January DAISY Award Recipient

Jenni LeSueur the January DAISY Award Recipient

Congratulations to our January DAISY Award recipient Jenni LeSueur! Jenni is a Registered Nurse on our orthopedic unit who was nominated by a patient’s daughter for providing an outstanding level of compassion, care, communication and listening to her mother.

“Jenni treated my Mom’s injuries from a fall, but the treatment was complicated because my mom has Alzheimer’s disease and almost total lack of hearing.  Jenni earned my mom’s trust with her clear, firm communication and her amazing ability to understand whatever was troubling my mom.”  Jenni actions showed she was always thinking about her mom’s needs. Jenni provided this extraordinary level of care during her entire shift that day.  Thanks to Jenni and the excellent care provided at St. Vincent Healthcare this patient was able to return home and recover to a level her family thought was near impossible to attain.

Thank you for all that you do, Jenni!

Seen What’s New in the Café?

The Ccafeafé acquired many cutting-edge features this week as Sodexo became our food services and facilities management company. Sodexo provides a variety of support services to businesses all around the world. At St. Vincent Healthcare, associates, patients and their families can expect many new menu options, display changes, and process improvements.
Our chefs and dietitians have worked together to create many nutritional selections.  “We have kept in mind how important it is to provide healthy options for our associates and patients” says Paul Villa, Food Service Director at St. Vincent Healthcare. Mindful is a wellness program that focuses on transparency of ingredients, delicious food, satisfying portions and clarity in message so that making Mindful choices becomes second nature. Brand new menus include: soups made from scratch and new stream table options. mindful monitorSlight modifications have been made to the grill and salad bar to include more whole grains.

The flow of the Café has been improved to keep up with the day to day traffic, as well as making it more accessible for wheelchairs. Digital menu boards will display what is available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day of the week. Sodexo has also made the process for room service more efficient by providing software that allows staff to track the status of any patient’s order. GetWellNetwork will also be replacing Skylight and will be up and running within a few short months on TV.

Our dietary team and Sodexo have worked together to provide the best experience for everyone who enters the Café or receives food services. If you haven’t already, go check out the Café!

Michael Skehan, St. Vincent COO, shares 2017 outlook

Michael Michael Skehan, St. Vincent Healthcare Chief Operating Officer, joined NewsTalk 730 during their ‘2017 Business Outlook’ radio program. Take a listen to what Michael discussed with Scott Fredricks and Steve Bentley.



Part 1: Topics – 2016 hospital admissions, 2016 new patient visits, recruitment efforts


Part 2: Topics – Pediatric services, community needs assessment, family-centered care model, remodel projects


Part 3: Topics – Accountable Care Act, 2017 goals

New Montana Ambulatory Care Campus

MACC Exterior wordpressSt. Vincent Healthcare, Ortho Montana, and Yellowstone Surgery Center expanded patient care services on January 17 to a new, convenient location on Billings’ west end. Montana Ambulatory Care Campus (MACC) provides high quality, low cost services to the community in an outpatient setting.

“MACC is designed to address the advances in orthopedic surgery and healthcare. It is unique in Montana and the region.” explained Dr. Dean Sukin, MD, Ortho Montana Orthopedic Surgeon. “Patients are now able to receive a consultation with a subspecialty orthopedic surgeon, their CT/MRI, surgery and physical therapy all in one, comfortable location with easy highway access and parking.”

MACC currently specializes in orthopedic services (spine, hip and knee), non-surgical spine, full physical therapy and a full surgical suite. Outpatient imaging services (CT and MRI) will be available in mid-2017. With increased access to many specialized services and a dedicated team of medical providers, patients will enjoy shorter medical stays in a comfortable outpatient environment.

“We recognize the importance of shifting services to the outpatient setting to lower costs for our patients without compromising on quality or the patient experience” said Steve Loveless.

Ortho Montana began seeing patients and providing physical therapy services during summer 2016. The first procedure in the YSC surgical suite took place on January 3, 2017. The new MACC facility allows for health care professionals to provide the best possible care for our patients

December DAISY Award Recipient

Liz Borders the December DAISY Award Recipient.

Liz Borders the December DAISY Award Recipient.

Congratulations to our deserving December DAISY Award recipient Liz Borders! Liz is a nurse on our Pediatric Unit who was nominated by a former patient’s mother after receiving above and beyond care for her son.

“My son Cody passed away in the PICU in October after a short battle with meningitis. We had so many amazing nurses in our time there. We got to know Liz as she was our nurse for several days in a row. Toward the end of our stay as we were preparing to donate Cody’s organs, I found out that Liz switched her day off with someone else so she could continue to care for us. This gave us some comfort by not changing our care to a nurse not familiar with our case. It meant a lot. She also worked with Amanda to create a sweet memory box for Cody’s molds. When she and several nurses/care team members came to Cody’s funeral, it meant so much to us as well. Through our tough journey, Liz was a pillar. She supported us through the hardest days of our life. It takes a special person to be a PICU nurse.”

Thank you for all that you do, Liz!

December DAISY Award

Cancer Prevention – “What Can I Do?”

By: David Christianson, MD, Oncologist, St. Vincent Healthcare Frontier Cancer Center


Experts report that one-third of all cancer deaths in the United States each year are attributable to lifestyle practices that include tobacco use, sun exposure, diet, weight and physical activity.

Tobacco Use: Tobacco use is responsible for approximately 30% of all cancer related deaths in the United States. Tobacco use increases the risk for developing cancer of the mouth, larynx, pharynx, lungs, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, liver, cervix, kidneys, bladder, colon and is also associated with an increased risk of leukemia.

Sun Exposure: Sun exposure is a risk factor for skin cancer. Increased risk for both melanomatous and non-melanomatous skin cancer is reported. Experts recommend limiting sun exposure, especially between the hours of 10 a.m and 2 p.m. and advise using sun protection. This includes wearing hats and other protective clothing, using sunscreen and wearing sunglasses. Limiting sun exposure should start in childhood and consistent with the World Health Organization guidelines anyone under 18 should not use a tanning bed.

Diet: Vegetable and fruit consumption is associated with lower cancer risk. Diets rich in vegetables and fruits are also associated with lower risk of weight gain and obesity.  Studies also suggest a modest association of red meat and processed meat consumption with increased cancer risk. Whole grain foods may reduce risk of cancer involving the gastrointestinal tract.  For these reasons the American Cancer Society recommends a diet that includes at least 2.5 cups of vegetables and fruits each day, limits red meats and processed meats, and includes whole grains in preference to refined grain products.

Weight: Did you know that 14-20% of cancer-related mortality in the United States is attributed to overweight and obesity? Increased risk for developing breast, colorectal, endometrial, adenocarcinoma of the esophagus and pancreas is reported. There are also reports of increased risk for developing cancer of the liver, gallbladder, cervix, ovary, prostate and possible increased risk for non-Hodgkin lymphoma and multiple myeloma.

Physical Activity: Lower levels of physical activity are associated with higher cancer risk.  The explanation for this association may primarily be physical activity contributes to maintenance of a healthy body weight. Additionally, physical activity may also be beneficial through helping to regulate sex hormones, insulin, and prostaglandins and may promote positive effects on the immune system. A lifestyle that is physically active is also associated with a lower risk of heart disease and diabetes.

American Cancer Society Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention:

In an effort to help the general public and medical professionals develop strategies to reduce cancer risk the American Cancer Society has published guidelines for diet, weight control, and physical activity. A lifestyle that follows The American Cancer Society Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention is associated with lower mortality from cancer and cardiovascular disease. The American Cancer Society Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention are consistent with those established by the American Heart Association and American Diabetic Association.


Achieve and maintain a healthy weight throughout life.

  • Be as lean as possible throughout life without being underweight. Experts consider a healthy BMI to be within the range of 18.5 to 25.0 kg/m2.   A BMI between 25.0 and 29.9 kg/m2 is considered overweight, and a BMI of 30.0 kg/m2 and over to be obese.
  • Avoid excess weight gain at all ages. For those who are currently overweight or obese, losing even a small amount of weight has health benefits and is a good place to start.
  • Engage in regular physical activity and limit consumption of high-calorie foods and beverages as key strategies for maintaining a healthy weight.

Adopt a physically active lifestyle.

  • Adults should engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity each week, or an equivalent combination, preferably spread throughout the week.
  • Children and adolescents should engage in at least 1 hour of moderate or vigorous intensity activity each day, with vigorous intensity activity occurring at least 3 days each week.
  • Limit sedentary behavior such as sitting, lying down, watching television, or other forms of screen-based entertainment.
  • Doing some physical activity above usual activities, no matter what one’s level of activity, can have many health benefits.

Consume a healthy diet, with an emphasis on plant foods.

  • Choose foods and beverages in amounts that help achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Limit consumption of processed meat and red meat.
  • Eat at least 2.5 cups of vegetables and fruits each day.
  • Choose whole grains instead of refined grain products.

If you drink alcoholic beverages, limit consumption.

  • Drink no more than 1 drink per day for women or 2 per day for men.


Public, private, and community organizations should work collaboratively at national, state, and local levels to implement policy and environmental changes that:

  • Increase access to affordable, healthy foods in communities, worksites, and schools, and decrease access to and marketing of foods and beverages of low nutritional value, particularly to youth.
  • Provide safe, enjoyable, and accessible environments for physical activity in schools and worksites, and for transportation and recreation in communities.

SCL Health CNOs Recognized

Please join us in congratulating two of SCL Health’s Chief Nursing Officers who were recently recognized for their achievements in improving patient care and experience.

gilmoreBJ Gilmore, CNO and VP of Patient Care Services at St. Vincent Healthcare, was awarded the 2016 Dean’s Award for Excellence in Healthcare by Montana State University’s College of Nursing. She was awarded the honor for the positive influence she’s provided for nursing students, faculty, staff, and the greater healthcare community. BJ, who has worked as a nurse or nursing leader for 40 years, came to St. Vincent in 2013. Montana State University operates four campuses statewide.


burchAndrea Burch, CNO and VP at Lutheran Medical Center, was recognized as an Extraordinary Woman of Jefferson County by the West Chamber. She received the distinction based on her involvement in the Jefferson County community, her service to individuals and the community, and her professional accomplishments and the inspiration they give to others. Andrea has worked as a nurse or nursing leader for nearly 25 years.

St. Vincent nurse, mom hopes to improve perceptions of Little People

Olivia Plath was born July 27, 2015 with a form of dwarfism. Both her parents are of average height and there's no history of dwarfism in her family.

Olivia Plath was born July 27, 2015 with a form of dwarfism. Both her parents are of average height and there’s no history of dwarfism in her family.


When Heather Plath’s daughter, Olivia, was born on July 27, 2015; she knew there was a good possibility that her daughter would have dwarfism.

“It was difficult to tell through the ultrasound, but there were signs that it was a possibility,” explained Plath. “After she was born, it was still too hard to know for sure. So, we had genetic testing done.”

Genetic testing was performed and Olivia was diagnosed with achondroplasia, a form of dwarfism.

"You go through an adjustment, and there’s a kind of grieving, but she is going to have a normal life. She’ll just have to do things a little differently.”

“You go through an adjustment, and there’s a kind of grieving, but she is going to have a normal life. She’ll just have to do things a little differently.” – Heather Plath


“I had no idea, as an average height family, that it was even possible for us to have a little person as a child,” said Plath. “Olivia will mature to around 4 feet in height.”

Plath is a nurse at St. Vincent Healthcare and said there just isn’t that much information out there about little people – she’s hoping to change that.

“I’m sharing our story because I hope to educate people to change their perceptions of little people in our community. I hope that people will ask us questions and explain to their children about little people when they meet them in public,” Plath said. “So, if you see us out and about feel free to come meet us!”

St. Vincent Pediatric Physical Therapist, Jakke Hall, works with Olivia to strengthen her leg muscles and coordination during a recent physical therapy session.

St. Vincent Pediatric Physical Therapist, Jakke Hall, works with Olivia to strengthen her leg muscles and coordination during a recent physical therapy session.


An estimated 30,000 people in the United States have a form of dwarfism and the majority of little people, 80-percent, are born to average sized parents. Dwarfism affects bone growth, but generally does not affect cognitive abilities.

Dwarfism affects bone growth — typically the child’s long bones — and that’s why physical therapy is so important. At 14 months old, Olivia's current motor skill development is comparable to a 9 month old's.

Dwarfism affects bone growth — typically the child’s long bones — and that’s why physical therapy is so important. At 14 months old, Olivia’s current motor skill development is comparable to a 9 month old’s.


“Olivia is a very happy content kiddo and has a smile on her face most of the time! Although as she gets a little older, the red head seems to be coming out,” said Plath with a laugh. “She is just like other children her age; she’s just a little smaller and it takes her longer to grow and meet her developmental milestones.”

Plath knows that Olivia will have some challenges ahead, but she’s hopeful for her daughter’s future.

October 25 is National Dwarfism Awareness Day – wear Kelly Green to show your support!

Philanthropic couple donates $1M to St. Vincent Children’s

$1M Pediatric Donation

Billings business leader Tom Scott and his wife Joan have donated $1 million to St. Vincent Children’s in support of the hospital’s pediatric intensive care unit (PICU).

“Joan and I are honored to help St. Vincent provide the region with a new level of care to young people and their families that are facing a health crisis,” said Mr. Scott.

In honor of the couple’s gift, a wing of the pediatric unit will be named the Tom and Joan Scott Pediatric Wing.

“We are overjoyed that Tom and Joan Scott have recognized St. Vincent Children’s excellence in pediatric intensive care and have given generously to support our program,” said Dennis Sulser, St. Vincent Healthcare Foundation President and CEO. “This gift is a testament to Tom’s ongoing commitment to the Billings community and his impact on helping the region prosper.”

Former First Interstate BancSystem CEO, Tom is the son of First Interstate BancSystem founder, Homer Scott. Tom was recently inducted into the 2015 Montana Business Hall of Fame for his performance, high standard of ethics and concern for the wellbeing of customers and employees.

Ed Garding, longtime friend of Tom and former CEO of First Interstate Bank said, “Tom has given many gifts over the years that most would not even be aware of. I could go on forever about the strength of Tom’s character in the fact that he’s always led the way by setting an example and giving personally. He encouraged the banks and their employees to support their local communities through monetary donations and the gift of time.”

The Scott’s philanthropic gift comes on the heels of St. Vincent Healthcare Foundations’ annual fundraiser, the SAINTS Ball, which netted more than $1.15 million in support of the pediatric program at St. Vincent Children’s.

St. Vincent Healthcare is home to Montana’s first and only PICU that is staffed 24/7 by pediatric intensivists. Which means, any time – day or night – there is a critical care specialist ready to help and heal children. The five-bed PICU will soon undergo a complete renovation, which will include private patient rooms. In addition to the PICU, the rest of the pediatric floor will also receive improvements to create a more healing, soothing environment for patients and their families.

“The generous gift from Tom and Joan Scott is a giant leap forward in our effort to care for the regions’ children closer to home,” said Dr. Janis Langohr, St. Vincent Children’s Medical Director. “A gift of this magnitude empowers us to develop specialty services and state of the art facilities that will ultimately transform the delivery of pediatric medical care in Montana and Wyoming.”

Construction on the pediatric unit will begin in November of this year.

DAISY Award Appreciates Our Nurses

Nurses at St. Vincent Healthcare are being honored with The DAISY Award For Extraordinary Nurses. The award is part of the DAISY Foundation’s program to recognize the super-human efforts nurses perform every day.

The Daisy Award for extraordinary nurses recognizes nurses for their care they provide every day. This award was establisheddoug-modrow by the DAISY Foundation – a foundation for the elimination of Diseases Attacking the Immune System in memory of Patrick J. Barnes. Mr. Barnes’ parents established the foundation in Patrick’s memory because they had experienced first hand the skills, as well as the caring and compassion of many nurses. The award is given each month to an outstanding nurse at St. Vincent Healthcare.

The first award recipient at St. Vincent Healthcare was Doug Mordow from 3 Tower in July. The individual who nominated Doug said he, “was very personable and compassionate with my father, and made sure the family knew what was going on at all times and was very willing to answer questions. He provided great care, and was always ready to help with a smile.  Doug took care of my Dad like he was his own father.”

Since thenbrittany-gonzales we have had one other DAISY Award recipient. Brittany Gonzales was awarded in the month of August. Brittany is a pediatric nurse and was nominated for the award by the mom of one of her patients, who even made a point to be present for the award presentation. Brittney’s personal touch, love of her job, and ‘star’ qualities shine through each and every time she cares for her patients.

Help us in recognizing these two individuals who model what it means to provide the best care for our patients.

To nominate someone you know visit www.svh.org/daisy or look for the DAISY displays placed throughout the hospital at these locations:. and returning nominations to Guest Services.