Parma General Hospital

University Hospitals Parma Medical Center Awarded Fall 2023 ‘A’ Hospital Safety Grade From Leapfrog Group

University Hospitals Parma Medical Center received an “A” Hospital Safety Grade from The Leapfrog Group, a national nonprofit upholding the standard of patient safety in hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers. This national distinction celebrates UH Parma Medical Center’s achievements in prioritizing patient safety by protecting patients from preventable harm and errors. This marks the second ‘A’ rating UH Parma Medical Center has received this year (spring 2023, fall 2023).

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Volume 15, Issue 12, Posted 10:13 AM, 12.01.2023

UH Parma Medical Center Earns Highest Quality Ranking From CMS

University Hospitals Parma Medical Center received the highest possible rating of five stars for quality from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal agency that administers Medicare.
CMS rates hospitals from one to five stars, based on their safety, efficiency and patient experience. UH Parma Medical Center is one of only 483 hospitals in the U.S. to earn this designation. Compared to more than 4,600 other hospitals nationwide, only ten percent received five stars.
“Our UH Parma team wears this five star badge of honor with tremendous pride,” said Brian Monter, MSN, RN, MBA, Chief Operating Officer, UH West Market. “Not only do our caregivers provide high-quality care to our patients, they also work hard to ensure each person in their care has a positive experience while they’re with us. I’m proud of their efforts in achieving this well-deserved recognition.”
CMS calculates star ratings based on a variety of quality measures divided into five categories: mortality, safety of care, readmission, patient experience, and timely and effective care. Scores reflect common conditions, such as heart attack and pneumonia, and the overall rating indicates how each hospital performs.
CMS publishes star ratings on Hospital Compare to help patients choose a hospital based on patient experience, and are one of many resources consumers should consider in making informed health care decisions.
Learn more about the ratings and methodology here:

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Volume 15, Issue 8, Posted 10:45 AM, 08.01.2023

UH Parma Invests Nearly $2 Million In Interventional Radiology Upgrade

Nearly $2 million was invested in an upgrade of Interventional Radiology equipment at University Hospitals Parma Medical Center, enabling the care team to provide more complex exams for a wider range of patients. UH Parma now has the most sophisticated IR lab in the entire UH system, which includes more than 20 hospitals, including five joint ventures.

The updated Interventional Radiology suite unveiled in a May 16 celebration with local and system Radiology leaders and staff will allow for higher-quality imaging that emits a lower radiation dose to the patient.

“Many of the procedures patients would have had to go downtown for previously can now be done at our community hospital,” said Chief Operating Officer James Hill, MD. He credited UH system leaders with acknowledging the growing volumes at UH Parma that necessitated this investment. “This is a big day for UH Parma, and it’s been a long time coming.”

The modern Interventional Radiology suite features new fluoroscopy and ultrasound equipment and a new patient recovery area. Key referring providers currently include various surgical and medical subspecialties, particularly those caring for cancer patients. These new capabilities will expand the spectrum of procedures provided to include more advanced outpatient therapies such as oncologic and non-oncologic embolotherapy, vascular malformation treatments, and pain treatments such as kyphoplasty.

Vessels can be visualized with 3D mapping, and 2D and 3D images can be fused. The resolution of images is 40 percent greater than standard imaging, which provides enhanced visualization of even the smallest structures, allowing radiologists to see the degree of stenosis, or narrowing, in vessels.

Donna Plecha, MD, FACR, FSBI, Chair of Radiology for the UH system, said the growing volumes at UH Parma under the leadership of Salim-Tamuz Abboud, MD, UH Parma’s Chairman of the Department of Radiology, helped make the case for investing in the upgrade at UH Parma and keeping patients closer to home. Added Jon Davidson, MD, FSIR, Division Chief of Interventional Radiology: “UH Parma now has the newest, most updated IR capabilities in the UH system.”

“UH Parma Interventional Radiology will now be capable of effectively matching the breadth and complexity of outpatient IR procedures offered at UH Cleveland Medical Center and regional locations,” said Dr. Abboud. “This is a generational leap in interventional radiology capability for our community and now represents the most technologically advanced interventional radiology suite in the University Hospitals system.”

A strong interventional radiology section is vital to providing high-quality standard of care for many kinds of patients across various service lines, Dr. Abboud added. Capable angiography, ultrasound and CT equipment are basic necessities, he noted, and the recently upgraded IR equipment allows UH Parma to deliver the services to meet the demands of our growing hospital.

“UH Parma IR now has the ability to care for the sickest patients in the hospital,” Dr. Abboud said. “Local patients, including certain trauma patients and those with internal or gastrointestinal bleeding, were often transferred to UH Cleveland Medical Center specifically for IR procedures. Now our patients can receive that care at UH Parma Medical Center in an expedited fashion.”

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Volume 15, Issue 6, Posted 10:06 AM, 06.01.2023

UH Parma Stroke Screening Focuses On Prevention

Not staying up to watch late night TV might have saved Ron Clow’s life.

Usually when his wife heads to bed in the evening, Ron remains in the living room to finish a ball game or some other show. But on the night of Feb. 28, Josephine said she was going to bed, and Ron thought that sounded like a good idea.

He was right.

When Josephine came out of the bathroom after preparing for bed, Ron was speaking gibberish and having trouble moving one side of his body. At least that’s what he was told, because he doesn’t remember any of the next three days, from being transported by ambulance to UH Parma Medical Center for evaluation of a stroke and administration of the clot-busting Tenecteplase, to being lifeflighted to UH Cleveland Medical Center for a thrombectomy or mechanical removal of the clot.

“Thank God for her – she called 9-1-1 for the ambulance,” said the Parma man, 73, who has been married to his wife for 54 years and known her since kindergarten. “If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be here right now.”

UH Parma is a Joint Commission-certified Primary Stroke Center and among 14 UH hospitals recognized for quality stroke care. UH Cleveland Medical Center, a Comprehensive Stroke Center that can handle mechanical removal of clots in ischemic stroke cases, is the only hospital in Ohio for the second consecutive year to receive all four of the highest awards from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Quality Achievement Awards.

Timing is critical in stroke cases. Every 40 seconds in the United States, someone suffers a stroke, and every 3.5 minutes someone dies. It’s the leading cause of long-term disability in the country. UH Parma works closely with EMS on stroke identification, and EMS can notify the hospital of a suspected stroke en route to the Emergency Department. The Stroke Team is activated to prepare for the patient.

“EMS identified his stroke symptoms, and stroke activation was initiated before he arrived,” said ED physician Tom Mager, MD. “He was evaluated in the hallway and then taken directly to CT. Radiology interpreted his head CT, and I ordered thrombolytics and a CT angiogram that identified a large vessel arterial occlusion. The patient was flown to CMC (UH Cleveland Medical Center). It was similar to care that we perform every day.”

Ron spent a total of 21 days in the hospital, including three days in the Neurosciences Unit at UH Cleveland Medical Center before returning to his community hospital for intensive therapy at UH Parma’s Acute Rehabilitation Center.
He has graduated from a walker to a cane and is moving around pretty well now. He starting outpatient physical therapy.

“Everybody at the hospital was just great,” Ron said. Added Josephine: “He wouldn’t be doing as good as he is if everybody – the paramedics, the doctors, the nurses, everybody – didn’t move quick. I couldn’t say enough about all of them.”

The most effective treatments for stroke are only available if the stroke is identified within the first three hours after symptoms present. It’s critical to BE FAST:
• BALANCE – Is it difficult for the person to walk?
• EYE – Does the person have a sudden change in vision?
• FACE – Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
• ARMS – Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
• SPEECH – Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Is the speech slurred? Can he/she repeat the sentence?
• TIME – If the person shows any of these symptoms, call 9-1-1 immediately.

UH Parma has planned a stroke screening on Thursday, May 11 from 12-2 p.m. at the Parma-Powers Branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library, 6996 Powers Blvd., Parma, across the street from the hospital. The free stroke risk assessment from the UH experts includes checks of blood pressure, blood glucose, total cholesterol and body mass index. No preregistration is required.

UH experts also are offering two virtual health talks during Stroke Awareness Month. Register for these talks at
• Stroke 101 on Wednesday, May 10 from 12-1 p.m. with Cathy Sila, MD, Director of the UH System Stroke Program
• Life After Stroke on Wednesday, May 24 from 6-7 p.m. with a variety of experts including Dr. Sila speaking on stroke prevention medications and others covering driving evaluation after a stroke and smoking cessation strategies.

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Volume 15, Issue 5, Posted 11:01 AM, 05.01.2023

Bystander CPR Saves Actor Who Collapses Backstage

The curtain had just closed on the community theater’s opening night performance of Macbeth when Elisabeth Roter collapsed. But the 57-year old University Hospitals’ physician and thespian who survived a cardiac arrest that night will always remember her good fortune to be in a theater – surrounded by bystanders who knew CPR, including a local primary care physician – when her heart stopped.

In theater circles, the famous Shakespeare play is marred by a curse that even uttering the name “Macbeth” in a theater outside of an actual performance conjures bad luck. Legend has it that the actor playing Lady Macbeth died on the opening night of the Bard’s play in London in 1606.

To Elisabeth, who does not believe the superstition, the play could not be luckier.

“It certainly was good luck for me that this happened in the theater,” said the actress and singer, who began performing on stage at the age of 9 and acted in community theater until medical school. "For this to happen right after the curtain call – the timing was perfect. At least it didn’t happen while I was driving or when I was at home asleep.”

A fellow cast member saw Elisabeth stumble and caught her, breaking her fall as she lost consciousness. They quickly called for back-up from medical professionals in the audience.

Michael Saridakis, DO, a UH family medicine physician who practices in Parma and Broadview Heights, was watching the play with his sister-in-law, an Akron-based emergency medicine physician. Her husband was in the play and summoned her backstage. Dr. Saridakis quickly joined her to see how he could assist also.

“I saw her on the ground, and they were attending to her,” he said. “While we were assessing her, she stopped breathing and we started CPR and called for the AED.”

While Dr. Saridakis checked Elisabeth’s pulse, another doctor performed chest compressions while a third physician began mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. When Elisabeth stopped breathing, he took over chest compressions while his sister-in-law, the emergency medicine physician, set up the automated external defibrillator (AED), which Ohio schools are required to have on site. The defibrillator jolted her heart back into a normal rhythm and she opened her eyes.

Bystanders performing CPR before emergency personnel arrive can double or triple a person’s chances of survival. Each year, more than 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside a hospital setting where trained caregivers know exactly what to do. In fact, cardiac arrest claims more lives each year than colorectal cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, influenza, pneumonia, automobile accidents, HIV, firearms and house fires combined, according to the American Heart Association.

This is the fourth time that Dr. Saridakis has been involved in saving a life with CPR in a public setting. The other incidents occurred in his church, a restaurant and on a residential street.

“Oftentimes it happens with loved ones, and family members are right there,” Dr. Saridakis says of the 70 percent of cardiac arrests that occur at home. “We hear so many stories from patients, so we strongly encourage people to learn CPR. You actually can save a life.”

An ambulance took Elisabeth from the theater in Willoughby to UH Lake West Medical Center. A cardiac catheterization was performed and a small defibrillator was implanted in her chest. She was discharged a few days later.

“The faster you start CPR, the better off the person is, because you want to keep blood flow circulating so they will survive and not suffer brain damage," Elisabeth said.

About 90 percent of people who suffer a cardiac arrest outside a hospital do not survive. She is fortunate to be among the lucky 10 percent.

“Most people who have a cardiac arrest outside the hospital setting do not survive, because it’s not witnessed, or people don’t get there quickly enough, or they don’t know what to do,” Elisabeth says. “By knowing CPR, there’s a greater chance that lives can be saved.”

Contact the UH EMS Training & Disaster Preparedness Institute for American Heart Association CPR and AED training classes.

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Volume 15, Issue 2, Posted 8:15 AM, 02.01.2023

Destiny Walks Again For UH Parma Caregivers Two Years After Paralysis Strikes

Two years after a mysterious virus attacked her nervous system and paralyzed her from the waist down, Destiny Porter returned to University Hospitals Parma Medical Center with a present for her caregivers. They gathered around her wheelchair, overjoyed to see this young woman who at 25, on the verge of getting married and starting a new life, was struck down by a medical crisis and forced to learn how to navigate life as a paraplegic. The ICU nurses and physical and occupational therapists from the Acute Rehabilitation Unit were eager to hear how she had been faring.  

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Volume 15, Issue 1, Posted 6:13 PM, 01.01.2023

Get To Know The COO Of UH Parma Medical Center

James Hill, MD, MBA, is a highly visible leader at University Hospitals Parma Medical Center, a high-volume community hospital that takes cares of many high-acuity patients. He can often be seen walking the nursing floors, getting a coffee at Healing Grounds in the hospital lobby or taking care of patients in the Intensive Care Unit. A practicing anesthesiologist, he worked in the ICU one full week each month on the pandemic front lines while also serving as Chief Medical Officer at UH Parma.

UH Parma is a high-volume hub for cardiac and vascular surgery through UH Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute, as well as for gastroenterology and bariatric surgery through the UH Digestive Health Institute. The first Comprehensive Pain Center in the UH system was established at UH Parma, and the hospital has built up a busy Sleep Center and an outpatient Wound Center, as well as becoming a Level III Trauma Center under Dr. Hill's tenure.

We're a community hospital that does a lot of things really well," says Dr. Hill, who personally witnessed the second highest COVID-19 volumes in the UH system after main campus.

The son of a nurse and an electrical engineer, he learned early and often the example of serving others and solving problems with compassion, humility and respect. An Assistant Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine at Case Western Reserve University's School of Medicine, Dr. Hill has mentored numerous medical residents and fellows. He also has conducted grand rounds for anesthesia residents at main campus and internal medicine residents at UH Parma.

Dr. Hill has two patents and has been invited to lecture nationally and internationally. He received NIH and state grants for the invention and development of Hemalogix, a program that looks at each transfusion and helps determine clinically appropriateness to reduce patient harm. His start-up company Hemaptics has received support from UH Ventures as it seeks to commercialize this patent for artificial intelligence, allowing Hemalogix to develop a more robust and accurate algorithm based on review of outcomes.

With several years each as the former UH System Medical Director of Transfusion Services and Blood Management and Division Chief of Trauma Anesthesiology, Dr. Hill has also presented at numerous national meetings of the Society of Critical Care Anesthesiologists and published several peer-reviewed articles. Last year, he was invited to lecture to an international audience on blood management during the pandemic.

When Dr. Hill isn't managing operations at UH Parma, he is busy at home with his wife and three young children. He lives in the nearby community of Independence, the hometown of his wife, Katie Day Hill, a former speech therapist. He is widely visible in the hospital's larger community, such as participating in the City of Parma's Independence Day parade.

At UH Parma, we care for family members, friends, the loved ones of people we know," Dr. Hill says. We have a vested interest in the larger community we serve."

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Volume 14, Issue 12, Posted 10:57 AM, 12.01.2022

UH Parma's Lung Nodule Clinic Discovers, Treats Man's Suspicious Mass

The confident care of a skilled surgeon using a robot to remove a mysterious mass in his chest was enough to intrigue Star Wars fan Tom Farmer. A physically fit executive who walks up to five miles most mornings, Farmer had just begun experiencing occasional but inexplicable episodes of light headedness after he turned 60. His primary care physician ordered a coronary artery calcium scoring scan, a noninvasive diagnostic test offered free at University Hospitals that can detect calcification of the coronary arteries and determine heart attack risk.

As often occurs, the CT scan of his chest yielded information about his heart – and beyond. The scan showed a 4.5-centimeter mass on his thymus, an immune system gland, in the center of his chest. Farmer was surprised, as he had not felt any pain, pressure or discomfort – not a single symptom that a foreign, potentially cancerous mass was forming. Up to half of all adults who get a chest X-ray or CT scan have lung nodules, according to the American Thoracic Society. They typically appear as a white spot or shadow on a radiographic image and are too small to cause pain or breathing problems. They may result from an irritant, scar tissue or a healed infection.

Farmer was referred to the Lung Nodule Clinic at University Hospitals Parma Medical Center. Even before his appointment took place, he received a call from coordinator Kellie Selig, RN, explaining what he could expect. This call comforted him, immediately putting him at ease. “Kellie was very calming,” said Farmer, a father of four and grandfather of nine. “This was the most serious health situation I had ever faced. I was scared in that moment – and here is this wonderful person who is going to guide me through.”

Nurse practitioner Lynda Boldt, CNP, of the Community Care Clinic, where the program is based, evaluates each patient for referral to the appropriate specialist, such as a pulmonologist for bronchoscopy, interventional radiology for biopsy or additional scanning, or a thoracic surgeon, Christopher Towe, MD, for removal. Farmer was referred immediately to Dr. Towe, who prides himself on expediting referrals from the clinic. “I literally walked out of that meeting with Kellie, Lynda and Dr. Towe thinking I couldn’t have a better team,” Farmer said. “These guys, they know their stuff.”

The Lung Nodule Clinic has put minds at ease and caught cancer early for hundreds of patients since it opened three years ago. “Concerning conditions are seen almost immediately,” says Dr. Towe. “We never refuse an emergency evaluation. In fact, most patients go from a worrisome CT scan to a definitive care plan within 10 days.”

Across the country, an estimated 70 percent of lung nodule cases fail to be tracked. UH Parma’s lung nodule clinic include a registry that logs patients so these often slow-growing masses are tracked over time. “We want zero patients lost to follow up,” Dr. Towe said. “We want to miss no one.”

Farmer talked with Dr. Towe about the tumor found on his thymus. He learned he had two options: a biopsy, where a sample of the mass is sent to pathology to determine whether the tumor was dangerous, or a complete resection of the mass. Farmer was drawn to the latter, especially when Dr. Towe explained that he could use a robot – “like R2D2” – in the modern new operating theatres at UH Parma Medical Center. Dr. Towe is increasingly using the Da Vinci Xi, a high-tech robotic platform, for removal of masses like this one. Of particular note: many patients go home from UH Parma within 24 hours of their operation due to a novel fast-track recovery program. This is far quicker than the national average of four days, says the surgeon.

Fewer than 5 percent of all nodules turn out to be cancer, and even in these cases, the cancer is often in its earliest stages. Tom’s cancer had not spread to other organs, but some aggressive features necessitated a series of daily radiation treatments for six weeks. “Within 48 hours of being told I had this mass in my chest, I was meeting with my thoracic surgeon,” Farmer said. “I’m a Star Wars fan, and when he mentioned a robot like R2-D2, I knew I liked this guy. His confidence makes you feel great.”

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 9:40 AM, 09.01.2022

UH Parma's Wound Center Helps Keep Patients From Being Admitted To The Hospital For Chronic, Non-Healing Wounds

Not all patients are admitted to the hospital for heart attacks, strokes, hip replacement surgery or pneumonia. Sometimes chronic, non-healing wounds, and related side effects such as infection, are the cause. At University Hospitals Parma Medical Center, the Wound & Hyperbaric Medicine Center is helping prevent patients from being admitted to the hospital for conditions that can be treated by specialists on an outpatient basis.

National statistics show that patients with untreated wounds are 20 times more likely to end up in the Emergency Department or be admitted to the hospital. But that is not the case at UH Parma, where specialists can see patients quickly for a wide array of conditions: vascular surgeons treating venous ulcers and consulting on procedures to improve circulation and expedite healing; podiatrists treating diabetic foot ulcers; infectious disease physicians providing long-term antibiotics for bone infections; and a plastic surgery-trained nurse practitioner tending to dog bites, minor burns and non-healing surgical wounds.

UH Parma’s Wound & Hyperbaric Medicine Center has been recognized with a Center of Distinction award by Healogics, the nation’s largest provider of advanced wound care services. The award signifies outstanding clinical outcomes and exceptionally high patient satisfaction.

“The Wound Center is truly an awesome service to have on our UH Parma campus,” said Chief Medical Officer Chris Dussel, MD, an ED physician who sees a regular flow of referrals to the Wound Center. “They provide timely and consistent follow-up, often seeing our patients the very next day. They are fantastic at expediting consults. If we put in a referral at night, they typically schedule the patient as soon as the office opens.”

The Wound Center at UH Parma has a decade-long record of keeping patients out of the hospital. Specialists that see patients in the accessible ground-floor suite in Medical Arts Center 2 adjacent to the hospital include plastic surgery, infectious disease, vascular surgery, podiatric surgery, family medicine and general surgery.

The Center also features two pressurized hyperbaric oxygen chambers that deliver 100 percent oxygen to wounds that have not responded to traditional treatments. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is approved by Medicare and most insurance companies for many types of chronic, non-healing wounds, including diabetic wounds of the legs and feet, soft tissue and osteoradionecrosis caused by radiation therapy, bone infections that fail to heal from antibiotics, and other indications. “Patients with wounds are complex and already compromised, with many being treated for multiple comorbidities,” said Program Director Julianne Bauer. “We prioritize patient access and see all referrals within 24-48 hours of request. Time is tissue. The sooner you treat a wound, the better the outcome. “This award formally recognizes the UH Parma Wound & Hyperbaric Medicine Center’s dedication to our patients, the providers who refer to us, and the greater Parma community.”

A referral is not required to be seen by the Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine Center. To schedule an appointment with a specialist, call 440-743-4774.

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Volume 14, Issue 7, Posted 6:19 PM, 07.02.2022

AlterG Weightless Treadmill Benefits UH Parma Patients Of All Ages, Activity Levels

An innovative new anti-gravity treadmill at University Hospitals Parma Medical Center is helping patients of all ages and activity levels return more quickly and safely to weight bearing, thanks to a generous gift from the Parma Hospital Health Care Foundation. The new AlterG weightless treadmill facilitates a faster and earlier return to upright weight-bearing activity for post-operative and post-injury patients than is possible on a traditional treadmill. A quicker return to motion and appropriate weight-bearing decreases muscle atrophy and swelling and markedly improves patient outcomes. In older patients, it reduces risk of falls by initiating gait and balance training more quickly.

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Volume 14, Issue 7, Posted 6:19 PM, 07.02.2022

UH Parma Nurse Practitioner Travels To Ukraine With Aid From A Generous Community

Alla Trokhimenko immigrated from Ukraine 18 years ago, eight months pregnant, with her husband and two young children. She brought with her a passion for helping others and a determination to become a nurse.  The obstacles, though daunting without fluency in English or computers, were less insurmountable here than in her native country.

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Volume 14, Issue 6, Posted 8:17 AM, 06.02.2022

Parma Fire Marshal Responds To His Own Five Alarm Fire

A five-alarm fire was coming, and Ricky Fetter’s only warning sign was shortness of breath. Just days before he got winded climbing up a hill to his truck, the Parma Fire captain was instructing the city’s new firefighters in a burning building. Loaded down with heavy gear at the live burn training – with five heart vessels more than 80 percent blocked – he feels lucky that a heart attack didn’t strike then. “Knowing what I know now, I could’ve died in that training,” says the Parma fire marshal and 28-year firefighter/paramedic, who would have been hauling an extra 70 pounds of gear on his 195-pound, 5-foot-8 frame. But the city’s EMS coordinator, who also runs University Hospitals Parma Medical Center’s EMS Education program, still had a few lessons to learn – and to teach his fellow firefighters and paramedics.

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Volume 14, Issue 5, Posted 3:06 AM, 05.02.2022

Blue Hearts Ceremony Honors Pandemic's Frontline Heroes At UH Parma

UH Parma Medical Center caregivers solemnly placed carnations in blue vases at the front of the room while music softly played. Then each received a blue heart pin from a leader to commemorate two of the most challenging years in health care that anyone could have ever imagined. They hugged and they released some of the emotions carried throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Volume 14, Issue 4, Posted 9:05 AM, 04.01.2022

New Chief Medical Officer Appointed At UH Parma Medical Center

Christopher J. Dussel, MD, MBA, FACHE, who has served as Associate Chief Medical Officer over the past year at University Hospitals Parma Medical Center, has been promoted to Chief Medical Officer. James Hill, MD, MBA, CPE, FASA, FACHE, who previously held the dual role of CMO and Chief Operating Officer, will continue to lead UH Parma Medical Center as COO.

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Volume 14, Issue 3, Posted 12:52 PM, 03.01.2022

National Guard Called To Help Hospitals Through Latest COVID-19 Surge

Throughout the latest surge in the COVID-19 battle, dozens of National Guard members worked alongside frontline caregivers at University Hospitals Parma Medical Center. In scrubs and combat boots, they assisted in the Emergency Department, COVID units, transporting patients, cleaning rooms and making beds, restocking supplies and other duties as needed.

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Volume 14, Issue 2, Posted 7:59 AM, 02.01.2022

Pharmacists At UH Parma's Chronic Care Clinic Help Patients Manage Multiple Medications

For patients on multiple medications prescribed by different doctors, the Chronic Care Clinic offers a solution: a pharmacist to meet with patients to explain their prescriptions and help them understand the purpose and dosage for each one. “Having a Chronic Care Clinic has allowed us to better care for patients with long-term conditions that will impact their health,” says James Hill, MD, Chief Medical Officer & Chief Operating Officer of University Hospitals Parma Medical Center. “We have seen great benefit in the care of patients with diabetes, heart failure, respiratory conditions and many other chronic disease states. The pharmacy-led clinic has done a great job working collaboratively with primary care physicians to improve patient’s quality of life and keep them healthy out of the hospital.”

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Volume 14, Issue 2, Posted 7:59 AM, 02.01.2022

Nurse Navigator Helps Prevent Hospital Readmission For Patients With CHF

When two chronic conditions collided to land Christine Rand in the hospital, a special nurse navigator was waiting to guide her back to health – and keep her from returning. Just a month before her 69th birthday, Chris was exhausted, depleted of energy, winded and worn down. Feeling progressively worse, her legs were swollen and she noticed an alarming increase in shortness of breath. The daughter with whom she shares her third-floor walk-up condo in North Royalton called an ambulance. Chris was cheerful but concerned as she was wheeled into University Hospitals Parma Medical Center’s Emergency Department, waving to caregivers. Her blood pressure was very high and paramedics had put her on oxygen. She was surprised to receive a double diagnosis: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and congestive heart failure (CHF). “All my vices had to go away,” says the North Royalton retiree, a pack-a-day smoker for many years, who enjoys indulging in potato chips and an adult libation. “Son of a gun, it’s a lot of adjustments to make.”

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Volume 13, Issue 12, Posted 7:49 AM, 12.01.2021

UH Parma Medical Center Wins National Award For Quality Stroke Care

A local man who had a stroke after breakfast learned the benefit of living near a community hospital experienced in quality stroke care – and the advantage of his local hospital being connected to an academic medical center where the clot in his brain could be specially extracted before lunchtime.

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Volume 13, Issue 10, Posted 3:51 PM, 10.01.2021

Cardiac Surgery And Cardiovascular Specialty Services Expanded At UH Parma Medical Center

The existing strong cardiology program at University Hospitals Parma Medical Center is being reinvigorated by the top-rated cardiac surgery team of UH Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute. This expansion of cardiac services will allow patients to remain in their community for specialized care rather than traveling to UH Cleveland Medical Center for advanced procedures.  

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Volume 13, Issue 8, Posted 9:37 AM, 08.01.2021

Pickleball Champion Saved By Quick Collaboration Of Parma EMS, Police, UH Parma Medical Center

Bill Regan, a 79-year-old pickleball champ who has competed in national and international tournaments, knows all about collaborating for a winning result. So he was beyond grateful for the massive team effort of friends, police officers, paramedics and hospital physicians and caregivers who saved his life when he suffered a heart attack after playing his favorite pastime in Parma.

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Volume 13, Issue 8, Posted 9:37 AM, 08.01.2021

UH Parma Medical Center Celebrates 60 Years As A Cornerstone Of The Community

Sixty years after opening as a 200-bed, six-story hospital on Ridge Road, University Hospitals Parma Medical Center is celebrating its anniversary in 2021 by concluding its largest construction project in the main hospital building in three decades. The Surgical Services renovation and expansion will be completed this year, a $27.5 million project that underscores UH Parma’s commitment to remaining a cornerstone of the community. Its addition has changed the face of the hospital with a new modern section.

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Volume 13, Issue 7, Posted 8:44 AM, 07.01.2021

UH Parma Medical Center Officially Designated As A Level III Trauma Center

University Hospital’s Parma Medical Center has been officially designated by the State of Ohio as a Level III Trauma Center after a successful evaluation from surveyors from the American College of Surgery’s Verification Review and Consultation Program. Level III trauma centers can provide care to the majority of patients sustaining minor to moderate injuries and can promptly assess and stabilize those with severe injuries requiring a higher level of care prior to transfer to UH’s Level I Adult and Pediatric Trauma Center at main campus.

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Volume 13, Issue 7, Posted 8:43 AM, 07.01.2021

Forget Dr. Google: Women's Health Nurse Practitioner Answers Pressing Questions

Women often ask the most pressing questions as they're leaving their health care provider's office. Call them hand-on-the-doorknob moments. That's what Lindsay Brown, a UH women's health nurse practitioner who works with OB/Gyn Steven Galun, refers to them as, and she gets them often. In this past year of pandemic isolation, where many women have been physically and emotionally distanced from their sisters and friends, the connection to one's health care professionals is most vital. “Women ask their most pressing questions when they feel most comfortable," says Lindsay. “During the exam and consult, they're still getting to know you and build a rapport. But when they're getting ready to leave, and they're feeling more comfortable and relaxed, they ask the questions they've been holding inside. There is a level of trust there."

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Volume 13, Issue 6, Posted 11:21 AM, 06.01.2021

UH Parma Child Care Center Earns Top Quality Rating From State

A child has fewer than 2,000 days from birth to beginning Kindergarten to develop the social, emotional and educational skills for an impactful start in life. University Hospitals Parma Medical Center’s Child Care Center has been awarded Five Stars in state rankings for providing the highest possible advantage to the 170 children under its care.  

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Volume 13, Issue 5, Posted 3:43 AM, 05.01.2021

UH Parma's New Pain Center Helps Patients With Chronic Pain

Patients suffering from chronic pain will find many more options at University Hospitals Comprehensive Pain Center. UH is debuting the first of its centers at UH Parma Medical Center, with its proven interventional pain management program making it the ideal location for the new Center. The UH Comprehensive Pain Center builds on existing treatments for management of chronic pain (such as injections, spinal cord stimulators, and infusion therapy) with the addition of the UH Connor Integrative Health Network, offering chiropractic care, lifestyle and integrative health medical consults, massage therapy and guided meditation to complement its integrated approach to pain management. Additionally, the multi-disciplinary Center also offers physical and occupational therapy, behavioral health and addiction services. “Our dedicated team of physicians and clinicians are already experienced in helping patients struggling with pain,” says Brian Monter, Chief Operating Officer of UH’s West Market, which includes UH Parma Medical Center. “To enhance our care offerings, we recently recruited new physicians with decades of experience in treating patients with pain. I am confident that their expertise, combined with the multi-disciplinary slate of clinical practitioners available through the Center, will provide our community with an unmatched program that’s desperately needed.”

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Volume 13, Issue 4, Posted 12:00 PM, 04.02.2021

“We Witnessed A Miracle”: COVID-19 Survivor Goes Home After 76 Days

Carl Milano felt like a groom on the evening of his wedding day, anticipating the homecoming of his bride of 46 years. The Mayfield Village couple had survived COVID-19: he during a three-week bout at home, and Beverly during a marathon 76 days in two hospitals, including more than three weeks on a ventilator. They had missed Christmas and New Year’s together, and on a snowy February afternoon just after Valentine’s Day, he was taking his beloved home again. “We witnessed a miracle, and you all were a part of it,” said a tearful Carl, bowing in thanks to all the assembled caregivers cheering Beverly as she was discharged from University Hospitals Parma Medical Center. 

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Volume 13, Issue 3, Posted 11:43 AM, 03.01.2021

Wedded To Success: Bride Loses More Than 140 Pounds With Bariatric Surgery

Ailene Zaebst walked down the aisle at her wedding more than 140 pounds lighter from bariatric surgery, completing a weight-loss journey that began 18 months earlier at University Hospitals Parma Medical Center. Her beloved, Adam, waited for her at the altar. But her unseen partners in this journey were an entire team of specialists at UH Parma, supporting her in positive changes to last a lifetime. Initially, Ailene was inspired by her Aunt Patty, who had pledged to lose 50 pounds before her 50th birthday and ultimately dropped more than 150 pounds. Losing 30 pounds before her 30th birthday should be quite achievable, she figured. Ailene met with Dietitian Dina Corrao, who put her on a 1,500 calorie per day diet and urged her to ramp up her exercise. She lost 40 pounds before she underwent surgery in September 2019 – and she’s lost 100 pounds more since. The pre-surgery routines have been critical in ensuring long-term life changes. “Ailene has been a true example of success,” says Anna Hazinakis, BS, RN, CBN, the clinical coordinator and assistant nurse manager of the Nutritional Health & Bariatric Surgery Center at UH Parma, who has been recognized as a Distinguished Bariatric Nurse by the American Society for Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery, which accredits the program. “Ailene committed from day one to this journey and has been an inspiration to many around her.” 

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Volume 13, Issue 3, Posted 11:43 AM, 03.01.2021

Chick-fil-A Honors Local Heroes At UH Parma Medical Center

Chick-fil-A is awarding a year’s worth of complimentary meals to 18 local heroes at University Hospitals Parma Medical Center, right across the street from its new Parma location. “It was such an amazing surprise!” said 25-year employee Maria Scheutzow, an RN in Infection Control who has worked non-stop behind the scenes of the pandemic to keep caregivers safe and implement protocols to protect our patients.  “What fun it is to be given an unexpected and undeserved gift, especially in the midst of the pandemic fatigue we are all feeling right now.” Chick-fil-A typically awards a year’s worth of free meals to its first 100 customers at each new restaurant. To prevent crowds in advance of its Jan. 21 opening and honor local heroes during the pandemic, the Parma location at 6676 Ridge Road awarded one meal per week for an entire year to select employees of UH Parma.

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Volume 13, Issue 2, Posted 8:52 AM, 02.01.2021

UH Parma Medical Center Begins Vaccinating Caregivers Against COVID-19

University Hospitals is proud to have been the first health system clinical trials site in Northeast Ohio for COVID-19 vaccines. Now, we’re seeing the positive results of participating in those trials.

On December 23, University Hospitals began vaccinating caregivers with its first shipments of COVID-19 vaccine from Moderna. UH is working with ODH, CDC and others and is following regulatory guidelines for vaccine distribution. UH caregivers, regardless of their role, with the greatest risks of exposure to COVID-19 positive patients, are among the first groups to receive the vaccination. More than 16,000 healthcare givers have filled out a survey requesting the vaccine, and we will be working to vaccinate all of these UH caregivers as vaccine doses become available.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, UH has leveraged the strength of our 19-hospital system to provide the best care possible for all of our patients. We are proud of our caregivers in clinical and nonclinical positions for their dedication to patients during this critical time. Now that we have received vaccines and begun distribution, we are doing the work to bring this pandemic to an end.

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Volume 13, Issue 1, Posted 4:05 PM, 01.01.2021

Free Coronary Calcium Test Leads To Cardiac Surgery, Averts Medical Crisis

Exploring rocky, remote elevations fills Alan Studt’s leisure time. So luck was on his side when – just weeks before he was found to have four significant blockages in his coronary arteries through a coronary artery calcium score (CACS) test  – the guitarist and graphic designer enjoyed a vacation climbing in the mountains of Idaho with his girlfriend.

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Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 11:20 AM, 12.01.2020

"I'm Lucky To Be Alive - And I'm So Thankful To UH!"

Three years ago on Thanksgiving day, Destiny Faye Porter met her fiancé. This year, they will both be giving thanks that she is alive to celebrate the holiday. Two weeks before their October wedding, this otherwise healthy, 25-year-old woman had a medical crisis stemming from new onset diabetes. She went from teaching third grade, planning her wedding and preparing a new home for her and her future husband's life together to not feeling well and suddenly landing at death's doorstep.

When her fiancé, a surgical technician at UH Cleveland Medical Center, was unable to rouse her one morning, he rushed her to the Emergency Department at UH Parma Medical Center. They quickly discovered she was suffering from diabetic ketoacidosis – her body wasn't producing insulin, and her blood sugar was off the charts at over 600. She was admitted to the ICU for management.

But the ICU Medical Director Abdullah AlGhamdi, MD, felt strongly that there was more going on and immediately performed an ultrasound on her heart. Her heart was barely pumping due to severe stress-induced cardiomyopathy. Destiny was going into cardiogenic shock, a serious condition that occurs when the heart fails to pump enough blood and oxygen to the brain, kidneys, and other vital organs. They had to act quickly to prevent an imminent cardiac arrest.

Dr. AlGhamdi consulted cardiologist Paul Poommipanit, MD, and cardiac surgeon Masumi Yamamuro, MD. They all decided to initiate ECMO as a lifesaving measure since it was the only available option for her multiple organ failure. This heart-lung machine temporarily takes over pumping for the heart and requires a specific team to administer and manage.

“I knew she'd experience a cardiac arrest without mechanical support," said Dr. AlGhamdi. “A delay of even a couple hours and she would have been dead."

The ECMO team arrived within an hour, connected her to the machine and transferred her to UH Cleveland Medical Center. She suffered a cardiac arrest within an hour of arrival at main campus.

“I'm lucky"

Six days later, Destiny woke up – intubated, with a feeding tube, and paralyzed from the waist down due to neuropathy. It had been a long road. She returned to UH Parma for 37 days of acute rehabilitation, learning to maneuver with a wheelchair. She is stunned by what she's been through, but happy to be alive.

“I'm an otherwise healthy 25-year-old girl, an elementary school teacher – there's no reason to think anything would be wrong," says Destiny, who's eternally grateful to her UH caregivers who looked beyond the obvious. “I can say with certainty that every single person involved in my care had a role in saving my life. There were so many people on top of their game, and being proactive. They listened, and they acted quickly.

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Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 11:19 AM, 12.01.2020