with a CT scan.

Tuality has been ahead of the curve regarding low-dose CT scans and lung cancer. The hospital started its Lung Cancer Screening Program in June under the direction of Drs. Peter Hahn and Srinivas Mummadi. This procedure uses low radiation dose CT scans instead of traditional chest X-rays to diagnose lung cancer in a very specific segment of the population – long-term smokers in the 55 to 79 age group.

“We’re pleased with the news that validates our program,” said Hahn, a pulmonologist and Tuality’s medical director of critical care and sleep medicine. “We firmly believe that low-dose CT scans can allow us to diagnose lung cancer in an early, treatable stage.”

The task force said that current and former smokers aged 55 to 79 with a 30 “pack-year” history of smoking and who have smoked in the last 15 years should receive an annual low-dose CT scans. The term 30 “pack-year” refers to a person who has smoked a pack of cigarettes a day for 30 years. Another consideration is the person undergoing the CT scan should be in good health, making them a good candidate for surgery should cancer be found.

“By diagnosing lung cancer in its earliest stages, we can actually save lives,” said Mummadi. “We can cure lung cancer in 80 percent of cases diagnosed in the earliest stages by following these guidelines.”

The panel estimates that 20,000 of the United States' nearly 160,000 annual lung cancer deaths could be prevented under the new guidelines.

Tuality Healthcare’s program started on June 6. The program consists of the low-dose CT scan, consultation with a pulmonologist to review the results, and a visit with a nicotine dependence counselor. Most private insurers and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) do not pay screening at this time. However, it is expected that insurance coverage will be widely available in the near future. The entire program will take less than 4 hours to complete. Funding for the Lung Cancer Screening Program and much of the necessary equipment was supplied by the Tuality Healthcare Foundation.

Lung cancer screening using low dose CT has been officially endorsed by the American Cancer Society, American College of Chest Physicians, and many other national cancer and lung organizations.

A CT scan is medical imaging procedure that generates a three-dimensional image that is a better diagnostic tool for doctors than the traditional chest X-ray. A low-dose CT scan reduces the amount of radiation delivered to the human body. Tuality features a new state-of-the-art 128-slice CT scanner with low-dose capability.

For more information, please call 503-681-4354.

Tuality Wound & Ostomy Clinic moves to new Location

June 27, 2013

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Tuality Healthcare’s Wound and Ostomy Clinic has a new home, a new director and a recurring goal to provide the best wound and ostomy care for our patients.

The clinic opened its doors on Friday, June 21 in its new location on 3 West in the main hospital building. David Hardin, MD will be the clinic’s new director and will be in charge of all wound and ostomy related matters regarding patients referred to the clinic. This will include approving the care plan, referrals for tests and specialist with consults to the Primary Care Physician, and managing culture results.

And a highly qualified staff certified in wound management, ostomy management, and foot and nail care will continue to provide great service under the direction of Clinical Nurse Manager Clare Brown, CWON, CFCN.

The clinic’s goal, according to Brown, is to promote wound healing through use of current evidence-based best practices for wound and ostomy care. The staff is prepared to create a comprehensive treatment program that uses advanced medical and surgical techniques.

Wound care is much more than changing a dressing or bandage. Your caregiver at the clinic will design a care plan tailored to your wound. The caregiver will teach you how and when to change the dressing on your wound. If a patient can’t change the bandage, the caregiver will work with a family member or friend to learn how to change a dressing.

Ostomy care involves treating areas where a patient is using an ostomy bag for draining urine, the large bowel and the small bowel. Clinic personnel will instruct patients on how to keep the stomy area clean to prevent infections.

“We’re excited about our new location and director,” said Brown. “We hope that doctors in our market area will consider sending their patients to us for wound care.”

Tuality, Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel team up on telemedicine project

June 26, 2013

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Staff and medical providers at Tuality Healthcare have a new tool to turn to when a newborn infant is in crisis. Legacy Tele-Baby Resuscitation is a Skype-like high definition telemedicine robot that allows Tuality staff to communicate with expert neonatal nurse practitioners at Legacy Health’s Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel in Portland.

If a baby is having an emergency, Tuality doctors and nurses may use the robot to connect with neonatal nurse practitioners in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Randall Children’s Hospital to confer on the baby’s best treatment options.

“It’s an exciting time when we can team with pediatric experts at Randall Children’s Hospital and use technology to help save lives,” said Joan Townsend, Tuality’s director of women’s services. “We’re delighted with this partnership because it will mean better services and better outcomes for our patients.”

Tuality staff members are currently undergoing training on how to use the new robot. The start date for the program is scheduled for Wednesday, June 26.

Here’s how Legacy Tele-Baby Resuscitation works: if a newborn in Tuality’s Birth Center is anticipated to need resuscitation, or shows signs of distress after birth, nurses and doctors will be in contact with a neonatal nurse practitioner at Randall Children’s Hospital within seconds via the robot. It allows both sets of practitioners to determine the diagnosis and condition of a newborn in real time. The caregivers, based on the newborn’s color, breathing and other conditions, then make an informed decision on the baby’s care and whether he/she needs to be transported to a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

“These are literally life-saving moments. They are critical times at a family birth center,” said Lauren Rose, M.D., medical director of Newborn Nurseries at Randall Children’s Hospital.

The robot is a state of the art remote presence device with a video camera that tilts and zooms, microphone, and liquid crystal display (LCD) screen. Two way video conferencing allows both sites to collaborate on the newborn’s care.

Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center in Portland has successfully used Legacy Tele-Baby Resuscitation 25 times since May 2012.

Joan Townsend, Dr. Lauren Rose and neonatal nurse practitioners are available for interviews.

###

Tuality Healthcare gets real-time feedback in emergency department

June 13, 2013

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Feedback is important to any business, especially healthcare. That’s why a new patient satisfaction survey tool in use in Tuality Healthcare Emergency Departments in Hillsboro and Forest Grove is delighting both patients and employees alike.

The tool, called Client IQ, quickly and accurately captures patient satisfaction data, allowing Emergency Department personnel to identify areas of excellence, or areas that need improvement. Patients use a touch screen monitor set up in the Emergency Department to fill out a customized survey. The survey is also available for patients on a tablet PC.

Filling out the survey takes about a minute. If a patient reveals a problem about their care, the tool alerts emergency department managers, nurses and doctors. That gives ER staff the opportunity to find the problem and deal with it on the spot, not after the patient leaves for home.

The monitor and kiosk were funded by Northwest Emergency Physicians, the group Tuality contracts with to provide doctors for the Emergency Department.

The new survey tool is experiencing a few growing pains, according to Val Collins, clinical nurse manager in the Hillsboro ED. Some patients want to leave instead of taking time to fill out the survey. Others are confused about selecting the physician and nurse in charge of their care. Long-term, Collins said, the new tool should provide better feedback from patients.

The survey questions are customizable and are similar to other patient surveys:

• Did staff address your pain?

• Was your wait time acceptable?

• Did you have questions about discharge instructions?

“The beauty of this modern device is its ability to deliver real time feedback to the treatment team,” said Dr. Darren Alexander, Tuality emergency room medical director. “It is fully customizable, and we can tailor questions to address areas of focus in our efforts to deliver the best emergency care and improve patient satisfaction in their experiences in our emergency departments.”

Tuality Healthcare announces lung cancer screening program

May 22, 2013

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

One of the great killers of our time could become more treatable, even curable, as a result of an innovative screening program that will begin in early June at Tuality Healthcare.

The program will use a low-dose CT scan to screen for lung cancer, rather than the traditional chest X-ray. Lung cancer is by far the deadliest form of cancer, with lung cancer deaths exceeding the next four types of cancer combined.

The lung cancer screening program, under the guidance of Tuality pulmonologists Peter Hahn and Srinivas Mummadi, will be the first offered in the Portland metropolitan area. Hospitals in Salem and Bend have started similar screening programs.

“The Holy Grail of lung cancer is to find a way to screen people to find the cancer early enough that we can effectively treat it,” said Dr. Hahn, who serves as medical director of critical care and sleep medicine at Tuality. “Currently, lung cancer is usually diagnosed at advanced stages leading to poor survival rates.”

In 2011, the National Lung Cancer Screening Trial was published. This important study found a 20-percent reduction in deaths from lung cancer among heavy smokers who were screened with a low-dose CT scan versus those screened by chest X-ray. The trial involved over 53,000 current and involved current and former smokers ages 55 to 74.

Low-dose CT scan screening can result in more Stage I and Stage II lung cancer diagnoses, rather than the more deadly Stage III and Stage IV diagnoses. “With Stage I, you have a survival rate of close to 90 percent at 10 years,” Hahn said. “We want to catch lung cancer and cure it. That’s the goal.”

Tuality Healthcare’s program will be open to the public beginning June 6. Cost for the first 100 people who participate will be $99. After that, the program will cost $299. The program consists of the low-dose CT scan, consultation with a pulmonologist to review the results, and a visit with a nicotine dependence counselor. The entire program will take less than 4 hours to complete. Funding for the Lung Cancer Screening Program and much of the necessary equipment was supplied by the Tuality Healthcare Foundation.

Lung cancer screening using low dose CT has been officially endorsed by the American Cancer Society, American College of Chest Physicians, and many other national cancer and lung organizations.

A CT scan is medical imaging procedure that generates a three-dimensional image that is a better diagnostic tool for doctors than the traditional chest X-ray. A low-dose CT scan reduces the amount of radiation delivered to the human body. Tuality features a new state-of-the-art 128-slice CT scanner with low-dose capability.

A state of the art technology called Electromagnetic Navigational Bronchoscopy (EMN) will also be used to help clarify whether suspicious nodules detected on the CT are malignant or not. Often called “GPS for the lung”, EMN allows lung doctors access to the far reaches of the lung to safely biopsy suspicious lesions.

“This program fits in with our mission at Tuality – to offer state-of-the-art care in a safe, efficient manner,” Hahn said. “We hope that by offering this, other area programs will follow suit very shortly.”

Tuality’s lung cancer screening program is open to anyone 55 to 74 years of age who have smoked for at least 30 years. Current smokers as well as those who quit in the last 15 years are eligible.

To make an appointment, or to ask questions about the program, call 503-681-4139.

To view a video of Dr. Hahn discussing the Lung Cancer Screening Program, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L71qKhgZUrQ

Event for small business owners shines light on health insurance

May 15, 2013

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

The Greater Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce and Tuality Healthcare, Kaiser Permanente Northwest and Providence Health Plans are teaming up to host a health insurance exchange conference designed for small business owners on May 31, 8 – 11:15 a.m., at the Tuality Health Education Center, 334 SE 8th Ave. in Hillsboro. The event is free.

The conference, entitled “Navigating the Affordable Care Act: Focus on Small Business” is intended to provide guidance for business owners as they seek to navigate the new health insurance exchange marketplace that goes into effect on Oct. 1, 2013. The event will feature experts from the health insurance industry, Cover Oregon (the new central marketplace where individuals and employers will be able to compare insurance plans and access government financial assistance information), and the Community Assistors group, which is charged with answering health insurance questions.

The event will feature a continental breakfast and plenty of time for questions and answers.

The Health Insurance Marketplace website is a result of the Affordable Care Act, the federal healthcare reform act that President Barack Obama signed into law in 2010. The act’s intent is to increase the number of Americans covered by health insurance, improve healthcare outcomes, and reduce the overall costs of health care.

“Negotiating the new health insurance exchange is a complex proposition,” said Deanna Palm, the chamber president. “What we hope to accomplish with this summit is to give small business owners the tools they need to successfully navigate the plans that take effect in October.”

Here is the agenda for the May 31 event:

8 am. Continental Breakfast

8:25 a.m. Welcome from Hillsboro Chamber President Deanna Palm

8:30 a.m. Overview of the Affordable Care Act – Sally Borte and Sarah Bactad, Parker, Smith and Feek insurance brokers.

9:10 a.m. Q & A with Sally and Sarah

9:20 a.m. Panel discussion on public exchanges, what they are and how they will work.

Panel moderator John DiFalco, WSC Insurance

Panelists: Alison Nicholson, Kaiser Permanente; Shelia Jameson, Providence Health Plans; Gretchen Peterson, board member, Cover Oregon

10:10 a.m. Break

10:20 a.m. Community Assistors program with Samantha Shepard, Cover Oregon

10:45 a.m. Q & A with all panel members

To sign up for this event, visit www.hillchamber.org

 

Need breast pump help? Get answers at Tuality Medical Equipment & Supply

April 11, 2013

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Many mothers who wish to breastfeed with the help of a breast pump are scratching their heads over cost and insurance coverage changes required by the federal Affordable Care Act.

The Affordable Care Act includes a provision requiring insurance companies to cover the cost of breastfeeding equipment. That provision took effect Aug. 1, 2010, although insurance companies could wait until the new plan year began Jan. 1 to start offering coverage.

Now that new plans are in effect, many moms have questions. The best place for answers in Washington County is Tuality Medical Equipment & Supply, Tuality’s durable medical equipment store located in the Tuality 7th Ave. Medical Plaza building at 333 SE 7th Ave.

TMES Manager Dave Nolan and his staff can help new moms navigate the confusing and frustrating path of insurance coverage, co-pays and the like. “We can work with your insurance company if there are problems quicker than other companies,” Nolan said of the service he and his staff can provide. “We’ve seen more customers wanting to use this coverage, and there’s lots of confusion that goes along with that.” 

TMES stocks a number of types of electric and manual breast pumps. Nolen and his staff will help you decide on the right one for you.

Nolan and his staff can also help you sort through some of the following issues:

  • Does my insurance cover only manual pumps? Or will it cover more expensive electric pumps.
  • What are the co-pay and deductible requirements of my insurance?
  • What about renting a breast pump?
  • What is the “allowable amount” my policy will cover?
  • What if I’m an Oregon Health Plan member? Will it cover the cost of a breast pump?

Tuality Medical Equipment & Supply is located in Suite 1200 of the Tuality 7th Ave. Medical Plaza building. Reach them by phone at 503-681-1658.

Make room in the trophy case for another Gold Plus stroke award

April 11, 2013

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Tuality Healthcare in Hillsboro has received a second Gold Plus stroke award from the American Heart Association. The 2013 award, called the Get With The Guidelines®–Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award, follows a similar Gold Plus award in 2012 and Silver Plus award in 2011.

What the string of awards means is Tuality Healthcare and its stroke team provides the highest standard of stroke care, which reduces death and disability and improves the lives of stroke patients. The award honors the stroke team for 85 percent, or higher, adherence on 10 quality stroke achievement measures over a 24-month period.

“This was a team effort,” said Dr. Daniel Friedman, head of Tuality’s highly skilled stroke team. “I have a whole lot of people to thank – physicians, pharmacy, administration, nurses, emergency department. There really are dozens of people who are responsible for this award.”

Tuality’s stroke team is made up of three neurology specialists – Dr. Friedman, Tuality Stroke Center director, Dr. Barbara J. Hills, MD, and Dr. Wan-jui Chen, MD, as well as three neurosurgeons, Dr. Fred C. Williams, MD, Dr. Keyvan Abtin, MD, and Dr. Bradley J. Bergquist, MD, plus Emergency Department, nursing staff and other Tuality Healthcare personnel.

The GoldPlus award is an extension of the stroke team’s Silver award from 2011. Tuality also is certified as a Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission.

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States, according to the American Stroke Association. It is also a leading cause of serious, long-term disability. In stroke cases, Friedman said, the faster the diagnosis and treatment, the better the chance of limiting brain damage and potential long-term disability. Neurologists use the term Stroke: Time = Brain.

Recognizing the signs of stroke and calling 9-1-1 for immediate transport to a hospital are crucial aspects of stroke treatment. Friedman recommends that everyone should be able to recognize the signs of a stroke by learning and using the acronym F.A.S.T. F stands for checking for facial droop or an uneven smile; A stands for checking for arm numbness or weakness; S stands for recognizing slurred speech or difficulty speaking; and T stands for time to the hospital. If a citizen sees any of these signs, they should call 9-1-1 immediately.

To view a video featuring Dr. Friedman on stroke and stroke care, go to:
http://youtu.be/Q1mr9lOvMN4

To view a 30-second television commercial on the GoldPlus award, go to:
http://youtu.be/aMoX3BltizA

Tuality doctor performs metro area’s first bronchial thermoplasty

March 19, 2013

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Dr. Srinivas Mummadi, a pulmonary disease specialist at Tuality Healthcare, performed a breakthrough lung procedure on a 58-year-old Beaverton woman patient who suffers from severe asthma on Friday at Tuality Community Hospital in Hillsboro.

The 45-minute procedure, called a bronchial thermoplasty, should help Patricia Young regain significant quality of life after years of suffering from severe asthma.

Bronchial thermoplasty is a minimally-invasive procedure that uses a bronchoscope to deliver thermal energy via radio waves to the airway wall in the lungs. The radio waves reduce airway smooth muscle, reducing the airway’s ability to constrict, which occurs during frequent asthma attacks.

“I just want to be able to get up in the morning and go outside and take a walk,” Young said prior to the procedure. “Long-term, I just want to have a better quality of life. I really do.”

Traditional asthma treatments of inhaled corticosteroids, long acting inhalers and nebulized medications have not given Young much relief from her severe asthma.

Dr. Mummadi deemed Friday’s procedure, the first of three planned procedures and also the first one to be performed in Oregon, uncomplicated and a success. The final outcome won’t be known until the three procedures are completed, he said.

“This is a very exciting development in terms of treatment solutions for severe persistent asthmatics,” Dr. Mummadi said. "Basically, this disease controls the patients’ lives in terms of emergency room visits, frequent need for steroids and complications from steroids. This is a non-pharmaceutical intervention that plans to control their asthma in such a way that they can start enjoying their life."

Dr. Mummadi was assisted in the procedure by Dr. Peter Hahn, his senior colleague in the Tuality Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine Clinic. Dr. Mummadi joined Tuality Healthcare in 2011 from the Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Hahn joined Tuality in 2010 from the Mayo Clinic.

The procedure is performed in three outpatient visits, each treating a different area of the lungs and scheduled three weeks apart. Data from surgery equipment provider Boston Scientific shows that 79 percent of asthma patients who were treated with bronchial thermoplasty saw significant improvements in asthma-related quality-of-life measures.

“Asthma is bad, it makes you feel bad,” said Young. “It slows your metabolism and does not make you want to get up and do anything for fear of having an attack. Tuality’s been good to me and I trust the doctors that I see that are associated with Tuality.”

Tuality executive named to Cerner Client Care Council

March 04, 2013

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Sonney Sapra, Tuality Healthcare’s chief information officer, has been appointed to the national Cerner Client Care Council, an invitation-only group of information technology executives that works closely with Cerner Corporation to improve its healthcare IT products.

Sapra, who also serves as Tuality’s director of information systems, is one of 50 Cerner clients who serve on the Client Care Council. Cerner is an international health care information technology company with over 2,100 clients. Cerner is Tuality’s vender for electronic medical records and computerized physician order entry technology.

Sapra said the council meets twice a year at Cerner’s headquarters in Kansas City, Mo., and has many “virtual” meetings. The council’s task, Sapra said, is to provide direction and feedback on the company’s products.

“Tuality Healthcare management has recognized what an outstanding leader and visionary Sonney is regarding healthcare technology,” said Manny Berman, Tuality’s chief operating officer. “It is nice to see the acknowledgement from an internationally known vendor”

Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center to offer free head and neck screenings

February 27, 2013

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

The public is invited to a free head and neck cancer screening clinic on Saturday, March 16 at the Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center at 299 SE 9th Ave. in Hillsboro. No registration is required for the clinic, which will run from 9 a.m. to noon.

Participants will be screened for oral (mouth and throat) cancer, thyroid cancer, neck cancer and skin cancer of the scalp and face by Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center physicians, local dentists, ear, nose and throat physicians, and dermatologists. These specialists will also be available to answer any questions and share information about these life-threatening but treatable cancers. The clinic’s goal is to promote prevention and early detection.

According to the American Cancer Society, over 13,000 deaths will be attributed to oral cavity, pharynx, throat and thyroid cancer in 2012. Most oral cancers occur on the lips, tongue and floor of the mouth. Sun-exposed areas such as the forehead, face and ears can harbor head and neck cancers. Tobacco use and sun exposure have been linked to 85 percent of oral cancers.

Signs and symptoms include a sore in the mouth that won’t heal, persistent pain in the mouth, difficulty chewing, swallowing, or moving the tongue, change in voice, lump in the neck, throat soreness or a sensation that something is caught in your throat.

Participants should be aware that early detection is an important step towards staying healthy. This clinic is another example of the Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center’s commitment to educating and informing our community about cancer prevention. 

For more information on the screening clinic, visit www.tuality-ohsu-cancercenter.org, or call Tina Dickerson, cancer center director, at 503-681-4200.

Tuality Healthcare Foundation to offer health careers scholarship

February 25, 2013

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

The Tuality Healthcare Foundation is currently accepting applications and will award scholarships in June to two high school seniors who seek a career in health care.

The Flo Rhea Health Careers Endowment Scholarship was established in 1992 to pay tribute to Flo’s 12 years of service to Tuality. Funds were raised for this endowed scholarship from Flo’s family and friends and serves as a reminder of her outstanding inspiration, values, and commitment to the future of health care by investing in the young people of our community. The scholarship will award one (1) $1,000 scholarship to a student pursuing a career in a human health-care related field. 

The Dr. Marvin J. Robb Memorial Scholarship will award one (1) $1,600 scholarship to a student pursuing a career in a human health-care related field. Dr. Robb practiced medicine at Tuality Community Hospital for 38 years and retired in 1983. In 2007, Marlys Carter, a Tuality Healthcare Foundation board member, established the Dr. Marvin J. Robb Memorial Scholarship in honor of Dr. Robb’s many years of service to the community.

Each applicant must be a current graduating high school senior attending one of the following schools: Aloha, Banks, Banks Christian Academy, Century, Faith Bible Christian, Forest Grove, Gaston, Glencoe, Hillsboro, Liberty, Life Christian, Miller Education Center or Westview. Applicants must have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher and must meet other selection criteria. Application forms will be available beginning February 25 in the career counseling centers of the aforementioned high schools, by contacting the Tuality Healthcare Foundation at 503-681-1170, or by visiting the foundation website at www.tualityfoundation.org/tualityfoundation_scholarships.html.

Community “Bonds” together at 28th Annual Dinner Dance

February 06, 2013

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

On Saturday, January 26, the Tuality Healthcare Foundation’s 28th Annual Dinner Dance, featured a James Bond theme and celebrated the 50th anniversary of the franchise while raising funds to support Tuality’s mission. This year, the event raised over $71,000 and the timely theme also served as the perfect backdrop for Tuality Healthcare to bond with its supporters and community partners.

Dick Stenson, CEO of Tuality Healthcare, and Cece Clitheroe, Director of the Tuality Healthcare Foundation, welcomed the event’s sponsors and guests. Mark Rosenbaum, managing partner of Rosenbaum Financial, and the evenings Presenting Sponsor, applauded Tuality’s unique role as Hillsboro’s community hospital and praised the public benefit that the Dinner Dance fundraiser provides. Randy Bateman, Chair of the Tuality Healthcare Foundation Board, also reiterated the importance of Tuality’s impact on the community.

The evening culminated with a sumptuous, multi-course dinner prepared by Portland’s Food In Bloom Catering followed by dancing to the sounds of the Swingline Cubs.

Tuality receives “A” grade for patient safety in national study

November 28, 2012

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Tuality Community Hospital in Hillsboro is one of only four hospitals in Oregon to receive an “A” grade for patient safety from The Leapfrog Group, a national health care quality improvement watchdog organization.

The national hospital safety report measures patient safety practices at over 2,600 hospitals and gives them letter grades ranging from “A” through “F.” Joining Tuality in the “A” category for Oregon hospitals are Kaiser Sunnyside Medical Center in Clackamas, Providence Milwaukie Hospital in Milwaukie and Mercy Medical Center in Roseburg. The report was issued Wednesday by the Washington, D.C.-based group.

The grade, or score, is based on a voluntary survey managed by Leapfrog, as well as 26 publicly available hospital safety data measures, including how often patients fall in hospitals, get central line-associated bloodstream infections, develop severe pressure ulcers, and have preventable complications from surgery.

The grade also measures how hospital staffers perform on antibiotic administration, if the hospital has good nursing leadership, the right level of intensive care unit staffing, and if it uses computerized physician order entry systems.

To receive an “A” grade, a hospital must rank in the top 25 percent in all of the data measures. Out of 31 Oregon hospitals to be ranked, four received “A” grades, 10 received “B” grades, 14 received “C” grades, two received “D” grades and 1 received an “F” grade.

“Tuality Healthcare has made it a priority to provide a safe environment for our patients,” said Manny Berman, Tuality’s chief operating officer and hospital administrator. “Results such as this Leapfrog Group evaluation helps substantiate our efforts.”

The goal of the report, according to The Leapfrog Group, is to highlight the best and worst hospitals in the country, which enables patients to make informed decisions about where to get care. The grades were calculated largely from 2011 data.

Of the 2,652 hospitals issued a safety score, 729 earned an “A,” 679 earned a “B,” and 1,243 earned a “C” or below.

The Leapfrog grading system was developed by a panel of healthcare quality experts, including doctors from the Harvard University School of Public Health, and Johns Hopkins University.

To view all of the scores, go to www.hospitalsafetyscore.org

 

Tuality Healthcare teams with other agencies in disaster drill

November 12, 2012

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Tuality Healthcare and a host of other agencies will be staging a mock disaster exercise on the evening of Wednesday, Nov. 14 at the Tuality Healthcare campus in Hillsboro. The exercise is intended to test the ability of Tuality Healthcare staff and supporting fire, police and other agencies in handling a potential situation involving a breach of security at the main hospital building.

Assisting Tuality’s emergency preparedness staff in handling the exercise will be Hillsboro Fire Department, Hillsboro Police Department, Metro West Ambulance, Life Flight, the Washington County Consolidated Communications Agency and CERT. The exercise will begin at 10 p.m. and last about two hours. Streets and other areas in the vicinity of the Tuality Healthcare campus could be blocked off during this exercise.

Hillsboro Police will respond to Tuality Community Hospital following a 911 call about a security breach at the hospital. Officers will enter the hospital and subdue the intruder. The other agencies will be involved in case of mock injuries to police and fire personnel and Tuality staff and patients.

The intent of the exercise is to make sure Tuality and its staff is ready in case of an actual disaster involving an intruder or other scenarios such as earthquakes, flooding, severe storms, and other disasters.

Amanda Madrigal, Tuality’s new emergency preparedness coordinator, is excited about the disaster drill.

“My objective is to bring Tuality Healthcare to a new level of preparedness through education, training and continual development of our policies,” she said. “As healthcare professionals we must become proficient in recognizing and dealing with potential dangerous conditions and situations.”

Two Tuality Healthcare employees named Nurses of the Year

November 02, 2012

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

A pair of Tuality Healthcare nurses were honored as two of 16 Nurses of the Year at a March of Dimes breakfast on Friday at the Hilton Portland & Executive Towers.

The honorees are Leda Garside, RN, MBA, manager of ¡Salud! Services, and Amy Kaiser, RN, MSN, OCN, manager of Breast Health Services.

The Nurse of the Year program sponsored by the March of Dimes is in its second year and honors nurses in 16 categories for their care and compassion for patients. Garside was honored as Distinguished Nurse of the Year; Kaiser was honored as Women’s Health Nurse of the Year.

Over 400 nurses statewide were nominated for the various awards. A committee of health care providers whittled the list to 183 finalists, and then picked the winners in the 16 categories.

Three Tuality Healthcare medical clinics Three Tuality clinics receive Primary Care Home recognition

November 02, 2012

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Three Tuality Healthcare medical clinics have recently been recognized as Tier 3 Patient Centered Primary Care Home facilities by the Oregon Health Authority. The clinics are Hillsboro Internal Medicine, Orenco Station Medical Group and Westside Medical Clinic.

The recognition is part of the Oregon Health Authority’s drive to transform health care to a more patient-centered delivery model. The recognition means that a clinic’s team of health care providers will:

  • Better coordinate your care to get you the service you need when you need them.
  • Listen to your concerns and answer your question.
  • Provide after-hours help and alternatives to the emergency room.
  • Help you plan an active role in your health, including connecting you with a nutritionist, behavioral health specialist, care manager or other health care provider.

To be recognized as a Primary Care Home, the Tuality clinics had to meet standards of care established by the Oregon Health Authority. They include:

  • Accessibility: Care is available when patients need it.  
  • Accountability: Clinics take responsibility for their community and provide quality care.  
  • Comprehensive: Patients get the care, information and services they need to stay healthy.  
  • Continuous: Providers know their patients and work with them to improve their health over time.  
  • Coordinated: Clinics help patients navigate the health care system to get the care they need in a safe and timely way.  
  • Patient & Family Centered: Patients and families are the most important part of health care. Care should draw on a patient’s strengths to set goals, and communication should be culturally competent and understandable for all.

Tuality Foundation benefits from The Human Bean fundraiser

November 01, 2012

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

A good cup of coffee and a good cause teamed up once again in October to raise nearly $1,800 to benefit breast health programs supported by the Tuality Healthcare Foundation.

The annual Coffee for a Cure event, sponsored by The Human Bean coffee shops in Hillsboro and Cornelius, raised an exact total of $1,763.10 on Oct. 19. Proceeds from sales that day at the two shops were donated to the foundation. The Coffee for a Cure event is just one example of Tuality Healthcare’s support and promotion of October as Breast Cancer Awareness month.

“Thanks once again to the staff and executives at The Human Bean for sponsoring this great event,” said Cece Clitheroe, Tuality Healthcare Foundation director. “We love our coffee in Washington County and it shows with the great support we receive.” This longstanding relationship between The Human Bean and the Foundation has raised nearly $12,000, according to Clitheroe.

The Coffee for a Cure event involves all 49 The Human Bean franchises in seven states. The 49 shops raised a grand total of $95,559.41 to aid various breast health programs.

Tuality has two unique locations for breast health patients. Tuality’s new Breast Health Center, located in the Seventh Avenue Medical Plaza building, opened in the fall of 2011 and features the latest in digital mammography technology. Tuality’s mobile mammography van, the only one of its kind in Oregon, brings breast health services to locations like business, care home and other facilities. To schedule an appointment with our Breast Health Center, call 503-681-4111.

To find out more about The Human Bean, go to www.thehumanbean.com. For more information on the foundation, go to www.tualityfoundation.org.

Tuality employee health flu shot campaign hits 81 percent

October 18, 2012

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Tuality Healthcare’s employee flu shot campaign is in mid-season form with a rate of 81 percent of all employees receiving a flu shot. The total number of employees receiving a flu shot as of Oct. 16 is 1,229.

A safe hospital and clinic environment for both employees and patients is the target of the flu-shot campaign. The goal of this year’s campaign is a 95 percent vaccination rate. Last year, the employee health department and others delivered 1,798 flu shots for a 90-percent rate.

Employee Health nurse Nina Larkins, RN, is pleased with the numbers so far, saying “it’s a very brisk response in a short amount of time.

The Employee Health department received a boost early this month when it was announced that Tuality has received a $1,800 grant for the 2012-2013 campaign from the Oregon Adult Immunization Coalition.

“We are so pleased to be awarded this grant as this was a truly a collaborative effort with Infection Prevention and Employee Health in completing the grant process,” said Joan Otterman, infection control nurse. “We will use the grant to increase our vaccination rates through additional staffing hours to give flu vaccine, additional prize drawings and focusing on key areas that continue to show lower vaccination rates.”

Flu shots remain available at Tuality Urgent Care, Tuality Forest Grove Hospital emergency department and at Employee Health on the Hillsboro campus.

Tuality, Human Bean, Century High team up to promote breast cancer awareness month

October 09, 2012

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Tuality Healthcare, The Human Bean coffee shops in Hillsboro and Cornelius, and Century High School, are teaming up to promote October as Breast Cancer Awareness month as well as raise money to help support cancer services in western Washington County.

On Friday, Oct. 19, The Human Bean will play host to its annual “Coffee for a Cure” event with proceeds from sales throughout the day to be donated to the Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center. The event includes beverages and pastries at its two locations – 998 SE Oak St., Hillsboro, and 2355 E. Baseline Rd., Cornelius.

The “Think Pink” event hosted by Century High School will take place from October 15 – 19. Cheerleaders will be encouraging coin jar donations, football players will be decked in pink, and Breast Cancer awareness merchandise will be available for purchase. Football fans are also encouraged to attend the Century vs. Tualatin high school football game at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19 at Hillsboro Stadium to help in the fight against breast cancer. Proceeds will also benefit the Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center.

Since 2007, the partnership between The Human Bean, Century High School, and the Foundation has raised over $13,000, according to Cece Clitheroe, Tuality Healthcare Foundation director. “Thanks to The Human Bean and Century High School for their help in fighting breast cancer,” Clitheroe said. “We hope to see you at one of these fine events.

Tuality Healthcare has two unique locations for breast health patients. Tuality’s new Breast Health Center, located in the Seventh Avenue Medical Plaza building, opened in fall 2011 and features the latest in digital mammography technology. Tuality’s mobile mammography van, the only one of its kind in Oregon, brings breast health services to locations like businesses, care homes and other facilities.

The Human Bean, based in Medford, has 50 locations in seven states. For more information, go to www.thehumanbean.com. For a mammography appointment or other information about breast health services, please call 503-681-4035. For foundation information, go to www.tualityfoundation.org

Tuality Healthcare welcomes Japanese healthcare workers

October 08, 2012

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

image

A unique collaboration between Yatsuo General Hospital in Toyama, Japan and Hillsboro’s Tuality Healthcare entered its 21st year on Monday with the arrival of eight Japanese health care workers poised to learn the latest trends in American medicine.

The group spent a restful Sunday touring the Columbia River Gorge before embarking on a week’s worth of hospital sessions to learn medical best practices from their Tuality co-workers. The group, led by Dr. Hisatake Fujii, MD, PHD, the CEO of Yatsuo General, includes four doctors, three nurses and an occupational therapist.

Tuality CEO Dick Stenson was on hand to greet the visitors before conducting an orientation session to explain Tuality Healthcare’s facilities and the week ahead. Sharing best medical practices in your own country is one thing, Stenson said, but discussing patient care in another country and another culture is something altogether different.

The exchange program began in 1992 and has become an annual occurrence with the two hospitals trading host duties. Most of the visitors will be staying with Tuality employees to get a taste of life in the Portland metro area.

The visit is all about learning how to take better care of patients in a hospital setting and includes stops at Hospice & Palliative Care of Washington County, the Multnomah County Free Clinic, Oregon Health & Science University and the Hillsboro Eye Clinic.

The visitors have a full schedule throughout the rest of the week before heading to Portland International Airport on Friday for the long flight back to Japan.

Tuality Healthcare stroke center wins another prominent award

September 18, 2012

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

image

Tuality Healthcare’s award-winning stroke team brought home another piece of impressive hardware last week, winning the Get With The Guidelines – Stroke GoldPlus Quality Achievement Award presented by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. The award recognizes Tuality for its high standard of stroke care that reduces death and disability and improves the lives of stroke patients.

The award was presented to the extended stroke team members at a ceremony Wednesday at Tuality Community Hospital. The award honors the stroke team for 85 percent, or higher, adherence on 10 quality stroke achievement measures over a 24-month period.

“This award and the numbers on the 10 measures speak to the quality of care at Tuality Healthcare,” said Erin Shaw, director of quality improvement for the American Heart/Stroke Association's Western States Division, who has on hand to present the award. “Most hospitals stick to what’s required. This hospital has never done that. Tuality is always striving to provide better care.”

Tuality’s stroke team is made up of three neurology specialists – Dr. Daniel K. Friedman, MD, Tuality Stroke Center director, Dr. Barbara J. Hills, MD, and Dr. Wan-jui Chen, MD, as well as three neurosurgeons, Dr. Fred C. Williams, MD, Dr. Keyvan Abtin, MD, and Dr. Bradley J. Bergquist, MD.

Friedman struggled to thank all those responsible for the award. “I need to thank everyone,” he said. “Who do I thank? The nurses, emergency department, the administration, the physicians, the pharmacy. There are lots of thanks to go around.”

The GoldPlus award is an extension of the stroke team’s Silver award from 2011. Also in 2011, the Joint Commission, a national organization that investigates and certifies hospitals, gave Tuality the prestigious Certification of Distinction for Advanced Primary Stroke Center award. The Joint Commission will return to Tuality in 2013 to recertify the facility as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center.

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States, according to the American Stroke Association. It is also a leading cause of serious, long-term disability. In stroke cases, Friedman said, the faster the diagnosis and treatment, the better the chance of limiting brain damage and potential long-term disability. Neurologists use the term Stroke: Time = Brain.

Recognizing the signs of stroke and calling 9-1-1 for immediate transport to a hospital are crucial aspects of stroke treatment. Friedman recommends that everyone should be able to recognize the signs of a stroke by learning and using the acronym F.A.S.T. F stands for checking for facial droop or an uneven smile; A stands for checking for arm numbness or weakness; S stands for recognizing slurred speech or difficulty speaking as a stroke sign; and T stands for time to the hospital. If a citizen sees any of these signs, they should call 9-1-1 immediately.

To view a video featuring Dr. Friedman on stroke and stroke care, go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1mr9lOvMN4

 

Adventist Health opens JobCare Clinic in Hillsboro

September 13, 2012

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

One of the Portland area’s leading providers of Occupational Medicine has opened a JobCare clinic in the Tuality HealthPlace building at 1200 NE 48th Ave. in Hillsboro.

Adventist Health, which operates Occupational Medicine clinics in Portland and Vancouver, has leased clinic space from Tuality Healthcare. Adventist Health has refurbished the facility with the latest equipment to treat job-related injuries and other health problems that effect on-the-job productivity.

“We are pleased to welcome Adventist Health to the Hillsboro area health care community,” said Tuality President and CEO Dick Stenson. “Occupational Medicine is an important piece of the health care puzzle and we are glad they are here.”

Adventist Health JobCare-Hillsboro, under the direction of Dr. Curtis S. Thiessen, is focused on pre-employment physicals, drug screenings and treating injured workers to get them back to work promptly and safely.

“JobCare-Hillsboro provides quality and convenient access to business-related health care for businesses located west of Portland,” said Tom Russell, President and CEO of Adventist Medical Center. “We are honored to help businesses stay healthy by helping their workers stay healthy while focusing on a mission of whole person care.

Russell acknowledges that companies in the Hillsboro area have reached out to Adventist Health to assist with creating healthy work environments. The JobCare clinic also deals with workers compensation and return-to-work processes.

JobCare personnel are experts in:

  • Pre-employment physicals
  • Treating job-related diseases
  • Minimizing time loss
  • Recognizing and resolving workplace hazards
  • Instituting rehabilitation and return-to-work methods
  • Providing well-managed care

JobCare Hillsboro, located at 1200 NE 48th Ave, Suite 1000 is accepting patients Monday through Friday. To learn more, call 503-547-0003 or log on to Adventisthealthjobcare.com

Precaution against West Nile virus advised over holiday weekend

August 29, 2012

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Its official, authorities announced this week that the West Nile virus has made its way to Oregon, with two human cases in Coos and Malheur counties. The virus typically peaks over Labor Day weekend so it’s a good reminder to take precaution before heading outdoors.

This year marks one of the worst years for the West Nile Virus, which is a potentially serious illness that attacks the nervous system of animals and humans. As of Aug. 28, a total of 1,590 human cases, including 66 deaths, have been reported in 48 states by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

West Nile is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito, so with all the various outdoor activities planned over the weekend, please keep the following tips in mind to avoid infection:

  • Use an approved insect repellant every time you go outside. Approved repellents are those that contain DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
  • Regularly drain standing water — mosquitoes breed in stagnant water.
  • Wear long sleeves and long pants at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Use air conditioning or make sure there are screens on all doors and windows to keep mosquitoes from entering the home.
  • The elderly and those with compromised immune systems are at higher risk to get severe illness and should take extra precaution to avoid mosquito bites.

While it’s estimated that only 20% of people who become infected with the West Nile virus will develop West Nile fever, the most common symptoms include fever, headache, tiredness, body aches, and on occasion skin rash or swollen lymph glands.

Most illnesses caused by the virus will improve on their own and will not necessarily require medical attention. However, if severe symptoms develop such as an unusually severe headache or confusion, seek medical attention immediately. Pregnant and/or nursing women are also encouraged to talk to their health care provider if they develop symptoms that could be West Nile virus.

For more info about the West Nile virus, visit www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/

Tuality Health Alliance chosen for federal primary care initiative

August 24, 2012

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Tuality Health Alliance (THA) has been chosen as one of six organizations from Oregon to participate in a groundbreaking initiative sponsored by the federal government to strengthen the role of primary care in health care.

The initiative, called the Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative (CPCI), is intended to provide more effective, more affordable, higher quality health care. Five hundred primary care practices in seven states will take part in the initiative. It is a partnership between the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), state Medicaid agencies, commercial health plans, self-insured businesses and primary care providers.

THA is the plan administrator for the Tuality Healthcare Medical Plan. The other Oregon providers are: CareOregon, Regence BlueCross BlueShield, Oregon Health Authority, Providence Health Plans and the Teamsters Multi-Employer Taft Hartley Funds. The other regions involved are Arkansas, Colorado, New Jersey, New York, Ohio-Kentucky and Oklahoma.

Under the Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative, CMS will pay primary care practices a care management fee, initially around $20 per beneficiary per month. This

fee will support enhanced, coordinated services on behalf of Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries. Participating commercial, state, and other federal insurance plans are also offering enhanced payment to primary care practices that are designed to support them in providing high-quality primary care on behalf of their members.

“The Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative is the kind of common sense investment in health care we need,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “Businesses, families, and taxpayers all benefit from a stronger primary care system that helps to improve our health and lower costs.”

The initiative is a four-year program administered by the CMS Innovation Center, which was created by the Affordable Care Act to test innovative payment and service delivery models that have the potential to reduce program expenditures while preserving or enhancing the quality of care.

To see the list of selected practices and addresses in all seven markets, as well as see it visually on a map go to:

innovations.cms.gov/initiatives/Comprehensive-Primary-Care-Initiative/

 

High school sports physicals on tap Aug. 9, Aug. 14

August 07, 2012

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

All interested first and third year (freshman and junior) high school sports athletes are invited to take part in Tuality Sports Medicine Physical Nights on Thursday, Aug. 9 and Tuesday, Aug. 14 at Liberty High School. The physicals are available to students who attend Hillsboro, Liberty, Century, Glencoe and Forest Grove high schools.

A current sports physical is required by the Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA.) Exams will start at 6 p.m., and each school will have a designated time. The schedule is: Forest Grove, 6 p.m.; Century, 6:20 p.m., Hilhi, 6:40 p.m., Glencoe, 7 p.m., Liberty, 7:20 p.m. The schedule will repeat on Tuesday, Aug. 14.

Volunteer doctors will conduct the physicals, assisted by Tuality’s sports medicine staff and other volunteers. Prospective athletes need to bring $20 in cash (proceeds go to each school’s sports medicine program), and OSAA paperwork signed by a parent. The paperwork is available online at www.osaa.org by clicking the parents/student button, or from your high school athletic office. Athletes should wear shorts and a T-shirt; parents are welcome.

If athletes or parents have questions about the physical exams, please call 503-681-4238 for more information.

Tuality’s Emergency Department makes strides in customer satisfaction

July 26, 2012

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Other departments at Tuality Healthcare should be green with envy over the recent customer satisfaction scores rung up by the Emergency Department. Department customer satisfaction scores in the June report all glowed in green, signifying an increase in customer satisfaction over the previous quarter. The ED showed substantial improvement in all 10 categories, and substantial improvement in how Tuality ranks against other Northwest and National hospitals.

Leading the way:

  • Confidence that staff provided care in a safe and secure manner? Score of 91.
  • Care from nurses? (Overall). Score of 90.
  • Information you were given about caring for yourself at home? Score of 90.

The scores denote what percentage of patients answered the question(s) “Very Good.”

“Congratulations to the Emergency Department,” said Eunice Rech, RN, Tuality’s chief clinical officer. “Great results, keep the trend going.” Chris Meyers, RN, director inpatient services, said: “Fantastic job to you and your staff.”

David Miller, director of emergency, respiratory and ambulatory services, cautioned that the Emergency Department doesn’t deserve all of the credit. Multiple departments helped make the outstanding scores possible, he said.

Miller mentioned the following departments, among many others, for praise:

  • Housekeeping for their work in keeping the department and the hospital clean and tidy.
  • Admitting for their willingness to change their entire work pattern to bedside registration.
  • Diagnostic Imaging and Laboratory for their quick turnaround times.
  • 4th and 5th floor, PCU and ICU for helping with the quick transition of patients from the ED to the hospital.
  • Hospital administration for funding Rapid Care Unit equipment.
  • Information Systems for making changes in Cerner and to the location, operation and efficiency of information flow.
  • Engineering and Biomed for the never ending changes and repairs to the ED.

“It really is a team effort involving all the other departments,” Miller said. “Every change builds on previous changes and allows other changes to occur afterward. Our challenge now is to continue improving in all areas.”

Miller singled out Janneth Nakamura, RN, Kari Marks, ED Tech, Dr. William Powell and Dr. Darren Alexander, ED physicians, for their roles in the staff-driven change process.

Tuality Healthcare is going green with energy savings

July 26, 2012

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

An aggressive energy efficiency lighting campaign funded in part by the Energy Trust of Oregon is paying big dividends for Tuality Healthcare. The Facilities & Properties Department has converted lighting in a whole host of buildings and departments from money-wasting to energy efficient lighting.

The latest areas to receive lighting upgrades are the waiting rooms and exterior building lights at Tuality Community Hospital. Scheduled for completion this month are the Tuality Hematology/Oncology clinic in the Tuality 8th Avenue Medical Plaza and the auditorium in the Tuality Health Education Center .Three entire buildings – the Ninth and Oak parking structure, Tuality HealthPlace and the Records Center – have also received new, energy efficient lighting upgrades.

Tuality spends nearly $1 million annually on electricity. Approximately 25 percent of that figure goes for lighting. Changing to more energy efficient lighting is the easiest, least expensive way to trim electricity usage, said Lois Pierce, facilities department analyst. “It’s the low-hanging fruit,” she said. Most of the lighting projects have a return on investment of less than two years due to the energy savings.

Tuality is able to convert lighting through incentives from the Energy Trust of Oregon, an independent nonprofit dedicated to saving energy. As an example, a $22,677 cash incentive from the Energy Trust helped fund a lighting change at the Ninth and Oak parking structure. The change was from high-pressure sodium fixtures to compact fluorescents with motion detectors. The change reduced electricity usage about 60 percent, resulting in an average savings of $900 a month. Parking structures have minimum lighting requirements; to meet these requirements, the new, more efficient fixtures have a two-foot bulb in the center that stays on 24/7, plus two four-foot bulbs on either side that don’t come on until tripped by the motion sensor. The new fixtures provide better lighting for the security cameras and the sensors offer users a heightened level of awareness.

Tuality Healthplace, 1200 NE 48th Ave., and the Records Center, 160 W. Main, had T12 lighting upgraded to more efficient T8 lighting. Only ballasts and lamps were changed in the fixtures. Energy Trust provided cash incentives of $7,475 , resulting in nearly a 20-percent energy savings in each building.

 

Saving energy earns a nonprofit like Tuality what are called “business energy tax credits” from the Oregon Department of Energy. These are essentially chunks of money Tuality can sell to another company with a tax liability, known as a Pass-Through Partner, at a discount to further offset project costs. The tax credits from the energy saving projects at the parking structure and the other buildings currently available total roughly $24,215. Tuality is currently looking for Pass-Through Partners who could benefit from the tax impact of these business energy tax credits while helping Tuality continue upgrading our facilities. If someone you know may be interested, please have them call the Facilities and Properties office.

Saving energy doesn’t happen with a flip of a switch. Steve Krautscheid, Director of Facilities and Properties, would like to thank Lois Pierce as well as Tuality electricians Roy Pierce and Dan Shepherd who have completed the majority of the lighting work. “With Lois, Dan and Roy leading the way, Tuality is reducing our environmental footprint as well as saving money - way to go, Team!

Intermodal Transit Facility Wins Another Award

July 24, 2012

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

The Hillsboro Intermodal Transit Facility (ITF) has another award under its parking belt. It has been awarded the International Parking Institute (IPI) highest honor, “Best Design of a Parking Facility with Fewer than 800 Spaces” 2012 Award of Excellence. The IPI cited innovation, efficiency, sustainability and user-friendliness as key factors in the selection.

The ITF, a joint project of the city of Hillsboro, Tuality Healthcare and Pacific University, is a sustainably designed building which provides 794 vehicle parking spaces on five levels, includes ground floor commercial space, houses Portland Community College’s Hillsboro Education Center and is home to the region’s first bicycle commuter station, BikeStation Hillsboro. The ITF is next to a Blue Line MAX station.

The building is energy efficient and uses very low-energy LED lights, rooftop rainwater to maintain the landscape area and 252 roof top solar panels provide enough power to light the facility during daylight hours. 13 state-of-the-art electric vehicle charging stations are an additional sustainable feature.

“The City of Hillsboro is committed to sustainability and we definitely ‘walk our talk’. The ITF is one example of the work we do with our community partners to create a more sustainable hometown of the future, “said Hillsboro Mayor Jerry Willey.

According to Manny Berman, Chief Operating Officer and Administrator at Tuality Healthcare, “The Hillsboro Intermodal Transfer Facility has been a tremendous addition to the Hillsboro Health and Education District. In addition to the parking it provides for Pacific University, Tuality Healthcare, Portland Community College, Virginia Garcia Medical Clinic and Tri-met park-and-ride, the sustainable features of the facility represent our leadership in the region on developing sustainable projects.”

“Strong community partnerships are vital to ensure a vibrant quality of life for generations to come," Pacific University president Lesley Hallick said. "Civic engagement and sustainability are key pillars of Pacific University's mission, and we are fortunate to partner with like-minded entities in the City of Hillsboro and Tuality Healthcare to bring our mission to life."

The Intermodal Transit Facility is located between S.E. 7th Avenue and S.E. 8th Avenue in Hillsboro. The building, designed by LRS Architects and built by Skanska USA, has also received the 3rd place award for the Top Projects in 2011 from the Daily Journal of Commerce, Excellence in Concrete Parking from the Oregon Concrete and Aggregate Producers Association in 2010 and a 2011 Leadership Award for Sustainable Excellence from VHA Inc., a national network of not-for-profit health care organizations.

Lean project makes Tuality Emergency Department more efficient

July 11, 2012

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Tuality Healthcare’s newly remodeled 4-bed Rapid Care Unit, combined with a Pivot Nurse to direct patient flow upon arrival to the Emergency Department, will drastically reduce wait times, increase patient safety and satisfaction and create efficiencies for Emergency Department staff. The Pivot Nurse position is the result of a collaborative approach embracing the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s performance improvement methods known as “Lean.” This was a staff- driven design facilitated by Team Health’s Quality Initiative and Intel’s Rapid Integrated Lean Process©.

The Emergency Department has a split flow of patients. A patient with minor injuries and illness will be directed to the Rapid Care Unit, while those with more serious health issues will go to the main Emergency Department. When the Pivot Nurse is on duty, patients not arriving by ambulance will be evaluated, or “triaged,” and registered simultaneously. The goal for the Emergency Department is 30 minutes door to doctor time, less than 1 percent of patients leaving without being seen and 150 minutes total length of stay.

The Rapid Care Unit and Pivot Nurse will alleviate crowding in the main Emergency Department, creating a more streamlined approach. The Rapid Care Unit is designed for “patients that we think won’t take a lot of resources - simple lacerations, simple fractures, sore throats, earaches, back pain - people that aren’t going to take multiple X-rays or multiple lab tests or medications,” said Val Collins, Clinical Nurse Manager for Tuality Healthcare’s Emergency Department.

Current statistics show the Emergency Department’s current door-to-doctor time at 28 minutes, left without being seen rate at 1.6 percent and total length of stay at 154 minutes.

When both the Rapid Care Unit and main Emergency Department are full, nurses will perform rapid triages for those currently in the waiting room to gather vital signs, and ask more detailed questions regarding the patient’s health concerns. “We will be taking care of those patients faster, they won’t have to sit in the waiting room until there is a bed available or staff available,” Collins said.

Additional benefits are:

• An initial assessment of the use of a Pivot Nurse to direct patient flow as they arrive in the ER showed the arrival to room time was reduced from 22.75 minutes to 6 minutes. An average of 45 patients are seen a day from 3-11 p.m. in Tuality’s Emergency Room – in one month, this translates to over 382 patient hours saved.

• Increased patient satisfaction. One patient said: “Sweet – this is so much faster than the last time I was here.”

• The Pivot Nurse allows the Charge Nurse and Rapid Care Nurse to remain at their respective posts in the Emergency Department, saving an anticipated annual cost of $8,000.

• A Pivot Nurse eliminates the potential need to move patients from the Rapid Care Unit to a room for post assessment, saving an anticipated annual cost of $4,500.

• Total savings from staffing the Pivot Nurse function from 3-11 p.m. are projected to be about $27,500 annually.

To view a video highlighting the new Rapid Care Unit, go to:  http://youtu.be/KSUVous3Bxk

 

Tuality Healthcare pioneers MRI scans for pacemaker patients

July 11, 2012

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Pacemakers and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans traditionally go together like oil and water. Not anymore. Tuality Healthcare is the first hospital in the Portland metropolitan area with a diagnostic imaging staff certified to perform MRI scans for patients who have the new Medtronic Revo MRI® SureScan® pacing system.

Patients with traditional pacemakers cannot undergo MRI scans because of potential heart tissue damage or interference with the pacing circuitry. Magnetic fields from an MRI scan can interact with the circuitry causing pacemaker failure or malfunction. The new Medtronic pacing system’s circuit design is immune to magnetic interference. The pacemaker’s leads have also been engineered to mitigate heat around the heart tissue making it safe for MRI.

Tuality Healthcare is the first hospital in the metropolitan area to implant these pacemakers and perform this specialized scanning. “From a medical standpoint, it’s a huge breakthrough because patients who previously needed an MRI could not get one,” said Dr. Vincent Reyes, a cardiologist affiliated with Tuality Healthcare. MRI scans use powerful magnetic fields to produce highly detailed images of internal structures within the human body. Physicians use this technology to diagnose cancer, stroke, muscle injuries, bone disorders and other diseases.

This revolutionary new technology is the first MRI-safe device approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Tuality Healthcare is registered as an MR Imaging Center on the Medtronic website, and Tuality imaging staff are certified to safely scan patients with this new pacing technology. Medtronic certification means staff members have trained in specific FDA specifications and requirements to safely scan patients with the Revo pacing system.

Cathleen Dehen of Portland has this pacing system, and was the second patient to have an MRI scan at Tuality Healthcare. “I finally got my MRI, now I can go to the doctor and find out what is wrong with my knee,” said Dehen about her MRI experience.

To view the video about Tuality Healthcare’s MRI capabilities go to: http://youtu.be/x0Majnc6yLA

 

12th Annual C.A.T. Walk & Fun Run sets records

July 10, 2012

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

The Tuality Healthcare Foundation’s C.A.T. Walk & Fun Run set records for money raised and fastest male and female runners during the 12th annual event held July 4 in downtown Hillsboro. The event raised approximately $76,500 for cancer awareness and treatment programs at Tuality Healthcare, well above previous years. In addition, both male and female records were broken as the fastest male runner came in at 16 minutes and 13 seconds and the fastest female runner came in at 16 minutes and 46 seconds.

The event has raised over $600,000 in its 12 years of existence, a testament to the greater Hillsboro community’s resolve to help fight all forms of cancer. The annual event, a prelude to the largest 4th of July parade in Oregon, is actually three events in one – a Kids’ Dash, a competitive 5k fun run and a 5k walk.

A group of around 50 kids took part in the dash on a sunny, warm July morning. After the dash, the kids took part in carnival games at the Kids’ Zone set up near the Civic Center. Then, the serious runners and walkers toed the starting line under the direction of Ralph Brown, Tuality Healthcare Foundation board member. For those runners who had “timed bibs,” also a first this year, here are the top 6 male and top 6 female results. Wesley Drennan of Forest Grove was the men’s winner with a time of 16:13. He was followed by Matthew Ringer at 16:42, Ashton Hunger at 17:08, Mark Eilitz at 18:07, Gabriel Parra at 18:20 and Isaiah Cooper at 18:23.

Sabrina Sears of Vancouver, WA was the women’s winner with a time of 16:46. She was followed by Jaime Linnerooth at 18:24, Hillary Harris at 18:27, Taylor Coulson at 19:21, Rachel Gibbs at 19:28 and Melinda Rego at 19:48.

The Health Fair showcased many of the Tuality Healthcare departments that provide quality care as well as some of the event corporate sponsors. Another popular attraction was the annual cancer survivor photo on the steps of the Civic Center. This year, 48 cancer survivors donned yellow shirts to signify they were cancer survivors.

Cece Clitheroe, director of the Tuality Healthcare Foundation, was enthusiastic in her praise of the participants and volunteers who made this year’s event the most successful so far.

“I must thank the community for the record fundraising,” she said. “This event continues to amaze me. It gets bigger and better every year. The first year in 2001, we attracted only 328 participants, and now we are well over 1,000 runners and walkers. The money raised of over $76,000 shows the community support even in a down economy.”

Clitheroe had special thanks for all of the many volunteers and C.A.T. Walk sponsors, especially Genentech, Anesthesia Associates Northwest, LLC, Clifton Larson Allen, Frontier Communications, Metro West Ambulance and West Coast Bank.

Personal fundraising for the C.A.T. Walk will continue until 5 p.m. July 27, the deadline for people to turn in their personal fundraising pledges. People can still create a fundraising page by visiting www.catwalkfunrun.org, click on the fundraising button at the top of the page and follow the steps under the heading Create a Personal Fundraising Page. The top fundraiser will be eligible for the a $300 Certificate to the Riverhouse Resort in Bend, provided by 1360-KUIK.

Tuality Healthcare immunization program named to state honor roll

July 06, 2012

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Tuality Healthcare’s flu immunization program is one of three healthcare systems in Oregon to be awarded “honor roll” status by the Immunization Action Coalition.

The program, implemented by Nina Larkins, RN, of the company’s employee health department, resulted in nearly 90 percent of employees receiving a flu shot. The other systems to receive honor roll status were Cottage Grove Community Hospital in Cottage Grove and Sacred Heart Medical Center in Springfield. The Immunization Action Coalition is a non-profit funded in part by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) that works to increase immunization rates and prevent disease.

The reason for immunizations is simple - flu shots promote a safe hospital environment for employees and patients. Twenty percent of Americans get the flu each year and around 36,000 deaths a year are flu-related, according to the CDC. The Joint Commission, the accreditation agency for hospitals, is mandating 90 percent flu shot rates for health care systems by 2020.

“This is something to be proud about as an organization,” said Larkins. “This is great news,” said Manny Berman, Tuality’s chief operating officer and administrator.

Flu vaccinations at Tuality were delivered on a voluntary basis. However, during flu season, non-vaccinated staff were asked to wear a mask while doing patient care or within 6 feet of patients or in public places such as hallways or waiting rooms. Employees who received a flu shot were given a red dot with a check mark to display on their employee card as proof of vaccination.

Employee health used multiple ways to deliver shots – roving carts, staff meetings, delivery of shots off-site and a lunch-time station in the library near the cafeteria. A big boost, according to Larkins, was a series of photos showing Eunice Rech, RN, Tuality’s chief clinical officer, giving flu shots to Berman, Tuality Chief Executive Officer Dick Stenson and Tuality Chief Financial Officer Tim Fleischmann.

Tuality Healthcare debuts cutting-edge, low-radiation CT scanner

May 31, 2012

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Tuality Healthcare, western Washington County’s leading health care provider, recently unveiled an advanced piece of equipment that puts it at the forefront of CT scanning procedures in the Pacific Northwest.

The new Philips Ingenuity 128 channel CT scanner™ offers incredible high resolution X-ray images for viewing by radiologists, as well as lower doses of radiation for the patient. Only two of the machines are in use in the Pacific Northwest – one at Tuality Healthcare in Hillsboro and the other at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland.

This new scanner is state-of-the-art, featuring iDose4 technology, which allows for higher resolution X-ray image production at lower radiation levels. The scanner uses X-ray and produces 128-slice segments of the human body as the patient moves through the machine’s opening, or gantry. The rotating X-ray device sends a beam through the patient, which absorbs into organs, tissue and bone to produce internal images of the human body.

Patients will benefit from this new technology because it is safe, efficient, and capable of diagnosing disease at its early stages. CT scanners use radiation because of the higher quality in the image and resolution. With this new scanner, Tuality Healthcare joins a nationwide trend among hospitals to lower CT radiation dosage levels for patients.

Compared to older 16 channel scanners, the new Philips Ingenuity is revolutionary.

“What happens when you move from a 16-slice scanner to a 128 is that the area covered and information gathered by the detectors is larger,” said Dave Foster, Tuality’s director of diagnostic imaging. “Anytime you take less time to do a scan you normally reduce radiation dose and you also improve image resolution.” With 128 channels, diagnostic imaging personnel can analyze larger sections of the human body faster with much higher quality images. After the patient is prepped, the CT scan takes 5 minutes, making for a safe, quick process.

“It’s a great opportunity for Tuality to have purchased a brand new Philips scanner of this caliber,” said Doug Minnick, Tuality’s lead CT Technologist. With this scanner, Tuality Healthcare leads the way in safe, low dose CT technology in the Pacific Northwest.

“I think it’s important for patients to know we are providing the lowest dose possible. That we are thinking about them and their safety,” said Foster.

Stenson wins Hillsboro Distinguished Citizen Award

May 30, 2012

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

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Tuality Healthcare’s Dick Stenson walked away with the top prize at last week’s 2012 Greater Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce awards celebration at the Tuality Health and Education Center. Two couples with strong ties to Tuality Healthcare – Gene and Sue Horton and George and Ruth Burlingham – were also honored by the chamber for their volunteer and philanthropic work in Hillsboro, Forest Grove and the surrounding area.

Stenson, who has served as Tuality president and chief executive officer since 1992, was the winner of the Emma C. McKinney Distinguished Citizen Award. Emma McKinney was co-publisher and editor of the Hillsboro Argus for 58 years. Stenson’s nomination for the award pointed out how his extensive partnerships and relationships, coupled with his work for many charities, have made Hillsboro a better place to live.

Picking up the citizen award was Stenson’s second visit to the podium. Earlier in the program, he had the pleasure of announcing George and Ruth Burlingham as the winners of the Philanthropic Leadership Award. The Burlingham’s two main philanthropies are Pacific University in Forest Grove and Tuality Healthcare. Ruth Burlingham has served on various Tuality boards for 27 years, including serving as chairman of the board. They are Ivy League level donors with gifts of over $100,000.

The Tuality theme continued with the announcement of Gene and Sue Horton as Volunteer of the Year award winners. Sue Horton is a longtime Tuality Healthcare Foundation board member who is also passionate about continuing education. Gene Horton is a longtime Hillsboro Rotary Club member, Royal Rosarian, Hillsboro Budget Committee member, as well as promoter of educational opportunities around the world.

The other award winners are:

  • Robert Herb Leadership award – Fred Johnson, of Columbia Community Bank, who devotes time and energy to First Baptist Church, Hillsboro Rotary, Hillsboro City Budget committee and more. (Robert Herb is a member of the Tuality Healthcare Foundation board as well as a former head of the Hillsboro Chamber.)
  • Distinguished Youth – Natalie Breiland, Hillsboro High School senior, ASB vice president and active in leadership.
  • Agricultural Achievement – Finegan Farms, a 40-acre farm in the 1950s that has grown to almost 2,000 acres and is Washington County's largest vegetable farm.
  • Professional of the Year – Rob Massar, former assistant manager for the city of Hillsboro who helped acquire property for the Plaza and Civic Center.
  • Organization of the Year – Hillsboro Farmers Market, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary.
  • Business of the Year – Columbia Industries LLC, a family-owned business that has been manufacturing in Hillsboro for more than 35 years.
  • Chairman's Award – Denzil Scheller, the creator of the Venetian Theatre in 2008.

Tuality passes second step in Meaningful Use program

May 15, 2012

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Tuality Healthcare continues to lead the way among Oregon hospitals by attesting in January and receiving payment in April for Stage 1 Meaningful Use for Medicare.

This phase of adoption of the federal Affordable Care Act, informally referred to as  Obamacare, is focused on health-care professionals using certified electronic health records (EHR) technology to deal with the following health outcomes:

  • Improving the quality of care, efficiencies and safety in treating patients
  • Reducing health disparities
  • Engaging patients and families
  • Improving care coordination
  • Improving population and public health
  • Guaranteeing adequate privacy and security protection of personal health information.

This is another case of Tuality Healthcare showing the leadership in support of healthcare reform. The Hillsboro-based health care company was an early adopter of EHR technology, going live with its house-wide electronic health record in 2008.

In January, Tuality successfully attested to Stage 1 Meaningful Use for Medicaid. Both Stage 1 attestations are part of the federal government’s push to get hospitals to complete conversion to electronic records in a tight time frame.

The attestations have resulted in Tuality delivering improved quality of care and offering patients a better clinical experience. Manny Berman, Tuality’s chief operating officer, and Sonney Sapra, Tuality’s chief information officer and director of information systems, were both delighted with the latest Meaningful Use news.

“Hats off to Sonney and many other Tuality employees for continuing to push forward on this important project,” said Berman. “It’s nice to know that we are the benchmark for Oregon hospitals.”

Sapra attributed finishing the project well before its deadline to the hard work of the Meaningful Use Steering Committee, the Project Management and Information Systems team, and, mostly, to the end-users who have been dedicated to making Meaningful Use a priority.

To achieve Stage 1 Meaningful Use for Medicare, a hospital must meet 14 objectives and five of 10 secondary objectives. An example of a core item is: Deliver a discharge summary to every patient. Also of note is the impact Tuality MyHealth, Tuality’s patient portal, has on patient information and involvement. The portal allows patients to access their medical records in the safe and secure online environment at www.tuality.org

“It’s a great step for Tuality and our community,” Sapra said. “We are well ahead of the curve in comparing ourselves to other healthcare facilities, while striving to improve the patient experience”

Tuality is awaiting the final rule from the federal government on the Stage 2 Meaningful Use requirements for Medicare. Once the final rule has been published, Tuality will begin the work required to meet all of the requirements in Stage 2.

Tuality Emergency Preparedness Committee Members Attend Homeland Security Training

April 30, 2012

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Last month, three members of Tuality Healthcare’s Emergency Preparedness Committee, Susan Foster, emergency preparedness manager; Phil Carscallen, security supervisor; and Jason Waibel, security officer, completed advanced emergency management training offered by the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP), in Anniston, Ala.

The CDP is operated by the United States Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency and offers more than 50 training courses focusing on incident management, mass casualty response, and emergency response to a catastrophic natural disaster or terrorist acct.

“We are pleased to be able to take advantage of this free training program offered by the CDP,” said Susan Foster. “The information we learned is critical to the work we do at Tuality and how we respond to emergencies.”

The team completed a four-day course called Framework for Healthcare Emergency Management, otherwise known as F.R.A.M.E training. Topics included standards and regulations, disaster preparedness planning, drills and exercises, financial issues, and much more.

Foster particularly liked that they were able to form relationships with responders from all over the U.S. and were able to share and learn from their experiences. “We came back all revved up!” she added.

“It’s our priority at Tuality to keep patients and the community as safe as possible,” said Phil Carcallen, security supervisor. “You never know when a disaster will strike so it’s important for everybody in the community to be prepared and have a 96-hour plan in place.”

Tuality regularly participates in county and region-wide emergency exercises, the most recent disaster drill taking place on April 24. In addition to ongoing training, they also have implemented a new Everbridge emergency notification system which is a tool that is capable of contacting all employees within minutes; saving time during a disaster.

The three would like to thank the Administration for their support of Emergency Preparedness at Tuality Healthcare and to encourage others to partake in this wonderful learning opportunity.

Resurgent hip replacement procedure a big boost for patients

April 26, 2012

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

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Dr. Kenneth Hermens of Hillsboro Orthopaedic Specialists is using an advanced form of total hip replacement that avoids cutting any muscles or tendons, helps patients recover quicker and have far fewer post-operation problems.

Hermens performs the procedure, called the direct anterior approach, at Tuality Community Hospital in Hillsboro. The direct anterior approach or technique, which is undergoing resurgence because of newer instruments and more effective implants, approaches the hip from the front, rather than the side or back used in more traditional hip replacement surgeries. The direct anterior approach requires an incision that is half as long as the incision used with the more traditional technique. That technique requires an 8-12 inch incision. Using the direct approach, the surgeon does not need to detach any of the muscles or tendons. And it results in less post-operation pain, lower risk of dislocation risk and better control of leg lengths.

Hermens said that he and therapists he works with have been impressed with the outcome of the direct anterior approach over more traditional methods. “Patients lose their limp and discard their cane quicker and appreciate no needed precautions post-op,” said Hermens, an orthopedic surgeon with an engineering background who recently received extensive training in the direct anterior approach.

Two drawbacks to the procedure, according to Hermens, is finding a qualified surgeon who has expertise in the procedure and dispelling the notion that a surgeon needs an expensive, specialized surgical table to perform the procedure.

Other potential benefits, according to Hermens include:

  • Decreased hospital stay and quicker rehabilitation.
  • Shorter recovery time and less scarring.
  • Potential for less blood loss and less time in surgery.
  • Lower risk of dislocation.
  • A more natural return to normal function and activity.

Hermens cautions that the procedure is considered major surgery and is not for everyone, including patients needing hip revision, or with certain anatomic anomalies. Along with other orthopedic surgeons, Hermens feels there are benefits to performing the procedure on a standard operating table, versus the highly specialized and expensive table.

Adventist Health, Regence and Tuality Healthcare Announce Individual Health Care Partnership

April 23, 2012

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Adventist Health, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon and Tuality Healthcare have entered into a partnership to provide in-network care to select Individual members in the Portland metropolitan area.

Beginning October 1, 2012, select Regence Individual members will be transitioned from their current PPO network to one of two Oregon Select networks in a move designed to provide members continued quality care and monthly premium affordability.

“Providing affordable coverage is one of our top priorities at Regence. Both the Adventist and Tuality health systems are collaborating with us to deliver quality care at an affordable price,” said Don Antonucci, president of Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon. “We know the doctor-patient relationship is personal, and this may mean a change for many of our members. We are confident, however, that they will continue to receive top-level care, and we will do everything we can to make this transition as smooth as possible.”

Members were directed to a partnering health system based on their proximity to the hospitals and clinics in the Adventist and Tuality networks. In most cases, members living in Washington and Yamhill counties will integrate into the Tuality Healthcare system, while those living in Multnomah and Clackamas counties will integrate into the Adventist Health system. Select zip codes were excluded based on geography and lack of network proximity. While members were automatically directed to the nearest Oregon Select network, they will be provided with the opportunity to transfer among these providers, if they prefer.

“Adventist Health is comprised of a wide network of medical clinics and a full-service medical center which is ranked as one of America’s Safest Hospital’s, serving 900,000 patients on the east side of the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan area,” said President and CEO Tom Russell. “Regence members, in our care, can access exceptional quality care at an affordable cost through our high performing network representing nearly 400 primary care and specialty care providers strategically located across Multnomah and Clackamas counties.

With the cost of medical care in Oregon continuing to rise, Adventist, Regence and Tuality share a common vision that close collaboration is critical to increase health care access and improve individuals’ ability to afford coverage. 

“Bending the cost curve and making health care more affordable is a critical challenge that we must address. No one group can do it alone. This is an example of health care collaboration that unites doctors, hospitals, insurers and patients around a shared goal of affordability and quality care,” said Dick Stenson, president and CEO of Tuality Healthcare.

Members should expect to receive letters about this change in the coming week and detailed information packets to follow. 

These network changes, received by approximately 20,000 Individual members, do not affect offerings in the Group or Medicare lines of business, nor do they affect members in Clark County, Washington.

About Adventist Health

Adventist Medical Center (AMC), located in southeast Portland, is a nonprofit, 302-bed acute care facility, offering a full range of inpatient, outpatient and emergency services throughout the Portland/Vancouver metropolitan area.   Adventist Medical Center is part of Adventist Health, a faith-based, not-for-profit integrated health care delivery system with nearly 20,000 employees serving communities in California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington. Founded on Seventh-day Adventist health values, Adventist Health provides compassionate care in 17 hospitals, more than 130 physician and rural health clinics, 14 home care agencies and four joint-venture retirement centers. We invite you to visit http://www.adventisthealthnw.com for more information.

About Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon

Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon is a leading health plan in Oregon, with approximately 730,000 members, offering health, life and dental insurance. Regence is the largest health insurer in the Northwest / Intermountain Region, serving nearly 2.5 million members as Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon, Regence BlueShield of Idaho, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah and Regence BlueShield (selected counties in Washington). Each plan is a nonprofit independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Regence is committed to improving the health of our members and our communities, and to transforming our health care system. For more information, please visit http://www.regence.com or www.twitter.com/RegenceOregon

About Tuality Healthcare

Tuality Healthcare is the leading healthcare provider in western Washington County and northern Yamhill County, serving a market area of 350,000 and growing. Tuality is a non-profit, community based organization with hospitals in Hillsboro and Forest Grove. We offer state-of-the-art diagnostic and surgical services, including comprehensive cardiac, cancer and stroke care. Tuality has a medical staff of 300 doctors and other health care professionals, and is one of the region’s largest employers with a staff of over 1,200. Tuality, like Regence, is partnering with many other providers to transform our health care system. For more information, please visit www.tuality.org or www.facebook.com/Tuality.

Contacts:

Adventist Health:
Judy Leach
LeachJL@ah.org
503-251-6162 (Office)

 

 

 

Regence:
Scott Burton
Scott.Burton@Regence.com
503-276-1986 (Office)
503-757-6253 (Cell)

 

Tuality Healthcare:
Gerry Ewing
Gerry.ewing@tuality.org
503-681-1654 (Office)
971-217-07575 (Cell)

Tuality’s Meyer named interim CEO of Coordinated Care Organization

April 03, 2012

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

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Tuality Health Alliance Chief Operating Officer Janet Meyer has been named interim chief executive officer of a Coordinated Care Organization that will manage Medicaid programs in Washington, Multnomah and Clackamas counties.

Meyer was appointed to the position along with four other healthcare executives after a meeting of the Tri-County Medicaid Collaborative in late March. Following that meeting, the collaborative filed a letter of intent with the Oregon Health Authority to be certified as a Coordinated Care Organization. Meyer leads the Tuality Health Alliance, a physician-hospital community organization that provides care through 65 primary-care physicians and 200 specialists.

The interim executive team and their duties include Meyer; Jeff Butcher, Providence Health & Services Health Plan chief financial officer, interim chief financial officer; Legacy Health Director of Care Transformation Jon Hersen, interim chief operating officer; David Labby, MD, Medical Director at CareOregon, interim chief medical officer; and Rosa Klein, Policy Advisor at Multnomah County Health Department, interim chief health strategy officer.

The 14 members of the collaborative are Adventist Health, CareOregon, Clackamas County, Family Care Health Plans, Kaiser Permanente, Legacy Health, Metro Area Community Health Centers, Multnomah County, Oregon Health & Science University, Oregon Medical Association, Oregon Nurses Association, Providence Health & Services, Tuality Healthcare, and Washington County.

“This has been an incredible effort,” said Legacy President and CEO George Brown, MD, who chairs the collaborative. “It has been gratifying to see how these organizations, many of them competitors, came together for a community need. I think we all realized that if we didn’t figure this out, the alternatives would be far worse and those most at risk in our region would ultimately pay the price.”

This new organization, when formally created, will be one of the first of its kind in the country. Its success would make it a model for communities elsewhere who are similarly struggling with state budget cuts and a growing Medicaid population.

The letter of intent will be followed by a formal application to the OHA, which must approve the formation of CCOs. The application is due April 30.

Tuality Healthcare finishes new gift shop renovation

April 03, 2012

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

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The new gift shop at Tuality Community Hospital is open for business after five months of construction. The new shop, across the hall from the old gift shop on the hospital’s main floor, is part of Tuality Healthcare’s seismic upgrade of the hospital building.

Volunteers will use the old space to store merchandise. “Their storage space will now move from the basement to the old gift shop area, making it much more convenient for volunteers to stock the gift shop,” said Steve Krautscheid, Tuality’s director of facilities and properties.

An eight-inch thick concrete wall will be built in the old gift shop space to help secure the building in the case of an earthquake. Crews will spend the next three months building the wall in the old gift shop, part of an upgrade made possible by a $1,389,480 grant from Oregon Emergency Management.

The new shop is in the old Medical Records filing area. Krautscheid thanked the Medical Records department for allowing the gift shop to move into the medical records file storage space.

The new design is more compact and offers customers easier access to merchandise. The gift shop serves employees, patients and customers throughout western Washington County.

“Everyone is loving the new space. It’s so bright, so, so cheery,” said Patti Harrington, Tuality’s gift shop coordinator. “It’s beautiful to look at, and I think it is a much more pleasant atmosphere for the people who come in.”

Harrington is responsible for purchasing and displaying merchandise; Tuality Healthcare volunteers operate the gift shop. She makes it a point to keep the merchandise fresh by changing it frequently to reflect holidays and seasons. Volunteers provide a positive experience for customers and are vital to the successful operation of the gift shop, Harrington said. 

Proceeds from the gift shop go to scholarships for employees through a Volunteer Services endowment of $82,000. The gift shop has also donated $450,000 to the Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center and $150,000 to digital mammography for the Breast Health Center. Customer feedback has been positive and volunteers are excited about working in the new space, she said.

To view the video highlighting the new gift shop, go to: http://youtu.be/g1r2iFvajtU

Oregon Health Authority honors Tuality Healthcare educator

March 15, 2012

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

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Linda Graham’s advocacy of health and wellness programs was honored with a 2012 Outstanding Practice Award at the recent 7th Annual Living Well Forum in early March in Eugene. The award from the Oregon Health Authority honors educators for their commitment to helping people manage their chronic diseases.

Graham, RN, BSN, serves as Tuality’s Living Well Program Coordinator and started teaching the groundbreaking Living Well with Chronic Conditions class in 2007. The program and class strive to reduce the incidence of chronic and costly doctor’s office visits and hospitalizations by teaching people with chronic conditions how to manage their diseases.

“I was really surprised,” Graham said of the award, one of two OHA awarded to program coordinators. The awards, Graham said, recognized those people who are continually helping to grow Chronic Disease Self Management. “It honors the collaboration we’ve been able to achieve at Tuality,” she said.

Sandy Madsen, Tuality Healthcare’s Parish Nurse Coordinator, nominated Graham for the award. In her nomination letter, Madsen said this of Graham: “Linda is a very hard working, committed individual. She really is an advocate for those suffering with chronic conditions and health disparities. She has been a true champion of the Living Well Program.”

Graham singled out two Tuality administrators for praise. She credits Janet Meyer, chief executive officer of the Tuality Health Alliance, with supplying the seed money to get the Living Well with Chronic Conditions program off the ground. And, she applauded Dr. Thomas Gilberts, Tuality’s chief medical officer, for recognizing the need for a wellness program and helping create Tuality’s Aligning Forces with Quality committee, which champions wellness programs.

Essential Health Clinic discusses new business model during town hall event.

March 08, 2012

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

At a town hall event on Tuesday, March 6, Sophia Tzeng, executive director of the Essential Health Clinic, announced plans to deliver additional free urgent and healthcare services to a growing number of uninsured people in Washington County. The plan will focus on growing community partnerships, financial support and volunteerism to enhance the sustainability of the organization. The clinic also announced the creation of a volunteer and community council to encourage volunteerism, leadership and expansion of its efforts within the community.

“The door to health should be open to everyone, Essential Health is that door,” Tzeng said of the clinic’s unique role in the community. Tuality Healthcare chief executive officer Dick Stenson presented a $20,000 donation to the clinic to further enhance the partnership between the two organizations and fund urgent care services.

Over the past 10 years, Tuality Healthcare has provided the Essential Health Clinic with $750,000 for laboratory tests, diagnostic imaging, and executive and community support since it opened in October 2001. “It’s working really quite well after 10 years,” Stenson said of the partnership.

“It’s truly a partnership, it’s like the same trunk of a tree,” Tzeng said. “We were founded by a consortium of community partners of which Tuality was a central partner.”

Business and community leaders attending the town hall met in smaller groups to discuss the new ideas and provide feedback to clinic staff and volunteers. Audience members agreed on the importance of community partnerships and volunteer recruitment as critical to the organization’s sustainability model. “We don’t want to grow an organization that is independent of the community, what we want to do is grow an organization that is responsive to its needs,” Tzeng said.

The Essential Health Clinic faces a population of uninsured ranging between 85,000 to 140,000 residents in Washington County. Of this group, only 6,000 come to the clinic per year for urgent care services. The clinic wants to increase volunteer personnel to accommodate growing patient levels in Washington County. Currently, the Essential Health Clinic has offices in Tigard and Hillsboro and plans to expand to new locations throughout Washington County. The clinic will host a town hall meeting every three months to discuss progress measures and collaborate with community members regarding future planning.

Tuality employee wins Hillsboro Chamber “Volunteer of the Year” Award

February 28, 2012

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Tuality Healthcare athletic trainer Shelly Jones was honored Thursday night with one of four School to Work Business Partner Awards at the 7th annual Crystal Apple Awards Banquet held at the Tuality Health Education Center.

Jones was the lone individual winner of the School to Work awards, which honor companies and individuals who work with students from the Hillsboro School in the areas of job shadowing and mentoring. The business winners were Synopsys, Perfection Bakery at Hank’s Thriftway and Doherty Ford. The awards and the banquet are sponsored by the Greater Hillsboro Area Chamber of Commerce.

Jones said she was thrilled to receive the award. She didn’t have a lot of time to savor it. She was back at work on Friday tending to the Century High School wrestlers who qualified for the Oregon Wrestling State Championships at Portland’s Memorial Coliseum.

Jones wears many hats at Tuality. In addition to her athletic training duties at Century High School, she also sees physically active patients at Tuality Physical Therapy at 9th & Cedar and helps in aquatic therapy. Shelly recently also took on a new role as a physician extender with Northwest Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine.  She is also actively involved in the National Athletic Trainers’ Association.

A large contingent of Jones’ co-workers was on hand to cheer her on. The graduate of Linfield College in McMinnville has been a Tuality employee for 15 years.

Jones said the roll of athletic trainer has changed significantly in the last 20 years and is more than what meets the eye.  Athletic trainers don’t just tape ankles; they make all kinds of clinical diagnoses regarding serious conditions like concussions and ACL tears.

Jones takes great pride in the job shadowing role she plays with Hillsboro School District students. She accepts numerous students for 4-hour job shadows. “I think it works well because I really like my job,” she said. “I like it when the students say I have a cool job. That’s the sweetest thing.”

The Crystal Apple Award winners are:

  • Licensed staff: Ross Bryant, Hillsboro School District; Matthew Coleman, Mooberry Elementary School; Adam Reese, Hillsboro High Schoool.
  • Administrators: Brenda Kephart, Hillsboro School District, Jon Pede, Jackson Elementary School.
  • Support staff: Jayne Baker, Lenox Elementary School; Kim Higgins, Tobias Elementary School; Bruce Thompson, Hillsboro School District Transportation.

Tuality’s seismic retrofit moving along nicely

February 07, 2012

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Phase 1 of the seismic upgrade of the main building at Tuality Community Hospital is moving along nicely.   The 8-inch thick concrete seismic wall that spans three stories at the north end of the building is complete.  Sheetrock installation, cabinetry and wiring are nearing completion in the basement, first and second floors.

The seismic work is being funded by a $1,389,480 grant from Oregon Emergency Management, the state agency responsible for emergency preparedness. The work will make the hospital building a safer place for employees, customers and visitors in the case of an earthquake.

Phase 2 will begin shortly at the south end of the building. Construction crews are preparing to install a similar concrete wall at that end of the original 1950 hospital building.  This work will include basement, first and second floor areas at the south end of the building.

Steve Krautscheid, Tuality’s director of facilities and properties, had high praise for the many departments affected by the upgrade. “Accommodating the contractors and construction in an occupied hospital is an extraordinary example of employee and department commitment to the organization, our patients and one another,” he said.

The need for a seismic upgrade is simple. The main building is composed of the original Tuality Community Hospital building, plus additional buildings added to all four sides of the original hospital. The seismic work will tie together all sections of the building, new and old. The work will result in cohesive movement of the building, reducing the potential for significant damage from an earthquake.

The 27th Annual Dinner Dance is a Big Hit in Hillsboro

February 03, 2012

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Washington County’s most stylish citizens danced the night away and enjoyed cuisine by one of Portland’s finest restaurants at the Tuality Healthcare Foundation’s 27th Annual Dinner Dance at the Tuality Health Education Center in Hillsboro on Saturday.

As one of the Foundation’s main fundraisers, this year’s Dinner Dance theme was “A Night at the Museum”, celebrating Tuality Community Hospital’s many illustrious achievements throughout its history.  Attendees were treated to an interesting collection of antique medical artifacts from the hospital’s archives, displayed throughout the Education Center’s festively decorated auditorium and atrium.

Dick Stenson, Tuality Healthcare Chief Executive Officer, and Cece Clitheroe, Director of the Tuality Healthcare Foundation, welcomed guests and sponsors.  Mark Rosenbaum, managing partner of Rosenbaum Financial, the event’s Presenting Sponsor, applauded Tuality’s unique role as Hillsboro’s community hospital, and praised the public benefit that the Dinner Dance fundraiser provides.  

The Tuality Healthcare Foundation’s Board Chairman, Randy Bateman, reiterated the importance of Tuality’s impact on the area, as well as the effect the hospital has had on him personally, being one of the many members of the community to begin their lives within its walls.

The evening culminated with a sumptuous, multi-course dinner prepared by Jake’s Catering, a sister company to the world-renowned Jake’s Famous Crawfish restaurant in downtown Portland, followed by a lively dance party to the sounds of DesignBand, a talented quartet specializing in music from the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s.

“It was a magical evening,” said Clitheroe, “I would like to thank all of our sponsors and the many who attended for making this a night to remember.”

ID theft program is paying big dividends for Tuality Healthcare

January 31, 2012

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

An identity theft program involving Tuality Healthcare security, admitting and emergency department personnel is paying big financial dividends.

The program, which was implemented in 2008, has reduced the number of ID theft incidents in the emergency department from 35 to 16. Even more impressive is the actual cost savings. In 2010, 28 incidents of ID theft cost the company $137,386. In 2011, 16 incidents cost the company only $15,500.

Phil Carscallen, supervisor of security services, credits the collaboration among security, admitting and ED personnel for the program’s success.

ID theft suspects commonly are people who are addicted to pain medications or other substances. The intent of the ID theft program isn’t to put people behind bars. Rather, the program is intended to help people with their addiction issues and to get them into the care system for help. “The intent is to stop repetition of a crime and to get people with problems into rehab,” Carscallen said. “That way, we really are providing better patient care for those patients with problems.”

Carscallen wanted to stress two main points:

  • No visitor to the emergency department will ever be denied treatment for lack of identification, or even ID theft.
  • Tuality has received much support and cooperation from the Hillsboro Police Department and the Washington County District Attorney’s office.

Here’s how the ID theft program works. When a patient approaches the ED admitting desk, admitting personnel ask for identification. If the patient doesn’t have a driver’s license or other piece of identification, the admitting staff gives the patient an Information Verification Form to fill out. The document asks for name, mailing address, gender, date of birth, age, Social Security number, and driver’s license or ID card state of issue.

Once the patient has completed the form, admitting staff then runs the information through a computer software program to verify that the information is correct. The software searches databases and validates the accuracy of the information provided. If the software flags a patient’s information as invalid, admitting then calls one of Tuality’s security officers to assist with the investigation.  All possible cases of ID theft are investigated by security since the flagged information could be legitimate, such as a name change. “If there is any question, we always talk to the patients before we call the police,” Carscallen said. “We always ask them to ‘help us sort this out.’ ”

Steve Krautscheid, director of facilities and properties at Tuality, reiterates the importance of this aggressive screening program. “Tuality’s emergency departments provide care for over 35,000 patients each year,” he said. “Ensuring that these patients receive prompt, compassionate care is an important priority at Tuality, and limiting ID theft better equips us to do so.  Congratulations to the staff who have worked together to make this program a success.”

Donated lift aids Tuality Healthcare patients and staff

January 25, 2012

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

A ceiling-mounted patient lift donated by Advanced Technology Group (ATG) of Hillsboro will be a big boost to Tuality patients who need assistance getting from a gurney or wheelchair into bed and for the nurses and support staff who care for them.

The model GH3 lift made by V. Guldmann A/S of Denmark has been installed in one of the Medical/Surgical rooms at Tuality. When fully operational, the device will be able to lift patients weighing up to 770 pounds and transfer them to and from a wheelchair, stretcher or bed via the ceiling mounted track system.

Mark Haldeman of ATG, the exclusive dealer for Guldmann lifts in Oregon, Washington and Arizona, said there were two main reasons his company donated the lift to Tuality:

  • It allows hospital staff to handle patients safely, particularly those who require extensive lifting or positioning assistance. 
  • And, it’s an educational tool for nurses and support staff who might not have received training in use of lifts while in training.

“Tuality was our first choice for donating a lift,” Haldeman said. “ATG is a Hillsboro company with a long relationship with Tuality. Donating the lift allows us to benefit both our local hospital and the people within our community.”

Christine Meyers, Tuality’s director of inpatient services, is pleased to have the new equipment. “Thanks to ATG, this lift allows us to move patients in a safer, more supportive way,” Meyers said. “It gives us many options for caring for our patients and their specialized needs.” 

The ceiling-mounted lift is superior to portable lifts because it provides a benefit at the point of care, in the patient’s room, Meyers said. Plus, having the lift in a permanent location encourages staff to use the equipment, she said.

Use of the new lift also will lower the risk of occupational back pain among nurses and support staff.  According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, occupational back injury is the second leading occupational injury in the United States.  With the aging workforce in America, pursuing methods to prevent back injuries is becoming a critical element of providing healthcare services.

Tuality employees tell their stories as Lap-band® patients

January 16, 2012

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Karen Goemmel, Felicia Biggs and Shelley Maldonado are Tuality Healthcare bariatric surgery patients with unique stories to tell about their Lap-band® surgery experiences.

Karen has lost 80 pounds and is training for a half marathon in August. She participates in a daily exercise routine and has committed herself to a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Felicia has lost 15 pounds since her surgery in August but is motivated to achieve her weight-loss goals. Felicia says she needs to keep a food diary and listen to her physician, Dr. Robert Cahn, who provides patients with a dietary and exercise program to help them succeed. “I need to do it for myself,” says Felicia as she rekindles her motivation for having the surgery.

Shelley has lost 50 pounds in the last four months since her surgery in August and describes Lap-band surgery as the most important thing she has ever done. She walks daily, works out at the gym and eats foods that are low in fat and healthy. “Don’t give up, there’s hope out there, and you can do it,” Shelley says to those suffering from obesity.

These three patients are only a small segment of a growing population of people suffering from obesity. In the past 25 years, obesity rates in the United States have doubled. Those who suffer from this growing epidemic also deal with hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and joint pain and a host of other potential health issues.

At Hillsboro Surgical Associates, a clinic affiliated with Tuality Healthcare, staff members work daily with those suffering from obesity. This type of bariatric surgery is laparoscopic surgery and is less invasive than other types of gastric bypass. There is no stomach stapling or incisions, making this a safer operation.

Dr. Cahn performs Lap-band surgery at Tuality Healthcare and explains that the different operations are simply tools to help patients lose weight.

“All the operations we have are tools and patients need to understand how to use those tools,” Cahn said in describing the educational role the team plays with patients.

A patient interested in Lap-band surgery will see a surgeon, nutritionist, psychologist, sleep specialist and bariatric coordinator to provide a complete workup and understanding of the procedure. Throughout the evaluation process, team members educate patients about the surgery to determine whether they are a good fit.

To view a video of the three Tuality employees who underwent Lap-band surgery, go to: http://youtu.be/wDw0RTZ1tVI

Tuality Healthcare chief information officer to be honored at reception

January 13, 2012

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Sonney Sapra will be one of dozens of business executives to be honored at the Portland Business Journal’s Exclusive “Top of the List” reception on Jan. 19 at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Portland. Sapra, Tuality’s chief information officer and director of information systems, was named one of Portland’s top executives in the Business Journal’s 2011 40-under-40 list. The list honors the top 40 business executives under 40 years old in the Portland metropolitan area.

The event runs from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the Alexander Room on the 23rd floor of the Hilton Hotel, 921 S.W. 6th Ave. The reception features hors d’oeuvres, beer and wine and great views of the city. Public tickets to the even are available. If interested, call Jan Schierbaum at 503-219-3423.

Sapra joined Tuality Healthcare in 2008. Prior to that, he was a project manager at Seattle Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center.  Sapra holds two bachelor’s degrees – from Middlesex University in audio engineering and from the University of Kansas in business.

Dozens celebrate Breast Health Center at Open House

January 10, 2012

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

After nine years filled with hopes and dreams, dozens of donors, dignitaries, contractors and employees celebrated Tuality’s new Breast Health Center at an open house Thursday evening in the center’s new home in the Seventh Avenue Medical Plaza building.

The guests were treated to soothing music, a slide show featuring timeline photos of the center’s construction, tasty hors d'oeuvres and refreshments plus guided tours of the new patient-friendly facility. As with any open house, there were a number of speeches and plaudits, led by Tuality Healthcare CEO Dick Stenson thanking donors, Tuality employees and community members for making the state-of-the art facility possible and the gold standard for breast health services in western Washington County.

Cece Clitheroe, director of the Tuality Healthcare Foundation, thanked the donors who contributed $900,000 of the center’s $2-million-plus price tag. She also welcomed a new foundation board chairman, Randy Bateman, who is replacing Dr. Michael Egans, the outgoing chairman who Clitheroe said led the charge on fundraising for the center.

Tuality Breast Health Services manager Amy Kaiser thanked her experienced staff for making a seamless transition to the new facility. She also had kind words for Sue Neal, who recently retired from her position as Tuality’s director of women’s services. Neal’s vision and perseverance made the facility possible, said Kaiser. She also pointed out that Tuality’s unique mobile mammography van received a makeover as part of the $2 million project. Like the center, it too was outfitted with state-of-the-art digital mammography equipment. It is the only van of its kind in Oregon and travels extensively in the Tuality market area.

The center opened for patients in early November. Since then, the staff has been adapting to new equipment and the new facility. The bottom line is the facility will provide a warm, inviting and comfortable environment for mammography exams and other breast health services for the women of western Washington County.

For more information, contact Tuality Healthcare’s team of breast health professionals at 503-681-4035.

 

To view a video of the Breast Health Center open house, go to: http://youtu.be/1jT2Iqlehfw

Nash named top doctor by Portland Monthly magazine

January 10, 2012

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Dr. Maureen Nash, medical director of the Tuality Center for Geriatric Psychiatry in Forest Grove, has been chosen as one of the top doctors in the Portland metropolitan area by Portland Monthly magazine.

The January 2012 issue of the magazine considered nearly 6,300 Portland area doctors for inclusion in its top doctors list. The magazine ended up picking 312 doctors from Washington, Multnomah, Clackamas and Clark counties. Nash was one of 14 doctors selected in the specialty field of psychiatry.

Nash, MS, MD, FAPA, is an attending psychiatrist and internist at Tuality Forest Grove Hospital. She spoke in May on treating dementia related behavior disturbance at the 164th annual American Psychiatry Association convention in May in Honolulu. The event attracted doctors from across the United States, Asia and Europe, including New Zealand, Australia, Japan and Germany. She is currently serving on the State Plan for Alzheimer’s Disease in Oregon and leads the Medical/Research Task Force group. She is active in a number of local and national efforts to improve the lives of older adults with mental illness and dementia.

Nash’s work at the Tuality Center for Geriatric Psychiatry in Forest Grove gives her a great deal of experience understanding and treating the various forms of behavior disturbance seen in dementia. The Forest Grove facility has an excellent reputation, and is the only acute care geriatric psychiatry hospital unit in Oregon and southwest Washington. That status means the facility receives a number of referrals involving challenging patients from all parts of Oregon and beyond.

Dr. Nash is board certified in both psychiatry and internal medicine and earned her medical degree at the University Of Kansas School Of Medicine in Kansas City. She completed her residency at the combined internal medicine/psychiatry residency program at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H., where she served as chief resident. She also was an instructor in psychiatry at Dartmouth Medical School in Hanover, N.H. She joined Tuality’s Center for Geriatric Psychiatry in 2005.

Hahn named top doctor by Portland Monthly magazine

December 30, 2011

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Dr. Peter Hahn, medical director of Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at Tuality Healthcare, has been chosen as one of the top doctors in the Portland metropolitan area by Portland Monthly magazine.

The January 2012 issue of the magazine considered nearly 6,300 Portland area doctors for inclusion in its top doctors list. The magazine ended up picking 312 doctors from Washington, Multnomah, Clackamas and Clark counties. Dr. Hahn was one of five physicians selected in the specialty of pulmonary disease.

In addition to his duties as Medical Director at the hospital, Dr. Hahn has a private practice at Tuality Pulmonary & Sleep Medicine Clinic.   Dr. Hahn is a board certified and fellowship-trained specialist in pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine. He joined the Tuality Healthcare medical staff in 2010.

Prior to that, he was a consultant at the famed Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., in the areas of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine. He received his medical degree from Michigan State University and served his residency and fellowship at the Mayo Clinic.  

Dion named Tuality’s first Board Certified Oncology Pharmacist

December 29, 2011

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Marie Dion, an 11-year veteran of Tuality Healthcare’s pharmacy department, was recently designated as a Board Certified Oncology Pharmacist by the state of Oregon. She is the first Tuality pharmacist to be granted certification in this, or any, specialty.

Dion said the difference between a pharmacist and a board certified pharmacist is similar to the difference between a medical doctor and a specialist in a field such as cardiology, or pulmonology. “I am very proud of it,” she said of the certification. “I’m the first one (at Tuality) but I don’t think I will be the last one. It’s becoming more and more popular.”

To become board certified, she said, you need to study a lot, have a number of years of experience and take and pass a very demanding test. She took a preparatory course before the exam, and attended a three-day oncology education conference in San Antonio where” every type of cancer was reviewed from a pharmacy point of view.”

Her supervisor, Director of Pharmacy Brian Dotter, is proud of her accomplishments. “She has dedicated her time to specializing her training, improving her knowledge and skills and providing optimal care in the area of oncology,” he said.

At Tuality, Dion works largely with the Ambulatory Care department and the Tuality Hematology and Oncology Clinic. She receives orders from a physician, reviews the medication and the intended patient and lets the treatment run its course. She decided about three years ago that she would specialize in oncology. “I found the field very interesting and rewarding from the personal aspect of it,” she said. “Plus, a lot is happening in oncology.”

The biggest problem she faces as an oncology pharmacist is the shortage of cancer-fighting drugs. It’s a national problem that nearly all hospital pharmacists are facing.

“There is not one week that goes by when we put in our order that we aren’t short a drug,” she said.

She credits Tuality pharmacy purchasing agent Mary Lewis with finding supplies of these cancer drugs that are in short supply. “She does a tremendous job tracking down these high-demand drugs,” Dion said of Lewis. “She does a great job in helping us prevent any disruption in patient treatment.”

Dion said the pharmacy field came naturally for her because both of her parents were employed in healthcare.

“Pharmacy is a nice combination of working in healthcare, working with patients and making a difference,” she said. “It’s a challenge every day because you are learning new things every day.”

To watch a Tuality Healthcare video on Marie Dion, go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OoyXFy-EnEY

 

Saturday lab work shifts to Tuality 7th Avenue Medical Plaza

December 16, 2011

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Changes are in store for Tuality Healthcare patients who are used to visiting the Tuality 8th Avenue Medical Plaza on Saturdays for lab work. Starting Jan. 7, Saturday lab work will shift to the laboratory/draw station on the third floor of the Tuality 7th Avenue Medical Plaza building.

The main reason for the change in Saturday locations, according to Cyndi Christy, Tuality’s director of laboratory services, is to better accommodate the large number of patients who visit the lab on Saturday mornings for blood work and other laboratory services. The facility in the Tuality 7th Avenue Medical Plaza building is newer and has a much larger waiting room, Christy said. Getting the word out on the new location is important, Christy said, because many long-term patients have relied on the 8th Avenue location for many years. 

Saturday hours will remain the same in the new location – 8 a.m.-noon. Both labs will continue operations during the week. The lab in 7th Avenue, 333 SE 7th Ave, is open 7 a.m.-6 p.m. The lab in 8th Avenue, 364 SE 8th Ave., is open 7 a.m.-5 p.m.

Patients can access the 7th Avenue Medical Plaza building in two places – at the main entrance on the south side of the building via the alley between the building and the Hillsboro Orthopedic Group building, and in the covered parking area on the north side of the building.  Once inside the building on the first floor, patients should go directly to the registration desk. A volunteer stationed at the volunteer desk is available to assist and answer questions.  Once registration has been completed, patients will go to the elevators in the center of the building and take one of them to the third floor. Another volunteer will be available in the third floor waiting area to provide assistance and answer any questions.

Tuality Healthcare holiday bazaar exceeds expectations

November 23, 2011

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Tuality Healthcare’s’ annual holiday bazaar was a rousing success, according to event organizer Betty Alexander. The two-day event, held Nov. 11 and 12, is a fundraiser for the Tuality Healthcare Foundation scholarship fund.

The bazaar attracted a record 62 vendors who sold a wide variety of handmade goods – from pot holders to soap, intricate wooden bowls to hand knitted items. The event is held in the auditorium and atrium of the Tuality Health Education Center. There were so many vendors and customers that event organizers had to open two education center classrooms to handle the overflow.

“We had a real good turnout on Friday,” said Alexander, the driving force behind the event. She said nearly all of the venders made money this year and predicted the popular event would fill the auditorium, atrium and all class spaces within two years. Aisles and walkways were jammed for much of the show’s two-day run.

Two new attractions added spice to the event.  Santa Claus was on hand to greet children. And, a new partnership with Lucky-to-Serve, a local nonprofit, collected new, unwrapped toys to be donated to the Hillsboro School District.

¡Salud! executive named to state health review commission

November 22, 2011

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Leda Garside, clinic services manager at ¡Salud! Services, has been appointed to the Oregon Health Evidence Review Commission by Gov. John Kitzhaber. Garside, a longtime Tuality Healthcare employee, leads ¡Salud!’s healthcare services for Oregon‘s seasonal vineyard workers and their families.

 The commission is made up of 13 members, including doctors, public health representation, consumers, pharmacists and behavioral health providers. All must be licensed to practice in Oregon. The commission will assist state government in making critically important health policy decisions.

 “We have lots of work ahead, but Oregon has proven to be a leader in health reform,” Garside said. “I’m honored to be involved in the process of bringing comprehensive and cost effective health services to Oregonians.”

 Garside was confirmed as a member by the Oregon Senate Rules Committee. “We are lucky to have so many talented Oregonians volunteering to serve our state on important and wide ranging issue,” said Kitzhaber.  “Oregon is well served by this level of citizen involvement from all parts of our state.”

Tuality Healthcare CEO to appear on recession panel at Pacific

November 09, 2011

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Tuality Healthcare CEO Dick Stenson will be part of a panel discussion called “Life in the Recession,” on Sunday, Nov. 13 at Pacific University in Forest Grove. Other panelists include Russ Dondero, The Interfaith Committee to End Homelessness; Jerralynn Ness, Community Action; Emily Gottfried, Human Rights Council of Washington County, and Alfonso Lopez-Vasquez, Pacific University.

Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-OR, will attend the event as a special guest and will give opening remarks on his insights on the state of affairs in Washington, D.C.

The event, sponsored by Pacific’s Tom McCall Center for Policy Innovation, is free and open to the public. The event begins at 2 p.m. at the Taylor-Meade Performing Arts Center, 2014 Cedar St., Forest Grove. Seating is first-come, first-served.

Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center hosts donor appreciation event

October 28, 2011

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

A host of donors, doctors and dignitaries converged on the Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center on Wednesday night to celebrate the installation of a new piece of vital diagnostic equipment and the latest figures from a successful cancer center fund-raising campaign.

The piece of equipment is the Philips Brilliance CT Big Bore scanner, which is the talk of the diagnostic equipment industry. The new machinery, which is installed and operational, can handle today’s sophisticated treatment plans and is able to handle large patients up to 650 pounds.

“The scanner is just a fabulous piece of equipment,” said Tina Dickerson, director of the Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center. “It allows us to make treatment scanning faster for patients. And it continues our goal of providing the best cancer care we can for our community.”

Cece Clitheroe, director of the Tuality Healthcare Foundation, was also pleased to announce some eye-popping figures regarding donor contributions.

The Tuality Healthcare Foundation Cancer Campaign collected a grand total of $2,364,149.35 to be used to fight cancer in western Washington County. The single largest donor to the campaign was a dedicated bunch of volunteers. The Tuality Healthcare Auxiliary, which runs the Tuality Community Hospital gift shop and plays host to many other fund-raising events, contributed $450,000 to the cancer center campaign.

“I would like to thank each and every donor who made that astounding figure possible,” said Clitheroe. “It just goes to show you that people in our community really do care about supporting quality healthcare. And I would like to send a special thank you to the many Tuality volunteers. They are a great group of people.”

 

Tuality toasts results of ‘Coffee for a Cure’ fundraiser

October 27, 2011

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Results of the Human Bean’s annual “Coffee for a Cure” event show just how much folks in Washington County adore their morning java and are committed to the health of their community.

Friday, Oct. 21, was an extra busy day for both the Cornelius and Hillsboro locations of The Human Bean. At any point in the day, lines of customers packed the drive thru and lobby, ready to give back during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Total proceeds of $2,608.33 went directly to the Tuality Healthcare Foundation to help support its breast health services campaign.

The “Coffee for a Cure” event coincides with the construction of Tuality’s new Breast Health Center in the Seventh Avenue Medical Plaza building. When completed in early November, the center will feature the latest in digital mammography technology and a warm, welcoming environment for breast health patients.

“Once again I would like to thank The Human Bean and all who came out on Friday for making this event a success and supporting our work in the fight against breast cancer,” said Cece Clitheroe, Tuality Healthcare Foundation director.

Since 2007, the partnership between The Human Bean and the Foundation has raised over $10,000, according to Clitheroe.

The Human Bean is based in Medford and boasts 47 locations in seven states. To find out more, go to www.thehumanbean.com. For more information on the foundation and its fund-raising and philanthropy efforts, go to www.tualityfoundation.org.

Tuality affiliated cardiologist applauds results of Medicare study

October 21, 2011

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

A study of Medicare patients released this week that says hospital stays for heart failure fell a remarkable 30 percent in the last decade “validates the great strides in heart therapy made over the past 20 years,” said Dr. Daniel W. Isenbarger, a cardiovascular disease specialist with Hillsboro Cardiology.

“It’s very exciting data,” said Isenbarger of the study of 55 million Medicare patients, the largest ever to document heart failure trends.  Heart failure in older patients is the most common cause of a hospital stay. Fewer hospital stays mean a large cost savings for Medicare and other programs.

In the decade of 1998 to 2008, the rate of hospitalizations fell from 2,845 per 100,000 Medicare beneficiaries to 2,007 per 100,000, according to the study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.  The study did find the decline came at a lower rate for black men. Isenbarger cited advances in medication therapies and mechanical therapies as two of the reasons for the dramatic drop in heart failure hospital stays.

Use of anti-adrenergic medications, once considered forbidden, proved to be effective at low doses that are slowly increased over weeks. These medications block the signals that cause the heart to beat faster and raise blood pressure. The medications improved survival by protecting the heart from long-term toxic effects of adrenergic hormones, Isenbarger said. Mechanical therapies like the use of catheters and angioplasties and stents to restore the heart’s blood flow and advances in heart pacemaker techniques have also contributed significantly to improving symptoms and survival in many patients, he said.

The public shouldn’t underestimate the role of wellness and education in keeping patients from needing hospitalization, Isenbarger said. Education about factors such as too much salt intake, fluids and alcohol, daily body weight monitoring and close followup with medical providers all contributed to the decline in hospital stays, he said.

Isenbarger cautioned people not to read too much into the study results. “It is still sobering to note that mortality in heart failure patients is still very, very high, despite these advances, warranting continued research efforts for the foreseeable future,” he said.

For more information on the study, go to: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/236127.php

 

Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center gets new CT scan equipment

October 05, 2011

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

The Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center LLC is the proud owner of new CT scan equipment that can handle today’s increasingly sophisticated treatment plans, has advanced software that helps enhance images of people with metal replacement joints and is able to handle large patients up to 650 pounds. 

The equipment was delivered on Monday and will be installed this week. Technicians will do calibration work the following week. Two staff members are currently in Cleveland, Ohio undergoing training and will do onsite training the week of Oct. 17. The center plans to use the new equipment on its first patient during the week of Oct. 17. 

“With the advancements in treatment planning, our equipment advances as well,” said Tina Dickerson, director of the Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center. “This newer CT has the latest in software technology, capable of adding a 4th dimension to our treatment planning scans.” 

The new machine is called a Philips Brilliance CT Big Bore scanner and is manufactured by Philips Healthcare, part of global electronics giant Philips Electronics. It cost $672,000 and was paid for by the partnership operated jointly by Tuality and Oregon Health & Science University. 

The new equipment has two main features that set it apart from other CT scanners:

  • The bore size is larger, 85 centimeters vs. 60 centimeters in the old CT scanner, allowing access to obese patients. It also allows CT scanning of patients with immobilization devices, respirator devices and other apparatus. In addition, the CT scanner table is able to hold a patient that weighs up to 650 pounds. The old equipment was limited to around 400 pounds.
  • The device has advanced software that helps minimize motion in images, and helps cut down on glare or refraction from metals such as knee replacements, hip replaces, and in tooth fillings.

The equipment has two distinct advantages for Tuality, said Dave Foster, director of diagnostic imaging.  Tuality Healthcare will no longer have to transfer obese patients to other hospitals. It’s routine, Foster said, to send a number of patients each month to Portland hospitals. And the metal artifact reduction software gives better images for the increasing number of patients with implanted metal devices. 

Dickerson is excited because the new CT scanner will enhance the cancer center’s  ability to make treatment scanning faster for patients and allow the cancer center to continue in its advancement in cancer care for the community.

National podcast features two Tuality Healthcare employees

September 29, 2011

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Two Tuality Healthcare employees, Christine Meyers and Robert Powell, play prominent roles in an audio podcast titled “Nurses Lead the Way: A New Approach to Patient…” on the Hospitals and Health Networks (H&HN) digital magazine website.  The audio podcast, a digital audio file similar to a news story on the radio, can be accessed at the H&HN website.  The H&HN digital magazine is a popular national internet site that contains a trove of news about hospitals and healthcare

Meyers, Tuality’s director of critical care services, and Powell, a staff nurse at Tuality Community Hospital, along with H&HN contributing editor Richard Hill, discuss the hospital’s Releasing Time to Care project, a nurse led lean project that aims to free staff nurses to improve patient care.  The pilot project, which is sponsored by CareOregon and also includes three other Oregon hospitals, is modeled after a similar project sponsored by Britain’s National Health Service.  The project aims to improve in four areas: patient safety, efficiency, patient satisfaction and staff satisfaction.  The results at Tuality are lower infection rates, improved pain control and less interruptions for staff nurses.

To listen to the 4-minute podcast, click here.