At the Hospitals: April 20, 2014
Gifford Mammography, Nuclear Medicine Earn National Accreditation
Randolph — Gifford Medical Center’s mammography and nuclear medicine departments have both been awarded three-year reaccreditations by the American College of Radiology.
The accreditation is awarded only to facilities meeting American College of Radiology practice guidelines and technical standards after a peer-review evaluation by board certified physicians and medical physicists who are experts in the field.
The accreditation process includes assessing the quality of anonymous patient images, personnel qualifications, facility equipment, quality assurance programs, and quality control procedures, which include checking machines regularly to ensure they are functioning optimally.
According to the American College of Radiology website, Gifford is one of seven Vermont facilities with an accredited nuclear medicine program.
The closest other programs are larger hospitals in Burlington and Rutland, as well as Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. A greater number of mammography programs are accredited.
Neurosurgeon Joins Staff Of New London Hospital
New London — Dr. Harold Pikus, of Upper Valley Neurology Neurosurgery, will begin seeing patients at New London Hospital in June.
Pikus will perform neurological surgery, including brain, spinal, neck and low back surgery, as well as peripheral nerve procedures.
“We are seeing an increased need for neurosurgical care in our communities,” Dr. James Murphy, New London Hospital’s chief medical officer, said in a recent news release. “Dr. Pikus will be a great addition to the team and we are very excited that he will be joining us at NLH.”
Prior to joining Upper Valley Neurology Neurosurgery, Pikus was the chief of neurosurgery and medical director of radiosurgery at Doctors Hospital in Florida. He holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from McGill University in Canada and earned his medical degree from the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore.
He completed his surgical internship and neurosurgical residency at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, and a fellowship in cerebrovascular and skull base surgery at Jackson Memorial Hospital/University of Miami School of Medicine in Florida.
Pikus is board certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery. He has expertise in the management of cerebrovascular diseases; spinal diseases, including minimally invasive surgical approaches; brain tumors; hydrocephalus; trigeminal neuralgia; radiosurgery; and cranial and spinal trauma, the hospital said.
Lebanon Center Genesis HealthCare Honored Through Veterans Program
Lebanon — Lebanon Center Genesis HealthCare was recently honored as a community partner with the “We Honor Veterans” program. The skilled nursing facility was also recently awarded a VA contract by the White River Junction Department of Veterans.
To qualify for the step-one level of distinction, the agency met a number of criteria, including providing veteran-specific education on topics such as PTSD to staff members who interact with patients and their families.
A placard on the door of their rooms identifies veterans’ branch of service and rank, and staff members who served receive special name tags identifying them as veterans. The agency also holds activities and outings for residents who are veterans.
One in four dying Americans is a veteran, Lebanon Center Genesis said in a recent news release. “These men and women often carry experiences from their military service that present unique challenges at the end of life.”
Originally designed for hospice providers, the “We Honor Veterans” program now includes other organizations that provide direct care for seriously ill veterans and their families, such as hospitals, assisted living facilities and home health agencies.
Family Physician Joins Chelsea Practice
Randolph — Pediatrician Amanda Hepler has joined Chelsea Health Center, part of Gifford Health Care.
Hepler, a Pennsylvania native, started her career at Rangeley Family Medicine in Rangeley, Maine, a town of 1,200.
There for four years, she was the lone physician, caring for patients of all ages, doing home visits and addressing emergencies as they arose.
From Maine, she joined Cheshire Medical Center, part of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene. There, she worked in a multi-physician practice, oversaw nurse practitioners and physician assistants, cared for patients in a skilled nursing facility, and worked to meet quality goals as part of an accountable care organization.
Hepler studied molecular biology at Grove City (Pa.) College and earned her medical degree from Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. She completed a residency in family medicine at Latrobe (Pa.) Family Medicine Residency.
She is board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and a member of the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Family Physicians.
Her clinical interests include caring for whole families, women’s health, diabetes management and pediatrics.
Chelsea Health Center was recently named a federally qualified health center by the Health Resources and Services Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Mascoma Valley Health Initiative Holds Board Elections
Canaan — The Mascoma Valley Health Initiative board of directors recently elected officers and three new members.
Lisa Bujno, associate chief nurse at White River Junction VA Medical Center, and Sadie Wells, Canaan branch manager for Mascoma Savings Bank, were elected to the board. Also elected was Rosemary Orgren, who recently retired from Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine as founding director of the New Hampshire Area Health Education Center, New Hampshire Public Health Training Center and Health Careers Institute at Dartmouth.
The new members bring “diverse experiences in public health and community development at a time when our organization is redoubling efforts to improve the way our communities respond to public health challenges,” Alice R. Ely, Mascoma Valley Health Initiative’s executive director, said in a recent news release.
Nancy DuMont, director of community health at Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital, was elected chairwoman of the organization’s board.
She succeeds Dr. William Boyle, professor of pediatrics at Geisel, who was elected vice chairman. Dr. David Beaufait, of Doctors Who Care LLC, was elected treasurer, and Wells was elected secretary.
The Mascoma Valley Health Initiative works to protect and promote the health of the Upper Valley community.
Its programs include substance abuse prevention through the Mascoma Valley Prevention Network and the Indian River Youth 2 Youth after school program. It also coordinates the Upper Valley Public Health Advisory Council, which includes organizations, municipalities and businesses.
For more information, go to www.mvhi.org.
Gifford Honors Volunteers
Randolph — Gifford Medical Center recognized its volunteers at an annual appreciation luncheon last week. Seventy of Gifford’s hospital and Auxiliary volunteers attended the hat-themed event.
“Hats Off to You” included lunch, door prizes, favors, accolades, a presentation by hospital president Joseph Woodin, and an impromptu song — managers working as servers during the event sang You Are My Sunshine to the volunteers.
Volunteers were thanked for their “remarkable gift of time, for offering support to staff as well as patients, for their warm smiles and for their hugs,” the hospital said.
“You bring peace, comfort and stability to the organization,” Woodin told the volunteers.
In 2013, 120 Gifford volunteers gave 16,678 hours, or 2,085 eight-hour days, to the nonprofit medical center. Auxiliary volunteers working at the Thrift Shop gave 6,489 hours, or 811 eight-hour days.
Woodin also gave an update on Gifford’s plans to build a senior living community in Randolph Center and private inpatient rooms at the medical center. Gifford hopes to break ground on the first phase of the project, a new nursing home in Randolph Center, next month. The Auxiliary has pledged $650,000 to the project.
— Compiled by Aimee Caruso