St. Joseph's Announces Innovative ALTO Program

CCB Exterior 02St. Joseph’s Healthcare System has officially announced ALTOSM, Alternatives to Opiates Program, which opened the Legislative Summit hosted by St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center.

The first program of its kind in the United States, ALTOSM is led by Dr. Mark Rosenberg, Chairman of Emergency Medicine and Medical Director for Population Health at St. Joseph’s Healthcare System and spearheaded by Dr. Alexis LaPietra, Medical Director of Pain Management in the Emergency Department at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center. The ingenuity of these thought-leaders to stem the use of opiates whenever possible in our Emergency Department, led National, State and Local Legislators and leaders in Behavioral Health, Law Enforcement and the healthcare industry to St. Joseph’s in praise of this program and our organization.

The ALTOSM Program was launched in the ED in early January 2016, with 300+ patients treated with alternative protocols since then, patients who did not receive opioids when they previously would have been treated with opioids. The ALTOSM Program uses targeted non-opioid medications, trigger point injections, nitrous oxide, and ultrasound guided nerve blocks to tailor its patients’ pain management needs and avoid opioids whenever possible, for example, in cases of kidney stones, acute low back pain, broken bones, acute headache and migraine pain. 

A model for other hospitals and healthcare providers nationwide, the Emergency Department at St. Joseph’s - the busiest ED in New Jersey with more 158,000 patient visits in 2015 - is an innovator in Emergency Medicine, having established such programs as the first Geriatric Emergency Department in the US, the first ED-based Palliative Care Program (Life Sustaining Management and Alternatives) in the US, and now, the ALTOSM program.

The Summit was attended by nearly 200 people, including Senator Cory Booker, Senator Bob Menendez, Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr., Senator Ray Lesniak, NJ State Department of Health Acting Commissioner Cathleen Bennett, President of the American Osteopathic Association Dr. John Becher, President of the NJ Hospital Association Betsy Ryan, and other Federal, State and Local leaders.

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ALTO - Alternatives to Opiates Program

The Emergency Department (ED) at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center is the first in the Nation to develop and implement ALTOSM, the Alternatives to Opiates Program, a highly successful unique alternative approach to acute pain management without the use of opioids and the potential addictions associated with opioid use. 
 
The ALTOSM Program was launched in the ED in early January 2016, with 300+ patients treated with alternative protocols since then, patients who did not receive opioids when they previously would have been treated with opioids. The ALTOSM Program uses targeted non-opioid medications, trigger point injections, nitrous oxide, and ultrasound guided nerve blocks to tailor its patients’ pain management needs and avoid opioids whenever possible, for example, in cases of kidney stones, acute low back pain, broken bones, acute headache and migraine pain. 
 
A model for other hospitals and healthcare providers nationwide, the Emergency Department at St. Joseph’s - the busiest ED in New Jersey with more 158,000 patient visits in 2015 - is an innovator in Emergency Medicine, having established such programs as the first Geriatric Emergency Department in the US, the first ED-based Palliative Care Program (Life Sustaining Management and Alternatives) in the US, and now, the ALTOSM program.
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SJHS is Among Nation's 150 Great Places to Work in Healthcare

IMG 4972For the 5th time, St. Joseph’s Healthcare System has been named among the nation’s 150 Great Places to Work in Healthcare by Becker's Hospital Review/Becker's ASC Review for providing outstanding benefits, workplace culture, professional development opportunities and excellent work environments that promote employee collaboration and satisfaction.

According to Becker’s, St. Joseph’s Healthcare System offers a full spectrum of health benefits with the addition of legal protection, supplemental disability, critical illness and group accident options. The system's wellness-at-work program sponsors free or hospital subsidized health activities for employees, including on-site weight loss and nutritional support programs, health screenings and routine vaccinations in addition to wellness programs for physical and emotional support. In 2015, St. Joseph's Healthcare System had an employee retention rate of 87.6 percent and a nursing vacancy rate of 2.9 percent.

Other top tier healthcare organizations selected along with SJHS as among the 2016 150 Great Places to Work in Healthcare list include Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA; Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH; Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN; MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX; Methodist Health System, Dallas, TX; and Miami Children’s Health System, Miami, FL.

About Becker’s Hospital Review and Becker’s ASC Review

Becker's Hospital Review: Becker's Hospital Review features up-to-date business and legal news and analysis relating to hospitals and health systems. Content is geared toward high-level hospital leaders (CEOs, CFOs, COOs, CMOs, CIOs, etc.), and we work to provide valuable content, including hospital and health system news, best practices and legal guidance specifically for these decision-makers. Each of the 12 annual issues of Becker's Hospital Review reaches a qualified audience of approximately 18,500 healthcare leaders. 

Becker's ASC Review: Becker's ASC Review features general business, legal and clinical guidance on topics relevant to outpatient surgery including joint-ventures, development and expansion, and regulatory and compliance issues; as well as analysis and insight for specialties including bariatrics, orthopedics and spine, gastroenterology, neurosurgery, ophthalmology, ENT and anesthesiology. Each of the nine annual issues of the publication reaches a qualified audience of more than 25,000 key ASC leaders, including surgeons, medical directors, directors of surgery and ASC administrators. Further, every ASC in the nation receives Becker's ASC Review. 

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Passion for Patient Care Revolutionizes Vascular Access

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First of its type in US, St. Joseph’s Vascular Access Team utilizes ultrasound guided IV technology, drastically improving accuracy and ease of “needle sticks”

 

Recognized as 2016 NJBIZ Healthcare Hero

St. Joseph’s Healthcare System is the Winner of the 2016 NJBIZ Healthcare Hero Award, Innovation/Organization Category, for its trendsetting Vascular Access Program. The first-of-its-kind sterile ultrasound-guided program in the United States, the Vascular Access Program increases the accuracy and ease of “needle sticks,” drastically enhancing the patient and provider experience in procedures from blood draws and peripheral IVs, to arterial lines and PICC lines.

The 10th annual NJBIZ Healthcare Heroes awards program honors individuals and organizations that are making a significant impact on the quality of health care in New Jersey. Finalists were recognized and category winners announced during the NJBIZ Healthcare Heroes Awards breakfast and ceremony held on June 21, 2016.

A Certified Registered Nurse of Infusion Therapy, Board Certified in Vascular Access, Matthew Ostroff approached clinical leadership at St. Joseph’s with this technology, illustrating how it can have success throughout the system, ranging from emergency department services to surgery to pediatrics and beyond.

“Once we saw an opportunity to change how we treat patients with this process, we moved quickly,” said Judy Padula, Vice President, Chief Nursing Officer, St. Joseph’s Healthcare System. “Cost savings, time savings, heightened quality of patient care…we knew that we wanted St. Joseph’s to be at the forefront of this technology, and we had phenomenal talent spearheading it.” St. Joseph’s is the first hospital in the country to have a vascular access team placing sterile ultrasound guided peripheral IVs.

In medical terms, the overall goal of the Vascular Access Program is “vessel preservation,” which can prove invaluable in the short- and long-term care of patients needing multiple/ongoing treatments. From circulation issues in a geriatric patient, an obese patient, a newborn, or a patient receiving bloodwork every week, there are many reasons patients may have difficulty with vascular access. With ultra-sound guided vessel location, nurses, doctors and technicians significantly increase their ability to locate a vessel and access it on the first try, even with difficult-access patients, and prevents the need for more invasive types of catheters such as midlines, PICC lines and central lines.

“Anyone who ever sat through nurses making multiple IV needle sticks understands the value of ultrasound-guided vascular access, but this goes much deeper than an annoying hour trying to draw a few vials of blood or an arm that is bruised for a day or two,” said Vascular Access Coordinator Matthew ­­­­­­Ostroff. “In fact, we recently helped a 2-year-old pediatric oncology patient who was transferred to us from another local hospital because they were unable to successfully grant IV access after 8 attempts. It was after 10 p.m. when I got the call and we were able to place a line in just one stick.”

“Every time we eliminate a stick, our team celebrates a little bit,” said ­­­­Judy Padula. “Not because we ourselves succeeded, but because we can see the relief in the patient’s eyes… we can see their pain cease. That first stick, so to speak, sets the tone for the rest of a patient’s hospital stay. Plus, it means we freed up nursing staff so they can get on with their core jobs and attend to more patients.”

Time-savings is another huge value of the Vascular Access Program. In this case time is measured on many levels, from the minutes and possibly hours it may take to gain vascular access in a difficult patient, to the days that access may require. “In the past, procedures and tests on patients who have vascular access difficulties were dependent on the availability of access,” Ostroff explained. “Our bedside capability eliminates delays and allows more time for immediate care of the patient.”

No More Tears: After 16 Years, Ultrasound Guided IV Technology Changes the Game

Sixteen-year-old Ziaira Dollar has been receiving IV treatments on a regular basis since infancy, the repetitive needle sticks making vascular access increasingly more difficult. For the teen, it wasn’t unusual for inserting a needle to take upward of 20 minutes, require countless sticks and bring tears from the sheer frustration and pain. That all changed when she met Matt and his Vascular Access Team, and had her first one-stick, five-minutes-or-less experience.

“It was heartbreaking to watch her go through the process of being stuck multiple times just to gain access,” said Mary Cadet, Ziaira Dollar’s guardian. “Now, thanks to Matt and the ultrasound-guided technology, it is beyond soothing as a parent to know that your child won’t be going through additional pain and that the job is going to get done with one stick.”

From the very first time Ziaira met Matt she was in awe, and considers the technology a game changer in her young life. “He can actually look at the screen, see how deep my veins go, and know exactly where to put the needle,” said Ziaira. “If kids knew what Matt can do they’d all ask for him.”

Ostroff explains that, in a case like Ziaira’s, frequent IVs cause the veins to get tired and “used up,” making them more difficult to locate. Moreover, because of Ziaira’s condition, it’s imperative to preserve large veins in case of emergency.

“Mapping out exactly where to find smaller vascular access is crucial with a patient like Ziaira,” said Ostroff. “We’re the catalyst that gets patients to their treatment and now that we have the technology for success in just one stick, we can get them there even faster. The medical service and emotional relief we provide patients like Ziaira and her mother are exactly why we do this. It’s why I come in on a Sundayand why I encourage patients to call me if they’re coming in. For difficult-access patients, it’s worth going the extra mile to bring the relief faster and with less pain than they are used to.”

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Now that’s Community Spirit

Mike Starrs  Resized 01Michael Starrs was to be presented with the highest award bestowed upon a volunteer by the Boys and Girls Club of America, the “Man and Youth Award” and the “Service to Youth Award” for 30 years of service at the Northwest New Jersey Chapter’s 18th Annual Dinner Dance held recently. Unfortunately, just days before the big event, Mr. Starrs, fondly known by many as “Coach,” was admitted to St. Joseph’s Wayne Hospital in his hometown of Wayne, NJ. His special evening was rapidly approaching and Coach simply wasn’t feeling well enough to receive this special honor in person.

Fortunately, the staff at St. Joseph’s Wayne Hospital, a division of St. Joseph’s Healthcare System, is committed to caring for each patient – mind, body and spirit. St. Joseph’s employees, from Nursing and Information Technology to Public Relations, worked together to connect Mr. Starrs to the event being held in his honor at the Westmount Country Club in Woodland Park – more than 6 miles from Mr. Starrs’ bed at St. Joseph’s Wayne Hospital.

As the awards segment of the program began, David Unger, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Boys and Girls Club of Wayne, announced that Honoree Coach Mike Starrs was unable to attend the event. As he addressed the audience, suddenly a video image of Coach popped up on the large screen behind Mr. Unger.

“You didn’t think I would actually miss the biggest party of the year, did you?” asked Coach, enthusiastically praising St. Joseph’s Wayne Hospital staff for making his presence via video-teleconferencing the perfect connection from his hospital bed to the awards ceremony.Mike Starrs Resized 02

Justin Shakil, Boys and Girls Club Alumnus and radio sports broadcaster for SiriusXM Satellite Radio and WCBS Newsradio 880, presented Mr. Starrs with the award, but not without words that moved everyone. Besides Mr. Starrs’ dedication to the Boys and Girls Club, Mr. Shakil reminisced about the first time he ever met Mike Starrs, a man he described as “the type of person who made you want to work hard.”Assemblyman Scott Rumana presented a Joint Legislative Resolution to Coach Michael Starrs on behalf of Senator O’Toole, Assemblyman Russo and himself.

Wayne resident, Mr. Starrs, commitment to developing youth began almost 40 years ago when he started coaching Youth Football in the Packanack Lake community of Wayne. As the local Boys and Girls Club grew, Coach joined the team. Every year, since 1978, Mr. Starrs volunteered his time for various levels of football squads, primarily at the Pee Wee level, and also served as football commissioner. In 1987, he was honored as the NJ Area Council State Volunteer of the Year. Mr. Starrs was one of the coaches selected as the USA Football Youth Coach of the year in 2006. In addition, he was elected to the Boys & Girls Clubs of New Jersey Hall of Fame. Mr. Starrs has volunteered his time as a member of the Board of Directors since 1986, serving in many capacities – president, vice president, as well as chairing the marketing and program committees.

Coach Mike Starrs is devoted to enriching the community through the activities of the Boys and Girls Club.

St. Joseph’s Wayne Hospital staff understands Coach’s commitment. With passion for St. Joseph’s “patients first” approach to service excellence and with dedication to the Healthcare System’s Mission and Values, St. Joseph’s staff truly enriched Michael Starrs’ healing process by fulfilling his wish to accept his award “in person” at the 18th Annual Boys and Girls Clubs of Northwest New Jersey Dinner Dance held in his honor.

Community spirit is thriving in Wayne!

March 15, 2016

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Rededication of the St. Vincent’s Healthcare and Rehab Center Chapel

Chapel Rededication

St. Vincent’s Healthcare and Rehab Center (SVHRC), formally St. Vincent’s Nursing Home, a division of St. Joseph's Healthcare System, recently honored the rededication of its Chapel, a special place for residents, visitors, family and staff to pray, celebrate and find comfort in times of need. The Rededication took place in the newly renovated chapel and was attended by Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, residents, employees and executive staff. Speakers and special guests (pictured below left to right) included Fr. Martin Rooney, Director, Mission Services, SJHS; Deborah Quinn-Martone, Administrator, SVHRC; Sr. Rosemary Moynihan, SC, General Superior, Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth; Sr. Elizabeth Noonan, SC, Volunteer and Former Chaplain, SVHRC; Sr. Anita William O’Neill, SC, Former Chaplain, SVHRC; Sr. Patricia Mennor, SC, Vice President, Mission, SJHS; Sr. Kathleen Quigley, SC, Chaplain, SVHRC; Sr. Marilyn Thie, SC, Chairperson, Board of Trustees, SJHS; Kevin Slavin, President and CEO, SJHS; and Sr. Jane Frances Brady, SC, Former President, SJHS.

SVHRC Chapel Rededication

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