Call for International Ministry Volunteers: Mending Faces

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UPDATED 7/26/16:

Thank you so much for the overwhelming interest in Mending Faces’ 2017 Medical Mission to the Philippines.  The nursing team is now complete, but Mending Faces is still looking for a physician’s assistant and an equipment tech to participate in the trip.  Please contact Maya Brook at maya@mendingfaces.org for more information.

Original post:

This is your chance to join your fellow associates on a mission trip to Lucena, Quezon Province, Philippines. For several years, SCL Health has partnered with and provided funding to Mending Faces, a Denver-based non-profit organization working to help children who are born with facial deformities, including cleft lip and cleft palate.

Mending Faces is currently looking for a Pediatrician and several PACU and floor/ward nurses to participate in its 2017 Medical Mission Trip. The trip will take place January 28 – February 3, 2017.

The organization was founded in 2010 by a passionate, highly experienced group of medical professionals. Over the past six years, volunteers have performed hundreds of life-changing surgeries for impoverished children at no cost to the families. This important work allows the children to lead productive lives in their communities.

If you currently serve as a Pediatrician or PACU, floor, or ward nurse and are interested in joining the mission trip, please visit www.mendingfaces.org for additional information. Volunteers must email maya@mendingfaces.org by July 20 to apply. Healthcare professionals and outreach personnel donate their time and expertise, so SCL Health associates will need to take PTO for this trip. Volunteers also fund their own travel and lodging expenses.

Thank you for considering being a part of this life-changing work!

SCL Health Makes Healthcare’s “Most Wired” List

MostWired_330x220SCL Health is on a short list of health systems recognized for their work to improve patient care through technology. This is the fourth consecutive year the organization has been named a HealthCare’s Most Wired® health system by Hospitals & Health Networks, a publication of the American Hospital Association.

This means our system ranks among just 364 organizations that meet numerous requirements across a host of areas such as infrastructure, business and administrative management, clinical quality and safety, and clinical integration.

According to the American Hospital Association, “Most Wired hospitals are using telehealth to fill gaps in care; provide services 24 hours a day; 7 days a week; and expand expand access to to medical specialists.”

To learn more, check out H&HN’s article on Most Wired hospitals.

Through Stewardship and Partnership, Care Sites Create $270,000 a Month for Community Benefit

st-marys-dawn-sm-copyThey probably don’t know it, but when certain patients at St. Mary’s Medical Center fill prescriptions they are also helping improve the health of their community. Through the 340B Federal Drug Pricing Program and coordination between St. Mary’s and the Comprehensive Cancer Center (CCC) Specialty Pharmacy at Saint Joseph Hospital, SCL Health is realizing $270,000 a month in mission-extending value, which goes toward community benefit for St. Mary’s. Working with a specialty pharmacy within SCL Health also provides better, more coordinated care for St. Mary’s patients.

Additionally, we are in the process of introducing this program at five other SCL Health care sites that participate in the 340B program—St. Vincent Healthcare, St. James Healthcare, Lutheran Medical Center, Holy Rosary Healthcare, and Platte Valley Medical Center.

The 340B program was created in 1992 to provide discounts on medication for organizations like ours that provide a significant amount of reduced and charity care.

“It’s like a discount sale at the store,” says Ashley Mains, System Pharmacy Manager – 340B Program. “The more you buy, the more you save. Because we buy millions of dollars of drugs each year, with many qualifying for the 340B program, we save millions of dollars each year, as well.”

This initiative with the CCC Specialty Pharmacy at Saint Joe’s may be used by patients in the outpatient environment and typically involve high-risk, high-cost prescriptions that treat specialized conditions. When a St. Mary’s patient fills a prescription through the Saint Joe’s Specialty Pharmacy, St. Mary’s pays Saint Joe’s a dispensing fee and insurance pays a certain amount of the claim to the CCC Specialty Pharmacy. That money then goes back to St. Mary’s for community benefit.

The initiative between St. Mary’s and Saint Joseph has been running since October of last year, and since February it has increased contribution to community benefit programs by $270,000 a month. Oncology patients are a great example of how this initiative works. Rather than go to a clinic for routine infusions, some patients are now taking oral chemotherapy medication.

“With advances in medication development, patients can take a tablet to treat complex disease states, but that doesn’t mean that the risk for them is any less than those heavy duty infusions that we all remember,” says Mains. “So, in order to monitor safety and efficacy and offer support to cancer patients, a specialty pharmacy service is needed to dispense oral chemo rather than a regular pharmacy.”

Medications from a specialty pharmacy typically require more follow-up and monitoring. Since St. Mary’s patients can now “keep it in the family” by going to an SCL Health specialty pharmacy they receive higher quality, specialized follow-up care relating to their medication.

“Now, rather than losing touch of where they go for their prescriptions and wondering whether they are filling their prescriptions and if they are compliant with their medications, we have insight into how our patients are doing when they go home,” says Mains. “We, at SCL Health, offer a better level of care when we fill their prescriptions because our pharmacy has access to their medical records, has direct contact with their nurses and doctors and all levels of their care team, and provide a better experience and higher level of care.”