MKC employees help brighten the holidays with donationsMKC employees are giving back this holiday season by purchasing gifts for those who are less fortunate by donating to Angel Tree programs throughout MKC’s territory.MKC’s Community Involvement Committee coordinated the company’s participation in the program. According to committee member Matt Henderson, the committee committed to providing 119 gifts. While many Angel Tree programs often provide for toys and clothing for children, MKC employees chose to provide clothing as gifts.“We know there are families struggling to provide gifts for their children,” stated Henderson. “We just wanted to make sure their Christmas was a little bit brighter.”Two APRNs to join Newton Medical Center’s hospitalist programTwo Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) have joined the Newton Medical Center hospitalist program, effective Nov. 5. Karen Lehman and Tamara Shaw have been working on a PRN basis — filling in for staff clinicians — in Newton Medical Center’s Emergency Department for several years.“We feel that with this addition to our hospitalist program, we will continue delivering family and community hospital care services based on our values of respect, excellence, service and trust,” said Jeff Barton, Newton Medical Center vice president of patient services.In addition to her emergency medicine experience, Lehman recently worked with an orthopaedic group in Wichita. She is a Bethel College School of Nursing graduate who received her advanced practice degree from Wichita State University. She resides in Newton with her husband and two children.Shaw is also experienced in emergency medicine and has been working full time for the past seven years in the emergency departments of Via Christi’s St. Francis and St. Joseph campuses. She is a graduate of Bethel College School of Nursing and received her advanced practice degree from Wichita State University. She, along with her husband and four children, is a resident of Newton.Hospitalist programs are generally acknowledged to improve patient care. As Newton Medical Center’s hospitalist program continues to expand — in part due to assuming responsibility for the care of patients admitted by Newton Via Christi Clinic primary care physicians — the hospital is bringing Lehman and Shaw onboard to support the growing caseload.APRNs practice in an expanded role as nurse clinicians who deliver patient care under an approved protocol and in collaboration with Newton Medical Center hospitalist physicians Dr. Carrie Bateman and Dr. Doyle Detweiler.Central Homecare recognized as 2012 HHCAHPS Honors recipientCentral Homecare has been named a 2012 HHCAHPS Honors recipient, a prestigious award recognizing home health agencies that provide the best patient experience. HHCAHPS is the Home Health Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems.Established by Deyta, this annual honor acknowledges the top 20 percent of agencies that continuously provide the highest level of satisfaction through their care as measured from the patient’s point of view.The HHCAHPS Honors identifies the highest performing agencies ranked by analyzing satisfaction measures covering both performance and improvement of care over a twelve-month period. Central is one of just eight home health agencies in Kansas to be recognized.“The HHCAHPS Honors defines a new standard of excellence in the patient experience for home health agencies,” said Bill Bassett, Deyta’s vice president of home health. “Identifying the top-performers in the home health industry is our way of recognizing HHAs that are dedicated to providing high quality of care in a patient-centric approach. The resulting patient experience is a key driver of ongoing patient and agency success.”The HHCAHPS Honors rankings were compiled from the HHCAHPS survey results of more than 1,800 home health agencies from April 2011 to March 2012. Two domains of performance were used in the calculations covering the 19 questions that comprise the five publically reported measures on Home Health Compare.Robert Carlton, executive director of Central Homecare, credits the professionalism and dedication of the staff to excellence in patient care."We have been measuring patient satisfaction for many years with excellent results, and are gratified to be named an HHCAHPS Honors agency,” said Carlton. “It is especially fitting to receive this honor during National Home Care Month. Home health care and other home services will become even more important in the days to come, as more health care dollars will be allocated to home-based services."He added that even complex care can be managed in the home with today’s technology, and the number of preventable hospital admissions can be reduced significantly with appropriate home health care. To that end, Central has entered into a coalition with Newton Medical Center, Asbury Park, Kansas Christian Home, Kidron-Bethel Retirement Community, Newton Presbyterian Manor and Schowalter Villa.Jennifer Floerke, RN, clinical coordinator for Central Homecare, noted that initiatives such as a transition program from hospital to home are being developed across the country.“We are looking forward to implementing that kind of program, helping people dismissed from the hospital to have a successful recovery at home,” stated Floerke.To learn more about Central Homecare, visit their web site at www.centralhomecare.org or call 283-8220.