St. Vincent Healthcare named one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals by Truven Health Analytics, IBM Watson Health

St. Vincent Healthcare has been named one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals® by Truven Health Analytics®, part of the IBM Watson HealthTM business. Truven Health Analytics is a leading provider of information and solutions that support healthcare cost and quality improvement.

The Truven Health 100 Top Hospitals is the most comprehensive, academically driven study of its kind. It evaluates clinical and operational performance in 11 areas, addressing: inpatient mortality, 30-day mortality rate, complications, core measures, 30-day risk-adjusted readmission rate, severity-adjusted average length of stay, mean emergency room throughput, inpatient expense per discharge, Medicare spend per beneficiary, adjusted operating profit margin and Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) score (patient rating of overall hospital performance). The study has been conducted annually since 1993.

“St. Vincent Healthcare is proud and honored to be selected as a Top 100 Hospital by Truven for a second year in a row. Truven is the most highly regarded hospital ranking program and it takes a great deal of work, effort and process by our associates and medical staff to receive this recognition,” said St. Vincent Healthcare Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Michael Bush. “At St. Vincent Healthcare, our mission is to improve the health of the people and communities we serve. This recognition is just one example of how we are living out our mission.”

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Dollars for Dressings Foundation Gives 8-Year-Old Boy Freedom to be a Kid

Logan Rogers and Kellie Dowell

Logan is an 8 year old boy who was born with an atonic bowel. When Logan is playing and being active, his cecostomy tube causes proud flesh to build on his stomach around the tube. This reoccurring wound irritates his skin and can be very painful. Due to the buildup of proud flesh, this requires cauterization or steroid cream to be used as a treatment to heal the site. Both medical treatments can be uncomfortable for the patient.

Knowing Logan’s needs, many different qualified specialists from the Pediatric Specialty Clinic, Inpatient Wound Care and Ostomy, and Medical Supply and Mobility at St. Vincent Healthcare worked as a team to get Logan the supplies he needed using the money raised from Dollars for Dressings foundation.

Logan and his brother Liam playing.

After being referred to the St. Vincent Healthcare Pediatric Specialty Clinic, Dr. Ann Kessel reached out to the inpatient wound care nurses for dressing recommendations. Logan has an adhesive allergy which made purchasing special bandages near impossible and was not covered by insurance. Kellie Dowell, a Wound Care and Ostomy Nurse met with Logan’s mom and began researching supplies with Eric Ecker and Annette Rohrer from St. Vincent Supply and Mobility. With the money raised by Dollars for Dressing and the money matched by the Foundation, Logan was able to receive a stealth belt which is a medical garment that is easy enough for a child to apply and wear daily. It has allowed Logan to have the freedom to feel like a normal kid again. His mom said Logan often felt self-conscious and holds his tube while he walks and plays. Now, the stealth belt will hold the tube for him so he can worry more about playing with classmates on the playground than keeping his cecostomy tube in place.

Dollars for Dressings is a fundraiser that the Inpatient and Outpatient Wound Care Team started in 2016 at their 2nd Annual Wound Care Conference. The St. Vincent Foundation graciously matched dollar per dollar with the fundraising. It helps raise money for patients who cannot otherwise afford the supplies they desperately need. Logan was the first recipient of the Dollars for Dressings foundation and we hope to continue our mission of improving the health of the people and the communities we serve, especially those who are poor and vulnerable through this foundation.

3rd Annual Call for Kids Radiothon

Pictured: Michael Skehan, COO, Dr. Michael Bush, Chief Medical Officer, and Dennis Sulser, Foundation CEO.

February 16th marked the 3rd Annual Call for Kids Radiothon. Throughout the day patient’s  families in our own community shared stories of courage, hope and strength. Funds raised benefited St. Vincent Children’s, including Montana and Wyoming’s only Pediatric Intensive Care Unit fully staffed 24/7.

We are proud to announce nearly $80,000 was raised! Since the challenge of $65,000 was met by 3 p.m. that afternoon, several of our senior leaders at the hospital went “green.”

Thank you to everyone who helped us go beyond our goal for a great cause! #svhkids


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.