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News Archive

Humancare Offers Sustenance for Body and Soul
January 30th 2017

Food is essential to life, and we often eat what’s in front of us with little thought of where it came from. It can be easy to overlook the dedication of those who prepare our food and provide such a vital source of nourishment, especially at a busy place like Providence, where so much happens every day.

As a leader within the nutritional services team, Kimberly Ridge faces an array of challenges as she works to coordinate hearty, healthy meals each day. From staffing shortages to unhappy patients to the many demands on her team, Kim rises to each occasion with unwavering consistency and heart.

Breaking Bread, Building Community

Kim’s contribution to Providence goes far beyond her leadership position. Whether she’s listening to personal stories in the dining room or visiting a patient’s bedside to ensure they’re enjoying their food, Kim endeavors to make each person feel seen, heard and valued. She creates a space in our retail area and inpatient services where our associates are encouraged to think of every patient and customer as a family member.

At Providence, compassionate care is central to our mission. Kim works to foster a sense of community and teamwork within our associates through her kind nature and firm but fair enforcement of our policies. Surpassing expectations with her steady focus, humble service and ceaseless integrity, Kim is a shining example of Humancare in action. Like countless associates, Kim may not be the face of Providence, but she’s certainly the heart of it.

Avoiding Trauma by Toys: Tips for holiday toy-buying
December 19th 2016

Every parent looks forward to seeing their child's face light up at the sight of a new toy during the holidays. But as we begin to shop for our little ones, emergency room physicians say safety should be at the top of our shopping list.

To help parents make smart choices, the Consumer Product Safety Commission recently released a report offering guidance about toys with potentially hazardous features.

In 2015, more than 250,000 children were treated in emergency departments across the U.S. for toy-related injuries. Boys encountered more than half of those injuries.

Greg Newman, DO, is the medical director of Providence Express Care. Providence is a part of Ascension, the nation's largest nonprofit health system and the world's largest Catholic health system.

He says toy-related injuries happen time and time again, especially around the holidays.

"It's exciting to see children tear into packages Christmas morning," Newman said. "Shopping for age appropriate toys and making sure children are well supervised during play time can help prevent accidents."

When accidents do happen, whether your child swallowed a battery or suffered a hard fall, it's important to seek medical care immediately.

According to the report:

  • Non-motorized scooters were listed as the most dangerous toy, blamed for about 45 percent of toy-related deaths.
  • Bumps, bruises and cuts were the most common injuries.
  • Heads and faces were the body parts most affected by these injuries.

Newman points out parents should not only pay attention when they're shopping, but they should also take a close look at toys their children receive as gifts from friends and relatives.

"Friends and relatives may not be aware of potential safety hazards lurking in the gifts they give," Newman said. "If you question a toy's safety, store it until your child is older. In some cases, it may be necessary to toss it."

Other toy features to watch out for:

  • Balloons and balloon strings (choking, strangulation)
  • Stuffed toys, dolls, doll accessories, toy figurines (suffocating)
  • Water guns (drowning)
  • Tricycles (accidents involving motor vehicles)

Shopping? Consider these tips:

  • Study the label: It's important to know how to properly use the toy. Read warning labels and instruction manuals to learn about proper play, and then give your child pointers on safe use.
  • Shop for age-appropriate toys: Check the packaging for age limitations.
  • Go big: To prevent choking, make sure the toys are too large to fit inside your child's mouth.
  • Buy safety gear: For bikes, skateboards and similar toys, make sure your child is properly fitted with a helmet and pads.
  • Check the sound levels: Avoid any toys that are too loud to prevent hearing damage.
  • Beware of battery operated toys: Make sure your little one can't remove the battery. "Button-style" batteries can cause potentially fatal internal burning when swallowed.
  • Look for non-toxic toys: Make sure toys don't contain toxic materials that could be poisonous.
  • No matter what, supervise your child: Any toy can be dangerous without parental supervision.

Spread holiday cheer, not germs: Tips for travel during cold, flu season
December 16th 2016

Millions of Americans will board planes, trains and automobiles to visit family and friends this holiday season. And the number of germs that will accompany each passenger? Too many to count.

According for the Centers for Disease Control, December is a peak flu month. Mix that with increased holiday travel, and you've got a recipe for sore throat, headache, fever, muscle aches, congestion and cough that no one wants to share.

Sharing is not always caring

Adults typically get two to three colds per year and children can get up to eight or more. While germs can lurk most everywhere you go, Clint McHenry, DO, says cold and flu viruses are more easily shared in close quarters. McHenry is a primary care physician at Providence Family Health Clinic-Lakeshore. Providence is a part of Ascension, the nation's largest nonprofit health system and the world's largest Catholic health system.

"Tight spaces foster the spread of illness," McHenry said. "Sharing smaller spaces means you are in closer proximity to people who haven't recently washed their hands. You're a likely landing spot for droplets spread through coughing or sneezing."

Before boarding a plane, train or bus, consider delaying your travel plans if you are sick. When you can't change travel plans, consider a surgical mask. Though not a popular fashion choice, wearing a mask can prevent you from sharing germs each time you cough or sneeze.

Are frequent flyers sick more often?

If you think flying and getting sick often go hand in hand, you may not be wrong. But not necessarily for the reasons you might think. Experts theorize air travel increases infection risks because of recirculated air or less humidity. McHenry points out that air quality on planes has not been proven as a leading cause of the spread of a cold virus.

"The cold virus is most often spread by hand-to-hand contact," McHenry said. "Germs can travel through handshakes or touching a contaminated surface, then touching your eyes, nose or mouth," McHenry said.

The cold virus can survive on hard surfaces for several hours and on our hands for about two hours. McHenry emphasizes that consistently washing your hands when you are sick and even when you are not is a proven way to protect you, and those around you, from infection.

Call on your inner germ-fighter

While you may not be able to control when and where you are exposed to germs, you can support your immune system to help give yourself a fighting chance against holiday sickness.

"We see that our bodies are more susceptible to illness when we don't get enough sleep, have extra stress or are malnourished," McHenry said. "Therefore, it is important to focus on these things to strengthen our immune system so our bodies can help fight infection when we need it to."

Vitamin C is a popular go-to immune system booster during cold and flu season. But McHenry points out while not necessarily harmful, studies have not consistently shown that taking vitamin C to boost your immune system helps prevent illness or helps it pass more quickly.

Best recipe for cold and flu-free travel

No matter how you travel, McHenry suggests these tips for getting home for the holidays cold and flu free:

  • Wash your hands, often. Use soap and water and scrub for at least 20 seconds. Hum, sing or whistle the tune of "Happy Birthday," then rinse and dry.
  • Pack hand sanitizer. If you don't have access to soap and water, alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol is second best.
  • Take care of yourself-mind, body and spirit. Eat well-balanced meals including fruits, vegetables and lean meats. Stay hydrated. Exercise regularly and reduce stress through yoga or meditation.
  • Vaccinate. The flu vaccine is a proven way to prevent the flu virus. It takes time for the vaccine to get to work, so those who are not allergic to the vaccine, and especially children, the chronically ill and the elderly, should get vaccinated in October or November. Is it too late? The flu season extends into the spring, so now versus never can still boost your chances of making it through the flu season symptom-free.

Recipes don't always turn out as expected. If you find yourself with cold and flu-like symptoms that don't improve within a week or two, call your doctor to rule out other causes of illness.

Cholesterol: All in the Family?
October 27th 2016

Routine immunization visits can help prevent diseases before they strike. Now, a study from the New England Journal of Medicine shows that an additional heel stick during these appointments can look for genetic markers for high cholesterol—a step that might help reduce or even prevent the risk of future heart disease in both children and parents.

The study looked at 10,059 one and two year olds who had an additional blood test during one of their regularly-scheduled immunization visits to look for genetic markers that would cause high cholesterol down the road. When a marker was found, a second test identified the parent with the same marker. For every 1,000 screenings, four children and their corresponding parent were identified with the same marker.

Not Just “Adults-Only”

High cholesterol isn’t reserved for adults. According to Shawn Skeen, MD, it can be passed down to a child by one or both parents, and can also be seen in childhood and adolescence, along with obesity, poor diet or diabetes, all of which are risk factors for heart disease.  Skeen is a cardiologist at Providence. Providence is part of Ascension, the largest nonprofit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system. 

“Our bodies use cholesterol for daily functions such as cell production,” Skeen explained. “Too much of the waxy substance can cause plaque buildup and narrowed arteries. This can limit blood flow through the arteries, and can lead to heart disease, and even heart attack or stroke.”

The Importance of Early Detection

Early detection can improve treatment options for many health conditions. Providence pediatrician Ronald Coleman, Jr., DO, said that current guidelines established by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute and endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics call for a blood test that measures total cholesterol, LDL “bad” cholesterol, HDL “good” cholesterol and triglycerides to screen children as part of regular check-ups, once between the ages of nine and 11, and again between the ages of 17 and 21.

Children who have strong family history of high cholesterol or heart disease, are overweight or obese, have high blood pressure, are diabetic or smoke, should be evaluated by a doctor and screened as needed, between the ages of 2 and 21.

Skeen points out that the potential to screen children for a shared genetic marker as early as one or two years old, allows both doctors and parents to be aware of the potential health risks associated with high cholesterol, and provides doctors with better opportunities for intervention or prevention.  Additionally, identifying the parent with the shared marker gives mom or dad a heads up regarding their own health as well.

“Heart disease is the number one killer in America, with high cholesterol being a known risk factor. If high cholesterol can be identified early, we can take action to manage, and often times, prevent future complications associated with heart disease,” Skeen said.

Coleman notes that that the presence of the genetic marker doesn’t necessarily mean a future with high cholesterol, nor does its absence guarantee cholesterol won’t be a concern down the road.

However, in some cases where the genetic maker is present, complications related to high cholesterol can begin at an early age. 

While the study shows the potential for early high cholesterol detection, the cost benefit of the approach is uncertain when compared to the current recommended guidelines. 

Genes Are Not the Only Player

Regardless of a child’s genetic risk for high cholesterol, Coleman and Skeen agree that lifestyle and diet still matter. “Parents should play an active role in modeling healthy behaviors and managing their child’s food intake,” Coleman said.

In many cases, high cholesterol can be lowered without needing medication.  Try some of these family-friendly tips:

  • Take the family outdoors for walking, hiking, biking or swimming.
  • Use a gym or club membership to enjoy aerobic or spin classes together.
  • Ask your children to be involved in meal planning and preparation.
  • Plan colorful or themed meals that include baked or grilled foods, whole grains, fruits and veggies.

Parents who are concerned about their child’s risk of high cholesterol should talk to their doctor about family history and other potential risk factors to decide the best screening and treatment options.

Ascension Medical Mission at Home in Waco a Success
October 26th 2016

It only takes a moment to make a difference in someone’s life, and our mission of Humancare is made up of many such moments. Extending compassionate care to the most vulnerable is a fundamental value at Providence, and that’s just what happened at the first ever Ascension Medical Mission at Home, brought to you by Providence Healthcare Network.

On Oct. 1, the Waco Convention Center became a medical arena. Over 600 of Ascension’s Texas associates spent their Saturday delivering medical, dental and eye care to nearly 1,000 people. This day of service enriched the lives of those who volunteered as much as it helped those on the receiving end.

Sowing the Seeds of Love

Waco is home to a sizable population of underserved residents, many of whom struggle to access healthcare and who live at or below the poverty line.

Helping these families get the medical services they need is a big reason we take our medical mission beyond the four walls of the hospital.

A severely infected tooth brought Waco resident Deitra Stroud to the event. She was between jobs and needed her tooth extracted.

“If I can get it pulled, I know I can start a new job on Wednesday,” Stroud said.

Stroud got her teeth cared for, and also got a flu shot and blood pressure medication.

Full Hearts and Minds

During the first ever Ascension Medical Mission at Home in Waco, there were many stories of lives being touched, including the father who had been saving for months to afford glasses for his son. He got them free at the event. Some women were able to have a mammogram for the first time in their lives. People were also connected to additional resources that will help them to maintain and manage their health beyond the one-day event.

Attorney Ann Benolken to lead legal efforts for Ascension’s Texas Ministry Market
October 26th 2016

Benolken

Austin attorney Ann Benolken is joining Ascension to lead the national health system’s legal efforts on behalf of its Texas Ministry Market, which includes Providence Healthcare Network in Waco and Seton Healthcare Family in Austin. She will serve as Vice President, Legal, and General Counsel, Texas Ministry Market and begin transitioning into this role in late November 2016. Ascension is the nation’s largest nonprofit health system and the world’s largest Catholic health system.

Benolken will report to Chris McCoy, Senior Vice President, Legal Services, and General Counsel, Ascension Healthcare, a division of Ascension. She also will be part of the senior leadership team of the Ascension Texas Ministry Market.

“Ann is a highly skilled and experienced attorney with more than 25 years of experience as a general counsel and law firm partner,” McCoy said. “Known for her attention to serving the needs of clients and ability to build positive, cooperative relationships, Ann is a strategic thought partner and leader who draws on her significant experience in industries including health care and life sciences. We’re pleased to welcome her to Ascension and our Texas Ministry Market.”

“As a longtime Austin attorney, Ann is very familiar with our health ministry, and we’re very happy that she will be supporting our delivery of compassionate, personalized care to all with special attention to those living in poverty and those most vulnerable,” said Jesús Garza, president and CEO, Seton Healthcare Family, who also serves as senior vice president, Ascension, and Texas Ministry Market Executive.

“Both Seton and Providence are known for their excellent care and their commitment to the communities they serve. I’m looking forward to contributing to their continued success in meeting the changing health needs of individuals across Central Texas,” Benolken said.

Benolken currently is a partner at Norton Rose Fulbright, a leading global law firm, where she leads the firm’s mergers and acquisitions, corporate, and securities section in its Austin office. Her work has included developing legal teams to represent private and public organizations in a range of transactions including medical school partnerships and other strategic alliances, mergers, and more. Earlier in her career, she served as the General Counsel and Senior Vice President of a startup telehealth company and also as General Counsel of a telecommunications and Internet services company.

Benolken earned her law degree and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas, Austin. She is a member of the Governance Committee for SAFE (Stop Abuse for Everyone) in Austin and on the Board of Directors of the Austin/San Antonio chapter of the General Counsel Forum, a community of more than 700 general counsel and senior managing counsel. She has served on several community boards, including Austin Children’s Shelter (now known as Austin Children’s Services) and CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children) of Travis County, Texas. She is a founding member of Women of Hope, a philanthropic group of women who have come together around their common interest in making the world a better place for abused and neglected children and youth served by Austin Children’s Shelter. She has been included in The Best Lawyers in America since 2012.

The Ascension Legal team operates as a unified, in-house law firm, with a single reporting structure that reduces risk and improves the overall quality, consistency and efficiency of legal services rendered across the health system’s sites of care in 24 states plus Washington, D.C.

“We’re happy to welcome Ann to our integrated national Legal team,” said Joe Impicciche, Executive Vice President, Legal Services, and General Counsel, Ascension. “She will be an important contributor as we continue to build our capabilities and strengths in support of Ascension’s Mission.”

Angry? Consider Cooling Down Before Breaking a Sweat
October 20th 2016

Exercise

Physical exertion, anger or being upset linked to increased heart attack risks

Exercise is a great way to reduce stress and improve overall health. But according to a new study by the American Heart Association, you should think about your frame of mind before hitting the pavement or running to the gym.

The large international study included 12,461 first-time heart attack sufferers from 52 countries, average age 58. Participants were asked to recall whether they were angry or upset, or had heavily exerted themselves in the hour before their heart attack.

  • About 14 percent of the participants reported that engaging in physical exertion, or being angry or emotionally upset were triggers for their heart attack. 
  • Separately, either being angry or upset, or engaging in heavy physical exertion was associated with a doubled heart attack risk.  
  • Put the two together, and being either angry or upset as well as engaging in heavy exercise was linked to a tripled heart attack risk.    

When anger, emotions and heavy physical exertion combine

According to Shawn Skeen, MD, the effects extreme anger and exercise have on your body can be similar.  Skeen is a cardiologist at Providence. Providence is a part of Ascension, the largest nonprofit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system.

Extreme anger or exercise both increase blood pressure and heart rate. For people who may have unstable plaque build-up, this may increase the likelihood these plaques could rupture, resulting in a heart attack. “Also, when we get upset, angry, very sad or overly anxious, or do rigorous exercise, our bodies produce more stress-related hormones,” Skeen said. “In some cases, these hormones alone can result in stress-related heart dysfunction, despite the absence of obstructive coronary artery disease.”

To exercise or not exercise?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease remains the number one killer in the U.S.; about 735,000 Americans have a heart attack each year. Skeen urges that prevention of a first heart attack is key – so, ditching the exercise is not an option.

“Physical aerobic activity, combined with a heart-heathy diet is as effective as any medicine we have at preventing a first heart attack,” Skeen said.

Skeen points out that the study may show a link between being upset or doing strenuous exercise and having a heart attack, but it doesn’t mean the heart attack is actually caused by the extreme emotion or exertion. Also, the study relied on participants’ memories of what they were doing before the heart attack, which tends to be less reliable compared to clinical data.

However, because extreme stress or emotional upset and rigorous physical exercise are known heart attack triggers, the study does suggest that cooling down emotionally before exercising can help defuse those as triggers. Skeen also encourages those who have multiple heart disease risk factors be evaluated by a health care professional before starting any physical activity.

Alternatives to strenuous physical activity

Keeping stress and emotions in-check is important for overall health and wellness.  According to Skeen, you don’t have to break a sweat to do so. Mind-body techniques such as yoga, meditation and prayer are equally effective with real cardio benefits. Other options include low-impact physical activity like walking or gardening or relaxation methods such as breathing and counting.

Talk to your doctor about what alternative techniques are right for you. And of course, talk to your doctor before starting any new exercise regimen.

Providence commercial features locals with a talent for Humancare.
August 31st 2016

Kurt Kurtz and Pat Johnson don’t just play humans on TV. They are your neighbors and part of TEAMPROVIDENCE, transforming healthcare into Humancare.

Kurt joined Providence in 2002, and has served as the Director of Pharmacy for the past five years. Kurt’s passion comes from taking care of patients by ensuring they get the great care they need during their stay in the hospital and beyond. “Humancare, to me, means we take care of the whole person—not just during the acute phase. We provide care throughout a person’s life. As a pharmacist, I get to advocate for the patient, and we treat each person as if they were in our own family,” he said.

kurt-humancare

Pat, a sales clerk in the Little Blessings Boutique at Providence, started volunteering at Providence with her husband in 2007 after they both retired. For Pat, volunteering provided a reason to get dressed and out of the house each day, but what began as a four hour per week commitment evolved into a 20-hour part time job. “I just love taking care of our customers and associates. Folks are always pleasantly surprised and thankful for the help we provide. My work here gives me a reason to keep moving each day!”

pat-humancare

Visit our website to learn about the Humancare difference, and watch videos of patients sharing their Humancare experiences.

Pet Therapy Program Brings Joy to Providence
August 10th 2016

Pet Therapy Program Brings Joy to Providence

pet-therapy-1

Comfort can come in all shapes and sizes, and patients at Providence Health Center in Waco can vouch for that. The Providence Pet Therapy Program is one of the many ways that we bring Humancare to children and adults alike. Through pet therapy, dogs visit children and adults at Providence, lifting spirits and calming nerves. By engaging with community members and pet owners, our patients can share in the simple yet profound joy of connecting with a beloved animal.

The Healing Benefits of Pet Therapy

Spending time with a furry four-legged friend isn’t only fun; there are physical, mental and emotional benefits that can come from being with a gentle dog. For kids awaiting surgery, a visit with a sweet pooch can help them pass the time and lap up some puppy love, which can be a welcome distraction. Dog owner Mandi Barnes brings Remington to the hospital for that very reason.

“The hospital can be a very scary place and being able to see a dog, which is not a common thing in the hospital, breaks up the monotony and breaks up the day,” Barnes said. “Remington’s job is mainly to make people smile and forget why they are here.”

A Shelter for All

pet-therapy-2

The Providence Pet Therapy Program has 16 pet partner teams, and each therapy dog is trained especially to interact with people in hospitals. Providence requires all dogs and their owners to be registered through Pet Partners and remain up-to-date on training and certification. Many dogs come from Fuzzy Friends Rescue, a no-kill shelter that cares for all animals until they are adopted, bringing the notion of Humancare full circle. The dogs receive a loving home and brighten the lives of their owners as well as the lives of the children and adults at Providence.

Waco: New breast cancer screening guidelines leave some confused
February 11th 2016

WACO (January 13, 2016) A new and controversial final recommendation was released this week by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) on the topic of women’s health and breast cancer screening.

Click on the link to read more. 

read more »

Mind Over Medicine
February 2nd 2016

Throughout the greater Waco area, local healthcare providers are teaming cutting-edge technologies in robotics and ultrasonic with a homegrown workforce of expertly-trained personnel to give area residents a more comprehensive level of exemplary healthcare. Click the PDF link to read more about the Providence Robotics Program.

Download PDF »

Waco Associates Express Spirit of Giving through Donations
December 28th 2015

FoodDrive

The spirit of giving runs deep in the hearts of Providence Healthcare Network associates in Waco, Texas. Every day, the Providence family puts our Core Values in action by making a difference in the lives of Waco community families, but the giving spirit is even higher during the Holiday Season. 

 

During the annual Food for Families food drive, Providence collected over 8,000 pounds of non-perishable food items.  These generous donations not only help provide food for families during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, but also help stock the shelves of 10 food pantries throughout McLennan County, which provide food to those in need year-round.

 

The spirit of giving continued with their annual toy drive benefiting Mission Waco, a local non-profit that “seek[s] ways to overcome the systemic issues of social injustice which oppress the poor and marginalized,” and offers relationship-based programs to empower those most in need.  “We are called to serve the poor and vulnerable—both in and outside our hospital walls,” Sister Cecile Matushek, vice president of mission affairs said.  ”Our Mission and Core values match so well with the mission of Mission Waco, especially our core value of Reverence.”  

From stuffed animals and dolls to basketballs and board games, Providence associates donated a truck load of new, unwrapped Christmas toys and gifts just in time for Christmas shopping to begin at the Mission Waco Toy Store on Dec. 5.  Mission Waco’s annual toy store enables low-income families to shop for that special gift with their child’s Christmas wish list in mind, at an 80 percent off retail price.

Because of generous donations,   the toy store serves over 550 families, ensuring that more than 1,700 children across the Waco community experience the magic of Christmas morning.  “Parents have the joy of being Santa and our joy is knowing that we helped make that happen,” Sister Cecile said.  

Seton Health Plan and Cigna to Develop Innovative New Products for Health Care Delivery Throughout Austin and Waco Areas
December 10th 2015

AUSTIN, Texas – December 10, 2015 – Seton Health Plan, Inc., and Cigna (NYSE: CI) have entered into a joint venture agreement and unique collaboration to offer employers in and around Austin and Waco integrated health care products designed to improve access, affordability and the patient experience.

Seton Health Plan’s insured and self-insured offerings will be available next year to employers with 51 or more employees within a 13-county area served by Austin-based Seton Healthcare Family and Waco-based Providence Healthcare Network. The health care products will guide customers of Seton, Providence and affiliates through a more clinically integrated and cost-effective system of care designed to improve quality and patient outcomes, reduce duplication of services and eliminate unnecessary costs.

Seton Health Plan and Cigna expect to make products available to employers by the summer of 2016.

“We recognize that health care is local, so our aim is to offer integrated products that will meet the needs of individuals who live and work in our area,” said Jeff Cook, president and CEO, Seton Insurance Services, and vice president of Insurance and Value-Based Reimbursement for Ascension, the nation’s largest non-profit health system and parent organization of Seton and Providence. “We’ll accomplish that with collaborative health plans that present more choices for affordable and personalized health care while maintaining our focus on clinical excellence.”

“This collaboration signals a fundamental shift in how organizations that finance and administer health plans engage with organizations that deliver health care,” said Mike Koehler, market president for Cigna South Texas. “If we expect to drive better health, affordability and experience for the customers we jointly serve, we need to put the customer at the center of all we do through deeper collaboration between payers and providers. That’s the future of health care.”

The arrangement enables Seton, Providence and Cigna to combine health plan, hospital, clinic, provider and administrative capabilities in a unified effort to improve people’s lives, deliver long-term sustained medical cost savings, and create healthier communities. Drawing on the strengths of both organizations, the arrangement leverages Cigna's national and regional resources, including a best-in-class administration platform from Cigna’s wholly-owned subsidiary, QualCare Alliance Networks, Inc., as well as the expertise of the company’s clinical and consumer health engagement teams. This enables Seton Health Plan to focus its local resources on delivering high-quality, coordinated and affordable care and an exceptional customer experience.

The insurance products will emphasize wellness and prevention and will include a health assessment to identify people at risk for chronic conditions and other health issues. The information will guide development of workplace programs to address employees’ greatest needs. Individuals with chronic conditions will have access to caregivers able to coordinate their medical care, help them follow the physician’s care plan, explain treatment options, refer patients to appropriate community resources and help them improve their skills in managing their conditions. Employers can choose plans with a wellness rewards program and health coaching to reduce stress, obesity and smoking. Physicians in the plans will be rewarded for improving quality, efficiency and patient experience.

About Cigna
Cigna Corporation (NYSE: CI) is a global health service company dedicated to helping people improve their health, well-being and sense of security. All products and services are provided exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, Life Insurance Company of North America and Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. Such products and services include an integrated suite of health services, such as medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, vision, supplemental benefits, and other related products including group life, accident and disability insurance. Cigna maintains sales capability in 30 countries and jurisdictions, and has approximately 89 million customer relationships throughout the world. To learn more about Cigna®, including links to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit www.cigna.com.

About Seton Health Plan, Seton Healthcare Family and Providence Healthcare Network
Seton Health Plan is part of Seton Healthcare Family and, together with Providence Healthcare Network, comprises Ascension’s Texas health system. With operations in 24 states and the District of Columbia, Ascension is the largest non-profit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system. In FY2015 Ascension provided nearly $2 billion in care of persons living in poverty and other community benefit programs. More information is available at www.ascension.org.

Seton Healthcare Family operates more than 100 clinical locations, including four teaching hospitals that will be training and research sites for Dell Medical School at The University of Texas starting in 2016. Seton conducts research in such areas as the prevention and treatment of stroke, traumatic injury, epilepsy, cardiovascular disease, chronic condition management and pediatric medicine. Seton also operates Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas, which serves children in 46 counties. www.seton.net

Providence operates a continuum of care that includes a major health center; 17 clinic locations; two urgent care clinics; a psychiatric and substance abuse facility; and a premiere community for independent living, assisted living, long-term and sub-acute care. Comprehensive women’s services include a Women & Newborns Center, Breast Health Center and Waco Center for Women’s Health. www.providence.net.

About Ascension
Ascension (www.ascension.org) is a faith-based healthcare organization dedicated to transformation through innovation across the continuum of care. As the largest non-profit health system in the U.S. and the world's largest Catholic health system, Ascension is committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all with special attention to persons in poverty and struggling the most. In FY2015, Ascension provided nearly $2 billion in care of persons living in poverty and other community benefit programs. Approximately 150,000 associates and 35,000 aligned providers serve in 1,900 sites of care - including 129 hospitals and more than 30 senior living facilities - in 24 states and the District of Columbia. In addition to healthcare delivery, Ascension subsidiaries provide a variety of services and solutions including physician practice management, venture capital investing, treasury management, biomedical engineering, clinical care management, information services, risk management, and contracting through Ascension's own group purchasing organization.

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Three-Year-Old Assists in 1,000th Robotic Surgery
September 16th 2015

Three-Year-Old Assists in 1,000th Robotic Surgery

September 17, 2015, WACO – The Robotic Institute at Providence hit a milestone this month and celebrated their 1,000th da Vinci® robotic assisted surgery since the system was introduced less than 3 years ago.

Robotic technology has changed the face of surgery for many procedures in the areas of urology, gynecology and general surgery. Our team of 13 surgeons—along with an entire robotic surgery team—have received specialized training in the use of the da Vinci Surgical System, allowing complex surgeries to be performed through tiny incisions with greater precision, vision and control.  For patients, this means potential benefits such as faster recovery, less pain, a shorter hospital stay, and minimal scarring.

Congratulations to the entire Robotic Surgical Team in reaching this milestone!

To schedule an interview with a surgeon or patient, please contact Erin Rogers.

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Providence Heart Hospital Receives Platinum Performance Achievement Award
July 7th 2015

 

Platinum Performance Achievement Award

Providence Healthcare Network is a recipient of the ACTION Registry–GWTG Platinum Performance Achievement Award. The Platinum Performance Achievement Award recognizes Premier participating hospitals that have sustained performance measure score composites of 90% or better in the treatment of acute myocardial infarction patients for eight consecutive quarters, ending quarter four 2014.

platinum award

Physician-Spouse Formation program entering its fourth year of ministry
June 19th 2015

Realizing the benefits of his two year experience in Ascension Health’s Executive Ministry Leadership Formation, Dr. Marc Barrett, Senior Vice President and Chief of Medical Affairs envisioned a similar experience for physicians at Providence Healthcare Network, an Ascension ministry in Waco, Texas. Based on his 27 years as a practicing urologist, he recognized that most already busy physicians would be reluctant to commit to further time away from their family.

With the goal to increase physician engagement in the Catholic healthcare ministry by focusing on the spiritual practice of medicine, Dr. Barrett and Jonathan Ford, Vice President for Workplace Spirituality and Leadership Formation, developed a Physician-Spouse Formation program which is now in its fourth cohort.

This is one of several videos that demonstrate the power of the 24 physician-spouse teams that have been involved.

The outcomes of Physician-Spouse Formation have resulted in stronger awareness of how medicine is a spiritual practice, greater engagement in our healthcare Mission, and stronger relationships which have shared the challenges of medical practice, family difficulties, deaths, births and significant health issues. Dr. Barrett remarked that we now deal with our work, our patients and each other on a different level. The difference is not easily quantitated with metrics or dashboards, but there is a new appreciation of how our culture must change to support further formative experiences and Ascension initiatives as a whole.  

One Physician-Spouse Formation participant said of the program, “Formation was very important for me to reconnect me with why I went into medicine to begin with.  It has been very encouraging to journey together and hear from other couples who are struggling with the exact things that we are.”

Another participant added that, “Our Cohort has become the protection of the soul.  We’ve been to thousands of meetings and have never felt like we were “together.”  With our Cohort we have hope.  There has been nothing like it in our whole medical career.  My prayer?  That we will help more doctors and their spouses discover this gift!”

Dr. Barrett summed up the program well by saying, “Ascension’s vision is to promote a healthcare environment that supports physicians in their inherent calling to provide compassionate, life-enriching holistic care to patients and families, and enriches a physician community with a sense of balance, meaning, and life purpose. In Physician- Spouse Formation, the journey deepens the understanding of the healing ministry and both the physician and spouse appreciate the support and giftedness of each.”

Celebrating 110 Years of Serving Central Texas
May 20th 2015

From our modest beginning 110 years ago, to our current ministry of over 2,000 associates, physicians, and volunteers, serving over 200,000 Central Texans, Providence Healthcare Network  has a lot to celebrate!  We celebrate those who answered the call over a century ago to provide care to the poor and vulnerable in Waco; we celebrate our generous donors within our community whose support allows us to continue providing Central Texans with quality care; we celebrate our dedicated team of women and men who are committed to providing compassionate, excellent care; we celebrate our continued focus of healing the sick. And our 110th Anniversary Gala did just that—with a sold out venue, we celebrated 110 years of serving our community with the safest, highest-quality, most efficient healthcare to those we are called to serve. 

 As we celebrate the journey that has brought us to where we are today, we renew our vow to our community that we will never stray from the foundation on which Providence was built.  For as St. Vincent DePaul once said, “God has honored us in our Call to Serve.” We are blessed with a rich history and it is a story worth sharing.  Click here to view our new “Call to Serve” video that debuted at the anniversary celebration.

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Women and Newborns Center Earns Texas 10 Step Program Designation
April 14th 2015

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Providence Diabetes Management Center Earns Reaccreditation
March 24th 2015

March 24th, 2015

DEAP

[Waco, Texas] —Providence Diabetes Management Center has recently renewed its status as an accredited diabetes education program by the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE), a National Accredited Organization (NAO), certified by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). This allows the people with Diabetes in and around [geographical area] increased access to high quality diabetes education services.

Diabetes education is a collaborative process through which people with or at risk for diabetes gain the knowledge and skills needed to modify behavior and successfully self-manage the disease and its related conditions. The program is comprehensive and taught by diabetes

“AADE’s accreditation assures that an accredited program meets the National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support.  Programs who meet this criteria are considered high quality and have been shown to improve the health status of the individuals who embrace the education and help to modify sometimes unhealthy behaviors, or simply provide the education that the person with diabetes has not previously received” said Leslie E. Kolb, RN, BSN, MBA, Accreditation Director for the Diabetes Education Accreditation Program.  “The Providence Diabetes Management Center is exactly the type of program we envisioned when we set up our accreditation in 2009.”

 

 

McLennan County Employer of the Year Award
January 20th 2015

Providence Healthcare Network's Human Resource Department has won the 2015 McLennan County Employer of the Year Award from Heart of Texas Workforce Solutions.  Congratulations TEAMPROVIDENCE!

Q&A with Ascension CEO Tony Tersigni
December 11th 2014

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Providence Healthcare Network Partners with ESC Region 12 for Red Ribbon Week
October 14th 2014

Educators within the Region 12 schools district, hopes that wristbands will be a reminder to students to stay drug free.

More than 120 schools will participate in Red Ribbon Week, a campaign that helps bring drug awareness to Central Texas students .

In the next two days, around 70,000 bands will be handed out.

Region 12 partnered with Providence Healthcare Network for the campaign in efforts to remind kids to choose a healthy lifestyle.

"We hope they associate the wristband with living a health lifestyle and choosing not to use drugs and alcohol. And that we also hope that they remember that there are a lot of people in the community that want to suppose them and hope they become healthy citizens,said Jenipher Janek, Education Specialist.

The Red Ribbon campaign starts next week on October 23.

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Providence Healthcare Network Honored by Texas Hospital Association
June 23rd 2014

On June 12th, The Texas Hospital Association honored Providence Healthcare Network in Waco for 75 years of working with the association to meet the needs of patients in the community.

Officials at Providence Healthcare Networkwere recognized with THA’s 75-year membership award on June 10. Della Vallejo, THA membership manager, presented the award to Brett Esrock, FACHE, president and CEO of the hospital.

“This award represents a significant milestone in the life and mission of THA and Providence Healthcare Network,” said Vallejo. “Our enduring relationship has helped serve patients and the community at large by adapting to evolving needs and meeting the challenges of health care reform. We look forward to many more years of serving the people of Waco and surrounding communities.”

Providence Receives AHA Mission:Lifeline Bronze Award
June 10th 2014

Providence Hospital has received the American Heart Association’s 2014 Mission: Lifeline Bronze Quality Achievement Award.  This award indicates that we are achieving and even surpassing our goals for being one of Texas’ finest chest pain centers.  The award recognizes Providence Hospital’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care for STEMI (ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction) patients. Providence earned this award in 2012, 2013, and again this year.

Every year, almost 250,000 people experience the STEMI type of heart attack, which is the most serious type. Unfortunately, a significant number don't receive prompt reperfusion therapy, which is critical in restoring blood flow. Mission: Lifeline seeks to save lives by closing the gaps that separate STEMI patients from timely access to appropriate treatments. Mission: Lifeline is focusing on improving the system of care for these patients and at the same time improving care for all heart attack patients.

Providence Park to Become Part of the 2nd Largest Not-For-Profit Long-Term Care Provider in The United States
April 1st 2014

Waco, TX, April 1, 2014 --- Providence Park, the largest retirement community in Waco offering the broadest continuum of care, will join more than 30 other long-term care facilities across the country to create Ascension Health Senior Care.  Once the transition occurs in July 2014, Ascension Health Senior Care will become the 2nd largest not-for-profit long-term care provider in the United States.

“In our community, seniors represent the fastest growing age demographic with expected growth of 16% over the next 5 years,” said Brett Esrock, President and CEO of Providence Healthcare Network. “Providence Healthcare Network and Ascension Health recognize the importance of enhancing and expanding our role in serving the growing senior population.”

The three divisions of Providence Park, The Village – independent living, St. Elizabeth Place – assisted living, and St. Catherine Center – long-term and sub-acute care, will continue to operate under the name Providence Park and will maintain their strong connection to the brand and mission of the Providence Healthcare Network. At this time, there will be no change in how Providence Park operates and provides service to residents and patients. Over time, Providence Park will begin taking advantage of new ideas, best practices, and other resources offered by Ascension Health Senior Care.

“This is an exciting transition for us. We believe partnering with Ascension Health Senior Care will strengthen the role of Providence Park as a leader in senior care in our community,” said Michael Olmstead, Vice President of Long Term Care at Providence Park.   

Contact:
Jana Whitaker
VP, Marketing & Volunteer Services
Providence Healthcare Network
254-751-4640
Jana.Whitaker@phn-waco.org

About the Providence Healthcare Network

A member of Ascension Health, the nation’s largest Catholic non-profit integrated health system, Providence Healthcare Network is dedicated to spiritually centered, holistic care, which sustains and improves the health of individuals and communities.  Beginning in 1905 as Waco’s first hospital, Providence is now a 650-bed system, encompassing Providence Health Center, Providence Park, Providence DePaul Center, and a network of outpatient clinics and facilities, offers the most comprehensive continuum of care for Central Texans throughout their lifetime. Nationally recognized for quality care, Providence is a Joint Commission Certified Level II Primary Stroke Center, an Accredited Chest Pain Center with PCI designated by the Society of Chest Pain Centers. For more information about Providence Healthcare Network, visit www.providence.net

Providence Begins New Heart Procedure
February 11th 2014

Providence Health Center is the first hospital in Waco to offer a new outpatient technique for heart patients with completely blocked arteries who might not be candidates for open heart surgery. The specific condition treated is a Chronic Total Occlusion or CTO, which can cause chest pain and other health issues.

This new technique is now being performed by Dr. Charles Shoultz, III with Waco Cardiology Associates at Providence Health Center. Dr. Shoultz was invited to attend an intensive training for this latest minimally invasive technology and technique in August 2013 and began the new technique in September 2013. He was specially chosen for this training based on the number of annual interventional procedures he performed at Providence Health Center.

In this procedure the physician uses a new catheter to get around the blockage by passing into the wall of the artery and going around the blockage. Although this procedure is not appropriate for every patient, it will allow specially trained interventional cardiologists like Dr. Shoultz to use a less invasive procedure to improve circulation in many patients who may not have other options for treating the blockage. Approximately 31% of patients referred for coronary angiography have at least one totally blocked artery. CTOs affect the survival and quality of life of hundreds of thousands of people, and have historically been an untreatable condition for many patients. While some are treated with bypass surgery, up until this point 60% of patients with CTOs have been treated only with prescription drugs.

Providence in Top 100
February 11th 2014

Providence was named by Becker's Review as one of 100 hospitals with great women's health programs. Hospitals were selected for this list based on clinical excellence, quality care and women's health awards. The hospitals have been recognized for excellence in women's health by several organizations, including U.S. News & World Report, Healthgrades, UNICEF's Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative and CareChex.

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Barrett Elected to Statewide Hospital Association Board
January 7th 2014

 

T. Marc Barrett, M.D., senior vice president of medical affairs for Providence Health Network in Waco, has been elected to the Texas Hospital Association’s Board of Trustees. Serving in a physician trustee position, Barrett took office on Jan. 1 for a three-year term.

 Since joining Providence in 2007, Dr. Barrett has focused on physician leadership development, quality, & safety. He is a board-certified urologist and was in private practice for 27 years. He is an active member of THA’s Hospital Physician Executives Constituency Council and the Council on Policy Development.

Dr. Barrett is the executive director for Providence Health Alliance, which manages the Providence network of clinics.

Dr. Barrett earned a medical degree from the University of Texas Medical School in Galveston. He completed a surgical internship at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio and residency in urology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. He is a member of the American Medical Association, the Texas Medical Association, and the McLennan County Medical Society.

By: Lance Lunsford, Texas Hospital Association

Providence Stroke Center Receives AHA Stroke Award
December 9th 2013

 

Providence Healthcare Network has received the Get With The Guidelines®–Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association. The award recognizes Providence’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care by ensuring that stroke patients receive treatment according to nationally accepted guidelines.

Get With The Guidelines–Stroke helps Providence’s staff develop and implement acute and secondary prevention guideline processes to improve patient care and outcomes. The program provides hospitals with a web-based patient management tool, best practice discharge protocols and standing orders, along with a robust registry and real-time benchmarking capabilities to track performance.

The quick and efficient use of guideline procedures can improve the quality of care for stroke patients and may reduce disability and save lives.

“Recent studies show that patients treated in hospitals participating in the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke program receive a higher quality of care and may experience better outcomes,” said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., chair of the Get With The Guidelines National Steering Committee and director of the TeleStroke and Acute Stroke Services at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Mass. “Providence’s team is to be commended for their commitment to improving the care of their patients.”

Following Get With The Guidelines-Stroke treatment guidelines, patients are started on aggressive risk-reduction therapies including the use of medications such as tPA, antithrombotics and anticoagulation therapy, along with cholesterol reducing drugs and smoking cessation counseling. These are all aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients. Hospitals must adhere to these measures at a set level for a designated period of time to be eligible for the achievement awards.

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is one of the leading causes of death and serious, long-term disability in the United States. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

Chronic Disease Self-Management Program
November 1st 2013

 

Are your struggling with a long term health condition such as COPD, Hypertension, Heart Disease, Arthritis, Diabetes or others? Learn to thrive and not simply survive with your chronic condition. There is a FREE six-week workshop for people with chronic illness. Download the PDF below for more information.

 

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Providence Surgeon Performs Waco's First Robotic Single Site Cholecystectomy
September 25th 2013

 

The evolution of surgery has made great strides-from open techniques that resulted in lengthy hospital stays, extended recovery time and potential for substantial pain and scarring, to robotic surgery using single site incisions that leave virtually no scars and may result in a more rapid recovery time. Such advancements can alleviate many of the fears associated with surgery.

In September, Todd Moffatt, MD, performed Waco's first robotic single site cholecystectomy, or gallbladder removal, through a single incision, using Providence's da Vinci® Si™ Surgical System. Robotic single site surgery has many of the same benefits of single incision laparoscopic surgery including low rates of major complications, low blood loss, low rates of wound infection, short hospital stays and virtually no scarring. However; the scope of functionality that single incision laparoscopic surgery offers is limited. Using robotic "arms" that provide range of motion, robotic single site surgery provides surgeons functionality more like traditional laparoscopic surgery that uses three incision sites, creating triangular access-but with just one incision at the base of the belly button!

Dr. Moffatt is no stranger to surgical innovation: in May 2011, he performed Providence's first cholecystectomy, using the latest advancements in Covidien SILS™ technology. Shortly after, he performed Waco's first single incision sigmoidectomy, or resection of the lower colon. So what drives Dr. Moffatt's pursuit of technological advancement? "There is definitely a future for robotic surgery. It is important to be on the front end of the curve, not trying to play catch-up," Dr. Moffatt said.

Providence is committed to providing safe, quality care-offering the latest in robotic advancements is just another example of our commitment to excellence. To learn more about the Providence Robotic Institute, visit providencerobotics.org.

Waco Wounded Veterans 5K
September 18th 2013

 

10 Rehab Staff members and one former staff member ran in the first annual Waco Wounded Veterans 5K. All proceeds are to go towards the Wounded Warrior Foundation. Thanks to Mary Cantu, PT, DPT for all her help with this! A great time was had by everyone and we're looking forward to participating next year!

 

WWV5K2013

Providence Recognized in U.S. News & World Report
September 18th 2013

 

Providence was recognized by the American Heart Association in a congratulatory ad published in the U.S. & News World Report for meeting the criteria of the AHA’s Get with the Guidelines quality program! It is evident that our entire cardiac team is committed to providing comprehensive, quality heart care to our community, and as the cover letter states, it IS nice to be recognized!

 The 2014 Heart Walk is just around the corner and fundraising will be gearing up soon! Mark your calendars for the walk, Saturday, November 2!

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Providence Radiology Receives Student Choice Award
August 26th 2013

Providence Radiology was awarded with the first ever Student Choice Award in the large facility category by the MCC Radiology Student Organization. They were presented the honor at the Radiologic Technology pinning ceremony on August 16, 2013. The award was determined by the clinical site that provided the best mentoring and outstanding student instruction, practiced the best radiation protection methods, as well as demonstrated exceptional professionalism and ethical behavior. Melissa Boyter and Peggy Pustejovsky accepted this award on behalf of Providence Radiology. Congratulations!

Providence Recognized for Heart Attack Care
July 12th 2013

Providence has received the American College of Cardiology Foundation’s NCDR ACTION Registry–GWTG Silver Performance Achievement Award for 2013 – one of only 130 hospitals nationwide to do so. The award recognizes Providence’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care for heart attack patients, and signifies that Providence has reached an aggressive goal of treating these patients to standard levels of care as outlined by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association clinical guidelines and recommendations.   

To receive the ACTION Registry–GWTG Silver Performance Achievement Award, Providence consistently followed the treatment guidelines in ACTION Registry–GWTG for 4 consecutive quarters and met a performance standard of 90% for specific performance measures. Following these treatment guidelines improves adherence to  ACC/AHA Clinical Guideline recommendations, monitors drug safety and the overall quality of care provided to ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) and non- ST- elevation myocardial infarction patients (NSTEMI).

 “The American College of Cardiology Foundation and the American Heart Association commend Providence for its success in implementing standards of care and protocols. The full implementation of acute and secondary prevention guideline-recommended therapy is a critical step in saving the lives and improving outcomes of heart attack patients,” stated James Jollis, MD, FACC, ACTION Registry-GWTG Chair and Professor of Medicine and Radiology at Duke University Hospital and Deepak L. Bhatt, MD, MPH, FACC, FAHA, ACTION Registry-GWTG Co-Chair and Chief of Cardiology at VA Boston Healthcare System, Senior Physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

 ACTION Registry–GWTG is a partnership between the American College of Cardiology Foundation and the American Heart Association with partnering support from the American College of Emergency Physicians and the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care. ACTION Registry-GWTG empowers health care provider teams to consistently treat heart attack patients according to the most current, science-based guidelines and establishes a national standard for understanding and improving the quality, safety and outcomes of care provided for patients with coronary artery disease, specifically high-risk STEMI and NSTEMI patients.

 

Providence Healthcare Network consistently followed the treatment guidelines in ACTION Registry®-GWTG™ for four consecutive quarters and met a performance standard of 90% for specific performance measures to receive this 2013 award.

 

Providence Hospice Open's Inpatient Facility
June 27th 2013

Providence Hospice in partnership with Providence Healthcare Network is opening an inpatient hospice facility in fall 2013. Providence Hospice will be located within St. Catherine Center at Providence Park, a senior living community and division of the Providence Healthcare Network. Providence Hospice is part of the Community Hospice of Texas family of organizations, the largest nonprofit hospice network in Texas. Click here to read more.

Bikes for Perfect Attendance
June 27th 2013

Not missing a single day of school is quite an accomplishment, and this year, over 40 Brook Avenue Elementary students achieved perfect attendance! From that list, Principal Cambell,  awarded 6 students with a brand new bicycle—perfect timing for summer fun!  Thanks to Sister Cecile Matushek, this year’s donation was to $300, enough to purchase 3 bikes! Congratulations to all of the Brook Avenue Students on a great school year.

bikes

Community Health Needs Assessment
May 24th 2013

The 2013 McLennan County Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) was conducted through a partnership between the Family Health Center, Heart of Texas Regional Advisory Council (HOTRAC), Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center – Scott & White Healthcare, Providence Healthcare Network and the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District. This project was also funded in part by generous grants from the Waco Foundation and the Cooper Foundation.

The goal of the CHNA is to provide a comprehensive and unbiased profile of McLennan County, assess community health and risk factors, identify access to care issues, and stimulate discussion and planning for future health promotions and grant funding opportunities.

Click below to view the Community Health Needs Assessment.

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Providence Receives Patient Experience Award
April 12th 2013

Providence Healthcare Network has been named among the top 10% of hospitals in the nation identified as providing outstanding performance in the delivery of a positive experience for patients during their hospital stay, as measured by Healthgrades, the leading online resource that helps consumers search, evaluate, compare and connect with physicians and hospitals.

Providence Named Waco's First Mother-Friendly Worksite
April 12th 2013

Providence joined a growing number of Texas businesses by becoming designated as a Texas Mother-Friendly Worksite. Mother-Friendly employers proactively support employees who choose to breastfeed their infants by providing time, space and other supports to maintain breastfeeding after returning to work. For more information on this, download the PDF below.

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2013 Associates of the Year
April 8th 2013

Each year, outstanding associates are nominated to win "Associate of the Year" by their co-workers.
The winners are selected by identifying those that exemplify Providence's mission and core values while inspiring others with their dedicated commitment to excellence. Congratulations to this year's Providence Associates of the Year!

Providence Health Center: Rebecca Huneke
Providence Park: Sandra Padilla
De Paul: Jeri Rainer
Providence Home Care: Debi Crelin
Providence Clinics: Marsha Nemec

Providence Mammography Recieves 5-Star Award
April 5th 2013

Providence Health Center was named as a 2013PRC excellence award PRC 5-Star Hospital in Mammography for Overall Quality of Care.
This designation is given annually to hospitals that score in the top ten percent of PRC's national database for the prior year. These awards are based on the percentage of patients who rate the facility, healthcare provider, outpatient service line or inpatient unit "Excellent" for the Overall Quality of Care question.  
Congratulations to the Providence Breast Health Center and its talented staff for all your hard work and dedication to providing exceptional patient care.
Professional Research Consultants in in its 33rd year of providing marketing research for hospitals across the United States. Company information can be found on their corporate website.

Keahey Retirement Articles
March 28th 2013

Kent Keahey's retirement after 29 years of faithful service is significant not only for Providence, but for the Waco community as well. Because of this, there has been media coverage of his retirement and the community reception held in his honor. Click the links below to view this coverage.

Waco Today

Waco Tribune-Herald

Waco Tribune-Herald Editorial

City of Waco Retirement Reception Video

Providence Celebrates National Wear Red Day
March 7th 2013

Providence helped celebrate 10 years of going red by wearing red in support of the American Heart Association and the Go Red for Women movement. Along with associates wearing red on February 1, Providence's halls were lined with red dresses, an informational booth was available and the fountain outside the hospital was lit with red, all in support of National Wear Red Day and American Heart Month. Click here for more pictures and information about Providence's Heart Hospital.

GoRed2013

 

New CEO Selected at Providence
February 15th 2013

The Providence Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the selection of Brett A. Esrock, FACHE, as President/Chief Executive Officer for the Providence Healthcare Network effective April 3, 2013. Mr. Esrock replaces Kent Keahey, who has served as President/Chief Executive Officer for the past 29 years. A reception to honor Mr. Keahey will be held for the community on March 26, 2013.

Read more

Providence Named Waco ISD Partner of the Month
January 25th 2013

Providence Healthcare Network was named January Partner of the Month for the Waco ISD Adopt a School program. In December, several Providence Volunteers and Associates delivered goodie bags for Brook Avenue students and were in attendance for the student awards assembly. Brook Avenue students also had the opportunity to sing Christmas carols at Providence Hospital. Providence has been a Partner in Education for over 25 years and has been supporting Brook Avenue over 10 years.

Providence Healthcare Network Named Consumer Choice Award Winner
January 14th 2013

The National Research Corporation recognized Providence Healthcare Network as a Consumer Choice Award Winner. This award was chosen by the people in the Waco community for providing the highest qualtiy service.

Each year, National Research honors thos hospitals whose consumers rate as having the best quality and image, based on a nationally syndicated Market Insights/Ticker study of over 250,000 households. This is the seventeenth year of the award.

The Consumer Choice Award reflects the growing role consumer choice is playing the the healthcare field. Additionally, recognizing that a host of factors enter into choices made by consumers, the criteria by which winners are named reflects a composite score for multiple consumer image and preference ratings.

Providence to begin robotic surgeries in January
December 7th 2012

Robotic surgery soon will be available in Waco, giving residents access to a treatment option increasingly demanded by patients nationwide.

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Providence Healthcare Network, Waco Lung Associates Among First Hospitals to Offer Bronchial Thermoplasty to Patients with Severe Asthma
November 26th 2012

Providence Healthcare Network announced today that it will be among the first in the United States to offer a new procedure for severe asthma patients, known as bronchial thermoplasty. The Alair® Bronchial Thermoplasty System was recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

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PROVIDENCE HEALTHCARE NETWORK ANNOUNCES THE PROVIDENCE ROBOTIC SURGERY INSTITUTE FEATURING THE NEWEST TECHNOLOGY IN SURGERY TODAY.
November 26th 2012

Providence Healthcare Network is pleased to introduce the Providence Robotic Surgery Institute. This new program has been developed around the da Vinci® Si™ Surgical System, a leading edge robotic surgery technology that is revolutionizing the way surgicalprocedures are being done.

Read More.

Providence Healthcare Network Among America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Cardiac Surgery 2013
October 23rd 2012

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Providence Healthcare Network, with Central Texas Cardiovascular, has been named #1 in Texas for Cardiac Surgery and one of America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Cardiac Surgery by Healthgrades®, the leading provider of information to help consumers make an informed decision about a physician or hospital. 

Click here to learn more.

Click for full press release.

Healthgrades™ Awards 2013
October 23rd 2012

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Providence Healthcare Network has been recognized by Healthgrades®, the leading provider of information to help consumers make an informed decision about a physician or hospital, for service excellence in Cardiac, Neurosciences, Individual, Gastrointestinal, Appendectomy and Critical Care.

Click here to learn more.

Click for full press release.

Providence Affirms: Steroid Medication Linked to Meningitis Outbreak Not Used Locally
October 17th 2012

WACO, TEXAS:  Officials at Providence Healthcare Network have affirmed that the steroid medication now associated with an outbreak of meningitis in nine states has not been in use at Providence.  The Pharmacy Department at Providence confirms that the Hospital has not utilized  pharmaceuticals originating from New England Compounding Center (NECC) of Framingham, Massachusetts since prior to 2009.

NECC recalled the drug after it was linked to the outbreak in nine Western states.  As many as 13,000 people have received the steroid shots that are thought to be the cause of the outbreak. However, none of the suspected cases are in Texas.  The nearest cases to Texas are in Tennessee with 39 and Florida with 4.  As of Tuesday afternoon, there are a total of 11 deaths resulting from 119 outbreaks.

Meningitis is an inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord.  Fungal meningitis is typically treated with high-dose anti-fungal medications. This form of meningitis is not contagious.

Providence is continuing to monitor the situation and remains in close contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is the federal agency that monitors health related issues.

Providence Healthcare Network Among Top 5% in Nation for Emergency Medicine
September 28th 2012

HealthGrades, the leading provider of information to help consumers make an informed decision about a physician or hospital, named Providence Healthcare Network among the top 5% in the nation for emergency medicine. 

Read more.

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Providence Healthcare Network Mobile App Now Available!
September 28th 2012

The Providence Healthcare Network app makes it easy for you to find the medical services you need. Find services and doctors within the Providence Network

Learn more.

Providence Board of Trustees Chairman, Sister Marie Therese Sedgwick, D.C., announces the retirement of CEO, Kent A. Keahey, effective April 2, 2013
August 20th 2012

Please see attached Press Release that was issued to the media today, August 20, 2012, by Providence Board of Trustees Chairman, Sister Marie Therese Sedgwick, D.C., announcing the impending retirement of CEO, Kent A. Keahey, effective April 2, 2013.

Click here to view press release.

Community Value Index Award
July 24th 2012

community-value-award-2012Providence Healthcare Network has been named a recipient for the second year in a row of the Community Value Index Award presented annually by Cleverley & Associates, a national healthcare financial consulting firm.

Cleverly & Associates published a ranking of the best hospitals in the nation in terms of value they provide for their community. The current rankings were recently published in "The State of the Hospital Industry - 2012 Edition". Cleverley and Associates conducts a logical and meaningful evaluation of all U.S. hospitals using team measures that assess a hospital's performance in four areas:

  • Financial viability and plant reinvestment
  • Hospital cost structure
  • Hospital charge structure
  • Hospital quality performance

The analysis suggest that a hospital provided value to the community when it is financially viable, is appropriately reinvesting back into the facility, maintains a low cost structure has reasonable charges and provides high quality care to patients.  

Two Outstanding Providence Clinics are Joining Together
July 16th 2012

Dr. Jackson Walker and Dr. Roger Cowart announce their move to Waco Internal Medicine Associates.

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Dr. Gary Barbin Receives Gold-Headed Cane Award
May 24th 2012

You know a doctor is special when he is recognized by his peers. Dr. Gary Barbin of Waco Internal Medicine Associates is such a doctor, as the latest recipient of the Gold-Headed Cane Award.

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Patients can skip Providence ER wait via online program
May 7th 2012

Reprinted with permission Waco Tribune-Herald (TX) - Monday, May 7, 2012

By Cindy V. Culp
cculp@wacotrib.com

Local residents who have a medical emergency that isn’t life-threatening now have an option that can help them skip the ER waiting room.

Providence Health Center has launched a program that allows people to get on the emergency room’s waiting list via the hospital’s website.

The soonest people can get a projected treatment time is an hour in the future, and it may be as long as four hours if the emergency department is extremely busy.

inquicker-er-photo

Providence Health Center staff attend to a patient in the emergency room last week.

Jerry Larson / Waco Tribune-Herald

Still, Providence officials are betting people will embrace the service since they likely would wait just as long if they show up in person.

Having the ability to wait at home or even at their work should be an attractive option, they said.

“Our goal was to introduce this as a convenience for the community,” said Brent Esrock, Providence’s senior vice president for administration. “We hope the community finds it useful.”

The program, called InQuicker, is not meant to be used by people with serious emergencies. Providence’s website makes that clear.

Software safeguards

Plus, there are safeguards built into the software designed to catch people who need immediate medical attention, Esrock said.

For example, if someone enters a phrase like “chest pain” as the reason for their visit, the program will interrupt the scheduling process and instruct the person to call 9-1-1 or immediately proceed to an emergency room, he said.

The program then blocks that Internet address for 24 hours to ensure people don’t attempt to schedule again by downplaying their symptoms.

In addition, since the registration page requires people to enter a phone number and email address, Providence staff can contact people kicked out of the scheduling system to urge them to quickly seek medical help, Esrock said.

The same is true in cases where the visit is not red-flagged by the software but hospital staff have doubts about whether the person should wait to be seen.

“They’re going to err on the side of saying, ‘You need to come in,’ ” said Annette Ayers, Providence’s senior vice president of nursing.

Treatment times are not guaranteed, said Eileen Bohannon, director of Providence’s emergency department. Patients who use InQuicker are subject to the same triage procedures as others. If the ER gets an influx of people with serious medical conditions, InQuicker patients will have their care delayed along with those in the waiting room, she said.

But staff will contact InQuicker users to let them know of the delay, Bohannon said. Similarly, if the emergency department hits a lull, people with future treatment times can be contacted to see if they want to come in sooner, she said.

That has been done a few times since the program’s launch two weeks ago, Bohannon said. But in at least one instance, the patient wanted to keep the later time. That might occur because someone is driving in from a nearby city or has a scheduling commitment that prevents the person from coming earlier, she said.

Providence’s ER sees about 85,000 visits each year, making it Waco’s busiest emergency department.

Providence officials became interested in InQuicker after seeing it demonstrated at an industry trade show, Esrock said.

While researching the product, they learned the Seton health care system in Austin has used it for about a year. Because Seton is owned by the same parent company as Providence, local officials were able to get in-depth information about how the program worked there, he said.

Seton originally wondered how doctors and nurses would feel about the program, but it was enthusiastically received, Providence officials learned. A key reason was that patients who used InQuicker tend to be happier during their visits than those who spend time in the waiting room, Esrock said.

“It’s a different mental paradigm,” for patients, Esrock said.

Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center in Waco does not have a similar service. Several of its sister hospitals in the Scott & White Healthcare chain post projected ER wait times online. That allows patients who are close to different locations to see which can get them in soonest. But people can’t save a spot in line.

Wait time information is not posted for Hillcrest. But officials hope to make it available in the near future, chief medical officer Dr. Jim Morrison said.

Hillcrest does not have any plans to move to an online scheduling system like Providence, Morrison said.

More than 100 hospitals nationwide use the InQuicker system, according to the company.

Waco Tribune-Herald 2011 H.O.T. Reader's Choice Awards
April 25th 2012

“Best” & “Providence” These are words that go together well!

On behalf of our doctors, nurses, technicians, administrators,associates and volunteers, thank you for once again making Providence Healthcare Network Waco’s most trusted group of medical facilities.

Best Hospital:
Providence

Best Medical Supply Store:
Providence Medical Equipment

Best Home Health Provider:
Providence Home Care

Best Retirement Living Center:
Providence Park

Best Assisted Living Center:
St. Elizabeth Place

Congratulations to these Providence physicians who were voted among Waco’s best.

Cardiologist
Dr. M. Wayne Falcone
Dr. Charles A. Shoultz Jr.
Dr. Donald S. Cross

General Surgeon
Dr. Webster S. Lowder
Dr. William H. Turney
Dr. David G. Hoffman

Oral Surgeon
Dr. Larry J. Pritchard
Dr. Scott R. Warren
Dr. Charles L. Clark

Pediatrician
Dr. Stephen S. Chakmakjian
Dr. James W. Ferguson

Dermatologist
Dr. James W. Mason

OB-GYN
Dr. J. Mark Rister
Dr. Brian K. Becker

Primary Care Physician
Dr. Timothy D. Martindale
Dr. Siegfried R. Kreis

Plastic Surgeon
Dr. Robert A. M. Gardère
Dr. Eric F. O’Neill

To view all of the award winners, visit http://www.wacotrib.com/waco-hot-readers-choice-awards/.

An evening with the former President and First Lady of Ukraine
April 16th 2012

In 1997, President and CEO Kent Keahey, Dr. John Wood, President of John Wood Ministries, Inc., Sr. Cecile Matushek and Jonathan Ford dreamed together of the possibilities of an international medical ministry. Over the course of the last 15 years, this dream has come to life as Providence has partnered with John Wood Ministries, Inc., to train over 200 Ukraine physicians. 

On April 16, another dream came true with a visit from the former President and First Lady of the Ukraine, Victor and Kateryna Yushchenko, right here at Providence Health Center!  Dozens of Providence doctors, associates and supporters welcomed the former officials to the United States with a reception and dinner hosted in their honor.  During our brief program both the former President and First Lady thanked Providence and John Wood Ministries, Inc. for the years of dedication to the international medical exchange.  As a token of friendship and partnership, Kent Keahey and Providence Board Chair Sr. Marie Therese Sedgwick presented the Yushchenkos with a taste of Texas—cowboy hats!—and the Yushchenkos presented Mr. Keahey with a beautiful hand-painted plate.

Thank you to all who joined us for this special evening.

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Click here to view more photos form the event. (USERNAME - providence, PASSWORD - providence)

Providence Healthcare Network Launches ProvidenceER.com
April 11th 2012

On April 11, 2012, Providence Healthcare Network launched ProvidenceER.com, powered by InQuicker, an online check-in service for ED care. InQuicker has partnered with hospitals to deliver unprecedented patient convenience and satisfaction since 2006. Here’s how it works:

LOG ON.   SHOW UP.   BE SEEN.™

  1. A user in our area finds our facility via online search or a link from our website.
  2. The user receives a projected treatment time, which is based on current patient traffic.
  3. The user provides visit details while waiting from the comfort of home or work.
  4. The user arrives at his or her projected treatment time to complete the InQuicker visit.

Skip the ER waiting room

InQuicker is not an appointment or reservation service. InQuicker users wait like all other ER visitors but from the comfort of home or work instead of the waiting room. InQuicker does not impact the wait times of other visitors.

When to use InQuicker

InQuicker is only intended for use by individuals who have non-life and non-limb threatening medical conditions. Those who indicate life- or limb-threatening medical conditions are prompted to immediately dial 911 or go to the nearest ER.

Visit ProvidenceER.com.

Providence Welcomes Our New Clinics and Physicians
March 21st 2012

Providence would like to welcome our newest clinics and physicians to the Providence Healthcare Network.

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The Heart Hospital at Providence Receives Chest Pain Center Accreditation with PCI
March 19th 2012

Society of Chest Pain Centers grant full accreditation with full Percutaneous Coronary Intervention to the Providence Chest Pain Center on November 1, 2011. Click here for more details.

Providence Healthcare Network Honored
March 14th 2012

Waco Tribune-Herald, November 27, 2011

Providence Healthcare Network was recognized by National Research Corporation as one of its 2011-2012 Consumer Choice Award winners.

The award identifies hospitals that health care consumers have chosen as having the highest quality and image in more than 300 markets throughout the United States. Winners are determined by consumer perceptions on several quality and image ratings collected in the company's Ticker survey.

It is the sixth year in a row for Providence to be recognized as a top hospital by the corporation.

Texas Healthcare Trustees Installs 2012 Board of Directors
March 2nd 2012

Sister Marie Therese Sedgwick, Chairman of the Providence Healthcare Network Board of Trustees, has been reappointed as a district representative member of the 2012 Texas Healthcare Trustees Board of Directors. Please click here to view the recent news release.

Cardiac Rehabilitation Program Recognized for Excellence
December 20th 2011

The Cardiology Department is pleased to announce the certification of our cardiac rehabilitation program by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR). Our cardiac program is recognized for the commitment to improving the quality of life by enhancing standards of care.


Cardiovascular programs are designed to help people with cardiovascular problems (e.g. heart attacks, coronary artery bypass graft surgery, etc.) recover faster and improve their quality of life. The program includes exercise, education, counseling and support for patients and their families.


Certified AACVPR programs are recognized as leaders in the field of cardiovascular rehabilitation because they offer the most advanced practices available.

A mission of compassion. A vision of excellence. For Life.
December 7th 2011

Providence Healthcare Network has launched a new marketing campaign.

Visit our YouTube channel to view our latest television commercials.

From the Heart, For the Heart
October 12th 2011

Each year Providence associates, volunteers and friends partner with the American Heart Association to support the fight against our country’s No.1 and No. 3 causes of death: heart disease and stroke. Our participation in the annual Heart Walk not only raises awareness, but also raises significant funds to support a variety of AHA research and educational programs. As the year-round Cause Sponsor for the American Heart Association, our Providence family takes fundraising to heart. This year, in addition to their daily commitment to this ministry, our  team captains from across the entire network lead exceptional fundraising efforts including bake sales, raffles, and selling the red, gold and silver hearts. 

 At the time of their Bank Day, Providence presented the American Heart Associaton with a check for $15,128.30...and the funds kept coming in! Thanks to the GENEROUS hearts of our donors, Providence raised OVER $15,400!!  

With over 900 walkers registered, the Providence team filled the stands at Getterman Stadium, and cheered in celebration of the honored heart survivors.  Thank you to all who participated!

Why I Love My Job
September 12th 2011

A Healthy Work Environment

by Dawn Schulz

Healing Hands
August 16th 2011

Providence Health Center is proud to announce that Tom Ikeda, PT, CHT, is recognized as a Certified Hand Therapist (CHT). This credentialing signifies that Tom has achieved the highest level of competency in the profession—providing Providence patients with the highest level of hand therapy care. 

The complex anatomy of the arm and hand requires a high level of skill by therapists with advanced expertise in upper extremity rehabilitation.  In order to take the qualifying exam issued by the Hand Therapy Certification Commission, Tom completed a minimum of 5 years of therapy experience, including 4,000 hours of direct patient care dedicated to hand therapy.  Our hands and arms play a vital role in day to day activities: work, extra cirricular acitives and self care.  Tom explained that when someone is unable to perform daily activities due to injury or disease, such as arthritis, it can alter independence and affect quality of life.  “My goal is to work with each patient to increase function for daily living skills, enhancing range of motion and ultimately, quality of life,” Tom said.

Click here for more information about Providence Rehabilitative Services.

Surgery With No Scars
August 1st 2011

When faced with surgery, many patients ask: How long will I have to be in the hospital? What are the risks? What is the recovery time? Will I be in much pain? The latest advancements in laparoscopic technology now make those answers very easy...alleviating many fears associated with surgery.

In May, Todd Moffatt, M.D. successfully performed Providence’s first cholecystectomy, or gallbladder removal, through a single incision, using the latest advancements in technology and technique: the next generation Covidien SILS™ procedure requires only a single incision in the belly button, resulting in the potential for no visible scar.  Shortly after, Dr. Moffatt performed Waco’s first single incision sigmoidectomy—resection of the lower colon. 

By reducing the four ½-inch or smaller incisions associated with traditional laparoscopic surgery  to just one incision, the SILS™ procedure results in reduced complications, wound pain and length of hospital stay.  This next generation of a minimally invasive approach also means that patients can get back to their normal pace of life, quicker.  In fact, Dr. Moffatt reports that his sigmoidectomy patient went home the next morning with the need for only minimal pain medication.

Providence surgeons offer patients the widest range of SILS™ procedures including: colectomy (resection of the colon: sigmoidectomy and right hemicolectomy), appendectomy (removal of the appendix), and cholecystectomy (removal of the gallbladder), omentectomy (removal of the omentum), and port-a-cath procedures for dialisys; and, other specialties are in the process of being trained to perform single incision laparoscopic surgeries….just another example of our commitment to compassionate,  excellent care!

For more information about Covidien SILS™ procedures, go to www.sils.com/bellybuttonsurgery.

Providence Cancer Program Accredited by the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons
April 12th 2011

The commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons (ACoS) has granted Three-Year Accreditation with Commendation to the Cancer Program at Providence Healthcare Network.

A facility receives a Three-Year Accreditation with Commendation following the onsite evaluation by a physician surveyor during which the facility demonstrates a Commendation level of compliance with one or more standards that represent the full scope of the cancer program (cancer committee leadership, cancer data management, clinical services, research, commuity outreach and quality improvement).  In addition, a facility receives a compliance rating for all other standards. 

The Accreditation Program, a component of the CoC, sets quality-of-care standards for cancer program and reviews the programs to ensure they conform to those standards.  Accreditation by the CoC is given only to those facilities that have voluntarily committed to providing the highest level of quality cancer care and that undergo a rigorous evaluation process and review of their performance.  To maintain accreditation, facilities with CoC-accredited cancer programs must undergo an on-site review every three years.

Receiving care at a COC-accredited cancer program ensures that a patient will have access to:
- comprehensive care, including a range of state-of-the art services and equipment
- a multispecialty-team approach to coordinate the best treatment options
- access to cancer-related information, education and support
- a cancer registry that collects data on type and state of cancers and treatment results and offers lifelong patient follow-up
- ongoing monitoring and improvement of care

And, most importantly,
- Quality care close to home

To view the full press release, click here.

For more information about the Commission on Cancer visit www.facs.org/cancer.index.html

For more information about the Providence Cancer Program visit www.providence.net/medical-services/cancer-care.html.

Providence Walks for Healthy Babies
April 12th 2011

Last year, more than 4,000 babies were born in McLennan County.  Thankfully, most were born healthy…but not all.  In Texas, 1 in every 7 babies is born premature.  Babies who survive a premature birth may suffer lifelong consequences.  The March of Dimes is dedicated to reducing premature births, birth defects and infant mortality. Because of the importance children to healthy communities, Providence is proud to partner with the March of Dimes as a year-round sponsor for March for Babies and their Signature Chefs event in the fall! And, On April 9, Providence associates, families and friends gathered at Legends Crossing to participate in the 2011 March for Babies walk.    

Our Providence team showed just how much we care about healthy babies, as we surpassed our $10,000 fundraising goal and raised OVER $11,290...and the money is still coming in! Thank you Providence for your commitment to excellence!

Stay tuned to the June/July issue of the Spirit for more pictures from this great event!

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Celebrating Milestones in the Lives of Many Caregivers
March 3rd 2011

The Annual Associate Awards Banquet, hosted March 3, 2011, by the Providence Human Resource Department, was dedicated to the recognition of 263 associates who, together, have worked 2,725 years of service to Providence and our Daughters of Charity!

Each year, Providence honors the associates who have completed years of service to the ministry in five-year increments.  This year, 132 associates are celebrating their 5th anniversary; 59 associates are celebrating their 10th anniversary; 28 associates are celebrating their 15th anniversary; 20 associates are celebrating their 20th anniversary; 9 associates are celebrating their 25th anniversary; 6 associates are celebrating their 30th anniversary; 5 associates are celebrating their 35th anniversary; 1 associate is celebrating her 40th anniversary; and, one special individual, Jan Howard, our EEG tech, set a new service record as she celebrates 50 years of service. 

For a complete list of our honorees, click here.

The evening of celebration continued as President and CEO Kent Keahey announced the 2011 Associates of the year. The associates chosen by their peers are:

Kathleen Rimlinger, Providence Home Care

Mary Garcia, Providence Park

Evelina Petrenko, Providence DePaul Center

Sarah Pyle, Providence Health Center

Annetta Wilkerson, Providence Clinics

Receptions hosted in honor of each Associate of the Year will take place throughout the month of March.

1,000 Newborns Give Hope Through Cord Blood Donations
February 18th 2011

Providence Health Center, which became one of the Texas Cord Blood Bank’s donor sites in 2009, recently reached a medical milestone, having collected more than 1,000 donations of life-saving cord blood for the statewide repository. The Texas Cord Blood Bank, a division of the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center, is a non-profit program established by the Texas legislature in 2001 to collect umbilical cord blood, which can benefit patients, usually children, suffering from a number of potentially fatal diseases. 

“We have a wonderful partnership with the Texas Cord Blood Bank and Providence is very proud to provide these lifesaving services to our patients.  We strive to make a difference in the lives of those we are called to serve,” Donna J. Robinson, RN, BSN, director of the Women and Newborns Center, said.  

To celebrate this success, representatives from South Texas Blood and Tissue Center delivered refreshments to the Providence labor and delivery team. 

To read the full press release, click here

To view the Foxx 44 KWKT newscast, click here.

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26th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Celebration
January 17th 2011

In celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy, Providence hosted its 26th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Celebration on January 17.  This very special celebration included the presentation of the colors by Boy Scout Troup No. 476, the Pledge of Allegiance and special music by Jonathan Ford, VP of Marketing and Public Policy.  Each year, Providence holds an essay writing contest for the 5th graders at Brook Avenue Elementary.  This exercise encourages the students to think critically about Dr. King’s message of peace and justice and about how his legacy impacts them.  This year’s first-place winner, Savannah Trevino, was awarded a $100 gift card to Toys-R-Us for the purchase of a new bicycle!

Keynote speaker Rev. Joe A. Carbajal, Senior Pastor of Mighty Wind Worship Center, spoke on Martin Luther King’s legacy—one of equal rights and human dignity.  He challenged the audience to think of their role in fulfilling Dr. King’s dream:  “The question today is not ‘did Martin Luther King, Jr. do his part in keeping the dream alive?’….the question is “are we doing our part?’” Rev. Carbabjal said.

His dynamic message ended with one of his favorite quotes from Dr. King: “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”

Following the message, the celebration continued with refreshments prepared by our Nutritional Services and served by our Providence volunteers.

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It’s a girl! Providence Healthcare Network welcomed its first baby of the New Year.
January 1st 2011

Kah’Mari Davis was born Saturday, January 01, 2011 at 3:14 p.m. She weighed 7 lbs. and 13 oz. In celebration of her arrival, Sr. Cecile Matushek, Vice President of Mission Affairs, and Melanie Hejl, RN, presented proud mom, Brandy Glinski, a gift basket filled with bathing accessories and toys for the new infant. The basket was generously donated by Providence Volunteer Services.

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Providence Christmas Feast
December 15th 2010

On December 15, Providence employees, volunteers and friends enjoyed a delicious Christmas meal. Our Nutritional Services prepared a Christmas feast, of ham, turkey and all of the necessary trimmings!  Sr. Cecile Matushek and Sr. Marie Therese Sedgwick presented employees and volunteers with a 2011 pocket calendar. Stay tuned to the next issue of the Spirit of Providence for more photos of this special celebration!

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Partners in Education Spread Holiday Cheer
December 13th 2010

On Monday, December 13, our Partners in Education from Brook Avenue Elementary, visited the health center to spread holiday cheer throughout our halls. Following the caroling they gathered for a special lunch and Christmas craft.

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Providence Foundation's Benefactors Mass
December 7th 2010

The Providence Foundation recently hosted its’ annual Benefactors Mass at our Providence Park Chapel to honor and thank the Founders Society for their support. The Founders Society is made up of individuals and businesses that give $1,000 or more annually to the Providence Foundation in order to support the Providence Healthcare Network’s mission of providing quality healthcare services with particular attention to the sick, poor and vulnerable.

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Providence Gives an Amazing Gift to our Waco Community
November 19th 2010

This holiday season, our Providence family gave an amazing gift to our Waco community. During the annual Food for Families food drive, Providence Healthcare Network collected 4,185 pounds of non-perishable food items. This topped our donation from last year by almost 700 pounds! These generous donations help stock the shelves of the Caritas food pantry which provides food to those in need year-round.

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The spirit of giving continued during our toy drive on December 3. From stuffed animals and dolls to basketballs and board games, our Providence family donated several hundred items that will benefit the Mission Waco Toy Store. The Mission Waco Toy Store offers struggling parents the opportunity to purchase new toys at an 80% discount. Thanks to our generous donations, hundreds of Waco community families will be blessed this year!

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Thank you to our environmental services team who worked together to collect all of the food and toy donations from each department, and to our DME team who delivered the food donations to KWTX.

Providence Voted Best of Waco
November 10th 2010

When the Waco Tribune Herald polled 10,000 of its readers to find the “Best in Waco,” we were pleased that Providence and so many of its physicians were chosen!  Thank you for voting us the best in the Trib’s first annual Readers’ Choice Awards.

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Providence Physician Enterprise Expands with Addition of Three Primary Care Doctors
October 22nd 2010

Providence Healthcare Network continues to expand its primary care physician network with the addition today of Doctors Jeff Arnold, Robert Wilcox, and Patricia Wilcox. Doctors Robert and Patricia Wilcox will continue to practice at their clinic located at 6614 Sanger Avenue, and Dr. Jeff Arnold will join them in December. Appointments with Dr. Robert Wilcox or his wife, Dr. Patricia Wilcox, can be made through their office at 254-752-2300. Appointments with Dr. Arnold can be made at his current number, 254-776-8008.

In July, Providence first announced plans to grow its existing primary care physician clinic network to 40 doctors by the summer of 2011, and 60 doctors within the next three years. Providence is creating partnerships with independent primary care physicians and specialists to improve coordination of care within the healthcare network and the expanding physician network will be a doctor-led and professionally-managed physician enterprise strategically aligned with the Providence Health Alliance.

"Three months into the expansion plan", said Vice President of Physician Operations, Alan Tindell, "we are very excited that Doctors Jeff Arnold, Robert Wilcox, and Patricia Wilcox have decided to be a part of our growing network at Providence. Our goal is to give Central Texans a choice of dedicated physicians and to develop new and innovative approaches to impact the overall experience patients have in Providence clinics and in the Providence Healthcare Network. This addition of three primary care physicians is simply one more step toward the fulfillment of our goal."

"Today, I personally welcome Doctors Jeff Arnold, Robert Wilcox, and Patricia Wilcox as they join our team of physicians," said Kent Keahey, President & CEO. "The patient-doctor relationship is essential and Providence is committed to ensuring that the residents of Central Texas will continue to have access to the healthcare services they need. We are committed to recruiting high quality doctors and creating an environment where physicians define how care is best delivered to patients."

Providence Supports the American Heart Association
October 6th 2010

Each year providence employees, volunteers and friends partner with the American Heart Association to support the fight against our country's No.1 and No. 3 causes of death: heart disease and stroke. Our participation in the AHA's annual Heart Walk not only raises awareness, but also raises significant funds to support a variety of AHA research and educational programs.

This year, in addition to their daily commitment to this ministry, our 25 team captains from across the entire network lead exceptional fundraising efforts including bake sales, raffles selling the red, gold and silver hearts, and the 2 newest fundraising ideas: custom Emergency Department T-shirt sales and Dunk an Administrator! Due to the excellent efforts of our team captains and everyone's participation in the fundraisers...fundraising was a HUGE success! We had a goal of $15,000 and we far exceeded that goal by raising a total of $19,457.37!

Congratulations!

Please join us for the AHA Heart Walk

Saturday, October 9, 2010
Baylor's Getterman Softball Stadium
8:30 AM

HOTRAC Trains Providence to set up new Alternative Care Site Tent
September 28th 2010

The Heart of Texas Regional Advisory Council (HOTRAC) assisted in training the Providence Health Center staff on setting up the new Alternate Care Site (ACS) tent today from 9:00 AM until approximately 1:00 PM. These tents are primarily used during emergencies or disasters but can also be used for patient overflow, triage, quarantine, etc. Each tent is equipped with a generator, air conditioning, and lighting and can accommodate up to eight patients comfortably. HOTRAC has purchased two ACS tents and is in the process of purchasing a third ACS tent for our region. Providence Health Center will house the only ACS tent in McLennan County.

For more information, please call Eileen Bohannon at (254) 751-4072 or Meredith Dieterich at (254) 751-4817.

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Providence Park now offering residents Dakim BrainFitness
September 15th 2010

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Through a grant funded by the Providence Foundation, Providence Park is now the only facility in Central Texas that offers residents Dakim BrainFitness.

Used by thousands of retirement centers across the country, it is the best brain fitness program available to help exercise the brain and minimize mental decline among seniors. "Speaking on behalf of the Providence Foundation, we are pleased and gratified that our generous donors here in central Texas have once again shown their support of the Providence mission, by donating over $10,000 for the purchase of two Dakim Brain Fitness Systems and allowing for the establishment of this vital program for our Providence Park Residents," said Dave Guyer, Executive Director and Vice President of Development- Providence Foundation. Dakim BrainFitness constantly adjusts to each user's needs providing the perfect balance of challenge and success.

It is fun and easy to use for seniors who want to maintain their cognitive abilities. Unlimited residents can register to use Providence Park's three Dakim BrainFitness units and by rotating two of the units between floors, over 300 Providence Park residents participate.

5 Hillcrest Family Medicine Doctors Leaving for Providence
September 4th 2010

Five family medicine doctors who have long worked for Hillcrest Health System have decided to join Waco's other hospital system. The move will temporarily gut Hillcrest's Bosque Clinic. It has seven doctors, five of whom are moving to Providence Healthcare Network. Those physicians are Drs. Scott Blattman, Todd Blattman, Keith Horner, Gerard Marroquin and John Shelton. The doctors did not return a call the Tribune-Herald made to their office Friday afternoon seeking comment about their decision. Providence's vice president for physician operations, Alan Tindell, said the doctors accepted offers from Providence on Friday.

Hiring them is part of Providence's recently announced plan to double the number of primary care physicians it employs or has close ties to within three years, he said. "We're very excited they have joined us," Tindell said. "We think they are a great addition." Exactly when the doctors will make the switch has not been decided. They are in the process of working out certain contractual obligations with Hillcrest, officials said. But for the next couple of weeks at least, patients who have appointments scheduled with those doctors will be able to see them at the Bosque clinic, Hillcrest CEO Glenn Robinson said. After that, Hillcrest will make sure patients who want to remain with Hillcrest can get an appointment at the clinic, Robinson said. Some of those visits will be handled by the two physicians who are staying there. Plus, Hillcrest is looking at hiring more doctors, as well as possibly moving some doctors from its other clinic locations there, he said.

There are no plans for Scott & White physicians to move to the clinic, Robinson said. Hillcrest and Scott & White, which is based in Temple, entered into a partnership last year. Scott & White has about 25 primary care physicians in McLennan County. "Patients should not see any disruption in their care," Robinson said. "Their appointment times will be just as fast and friendly." If patients decide they want to follow their physician to Providence, Hillcrest will ensure the smooth transition of their records, Robinson said. All a patient has to do to have records sent elsewhere is fill out a form, he said. "We want to do what is right for the patient," Robinson said. Hillcrest is disappointed to see the doctors leave, Robinson said. Calling them "very good physicians," he said they have worked for Hillcrest for a number of years. Asked why the doctors left, Robinson said that was a question they would have to answer. But he said he was not worried about Providence recruiting away other Hillcrest physicians.

Hillcrest operates 10 clinics, which will be left with 33 physicians, Robinson said. He noted that Hillcrest has had a strong primary care network for 25 years and said many of the doctors who are remaining have a long tenure with the hospital system. "I'm very grateful for their commitment," Robinson said. Once the doctors complete the switch to Providence, they will work out of a building located at 342 Richland West Circle, across from Providence Health Center. The building used to house a group of neurosurgeons and is being renovated for use as a family medicine clinic, Tindell said. Providence will continue to work toward expanding its primary care network, Tindell said. Primary care is a category that includes family medicine physicians, internal medicine doctors and pediatricians.

The addition of the five Hillcrest physicians will bring the number of primary care doctors Providence employs to 18. Sixteen additional primary care physicians are affiliated with Providence, meaning they work there primarily or exclusively. Providence eventually wants to have 60 primary care doctors who are either employed by the system or affiliated with it. The timeline for that build-up is three years, officials said when the plan was announced in late July. Providence decided to beef up its primary care network after employing a consulting firm to help it evaluate the changing business landscape, officials have said. Not only is national health care reform expected to increase the demand for primary care physicians, but Providence wants to remain competitive in the wake of Hillcrest joining forces with Scott & White, they have said.

By Cindy V. Culp, Waco Tribune-Herald Staff Writer

read more »

Care of the Patient with Diabetes: An Update on Treatment and Care
September 2nd 2010

Providence Health Center
September 2, 2010 | 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Classroom 1 & 2

Speaker: Nancy Lewis RN,Diabetes Educator

The purpose of this activity is to educate the Registered Nurse learner on the pathophysiology, current and emerging medications and treatment modalities in order to appropriately care for the patient with diabetes in the hospital setting.  Thereby enhancing the quality of care for patients with diabetes.

Providence Healthcare Network is an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the Texas Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation

This activity provides 5.58 contact hours.

To receive CNE credit, you must attend the Entire program and complete the Evaluation at the end of the activity.  Participants arriving more than 10 minutes late cannot receive CNE credit.

FEE:  Non-PHN Employee $50.00, PHN Employee $0.00

REGISTRATION:  Please call Education Department at (254)751-4799 for additional information or registration. 

PHN Board Member Recognized for Excellence in Governance
July 31st 2010

Board Memeber Recognize

The Texas Healthcare Trustees recently recognized select Texas hospital trustees for excellence in governance or continuing excellence in governance.

Sr. Marie Therese Sedgwick, a member of the board at Providence Healthcare Network, received her award of excellence at the Texas Healthcare Trustees Annual Conference, July 29-31, in San Antonio. The award recognizes individuals serving on hospital/health system boards who achieve knowledge and skills in governance and strive to keep that knowledge current through education and the practice of effective governance.

“Hospitals and health care systems rely on their trustees and governing boards to make decisions that affect their future,” said Peggy Allison, president of the board of directors for the THT Foundation. “Recognition indicates a commitment to practicing the most important aspects of trusteeship – community stewardship, leadership, dedication to effective governance, collaboration, vision, commitment and service,” she said.

“Recognition for achieving these standards assures those whose health and livelihood depend on the existence of a thriving health care institution that the governing board members are well prepared for their roles,” noted Stacy Cantu, CAE, chief executive officer of the Texas Healthcare Trustees. “It indicates that a trustee not only is concerned with the quality of health care being delivered, but also demonstrates accountability in governance responsibilities.”

Texas Healthcare Trustees encourage, recognize and reward best standards of hospital governance. To be considered for trustee recognition, applicants must demonstrate commitment to set governance standards. Those standards include a commitment to the hospital and the community; meeting fiduciary duties and governance obligations; a commitment to governance; educational development; exemplifying ethical leadership; and continually improving and assessing performance.

About the Texas Healthcare Trustees

Texas Healthcare Trustees is an affiliated organization of the Austin-based Texas Hospital Association. THT members serve on the governing boards of hospitals and health systems. THT has approximately 450 hospital/health system governing boards representing nearly than 4,000 trustees. For more information about THT, visit www.tht.org.

Providence Expands Primary Care Physician Network
July 29th 2010

Providence Health Alliance announced today that the expansion of the Providence primary care physician network will be a significant focus over the coming months and years.  In order to ensure and enhance patient access to primary care physicians in the greater Waco region and offer additional choice to patients in the community, Providence plans to grow its existing 13 employed and 16 affiliated primary care physician clinic network to 40 physicians by next summer and 60 physicians within the next three years.  In addition, Providence is creating partnerships with independent primary care physicians and specialists to improve coordination of care within the healthcare network.  Providence has been working with the nationally recognized firm, Navvis and Company, for more than eight months to develop and implement this physician strategy. The physician network will be a physician led and professionally managed physician enterprise strategically aligned with the Providence Health Alliance.  This strategy will provide physicians a value proposition that addresses income, lifestyle and professional satisfaction of physicians. Equally important the strategy will:

  • Ask physicians to govern and lead the physician enterprise
  • Engage physicians in the leadership and strategic decision-making of the healthcare network
  • Attract and retain high quality physicians who are dedicated to work with Providence to realize the quality and efficiency gains that result from physician involvement in all aspects of patient care
  • Develop new and innovative approaches to positively impact the overall patient experience
  • Address the anticipated increases in demand for primary care services under healthcare reform consistent with community needs

Tim Martindale, M.D., a Primary Care Physician and current member of the Providence physician network, said “I am very excited about this renewed commitment by Providence Healthcare Network to build on and strengthen the existing physician medical community. Providence has always been a physician friendly environment but I believe this new leadership structure will create an environment that will attract the best physicians resulting in the best medical care for our community.”

“The care delivered by primary care physicians has always been important to people’s health and well-being,” said Gary Barbin, M.D., a Providence Internist and former Providence Healthcare Network Board member. “Under healthcare reform, accessible, patient-centered primary care services will be required to achieve improved quality, better care coordination and lower costs.”

Over the next four years, millions of currently-uninsured Americans will be enrolled in health plans, and the newly-insured are expected to seek to establish primary care physician relationships.  This comes at a time when the nation is facing a shortage of primary care physicians, and the healthcare needs of an aging population are increasing.

 “The patient-doctor relationship is essential.  We want to ensure that the residents of Waco will continue to have access to the healthcare services they need,” said Kent Keahey, President and CEO. “Providence is committed to recruiting high quality doctors and creating an environment where physicians define how care is best delivered to patients.”

Four primary objectives frame Providence’s strategy to enhance primary care for the community by:

  • Creating an integrated physician enterprise where physicians actively participate at all levels of leadership and decision-making regarding patient care, as well as health system growth and development.
  • Developing a practice environment that attracts and retains top quality doctors by balancing work and lifestyle needs, offering fair and appropriate compensation, and rewarding success.
  • Providing highly capable professional management.  Providence is delighted that Alan Tindell, MBA, CMPE, has recently chosen to be part of this vision and has accepted the position of Vice President, Physician Operations.  Alan spent more than 18 years providing professional management services to physician organizations in the Central Texas area.
  • Inviting participation by any primary care physician that shares Providence’s mission, values and vision for access to the highest quality, cost-effective, patient-centered care.
  •  “One of the core principles of healthcare reform is to expand everyone's access to appropriate, coordinated care and primary care is a key focal point for new, transformative models of patient care," said Kent Keahey. “We believe this expanding physician enterprise will bring greater value to both patients and doctors, and enrich our community as a whole.”

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Providence Announces Expansion & Renovation of Women & Newborns Center
July 22nd 2010

W&NC Rendering

The Providence Healthcare Network today announced plans for a major expansion of the Providence Women and Newborns Center. The 18-month, $6.5 million renovation project will create an impressive new look for the front of Providence Health Center with an expanded lobby and a dedicated express elevator to the Women & Newborns Center on the 5th floor. The project will also involve the renovation and updating of the Labor and Delivery area, as well as enlarging and updating all postpartum rooms. Finally, the project will significantly enlarge the neonatal nursery which will offer high Level II capabilities. The nursery will have the capability to address the needs of virtually all sick newborns.

The project will be financed entirely with hospital reserves and philanthropic gifts and is expected to commence in August with a completion timeline of approximately 18 months. The local architect firm for the project is RBDR, PLLC. The lead architect is Bernadette Hookham, AIA. Construction management for the project will be CMCT, Ltd., Mike Jackson, President, and John East, Vice President. Local contractors will be utilized to the maximum extent possible.

Click here to read the article that ran in the Waco Tribune Hearald.

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Providence DePaul Center Opens New Geriatric Behavioral Health Unit
July 1st 2010

With a mission of caring for the whole person—mind, body and spirit, Providence DePaul Center now offers specialized in-patient care for seniors. On July 1, donors, employees, physicians, and long-term care providers gathered at the new DePaul Center Geriatric Behavioral Health Unit for a celebratory open house featuring the newly renovated facilities and patient rooms.

While reducing the number of regular adult beds from 34 to 24, and adding the 16-bed geriatric unit was part of a strategic restructuring plan, the inspiration behind the transition is much greater. According to Pat McNeill, Director of Community Relations, the Geriatric Behavioral Health Unit fills a unique need for seniors. Before the unit's opening, the two closest facilities that provided specialized treatment for seniors were located in San Antonio and McKinney. Seniors can now receive psychiatric and medical care right here in Waco.

Under the medical direction of Dr. Jason Boley, a team of highly skilled medical doctors, psychiatrists, licensed therapists and nurses will together navigate the care of seniors who are experiencing uncharacteristic behaviors such as grief, depression, isolation, or changes in mood, interests and hobbies. To meet both medical and psychiatric needs, our patients are seen by a medical doctor as well as a psychiatrist. All nurses are trained to meet both the medical and psychiatric needs of our patients.

Sylvia Ferrill, Geriatric Behavioral Health Unit Manager, states that through therapeutic activities and medication management, it is their goal to not only ease the care-giving troubles that many family members and nursing home professionals experience, but to also help patients resume life as it was before...to re-establish each patient's level of normalcy. Furthermore, we help patients feel as comfortable as possible and the daily activity schedule and the décor of the unit help create a familiar and home-like environment. Each patient's bed is made complete with a hand-made quilt donated by the Knitters and Quilters Club. Our patients are able to take the quilt home as a special keepsake.

Even though the unit has been open for just a few weeks, our Geriatric Behavioral Health service line has experienced an incredibly positive response. With referrals coming in from throughout Central Texas, this new service is not only a gift to our Waco community, but also to our surrounding neighbors.

The Comprehensive Bariatric Center Program Update
July 1st 2010

In addition to the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and LAP-BAND procedures, Providence now offers Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy. This procedure offers patients a less invasive alternative to gastric bypass; and by providing three surgical options, we can tailor our treatment plan to better meet patients' needs. We also believe in providing more than just a surgical solution: with pre and post op counseling, personalized nutrition programs, ongoing support groups and follow-up care, it is our goal to promote safe and lasting weight loss.

The Comprehensive Bariatric Center at Providence is now accepting Medicare. Surgical weight loss is truly changing the lives of many Central Texans; for more information about services provided by The Comprehensive Bariatric Center at Providence, please contact Program Coordinator Melissa Green at (254) 751-4300.

The Stroke Center at Providence Receives State Recognition
May 7th 2010

Providence Healthcare Network is pleased to announce that the Texas Department of State Services will be presenting the Stroke Center at Providence with a Certificate of State Designation as a Primary (Level II) Stroke facility. This presentation is combined with a proclamation read by Mayor Virginia Dupuy highlighting May as Stroke Awareness Month and is scheduled for Monday, May 10 at 2:00 p.m. in the Providence InProv Café.

Each year, about 780,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke, which is the nation's third leading cause of death. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 45 seconds and someone dies of a stroke every 3.1 minutes. Stroke is a leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States, with about 4.7 million stroke survivors alive today.

With those statistics in mind, Providence Health Center has assembled a team of top professionals armed with the latest technology to give hope to those who experience a stroke. As Waco's first certified Primary Stroke Center, Providence Health Center is committed to providing Waco and the surrounding areas with evidence-based stroke care that meets national standards. Our interdisciplinary Stroke Team will insure patients are rapidly evaluated for treatment and receive all appropriate care to improve outcomes. Providence is a leader in increasing community awareness of the signs and symptoms of stroke and sharing the importance of seeking immediate medical attention.

Media interviews are available upon request.

Providence Healthcare Network holds the 2010 Employee of the Year Receptions.
March 23rd 2010

The Providence Human Resource Team proudly announces the 2010 Employees of the Year Receptions which are now taking place to honor the four employees chosen this year by their peers. Please join us in congratulating these outstanding employees when you see them. The Reception details are as follows:

Hospital: Tuesday, March 23rd at 2:30pm in the Auditorium
The Home Care and DePaul Center Receptions were held yesterday.
The Providence Park reception was held last week.

The four employees receiving this prestigious honor are as follows:

Chosen by his peers, representing the Providence HomeCare and Durable Medical Equipment Store, Michael Houpt was announced as the 2010 Employee of the Year! Michael began as a Field Representative at our Medical Equipment Store in 2001. From the beginning, it was obvious that Michael was a very hard worker and had a desire to do an outstanding job. Co-workers share that Michael always has new ideas and ways to improve processes; and, because of his desire to become more involved in the ministry, he was promoted to Service Coordinator. Recently, another promotion to expanded Michael's duties-and, today, he serves as our Buyer and Service Manager. On a personal note, Michael loves the University of Texas . . .is very organized and some say he has the neatest office in the place! He has three kids . . .and you'll find him at the Whitney High Football field on Friday nights cheering on his son! Congratulations Michael.

Lelisa Johnson was chosen by her peers as the 2010 Employee of the Year for Providence Park. Even though her title is Unit Clerk, her role is much broader. Lelisa is a Certified Nursing Assistant with a big smile and an energetic personality that is infectious to everyone around her! Her co-workers share that she keeps them organized with her 24-hour reports that are ready when they arrive . . .so, they can go right to work with patients. At breakfast, Lelisa enjoys delivering trays-and, her delivery ALWAYS includes that famous smile of hers. Doctors tell us that Lelisa has an excellent rapport with family members . . .and, they find that many families request her when needing to make a doctor's appointment. Serving on several committees and work groups at Providence Park, Lelisa was chosen as the very first employee to learn the new information system-and, it is this willing attitude and display of excellent customer service that has made her more than worthy to be our 2010 Employee of the Year!

The employees of our DePaul Center chose Lori Strain as their 2010 Employee of the Year. As accolades were read about Lori during her award presentation, it was obvious why the student body of Midway High chose her to be their Panther mascot-she is bubbly and full of smiles! Joining our staff in August of 2000, Lori has dedicated her entire nursing career to our DePaul Center. Co-workers share how obvious it is that Lori loves her job . . .and, how remarkable she is with children. One of the things that makes Lori so successful is her ability to demonstrate unconditional positive regard for each patient and co-worker regardless of the circumstances at hand. It's no secret that mental health nursing is very challenging . . .and yet, in Lori's words, it is a "greatly rewarding ministry!" Lori has been married to her husband, Brad, for 18 years. Their daughter, Spencer, will soon be 15; and, their son, Brady, is 9. Lori's dedication to the FISH! Philosophy is just another reason why her peers have honored her as their selection for the 2010 Employee of the Year at the DePaul Center!