Compassion, Commitment and Caring all part of the Tradition of Teamwork at MMH

Compassion, Commitment and Caring all part
of the Tradition of Teamwork at MMH

Tradition; it’s a word that’s used often, but what do traditions really mean to us? When you think of the most rewarding times in your family’s lives, chances are they revolve around traditions. It’s the same with our family, here at the hospital. Massena Memorial Hospital’s most satisfying moments revolve around tradition. The traditions like compassion for our patients, commitment to our community and caring to treat each patient as an individual. We offer our patients quality healthcare, the latest facilities and a highly trained staff.

Massena Memorial Hospital looks back on 2014 with new technology, future planning, a compassionate healthcare team, being recognized once again as a most wired hospital, full accreditation from the Joint Commission and reductions in reimbursements. The new Chief Executive Officer, Bob Wolleben, FACHE, said, “At Massena Memorial there are  a lot of good things going on at this community hospital. We have services that other hospitals would love to have like state of the art diagnostic imaging. You can get on the surgery schedule here on the same day or week. We have some great physicians, physicians that have been in town a long time and some who are new to this town.

“In terms of equipment, we are very fortunate to have the most up to date CT scanner, a 128 slice low radiation scanner. If you go into our Endoscopy suite, our suite would be the envy of a lot of hospitals. I have worked in seven hospitals, and this Endoscopy suite is the nicest I have ever seen. There are a lot of great things here. When you’re here all the time, maybe you don’t see it. When you are a new person coming in like I am, you really have a gem here,” the CEO added.

Massena Memorial has experienced some great successes over the past year but not without its share of challenges. The Walk-In clinic in the Levine Outpatient Center, the he MMH Medical Office Building across the road from the hospital, recruited numerous physician and healthcare providers along with continuing to provide medical services to the Massena High School. Our employees continue to learn new technologies and software systems, once again being named Most Wired.  Change is inevitable but together we can overcome obstacles and become better and stronger.  This progress was not possible without the contributions over the past year from our medical staff and all of the MMH employees.

In 2014 MMH recognized 65 of our colleagues celebrating  over 900 years of commitment, dedication and service excellence to our hospital, patients and community at the 20th Annual Employee Recognition. In this day and age of high technology, constant mobility and all the new types of jobs and career opportunities, that are now available out there, it’s unusual to find individuals, who are willing to stay in one place, with one employer for literally decades. Two of the honorees have over 3 ½ decades and still counting. It takes very special people to work in healthcare and more specifically the acute care hospital setting and when we look at the list of those being recognized, 22 of the 65 are celebrating 20 years or more years of dedicated service for our hospital community.
Last year, MMH welcomed seven new physicians to our medical staff, along with nurse practitioners and physician assistants.  The “Walk-In Clinic” is extremely successful and has been averaging over 700 patient visits per month.  The new medical office building proved to be an asset in recruiting physicians to join the hospital’s medical team. Today in the Medical Office Building primary care as well as specialty providers include: MMH Medical Group with Dr. Ammar Kafa, Family Medicine, Dr. Diana Christensen, Internal Medicine/Infectious Disease and Dr. Janki Shah, Internal Medicine; the MMH Surgical Group has General Surgeons Dr. Jose Mejia and Dr. Sanjay Shah. Specialists include Neurologist Dr. Kejian Tang and Cardiologist Dr. Joseph Gardella.  The construction of this facility was a strategic initiative, not only to assist in the recruitment of new physicians, but to retain our existing doctors requiring more space in modern, state-of-the-art accommodations. Additionally, Dr. Ronak Desai, Internal Medicine, returned home to initiate his practice with his father, Dr. Nimesh Desai and Dr. Jayant Jhaveri, at St. Lawrence Internists.
MMH has opened the North Country Women’s Health, the practice of Dr. Anna Beresnev, OB/GYN, Barbara Hillis, NP, Certified Nurse Midwife; and with two additional OB/GYNs soon to join the practice in the hospital’s Casey Medical Building. Kids Korner Pediatric and Adolescent Center welcomed Dr. Kishore Kumar who joins Dr. Nor Ramli in the practice.
This year the hospital plans to continue its efforts in bringing new physicians to the community, currently the plan is to bring an additional Cardiologist, Pulmonologist, OB/GYNs, along with an Orthopedic Surgeon.
Providing quality care is our core mission and we were pleased that Massena Memorial Hospital was recognized as a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures® by The Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of health care organizations in the United States. MMH was recognized as part of The Joint Commission’s 2014 report “America’s Hospitals: Improving Quality and Safety,” for attaining and sustaining excellence in accountability measure performance for Pneumonia and Surgical Care. Massena Memorial Hospital is one of 1,224 hospitals in the United States to achieve the Top Performer distinction.
“This recognition is an organizational effort, not just one department.  We always strive to continually improve quality and it takes a team approach,” said Sue Beaulieu, RN, BSN, FACHE, Chief Nurse Executive. “Massena Memorial Hospital is dedicated to offering the best patient care, because we have the best staff.”
Massena Memorial Hospital continues to successfully partner with the Syracuse VA Medical Center to provide medical services to the North Country Veterans. The hospital has provided medical and healthcare services through the North Country Veterans Clinic for over 20 years. The hospital has recruited additional practitioners for the veterans’ clinic; the clinic saw over 11,000 patients last year for both medical care and mental health.
Additionally, the North Country Veterans Clinic offers 17 sub specialty Telehealth Clinics to include: Dermatology, Cardiology, Endocrinology, Otolaryngology, Pain Management, Rheumatology, Gastroenterology, Nutrition, Diabetic Education, Women’s Health, Anti-Coagulation, Tele- Retinal, Psychiatry and Podiatry.

In 2014, MMH has had many accomplishments. The hospital has once again been recognized as one of the nations “most wired” hospitals according to the Hospitals and Health Networks Magazine. MMH has made significant investments in Information Technology installing a full Electronic Medical Record in its physician practices  , developing electronic medical records for the outreach clinics, establishing a  patient portal (insert the url)  and ongoing training with clinical reviews and order entry through the Information Systems Department.
MMH continues to serve the community; our outpatient services remain constant, along with the inpatient and observation patient admissions. However, more remarkable is the growth in outpatient registrations; MMH saw 141,029 outpatient registrations, nearly 12% increase over the previous year. Again, we credit a majority of this not only to our committed staff but also to our physicians.
MMH is very proud of the North Country Family Health Network developed over the last two decades and its outreach clinics bringing  much need medical care to communities which otherwise would not have providers . The Brasher Falls Family Health Center, Norfolk Family Health Center and Louisville Family Health Center treated 7,200 patients.  Kids Korner Pediatric and Adolescent Center also treated over 6,000 pediatric patients. The Dialysis Center performed nearly 7,800 treatments. The hospital’s physician practices which include the Surgical Group and Wound Care, Nephrology, Neurology, Pulmonology, Internal Medicine, Hematology/Oncology, Women’s Health and Cardiology saw over 13,500 patient visits in their practices, once again bringing primary healthcare closer to home.
The Walk-In Clinic, opened seven days a week, treated nearly 8,500 patients, averaging 700 a month. Joe Lamb, PA and Alicia Sienkiewicz, NP, offer care for all ages every day. In 2014 the Emergency Department continued to service the community; treating nearly 15,000 patient visits; about 300 a week. MMH’s Emergency Department is in the application process of being designated as a Level III Trauma ED.
The hospital’s Endoscopy Center is a state-of-the-art endoscopy lab, both HD and fully digitized and is a premier Endoscopy Center for the North Country to ensure early detection and diagnosis. The Endoscopy Center’s staff strive to make each patients visit as pleasant as possible.  The Surgical Services team performed over 2,500 procedures, while maintaining very high accolades on the patient satisfaction surveys. Last year, Dr. Jose Mejia joined the surgical team and offers a less invasive surgical option laparoscopic hernia repair. According to Dr. Mejia, laparoscopy is also a good choice many times for the patient offering faster healing, allowing most patients to return to work within a week. For some individuals, the reduction in lost time may make the laparoscopic approach more cost effective.
Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Bedros Bakirtzian is the only surgeon in the North Country offering hip replacement surgery with the Intellijoint HIP. The Intellijoint HIPTM increases the accuracy of hip replacement surgery. It’s a computer assisted instrument that assists the surgeon to make the critical measurements to enhance clinical outcomes. He performed the first surgery offered in the United States at MMH in September. The Intellijoint HIPTM is a smart tool used to guide surgeons during hip replacement surgery. Its two miniature sensors are placed in the sterile field and communicate with a portable display. Controlled by the surgeon, it quantifies the measurements, often left to subjective judgment, required for selecting and positioning hip implants.
The hospital MMH Dialysis Center continues to provide life-sustaining hemodialysis treatments for nearly 48 patients throughout the year. Last year, the progress continues to grow in the hospital’s Dialysis service we offer the patients in our community, in fact the clinic delivered nearly 7,800 treatments last year, a 7% increase. Dialysis Services have expanded to include peritoneal and acute-care dialysis. In December, MMH sold the Dialysis service to American Renal to maintain the critical service within the community.
2014 was a busy year for the Physical Therapy Departments seeing over 18,000 patients and nearly 50,000 treatments.  The PT services expanded its service with the acquisition of the MMH Outpatient Center Physical and Rehabilitation unit adjacent to Seaway Orthopedics. The added unit offered additional therapy functions such as functional capacity evaluations, nerve conduction studies and aquatic therapy.
The Respiratory Therapy Department provides both inpatient care and outpatient diagnostics, along with a weekly Pulmonary Clinic with Dr. Thakur. The Pulmonary Clinic has experienced a 16% increase in visits over the last year. The department supports the Neonatal Resuscitation training for MMH healthcare team, where over 50 employees have received the specialty training.
The Laboratory experienced a busy year in performing over 700,000 tests. MMH Laboratory underwent a four-day survey by the New York State Department of Health receiving full Accreditation status. The four-day reviews all areas of the lab; including: Hematology, Urinalysis, Coagulation, General Chemistry, Special Chemistry, Histology, Microbiology, Blood Bank, Serology, Phlebotomy, Specimen collection and handling, and Quality Management.
Medical Imaging performed 33,577 procedures in 2014. The department provides general, diagnostic, and interventional radiology and other non-radiation imaging support.  High quality imaging services and care is provided in eight (8) diverse imaging modalities including: General Imaging, CT, Mammography, Ultrasound, Echocardiography, Nuclear Medicine, MRI and PET scanning. These services are tied together through a state of the art  Picture Archiving System (PACS) which allows images to be seen by our physicians from multiple terminals throughout the Hospital including the Emergency Department . Medical Imaging continues to be a rapidly evolving specialty – with technological advancements in all modalities.  As Massena Memorial Hospital extends, expands, or adds new services and providers, Medical Imaging will continue to evaluate its equipment and support relative to such changes.  In 2014, Medical Imaging were inspected by  the following state and/or federal entities    FDA Mammography Inspection; Radiation Facility License.  .  Our success in meeting the requirements of these inspections, in which essentially “no stone was left unturned”, is a personal “kudos” to each member of the Medical Imaging team.
The Tender Touches Birthing Center, Perinatal Services, delivered 234 newborn babies in the beautiful maternity center.  The Medical/Surgical and Pediatric Unit is the heart of the facility when speaking about patient care. The healthcare team of nurses, aide, and health unit coordinators treat individuals from three days old to the golden years with a wide variety of surgical procedures and medical conditions.  According to the Chief Nurse Executive, Sue Beaulieu, RN, MSN, FACHE, MMH’s nursing staff is truly the best in the North Country. The staff has an excellent pressure ulcer prevention program that has tremendous positive patient results. Additionally, the Medical/Surgical/Pediatric Unit continues the Patient Bedside Reporting; in which the nurse gives report and updates the next shift nurse on the patient’s condition and tests. This process gives the patient and family the opportunity to participate in their care. We encourage patients to ask questions about their care. Recovery is a team effort and we work every day to ensure our patients questions and concerns are addressed
The Foundation and Auxiliary are our companions in ensuring our traditions live in. Both of these two organizations are made up of hundreds of volunteers who support the hospital in immeasurable efforts throughout the year.
The Auxiliary raises money to buy equipment, but additionally, aids in many volunteer efforts, such as the Gift Shop, the Information Desk, Patient Juice Cart, Scholarships, and Whale Program, and Organ Donation, providing teddy bears and personal pillows for patients, baking for sales and community health fairs and seminars. Auxiliary members provide countless hours to help others and the hospital. In 2014, the theme was “Compassion, Innovation and Dedication” and our Auxiliary certainly has exemplified that theme by their works in our Massena hospital. In 2014, the Auxiliary purchased a Bladder Scanner for the nursing units along with a Verscare Hospital Bed.
In 2014, the hospital offered hundreds of hours of community health education, through health fairs, support groups, tobacco cessation programs, child birth and breast feeding classes, blood drives and more.
Over the decade r the hospital has enjoyed many  successes. We have achieved these successes despite the challenges of shifting reimbursement, changes in the delivery of health services and the economic conditions in our community and throughout New York State.
“Reflecting on my first month here and getting to know the organization, is really getting to know the people, and we’ve got some great people. We’re doing some good things here at Massena Memorial. It’s more setting the direction, a tone and giving people the opportunity to shine at what they do. Aside from running a good organization, the other thing that I’m trying to spend my time on is making sure our community, our employees and staff understand what a great job they’re doing and reestablishing that bond we have internally with our staff and externally with our community so people have confidence,” Wolleben added.
The CEO continued to state, “A priority for 2015 is to make sure to the extent that we can that our expenses are in line with our revenues that we are not spending more than our revenues. We are doing a top-to-bottom review to see if we can make more prudent decisions on expenses. At the same time we’re trying to uncover every opportunity on the revenue side.  And we look forward to continuing to meet the healthcare needs of our communities that we serve and the opportunity to raise our customers’ experiences/satisfaction to new levels. It’s about trust. We know, as a hospital, you are placing your health in our hands. That’s why trust is our most important tradition. Providing excellent healthcare for this community is a tradition of ours too.”


February 2017

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