HOSPITAL-WIDE ADVANCES IN TECHNOLOGY AT GRMC

Garrett Regional Medical Center has recently upgraded its technology as part of an ongoing effort to ensure best practices in providing state-of-the-art care for the Garrett Region. The different technology purchases impact patient care in the areas of radiographic imaging, emergency care, surgical and anesthesia services as well in the critical care areas.

Steven Peterson, VP and Chief Information Officer explained, “Our radiology services have advanced from Computed Radiography (CR) to Digital Radiography (DR) which immediately captures a sharper image for diagnostic purposes. The hospital also procured two state of the art c-arms for surgical services, which are mobile x-ray devices that are named because of their shapes, and also a mini c-arm that will be used for faster diagnosis in orthopedic cases in the Emergency Department.”

On the heels of these upgrades, Garrett Regional Medical Center announced the start of new PET/CT Imaging Services. The PET/CT is often able to detect diseases, specifically used for Cancer Care in the very early stages allowing for early treatment. It is also used to show a patient’s response to a disease intervention. This new mobile service is being provided in cooperation with Alliance Healthcare Radiology. Appointments for this new service can be made by calling 866-245-5995.

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GCMH Announces Name Change

Garrett County Memorial Hospital is changing its name to Garrett Regional Medical Center and is moving forward with a clinical affiliation with WVU Medicine, the newly branded name for the Health System of West Virginia University. The new logo for Garrett Regional Medical Center will include a tagline, “A proud affiliate of WVU Medicine”, as WVU will be bringing specialty services to the Garrett Region.  Both organizations are equally important to each other as partners in developing healthcare services for the region.

The Hospital Board of Governors passed the resolution to change the name from Garrett County Memorial Hospital to Garrett Regional Medical Center because the new name is more reflective of the regional community that Garrett serves. Of the roughly 20,000 visits to the emergency department each year, 9,000 of those are from residents outside the county. Similar percentages hold true for inpatient care, orthopedics, and general surgeries performed at Garrett. “During the strategic planning process, we reviewed a lot of data that showed we draw patients to Garrett from all over the region, not just Garrett County, and not just Maryland, but West Virginia and Pennsylvania” stated Henrietta Lease, chair of the hospital strategic planning committee of the Board of Governors.

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Garrett Memorial Hospital digs into $23.5M construction project

Ribbon cutting held for cardiac, pulmonary rehab center

Elaine Blaisdell

Cumberland Times-News

— OAKLAND — A groundbreaking ceremony held Monday for a four-story addition to Garrett Memorial Hospital was the start of a three-year, $23.5 million construction project.

“What a great day this is for Garrett County and this facility to break ground to expand the operations here,” said Sen. George Edwards. “This addition will improve the community’s access to health care while providing space necessary to offer services. Congratulations to the leadership of Garrett County Memorial Hospital for having the vision to dutifully serve this community with such energy while striving for access to health care services for the people of Garrett County and surrounding counties.”

The project will take three years to construct and will be 19,504 square feet, according to Edwards. Edwards and Del. Wendell Beitzel put in bills to allow up to $12 million in bonding. The total cost of the project is $23.5 million and includes a $15 million request from the county and $8.5 million in cash contributions and fundraising, hospital officials have said.

The hospital has one of the lowest surgical infection rates in the nation and has an excellent track record in safety, according to Edwards. The hospital also has the highest patient experience scores in the state for controlling patient pain, physician relations to patients, staff responsive to patients and overall cleanliness.

Robin Summerfield, a representative for U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, congratulated the hospital staff on its achievements.

“This is a first class hospital, bar none. The thing that I think makes this hospital particularly special — I recognized when I came in the door — is four smiling faces of volunteers to greet me as I walked in the building,” said Summerfield.

Wayne Johnson, who will be retiring as chairman of the hospital board, was also in attendance at the ceremony and said a few words.

“I’m very proud to have seen my hometown hospital grow. We have made quite good progress and we aren’t done yet,” said Johnson. “With this ceremony let’s begin construction of this new addition to the Garrett Memorial Hospital to provide services to all citizens of Garrett County and the surrounding areas.”

“It’s clear that Mr. Johnson has put his heart and soul into Garrett Memorial Hospital and we’re extremely appreciative of all you have done for us and all you have given to this organization,” said Mark Boucot, hospital president and CEO.

The groundbreaking ceremony was followed by a ribbon cutting for the hospital’s new Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Center. The new cardiac rehabilitation services are designed for those who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cardiac heart failure or have had a recent cardiac event such as a heart attack, bypass surgery, heart stents, heart valve replacements or a transplant.

“I just want to commend all the administrators, the medical support staff, doctors that take care of our medical needs here. You do a great job,” said Beitzel.

“This has been a project in the works for quite a few years so we are quite happy to see it (rehab center) opening,” said Kendra Thayer, chief nursing officer. “We thank all of you for your support and hard work.”

Julianna Albowicz, assistant to U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, and Summerfield presented Boucot with senatorial certificates of special recognition for the new addition and for the rehab center.

Contact Elaine Blaisdell at eblaisdell@times-news.com.

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New wing of hospital starts spring 2013

Garrett medical center wants to have renovations on third floor complete by October ’14

Elaine Blaisdell Cumberland Times-News

OAKLAND — The groundbreaking of the new wing expansion at the Garrett County Memorial Hospital will likely be done in the spring of 2013, according to Donald Battista, the hospital’s president and CEO.

“We are getting closer. Our Health Services Cost Review Commission review has been docketed … and so has our Certificate of Need,” said Battista during his presentation to the county commissioners Tuesday. “So, we are assuming they will have some adjudications of those applications somewhere in the November/ December time frame.”

The first additional wing expansion on the third floor will ostensibly be completed in October 2014, said Tracy Lipscomb, chief financial officer for the hospital.

“We have been working on this since about 2010,” said Battista.

The wing expansion will include a new four-story addition to the existing hospital with a focus on improvements to inpatient units.

This will be the first improvement to the inpatient bed facility since 1980.

All the inpatient units will be enhanced with major renovations, according to Battista.

The proposed plan includes eight new private med-surg rooms — each allows for existing semiprivate conversions to private.

These additional rooms will allow enhanced patient privacy and safety and improved infection control management. The rooms will be sized to accommodate new patient care technology, said Battista. The plan proposes an additional 19,504 square feet.

Rehabilitation and renovations will be done to approximately one-third of the existing facility, or 41,938 square feet.

The proposed work will be done in four phases to be completed in about 36 months.

The hospital will stay operational during the construction process, according to Battista.

“You build the wing, then you start filling in some of the inpatient areas within that building,” said Battista. “It’s very thoughtfully considered; it’s not a short-term project. The basement area is an important part of this project.”

The improvement of the basement allows for renovations to the dining serving area and to the kitchen, increasing serving line and eating spaces, according to Battista.

The renovations to the basement will take place in Phase I, according to a handout provided at the meeting.

Total renovations to the hospital are expected to be completed in June 2016, said Lipscomb.

The total cost of the project will be about $23.5 million, with about $17.5 million in construction costs, according to Lipscomb. About $7.5 million of funding will come from hospital operations and cash reserves and $1 million will come from fundraising.

The county will be a co-signer for the $15 million that the hospital is going to borrow, according to Monty Pagenhardt, county administrator. The hospital would then pay off that debt service at 5.25 percent for 20 years, according to the handout. The hospital has borrowed money from the county in the past.

Hospitals in Maryland are funded differently than hospitals in West Virginia, said Battista.

“Maryland is the only state left that is regulated in terms of Medicare and Medicaid differently than the other 49,” said Battista. “The other 49 states are under something called Critical Access Hospitals.”

CAH is a special designation for rural health care under Medicare, according to Battista.

“It’s really low-volume, low-market areas that have to have some kind of health care for the citizens to access,” said Battista.

CAH provides cost-based reimbursements from Medicare that allow buildings to be constructed. The new Potomac Valley Hospital in Keyser, W.Va., was built under CAH status, according to Battista.

“There is no such thing in Maryland,” said Battista.

Contact Elaine Blaisdell at eblaisdell@times-news.com.

More here.

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Garrett Memorial operates Caring Program

Medical help provided to those in need

For the Cumberland Times-News Cumberland Times-News

OAKLAND — Officials at Garrett County Memorial Hospital are reminding members of the community that a Caring Program exists at the hospital for individuals with difficulty affording their hospital care.

“The Caring Program at Garrett County Memorial Hospital is designed to assist the members of our community who need medical care but do not have the financial resources to pay for their services,” said Kathy Rhoden, director of patient financial services at the hospital.

While the hospital had a long-standing history of helping uninsured patients obtain the health care services they needed, a revised program called the Caring Program was implemented in 2006. The program offers financial assistance to un-derprivileged, underemployed and/or underinsured patients who are having difficulty providing themselves with life’s necessities, in-cluding food, clothing, shelter and health care.

A report prepared by the U.S. Census Bureau indicated that 12.5 percent of Garrett County households are living below the poverty level, making health care unaffordable to them. Through the Caring Program, eligible patients meeting 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines can qualify for 100 percent financial assistance.

For example, a family size of one can make up to $21,660 per year to qualify for 100 percent financial assistance. A sliding fee allows for partial assistance to qualified patients who are at 201 to 300 percent of the federal poverty guidelines.

“Each application for the Caring Program is individually and thoughtfully evaluated for eligibility. We take into consideration special or unusual financial circumstances in our final eligibility determination,” said Rhoden. “Our Caring Program allows us to assure access to care by those in need and demonstrate that we are a health care facility that cares for patients in need, regardless of their ability to pay.”

For more information, call 301-533-4209 or visit the website www.gcmh.com.

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Gala Nets $53K For Garrett County Memorial Hospital


Jan. 5, 2012

A Night In Vegas, the title of the recent fundraising gala of the Garrett County Memorial Hospital, has raised a total of $53,000. These funds will go toward the purchase of nuclear medicine imaging equipment already in operation at the hospital. Nuclear medicine imaging equipment is used as a diagnostic tool to help with early detection of many diseases and, according to a spokesperson, is a valuable resource as physicians determine how to best treat their patients. “I would like to thank anyone and everyone who helped in any way with the gala,” commented Wayne Johnson, 2011 gala fundraiser chairman. “Everyone showed overwhelming support even with the economy as it is at this time. There are just too many people who helped to list them all.” The event was held at the Wisp Resort. Pictured above, from left, with a check representing the sum of the gala proceeds, are: William Grant, GCMH foundation chairman; Johnson; and Kathy Greaser, director of development at GCMH.

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Dr. Bayuk To Join Garrett Surgical Group's Office

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Dr. Stephen Bayuk will join Dr. Charles Walch and Dr. Marjorie Fridkin in providing services at the Garrett Surgical Group office, 311 N. 4th Street, Oakland. An active member of the medical staff at Garrett County Memorial Hospital, Bayuk is board eligible in general surgery.

He is a native of Pittsburgh, Pa., and completed his undergraduate training at the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio. Bayuk received his doctor of osteopathic medicine degree from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, Erie, Pa., and completed his five-year surgical residency at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Farrell, Pa.

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>Hospitals to test out new billing approach

>Under experimental system, charges based on illness, success of treatment rather than services provided
by Margie Hyslop | Staff Writer

As many as half of the 46 primary care hospitals in the state are moving toward switching by July from the current system, in which they simply are paid for each service, to where they are paid based on the patient’s illness and how effectively it is treated.

“The concept is to put a limit on a bundle of services that is focused on the health of the patient,” said Robert Murray, executive director of the Health Services Cost Review Commission, which approved the three-year experiment in January.

Murray said the new hospital payment system is a switch from reimbursing hospitals for every patient admission or procedure to paying hospitals a predetermined amount to treat a patient and letting hospitals keep the savings if they treat patients effectively so they do not have to be readmitted.

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>New general surgeon for PRMC to speak

>
Dr. Zakaluzny

February 15, 2011
Dr. Ihor Zakaluzny has joined Payson Regional Medical Team as a general surgeon.

Dr. “Zak” is now part of Payson Surgery Associates located at 126 E. Main St. The doctor left a busy practice in rural Garrett County in western Maryland, with similar demographics and census to Payson. His particular interest is in gastro-intestinal diseases and endoscopy, including long-term medical and surgical management of patients with inflammatory bowel diseases.

Dr. Zak also has a keen interest in laparoscopic surgery, with significant experience in all types of hernia repairs. The doctor states that he was fortunate to develop his laparoscopic skills at the dawn of minimally invasive general surgery. His previous practice also involved the usual other aspects of general surgical care, including lumps and bumps, breast diseases, endocrine disorders, wound care and venous disorders.

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Hospital effort could reduce readmissions

By Julie Appleby
Kaiser Health News
Tuesday, December 7, 2010

One of six patients hospitalized in Maryland in the past year ended up back in the same facility within a month, a risky situation for them and a costly one for bill payers.

To keep that from happening so often, more than a dozen hospitals in the state are considering joining an experiment: Upending the traditional way they are paid and setting in motion changes that could both boost patient care and reduce preventable admissions….

…Two rural hospitals – Garrett County Memorial in Oakland and McCready Memorial in Crisfield – have already signed such contracts for three years, and at least seven more, including Calvert, are in line to do so, said Murray.

Read the full article here.

If you are thinking of buying or selling real estate in Garrett County or Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, call Jay Ferguson of Railey Realty for all of your real estate needs! 877-563-5350

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