Look Forward: News From LKMC
Lower Keys Medical Center Recogonizes Outstanding Employees
Lower Keys Medical Center recently named the Outstanding Employee Award recipients for July and August. Honorees include:
Registered Nurse, Maternal Infant Child Care
Nursing Assistant, Maternal Infant Child Care
Physical Therapist, Rehabilitation Services
Radiology Tech, Radiology Services
Registered Surse, Behavioral Health
Nursing Assistant, Medical/Surgical Services
These individuals collectively have more than 65 years of services at the hospital. Each is being honored for her contributions toward creating and maintaining a culture and practice of outstanding service to the hospital's employees, physicians, patients and visitors. Employees are nominated for the recognition through positive patient and family feedback and by their peers for going above and beyond in service to patients or their colleagues.
"We are establishing a culture that champions patient-centered care," said Stephen Pennington, interim CEO. "These employees have demonstrated the values of that culture. We are pleased to honor them as Employees of the Month for July and August, and we celebrate the contributions of all our employees."
Lower Keys Medical Center Welcomes Back Orthopedic Surgeon
Surgeon Returns after Serving with International Humanitarian Aid Organization
Key West, Fla. - August 30, 2016 - Lower Keys Medical Center will welcome back orthopedic surgeon Dr. Robert Loeffler at the end of October. He rejoins the hospital's orthopedic program after serving at the Syrian-Jordanian border for five months with international humanitarian aid organization Doctors Without Borders.
"We are pleased to welcome Dr. Loeffler back to Key West and to the hospital," said Stephen Pennington, interim CEO of Lower Keys Medical Center. "Dr. Loefller is a talented and respected surgeon with deep roots in the community. His enthusiasm, leadership and passion for patient care will be valuable as we continue working to make sure the hospital is a trusted healthcare resource for the Keys."
Dr. Loefller has practiced in the Keys since 2002. Prior to that, he was a well-known orthopedic surgeon in Denver and an associate professor of orthopedic surgery at University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. He also served as the director of sports medicine division for the University of Colorado and the University of Denver. A board-certified orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Loeffler has specialized certifications in sports medicine and arthroscopy.
"Working with Doctors Without Borders was a life-long goal," said Dr. Loeffler. "Working in a conflict area, such as the Syrian border, with refugees severely injured in the continuing war was a challenging and humbling experience. I hope to go on further missions as needed."
He continued, "I look forward to resuming my practice at Lower Keys Medical Center and re-engaging with the Key West community. I have been encouraged by the changes being proposed at the hospital and by the community's desire to be more involved in the hospital's performance going forward."
Dr. Loeffler will accept new and returning patients.
Prepare Your Kids for a Healthy New School Year
(Key West, Fla., August 5, 2016) - No matter what grade your child will enter this fall, there is always a last minute rush of things to do: purchase supplies and new school clothes, fill out forms and attend orientations. But one of the most important tasks for a successful school year is an appointment with your child's pediatrician.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advocates that every child receive care through a "family-centered medical home." This means care is provided by the same physician(s) over a long period of time, particularly during the years from childhood to puberty when vital changes are taking place.
"Having a long-term history with a child gives the doctor insight into the child's progress and development over time," says pediatrician Melanie Youschak, M.D.. "It helps us detect emerging problems, being informed by details of the patient's history, such as past illnesses or injuries and changes in academic or emotional status."
Most insurance plans, including Medicaid, cover the annual well-child visit up to age 18. Below is a convenient checklist for your child's back-to-school checkup:
Get your forms in order. Check that you have all the school and sports physical forms for each child, and ensure you obtain copies of all necessary records and physician signatures. Remember to bring special permission forms allowing the school to administer your child medications, if needed.
Medications and Supplements. Bring a current list of your child's supplements, prescription or over-the-counter medications. Immunizations. If you do not have a consistent medical home for your child, carry copies of his or her vaccination records. Trust your child's physician to advise you on the best course of vaccinations.
Height and Weight. Ask if your child's growth, weight gain and body composition are in normal range for his or her age, and whether any nutrition or exercise adjustments are appropriate.
Allergies and Asthma. Discuss any sinus or breathing problems, determining if any medications should be added or adjusted. Also include any environmental or food allergies.
Sleep Patterns. Discuss any issues your child has with quality of sleep. Depending on age, this may include bed-wetting, morning fatigue, and trouble falling or staying asleep.
Diagnostics. Depending on your child's age and overall health, beyond blood pressure and heart rate, the pediatrician may suggest lab work. Lab work should be tailored for your child's specific age and family history. Please discuss your family history including high cholesterol, anemia, thyroid problems, and diabetes to better customize lab work your child may need. Not every child will need blood work at every visit.
Vision and Dental. If your pediatrician doesn't offer vision screening in the office, ask for a referral for an ophthalmologist. Remember to schedule your child's annual checkup for cavities and gum health, and to confirm your child's adult teeth are growing in properly.
Overall Wellness. The annual physical is a good time to ask questions or discuss anything concerning about your child's development. This includes, but is not limited to, academic progress, social and emotional, body image, depression or lethargy. For teenagers, use this opportunity for an open, three-way discussion about alcohol, drugs and sexual activity.
Back to school can be a busy and stressful time for parents, but allowing the annual physical to fall between the cracks can lead to much bigger trouble down the road. Using this checklist will help you maximize the time in your pediatrician's office, and give you peace of mind that your child enters the new school year with their healthiest and happiest foot forward.
If you do not have a dedicated pediatrician or family physician, visit the Find A Doctor section or call (305) 292-3627 to find a physician and to schedule an appointment before the first day of school is here.
Dr. Jerome Covington Receives State Award Honoring Service to Underserved
Florida Association of Community Health Center's Presents Jessie Trice Outstanding Clinician Award
KEY WEST, Fla., August 2, 2016 - Key West physician Jerome Covington, M.D., has received the Florida Association of Community Health Center's (FACHC) Jessie Trice Outstanding Clinician Award. The prestigious award was presented on Tuesday, August 2, at the FACHC's 35th Anniversary Green Tie Gala and Awards Ceremony in Fort Lauderdale, FL, at the Marriott Harbor Beach.
"Each year we recognize a clinician serving at a Federally Qualified Health Clinic (FQHC) for their outstanding commitment in providing services for the underserved; their dedication to continuous quality improvement, evidence-based medicine and healthcare innovation; their willingness to 'go the extra mile' for their patients and their willingness to work collaboratively with peers to ensure the best possible outcomes for all their patients," said Jon Shiver, communications coordinator.
Covington has provided care in Key West for more than 25 years, primarily serving indigent, uninsured and underserved individuals, providing care at two clinics. For more than four years, he has worked with Rural Health Network of Monroe County, an FQHC, serving at the Key West and Lower Keys Clinic at 3710 North Roosevelt Boulevard. He also serves at the Primary Care Clinic affiliated with Lower Keys Medical Center at the dePoo Medical Building at 1200 Kennedy Drive.
Jessie Collins Trice, BSN, MPH, for whom the FACHC award is named was a nurse, administrator, mother, humanitarian, and champion for healthcare with a record of service recognized at the local, state and national levels. Trice's legacy lives on through this award and through the Community Health Center named for her. Earlier in his career, Covington served on the board of directors for the Jessie Trice Community Health Center in Miami.
"I am incredibly honored to be receiving this award which is named in memory of an outstanding caregiver I remember well," Covington said. "The award has reminded me that there is an old-fashioned way of providing care which still has a place in society today. It is easy for clinicians to forget that care should be about the sum of all parts, not just the parts."
Covington shares credit with his co-workers as well as with his longtime friend and associate Mark Whiteside, MD, with whom he was in private practice for several years. They also previously worked together at the Monroe County Health Department and remain good friends.
John Emery, Chief Operating Officer for LKMC, attended the awards ceremony along with other hospital staff members. "We are very proud of Dr. Covington and the care he provides for so many people from our community. He has always been selfless in his service, putting others before himself and giving not just of his time and talent but financial resources as well to help those in need."
Covington earned his medical degree from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, completing a residency in internal medicine at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore. He has served in numerous leadership positions for Lower Keys Medical Center, including as Chief of Staff for multiple terms. He has also served on a number of local community boards.
Shown at the ceremony are (from left): Daniel Davis; Kim Hutchinson, RN, Primary Care Clinic-LKMC; Dr. Mark Whiteside; Meylan Lowe-Watler, retired COO-LKMC; Dr. Jerome Covington; Jasmine Shirley, MSPH, SVP-Broward Health; and John Emery, COO-LKMC
Celebrating Employee Milestones and Outstanding Achievement
July 15, 2016
Lower Keys Medical Center recently held its annual associate recognition dinner at the Grand Key Double Tree Resort. Employees honored at the event were praised for their commitment, compassion and loyalty by Robin Lockwood, M.D., Chairman of the Board, and Michael McIvor, M.D., Chief of Staff.
Forty individuals were recognized for achieving five-year milestones in service - 5 years, 10 years, all the way to 30 years of service. Collectively, the honorees have cared for patients and the Key West community for 390 years.
"Words cannot adequately express the appreciation we have for the important role that these individuals play in the health of our community and this hospital," said Lockwood. "Each employee is integral to the success of this hospital, our community, and most importantly, the health of our patients. Their commitment to excellence and to the provision of the highest quality of care is essential to the success of our hospital and our community."
In addition to the service awards, several employees received special recognition.
- Angelina Ashler, RN, clinical coordinator, was honored as the employee of the year. Ashler, who originally joined the organization in 2008, took on numerous added duties during the past year as interim director of the medical/surgical and intensive care units. Bringing the perspective of a bedside nurse to her role as a nurse leader, Ashler focused on communication and servant leadership.
- Sandy Rodriguez, RN, CEN, director of emergency services and respiratory therapy, received the clinical manager of the year award. Rodriguez, who joined LKMC in 1993 as a staff nurse in the intensive care unit, has also worked the night shift in the ER as well as serving as director of the intensive care unit. She has led the ER since 2005, with the respiratory care department added to her responsibilities in 2014. During the past year, under Rodriguez's leadership, the ER staff has decreased wait time for patients while continuing their focus on providing the highest quality of care.
- Donna Snapp, RN, CMUP (certified meaningful use professional), who is director of information services and clinical analyst, was recognized as non-clinical manager of the year. Snapp, who joined the hospital in 2013 as the RN clinical analyst, assumed leadership of the information services department in February 2015. She has led the organization through the process of implementing numerous new systems and initiatives related to improving patient care through electronic medical records.
- The most prestigious honor of the evening went to Lynda Delph, R.N., who received the Frank Houtman Award for loyalty, outstanding service and commitment to patients as well as the community. Delph, a charge nurse in the emergency department, joined the hospital in 1998 as a staff nurse. She transferred to emergency services in 2002 and has been the day shift charge nurse since 2008. Named for a long-time hospital volunteer who was much beloved, the award was established in honor of Houtman's life and spirit. The award is now presented in his memory as Houtman passed away on August 11, 2015.
Among the hospital staff's accomplishments in 2015 were caring for 23,000 patients who came to the emergency room for care, helping women bring 526 infants into the world, and performing needed surgery on more than 2,800 individuals.
Following are the hospital employees recognized for years of service.
Mary Anne Barrier
Eglis Lebrigio Oliva
Chantel McFarland Bauer
Kelly Sawyer Wait Pollack
About Lower Keys Medical Center
Lower Keys Medical Center (LKMC) is a 167-bed full-service acute-care medical facility accredited by The Joint Commission. Recognized nationally for high quality care, the hospital has been awarded The Joint Commission Top Performer on Key Quality Measures® in the areas of heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, surgical care and immunization. Serving a primary service area that includes the Lower Keys south of the seven-mile bridge, the hospital provides 24/7 emergency care and is the only hospital in the Florida Keys providing labor and delivery services. As the largest private employer in Monroe County, the hospital provides more than 500 jobs. The direct impact to the local economy through wages, taxes, capital investments and purchase of local goods and services is more than $75 million dollars.