Sacred Heart Health System

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The U.S. Senate is immersed in work on reforming healthcare, and at the same time dismantling the Affordable Care Act. And the chamber faces a long road ahead.

Florida’s two senators voted on either side of the measure, as expected. Republican Marco Rubio has been a longtime opponent of ACA.

escambia.floridahealth.gov

Beginning next month, kids from low-income families in the western Panhandle will get better access to medical and dental care.

Sacred Heart Health System’s Pediatric Care Center is moving from its Pensacola campus to the Florida Department of Health-Escambia’s main office on West Fairfield, to join in a new partnership with Escambia Community Clinics.

“We’ve partnered with Sacred Heart on a couple of venues with residency, one being internal medicine, and then the OB-GYN,” said ECC Executive Director Chandra Smiley.

sacred-heart.org

Sacred Heart Health System and University of Florida Health formally announce a new kidney transplant program in Northwest Florida – just over a month after the first such procedure was performed here.

Forty-seven-year-old Renwick Avant received a kidney on February 2, more than seven years after being diagnosed with end-stage renal disease, and four years after beginning dialysis treatments.

“I started dialysis January 15, 2013; I remember the day,” said Avant. “Three days a week, I was on the dialysis machine for three hours and 45 minutes each time.”

baptisthealth.net

Chest pains and head injuries require immediate, emergency care. But not necessarily a sinus infection or sprained ankle. The question is: how do you make the right health care choice when time and expense are of the essence?

Patients have a choice of emergency rooms, walk-in care centers or seeing their primary physician. But many are in the dark over what an emergency is and what urgency is.

nemours.org

Last week we brought you the story of Sacred Heart Health System ending its 19-year affiliation with Nemours Children’s Health System, from the Sacred Heart side. Now we hear from Nemours.

Sacred Heart sent out an RFP, Request for Proposals, which was answered by Nemours, University of Florida Health and some others. UF Health won out, and begins their partnership with Sacred Heart on January 1.

Nemours Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Mary Mehta, wants to make it clear that this wasn’t their idea.

Covenant Care

Covenant Care and Sacred Heart Hospital are collaborating on a new program to address the needs of end-of-life patients and their families.

Covenant will open a 10,000 square foot center on the first floor of Sacred Heart’s Pensacola campus. President and CEO Jeff Mislevy says it will be fully staffed, with patients and families receiving round-the-clock hospice and palliative care services.

There’s a change in the lineup on the horizon at Sacred Heart Health System, in the area of child health care. 

Work is underway to finalize a contract with Gainesville-based University of Florida Health, as the deal with longtime provider Nemours is set to expire at year’s end after 19 years. Susan Davis is Sacred Heart Health System President and CEO.  

hhs.gov

 Sacred Heart Medical Group has been approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to participate in a new program called the Million Hearts Initiative, part of a nationwide initiative to prevent one-million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. Dr. Andrew Henson, a family physician at Sacred Heart Medical Group in Pace, shared information about the progarm. You can learn more about the program at millionhearts.hhs.gov.

Photo via Flickr// CharlieBoy808 / https://flic.kr/p/qqy1P2

Old Man Winter’s expected to stick around at least until mid-week, and many residents are seeking ways to stay a bit warmer. The key is not just staying warm – but staying warm safely.

Each winter, there are a few days where northwest Florida chills out – literally. Dave Eversole at the National Weather Service in Mobile says at- or below-freezing temperatures and wind chills will be the norm over the next few nights, after temperatures plummeted late last week.

Sacred Heart Hospital

Officials at Sacred Heart Health System are in the midst of observing their past, while also looking to the future. On Monday, they announced plans for a major expansion of pediatric health care in the region to include construction of a new children’s hospital.

Photo via Flickr// Jessica Whittle Photography & Sacred Heart Health Systems / https://flic.kr/p/5gSEoL

Sacred Heart Health System marked a century of service earlier this month. On Sunday, its 100th birthday party was thrown at Bayfront Stadium.

The home of the Pensacola Blue Wahoos was transformed into a party venue, with jump houses, air slides a bungee trampoline and other attractions for the kids, and reduced price food and drink for all.

Among those enjoying the late summer sunshine was Karen Porter, a 37-year associate at Sacred Heart. She talked about seeing the technological evolution in healthcare.

Dave Dunwoody

Florida Surgeon General John Armstrong is visiting the state’s coastal counties, as part of his “Health in All Places Tour.”

Sacred Heart President Henry Stovall welcomed Armstrong to Pensacola, saying that he has shown strong support for its recent designation as a “Baby-Friendly” hospital – through a program launched by the World Health Organization and UNICEF in 1991.

Baptist Medical Group

Two non-profit hospitals in Pensacola will be major beneficiaries in the Florida Legislature’s plan to fill a $1.2 billion hole in the federal Low Income Pool program.

The $400 million in state money taking up part of the slack is aimed at attracting other federal funds for two purposes: to offset the federal LIP decrease, and raise Medicaid payments for all hospitals in the state.

sacred-heart.org

Uncle Sam is offering a one billion dollar compromise to Florida, regarding the Low Income Pool – which is provided to hospitals to help pay for uninsured and under-insured patients and is scheduled to expire on June 30 if not renewed.

State Senator Don Gaetz made the announcement on Thursday, adding that there are a number of conditions. One is that the LIP money must follow the patient. That’s a catch he says the state has known about for some time.

ricksblog.biz

Gov. Rick Scott's newly created Commission on Healthcare and Hospital Funding met for the first time on Wednesday. But hospitals have met his request for information by essentially telling him to look it up himself. That includes at least one Pensacola-area facility.

Many of the dozens of surveys returned by hospitals have five or fewer of the roughly 100 lines filled out with new information. Many referred Scott to data already on file with the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration.

Sacred Heart Health Systems

  Sacred Heart Health System is teaming up with a pair of Escambia County elementary schools, to promote healthy behavior and lifestyle habits.

Using a $50,000 grant from Sacred Heart’s parent firm Ascension Health, the “Healthy Schools” program involves Holm and O.J. Semmes. Director Janice Hall says the two schools were picked according to student need, school ranking and prior relationships with the hospital.

Linda Dunwoody

Sacred Heart Health System Friday unveiled new, state-of-the-art vehicles for the hospital-to-hospital transport of newborns through age 18, to and from Children’s Hospital in Pensacola.

“That’s what this is all about,” said Sacred Heart Hospital President Henry Stovall. “It’s about children who are in crisis, families who are in an emergency. And they look to the Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart for help. Sometimes, desperate help.”

In light of reports of the handful of Ebola cases elsewhere in the US, healthcare workers in Florida and Pensacola are making their own preparations just in case. However, there have been no Ebola cases here, or in the rest of Florida.

Suspected Ebola cases reported in Miami and Jacksonville this week turned out to be something else. Governor Rick Scott last week asked hospitals across Florida – large and small -- to require that their healthcare professionals undergo safety training to guard against Ebola measure.

   Nobody has a good time at the emergency room. And time after time, one of the mosts consistent complaints ER patients have had is the long wait to see a doctor. Now, there's a new trend that is spreading to hospitals nationwide: waiting for you emergency room visit at home.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF News

Sacred Heart Health System dedicated its new Bayou Tower facility on the main campus in Pensacola on Friday. WUWF’s Dave Dunwoody reports the major expansion adds five stories to its Heart and Vascular facility.

The $52 million project – dubbed Bayou Tower – adds another 112 beds to Sacred Heart’s main hospital. The cost was paid from reserves and private donations, with no added debt. In 2012, Interim CEO Susan Davis said the addition would create what she called “the patient experience of the future.”

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