ERMC nurse receives inaugural DAISY Award

Khristina Coker, a registered nurse (RN) at Eaton Rapids Medical Center (ERMC), was awarded the DAISY Award for nursing excellence at a ceremony held at the hospital last week. Coker, who joined the Medical/Surgical Unit two years ago, was the first recipient of this honor at Eaton Rapids Medical Center.

ERMC joins healthcare facilities all over the world in participating in this recognition program that rewards and celebrates the extraordinary clinical skill and compassionate care given by nurses every day. Coker was presented with a certificate, daisies, a DAISY Award pin and a hand-carved stone sculpture entitled "A Healer's Touch."

In her nomination, Laura Launstein, rehabilitation manager at ERMC, states "While treating patients, I am confident that if I need any assistance, Khristina will be there, willing to help and always with a smile. We had a particular patient that had been in the hospital for many weeks. Khristina was always a positive influence for this patient and encouraged her to continue working toward recovery. She was very supportive of all therapy goals and assisted this patient in working toward independence, even though it meant spending more time with this patient. Khristina has an amazing, positive attitude with everything she does. She never makes patients or coworkers feel that they are an interruption of her work, but rather that they are the important part of her work."

"We are so excited to be part of this prestigious program that recognizes what we do for our patients and families every day," remarked Kris Allen, RN, vice president of clinical services at ERMC. "Khristina's ability to influence patients through compassion embodies the spirit of this award."

The DAISY Foundation was established in 1999 by the family of J. Patrick Barnes, who died of complications of the auto-immune disease Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura (ITP) at the age of 33. DAISY is an acronym for diseases attacking the immune system. During Pat's eight-week hospitalization, his family was awestruck by the care and compassion his nurses provided-not only to Pat-but to everyone in his family. One of the goals they set in creating a Foundation in Pat's memory was to recognize extraordinary nurses everywhere who make an enormous difference in the lives of so many people by the work they do every day.

To nominate a nurse for this annual award, fill out a nomination form in the main lobby of the Medical Center, located at 1500 South Main Street in Eaton Rapids.

Article posted on June 24th 2016. - Article Permalink

Does your doctor know your five wishes?

Five Wishes is a guide to help individuals plan for medical treatment they do or do not want in the event that they are unable to make critical decisions for themselves. Similar in intent to a Durable Power of Attorney, or DPOA, Five Wishes allows patients to designate an advocate who would be responsible for making health care decisions while attempting to honor any personal, spiritual, and emotional wishes previously recorded. The document has been featured on CNN, The Today Show, and in national magazines. It meets legal requirements in 42 states, including Michigan, and is offered in 27 languages.

"Both the Five Wishes and DPOA forms are easy to use and give step-by-step instructions and tips," reports Natalie Johnson, Patient Access Manager at Eaton Rapids Medical Center (ERMC). "They are technically the same, but Five Wishes goes into a little more depth. In Michigan, there is no need for a notary to authorize the signatures, but there are some limitations as to who can be witnesses. The completed documents are valid with any health care provider in the state, and once submitted become a permanent part of a patient's medical record."

Five Wishes is effective for all situations involving care, custody, and medical treatment in which a person is determined to be unable to choose for him or herself, with few legal limitations. In contrast, Advance Medical Directives and some Living Wills restrict designated advocates to decision-making only if the patient is terminally ill.

Johnson encourages everyone to be proactive when it comes to managing their health care at any life stage, and especially when considering future medical procedures. "Inpatients and individuals who schedule surgery at the hospital are automatically offered these forms." Consider informing loved ones about your five wishes before a medical emergency or serious illness occurs. Forms are available at ERMC.

Article posted on June 14th 2016. - Article Permalink

Report measures health of Eaton County

The Healthy! Capital Counties partnership has released a new Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA). The final version of the report was published on March 16, 2016. It is packed with important data, including maps on the spread of health problems in the region. The report measures factors that go beyond healthcare and dives into what causes people to be healthy (or not) in the first place.

The report highlights the health challenges prevalent in Eaton County and compares local statistics to the tri-county area and Michigan as a whole. Areas of concern include obesity, lack of physical activity, chronic disease, and poor mental health in adolescents. The report is being used many ways in Eaton Rapids. Officials at Eaton Rapids Medical Center are working to implement new services and modify existing programs to meet the needs of the community. The Eaton Rapids Health Alliance is currently working on a strategic plan, using the report as a guide.

The Affordable Care Act requires hospital organizations that seek to gain or maintain 501(c)3 status to complete a CHNA at least once every three years and develop an implementation plan to address needs identified by the assessment. The CHNA process goes beyond traditional hospital community benefit programs in that it requires the hospitals and health systems to incorporate input from specific populations, including public health experts, and encourages conducting assessments as teams with other local health care providers.

In late 2010, the four hospital systems in the Lansing, Michigan area realized that they needed to begin planning for the community health needs assessments. They reached out to the local public health departments for assistance. The health departments, besides being committed to community health assessment and improvement planning as an essential public health service, were interested in working in partnership to achieve greater improvements in health outcomes. Through several months of planning, the health departments and the hospitals reached the conclusion that working together was the best way of mobilizing resources to improve health. Thus, Healthy! Capital Counties (H!CC) was created.

"We have found that this has been a very valuable process that has led to long-term collaboration with other organizations, in addition to the strategic use of time and resources," remarked Lindsay Peters, Director of Marketing and Development at Eaton Rapids Medical Center. Hospital partners include Eaton Rapids Medical Center, McLaren Greater Lansing, Sparrow Health System and Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital. Health department partners include Barry-Eaton District Health Department, Ingham County Health Department and Mid-Michigan District Health Department. This report is the second report as a result of the partnership. To view the report, visit www.healthycapitalcounties.org.

Article posted on June 7, 2016. - Article Permalink

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