Grand Rounds August
Mark Your Calendar

Sept. 20-21 & 28-29: Saint Thomas Health Faith Community Nursing Program

The 32-hour course, held at Saint Thomas Hospital, is open to registered nurses interested in parish nursing, a specialized role where RNs help care for a church congregation and promote overall wellness in the community. The Basic Foundations Course is the required training by the International Parish Nurse Resource Center (IPNRC); although, a certification has not been established, participants receive a certificate of completion. To register, visit by Sept. 1 and click on “Classes and Events.” Select Sept. 20 and click the course name. For more information, contact Kim Story at or call (615) 222-3983.


Vanderbilt Research Uncovers New Breast Cancer Info

A study published in Nature and led by Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC) investigators Justine Balko, PharmD, PhD, and Carlos L. Arteaga, MD, has identified a gene expression pattern that may explain why chemotherapy prior to surgery isn’t effective against some tumors and suggests new therapy options for patients with specific subtypes of breast cancer. 

About 30 percent of breast cancer patients have a pathological complete response when chemotherapy is used to shrink tumors prior to surgery. However, many patients still have residual cancer in the breast after neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) is completed. Studying gene expression patterns in 49 breast tumors obtained during surgery after four months of NAC, investigators identified and analyzed specific groups of genes associated with high-grade, chemotherapy-resistant tumors, labeling their 244 unique genes the CLUSTER signature, and combined this panel with previously identified gene signatures to search for distinctive patterns of behavior.

The researchers found low concentrations of dual specificity protein phosphatase 4 (DUSP4) strongly correlated with faster tumor cell growth following NAC. When DUSP4 was present, chemotherapy was effective against cancer cells, whereas when DUSP4 was experimentally deleted, there was a much lower response to chemotherapy.

In other research by Vanderbilt Center for Bone Biology investigators, it was found stress could promote breast cancer cell colonization of bone. The studies, reported July 17 in PLoS Biology, demonstrate in mice that activation of the sympathetic nervous system – the “fight-or-flight” response to stress – primes the bone environment for breast cancer cell metastasis. The researchers were able to prevent breast cancer cell lesions in bone using propranolol, a cardiovascular medicine that inhibits sympathetic nervous system signals.

The investigators demonstrated that sympathetic nervous system activation increases bone levels of a signaling molecule called RANKL, which is known to promote the formation of osteoclasts – bone cells that break down bone tissue. RANKL has also been implicated in cell migration, and researches showed breast cancer cell migration to the bone depends on RANKL.

The findings suggest that beta-blockers or drugs that interfere with RANKL signaling, such as denosumab, might be useful in preventing breast cancer cell metastasis to bone. Propranolol and other beta-blockers are inexpensive, well characterized, and safe in most patients.


C-Suite Changes

Maury Regional Board Chair Doug Williamson recently announced current COO Alan Watson had been tapped to take the reins of the 275-bed facility upon current CEO Robert Otwell’s retirement. Watson has nearly 30 years of healthcare experience and previously served as CEO of Mercy Health Partners and CEO of Bradley Memorial Hospital in Cleveland, Tenn. He has been in his current role as chief operating officer since 2010.

HighPoint Health System named Susan Peach, BSN, MBA, a veteran hospital administrator with more than 30 years of healthcare experience, its new chief executive officer effective July 2. She replaces Mary Jo Lewis, who has held the position since 2010 and announced her retirement in April. Since 2010, Peach served as chief nursing officer of the Delta Division of LifePoint Hospitals’ Hospital Support Center. In that role, she provided clinical leadership and oversight for nine LifePoint Hospitals, including the four campuses that are part of the HighPoint Health System. Peach also held executive roles at Catholic Health Initiatives, Quorum Health Resources, and Rockdale Regional Medical Center.

On June 29, Williamson Medical Center CEO Dennis Miller, FACHE, FHFMA, announced his retirement after a 10-year tenure at WMC and more than 30 years in healthcare leadership. As Williamson Medical Center’s Board of Trustees begins the process of seeking a new CEO, Chief Financial Officer Don Webb, FHFMA, will serve as acting CEO. Webb has more than 30 years of progressively responsible healthcare financial management experience, including 27 years with Williamson Medical Center.        

Marc Kerlin has been named CEO of Nashville-based e+CancerCare. He replaces company co-founder Tim Petrikin, who has joined Vanguard Health Systems as executive vice president of ambulatory care services. Previously, Kerlin was a vice president with DaVita.

National wellness company Onlife Health, Inc., recently announced the promotion of Jed Dodd to president and CEO. Dodd moves into the role from his most-recent position as chief operating officer, where he led the marketing and development, information technology, informatics and customer management functions at the company, having served in various other roles at the organization since early 2009.

Kirk A. Hintz has been named CEO for Radiology Alliance, PC, the largest private radiology group practice in the state of Tennessee, which includes 49 board certified diagnostic and interventional radiologists serving hospitals and outpatient imaging facilities in the

Middle Tennessee region. Hintz brings 24 years of senior-level management in healthcare and business to his new role. Previously, he was CEO for Emergency Physicians of Naples, LLC in Naples, Fla.


TriStar Centennial Heart Announces New Service Options

Recently, TriStar Centennial Heart & Vascular Center has added a number of new services and treatment options to patients.

The new High Risk Valve Clinic answers a need to provide advanced treatment options for heart patients who are not candidates for traditional procedures because of health-related risk factors, such as age, cancer, bleeding disorders and other conditions. When heart surgery is not an option, the multidisciplinary team can recommend non-operative treatment options including medical therapy, balloon valvuloplasty, and the new transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedure. The High Risk Valve Clinic consists of a structural heart specialist, two interventional cardiologists, a heart failure specialist, a cardiovascular imaging specialist, and two cardiovascular surgeons. 

nContact is a new hybrid procedure for atrial fibrillation using surgical and minimally invasive therapies. The procedure combines the best techniques of electrophysiology and cardiovascular surgery to treat atrial fibrillation, according to cardiovascular surgeon Seenu Reddy, MD. “This minimally invasive procedure allows us to perform two critical steps in treating AFIB in one single procedure, rather than the patient having to undergo two separate procedures like they had to previously.” For patients still experiencing AFIB after an ablation or who have structural heart disease, the nContact procedure is a new alternative treatment. An electrophysiologist and cardiac surgeon work together in Centennial’s hybrid-enabled electrophysiology lab. The surgical procedure is performed first, followed by the ablation of the remaining atrial areas of the left atrium. It takes only about three hours to complete the entire procedure.


TMA Videos Urge Electronic Records for Better Patient Care

A series of six videos aimed at encouraging health providers in Tennessee to adopt electronic health records is now available online at for physicians and patients across the state.

Created by the Tennessee Medical Association and tnREC, Tennessee’s Regional Extension Center, and funded by a grant from the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation, the videos showcase the benefits of EHR adoption and how having such systems in place can improve patient care. For more information, visit or contact Angie Madden at


MTMC Creates Epilepsy Monitoring Unit

Epilepsy and seizures affect almost 3 million people across the nation with approximately 200,000 new cases each year. Middle Tennessee Medical Center (MTMC) has opened a new Epilepsy Monitoring Unit to help physicians better pinpoint the type of seizure that is occurring, how often they are occurring, and/or precisely locate the source.

Through non-invasive video electroencephalography (EEG) monitoring, combining both video surveillance and simultaneous evaluation of brain activity, neurologists are given a more accurate report than EEG or video alone can provide. Video EEG equipment has been installed in four rooms on the seventh floor of MTMC for both inpatient and outpatient treatment. Three additional portable units are available for use throughout the hospital for adult and pediatric patients and can also be used to perform EEGs with video surveillance.


Veteran Administrator Mark Grasela Moves to Saint Thomas Health

It was announced last month that Saint Thomas Health has named veteran physician practice executive manager, Mark Grasela, FACHE, as executive director for Physician Recruitment and Development for the hospital system. Grasela will oversee medical staff development and recruitment efforts for each of Saint Thomas Health’s five hospitals and various development initiatives.

Previously, he was president and CEO of Heritage Medical Associates, a multi-specialty medical practice with multiple locations in the Nashville area. During his 13-year tenure with Heritage, Grasela grew the practice from 25 physicians to more than 100 and added multiple new specialties and office locations. He also had a lead role in the merger of two independent practice associations (IPAs) and the development of an accountable care organization (ACO.)

Grasela received his undergraduate degree in Marketing from Siena College. He is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.


CMS Names New ACOs in Tennessee

On July 9, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the selection of 89 additional Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) to participate in the Medicare Shared Saving Program. The selected organizations will take responsibility for coordinating care for nearly 1.2 million beneficiaries in 40 States and Washington, D.C. In total, there now are 154 organizations participating in Medicare shared savings initiatives, serving more than 2.4 million Medicare patients across the country.

Five of the newest ACOs were from Tennessee with three in the Nashville — Cumberland Center for Healthcare Innovation comprised of networks of individual ACO practices with 33 physicians, MissionPoint Health Partners comprised of hospitals employing ACO professionals with 544 physicians, and Saint Thomas Medical Group PLLC comprised of ACO group practices with 41 physicians.

CMS has established 33 quality measures an ACO must meet in 2012 to ensure savings are achieved through improved care coordination and the provision of services that is appropriate, safe, and timely. CMS also announced that beginning this year, new ACO applications would be accepted annually. The application period is Aug. 1-Sept. 6, 2012 for organizations that wish to participate beginning in January 2013. More information and application requirements are available at


TriStar Health, CareSpot to Establish Urgent Care Centers in Middle Tennessee

Last month, HCA’s TriStar Health and CareSpot announced they have established a joint venture to bring as many as 15 urgent care centers to Middle Tennessee opening throughout 2013. The new partnership would make CareSpot and TriStar Health the leading urgent care provider in Middle Tennessee.

CareSpot is the new name for Florida’s popular Solantic walk-in urgent care centers. The company, which has headquarters in Brentwood, is the largest urgent care provider in Florida with 29 centers in major metropolitan areas throughout that state. The Florida centers, which average more than 400,000 patient visits a year, will change their name by early September. Currently, the company employs more than 500 people and plans to hire as many as 100 new employees for its Tennessee centers.


Let’s Give Them Something to Talk About!

Awards, Honors, Recognitions

Vanderbilt University’s largest single government research grant, its Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA), has been renewed for another five years for $46 million. The Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (VICTR) has built an efficient framework for conducting biomedical research in partnership with Nashville’s Meharry Medical College since the initial award in 2007. To date VICTR has distributed nearly 1,100 “vouchers” (up to $2,000 each) to Vanderbilt and Meharry investigators to jumpstart their projects, which have led to 198 new NIH grants and 340 scientific publications.

Last month, U.S. News and World Report recognized Vanderbilt University Medical Center as the top hospital in Tennessee and in the Nashville metro area. Several programs also garnered ‘top 10’ national recognition, including urology (6th), ENT (7th) and pulmonology (9th). Saint Thomas Hospital was recognized nationally as “high performing” in cardiology and heart surgery and orthopedics, and the hospital was ranked number two in the Nashville metro area. The most recent rankings recognized 720 hospitals out of about 5,000 nationwide.

In late June, Tennessee Oncology’s Eric Raefsky, MD, was honored by Gilda’s Club Nashville as a Shining Star Healthcare Honoree. The award was created to honor individuals in the healthcare community who, like Dr. Raefsky, use their time, energy and talents to further the mission of Gilda’s Club Nashville within the community.

Carlos L. Arteaga, MD, professor of Medicine and Cancer Biology, associate director for Clinical Research and director of the Breast Cancer Program of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, has been awarded a five-year Clinical Research Professorship grant from the American Cancer Society. The $400,000 award is a renewal of a previous grant to Arteaga in 2007 and will support his research, which is focused on the study and development of molecule-targeted therapies in breast cancer.

At the end of June, Michael Miller, DO, was awarded the Paul Grayson Smith, Sr., DO Physician of the Year Award by the Tennessee Osteopathic Medical Association (TOMA) for his outstanding service to Tennessee’s osteopathic medical community. A family physician with the Nashville Medical Group South, Miller is the immediate past president of TOMA.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Chin Chiang, PhD, has received a $200,000 Innovation Award from Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) for his work, a novel mouse model of rhabdomyosarcoma. ALSF, a nonprofit dedicated to finding cures for all kids with cancer, awarded more than $4 million through 48 new medical research grants to recipients at 34 institutions and universities in 19 states.

Rex E. Garton, Jr., AIA, CSI, CCS, LEED AP, director of Operations for Nashville-based Hart Freeland Roberts architects and engineers, is the 2012 recipient of the Edward H. Street Memorial Award, the highest award given by the Nashville Chapter of the Construction Specifications Institute.

Demonstrating a commitment to increasing breastfeeding rates in Davidson County, Baptist Hospital, Centennial Medical Center, Nashville General Hospital and Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital were recognized last month for successfully completing the NashVitality Give Me Five initiative. “Breastfeeding begins in the hospital. It is understood that a supportive environment in the first days significantly improves the chances for a woman to reach her breastfeeding goals. This leads to healthier mothers, babies, and a healthier society overall,” said Metro Davidson County Health Director William H. Paul, MD.

Bass, Berry & Sims was recently ranked by Modern Healthcare and the American Health Lawyers Association as one of the 10 largest health law firms in the U.S.

State Volunteer Mutual Insurance Company (SVMIC) has again received an “A” (Excellent) financial strength rating from A.M. Best Company. SVMIC is reviewed annually by the organization and has maintained an “A” or better rating for 29 years. No other physician-owned liability insurer has earned a higher rating for as many consecutive years.

Women’s Health & Imaging Center staff dedicated their new conference room in honor of Marie Kempista, Nashville’s first mammographer, during an open house July 12 in the center’s new location on TriStar Centennial’s campus. This dedication recognizes Kempista’s lifetime of achievements. A breast cancer survivor, she started Middle Tennessee’s first screening mammography program at what is today TriStar Centennial and helped implement Middle Tennessee’s only Tomosynthesis 3-D mammography program at TriStar Centennial before retiring in 2011. 

Eastman Chemical Company (NYSE: EMN) presented Brentwood Services Administrators Inc. (BSA) with its prestigious Excellence Award on June 21, 2012, as a part of the Eastman Supplier Excellence Program. BSA is an independent, employee-owned company specializing in structuring and managing alternative market solutions for workers’ compensation and other lines, such as various casualty programs.

Saint Thomas Hospital has been ranked No. 1 in Tennessee for safety by Consumer Reports. The safety scores combine six key measures including infections, readmissions, communication about new medications and discharge, overuse of CT scanning, complications and mortality. Consumer Reports rated 1,159 hospitals in 44 states, including 37 in Tennessee.

Hospitals & Health Network’s magazine released their annual “Most Wired Hospitals 2012” list in July. HCA and Vanderbilt University Medical Center represented Nashville. The only other honoree in Tennessee was Mountain States Health Alliance in Johnson City.


Recent Certifications, Accreditations & Commendations

The Lipscomb University College of Pharmacy has been granted full accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. This completes a six-year process that began when the program was officially announced in 2006 and came to fruition when the college awarded its first degrees at this year’s spring commencement and was then granted full accreditation status by the council.

Baptist Hospital has earned the Gold Seal of Approval™ from The Joint Commission for primary stroke care through The Joint Commission’s Primary Stroke Care Certification program, as well as the same honor for inpatient diabetes and joint replacement through The Joint Commission’s Disease-Specific Care Certification Program.

TriStar Southern Hills Medical Center is the recipient of the American College of Surgeons Center on Cancer Commission’s Outstanding Achievement Awards for 2011. Only 106 accredited and newly accredited cancer programs received the award.

Saint Thomas Hospital’s Joint Replacement Center received the UnitedHealth Premium specialty center designation in recognition of quality care for total joint replacement. The designation is based on detailed information about specialized training, practice capabilities and outcomes and is designed to help members make informed decisions should they need total joint replacement care.


Proctor Named President TEAMHealth MidSouth Division

TEAMHealth, one of the nation’s largest providers of hospital-based clinical outsourcing for emergency medicine, hospital medicine and anesthesia, recently announced the appointment of John Proctor, MD, MBA as president of the MidSouth Division, located in Brentwood.

Proctor is a diplomat of the American Board of Emergency Medicine, with sub-specialty certification in pediatric emergency medicine. He serves in leadership roles on multiple national emergency medicine organizations and is a member of the Joint Commission Ambulatory Accreditation Professional Technical Advisory Committee representing emergency medicine.


LHC Celebrates Ten Years

More than 300 Leadership Health Care members and guests celebrated the organization’s 10-year anniversary at LP Field West on July 19. (L-R) LHC Director Judith Byrd, LHC Board Chair Mark Wainner, Mayor Karl Dean and Nashville Health Care Council President Caroline Young.


Shareable Ink Secures Funding, Appoints VP

Executives with Shareable Ink®, an enterprise cloud computing company that transforms handwritten documentation to structured data and analytics, recently announced they have secured $5M in Series B Preferred financing from Lemhi Ventures, a healthcare-focused venture capital firm dedicated to disruptive change in the marketplace. Shareable Ink plans to utilize the proceeds to expand operations in all areas of the business, including client services and R&D to meet growth needs. 

In other news, Keith R. Slater has joined the organization as vice president of Client Services, where he will be responsible for customer implementation, account management and support functions. Slater has 25 years of HIT experience. Prior to joining Shareable Ink, he was general manager and vice president at Henry Schein Medical Systems, the technology division of Henry Schein, a Fortune 500 company. He has also held leadership positions at MED3000 and Misys Healthcare Systems (now Allscripts).


Saint Thomas Heart at Baptist Welcomes McMullan

Saint Thomas Heart at Baptist Hospital recently welcomed Paul W. McMullan, Jr., MD, a board certified interventional cardiologist, to the medical staff.

McMullan received his medical degree from the University of Mississippi in Jackson and completed a residency in internal medicine at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, N.C. He then completed a fellowship in cardiology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, serving as chief fellow his final year. He finished his training at the Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans, where he received his interventional cardiology and peripheral vascular interventional training.


DCI Donor Services Announces New Bridge2Life Director

DCI Donor Services, Inc. (DCIDS) recently announced Brandi Smith has been named the new director of Bridge2Life, a call center handling donor consent and referrals for locations served in California, New Mexico and Tennessee. In her new role, Smith will provide leadership in developing key strategies to ensure customer service and satisfaction in the call center environment that supports the entire company. 

Smith has over a decade of management experience. Most recently she served as the national director of call center operations for Safe Step Walk-in Tub Company. She earned her B.A. in telecommunications from Almeda University and is certified in Call Center Management, having earned this distinction from Purdue University.


Moser Named Sarah Cannon Cancer Center Administrator

TriStar Centennial Medical Center recently announce Patti Moser, RN, MPH, BSN, OCN®, has been named the new administrator and COO of the Sarah Cannon Cancer Center.  

Moser most recently served as service line director for oncology services and director of outreach and prevention at Via Christi Hospitals in Wichita, Kan. With a broad range of clinical expertise, she has led teams in community wellness programs, oncology service line development and staff development and recently led a 40,000-square-foot building project, which created a 40-bed medical and surgical oncology unit.

She received her Master of Public Health degree in 2003 from California College for Health Sciences in National City, Calif.


Bauer Joins Tennessee Oncology

Todd Bauer, MD recently joined Tennessee Oncology as a medical oncologist and hematologist. He will serve on staff at Baptist Hospital and conduct clinical trial research at the Drug Development Unit at Centennial Medical Center in Nashville.

Since 2009, he has been with Ohio State University’s Comprehensive Cancer Center in Columbus, Ohio, where he completed his fellowship in hematology and medical oncology at the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute. He served as chief fellow since 2011. Prior to that, Bauer served as chief resident for the Department of Internal Medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He received his medical degree from Loyola University Chicago – Stritch School of Medicine.


Koumtchev Joins TriStar Parthenon Pavilion

TriStar Parthenon Pavilion recently announced Alexandre Koumtchev, MD, a board-certified psychiatrist, has joined the medical staff and Centennial Psychiatric Associates, part of TriStar Medical Group. He will provide inpatient care and has assumed the role of medical director for the CLARITY program, an intensive outpatient treatment program focused on the healing of trauma.

Koumtchev received his medical degree from the Medical Academy, (Medical University – Sofia), in Sofia, Bulgaria, and completed his psychiatry residency at Vanderbilt. Previously, he was with the Veterans Affairs Hospital and has been an attending physician for patients at Parthenon since 2008.


Schneider, Lickey Join Centennial

TriStar Centennial Medical Center recently announced Jonathan Schneider, MD, a board-certified gastroenterologist, has joined its medical team and The Frist Clinic, part of TriStar Medical Group. In addition to treating patients for a variety of gastroenterological issues, Schneider also offers endoscopic ultrasound (EUS), an innovative test resulting in better images and information about the esophagus, stomach, pancreas and surrounding organs.

Schneider received his medical degree from University of Texas at Houston Medical School and completed his residency in internal medicine, followed by a gastroenterology fellowship and advanced endoscopy fellowship at Vanderbilt.

Mark Lickey, MD, a board-certified internist has also joined the hospital staff and Sterling Primary Care, also part of TriStar Medical Group. He received his medical degree from Loma Linda University School of Medicine in Loma Linda, Calif. and completed his residency in internal medicine at the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven and Waterbury, Conn.


Wyatt Named Clinic Director of Saint Thomas Diabetes Center

Saint Thomas Health recently named Johnny Wyatt, DNP, the new clinical director of the Diabetes Center at Saint Thomas Hospital. Previously, he held the position of diabetes service manager for the center.

Wyatt received his master of science in nursing from Vanderbilt University and his doctor of nursing practice degree from the University of Tennessee in Memphis. He is currently pursuing a master of business administration with a focus in healthcare administration from the University of St. Francis in Joliet, Ill. An active member of the American Diabetes Association and the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE), Wyatt is board certified by the AADE as an advanced diabetes management nurse practitioner.


Baptist Begins Diagnostic & Interventional Services Construction Project

This summer, Baptist Hospital began construction on a multi-phase renovation of the hospital’s second floor. Upgrades to the cardiac and medical imaging areas include a more streamlined process for patients coming to the hospital for diagnostic or interventional procedures. Diagnostic and interventional cardiac services will be consolidated in one area providing registration, admissions and expansion of pre- and post-procedure space to prep and recover all patients undergoing procedures in the Cardiovascular and Special Procedures Labs.

The hospital has already added a 128-slice CT scanner as a replacement to an older CT scanner. Rooms will be constructed for new digital radiography/fluoroscopy equipment and nuclear medicine SPECT/CT. Ultrasound will be relocated along with echocardiography and non-invasive testing services to create efficiency inpatient care. The renovation is expected to be complete in 2013.


TriStar Southern Hills Debuts Revolutionary Hand Hygiene System

TriStar Southern Hills Medical Center has raised the bar for patient and caregiver safety by implementing a system that works to improve hand hygiene, which is widely accepted as the most effective means of reducing healthcare-associated infections.

The Proventix nGage system uses “smart badges” assigned to and worn by individual healthcare staff. Upon entering a patient’s room where a cleansing event is expected to occur, the tag triggers the system, which measures the number of times the wearer cleanses, as well as how many opportunities there were to cleanse. The unit relays information about each individual through a wireless bridge for reporting. 

The system went live in May. By the end of June, the number of hand hygiene events had increased by 33 percent. A pilot installation at Princeton Baptist Medical Center in Birmingham, Ala. showed a 22 percent decrease in healthcare acquired infections.


Hospitalist Hakimian Joins TriStar Summit Medical Center

TriStar Summit Medical Center recently welcomed hospitalist Arman Hakimian, MD, to its medical staff. Hakimian is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and received his medical degree from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Memphis followed by a residency in internal medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center where he also served as chief resident from 2011-2012.


Maury Regional Adds Neurosurgery to Services

Maury Regional Medical Center (MRMC) has added neurosurgery to its list of specialties in the continued quest to offer advanced treatment close to home. With the addition of Mark Cobb, MD, assistant professor of neurological surgery at Vanderbilt, MRMC now offers procedures never before conducted in southern Middle Tennessee, including craniotomies and radiosurgery for brain tumors, stereotactic biopsies of the brain and management of chronic subdural hematomas. Additional neurosurgical services include spinal surgery for degenerative disease, cervical and lumbar stenosis, disk herniation, spinal instability and removal of benign and malignant spinal tumors.

Cobb, associated with Vanderbilt Neurosurgery at MRMC, received his medical degree from Vanderbilt University and completed his residency at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock and a fellowship in epilepsy surgery at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn. He comes to Maury Regional from Saint Mary’s Medical Center in Evansville, Ind.


Investing in the Next Generation

Williamson Medical Center Foundation recently awarded scholarships to 27 Williamson County residents pursuing degrees in healthcare. Elizabeth Koppang, a student at Furman University, who plans to be a physician, received the Isaac W. “Ike” Brown Scholarship, named in honor of Williamson Medical Center’s Board of Trustees chairman emeritus. The Foundation also awarded 26 Fay Porter Memorial Medical Scholarships, named in honor of a well-known volunteer who passed away at WMC after a long battle with cancer.

Adrienne Harris was awarded a $4,400 scholarship from United Health Foundation’s Diverse Scholars Initiative to pursue a career in healthcare. Harris is a rising senior pursuing a major in Healthcare Administration and Planning from the College of Health Sciences at Tennessee State University.


Moreland Joins Tennessee Center for Patient Safety

Jackie Moreland has been named clinical quality improvement specialist at the Tennessee Hospital Association’s (THA) Tennessee Center for Patient Safety. In her new role, she is responsible for the implementation of quality improvement strategies and interventions related to the hospital engagement network (HEN) contract. The HEN program focus includes safety culture, leadership and 10 priority topics including adverse drug events, various healthcare-acquired infection issues, injuries from falls, and preventable readmissions.

Previously, Moreland was stroke coordinator at Vanderbilt University Hospital. She also has held clinical positions at Skyline Medical Center and Nashville Memorial Hospital. Moreland has a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Vanderbilt and a master’s degree in adult education from the University of Tennessee – Knoxville.


LifePoint Hospitals Promotes Seven 

Michael Grooms has been promoted from senior director to vice president, Financial Reporting. He offers expertise in accounting, internal and external financial reporting, and SEC compliance. Prior to joining LifePoint in 2006, he was with Delek and KPMG.

Six staff members have been promoted from director to senior director in various departments.

In Liability Claims, Brett Coco offers expertise in insurance program management and claim negotiations. With LifePoint since 2009, Coco previously served HCA as director, Insurance.

In the Tax Department, Jack DaBell offers expertise in partnership taxation, income tax planning and income tax accounting. Previously, DaBell was with Deloitte Tax, LLP.

In Managed Care, Walt Franz offers expertise in contract negotiations and management. Previously, Franz served Delek US/Mapco Express as director of pricing.

In Revenue Cycle Operations, Joe Gourley offers expertise in accounts receivable & revenue cycle management and enhancement, and project management. With LifePoint since 2005, he previously was with G&A Revenue Cycle Management.

In Regulatory and Accreditation, Michael Greer offers expertise in healthcare quality improvement, patient safety, regulatory and accreditation. Previously, he served as manager, Quality, at HCA.

In Reimbursement, Tom Pezanosky offers expertise in Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement, and patient accounting/contractual modeling. Previously, he was with HCA.


MDSave Launches Online Service to Search, Compare, Buy Discounted Health Services

MDSave Inc., a Brentwood-based healthcare technology company, announced in late June the launch of a new healthcare service which provides self-pay patients and those with high deductible insurance plans an easy-to-use, online resource to compare and save on their healthcare related expenses.

Co-founded by Paul Ketchel and Clyde Spencer, offers Tennessee patients the ability to compare the cost of medical procedures offered by physicians in their community. Healthcare providers post medical services with the total price they charge directly on the website. Patients then can easily search, compare, and purchase those services with complete privacy. After a purchase is made, the customer is provided a medical voucher for the service and the physician’s appointment desk is notified. Patients receive discounted services and medical providers receive full payment for their services within six days or less without the need to file lengthy claim forms.


TriStar, YMCA Complete Construction on Southern Hills Campus

Officials with TriStar and the YMCA of Middle Tennessee recently cut the ribbon on a nearly 5,000 square-foot facility on the campus of Southern Hills Medical Center (SHMC). Vacant office space was transformed into a state-of-the-art wellness center and cardiac/pulmonary rehab facility, which is being run by the Y with SHMC personnel to provide the rehab services (for which Y membership will not be required).


GS&P Expands International Healthcare Portfolio with Projects in Ghana and Russia

Gresham, Smith and Partners, a multi-disciplinary design and consulting firm to the built environment, was recently awarded contracts to design medical centers in Russia and Ghana. Both the St. James Medical Center in Accra, Ghana and The Russian American Medical Center in Tver, Russia will be acute-care facilities designed for construction on greenfield sites to support the growing healthcare needs within these two international communities.


iPractice Group’s Growth Plan Leads to More AEs Across the U.S.

At the end of June, iPractice Group, Inc. announced their continued expansion with new additions to their sales organization. Monte Ruder has been named vice president of Sales. Ruder brings nearly 20 years in sales management and strategic leadership positions working with the top electronic health records and practice management software developers. He is joined by Jeff Day, account executive for North Carolina and South Carolina; Mark Geinopolos, account executive for Wisconsin and Illinois; and Demetrios Dimidis, account executive for New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware.

The latest additions are the first wave in iPractice Group’s plan for a direct sales force covering 20 states by Oct. 1, 2012. “We are excited about the opportunity to reach more physicians and practice managers with an expanded group of professional and seasoned account executives across the U.S. to help practices achieve Meaningful Use and prepare for ICD-10,” said iPractice CEO and Co-founder Ting Chang.


ProAccura Names Renwick to Lead HIT Security Business Sector

Nashville-based ProAccura, which provides information technology security for the healthcare and financial industries, recently named Michael Renwick as its business development executive.

Renwick has more than 25 years of experience in the healthcare industry, most recently as principal of MAR Health Services Consulting Group. He also served as director healthcare sales, healthcare marketing for AT&T Business Solutions and was responsible for strategic planning, market positioning, sales direction, and training for AT&T. Renwick is a Certified Professional in Health Information & Management Systems (CPHIMS) and is a Fellow of the Healthcare Information & Management Systems Society.


ReviveHealth Establishing Nashville Headquarters

California-based ReviveHealth, the nation’s 11th largest healthcare public relations agency according to trade publication O’Dwyer’s, had decided to establish its headquarters in Nashville, according to company president and founder Brandon Edwards.

The decision, announced last month, comes on the heels of a corporate name change from Revive to ReviveHealth. Edwards plans to relocate to his family to Tennessee and said he hopes to double the number of employees in the Nashville office within two years.

"More than 500 healthcare companies are either headquartered or have offices in Nashville," Edwards told Nashville Post. That has bred an extremely robust healthcare ecosystem that you just can't find in very many other areas of the country."

ReviveHealth will maintain its Santa Barbara office, which is home to 12 employees.


LBMC Announces Nashville Audit Department Promotions

Lattimore Black Morgan & Cain, PC (LBMC), recently announced five promotions from staff member to senior in audit in its Nashville office.

Jared Chaffin, CPA has experience with a variety of industries including manufacturing and distribution, not-for-profit and healthcare. Amanda R. Fletcher, CPA has worked with clients across industry lines including construction, manufacturing and distribution, service, and not-for-profit organizations. Buck Freeman, CPA has experience including financial software development, software implementation, and consulting with hospital CFOs and controllers. He is also proficient in several programming languages. Clayton Joyce and Ashley Kilmon were also among those promoted.


Leadership Health Care Announces Board of Directors

Leadership Health Care (LHC) announced the July 1 appointment of its 2012-2013 board of directors. Mark Wainner, vice president, Operations, AmSurg is board chairman and Ted Lomicka, assistant treasurer, Community Health Systems, is vice chairman. 

The following new directors joined the LHC board for three-year terms: Lance Bridgesmith, attorney, Butler, Snow, O’Mara, Stevens & Cannada; Darin Gordon, deputy commissioner of the Department of Finance and Administration and director of TennCare, State of Tennessee; J.L. Osei Mevs, senior associate vice president for External Affairs, Meharry Medical College; Benson Sloan, analyst, Bank of America Merrill Lynch; and, Merry Beth Ward, director of Marketing, HealthSpring. Garrick Berberich, Vanderbilt Owen School of Management Health Care MBA candidate, joins the group in a one-year student board seat.

The following board members were re-elected to the board: Clint Adams, CFO, Ardent Health Services; Kelvin Ault, vice president, Tax, Vanguard Health Systems; Sarah Cook, director, Account Management, Healthways; and Leon Dowling, founder and CEO, IMI Health.


American Heart Association names 2012-13 Greater Nashville Board of Directors 

2012-13 Chair - Clay Bright, VP, Brasfield and Gorrie

2012-13 President – George Crossley, MD, Saint Thomas Heart

2012-13 Members:

Jason Boyd, COO and Interim CEO, Metropolitan Hospital Authority, Nashville General Hospital at Meharry

Fred Carr, Chief Operating Officer, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools

Ernie Clevenger, President, CareHere, LLC

Julie Damp, MD, Cardiologist, Internal Medicine, Vanderbilt Heart & Vascular Institute

Bruce Doeg, Business Department Chair, Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC

James Drumwright, COO, TriStar Heart

Ken Harms, COO, UPS MidSouth District

Kate Herman, President and Publisher, Nashville Business Journal

Angela Humphreys, Partner, Bass, Berry and Sims

Mary Kampa, Chief Counsel, American General Life and Accident Insurance Company

Randy Lowry, President, Lipscomb University

Charles P. Mouton, MD, MS, SVP for Health Affairs and Dean, Meharry Medical College

Carol Murdock, Chief Marketing Officer, Health Management Systems

Steve Otto, CEO, Skyline Medical Center

Brad Perkins, MD, Chief Transformation Officer, Vanguard Health Systems

C. Wright Pinson, MD, CEO, Vanderbilt Health System

Charlie Powell, CEO, Saint Thomas Physician Services

Dawn Rudolph, CEO, Saint Thomas Hospital

Denise Wilder Warren, SVP and CFO, Capella Healthcare Inc.

Ward Wilson, Regional President, U.S. Bank

Emeritus members:

Scott Baldwin, MD, Chief of Pediatric Cardiology, MCJ Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital

Joey Barnett, MD, PHD, Vice Chairman of Pharmacology, Professor of Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology and Director of Graduate Studies in Pharmacology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Steven Manoukian, MD, FACC, FSCAI, Director of Cardiovascular Research, Sarah Cannon Research Institute

Board advisor:  

Samuel Hazen, President of Operations, HCA


MagMutual Establishes Owners CircleSM Reward Program

Ownership has its rewards at MagMutual Insurance Company. The company’s physician-led board of directors has approved an initial contribution to establish its new Owners Circle reward program. The contribution equals 30 percent of the prior year’s premium and will apply to renewing medical professional liability insurance policyholders.

Current MagMutual medical liability insurance policyholders in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia are eligible to participate in the Owners Circle when they renew their policy.

The initial allocation means each eligible physician named on a policy will be credited 30 percent of the expiring premium as the Owners Circle benefit. Eligibility will be described in an endorsement sent with each policy renewal. Each policyholder renewing between April 1, 2012, and March 31, 2013, will receive an Owners Circle Summary reflecting this benefit for each physician. 

Distribution of an account will occur when a currently insured physician fully retires from practice (after age 50), becomes totally disabled or dies. MagMutual will pay the Owners Circle distribution to the policyholder after the qualifying event. Owners Circle accounts will accumulate allocations when approved by the company’s board of directors.


Onlife Health Expands Scientific Advisory Committee

Nashville-based National wellness company Onlife Health, Inc., recently announced the addition of two new members to its scientific advisory board, which was first established in May 2010. The group, comprising of six leading health and wellness experts with backgrounds spanning industry, government and academia, provides ongoing advice and consultation relating to clinical protocols, research and scientific innovations in health coaching, population engagement, and other areas of Onlife’s services.

Edward M. Phillips, MD: assistant professor, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Harvard

Medical School; director, Outpatient Medical Services of the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital

Network in Boston, MA; founder and director, The Institute of Lifestyle Medicine in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Harvard Medical School; member, American College of Sports Medicine task force that develops and leads the Exercise is Medicine™ program; co-author of Exercise is Medicine™, The Clinician’s Guide to the Exercise Prescription; recipient of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports Community Service Award.

S. Leonard Syme, PhD: emeritus professor, Epidemiology and Community Health, School of

Public Health, University of California in Berkeley; director, the Research for Action Center, attempting to improve the health of poor people by empowering them and their communities; considered the “father of social epidemiology;” author of two technical books and several hundred scientific papers; elected member, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences; recipient of the Lilienfeld Award for Excellence in Teaching, the J.D. Bruce Award from the American College of Physicians for Distinguished Contributions in Preventive Medicine, the University of California Distinguished Emeritus Professor Award and the Wade Hampton Frost Award from the American Public Health Association. 


Management Restructuring Announced for Upper Cumberland Capella-Saint Thomas System

A management restructuring has been announced for the four hospitals that are now part of the Capella-Saint Thomas health system, according to Mark Medley, president of Hospital Operations for Capella Healthcare.

“In May, we celebrated the new partnership between Saint Thomas Health and Capella’s four Upper Cumberland hospitals, launching our first steps towards creating a dynamic health system to expand services and access in the Upper Cumberland.  This week, we’re initiating a management restructuring that will help us move to the next level.”

Bill Little has been named full-time CEO for Highlands Medical Center (HMC) in Sparta (formerly White County Community Hospital). With the hospital’s million-dollar renovation project starting later this year, the growing hospital needed the focus of a full-time executive. Little served as CEO for DCH and SRH for several years, adding HMC in July.

Effective June 18, Bob Luther became Interim CEO for DeKalb Community Hospital and Stones River Hospital. Additionally, Medley announced the creation of a new position, Market Chief Financial Officer (CFO), which will serve all four facilities. A nationwide search to identify the ideal candidate for this role as well as the new CEO for DCH and SRH has been launched this week.  


In Other News from Capella

On July 1, the partnership between Muskogee Regional Medical Center and Muskogee Community Hospital that will unite the hospitals into one comprehensive health system was finalized. Both hospitals, located in Muskogee, OK, are now operated jointly by Capella Healthcare, which entered into a long-term lease and assumed management of Muskogee Community Hospital effective today.

Capella will merge the strengths and capacity of both hospitals into a unified system of healthcare providers to serve Muskogee and the surrounding region. The structure of this single comprehensive organization will create opportunities for expanding access to care. Capella has operated Muskogee Regional Medical Center since 2007, when it entered into a 40-year long-term lease of the 275-bed acute-care hospital. Muskogee Community Hospital, a physician-owned and operated facility licensed for 45 beds, was opened in 2009. The Joint Commission accredits both hospitals.


Live Patient Appointment Reminder Service, RemindAmerica Inc., Launches New Website

The patient reminder service RemindAmerica has launched a new website that will allow healthcare practitioners to find more information about their patient appointment services. 

Realizing a need to further educate the healthcare community on their unique services, RemindAmerica has joined with web development and advertising agency Horton Group to launch the new website.

The patient appointment reminder service offers a dedicated staff whose main goal is to help improve efficiency and maximize scheduling potential, while enhancing the connection between practice and patient. It is estimated that missed appointments can cost a practice, in some cases, over 20 percent of their total income, which in turn has a negative impact on healthcare in general.

The new website focuses on a variety of ways their appointment reminder service can help improve a healthcare practice. Benefits do not only come in the form of efficiency and profit, but also the ability to improve relationships between patients and providers.  RemindAmerica does not use any automation in their process; their staff of live operators handles every appointment.  From their call center based in Nashville, operators are on hand to speak directly with patients and act as an extension of the practice. 


Care Cycle Introduced as Latest Innovation from Passport

Franklin-based Passport Health Communications Inc. has again expanded its roster of technology and services for patient access and payment certainty with the announcement of a new set of solutions for the Care Cycle. The new product helps hospitals and health systems manage a patient’s entire episode of care – from initial diagnosis through full recovery – with an emphasis on upfront discharge planning, improving patient wait times, and reducing readmissions.

The official launch took place today in Las Vegas at the Healthcare Financial Management Association Annual National Institute. 

The Care Cycle Suite is delivered via Passport’s eCare™ NEXT solution and currently features two modules.

•  PatientTrack – monitors patient wait time to help hospitals and health systems improve patient throughput, optimize staff productivity, and improve overall patient satisfaction.

•  PatientRisk – identifies patients at high risk for readmission, enabling providers to reduce 30-day readmission rates by allocating limited post-discharge resources to patients who, based on scoring, are likely to be readmitted. 

The Passport Care Cycle Suite allows staff to begin communicating discharge instructions upfront and even schedule a follow-up visit with a physician in a systematic manner, instead of as the patient is leaving. Data on key clinical activities that is now and is going to be required for payment, such as quality measures for Medicare reimbursement, can also be monitored and reported for increased reimbursement per diagnosis.


ICA Helps Central Illinois Health Information Exchange Achieve Operational “Go-Live”

Central Illinois Health Information Exchange (CIHIE) and Nashville-based ICA, a leading provider of interoperability technology that enables care coordination and health information exchange (HIE), announced in late June that CIHIE is the first regional health information exchange (HIE) in Illinois to “go-live” with secure, automated data exchange of patient records.  CIHIE serves approximately 1.3 million people in 20 counties in the Peoria, Bloomington, Champaign, and Decatur areas of Illinois. 

By late September, clinicians at participating organizations will be trained regarding use of the exchange to locate patient records. The CIHIE service area currently includes 27 hospitals, 20 health departments, 2,800 physicians, 280 pharmacies, 12 labs and imaging centers and numerous ancillary healthcare providers such as rehabilitation centers, behavioral healthcare, long-term care facilities and nursing homes.