March 2016 Edition - Health Matters

The latest news on the health and wellness issues that matter most • March 2016 Health Matters

Weiss said that your zip code is more important to your health than your genetic code. “Where you live – in Southwest Florida, for us – adds a decade to your life,” he said. NCH excels in the area of orthopedics with a full slate of services and top orthopedic physicians. “One out of eight patients is coming to NCH from the upper Midwest and the northeast – all via word of mouth referral,” said Weiss.

“And, folks can now stay in town to receive top-flight neo-natal care with great results,” said Weiss. “In pediatrics, we are now able to care for newborns as young as 27 weeks and as small as 1000 grams. We have 24/7 in-house neonatologists and 24/7 anesthesiologists. And the Pediatric Emergency Department, staffed by physicians like Pia Myers, MD, also offers unparalleled, exemplary service.” Another major milestone was reached in January with the dedication of the newly expanded and renamed NCH Growney Pulmonary Center at the North Naples campus. “It will foster camaraderie among folks challenged with similar limitations,” said Weiss, “providing both a psychological component in a shared motivational experience as well as the physical benefits of new, state-of-the-art strength training equipment.” Also, the NCH Brookdale Geriatric Center is establishing a support group for caregivers who experience burnout in caring for elderly family members, and for the healthy spouse who falls ill caring for their ailing spouse. Weiss said the organization also has expansion plans for in-patient palliative care services, which is going to increase to more than twice its current size, as well as expanding into out-patient palliative care. “We have an aging population,” explained Weiss of the expansion effort. “10,000 people will turn 65 every day nationwide for the next 19 years, and 800 move into Florida daily. As people are suffering long-term, the question is how to make life better for those medically challenged.” Dr. Weiss explained that digitalization, with technologies like OPTIMETRIX, provides the ability to collect data and turn that into useful information. “With this technology, we can keep people healthy; we can tell if people are going to get a blood stream infection 12 hours beforehand, and we can prevent the whole downturn,” Weiss said. Weiss said that none of this could have been accomplished without the NCH Healthcare System’s support arm, the NCH Foundation. “The Foundation is passionate and effective in sharing our message and creating friends,” said Weiss. They are truly the lifeblood of NCH Healthcare System.”  Commendation from the Joint Commission (JCAHO)  Recognized by Thomson Reuters  Recognized by National Research Corporation  Recognized as one of the top ten hospitals in Florida by U.S. News &World Report  Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval for Joint Replacement Programs  National Accreditation from the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons  National Hospital Safety Score of “A” from The Leapfrog Group NCH NOTABLE AWARDS AND ACCOLADES NCH IS STRONG, IT IS VITAL, AND IT IS ONLY GETTING BETTER.

F rom a single building with 50 beds, NCH Healthcare System has a lot to celebrate on the occasion of its 60th anniversary, having grown into a dual campus medical facility with 716 beds and 4,300 colleagues. It’s a milestone never imagined in its early days. Allen S. Weiss, MD, helms the non-profit organization as President and CEO, with 15 years of service to the Naples community. Under his leadership, NCH has continued to flourish, standing firm as a national leader in the provision of excellence in healthcare. “Demonstrated quality, operational efficiency and fiscal responsibility are the foundational pillars of our operation,” said Weiss. “Demonstrated quality is mission one. If you don’t have quality healthcare, then you cannot be operationally efficient or fiscally responsible.” Weiss said that when he became involved in NCH Healthcare System in 2000, the organization wanted to demonstrate quality, and began working very objectively in the area of cardiac disease – striving to achieve a rapid response to patients suffering from heart attacks. After the Code Save-A-Heart program was initiated, the death rate from heart disease – the second leading cause of death to cancer – changed at NCH. Weiss said that changing the death rate improved Collier County’s ranking by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which ranks all 67 Florida counties as well as 3,200 counties nationwide on Health Outcomes. For the last six years, Collier County ranked 1-1-4-3-2-2 in the state of Florida – an amazing accomplishment. In 2003, NCH earned its first award for quality in cardiology and cardiac mortality. “After that, we got more and more into quality metrics, and early on, we were hugely digital, in terms of using computerization before it was so well accepted,” said Weiss. “Then our reputation improved, we experienced great patient growth, and we changed from being financially precarious to financially secure.” Three years ago, U.S. News and World Report ranked NCH number 22 in the state of Florida, then 17 in 2014, and this past year, NCH tied for ninth place with Cleveland Clinic in Weston. “Cardiac care has been our strong suit and we have won the best in cardiac care several times,” said Weiss with pride. “NCH Heart Institute is our flagship service, and we are making huge headway in terms of overall objective outcomes for heart disease in the area.”

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