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Fall / Winter 2010 Newsletter NORTHSTAR adds advanced procedures and technologies NORTHSTAR’s ongoing commitment to providing state-of-the-art health care to the communities it serves is no more evident than in the recent addition of several advanced procedures and technologies. These new additions enable NORTHSTAR’s physicians and staff to continue to provide expert care close to home. Vacuum-Assisted Biopsy NORTHSTAR is now able to perform Vacuum-Assisted Breast Biopsy (VAB) – a tissue sampling technique that uses a special instrument to remove samples of breast tissue through a single, small incision. This technique allows the surgeon to remove more tissue than is possible with a traditional core biopsy and is much less invasive than an open surgical biopsy. VAB leaves only a small incision and takes less than an hour to perform. Patients can usually return to normal activities soon after the procedure. It provides the ability to retrieve larger amounts of tissue for diagnosis without the costs and discomforts of an open surgical biopsy. VITEK 2 Analyzer The laboratory is the new home for a VITEK 2 analyzer, which aids NORTHSTAR’s microbiologists in identifying the type of bacteria found in a patient sample and in determining what antibiotics will be most effective in treating the patient’s infection. In a matter of hours, the lab can then provide physicians with critical test results for a wide range of organism/antibiotic combinations. The system also has specialized software called Advance Expert System, which helps flag subtle changes in a bacteria’s antibiotic resistance patterns, helping fight against the antibiotic resistant superbugs. Aplio MX Ultrasound System NORTHSTAR was the first facility in the nation to implement the new Aplio MX ultrasound system, a full-service ultrasound system that covers a wide spectrum of exams, and provides exceptionally clear, high-resolution images that contain more clinical detail – paramount for making correct diagnoses. In addition, the Aplio MX includes a system for vascular imaging, which will be utilized in NORTHSTAR’s new vein clinic. Portable X-Ray Technology NORTHSTAR Health System and Iron County Medical Care Facility (ICMCF) have partnered together in bringing portable x-ray technology to ICMCF’s residents. The new on-site technology allows a digital imaging technologist from NORTHSTAR to each day visit ICMCF for patient x-rays, alleviating the inconvenience of having to transport ICMCF residents to NORTHSTAR for such needs. This new on-site imaging technology is much more efficient and cost effective, decreasing the time of diagnosis from days to hours – within 15 minutes of taking the image, a board certified radiologist can review and consult with the ordering physician on findings. northstarhs.org | 1 NORTHSTAR Stories Delivering excellence in the patient care experience Hello! My name As part of a commitment to providing the best care to the is Mary Kudwa residents of the area, NORTHSTAR Health System added and I would like a new face this summer to its growing list of specialists to tell you about and care providers. my experience Connie Koutouzos joined NORTHSTAR in July as the Health with NORTHSTAR System’s new Vice President of Patient Care Services. Health System. I was diagnosed Connie has over 25 years of healthcare experience with with stage 1 breast cancer in 2008. expertise in hospital operations and nursing leadership. I have always used NORTHSTAR for my Most recently, she was the Chief Nurse Executive at Bay annual mammogram screen. A small Area Medical Center. Prior to that position, Koutouzos tumor was detected and a lumpectomy had been employed at Marquette General Health System Connie Koutouzos was performed. I truly believe the imaging since 1986, where she held positions in nursing and Vice President of technician is incredible! Early detection management, including eight years as program director Patient Care Services is so very important and because of this, of the Women’s and Children’s Center. only radiation was needed for treatment. As NORTHSTAR’s Vice President of Patient Care Services, Koutouzos will oversee the I will forever be grateful to NORTHSTAR operations of patient care departments and product line services, helping to ensure and their Diagnostic Imaging Department excellence in the patient care experience in key areas such as patient safety initiatives, not only for their expertise, education and leadership development, compliance with legal, regulatory, and accreditation requirements professionalism, but mostly for their sheer and adherence to standards of practice in the industry. kindness and support. Taking care of your heart: NORTHSTAR and you Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, with coronary heart disease being the most common type of heart disease. Every year about 785,000 Americans have their first heart attack, while another 470,000 individuals who have already had one or more heart attacks have yet another attack. NORTHSTAR is pleased to announce the addition of Dr. Barbara Washington, a board-certified cardiologist, to the visiting specialist provider staff at NORTHSTAR. Dr. Washington will see patients at NORTHSTAR Crystal Falls and perform cardiology testing at NORTHSTAR Hospital. “With Dr. Washington on board, our cardiac patients will have more frequent access to a cardiologist,” says Bruce Rampage, NORTHSTAR president and CEO. “In addition, Dr. Washington’s presence will further enhance patient services and quality as she will also be available for consulting purposes and to supervise all cardiology testing.” Dr. Washington joins Dr. Timothy Tanke, Dr. Donnevan Blake and Dr. James Rider in providing the best cardiac care to the communities that NORTHSTAR serves. Cardiology services at NORTHSTAR include, but are not limited to, patient visits, pharmacological stress tests, nuclear stress tests, exercise stress tests, holter monitors (24- and 48-hours), event monitors (30-day), EKGs and rhythm strips. Make an appointment with your NORTHSTAR doctor today for a referral to any of our visiting cardiologists. 2 | northstarhs.org The NORTHSTAR Ortho Experience NORTHSTAR Health System’s Orthopedic Program has seen Following the joint replacement surgery, you will stay overnight at tremendous growth in the past year, not only in the services offered, NORTHSTAR for a few days, during which time our physical therapy but in the number of patients utilizing this NORTHSTAR area of team will work with you to initiate movement and guide you toward specialty. If you find yourself in need of orthopedic care, here is what being able to move around independently. During your stay in your you can expect at NORTHSTAR: own private room (with a view!), you will have access to our Catering To You menu service, a DVD player with movies, an iPod and have NORTHSTAR has two orthopedic specialists, Dr. Steven Cline and consistent and personal connection with the staff. Dr. Rodney Swan. Both doctors are board-certified orthopedic surgeons and members of the American Academy of Orthopedic Once your stay with us is completed, you’ll be discharged to home Surgeons, and together, specialize in the diagnosis and treatment or, if additional care or support services are needed, arrangements of a full range of orthopedic conditions, from orthopedic surgery will be made for transfer to a skilled nursing facility. Physical and to trauma care and sports medicine. Our physicians perform Occupational services will be available via our outpatient department arthroscopic surgery, ligament repair and major procedures including or home care department. A customized program will be tailored joint replacements. to you according to your progress and needs. One week later we’ll see you for an evaluation and will at that time customize a physical Our joint replacement program includes a preoperative education therapy and/or occupational therapy schedule for as long as needed, session tailored for you and a family member so you will know what usually about six-to-eight weeks. to expect before, during and after surgery. A team of experts will lead you through the experience to prepare you for surgery, exercise and NORTHSTAR’s state-of-the-art Orthopedic and Physical Therapy physical therapy, and returning to your normal activity levels. services and diagnostic equipment mean that you don’t have to travel far to obtain the expert care and attention you need. NORTHSTAR Events NORTHSTAR’s community, employee recognition and fundraising their families enjoyed a day of games, cotton candy, popcorn, events bring the community together at various times throughout snow cones and both lunch and dinner. the year. Here are some highlights: NORTHSTAR was pleased to recognize three employees – Jeanne Recent Past Events: Miilu, Amy Dahl and Alisa Santi – this past August who completed The 12th Annual Health Fair was held on October 21 at Iron River additional education and certification in an effort to better Elks Lodge. Over 550 people attended and obtained flu shots, several themselves and their careers, skills and abilities. free health screenings and useful health information and giveaways. In August, NORTHSTAR Health System Volunteer Services/Auxiliary The Foundation had its first ever Employee Giving Campaign, held its annual “Going for the Green” golf fundraiser at Lac Vieux October 4-8. It was tied in with Breast Cancer Awareness month Desert Golf Course in Watersmeet. While the weather did not which celebrated its 25th anniversary, so we encouraged employees cooperate and golf was rained out, fun was still had by all with to give $25 for a t-shirt and a ribbon. Special events occurred daily raffles, food and music. Stay tuned to our website for next year’s to raise monies, awareness and fun. $6,331 was raised. golf fundraiser date. NORTHSTAR Foundation’s Vineyards of Italy Wine & Food In addition to honing one’s skills, the NORTHSTAR Foundation’s Pairing Education was held on Sept. 24 at George Young’s. Golf Clinic, held June 21 at the Iron River Country Club, gave Eighty people attended and over $4,000 was raised in this attendees the opportunity to learn more about the Foundation’s inaugural signature Foundation event. goals and fundraising efforts. On September 2, NORTHSTAR showed its appreciation to its Upcoming Events: dedicated staff at its Employee Picnic, where employees and On April 1, 2011, NORTHSTAR will recognize its employees’ years of service and customer service efforts at the annual Employee Recognition Banquet, at the Florence Ball Room. northstarhs.org | 3 Nonprofit Organization 1400 West Ice Lake Road U.S. Postage Iron River, MI 49935 PAID Traverse City, MI Permit No. 29 Attention all Medicare Patients: Starting January 1, Medicare patients will be eligible for an annual wellness exam with no required co-pay or deductible. Your family doctor will be able to give you more details. To schedule an appointment, contact your NORTHSTAR Doctor today. About Us NORTHSTAR Health System is committed to servicing the communities in Michigan’s western Upper Peninsula as well as northern Wisconsin. NORTHSTAR Health System’s locations include the main hospital in Iron River and eight other locations including two medical clinics in Iron River, one in Crystal Falls, one in Marenisco and other opportunities under consideration. Serving the community: NORTHSTAR’s Volunteer Services/Auxiliary NORTHSTAR’s Volunteer Services/Auxiliary is constantly giving of its time, talent and other resources. Patient care and support is a major priority for the group. Through fundraising events like the annual golf outing, Volunteer Services/ Auxiliary has made several patient comfort and care initiatives possible, such as the purchase of robes for patients having mammograms and the donation of a book cart that provides patients with a variety of reading materials during their stay. The Volunteer Services/Auxiliary has provided one-third of the funding needed for the new $30,000 vacuum-assisted biopsy equipment (see Technology story, page one). A future focus will Providing robes for mammogram patients is just one of the be raising funds to assist in the purchase of digital mammography many ways that the NORTHSTAR Volunteer Services/Auxiliary equipment to provide more up-to-date screenings for area women. makes a difference. Pictured L to R: Roxanne Melchiori, Auxiliary; Eric Beauchamp, Diagnostic Services Manager; A 2010 goal for Volunteer Service/Auxiliary was the establishment Amanda Grunland, Mammographer; Linda Saving, Auxiliary; of enhanced women’s health services called TOTAL WOMAN, Alicia Benson, Mammographer; Chris Kent, Auxiliary. a newly created program that provides service lines addressing orthopedic, vascular/vein, cardiac, breast care and emotional Helping to make patients comfortable and supporting the best health, along with educational programs, wellness/screenings possible services to patients is the number one priority for and Girls Growing Up. members of the Volunteer Services/Auxiliary. To become involved, call 906.265.0402. Meetings are the second Thursday of each month. 4 | northstarhs.org
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