January/February 2014

Gerald Lazarus, M.D named recipient of the David Martin Carter Mentor Award

Gerald Lazarus, M.D., has been selected by the American Skin Association to receive the 2014 David Martin Carter Mentor Award. This award is given to academic dermatologists who show superior achievement, long-term involvement as a trainer and adviser, and personal characteristics meriting the trust, respect and emulation of colleagues. Dr. Lazarus renown as successful mentor via cooperation and care for others.

Dr. Lazarus is currently a professor of dermatology and medicine at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. He is the former director of The Johns Hopkins Wound Center and former chief of dermatology at Johns Hopkins Bayview. Previously, Dr. Lazarus served as chairman of dermatology at Duke University and the University of Pennsylvania, as well as dean of the medical school and CEO of the Health System at the University of California Davis School of Medicine.

University of Maryland Medical System Now Providing ‘Virtual Safety Net’ to ICU Patients in Nine Maryland Hospitals 

The University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) announced the addition of all three University of Maryland Shore Regional Health hospital intensive care units (ICU) to its University of Maryland eCare service, bringing the total hospitals served by expert remote ICU monitoring to nine across the state.  By adding this service at UM Shore Medical Centers at Chestertown, Dorchester and Easton, UMMS intensivists can now help direct care for up to 100 ICU patients who are able to stay closer to home.  With the addition of the three Mid-Shore medical centers, University of Maryland eCare services are now provided in all hospitals with ICUs on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

From a central operations hub on the UMMC campus in Baltimore, telemedicine technology allows intensivists and critical care nurses to oversee patient care in off-site ICUs during the night and weekend hours, providing a virtual safety net for smaller facilities when the local physician staffing levels are lower.  The local staff can also get immediate consultation from a critical care expert who is able to see the patient and their real-time medical data through cameras and live feeds of data.

University of Maryland eCare uses special cameras in patient rooms along with continual electronic feeds of information such as patients’ vital signs, laboratory and pharmaceutical data, to pick up even slight changes in a patient’s physical condition. An “eLert” button in each patient room also allows local ICU staff to request eCare assistance or a consultation.

Rural hospitals across the United States are increasingly challenged to keep their ICUs open due to the limited availability of trained specialists — called intensivists — who specialize in the complex care of ICU patients that often have several different medical issues simultaneously.

Howard County General Hospital Announces New President

The Howard County General Hospital Board of Trustees has appointed Steven C. Snelgrove president of Howard County General Hospital. An experienced leader with 34 years of healthcare management in both academic and community hospital settings has been chosen to succeed Vic Broccolino, who will retire as president and CEO after 24 years of service.

Mr. Snelgrove has been with the Wake Forest Baptist Health System since 1989, holding several positions critical to hospital operations, including vice president of medicine and operations and director of facilities, planning and construction at the main academic campus of the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. Most recently, he served as president of two of the health system’s community hospitals, Lexington Medical Center and Davie County Hospital.

MedStar Health Names New Head of Medical Group

James Farley has joined MedStar Health as senior vice president of the MedStar Medical Group, the entity that oversees the development and operations of MedStar-owned primary care and specialty care practices in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region. Mr. Farley previously served as chief operating officer for Advocate Medical Group (AMG) in Chicago, which under his leadership achieved top performance ratings for clinical quality and physician engagement, as well as strong operating margins.

Farley has had regional and system roles on the West coast with PeaceHealth and Kaiser Permanente. He is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives. Farley graduated from Washington State University and Portland State University, and he completed the executive leadership program at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

MEDCHI ANNOUNCES 2014 LEGISLATIVE AGENDA

The Maryland State Medical Society (MedChi) the foremost advocate and resource for Maryland physicians, their patients and the public health, is working on a wide spread of objectives during the 434th Session of Maryland’s General Assembly. The Session runs January 8 through April 7, 2014.

To an advocate for Maryland physicians, MedChi will work to maintain a stable legal environment. Trial lawyers regularly attempt to increase the “cap” on damages in medical malpractice cases and to make other changes to the legal environment, including abolishing the defense of contributory negligence. Immediate Past President Brian Avin, MD explained “The issue is of concern to the medical community as the result of recent large hospital verdicts and activity in Maryland’s courts.”

To serve as an advocate for patients, MedChi wants to end the insurance abuse referred to as step therapy. Step therapy policies often require that patients try and fail up to five less effective treatments before the insurer will cover the treatment originally prescribed by the physician. Insurers enact restrictions like step therapy under the guise of cost containment, but the practical impact is that Maryland patients – many of whom suffer from chronic conditions or debilitating pain – will unnecessarily go for days, weeks, or months without their doctor-prescribed treatment. The unnecessary burden of step therapy has very real health and economic consequences.

To serve as an advocate for public health, MedChi will continue to fight for proper State Medicaid funding, strive to make Maryland a tobacco free state, support proactive programs in Maryland schools that address childhood obesity and continue to support legislative and regulatory initiatives to reduce health disparities and encourage innovative programs such as the Health Enterprise Zones. For more information, visit www.medchi.org.


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