About Me

My photo
Cape Fear Valley is a 765-bed regional health system serving a six-county region of Southeastern North Carolina, with more than 935,000 patients annually. A private not-for-profit organization and the state’s 9th largest health system, it includes Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, Highsmith-Rainey Specialty Hospital, Cape Fear Valley Rehabilitation Center and Bladen County Hospital.

Monday, July 16, 2012

New Equipment Helps Improve Early Heart Care

FAYETTEVILLE – When a patient is having a heart attack, nearly 85 percent of the damage occurs within the first two hours. That’s why hospitals work so hard to get patients to the cardiac catheterization lab as quickly as possible.
Recently Cape Fear Valley Health added special equipment to its ambulances that can cut this time dramatically. The LIFENET system, from Physio-Control, Inc., was purchased with a $76,640 grant from Cape Fear Valley Health Foundation’s Friends of Children. It allows paramedics to securely transmit EKGs to Emergency Department physicians in real time. The goal is to reduce time to treatment, known as door-to-balloon time (D2B), for patients who experience a dangerous type of heart attack known as STEMI (ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction).

D2B time refers to the interval from patient arrival at the hospital to inflation of the balloon catheter within the patient’s blocked artery – the shorter the D2B time, the greater the chance of survival.
On May 24, this equipment made a difference for 80-year-old Phillip Outterbridge, who lives in western Cumberland County. Outterbridge’s D2B time was an incredible 12 minutes. A 90-minute D2B time has become a core quality measure for The Joint Commission.

It all started when Outterbridge suddenly became weak, started sweating and became short of breathe. The pain in this chest was unrelenting. A widower who lives alone, he called his neighbor to drive him to the hospital. When his neighbor arrived, could tell Outterbridge needed an ambulance and called 911.

First responders from Fayetteville Fire Department’s Station 8 arrived first. Shortly thereafter, EMS arrived and paramedics hooked the patient up to the 12-lead EKG at 1:22 p.m. The Emergency Department physician could see the EKG in real time, and a code STEMI was called at 1:23 p.m. The paramedics began treatment en route to the hospital, giving the patient an aspirin and oxygen.

Bladen Nursing Assistants Honored During Partners In Caring Week

ELIZABETHTOWN - Two Bladen County Hospital nursing assistants were recently honored by Cape Fear Valley Health System during Partners in Caring week.

D’Vora Lennon and Jennifer Parker, both NAII/Unit Clerks, were recognized during a banquet ceremony on Wednesday, June 20, along with other health system staff. Partners in Caring celebrates the achievements of nursing support staff throughout the health system during the past year.

Lennon has been employed with Cape Fear Valley Bladen Healthcare since November 2001. Parker has been employed since November 1995.

Bladen Nurses Honored During Nurses Week

ELIZABETHTOWN – Two Bladen County nurses were recently honored by Cape Fear Valley Health System during national Nurses Week.

Jane Kinlaw, LPN, was one of 12 nurses named an Exemplary Nurse by the health system for 2012. The Bladenboro native works in Bladen Medical Associates’ Bladenboro Office.

The honor was bestowed upon Kinlaw for her consummate compassion both on and off the job. She recently came back to her clinic after hours to help a patient’s family after seeing them in a supermarket. A child in the family was out of asthma medication and the family could not afford a refill.

She also tirelessly reassures nervous patients about medication safety and provides financially strapped patients with the telephone number and address of the local Food Pantry. Kinlaw has worked at the Bladeboro Office for seven years and was nominated for her award by Pearline Grant, M.D.

Allison Strickland, RN, was named Bladen County Hospital’s Nurse of the Year for 2012. The Clarkton native won for her professional dedication and growth during the past two years. 

She chairs the hospital’s Nursing Policies and Procedures committees, as well as the Nursing Peer Review Team. Each committee’s goal is to identify opportunities to improve and enhance nursing care.

Strickland joined Bladen County Hospital in 2009. She works as a Charge Nurse on the hospital’s Surgical Services team and is cross-trained as an Emergency Department and Obstetrics nurse. Her focus is to provide excellent, safe care to patients using her strong clinical nursing background. 

BMA Clinics Earn Recognition For Patient-Centered Care

ELIZABETHTOWN – All three Bladen Medical Associates clinics have received Level 3 (highest level) designation as patient-centered medical home programs by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).

The three-year designation is provided through the Physician Practice Connections-Patient Centered Medical Home (PPC-PCMH) program. It recognizes facilities that use evidence-based, patient-centered processes to address a patient’s entire range of healthcare needs, including disease prevention, early detection and care coordination.

The three Bladen Medical Associates clinics recognized are in Elizabethtown, Bladenboro and Dublin. Each demonstrated the ability to promote partnerships between patients and their clinicians, instead of emphasizing episodic office visits, which improves patient care quality and efficiency. 

State Approves New Cape Fear Valley Hospital

FAYETTEVILLE – State officials have approved Cape Fear Valley Health’s request to build a new 65-bed hospital, adjacent to Health Pavilion North, to better serve the growing healthcare needs of northern Cumberland and southern Harnett counties.

The planned hospital will include 57 medical/surgical inpatient beds, eight intensive care beds, seven observation beds, a 20-bed Emergency Department, two operating rooms, imaging services, laboratory and other ancillary services. 

Cape Fear Valley Health originally submitted a Certificate of Need (CON) requesting the hospital last June. Under N.C. law, state regulators must approve new hospitals to prevent expensive and unnecessary duplication of healthcare services. 

The new hospital would complement Health Pavilion North’s existing services, which include a cancer center, physical and occupational therapy, ExpressCare, pharmacy, laboratory, CT, ultrasound, X-ray and offices for family practice and pediatrics.

“We are very excited,” said Mike Nagowski, CEO of Cape Fear Valley Health, “ about bringing the first new civilian hospital to Cumberland County in more than 50 years.”

Cape Fear Valley Receives Heart Surgery’s 
Highest Ranking

FAYETTEVILLE – Cape Fear Valley Heart & Vascular Center has been awarded a “3-star” rating, the highest rating possible, for quality in cardiac surgery by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS). The ratings system is the gold standard for rating cardiac surgery programs in the U.S.

Cape Fear Valley received its overall quality rating for surgeries performed between Jan. 1, 2011 and Dec. 31, 2011, the latest data period available.

The STS developed the comprehensive rating system to allow for comparisons regarding the quality of cardiac surgery among US. Hospitals. Just 14 percent of hospitals nationwide received the 3-star rating.

More than 6,400 cardiothoracic surgeons nationwide participate in the ratings program by voluntarily submitting patient outcomes data. The data criteria includes patient survival for at least 30 days after surgery, absence of surgical complications, usage of recommended medications, and employing optimal surgical techniques.

Cape Fear Valley Physician Appointed National President of Sleep Medicine Academy

FAYETTEVILLE – Sam Fleishman, M.D., has been elected President of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). His one-year term began June 1.

Dr. Fleishman is Medical Director of Cape Fear Valley Sleep Center and Behavioral Health Care. He is a Fayetteville native and has spent his entire 17-year medical career at Cape Fear Valley.

He is board certified in the Specialty of Sleep Medicine, a diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. 

Established in 1975, the AASM is the only professional society dedicated exclusively to the medical subspecialty of sleep medicine. The organization includes 8500 physicians, researchers and healthcare professionals dedicated to diagnosing and treating sleep disorders such as insomnia, narcolepsy and sleep apnea.