Free Money: Be the Proud Parent of a Scholarship Recipient

Do you have a child pursuing post-secondary education in college or a vocational program? He or she may be eligible to apply for a scholarship through SCL Health. The Vincent de Paul Scholarship Program is now accepting applications for 2017 scholarships!

SCL Health has established the Vincent de Paul Scholarship Program to assist associates’ children who plan to pursue post-secondary education. Click here to download the application.

The postmark deadline for submissions is Friday, March 10, 2017, and scholarship awards will be announced in mid-April. Recipients are selected by Scholarship Management Services, who administers this systemwide program.

Scholarship amounts can range from $500 to $3,000. In 2016, 27 students were awarded scholarships for a total of $64,000 from the Vincent de Paul Scholarship Program, which was established with a $1.5 million endowment. Recipients must demonstrate financial need and will be selected on a set of criteria, including: academic record, demonstrated leadership, statement of goals and aspirations, unusual personal or family circumstances and an outside appraisal.

Eligibility

  • Dependent children and stepchildren of regular full- and part-time, benefits-eligible associates of SCL Health or its affiliates, age 25 and under. Associates must be normally scheduled to work at least 40 hours per bi-weekly pay period, have been employed at least one year and have worked at least 1,000 hours as of the application deadline date.
  • High school seniors or graduates who plan to enroll or students who are already enrolled in full-time undergraduate study at an accredited two- or four-year college, university, or vocational-technical school for the entire upcoming academic year.

About the Vincent de Paul Scholarship Program

Vincent de Paul was born in a tiny village in France in the 16th century to a family of simple, hardworking peasants and was mostly illiterate until age 15 when he was sent to school. Vincent de Paul went on to found, with Louise de Marillac, the religious order known today as the Daughters of Charity.

All Sisters of Charity consider Vincent de Paul part of their roots. He was devoted to the alleviation of human suffering and established several hospitals in France. Because Vincent has such strong ties to the Sisters of Charity, education and hospitals, SCL Health chose to name this scholarship program after him.

The Vincent de Paul Scholarship Program is another example of our health ministry’s commitment to our associates and their families.

Apply Today or Learn More

To get started with the application process or to learn more, please visit the SCL Health Benefits website at www.SCLHealthBenefits.org/Special-Programs.

For questions, please reach out to Scholarship Management Services at 507-931-1682.

Lantern Can Ease Your Stress

Do you ever feel like there’s too much on your plate? Does the pressure to get it all done ever show up as physical pain or difficulty sleeping? Do you have trouble focusing or find yourself irritable with those around you? These are just some of the ways stress and anxiety can show up.

You can feel better in 2017!

SCL Health is offering a new, free benefit to all associates and their family members (ages 18 and older) to help you find ways to ease and manage stress and anxiety. Download the Lantern app (look for the orange and white “L” logo) through the iTunes or Google Play app stores and use access code “SCLHealth” to get started today!

Ease stress; manage anxiety
Lantern is a program based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and mindfulness to address your specific challenges with practical exercises so that you feel better able to manage life’s challenges.

You’ll learn how your thoughts, behaviors and feelings are connected and how to feel more in control. The program is rooted in proven research and has a variety of techniques to help you find what works for you. You learn and practice on your phone, at your pace.

  • Lantern fits into a busy schedule. In 15 minutes a day, learn to ease and manage stress and anxiety.
  • You can use Lantern at your speed. Practice techniques on your phone, at your pace, wherever you are.
  • Complete Lantern on your time. Fit the program into your morning routine, on a break or before bed.

Get a personal coach
The best part? When you sign up, you are paired with your own personal coach. They are here to guide you and help provide motivation and accountability along the way. Your coach can also help you set goals and celebrate your accomplishments.

To see how Lantern can apply to your life, check out this video:

Get started
Ready to start feeling less overwhelmed? Simply download the Lantern app (on iPhone or Android) and enter access code “SCLHealth” to get started. We think you’ll like it.

Questions?
You can reach the Lantern support team via email at support@golantern.com. For general questions, you can also reach out to the HR Service Center Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. MT at 855-412-3701 or 303-813-5250, or visit the SCL Health Benefits website to learn more about the program. From the homepage, click on Healthy Living then Lantern.

Don’t Get Swindled by Savvy Scammers

Chances are, you’re not going to fall for the email from a Nigerian prince who needs your help transferring millions of dollars out of the country for a small fee. But how about a professional-sounding person on the phone asking a seemingly legitimate business question? Or, maybe there’s an unusual request in your inbox from an executive within your own organization.

Scam artists go back as far as the founding Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, but today’s scammers are more sophisticated – and the stakes are higher – than ever before. Recently, the IRS put out an alert about a scam in which phony emails from executives were designed to trick employees into giving out W-2 information. In another attack, people purporting to be from a credit card company called asking for specific information in a particularly convincing way.

Healthcare systems, in particular, are a high-profile target for cyberattacks, according to the FBI. SCL Health’s Chief Information Security Officer Howard Haile says that’s because healthcare records are especially valuable on the Internet’s black market, and there are thousands of employees a scammer could potentially target.

SCL Health goes to great lengths to protect patients, associates, physicians and others, Howard says. While those efforts and actions are confidential for obvious security reasons, the best personal defense remains vigilance and a healthy suspicion while online or on the phone with strangers.

Most scams and cyberattacks depend on people for their “in.” In some cases, the person is the intended victim. In others, the person may just be a pawn in pursuit of a larger target such as a ransomware attack on an entire organization. Either way, the majority of such activities rely on someone giving away information that can then be used for a crime.

With more creative attacks, paying attention to little details becomes more important. Is the email from someone you know coming from an external source? Does this executive have particularly poor grammar or spelling? Does this request make sense in the context of normal business? Remember to stay alert and never give out your password or personal information.

A New Way to Report Compliance Concerns

Compliance Button

The new Compliance Hotline button can be found on the homepage of The Landing, on the right-hand side.

Every day, our associates see the inner-workings of our hospitals. While our goal is to never have a Compliance issue, sometimes cases do arise. From the improper disclosure of protected health information to fraudulent compensation or billing protocols, our associates are the eyes and ears of our organization.

As a part of our systemwide Code of Conduct, associates have an obligation to report any compliance concerns they have. While there are many avenues to report concerns — like talking with your supervisor, calling the Compliance Hotline, notifying Human Resources or contacting your local compliance officer — we now offer an option for submitting concerns online as well.

A button for the Compliance Hotline is now available on every care site’s homepage of The Landing, and links directly to an online reporting form. This new service is managed by a third party vendor, to ensure confidentiality.

This new reporting method comes in addition to, not in place of, the anonymous telephone reporting option that is currently available. There will be no changes to the telephone hotline that can be reached at 1-877-393-6752. As always, concerns will be handled as quickly and discreetly as possible, and either investigated or monitored directly by a Compliance and Privacy Officer. If necessary, corrective action will be implemented to ensure that the issue does not continue.

At SCL Health, you can always report any concern without the fear of retaliation. The Integrity and Compliance team will take every allegation seriously and investigate your concerns timely and with professionalism. If you have questions about this change, please contact Crystal Siljenberg at Crystal.Siljenberg@sclhs.net.

Mount Saint Vincent Foster Care Helps Those Most Vulnerable

Foster_330x220When it comes to SCL Health’s mission to serve those who are poor and vulnerable, there are few people as vulnerable as foster children. Removed from their homes, often due to abuse or neglect, these children and teens need someone to love them and support them during the most important developmental period of their lives.

That’s why Mount Saint Vincent, our Denver-based child welfare services provider, now offers a foster care program.

If you are interested in becoming a foster parent or support the program, or if you’re curious to learn more, send an email to Melissa at mmaile@msvhome.org or visit http://fostercare.msvhome.org/. You can also follow Mount Saint Vincent on Facebook at facebook.com/MountSaintVincentFosterCare.

If you are interested in becoming a foster parent or support the program, or if you’re curious to learn more, send an email to Melissa at mmaile@msvhome.org or visit fostercare.msvhome.org. You can also follow Mount Saint Vincent on Facebook at facebook.com/MountSaintVincentFosterCare.

“It’s a crisis,” said Melissa Maile, Director of Foster Care, about the need in Colorado. “There just aren’t enough families available to care for children needing homes.”

Mount Saint Vincent is especially well-positioned to take on this important work. Founded in 1883 as an orphanage to help children and families, it’s one of SCL Health’s oldest ministries. In 1969, it began specializing in helping children with severe emotional and behavioral challenges due to trauma, mental illness, abuse or neglect. With its unique history, the agency expanded its services to provide expertise, certification classes, support groups and resources for families and volunteers in the foster care program.

Being a foster parent isn’t easy, but it is rewarding, Melissa says. Some foster families go on to permanently adopt children, while others may fill a brief, but invaluable role in a child’s life that lasts only a few weeks.

“People say they feel called to do it,” she says. “They want to give back.”

If becoming a foster parent is too much of a commitment, there are other ways volunteers with a passion for this work can contribute. These include:

  • Providing respite care for foster families
  • Babysitting
  • Helping foster families with meals, errands and other household needs
  • Hosting an informational night at your home or church

Since starting the program in March, Mount Saint Vincent has worked to keep up with demand. Every day, Maile receives referrals, not all of which she can handle without more families. Even so, the program is making a difference. To date, it has served 47 children and facilitated 11 adoptions.

The Massive, Mysterious Move You May Never See

DataCenter_716x477Moving is never easy. But if you think a U-Haul full of boxes is hard work, try moving a data center for a $2.5 billion health system. Over the next few months, SCL Health’s Systems & Technology Service Center (STSC) will be moving every computer application in use across SCL Health from one data center to another. A data center is the physical location where our computer hardware and infrastructure are kept. This important project will help make our IT infrastructure more secure and reliable and is considered one of SCL Health’s top strategic priorities for 2017, but it also comes with obvious challenges.

Miles of cable, truckloads of equipment, and countless hours are involved in the physical move, but that’s not even the hard part. When your data center is the backbone of your hospitals – and therefore people’s lives – you have to do it all without disconnecting or disabling your network.

STSC has incorporated numerous safeguards and processes to minimize disruptions and risks and make this transition a “behind the scenes” project as much as possible. Users will be notified of downtime disruptions, but all in all those are expected to be minimal, given the scale. In the event of an unexpected technical issue, we have emergency plans in place to ensure patient care and business operations continue to operate smoothly.

This data center move is an important step in helping advance SCL Health’s key strategies in digital innovation, and it will position us for long-term growth and adaptability in a transformative and technology-driven healthcare environment.

An Innovative Use of an Hour

InnovationHealthcare is constantly in a state of change and innovation. While it’s clearly important for each healthcare worker to do his or her daily job well, it’s equally important to be aware of and ready for the future of the healthcare industry. And the future is filled with innovation!

Are you eager to learn more about the transformative changes in healthcare delivery? One way that SCL Health associates and providers can stay on top of the discussions about healthcare innovation is to download and view the recorded Innovation Speaker Series videos. The Innovation Speaker Series included four live WebEx events from September through December 2016, providing free access to national healthcare experts and thought leaders. The series was sponsored by the SCL Health Innovation and Virtual Health team.

Whether you attended one or more of the live sessions, any associate or provider is welcome to access all four video recordings now. Each one is an hour long.

Access this page on The Landing with the WebEx video recordings of all four sessions of the 2016 Innovation Speaker Series:

  • Larry Keeley, President, Co-founder at Doblin Group and Director of Deloitte Consulting, LLP. (Theme: How to Create an Innovation Framework)
  • Dr. Molly Coye, MD, MPH, Executive in Residence, AVIA. (Theme: How to Identify Innovations)
  • Aaron Martin, EVP, Chief Digital Officer at Providence St. Joseph Health, and Managing GP, Providence Ventures. (Theme: Implementing Innovation)
  • Roy Rosin, Chief Innovation Officer at Penn Medicine. (Theme: How to Get Started with Innovation)

What’s Next for the ACA?

ACA_716x477

Editor’s Note: The following column is written by Christine Woolsey, SCL Health Senior Vice President, Advocacy.

In our role as a faith-based healing ministry, SCL Health is keenly interested in health policy, both at the federal and local level. This interest is not driven by politics, but by our commitment to preserve and protect our mission to improve the health of the people and communities we serve, especially those who are poor and vulnerable.

That mission is at risk as Congress begins work to repeal key parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Many people agree the ACA is imperfect and there are opportunities to improve it. Yet it cannot be argued that the law has extended access to health care to millions of Americans, and that those citizens are now in danger of losing that access.

New information and data is continually emerging as debate continues in Washington about how best to address plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Here are some revealing data that support SCL Health’s position that any repeal must be done thoughtfully and with alternative strategies in place to preserve the basic mission of access to affordable coverage for all.

  • A new report by the Urban Institute and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation finds that the large premium increases for Obamacare plans in 2017 are primarily due to underpricing during the first two years of exchange operations.
    • That means the premium volatility is “likely to be a short-term phenomenon,” the researchers conclude. “Premium increases should be more stable in the future, once catch-up is fully priced in.”
    • The national average premium change between 2016 and 2017 was 21.2 percent and was 10.3 percent when averaged annually from 2014 to 2017. In Colorado, the average premium change between 2016 and 2017 was 11.2 percent and 7.6 percent when averaged annually between 2014 to 2017.
  • Hospitals are generally viewing the demise of the ACA with no clear replacement as a risk for their survival. The risk is even greater for rural hospitals, which typically have lower margins; their closures have a societal impact — forcing patients to forego treatment altogether or travel to get emergency care and other necessary services.
    • This is a particular concern for SCL Health given the communities we support on the Western Slope in Colorado and across Montana.
  • The funding for many state public health and prevention programs is in jeopardy along with insurance for 20 million people as Congress moves to repeal the Affordable Care Act (source: USA Today).
    • While the ACA requires insurers to cover mammograms, colonoscopies and other preventive care, a less prominent provision authorized a federal fund to prevent the soaring incidence of chronic diseases including diabetes and heart disease. It also funds education targeting college suicides, smoking and low-income new mothers.

To learn more about SCL Health’s position on the Affordable Care Act or for information on how to contact your representatives to join in the conversation, visit the Advocacy page on The Landing (Please note that The Landing is only available to associates on our secure network).

Still Work to be Done: Volunteers Head Back to Tanzania

Tanzania_1What do a Registered Nurse from Good Samaritan and a Network Engineer from St. Vincent have in common? They’re two of the 10 SCL Health associates heading to Tanzania, Africa, on January 20 for this year’s international ministry work in the country.

Every year, SCL Health travels to Arusha, Tanzania, to take our mission to serve the poor and vulnerable abroad. Our work in Tanzania began in 2005 and, over the past 12 years, our health system has brought essential equipment, supplies and training to our partner hospitals in the area — Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre (ALMC) and Selian Lutheran Hospital. Our work has also benefitted Plaster House, a part of ALMC that houses children during their pre- and postoperative care and rehabilitation.

Tanzania_2Our Purpose and Impact:
Would you walk 12 miles with a broken bone to get an x-ray? Probably not! Still, this is the reality for many people in Tanzania. Since Selian Lutheran Hospital doesn’t have a working x-ray machine, injured and weak patients are required to walk an additional 12 miles to ALMC in the hopes of getting an x-ray. During this year’s trip, our associates will install an eight-year-old Quantum digital x-ray system, generously donated by Saint Joseph Hospital. Additionally, we will install a whole house medical air system that will support mixed gas therapy in the NICU, ICU and during surgery. Our information technology professionals will also be present to install computers and work on the hospital’s servers, network and data storage.

Over the two-week trip, our medical team will be supporting and teaching the physicians and nurses at Selian and Arusha Lutheran Medical Centers. They will host a Skills Fair to teach how to care for respiratory and cardiac patients. The overall goal of the medical team is to improve care in every facet of a patient’s life — physical, mental, social and spiritual.

Tanzania_3Why Work Internationally?
As a faith-based health system, our mission calls us to serve those in need within our hospitals and clinics, but also those across the continent and throughout the world.

According to the Catholic Health Association, “Through the international outreach of Catholic healthcare, we expand our understanding of who is our neighbor … As our international outreach moves out in concrete ways throughout the world, we begin to break down boundaries and borders and become the sacrament of service and solidarity that the Church is called to be.”

Meet the team:
TanzaniaAttendees

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can follow the group’s journey here on SCL Health News by clicking on the tab labeled “Tanzania.” We’ll be providing updates from the team over the next two weeks. The group will also be keeping a personal blog of their day-to-day experiences.

If you would like to help, Plaster House (a part of ALMC) accepts donations at www.gohealthechildren.com. Through this site, 100% of the dollars donated go directly to the children and improving their care. Want to join us in wishing well to our travelers? Leave your comment in the forum below!

SCL Health’s Position on the Colorado End-of-Life Options Act

Prop106_330x220In November 2016, Colorado voters passed the Colorado End-of-Life Options Act, which allows qualifying terminally ill adults to obtain a lethal dose of medication to voluntarily end their lives. Under the Act, healthcare providers, including SCL Health, are not required to assist qualified patients in ending their lives, and providers are required to establish policies supporting their positions.

SCL Health is committed to providing the best possible care for patients approaching the end-of-life, or actively dying, which includes curative and comfort care. We provide palliative and hospice care, and strive to mitigate suffering and address the fear of pain and loss of control that patients may experience.

We believe we can provide compassionate care and comfort to our patients so they can live with dignity until the time of natural death, and we have therefore opted out of participation.

SCL Health caregivers will continue to provide other requested end-of-life and palliative care services to patients and families, and they may discuss the range of available treatment options to ensure patients are making informed decisions with respect to their care.

Any of our patients wishing to request medical aid-in-dying medication will be offered an opportunity to transfer to another facility of the patient’s choice.

Associates can view the full SCL Health policy on this issue by visiting Policy Tech, available via The Landing.