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Lehigh Valley Health Network

LVH Hospitals get good safety grades

Lehigh Valley Hospitals Cedar Crest, Hazleton, Muhlenberg and Pocono each were awarded an ‘A’ grade on the Hospital Safety Grade report from The Leapfrog Group for spring 2021.

The national ratings reflect how well hospitals protect patients from accidents, errors, injuries, infections and other harms. The safety score is designed to give the public information that is useful for choosing a hospital for care. Matthew McCambridge, MD, LVHN Chief Quality and Patient Safety Officer, says it’s especially gratifying for the hospitals to be recognized with ‘A’ grades by Leapfrog for safe care because fighting COVID-19 required pivoting and addressing safety challenges that changed as the pandemic unfolded.

Developed under the guidance of a national expert panel, the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade uses 28 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to assign grades to more than 2,600 U.S. acute care hospitals twice per year. The Hospital Safety Grade’s methodology is peer reviewed and fully transparent. The results are free to the public by visiting hospitalsafetygrade.org.

Dr. Jean named neurosurgery chief

Walter Jean, M.D., a board-certified neurosurgeon with expertise in complex intracranial surgery, has been named Chief of Neurosurgery. He is the only area physician to utilize virtual reality in neurosurgery. The use of patient headsets for those in need of complex brain surgery enables better visualization of the upcoming procedure medical terminology. The technology allows brain surgeons to create a surgery plan by simulating different scenarios to find the best approach.

He has nearly 20 years’ experience in both open and endoscopic skull base surgery, about which he wrote the “Skull Base Surgery: Strategies” surgical textbook. He has several clinical interests including acoustic neuromas, pituitary adenomas, skull base meningioma, intraventricular tumors and trigeminal neuralgia.

The Hong Kong native and Princeton University summa cum laude graduate completed neurosurgical training at the University of Minnesota and a fellowship in Skull Base Surgery at the University of Cincinnati. He was a professor of neurological surgery at George Washington University Hospital. He was a program director at Georgetown University for seven years. He is a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, Congress of Neurological Surgeons and the North American Skull Base Society and serves frequently as faculty at their national meetings.

St. Luke’s Health Network

Network among Top 15 systems

St. Luke’s University Health Network is a first-time winner of the 2021 15 Top Health Systems award, part of the Watson Health 100 Top Hospitals national benchmarks series. St. Luke’s is the only health system in the Valley and the only one of two in the state to be named.

IBM Watson Health annual top health system list, published by Fortune, was established in 2009 to identify top performance benchmarks for fully integrated health systems and to motivate better performance across the health care industry.

For the first time, this year’s ranking introduces a measure of hospitals’ contributions to community health with a focus on equity. Developed by experts at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Equity and the Bloomberg American Health Initiative at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, it is based on three components: 1) assessing hospital contributions to community health as a provider of critical services for community health and preventive care; 2) identifying ways that hospitals contribute to community health as a community partner teaming up with local organizations to implement critical programs; and 3) focusing on ways that hospitals promote community health through their practices as anchor institutions supporting local economic and social progress.

In addition to the 15 Top Health Systems recognition, individual St. Luke’s campuses won IBM Watson Health 100 Top Hospital awards for the ninth time. St. Luke’s flagship University Hospital has earned the 100 Top Major Teaching Hospital designation from IBM Watson Health nine times total and seven years in a row, including in 2021, when it was identified as the number one teaching hospital in the country.

Newsweek Names St. Luke’s to its ‘best’ List

St. Luke’s University Hospital has been named one of the 334 American “World’s Best” hospitals by Newsweek magazine for the third year in a row. Of the 15 based in Pennsylvania, St. Luke’s University Hospital (Bethlehem and Allentown campuses) was ranked seventh overall in the state and is the only hospital from the Lehigh Valley on the list.

Newsweek and Statista Inc. global market research and consumer data company evaluated hospitals using hospital recommendations from peers; patient experience: surveys of patient satisfaction with hospitals; and medical KPIs (e.g. data on quality of treatment, hygiene measures) to evaluate the ranking.

St. Luke’s Bethlehem Campus has been recognized for Best Hospitals for Infection Prevention, also.

Reed new Vice President of Community Health

Rajika Reed, PhD., MPH, MEd, has been promoted to Vice President of Community Health at St. Luke’s University Health Network effective Feb. 21. She was since 2012 the Network Director of Epidemiology and was in 2018 promoted to Senior Director of Epidemiology and Strategy.

She earned a bachelor’s degree from Penn State University, master’s degrees in public health from the University of Pittsburgh and in Education from Lehigh University, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Instructional Design from Lehigh University.

Originally from Sri Lanka, she was prior to joining St. Luke’s in research, data evaluation and in local community health programs. She will build upon the work of St. Luke’s Community Health Department, to achieve health equity by reducing health disparities in the communities that the network serves.

ActivArmor plastic casts introduced

The use of 3D-printed, durable plastic casts by ActivArmor of Colorado will be debuted by St. Luke’s University Health Network’s Kristofer Matullo, M.D., in early March in the region. ActivArmor is a custom-made device that form-fits the anatomy: hands, wrists, arms and lower limbs. The plastic used is recyclable and 100 percent biocompatible. SLUHN is the first healthcare organization in Pennsylvania to offer this casting.

A 3D scan of the affected area is taken. A printer creates two halves of the cast which are then fitted onto the body part. The 3D cast, which can get wet, may locked on like a cast or removed like a splint to allow swelling of an injured area to subside. The lattice-like spaces allow for wound care, treatment with advanced healing technologies and cleaning of the skin or sanitizing the device to remove pathogens like the coronavirus while the cast is being worn. It will be available to orthopedic patients throughout the St. Luke’s network.