Waldo County Dental Care was honored April 16 by the Daniel Hanley Center of Health Leadership with an award for Exceptional Leadership and Service in Health Equity and Health Disparities. The presentation of the prestigious Hanley Center Honors was made to four individuals, organizations or collaboratives, who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership in addressing health disparities and ensuring greater equity here in Maine.
Waldo County Dental Care was introduced as “an innovative collaborative effort of Waldo County General Hospital (WCGH), committed members of its Board of Directors, and private dentists in the Waldo County area to address the health disparity in dental care for low income and uninsured individuals in their community.” Prior to the initiation of this project, WCGH’s Emergency Department reported that for 18-45 year olds the most common reason for emergency care was acute dental pain and infection, which could not be definitively managed in the ED and often led to the need for extraction.
After planning in 2012, the Waldo County Dental Care program began providing services in August 2013. The goal of the collaborative has been to create a self-sustaining and replicable model where a community comes together to take care of its own.
The Registered Dental Hygienist at Waldo County Dental Care does dental cleanings, x-rays, screenings, fluoride treatments, sealants, temporary fillings, oral health instruction, and a referral for further care by a dentist, if needed.
To qualify, an individual must:
• not have seen a dentist in the past 12 months;
• live in Waldo County;
• meet federal income guidelines (for family of four that is $41,213); and
• be at least age 18.
Depending on the family’s income level, there is a sliding copay of between $10 and $20.
Also honored at the Hanley Recognition Dinner were the Maine Migrant Health Program, United Somali Women of Maine and Marjorie Withers of the Community Caring Collaborative in Washington County.
The award was presented at a dinner and reception held at the Portland Marriott At Sable Oaks in South Portland.
The Daniel Hanley Center for Health Leadership is a nonprofit, independent, statewide organization dedicated to supporting the transformation of Maine’s health and healthcare sectors.
Coastal Maine Center for Breast Health, part of the radiology department at Waldo County General Hospital, is now a Certified Quality Breast Center of Excellence, the highest level of certification by the National Quality Measures for Breast Cancer (NQMBC).
“This is a marker for us; a recognition for the community,” says Dr. Nancy Webb, a radiologist who has specialized in women’s breast health for the past 15 years. “We wanted the community to know that we do quality work.”
Getting that designation was the result of efforts and support by a number of people. First, there was the task force of all those involved with breast health, including surgeons, primary care doctors and oncology staff. That formed four years ago. The goal was to coordinate efforts and to get recognition for the quality work that was taking place.
The group wanted to compare its efforts with those of similar sized hospitals and NQMBC seemed the way to do that based on its mission “to empower breast centers of all types and sizes with the ability to measure and improve quality of care provided to breast center patients.” They do that by identifying quality care measures, providing immediate access to information and allowing breast centers to compare their performance with other centers across the United States.
In January 2007, Dr. Webb returned to WCGH where she was a staff radiologist from 1995-1998. She had spent several of the intervening years as Director of Women’s Imaging for The Breast Care Center and Cape Cod Radiology Associates in Hyannis, Mass. In March 2007, the Imaging Department upgraded its mammography to digital. That was done, not because of the task force which hadn’t even formed yet, but because, according to Ann Hooper RTR(M), head of the Imaging Department, “We were keeping up with good techniques and standards of care.”
Ann Hooper and Dr. Webb recognized that the department was “already doing most of the things it needed to do to be a Center of Excellence” so they pushed to increase the quality a little bit and to get the recognition the department deserved.
In March 2011, Ann Hooper RTR(M) and Dr. Webb headed to the 21st annual National Interdisciplinary Breast Center Conference in Arizona. When they returned, Hooper was a certified Breast Cancer Navigator and Dr. Webb had completed an Assuring Quality Breast Program.
In June 2011, Kim Lenfestey, LMSW, was hired as the Hospital’s first Breast Care Navigator. In that position she helps breast cancer patients and their families to navigate through the maze of healthcare options, from diagnosis to survivorship. She is also available for support to women who are fearful of developing breast cancer based on family history. She has been instrumental in providing Telegenetic counseling for all oncology patients at the Hospital.
Another member of the mammography team is Danielle Wight, RTR(M), the radiology team leader for mammography. She is responsible for keeping the necessary data for NQMBC and making sure all state regulations are adhered to. Mammography is heavily regulated and a recent state inspection found absolutely no problems, which is unusual. Hooper says. “Not even any little dings. That’s Danielle. It really is a team.”
For her part, Danielle says, “I’m proud to be part of a team that does such a good job and is recognized for quality care.” She helps Dr. Webb coordinate education sessions with the nine registered mammography technicians in the imaging department to keep them up to date on any proposed changes and to reinforce good techniques.
Other members of the team include Radiologists Dr. Gregory Grotz and Dr. Tom Jones, the general surgeons and the oncology department. Hooper says they are also fortunate to have the support of the administration to work toward becoming a Center of Excellence.
“I’m proud to have this certification,” says Hooper. “It reinforces that we provide a community service and gives us good accountability.”
An Intensive Care Unit charge nurse and a CNA from the Women and Infants Healthcare Unit at Waldo County General Hospital (WCGH) were honored May 6 with the 2014 Nurse and CNA Excellence Awards.
The Nurse Excellence Award was won by Rebecca Slaughter RN, who has been at WCGH since September 2008 while Paige Emerson CNA, who recently finished her second year at WCGH was named the 2014 CNA Excellence Award winner.
In announcing the 2014 Nurse Excellence Award winner, Chief Nursing Officer Heather Quesnel RN, said of Slaughter: (She) was nominated by a peer who said she “is a calm, confident caregiver who enables patients and their families to become calmer and less frightened. She is able to teach patients and families, at their level of understanding, the things they need to know and do to facilitate their plan of care and make their hospital stay a positive experience. She treats all patients and peers with respect and maintains the Waldo County culture of BEST.”
Nominated by several of her coworkers, Slaughter was described as someone who frequently volunteers for committees, teaches classes, and is always ready to help a fellow nurse.
Another wrote, “As charge nurse in ICU, Becky has always shown the utmost respect for patients and their families. If there are four patients in ICU, she is constantly aware of what is going on with all the patients. Becky has had to work with very challenging patients in ICU and she treats everyone with equal respect regarding their care, safety and dignity.”
Another colleague wrote: “Becky exemplifies the saying ‘lead by example.’ She is patient, kind, and knowledgeable. She is willing to share her knowledge and is inclusive towards her co-workers.” And another said, “She will advocate for patients.”
In making the announcement of the CNA Excellence Award winner, Quesnel said Emerson had been described as “a bright, thoughtful, caring and hardworking CNA. She goes beyond her expected duties and is always looking for projects to do when the unit census is low.
She is going to school fulltime to become an RN and seems to be fully committed to this goal. She will make a great RN someday!”
Another co-worker wrote, “Paige is well organized, anticipates what’s needed and is a team player. She is articulate and professional yet very engaging and smart. The details matter for Paige, so she’s intuitively committed to patient safety and family centered care. Paige will be a great nurse.”
The other nominees for the 2014 Nurse Excellence Award were Kim Blanchard, Frankie Gillett, Kitty Higgins, Chelsea Howard, Denise Lindahl, and Marilyn Knowlton. The other nominees for the CNA award were Janice Boetsch, and Misty Moulton. These nominees were recognized by their co-workers as outstanding in their field.
The criteria for the awards are:
• demonstration of leadership at the bedside;
• commitment to professional development; and
• dedication to high quality,safe patient and family-centered care.
This is the third year that Waldo County General Hospital has awarded the Nurse and CNA Excellence Awards. Previous winners include Carol Knight LPN, Sandra Weagle RN, Cheryl Lucas CNA and Taylor Garcelon CNA.
Recently, Linda Hartkopf, the RSU 20 5-2-1-0 School Health Coordinator, whose position is funded by Waldo County General Hospital, challenged the Belfast Co-op to come up with a recipe using beans as an alternative protein that was economical, could be easily made by the RSU 20 food service, meet the My Plate standards (a majority of fruits, vegetables, protein and grain on the plate with a side of dairy) and would be enjoyed by students.
The Co-op developed a Mexican Lasagna made with beans, a corn tortilla, veggies and a light cheese on top. Then she visited the Captain Albert Stevens School and East Belfast School in Belfast, and the Drinkwater School in Northport and had the students taste test the dish.
After hearing about My Plate and what they should be eating for a balanced diet, the students gave the dish a try.
Top photo, first grader Sam Kirkpatrick of Belfast toys with the lasagna a little before taking a taste. Then after discussing it with some of his tablemates, Sam gives the dish a thumbs up. He was joined in voting to ask that the dish be put on the school lunch menu by 90 percent of the students.
The third annual Cardiac Rehab 5K was held May 3 with some 65 walkers taking part. Proceeds will benefit the Phase III scholarship fund. Below are the volunteers who turned out to help. An estimated $700 was raised at the annual event.
The Penobscot Marine Museum nowhas four historic photos on display at the Hospital. Shown with the photos are Kevin Johnson, Photo Archivist at the musuem, and Rob Fowler RN, Director of Quality at the Hospital. The photos will rotate every quarter.