East Tennessee Archives

April 2007 in the News

Baptist Eye Surgeons Implant New Generation of IOLs
For years, cataract patients have had to wear glasses for reading or intermediate vision after their eyes receive the single-vision, or monofocal, prosthetic lenses that replace the natural lenses removed in surgery. But now, new types of IOLs (intraocular lenses) allow a patient to see at different focal lengths (near, intermediate, or distance), as with bifocal or trifocal glasses.
BY MERRY FOXWORTH

Cancer Centers Approach Body, Mind and Spirit

Gerre Schwert, MSW, LCSW (left) speaks with patient Linda Davis in the Joe and Virginia Schmissrauter Centers for Cancer Support.
Cancer Centers Approach
Body, Mind and Spirit

On its two campuses, Chattanooga’s nonprofit Memorial Hospital incorporates faith and excellence in healthcare. As a Catholic Health Initiatives hospital, Memorial strives to provide the latest in healthcare for the mind, body and spirit. In recent years, this philosophy has also undergirded many people dealing with cancer.
LEIGH ANNE W. HOOVER

Covering America's Children
Although Cover the Uninsured Week 2007 drew to a close on April 29, advocates of universal coverage work to share their message year-round in an effort to keep this growing problem high on the national agenda.
CINDY SANDERS

Education is the Key to Control
You can't control what you don't understand. For diabetics, who must constantly be on guard both to control their disease and to ward off comorbid complications, self-management is literally the key to survival. However, a diagnosis of diabetes can be overwhelming, and a single physician office visit doesn't afford the time to explain the spectrum of offensive and defensive measures the patient must take to remain in good health.
BY CINDY SANDERS

Grand Rounds East TN May

Helping the Tiniest Patients
When Sheri Smith begins her day at the neonatal intensive care unit at East Tennessee Children's Hospital, she knows she'll be seeing between 35 and 40 premature newborns. As director of critical care for the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and pediatric and NICU transport team, Smith has to oversee the operation of caring for these delicate infants. Each day, approximately 1,300 babies will be born prematurely in the United States according to the March of Dimes.
BY HOLLI W. HAYNIE

Janell Cecil Named Chief Nursing Officer at UT Medical Center
KNOXVILLE — Janell Cecil recently earned promotion to the rank of chief nursing officer at The University of Tennessee Medical Center. Cecil's advancement comes after serving for five years as vice president of the Center for Women and Children's Health at the medical center.

Legal Matter: Products Liability Cases, "Only Use as Directed"
Plaintiffs' lawyers are increasingly focused on the rise in products liability/drug cases. According to USA Today, since 2000 there have been more than 65,000 drug lawsuits filed against the makers of prescription drugs. More than 14,000 lawsuits have been filed against Merck & Co. on behalf of patients who were prescribed the painkilling drug Vioxx®
JAMES H. LONDON

Legal Matter: Products Liability Cases, "Only Use as Directed"
Plaintiffs' lawyers are increasingly focused on the rise in products liability/drug cases. According to USA Today, since 2000 there have been more than 65,000 drug lawsuits filed against the makers of prescription drugs. More than 14,000 lawsuits have been filed against Merck & Co. on behalf of patients who were prescribed the painkilling drug Vioxx®
James H. London

Memorial Health Care Moves Forward with Expansion Plans
In a last-minute phone call on Dec. 5 to Memorial Health Care System's president Ruth Brinkley, Parkridge CEO Darrell Moore stated the Chattanooga hospital would file opposition to Memorial's planned $293.3 million renovation/expansion and certificate of need (CON) request to the Tennessee Health Services and Development Agency. The call came to Memorial five minutes before the CON deadline.
BY LYNNE JETER

New Center Designed with Cancer Patients in Mind
When Kingsport Hematology-Oncology Associates put the finishing touches to its new digs in the Medical Office Plaza, the staff and designers took extra pains to make sure its expanded chemotherapy center was a world apart from the cold, clinical environment the practice was moving out of. Hospital drab has been replaced with soothing colors. Closed spaces are replaced with sunlit areas. Utilitarian medical furniture is out; recliners are in.
BY JOHN CARROLL

Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center Continues Rebuilding Lives
Patricia Neal has regularly visited the Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center (PNRC) she helped build in Knoxville, her hometown, but in the spring of 2005 she came back to "her" hospital in a new role: as a patient. The Academy Award winning actress spent two weeks undergoing therapy to help her recover from several surgeries and related complications.
BY KELLY PRICE

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Billy S. Arant Jr.
Dr. Billy S. Arant Jr. knew at age five what he wanted to be when he grew up. "I never looked to the right or the left," he said. "From then on, my whole goal was to become a doctor."
JOHN M. HAYS

Physician Spotlight: Dr. John A. Ternay
Dr. John A. Ternay and Peter Parker have a few things in common. Both are considered by their peers to be quite the "science whiz," each possessing a keen interest in research and advanced technology. Both display little if any fear of heights and, in fact, have been spotted on several occasions rappelling. While Peter Park, aka "Spider-Man," climbs down New York City skyscrapers, Ternay climbs down waterfalls and mountains in Costa Rica and other places.
ANN METZ

State Associations Focus on Goals, Challenges for 2007
The Tennessee Medical Association (TMA), Tennessee Hospital Association (THA) and Tennessee Nurses Association (TNA) have set their collective sights on the challenges and goals of the coming year. Working independently on issues specific to their membership and collaboratively on agenda items that impact the broader healthcare industry, the state's provider organizations hope to be an instrument for change as they work with key government staff and legislative leadership on a state and federal basis.
BY CINDY SANDERS

Tax Experts Share Last Minute Tips for Physicians
'Tis the tax season and as if you're not busy enough, now you have to squeeze in time to fill out dozens of forms, gather volumes of documentation, and somehow manage to get to your CPA's office.
GLORIA BUTLER BALDWIN

TECHMED 2008 Call for Entries Award Seeks to Recognize Outstanding Use of Technology in the Region
TECHMED 2008 Call for Entries
Award Seeks to Recognize Outstanding Use of Technology in the Region

The deadline for entries in the TECHMED Award 2008 is fast approaching. Applications must be received by September 14th, but sign-up is simple, with a Web form available at www.techmedaward.com. For those unfamiliar with the initiative, East Tennessee Medical News has proudly partnered with Saratoga Technologies, the major sponsor of the award, along with Mountain States Health Alliance and Mercy Health Partners, to offer an award which seeks to “recognize the outstanding use of technology in patient care.”

The Reason for the Sneezin'
Spring may signify new beginnings, but for 26 million Americans, it also means the start of seasonal allergies. For many allergy sufferers, the sneezing, wheezing, coughing and itching can be downright annoying.
ANN METZ

The Reason for the Sneezin'
Spring may signify new beginnings, but for 26 million Americans, it also means the start of seasonal allergies. For many allergy sufferers, the sneezing, wheezing, coughing and itching can be downright annoying.
ANN METZ

University Innovation Park Embarks on Expansion
Long envisioned as the middle anchor in an ambitious road map toward a thriving life sciences economic development zone, University Innovation Park is embarking on a planned expansion phase that is designed to attract a new set of life sciences companies to East Tennessee. And years of effort are paying off with a burgeoning group of fledgling companies that already call the park home. Development plans for University Innovation Park date back to the early 1990s, when Johnson City, Johnson City Medical Center and East Tennessee State University blueprinted plans for a med-tech corridor that would be home to a complex of medically related businesses.
BY JOHN CARROll

UT Medical Center Unveils NICU
In late January, physicians, nurses, political leaders and other guests gathered at The University of Tennessee (UT) Medical Center to dedicate the new $4.8 million Tom and Katherine Black Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), the region's first intensive care unit for babies to offer private rooms.
BY LYNNE JETER

A Wish Come True
Eleven-year-old Stephen had a dream to meet his favorite basketball player on his favorite basketball team … Kobe Bryant of the L.A. Lakers. His wish came true earlier this year. In fact Stephen was so excited when he first met Bryant that he hyperventilated. Although his breathing has returned to normal, his excitement is still clearly evident … he hasn't stopped talking about the experience.
BY HOLLI W. HAYNIE

BCBST Expands Electronic Enrollment Program
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee (BCBST) has announced enhancements to the Caremark® Rx, Inc. iScribe® electronic prescribing program. The goal is to enroll 250 new BCBS network physicians who write more than 1,000 prescriptions per year.
BY GLORIA BUTLER BALDWIN

Creating a Coalition for Coverage
There is strength in numbers. In January 2007, 16 national healthcare organizations announced they had joined together and reached a consensus on policy approaches to increase the number of Americans with access to health insurance. According to Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, the Health Coverage Coalition for the Uninsured (HCCU) looked at approaches that would be effective and could garner agreement from those with varying perspectives.
CINDY SANDERS

Diagnostic Tool Provides Early Warning on Metastatic Breast Cancer Cases
The Molecular Pathology Laboratory Network (MPLN) in Maryville recently invested in a new tool in the war on metastatic breast cancer that will give physicians an early warning on their patients' prognosis. It's called CellSearch™, a new molecular diagnostic test that can closely monitor the telltale circulating tumor cells in patients with metastatic breast cancer. It is capable of detecting as low as one circulating tumor cell (CTC) in 7.5 mL of whole blood.
BY JOHN CARROLL

Does Mississippi's Certificate of Need Program Need an Overhaul?
As nearly every provider of healthcare in Mississippi is well aware, our state is one of about 30 that continue to regulate the ownership and operation of healthcare facilities and equipment and the provision of healthcare services through a certificate of need (CON) program. Recently, pursuant to legislative mandate (House Bill 1221, 2006), our Department of Health commissioned an overall evaluation of the program by an outside consultant.
BY KATHRYN R. GILCREST AND DAVID W. DONNELL

Feeling Restless
Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is a neurological disorder characterized by extremely unpleasant sensations in the lower limbs. To find relief, sufferers are constantly moving. Although characterized as a sleep disorder, by definition the symptoms actually occur while a patient is awake, but typically delay the onset of sleep as the sensations are activated whenever an RLS patient is at rest.
BY CINDY SANDERS

Feeling Restless
Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is a neurological disorder characterized by extremely unpleasant sensations in the lower limbs. To find relief, sufferers are constantly moving. Although characterized as a sleep disorder, by definition the symptoms actually occur while a patient is awake, but typically delay the onset of sleep as the sensations are activated whenever an RLS patient is at rest.
BY CINDY SANDERS

Grand Rounds Chattanooga May

Holston Valley Ushers in Area's First Orthopedic Traumatologist
Specializing in skeletal traumas and damage to soft tissue, the Holston Valley Medical Center's Dr. Robert Harris is ushering in a new era of care for patients with severe orthopedic injuries in the Tri-Cities area of northeast Tennessee. Focusing on pelvic (hip socket) fractures, long bone fractures of the femur and tibia, and particular fractures around the knee, ankle, and hip socket, Harris works closely with Holston Valley's Level 1 Trauma Center's general surgery team to take care of poly-trauma patients.
BY JOHN SEWELL

Minimally Invasive Surgery at St. Mary's Preserves the Power of Speech for Many Patients
KNOXVILLE — A St. Mary's surgeon is pioneering the use of lasers in the treatment of diseases of the throat using a procedure that is being done at only a handful of other medical centers in the United States. Mary Es Beaver, MD, a board-certified Otolaryngologist and Medical Director of the Anderson Center for Voice and Swallowing, uses lasers instead of a scalpel to treat lesions and pre-cancerous growths on the vocal cords. Dr. Beaver is also a fellowship-trained laryngologist or expert in disease of the vocal folds and throat.

Navigating the HIPAA Labyrinth
What is HIPAA? What impact does the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) have on the medical community? What are the advantages and disadvantages of this law? How can the medical community adhere to the HIPAA guidelines and still serve its patients in a timely manner? Does it prohibit access to medical information that otherwise could serve consumers in a positive way? What are the loopholes in the law? These and other questions have been challenging many practitioners since HIPAA went into effect.
CARL RAUS

New Year, New Vision
With the arrival of the new year, Bradley Memorial and Cleveland Community Hospitals are embracing a new name and vision. Hospital officials announced in November that two hospitals serving the Bradley County community have combined to form SkyRidge Medical Center. "We wanted to give the new medical center a name that reflects an entirely new vision of healthcare services; a name that would explain our sense of purpose," said Steve Patonai, SkyRidge Medical Center CEO.
BY KATIE PORTERFIELD

Oncotype DXPhysicians at Kingsport Hematology Oncology Use New Test to Assess Whether Breast Cancer Patients Need Chemotherapy
Oncotype DX
Physicians at Kingsport Hematology Oncology Use New Test to Assess Whether Breast Cancer Patients Need Chemotherapy

It’s a decision no woman should have to face. But, every year, thousands of women who are diagnosed with breast cancer, face it nonetheless. Carolyn Carter and Glenda Johnston are among them. Both women had to answer the same question: Did they want their cancer treatment to include chemotherapy?
BRAD LIFFORD

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Kimberly B. Fortner
KNOXVILLE — Dr. Kimberly Fortner completed an exhausting nine-month continuing medical education course on March 16, 2007. It's no coincidence that on that same day, she signed up for an on-the-job training program that will last a minimum of 18 years.
ANN METZ

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Michael Kimbro
MOUNTAIN CITY — There are some hints in the office of Dr. Michael Kimbro, which give him away. On a bookshelf filled with the ordinary medical manuals is a well-used copy of the Wilderness Medicine Book.
JAMES WATSON

Preventing Stroke in A-Fib Patients
Patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) are at a significantly increased risk for ischemic stroke. Of particular concern are cardioembolic events where a clot is ejected from the left atrial appendage and travels to the brain. Finding a better way to manage AF patients and reduce the risk of stroke is the focus of two research trials being conducted in East Tennessee. One looks at a device to prevent clots from escaping the atrial appendage, and the other investigates rivaroxaban as an alternative to Coumadin® (warfarin).
BY CINDY SANDERS

Tax Experts Share Last Minute Tips for Physicians
'Tis the tax season and as if you're not busy enough, now you have to squeeze in time to fill out dozens of forms, gather volumes of documentation, and somehow manage to get to your CPA's office.
GLORIA BUTLER BALDWIN

TBA Assesses State of Biotech Industry
Patience is a virtue. Across the state of Tennessee, biotechnology is a growing business. For those anxious to see Tennessee establish itself on a national stage, however, the progress sometimes seems to be painfully slow. "I think the potential for biotech is that it's going to revolutionize healthcare over the years, and that the more help we can provide our local scientists, the quicker we're going to get there," states Joe Rolwing, executive director for the Tennessee Biotechnology Association. "Help" is on the way … stretching from the mountains of East Tennessee all the way to the Mississippi River.
BY CINDY SANDERS

The Dirty Truth about Allergies
Millions of people suffer from allergies and asthma — diseases that have become epidemic in some parts of the world.

Once thought simply bothersome and best managed by over-the-counter antihistamines, we now understand that allergies and asthma are serious disorders that may require the attention of a doctor.
DR. WILLIAM D. HORTON

ACI Delivers Cartilage Option for Area Patients
Thanks to recent innovations in the orthopedic field, area surgeons are now performing minimally invasive procedures that serve to foster cartilage regeneration and retard the progression of arthritis. The Tennessee Orthopaedic Clinic's Dr. Michael T. Casey is the first area surgeon to offer a new procedure called autologous chrondrocyte implantation (ACI), which offers patients with injuries and arthritis relief from pain, expanded mobility, and greater overall use of their joints, usually the knees.
BY JOHN SEWELL

Advances in Immunotherapy
Immunotherapy, commonly known as "allergy shots," was first used by Drs. Noon and Freeman, as described by them in The Lancet, a British medical journal, in 1911. Since then, immunotherapy has been used to help millions of allergy sufferers
DR. PAUL CARTER

Alert! There's Still Time to Make Your IRA Contribution
Didn't make a contribution to your IRA or Roth IRA for 2006? It's not too late. You have until the deadline for filing your 2006 tax return to make a contribution (this year, April 16, because April 15 falls on a Sunday).
DAVID RECTOR

Building Biopharmaceutical Alliances
Knowing and doing are two different things. Knowing why an amino acid triggers a specific cell response and figuring out how to manipulate that response is nice … well, actually it's brilliant … but if that knowledge can't be turned into action and shared with the larger medical community, then it's really nothing more than unmet potential. Helping researchers make good on biomedicine's promise is at the heart of the mission for Cumberland Emerging Technologies, a joint initiative between Cumberland Pharmaceuticals, Vanderbilt University and the Tennessee Technology Development Corporation. Since its launch in February 2000, CET has remained steadfast in its desire to bring innovative ideas to end users.
BY CINDY SANDERS

Dr. Thomas Devlin
When neurologist Dr. Thomas Devlin moved to Chattanooga 11 years ago, he knew the area had the highest incident of stroke in the country — a mortality rate estimated at 300 percent above the national average. "It can affect anybody at any age," Devlin said. Chattanooga held "extreme opportunity to do important research with new drugs and devices related to stroke."
BY KRISTIN M. KEIPER

Gand Rounds Tri-Cities May

Massachusetts Officials Outline Low-Cost Health Plans
Massachusetts health officials say they've passed a key hurdle en route to near universal insurance coverage for state residents.
JOHN CARROLL

New Cancer Technologies Enhance Cryotherapy Treatments
Cancer patients at St. Mary's Medical Center in Knoxville have a new treatment option to consider. Urologist Brian Parker, MD, a member of the hospital staff who is affiliated with Urology Consultants, has begun using a relatively new procedure in kidney and prostate cancer cases that combines the latest imaging technology with cryotherapy to freeze and destroy target cancer cells.
BY JOHN CARROLL

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Jennifer Keates-Baleeiro
As a child, she wanted to be a veterinarian. During and after undergraduate school, she leaned toward psychology. But it's apparent that Dr. Jennifer Keates-Baleeiro, the new pediatric-oncologist at Chattanooga's T.C. Thompson Children's Hospital at Erlanger Health System, ultimately found her calling.
KATIE PORTERFIELD

Physician Spotlight: Dr. John A. Ternay
Dr. John A. Ternay and Peter Parker have a few things in common. Both are considered by their peers to be quite the "science whiz," each possessing a keen interest in research and advanced technology. Both display little if any fear of heights and, in fact, have been spotted on several occasions rappelling. While Peter Park, aka "Spider-Man," climbs down New York City skyscrapers, Ternay climbs down waterfalls and mountains in Costa Rica and other places.
ANN METZ

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Mark Wilkinson
JOHNSON CITY — Not many physicians take to the skies to bring care to their patients, but for Dr. Mark Wilkinson, it's all part of the job. An emergency medicine physician in East Tennessee for more than a decade, Wilkinson stretched his skills over many counties, and at times, many states. He is a senior partner and COO with Johnson City Emergency Physicians, PC,
JAMES WATSON

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Charles Cole
JOHNSON CITY — A philosopher once observed that sleep is a serious affair, since one has to stay awake all day to obtain it. In a less philosophic and more practical vein, Dr. Charles Cole stays awake during the day and even at night so that others can obtain a blessed measure of this most precious of commodities — sleep.
BY JOHN M. HAYS

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Charles Cole
JOHNSON CITY — A philosopher once observed that sleep is a serious affair, since one has to stay awake all day to obtain it. In a less philosophic and more practical vein, Dr. Charles Cole stays awake during the day and even at night so that others can obtain a blessed measure of this most precious of commodities — sleep.
BY JOHN M. HAYS

Physician Spotlight: Dr. David Horger
CHATTANOOGA — Focusing on what's best for patients and best business practices are two goals of Dr. David Horger, the newest addition to Academic Urologists at Erlanger. Much of urology's appeal to Horger was the opportunity to treat patients and see them recover. "You're generally dealing with things you can improve," Horger said, "versus chronic illness where you are managing pain or disease."
BY KRISTIN M. KEIPER

Physician Spotlight: Dr. David Horger
CHATTANOOGA — Focusing on what's best for patients and best business practices are two goals of Dr. David Horger, the newest addition to Academic Urologists at Erlanger. Much of urology's appeal to Horger was the opportunity to treat patients and see them recover. "You're generally dealing with things you can improve," Horger said, "versus chronic illness where you are managing pain or disease."
BY KRISTIN M. KEIPER

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Felicito Fernando
Dr. Felicito Fernando couldn't decide what to specialize in when he was in medical school. So during his third year rotations, he studied doctors' demeanors. "I watched all the folks who were mentoring us and tried to decide who seemed to be the happiest," he explained. "There were happy people in all fields, but the pediatricians seemed the happiest." Today, Fernando, 45, is one of those happy pediatricians, and it didn't take him long to discover the key to that happiness.
by KATIE PORTERFIELD

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Greg Blake
No one ever said that being a doctor was an easy profession. Dealing with crazy hours, administrative pressures, never-ending stress, and the vexing medical mysteries that sometimes arise during diagnosis is enough to push even the most stable individuals over the brink. For Knoxville-based family practitioner Dr. Greg Blake, the interweaving of private passions and public service is the factor that makes the long days and ceaseless pressure bearable.
BY JOHN SEWELL

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Richard M. Briggs
Dr. Richard M. Briggs leads two lives. As a cardiothoracic surgeon at St. Mary's Medical Center in Knoxville, he is a physician with a long and distinguished career as a healthcare provider. As a full colonel in the Medical Corps of the United States Army Reserves, he is a wide-ranging traveler who is no stranger to active military deployments, which include Seoul, South Korea; Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Kuwait in connection with the Persian Gulf War; Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan in 2004; and Baghdad, Iraq from November 2005 through March 2006.
BY JOHN M. HAYS

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Rosanne Barker
KNOXVILLE — Dr. Rosanne Barker never tires of her job. Her patients, however, often come to her plain worn out. For more than 20 years, Barker, 51, medical director of Knoxville's Baptist Sleep Institute, has been doing everything she can to change that.
BY KATIE PORTERFIELD

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Rosanne Barker
KNOXVILLE — Dr. Rosanne Barker never tires of her job. Her patients, however, often come to her plain worn out. For more than 20 years, Barker, 51, medical director of Knoxville's Baptist Sleep Institute, has been doing everything she can to change that.
BY KATIE PORTERFIELD

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Steven J. Baumrucker
The term "Renaissance man" is one of those overly used expressions most often referring to little more than empty praise. But when used to describe Dr. Steven J. Baumrucker, medical director of palliative care services at Wellmont Health System's Holston Valley Hospital in Kingsport, no other description could be as fitting. A man in possession of far-ranging talents, Baumrucker balances a passion for his career with a rich family life, a spiritual focus, avid participation in hobbies and deep immersion in creative pursuits.
BY JOHN SEWELL

Physician Spotlight: Dr. William B. Smith
Dr. William B. Smith enjoys water sports, especially sailing and piloting his ski boat. Not that he does either these days. Both were destroyed during Hurricane Katrina. "A casino boat came loose and destroyed the sail dock," he explained. "And the boat house for the other one collapsed. Most importantly, though, our staff could have fared much worse. Nobody was killed or seriously injured."
BY JOHN M. HAYS

Regional Pediatric Center Supports Families While Children Stay in Hospital
It can be an overwhelming experience for a child to visit the doctor, and when he actually has to stay in the hospital, it can be extremely frustrating and quite stressful. This reality is why the staff at East Tennessee Children's Hospital (ETCH) work on every level, from emotional to physical, to ensure each child's visit to the hospital is as relaxed and friendly as possible, whether it's setting a broken bone or performing a painfully meticulous lumbar puncture. This year more than 136,000 visits will be made to ETCH, certified by the state of Tennessee as the only Comprehensive Regional Pediatric Center in East Tennessee.
BY HOLLI W. HAYNIE

Thompson Cancer Survival Center Receives Assistance from Premier Surgical Associates
Premier Surgical Associates CEO Kevin Burris recently announced a new partnership with Thompson Cancer Survival Center, who has multiple locations in the East Tennessee area. As a leader in comprehensive surgical services, Premier Surgical Associates has physicians specializing in a range of patient care from general surgery to laparoscopic procedures...
MEREDITH HULETTE

UT Medical Center Nurse Promoted to Nurse Practitioner
KNOXVILLE — Catherine Kingery, a labor and delivery nurse at The University of Tennessee Medical Center for four years, recently became a women's health nurse practitioner. In that role, she'll work with the practice of Women's Specialty Care at UT Medical Center to provide care for women through all stages of their lives. Kingery received her Master's in nursing from the University of Tennessee.

Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy Celebrates $14 Million in Research Grants … So Far
When physicians and medical researchers see the acronym ACGT, they think "adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine," the string of four nucleotides that constitute DNA. That's why Edward Netter gets such a kick out of the name he came up with for the organization he founded with his wife, Barbara, in 2001 — the Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy (ACGT®).
BY SHARON H. FITZGERALD

Banks Roll Out Red Carpet for Medical Community
More and more banks and investment companies are offering specialized services that cater to the needs of the medical community. Knowledge of the business side of medical practice is crucial when deciding on how and where to invest money.
BY GLORIA BUTLER BALDWIN

Banks Roll Out Red Carpet for Medical Community
More and more banks and investment companies are offering specialized services that cater to the needs of the medical community. Knowledge of the business side of medical practice is crucial when deciding on how and where to invest money.
BY GLORIA BUTLER BALDWIN

Dr. Robert C. Patton
Dr. Robert C. Patton is both a trailblazer and traditionalist. When he went into practice 25 years ago, he was the first gastroenterologist in Kingsport, following in the footsteps of his great-great-grandfather, who was the first physician in the city. His ancestor, Dr. Robert Patton (1799-1860), set up the first medical practice in Kingsport in 1820.
BY KELLY PRICE

East Tennessee Surgeons Use Innovative Treatment for Compression Fractures
Some East Tennessee surgeons are getting results in the repair of vertebral compression fractures (VCFs) by using an innovative procedure called balloon kyphoplasty. "I've seen excellent results with balloon kyphoplasty," said Dr. Dennis Harris, a pain medicine specialist with the Advanced Spine and Rehabilitation Center, a division of HealthStar Physicians in Morristown, Tenn.
BY LYNNE JETER

Healthcare Reform Efforts Take Root
The corridors of power on Capitol Hill have long been the front lines in the war over healthcare policy. But recently many of the most combative groups have been joining hands with their most implacable political opponents in common cause.
JOHN CARROLL

Holston Valley and ETSU Team Up to Alleviate Nursing Shortage
It is no secret that the East Tennessee area, as well as the rest of the United States, has suffered from the growing shortage of registered nurses (RNs). In an effort to help alleviate this problem, Holston Valley Medical Center and East Tennessee State University (ETSU) have decided on an innovative course of action that will help to expand the role of the licensed practical nurse (LPN) in the clinical setting.
BY DEBBY WALLACE, RN

Legal Matters: How to Effectively Document Informed Consent
A plaintiff once swore to me under oath that my client, a physician, failed to inform her of the critical risks, benefits, and alternatives of a particular medical procedure. Filled with righteous indignation, she stated that she never would have consented to the procedure "if she had known" of these certain risks.

Nation Needs Uniform Newborn Screening and Improved Information for Worried Parents
It's high time the United States established a broad, uniform panel of newborn screening tests, say pediatric experts, and the results of a study released in May by the Indiana University School of Medicine suggest such a program would save healthcare dollars as well as lives. "It was surprising, certainly to me, anyway," says Dr. Stephen M. Downs, who conducted the research along with colleague Dr. Aaron E. Carroll.
BY SHARON H. FITZGERALD

New Group Practice Coalition Sets Legislative Objectives
New Group Practice Coalition Sets Legislative Objectives
An organization of Tennessee medical practice groups founded in early 2005 to battle some wording in proposed legislation is building on its early success and setting a 2006 legislative agenda. The Tennessee Group Practice Coalition for Advocacy, originally just a few cardiology practices, is today a multi-specialty alliance of about 40 large groups, defined as 10 doctors or more. Coalition treasurer Bob Lloyd, who is executive director of Mid-State Cardiology in Nashville, says the catalyst for the coalition was a bill "that in our minds would have made it problematical for a physician to own any kind of diagnostic tool. The way the law was stated, we felt like it would have made it problematical for a doctor to own a stethoscope. It was that broad," he explains. "We felt like we needed to get some language changed, and we were successful in getting the language changed such that the bill doesn't affect physician practices at all." On the heels of that defensive success, the coalition plans a couple of offensive moves in 2006. "We think there are some issues we can address on behalf of patients and physicians that should make things work smoother," Lloyd says.
By Sharon H. Fitzgerald

New Health Plan Mergers Spark Fears Among Providers

Larry Glasscock, Wellpoint CEO
New Health Plan Mergers Spark Fears Among Providers
In the world of managed care organizations, mega-mergers have become trendy. When WellPoint announced its deal to buy WellChoice -- the parent company for Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield — earlier this year, its executives were constructing a giant health plan that would cover more than one in 10 Americans. WellPoint had already swollen in size from its merger last year with Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and now is set to grow to 33 million Blue Cross and Blue Shield members. But there was another recent merger that figured into this power play as well. "Our recent acquisition of Lumenos (a consumer-driven health plan offering), combined with WellChoice's successful deployment of Lumenos features in Empire Total Blue, will allow us to immediately offer Lumenos' full product line to new and existing national accounts headquartered in WellChoice's service area," said WellPoint CEO Larry Glasscock at the time of the announcement. And WellPoint is far from alone. In the managed care field, there has been plenty of competition among big bidders.
By Tracy Staton

Nursing Shortages Continue
Nursing Shortages Continue
A shortage of 19,050 FTE (full time equivalent) nurse job candidates is projected for the state of Tennessee by the year 2010 according to a report by the Health Resources and Service Administration. This quadrennial National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses predicted Tennessee would have a shortage of 48.5 percent or 36,205 FTE's by the year 2020! What about 2005? The projection of this 2002 report estimated a shortage of 22 percent or 12,455 FTE's for 2005. Tennessee is not alone. The report projected that by 2020, 44 states and the District of Columbia are projected to have shortages. Shortages in East Tennessee vary considerably by location. Metropolitan areas like Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Tri-Cities report shortages in specialty areas. Rural hospitals and clinics report unmet needs across all nursing skilled areas.
by Bill Morris

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Michael Kimbro
MOUNTAIN CITY — There are some hints in the office of Dr. Michael Kimbro, which give him away. On a bookshelf filled with the ordinary medical manuals is a well-used copy of the Wilderness Medicine Book.
JAMES WATSON

Physician Spotlight: Dr. C. Allen Musil
Armed with a powerful trident of medical aptitudes, Frontier Health child and adolescent psychiatrist Dr. C. Allen Musil plays a constant balancing act by incorporating multiple talents for a holistic approach to his practice. Musil is board-certified in pediatrics, child and adolescent psychiatry and adult psychiatry. The doctor's education — he also spent a year in seminary school — and his experience, along with his multifaceted approach, have resulted in a challenging and ever-evolving career.
BY JOHN SEWELL

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Marielisa Rincon
There are pediatricians. And then there are ultra-special pediatricians such as Dr. Marielisa Rincon, a pediatric endocrinologist at T.C. Thompson Children's Hospital at Erlanger Hospital at theUniversity of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
BY GARTHIA ELENA HALBERT

Physician Spotlight: Senator Bill Frist M.D.
Physician Spotlight: Senator Bill Frist M.D.
"You ask me for a motto. Here it is: SERVICE." -Albert Schweitzer A core mission of medical practice is serving others. Bill Frist, MD — now Senate Majority Leader Frist — learned early on to appreciate the value of serving others. Born and raised in Nashville, Frist remembers watching his father, a physician, leaving to go to work at the hospital. By the time he started college, he had already decided to pursue the field of medicine, but an interest in public policy was also already in evidence. In addition to pre-med at Princeton University, Frist chose to study two years of healthcare policy at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public International Affairs. After graduating in 1974, Frist spent a summer interning with Tennessee Congressman Joe Evins, who advised preparing for a career outside of politics, and then bringing that professional expertise to Washington.
By Rita H Lee PhD

St. Mary's Surgeon Performs Laparoscopic Colon Cancer Treatment
KNOXVILLE — A specialist in minimally invasive surgery at St. Mary's Medical Center is treating colon cancer through a laparoscopic procedure. Michael E. Kelly, MD, a board-certified surgeon with the Premier Surgical Associates in Knoxville, received fellowship training in minimally invasive, or laparoscopic, surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Tennessee Group Outlines Future of New Technology
Six years ago, a group from the University of Tennessee decided to leave campus to start up a new company — Atmospheric Glow Technologies — devoted to developing the atmospheric plasma technology they had licensed from the university. About two years ago, the Tennessee alums graduated to a public company and recently put a new notch in their corporate belt by gaining renewed support from the Department of Defense to use their technology in a way that could open up a new chapter in the field of mobile medical sterilization. "Current field sterilization equipment is costly, heavy and power hungry," says AGT president Kimberly Kelly-Wintenberg, whose company is based in the Knoxville Oak Ridge Innovation Valley, a cluster of new tech companies that has sprung up near the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
BY JOHN CARROLL

The Changing Images of Radiology

Vista interventional radiologist Keith Woodward, M.D., left, reviews imaging during an endovascular aneurysm repair.
The Changing Images of Radiology
Images of yesterday's radiologist and the tools of the profession are undergoing quantum leaps into the next generation of practitioners and practices. The rows upon rows of charts containing silver-based films are giving way to computer databases of digital pictures. These new images have greater detail, flexibility and portability than their predecessors. Teleradiology bridges the distance. "Distance doesn't matter," according to Charles McRae, CFO/Administrator at Vista Radiology, PC. New technology allows images sent over fiber optic networks or even secure Internet channels to be read by trained specialists 24/7. Physicians in rural hospitals and clinics anywhere in the world can consult with properly trained radiologists in practices with the right technology. Vista currently assists rural hospitals and physician offices in Franklin, Claiborne, Loudon, and Hamblen counties and throughout southeastern Tennessee. Hospitals they support can send images for complicated cases if they need a consult by one of the subspecialists at Vista. In addition, Vista is able to handle overflow if a hospital's volumes increase but not yet to the point of adding another radiologist to the staff. "We've also been called on when a locum tenens cancelled who was to replace a radiologist on vacation. With only four days' notice, we were able to accept images in our reading center in Knoxville," said McRae.
By Bill Morris

UT/ORNL Researchers Find New Way to Track Joint Movement

UT biomedical engineering student Dave Holmes, holding an artificial knee implant, sits at computer screen showing fluoroscopic data overlaid with 3D bone model.
UT/ORNL Researchers Find New Way to Track Joint Movement
When a joint such as the knee loses its ability to function, it is often a result of trauma or osteoarthritis, a type of arthritis which is characterized by the degeneration of cartilage. As a result, evaluation of how well the patient's joint is working is essential for determining whether joint replacement surgery is needed. If the joint is replaced with an artificial joint implant, assessment of the inserted implant's ability to function properly can help determine whether a different implant model may be better suited for the given patient. In the February 2005 issue of Journal of Biomechanics, University of Tennessee researchers Drs. Mohamed Mahfouz PhD and Richard Komistek PhD and others describe how they use fluoroscopy and CT (computed tomography) data to make accurate in vivo three-dimensional measurements of normal and ACL-deficient (anterior cruciate ligament-deficient) knees as the knees are being extended and flexed.
BY RITA H. LEE

A Change of Heart at St. Mary's Cardiac Rehab

Niles Lundt, PhD, St. Mary's Cardiac Rehab Team Leader works with a patient.
A Change of Heart at St. Mary's Cardiac Rehab
How can life change for the better after a stroke, angioplasty or bypass surgery? For the approximately 130 to 140 patients who are currently involved in the St. Mary's Cardiac Rehabilitation Program, the goal is to replace high-risk heart disease habits with a long-term healthy and active lifestyle. St. Mary's opened its newest Cardiac Rehabilitation facility at East Towne on Centerline Drive in Knoxville in 1997. This facility serves as the mainstay of St. Mary's Cardiac Rehabilitation Program which started back in the early 1990s.
BY RITA H. LEE, PHD

ACCA Cardiovascular Leaders Discuss Whirlwind of Healthcare Change
Apropos of its New Orleans location, the Annual Cardiovascular Administrators' Leadership Conference held March 18 focused on the similarities between hurricanes and the healthcare profession today: "CV Leaders in the Eye of the Storm: Pursuing the Big Easy."

Blues Online Records May Help TennCare
Blues Online Records May Help TennCare
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee has created a for-profit company, Shared Health, to head up their newly made database of claims-based patient information. Using high speed Internet to access the claims-based medical records database, physicians in Tennessee can now access the histories of 750, 000 TennCare patients. This database of patients' medical information includes test and lab results, prescription records and other relevant medical information collected from across multiple practice settings. Data on immunizations and well-child exams will eventually be added as well. By year's end, the patient histories of all TennCare patients will be available on the Blues' online medical records database. This online database is available free of charge to all physicians in Tennessee.
BY RITA H. LEE, PHD

Buliding Boom Enters New Phase
Buliding Boom Enters New Phase
Over the last five years the East Tennessee area has seen a tremendous building boom in hospital facilities as well as in physician office expansion. The trend for the near future is for physician offices and ancillary service facilities to align themselves geographically with the new hospital facilities. One of the major players in health care construction in East Tennessee is general contractor Johnson & Galyon, Inc. Doug Kennedy, CEO of Johnson & Galyon believes that the number of major hospital projects completed or near completion will have satisfied expansion requirements for the near future. His company is involved in the $41 million St. Mary's Hospital North project due for completion in June of 2007. The company has also recently completed work on the $52 million Baptist West project, a $64 million project at Parkwest Hospital, and the $30 million project at Children's Hospital. A new project at University Health Systems is targeted to begin February 1.
by Bill Morris

CapitalMark Breaks Bank Record in Chattanooga
CHATTANOOGA — CapitalMark Bank & Trust announced in September it had raised stock commitments for $36.5 million to capitalize a new bank in Chattanooga. The level represents the biggest initial stock offering ever by a Tennessee chartered bank and more than twice the national average of new banks. CapitalMark officials say the reason the excitement is so high is that they are raising the bar on professional banking.
BY GLORIA BUTLER BALDWIN

CapitalMark Breaks Bank Record in Chattanooga
CHATTANOOGA — CapitalMark Bank & Trust announced in September it had raised stock commitments for $36.5 million to capitalize a new bank in Chattanooga. The level represents the biggest initial stock offering ever by a Tennessee chartered bank and more than twice the national average of new banks. CapitalMark officials say the reason the excitement is so high is that they are raising the bar on professional banking.
BY GLORIA BUTLER BALDWIN

Dr. Paul L. Jett
Dr. Paul L. Jett is happy with the path he's chosen as a physician. "This line of work is a good fit for me," he reflected. "Continuity with patients, really being able to help people, going off the beaten path — that's what I wanted as a doctor."
BY JOHN M. HAYS

Dr. Paul L. Jett
Dr. Paul L. Jett is happy with the path he's chosen as a physician. "This line of work is a good fit for me," he reflected. "Continuity with patients, really being able to help people, going off the beaten path — that's what I wanted as a doctor."
BY JOHN M. HAYS

Healthcare Crisis Q&A
In today's highly partisan environment, one of the few things that politicians seem to agree on is that healthcare is in crisis. Premiums are rising 12 to 20 percent a year, and from 1994 to 2004, healthcare costs have doubled. In 2004, the healthcare tab for our country was 1.9 trillion dollars, almost four times our budget for national defense.

IVhin Enters Phase II of RHIO
The Innovation Valley Health Information Network (IVhin) is on schedule and entering phase II of development of a regional health information organization (RHIO). The IVhin is an initiative to develop a health information network among the 16 counties of the East Tennessee region. The project is a pilot program developed with the assistance of the Patient Safety Institute based in Plano, Texas.
BY BILL MORRIS

Kidney Cancer Drug Shows Promise for Lung Cancer
A drug already approved for the treatment of kidney cancer shows promise for the treatment of some lung cancers, too. That's according to research presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting held in Atlanta this past June.
BY SHARON H. FITZGERALD

Maintaining Cheer as Holidays Near

Susie Wilson (left), program director of the Peninsula Senior Day Hospital, talks with a patient's family member.
Maintaining Cheer as Holidays Near
"The holidays are here again, a time for family and for friends…" says the familiar Christmas song. For most, it is that time, a time of joy filled with family gatherings, homemade feasts, and gifts. However, for many, the holidays mark an annual period of depression fraught with stress, sadness, or loneliness. This period of depression, better known as the holiday blues or holiday depression, occurs typically before or following the holiday season. Holiday blues can span a period of anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. According to the National Mental Health Association, major causes for the holiday blues include unrealistic expectations, financial limitations, and isolation from family and friends. In addition, the Geriatric Mental Health Foundation reports that older individuals experience the holiday blues for additional reasons including poor eyesight (preventing the writing or reading of holiday mail) and the inability to physically attend family gatherings or holiday church services.
By Rita H. Lee PhD

Memorial Hospital Receives Top Rankings
Quality medical care is defined by many benchmarks, most important of which are survival rates and complication-free care. For Chattanooga's Memorial Health Care System, which was just named to Solucient's Top 100 Cardiovascular Hospitals list for the third consecutive year, a highly-trained staff dedicated to quality and efficiency is responsible. Solucient, an information products company for the healthcare industry, conducts annual quality studies for hospitals including top hospital overall and top cardiovascular hospital.
BY HOLLI W. HAYNIE

Neurologist Puts Clarity Into End of Life Decision-Making

Dr. Norm Walton, UT's Cole Neuroscience Center in Knoxville
Neurologist Puts Clarity Into End of Life Decision-Making
End of life issues have become an increasingly prevalent concern in modern day society as new medical technologies come into existence and cases like the Terry Schiavo case are brought to the public's attention. Dr. Norm Walton, who is double board-certified in Internal Medicine and Neurology, as well as an Assistant Professor at University of Tennessee Medical Center and a practicing neurologist at UT's Cole Neuroscience Center in Knoxville, sheds some light on end of life issues. "After watching the Terry Schiavo case unfold in the media, the take-home point I took from that case was that there should be every effort made to keep the legal system out of the situation," says Walton. "The decision should be made by the entire healthcare team — including the physicians, the social workers, and the chaplain — along with the patient's family, and the patient if the patient is able to do so."
RITA H. LEE, PH.D.

Once Established, Wealth Management Takes Lead
Once Established, Wealth Management Takes Lead
Just as the "Boomer Generation" professionals are now entering a new phase in their careers, the financial services industry is also evolving into an industry with a slightly different focus. Financial planners, banks and brokerage companies are highlighting their services in wealth management as apposed to wealth accumulation. As professionals pass the 50-year mark, many begin to focus on protecting the assets that have been accumulated and how best to position those assets for eventual retirement or to benefit future generations. Although new studies indicate we are living longer and many individuals are working past traditional retirement dates, the prime earning years are still seen as pre-50 rather than beyond. Prior generations had a very short retirement planning model. The average employee retired at age 65 and lived to mid-70s. Today, many people are working until their 70s, and with increased longevity, a retiree may even live past 100 years. As physicians, you've done a good job increasing life expectancy, but you've also increased the need for better financial health … after all, many of you will have an additional 25-30 years of retirement than the generation before you.
By Bill Morris

ORNL Lab Examines a New Therapy for Radiation Exposure
The death of a group of mice in Dr. Dabney Johnson's laboratory at Oak Ridge National Laboratory may help researchers find a therapy that can help people live after suffering from high levels of radiation exposure. Divided into various groups, the mice were exposed to deadly levels of radiation. Several groups of mice were treated with the experimental Radilex™, which is being developed as a therapy for neutropenia and anemia following exposure to radiation. More of the mice that received Radilex survived their exposure, says Dr. Johnson. And even while the number of surviving mice was not statistically significant compared to the number that died in the control group, Radilex demonstrated enough efficacy to suggest that the therapy can be fine-tuned as it progresses into more advanced animal studies.
BY JOHN CARROLL

Palliative Care: An Evolving Path
Even as the term 'palliative' still rings foreign to many outside the medical profession, the field is evolving and changing as the aging U.S. population and the cost of healthcare demands more palliative care services, beyond the traditional home-based hospice care. "Palliative care is a large set that encompasses hospice care. Hospice care is palliative care where no more curative therapy is contemplated.
BY KAREN OTT MAYER

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Jennifer Keates-Baleeiro
As a child, she wanted to be a veterinarian. During and after undergraduate school, she leaned toward psychology. But it's apparent that Dr. Jennifer Keates-Baleeiro, the new pediatric-oncologist at Chattanooga's T.C. Thompson Children's Hospital at Erlanger Health System, ultimately found her calling.
KATIE PORTERFIELD

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Dan David
Peruse Dr. Dan David's wardrobe, and chances are there's a closet full of hats. That's because the active Johnson City professor and family practitioner wears so many. A Virginia native who landed in Upper East Tennessee in 1985, David today separates his time among interests that range from clinical teaching to quality improvement of healthcare delivery and the increasingly important role of physician understanding and participation in the business side of medicine.
BY SHARON H. FITZGERALD

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Larry Rigsby
For Memorial Health System hospitalist Dr. Larry Rigsby, drawing from a wide palate of life experiences is a key factor in maintaining focus on his primary pursuit: to provide top quality healthcare to his myriad patients. Rigsby said that following a quest for adventure during his off time has actually served to revitalize his zeal for his practice. An avid mountaineer, Rigsby has spanned the globe, traversing dangerous altitudes many times over.
BY JOHN SEWELL

QSource Backs Big Changes at State QIO

Raymond Dawson, QSource Operations Manager
QSource Backs Big Changes at State QIO
Qsource® has a simple message for anyone wondering how Tennessee's healthcare quality consulting group is reacting to the recent harsh criticism of Medicare Quality Improvement Organizations laid out by the Institute of Medicine: "We fully support the IOM's report." "We were very excited when the IOM report came out," says Raymond Dawson, operations manager of the not-for-profit consulting group. "We thought it was complimentary to some of our efforts." The IOM report "obviously pointed out some challenges," he continues. But QSource also was one of the first QIOs in the country to sign on to the recommendations offered by the American Health Quality Association to shake up their boards and their approach to the healthcare industry and the Medicare beneficiaries they serve. The AHQA is the national trade group that represents QIOs. The whole field of medicine has changed dramatically since the QIOs were first set up in the 1970s, says Dawson. And QSource believes that – just as the IOM recommends – its board should be changed to reflect the evolution of medicine.
By John Carroll

See Changes in Eye Care Treatment

Dr. Les Cunningham discusses treatment options for cataract patient at Cambell, Cunningham & Taylor, P.C., in Knoxville.
See Changes in Eye Care Treatment
Ophthalmologists in East Tennessee have stated that many of the damaged eyes they see are the result of trauma, abuse or neglect that could have been prevented. Eye protection at both work and play can prevent the routine injuries presented in emergency rooms and doctor's offices. Also, the ease with which patients now obtain contact lenses may be a contributing factor to the increase in ulcers and infections of the eyes. Optometrist Dorian Lain of the Eye Group in Farragut said, "Even though all contacts are dispensed by licensed optometrists or ophthalmologists, many patients who get their lenses in the mall do not pay attention to care and use instructions. In most cases they can't tell us the name of the doctor they saw and therefore have not really developed a doctor-patient relationship," he said. "Improper cleaning, storage and overuse are the biggest causes of these problems." He also said that the new one-day disposable lenses eliminate 80 percent of the most common problems.
By Bill Morris

Show Me The Money
Show Me The Money
Provider reimbursement continues to rank high on the list of challenges for both hospital practitioners and private practice physicians. Tom Jones visits Dr. Smith's practice and has an annual physical including exam, chest X-ray, EKG, and blood analysis. Total charges for the day equal $275. How much money did the practice make? $275? $175? $65.15? $30? $0? If you chose $275 you are an eternal optimist. If you failed to obtain proper financial information and collected no payment as Mr. Jones slipped out the door, you earned zero, nada, nil! If you successfully collected his co-pay, you earned $30. The balance goes to insurance or accounts receivable to be followed up on and you may collect 75 percent to 80 percent of the balance based on your managed care contract. If you collected the co-pay and your managed care contract specifies $175 for the procedures listed, you may in time receive the full $175. If you are the practice administrator, you probably realize your costs for facilities, payroll and supplies to provide these services totals $109.85, so after collecting the adjusted payment of $175, minus your costs, you earned just $65.15. Take two aspirins and consider a career change.
By Bill Morris

Surprise! JCAHO Calling

Dean Samet, Director of Smith, Seckman, Reid, Inc.
Surprise! JCAHO Calling
Who's in the lobby to do what?!!!! Don't let this be your reaction when you hear that the JCAHO survey team has shown up unannounced to inspect your hospital facility for re-accreditation. Beginning last month, the Joint Commission has switched to surprise surveys for the first time in its history. While some of you may question whether or not the Geneva Convention would classify this as torture, the real reason behind the move is of a much more noble nature. "The purpose of this is to help the organization maintain continuous compliance along with utilizing the Joint Commission standards as good management tools and providing good patient care and safety," explains Dean Samet, director of regulatory compliance services for Smith Seckman Reid, Inc., an engineering firm serving the healthcare industry.
by Cindy Sanders

Timely Tax Tips & Financial Strategies
Timely Tax Tips & Financial Strategies
It's not too late to make decisions that can reduce Federal Income Taxes for 2005. One of the easiest ways to reduce your tax bill is to maximize your contribution to your company's 401(k) for yourself and/or your employees. Contributions for 2005 tax year can be made as late as the last day of your extension request. "This year a single extension request is required for the full six month extension to October 15th," stated Dick Goldstine, partner and tax specialist at HG&A Associates. The self employed and those with other qualified plans have the same options. You should check with your accountant or benefits specialist to determine which options are available to you. Those who qualify for IRA contributions can also make contributions for 2005 as late as the filing of their returns. IRA contribution limits for 2005 are $4,000 with a $500 catch-up provision for anyone 50 years of age or older.
by Bill Morris

Transformation at Peninsula

Barbara Blevins, President of Peninsula Behavioral Health, stands by poster for annual art auction Artsclamation held as a benefit for Peninsula Behavioral Health.
Transformation at Peninsula
In the past, Cynthia Barker tried to suicide seven times and ended up in 17 psychiatric hospitals. She was diagnosed with a major mental illness, but with a combination of family support, medication, and a good psychiatrist, Barker was able to improve and find appropriate medication. In the last ten years, through treatment and increased hope, Barker has not thought of suicide. Barker is just one of many people who have come to Peninsula Behavioral Health, whose lives have been transformed by solid, comprehensive mental healthcare. Peninsula is a comprehensive mental health network — consisting of services such as Tennessee's largest psychiatric hospital Peninsula Hospital and Peninsula Village — a nationally-renowned residential program for hard-to-reach teens. Other services of Peninsula include community mental healthcare centers, Peninsula Lighthouse which teaches mental healthcare self-management, and a behavioral medicine unit at Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge. Overall, Peninsula Behavioral Health has more than 12 service locations throughout six counties including Knox County.
BY RITA H. LEE

TVEC Achieves Accreditation
The Tennessee Valley Eye Center (TVEC) has achieved accreditation by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC/Accreditation Association), according to Dr. David G. Gerkin, Medical Director of TVEC.

UT Doctor Discovers Potential Source for Human Eggs

Dr. Antonin Bukovsky MD, PhD., reviews microscope images projected onto a computer screen.
UT Doctor Discovers Potential Source for Human Eggs
The established thought is that women are born with a fixed number of eggs. In the May 5, 2005, issue of Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology, the discovery that new human eggs can be developed in vitro from cells scraped from the surface of adult human ovaries was made in the laboratory of Dr. Antonin Bukovsky, MD, PhD. Bukovsky is a Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology at the University of Tennessee (Knoxville) Graduate School of Medicine. He is also the director of the Laboratory of Development, Differentiation and Cancer in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the UT Graduate School of Medicine. These results suggest that cells scraped from the ovary could be a potential source of new eggs for women who have trouble conceiving — either due to age or other complications such as a lack of ovarian follicles, the structures composed of an egg surrounded by granulosa cells. For women who want to delay having babies, these results suggest the possibility of having ovarian surface epithelium (OSE) cells frozen in order to produce new eggs at a later date.
BY RITA H. LEE

UT Research Yields Promise For Patients with Neurodegenerative Diseases

Dr. John Dougherty, Jr., UT Medical Center
UT Research Yields Promise For Patients with Neurodegenerative Diseases
The legacy left by Robert Cole is more astonishing than his rags-to-riches story. The brilliant self-made man from Knoxville who created a drug store dynasty was helpless to overcome Parkinson�s disease, a chronic, progressive disorder of the central nervous system that belongs to a group of conditions called motor system disorders. Parkinson�s is the direct result of the loss of cells in a section of the brain called the substantia nigra. Those cells produce dopamine, a chemical messenger responsible for transmitting signals within the brain. Loss of dopamine causes critical nerve cells in the brain, or neurons, to fire out of control, leaving patients unable to direct or control their movement in a normal manner.
By Lynne Jeter

Wellmont and Parkwest Named Among Top 100 Heart Hospitals

(L-R): Wellmont Holston Valley Medical Center board-certified cardiovascular surgeons Dr. Richard Michalik, Dr. Cary Meyers and Dr. Stanley Gall.
Wellmont and Parkwest Named Among Top 100 Heart Hospitals
Two East Tennessee hospitals have been named Top 100 Heart Hospitals for their cardiovascular programs during the year 2005. Kingsport's Wellmont Holston Valley Medical Center and Knoxville's Parkwest Medical Center received the Top 100 designation, each of them one of only five non-teaching hospitals that were awarded the coveted status. Solucient, an independent company that gathers health care information from Medicare data, used an objective health care rating system to determine which hospitals yielded the best average cardiovascular outcomes. The quality of hospital cardiac care was assessed, in part, through analysis of data on Medicare patients' post-operative outcome following coronary bypass.
By Rita H. Lee, PhD

Better, Safer, FasterExperimental Technique Offers Hope for Improved Biopsy Analysis

First author Dr. Maddalena T. Tilli, confocal microscope with digital photo of breast biopsy tissue, and Dr. Priscilla A. Furth (Professor at Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center Georgetown University and Dr. Tilli’s mentor)
Better, Safer, Faster
Experimental Technique Offers Hope for Improved Biopsy Analysis

Although it’s all too easy to become immune to claims of “latest, greatest, better, best” in today’s rapidly changing world of medical technology, the fact remains that much of what has been discovered and refined over the past couple of decades has indeed been revolutionary in terms of patient care and outcomes.
CINDY SANDERS

Breathing Easier with Sleep Apnea
Dr. Hassan Nadrous, FCCP, found himself drawn to sleep medicine because of the number of sleep disorders that are under-diagnosed and under-treated. Medical director of The SleepCenters, Nadrous completed medical school in Syria followed by residency at Northwestern in Chicago and a fellowship at the Mayo Clinic. The board-eligible pulmonologist was particularly interested in a Mayo Clinic study that looked at complication rates for a population of patients undergoing hip and knee replacement. While seemingly unrelated, the study found that sleep disorders played a major impact on recovery.
BY CINDY SANDERS

Breathing Easier with Sleep Apnea
Dr. Hassan Nadrous, FCCP, found himself drawn to sleep medicine because of the number of sleep disorders that are under-diagnosed and under-treated. Medical director of The SleepCenters, Nadrous completed medical school in Syria followed by residency at Northwestern in Chicago and a fellowship at the Mayo Clinic. The board-eligible pulmonologist was particularly interested in a Mayo Clinic study that looked at complication rates for a population of patients undergoing hip and knee replacement. While seemingly unrelated, the study found that sleep disorders played a major impact on recovery.
BY CINDY SANDERS

Cover Tennessee Details Bring Governor's Vision into Focus

Governor Phil Bredesen
Cover Tennessee Details Bring Governor's Vision into Focus
It is estimated that there are between 600,000 and 700,000 Tennesseans without health insurance. An ongoing problem, a Commerce & Insurance study last year found 580,000 uninsured. The figure swelled to the current estimates after TennCare rolls were cut last summer. Now, however, Governor Phil Bredesen is proposing a plan to ensure the majority of Tennesseans have a viable pathway to coverage if they choose to take it. "I don't know how today to provide a free health policy to everyone in Tennessee," Governor Bredesen tells Medical News. "I do think we can offer a basic health policy at a reasonable cost to cover most uninsured Tennesseans, but after that, it's up to them … you are asking people to be participants in the process." For those who choose to participate, the Cover Tennessee initiative offers options for children, those with preexisting health issues and the working uninsured, as well as a discounted pharmacy benefit and a diabetes prevention component.
By Cindy Sanders

Cover Tennessee Helping the Disenrolled, Disenfranchised

Governor Bredesen
Cover Tennessee Helping the Disenrolled, Disenfranchised
In 2004, the Tennessee Department of Insurance and Commerce was awarded a state planning grant from Health Resources and Services Administration to research Tennessee's uninsured populations and develop programming to improve access to affordable healthcare. This collaborative effort between public/private partners has turned into "Cover Tennessee." Andrea White, spokesperson for the state's Safety Net program, says the initiative will ultimately take a three-pronged approach to helping those without insurance find access to care. The first arm of the initiative will cover the 150,000 uninsured children in the state. White says Tennessee will take advantage of the 3:1 match available from the federally-mandated State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to help provide coverage. The estimate is that Tennessee will put in $60 million of state money over the next three years but draw down a $180 million match rate to fund programming. "Aside from the benefit of the federal dollars," White says, "the overwhelming benefit is that the SCHIP program is much more modern than Medicaid so you have flexibility." White says the second major prong will be helping the uninsured in Tennessee. Of those without any coverage, she says, the "overwhelming majority of those are working Tennesseans." White notes that a report by the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance this past December found that before TennCare disenrollment, the state had approximately 580,000 uninsured residents.
By Cindy Sanders

ETCH: Perfection in Pediatrics

Michael and Jarod Strunk and German Rodriguez leave their patient rooms to go to the Third Floor playroom to paint pictures with child life specialists Kristin Wells and Julie Head.
ETCH: Perfection in Pediatrics
If a child is the most precious asset of the family, then East Tennessee Children's Hospital (ETCH) must be the most precious asset of the Knoxville community. Since 1937 ETCH has focused on meeting the needs of children's health and well being in the East Tennessee area. It is the only state certified Comprehensive Regional Pediatric Center in East Tennessee. ETCH is a private, independent, not-for-profit hospital. These are far more than descriptive adjectives. Ellen Liston, Director of Community Relations, explained the reasoning behind the hospital's independence. "In the 90s, most pediatric hospitals aligned with larger adult service hospital systems, mainly out of fear and financial pressures. We went against our consultant's recommendations and chose to stay independent." ETCH felt that aligning with one hospital system could alienate the hospitals and physicians who were aligned with another hospital system. "We do not have the pediatric population base to support two pediatric hospitals. So, we knew we could not limit ourselves to a portion of Knoxville's children. In fact we knew we had to expand our catchment area to survive as the only pediatric hospital in East Tennessee."
BY BILL MORRIS

Exposed Nerves

Dr.Ron Leppanen attends to a patient on the tilt table.
Exposed Nerves
Although their tests have come back normal, their problems persist. Sometimes, they are even told that their symptoms might be tied to a psychological condition rather than a physiological one. For those with diseases of the autonomic nervous system, pinpointing their exact problem can be very difficult. Luckily for patients in East Tennessee, St. Mary's Medical Center has made finding an accurate diagnosis a lot easier. The area's only hospital to offer diagnostic physiological examinations in its autonomic testing laboratory, St. Mary's constructed a specially designed room that provides the controlled environment and climate necessary for accurate testing. Ron Leppanen, PhD, a board-certified clinical neurophysiologist with Knoxville Neurology Clinic, sees many patients at the testing lab.
By Cindy Sanders

From the Depths of Despair to the Pinnacle of Purpose

Dr. Gil Smith, Director of Recovery Ministries for Cokesbury United Methodist Church in west Knoxville.
From the Depths of Despair to the Pinnacle of Purpose
The young women stood before the congregation that seemed to go on forever in the soft lighting of the meeting hall and read her statement. She chronicled a life of abuse and addiction few in the room could imagine. Introduced to drugs before her teenage years and forced into prostitution to support her abusive family, she had been stripped of all humanity and self worth. But yet she stood there completing a statement she must read because she was not yet strong enough to look the crowd in the eye. Resurrection takes time. Fortunately for her she had been welcomed into a program run by one who had been down that same slippery slope and survived. Dr. Gil Smith, Director of Recovery Ministries for Cokesbury United Methodist Church in west Knoxville knows first hand the price that must be paid to earn freedom from addiction. He is an educated man who has earned advanced degrees and was once a minister with his own congregation to shepard. He had to lose it all before he found his purpose in life. That purpose is the Celebrate Recovery Ministries.
by Bill Morris

Gene Transfer May Help Create New Blood Vessels in Heart
Gene Transfer May Help Create New Blood Vessels in Heart
This fall, the Baptist Heart Institute in Knoxville is involved in a nationwide study called the GENASIS clinical trial. The trial�s goal is to determine whether gene transfer can be used to stimulate new blood vessel growth in the heart. If this gene transfer procedure proves effective, it could be used to decrease angina in patients who are no longer amenable to bypass and stints. Angina is a discomfort or pain due to reduced flow of blood to the heart muscle, and hence, lack of oxygen to the heart. Knoxville�s Baptist Heart Institute is the only Tennessee facility involved in the nationwide GENASIS (Genetic Angiogenic Stimulation Investigational Study) trial, which is being conducted at only 32 sites throughout the U.S. This gene transfer procedure is targeted toward treating patients who have severe angina and who have already exhausted other conventional options.
By Rita H. Lee, Ph.D.

Knoxville leads Web-based Messaging
Knoxville leads Web-based Messaging
Lab Line Central (LLC) in Knoxville is poised to take it's web based laboratory messaging system nationwide. LLC's product takes the frustration and errors out of traditional medical-practice-to-patient communications. How many calls does a patient make to find out the results of laboratory tests? The patient will probably say four or five. A busy nurse in private practice may field 100 calls a day, some of these from the same anxious patient. LLC's web based product allows both practitioners and patients to leave and retrieve messages from any phone at any time. Practitioners can leave a message for patients from any phone, including their cell phone. This includes lab results and any additional patient care instructions deemed appropriate. This provides the practitioner a valuable time management tool to decide when the messages are input into the system rather than respond to a patient phone call that interrupts work flow. Patients have access to the system via a unique ID code and a password. These codes are time sensitive and de-activate after an appropriate time frame. The patient can check in at the time instructed by the practitioner and retrieve test results and any other instructions that may be left by the practitioner. Patient access is 24 hours a day. Current Knoxville users include the Skin Wellness Center and Parkwest OBGYN.
By Bill Morris

Knoxville PEO Grows Presence in Southeast
After years and years of medical school, many doctors find unexpected additional challenges when they enter the real world of practicing medicine. Sure, licensed practitioners all have the necessary medical skills to serve their patients.
BY JOHN SEWELL

Legal Matters: What the Twelve Are Told About Informed Consent
In the November issue, my Knoxville colleague, Chase Kibler, provided an excellent discussion on how to effectively document informed consent. Hopefully his time-tested, proactive advice is being followed. If so, based on recent Tennessee case law, a physician in an informed consent case has a sound argument for case dismissal even if the patient attempts to dispute his or her written consent to the procedure at issue.

Lincoln Memorial University Launches New Osteopathic College
Dr. A.T. Still would be so proud. Still, the founder of American osteopathic medicine, was born in 1828 in Lee County, Va., just 30 miles from Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) in Harrogate, Tenn. On Aug. 1, classes are set to begin at the new DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine on the LMU campus.
BY SHARON H. FITZGERALD

Lobbying Disclosure a Requirement of New TennCare Contracts

J.D. Hickey
Lobbying Disclosure a Requirement of New TennCare Contracts
When TennCare�s managed care organizations signed their new contracts with the state for this fiscal year, the document included stringent new lobbying and conflict of interest language and required annual filing of a TennCare Disclosure of Lobbying Activities Form. Now, as the MCOs take initial steps to meet that filing obligation, many TennCare providers are wondering what prompted MCO interest in their "lobbying relationships." "In the past several weeks, TennCare has received numerous inquiries relating to the new contractual requirements," wrote J.D. Hickey, deputy commissioner of the Bureau of TennCare, in an Oct. 7 letter to MCOs. "The provisions are not intended to restrict or prohibit legal lobbying activity, but rather to enforce federal law and discourage abuse by shedding light on what have traditionally been poorly supervised activities." That letter wasn�t the first communication to MCOs (as well as behavioral health, pharmaceutical and dental organizations) from Hickey regarding the new lobbying language. On Sept. 29, he sent a memo to MCOs answering 17 specific questions they had posed to the Bureau.
By Sharon H. Fitzgerald

Looking for Life Support
State's Trauma System at Critical Stage

"In Tennessee, we've lost 11 (centers)in the last decade … mostly Level 2s," said Dunn, whose day job is medical director of trauma care services at Johnson City Medical Center (JCMC)… one of the state's six Level 1 centers. "It's not just in Tennessee — trauma centers across the nation are in crisis."
Cindy Sanders

M.D. Anderson Researchers Reveal New Clue to Cell Death
Any cancer researcher will tell you that cancer cells are frustratingly difficult to kill, and scientists at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center may have pinpointed one reason why. The lead author of a new study, published in the June 30 issue of the journal Cell, is Dean G. Tang, PhD, associate professor in the M.D. Anderson Department of Carcinogensis.
BY SHARON H. FITZGERALD

NICU Celebrates 20 Years of Helping Babies Thrive
The Holston Valley Regional Children's Hospital and Center's neonatal intensive care unit had lots of birthdays to celebrate in October. The NICU celebrated its 20th birthday and the birthdays of 7,000 "graduates" at a special birthday party in Kingsport. Of all the dignitaries who attended the carnival-themed event, none were more special than the NICU graduates who ranged in age from 3 months to 20 years.

OFF Call: Roman Holiday
Once again, love drives me on, that loosener of limbs, bittersweet creature against which nothing can be done. —Sappho. Rome is a great place to fall in love again — with your loved ones, no matter the relationship, and yourself. Who could not fall under the romantic spell of the city's unending mysteries guarded by angels frozen in time?
LYNNE JETER

Onsite Medical Services for

Physical Therapist Sean Alvarez helps a resident walk using the parallel bars at the Shannondale Health Care Center.
Onsite Medical Services for
One of the prime concerns for elderly residents of senior living communities is easy access to nearby medical services. Presbyterian Homes of Tennessee, Inc. oversees the campus Shannondale of Knoxville as well as Shannondale of Maryville, Tenn. which provides the same set of services as the Knoxville campus. Both campuses have an onsite healthcare center whose many medical services are available to all of their senior residents. In addition, both campuses provide a whole continuum of senior care from private homes, duplexes and villas, to a retirement center and assisted living to nursing facility care. Jane Finn, director of Social Services and Admissions at Shannondale of Knoxville explains, "We offer a whole array of medical services in our onsite Health Care Center, including dental, podiatry, speech and language pathology, X-rays, mental health, clinical lab services, occupational therapy and physical therapy.
BY RITA H. LEE, PH.D.

Pain Physicians Remain Inspired, Optimistic
The relatively new field of pain management and the resulting pain clinics have elicited varying degrees of public skepticism and negative misconceptions about pain physicians and their role in treating patients who suffer from chronic pain. The reality is physicians often find themselves working between heavy government oversight and fraudulent patients, while attempting to correctly diagnose pain, which in itself is subjective.
BY KAREN OTT MAYER

Physical and Occupational Therapists Unite to Protect Patients
The American population is living longer thanks to the advent of modern technology and greater health advances. Surviving conditions that years ago would have caused an earlier demise, the aging population requires medical visits and rehabilitation services for issues such as stroke, diabetes and Parkinson's disease.
BY HOLLI W. HAYNIE

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Christopher Miller
After finishing medical school at the University of Connecticut, Dr. Christopher Miller headed south to Durham, North Carolina for his pediatric residency. His plan was to finish up and begin his practice in general pediatrics. As many physicians know, however, a rotation can change everything. Although Miller had always found neurology fascinating, he knew he really wanted to work with children. During a neurological rotation, he began to consider the possibility of doing both. "I think most neurologists gravitate to the field because they like the science of it � and the Sherlock Holmes approach of piecing together clues to try to find a diagnosis," he says. "My enjoyment of the specialty took over, and that became my career."
By Cindy Sanders

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Jeffrey Johnson
Who knew that behind the skills of accomplished cardiologist Dr. Jeffrey H. Johnson lay the talents of an accomplished pianist? In fact, Johnson, a clinical associate professor of cardiology at the UT Medical Center in Knoxville and a member of the University Cardiology practice, one of Knoxville's oldest cardiology practices, also has an associate degree in music with highest honors. Born in Cleveland, Tenn., Johnson started piano lessons at the age of five and eventually went on to Cleveland State for his music degree. Currently, Johnson performs on the piano for the church where he, his wife Sharon and their children attend. He is also often asked to compose piano music to go along with written verses. In addition, he meets periodically with other songwriters.
by Rita H. Lee, PhD

Preventable Cancer, the No. 2 Killer of Men in Their Prime
Preventable Cancer, the No. 2 Killer of Men in Their Prime
Cancers of the digestive system are the most common types of cancer. Colon cancer and esophageal cancer continue to affect over 160,000 people every year in the United States. Even more shocking, is that these types of cancer are, for the most part, preventable. Colon cancer is a malignant tumor that grows in the tissue walls of the colon —the final feet of the large intestine. These tumors begin as small polyps and can range in size from microscopic to very large. As the polyp grows in size and duration in the colon, the chance of it becoming cancerous increases. Common symptoms of colon cancer include: rectal bleeding, diarrhea, weight loss, abdominal pain, and if the polyp is large enough to block the colon, severe constipation and severe abdominal pain can result.
BY BILL MORRIS

Safety Net Task Force Unveils Recommendations

Kenneth Robinson
Safety Net Task Force Unveils Recommendations
In late May, the Governor's Task Force on the Healthcare Safety Net presented their recommendations to shore up Tennessee's services in the wake of TennCare cuts. The 26-member task force, led by Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Health Dr. Kenneth Robinson, outlined 16 broad recommendations in three categories — core recommendations, future options when funding becomes available and potential adjustments to TennCare.
BY CINDY SANDERS

St. Mary's Medical Center Named to List of Top Hospitals in Nation for Clinical Excellence
KNOXVILLE — St. Mary's Medical Center has been named as a Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence in the 2007 Hospital Quality and Clinical Excellence Study by HealthGrades, the nation's leading independent healthcare ratings company.

Supreme Court Rules Non-Competes Unenforceable
Supreme Court Rules Non-Competes Unenforceable
"We hold that except for those specifically prescribed by statute, physicians' covenants not to compete are unenforceable and void." This is the last line of the opinion of the Tennessee Supreme Court issued June 29, 2005. One of the justices concurred on this specific case, but issued a dissenting opinion reflecting on the broad statement that all covenants not covered by statute were void. What does this mean? To understand let's look at the specific case under consideration. In this case Murfreesboro Medical Clinic (MMC) entered into an employment agreement with Dr. David Odom for two years with the option of extending the contract. The non-compete provision stated: "upon termination of this agreement…, the Employee agrees not to engage in the practice of medicine within a 25 mile radius of the public square of Murfreesboro, Tenn. for a period of 18 months following such termination." Basically, Odom had to leave town to practice medicine, unless he chose to accept the buyout clause, which required a payment equal to one year's salary.
BY BILL MORRIS

Tennessee Steps Up to Fight Obesity
Tennessee Steps Up to Fight Obesity
According to 2002 Knox County statistics, roughly 30 percent of East Tennessee children are overweight or obese and there is a higher prevalence of obesity among East Tennessee adults compared to average Tennesseans or Americans. East Tennessee is facing an epidemic of obesity. One reason why the disease of obesity must be dealt with as soon as possible is that obesity is often the forerunner of multiple chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, arthritis and asthma. Fortunately, a number of regional public and private organizations have been proactive in finding — and in some cases implementing — effective ways to teach obesity prevention and treatment. Additional groups and initiatives offer a different approach with the same goal — small changes in behavior are suggested as easy but long-lasting choices.
By Rita H. Lee, PhD

TMA Seeks to CURB-IT
TMA Seeks to CURB-IT
We're number one! Usually shouted with pride and enthusiasm, for Tennessee and its prescription drug usage this cry is an embarrassing lament. No other state in the United States ranks as high in per capita use of prescription drugs, nor does any state top Tennessee in the per capita use of narcotic drugs. What do we need, and when do we need it? Right now, to reduce the volume of unnecessary prescriptions for addictive drugs, Tennessee needs a multifaceted program facing three fronts: an increased awareness of the situation and the rates of prescription utilization on the part of Tennessee physicians; creation of tools to monitor and trace prescription use; and development of a database to discover how and where this abuse is taking place. The fact that Tennessee faces such an alarmingly high rate of prescription drug overuse can be attributed to a number of factors: poverty, poor patient health status, high rates of drug addiction in rural areas, 95 percent insurance coverage for the population, physicians being duped by drug-seeking patients, and the prevalence of allied health prescribers. Tennessee shares a number of these factors with its neighbors in the Southeast but why the numbers have aligned so dramatically in this state is not totally a factor of geography, diet or culture, and the reasons need to be studied.
By Kelly Price

Using the Head to Heal the Heart at the Heart Failure Clinic

Dr. Lee Jordan, East Tennessee Heart Consultants
Using the Head to Heal the Heart at the Heart Failure Clinic
Heart failure disease is a leading cause of hospitalizations. Hospitals often see an end result of this progressive disease when the heart can no longer pump blood efficiently, not to mention a plethora of other systemic complications like fluid buildup. According to the Heart Failure Society, heart failure affects almost five million people in the United States alone, yet many are not aware that they have heart failure. Frequently the typical symptoms of heart failure feeling tired or short of breath are dismissed mistakenly as symptoms of age, leaving the heart failure undiagnosed so that it exacerbates over time. The Heart Failure Clinic, the only clinic solely dedicated to the treatment of heart failure in east Tennessee, gives hope to patients in Knoxville and the surrounding area. A freestanding facility, the Heart Failure Clinic has a complete team of healthcare professionals who all work together synergistically to provide a proactive, comprehensive approach to treating the heart failure patients.
By Rita H. Lee, PhD

Viruses Prove an Ally in Delivering Targeted Medicine
A decade-long collaboration that began from examining the protein function of viruses has yielded the technology to use viruses as containers for helping the body, rather than harming it. Professors Trevor Douglas and Mark Young saw the possibilities of viruses working as containers for inorganic material and have proven an effective method to redesign viruses and activate protein cages to work as molecule delivery systems. Basically, using the protein cage architecture, synthetic cargos take a ride on the backs of viruses undetected by the rest of the body. The cages can be controlled to release therapeutic agents directly at a target, consequently reducing negative side effects.
BY HOLLI W. HAYNIE

AMA Plots Ambitious Legislative Agenda at Annual Policy Summit
AMA Plots Ambitious Legislative Agenda at Annual Policy Summit
When members of the American Medical Association's House of Delegates gathered in Chicago in June for their annual policy meeting, image was much on their mind. Delegates were treated to a new set of television ads starring physicians as "everyday heroes" in an upcoming $60 million marketing campaign. And there was a new logo featuring a stylishly modern staff-and-snake design.
TRACY STATON

ASCO Meeting Showcases Hopeful Cancer Research
A study regarding the effectiveness of a kidney cancer drug against lung cancer was just one of many findings revealed at the June annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Atlanta. Kidney cancer patients heard some good news as well. In a phase 3 clinical trial of an investigational drug called lapatinib, cancer growth slowed and survival improved in some patients with advanced kidney cancer.

BiDil Receives FDA Approval as First Racially Targeted Drug

Dr. Theodore Addai, chief of cardiology at Nashville General Hospital and Meharry Medical College
BiDil Receives FDA Approval as First Racially Targeted Drug
The Food and Drug Administration on June 23 approved BiDil, a drug treatment for cardiovascular disease that specifically targets blacks. In a statement, the FDA says the drug represents "a step toward the promise of personalized medicine." "Today's approval of a drug to treat severe heart failure in the self-identified black population is a striking example of how a treatment can benefit some patients even if it does not help all patients," says Dr. Robert Temple, FDA associate director of medical policy. "The information presented to the FDA clearly showed that blacks suffering from heart failure will now have an additional safe and effective option for treating their condition. In the future, we hope to discover characteristics that identify people of any race who might be helped by BiDil." A Food and Drug Administration advisory committee endorsed the drug on June 16.
by Sharon H. Fitzgerald

Blues Create A Healthcare Bank

Scott Serota, CEO of the BCBS Association.
Blues Create A Healthcare Bank
The big push to spread acceptance of consumer-directed health plans is spurring the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association to start a unique new bank for members of the Blues. Dubbed Blue Healthcare Bank, the institution is designed to provide the kind of financial support consumers will need when they sign up with a consumer-directed health plan, a health savings account, a health reimbursement arrangement or a flexible spending account from any of the BCBS companies scattered throughout the country. Increasingly, consumers are expected to put up a larger share of their own funds to pay for their insurance. And the Blue Healthcare Bank gives them a way to manage their health funds to maximum advantage. Consumers and companies can deposit money into the accounts. A checkbook or debit card will be available to pay for specific health expenses, which will also make it easier to handle tax-sheltered funds and budget their share of deductibles.
By John Carroll

Cardiology Grand Rounds
Cardiology Grand Rounds
The American Heart Association's "Top 10 Research Advances for 2005" list (see related story) is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what's new in the field. Below is another small sampling of recent discoveries and studies that will hopefully add to our medical arsenal in the fight against heart disease and stroke. - At the American Heart Association's annual scientific sessions in Dallas in mid-November, Johns Hopkins scientists presented their latest findings on creating a biologic pacemaker. In guinea pig experiments, the scientists fused common connective tissue cells taken from lungs with heart muscle cells to create a safe and effective biological pacemaker whose cells can fire on their own and naturally regulate the muscle's rhythmic beat.
By Cindy Sanders

Doctors to Push for Legislation Allowing Joint Negotiations

Ken Larish
Doctors to Push for Legislation Allowing Joint Negotiations
Powerless to stop unwanted changes last year to their BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee contracts, a group of disgruntled Nashville doctors has banded together to establish the Tennessee Patient-Physician Alliance, a nonprofit corporation with a goal to legalize collective negotiations by physicians with payers. "There's a famous court decision that says, 'Where there's a right, there's a remedy.' After reviewing this issue for a while, I just concluded that that is apparently not true if you are a doctor in Tennessee. I've become kind of evangelical about this. This group of clients of mine are aggrieved people," says Ken Larish, a Nashville attorney with Bone McAllester Norton PLLC. Larish is TPPA's lawyer and spokesman for the organization.
BY SHARON H. FITZGERALD

Growing a Corporation: SleepCenters Expand Reach
When launching as an independent diagnostic testing facility in 2000, it would have been hard to imagine that seven years later, The SleepCenters — A Coile Corporation would have 17 locations in East Tennessee, northern Kentucky, West Tennessee, southern Indiana, and Las Vegas with more independent sleep centers on the way.

Growing a Corporation: SleepCenters Expand Reach
When launching as an independent diagnostic testing facility in 2000, it would have been hard to imagine that seven years later, The SleepCenters — A Coile Corporation would have 17 locations in East Tennessee, northern Kentucky, West Tennessee, southern Indiana, and Las Vegas with more independent sleep centers on the way.

Improving Tennessee's Health Status
At the end of last October, public health professionals and state officials convened for the inaugural event of the Tennessee Institute of Public Health (TNIPH), a collaborative effort between the state's higher education leadership and the Tennessee Department of Health developed to improve the health of Tennesseans through education, research and policy analysis.
BY CINDY SANDERS

Legal Matter: Products Liability Cases, "Only Use as Directed"
Plaintiffs' lawyers are increasingly focused on the rise in products liability/drug cases. According to USA Today, since 2000 there have been more than 65,000 drug lawsuits filed against the makers of prescription drugs. More than 14,000 lawsuits have been filed against Merck & Co. on behalf of patients who were prescribed the painkilling drug Vioxx®
JAMES H. LONDON

Legal Matters: What Physicians Don't Know About Stark Can Hurt Them
While many physicians would readily identify malpractice as an area of great concern, relatively few mention concerns about the laws that govern financial transactions. The sobering reality is these laws apply to many business opportunities that may be presented to physicians, who should at least be familiar enough with these laws to identify a possible issue and seek appropriate advice in how to proceed. The consequences of violating these laws can have a devastating impact. The remainder of this article deals with one such area of health law, the Stark Laws.
by Dr. Harold Naramore

Making Congress Take Notice of Americans in Pain
The National Pain Care Policy Act of 2005, an initiative developed by the American Pain Care Coalition, is snaking its way through Congress. If the bill becomes law, it would help raise awareness of pain as a national health issue through the creation of a White House Conference on Pain Care, establishment of a National Center for Pain and Palliative Care Research, and promotion of education, training and outreach efforts on treating pain.
BY LYNNE JETER

MCI Screen May Improve Alzheimer�s Detection, Treatment

Dr. William Rodman Shankle
MCI Screen May Improve Alzheimer�s Detection, Treatment
Dr. William Rodman "Rod" Shankle is a board-certified neurologist and statistician whose entire career has been focused on Alzheimer�s disease and related disorders, or ADRD. Almost two decades ago, he co-founded the Alzheimer�s Research Center at the University of California, Irvine. Currently, he manages about 1,000 patients through his community-based private clinic in Orange County and is the chief medical officer for the Medical Care Corporation (MCC), a private company he founded that specializes in management and detection tools for ADRD.
BY CINDY SANDERS

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Charles R. Handorf
Dr. Charles R. Handorf was installed as the 152nd President of the Tennessee Medical Association on Sunday, May 7 at the group's annual meeting in Nashville. Handorf, a pathologist from Memphis, was elected by popular vote of the members of the organization and installed at the business session of the TMA House of Delegates, the association's governing body. The meeting of the TMA is the annual policy forum for physician leaders representing 7,000 physicians in Tennessee and is the mechanism for physicians to gather as a professional group and develop policies that will affect the practice of medicine and the delivery of patient care in both Tennessee and the United States. As president, Handorf will also serve on the TMA board of trustees, which implements and directs the activities of the association between sessions of the House of Delegates.
By Kelly Price

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Daniel Wooten
As a young black man in the 1960s, Dr. Daniel Wooten faced a difficult choice. While he was interested in medicine and ultimately pursued medical school, he still wrestled with doubt. "I kept asking myself, is this the way to make my contribution?" By the end of his first year, however, his decision to pursue medicine was final, guided in large part by the advice of others. Having very few role models to follow at that time, Wooten recounts another surprising fact. "The first opportunity I had to have a black teacher was in medical school." Wooten characterizes his medical education at Meharry Medical College as one of his greatest experiences and values the direction and education afforded him. His path, however, would not be without more difficult decisions. As a resident and fellow, Wooten loved working with patients and found himself at the hospital all the time.
By Karen Ott Mayer

Physician Spotlight: Dr. David Adair
Calvin Coolidge once said, "Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not … genius will not … education will not. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent." Dr. David Adair, Director of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville, and at Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga, has proved that while talent, genius, and education have been helpful, persistence and determination have been just as important for his pioneering research.
RITA H. LEE, PH.D.

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Kamilia Kozlowski
"I know you can do it," said the father of Dr. Kamilia Kozlowski when she first considered becoming a doctor. That single sentence spurred Kozlowski on to fulfill her dream. Kozlowski first became a clinical breast radiologist. But she did not stop there. Kozlowski went on to establish Knoxville Comprehensive Breast Center which serves as a "one-stop shop" for breast cancer diagnosis, screening, and treatment. Kozlowski, who grew up in Rhode Island, studied pharmacy at University of Rhode Island in the early 1970s. She then transferred to Simmons College in Boston, and with her father's encouragement, finished up with a pre-med major.
BY RITA H. LEE

QIOs Start to Modernize in the Wake of Harsh Complaints

Dr. Steven Schroeder, University of California, San Francisco
QIOs Start to Modernize in the Wake of Harsh Complaints
For years, Medicare patients who had a beef with the government health program were directed straight to one of a host of Quality Improvement Organizations, private contractors set up as nonprofit groups. But a recent report of the Institute of Medicine says the $300 million annual expense of operating 53 QIOs has delivered few real benefits for patients. Too many conflicts exist between the QIOs and the hospitals and physicians they're expected to oversee in terms of patient care and quality. Additionally, too few Medicare patients have ever heard of the network; and of those who have tried to use the system, only a small number of the people who leveled a complaint have ever been able to resolve them. "The evidence indicates that QIOs have not publicized beneficiary rights effectively and have issued fewer provider sanctions in recent years," the IOM said in its report. "This may be the result of inherent conflicts of interest: QIOs consider providers, not beneficiaries, to be their primary clients, and a QIO may not want to antagonize the providers" with which it works.
By Tracy Staton and John Carroll

Rehabilitation Innovations Benefit Lymphedema Patients
Marino TherapyCenters in Knoxville offers a complete decongestive therapy (CDT) program for the treatment of lymphedema. Lymphedema is a buildup of extra fluid in the space between the cells of the body that results in swelling, most often in the arm(s) or leg(s) and occasionally in other parts of the body. The program is recommended for primary lymphedema, an abnormality of the lymph vessels or nodes, or secondary (acquired) lymphedema, which can develop from venous or lymphatic insufficiencies.
BY KELLY PRICE

SkyRidge Medical Center Introduces Dr. Michael Moffatt
Cleveland — Dr. Michael Moffatt is a graduate of the Osteopathic School of Medicine in Des Moines, Iowa. He completed his Internal Medicine residency at Eisenhower Army Medical Center in Augusta, Georgia where he also served as Chief of Medicine Residents following graduation.

Teaming Up Against Type 2 Diabetes
Hillary Clinton once famously said, "It takes a village." In Tennessee, however, Gov. Phil Bredesen knows that sometimes what you really need is a team. Concerned about the state's consistently poor showing on national health rankings — many of which have direct ties to lifestyle choices — Bredesen recently announced several new initiatives to turn the tide on type 2 diabetes and get the state moving.
BY CINDY SANDERS

The OIG's 2007 Work Plan Impact on Medicare Providers
Each year, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Health and Human Services outlines its 12-month plan of action to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of federal healthcare programs. The Work Plan, which covers a range of federal health programming, targets items that are considered vulnerable to fraud and abuse, thus signaling potential areas of investigation.
BY CINDY SANDERS

TMA and THA Set Legislative Agendas, Find Some Common Ground

Gary Zelizer
TMA and THA Set Legislative Agendas, Find Some Common Ground
While the top 2006 legislative priorities for the Tennessee Medical Association and the Tennessee Hospital Association aren't the same, both organizations lead the charge when it comes to most healthcare legislation statewide. On some issues, both nod in agreement, but on a few, they simply don't see eye to eye.
By Sharon H. Fitzgerald

TMA Introduces Legislation to Regulate Silent PPOs

Dr. James Rohack, AMA Board of Trustees
TMA Introduces Legislation to Regulate Silent PPOs
It's happening across Tennessee now on a regular basis: A patient seeks treatment by a physician who is listed as a member of the patient's health insurance PPO (preferred provider organization), yet the doctor never signed a contract with the patient's insurer. How could this happen? Quite easily, according to the American Medical Association, since some insurance companies have begun selling their physician networks – and the network's discounted rates. "The lack of regulatory oversight in the PPO industry in general has resulted in the proliferation of entities that are engaged in the extremely lucrative business of developing healthcare provider panels and then leasing the panels and the associated provider discounts to various health plan payers," explains Dr. James Rohack, a Texas cardiologist who is a member of the AMA Board of Trustees. The buyers are called "rental network PPOs" or "leased network PPOs," and if the buying is done without the knowledge of the physicians in the network, they are called "silent PPOs." The result is a secondary discount market that drives up the cost of healthcare at the expense of doctors and patients, the AMA says.
By Sharon H. Fitzgerald

Under the Knife
Over the next 25 years, the number of American adults 65 and older will double, topping 71.5 million. Yet sufficient numbers of professionals to deliver their healthcare is far from assured. A study last year by the American Geriatrics Society concluded that the current shortage of geriatricians and other healthcare professionals trained to care for older adults could reach "crisis proportions" during those same 25 years. Meanwhile, Congress has slashed federal funding to help train the next generation of geriatricians.
BY SHARON H. FITZGERALD and Lynne Jeter

Volunteer State Lives Up to Name

UTMC employees load donations.
Volunteer State Lives Up to Name
Time and again, Tennesseans have stepped in to help whenever there's a need. The nickname "Volunteer State" was coined during the War of 1812 as General Andrew Jackson's volunteer troops displayed valor during the Battle of New Orleans. Today, members of East Tennessee's medical community are once again displaying valor in New Orleans and along the Gulf Coast as they rush to help. Although there are too many examples to cite, many area hospitals and clinics have received and treated evacuee patients. Additionally, the healthcare community has offered everything from donated supplies to a kind touch.
BY CINDY SANDERS

ALS and Alzheimer�s: Research Continues as Patient Numbers Increase

Lucie Bruijn, Ph.D., ALSA Science Director
ALS and Alzheimer�s: Research Continues as Patient Numbers Increase
Age typically plays a key role in the onset of Alzheimer�s and ALS. One disease imprisons the mind while the other imprisons the body. Even though treatment options are limited for both conditions, researchers continue to search for clues behind these devastating neurological disorders. Alzheimer�s disease is a progressive brain disorder that gradually destroys a person�s memory and ability to learn, reason, make judgments, communicate and carry out daily activities.
BY LYNNE JETER

Awake in America
Pulmonologist Robert Rosser of the Sleep Evaluation Center in Kingsport said the pattern in America is to burn the candle at both ends. "The great American sleep disorder is insufficient sleep syndrome … that's a codable diagnosis," he said.

Awake in America
Pulmonologist Robert Rosser of the Sleep Evaluation Center in Kingsport said the pattern in America is to burn the candle at both ends. "The great American sleep disorder is insufficient sleep syndrome … that's a codable diagnosis," he said.

Building on a Plan

George Pressler; ACHA, AIA, FHFI, president of Planning Decision Resources, Inc.
Building on a Plan
When you are bursting at the seams or excited that the funding has come through for a new project, the natural inclination is to rush out and begin building. While you've probably spent hours and hours thinking about a new OR filled with today's latest technology or a vastly improved step-down unit with a bit of breathing room, have you really thought about how the two work together? What should your new or renovated facility look like 10 years from now? How do you get there from here? And what does any of this have to do with your corporate mission statement? Award-winning design begins long before an architect ever sketches a single line. In the excitement of a new building project, it's all too easy to put the cart before the horse. However, architects who specialize in healthcare design are quick to say that the "horse" a facility's mission and vision for the delivery of care is the real driver and therefore must be the first thing considered.
By Cindy Sanders

Donation to Fuller Cancer Center Helps Further Cancer Treatments in Northwest Georgia
FORT OGLETHORP, GA —Hutcheson Medical Center's Auxiliary presented a check for $50,000 to Mr. Charles L. Stewart, President and CEO of Hutcheson Medical Center and Kurt Schley, Chief Operating Officer. This donation will be used toward the funding of the conventional simulator which provides help in validating radiation treatment plans for the Fuller Cancer Center at Hutcheson on the Parkway.

Insurance Companies Seize Opportunity Created by Fee Schedule Loophole
Since the state mandated workers' comp fee schedule went into effect, what was intended to make the process more efficient has left a loophole that insurance companies have been quick to take advantage of, and the outcry is being heard across the state. The Tennessee workers' comp fee schedule mandate was a process that took several years of study and planning from members of the state Department of Labor and the Tennessee Medical Association (TMA).
BY HOLLI W. HAYNIE

Internet Tool Fights Obesity
No doubt about it — Americans are spending hours and hours of time playing electronic games such as Xbox® and PlayStation® and are interacting continuously with Web sites that do everything from selling products to offering college credit. That's why it makes sense to partner with the Internet to make losing weight fun. Why not offer an intriguing way to encourage people to lose weight via computer?
BY GLORIA BUTLER BALDWIN

Legislation Creates Opportunities, Roadblocks for Radiology Field

Dr. James P. Borgstede, FACR, ACR Board of Chancellors Chair
Legislation Creates Opportunities, Roadblocks for Radiology Field
Pinpointing the source and path of disease inside the human body has been one of the most essential advancements of modern medicine. From multi-slice CT scanners, advanced MRI readings and PET (positron emission tomography), radiologists are able to identify critical areas of disease for more targeted treatment. Yet the cost of using such innovative equipment continues to soar, making it more difficult to provide imaging services. Medical imaging is a $100 billion a year industry, and the federal government is keeping tabs. According to a March 2005 Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) report to Congress, high-end medical imaging (CT, PET and MRI) is the fastest-growing type of physician services expenditure in the United States, with an annual growth rate that is more than twice that of other physician services. The latest cutbacks, which were slipped into the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA) in February, take direct aim at outpatient radiology and imaging.
By Holli W. Haynie

Living Well Longer
When Dr. John Eaddy was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 12, the expectation was that he would live about another 20 years. Now, 54 years later, the professor emeritus in the department of family medicine at UT Knoxville's Graduate School of Medicine is still going strong and sharing both his professional and personal knowledge of living with this complex disease.
BY CINDY SANDERS

Long-Term Care Physicians Face Medicare Part D Prescribing Challenges
Ensuring that patients receive their appropriate medications and receive them in a timely manner has become more difficult for physicians in long-term care settings since implementation of the federal Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit, and Tennessee is no exception when it comes to physicians' frustrations. That's according to Dr. Ralf Habermann, president of the Tennessee Association of Long Term Care Physicians. A member of the Vanderbilt University faculty, Habermann is an internist with specializations in geriatrics and hospice and palliative care. He estimates that he spends 50 percent of his time with patients who live in nursing homes and other residential care facilities.
BY SHARON H. FITZGERALD and Lynne Jeter

Medicare's Reimbursement Cut Tops List of Legislative Priorities

Dr. Edward Hill, AMA President
Medicare's Reimbursement Cut Tops List of Legislative Priorities
While healthcare industry advocacy groups nationwide each have their own set of priorities in Washington, D.C., federal reimbursements to providers — and proposed payment cuts — are where these groups find common ground. Unless Congress acts before the end of the year, Medicare reimbursement to physicians will be slashed by 4.4 percent in 2006 and 26 percent by the end of six years. "So, at the end of six years, physicians would be paid the same thing they were paid in 1991 by Medicare," says Dr. Edward Hill, president of the American Medical Association. And that's while the cost of running a medical office goes up 15 percent.
By Sharon H. Fitzgerald

Methamphetamine Abuse Leaves Scars Across Tennessee
Methamphetamine Abuse Leaves Scars Across Tennessee
All across Tennessee, the ugly reality of methamphetamine abuse is permeating the lifestyles of young Tennesseans, dumping them at the doors of hospitals and burn centers, if not severely injured, then already dead. Partnering with 11 healthcare organizations across the state, District Attorney General Torry Johnson's office is leading a new education campaign called "Meth Destroys" in an effort to raise awareness and fight the growing trend. Ask any dentist or a physician working in an emergency room, trauma center or burn center and similar stories emerge. Methamphetamine stimulates the central nervous system and is made from readily available common ingredients found in cold and asthma medications containing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine, as well as drain cleaners, battery acid and antifreeze. It has become the drug of choice among young, mostly male, Caucasians aged 18 to 25. Known also as "meth," "speed," "crank," "chalk," "fire," "glass," "ice" and other names, this drug is highly addictive and ravages lives quickly.
By Karen Ott Mayer

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Charles Wilkens
If one asks for Dr. Wilkens in Jellico, Tennessee, one could be asking either about Dr. Charles Wilkens or about his sons who have returned as physicians to Jellico. The legacy of Dr. Charles Wilkens, president of the Wilkens Medical Group, extends not only throughout the family tree, but also way beyond: a legacy of community service during the 32 years he has served the Jellico Community Hospital. More than 30 years ago, Wilkens, his wife Bonnie, and their first child returned to the U.S. after three-and-one-half years of mission service in Kingston, Jamaica. Why Jamaica, then Jellico? Wilkens says they are where he felt called to serve. "When I was young and growing up in a rural area in Delaware, I always knew I wanted to be a missionary doctor. Jamaica and Jellico became my places to serve," says Wilkens.
By Rita H. Lee, PhD

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Daniel Ibach
"It is not the length of life, but the depth of life," the writer Ralph Waldo Emerson once said. Dr. Daniel Ibach, Medical Director for Covenant HomeCare Hospice in Knoxville believes that depth and quality of life are precious, even in the end stages of life. Ibach was a missionary kid with his family in Mexico where his father worked in a missionary clinic. His parents eventually moved Ibach and his four siblings up to Chattanooga, Tenn., where Ibach grew up and eventually attended the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Ibach's first encounter with the hospice concept was a very personal one. During his college years, Ibach's father became ill and died of a rare type of cancer at the young age of 53. Ibach was only 20 years old at the time.
BY RITA H. LEE, PHD

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Don Hall
When asked about his favorite aspects of practicing as a gynecologic oncologist, Dr. Don Hall mentions that the "cancer patients are the greatest." "Cancer patients have a lot of courage, good humor in the face of adversity and appreciate life. I admire them tremendously," says Hall. A discussion with Hall about his dedication to bringing the best of his gynecologic oncology subspecialty to his patients leads one to suspect that many of his patients hold the same grateful sentiment toward Hall as well. Hall is a long-standing member of Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG), a national consortium of gynecologic oncologists which is affiliated with approximately 60 medical facilities across the United States, including medical schools and hospitals.
BY RITA H. LEE

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Jeffrey A. Keenan
With four children and five grandchildren, it's no surprise that Dr. Jeffrey A. Keenan loves babies. Yet his life's work also makes that point. His solo practice, established in Knoxville in 1992, is the Southeastern Center for Fertility and Reproductive Surgery, and two years ago he helped found the nonprofit National Embryo Donation Center, where he is medical director. "I guess everyone is drawn to specialties that fit their personalities," Keenan says. "Reproductive endocrinology and infertility has a very good mix of medicine and surgery. Endocrinology is a complex field, … and the surgery is something that requires a lot of precision. All of those things basically suit my personality." Keenan and his wife, Sandy, moved to Knoxville in 1990, having fallen in love with the Southeast during his residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. He joined the faculty at the University of Tennessee, where today he is director of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility.
By Sharon H. Fitzgerald

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Joseph Childs
Dr. Joseph Childs has heard all the seemly appropriate jokes about the connection between his name and the fact that he practices pediatrics, but truth to tell, he almost didn't become a pediatrician despite the seemingly pre-determined path predicted by his last name. Joe Childs grew up in Roswell, New Mexico, amid the ancient cultures, diverse landscapes and world famous cuisine of the Southwest.
BY KELLY PRICE

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Rosanne Barker
Nineteen years ago, when sleep medicine was still a fledgling field, Rosanne Barker, MD, had the foresight to see that sleep medicine would become the important, rapidly growing field it is today. With this foresight, she decided to practice sleep medicine full-time. Today, Barker is the medical director of the Baptist Sleep Institute whose services are spread throughout East Tennessee The Sleep Institute has multiple locations including offices at Baptist Hospital of East Tennessee as well as at the Baptist West campus in Knoxville. With Barker at the helm, Baptist Sleep Institute is currently expanding across East Tennessee. This November, the Baptist Sleep institute will be opening up a facility in Sevierville, near Pigeon Forge. By 2006, Cocke County Hospital will also offer Baptist Sleep Institute services.
BY RITA H. LEE, PHD

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Tom Kim
Dr. Tom Kim first came to the United States as a teenager. His family fled his native North Korea in 1951 moving to South Korea where they remained for a decade before coming to this country. Once here, Kim was anxious to make the most of the opportunity. Grateful that he had been afforded the chance to follow his dream to become a physician, Kim has made it his mission to give back to those in his adopted homeland that have not been as fortunate. On July 1, 1993, Kim opened the Free Medical Clinic of America offering free healthcare services for the uninsured and working poor in South Knoxville. "There are two reasons why I had the idea of opening up the clinic," says Kim. "One reason was that I was brought up Christian … my grandfather was Presbyterian and his values were passed on through my family."
By Rita Lee

Physician Spotlight: Drs. William & David Hovis
Many families have common interests and enjoy the same things. Dr. William Hovis and his son, Dr. David Hovis, both like to fix things, especially knees and shoulders. They fix a lot of both at the Hovis Orthopaedic Clinic in Knoxville. The clinic offers comprehensive care for injuries and illnesses of the knee, shoulder and other joints, arthroscopic and reconstructive surgery of the knee and shoulder, joint replacement surgery and sports medicine.
BY KELLY PRICE

Stocks on the Rise, Lure Investors at All Levels

Nancy-Ann DeParle
Stocks on the Rise, Lure Investors at All Levels
Medical devices and instruments. Healthcare information technology. Hospitals and other facilities. Managed care. Biotechnology innovations. Administrative outsourcing. All these business sectors and more combine to lure investors of all stripes to the healthcare arena. Yet if you thought healthcare was hot last year, it's on fire now. "I've been on this side of healthcare - the business of healthcare as opposed to the regulation or the legal aspects of healthcare - for about four years. I think there's more going on right now than I've seen since I've started," says Nancy-Ann DeParle, a senior adviser with JPMorgan Partners in New York. DeParle is former administrator of the federal Health Care Financing Administration (now the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) and past commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Human Services.
BY SHARON H. FITZGERALD

Tennessee Still Struggling with Quality Healthcare Within Minority Populations
Tennessee Still Struggling with Quality Healthcare Within Minority Populations
Since 2004, Tennessee has remained 48th in the America's Health Rankings Survey, which assesses the comparable quality of public health nationwide. The survey takes into consideration personal behaviors, environment and health policies. Even more disappointing is that Tennessee, especially Memphis, makes a particularly poor showing when it comes to healthcare disparities among minorities. The Minority Health and Health Disparities Research and Education Act of 2000 authorized the formation of a national center within the NIH to work to eliminate disparities in "the overall rate of disease incidence, prevalence, morbidity, mortality or survival rates." Areas of consideration include infant mortality, prenatal care, adolescent pregnancy, diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Sadly, in 2003, Tennessee's infant mortality rate exceeded the national rate by 31.4 percent and in 2004 still remained one of the worst in the nation. Even with recent initiatives by Tennessee's Office of Minority Health and Governor Phil Bredesen's increased efforts to raise awareness, Tennessee's minority populations continue to suffer from poverty, access issues and increased death rates. In terms of progress in these areas, Memphis is still lagging behind the rest of the state.
By Karen Ott Mayer

The Dirty Truth about Allergies
Millions of people suffer from allergies and asthma — diseases that have become epidemic in some parts of the world.
Once thought simply bothersome and best managed by over-the-counter antihistamines, we now understand that allergies and asthma are serious disorders that may require the attention of a doctor.
DR. WILLIAM D. HORTON

Vagus Nerve Stimulation
For almost a decade, patients suffering from some forms of epilepsy have received the benefit of vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) therapy. In July 2005, the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of the device for the most severe cases of treatment-resistant depression.
BY CINDY SANDERS

ACP Warns of Pending Primary Care Crisis

President Dr. C. Anderson Hedberg, FACP
ACP Warns of Pending Primary Care Crisis
Each year the American College of Physicians holds a media conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Typically, the organization covers a variety of topics pertaining to internal medicine … but not this year. "We made this a single-issue press conference … it's a crisis," says ACP president Dr. C. Anderson Hedberg, FACP, of the growing concern over the future of primary care. Currently, says the board-certified internist, the organization's membership is split about 50/50 between general internists and those in subspecialties. However, those percentages are not expected to hold up in the future. Hedberg says long hours and low reimbursement rates in the field of general internal medicine are driving young doctors toward specialties. "The change of concern is that both the number and proportion of primary care internal medicine physicians are diminishing," says Dr. Stephen Miller, FACP, governor of the Tennessee ACP.
By Cindy Sanders

ADA Calls on Congress for Increased Access, Funding
The prevalence of diabetes in America is well documented, and the incidence rate of the disease is growing on an almost daily basis. Type 2 diabetes, which is typically triggered by poor lifestyle choices, has become a focus of many state and local programs aimed at keeping children and adults active and eating healthy so that they might avoid the disease and its serious co-morbid complications.
BY CINDY SANDERS

Advances in Immunotherapy
Immunotherapy, commonly known as "allergy shots," was first used by Drs. Noon and Freeman, as described by them in The Lancet, a British medical journal, in 1911. Since then, immunotherapy has been used to help millions of allergy sufferers
DR. PAUL CARTER

AMA Meeting Produces New Policy Shifts
In a break from its traditional forbearance on government insurance mandates, the AMA's House of Delegates has decided to swing the powerful physician group's lobbying efforts in back of federal and state provisions that would slap a tax penalty on anyone who can afford health insurance but doesn't buy it. For individuals, the penalty would fall on anyone who makes more than $49,000 a year who fails to buy a catastrophic care policy.
BY TRACY STATON

An Exciting Time for the Neurosciences

Dr. Thomas Swift
An Exciting Time for the Neurosciences
The American Academy of Neurology has gone public. Established in 1948, the international association of 19,000 neurologists and neurosciences professionals has just wrapped up its inaugural public expo. Held in Atlanta, this first public forum was designed to increase visibility of neurological diseases, disseminate information, to raise awareness of the impact of neurological disorders on American society and to try to connect patients with support services.
BY CINDY SANDERS

Avon Foundation Breast Fund Awards Grant to Memorial Health Care System
CHATTANOOGA — The Avon Foundation Breast Care Fund has awarded a $40,000 one-year grant to Memorial Health Care System to increase awareness of the life-saving benefits of early detection of breast cancer. It is the sixth year that the program has received Avon Foundation funding to support its work on this important health issue and in recognition of the excellence of the program.

Cardiophonics Improves Telemedicine Technology
Physicians and many cardiology patients are certainly familiar with conventional ambulatory cardiac monitoring to detect heart arrhythmias, but a Maryland-based company's new software advances take telemedicine a step further — detecting dangerous heart rhythms and producing an electrocardiogram for immediate physician review.
BY SHARON H. FITZGERALD

Children's Health Ranking Scrapes Bottom
The 2006 KIDS COUNT Report showed that Tennessee children rank 46th in the nation in the quality of healthcare for children. One of the greatest problems is obesity. Dr. Diana Cobb, family practitioner at University of Tennessee Family Physicians in Alcoa, said 70 percent of the children she sees are clinically obese.

Clot-Busters: Technology, Medication, Research Combine to Lessen Cerebrovascular Disease Damage
Clot-Busters: Technology, Medication, Research Combine to Lessen Cerebrovascular Disease Damage
Cerebrovascular disease remains one of the most devastating and misunderstood epidemics of the technology age. Every year, more than 700,000 Americans suffer a major cerebrovascular event�normally a stroke, the third leading cause of death in the U.S. and the leading cause of disability. On average, an American suffers a stroke every 53 seconds; every 3.3 minutes, someone dies from one. More than three million Americans live with permanent brain damage caused by such an event.
By Lynne Jeter

Family Ties
In late June of this year, Families for Depression Awareness (FFDA) launched an online tool to help patients and their relatives trace their mental health family tree. Certain illnesses, such as bipolar disorder, have strong familial connections.
BY CINDY SANDERS

First Ever Report Card on Emergency Care Shows Tennessee Lacking
First Ever Report Card on Emergency Care Shows Tennessee Lacking
In January, the American College of Emergency Physicians released results of a first-time study that grades each state on its level of emergency care. This intensive effort began more than a year ago after the appointment of a task force, which developed 50 objective and quantifiable criteria to measure the performance of each state. ACEP handed Tennessee an overall grade of C-, ranking it 38th in the nation. This grade was shared by 12 other states including neighboring Kentucky and North Carolina. Overall grades on an A through F scale were assigned based on comparison to the state's performance using weighted and aggregated measures. These weighted categories include Access to Emergency Care (40 percent), Quality of Care and Patient Safety (25 percent), Public Health and Injury Prevention (10 percent), and Medical Liability Environment (25 percent). This report card highlights each state's strengths and weaknesses and offers recommendations for improving the overall level of emergency care.
By Holli W. Haynie

Get Well, Sleep Well
Snoring isn't just the scourge of spouses everywhere. It's also a symptom of sleep apnea, one of several sleep disorders that plague an estimated 40 million Americans, according to the National Commission on Sleep Disorders Research.
BY ANN METZ

Get Well, Sleep Well
Snoring isn't just the scourge of spouses everywhere. It's also a symptom of sleep apnea, one of several sleep disorders that plague an estimated 40 million Americans, according to the National Commission on Sleep Disorders Research.
BY ANN METZ

Giving Your Practice the Same Attention as Your Car
Giving Your Practice the Same Attention as Your Car
Your Lexus … your Volvo … or your Caravan … it really doesn't matter what you drive, everyone knows the occasional tune-up is an important step toward keeping your vehicle in top running condition. Preventative maintenance often stops little problems from becoming big ones. Certainly physicians are familiar with this notion, which is as true for your health as it is for your car. Why then does the concept seem so foreign to so many when applied to their practice? Surely your practice deserves the same consideration as your car to ensure that the source of your livelihood and that of your employees remains viable. With looming reimbursement cuts, making sure you are running at maximum efficiency has never been so important.
By Cindy Sanders

Healthcare Cost Inflation Levels Off
Healthcare Cost Inflation Levels Off
Hopes that healthcare spending was beginning to slow to a more affordable pace have been dashed by a new study showing industry inflation steaming ahead of overall economic growth. Healthcare costs surged 8.2 percent last year, according to the Center for Studying Health System Change. That is at the same pace as 2003 and well ahead of a brisk 5.6 percent surge in the economy as a whole. Analysts fear that after peaking at 11.3 percent in 2001, healthcare spending growth may have settled in at a high level. And that's bad news for groups hoping to see the trend that has left a growing number of Americans without health insurance coverage go into reverse.
TRACY STATON

Homeland Security Nursing Degrees

Susan Speraw, Ph.D., RN
Homeland Security Nursing Degrees
Future terrorist attacks may be responded to by graduates of the University of Tennessee, College of Nursing, Homeland Security Nursing Program. The graduate level program, funded by a three year $650,879 grant by the Health Resources Service Administration, has both a masters level and doctoral level component. Susan Speraw, Ph.D., RN, Program Director of the new program that admitted it's first students this fall, stated, "The response from all over the country has been tremendous! We received over two hundred phone inquiries when the grant was announced in August of this year." The calls were not only from interested students, but professionals and academics across the U.S. have offered to participate as lecturers or provide internship opportunities for the students in the program. "Students will receive a broad world view from lectures and internships throughout all levels of federal and state government."
by Bill Morris

How Safe Are You from Disgruntled Patients?
Just before St. Patrick's Day, a disgruntled patient walked into the office of Mountain Kidney Associates in Asheville, North Carolina. Patiently, John David Beavers waited until he was called back to the office of Dr. Brian Ling. When the two were alone together, Beavers fired two shots, killing Ling six days after the death of his son Michael Beavers, 25, a patient of Ling's. The tragedy brings to the forefront an issue all healthcare providers are concerned about: How safe are you from disgruntled patients? "An alarming number of medical workers complain about violence in my seminars," said Dr. Sheila Dunn, CEO of Quality America, an OSHA-compliance healthcare consulting firm. "When I ask if they've been verbally abused, usually everyone in my audiences raises their hand. When I ask if a patient has tried to injure them, about 25 percent do. The third question I'll ask is 'How many of you have ever had a patient pull a weapon on you?' and generally maybe seven or eight out of 200 will raise their hand."
By LYNNE JETER

Integrating Research
Integrating Research
In the late spring of 2004, research scientists began moving into the new state-of-the-art John E. Porter National Neuroscience Research Center. Three years earlier, more than 150 investigators representing nine institutes of the NIH gathered to hear Dr. Gerald Fischbach, then director of the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), and Dr. Steven Hyman, then director of the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH), outline their idea of creating an integrated framework to further research efforts in the neurosciences. The two leaders, who are no longer with the NIH, envisioned a facility where investigators from different disciplines could work together sharing space, equipment and ideas to build upon basic research in five key areas � neurogentics, neuroplasticity, neurodevelopment, neural circuits and mood incognition.
BY CINDY SANDERS

Landmark PET Registry Expands Coverage for Cancer Indications

Dr. Barry Siegel, National Oncologic PET Registry Co-Chair
Landmark PET Registry Expands Coverage for Cancer Indications
While reimbursements line up for the chopping block, CMS offers the opportunity for positron emission tomography (PET) scans to ultimately become covered by Medicare through a new PET registry. The American College of Radiology (ACR) and the American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN) manage the National Oncologic PET Registry (NOPR), which is now formally approved by CMS to significantly expand coverage of PET scans as of May 8, 2006. Previously, Medicare only reimbursed for several common cancers, but according to the ACR, the opening of the NOPR means that participating Medicare beneficiaries will now have PET scans covered for essentially all types of cancers including brain, cervical, small cell lung, pancreatic, testicular and ovarian cancers. The ACR and ACRIN have been working to develop the NOPR in collaboration with the Academy of Molecular Imaging (AMI) since CMS announced its intent to support a PET registry in January, 2005. This registry was essentially set up to gather data on appropriate utilization of this expanding imaging technology and CMS is interested in showing appropriate growth of PET.
By Holli W. Haynie

October Honors Medical Assistants

Second year Clinical Medical Assisting class receivies instruction in the various integrated clinical and diagnostic procedures.
October Honors Medical Assistants
October 17 - 21 has been designated as Medical Assistants Appreciation Week. With the current staffing shortages in healthcare, MA's are filling a nitch in medical practices in the East Tennessee area. Medical assistants are sometimes confused with physician assistants (PA), but their training and job duties differ significantly. PAs work under the direct supervision of a physician to examine, diagnose and treat patients. A PA functions as an extension of the physician in every sense of the word. MAs, on the other hand, sometime provide both clinical and administrative support.
BY BILL MORRIS

Out-of-State Plaintiff Firms Increasingly File Nursing Home Lawsuits
In the current push toward medical liability reform, advocates could use the current influx of out-of-state law firms involved in local malpractice litigation as an example of how the state is a target for malpractice suits. Attorneys in Knoxville have noticed an increased presence of law firms from other states in local nursing home malpractice and negligence cases, and the trend is not unique to Tennessee.
BY HOLLI W. HAYNIE

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Marc Aiken
Scheduling can be a contentious issue for any physician. Of course, there are only so many hours in each day. And attaining equilibrium between career, family, and leisure is a difficult, if not impossible, proposition. With his talents and passions inextricably linked, Johnson City physician and president of Watauga Orthopedics, Dr. Marc Aiken sometimes has difficulty discerning where his work ends and his private passions begin.
BY JOHN SEWELL

Taking a Gender-Based Approach to Impact Outcomes
Taking a Gender-Based Approach to Impact Outcomes
Men and women are different. The very nature of these differences have been explored for centuries in literature, the visual and performing arts and over countless conversations with commiserating friends of both sexes. Yet, for most of the history of medicine, clinicians have tended to treat the two genders in the exact same manner with the very obvious exception of the clear reproductive health differences. Yes, men must worry about their prostate and women about childbirth, but there are other, much more subtle differences that have an impact on health. These physiological, cultural and emotional differences aren't as readily apparent but can profoundly alter medical outcomes.
BY CINDY SANDERS

Tennessee's Malpractice Climate Pushes Healthcare to "Crisis" Level

Cutline: )L-R): Dr. Michael Minch (from Nashville), AMA President Dr. Edward Hill (from Tupelo, Miss.), Dr. Phyllis Miller, Tennessee Medical Association president (from Chattanooga, Tenn.), and Dr. Bronn Rayne, chair of the TMA Board of Trustees.
Tennessee's Malpractice Climate Pushes Healthcare to "Crisis" Level
With a rallying cry of "reform now or pay later," officials with the Tennessee Medical Association, joined by American Medical Association President Dr. Edward Hill, said at a press conference held in Nashville on February 14 that the state's legal climate had deteriorated to a crisis point. In moving from a designation of "showing problem signs" to "in crisis," Tennessee joins 20 other states identified by the AMA as having the most severe issues as a result of the malpractice legal climate. Dr. Phyllis Miller, TMA president, an obstetrician from Chattanooga, said access to care is a key reason a reform law must be enacted. "We're facing access problems not only in emergency medicine and obstetrics but also in neurosurgery and general surgery," she said. "Some of our state's best surgeons are no longer in practice. These people are victims of a broken medical liability system." Dr. Edward Hill said this broken system, which has resulted in lawsuit costs, settlements and jury awards, has forced insurance premiums to skyrocket. "Tennessee's medical liability crisis is a microcosm of what's happening on a national level," he said. "Access to care is suffering in 43 states," Hill continued, noting 21 states were now in crisis with another 22 showing problem signs.
By Cindy Sanders

The ABC's of LTC
Long-term care insurance is a product whose creation is a direct result of the age wave phenomenon of the baby boomer generation. As a generation that's projected to live longer than their parents but also need more assistance as they age, the boomers have asked for insurance protection for future costs associated with medical and standard living assistance. The Tennessee Health Care Association Web site (www.thca.org) states that nursing home costs in Tennessee range from $2,000 to $4,700 per month.
BY BILL MORRIS

University Cuts Drug Firms Out Of Its Pharmacy Program
University Cuts Drug Firms Out Of Its Pharmacy Program
University Cuts Drug Firms Out Of Its Pharmacy Program by John Carroll Like most employers, the University of Michigan has been stung by soaring drug prices. But unlike most employers, the university was able to do something about it. Convinced that something needed to be done to rein in the stiff, double-digit price hikes that hit their budget with each passing year, the university called on a staff full of medical experts and a group of outside consultants to create a working group that could come up with a solution. In the end, says Keith Bruhnsen, who was hired on to the university's benefits division specifically to focus on drug costs, Michigan found that some of the biggest culprits for higher drug prices were the pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) who had been brought in to help manage costs.
by John Carroll

Venture Capital or Vulture Capital?

Ray Moncrief (left) and Grady Vanderhoofven
Venture Capital or Vulture Capital?
Do venture capital (VC) funds take control and all the profits from companies in which they invest? The National Venture Capital Association released a study on the impact of venture capital on business in America. Companies that received venture financing between 1970-2003 accounted for 10.1 million jobs and 1.8 trillion dollars in revenue in 2003. These companies registered 6.5 percent and 11.6 percent gain in jobs and revenue respectively between 2000 and 2003 while national employment fell 2.3 percent and U.S. company revenue rose only 6.5 percent. Most VC funds want preferred stock and a seat on the board, but only provide guidance, not control, of operations. Why then, are needy entrepreneurs hesitant to approach venture capital firms? Is it because they don't know how to approach the venture capital firms? Or do they just not know who they are? Or maybe it's because VC funds expect a return on investment (ROI) that is a multiple of their original investment, since many start-up companies fail in the first five years according to the Small Business Administration.
BY BILL MORRIS

Women Battle Autoimmune Diseases Three Times More than Men

Virginia Ladd, AARDA President & Executive Director
Women Battle Autoimmune Diseases Three Times More than Men
Last month, at the first national conference in Washington, D.C. of the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA), experts across the country in several different specialty fields agreed on two things … there's still much they don't know and much that typical Americans also don't know about autoimmune diseases but should. "Looking strictly at the numbers, autoimmune disease is right up there with cancer and heart disease as a major health issue in this country," says Virginia Ladd, AARDA president and executive director. "Yet we have a Roper survey and other key measures that clearly indicate that autoimmune disease is not receiving the recognition it deserves – to the detriment of the health and quality of life of the tens of millions of Americans and their families who cope with these illnesses every day."
By Sharon H. Fitzgerald

A Year After Stark, The Bright Line Test Has Dimmed

Worth Sanders
A Year After Stark, The Bright Line Test Has Dimmed
Healthcare is scrutinized by the government like no other industry, and medical professionals rely on their contingent relationship with attorneys to keep them informed and well within regulations. The federal physician self-referral law, referred to as the Stark law, dictates much of what legal professionals consider in their daily workings with medical clients. Now, over a year after Stark II, Phase II, a look into the medical-legal world paints the picture of an ever increasing rift between hospitals and physician practices and the realities of structuring business deals in the healthcare industry. In addition, new stipulations are making the law more convoluted. Since early last year, the designated health services (DHS) had become finalized, with CMS ensuring that physicians could not benefit from self-referring Medicare or Medicaid beneficiaries to an entity in which they or an immediate family member hold a financial interest, from employment contracts to lease agreements. The law also laid some important exceptions, namely the in-office ancillary exception and one excluding nuclear medicine from the DHS list.
BY HOLLI W. HAYNIE

Administrator's Corner: Jeff Dew, President, Knoxville Area, MGMA
Administrator's Corner: Jeff Dew, President, Knoxville Area, MGMA
For Jeff Dew, CFO of Gastrointestinal Associates in Knoxville, giving back to the community has been one of the highlights of his term as president of the Knoxville Area Medical Group Management Association (KAMGMA). Not surprisingly, for as Dew explained, he is a "local boy" who grew up in Norris, TN, and consequently understands the need for free rural healthcare to be offered in remote areas...
BRIDGET GARLAND

Best Practices: Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Pediatric Patients
In the past few years, we have seen more and more pediatric patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).

Cochlear Implant Evolving with Each Generation
Cochlear Implant Evolving with Each Generation
The idea of connecting an electrical current to the ear in order to improve hearing dates back 200 years, but only during modern times has the technology actually advanced to the point of eliminating deafness. The cochlear implant was officially approved for use in adults in 1984 by the FDA, and since then, has continually evolved. "This product is constantly evolving. This is the fourth generation implant," says Angela Wieker, Marketing Manager with Cochlear Americas®. Wieker knows personally how the implant performs because she began losing her hearing at age eight, becoming almost deaf by her teens. "It's very frustrating to not be able to join in or hear what people are saying. I can't describe the difference that the implant has made."
By Karen Ott Mayer

Does Sex Matter? When It Comes to Medical Research, Yes
Does Sex Matter? When It Comes to Medical Research, Yes
"A woman's body is the key to her fate. … Her physical, social and psychological fulfillment all depend on one crucial test: her ability to attract a suitable male and to hold his interest over many years." Those were the words of Dr. Robert Wilson, a noted New York gynecologist, in his now-controversial 1966 tome "Feminine Forever." Yes, times have changed, but not quickly enough when it comes to the need for medicine and medical research that takes into account the biological differences between men and women. "Most of the research studies that were being done prior to 1990 were done on the male model. Then the results were applied to women with the assumption that there was no difference. Of course, as time has proven, there are many differences biologically between men and women in terms of diagnosis, the screening tests that are needed, prevention techniques, treatment options and symptoms of diseases," explains L. Jo Parrish, vice president of institutional advancement for the Washington, D.C.-based Society for Women's Health Research.
By Sharon H. Fitzgerald

DOH Releases Report on Heart Disease and Stroke
In its first report dedicated solely to heart disease and stroke rates in Tennessee, the state Department of Health (DOH) in December released sobering statistics that confirmed that poor nutrition and inactivity are killing Tennesseans at an alarming pace. "I think, overall, the document supported what the department felt were some of the key issues in Tennessee. So there was no great surprise," said Donna Henry, director of the department's Division of Health Promotion.
BY SHARON H. FITZGERALD

East Tennessee Brain Tumor Program

Cancer treatment doesn't have to be referred elsewhere

Residents of Tennessee and the Appalachian region are often stereotyped as being "Hillibillish," or otherwise, archaic, unintelligent, "backwoods." Popular media is the culprit of this misinformed typecast, and combating this negative stigma can be a daunting task, especially when it relates to healthcare. However, Timothy Fullagar, MD, a neurosurgeon with East Tennessee Brain and Spine, P.C. located in Johnson City, Tenn., hopes to spread the news that some of the best cancer treatment options are available in the Tri Cities. For brain tumor care, traveling to a bigger city is not necessary.
BRIDGET GARLAND

Enjoying East Tennessee
Enjoying East Tennessee
“There’s Music in These Mountains!” Carter Family Fold – Hiltons, Virginia
LEIGH ANNE W. HOOVER

ETCH, Holston Valley Partner for Pediatrics
Knoxville's East Tennessee Children's Hospital and Holston Valley Regional Children's Hospital and Center recently announced (or has just announced) a new partnership to reinvigorate children's services in the Tri-Cities area. At the center of the sweeping initiative is a groundbreaking alliance with ETCH, the pediatric referral hospital for the region and the only state-designated comprehensive regional pediatric center in East Tennessee.
BY JOHN CARROLL

Going Down? | Liability, malpractice, insurance, tort reform, State Volunteer, Tennessee Medical Association
Going Down?

Malpractice insurance rates lower, but why?

After a run-up in rates in the first half of the 2000s that left many physicians wondering how they would stay in business, the cost of medical professional liability coverage in Tennessee ...

STEVE BRAWNER

Grand Rounds August

Grand Rounds December

Grand Rounds Knoxville December

Group Management Takes Technology and Teamwork
n today's complex and ever-changing medical environment, managing a physician group takes a combination of technology and old-fashioned teamwork. By unifying physician leadership, embracing new health information technology and establishing centralized administration, two practice groups in Knoxville have become management trailblazers for professional and profitable medical groups.

Healing Hands Cover Uninsured Workers
Leaders Challenged By TennCare Cutbacks, Soaring Costs

BRISTOL — Serving the healthcare needs of uninsured workers in the Bristol area for around a decade, the Healing Hands Health Center has experienced a continual influx of patients as healthcare costs soar.
JOHN SEWELL

Healing Hands Cover Uninsured Workers
Leaders Challenged By TennCare Cutbacks, Soaring Costs

BRISTOL — Serving the healthcare needs of uninsured workers in the Bristol area for around a decade, the Healing Hands Health Center has experienced a continual influx of patients as healthcare costs soar.
JOHN SEWELL

Healthcare, at What Price?
Healthcare, at What Price?
Editor's Note: The following is an East Tennessee Medical News Opinion/Editorial piece. If you have comments about this or other articles in the paper, please feel free to send them to feedback@easttnmedicalnews.com. Please include your name and city in the correspondence. A local Knoxville hospital was identified on a recent CBS "60 Minutes" program. It was not a particularly flattering program. The episode did bring attention to the lack of information available for patients to determine reasonable hospital charges. The program followed a patient without medical insurance who was diagnosed with a mild heart attack. The patient received two stents to open a blocked artery to his heart. It was a smooth operation with no complications, and the patient was discharged after 72 hours.
By Bill Morris

Helping Employees Get Healthy
Diabetes is a costly disease. The costs to a community range from loss of productivity to increased medical expenditures. For the diabetic, the cost can be his life. Yet, the toll of diabetes can largely be mitigated through education, awareness and lifestyle modification.
BY CINDY SANDERS

Hospice and Palliative Care Board Certifies While Pushing for Formal Recognition

Dr. Russell K. Portenoy
Hospice and Palliative Care Board Certifies While Pushing for Formal Recognition
What does it mean to be a specialist in hospice and palliative medicine? To help answer that question, the American Board of Hospice and Palliative Medicine was founded in 1995 and since 1996 has administered a certification process to ensure physicians have the necessary knowledge and competency to do the job. "What we're doing is certifying physicians both through their training and experience and then through the exam process. Those physicians must prove specialty level knowledge in the care of people at the end of life and in the care of people with life-threatening illness," explains Dr. Russell K. Portenoy, chairman of the ABHPM Board of Trustees and chairman of the Department of Pain Medicine and Palliative Care at Beth Israel Medical Center. An expert in the field of pain management, Portenoy champions the cause that hospice and palliative medicine should be a legitimate subspecialty recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties, and the ABHPM is working toward that goal.
SHARON H. FITZGERALD

Hutcheson Hosts Community Screening
Medical experts from Hutcheson Medical Center's Occupational & Community Wellness Program will be at the Food Lion in Ringgold on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 from 7:30am-11:00am providing many health assessments free of charge, including blood pressure and pulse.

Innovative Advancements in Sports Medicine

What’s Being Done In Our Region?

As our society continues to live longer, many more people are becoming aware of the benefits of physical activity. However, with more people exercising and becoming involved in sports, orthopedists are also seeing increasing amounts of injuries and an evolution toward new and innovative treatments.
LEIGH ANNE W. HOOVER

MHA Shares Concerns Over Cuts
"What we find is that rarely are mental health organizations invited to the table in a meaningful way," says Jennifer Bright, vice president of state policy for the National Mental Health Association. Excluding mental health providers altogether or calling on them in a peripheral role has raised concerns at the national level as states assume more and more power locally when it comes to fashioning benefits packages for entitlement programming.
BY CINDY SANDERS

National Organizations Take On Childhood Obesity
National Organizations Take On Childhood Obesity
While access to healthcare tops most pediatrician's list of legislative priorities, reversing the trend of overweight children is quickly climbing to the top of clinical concerns. Dr. Bob Holmberg, a board certified pediatrician for Eastern Maine Medical Center's Norumbega Pediatrics group, sits on the American Academy of Pediatrics Obesity Task Force, which was created two years ago. "It is increasingly recognized that the acceleration of the prevalence of obesity is one of the major epidemics we're dealing with," Holmberg said.
by Cindy Sanders

November Grand Rounds - Knoxville

ORNL Researchers Develop Nanosensor to Detect Molecules in Single Living Cells

Dr. Tuan Vo-Dinh, Ph.D., ORNL Corporate Fellow and Life Sciences Division researcher
ORNL Researchers Develop Nanosensor to Detect Molecules in Single Living Cells
Oak Ridge National Laboratories Corporate Fellow and Life Sciences Division researcher Dr. Tuan Vo-Dinh, Ph.D., heads a team of researchers at ORNL that has developed a nanobiosensor, a fiber optics-based tool that can monitor concentrations of biomolecules in single cells in real time, without disrupting normal cell function during and after insertion. "Often biochemical analysis is done with a sample containing hundreds of cells. However, since cells respond asynchronously to external stimuli, the results may not reflect what is happening in individual cells," explains Vo-Dinh.
By Rita H. Lee, Ph.D.

Patient Waits Reduced, Satisfaction Up
MARYVILLE — When it comes to the emergency room, it's no secret it has become a dumping ground for every sniffle, scratch and itch, thrusting the truly needy ER patients into prolonged agony while the frustrated staff attempts to triage the onslaught of incoming patients. Waiting time for an operating room can be just as aggravating.
BY GLORIA BUTLER BALDWIN

Patient Waits Reduced, Satisfaction Up
MARYVILLE — When it comes to the emergency room, it's no secret it has become a dumping ground for every sniffle, scratch and itch, thrusting the truly needy ER patients into prolonged agony while the frustrated staff attempts to triage the onslaught of incoming patients. Waiting time for an operating room can be just as aggravating.
BY GLORIA BUTLER BALDWIN

Peninsula Senior Day Hospital  Provides Nurturing Environment, Therapeutic Services
Peninsula Senior Day Hospital Provides Nurturing Environment, Therapeutic Services
Over the past several years, studies have confirmed something that physicians have seen played out in real time–depression is common among senior citizens. The Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing, which is affiliated with New York University's College of Nursing, reported in 2007 that nearly five million of the 31 million Americans aged 65 and older suffer depression...
STACY FENTRESS

Physician Spotlight:  G. Edward Newman, MD | G. Edward Newman, Parkwest Medical Center
Physician Spotlight: G. Edward Newman, MD
Mexico City, London, Washington DC, San Francisco—all of these major cities are places G. Edward Newman, MD, and his family have visited this year, but home for Newman is truly where his heart lies. Newman, a nephrologist and chief of staff-elect at Parkwest Medical Center has plans—big plans—for the area. "I'm from around here, and I want the nephrology care in this area to be excellent, world class."
BRIDGET GARLAND

Physician Spotlight: Christopher Bowman, MD | Christopher Bowman, Sweetwater Hospital
Physician Spotlight: Christopher Bowman, MD
The newest orthopedic surgeon at Sweetwater Hospital doesn't have to try hard to get to know his patients. That's because Christopher Bowman, MD, grew up with many of them. In fact, at 36, Bowman is the only orthopedic surgeon at the hospital which serves a population of roughly 5,500 in the Monroe County town of Sweetwater. "I'm glad to be home," he said...
SCOTT BROOKS

Physician Spotlight: Congressman Phil Roe, MD | Phil Roe, Brian Dunkelberger, Fred Thompson, Bill Frist, Johnson City Regional Planning Commission, Congress, healthcare reform, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C., Johnson City
Physician Spotlight: Congressman Phil Roe, MD
From physician to politician, from Northeast Tennessee to Washington D.C., Congressman Phil Roe, MD, is on the move. Not satisfied to sit back, enjoy retirement, and let Congress decide what's best for East Tennesseans, Roe now travels extensively across the area, listening to the concerns of the people he represents and taking their petitions to Capital Hill.
BRIDGET GARLAND

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Forrest Lang
In this age of computerized, robotic, high-tech medicine, the most important diagnostic tool in any doctor's little black bag is still the ability to communicate with the patient. Very few physicians realize this more than Dr. Forrest Lang of East Tennessee State University's James H. Quillen College of Medicine. Lang is in the field of communication.
BY KELLY PRICE

Physician Spotlight: Elmer Pinzon, MD, MPH
Physician Spotlight: Elmer Pinzon, MD, MPH
One in every four Americans suffers from some form of back pain. Stroke kills nearly a third of its victims. Nearly 8,000 Americans suffer from spinal cord injuries every year. These statistics, provided by the American Association of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, prove the relevance of unique doctors like Knoxville's Elmer Pinzon, MD, MPH...
CHELSEA FARNAM

Physician Spotlight: Ronald L. Rimer, MD | Ronald Rimer, pediatrics, Knoxville Pediatric Associates, vaccines, University of Tennessee
Physician Spotlight: Ronald L. Rimer, MD
Even though he started practicing as a pediatrician 36 years ago, Ronald L. Rimer, MD, is as enthusiastic today about pediatrics as he was when he first began.
BRIDGET GARLAND

Practices Recognized for Outstanding Use of IT in Patient Care
During the week of October 13th, East Tennessee Medical News (ETMN) presented four regional practices with the second annual TECHMED Award, recognizing their outstanding use of information technology in patient care. This year’s award, sponsored by Saratoga Technologies and supporting sponsors Mountain States Health Alliance and Mercy Health Partners, was independently judged by the Northeast Tennessee Technology Council and was divided into two categories: practices with 14 physicians and under and practices with 15 or more physicians...
BRIDGET GARLAND

Prepping for Healthcare Reform | Elliott Moore, Mountain States Health Alliance, Michael Stahl, University of Tennessee's Physician Executive MBA program, Andy Hall, Wellmont Health Systems, healthcare reform, Medicare, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, TennCare
Prepping for Healthcare Reform
Fear of the unknown, healthcare legislation, worries local providers, physicians
The size and scope of federal healthcare legislation is far from certain, but providers and medical professionals throughout East Tennessee are preparing for a variety of scenarios nonetheless.
JOE MORRIS

Project Access: Ensuring the Health of the Working Uninsured in Chattanooga
Forty-seven million Americans are currently without health insurance. Many of these people work one or more jobs, but they cannot afford healthcare coverage. Tennesseans are not exempt from these numbers. In 2006, Families USA, a national nonprofit, reported that eighteen percent of all Tennesseans were uninsured. They also estimated that "thirteen working-age Tennesseans die each week due to lack of health insurance." A quick calculation reveals this sad fact: almost seven hundred Tennesseans die each year because they cannot afford health coverage.
JAMIE MERRIMAN-PACTON

Project Platinum Changes the Face of Wellmont Holston Valley
This fall, visitors to Wellmont Holston Valley Medical Center will notice sweeping changes. It's all part of Project Platinum — a $100 million capital expansion and renovation of the 70-year old hospital. Highlights of the project include a new parking garage, landscaping, renovation and expansion of the emergency and surgery departments, expansion of the Level I trauma center, a new intensive care unit and a multi-story patient tower that will house outpatient registration, a medical-surgical unit and other clinical services.
BY STACY FENTRESS

R2 N: Recruitment & Retention

Dr. Jean Bartels, Ph.D., RN
R2 N: Recruitment & Retention
It's the 800-pound gorilla in the corner of the room. For nursing professionals, no matter what pressing issues are on the table impacting their field, the conversation always seems to circle back to the workforce shortage. After all, most every issue can be broadly tied to one of two categories … recruitment or retention. "They are really two sides of the same coin," says Erin McKeon, associate director of government affairs for the American Nurses Association (ANA). From enticing more applicants into the field to expanding the educational infrastructure to improving the workplace environment, finding and keeping good nurses is of paramount concern. "There is this growing shortage of nurses that is completely unprecedented," she continues, adding it goes far beyond the cyclical shortages the field has experienced in the past.
BY CINDY SANDERS

Redefining the "Men" in Menopause
Redefining the "Men" in Menopause
Although it's a complete misnomer, the term "male menopause" has begun gaining ground in popular culture over the last few years. Since menopause comes from the Latin "mensis" referring to month and is tied to the ending of the menstrual cycle, men cannot physiologically go through male menopause. However, the term instantly connotes a physical change of life that is something more than the typical "midlife crisis" often associated with men. Endocrinologist Dr. Adrian S. Dobs is a professor of medicine and oncology for Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and an active researcher in the field of sex hormone disorders. While she deplores the term "male menopause," she readily admits perfect terminology is still lacking for the condition in which men face physical symptoms due to a hormonal decline, most notably in testosterone.
BY CINDY SANDERS

Saving Little Lives | Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, P.J. Powers, Wellmont Health System, Bristol Regional, Holston Valley, Giraffe OmniBed
Saving Little Lives

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals

Shannon Vance and Stephanie Wooton know how essential Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals is to providing high-quality care to kids of all ages. They believe this national charity has saved their children’s lives.


Shared Health and Capstone Collaborate on Personal Health Records Feasibility Test
Two Tennessee companies, Chattanooga-based Shared Health and Capstone Government Solutions of Nashville, will partner to fulfill a contract awarded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to test the efficacy of populating personal health records (PHRs) with Medicare beneficiary claims data. The six-month study will examine how easily the transmission of Medicare claims data can be translated and mapped into an electronic PHR system.
BY KELLY PRICE

Small Medical Practices Feeling the Squeeze

Jana Davison, CARITEN
Small Medical Practices Feeling the Squeeze
With reimbursement continuing to fall and some carriers going to exclusive contracts, the future for independent physicians has many challenges. Some have chosen to retire or leave the area under the increasing pressures of income reduction. In the beginning, physicians and hospitals charged a reasonable fee for service and the patients or their carrier paid what was charged without much concern. The first control issue was addressed by providing a patient with a superbill that he or she could submit to his insurance carrier for reimbursement. This was provided as a courtesy to the patient since there was no contractual relationship between provider and insurance carrier.
BY BILL MORRIS

Speaking Out about the Silent Disease

Dr. Leslie Spry, National Kidney Foundation
Speaking Out about the Silent Disease
Chronic Kidney Disease, or CKD, is often referred to as the "silent disease" because it tends to stay quiet until it reaches more advanced stages. However, by utilizing clinical knowledge, healthcare providers can often "hear" the early warning signs of CKD even when they are just a whisper. Nearly three years ago the National Kidney Foundation launched its Kidney Learning System, directly targeting healthcare providers and ultimately their patients. At its heart, the goal of KLS, which is focused on prevention, early identification and intervention strategies, clinical applications and improved outcomes, is to simply get everyone on the same page. In theory, this should be a relatively easy task. In practical application, there is still a great deal of room for improvement. Dr. Leslie Spry, spokesperson for the National Kidney Foundation, says identifying patients by their chronic kidney disease stage is one of the best ways to facilitate a common language between general practitioners and nephrologists.
By Cindy Sanders

Stark Contrast | Stark Law, Full Employment Act for Lawyers, Pete Stark, Stark II, Joan Krause, James Blumstein
Stark Contrast

Is the Stark Law Still Meeting its Original Intent?

When Congress passes a bill, any necessary regulations usually follow within a reasonable time. Otherwise, the law's in limbo. When it comes to the Stark Law, you might say that its evolution has been in stark contrast to conventional lawmaking, and that's only one of the reasons why the law keeps physicians and their attorneys up at night.
"This is the law that some people have jokingly referred to as The Full Employment Act for Lawyers," said Joan Krause, professor and co-director of the Health Law and Policy Institute at the University of Houston...
SHARON H. FITZGERALD

TennCare and Weight Watchers Join Forces to Address Obesity
TennCare and Weight Watchers Join Forces to Address Obesity
In what is being touted as a unique and groundbreaking initiative, the state of Tennessee is partnering with Weight Watchers to provide weight loss services to TennCare enrollees — adults and children — who are obese. "We are not aware of any other Medicaid program that is doing a partnership like this with a commercial weight loss program," said TennCare's Marilyn Elam. TennCare provides insurance coverage for 1.2 million people, and the bureau had reached a point of stability, after a rather unstable year, where it could begin to look at improving the quality of life for its enrollees. Since Tennessee ranks fifth in the U.S. in the rate of adult obesity, weight loss seems to be a good starting point. "We wanted to not only provide that access to insurance, but also find ways to improve the quality of care and quality of life in general for the enrollees in our program," Elam said. "Obesity contributes to a number of disease states, some of which are ones we added to our medication short list such as asthma, heart disease and diabetes. All of these are complicated or brought on by obesity. The idea is that if we could attack that underlying cause or factor in those three high disease states, we could lower dependence on medications and improve overall health."
By Kathy Whitney

Tennessee Implements Hospital Resource Tracking System
By the time 2007 rolled around, the Tennessee Department of Health was on schedule to have a resource tracking system up and running in 80 to 90 percent of the hospitals in the state. Funded with federal bioterrorism dollars, the tracking system will help direct injured people to appropriate hospitals and medical centers in the event of an emergency or disaster, natural or otherwise, and will also aid emergency medical services personnel on a day-to-day basis.
BY SHARON H. FITZGERALD

The Bottom Line: Cash is King — Again
Keep Your (i)'s On The Prize Retirement plans organized under the IRS Tax Code section 412(i) are making a strong comeback. These are defined benefit (DB) plans that have been called "physician's retirement plans" or an "insured retirement plans" and they are very appealing to baby boomers who have underfunded their personal retirement plans. Benefit limits for 2006 are set at $175,000 per year.
Bill Morris

The Literary Examiner
Reviews of "Stand by Her: A Breast Cancer Guide for Men" by John W. Anderson and "Blood and Guts: A History of Surgery" by Richard Hollingham
TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER

Treating Kidney Stones, Non-Invasively and Quickly

Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripter
Treating Kidney Stones, Non-Invasively and Quickly
The Stone Age—most people know at least something about that. And the “Stroke Belt”—many physicians, in this part of the country, at least, probably wish more patients were familiar with this title, indicating as it does the region’s high incidence of stroke. But the “Stone Belt”?
JOHN M. HAYS

University Surgical Associates Offers New Marketing Offshoot, Creative Solutions Associates
University Surgical Associates Offers New Marketing Offshoot, Creative Solutions Associates
Forging ahead to face the challenges of the digital information age, the forward thinkers at Chattanooga's University Surgical Associates (USA) have kick-started a new wing of their business, Creative Solutions Associates (CSA)...
JOHN SEWELL

UT Medical Center to Open New Heart Hospital
East Tennessee's residents are familiar with the fact that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., being part of one of the top regions in the country for smoking, diabetes, obesity, and inactivity.
MEREDITH HULETTE

Weighing In on Obesity | Obesity Focus
Weighing In on Obesity
Researchers, Clinicians Advocate Multi-Discipline Approach to Epidemic
For almost three decades, The Obesity Society, a leading scientific organization dedicated to the study of obesity, has worked to increase the evidence-based understanding of the causes, prevention, consequences and treatment options for what has truly become an epidemic in this country.
CINDY SANDERS

Weight Loss Resources | Raising Fit Kids in a Fat World, weight loss, Joani Jack, Judy Halliday, Obesity, Sandi Brown, Memorial Weight Management Center, Brenda Ross, Erlanger Health System, Pro-fit Plus, Opti-Fast, Memorial Health Care System
Weight Loss Resources

Chattanooga Area Hospitals Offer Support for Physicians

With obesity reaching epidemic levels, physicians are searching for additional help for their adult and pediatric patients. Local resources include a new book on raising fit children and several medically-supervised weight management programs offered to adults by area hospitals. "Physicians often feel helpless in the face of the complexities of the obesity issue," said Joani Jack, MD, a Chattanooga pediatrician...
JAN HAMILTON POWELL

Women Fear Gynecological Cancer, but Confusion is Rife

Karl C. Podratz, MD, PhD, chairman of GCF
Women Fear Gynecological Cancer, but Confusion is Rife
Most women in the United States believe they are at risk of gynecological cancer, yet the average woman would be hard pressed to name the symptoms or the risk factors associated with the disease. Altogether, 54 percent of the 800 women surveyed in a poll sponsored by the Gynecological Cancer Foundation and Research!America felt they were at personal risk. However, almost six out of 10 women were unable to name the risk factors linked to the disease, and half were unable to name any. And only 3 percent cited a pelvic exam as a recommended test – even though that is standard advice for women over the age of 18.
By John Carroll

Advanced Imaging Equipment Progresses Radiology While Diagnostic Costs Soar
Advanced Imaging Equipment Progresses Radiology While Diagnostic Costs Soar
What a thrill to be in medicine during this age of ever-evolving technological ascent, and radiology proves to be a field advancing by leaps and bounds with super fast equipment and increasingly precise detections. High tech CT, PET and MR equipment lead the way, and with the implementation of electronic medical records, radiologists are able to receive data quicker, detect abnormalities sooner that can dramatically improve a patient's treatment, and consult with one another more efficiently. But all this remarkable equipment does not come cheap. Medical imaging costs are reaching $100 billion a year as imaging utilization increases at unprecedented rates. With such astounding innovations as the 64-slice CT scanner and recent applications of combined PET/CT, the radiology specialty has become a desirous practice, and imaging has become an equally desirous commodity. The 64-slice CT scanner takes 64 pictures of the heart in less than a second. The new scanner is used in routine angiography where multiple thin images can detect blockages in the arteries that can lead to a heart attack. Accompanying the equipment is software which enables the creation of three dimensional reconstructions.
BY HOLLI W. HAYNIE

Alexian Brothers Welcome Two Care Coordinators to New Positions
CHATTANOOGA — Alexian Brothers Community Services has appointed Ms. Debra Baker and Ms. Karen Sawyer to Care Coordinator positions for the Alexian Brothers Choices Program and the Alexian Brothers Live At Home Program™ respectively. In their roles, Ms. Baker and Ms. Sawyer coordinate all the activities associated with the provision of care for program members.

Allergic Asthma Sufferers Look to New Therapies to Control Their Ailment
Allergic Asthma Sufferers Look to New Therapies to Control Their Ailment
One of the most common health threats to the people living in East Tennessee is a condition known as allergic asthma. According to the National Institutes of Health, 60 percent of all asthma cases – about 12 million people overall – are triggered by an allergic reaction. Mold, dust mites, pet dander and cockroaches are among the leading examples of the year-round allergens that can lead to the shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing common to an asthma attack. Allergic asthma is linked to immunoglobulin E, or IgE, according to the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America. When you breathe in an allergen, your body starts to produce more IgE, and that triggers an allergic-inflammatory process which in turns leads to the constriction and inflammation of airway passages. Allergic asthma is determined by a skin or blood test that determines if your asthma is caused by an allergen.
By John Carroll

Baptist, Triad Strike Deal
This time last year, the future of Baptist Health System was uncertain. They suffered a staggering level of debt — $217 million — and they didn't have enough cash to make needed renovations and buy new medical equipment. All of that changed after a specially-called meeting in mid-June where the board unanimously voted to partner with Triad Hospitals, Inc., of Plano, Texas. "This partnership will take us from $217 million in debt and not enough cash to buy equipment and renovate buildings to a new organization with zero debt and $40 million credit," said Richard Cramer, chairman of Baptist's board of trustees.
BY STACY FENTRESS

Children's Access to Care Tops AAP Priority List

Dr. John E. Lewy
Children's Access to Care Tops AAP Priority List
"Access is at the top of everyone's agenda," stated Dr. John E. Lewy, FAAP, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics' Committee on Federal Government Affairs. With more than nine million uninsured children in America, many kids go without the necessary preventative medicine … and even acute care … that they need. In the 109th Congress, the AAP supports several solid pieces of legislation that would significantly chip away or totally eliminate the number of uninsured minors in the nation. While advocating for broad-based access to healthcare, the AAP is simultaneously trying to minimize damaging cuts to the nation's Medicaid program.
by Cindy Sanders

CLiRpath Offers Weapon Against Unnecessary Amputations
Diabetes is a cruel disease that takes a systemic toll on those who are diagnosed with the chronic illness. One common complication is peripheral arterial disease (PAD), in which plaque blocks arteries in the small vessels of the foot and leg and can ultimately lead to lower limb amputation.
BY CINDY SANDERS

Covenant Weight Management Center Provides New Resource for Medical Community
Covenant Weight Management Center Provides New Resource for Medical Community
No one can deny that obesity is an epidemic affecting millions of Americans; over two-thirds of Americans are classified as being overweight, with twenty-three million classified as morbidly obese. However, very few healthcare providers have been able to provide comprehensive care to those patients facing not only obesity, but often a list of co-morbidities, including heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, infertility, osteoarthritis, and sleep apnea, among others.
MEREDITH HULETTE

Drug Counterfeiters Gear up to Meet Growing Demand
Drug Counterfeiters Gear up to Meet Growing Demand
Government probes have been helping to shine a harsh light on the growing global traffic in counterfeit drugs. One group of federal investigators inspecting doses of what was being sold as the cancer drug Procrit® found that patients were getting non-sterile tap water. In another case, agents found that drugs marked as Zyprexa® – a powerful medication used to treat schizophrenia – were actually aspirin. And more recently, United States Customs agents have been garnering headlines for their work seizing fake batches of Tamiflu® at the country's borders. With the price of branded drugs rising at a double-digit pace every year, regulators and the pharma industry have grown increasingly sensitive to the proliferating signs that counterfeiting operations have been growing by leaps and bounds.
By John Carroll

Emergency Care Specialists Raise Alarm
In a series of new reports, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) reports that the nation's emergency care safety net is stretched to the limit and is unable to cope with any major man-made or natural disaster that may loom. Emergency care specialists have responded by using the reports as a call to arms, harshly criticizing the shortage of post 9/11 emergency funds for EDs and warning of a breakdown of the nation's emergency care system.
BY TRACY STATON

For Your Sister's Sake
Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women. According to the American Cancer Society's "Cancer Facts & Figures 2007," approximately 178,500 women will be newly diagnosed with breast cancer this year.
BY CINDY SANDERS

For Your Sister's Sake
Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women. According to the American Cancer Society's "Cancer Facts & Figures 2007," approximately 178,500 women will be newly diagnosed with breast cancer this year.
BY CINDY SANDERS

Hospital-Based Palliative Care:
The scenario is painfully familiar: A 93-year-old woman in breathing distress is rushed by ambulance from her nursing home to a hospital emergency room in the middle of the night. She's later admitted into the intensive care unit, where her family can't see her, and she's hooked up to a ventilator. "I'm not a clinical person, but you would be amazed how many stories I hear about people who had advance directives that were ignored and how difficult it is, once someone is on the conveyor belt into the hospital," says Lynn Spragens, a national expert in palliative care and an independent consultant with the New York-based Center to Advance Palliative Care. Spragens contends that hospital-based palliative care programs help prevent such agonizing situations — and save hospitals money at the same time.
SHARON H. FITZGERALD

JCMC Nears Completion of Cardiac Expansion, Renovation
Johnson City Medical Center (JCMC) will soon unveil almost 58,000 square feet of renovated and new space for its cardiovascular program. The nearly $22.6 million project includes a build-out of 25,000 square feet that was part of the recent ICU expansion plus the significant renovation of another 32,889 square feet already in use. "The whole renovation and expansion being built is bringing in patient-centered care to make it more user-friendly for patients and their families," said Cindy Salyer, RN, vice president of cardiovascular and pulmonary services for Mountain States Health Alliance.
BY CINDY SANDERS

Knoxville Firm Teaches ER Teams How To Handle Problems
A mystery patient enters the emergency room of an undisclosed hospital at 7:06 a.m., scans the empty waiting room and walks over to the registration desk, where a registered nurse is furiously jotting down notes. After a few awkward seconds, the patient says, "Excuse me," before the startled nurse looks up and asks: "What's going on with you?"
BY LYNNE JETER

Nephrologists, Transplant Surgeons Battle CKD

Rear (L-R): Stephen C. Kiss, MD; and G. Scott Borrelli, MD, FACP. Front (L-R): Kristi Phipps, RN, MSN, CANP; and Julie McMillan, RN. MSN, CFNP.
Nephrologists, Transplant Surgeons Battle CKD
Chronic kidney disease affects one in nine adults and 20 million more Americans are at an increased risk of CKD according to the National Kidney Foundation. In East Tennessee, where so many residents already battle diabetes and high blood pressure, the risks of CKD are even greater. Unfortunately, a recent issue of the American Journal of Kidney Diseases noted that many Americans are simply unaware their kidneys are failing. It's tough to fight an unseen enemy, which makes America's "silent disease" one of the more frustrating for healthcare providers. Dr. Scott Borrelli and Dr. Stephen Kiss, both board certified in internal medicine and nephrology, along with nurse practitioners Julie McMillan and Kristi Phipps, make up the team at East Tennessee Nephrology Associates, a private practice associated with Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center in Knoxville that specializes in CKD.
By Rita Lee

New Year, Renewed Commitment

Susan Sanders, MSN, RN, CNAA TNA President
New Year, Renewed Commitment
As occurs each year at their annual meeting, the Tennessee Nurses Association passes the gavel … and symbolically the torch … to a new nurse leader who will work to move forward the organization and the profession it represents. In late October, TNA passed that torch to the newly elected president Susan Sanders, M.S.N., R.N., C.N.A.A. Sanders, who has served on the TNA board for the past five years, works as director of patient services for Brentwood-based QHR (formerly known as Quorbum Health Resources) and has been a registered nurse since 1978. In addition to the normal anticipation that comes with her new TNA role, Sanders notes this is an especially exciting time as the organization is putting the finishing touches on a new strategic plan.
BY CINDY SANDERS

Number of Sleepless Tennesseans Increasing

ENT physician Dr. John Little performs Coblation tonsillectomies at East Tennessee Children's Hospital. Unlike the traditional method which causes burn injuries and a painful recovery, this new technology uses radiofrequency energy at low temperatures.
Number of Sleepless Tennesseans Increasing
The number of sleep centers in East Tennessee is growing as more and more Tennesseans struggle with sleep disorders. Across the nation, more than 70 million Americans suffer from sleeplessness, and with over a hundred different disorders, diagnosing exactly what causes the problem is a challenge. Primary care physicians who recognize sleep disorder symptoms usually refer patients to centers. Sleep centers work closely with otolaryngologists, referring patients to ENT specialists when other treatments fail. "In the past few years, we have seen an increase in the number of sleep clinics in our area. Maybe it's because we're close to Atlanta or that regulations have been relaxed," says Steven C. Plenzler, Ph.D., D. ABSM who is the Regional Coordinator for the Sleep Disorders Centers, part of the St. Mary's Health System. Plenzler, who has been with St. Mary's for more than eight years, has a birds-eye view of both the type of patients coming into the facility and some of the more widely used treatments.
By Karen Ott Mayer

Oak Ridge National Laboratories Year End Review
For Oak Ridge National Laboratories (ORNL), 2006 has been a busy one, as new buildings have been completed that enhance cutting-edge research. New fronts in research likely leading to medical and biotechnology applications are expected to arise from within the walls of new ORNL facilities.
BY RITA LEE, PHD

ReDoc Simplifies the Lives of Therapists

Jerry Stone
ReDoc Simplifies the Lives of Therapists
Who better to help design a software package for physical therapists than a physical therapist? That's the logic Jerry Stone applied 10 years ago when he founded ReDoc, his Nashville-based medical software company. After two decades as a physical therapist and frustrated by the overwhelming documentation requirements of the job, Stone decided to tackle the problem himself. "I saw there was a need to alleviate the paperwork involved," he recalls. "Having a lot of experience in that field, I was able to work with some software developers and develop a tool that automates all of this paperwork and decreases the paperwork time by about 50 to 60 percent for the treating therapist."
BY SHARON H. FITZGERALD

Seniors Show Little Excitement for New Medicare Drug Benefit
Seniors Show Little Excitement for New Medicare Drug Benefit
For months now, the federal government has been trumpeting the fast-approaching Medicare drug benefit. Anxious to lend their support, a host of major managed care plans have announced their intentions to offer their own branded plans. The agency has teamed up with about two dozen prominent medical groups to spread the word. And President Bush himself has been using the bully pulpit of his national office to herald the expensive new drug support for the nation's seniors. "This new law is bringing preventive medicine, better healthcare choices, and prescription drugs to every American receiving Medicare," the president said while touring the country in June to tout the new drug package. That message, though, hasn't gone very far in convincing the government's target audience.
BY TRACY STATON

The Bottom Line Happy Knew Year!
I Knew I'd Spend Too Much on presents and entertaining during the holiday season, but I just got caught up in the season. Besides, I worked hard all year and deserved to blow it out with family and friends. If you are one of the "average" Americans with over $8,000 in credit card debt, there may be hope for you if you own your own home. Banks are competing for your home equity loan business. At the end of last year, at least one bank in Knoxville was offering home equity lines of credit with no closing costs and rates below prime.

Treating America’s Uninsured One Patient at a Time

Judy Buhrman, Nurse Practitioner at Westside Health Center
Treating America’s Uninsured One Patient at a Time
The most recent United States Census Bureau statistics, released in August 2007, show that 47 million people, or roughly 15.8% of the U.S. population, were without health insurance coverage in 2006. This number increased from 44.8 million for the previous year, and considering the state of the economy and rising healthcare costs, it is not entirely unlikely that these numbers will continue to grow.
MISTY POWERS

Weighing in on Bariatric Surgery
Weighing in on Bariatric Surgery
The American Society for Bariatric Surgery has named Parkwest Medical Center in its partnership with Dr. Stephen Boyce of Premier Surgical Associates as a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence. Last fall, the American Society for Bariatric Surgery made a thorough on-site visit and determined that the collaborative center exercised best practices and optimal conditions for bariatric surgery. Boyce says, "We have a comprehensive multidisciplinary team including a nurse coordinator, surgeon, director, a full-time exercise physiologist and a care coordinator. These various skills allow us to take a multifaceted approach to address obesity issues." For some patients, the Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence offers medical supervision, diet and exercise, behavior modification recommendations, and drugs as needed. Other patients, especially the morbidly obese, are better suited for bariatric surgery.
By Rita H. Lee, PhD

What�s Constant is Change: Consultants Guide Providers through Evolving Management Issues

Jeffery Potter, LBMC Healthcare Group, LLC
What�s Constant is Change: Consultants Guide Providers through Evolving Management Issues
Changes in the healthcare delivery system require providers in hospitals and private practices to constantly evaluate operations and opportunities. As the complexities accelerate, many organizations realize they lack the internal resources to adequately reposition operations. Using outside consultants is a viable option for some, a necessity for others. Jeffery Potter, CPA with LBMC Healthcare Group, LLC, says there are three drivers affecting both cost of delivery and access to care. "Hospitals and health systems are competing with physicians for profitable specialty services. This is leading to costly investments in capacity and medical technologies," he said. "Employer and health plan initiatives are directed more at increasing patient cost sharing than other aspects of rising costs," he continued. "The rising costs are continuing to push private health insurance out of reach for more people. This leads to increased numbers of uninsured."
by Bill Morris

When a Doctor Needs a Doctor
The biblical proverb, "Physician, heal thyself" sounds good, but as a physician, if you really try that in today's world, you'll be in big trouble. Although the idea that you should address your own problems before someone else's works well in life, it won't fly in the world of medicine.
GLORIA BUTLER BALDWIN

When a Doctor Needs a Doctor
The biblical proverb, "Physician, heal thyself" sounds good, but as a physician, if you really try that in today's world, you'll be in big trouble. Although the idea that you should address your own problems before someone else's works well in life, it won't fly in the world of medicine.
GLORIA BUTLER BALDWIN

X STOP Gives LSS Patients a New Start
For some patients suffering from lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS), standing upright and walking just a few feet can be excruciating. In many of the worst cases, the only way to get any true relief is by sitting or leaning over. Unfortunately, adopting these sedentary poses can often lead to a host of other health problems as the patient's weight balloons.
BY CINDY SANDERS

A New Era in Tennessee Health
In order for Tennessee to receive more A's when it comes to health status and programming, new Department of Health Commissioner Susan R. Cooper believes it may require a heavy concentration on "C's": communication, cooperation and collaboration.
BY CINDY SANDERS

A New Era in Tennessee Health
In order for Tennessee to receive more A's when it comes to health status and programming, new Department of Health Commissioner Susan R. Cooper believes it may require a heavy concentration on "C's": communication, cooperation and collaboration.
BY CINDY SANDERS

Diagnosing Cervical Cancer Early

Dr. Nicholas Potter, Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory Director(right) and Teresa Webb-Martin, Medical Technologist, at the Molecular Pathology Laboratory Network, Inc.
Diagnosing Cervical Cancer Early
January is Cervical Health Awareness Month, and with the new year comes a new screening guideline for HPV, or human papillomavirus. This new screen could lead to earlier monitoring of women who have HPV and who have a higher chance of getting cervical cancer. The peak incidence of the virus occurs in women 20 to 24 years old, and fortunately, the majority of these infections spontaneously regress. However, some women reach 30 years or older with persisting HPV, which suggests increased risk of cervical disease or cancer. One in five women with persistent HPV will develop some sort of cervical neoplasia. In addition, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are an estimated 12,200 new cases of cervical cancer and 4,100 deaths due to cervical cancer in the United States every year. Even so, 11percent of women in the U.S. say that they do not get regular cervical cancer screenings, according to the National Cervical Cancer Coalition. Fortunately, unlike most cancers, cervical cancer is highly curable — that is, if it is discovered early on. The key to successful treatment of the cervical cancer disease is early detection.
By Rita H. Lee PhD

E-health Initiative Gaining Statewide Support in Pediatric Field

Scott Vogel
E-health Initiative Gaining Statewide Support in Pediatric Field
As the nation moves quickly into the information age, the medical industry is working to keep up pace, and Tennessee is primed for informational integration, particularly in pediatrics. From east to west and in between, physicians are coming together on the common goal of improving the quality of healthcare and deciphering what could be a sound business move by implementing technology to share and utilize health information. Commercial and federal payers are concurrently working toward quality of care programs that could be maintained via e-health which is creating another motivation for the healthcare industry to centralize their information and outcomes.
BY HOLLI W. HAYNIE

Eardrops Are Best Treatment for Swimmer's Ear, Physician Panel Says
Eardrops Are Best Treatment for Swimmer's Ear, Physician Panel Says
To treat swimmer's ear, use eardrops. That was the conclusion of a panel of physicians called together by the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation to create medicine's first clinical guidelines for treatment of acute otitis externa, commonly known as swimmer's ear. The new guidelines were published in the April edition of the Academy's medical journal, Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. "The guidelines are necessary because there is a lot of variation in the way swimmer's ear is managed. The particular concern was that oral antibiotics, which are not effective, were being used too frequently, and antibiotic eardrops and other eardrops, which are effective, were being used less often than they should be," explains Dr. Richard M. Rosenfeld with the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center and Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn, N.Y. An otolaryngologist, Rosenfeld chaired the group that created the guidelines.
By Sharon H. Fitzgerald

Gift of Sight Transforms Lives

Seated (left to right) are Valerie Stewart, Director and Cindy Bradley, Administrative Assistant Standing (left to right) are Lynn Duncan, Procurement Coordintior and Yvette Ash, Technical Director.
Gift of Sight Transforms Lives
"Dance as if no one was watching, laugh until it hurts, live each day as if it was your last and enjoy your blessings!" This was Morristown resident Ron Young's favorite saying and the motto by which he lived his life. Sadly, on August 22, 2005, Ron Young passed away at the age of 67, but part of him still lives on. His family's selfless gift of sight has transformed the lives of two people in East Tennessee and Virginia who were suffering from corneal blindness. Lance Corporal James D. McManus (Dusty) was fatally injured in a motor vehicle accident in December 2002. He was a 20-year-old U. S. Marine who had just completed basic training. In the midst of their tragedy, Dusty's family reached out to others and provided sight to two East Tennessee residents, ages 34 and 49. These are just two of many stories of donors and recipients of corneal transplant surgeries made possible by the East Tennessee Lions Eye Bank (ETLEB) located in the University of Tennessee Medical Center. The staff –– consisting of Valerie Stewart, executive director; Yvette Ash, technical director; Lynn Duncan, procurement coordinator; and Cindy Bradley, administrative assistant –– was responsible for processing 335 corneas for transplantation plus tissue from 210 donors during 2004-2005. Most recipients were residents of East Tennessee; however, some of the corneas were exported both nationally and internationally. "That makes for plenty of dreams having come true," says Stewart.
By Bill Morris

Gifts for Doctors Range from Fun to Luxury
This year, luxury retailer Neiman Marcus has the perfect solution for the doctor who wants to get away from it all: a trip to outer space. The journey, which includes pre-flight medical assessments, training, a ride on the Virgin Galactic spaceship roughly 63 miles above sea level and a four-night, after-flight soiree at the private Caribbean island home of Virgin CEO Richard Branson for six, includes an astonishing view of earth and an opportunity to experience weightlessness. Price tag: $1.76 million.
BY LYNNE JETER

Hospice Is Where the Heart Is: Affirming Life at End of Life at St. Mary's

Norma Lindsey, administrator for St. Mary's Residential Hospice (left) and Lisa Collier, hospice director are pictured in front of the Transformation window in the hospice chapel.
Hospice Is Where the Heart Is: Affirming Life at End of Life at St. Mary's
As one drives up the curved driveway of St. Mary's Residential Hospice, no stark institution comes into view. Instead, one finds a homey, ranch-style English cottage with purple and green bushes landscaped around the entire perimeter of the house — a cottage which is St. Mary's Residential Hospice. Norma Lindsey, administrator for St. Mary's Residential Hospice, explains, "In the 1960s, English physician Dame Cicely Saunders pioneered the concept of the hospice, the concept that enhancing quality of life is important for those near the end of life. Saunders established the first hospice in London, England. Therefore, in the late 1990s when St. Mary's Health System decided to build a hospice, it was designed with a welcoming, homey, English theme to it.
RITA H. LEE, PH.D

KAPA Allows Local Physicians to Assist Underserved in Organized Fashion
Nearly 400 Knox County doctors have already signed on to Knoxville Area Project Access (KAPA), a grass roots effort now underway to recruit a network of area healthcare providers committed to treating the community's poor. The movement is rapidly gaining strength. Since late March, the number of participating physicians in the network has more than doubled, from 150 to 379. Within the next year, KAPA plans to double that number to accommodate Knox County's uninsured population of approximately 62,000. "This is such an exciting time for residents of Knox County," said KAPA executive director Kimberly Weaver, PhD.
BY LYNNE JETER

Katrina Yields Tax Breaks for Both Victims and Responders
Katrina Yields Tax Breaks for Both Victims and Responders
In the wake of Katrina�s fury, The President has signed into law the Katrina Emergency Tax Relief Act of 2005. The law provides tax breaks for those directly impacted by hurricane Katrina as well as those who provide contributions and donations. The law applies to all donations to most public charities, even those not directly associated with the relief effort. Donations must be made between August 28th and December 31, 2005. The act also temporarily waives the itemized deduction and percentage-of-income limitations.
by Bill Morris

Local Conditions Tend to Worsen Asthma, Allergies
Local Conditions Tend to Worsen Asthma, Allergies
Every year, Knoxville figures prominently in the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America's annual list of the worst places in the country for asthma. Researchers say that three main categories – prevalence of the disease, risk and medical factors – all play a role in determining where cities land on the list. Some of those factors, like pollution and smoking laws, can be controlled. Others, such as pollen levels, can't. In many ways, though, Knoxville has represented the worst of both worlds. "I think we have a relatively higher pollen level here than other places I've trained and worked," says Dr. Jane Conley, who studied at Northwestern University in Chicago. "A lot of our population lives in subdivisions that have sprung up in the last few years. Up until recently that land was still farmland, surrounded by plants and trees. The geography of the valley has something to do with it, as well." The airflow in the valley, she explains, has a way of trapping pollens in the atmosphere.
By Tracy Staton

MSHA opens new Women’s Digital Imaging Center
Delivering crystal-clear, digitized diagnostic images in a fraction of the time required for analog, Mountain States Health Alliance’s Women’s Digital Imaging Center (WDIC) is ushering radiological diagnosis into the new millennium. The new facility boasts state of the art technology, a highly-trained and board-certified staff of radiologists, convenient and quickly-delivered information for physicians, and a comforting, spa-like environment that minimizes patient stress.
JOHN SEWELL

New Cycle Activates Paralyzed Muscles
New Cycle Activates Paralyzed Muscles
Even after his death, paralyzed actor Christopher Reeve is still contributing to rehabilitation advances. That's according to Dr. John McDonald, who directs the International Center for Spinal Cord Injury at Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore. The latest advance taking advantage of work done with Reeve and others is a breakthrough medical device to help restore motor functions to previously paralyzed muscles. "Part of that concept really bore through with the work that we did with Christopher Reeve, demonstrating that he could recover major function many years out from his injury. That kind of shattered the old myth that most of the recovery is in the first year, and then after that it's finished. It's just not true," says McDonald, who was Reeve's lead neurologist.
BY SHARON H. FITZGERALD

One-Time Health Plan Credentialing Streamlines Cumbersome Process
One-Time Health Plan Credentialing Streamlines Cumbersome Process
Say the words "health plan credentialing" to physicians or their office managers and watch them cringe. Completing the applications to be a provider for multiple health plans is a time-consuming administrative burden, fraught with mind-numbing detail and redundancy. True to its name and mission, the national Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare (CAQH), based in Washington, D.C., has tackled this hassle using a secure, state-of-the-art data center and the Internet. The organization's Universal Credentialing DataSource, launched in 2002, received earlier this summer a statement of support from the American Medical Association and was already endorsed by the American College of Physicians and the American Academy of Family Physicians.
BY SHARON H. FITZGERALD

Orthopaedics …The Next Generation
If you don't ask questions, it's hard to find answers. It may be a simple premise, but it's one that is an underlying force for the Orthopaedic Research Society. An arm of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the ORS numbers around 2,100 members, as compared to 27,000 members in the AAOS.
BY CINDY SANDERS

Philanthropy for Older Adults Drives Big Turnout at Caritas Ball
CHATTANOOGA — The Alexian Brothers of the Southeast Foundation hosted its 20th Annual Caritas Ball at the Chattanoogan Hotel on Saturday evening from 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM. Over 200 were in attendance for the formal event, including Alexian Brothers employees and residents, along with local community and business leaders to help raise money for older adults in the care of the Alexian Brothers in Chattanooga who outlive their financial resources.

Radiology Advances in East Tennessee

Dr. Keith Woodard standing next to Bi-Plane Angiography equipment.
Radiology Advances in East Tennessee
From the beginning of radiology when X-rays were first used to the present, radiology has expanded with new technologies. Furthermore, radiology is used for treatment as well as diagnosis. Some of the new technologies in radiology are: oNoninvasive, vascular imaging oNew treatments for brain aneurysm, strokes, and AVMs o64-Slice Volume CT scanning Noninvasive, vascular imaging There are many different areas of imaging which are parts of the specialty of radiology. The Association of University Radiology, a 17-physician radiology group at the University of Tennessee Medical Center, reflects this diversity with its subspecialty radiologists focused on new advances. "For example, vascular imaging is one area of radiology that has developed major advances in the last 15 years," says Dr. John Snidow, a radiologist with the Association of University Radiology. Snidow explains, "Vascular diagnosis used to always require an invasive and painful procedure. Conventional arteriography and angiography generally involved puncture of an artery with catheterization, usually through the groin, for injection of contrast material (dyes) for X-ray filming of arteries."
BY RITA H. LEE

Researchers Warn Against Prolonged Use of Beta-Agonists
After combing through the collective data of more than 15,000 patients involved in 22 randomized clinical studies, a father-daughter pair of academic researchers concluded that regularly used beta-agonists were linked to a significantly higher mortality rate for patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease compared to the much less commonly used bronchodilators known as anticholinergics.
BY TRACY STATON

SCRI, Accord Scientific Team Up to Bring More Biotech Professionals to Tennessee
Nashville-based Sarah Cannon Research Institute (SCRI) has teamed up with Accord Scientific LLC, a professional placement firm, to help recruit top talent to fill the center's growing biotech needs.
GLORIA BUTLER BALDWIN

SCRI, Accord Scientific Team Up to Bring More Biotech Professionals to Tennessee
Nashville-based Sarah Cannon Research Institute (SCRI) has teamed up with Accord Scientific LLC, a professional placement firm, to help recruit top talent to fill the center's growing biotech needs.
GLORIA BUTLER BALDWIN

Site Chosen for New Mercy Medical Center
Site Chosen for New Mercy Medical Center
President and CEO Debra London announced that the Mercy Health Partners (MHP) Board of Directors has approved a plan to build a new state-of-the-art medical center in the downtown area of Knoxville within the next three to five years.

Tennessee Alliance for Patients Continues Efforts Toward Joint Negotiation Law

Ken Larish, Bone McAllester Norton PLLC
Tennessee Alliance for Patients Continues Efforts Toward Joint Negotiation Law
Some Tennessee physicians continue their deliberate work toward a state law to allow joint negotiation with payers, and one of their objectives is to avoid the pitfalls into which similar organizations in other states have tumbled. "One of the natural questions of the doctors who are seriously considering this is, 'How has this experience worked for doctors in states where this has passed?' Unfortunately, the answer is, 'Not so well,' " says Ken Larish, a Nashville attorney with Bone McAllester Norton PLLC. Larish is the lawyer and spokesman for the group, called the Tennessee Alliance for Patients (TAP). When founded earlier this year, the organization called itself the Tennessee Physician-Patient Alliance, but it has since changed its moniker.
By Sharon H. Fitzgerald

Tennis Therapy Provides Opportunities for Social Growth
When 19-year-old Lauren Best first came in 2004 to Love Tennis, a nonprofit, therapeutic recreational program for special needs individuals, she couldn't rotate her hips, swing and step simultaneously or make solid eye contact. She also had poor motor planning, hand-eye coordination and social interaction skills.
BY HOLLI W. HAYNIE

The Business of Selling Medical Records
Buying and selling certain health information isn't new. Since the 1940s, health information offices (HIOs) have bought prescription records from a variety of sources, including through the claims process by managed care organizations, pharmacy benefit managers, and others, and then linked with physicians listed in the Physician Masterfile of the American Medical Association.
BY GLORIA BUTLER BALDWIN

The Case for Quality
The Case for Quality
Some things are just intuitively known. For example, without surveys or research or data, most involved with the healthcare industry are fully aware of the value of nurses. Without them, we certainly couldn't run our country's clinics and practices and hospitals. And a skilled nursing facility would be … well, just an unskilled facility. However, in the day-to-day operations world of diminishing reimbursements, rising costs and a seemingly unlimited list of capital requests, the spreadsheet value of adding more nurses or changing staff ratios isn't as immediately clear. Can you make a business case for quality? That was the simple question asked by a team of nationally renowned researchers1 who have spent the last several years looking at a host of issues associated with the nursing field. Their latest study, which looks specifically at nurse staffing mixes in hospitals, was published as part of a multi-part series in the January/February 2006 issue of the journal Health Affairs. Coauthor Peter Buerhaus, PhD, RN, the Valere Potter Professor of Nursing and senior associate dean for research at Vanderbilt School of Nursing in Nashville, spoke with Medical News about the team's findings and implications to the bottom line.
by Cindy Sanders

Top Hospitals Fine-Tune Their Approach to IT
Seven years ago, when Hospitals and Health Networks magazine first went looking for the 100 "most wired" hospitals and health systems in the country, the healthcare industry was focused on finding the hard dollars and cents that could be saved with cutting edge information technology. But these days, the emphasis has shifted to a scorecard approach that tries to balance an accountant's calculus on ROI (return on investment) with the improvements in quality and streamlined workflows that deliver important, if harder to measure, returns.
BY JOHN CARROLL

Topping the Charts
For the seventh consecutive year, Parkwest Medical Center in Knoxville has been named one of the nation's top heart hospitals by Solucient®, an independent firm known for its research on healthcare outcomes. For the past eight years, Solucient has analyzed cardiovascular benchmark data from across the United States to create a list honoring hospitals that consistently follow best practices and achieve quality outcomes.
BY CINDY SANDERS

Alert! There's Still Time to Make Your IRA Contribution
Didn't make a contribution to your IRA or Roth IRA for 2006? It's not too late. You have until the deadline for filing your 2006 tax return to make a contribution (this year, April 16, because April 15 falls on a Sunday).
DAVID RECTOR

ASP Services Help Providers Earn Top Dollar
ASP Services Help Providers Earn Top Dollar
"Healthcare is the only industry with contracts where payments are not expected to match invoices." Those are the words of Harriett Flowers, who in 1990 founded Dallas-based Innovative Managed Care Systems (IMaCS) to help hospitals ensure they receive correct reimbursements from managed care organizations and later from government payers, too. The product was originally PC-based, then moved to a server environment. Information technology advances — including common use of the Internet — prompted IMaCS in 1998 to launch MaCS Performance, an ASP (application service provider via the Web) still focused on preventing hospital underpayments. Now IMaCS has introduced a new ASP, MaCS Professional, to do the same thing for medium and large physician groups.
BY SHARON H. FITZGERALD

Associated Therapeutics Celebrates 20 Years in Rehab and Therapy Business
Associated Therapeutics Celebrates 20 Years in Rehab and Therapy Business
Twenty years ago, Tom Kelly and Andy Smith, both physical therapists, started a private physical therapy practice called Associated Therapeutics, Inc. Their practice has steadily grown and developed over the last 20 years. Patients have a diverse spectrum of ailments, which bring them to Associated Therapeutics — from a stroke to orthopedic injuries to disease such as multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy. To treat these different ailments, Associated Therapeutics, Inc. uses its multi-disciplinary expertise. Kelly notes, "During the 20 years we have been practicing, physical therapy has become more specialized." Associated Therapeutics reflects this diversification. The services include physical therapy, aquatic physical therapy, occupational therapy, work conditioning, vocational services, functional capacity evaluations and fitness programs.
BY RITA H. LEE, PHD

Combating Autism Gets Money Boost
Nearly $1 billion has been approved for autism research with the passage of the Combating Autism Act. President George W. Bush signed Senate Bill 843 in December 2006, which was quickly passed by the U.S. Senate. The funds will be distributed through 2011 for autism-related research, early detection and intervention.
BY BILL MORRIS

Combating Autism Gets Money Boost
Nearly $1 billion has been approved for autism research with the passage of the Combating Autism Act. President George W. Bush signed Senate Bill 843 in December 2006, which was quickly passed by the U.S. Senate. The funds will be distributed through 2011 for autism-related research, early detection and intervention.
BY BILL MORRIS

Doctors at War

Dr. Richard Briggs, Colonel US Army Reserve
Doctors at War
Dr. Richard Briggs, Colonel US Army Reserve, recently made a presentation at a meeting of the Knoxville Academy of Medicine with slides and moving pictures of his recent deployment in Afghanistan. The presentation and graphics were detailed and moving, both from a medical perspective and as an insight into the human condition during war. Not only was the military hospital treating wounded soldiers, but also providing medical care to injured civilians, including women and children. The pictures of horrific wounds, both military and civilian, were surreal as Dr. Briggs described the procedures necessary to repair all manner of physical injury. Often, the materials and procedures utilized were improvised on the spot from the pool of knowledge of physicians in the surgical team tempered by supplies at hand.
BY BILL MORRIS

Full Time Pulmonolgy/Intensivits Services Now Offered at Hutcheson
FORT OGLETHORPE, GA — Citizens of Catoosa, Dade and Walker County now have the finest full-time pulmonology services in the region as Hutcheson Medical Center announces the opening of Battlefield Pulmonology Associates, Inc. The opening of the new outpatient clinic is scheduled for March 27, from 4:30 – 6 PM.

Intelligent Design
Even those outside the healthcare industry generally recognize that creating a functional but healing environment is a highly specialized skill … part science, part art. For those actually faced with the task of expanding, renovating or creating a new facility, finding that balance of form and function for a variety of audiences with very different needs, all while staying on budget and without disturbing the flow of care, can be a very daunting prospect indeed.
BY CINDY SANDERS

Knoxville to Progress on Health Information Network with New Grant
Knoxville to Progress on Health Information Network with New Grant
Throughout the nation, communities are working on e-health initiatives to further their informational capabilities. These strategies will ultimately improve patient care and make all medical processes, from diagnosis to billing, more efficient. Knoxville has been a city somewhat ahead of the game, especially in terms of community cooperation and clinical networking. The East Tennessee Health Information Network (etHIN) is a few years old and recognition of its success in unifying the medical community has brought an award in the form of a grant to help launch the establishment of the network. The Patient Safety Institute (PSI) of Plano, Texas won a grant of $985,000 from the Physicians' Foundation for Health Systems Excellence and chose Knoxville as the city to develop the first phase of a self-sustaining regional health information organization (RHIO) in East Tennessee.
By Holli W. Haynie

Life After the Women’s Health Initiative Confusion over HT Remains
Life After the Women’s Health Initiative
Confusion over HT Remains

When the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) trial of estrogen plus progestin was halted based on findings that the combination carried significant health risks that outweighed its benefits, women and healthcare providers around the country were left to navigate menopausal symptom management in a strange new world.
CINDY SANDERS

MGMA CEO Outlines Strategic Plan at Annual Meeting

Dr. William F. Jessee, FACMPE, president and CEO of MGMA
MGMA CEO Outlines Strategic Plan at Annual Meeting
At the end of October, practice managers from around the country gathered in Nashville for the annual meeting of the Medical Group Management Association. Dr. William F. Jessee, FACMPE, president and CEO of MGMA and its certification body, the American College of Medical Practice Executives, delivered his annual report highlighting accomplishments and concerns impacting the membership. Additionally, the physician outlined the six components of the recently completed strategic plan and unveiled the new, unified mission statement for MGMA and ACMPE, which simply states the association will be driven to continually improve the performance of medical group practice professionals and the organizations they represent. Straightforward in content, Jessee said the short mission statement had become the launching pad for all other efforts. "That mission drives our every effort to make a better future than we have today," he said. "It is the beacon from which we built the strategic plan."
BY CINDY SANDERS

New InnerVue System Offers An Inside Look At Body Damage
New InnerVue System Offers An Inside Look At Body Damage
Dr. Kenneth Bramlett has had years of experience trying to gauge the severity of a child's knee injury or an adult's arthritis through an MRI or by using his fingers in a probing clinical examination. But in many cases Dr. Bramlett never got all the information he really wanted for his diagnosis. Now, though, he can look right at the damage. About six months ago, Dr. Bramlett - an orthopaedic surgeon and clinical director of a Southeast orthopedics clinic - began to use Arthrotek's InnerVue Diagnostic Scope System. A 1.9 mm fiberoptic tube - about the size of a surgical needle - can be inserted directly into a knee or shoulder. A tiny camera gives the doctor a crystal clear, digital image of the tissue or bone injury, making it possible to make a visual examination of the damaged area inside the body.
by John Carroll

New Plaque Study Highlights Power of Crestor

Dr. Steven Nissen
New Plaque Study Highlights Power of Crestor
In what many cardiologists are describing as a groundbreaking new study, researchers determined that high doses of the statin Crestor® actually reduce the level of plaque that is responsible for hardening arteries. Over the course of 24 months, 349 patients took 40 milligrams of Crestor (rosuvastatin) a day. At the end of that time, patients taking the statin experienced an average reduction of "bad" low-density lipoprotein (LDLs) of 53 percent and an increase of 15 percent in "good" cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDLs). Most remarkably, patients also experienced a reduction of 7 percent to 9 percent of arterial plaque. "I think this is actually the first study ever to show that a statin actually reduced the atherosclerotic burden," said Dr. David Zhao, director of the cardiac catheterization lab and head of interventional cardiology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. "In the past, many studies demonstrated you could slow progression of the atherosclerotic process, but never showed regression. I think it will have a very significant impact in terms of preventing coronary artery disease. Potentially, someone can slowly regress back."
By John Carroll

New Studies Cast Fresh Light on MS Drugs
Researchers typically focus on the value of new drugs that are being pushed through the pipeline. But a pair of new studies on a 10-year-old therapy for multiple sclerosis is underscoring some hidden long-term gains for patients. Dr. Omar Khan, an associate professor of neurology at Detroit's Wayne State University and a prominent MS expert, has concluded that a new study of Copaxone® (glatiramer acetate injection) shows that the drug — made by Israel's Teva Pharmaceutical Industries — continues to help protect patients after they fail to respond to Avonex®.
BY TRACY STATON

Public Health Benefits of Prescribing Data
According to PhRMA, the gathering of prescribing information is not only needed for research but is also mandated by the FDA, which requires companies to monitor and relay medication information to physicians. · Drug recall. FDA regulations require that pharmaceutical companies notify physicians if a drug is recalled and then monitor the effectiveness of the recall.

Rhea County Medical Center Receives TIPS Award
Located near Chattanooga, the Rhea County Medical Center (RCMC) received a 2006 Tennessee Improving Patient Safety (TIPS) Award in October. The award was presented at the Tennessee Department of Health's Third Annual Patient Safety Symposium. "We've developed an awards program that goes along with the symposium," said Judy Eads, assistant commissioner for Tennessee's Bureau of Health Licensure and Regulation.
BY JOHN SEWELL

Rush Immunotherapy Offers Shortcut to Basic Immunity

Dr. Ty Prince
Rush Immunotherapy Offers Shortcut to Basic Immunity
For most people, basic immunotherapy for allergies involves a lengthy process: two or three visits to the clinic each week for a period stretching over several months. And that's followed by months more of regular visits, with a steadily dwindling series of injections as the protection from the allergy shots gradually builds up over the years to protect a patient. For some people whose schedules just won't allow it, though, there's a shortcut to gaining the maintenance dose: rush immunotherapy, where patients undergo a flurry of injections over a schedule that can stretch from seven to 14 hours. "I did it on myself 10 years ago," says Dr. Ty Prince of the Allergy, Asthma & Sinus Center in Knoxville. "We give the shots about every 10 minutes and go seven to eight hours or 10 to 14 hours if they start having reactions."
By John Carroll

Specialized Alzheimer's Care at Life Care

Garden Terrace Alzheimer's Center of Excellence in Colorado is where specialized programs for Alzheimer's, which are now being used all over the country, were first developed.
Specialized Alzheimer's Care at Life Care
As of 2003, an estimated 4.5 million people in the United States had Alzheimer's disease, according to a report in the August 2003 issue of Archives of Neurology. The report projects that by the year 2050, the number will increase to somewhere between 11.3 and 16 million Americans with Alzheimer's disease. In light of the growing population requiring Alzheimer's care, Life Care Centers of America, which is headquartered in Cleveland, Tenn., has developed specialized programs for Alzheimer's care. Life Care Centers of America, whose facilities include retirement, assisted living, nursing, and home care facilities across the United States, also has facilities throughout East Tennessee including in Maryville, Athens, and Morristown.
RITA H. LEE, PH.D.

Study Highlights Growing Interest in Gainsharing's Potential

John Thomas, Market Strategies, Inc.
Study Highlights Growing Interest in Gainsharing's Potential
With new pay-for-performance bonuses becoming a standard feature in doctors' professional lives, a new report suggests that gainsharing arrangements are likely to grow in importance as the healthcare industry reaches to develop new cost-savings tools in order to rein in soaring expenses. Gainsharing works in simple ways. Hospitals, for example, strike a deal with a device manufacturer to provide incentives to physicians for using their product over the first year. Doctors can share half of the savings offered by standardization. The hospitals can get a better price, and physicians can earn extra money by agreeing to standardize their use. Once blocked by the courts in the late 1990s, gainsharing has been steadily gathering more support over the past year and appears to be headed for a major comeback.
By Tracy Staton

Taking It to Truckers

Officials from Roadside Medical and Pilot Travel Centers gather for a belt-cutting ceremony at the grand opening of the new Roadside Medical Clinic
Taking It to Truckers
Roadside Medical Clinic + Lab opened its second location with a “belt-cutting” ceremony at the Pilot Travel Center in Strawberry Plains, TN. The March 20th opening followed the opening of the first clinic in Cartersville, GA by only a couple of months.
BILL MORRIS

TennCare MCOs Launch Revamped Program in Middle Tennessee
Next Up: East and West Tennessee

Could this be the time TennCare gets it right? Key players in the first phase of an overhaul say the answer is yes. On April 1, two managed care organizations began accepting new enrollees in Middle Tennessee and assumed full financial risk to participate.
SHARON H. FITZGERALD

TennCare MCOs Launch Revamped Program in Middle Tennessee
Next Up: East and West Tennessee

Could this be the time TennCare gets it right? Key players in the first phase of an overhaul say the answer is yes. On April 1, two managed care organizations began accepting new enrollees in Middle Tennessee and assumed full financial risk to participate.
SHARON H. FITZGERALD

Time and Money: Knoxville Firms Help Providers Find More of Each
Time and Money: Knoxville Firms Help Providers Find More of Each
Two Knoxville based businesses providing services to healthcare providers specialize in optimizing the time and revenue for their clients. "Contact Dr. Smith immediately," said Dr. Green. "I need his input on this patient�s care!" The nurse picked up the phone and said, "Dr. Smith please." The call originating in Pennsylvania is directed to a call center in Knoxville, Tenn. at PerfectServe�s offices. The server instantly follows a predefined call path for the requested physician and routes the message to either office, home or cell phone. The nurse has the option of sending e-mail alerts and text messages.
by Bill Morris

Top 10 Southern Holiday Retreats for Doctors
Traveling during the holidays with family and friends is becoming as much a tradition as fruitcake, eggnog and brightly wrapped gifts. If you're looking for somewhere new to celebrate, consider these prized holiday getaways that cater to physicians and their families.
BY LYNNE JETER

Using Technology to Support the Art of Medicine
Covenant Health Systems and Laughlin Memorial Hospital were the only East Tennessee hospitals to make the Hospital and Health Networks "Most Wired" list. Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville was the only other Tennessee hospital to make the prestigious list of the top 100 technologically advanced hospitals and health systems.
BY BILL MORRIS

Wired
For the eighth year, Hospitals & Health Networks has named the 100 Most Wired Hospitals and Health Systems in their July issue. Hospitals were asked to report on how they use information technology to address five key areas: safety and quality, customer service, business processes, workforce, and public health and safety.

Zimmer Knee Replacement Procedure Provides "Custom Fit" Option
Innovations in the design and fitting of replacement knees have allowed area orthopedic surgeons the ability to "custom fit" knee replacement apparatus to each patient. Zimmer® knee replacement surgery, a new technique which takes gender differences into account, is delivering great results as orthopedic surgeons continue to hone their art.
BY JOHN SEWELL

Access and Education a Key to Mental Health

Ben Harrington
Access and Education a Key to Mental Health
A few weeks ago, a "Mental Health Matters in the Workplace" workshop was held in Knoxville to help employers learn how to identify symptoms of mental illnesses, to know how to move employees into treatment, and to recognize that mental healthcare can ultimately make better, cost-effective employees. This is just one example of many workshops that the Mental Health Association of East Tennessee provides to help educate the public about mental health. "Two-thirds of people in Tennessee have mental illnesses which have not been identified. Part of our job is to try to reach the at-risk population through education. For example, in addition to various educational workshops, we do free screenings for depression and anxiety. We also help people better recognize symptoms of mental illness in themselves or in their family members," says Ben Harrington, Executive Director of Mental Health Association of East Tennessee (MHAET).
BY RITA H. LEE

Baptist Opens First Women's Hospital in East Tennessee
Baptist Opens First Women's Hospital in East Tennessee
Baptist Hospital for Women opened up in July 2003 in Knoxville and is the first women's hospital in East Tennessee. The Hospital for Women centralizes women's health services in one location — including medical, surgical, diagnostic, and labor and delivery services. Another aspect of Baptist Hospital for Women is that they address the holistic health of the female patients — not just physical but also mental and spiritual, through a supportive environment, educational programs and spa services. "Our hospital has both inpatient and outpatient services for women, and our staff is trained to work specifically with women," states Martha Chill, senior vice president and administrator of Baptist Hospital for Women and Baptist Hospital West. While Baptist Hospital for Women and Baptist Hospital West are located in adjacent buildings on the Baptist West Campus, Baptist Hospital for Women has its own separate entrance.
BY RITA H. LEE

Community-wide Task Force Focuses on Helping the Uninsured

Dr. Jack Lacey
Community-wide Task Force Focuses on Helping the Uninsured
The healthcare communities of Knox and Blount Counties are collaborating on a unique initiative to provide medical care to the uninsured. Hospitals and healthcare systems that were once competitors, and are still on some level, are putting aside their differences and working together on what is being called the Task Force on the Uninsured. Task Force Chair, Dr. Jack Lacey of the University of Tennessee Medical Center, answered these questions about the newly formed task force and its goals.
BY KATHY WHITNEY

Energy Crises and Disasters Spur a Rethinking of Hospital Backup Systems
In the Midwest, a searing summer heat wave caused blackouts in Missouri. In Florida, officials wonder when the next big series of hurricanes will crisscross the state. In New Orleans, officials are far from clearing up all the damage from Hurricane Katrina a year after the devastating storm hit the coast. In Queens, tens of thousands of people went for more than a week without electricity in a scorching hot July. And in California, recent rolling blackouts are a fresh reminder of the massive energy crunch that afflicted the state just a few years ago.
BY JOHN CARROLL

Hospital Construction Booming Statewide
Hospital construction is booming in Tennessee. Wellmont Health System is in the midst of 31 projects. In addition, Greeneville will soon add a hospital to its system. The largest Wellmont project is at Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, which is undergoing 160,000 square feet of renovations and new construction. Construction will be done using 10 principles recommended in a 1999 Institute of Medicine report, "To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System."
BY GLORIA BUTLER BALDWIN

Legal Matters: What the 12 are Told
"All right, ladies and gentlemen. It is now my duty to instruct you on the law that applies to this case and it is your duty as jurors to follow these instructions of law and apply them to the facts that you find to be established by the evidence." You are sitting with your defense counsel and your worst nightmare as a doctor is coming to an end, perhaps.
Gary G. Spangler

LIFE FORCE 1, 2 and 3 Make First Simultaneous Landing at Baroness Campus
CHATTANOOGA — On Monday, February 26, two weeks after LIFE FORCE 3 officially began transporting patients, LIFE FORCE 1, 2, and 3 made their first simultaneous patient landing at the Baroness Campus within minutes of each other.

Navigating the HIPAA Labyrinth
What is HIPAA? What impact does the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) have on the medical community? What are the advantages and disadvantages of this law? How can the medical community adhere to the HIPAA guidelines and still serve its patients in a timely manner? Does it prohibit access to medical information that otherwise could serve consumers in a positive way? What are the loopholes in the law? These and other questions have been challenging many practitioners since HIPAA went into effect.
CARL RAUS

Physicians Caught in Crosshairs of Business Practices
It's a new world. Gone are the glory days when that white coat signified the doctor knew best about how to treat his patients and his business. Because of outside corporate and government interferences, the profession has undergone dramatic changes. Physicians are now caught in the cross hairs between managed care, insurance companies, pharmacy benefit mangers and pharmaceutical representatives trying to tell them how to run their business, how many prescriptions to write, and how to treat patients. Even patients are getting more demanding.
BY GLORIA BUTLER BALDWIN

Securing Practices Against HIPAA's Bite
The final enforcement rule for HIPAA went into effect on March 16, and many physicians and their practices may be wondering what, if any, are the repercussions for how they conduct their business. After all, if a practice has taken care to follow the HIPAA requirements thus far, is there really a need to do anything more?
JOHN M. HAYS

Sink or Swim … America's Age Wave on the Horizon

Paul J. Williams
Sink or Swim … America's Age Wave on the Horizon
Those demanding Baby Boomers … they impact, change and challenge the system at every lifestage. In the 60s they were outspoken in their criticism of the government. By the 90s, they'd elected the first president from their own generation. In 2020, they are fully capable of again raising their voices, in a loud protest if the system isn't prepared to offer the array of senior services and lifestyle options, they are sure to demand. In truth, the industry is already getting a taste of what Boomers will expect for themselves as members of the nation's largest generation are now reviewing housing and service options on behalf of their parents.
CINDY SANDERS

St. Mary's Starts Computerized Physician Order Entry
St. Mary's Starts Computerized Physician Order Entry
St. Mary's Medical Center has installed its first phase of computerized physician order entry (CPOE). Last September, three OB/GYN physicians at St. Mary's started using the digitized physician order entry. The next step St. Mary's is taking is to equip the entire OB/GYN department with CPOE. The ultimate goal is that by 2006, the entire St. Mary's Medical Center complex will have CPOE. The digital physician order entry helps increase the safety of patients. Trish McDaniel, Senior VP and Chief Nursing Officer for St. Mary's, borrows an analogy used by Dr. Leonard Brabson, one of the active forces behind making sure CPOE runs smoothly at St. Mary's. McDaniel says, "Using CPOE is like putting a child in a child car seat. Sure, it takes a few more moments to buckle the child up, but in the end, it's worth it. Likewise, it takes time to learn how to do the CPOE, and to enter the orders into the computer, but in the end it's worth it."
BY RITA H. LEE, PHD

Tennessee: The Current State of Medical Liability Reform
As a new General Assembly convenes in Nashville, the Tennessee Medical Association (TMA) wants each legislator to have information about an issue of paramount importance to the health of our state and its citizens. We need physicians and patients to carry our message to Capitol Hill.
BY DR. F. MICHAEL MINCH

Tennessee: The Current State of Medical Liability Reform
As a new General Assembly convenes in Nashville, the Tennessee Medical Association (TMA) wants each legislator to have information about an issue of paramount importance to the health of our state and its citizens. We need physicians and patients to carry our message to Capitol Hill.
BY DR. F. MICHAEL MINCH

The Bottom Line
Employee salaries and benefits can comprise over 60 percent of your practice's overhead. Are all of your employees contributing to the success of your practice, or are marginal employees hurting both the productivity and morale in your practice? Team building in a medical practice setting is probably more important than in any other business. Staffers must interact with patients and other staff on a regular basis. Often, staff members must fill in or cover for other employees that are on vacation or simply overwhelmed with spikes in work load. Any friction or animosity is quickly sensed by patients and employees alike and creates a negative, less than optimal atmosphere.
By Bill Morris

The Bottom Line
"Medical Practice Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection" is what the headline proclaimed. Not many months before, I had spoken with the physician about his billing policies. I noted that I was not asked for payment at time of service. Not even my co-pay.
Bill Morris

UT Medical Center Celebrates 50 Years of Service to the Region
Despite hauling the physical contents of their entire medical careers in suitcases, the nurses walked with an extra bounce in their step as they descended the flight of steps, all sporting smiles, on that hot summer day in Knoxville. August 9, 1956, was far more than a routine day at Knoxville General Hospital, it was the beginning of a new era for medical care in the Knoxville region.

UT Medical Center’s NICU Offers Family-Centered CarePositive Outcomes from State-of-the-Art Private Rooms

Butterfly Cove is an area in the NICU at UT Medical Center where babies have private, state-of-the-art rooms.
UT Medical Center’s NICU Offers Family-Centered Care
Positive Outcomes from State-of-the-Art Private Rooms

Imagine spending weeks in a room with ambient lighting, noise reducing floors, and ceilings and individualized humidity and temperature controls. While that may sound like luxury to a healthy adult, it means so much more to infants who are born sick or premature. To those infants, all of these amenities could mean the difference between life and death, or, at the very least, a shorter hospital stay.
STACY FENTRESS

Advocating for the Mentally Ill

Ralph J. Ibson
Advocating for the Mentally Ill
Last month, Ralph J. Ibson, vice president for government affairs for the National Mental Health Association (NMHA), listened as Dr. Larke Huang, PhD, outlined key issues and findings on the state of mental health in America during a Congressional Briefing (see sidebar on page 18). Huang, who had served as one of the commissioners appointed by President George W. Bush to the New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, rolled out disturbing statistic after disturbing statistic on the number of Americans who suffer from a mental or emotional disorder and the nation's response to these individuals.
by Cindy Sanders

CareSpark Advocates EMRs, Other Technologies to Improve Health Outcomes
In the Appalachian section of East Tennessee, doctors have long been accustomed to seeing some of the worst rates of disease in the country. But while public health here has often lagged far behind other regions, the yawning gap between the best and the worst has helped fuel a pioneering effort to promote the use of new health information technologies.
BY JOHN CARROLL

E.coli Outbreak Prompts Renewed Focus on Disease Surveillance and Reporting Procedures
With the recent outbreak of E.coli, physicians are reminded once again about the importance of disease surveillance and reporting. Without it, the outbreak would never have been uncovered and more sickness and possible death might have resulted. As soon as E.coli was suspected, Dr. Tim Jones, deputy state epidemiologist with the Tennessee Department of Health, immediately issued a warning to Tennesseans not to eat fresh spinach or fresh spinach products.
BY GLORIA BUTLER BALDWIN

Fight Over Specialty Hospitals Continues
For Cirrus Health in Dallas, a three-year federal moratorium directed at specialty hospitals has given them time to work on some long-range planning. "To be honest," says Cirrus spokesperson Tracy Edwards, "we've been laying the foundation for physician-owned hospitals during the moratorium. With it ending, of course, it just opens up the opportunities."
BY JOHN CARROLL

Fight Over Specialty Hospitals Continues
For Cirrus Health in Dallas, a three-year federal moratorium directed at specialty hospitals has given them time to work on some long-range planning. "To be honest," says Cirrus spokesperson Tracy Edwards, "we've been laying the foundation for physician-owned hospitals during the moratorium. With it ending, of course, it just opens up the opportunities."
BY JOHN CARROLL

Former Intel Chief Says Healthcare Business has Much to Learn from IT

Andy Grove
Former Intel Chief Says Healthcare Business has Much to Learn from IT
Over the years, Andy Grove has learned a thing or two about efficiency and development. As the head of the global chip maker Intel, he helped guide a company through a monstrous growth phase while earning a reputation for unparalleled technological advancement. So when Grove, recently retired as chairman of Intel, turned his eyes to the healthcare industry recently, he admitted to some frustration with its shortcomings. In a piece written for the Journal of the American Medical Association, Grove spelled out the comparisons between a business he helped shape and a healthcare field that seems to be a permanent laggard in the area of innovation.
BY JOHN CARROLL

Healthcare Providers Capitalize on GOZA Incentives
Mississippi healthcare providers are capitalizing on benefits provided by the Gulf Opportunity Zone Act (GOZA) of 2005, passed by Congress eight months ago to supply significant economic incentives to rebuild the Gulf Coast and to attract new investments to the affected areas. "In general, incentives that can best be utilized by the medical community include the fact that GO Zone bonus depreciation will make it less costly for a medical group to expand or build a new clinic building or to purchase expensive diagnostic equipment," said Paul Varner, leader of the tax group at Butler Snow O'Mara Stevens & Cannada, PLLC.
BY LYNNE JETER

Holston Valley Medical Staff Elects Officers
KINGSPORT — The medical staff of Holston Valley Medical Center has elected new officers, with Dr. Doug Strickland taking over as president and Dr. Steven Butler being installed as vice president. Dr. Mark Carver is the new secretary-treasurer.

MEDIC Regional Blood Center Celebrates Five Decades of Service

Jim Decker, executive director of MEDIC (left) and Randy Lowe, board chairman, unveil a plaque in honor of MEDIC founder Dr. Carl Nelson during the recent Founder’s Day celebration.
MEDIC Regional Blood Center Celebrates Five Decades of Service
A lot of things can change in 50 years. But as MEDIC Regional Blood Center looks back on five decades of serving East Tennessee, one thing remains the same–its mission to provide life-saving products to patients in need.
SCOTT BROOKS

Medical Care that's Personal and Private

Social workers may be sent out to assess the home health situation.
Medical Care that's Personal and Private
As the baby boomers approach senior status the questions of medical care assume a larger importance as a part of daily living. The insurance industry has responded with a plethora of Long Term Care insurance policies targeted at the population in their 50s and early 60s. Some insurance statistics suggest that one in four seniors will serve an average of 18 months in a long term care facility. For a generation raised on personal freedom, this is unacceptable. Home health agencies have been provided in home medical care for well over 50 years. As the boomers age, more and more will be turning to home health agencies to provide care in the privacy of their own home rather than go to an assisted living facility or moving in with relatives.
BILL MORRIS

Older Driver Safety
The U. S. Census Bureau projects that the number of Americans age 65 and older will grow from 35 million today to more than 62 million by 2025, nearly an 80 percent increase. In addition, the National Institute on Aging (NIA) projects the number of people age 85 and older, currently the fastest growing segment of the older population, could exceed 10 million.
BY HOLLI W. HAYNIE

Staging an Intervention
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In healthcare circles, you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who disagreed with this well-known admonition. However, effectively implementing preventative measures continues to be a sticking point in America's medical system. Today's practice climate finds providers working their way through heavy caseloads each day. Most insurers also have restrictions on the number of preventative visits allowed in any given year, and many adults simply don't visit their practitioner unless there is an acute issue.
BY CINDY SANDERS

The Bottom Line
Raise your hand if you have a marketing plan and budget for your practice. A unique, 30-second or less statement about what you do? An advertising tagline (i.e., GE: "We bring good things to life." Okay, maybe that's not the best example for healthcare.)? If you answered 'no' to these, you're not alone.
Chuck Morris

The Bottom Line: Special Plans for Special Needs
Raising any child requires the wisdom of Solomon, the patience of Job, boundless energy, an unsinkable sense of humor, and tons of unconditional love. Maintaining the balance between your other needs and those of a special needs child is difficult at best.
BY BILL MORRIS

The Bottom Line: Special Plans for Special Needs
Raising any child requires the wisdom of Solomon, the patience of Job, boundless energy, an unsinkable sense of humor, and tons of unconditional love. Maintaining the balance between your other needs and those of a special needs child is difficult at best.
BY BILL MORRIS

To Take or Not to Take Hormone Therapy

Dr. Kathleen Edmunds
To Take or Not to Take Hormone Therapy
Hormone replacement therapy, or Hormone Therapy (HT), is an FDA-approved treatment used to provide significant relief from many symptoms of menopause. Hormone therapy consists of two main types of therapy — a combination of estrogen and progesterone (usually synthetic forms of both) or just estrogen alone — which are used to supplement a woman's body when it stops producing these hormones during menopause. There are many factors to consider when the decision to take or not to take hormone therapy is made, including the type of therapy — combination (estrogen-progesterone) or estrogen alone — the length of therapy, the dosage amount, and previous medical history and risk factors.
BY RITA H. LEE

Using VistA to Improve Hospital and Practice Management
While you may have heard of the Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA), what you may not know is that enterprising companies are taking the highly successful clinical information technology system and adapting it for use by their healthcare clients. Offering cost-savings and efficiencies, use of the VistA model outside government in both hospitals and physician practices might even be a significant step toward uniform electronic health records, experts say.
BY SHARON H. FITZGERALD

Utilization of Health Information Exchanges

Shared Health Continues to Forge Ahead

Imagine one of your patients is on vacation and becomes ill. She goes to the emergency room and sees a physician she has never seen before. She can't remember all of the medications she's supposed to take, or all of the diagnoses you have made. The emergency room physician is forced to work with incomplete (and potentially incorrect) information from your patient...
STACY FENTRESS



Dr. Rebecka Peebles, Stanford University adolescent medicine specialist (left) and Jenny Wilson, Stanford medical student.

Physicians who treat patients with anorexia or bulimia face a sinister obstacle in the form of Web sites that promote eating disorders as a lifestyle choice. These painfully thin patients, mostly young women, look to these sites for validation — and they get it, according to a California doctor who has studied their impact. "These Web sites are founded on the mistaken belief that eating disorders are not a disease, but a way of life," says Dr. Rebecka Peebles, a Stanford University adolescent medicine specialist. Peebles and Jenny Wilson, a Stanford medical student, presented their research on the subject at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies in Washington, D.C., in May.
by Sharon H. Fitzgerald

'Breathe' Walk-a-Thon & Kick Butts Day in Big Stone Gap
BIG STONE GAP — Students and families are invited to join thousands of people nationwide in local events aimed at helping kids become leaders in the effort to stop youth tobacco use. Kick Butts Day and the 'Breathe' Walk-a-Thon will be held on Saturday, March 31, 2007, at Bullitt Park. The events hope to draw dozens of area youth and their families to participate.

Baptist Eye Surgeons Offer Leading-edge Cataract Treatment
As one of the leading innovators of cataract technology in the area for the past 20 years, Baptist Eye Surgeons is pleased to announce that it is implanting the new generation of intraocular lenses (IOLs) for treatment of cataracts.

Controversy Rages over Non-consent Trial for Blood Substitutes
Officials at the Inova Regional Trauma Center have long supported research into a new blood substitute that could take the place of human blood. But late in July, they threw in the towel on their plans to help host a non-consent trial for PolyHeme®, a blood substitute in late-stage studies by Northfield Laboratories.
BY JOHN CARROLL

Emergency Departments Around the Nation Look to Holston Valley as an Example of ER Success
In the past year, more than 90 percent of the 75,000 patients who visited Holston Valley Medical Center's emergency department were seen by a physician or nurse practitioner within 40 minutes. As a result, the ER's patient satisfaction scores have skyrocketed more than 30 percent to the 97th percentile nationwide.

Erlanger "Kids Count" Support Program Featured in Book for Parents with Cancer
Erlanger's "Kids Count" support program for children of parents with cancer, is prominently featured in an updated version of the ground-breaking book, "Helping Your Children Cope With Your Cancer." Endorsed by Lance Armstrong and the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the book was written by Peter van Dernoot, whose wife was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer when their children were 11 and 15.

ETSU Welcomes Inaugural College of Pharmacy Students
Last month, Gov. Phil Bredesen and state higher education leaders celebrated the opening of East Tennessee State University's (ETSU) College of Pharmacy — Tennessee's second pharmacy school and the first one based in East Tennessee — by welcoming the first class of pharmacy students to the Johnson City campus and presenting them with a white coat. Classes began on Jan. 16 for the 72 students who enrolled in the university's new pharmacy program, which Bredesen publicly endorsed on March 17, 2005.
BY LYNNE JETER

Genentech Touts Major Gains in Cancer Fight
Every year, tens of thousands of the world's top cancer experts are brought together by the American Society of Clinical Oncologists to delve into the nitty-gritty world of clinical trial data and the never-ending search to find a better tool to fight the world's toughest killer. And each year, one of the drug developers touting their new pharmaceuticals walks away with the unofficial title of cancer drug champion as the reporters who cover the scene shine their spotlight on the greatest triumphs of the past 12 months.
by John Carroll

Knowledge of HRAs Goes a Long Way Towards Small Group's Savings

Eric Haralson
Knowledge of HRAs Goes a Long Way Towards Small Group's Savings
As the marketing teams for the insurance providers gear up to promote the benefits of HSAs and HRAs combined with HDHPs to reduce insurance premiums, the small practices with no group health plans may wonder if there are any benefits to be had for them. Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRA) do provide for pretax payments of health costs for employees. And the combination with a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) can provide significant premium reductions for employees and employers alike. But, what if your employer does not provide group health benefits? Eric Haralson, Administrator of Appalachian Therapy in Maryville, asked himself that same question. Appalachian has not provided group health for it's employees since it began as a small business that could not afford coverage. "Most of our employees have coverage through their spouse," Haralson said. "To initiate a group plan now is next to impossible due to participation thresholds, the risk of double digit premium increases, or the risk of reduced benefits." The question was "can we establish an HRA/HSA as a cost-controllable benefit?"
BY BILL MORRIS

Legal Update
On June 29, 2006, the Tennessee Supreme Court issued an opinion in Alsip v. Johnson City Medical Center, a medical malpractice case. At issue was the ruling of the trial court that granted limited permission to defense counsel to conduct ex parte interviews of plaintiff's non-party treating physicians.

Making Sense of Accounting for Dollars and Cents
For patients and physicians alike, billing — and all that goes with it — can be a complex affair. For all that, though, there are some basic concepts that can be applied and continually refined to help ensure that physicians collect their hard-earned money efficiently.
BY JOHN M. HAYS

Mid-Career Burnout in Physicians Prevalent, Yet Preventable
One day when Dr. Steve Gabbe was taking a break while attending a science conference, he wasn't terribly surprised to hear a half dozen colleagues sharing their frustrations about work, but he was deeply concerned to hear them sound so pessimistic about the future.
LYNNE JETER

Researchers Find Doctors Turning to Handhelds for Bigger Load of E-Prescribing
Researchers Find Doctors Turning to Handhelds for Bigger Load of E-Prescribing
If you want to find the physicians most likely to use the latest handheld technologies for writing prescriptions, you need to start by looking for the doctors with the most to gain. "It's really the busy physicians that are writing a lot of prescriptions that are most likely to embrace technology," says Erika Fishman, an analyst for Manhattan Research. A new survey by Manhattan Research concluded that the doctors who tap electronic prescribing software on their PDAs blaze through an average of 42 more prescriptions per week than those who stick with their desktop software. It's a small crowd, says Fishman, amounting to only about 80,000 doctors that use their PDAs to order drugs for patients. But it's growing fast, up about 300 percent in just the past year, according to Fishman.
BY TRACY STATON

Shipley Named Director of HVMC Lung Center
Ann Shipley has been named director of the lung center at Holston Valley Medical Center. Shipley is a graduate of Virginia Intermont College, Bristol, Va., where she received a bachelor's degree in management and leadership. She earned a diploma in respiratory care at Mountain Empire Community College in Big Stone Gap, Va., and an associate's degree in respiratory care from Roane State Community College in Harriman.

Siemens' Acquisition of CTI Creates Value for Medical Research in Eastern Tennessee
Siemens' Acquisition of CTI Creates Value for Medical Research in Eastern Tennessee
The 17-year relationship of Siemens and CTI that led to the acquisition of CTI by Siemens continues to benefit the East Tennessee region as well as worldwide medical research. In 1987 Siemens recognized the potential of CTI's technology as the leader in PET scanner development. Siemens entered into a joint venture with CTI for one half of their scanner business. They actually acquired 49.9 percent of the stock from the four founders of CTI. The business continued to be managed by CTI. A provision of the partnership allowed for Siemens to acquire 100 percent of the stock when CTI shipped approximately 1000 scanners. As CTI approached the 1000 mark, slated for 2006, Siemens expressed an interest in acquiring the entire company. Earlier this year the purchase was completed for approximately 1.1 billion dollars.
BILL MORRIS

Tennessee Nurses Take Issues to Capitol Hill

Nursing students pack the War Memorial Auditorium in Nashville for the annual Tennessee Nurses Association Legislative Summit in April.
Tennessee Nurses Take Issues to Capitol Hill
“Tennessee’s nurses have always had a strong voice — not only for your profession, but for your patients as well. As caregivers and advocates, you are influential forces in the healthcare landscape in Tennessee. You are all here to make those voices heard on issues that affect the nursing profession … today is the day to make your priorities known.”
SHARON H. FITZGERALD

UT Medical Center Therapist Earns Highest Certification
Carolyn Pendergast, an occupational therapist at The University of Tennessee Medical Center, recently achieved the distinguished designation as a Certified Hand Therapist from the Hand Therapy Certification Commission (HTTC).

Asthma Prevalence Rates and Employer-Paid Costs: Implications for Employers and Physicians
Asthma is a major concern for employers. Research out of Harvard Medical School has shown that asthmatics have absenteeism and "presenteeism" (impaired while at work) rates in excess of other, healthier employees.
By ADAM LONG, PhD

Attacking Bad Debt
To help alleviate bad debt problems, Nashville, Tenn.-based Affiliated Creditors, Inc. (ACI), a 20-year-old collection firm specializing in healthcare for the last quarter-century, has incorporated a collections program into its practice that has won accolades from healthcare providers.
BY LYNNE JETER

Bredesen Pushes for Long-Term Care Reform for TennCare Recipients

Gov. Phil Bredesen at a recent Long Term Healthcare Roundtable.
Bredesen Pushes for Long-Term Care Reform for TennCare Recipients
In a tight budget year, Governor Phil Bredesen has declared the need to set priorities. For Tennessee’s chief executive, his 2008 streamlined agenda places heavy emphasis on continuing education initiatives and implementing fundamental change to the state’s long-term care system.
CINDY SANDERS

Chancellor's Award Presented to Wellmont Health System and Holston Valley Medical Center Officials
Kingsport — Officials of Wellmont Health System and Holston Valley Medical Center were recognized here Wednesday for sustained financial support of the licensed practical nursing program at the Tennessee Technology Center at Elizabethton.

ETSU Has New IVF and Assisted Reproduction Program
ETSU Physicians and Associates – OB/GYN has announced a major expansion of its fertility program to include in vitro fertilization (IVF) and a number of other assisted reproductive services.

Frontier Health's Developmental Disabilities Services Designated a Three-Star Agency
Frontier Health's Tennessee Division of Developmental Disabilities services received a Three-Star Designation by the Tennessee Division of Mental Retardation Services for agency performance regarding quality management of services and client support. Deputy Commissioner Stephen H. Norris recognized Frontier Health during a recent state tour.

Health Savings Accounts: A Two-Edged Sword for Medical Practices
Cariten Healthcare announced its newest products recently at its twentieth anniversary celebration. The products bundle high-deductible health insurance with either a Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) or a Health Savings Account (HSA). There is no doubt that we will all be bombarded by similar plans from all health insurance companies in the coming months. Let's take a look at these two new consumer options.
BY BILL MORRIS

Hutcheson Elects New Board Chairman
FORT OGLETHORPE, GA — Hutcheson Medical Center, Inc. recently announced the election of Stan Porter as Chairman of the Board for 2007-2008. Lori Emerson, MD, will serve as the board's immediate past chair after serving as board chairwoman for the past three years.

Hutcheson Opens Diabetes and Thyroid Treatment Center
Hutcheson Medical Center announces the opening of The Diabetes and Thyroid Treatment Center. The state-of-the-art treatment center will offer a full range of endocrine services including treating diabetes, thyroid, pituitary and adrenal disorders, and will be under the medical direction of Endocrinologist, Dianne C. Roland, MD, FACE.

Local Healthcare Execs Collaborate to Establish LPC
Local healthcare executives have collaborated to establish a local program council (LPC) of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), an international professional society of 30,000 healthcare executives who lead our nation's hospitals, healthcare systems and other healthcare organizations.

New Wellness Center in Med Tech Park Opens
With a building full of members on exercise machines and a crowd outside its front doors, the new Mountain States Health Alliance (MSHA) Wellness Center was officially opened recently inside Med Tech Park in Johnson City.

Physician Spotlight: Dr. John Bell
Mammograms in the parking lot? If that's what it takes to get vital pieces of the healthcare puzzle put together in rural communities, then the University of Tennessee Medical Center Cancer Institute's director, Dr. John Bell, is willing to park a mobile mammogram unit right in the church parking lot as part of the Breast Health Outreach Program (BHOP) that he initiated in 1996.
BY KELLY PRICE

Select Specialty Hospitals of Knoxville Offer Highly Specialized Pulmonary Program
Each year, thousands of Americans lose one of the most basic functions of the human body: the ability to breathe. This is typically the result of underlying pulmonary disease, pneumonia or other infectious processes according to Dr. Walter Zibas, Medical Director at Select Specialty Hospital.

Study Shows Seniors Often Shun Prescription Drugs

Meghan Gerety, M.D.
Study Shows Seniors Often Shun Prescription Drugs
America's seniors often avoid taking the drugs that are prescribed for them, either because they can't afford it or they don't feel they need to, according to a detailed analysis of the feedback gathered by Medicare. And those seniors who do take drugs as their doctor suggests often take a complex variety of pharmaceuticals that are often prescribed by more than one doctor and are frequently filled in different pharmacies. The researchers paint a complex picture of seniors who often appear deeply confused by the drugs that they're on, the potential for harmful interactions as well as anxiety over who picks up the tab. And the three groups that conducted the analysis - the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Commonwealth Fund and Tufts-New England Medical Center - say that the data also presents some clear challenges to Medicare as it rolls out a new prescription benefit plan in January.
by Tracy Staton

Tennessee Supreme Court Strikes Down Physician Non-Competition Agreements

Walter Schuler The Bogatin Law Firm
Tennessee Supreme Court Strikes Down Physician Non-Competition Agreements
The recent opinion issued on June 29, 2005 by the Tennessee Supreme Court in the case of Murfreesboro Medical Clinic versus Dr. David Udom has set off a firestorm, creating a wake of unanswered questions for both physicians and medical groups. At issue in this case is the enforceability of non-compete agreements between a physician and his former employer. During 2002 and 2003, both the trial court and the Court of Appeals concluded that the non-compete agreement was enforceable, however, the Court of Appeals remanded the case to the trial court for further determinations with respect to the agreement's "buy-out" provision.
KAREN OTTMAYER

The Answer in Black and White

Dr. Steven Harms is pictured here with his RODEO MRI behind him.
The Answer in Black and White
Any woman who's ever had a mammography will cheer the work of Dr. Steven Harms at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. His new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique to detect breast cancer does not require the tissue compression necessary for traditional mammography. No more squashing the breast with an unforgiving plate of Plexiglass. Developed by Massachusetts-based Aurora Imaging Technology Inc., the dedicated MRI machine is designed specifically for breast imaging and is contoured for the patient to lie face down. The breasts are suspended away from the chest wall — without compression — in a cushioned device which contains the signal transmitters and receivers for the radio frequencies. Harms' RODEO MRI method is at use in nine medical facilities across the country with an onslaught of additional sites expected in the next year. The first site was in Knoxville, Tenn.
by Sharon H. Fitzgerald

The Bottom Line Happy Knew Year!
Carlos Ponzi, Joseph Taylor, and Jon E. Hankins. These are the names of three self-proclaimed investment entrepreneurs who cost their clients millions of dollars. Carlos Ponzi operated in New York and Europe; Taylor and Hankins were "good ole boys" from Knoxville. Greed is the lubricant that greases the wheels of any con or swindle. P.T. Barnum said, "There's a sucker born every minute."
by Bill Morris

UT-ORNL Joint Institute for Biological Sciences Appoints Director
Dr. Gary S. Sayler, Beaman Distinguished Professor of Microbiology, and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Tennessee, has been appointed the first director of the University of Tennessee-Oak Ridge National Laboratory Joint Institute for Biological Sciences. Sayler received a doctoral degree in bacteriology and biochemistry in 1974 from the University of Idaho.

Adventist and Wellmont to Jointly Operate Takoma Adventist Hospital
Adventist Health System and Wellmont Health System have reached an agreement to share ownership of Takoma Adventist Hospital, a partnership that will enhance community health care for the people of Greene County.

AMA's "House Call" Encouraging Physicians to Act Against Medicare Reimbursement Cuts

Dr. John C. Nelson (right) is pictured with Dr. Charles R. Handorf .
AMA's "House Call" Encouraging Physicians to Act Against Medicare Reimbursement Cuts
Editors Note: Medical News Papers Inc. has worked to provide physicians with detailed information about the impending Medicare reimbursement cuts slated to begin January 2006. Some physicians were regretfully prepared to significantly cut or no longer accept new Medicare patients, causing a severe access problem for seniors, but there is hope to stop these cuts. On August 15, Dr. John C. Nelson, an obstetrician and immediate past president of the American Medical Association, made a Tennessee "House Call" urging the state to support federal legislation that would not only stop the 26 percent reimbursement cuts from 2006 through 2011, but also replace the formula by which these reimbursements are decided, the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR).
BY HOLLI W. HAYNIE

Asking for Drugs by Name Can Drive Prescriptions — Even When They're Not Needed

Mary Frank, M.D.
Asking for Drugs by Name Can Drive Prescriptions — Even When They're Not Needed
Medical experts and drug companies have argued for years over the effects direct-to-consumer advertising has had on patients. But a new study has brought the argument over DTC advertising back to the front burner. Researchers sent groups of white, middle-aged actresses to 152 primary care physicians' offices describing similar symptoms of event-induced - also known as transient — depression brought on by divorce and the loss of a job. One of the groups asked about the anti-depressant Paxil, another group asked about antidepressants in general and the third didn't mention drugs. And even though anti-depressants are not believed to be effective in treating event-induced depression, more than half of the actresses asking for Paxil by name obtained prescriptions for either that drug or another anti-depressant. Thirty-nine percent of the group asking about drugs in general obtained a prescription and only 10 percent of the control group complaining of the same condition without asking about drugs walked away with a prescription.
BY TRACY STATON

Ben Scharfstein to be Honored with Spirit Award
JOHNSON CITY — Johnson City businessman and philanthropist Ben Scharfstein received the Spirit Award from the Mountain States Foundation at the Spirit Gala "Under the Sea" recently at the Centre at Millennium Park .

Berry Named THA Senior V.P. of Government Affairs
Beth Berry has been named senior vice president of government affairs at the Tennessee Hospital Association (THA).

Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is commonly used to treat menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, mood swings, sleep disorders, decreased libido, and an increased risk of fractures due to osteoporosis. Hormones used in HRT include estrogen and progestin (a synthetic progesterone).
STEVE LANE, PHARMD
PERRY RIPPLE, PHARMD

Connecting with Insurers in Real Time
Ask physicians in an independent practice to identify their biggest frustrations, and they will inevitably include "insurance compliance and paperwork" on the list. Checking patient eligibility, submitting clean claims and then waiting for payment all take valuable time and cost big dollars.
BY SHARON H. FITZGERALD

JCMC Again Recognized as East Tennessee's Top Heart Hospital
JOHNSON CITY — For the sixth consecutive year, a national independent healthcare firm has recognized Johnson City Medical Center (JCMC) as one of the top heart hospitals in the country.

Marty Runyan Achieves ASTD Certification
Marty Runyan, an organizational development professional with Wellmont Health System, has been recognized by the American Society for Training and Development as a certified professional in learning and performance. To achieve certification, Runyan completed a two-part process that included a knowledge test and comprehensive work product. Certification provides a means for workplace learning and performance professionals to prove their value and knowledge of the field.

MEDIC Regional Blood Center Announces Director
Jim Decker has been named Executive Director of MEDIC Regional Blood Center.

MSHA Director Appointed to State Consortium
Lori Hamilton, RN, Director of the Mountain States Health Alliance (MSHA) Health Resources Center (HRC) and the MSHA Diabetes Program, the City of Johnson City Diabetes Awareness Program and the Community Diabetes Education Program at the HRC, will now also serve in a volunteer position with the newly formed Diabetes Consortium

Pill Cam Gives Physicians a Close-Up View of The Human Body
Pill Cam Gives Physicians a Close-Up View of The Human Body
The PillCam has been revved up to speed diagnostics and broaden its uses among gastroenterologists. Introduced by Israel-based Given Imaging, the pill-sized device includes a miniature video camera that is swallowed by a patient and then returned to a physician after it passes through their gastrointestinal system. During its journey through the small bowel, the device takes 15 to 25 picture frames a second — about 55,000 altogether — which can be downloaded later and reviewed by the physician to diagnose abnormalities like Crohn's disease, Celiac disease and tumors. The PillCam was approved for use in the U.S. by the Food and Drug Administration as an "adjunctive" tool in 2001 and OK'd for primary diagnosis use in 2003.
by Tracy Staton

Researchers Zero in on New Therapies to Fight Diabetes Epidemic

Deanna Aftab-Guy, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Researchers Zero in on New Therapies to Fight Diabetes Epidemic
Confronted by an epidemic of new diabetes cases, researchers have been beavering away at finding new therapies to control the disease. According to the American Diabetes Association, there are some 18 million diabetics in the United States, and that number is growing at about 7 percent a year. And there are few places where the growth rate is faster than in the South, where a tradition of fatty foods and poor exercise habits has created a prime breeding ground for new cases. The cost is high. Treating Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes costs about $92 billion a year, which makes diabetes an "as yet unexploited" field for drug companies, notes WR Hambrecht analyst Andrew Forman.
JOHN CARROLL

St. Mary's Surgeon Wins THA Award
Richard M. Briggs, MD, a surgeon at St. Mary's Medical Center, won the Tennessee Hospital Association's 2006 Healthcare Hero Award, which was presented at the THA's annual meeting in Nashville recently.

The Bottom Line
The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA) opened a five year window on Roth 401(k) contributions as of January 1, 2006. A Roth 401(k) allows individuals to allocate all or a portion of their employee salary deferrals to their retirement plan as an after-tax contribution. This allows high-income individuals and owner-only businesses an enhanced opportunity to build a tax-free retirement nest egg.

Wellmont Health System Selects CliniComp Essentris in OB and NICU Settings
CliniComp, Intl., a leading provider of clinical information solutions, recently announced that Wellmont Health System of Kingsport, Tenn., has selected the Essentris™ Perinatal information system at two of its facilities. Implementation is under way in the OB departments of Bristol Regional Medical Center and Holston Valley Medical Center and will later take place in support of perinatal/neonatal intensive care units (NICU) in the health system.

Crockett Prosthetics and Orthotics Labs Celebrates Opening
Crockett Prosthetics and Orthotics Labs celebrated the opening of their new facility at 4503 Walker Boulevard with a day of Las Vegas style gaming on Friday, June 23rd. The Knox Area Chamber Partnership started the day with ribbon cutting at 11am.

Desserts for the Delicate Hit Sweet Spot for Preemie Awareness
Several local restaurants and establishments teamed up with the University of Tennessee Medical Center and the March of Dimes for two very sweet reasons: to taste delicious desserts and raise awareness about premature births.

Doctors Say New Report Cards Force Them to Turn Away Sickest Patients

Dr. Mauro Moscucci, University of Michigan
Doctors Say New Report Cards Force Them to Turn Away Sickest Patients
Throughout the country, new report cards grading how effectively physicians are taking care of their patients are becoming increasingly popular. In theory, giving doctors grades will help the public choose better doctors and encourage physicians to practice better medicine. But a new study suggests that the trend may have just the opposite effect than what was intended, with more and more docs deciding to steer clear of the sickest patients who may contribute to a bad grade.
JOHN CARROLL

Dr. Aaron Bussey Joins BMH Acitive Medical Staff
Endocrinologist Dr. Aaron Bussey has joined Blount Memorial's active medical staff. He will see patients at the Endocrinology Consultants of East Tennessee's office located at 250 Blount Memorial Physician OfficeBuilding in Maryville. Bussey received a bachelor's degree from Austin College in Sherman, Texas in 1990. In 1997, Bussey earned his medical degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Medical School.

Fort Sanders Regional Welcomes New VP
Chad J. Brown joins Fort Sanders Medical Center as Vice President of Operations. He comes to Fort Sanders from Hendersonville Medical Center where he was Chief Operating Officer.

IPMC Senior Chaplain Earns Board-certified Status
The senior chaplain at Indian Path Medical Center (IPMC) in Kingsport has completed requirements for certification as a board-certified chaplain.

Legal Matters
President George W. Bush has made national tort reform a very high priority. He has asked Congress to pass medical malpractice tort reform and put caps on pain and suffering awards. The current Senate Majority Leader, Bill Frist (R-Tenn), has also made it very clear that he strongly supports tort reform.
BY JAMES H. LONDON

Martin Earns Onocology Certification
NORTON, VA. — April Martin has earned certification as an oncology nurse. Martin, a registered nurse at Wellmont Health System's Southwest Virginia Regional Cancer Center, demonstrated practice in cancer care and passed a training course and written exam to achieve certification.

ORNL's Zinkle Receives E.O. Lawrence Award
OAK RIDGE — Oak Ridge National Laboratory researcher Steven J. Zinkle has been named a winner of the Department of Energy's Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award, which honors midcareer scientists and engineers for exceptional contributions in research and development.

Tennessee Turns to Turnkey Patient Assistance Program for Drugs
Tennessee Turns to Turnkey Patient Assistance Program for Drugs
For tens of thousands of patients who have lost their drug benefits under TennCare, the only realistic way they can avoid any sudden lapse in their drug regimens may be a state bridge program set up to help low-income residents tap into drug manufacturers' Patient Assistance Programs. The state has contracted with Missouri-based Express Scripts (ESI) for a $57 million plan, and thousands of Tennesseans have wasted no time in accessing it for free or discounted generic drugs. "As of (August 5) we have had just over 8,047 patients order from RX Outreach with an average of 2.9 scripts per order, each for a 90-day supply," wrote Lola Potter, spokesperson for the Department of Finance and Administration, which oversees TennCare, in an e-mail reply to Medical News. "So, we've delivered over 23,000 prescriptions for a 90-day supply. We have also now processed over 8,360 claims on the discount card."
BY TRACY STATON

Using Technology to Take Some Cost Out of Your Practice
As each year goes by, the healthcare industry sees more regulation and red tape, increases in malpractice insurance costs, and reductions in insurance reimbursements. There’s not much that can be done with any of these, so that leaves the only avenue for costs savings in the practice itself. My associates and I regularly visit practices and see that there is a lot of cost that can be taken out of the practice with no effects on the quality of service provided.
ALLAN WALTERS

Vandy Receives Funds for Preemie Research
The BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation has donated a four-year, $2.48 million grant to Vanderbilt for research on how to prevent premature births. The Tennessee Department of Health reports the death rate for premature babies was 44.7 per 1,000, compared to 3.0 per 1,000 for normal gestation babies, in 2004.
BY GLORIA BUTLER BALDWIN

Wings Air Rescue Opens Mew Base in Jenkins, Kentucky
Mountain States Health Alliance (MSHA) has opened a third base of operations for Wings Air Rescue, this one just outside Jenkins.

Administrator's Corner: Randy V. Galler, 2009 KMGMA President | Randy V. Galler, Knoxville Pediatrics Associates, Knoxville MGMA, Medical Group Management Association, Tennessee Medical Association, TMA Practice Management Quality Committee, Phil Bredesen
Administrator's Corner: Randy V. Galler, 2009 KMGMA President
"Blessed are the peacemakers," from the Sermon on the Mount, are applicable words to describe Randy V. Galler's management philosophy. Described by many of his co-workers as a peacemaker, Galler, assistant administrator for Knoxville Pediatric Associates, P.C. (KPA), does consider himself blessed, with a loving wife of 34 years, three "fine" sons, and a fulfilling career in healthcare administration.
BRIDGET GARLAND

Administrator's Corner: Sheena Agee, President, Johnson City MGMA
Administrator's Corner: Sheena Agee, President, Johnson City MGMA
Most healthcare professionals will tell you they got into the industry to make a difference in people's lives. Often, however, when they move into administration that ability to make a daily impact on someone can be lost in the shuffle of budget meetings, purchase decisions and the like...
JOE MORRIS

Administrator’s Corner | Dee Dee Regan, University Health System, University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine, KAMGMA, practice administration
Administrator’s Corner

Dee Dee Regan

Dee Dee Regan certainly found the ideal career path as a practice administrator at University Health System in Knoxville, and she got there by taking the path less traveled.


BRAD LIFFORD

Administrator’s Corner: Donald L. Lee
Administrator’s Corner: Donald L. Lee
With over 20 years in ambulatory healthcare, Don Lee’s administrative experience has provided many diverse challenges and exciting opportunities. Incorporating his “Do the right thing” personal philosophy, Lee believes that communication is the crucial leadership element in his role.
LEIGH ANNE W. HOOVER

Alzheimer's Association Recognizes UTMC Physician
Hospitalist Elisa Jane LaFountain, D.O., specialist in internal medicine, has joined the staff of East Tennessee Medical Group. As a hospitalist, Dr. LaFountain specializes in hospital-based medicine and can provide continuous care for ETMG's hospital patients.

Blount Memorial Business Health

New name, expanded service from 25-year provider

To help East Tennessee businesses and industries take a proactive approach toward employee health, Blount Memorial Occupational Health recently expanded its health offerings under an updated name, Blount Memorial Business Health. Although the service began in 1983, the name changed in 2007 to reflect its current occupational health offerings.
STAN GIBERT

CareSpark Goes Live in the Tri-Cities | Liesa Jenkins, CareSpark
CareSpark Goes Live in the Tri-Cities
After several years of effort and collaboration, a project aimed at linking medical records from different physician offices, hospitals, pharmacies and other healthcare providers into one secure network has become a reality. "Hundreds of people have worked very hard to reach this goal because of the dramatic impact it will have to improve healthcare and outcomes for the people of this area," said Liesa Jenkins, Executive Director of CareSpark, the regional health information exchange organization.

Chattanooga Grand Rounds August

Children's Hospital Embarks on Campaign
Children's Hospital has embarked on a Capital/Endowment campaign to raise $10 million. The campaign focuses on raising funds for the Hospital's recently completed three-year, $31.8 million construction/renovation project and for endowment funds to support patient care and educational programs.

Compliant Checkup = Clean Colon
Gastrointestinal Associates, PC (GIA) in Knoxville performs 900–1000 colonoscopies per month screening patients for risk of colon cancer. As important for detecting initial evidence of a propensity for colon cancer, the follow-up procedure for patients identified with a risk for colon cancer is a vital component for monitoring colon health...
BILL MORRIS

Dr. Ron Lee to Provide Flow Cytometric Analysis at MPLN
Ron Lee, MD, board certified in anatomic and clinical pathology and hematopathology by the American Board of Pathology, has joined Molecular Pathology Laboratory Network, Inc. (MPLN) to provide flow cytometric analysis and interpretation.

Dr. Testerman Named HVMC Truama Director
Dr. George Testerman, a board-certified trauma surgeon, has been named director of trauma services for Holston Valley Medical Center. Dr. Testerman received his medical degree from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Memphis and recently earned a master's degree in business administration from King College in Bristol.

East Tennessee CME Events

Erlanger Forms New Partnership with UT College of Medicine and UTC

A New Definition of "Triage"

University students carrying a full load of classes — and books — often keep to a daunting schedule that demands stamina and a healthy lifestyle. Adding to that the financial pressures of working to support themselves and their families creates a true formula for fatigue and illness. Unfortunately, good health is the area that many students ignore as they trudge through each day. Staying healthy and fit in the midst of these pressures is a challenge for even the most stalwart college student.
CARL RAUS

Erlanger Partnership Paves The Wayfor Surgical Safety

Craig A. Becker, TN Hospital Association President, at left, along with Dr. Joe Cofer of University Surgical Associates and the TN Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, right, accepted a $2.5 million grant from Vicky Gregg, CEO of BCBS of TN
Erlanger Partnership Paves The Way
for Surgical Safety

Perhaps one of the greatest fears that patients face is the prospect of surgery—not the procedure itself, but rather, the potential risks and complications that may arise as a result of surgical interventions. Much about the topic has been sensationalized by the media. Patients hear stories about foreign objects being left inside the body, virulent infections, and other factors that can lead to death, all a result of even the most non-invasive procedures. These events do occur, and even though the incidence is relatively small, it is an area of medicine which commands a great deal of attention.
CARL RAUS

Government Tracks Soaring Demand for Bariatric Surgery
Government Tracks Soaring Demand for Bariatric Surgery
For a growing number of morbidly obese Americans, the most effective tool for fast weight loss is a scalpel. As bariatric surgery becomes increasingly safer, a growing number of obese Americans are turning to surgeons for a quick victory in the fight against fat. And in a new report, analysts say that demand for weight-loss surgery has the potential to increase at an even faster pace in the years to come. After examining the available data from 1998 to 2002, researchers at Health and Human Service's Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality determined that the number of bariatric surgeries in the United States soared from 13,386 a year to 71,733. A big part of that increase resulted from a 900 percent rise in operations for patients 55 to 64.
BY JOHN CARROLL

Grand Rounds Chattanooga December

Grand Rounds Knoxville January

Grand Rounds Tri-Cities December

Heart-Lung-Vascular Conference Planned for Primary Care Physicians
A CME conference, Heart, Lung, Vascular: Advances & Basics for the Primary Care Provider, set for Sept. 22-23, 2006, University of Tennessee Conference Center, Knoxville, Tennessee, will give physicians, physician assistants, nurses and allied health professionals sound knowledge of the basics of cardiology and pulmonary information as well as the most recent advances in the field.

Keeping Seniors on Their Feet
Keeping Seniors on Their Feet
They happen to children all the time. Ice skaters and hockey players learn the proper way to execute them. And comedians use them to get a laugh … but there’s nothing funny about falling for millions of Americans over the age of 65...
CINDY SANDERS

Medicare Audits: Monday Morning Quarterbacks
Can Medicare deny a claim after payment is made? Yes. Post-payment review of Medicare claims and the resulting overpayments can cause extreme financial hardship for providers, practitioners and suppliers. Two different review programs have unique attributes. Both can result in overpayments followed by collection letters and high interest rates.
DIANA GUSTIN

Memorial Hospital Named One of the Nation's Top 100 Cardiovascular Hospitals
The 2006 Solucient study announced that Memorial Hospital is once again among the Top 100 hospitals that are setting benchmark levels of excellence for cardiovascular services across the nation. Memorial is the only hospital in the Chattanooga area to receive this honor.

Moral Medicine
Health Professional's Most Basic Right Due to an aging population and changes in practice patterns, Americans may be 150,000 doctors short by 2025 if predictions hold up. It may be much worse than that if those who want to strip physicians of their healthcare right of conscience are successful. A recent survey of physicians revealed that 95% of doctors, nurses and pharmacists who consider their religious views important to them would quit medicine before violating their deeply held moral beliefs.
By DAVID STEVENS, MD, MA (Ethics), CEO Christian Medical & Dental Association

Norton, Dickenson Hospitals Join MSHA Family
Norton Community Hospital and Dickenson Community Hospital officials announced today an agreement for their Southwest Virginia facilities to join the 11-member Mountain States Health Alliance (MSHA) not-for-profit healthcare system based in Johnson City, Tenn.

November Grand Rounds - Tri-Cities

Physician Spotlight:  Jerry Buchanan, PhD | Jerry Buchanan, James H. Quillen Veteran's Affairs Medical Center
Physician Spotlight: Jerry Buchanan, PhD
Weaving has played a large role in the life of Jerry Buchanan, PhD. After finishing his education at the University of Southern Mississippi, Buchanan moved back to this region at the request of his wife, who wanted to study weaving and fiber works at East Tennessee State University. In this way, weaving brought Buchanan to the psychology department at the James H. Quillen Veteran's Affairs Medical Center and back to a region he calls home. But, weaving also seems to have influenced Buchanan in other ways.
MELISSA BRIGHT

Physician Spotlight: Ronald Hamdy, MD
Physician Spotlight: Ronald Hamdy, MD
In medicine and life, experience is priceless. With his hometown in Alexandria, Egypt, British nationality, and postgraduate study in London, Ronald Hamdy, MD, possesses a broad spectrum of experiences and cultural contact that have driven his professional life and taught him invaluable lessons...
MELISSA BRIGHT

Physician Spotlight: Tom Wooldridge, MD | Tom Wooldridge, Mountain Empire Radiology
Physician Spotlight: Tom Wooldridge, MD
Many of his colleagues call him "the rocket scientist," but Tom Wooldridge, MD, just laughs about his nickname, "People who aren't in the field call aerospace engineers rocket scientists, but only a small number of us work on rockets. I've worked on a small piece of a rocket, but it's a huge project."...
BRIDGET GARLAND

Physician to Physician: Teletrauma: The Role of Technology in Surgical Emergencies
In rural areas of the United States, the ability to obtain timely, specialist-rendered healthcare for patients is still a pressing concern.
Patrick L. Bosarge, MD, FACS

Popping that Soda | Arkansas Surgeon General, Joe Thompson, Arkansas Soda Pop Tax, Proposed National Soda Pop Tax, New England Journal of Medicine, Florida Hospital, Sherry Flynt, 	Obesity Focus
Popping that Soda
Controversy Swirls over National Proposed Soda Tax
The New England Journal of Medicine article, "The Public Health and Economic Benefits of Taxing Sugar-Sweetened Beverages," caught the attention of New York Times reporters, who gave the assessment positive ink and launched a public debate about the proposed national soda pop tax when it was published Sept. 16.
LYNNE JETER

St. Mary's Commitment to Quality Receives National Recognition
St. Mary's Medical Center received the highest, five-star rating in 15 different medical categories in the largest annual study of hospital quality in America by Health Grades, the nation's leading provider of independent hospital ratings.

Taking Heart
Taking Heart

Local Funding Group Helps Move Research to Market

With $1.5 million in seed money and promising early results, an ORNL scientist is looking to radically change the way damaged hearts are treated...
JOE MORRIS

Tales from the EHR Trenches

Implementing Your Investment

Once you’ve purchased your product, it’s time for your team to begin building your system.
QUILLEN ETSU PHYSICIANS EHR TEAM

The Bottom Line: Cash is King — Again
The Fed has stopped raising rates for now. Who knows if the next move will be up or down? Certainly there are varying opinions. What we do know is that short term money rates are the highest they have been in years.
by Bill Morris

Upright MRI: Cutting-edge Technology at Briston Regional
BRISTOL — Upright MRI, a cutting-edge magnetic resonance imaging machine that allows patients to sit upright or stand while they are being scanned, recently became available to patients at Bristol Regional.

Administrator's Corner: Joe Davis
Administrator's Corner: Joe Davis
When Joe Davis stepped on the property for the new Cancer Center in Abingdon, VA, memories of growing up in Sioux City, Iowa, were not far from his mind. With nothing more than cattle, coyote, and crop fields, a blank slate lay before him, an opportunity he considers as once-in-a-lifetime. Davis, the cancer service administrator for Johnston Memorial Hospital, first arrived in Abingdon a little over three years ago, with extensive experience as an administrator.
BRIDGET GARLAND

Avon Foundation Breast Care Fund Awards Awareness Grant to UT Medical Center's Breast Health Outreach Program
KNOXVILLE — The Avon Foundation Breast Care Fund has awarded a $54,000 one-year grant to the Breast Health Outreach Program at The University of Tennessee Medical Center Cancer Institute to increase awareness of the life-saving benefits of early detection of breast cancer. It is the 6th consecutive year that the program has received Avon Foundation funding to support its work on this important health issue, and in recognition of the excellence of the program.

Blount Memorial Welcomes Dr. Jonathan Greene
Blount Memorial Hospital and the Blount Memorial Family Care Centers welcome family medicine physician Dr. Jonathan Greene who now is seeing patients at the Blount Memorial Family Care Center at Foothills.

Come Run With Us! 13th Annual BUDDY'S Race Against Cancer
Grab your buddies and join thousands of East Tennesseans who will gather together Sunday, Nov. 12, at World's Fair Park to participate in Thompson Cancer Survival Center's 13th Annual BUDDY'S Race Against Cancer 5K Walk 'n Run. A 1-Mile Kids Run and a Walk in the Park will also be part of this year's festivities.

Dr. Stephen Combs Named VPMA at Holston Valley
Dr. Stephen Combs has been named vice president of medical affairs at Holston Valley Medical Center.

Erlanger Auxiliary Makes $100,000 Donation to TCTCH Foundation
The Erlanger Auxiliary recently made a generous donation of $100,000 to T.C. Thompson Children's Hospital at Erlanger, with the sizeable gift going a long way toward the upcoming purchase of a new fluoroscope for the Pediatric Radiology Department.

Federation of Families Offers Family Training
The challenge to raise a child can be difficult for any family, but when you're a parent of a child with unique needs the challenge becomes even greater. Federation of Families is offering a series of training sessions on Empowering and Supporting the Family for families in Lee, Scott, and Wise Counties and the City of Norton.

HCMH Partners with Physicians
Hawkins County Memorial Hospital has partnered with two regional physicians' groups to expand the scope of services offered to patients. Joining Dr. Stephen Wilson of Rogersville Medical Associates in providing surgical services at the hospital are the five surgeons of UT Surgical Associates in Morristown. In addition, the University of Tennessee Medical Center radiology department will begin providing radiology services for the facility.

Memorial Hospital receives Approval for Helipad
Memorial Hospital has installed a helipad and received approval from the State of Tennessee Department of Transportation, Aeronautics Division to provide access to air ambulances for the purpose of transporting cardiac patients requiring emergency care to the area's only Top 100 Heart Hospital.

Recently Approved AIR2 Clinical Trial Begins at Baptist Hospital West
Baptist Hospital West in Knoxville is the only site in Tennessee administering an FDA approved trial to treat Asthma, a serious health issue that affects over 20 million people in the United States alone. Currently the only treatment for Asthma is medication and there is no cure. AIR2 (Asthma Interventional Research) will explore a new outpatient investigational procedure called Bronchial Thermoplasty™ to treat asthma. This minimally invasive procedure reduces the amount of airway smooth muscle that is responsible for the constriction of airways in Asthma patients.

Vonderau Joins Hovis Orthopaedic Clinic
Peter E. Vonderau, MD, has joined the medical practice of Hovis Orthopaedic Clinic. Vonderau is a physiatrist (physician who specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation).

Administrator’s Corner: Charles Stewart
Administrator’s Corner: Charles Stewart
When Charles Stewart first signed on as president and CEO of Hutcheson Medical Center, he had his work cut out for him. The community hospital was struggling with a six-million dollar loss for the year when Stewart arrived on the scene. Since then, his hard work and dedication have produced incredible results. Within nineteen months, Hutcheson was performing in the black for the first time in several years.
STEVE QUINDRY

Bradley Memorial and Cleveland Community form Sky Ridge Medical Center
Bradley Memorial and Cleveland Community Hospitals have come together to form SkyRidge Medical Center

Dr. James Stafford Joins Vista Radiology
James Marshall Stafford, MD has joined the staff of Vista Radiology, P.C.

East Tennessee Medical Group "Makes Waves" in Blount County
East Tennessee Medical Group's community outreach program, "Making Waves" has made a big splash with Blount County community philanthropies, recognized for the largest team participating in the May 13 March of Dimes' WalkAmerica, the second largest team at the May 6 Arthritis Foundation's Arthritis Walk, and multiple teams at the June 9 Relay for Life event.

Erlanger Health System CEO Named to the Tennessee Hospital Association Board of Directors
CHATTANOOGA — Erlanger Health System President & CEO Jim Brexler is serving as the Chattanooga district representative to the Tennessee Hospital Association's board of directors.

Ribbon-cutting Held for New Pediatric Center at Children's Hospital
The new Vance-Stafford General Pediatric Center at T.C. Thompson Children's Hospital was officially unveiled on Saturday, Oct. 28, at 6 pm with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and reception.

UTMC Earns Accreditation for Cardiosvascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation
The Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation programs at the University of Tennessee Medical Center recently earned national accreditation from the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR).

Cathey Joins Center for Women's and Children's Health at UTMC
The Center for Women and Children's Health at the University of Tennessee Medical Center recently hired Lorene Cathey as nurse manager of the hospital's mother and baby unit.

Chaltry Joins Parkwest Medical Staff
CHATTANOOGA — Felix Chaltry, DO recently joined Internal Medicine West at Parkwest Medical Center. He completed his residency at the University of Tennessee , Memphis and is Board Certified in Internal Medicine.

Dr. Malcolm Mathews III, Achieves Recertification
Dr. Malcolm "Mack" Mathews III, a board-certified hematologist and medical oncologist, has achieved recertification as a diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine in medical oncology. In addition to his recertification, Dr. Mathews was recently elected to fellowship status with the American College of Physicians.

Earley Promoted at UTMC
The University of Tennessee Medical Center recently promoted Heath Earley, RN, BSN, as nurse manager of pediatrics, pediatric intensive care and women's surgery in the Center for Women and Children's Health at the hospital.

MSHA's Heart Program Head Wins THA Award
For her efforts in building one of the nation's top 100 heart programs while bringing together numerous competing cardiovascular practices, the Tennessee Hospital Association (THA) has named Mountain States Health Alliance's (MSHA) Cindy Salyer the winner of the 2006 Meritorious Service Award for a Department Head.

New Hope for Non-Healing Wounds
Those who battle chronic wounds can now find hope and return to an active lifestyle thanks to The Center for Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine at Jellico Community Hospital.

The Headache Center at East Tennessee Medical Group Opens
Patients suffering from chronic headaches can now be seen at The Headache Center at East Tennessee Medical Group, a new ETMG service at 266 Joule St., Alcoa, Tenn.

Franks to Co-chair Accrediting Body
Dr. Ronald D. Franks, Dean of Medicine and Vice President for Health Affairs at East Tennessee State University, has been named co-chair of the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME).

Japanese Hospital Officials Visit JCMC
Japanese officials with one of the largest hospitals in Tokyo took a tour of Johnson City Medical Center (JCMC) recently to learn more about the hospital's electronic medical records system and medication administration check practices as well as its Patient-Centered Care philosophy.

Life Force 3 Flight Nurses Ready for Duty
A new force is headed to North Georgia. Erlanger, the region's Level III trauma center, is adding LIFE FORCE 3 to its air ambulance fleet. The new critical-care-in-the-air ambulance will soon be headed to its Calhoun, Georgia base.

Parkwest Honored by THA for Workforce Development
Parkwest Medical Center has been recognized by the Tennessee Hospital Association (THA) for its long-term growth plan for an employee base of nurses and allied health professionals.

Parkwest Receives ACR Accreditation
CHATTANOOGA — Parkwest Medical Center Imaging was recently awarded a 99 out of a possible 100 score; resulting in a three-year term of accreditation from the American College of Radiology (ACR) in the fields of OB, Gynecological, General, and Vascular Ultrasound Services.

St. Mary's Welcomes Three New Doctors
St. Mary's Health System President and CEO Debra London announced today that three physicians have recently joined the active medical staff at St. Mary's Medical Center.

Thompson Cancer Survival Center Receives 5-Stars
Thompson Cancer Survival Center was recently named by Professional Research Consultants as a 2006 5-Star Healthcare Facility in Outpatient Services for its Comprehensive Breast Center, Radiation Oncology, and PET services at an awards luncheon held at Rothchild's on Aug. 30.

Wellmont Foundation Board Elects New Officers
The Wellmont Foundation board of governors has elected new officers. John Williams, chief executive officer of the Regional Eye Center in Kingsport, has been elected chairman. Serving as vice chairman is Thomas McGlothlin. Tariq Zaidi and Christopher Correnti were elected to serve as secretary and treasurer, respectively. Erin Downs is immediate past chairwoman of the board of governors.

Westmoreland Opens Murfreesboro Surgical Specialists
M. Wayne Westmoreland, MD, is proud to announce the opening of Murfreesboro Surgical Specialists, PLLC. Westmoreland, a board certified surgeon, has practiced surgery in Murfreesboro for over twenty years.

Wilcox Joins UTMC
Alyssa Wilcox recently joined the development department at the University of Tennessee Medical Center as director of major gifts.

Alexian Village Chief Executive Elected to Board
SIGNAL MOUNTAIN, TN — Jeffrey Ott, President and Chief Executive Officer of Alexian Village of Tennessee, has been elected to the board of directors of the Tennessee Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (TNAHSA), it was recently announced.

Berry Named THA Senior Vice President of Government Affairs
Beth Berry has been named senior vice president of government affairs at the Tennessee Hospital Association (THA).

Bristol Regional Earns Recognition for Organ Donation Rate
Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will present Johnson City Medical Center (JCMC) with a Medal of Honor award from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) at the HRSA 2ndAnnual National Learning Congress in New Orleans next month.

Bristol Regional Medical Staff Elects Officers
Dr. Nelson Gwaltney, a board-certified surgeon with Bristol Surgical Associates, has been elected president of the Bristol Regional Medical Center medical staff for 2006-2007.

Driscoll Named Director of Women's and Children's Services
Laureen Driscoll has been named Director of Women's and Children's Services for Mountain States Health Alliance (MSHA).

Durand Joines BMH Active Medical Staff
Board-certified rheumatologist Dr. Charles Durand has joined Blount Memorial's active medical staff.

NCAA Men's Basketball Trophy Visits UT Medical Center
Visitors and staff at the University of Tennessee Medical Center got a special up close look at a $30,000 Waterford Crystal trophy that men's college hoops squads around the country are hoping to soon lay claim to.

North Side Hospital Opens Wound Center
An increasing aging population was the deciding factor in establishing an innovative and first-of-its-kind department at North Side Hospital (NSH).

OB/GYN Utilizes Clinical Experience with Business Education
OB/GYN Utilizes Clinical Experience with Business Education

To Build Disposable Instruments Company

In every outpatient clinic and hospital, there are issues that go unnoticed or ignored. Physicians identify potential problems but are too busy to effectively resolve the issue or do not have the necessary resources. Such was the case for James Patterson, MD, who identified medical instrument sterilization as an issue that is expensive, time consuming, and error-prone.
MEREDITH HULETTE

Sorenson VRS now available through Communication Center for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing
Frontier Health's Communication Center for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing is taking another step to assist people who are deaf or hard of hearing by now offering a video telephone service, or Sorenson Video Relay Service. Sorenson VRS is available for use at the CCDHH office, 2243 Eddie Williams Drive, Johnson City. Using this video telephone service, a person who is deaf or hard of hearing can communicate with another Sorenson VRS user via sign language.

St. Mary's Outreach Program Wins Award
St. Mary's Health System's Community Services Department has earned the Southeastern Association of Area Agencies on Aging's 2006 Outstanding Community Service Award for its outreach program assisting senior citizens enrolling in the new Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Benefit Program.

Bernard Promoted at UTMC
The University of Tennessee Medical Center recently promoted Haley Bernard, BSN, as nurse manager of the Medical/Interventional Cardiology unit in the Heart Lung Vascular Institute.

JCMC Nurse speaks at TTC Pinning Ceremony
Summer Hopson, a registered nurse in RN, and Shift Leader of 2600 (the Cardiac Care Intensive Care Unit, or ICU) at Johnson City Medical Center (JCMC), recently spoke at the pinning ceremony for approximately 40 licensed practical nurse students at Tennessee Technology Center (TTC) in Elizabethton on "What Being a Nurse Really Means."

Siskin Hospital Rebounders Wrap Season
CHATTANOOGA — Siskin Hospital Rebounders Division II wheelchair basketball team wraps up a terrific season. The team provides wheelchair athletes with the opportunity for competitive play with others in similar situations. For more information, visit SiskinRehab.org or call 423-634-1214.

Hutcheson Creates Chief Quality Officer Position
FORT OGLETHORPE, GA — Charles L. Stewart, President and CEO of Hutcheson Medical Center, announced to the Hutcheson Medical Center, Inc., Board of Directors recently, that he selected Carol L. Courtney, MSN, RN, CPHQ, to fill a newly created position of Chief Quality Officer at the hospital.

TNA Announces New Executive Director
The Tennessee Nurses Association (TNA) announced July 17 that Sharon Adkins, MSN, RN, is the new executive director for the organization.

Allergy Specialists Opens Office
Allergy Specialists of Knoxville has opened an office in the Baptist Physicians Plaza, Suite 202, at Baptist Hospital West. Their clinic will be open for appointments and shots every Friday from 8:15 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Baroness Erlanger Foundation Honors Drs. Thomas Currey and Phillip Burns
CHATTANOOGA — On Saturday, February 3, the Baroness Erlanger Foundation honored Drs. Thomas Currey and Phillip Burns during their annual Distinguished Physician Brunch at the Chattanooga Golf and Country Club.

Ainge Joins Vista Radiology
Hawaii native George R. Ainge, MD, will join Vista Radiology P.C., working remotely from his Big Island office while improving Vista's turnaround time, efficiency and patient service.

Douglass Named President of Holston Valley
KINGSPORT — Blaine Douglas, who has served as interim president of Holston Valley Medical Center since April 2006, has been appointed to that position permanently.

Administrator's Corner: Debbie Fogle | Debbie Fogle, The Wellness Center
Administrator's Corner: Debbie Fogle
For almost 22 years, Debbie Fogle has been dedicated to helping her clients live their healthiest lives possible. While she has worked in management and administration, her current role with Mountain States Health Alliance–as clinical integration coordinator at The Wellness Center in Johnson City–has allowed her to get back to the part of the job she has always loved most: working face-to-face with people who are using diet and exercise to get healthier.
STACY FENTRESS

Administrator's Corner: Laura Watkins, President, Chattanooga MGMA
Administrator's Corner: Laura Watkins, President, Chattanooga MGMA
While physicians, nurses, and techs receive the bulk of the credit, administration is ultimately one of the key factors that determines the success or failure of any medical institution. Without capable management, even the finest assemblages of medical talent can fall prey to the natural selection that exists in the competitive world of healthcare...
JOHN SEWELL

Beyond Physical Therapy Utilizes Unique European Device
Positive outcomes are easily realized by patients of Beyond Physical Therapy clinic in Knoxville with the use of a European device called the Universal Cage of Physical Improvement (UCPI). Physical therapists Tomasz Grass and Andrew Cieslik are trained on the UCPI, and their patients agree that the unique device produces remarkable results.

Chattanooga Physician Spotlight: Curt S. Koontz, MD
Chattanooga Physician Spotlight: Curt S. Koontz, MD
For Curt S. Koontz, MD, his choice of surgical specialty is as ingrained in him as is his role of being a father. As a matter of fact, that choice for him became crystal clear the day he first became a dad.
BRAD LIFFORD

Clinically Speaking: Bariatric Surgery Takes a Team Approach to Better Health
East Tennessee continues rank among the highest in percentage of the population suffering from obesity and diabetes, with a current fifth-place national ranking for obesity. To address these issues, bariatric surgery options have become more common choices to provide better health and a longer life span for many obese patients.
Mark A. Colquitt, MD, FACS

East Tennessee Surgeon Performs Vascular Procedure as Peers Watch Via Satellite | Scott Stevens, University of Tennessee Medical Center, Below the Knee
East Tennessee Surgeon Performs Vascular Procedure as Peers Watch Via Satellite
Scott Stevens, MD, is used to helping other physicians learn new techniques and procedures. As a professor of surgery at the University of Tennessee Medical Center and the director of its endovascular program, he teaches students, residents and fellows as part of his daily responsibilities. However, on October 3, 2008, Stevens performed two vascular surgeries in an effort to reach out to a much broader part of the medical community—somewhere between 300 and 400 physicians watching from Phoenix, Arizona.
MEREDITH HULETTE

Get Fit TN | Get Fit Tennessee, fitness tracker, Commissioner Susan Cooper, weight loss, physical activity, 	Obesity Focus
Get Fit TN
State Provides Tools to Help Residents Shape Up
New decade … same old resolutions.
At the stroke of midnight on Dec. 31, Tennesseans from the northeast corner to the Mississippi River made similar vows … to make 2010 the year they finally lose weight/quit smoking/start exercising. In short, this is the year to get healthier.
CINDY SANDERS

Grand Rounds Chattanooga December

Grand Rounds Tri-Cities December

Grand Rounds Tri-Cities January

Innovative Academy Reduces Patient Error through Electronic, Physical Communication
Innovative Academy Reduces Patient Error through Electronic, Physical Communication
Patient safety is always of paramount concern in a practice or facility, but with new compliance protocols and other federal and state mandates, the issue is taking on increased importance. While many are scrambling to put processes and procedures into place, the Holston Medical Group is already well ahead of the curve. It created the Academy of Patient Safety (APS) in 2005 and has been custom-tailoring its approach to the issue ever since...
JOE MORRIS

Jim Moore Promoted to Vice President of Facilities
KINGSPORT — Wellmont Health System has promoted long-time employee Jim Moore to vice president of facilities.

Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band Surgeries Becoming More Popular
As the public's interest and acceptance of bariatric surgery has increased, many physicians find themselves talking to their patients about the different types of weight loss surgeries available, including laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB), also known as lap banding. While widely available in Europe for many years, the procedure was not performed in the United States until 2001 when the band device was approved by the FDA.
STEPHEN BOYCE, MD

Mountain States thinks “Green”
Heralding a new era of healthcare and environmental responsibility to Washington County, officials turned over the first shovel loads of dirt May 7, 2008, to start the construction of Franklin Woods Community Hospital, to be built inside Johnson City’s Med Tech Park.
JAMES WATSON

November Grand Rounds - Chattanooga

Physician Spotlight:  Terry Melvin, MD | Terry Melvin, Hospice of Chattanooga
Physician Spotlight: Terry Melvin, MD
While some in the medical profession find hospice care to be too draining, it's a rewarding and motivating ministry for Terry Melvin, MD. With more than 20 years on staff at Hospice of Chattanooga, Melvin has seen hospice care through many cycles, growing and contracting to meet the needs of the public and the changing goals of the industry. As senior vice president and chief medical officer, she views Hospice of Chattanooga's work from both sides of the stethoscope and says that the hospice world challenges her as much now as it did two decades ago.
JOE MORRIS

Physician Spotlight: Lee Jackson, MD
Physician Spotlight: Lee Jackson, MD
What do Michigan, Ohio, Florida, and Tennessee have in common? Lee Jackson, MD, for one thing. Jackson, a board-certified urologist and prostate cancer surgeon, has extensive experience with both open prostatectomies and laparoscopic procedures...
JOHN M. HAYS

Physician Spotlight: Teresa Baysden, MD | Teresa Baysden, Memorial Health Partners
Physician Spotlight: Teresa Baysden, MD
Teresa Baysden, MD, a family practice physician with Memorial Health Partners in Hixson, is at the top of my Most Admired list. The desire and dedication with which she has achieved her life-long dream of providing care for those most in need, leaves me no wonder as to why she is considered by peers and patients alike, to be one of the very best at what she does...
MICHAEL RINGERING

The Art of da Vinci® Robotic Surgery

Tennessee Surgeon Makes World History

During his lifetime, artist Leonardo da Vinci was also an architect, scientist, engineer and inventor. A Renaissance man of many talents, da Vinci is even credited with inventing the first robot. From assembling cars to aiding with household chores and even serving ice-cream, robots are now assisting and bettering our lives in many ways...
LEIGH ANNE W. HOOVER

The Literary Examiner
County: Life, Death and Politics at Chicago’s Public Hospital by David A. Ansell, MD, MPH
TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER

TriCities Grand Rounds August

Milhorn Named Director of Clinical Knowledge Management
KINGSPORT — Britta Milhorn has been named director of clinical knowledge management for Wellmont Health System.

Physician Spotlight:  Dr. Michael FieldsSt. Mary’s Medical Center
Physician Spotlight: Dr. Michael Fields
St. Mary’s Medical Center

Perhaps a rebel with a cause may be the best way to describe Dr. Michael Fields, a board certified OB/GYN at St. Mary’s Medical Center. Fields has been one of the pioneers for the daVinci Robotic System for use in gynecological surgery in the Knoxville area. Primarily, Fields uses the system to treat patients for hysterectomy, removal of fibroids and pelvic masses, support surgeries for severe vaginal prolapse, severe pelvic adhesion cases, or endometriosis cases...
BRIDGET GARLAND

BRMC Physician, Director Invited to Present at National Leadership Conference
BRISTOL — Dr. Nelson Gwaltney and Brenda Bouton, director of wound care and hyperbaric medicine at Bristol Regional Medical Center, have been invited to present a case abstract at the 2007 Diversified Clinical Services Leadership Conference in Orlando, Fla.

Physician Spotlight:  Dr. Norman AssadETSU Physicians and Associates
Physician Spotlight: Dr. Norman Assad
ETSU Physicians and Associates

Dr. Norman Assad loves to make things grow. When he’s not helping couples fulfill their dreams of parenthood, he can often be found in his garden, coaxing a variety of plants and trees into bloom. Since joining the OB/GYN department at ETSU Physicians and Associates in 2005, however, he has had little time for his garden, as he has been busy bringing an in vitro fertilization (IVF) program to life.
JENNIFER LOGAN

Holston Valley Becomes First U.S. Hospital to Utilize New Vascular Device
KINGSPORT — A state-of-the-art medical device that protects patients during vascular procedures was used for the first time in the United States recently at Holston Valley Medical Center.

Physician Spotlight:  Dr. Laura WitherspoonUniversity Surgical Associates
Physician Spotlight: Dr. Laura Witherspoon
University Surgical Associates

While she was completing her medical degree, Dr. Laura Witherspoon recalled, it was working with patients during her clinical training that really excited her: “not the rat labs,” she noted. “I liked the clinical stuff.” She still likes the “clinical stuff.”
JOHN M. HAYS

Administrator's Corner:Nancy Yeomans, Generations ObGyn
Administrator's Corner:
Nancy Yeomans, Generations ObGyn

With a 72-member staff, including 10 physicians and three offices in the Knoxville area, Generations ObGyn is a far cry from where Nancy Yeomans began her employment. “My first week of employment was spent working in a vacant office with a phone, a piece of paper and a card table,” recalled Yeomans, the practice’s administrator, “And that’s how I began my career here.”
JOE MORRIS

Regional Cancer Center Earns Three-year Quality Accreditation
JOHNSON CITY — The Regional Cancer Center at Johnson City Medical Center (JCMC) has earned a three-year accreditation from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. The highly coveted award focuses on quality, reflecting the Cancer Center's "quality care close to home."

Administrator's Corner:Craig Sarine, University Surgical Associates
Administrator's Corner:
Craig Sarine, University Surgical Associates

While most people would visit University Surgical Associates for medical care, they might be surprised to know that Craig Sarine, the administrator of the practice, could give their car a tune up as well, that is, if he had time. Sarine stays busy managing the group, a position he considers very gratifying.
BRIDGET GARLAND

MSHA Answers Need for Physicians
MSHA Answers Need for Physicians

mednews plus™ — An Invaluable Online Tool

Whether it's from an office based computer, a wireless laptop or a handheld portable device, in this day, everyone relies on getting information on demand. For physicians, and others in the medical field, it is imperative to be able to access breaking medical news...
LEIGH ANNE W. HOOVER

A Complete Medical History

Polio’s Story

The story of polio features a beloved President, a lawyer, a popular American scientist, and a Polish-born scientist that did a lot more than he bargained for, much to the benefit of our international reputation.


ZACH ENGLAND

Administrator Corner: Raymond Lallier, MPA | Raymond Lallier, Siskin Children’s Institute-T.C. Thompson Children’s Hospital Center for Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics, developmental pediatrics
Administrator Corner: Raymond Lallier, MPA
Ultimately, healthcare is not only about prescriptions and procedures—but also about knowledge.

JOHN SEWELL

Administrator's Corner:  Darrell MooreParkridge Medical Center
Administrator's Corner: Darrell Moore
Parkridge Medical Center

Darrell Moore, CEO of Parkridge Medical Center in Chattanooga, is looking for some advice. Moore is soon to take on a new position as father of the bride. “My only daughter is getting married, so I need all the help I can get to navigate through this,” expressed Moore. Although planning a wedding shouldn’t be considered any more difficult than running a large healthcare facility, it’s easy to understand why Moore might be a little jittery. “We are a very, very close family,” explained Moore. “But I’m looking forward to this, and it should be a lot of fun.”
BRIDGET GARLAND

Administrator's Corner: Earl Anderson | Earl Anderson, Tennessee Orthopaedic Clinics
Administrator's Corner: Earl Anderson
For seven years, Earl Anderson has stood at the helm of Tennessee Orthopaedic Clinics, an organization that now spans nine locations, 23 physicians and 175 employees. Despite the complexity of such a job, Anderson, executive director of TOC, lives by a mantra of simplicity. In his desk at all times is an aphorism from the writing of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow that reads, "In all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity."
CHELSEA FARNAM

Administrator's Corner: Elaine McCarson | Elaine McCarson, Chattanooga Allergy Clinic
Administrator's Corner: Elaine McCarson
Healthcare is all about team effort. Without well-managed organizational structure, no healthcare organization can ever operate at maximum proficiency. Granted, physicians tend to receive the bulk of the plaudits when praise is meted out. But there is always a team of people working behind the scenes whenever any patient is treated, soldiering on. Invariably, every healthcare organization has one irreplaceable, go-to person that knows every angle of what's going on at all times. At the Chattanooga Allergy Clinic (CAC), Practice Manager Elaine McCarson is that person, a tireless team player who performs an endless balancing act of keeping every element of the clinic's complex organization in sync.
JOHN SEWELL

Administrator's Corner: James Hobson | James Hobson, Memorial Health Care System
Administrator's Corner: James Hobson
Even though it's early in his tenure at Memorial Health Care System, James Hobson already has a solid feel for the organization. Hobson, who was named president and chief executive officer of the Memorial system in November 2008, came to Chattanooga from Phoebe Putney Health Systems in Albany, Ga., a community-owned, not-for-profit system with three hospitals serving a 25-county region...
JOE MORRIS

Administrator's Corner: Patricia Caron
Administrator's Corner: Patricia Caron
The residents of Elmcroft of West Knoxville have had the good fortune to have Patricia Caron directing the operations of the assisted living facility they call home. Caron has been the director of Elmcroft West for the past three years...
STEVE QUINDRY

ETSU Researchers Conducting Alzheimer's Disease Study
When it comes to memory loss, the statistics are grim. The Alzheimer's Association reports that over five million Americans have Alzheimer's and that this disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States. Over $100 billion dollars are spent each year on the care of Alzheimer's, including costs for diagnosis, treatment, nursing home care, at-home care and lost wages...
JAMIE MERRIMAN-PACTON

Grand Rounds Chattanooga January

New Technology Gives Wellmont Physicians Ability to Read EKGs Any Time, From Anywhere
New Technology Gives Wellmont Physicians Ability to Read EKGs Any Time, From Anywhere
Wellmont Health System recently began using sophisticated computer technology that allows a physician to diagnose a patient suffering a heart attack any time from anywhere – even from miles away. Jonathan Burress, MD, of Cardiovascular Associates is excited about what TraceMaster – software designed specifically for use in cardiology–can mean for emergency patients...
BRAD LIFFORD

Physician Spotlight: Luke Madigan, MD
Physician Spotlight: Luke Madigan, MD
Luke Madigan, MD, says he just likes to put necks back together—he finds it fascinating. However, as a spine specialist at Knoxville Orthopedic Clinic, Madigan does much more than that. "I like dealing with patients every day," Madigan said. "Every patient is a puzzle…. You have to put all the pieces together and find out what's wrong with the actual picture..."
CHELSEA FARNAM

Should Your Practice Choose an ASP Model?
Like never before, physician practices have mountains of overly convoluted rules and regulations to climb over in an effort to run an efficient and successful business. These days, every payer seemingly has their own reimbursement merry-go-round, which in the end forces practices to work harder to be paid less than in past years. Another layer on top of this comes from Pay for Performance (P4P) and PQRI. Each asks practices to track various sets of data points and measurements in order to get the maximum reimbursement...
AUSTIN L. MOODY

Spanning the Globe | John Osborn, Remote Area Medical, Rural America, Stan Brock
Spanning the Globe

Remote Area Medical Takes Healthcare to Those in Need

John Osborn, DDS, has an established dental practice in the town of Maynardville, Tenn. He knows his patients and they know him. But several times a year, Osborn leaves his comfortable setting and travels wherever he is needed to treat people he's never met before — and all with no expectation of getting paid for it. "Once you try it, you're hooked," he said.
SCOTT BROOKS

Tennessee Rolls Out Statewide Stroke Registry
This summer, Governor Phil Bredesen signed the Tennessee Stroke Registry Act of 2008 into law. The legislation represents a culmination of work by the American Heart Association's (AHA) Stroke Systems of Care task force, numerous providers, public health officials and legislators from both sides of the aisle.
CINDY SANDERS

The Bottom Line: Revise and Revive
Happy New Year! A New Year's Resolution is only a wish if you have no plan to implement in order to reach your stated goals. I want to stop smoking. I want to lose weight and get in shape. I want to do a better job at work. These are statements of what we wish would happen unless we attach a specific plan of action. It may be a trite expression, but it's still true: Nobody Plans to Fail... They Fail to Plan. The military's Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan is also good advice.
BILL MORRIS

UT Surgical Associates Enhance Robust Surgical Services at Hawkins County Memorial

Dr. TomThompson, UT Surgical Associates
UT Surgical Associates Enhance Robust Surgical Services at Hawkins County Memorial
Those who chose to live their lives and pursue a career close to their hometown don’t generally get asked why they live where they do. Dr. Tom Thompson has gotten the question more times than he can count. And when he’s asked, “Why did you stay?” he has a stock answer: “Why leave?” More than ever, Northeast Tennessee is an ideal place for Thompson, a board-certified general surgeon with UT Surgical Associates, to practice his skills.
BRAD LIFFORD

Administrator's Corner:  John MilnerEndocrinology Consultants of East Tennessee
Administrator's Corner: John Milner
Endocrinology Consultants of East Tennessee

So what does the practice administrator of one of the busiest endocrine practices in the country have in common with Brad Pitt? Well, it has nothing to do with newborn twins, but John D. Milner does know how to fly fish, just like Pitt’s character in the movie A River Runs Through It.
BRIDGET GARLAND

Covenant Health Announces Major Expansion at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center
Covenant Health Announces Major Expansion at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center
Covenant Health has announced a major expansion at its Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center campus to enhance the downtown hospital’s role as a regional referral center for East Tennessee.

Physician Spotlight: Dr. W. David England
Physician Spotlight: Dr. W. David England
Author’s Note: I hope this more intimate take on the Physician Spotlight will be refreshing and insightful. This is a brief look at the most important physician in my life, my father. Happy Father’s Day.   

For my twenty-six years on earth, my father has been a physician. For the better part of my life, I thought that MD stood for “my daddy,” as the little framed painting that I possess would have me believe. I had no idea what it meant that he was a doctor. I knew he was someone I could trust
ZACH ENGLAND

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Gene Archer
Physician Spotlight: Dr. Gene Archer
Perhaps Dr. Gene Archer might consider James Taylor’s musical hit “You’ve Got a Friend” his theme song because for the past 10 ½ years, Archer has been a friend to uninsured, working individuals in need of dental care in the Tri Cities region. When called upon, Archer, a volunteer dentist with Friends in Need in Kingsport, decided to come out of retirement in order to help those in the area who couldn’t afford dental work.
But it was no easy task.
BRIDGET GARLAND

Surgeons Drive Innovation of Homegrown Spinal Implant Company

ChoiceSpine co-founders and owners Rick Henson and Marty Altshuler
Surgeons Drive Innovation of Homegrown Spinal Implant Company
In 2006, business partners Marty Altshuler and Rick Henson had a few challenges before them. Separately, they had each left lucrative positions with national and international medical supply companies. They had just spent most of the business startup capital they had saved on a couple of medical product ventures, including buying the assets of Orthotec, a Los Angeles company, and buying the U.S. marketing rights to a European medical device company with a U.S. partner that had nearly $40M in U.S. sales two years prior.
CHUCK MORRIS

Cracking the Code(s)

Students participate in class discussion at Fountainhead College of Technology
Cracking the Code(s)
A new series of programs to provide much-needed training for medical professionals has been launched at Fountainhead College of Technology in Knoxville.
JOE MORRIS

Recruiting Doctors To Tennessee No Easy Task
What do the issues of physician reimbursements, student debt, a sluggish economy, and medical malpractice have in common? They represent the challenges practice administrators face when recruiting doctors to East Tennessee.  
JANE SCHNEIDER

Beyond Physical Therapy, PLLC Announces an Innovative Program to Treat Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy (DPN)
Beyond Physical Therapy, PLLC Announces an Innovative Program to Treat Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy (DPN)
There are a lot of people today who experience painful circulatory problems, specifically in the feet and legs. This condition is known as Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy (DPN). Painful circulatory problems in the feet and legs can prohibit everyday functions from sleeping and walking to driving and performing daily activities. Imagine how those restrictions could feel and then imagine a solution that doesn’t involve medication or painful procedures. This solution presents itself through a program that combines physical therapy with a revolutionary system known as Anodyne®...
JEAN-MARIE DONAHOO

Shared Health Chalks Up Successes after First Three Years
Shared Health Chalks Up Successes after First Three Years
Three years ago this month, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee announced a health information technology initiative with the state of Tennessee that was, in many ways, unlike any other in the country. Called Shared Health, the idea was to create a health record for patients across multiple providers, thus reducing medical errors, avoiding duplicate services and even detecting fraud and abuse.
SHARON H. FITZGERALD

The Big Switch
IT as a Service Takes Medical IT to the Next Level

There will be a day, and it’s very soon, when you’ll never buy a server. You can count on it. I’m sure you’re wondering what I’m talking about and how this could be true. Will there be only one server that lasts 20 years, or maybe I won’t need servers anymore? Better yet, what if I don’t even have to think about it anymore–I just launch my computer and the IT part just works? That’s where we’re heading.
PAUL SPONCIA

Administrator's Corner:  John WilliamsRegional Eye Center
Administrator's Corner: John Williams
Regional Eye Center

A native of Kingsport, TN, John Williams, CEO of the Regional Eye Center in Kingsport, believes in giving back to the community where he has lived virtually all his life. Except for living in the Knoxville area to attend the University of Tennessee and for a few years as an employee of TVA, Williams has been living in his hometown ever since and believes strongly in using his job as a practice administrator to improve the lives of the region’s citizens.
BRIDGET GARLAND

Administrator's Corner:  Judy HenegarSurgical Group of Johnson City
Administrator's Corner: Judy Henegar
Surgical Group of Johnson City

Much like an actor or a model, Johnson City Surgical Group administrator Judy Henegar was literally discovered in the mid seventies and cast into her career in medicine. Since then, she has flourished in the medical environment and has embraced it as her life’s work and passion.
LEIGH ANNE W. HOOVER

Administrator's Corner:  Nancy DouglasPeople’s Clinic, Volunteer Ministry Center
Administrator's Corner: Nancy Douglas
People’s Clinic, Volunteer Ministry Center

As far back as she can remember, Nancy Douglas wanted to have a big family. Today the administrator of the People’s Clinic has 11 children and 17 grandchildren. And she has touched the lives of hundreds of homeless men, women and children in Knoxville. “When I was eight years old, I knew that I would adopt children someday,” Douglas said. “I wanted to have my own orphanage. Six of my 11 children are adopted. Two are from Belize and the rest are local.”
ANN METZ

Administrator's Corner:  Paula RegisterMemorial Health Partners
Administrator's Corner: Paula Register
Memorial Health Partners

Wearing two hats is difficult enough, but when one says ‘CEO,’ things get even more complicated. It’s all in a day’s work for Paula Register, however, as she juggles the duties of heading up Memorial Health Partners, a 140-plus member, multispecialty physician group, with being Vice President of Physician Services for Memorial Health Care System.
JOE MORRIS

Administrator's Corner: Lee McCoury
Administrator's Corner: Lee McCoury
The first Ford Mustang came out on April 17, 1964. Not many people know this tidbit of information, but Lee McCoury, practice administrator of Pain Medicine Associates (PMA) in Johnson City, happens to be a Mustang enthusiast...
BRIDGET GARLAND

Administrator's Corner: Teresa Kidd, PhD | Teresa Kidd, Frontier Health
Administrator's Corner: Teresa Kidd, PhD
As one of seven siblings, growing up in a large family exposed Teresa Kidd, PhD, to a variety of personalities. In a home where education was always stressed, her background may have ultimately prepared her to handle numerous career responsibilities and to become quite the expert at multitasking.
LEIGH ANNE W. HOOVER

BCBST Rolls Out Quality and Cost Transparency Initiative
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee is set to make available this month to its commercial members quality and cost information on nearly 4,000 Tennessee physicians. The giant insurer originally planned to unveil the transparency initiative on April 1, but outcries from physicians and advocacy groups such as the Tennessee Medical Association and the Tennessee Medical Group Management Association prompted BlueCross to make some changes before the program was finalized.
SHARON H. FITZGERALD

BEST SLEEP PRACTICES: Sleep Evaluation 101
Would you believe it if I told you that 1 in every 10 of your patients is suffering from undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnea? Believe it. If you were to ask me today, what is the most frequently asked question I receive from other physicians, it would undoubtedly be, "How can I better assess my patients for sleep disorders?" Research continues to mount regarding the significance of sleep to overall health and the potential danger of undiagnosed, untreated sleep disorders.
ROSANNE S. BARKER, MD

Clinically Speaking:Primary Care Doctors Play Vital Role in Preventing Blindness
While primary care physicians often feel uncomfortable with their training in opthalmology, they can play a pivotal role in preventing visual impairment and blindness. Diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma are two of the three most common causes of irreversible blindness in the United States, and cataracts cause potentially reversible vision loss in anyone who lives long enough.
JOHN BONNER, MD

Combating Blindness
Combating Blindness
Two recent discoveries from the University of Utah School of Medicine and the affiliated John A. Moran Eye Center, in collaboration with researchers from other locations, are providing new hope to those suffering from age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.
CINDY SANDERS

Connect-the-DotsState’s eHealth Network Will Connect All 95 Counties
Connect-the-Dots
State’s eHealth Network Will Connect All 95 Counties

By Executive Order 35 on April 6, 2006, Gov. Phil Bredesen created the eHealth Advisory Council to oversee the state’s efforts to allow providers to securely share information in an attempt to reduce medical errors, quickly transfer important medical data in an emergency situation, extend the reach of healthcare to rural areas through telemedicine, limit duplicative diagnostics by providing all partners with access to results from previous tests, improve communication, set up a safe way to ePrescribe, and ultimately, to improve access to quality healthcare.
CINDY SANDERS

Dentistry and the Aging Population

Cone-Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) or Cone-Beam Volumetric Tomography (CBVT) is an x-ray imaging approach that provides high resolution 3-dimensional images of the jaws and teeth.
Dentistry and the Aging Population
The United States Census Bureau estimates that by the year 2030, there will be more Americans over the age of 65 than ever before in our history. Advances in medical care and treatment of numerous debilitating conditions are allowing many to live not only longer, but also more productive lives.
DR. W. TIMOTHY WILLIAMS, DDS, FAGD

Diabetes Centers Support Physician Care
Diabetes Centers Support Physician Care

Education is key to self-management

Diabetes rates are climbing, and physicians in East Tennessee are diagnosing an ever-increasing number of patients with the disease while continuing to manage existing patients' care. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report a 5 percent yearly increase nationwide, while the number of Tennessee adults with diabetes rose 33 percent between 1990 and 2000, according to a 2003 report from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center...

East Tennessee Healthcare Center Opens in Dowell Springs

Artist renderings show how the buildings that comprise East Tennessee Healthcare Center will fit in with the surrounding natural landscape.
East Tennessee Healthcare Center Opens in Dowell Springs
Soon, there will be a place in Knoxville where visitors can enjoy scenic walking paths, soothing waterfalls and beautiful mountain views – all on their way to a doctor’s appointment, physical therapy, a massage, a class or support group meeting, or a workout. That place–a one-stop health and wellness retreat–is the East Tennessee Healthcare Center, located in Dowell Springs Business Park, just off Middlebrook Pike.
STACY FENTRESS

ETMN Congratulates MSHA on 10 Years of Service in the East Tennessee Region
Reflecting back and celebrating its 10-year anniversary during the month of September, Mountains States Health Alliance (MSHA) seems to have reinvented the old adage, "Time flies." Not only are they having fun, but MSHA is also having tremendous success as they focus on providing the best possible healthcare for the Northeast Tennessee/Southwest Virginia area...

Expanded Pharmacy Services Promise Better Medication Outcomes, Improved Bottom Line | Richard A. Hess Jr, Tennessee State University, ETSU, Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy, Medicare Part D, medication therapy management, MTM, Bruce Roberts, Mirixa
Expanded Pharmacy Services Promise Better Medication Outcomes, Improved Bottom Line
As America's healthcare service model and reimbursement strategies evolve, so does the role of today's pharmacist. That means expanded business opportunities for pharmacies, particularly independent and community pharmacies with the flexibility to answer new payer and consumer demands.
SHARON H. FITZGERALD

Getting Ahead of the Tax Man
The air and the apples are crisp, and football is in full swing. What time is it? Time for some serious tax planning before the end of the calendar year, according to CPA Keith Kamperschroer, immediate past president of Nashville-based HCAA, the National CPA Health Care Advisors Association...
SHARON H. FITZGERALD

Going for Equity
Going for Equity

More Physicians Own their Office Space

Remember when you were finally out on your own, renting your first apartment? Remember your parents’ admonishments to, as quickly as possible, buy your first home and stop "throwing your money down the drain" by renting?...
SHARON H. FITZGERALD

Grand Rounds August

Hissam Joins LBMC Healthcare Group

Medical Education Conference to Focus on Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Diseases

TCSC Welcomes Medical Oncologist Antony Charles

UT Graduate School of Medicine Faculty and Researchers Receive Awards

CapitalMark Leases New Location

Children’s Hospital Becomes Lead Organization for Safe Kids Coalition of  the Greater Knox Area

Browne Joines PYA Healthcare Consulting

Ray Named Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence Physician

Physiotherapy Associates Names New Statewide Coordinator

Local Professional Attends National Conference

Lattimore Black Morgan & Cain PC Annouces Department Promotions

Foothills Weight Loss Specialists First In Region to Offer New Procedure

Parkwest Partners with Rural Metro to Save Lives

UT Medical Center Names VP of Women and Children’s Services

Tennessee Department of Health Appoints Phillips as Nurse Surveyor

Bosshardt Joins Parkridge Medical Staff

Hutcheson Begins Major Renovation 

Most Advanced MRI Technology Coming to Memorial Hospital

Lorenzo Joins Parkridge Medical Staff

White Certified by American Board of Phlebology

Shantha Joins Parkridge Medical Staff

UT College of Medicine Chattanooga and Erlanger Health System Recognize Physician Graduates

UTCOM Chattanooga and Erlanger Offer Job Shadowing to Promising Students

Leo M. Brown to Chair Memorial’s Board of Directors

Snow Named Wellmont Interim CEO

Russell County Medical Center Names New CFO

New Takoma Regional CFO Augments Leadership Team

Gentry Elected President of Bristol Regional Medical Staff

Behringer Named Co-Chair of State Cancer Coalition

Archer Named SCCH Physician Relations/Business Development Coordinator

New Senior Chaplain to serve JCMC

Lonesome Pine President Appointed to Task Force

Douglas Earns Highest Certification

Southwestern Virginia Technology Council to Host Medical Technology Summit

Frontier Health Programs Net CARF Accreditation

Williams Elected Chairman of Holston Valley Board

Recognized Healthcare Consultant Launches New Firm


Grand Rounds Chattanooga January

Grand Rounds East TN June


Grand Rounds January

Grand Rounds July

McNabb Center Announces New Board Members and Officers

St. Mary’s Cancer Services Earn ACS Honors

LBMC Expands Healthcare Services Team

Ledford Joins Employment Partners

New Vice President for Legal Services Named at Children’s Hospital

Parkwest Comprehensive Breast Center Receives Excellence Designation

New Administrator Joins Mercy Health Partners

Thompson Cancer Survival Center’s Physics Resident Wins Honorary International Award

Mason Named Director of Pharmacy at UT Medical Center

Reid Named to Lead McNabb Center in Morristown

Adler Joins Vista Radiology

Tennison Named One of 30 Exemplary Psychiatrists

Parkwest Welcomes New Cardiology Office

Helen Ross McNabb Center Awarded Three-Year CARF Accreditation

Local Physicians Win Television Award

Windsor Health Plan Expands Network of Providers

MHP Goes High Def in Imaging Services

Memorial Mission Surgery Center Receives Accreditation

Whisman Named Chief Nursing Officer and Senior Vice President at Erlanger Health System

Bourdon Named Erlanger Health System Vice President of Ambulatory Services

Windsor Health Plan Adds Memorial Health Care System to its Extensive Provider Network

Memorial Pink! Gala 2009 Co-Chairs Chosen

Coleman Named COO at Parkridge Medical Center

Hetzler Joins Erlanger as New Chief Legal Officer

DVDs Collected at Wellness Center Add to Young Patients’ Entertainment

Akin Awarded the Research Award

Walton Receives Crystal Angel Award for Outstanding Leadership and Earns Top Management Credential

CareSpark Recognized as Laureate by the Computerworld Honors Program

Frontier Health Tennessee Developmental Disabilities Division Nets Four-Star Designation

Examiners for Malcolm Baldrige National Award Selected from MSHA

Frontier Health Employee Graduates from Partners in Policymaking Program

Tanner Named System Service Director of Pharmacy Services, for Mountain States

Wellmont Marketing Director Leads Session at National Conference


Grand Rounds September

Amputee Coalition Of America Names Calhoun President and CEO

Armstrong Joins Vista Radiology

Financial Survival For Retirement Class To Be Offered

East Tennessee Medical Group Names Director of Patient Financial Services

Carter Native Returns to Practice Medicine Where She Grew Up

Knoxville-Knox County Council On Aging Announces New Officers, Members

State Approves Two MHP Certificates of Need

Maryland Physician Appointed Medical Director For Amputee Coalition Of America

UT Medical Center Stroke Program Recognized in U.S. News & World Report

Thompson Cancer Survival Center Physics Program Wins $12,000 National Radiation Oncology Award

New Equipment at St. Mary's North Women's Center Helps To Better Detect Breast Cancer

"The Man Run" Helps Save Lives In East Tennessee

Rathburn Joins LBMC Technologies

UT Graduate School of Medicine Announces New OB/GYN Chair

UT Graduate School of Medicine Announces New Radiology Chair

Memorial’s Bariatric Program Receives BlueCross and BlueShield Association Special Designation

Erlanger Receives National Recognition from the American Heart Association

Baysden Joins Memorial Health Partners

Urology Specialist Joins Memorial Health Partners

T.C. Thompson Children’s Hospital at Erlanger Welcomes Brown to Its Medical Staff

Simms Receives Board Certification in Psychiatry

Nurses and Administration Represent Erlanger During State Conference

Meyers Receives Meritorious Service Medal

First Tennessee Executive New Board Chair at Mountain States

ETSU College of Public Health names Pack as Associate Dean

HMG Welcomes New Endocrinologist

HMG Welcomes One of the Southeast's Leading Orthopaedics

Five Appointed to Another Term on Hancock County Hospital Board of Directors

Wellmont Cuts Ribbon on New Cancer Center

Grant Will Help Train Family Medicine Docs on Evidence-based Primary Care

Chamber of Commerce Lauds Hawkins County Memorial for Positive Community Impact

JCMC Becomes Only Hospital in Region with Robotic Surgery

Cardiovascular Associates Donates $50,000 to Support Wellmont Foundation's Life-Saving Cardiac Initiative

UnitedHealthcare and Takoma Regional Expand Longstanding Relationship

Governor Appoints Perry to Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth

CareSpark Announces Launch and Support for Regional Health Information Exchange

UnitedHealthcare Agrees to Collaborate with CareSpark's Regional Health Information Exchange

Mountain States names Corporate Marketing Director

Takoma Regional Welcomes New Physicians

Wellmont's Clark Earns Highest Certification for Healthcare Leaders


Grand Rounds Tri-Cities January

Grand Rounds Tri-Cities June


HIT Reforms Healthcare
The business of healthcare at the physician/patient level is 10 to 20 years behind in technology. All patient records are recorded on paper. Comparing lab results and the diagnosis of your physician is a manual operation that takes several days to process. The insurance company charging premiums gets a claim that has been handled by not less than four pairs of hands who each stake a claim to the financial outcome of your office visit.
MARK TUMBLIN

How to Successfully Implement an Electronic Health Record (EHR)
More and more healthcare offices are transitioning from paper charts to EHR. Experience has proven that this transition is extremely difficult for physicians, physician extenders and, to a lesser degree, on nurses and other staff. No matter how well the transition is planned or how wonderful the EHR, the transition is a major challenge. I would like to share eight detailed suggestions that will help your team successfully overcome the challenge of EHR.
RYAN MITCHELL, MBA

Legal Matters : Obesity Definition Set to Expand under the ADA
Is obesity considered a disability? According to the CDC, cases of obesity continue to rise in the United States. Nevertheless, the courts and the EEOC have long maintained that simple obesity is not a recognized impairment under the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") unless the obesity was the result of physiological impairments. However, recent amendments to the ADA may cause obesity to be reclassified as a disability.
JENNIFER PEARSON TAYLOR and IAN P. HENNESSEY

Legal Matters: Legal Issues Concerning Health Information Technology
With continuing advancements in technology, more and more protected health information about individuals is being created, stored and shared in electronic form, such as databases and through online networks.
What is health information technology?
Electronic medical records, including individual practice software and intra-system network databases and electronic prescription software, are examples of this technology.
JENNIFER PEARSON TAYLOR AND IAN P. HENNESSEY

Lorenzo-Rivero Spearheads Colorectal for Women in Chattanooga Area
Lorenzo-Rivero Spearheads Colorectal for Women in Chattanooga Area
Although colorectal dysfunctions and diseases afflict both men and women, the field of colorectal surgery is oftentimes mistakenly thought of as the domain of males. Ushering in a new era for the Chattanooga area, Shauna Lorenzo-Rivero, MD, is helping to ease women’s aversion to addressing colorectal problems, saving lives in the process.
JOHN SEWELL

Marketing a Specialty Practice to Other Docs | B2B healthcare marketing, physician referral base, Healthcare Success Strategies, Stewart Gandolf, Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Marketing, Larry Van Horn, Marketing Focus
Marketing a Specialty Practice to Other Docs
A Practice's "Lifeblood," One Expert Says
"Your most important asset." That's what one healthcare marketing expert called a specialty physician's referral base, and he said way too many specialists are failing to nurture the relationship between their practice and the doctors who send them business.
SHARON H. FITZGERALD

Medical Liability Reform Legislation Should Help Stem Tide of Meritless Lawsuits
After legislation aimed at reducing the number of frivolous malpractice lawsuits sailed through the Tennessee General Assembly near the end of this year’s session, Gov. Phil Bredesen signed it into law effective Oct. 1.
SHARON H. FITZGERALD

Medical Malpractice Bill Adds Pre-lawsuit Notice and “Certificate of Good Faith” Requirements
Medical Malpractice Bill Adds Pre-lawsuit Notice and “Certificate of Good Faith” Requirements
A compromise medical malpractice tort reform bill has passed the legislature and been sent to the governor. 
When does the new law take effect?
The new law will apply to all actions filed on or after October 1, 2008, if the bill is signed by the governor or left unsigned or rejected for 10 days
JENNIFER PEARSON TAYLOR

October Grand Rounds

OnGuard Technology Facilitates Early Cancer Detection
OnGuard Technology Facilitates Early Cancer Detection
Thanks to advances in computer programming, physicians are more ably finding early signs of lung cancer, facilitating quick intervention and saving lives in the process. With the OnGuard Chest X-ray Computer-Aided Detection (CAD) technology pioneered by Dayton Ohio’s Riverain Medical, doctors are finding it easier to detect problems which are not nearly as discernible with the naked eye.
JOHN SEWELL

Opportunity knocks in new year with New Tax Provisions
So much of the public debate right now is centered around healthcare that the national debt issue has essentially been pushed to the background. But the reality is that the government is creating larger and larger deficits.
JIM BROGAN

Overview: Stark-related Changes in IPPS and MPFS
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has begun piecemeal rulemaking, which The Medicare Physician Fee Schedule ("MPFS") and Inpatient Prospective Payment System ("IPPS") rules for 2009 both effect changes in the Stark law, as well as altering the basic reimbursement rules for diagnostic testing payment amounts. Both sets of rules create new challenges where physician groups either provide or obtain professional or technical components of all Medicare diagnostic testing of any type (known as the "Anti-Markup Rules").
PATTI T. COTTEN

Participants Needed for Clinical Trials of CVRx’s Implantable Hypertension-Reduction Device
Whether the culprits are genetics, stress, cigarettes, fried foods, or lifestyles that do not allow for exercise, the facts are the same: millions of adults suffer from high blood pressure. It is estimated that high blood pressure causes one in every eight deaths worldwide. There is a simple calculus behind this statistic. Each incremental increase of 20 mmHg in systolic blood pressure or 10 mmHg in diastolic blood pressure above normal levels is associated with a two-fold increase in death rates from stroke, coronary heart disease and other vascular causes.
JAMIE MERRIMAN

Physician – Arm Thyself
As today’s healthcare financing structure careens steadily towards performance-based reimbursement, physicians are increasingly finding themselves at a disadvantage when it comes to demonstrating evidence-based clinical quality and compliance. That’s because much of the information that defines an individual doctor’s clinical quality is derived from external organizations using administrative data without the benefit of key clinical indicators.
BRUCE TAFFEL, MD

Physician Outcry Blocks 10.6 Percent Medicare Payment Reduction; Congress Overrides Presidential Veto
Physician Outcry Blocks 10.6 Percent Medicare Payment Reduction; Congress Overrides Presidential Veto
Calling passage of the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 “a long and winding road,” AMA President Nancy H. Nielsen, MD, applauded the U.S. Congress’ move on July 15 to override President Bush’s veto of the legislation. It is now law, averting a 10.6 percent Medicare physician payment cut.
SHARON FITZGERALD

Physician Spotlight:  Clif Tennison, MD
Physician Spotlight: Clif Tennison, MD
Noted psychiatrist, tireless community activist, self-proclaimed graduate school dropout, former bass player, armchair philosopher, devoted husband, proud father of two, and soon-to-be-first-time grandfather — all of these appellations describe Clif Tennison, MD, in the broadest strokes.  

Officially, Tennison is the vice president and chief clinical officer at the Helen Ross McNabb Center, a not-for-profit center located in Knoxville, TN. This title, however, does little to convey the energy and commitment Tennison has for helping the mentally ill in the Knoxville area.

JAMIE MERRIMAN-PACTON

Physician Spotlight:  Dr. Gary Gitschlag
Physician Spotlight: Dr. Gary Gitschlag
The World’s Fair wasn’t the only thing that came to town in 1982.

Gary Gitschlag, MD, a pediatric ophthalmologist at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital (ETCH), decided to make Knoxville his home just six weeks before the fair closed. Searching for a place that needed his particular subspecialty and where it could grow, Gitschlag found the East Tennessee area to be the ideal location. Impressed by the hospitality and kindness shown to him during a visit, Gitschlag moved his young family from Iowa to open practice in what was at the time a very young subspecialty.
BRIDGET GARLAND

Physician Spotlight:  Dr. Izak F. Wessels
Physician Spotlight: Dr. Izak F. Wessels
There are those who have traveled and lived abroad — and then there is Dr. Izak Wessels. In his time he has lived in and/or traveled to everywhere from the Kingdom of Lesotho, to China, to the United States. The real question, it seems, is “Where hasn’t he been?” When it comes to medicine, though, Wessels found his home early on, in the land called “ophthalmology.”
JOHN M. HAYS

Physician Spotlight:  Dr. Jeffrey Carlsen
Physician Spotlight: Dr. Jeffrey Carlsen
Dr. Jeffrey Carlsen, a board-certified ophthalmologist at Johnson City Eye Clinic, is the family guy — not the animated star of the television series but the proud father and loving husband of his family living in Johnson City, TN. Carlsen has two daughters, Paige, age 6, and Kyley, age 5, and has been married to Gretchen, a local photographer in the Tri Cities, for 11 years. Also part of the family is their dog Bailey, “I have a house full of girls,” chuckled Carlsen, “even the pet.”
BRIDGET GARLAND

Physician Spotlight: Chad Smalley, MD
F eaturing a bright smile, a square jaw, numerous interests in art and athletics, and a positive attitude on life, Chad Smalley, MD, could easily be the basis for a character on Grey's Anatomy. Much like the subjects of the ABC network series, Smalley, 34, is also an accomplished and promising physician. A board-eligible orthopaedist, Smalley is in the second year of his practice at the Center for Sports Medicine and Orthopaedics in Chattanooga, and specializes in shoulder replacement surgery.
CHELSEA FARNAM

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Cheryl Buchwalter
Physician Spotlight: Dr. Cheryl Buchwalter
A native of Wooster, Ohio, Dr. Cheryl Buchwalter found herself moving to Cleveland, TN, this past November in search of, among other things, better weather.  Along with her family, which includes her husband, Gary, a 3-year-old daughter and an 11-month-old son, Buchwalter has been quite busy establishing roots in her new surroundings. Buchwalter, a first-generation college graduate, majored in chemistry as an undergraduate at the College of Wooster.  She earned a medical degree from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1996, and completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Akron City Hospital in Akron, Ohio.
MISTY POWERS

Physician Spotlight: John Franko, MD
John Franko, MD, has no problem identifying with the oft-quoted line, "The best laid plans of mice and men/often go awry." But he's not complaining. Franko, professor and chair of the Department of Family Medicine at East Tennessee State University, simply chuckles at how life turns out sometimes.
BRIDGET GARLAND

Physician Spotlight: Matthew Beasey, MD
Physician Spotlight: Matthew Beasey, MD
For Matthew Beasey, MD, the path to becoming a top-notch endocrinologist and the Tri-Cities resident expert on diabetes has been more of a country road with many intriguing turns than a direct highway from point a to point b. After growing up in Shelbyville, Kentucky, outside of Louisville, Beasey began his higher education at the University of Kentucky...
STEVE QUINDRY

Physician Spotlight: Randall Curnow Jr., MD

By joining Summit Medical Group as its medical director, Randall Curnow Jr., MD, found a role wherein he can provide support and care for both physicians and indirectly, their patients.

An internal medicine physician by training, Curnow replaced the retiring Dwight Wade, MD, in February, taking the medical helm at the 210-physician group with 49 sites throughout East Tennessee.


JENNIFER JAMES

Planning for 2008 Federal Taxes
An increasing number of taxpayers encounter surprise tax bills due to the alternative minimum tax (AMT). The AMT is a parallel calculation of taxable income designed to ensure a minimum amount of tax is collected from taxpayers who benefit from certain deductions, credits, and exemptions under standard tax calculations. Every tax plan should include a projection of potential tax liabilities under AMT...
CHERYL BAXTER AND AMY HOLLEY, LATTIMORE BLACK MORGAN & CAIN, PC

Pushing to Do MoreChildren’s Hospital ER Always Works to be Better, Faster
Pushing to Do More
Children’s Hospital ER Always Works to be Better, Faster

In 1999, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital in Knoxville was looking to expand its emergency services department and began to work with the area’s pediatricians to utilize its facilities as their emergency provider of choice. Some might say that Children’s has done almost too good a job. With more than 71,000 visits in 2007, the emergency room at Children’s Hospital has become the go-to place for parents and pediatricians, even though in many cases there are facilities much closer.
JOE MORRIS

Putting East Tennessee on the Map

Bristol Surgeon First in Country to Acquire Images of Spine Stabilization System on Operative Patient

A small town practice shouldn't discredit the ability of a physician to participate in major research studies, and Morgan Lorio, MD, FACS, of Neuro-Spine Solutions, P.C. in Bristol, TN, is a prime example of this fact. Lorio has been the lead clinical investigator of a research study investigating the Stabilimax NZ Dynamic Stabilization System. Used primarily to correct degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis, the potential of this system has received much attention because of the growing incidence of the condition among baby boomers.
BRIDGET GARLAND

Saving Little Hearts Bringing Comfort to Children with Congenital Heart Defects

Karin and Ben Coulter
Saving Little Hearts
Bringing Comfort to Children with Congenital Heart Defects

All parents would agree that their worst fear realized is to see their child sick or in pain. So, in February 2002, Karin and Brad Coulter were relieved to find their newborn son Benjamin was healthy — or so they thought.
MEREDITH HULETTE

Spirituality Is Vital to Mental Health | Blount Memorial Hospital, mental health, chaplains, Jerry Scott, Rob Williamson, Parkwest Medical Center, Steven Hill, Mercy Health Partners, Brent Coyle
Spirituality Is Vital to Mental Health

Chaplains Are Key Resource for Physicians

Physicians are trained to treat their patients' physical and mental illnesses, but when it comes to the spiritual issues that often arise during a health crisis, many are at a loss. That's where chaplains step in. Many hospitals are even integrating pastoral care into mental and emotional healthcare programs.
MEGAN NORRIS JONES

State of Well-being | Tennessee Task Force on Health and Wellness, Gov. Bill Haslam, Dr. John Lacey, Alexia Poe, Sen. Bill Frist, Chronic Disease Management, Tennessee Health Status
State of Well-being

Governor Launches Health & Wellness Task Force

Just prior to his inauguration in January, Gov. Bill Haslam announced his intent to create the Task Force on Health and Wellness, assembling members of the public...
CINDY SANDERS

Tennessee Healthcare Systems Advance into Virginia
Southwest Virginia Hospital Acquisitions

Over the past few years, Southwest Virginia has received a tremendous boost in available healthcare–especially in specialty services. Acquisitions and affiliations from leading healthcare giants, Mountain States Health Alliance (MSHA) and Wellmont Health System, have under girded many more patients throughout the region.
LEIGH ANNE W. HOOVER

Tennessee Supreme Court Weighs in on Notice of Physicians as Hospital Contractors
When the Tennessee Supreme Court in May reversed two appeals court decisions regarding the notice given patients that physicians in hospitals may be independent contractors, it left hospitals with a big question: Just what is sufficient and meaningful notice that doctors and other providers may not be hospital employees?
SHARON H. FITZGERALD

THA Focuses on Quality to Combat HAIs
Through the Tennessee Center for Patient Safety, more than 100 Tennessee hospitals have formed a collaborative effort to reduce healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs). In June, the Tennessee Hospital Association (THA) outlined the state’s plans in a letter to Congress in response to a request by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform that state associations report on the measures their hospitals are taking to combat HAIs.
CINDY SANDERS

The Bottom Line: The Three Envelope Solution
In these challenging times of increasing costs and falling reimbursement, combined with financial stress on employees’ personal lives, I am reminded of the story of the three envelopes. A new practice manager had accepted a position with a local practice that was in financial duress and employee turmoil. While moving personal items into the office desk, the manager noticed a note from the prior manager along with three envelopes.
BILL MORRIS

The Bottom Line:
Take the Money and Run

“Social Security is going to run out of money, so I want my money now,” said a senior client named Joe this week. This seems to be a common sentiment among the first wave of baby boomers that are contemplating retirement. Is that the way you feel about the government sponsored retirement supplement known as social security?
Bill Morris

The Oral-Physical Health Connection
The Oral-Physical Health Connection
If the eyes are the window to the soul, could the mouth be the window to the body? A growing stack of research tells us that at the very least, the mouth gives dental professionals warning signs of larger, systemic health issues and can provide valuable clues to physicians willing to make the connection.
CINDY SANDERS

The Power of SupportLocal Support Group Provides Healing Environment and Summer Fun

Winged Deer Park Cookout
The Power of Support
Local Support Group Provides Healing Environment and Summer Fun

Many patients will argue that it is not the disease, the accident, or the medical condition that causes the most disruption in their once stable lives. After diagnosis, coping with a modified lifestyle, feeling different or inadequate, or learning to depend on others are some of the most difficult issues to come to terms with. Fortunately, the Tri-Cities area has many local support groups that meet frequently to provide information and encouragement to patients and family members. One recently formed group, the Amputee Support Group organized by Mark Mallasch, has supplied much needed solace to local patients with limb loss.
JULIE DWYER

TriCities Physician Spotlight: Marianne Neal, MD | Mountain Empire Radiology, Marianne Neal, Mountain States Health Alliance, pediatric radiology
TriCities Physician Spotlight: Marianne Neal, MD
“Once I got into radiology, pediatric radiology was a no brainer,” recalled Marianne Neal, MD, a pediatric radiologist who practices with Mountain Empire Radiology.
BRIDGET GARLAND

Trusted Advisor: Legislation and Creative Plan Design Provide Opportunities for More Effective Retirement Planning
Physician practices generally present unique retirement plan design challenges. Smaller practices can often benefit from plan designs that allow greater tax sheltered contributions while using complex testing rules to make the overall design more “efficient” for the practice. Recent legislative and regulatory changes have made it much easier to design a flexible retirement plan that meets a variety of needs and maximizes physician benefits while minimizing employee benefit costs.
Michael E. Wesson and Don Nalls

U.S. Supreme Court Decision Limits False Claims Act
Over the past few decades, the federal False Claims Act  has emerged as one of the federal government’s most potent weapons against Medicare/Medicaid fraud and abuse.  Recently, the United States Supreme Court announced its decision in Allison Engine Co. v. United States,  in which the Court clarified portions of the federal False Claims Act.  Many people in the healthcare community were naturally interested to see how and in what ways the decision might affect Medicare/Medicaid fraud and abuse lawsuits brought under the False Claims Act.
IAN HENNESSEY AND DIANA GUSTIN

Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?A Physician Offers “Structured Dialogue” as an Answer to Physician-Hospital Relations Problems
Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?
A Physician Offers “Structured Dialogue” as an Answer to Physician-Hospital Relations Problems

When it comes to physician-hospital relations, which entity is the cobra and which is the mongoose? While such adversarial scenarios unfortunately play out in hospital settings across the country, a New England surgeon contends that healthy doses of improved communication and mutual respect are capable of curing the ills that plague the interactions between hospitals and medical staffs.
SHARON H. FITZGERALD

New Diagnostic Capabilities Available for Genetic Disorders
The Human Genome Project has provided many tools for the investigation of the genetic basis for classical genetic disorders, as well as more common conditions with a genetic component.  The development of new diagnostic and therapeutic possibilities has brought the realization that identification of genetic disorders is now an integral part of medical practice. In order for our patients to benefit from this increased knowledge, they must have a confirmed diagnosis. Advances in cytogenetic and molecular testing have greatly improved the ability to diagnose with certainty many previously unrecognized conditions.
ILSE J. ANDERSON, MD, AND KARLA J. MATTESON, PHD

Physician Spotlight:  Gary Meredith, MD
Physician Spotlight: Gary Meredith, MD
Although Gary Meredith, MD, and his wife Vickie already had five children, when the adoption agency told them about a family of four that needed care, the Merediths opened their hearts and home, almost doubling their household. Before the adoption, the Merediths had four biological sons and one adopted son with multiple handicaps.

“Then my wife decided she needed a daughter,” laughed Meredith.

And she got three, and one more son.
BRIDGET GARLAND

Buying Technology as a Service
In my July column I talked in-depth about the business’s transformation from purchasing computer hardware and managing information systems (internally or outsourced) to buying it as a service. We called this IT as a Service, but the industry seems to be adopting the name “Technology as a Service” (TaaS).
PAUL SPONCIA

Physician Spotlight:  Tedford Taylor, MD
Physician Spotlight: Tedford Taylor, MD
When Tedford Taylor, MD, spent his seventh birthday in the hospital, he lost an appendix and gained a dream.
Taylor, a native of Carter County, TN, who grew up in the small community of Stoney Creek outside of Elizabethton, remembers the surgery as being “tough because it was during the time when ether was used, and so there was a lot of discomfort.”
In spite of the discomfort, the physician and the nursing personnel left this young patient thinking that “taking care of people would be a good thing to do.” From that point on, the young boy was determined to become a physician. 
Following graduation from Unaka High School in 1967, Taylor continued his education close to home at East Tennessee State University.
MISTY POWERS

Diabetes & HBO: Avoiding Amputations
When diabetic patients, insulin dependent or not, begin to show signs of the breakdown of tissue on the lower extremities, the first recommendation I would make is to get them to stop smoking, if they smoke. The second thing to consider is referring these people to a wound healing and hyperbaric oxygen center (HBO)...
THOMAS BEAHM, MD

"Missing Link" for Significant Weight Loss | Weight Loss, Jack Rutledge, diet, exercise
"Missing Link" for Significant Weight Loss

Can a patient who is 100+ pounds overweight achieve significant weight loss through lifestyle changes alone?

In the vast majority of cases – no. Studies have shown that less than 5 percent of people can lose up to 20 percent of their excess weight—and keep it off for five years—with diet and exercise alone...
JACK RUTLEDGE, MD

Administrator's Corner: June Phillips | June Phillips, Team Evaluation Center
Administrator's Corner: June Phillips
In the world of healthcare administration, steering patients and their families through the proverbial minefield of bureaucratic pitfalls is perhaps the ultimate challenge. For June Phillips, executive director of Chattanooga's Team Evaluation Center, dealing with mounds of red tape and the accompanying hassles is just a part of day-to-day life, albeit a less than pleasant part.
JOHN SEWELL

Administrator's Corner: Stephanie Boynton
Administrator's Corner: Stephanie Boynton
The world of senior healthcare is anything but predictable, but being able to adapt to change–and even predict it—helps keep Stephanie Boynton ahead of the curve. Boynton is the administrator of Erlanger Bledsoe, a 31-bed critical access facility attached to the 50-bed Bledsoe County Nursing Home. Although the two facilities are separate entities, their shared campus ties them together in many important ways...
JOE MORRIS

Administrator’s Corner: Guynn Edwards | Guynn Edwards, The Crumley House Brain Injury Rehabilitation Center
Administrator’s Corner: Guynn Edwards
Guynn Edwards originally encountered the effects of traumatic brain injury in college, when his friend and baseball teammate fell asleep while driving and collided with a tractor-trailer.
JENNIFER CULP

Diabetics have same risk for heart attack, stroke or death from cardiovascular diseases as those with prior heart attack
DALLAS—People with diabetes have the same high risk for heart attack or stroke or cardiovascular death as people who've already had a heart attack, researchers reported in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. "The increased risk was observed in people at all ages with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes who were receiving insulin or other drugs to reduce levels of sugar in the blood," said Tina Ken Schramm, MD, lead author of the study and research fellow at the Gentofte Hospital in Hellerup, Denmark. "When people with diabetes do have heart attacks, they are twice as likely to die as non-diabetics..."

Legal Matters: What You Should Know About Advanced Directives

What is an Advanced Directive?

An advanced directive is a document or an instruction by a patient that provides guidance for healthcare providers concerning patient’s wishes in the event that an individual is no longer capable of making his or her own decisions. Tennessee law currently provides for several different types of advanced directives...
IAN HENNESSY AND CONNIE S. DITTO

Physician Spotlight: Charles S. Joels, MD
Physician Spotlight: Charles S. Joels, MD
His patients should rest assured. Charles S. Joels, MD, a vascular surgeon with University Surgical Associates, isn't going anywhere. "I plan on being here forever," chuckled Joels, who recently joined the group at the end of June. "I'm excited to be here. Several of my patients have had vascular surgeons who have left. For some, I'm their third doctor in three years. They keep asking me, 'Are you staying?' And I tell them I'm not going anywhere..."
BRIDGET GARLAND

Practice Management Includes Personnel Management
Personnel management is a task that few professionals embrace. Most managers would prefer that "problems" simply find employment elsewhere. This almost never happens, unfortunately, and management is ultimately required to act. A great tool for both overcoming the urge to ignore problems, and handling those problems, is the employee handbook.
David R. Keene II

Prohibiting Mandatory Overtime  — What's the Real Issue? | mandatory overtime, Safe Nursing and Patient Care Act of 2007
Prohibiting Mandatory Overtime — What's the Real Issue?
Overtime is a difficult problem. How employers address overtime varies greatly: while a few employers utilize overtime as a standard staffing practice (despite increased labor costs), others are forced to utilize overtime to meet staffing or production requirements, while still others refuse to use it. Employees are the same—while many actively seek overtime opportunities, others consider it anathema.
David R. Keene II

Depression and the New Parity Law | mental health parity, depression, Odacir H. Oliveira
Depression and the New Parity Law
Legislation was recently passed elevating mental illness to equal parity with other illnesses. I do not fully know yet what the Senate or Congress had in mind when they passed the parity bill. Perhaps among many nuances, they want us to know that depression is a serious illness. Regardless, it is going to take years for some physicians and nurse practitioners to recognize mental illness as a disease of equal status and with clinical consequences. It will take an even longer time for some people suffering from mental illnesses to think of it as a disease and not as a consequence of moral or spiritual failures.
O. H. OLIVEIRA, PHD

Is That Wine for Food or Meditation?
How we drink wine is changing.
RICK JELOVSEK

The Bottom Line: Déjà vu Again and Again
P.T. Barnum is said to have made the statement, "There's a sucker born every minute." I think he may have been an optimist. In my thirty-plus years of advising clients on business matters and investments, I've lost track of the number of highly educated and successful professionals and business owners who have made sucker bets with their businesses and their money...
BILL MORRIS

The Bottom Line: Ways to Give (and Get) in the New Year
The page is turned and a new year is underway. Working toward good health is usually high on everyone's resolution list, but I'll bet not many of us included a resolution to establish a charitable legacy this year. How many charities do you support in any given year? Surveys show the average physician will provide contributions to a dozen charities in the next eleven or so months...
JEFF ELLIOT

Three Keys to Selling a Medical Practice Successfully
You have spent many, many years developing your practice. In addition to investing your valuable time into your patient base, you have also invested into the infrastructure that makes your back office work efficiently. This could potentially make your practice attractive to another doctor or doctor group. It only makes sense that you develop a strategy to "harvest" this investment to provide for all of your financial and retirement goals.
Jim Brogan

Computers Can Catch Viruses As Easily as Individuals Can Catch Colds
In a medical office, many patients may be seen almost daily with cold and flu-like symptoms and as medical professionals, we generally know how to deal with these biological viruses. However, what we may not know is that computers CAN also catch viruses and how to deal with them...
VIVIAN MARSHALL, PHD

Moral Medicine

Poor Service

In a few weeks, I will be leading a team of healthcare professionals to Kenya, where we will provide free healthcare to the destitute in the Dandora slums of Kenya next to a garbage dump.
DAVID STEVENS, MD, MA (Ethics)

Quillen Researcher Studies Nerves that Control Heart Function
JOHNSON CITY — A grant from the American Heart Association is helping a researcher at East Tennessee State University's James H. Quillen College of Medicine better understand how a person's heart rate and rhythm can be altered by cardiovascular disease. "Primarily, control of heart rate is the responsibility of the nervous system," said ETSU professor of pharmacology Donald Hoover, PhD..

Reverse Total Shoulder Replacements
My first experience performing reverse total shoulder replacements was in Switzerland in 1998 working with Christian Gerber, MD, an European shoulder pioneer, who taught us how to avoid many of the complications that can come from using the reverse shoulder design. That same year, Mark Frankle, an American, designed the prosthesis I now use today. Using his design, with improvements on our fixation of the prosthesis to bone we can achieve more range of motion of the shoulder by lateralizing rather that medializing the center of rotation.
DAVID HOVIS, MD

Running the 'Basis', Looking for Home
Running the 'Basis', Looking for Home
"A dime ain't worth a nickel anymore!" is credited to Yogi Berra, and he may be right today. The current financial environment has us all looking for any advantage on the interest paid on our working capital as well as our investments. A "basis point" in the financial world is equal to one one-hundredth of a percentage point (.0001). That means that for each basis point of interest you earn on $100.00, you will be paid 10¢ or a whopping $10.00 on $100,000.00 deposit.
BILL MORRIS

East Tennessee CME Events

Exercise Improves Quality of Life for Heart Failure Patients
NEW ORLEANS—Heart failure patients who participated in exercise training quickly improved their quality of life, and this continued for at least a year, researchers reported at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2008. The Effect of Exercise Training on Health-related Quality of Life in Patients with Chronic Heart Failure: An HF-ACTION Substudy was presented as a late-breaking clinical trial.

Treadmill Therapy Rewires Brain, Helps Stroke Survivors Walk Better
DALLAS—Treadmill exercise may help stroke survivors regain their ability to walk by rewiring parts of the brain responsible for controlling balance and motor skills to compensate for stroke damage, researchers report in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association...

TennCare Announcement Leaves 300,000+ Uninsured

Governor Bredesen
TennCare Announcement Leaves 300,000+ Uninsured
After close to two months of last-ditch efforts to salvage TennCare for all 1.3 million enrolled Tennesseans, Governor Bredesen is calling it quits. In an announcement on Monday, January 10, 2005, the governor said negotiations with the Tennessee Justice Center had not made progress and that the time had come to make the tough decision to drop up to 323,000 adults who do not qualify for Medicaid from the rolls. "Effective immediately, TennCare reform is moving forward under a plan that involves significant enrollment reductions but stops short of return to a basic Medicaid program," Governor Bredesen said at the press conference in Nashville. "The main difference," he continued, "is in preserving health insurance for the most vulnerable and innocent of our citizens — our children."
by Cindy Sanders

A Closer Look at Speech and Language Pathology and Audiology Practices
A bit of trivia: did you know that early in the 20th century, Alexander Graham Bell helped to develop the first “visible speech code” of symbols that were used by speech clinicians? As a licensed and ASHA certified speech and language pathologist, I still find it a challenge to keep up with the changes in this profession. Since my initial training in the 1970s, this rehabilitation discipline has expanded its services far beyond what my clinical training prepared me for at that point in time.
CARL RAUS

A Conversation with Baptist’s Janice James
Turnaround Specialist Focusing on Fiscal Picture

Janice James stays so busy as a turnaround specialist for Wellspring Partners that it’s amazing she doesn’t get, well, turned around. After working for healthcare giant HCA for 15 years — much of that time responsible for 80 medical facilities west of the Mississippi River — she joined Wellspring, a consulting division of Chicago-based Huron Consulting, moving around the United States where needed.
LYNNE JETER

A Conversation with Darrell Moore
Editor's Note: Welcome to a new feature being launched this month in East Tennessee Medical News. The East Tennessee Hospital Leadership Series is designed to introduce our readers to key hospital decision makers and explore their philosophies on everything from the delivery of care to staffing and workplace issues to off-the-clock passions.
Darrell W. Moore assumed his duties as president and CEO of Parkridge Medical Center, Inc., part of TriStar Health, in November 2006. Seven months into the job overseeing the three-campus system, he took the time to reflect on what he has learned so far and to discuss his vision for the future with East Tennessee Medical News.
CINDY SANDERS

A Conversation with E. Douglas Varney, Frontier Health
A Conversation with E. Douglas Varney, Frontier Health
E. Douglas Varney, president and CEO of Frontier Health, knows Northeast Tennessee well. After all, other than a three-year stint with the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne, he has called the region home his entire life. Born in Southwest Virginia, Varney moved to Kingsport before attending East Tennessee State University, where he received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in clinical psychology. He completed postgraduate work at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.
CINDY SANDERS

A Conversation with Jeff Ashin
A Conversation with Jeff Ashin
Southern California native Jeff Ashin, the new CEO of Mercy Health Partners Metro Division, arrived in Knoxville after working his way east through Arizona, New Mexico, Massachusetts and Ohio.
CINDY SANDERS

A Conversation with Jim Brexler, Erlanger Health System
A Conversation with Jim Brexler, Erlanger Health System
Jim Brexler came to Erlanger Health System in 2004 via Louisiana. As vice chancellor of Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Brexler spent the five years prior to relocating to Chattanooga overseeing Louisiana’s statewide public hospital system.
CINDY SANDERS

A Conversation with Joseph R. Landsman
A Conversation with Joseph R. Landsman
The University Health System has a long-standing tradition of teamwork. Whether it’s caring for patients, conducting research, reaching out to the community or training tomorrow’s healthcare professionals, taking a multidisciplinary approach has given the system a strong track record in maximizing outcomes.
CINDY SANDERS

A Conversation with MSHA’s Dennis Vonderfecht
When Dennis Vonderfecht, FACHE, president and CEO of Mountain States Health Alliance began his tenure 17 years ago, the “system” consisted of Johnson City Medical Center (JCMC). Today, that flagship facility is joined by multiple hospitals and health-related ventures to serve residents in a 29-county area spanning four states.
CINDY SANDERS

A Conversation with William Ventress
A Conversation with William Ventress
When William Ventress accepted the 2001 offer made by the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities to take the reigns at one of the state’s five Regional Mental Health Institutes (RMHI), it felt like he was coming full circle. After all, this wasn’t the first time the new CEO of Moccasin Bend Mental Health Institute had been involved in the facility’s operations.
CINDY SANDERS

AAFP Adopts Payment Reform Principles
The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) isn’t just talking the talk. It is walking the walk toward payment reform by establishing numerous principles that government agencies should consider when devising a new payment plan.
GLORIA BUTLER BALDWIN

Admin Corner- Charles McRae, Vista Radiology, P.C.
It may seem difficult to fathom common ground with the gridiron and the boardroom. However, for Vista Radiology, P.C. chief financial officer and practice administrator, Charles McRae, it was a natural transition and the two careers share many similar values.
LEIGH ANNE W. HOOVER

Admin Corner- Charlie Spencer
When Charlie Spencer strolls through the corridors of the State of Franklin Healthcare Associates’ (SoFHA) Outpatient Diagnostic Center, he is greeted by smiles and friendly hellos. There is a feeling that the team members of the Outpatient Diagnostic Center are more than simply coworkers — they are a family.
JENNIFER LOGAN

Admin Corner- Cynthia Rhodes
Administrative duties are very different than nursing ones, but Cynthia Rhodes finds plenty of common ground between the two. As Administrator of Erlanger East, Rhodes oversees the outpatient facility’s multiple operations. It’s the latest management position for Rhodes, who began her career as a staff nurse at the Children’s Hospital Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami...
JOE MORRIS

Advanced Bionics’ Spinal Cord Stimulator Reduces Pain
For most of the 50 million chronic pain sufferers in America, pain relief is a hit and miss process, leading only to temporary relief, high doctor bills, sleepless nights, and interference in daily living. Surgeries and stimulators in the past have often made the pain worse or at best been cumbersome.
GLORIA BUTLER BALDWIN

Aloha Connection Making Positive Waves
Just as in Thomas L. Friedman's book, "The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century," the world no longer seems like the huge planet it once did. It used to be that speaking with someone overseas was a really big deal and going to some exotic far away place was even more so.
GLORIA BUTLER BALDWIN

Amputee Coalition of America
Extends Its Reach

To reach out to people with limb loss and to empower them through education, support and advocacy is the mission statement of the Amputee Coalition of America (ACA), with headquarters in Knoxville, TN. They execute their mission via their 30 headquarters staff and an extension service via 960 certified peer visitors and 274 support groups across 46 states.
BILL MORRIS

An Endovascular FutureErlanger Showcases Cutting-Edge Stroke Therapy

Toni Douglas undergoing physical therapy rehabilitation
An Endovascular Future
Erlanger Showcases Cutting-Edge Stroke Therapy

When pediatric and stroke specialists with T.C. Thompson Children’s Hospital at Erlanger treated 13-year-old Toni Douglas for a massive stroke using the Merci Retriever device, they not only helped bring about a spectacular medical outcome for the girl and her family, but also showcased the tremendous potential of the latest treatments and approaches for stroke therapy.
JOHN M. HAYS

Athens Regional Expands Emergency CareGoal to Increase ER Patient Load by 40 Percent
ATHENS — The new Emergency Department at Athens Regional Medical Center (ARMC), a newly built addition to the hospital, opened in December 2006 at a cost of $6 million and with an increase in capacity from eight to 14 beds. It sees 23,000 patients a year, and the aim is to increase this number by 40 percent with room for growth an integral part of the design. John Workman, ARMC chief executive officer, stated that “as the volume grows, we’re planning for future expansion needs.”
MERRY FOXWORTH

Baptist Heart Institute Investigates Early Heart Attack Detection Device

Dr. Stephen Hoadley implants the early heart attack detection device in Morristown resident Darlene Bell.
Baptist Heart Institute Investigates Early Heart Attack Detection Device
Morristown resident Darlene Bell, 61, calls the AngelMed Guardian® system her lifesaver. “I have an extensive history of heart disease, and I have spent a lot of time in the hospital,” she explained. “I am also a very active and busy person… This early warning device gives me peace of mind.”
ANN METZ

Beware the HIPAA Risk that Hides in Plain Sight
Beware the HIPAA Risk that Hides in Plain Sight
Many times throughout the workday, healthcare providers and administrators unwittingly leave private patient information — protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) — lying around the office. The source of this penalty-worthy security infraction? The ubiquitous fax machine.
LYNNE JETER

Blue Cross Gives Physicians More Time to Review Transparency Data
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee is giving its network physicians additional months to review information that the health plan intends to post on its web site regarding doctors’ quality and prices. The decision is the result of backlash from physicians and advocacy organizations such as the Tennessee Medical Association, all concerned that the data might not adequately represent performance.
SHARON H. FITZGERALD

Building PartnershipsHealthSpring’s IPA, IPOD Program Balances Risks, Rewards
Building Partnerships
HealthSpring’s IPA, IPOD Program Balances Risks, Rewards

When most people think of an iPod, the image is inevitably linked to ear buds and hand-selected tunes. For physicians in Tennessee, HealthSpring’s IPOD and IPA programs have an entirely different meaning, but the terms are still music to the ears of some providers looking for a payer relationship outside the norm.
CINDY SANDERS

CareSpark Works with Providers to Collect Data
Medical providers trying to reach at-risk populations in the Tri-Cities area soon will have a comprehensive database to help them target their focus. As part of the state of Tennessee’s eHealth initiatives, CareSpark, a coalition of physicians, hospitals, employers, health plans and community leaders has been working for the last three years to develop
JOE MORRIS

CellSearch™ Circulating Tumor Cell Test Helps Fight Cancer Sooner
Valuable diagnostic and prognostic tools such as the CellSearch™ circulating tumor cell test help physicians and their patients fight cancer sooner by providing vital information about treatment effectiveness, disease progression and overall survival.
ROGER HUBBARD, PHD

Chattanooga Group is Leader in Rehab Manufacturing
Tucked away in the corner of Hixson is the headquarters of one of the world’s largest manufacturer of rehabilitation equipment for treating skeletal, muscular, neurological and soft tissue disorders. And, if it’s true that diamonds are forever, it promises to be around a long time.
GLORIA BUTLER BALDWIN

Chattanooga Heart Institute Acquires New CT Scanner
With 22 board-certified specialists on its staff, the Chattanooga Heart Institute (CHI) is a complete diagnostic, treatment, research, and rehabilitation center, focusing specifically on heart health. Since 1977, the center has featured the most up-to-date technology, delivering cutting edge analysis and treatment.
JOHN SEWELL

Cleaning up the Cobweb Site
As a parent of two inquisitive young boys I get asked some of the strangest questions, often in rapid succession. “Daddy, why do you work?” “Do you get to take the summer off?” “Are there dogs in heaven?” “Why did God make mosquitoes?” If I can’t answer their queries honestly, I can usually bluff my way through them. But just the other day, they asked me a question that actually had me stumped. They asked me whether or not spiders made cobwebs. If you are like many practices, your website would be more aptly called a cobweb site. What was once functional for catching the attention of visitors has now lost its “stickiness;”
GREG KENNY

Clinical Pharmacy ServicesLocally Owned Radiopharmacy Provides Innovative Services for Nuclear Medicine Customers
Clinical Pharmacy Services
Locally Owned Radiopharmacy Provides Innovative Services for Nuclear Medicine Customers

Most people associate two things with Gray, TN — the Gray Fossil Site and the Appalachian Fair. But Gray is also home to another unique business — Clinical Pharmacy Services.
STACY FENTRESS

CLINICALLY SPEAKING:March is National Colorectal Awareness Month

Dr. Susan Huntsinger is an oncologist with The University of Tennessee Medical Center.
CLINICALLY SPEAKING:
March is National Colorectal Awareness Month

In 2007, over 153,000 new colorectal cancer (CRC) cases were diagnosed and over 52,000 deaths occurred due to this disease in the U.S. In Tennessee, 3,100 new CRC cases were projected to be diagnosed and 1,160 deaths estimated. Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women but the second most common cause of cancer deaths in both genders.
SUSAN HUNTSINGER, MD

Clinically Speaking:
Reimbursement, Clinical Appropriateness, and Economic Impact of CCTA

Recently, 64-slice coronary computed tomography (CCTA) has realized increasing acceptance within the medical community as a scientifically accurate and complimentary diagnostic imaging modality for the detection of coronary artery disease. This technology provides a rapid, accurate assessment of the cardiac anatomy in a non-invasive, cost effective manner.
JEFFREY J. FINE, PHD

CLINICALLY SPEAKING
Acute Stroke Care: Diagnosis and Treatment

Stroke is defined as a rapidly developing clinical sign of focal or global disturbance in cerebral functioning lasting more than 24 hours. These may be an infarction (ischemic) stroke (80 percent of cases) or hemorrhagic stroke (20% of cases). Ischemic strokes may be caused from embolus or clot which originates from another blood vessel or structure or thrombus which produces gradual or sudden narrowing of an artery impairing blood flow and producing injury to the brain.
ADELE ACKELL, MD & JOHN BISESE, MD

Comfort Care
When faced with a chronic or terminal illness, patients want relief. Relief from pain. Relief from other symptoms, such as fatigue, loss of appetite and shortness of breath. Relief from stress.
They also want to better understand their medical condition and options for care — and to carry on with everyday life.
ANN METZ

Coming to Terms
TMA, BCBST Settle Lawsuit

On April 27, when involved parties announced a preliminary settlement to the class action lawsuit filed four years ago, a major step was taken in ending the long-running battle that pitted nearly 900,000 physicians and their representative medical societies against the BlueCross BlueShield (BCBS) Association and individual BCBS plans nationwide.
CINDY SANDERS

Continuing Care Retirement Community
Continuing Care Retirement Community
“Baby Boomers” are now entering retirement age and over the next few decades will provide fuel for an enormous senior care market throughout the United States. As active, healthy adults, they are not looking for “a place to die.” The type of place they will be looking for is upscale, resort-like communities with lots of amenities and activities to help them enjoy their healthy years while also having available a level of care suitable to their changing needs.
KRIS HILL

Counseling Provides More Complete Patient Care
“Sometimes…. you need to talk to someone who can help,” This is the motto that drives Healthy Mind Counseling Services, the three-year-old practice led by co-owners Debbie Price, MSSW, and Judy Stansberry, LPC/MHSP. The group includes six masters level therapists
MEREDITH HULETTE

CoverKids Ramps up Enrollment Effort
A multi-agency effort is underway in the Tri-Cities area to promote Tennessee’s new CoverKids insurance program, and those involved say they hope getting good information to the public will pay off in increased enrollment.

Dashboards for Business … and Bodies?
Planes, trains and automobiles. They all have something in common. The pilot, engineer or driver all rely on a complex set of information (fuel usage, speed, engine temperature, oil pressure, geographic information systems, time, and so forth) delivered to them in a comprehensive but easy to read display.
RICHARD W. OLIVER

Dedicated UTMC Nurse Draws Strength as Patient
Kim Massey glows as she conducts tours through the University of Tennessee Medical Center's (UTMC) new NICU (neonatal intensive care unit), proudly pointing out innovative features for the department that treats more than 700 babies annually.
LYNNE JETER

Diabetes Education for the Spanish-Speaking Population
Diabetes Education for the Spanish-Speaking Population
The rate of diabetes is a growing at an alarming rate in the United States, but the Hispanic population is at even greater risk of developing diabetes than non-Hispanics.
JENNIFER LOGAN

Diabetes Education Jumps Hurdles
Diabetes Education Jumps Hurdles
St. Mary’s Diabetes Center doesn’t dole out diabetes medication to its patients, but what it does do could be something even more valuable: it educates patients in how to thrive in spite of their disease, not just survive the symptoms.
GLORIA BUTLER BALDWIN

Dr. Douglas Pote and Barter Theatre Recall Area’s Musical Heritage

From left: Joy Lynn White, Gill Braswell, Nicholas Piper, Eugene Wolf, Pamela Bob and Teresa Williams in “Keep on the Sunndy Side: The Songs and Story of the Original Carter Family” (2003).
Dr. Douglas Pote and Barter Theatre Recall Area’s Musical Heritage
“Basically, I’m a math and science guy,” said Dr. Douglas Pote, a family practitioner at Glade Spring Community Clinic in Virginia. So how then does a “math and science” guy turn playwright and become the author of three musical plays developed and produced by the Barter Theatre in Abingdon, VA?
BRIDGET GARLAND

East Tennessee Welcomes New Local Editor Bridget Garland
East Tennessee Welcomes New Local Editor Bridget Garland
East Tennessee Medical News is proud to announce Bridget Garland as the new local editor. Garland, a native of the East Tennessee area, will assume editorial duties that were previously carried out by a national editor. With the creation of this new position, Garland’s familiarity with the area will truly enhance the paper’s mission of providing top quality healthcare journalism for the East Tennessee healthcare professional.

Employee Retention
Enhance the Bottom Line

With unemployment in our community significantly below 4 percent with little sign of relief anytime soon, many employers I talk with are increasingly concerned with finding ways to retain their best employees in a very competitive job market. Most employers seem to be under the impression that money is the driving factor behind turnover but this is not the case. While having a competitive salary and benefits package is important, most of the reasons for turnover have to do with other factors.
SUSAN DANKER

Empty Arms Encircle Each Other
The struggle of women who want children but have not yet been able to have them isn’t usually a topic of conversation at neighborhood barbeques and church picnics. One in six couples in the United States or as many as 10 million have trouble conceiving or carrying a pregnancy to term, and yet the journey of infertility is lonely, embarrassing and misunderstood. Talking about unconventional options, invasive treatments and miscarriages can make even the most supportive friend or family member squirm or quickly change the subject.
TINA SMITH

Enhancing Patient Care with Minimally Invasive ProceduresMemorial’s Endovascular Suite

Dr. Erdoes and Heather Flowers, Endovascular Radiology Technician, review the results from a recent endovascular procedure.
Enhancing Patient Care with Minimally Invasive Procedures
Memorial’s Endovascular Suite

Memorial’s dedication to providing the best possible care for patients is obviously apparent from their Endovascular Suite. The state-of-the-art technology and treatment methods used in the Endovascular Suite allow Memorial’s specialists to provide care for various vascular disorders. The Endovascular Suite is used to perform such minimally invasive procedures as...
MISTY POWERS

Equipping Physicians with a Right-Hand South College’s PA Program

South College PA program student Kim Rose sits on an examination table while student Nancy Moulton conducts a standard ER setting examination and student Mike Wall observes.
Equipping Physicians with a Right-Hand
South College’s PA Program

Serving the continually evolving needs of Knoxville area physicians and their patients, South College has taken a bounding step into the new millennium with its Physician’s Assistant (PA) Program. The 27-month program offers students a Master’s degree in health sciences, preparing them for a career as a liaison between physicians and patient.
JOHN SEWELL

Expanded MRI Use Recommended for Detection of Breast Cancer
Study results published in the New England Journal of Medicine on March 29 and new guidelines from the American Cancer Society both tout magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as a needed diagnostic tool for breast cancer in women who already have the disease or who are at high risk.
SHARON H. FITZGERALD

Financial Planning for Physicians
Financial Planning for Physicians
Remember during “Star Trek” episodes when Spock would raise his hand, separate his fingers and wish his colleagues an “uneventful trip”? Physicians should set that same goal for themselves when planning their financial future. That’s the advice of Michigan-based Paul H. Sutherland, president, founder and CIO of Financial & Investment Management Group and manager of Utopia Funds.
SHARON H. FITZGERALD

Financial Planning
Adopting an Investment Policy that Works

Finance is a topic attended to by much controversy, and I am sad to say, a good bit of confusion. It is my hope that I can cut through the noise and advertising so common in the financial press and assist the readers of this publication in reaching prudent, thoughtful and actionable ideas for their investment portfolios.
DONALD E. NALLS, JR - 1 opinion posted

Financial Visibility
Creating Opportunities for Profit

Very often small business owners and practice managers find themselves flying blind or, at best, by the seat of their pants. This situation can lead to added stress, wasted effort and frustration. To maximize success potential, managers should ensure that they are getting the best picture of their financial and operational situation.
LOUIS G. ROEPKE

Gaining a Competitive Edge
On Friday, September 14, the Tennessee Medical Association (TMA) and the Tennessee Medical Group Management Association (TMGMA) will co-host a daylong seminar in Nashville to help their members explore ways to leverage resources and maximize success in the group practice setting.
CINDY SANDERS

Geriatric Care Management Raises the Bar
Geriatric Care Management Raises the Bar
When it comes to care for senior loved ones, wading through the mountains of paperwork and making the myriad decisions can be daunting. Concerns mount about where to get the best healthcare, who would provide the most personalized attention and what to do about personal property and private finances. Families need advocates to look out for their best interests, rather than the interests of corporations.
GLORIA BUTLER BALDWIN

Getting Tennesseans Covered
State Program Hopes to Chip Away at Uninsured

"It's been a busy nine months," stated … or rather understated … Commissioner Dave Goetz of the Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration. In less than a calendar year, Goetz and his team have rolled out all four of the programs for which they have oversight under the umbrella of Cover Tennessee, the state's initiative to provide more children, uninsured workers and those with preexisting conditions access to affordable health coverage.
CINDY SANDERS

Grand Rounds April

Premier Surgical Hires Director of Operations 

AT&T to Deliver Country’s First Statewide eHealth Exchange Zone

Cecil Named Senior VP at UT MedicalCenter

Wallace Named Research Compliance Officer at UT GraduateSchool of Medicine

HealthStar Physicians, P.C. Achieves MGMA “Better perfomer” Status

Skincare Center and Dermatology Associates Announce Open House

Improving Functional Outcomes for Amputees: A Collaborative Approach — A Two-Day Workshop Conference

Callan Joins Blount Memorial Business Health Active Staff

Certification Continued for Region’s FirstPrimaryStrokeCenter

LMU-DCOM Announces Second CME Conference

UT GraduateSchool of Medicine to Provide Physicians with Education in Pulmonary Diseases

Avon Foundation Breast Care Fund Awards Grant to UT MedicalCenter

Tennessee Radiology Society Names New Board Members

MPLN Celebrates National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week

Reed Named Market Publisher of West Tennessee Medical News 


Grand Rounds August

UT Medical Researcher Links Foie Gras to Disease

KNOXVILLE — University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine researcher, Alan Solomon, MD, director of the Human Immunology and Cancer/Alzheimer’s Disease and Amyloid-Related Disorders Research Program, led a team that discovered a link between foie gras prepared from goose or duck liver and the type of amyloid found in rheumatoid arthritis or tuberculosis.

Grand Rounds December

McCall Joins Vista Radiology

Amputee Coalition to Open Knoxville Headquarters

Schatzle & Brown Joins the Staff of Stay at Home

Puccio Recognized as a Multiple Sclerosis Certified Specialist

Metheny Named Assistant Dean UT Graduate School of Medicine

Gray Joins UT Medical Center

ValuePoint, PYA Merge

Erlanger Welcomes Tallent to Its Medical Staff

Crowder completes CRPS Professional Designation Program

Faircloth named VP of Operations

Nethery Receives Hero Award

Forman Joins Memorial Pulmonary Medicine Center

Employees Recognized for Dedication and Service

New Podiatrist Joins ETSU Physicians and Associates

MSHA Names Corporate Director of HR

Dr. Maziarz Joins Cardiovascular Associates

Benton named VP at MSHA

Blue Ridge Family Medicine Welcomes Dr. Thompson

Saratoga Technologies Expands into Abingdon, VA

Bristol Regional Names Abrams Director of Emergency Services

HealthSouth Receives National Award


Grand Rounds February

Grimes Becomes Nationally Certified

Wood Joins Pershing Yoakley & Associates

Premier Surgical Names New Director for Vascular Access and Imaging Center

Watson Named Interim Administrator at Scott County Facility

East Tennessee Medical Group Names New CEO

Savell Joins East Tennessee Medical Group

Shamblin Promoted to Shareholder at Pershing Yoakley & Associates, PC

St. Mary’s Cancer Care Coordinator Wins ACS Award

Wells Named Business Health Medical Director

Hematology Conference Set for February 2

Hutcheson Opens Pain Treatment Center

Munson-Jackson Joins Memorial Health Partners

Hicks Named to the Tennessee Primary Care Association Board of Directors

Erlanger’s Oncology Nurses Receive Certification

 

Crowe Becomes Executive VP of Wealth Management

Fund Drive Commenced for Lone Oak Free Health and Dental Clinic

 

University Surgical Associates Opens New Office in Ft. Oglethorpe, Ga

 

Ribbon Cutting Commemorates Opening of New Facility for East Tennessee Ambulatory Surgery Center

HMG Welcomes Whitman

 

Gibson Named MSF Spirit Award Winner

 

Browder Elected First Vice President of Southern Surgical Association

 

SOFHA Outpatient Diagnostic Center Receives ACR Accreditation

 

MSF President Receives Award from City Insurance Group

 

 

 

 

JCMC Emergency Nurses Earn Forensic Certification


Grand Rounds January

Parkwest Named Top 100

UT Medical Center Radiographer Earns Accreditation

Nurse Manager Receives Excellence in Nursing Award

Gray Joins UT Medical Center

Appointments at Baptist

Scott joins UT Medical Center

Brown President of TN Nurses Association

Shared Health Wins National IT Award

St. Barnabas Employee Honored

Memorial’s Brinkley Accepts New Executive Post in Catholic Healthcare

Erlanger First Hospital in Tennessee to Use New Vascular Closure Device

St. Barnabas Presents at State Healthcare Association

Erlanger Receives Sodexho Awards

Hughes Named ACNO at Parkridge East

Price Joins Signal Mountain Medical Practices

Archer Participates In Panel

Wellmont Wins TechStar Award for Wireless Communications System

Holston Valley Nurse Administrator Ponders Different Outcomes for Trauma Cases

MSHA Receives Regents Award for Excellence in Philanthropy

Bristol Regional Names New Coordinator for Primary Stroke Center

Jan Kincaid joins McLeod Cancer & Blood Center

Wellmont Technical Services Director Receives Prestigious Certification


Grand Rounds July

Childress Named Clinic Manager at UTMC

KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee Medical Center recently promoted Ryan Childress to clinic manager of the medical center’s new physical therapy and sports medicine location at Hardin Valley. Prior to his promotion, Childress worked for a year focusing on acute care as an inpatient physical therapist with UT Medical Center’s Rehabilitation Services Department.

Grand Rounds June

Sangster Part of New National Bird Flu Center

KNOXVILLE — A University of Tennessee microbiologist will play a key role in a new wave of research to help prepare the nation for the threat of a global flu pandemic.

UT professor Mark Sangster's work fighting a potential pandemic flu has earned him a place in a $26 million research center funded by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID).

Grand Rounds March

Howard Joins UT Medical Center in Maternal-Fetal Medicine

Peninsula Welcomes Peterson as Director

Premier Surgical Hires Hatch as Office Manager

Local Surgeons Receive National Recognition

Thompson Cancer Survival Center’s Comprehensive Breast Center Named One of Only Four Breast Centers of Excellence in Tennessee

Local Surgeon Named Fellow

Pershing Yoakley & Associates Promotes Four

RM Technologies honored by Inc. Magazine

Saratoga Technologies Among the First to Become Part of Dell’s New Partner Program

Oak Ridge Breast Center Becomes One of Only Four Breast Centers of Excellence in State

Mission Leadership Appointed at Memorial

Cranwell Joins Memorial Health Partners

Hutcheson Medical Center Back in Black

Smallwood Joins CapitalMark

Avon Foundation Breast Care Fund Awards Grant to Memorial Health System

RM Technologies Expands into Chattanooga Market

Diagnostic Center Receives Accreditation for Nuclear Medicine Imaging

Drs. Hall, Ruffner Honored

James H. and Cecile C. Quillen Rehab Earns Three-Year CARF Accreditation

Frontier Health Welcomes New Physician

Holston Valley Imaging Center Receives Accredition

Resp-I-Care Home Medical Services, Runner Up in HME Excellence Awards

Fine Joins Cardiovascular Associates

Kingsport Community Foundation Awards Grants

Mountain View President, COO, Earn Fellow Distinction

Bristol Regional Receives Accreditation

Wellmont Foundation’s $500,000 Commitment Will Equip Ambulances


Grand Rounds May

Stuart Joins UT Medical Center as Nurse Manager


KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee Medical Center recently hired Debbie Stuart as nurse manager of the Neuro/Stroke Unit. In this role, Stuart will manage the patient care, staffing and daily operations of the unit, which includes the region's only certified Primary Stroke Center.

Grand Rounds November

Manzanero Joins Vista Radiology from Hawaii

Ketterman Named Administrator at Baptist Hospital of Cocke County

Thompson Cancer Survival Center Welcomes New Medical Oncologist

New Board Member Named for University Health System

Reinemeyer Heads New Covenant Weight Management Center

Ludwig Joins Knoxville Pulmonary Group

Beard Earns Certification in Bone Density Testing for Osteoporosis

Townsend Achieves Board Certification

Nurses Achieve Operating Room Certification

 

 

BlueCross CEO Vicky Gregg Receives National Healthcare Ethics Award

Huffman Named CMO at Erlanger

Hutcheson Employee Spotlight Awards

Hutcheson Auxiliary Has Basket Fundraiser

Memorial Receives “Consumer Choice” Award

UT to Add Vascular Surgery Fellowship

Senator Mullis Receives EMS Award

Ball Named MSHA Physician Recruiter

HealthSouth Kingsport Receives National Presidents Circle Award

 

Cancer Outreach Welcomes Ross

HMG Welcomes Dr. Park

Stanton Named CNO for Sycamore Shoals Hospital

Smithgall Honored for Nursing Leadership

HMG Primary Care at Weber City Welcomes Dr. Grigsby

Modern Healthcare Lauds Mike Lauf — Again

Bristol Regional Adds Orthopedic Taumatologist


Grand Rounds October

Webb Joins Realty Trust Group

KNOXVILLE — Robin Webb has joined Realty Trust Group as assistant property manager and office administrator. She will have responsibility for property and project management support and for on-going office management, Don Parnell, RTG executive vice president, said.

Grand Rounds September

UT Hires Regional Health Director to Head New Center

KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee has appointed Dr. Paul Erwin to be director of the Center for Public Health Policy and Research.

Erwin, 50, has been the East Tennessee regional director of the Tennessee Department of Health based in Knoxville since 1995. He will take his new post on Sept. 1.

Health Department — There is No Crackdown on Nursing Homes
The numbers seem to speak for themselves. The Tennessee Department of Health suspended admissions at 22 nursing homes — and at one of those nursing homes twice — during 2007. That only happened 10 times in 2006 and six times in 2005. There’s an enforcement crackdown, right?
SHARON H. FITZGERALD

Health Departments Get Financial Boost
Physicians will have a better environment to practice and patients will receive improved services now that the Tennessee Legislature has taken healthcare up a notch by approving a $917,000 safety net budget for health department expansions and improvements.
GLORIA BUTLER BALDWIN

Hospice of Chattanooga to Host Educational Conference for RNs
Hospice care can be distressing for those who are enduring a terminal illness or disability, as well as for their loved ones and caregivers. The term “hospice” has its roots in the Latin word hospitium, meaning guest house. Hospices were originally used as resting places for those who made religious pilgrimages. Physicians and others in the medical community recognized that terminally ill patients were also in need of such “resting places.”
CARL RAUS

Hospital Battle Heats UpProposed Wellmont facility draws fire from MSHA

Rendering of proposed hospital
Hospital Battle Heats Up
Proposed Wellmont facility draws fire from MSHA

Wellmont Health Systems’ proposed Boones Creek facility is getting a lot of attention, not all of it the kind the healthcare provider wants. Since Wellmont announced plans for the $41 million facility, it has come under fire from competitor Mountain States Health Alliance as unnecessary and unworkable. For its part, Wellmont says that the emergency care and diagnostic will increase area residents’ healthcare options and represents a new model for care.
JOE MORRIS

Incidence of Coronary Heart Disease Projected to Increase
Can Screening and Referrals Make a Difference?

According to a recent study by Bibbins-Domingo et al in the New England Journal of Medicine, adolescent overweight is projected to increase the prevalence of obese 35-year-olds in 2020 up to 37 percent in men and and 44 percent in women. The end result of this rise in obesity will be an increase in the occurrence of coronary heart disease (CHD),
BRIDGET GARLAND

IRS Approved Segregation Offers Benefits
IRS Approved Segregation Offers Benefits
Cost segregation for the purposes of accelerated depreciation can generate significant tax benefits to medical groups who have acquired or built new facilities within the last ten years. Examples of a million-dollar facility’s ability to claim $575,000 in first year depreciation vs. the standard $25,000 make this a process worth investigating.
BILL MORRIS

Is Your Bank Still Safe?
The meltdown in the financial services industry has many people concerned. Sub-prime loans, financial derivatives and the crisis in the mortgage industry have all contributed to the shock waves that have rippled through banks and investment companies in recent times.
BILL MORRIS

It's All About Image
"It's breast cancer." These are words no woman wants to hear. Yet with innovations in breast cancer detection, women are more poised than ever before to conquer this dreaded disease.
ANN METZ

Joint Commission Certified Primary Stroke Centers

Neuro-interventional suite at Fort Sanders
Joint Commission Certified Primary Stroke Centers
According to the American Stroke Association (ASA), stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States. When a stroke happens, the window of time for treatment is critical, and a primary stroke center hospital can be crucial when it comes to patient care. Currently, there are four certified primary stroke centers in East Tennessee.
LEIGH ANNE W. HOOVER

Keeping Track of Trauma
The National Trauma Data Bank® (NTDB) contains more than two million records from trauma centers across the United States and Puerto Rico. "It's the largest aggregation of trauma data in the world," stated Dr. Richard Fantus, FACS, a member of the Committee on Trauma (COT) for the American College of Surgeons.
CINDY SANDERS

Kingsport Women Caring for Women
All Female Practice Governed by Unique Philosophy

KINGSPORT — Women’s Health Care Specialists in Kingsport is a three physician, all female medical practice offering a full range of obstetrical and gynecological services. All three physicians are board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology. In addition to their unique status as an all female practice, their philosophy of patient care also has a unique perspective in the current challenging financial environment.
BILL MORRIS

Knoxville Firm Teaches "Customer Service" to ER Staffs Nationwide
A mystery patient enters the emergency department of an undisclosed hospital at 7:06 a.m., scans the empty waiting room and walks over to the registration desk, where a registered nurse is furiously jotting down notes. After a few awkward seconds, the patient says, "Excuse me," before the startled nurse looks up and asks: "What's going on with you?" After being told the patient's stomach hurts, she disappears into another room, apparently searching for assistance.
LYNNE JETER

Legal Matters: Should You Be An Expert Witness?
If you were sued, wouldn't you want your best and brightest colleagues to rush to your defense? Good expert witnesses are vital to our justice system and the defense of your colleagues.
B. Chase Kibler

Legal Matters: Careless Words Can Lead to Litigation
Medical malpractice lawsuits can hit from where you least expect: your fellow physicians. Recently, my law firm defended a local physician who was sued because his patient developed complications three months after surgery. The case was frivolous, because the complications were in no way related to his surgical technique, but it was still a traumatic experience for him.
B. CHASE KIBLER

Legal Matters:
Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader (on Medical Legal Issues)?

As a practicing physician, the majority of your professional time is likely spent in the clinical realm with your patients and, hopefully, to a far lesser extent, performing required administrative tasks associated with the business end of your medical practice. Unless you are a glutton for punishment, an alcoholic, or just plain weird,
Gary G. Spangler

Lessons from the Field
Let’s face it. Most people are inherently lazy when it comes to managing business risks, especially when those risks apply to information assets. This is particularly the case when it comes to disaster recovery (DR) planning, a current hot topic in the healthcare IT industry. On one hand, this is easy to understand. Risk management activities such as compliance initiatives, business resumption and disaster recovery plans rarely add any recognizable benefit to a medical practice at their inception.
GREG KENNY

Lessons from the Field: “CEO” is Key to EHR Adoption
As an Information Technology (IT) consultant in the healthcare field, I often get asked “What’s the best [you fill in the blank] solution available today?” This question always makes me wince. As much as I would like to give the individual a cut and dry answer, I usually start my response with a heavy sigh followed by two simple words; “it depends.” Now who’s wincing?
GREG KENNY

Lessons from the Field: To Host or Not to Host … That is the Question
With today’s evolving information technology (IT), it is next to impossible for the average medical practice to keep up. Most practices are just trying to stay on top of the fundamentals of operating a practice and all the business interfaces that are required to be effective and efficient. At the same time, IT is essential to the viability and financial success of any practice today.
GREG KENNY

Losing to GainMemorial’s Weight Management Center Helps Combat Obesity
Losing to Gain
Memorial’s Weight Management Center Helps Combat Obesity

In a world where “thin is in,” the chronically overweight face a daunting array of problems. Whether it’s psychological issues caused by their appearance, or physical challenges from diseases and problems caused by their size, overweight people often feel trapped by forces beyond their control.
JOE MORRIS

Make Breast Health a Priority
Here are the latest ACS guidelines for early detection of breast cancer: * Yearly mammograms are recommended starting at age 40 and continuing for as long as a woman is in good health....

Medi-Spa Helps Practice Look Good
Medi-Spa Helps Practice Look Good
Catering to their patient’s aesthetic needs also makes the Knoxville Dermatology Group look good from both a patient perspective and their business goals. Patients no longer have to make appointments and travel to an additional provider when it comes to the areas of feeling good about their personal appearance.
BILL MORRIS

Medical Practices Enter the Electronic Age
Many physicians’ offices are still doing things the old-fashioned way. The staff is harried by the incessantly ringing phones with patients trying to call in to deal with routine matters, such as setting appointments, making requests for drug refills, and asking follow-up questions.
MERRY FOXWORTH

Medicare Physician Payment Cut Tops AMA, MGMA 2008 Agendas
Medicare Physician Payment Cut Tops AMA, MGMA 2008 Agendas
UPDATE at end of story: Cut temporarily averted Physicians are slated to take a 10.1 percent Medicare rate cut this year, and the heads of two of healthcare’s powerful advocacy groups — the American Medical Association (AMA) and the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) — say the payment slash is bad news for more than doctors. It’s bad news for America’s seniors.
SHARON H. FITZGERALD

Memorial’s Home Healthcare Service
Memorial’s Home Healthcare Service
“We always say that Home Healthcare is the best recovery room there is,” enthused Colette Killebrew, Executive Director of Home Healthcare for Chattanooga’s Memorial Healthcare System. “Basically, what we do is provide a liaison between the physician and the patient: We’re the eyes and the ears of the physician in the home setting.”
JOHN SEWELL

Mental Health Providers Increasingly Focus on Youth
Mental Health Providers Increasingly Focus on Youth
In the world of children’s mental health services, earlier is better. As in-school services and other outreach efforts targeting younger populations have grown in recent years, treatment providers continually send the same message: Identification and prevention are key to ensuring positive outcomes for young people.
JOE MORRIS

Merger Brings Positive Reactions
Getting reactions on the record to a proposed merger between Baptist Health System of East Tennessee and St. Mary’s Health System has been like planting a garden in a year of drought–lots of seeds, very small crop.
GLORIA BUTLER BALDWIN

Meritless Malpractice Lawsuits Exact Psychological Toll
Meritless Malpractice Lawsuits Exact Psychological Toll
While tort reform is the primary front in the war waged by the medical profession against skyrocketing liability premiums, curtailing so-called frivolous lawsuits is another tactic that’s gaining ground and garnering support in statehouses and courtrooms nationwide.
SHARON H. FITZGERALD

Middle-Aged Students, Younger Retirees Skew Nursing Shortage Predictions
There's good news/bad news when it comes to widely published forecasts for the coming nursing shortage. The good news is that experts now believe an influx of older, first-time nurses will narrow the projected gap and delay the onset of the shortage by a few years. The bad news is that even with the revised projections, the future nursing shortfall will still be triple any shortage this country has ever experienced.
CINDY SANDERS

Mind MattersGeriatric Assessment Program Helping Seniors with Memory Problems
Mind Matters
Geriatric Assessment Program Helping Seniors with Memory Problems

It has been said that growing old is not for the timid. Most of us can expect to experience decreased abilities as we age. With poor physical health often comes poor mental health. And it’s natural to feel sad or depressed when our bodies struggle.
ANN METZ

Mountain Empire Vein Center Offers Treatment for Superficial Venous Disease

Dr. Lance Klosterman demonstrates the use of doppler ultrasound to assess superficial venous disease. He emphasizes that patients should be standing.
Mountain Empire Vein Center Offers Treatment for Superficial Venous Disease
Making the diagnosis of superficial venous disease of the lower extremities has typically been limited to identifying varicose veins and maybe the occasional venous stasis ulcer. Although this is usually the correct diagnosis, there are many patients with significant superficial venous disease without varicose veins.
BETSY ALLEN

MSHA Named a 2007 Most Wired Healthcare System
Mountain States Health Alliance (MSHA) has been named to the nation’s Top 100 Most Wired List, according to the results of the 2007 Most Wired Survey and Benchmarking Study released in the July issue of Hospitals & Health Networks magazine. The magazine has named the 100 Most Wired hospitals and health systems since 1999. MSHA was also named a finalist for the Most Wired Innovator Award given by the publication.
JAMES WATSON

MSHA Physician First in Tennessee, Second in Country to Place Artificial Disc
MSHA Physician First in Tennessee, Second in Country to Place Artificial Disc
When Tim Nichols awoke after his surgery on Tuesday, he straightened his hand. His fingers flexed with no problems. Better still, he had no pain. “It was miraculous,” said the Green Springs, Va., resident as he related how he came to be the first recipient in Tennessee of the Prestige® Cervical Disc, an artificial disc replacement that gives patients suffering from acute disc herniation a chance to regain function and preserve motion in their necks.
JAMES WATSON

Murfreesboro Hospital Introduces Laborist Program
Ask most obstetricians/gynecologists why they chose the specialty, and they'll tell you that it's the rush of helping usher new life into the world. Yet ask them about the drawbacks, and scheduling will be high on the list. When the baby decides it's time, it's time to catch the baby.
SHARON H. FITZGERALD

Occupational Therapy: What's in a Name?
CHATTANOOGA — Along with physical therapy and speech pathology and audiology, occupational therapy remains one of the three primary disciplines in the field of physical rehabilitation. Occupational therapy, or OT as it is commonly known, is often a misunderstood profession because the title of this discipline implies that its primary goal is to train individuals to pursue or return to a designated occupation. In part, this is true. However, the primary goal of occupational therapy is to help children and adults increase their independence. It is from this baseline philosophy that OT branches out in many directions to serve individuals who are in need of rehabilitation programs.
CARL RAUS

One Small Step for Malpractice Reform
Everything, from a journey of a thousand miles to medical liability reform (MLR), must begin with one step. The Tennessee Legislature has taken a small step on the road toward improving the medical liability environment in the state.
KELLY PRICE

Orthopedic Surgeons are Not Created Equal
“Dem bones, dem bones,” as the ever-popular children’s song goes, are all connected in a particular way. “Toe bone connected to the foot bone. Foot bone connected to the leg bone. Leg bone connected to the knee bone.” And so on, all the way to your hip, back, shoulder, neck and head bones. Perhaps no one knows all “dem dry bones” better than an orthopedic surgeon. Orthopedics is the branch of surgery concerned with acute, chronic, traumatic and overuse injuries and other disorders of the musculoskeletal system.
ANN METZ

Orthopedist at Hawkins County Memorial Performs Space-Age Knee and Hip Replacements
Orthopedist at Hawkins County Memorial Performs Space-Age Knee and Hip Replacements
For more than 20 years, Bea Wells produced delicious country cooking for people in Hancock and Hawkins counties, and she was repaid not only in dollars and cents but also with more compliments than she could count. But Wells ended up paying for the meals she prepared at her restaurant, Aunt Bea’s. She paid through her knees.
BRAD LIFFORD

Palliative Care: A Team Approach
Palliative care focuses on relieving symptoms and improving the quality of life for the seriously ill. Palliative care is a fast growing field of medicine which primarily began in small community hospitals. Since 2000, the number of palliative care programs in major medical centers has doubled. Today, there are about 1,240 programs throughout the country. Approximately 30 percent of all medical centers now have approved programs.
JAMES LONDON

Parental Involvement Likely Key in Treating Overweight Children
Parental Involvement Likely Key in Treating Overweight Children
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the prevalence of overweight children is increasing and has steadily increased over the past two decades. No one is more familiar with the problems facing overweight children than pediatricians and family physicians.
STACY FENTRESS

Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation in Chattanooga: Critical Need, Critical Shortage
CHATTANOOGA — We have all heard the standard and corny joke: "She's not my physical therapist, she's my physical terrorist." Such a description is indicative of the fact that if one needs physical therapy, one can expect to work hard to make progress. These professionals have a remarkably diverse bag of tricks, many of which may be surprising to physicians and healthcare consumers. In Chattanooga, there is a critical need for — and shortage in — physical therapy and rehabilitation providers.
CARL RAUS

Physician Recruiters Offer Tips to Docs on the Market
Physician Recruiters Offer Tips to Docs on the Market
If you’re a physician looking for a job and a recruiting firm asks for money to help you secure employment, walk the other way. That’s the first word of advice to doctors from two physician recruiters who collectively boast more than five decades of experience in the profession.
SHARON H. FITZGERALD

Physician Self Referral Causing Concern
Radiology Issues Prompting Government Intervention

Today, many medical offices are equipped with their own in-office imagery equipment. Patients enjoy the perceived convenience of one stop medical care. Yet, is this truly the best medical practice? The issue has raised many concerns.
LEIGH ANNE W. HOOVER

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Brett Sanders
Work hard — really hard — and play harder. That could be the motto of Dr. Brett Sanders, an orthopedic surgeon with the Center for Sports Medicine & Orthopaedics in Chattanooga. Consider his interest in music; he recalled many a jam session playing guitar with one of his colleagues, a concert-trained violinist.
JOHN M. HAYS

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Christine W. Parker
How Dr. Christine W. Parker arrived at this place in her career and life is not an easy matter to untangle. At first, her situation seems straightforward enough. Parker, a happily married mother of two, is an internal medicine specialist with Memorial Health Partners. She has a special interest in the treatment — and especially the prevention — of diabetes.
JOHN M. HAYS

Physician Spotlight: Dr. David Wiles
Inside the crowded office of East Tennessee Brain and Spine Center (ETBS) in Johnson City, Dr. David Wiles can be found moving from room to room talking with patients about how to change their lives. Because of his interest in experimental spinal surgeries the medical world only dreamed about a few years ago, changing lives is what Wiles can do.
JAMES WATSON

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Donald T. Ellenburg
For allergist Donald T. Ellenburg, MD, of Knoxville’s Asthma & Allergy Affiliates, family, faith, work, and community service are enmeshed in the rich tapestry of a life that focuses on both giving back and paying forward. The tireless physician balances the myriad requirements
JOHN SEWELL

Physician Spotlight: Dr. E.C. Goulding III
The patient had no pulse and the young Goulding turned to his nurse and told her to call a code.
“This nurse put her hand on my shoulder, looked me in the eye and said, ‘Baby, you are the code,’” he recalled.
The patient survived, and Goulding was hooked on emergency medicine.
JAMES WATSON

Physician Spotlight: Dr. G. Harold Naramore
G. Harold Naramore is more than just a physician. He’s more than just an administrator and much more than just an attorney. Actually, he’s all three. The medical degree, master’s in business administration, and law degree are not just initials after his name, they are the tools he draws from to fulfill his childhood calling: to help others.
ANNE NEWTON

Physician Spotlight: Dr. George Webber
KNOXVILLE — Bringing women through the ordeal of breast cancer treatment with both their minds and bodies intact is more than a mission for Dr. George Webber. It's a ministry.
LUCY SCHULTZE

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Greg Stewart
Dr. Greg Stewart, an orthopedic surgeon with Watauga Orthopaedics in Johnson City, doesn’t just talk the talk — he walks the walk. Not that he isn’t talkative or friendly — far from it. But he is very much a hands-on person. When asked about formative influences during his early years, he immediately thought of his father.
JOHN M. HAYS

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Gregory J. Mancini
George Bernard Shaw once said “He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches.” However, Shaw never met Dr. Gregory J. Mancini. As assistant professor of surgery at the University of Tennessee Medical Center-Knoxville (UTK), Mancini is proving that those who “can” teach and teach well.
BRIDGET GARLAND

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Herb Ladley
When Dr. Herbert Ladley and his wife Kathy moved to Kingsport from Portland, Oregon, in 1984, they probably never dreamed that they would be running a sheep farm 20 years later. But that is exactly what the Ladley’s now do.
BRIDGET GARLAND

Physician Spotlight: Dr. J. Mack Worthington
Math’s loss is medicine’s gain. When the Tennessee Medical Association (TMA) installed Dr. J. Mack Worthington as the organization’s 153rd president at the annual meeting in late April, it’s a moment that easily might not have happened because Worthington set out to be a math teacher … not an MD.
CINDY SANDERS

Physician Spotlight: Dr. James Creel
What do you get when you cross an emergency medicine specialist and a scuba diver? A board-certified physician in hyperbaric medicine, of course. In other words, you get Dr. James Creel.
JOHN M. HAYS

Physician Spotlight: Dr. James Herman
Doctors are known for their willingness to help out a colleague, even if it means traveling across town, or even out of state. For Dr. James R. Herman, this professional courtesy sent him halfway across the globe.
JOE MORRIS

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Jeff R. Farrow
JOHNSON CITY — When Dr. Jeff R. Farrow is not mending patients, he's likely to be found mending fences on his farm, his family's "happily ever after." He is with Pulmonary Associates of East Tennessee and is medical ICU director
JAMES WATSON

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Jeffrey Hecht
Dr. Jeffrey Hecht comes from a Michigan family that can dress you up to go just about anywhere. His working roots originated in the clothing industry, where his father and other family members established a successful apparel business. The oldest of four siblings, it was a rite of passage for him to follow in those industrial footsteps. However, to the good fortune of many, young Jeffrey had different aspirations. When asked about challenging moments in his life, he alludes to the time when he broke the news to his father that he wanted to become a doctor.
CARL RAUS

Physician Spotlight: Dr. John Cowan
Dr. John Cowan believes in “living the good life.”
The focus on living might seem ironic for the medical director of Blount Memorial Hospice in Maryville. After all, many of his patients have six months or less to live. Cowan is quick to point out, however, that death is a part of the cycle of life.
ANN METZ

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Joseph Smiddy
Like many physicians, Dr. Joseph Smiddy has a long list of credentials he can place behind his name. But there is one credential that makes this Northeast Tennessee pulmonologist a bit unique: it’s his CDL, or Commercial Driver’s License, meaning he is able to drive the big rigs.
JAMES WATSON

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Keith Gray
While Dr. Keith Gray does enjoy running and exercising when he has the opportunity, it’s his career as a surgical oncologist that seems to be on the fast track. Gray joined the medical team at the University of Tennessee Medical Center, Knoxville, on September 1, 2007, and has quickly shown that his superior skills and humble attitude are appreciated by both patients and colleagues alike.
BRIDGET GARLAND

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Mark A. Brzezienski
“I was supposed to be a concert pianist, you know.” Believe it or not, this statement by Dr. Mark A. Brzezienski is a surprisingly apt introduction to his medical career. “I was playing piano with orchestras at age 10,” he said. “My father to this day does not get how I went into this field.” So, how did he find himself on a path that led him toward becoming a plastic surgeon?
JOHN M. HAYS

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Maureen Ross
It was the dual focus of patient support services and state-of-the-art research offered by Cancer Outreach that convinced Dr. Maureen Ross to settle in Southwest Virginia.
JENNIFER LOGAN

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Maurice Rawlings, Jr.
For Dr. Maurice Rawlings, Jr., practicing medicine has been about finding the right fit. As medical director of the Mary Ellen Locher Breast Center at Memorial Hospital in Chattanooga, Rawlings has been involved in the creation of a $2.9 million facility that serves as a single-source treatment center for women throughout the region. It’s the culmination of a practice that began in general medicine and eventually evolved to a specialized practice in breast diseases and melanoma.
JOE MORRIS

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Mazen Khalil
Knoxville cancer specialist Dr. Mazen Khalil celebrates two birthdays. The day he was born in Syria and the day he set foot on American soil. “I was born again on March 8, 1997,” Khalil said. “That’s the day I came to the United States. I grew up with a dream. Ever since I was a child, I wanted to come to America.”
ANN METZ

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Michael Casey
Athletes in the East Tennessee region have significantly benefited from the shared time and expertise of Dr. Michael Casey, Jr. To underscore this fact, Dr. Casey was honored at an awards luncheon on March 1, 2008, by the Southeast Athletic Trainers’ Association (SEATA), where he was presented with the Jack C. Hughston, MD Sportsmedicine Person of the Year Award.
STEVE QUINDRY

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Michael Love
“I’m just an old doctor still trying to work.” So said Dr. Michael Love, an interventional cardiologist with Memorial Health Care System, in his typically self-deprecating, understated, and somehow jovial way.
JOHN M. HAYS

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Oliver Gregory
One could describe Dr. Oliver Gregory as a down-to-earth sort of guy — were it not for the fact that his idea of a good time is flying hundreds and even thousands of feet above the ground in a hang glider.
JOHN M. HAYS

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Rebekah Austin
Perhaps she missed her calling as a cardiologist, because when it comes to matters of the heart, neurologist Rebekah Austin seems to be an authority. Austin, who practices in Kingsport, TN, with Blue Ridge Neuroscience Center, P.C., demonstrates a caring attitude that is to be admired and respected, as reflected in one her biggest loves — participating in medical mission trips to second and third world countries.
BRIDGET GARLAND

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Robert Sass
CHATTANOOGA — When Dr. Robert Sass was about 5 years old, his mother brought home a surgeon's cap that she'd found on the sidewalk. "She explained to me that it was part of a doctor's uniform, and I became very fascinated with it," Sass, 47, explained.
KATIE PORTERFIELD

Physician Spotlight: Dr. Walter Rose
Dr. Walter Rose is no stranger to the East Tennessee area. This self-described “hometown boy” grew up on Signal Mountain right outside of Chattanooga. Now Dr. Rose, a bariatric surgeon with the Surgical Weight Management Program of Memorial Health Care System, is giving back to the community where he was educated.
BRIDGET GARLAND

Physician Spotlight: Dr. William A. Rafuls
As an abstract expressionist painter, Dr. William A. Rafuls’ time has come.
Though he had begun to develop this hobby in high school, he stopped painting when he went abroad to medical school as a young man. He resumed his work in the 1990s, however, and now paints from his orange-and-white studio in the basement of his home.
JOHN M. HAYS

Physician Spotlight: Mukesh Sharma, MD, FACC
For Mukesh K. Sharma, MD, FACC, with Parkway Cardiology Associates in Oak Ridge, the decision to study medicine has taken him across continents and cultures. A native of Ludhiana, India, Sharma became the first physician in his family — a remarkable accomplishment, when the opportunities to study medicine in his homeland were limited.
KAREN OTT MAYER

Physicians To Patients: Review Your Medicare Part D Coverage Now
On a recent November day, Tim Tucker and his brother, both pharmacists in Huntingdon, Tennessee, sat down with more than a dozen customers individually at their family-owned pharmacy to help them wade through the increasingly complex morass that is Medicare Part D, the federal government’s optional drug plan for Medicare enrollees.
SHARON H. FITZGERALD

Pioneering SpiritDr. Elizabeth Anderson Opens New Solo Dermatology Practice
Pioneering Spirit
Dr. Elizabeth Anderson Opens New Solo Dermatology Practice

“You can identify a pioneer as a cowboy laying face down with arrows in his back” is an often used statement to poke fun at people trying new things. Dr. Elizabeth Anderson shows her pioneering spirit by towing her wagon to Bearden Hill to set up her new solo dermatology practice. Instead of following conventional wisdom and joining an established practice, she has chosen to open one alone.
BILL MORRIS

Planning for Retirement Income to Last
Whether you’re in, nearing, or decades away from retirement, you face an increasingly complex challenge–planning for income that can potentially last throughout your retirement. Today, social security and employer pensions generally provide only about 40 percent of the average retiree’s income,1 so retirees may have to contend with creating the majority of their own income in retirement–often through a combination of personal savings and investments.
DENNIS COVINGTON, CFP

Playing it SafeTHA Launches Patient Safety Center
Playing it Safe
THA Launches Patient Safety Center

When the Tennessee Hospital Association (THA) officially launched its new Tennessee Center for Patient Safety (TCPS) several weeks ago, it represented the culmination of nearly two years of outlining strategic plans, writing grant applications and seeking input from other healthcare organizations on ways to accelerate efforts for patient safety and quality improvement.
CINDY SANDERS

Power PlayFour Tennesseans Make the “Most Powerful People” List
Power Play
Four Tennesseans Make the “Most Powerful People” List

There’s no mistaking that Tennessee ranks high in the world of healthcare, and Modern Healthcare magazine recently added to the state’s acclaim by including four healthcare power players from the state on its “100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare” list.
SHARON H. FITZGERALD

Premier Surgical Exceeds Federal GoalsProcedure to Improve Health of Dialysis Patients

Dr. Christopher Polluck preps patient for treatment.
Premier Surgical Exceeds Federal Goals
Procedure to Improve Health of Dialysis Patients

Estraletta Green of Knoxville didn’t need much convincing to try a relatively new procedure that could make her life as a hemodialysis patient easier. “After years with a catheter, the doctor suggested I consider an AV fistula,” she said. At age 41, Green is on the waiting list for her second kidney transplant in the last 10 years, and has been on dialysis since 2006.
SCOTT BROOKS

Prescribers, Pharmacists Prepare for Tamper-Resistant Prescriptions
Prescribers, Pharmacists Prepare for Tamper-Resistant Prescriptions
After a six-month reprieve, federal legislation requiring Medicaid outpatient prescriptions be presented to pharmacists on tamper-resistant pads containing at least one security measure is set to go into effect April 1, 2008. In Tennessee, this new mandate impacts written prescriptions for TennCare patients. Exceptions to the tamper-resistant requirement include...
CINDY SANDERS

Promoting a Conduit of CooperationOnePartner to Open ATAC in Southeast Virginia

Construction of ATAC in Duffield, VA. Inset: ATAC Floor Plan using CAD System, walls are transparent.
Promoting a Conduit of Cooperation
OnePartner to Open ATAC in Southeast Virginia

No one can deny the immense advantages of electronic medical records (EMR) for both patient care and practice management; however, the dynamics of implementing such a system are so numerous and complex that less than 20 percent of physicians use EMR. OnePartner, an off-shoot company of the Holston Medical Group (HMG) in Kingsport, TN, hopes to alleviate some of the anxiety that accompanies the execution and management of EMR.
BRIDGET GARLAND

Radiologists Expanding into Rural Areas
University Radiology in Knoxville has taken its business practice beyond the city. Physicians, subspecialized in every radiation modality under the rainbow, are now providing their expertise to rural East Tennessee at Wellmont Health Systems' Hawkins County Memorial Hospital and its newest 10-bed critical care hospital in Hancock County.
GLORIA BUTLER BALDWIN

Smoke-Free TennesseeLife After the Non-Smokers Protection Act
Smoke-Free Tennessee
Life After the Non-Smokers Protection Act

This year, as with most, many Tennesseans will resolve to quit smoking. The goal for 2008, however, is to ensure that more of those who quit are able to kick their tobacco addiction for good.
CINDY SANDERS

St. Mary’s and Baptist Ink Merger Deal
St. Mary’s and Baptist Ink Merger Deal
Following approval by their respective boards, representatives from St. Mary’s Health System and Baptist Health System signed a definitive merger agreement on November 15, affirming their intent to combine all assets into a new company. “It’s a very exciting and historic day in our community,” said Debra K. London, president and CEO of St. Mary’s. “This merger will bring together two long-standing healthcare providers that share a common faith-based mission and values.
ANN METZ

St. Mary’s and Baptist Propose Merger
St. Mary’s and Baptist Propose Merger
Baptist Health System of East Tennessee and St. Mary’s Health System have announced a plan to merge all assets and become a united nonprofit healthcare organization. Baptist and St. Mary’s signed a letter of intent on Aug. 28, affirming their decision to merge, subject to due diligence and satisfactory regulatory approvals. The boards of directors of both health systems, in separate meetings, authorized the merger.
ANN METZ

St. Mary’s and Baptist Unveil New Name “Mercy Health Partners” Reflects Core Values of Merged System
St. Mary’s and Baptist Unveil New Name
“Mercy Health Partners” Reflects Core Values of Merged System

It’s official. St. Mary’s Health System and Baptist Health System of East Tennessee have combined all assets to become a united, nonprofit healthcare system, effective January 1, 2008. On January 22, the entity formed by the merger announced its name: Mercy Health Partners.
ANN METZ

State Grants to School Systems Should Help Stem Obesity Tide
First the bad news: Nearly 28 percent of Tennessee’s adults and 20 percent of Tennessee’s children ages 10 to 17 are obese, according to an August report by Trust for America’s Health. That’s the nation’s fifth-highest rate for adults and fourth-highest rate for kids. The good news is that the Tennessee Department of Education’s Office of Coordinated School Health announced in August $12.3 million in grants to local school systems to help combat the widening girth of Tennessee schoolchildren.
SHARON H. FITZGERALD

State Health Officials Keeping a Close Eye on West Nile Virus
May marked the beginning of another West Nile Virus season in Tennessee, and state health officials predict that, if recent trends continue, 2007 will be worse than the previous few years.
SHARON H. FITZGERALD

Statewide Initiatives Nurture Promising and Established Biotech Ventures
No matter what area of Tennessee, biotechnology initiatives are thriving, thanks to the state’s research strengths, a sprinkling of highly successful industries, particularly those medically related, and entrepreneurs taking advantage of support from government, university and economic-development efforts. “We’re looking to help entrepreneurs create jobs and wealth. That’s the bottom line,” explained Dave Lawrence, director of the Innovation Laboratory at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City.
SHARON H. FITZGERALD

Stemming an EpidemicContinuing Efforts to Turn the Tide on Obesity
Stemming an Epidemic
Continuing Efforts to Turn the Tide on Obesity

People living at a healthy weight in the Southeast are in a clear minority. A generation ago, less than 10 percent of those in the region would have been classified as "obese." Today, one-third of the southeastern population is clinically defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more, making it one of the heaviest regions in the country. When the issue is extended to include those considered to be "overweight" the percentages climb sky high.
CINDY SANDERS

Stopping StrokesAn Aggressive Push for Primary and Secondary Prevention

Dr. Richard T. Benson
Stopping Strokes
An Aggressive Push for Primary and Secondary Prevention

We all know the stats. Stroke is the third leading cause of death in America and the number one cause of disability. The southeastern United States is known as “The Stroke Belt.” Approximately 780,000 Americans suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year — on average, that’s one stroke every 45 seconds. About every three minutes, someone dies of stroke.
CINDY SANDERS

Targeting Tennessee’s Drug Utilization Rates
New Program Focuses on Schedule II Narcotics

The Tennessee Medical Association (TMA), in partnership with several other state organizations and agencies, recently launched the Tennessee Prescription Safety Program to target misuse and abuse of schedule II narcotics. The new program is an initiative of the Tennessee Foundation for Quality Patient Care, a non-profit organization...
CINDY SANDERS

TECHMED Award Promotes Technology Usage
In his Jan. 20, 2004 State of the Union address, President George W. Bush said, “By computerizing health records, we can avoid dangerous medical mistakes, reduce costs and improve care.” His sentiment was paralleled by The Institute of Medicine and the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics
GLORIA BUTLER BALDWIN

TECHMED Award Winners Announced
TECHMED Award Winners Announced
Four winners of the first annual TECHMED Award, offered by East Tennessee Medical News, were presented with their award on October 17th and 18th. Saratoga Technologies is the major sponsor of the TECHMED Award with Mountain States Health Alliance in Tri-Cities and Baptist Hospital in Knoxville as supporting sponsors.
BRIDGET GARLAND

TennCare Prepares to Introduce New Strategy in East and West Tennessee
TennCare officials hope that what’s already working in Middle Tennessee will work just as well in East and West Tennessee. The time has come to find out. In January, the TennCare Bureau released a request for proposals for health plans to assume full financial risk and serve Medicaid-eligible patients in the two regions.
SHARON H. FITZGERALD

TennCare, Cover Tennessee Will Not Merge Pregnancy, Delivery Coverage
When Cover Tennessee began enrolling clients into its various programs in March, there was some concern among the state’s ob-gyn practitioners that TennCare patients they were seeing might be shifted to one of the new programs.
JOE MORRIS

Tennessee Legislature Revives Physician Non-Competes
Whether or not the rebirth of physician non-compete covenants in the private practice arena is good news or bad really depends upon the side of the table where you sit.
For the individual physician seeking employment, the new law might be cause for concern. For the practice looking to hire, the legislation provides a welcomed level of protection.
CINDY SANDERS

Tennessee Plans Four New Colleges of Pharmacy
Students wishing to practice pharmacy will now have a much better shot at getting enrolled now that pharmacy schools are popping up all over the state. East Tennessee State University (ETSU), which began classes in January, Lipscomb University, Union University and Belmont University will each be opening new colleges of pharmacy. Prior to the announcement, the University of Tennessee, Memphis, had the only pharmacy school in the state.
GLORIA BUTLER BALDWIN

Tennessee Ranks 40th in Commonwealth Fund Health-System Ranking
Tennessee Ranks 40th in Commonwealth Fund Health-System Ranking
The performance of Tennessee’s health system won’t get a standing ovation. That’s according to the Commonwealth Fund Commission, which in June released a state-by-state scorecard assessing access, quality, avoidable hospital use and costs, equity and healthy lives. Tennessee ranked 40th.
SHARON H. FITZGERALD

THA and TMGMA: Declining Reimbursements will Challenge Hospitals and Practices
While this is far from a newsflash, it’s never been more true: hospitals and medical practices are facing increasing costs and declining reimbursements. Leaders of both the Tennessee Hospital Association and the Tennessee chapter of the Medical Group Management Association believe patient access to healthcare could suffer as a result.
SHARON H. FITZGERALD

The Aging Eye
Like it or not, we’re all getting older. And with age invariably comes eye problems. In addition to normal changes in vision, older adults may experience eye disorders and health problems that can permanently affect eyesight—resulting in blurred or distorted images, or the loss of central or side vision. A number of conditions can potentially steal sight. Among the most common eye problems in older people are cataracts and glaucoma.
ANN METZ

The BOSS is Back
Physicians that want to focus on providing medical care to their patients and outsource total responsibility of managing staff can call the BOSS. Business Office Staffing Service (BOSS) specializes in providing qualified staff for medical practices.
BILL MORRIS

The Bottom Line
Go online to CheapDocs.com and find a physician office with unfilled appointment slots and you can buy an appointment at a discounted price! Some have specials that include lab tests and other ancillary services that are not being fully utilized. Sound like a fantasy? You’re right.
Bill Morris

THE BOTTOM LINE: Dream Builders Will Benefit
Individuals with a desire to fund public and charitable works with IRA assets may be in for a big lift. Both sides of the isle, Republicans and Democrats, are in favor of extending and improving the charitable giving rules to allow a tax-free contribution of IRA assets. The current IRA Charitable Rollover Act allows..
Bill Morris

The Bottom Line: Fire Them All!
Don’t you wish you could fire them all and just focus on seeing patients and practicing what you were trained to do? Employees that will not do their job, have personal problems that they bring to work, or just don’t “work well with others” can be a major distraction and frustration for any healthcare professional. Don’t you just wish you could fire them all?!

The Bottom Line: Outlaws and Outliers
Outlaws and Outliers can rob your practice of revenue every day. If you have taken all of the steps to assure your appointment slots are full every day and your practice production numbers are still not meeting MGMA guidelines for similar practices, it may be time for a chart audit.
Bill Morris

The Bottom Line: Reset Your Sights for 2008
It’s time to look for new revenue opportunities before you get distracted by the upcoming holiday season. Few medical practices have the ability or desire to greatly expand or diversify their services (for instance, the Knoxville Dermatology Group developed the freestanding Medi-Spa to provide cosmetic healthcare services), but this does not mean there are not opportunities available for your medical practice.
BILL MORRIS

The Bottom Line: Right Message + Right Time + Right People = Success
Part I: Right Message

Once upon a time, there was a little brand named Coca-Cola™. It was the 1920’s and Coke™ was expanding rapidly around the world. In China, shopkeepers were having a hard time spelling the product’s name in Chinese characters while keeping the same pronunciation.

The Bottom Line: Right Message + Right Time + Right People = Success
Part II: Right Time

“Strategy and timing are the Himalayas of marketing. Everything else is the Catskills.” — Al Ries There is an irony to this month’s part of our formula. Timing is arguably the most important aspect of the right formula for marketing success, and yet, it is often the most overlooked and the least understood.
Chuck Morris

The Bottom Line:
Are There Holes in Your Parachute?

A two-man practice was experiencing great success and growth when one of the doctors was diagnosed with a tumor. As the doctor began treatments, the remaining partner set about looking for a locum tenens to fill in while he looked for a new partner. Practice expenses continued on, the ill partner continued to draw income from his accounts receivable collections, and the locum tenens had to be paid from the same income pool. When it was determined that the ailing doctor would not fully recover, he asked for the existing partner to buy out his share of the practice.
Bill Morris

THE BOTTOM LINE:
Right Message + Right Time + Right People = Success
Part III: Right People

“Humanity is overrated.” — Dr. Gregory House on the hit TV show, “House, MD” Well, we’ve made it to the third and final element of our right formula for marketing: people. If you’ve stayed with me so far, thanks for reading. People are funny. We’re finicky. We’re cynical. We’re skeptical. We want what we want when we want it...
Chuck Morris

The Bottom Line:
The Benefits of Owning Your Business

Office ownership has become an increasingly popular prospect for many physicians. For some of the same benefits as home ownership, a growing number of professionals are purchasing their office suites. Since the cost of purchasing property and constructing an entire building can be cost prohibitive, the concept of owning a medical condominium is a very attractive option for some medical offices.
Becky Mink

THE BOTTOM LINE
Greatest Portfolio Risk is Your Longevity

Parents of baby boomers retired at 65 and were deceased (on average) by 72 years of age. Their financial portfolios had to last 7 years. Baby boomers, thanks to healthier lifestyles and advances in medicine, are retiring earlier and projected to live well into their nineties and beyond. Retirement portfolios now have to last 30 to 40 years, almost as long as our working careers!
Bill Morris

The Bottom Line
Not Your Daddy’s 401(k)

Did you pay too much in taxes last month? How much is too much? I’m not talking about those of you that are tax protesters and believe the first $1 is too much, but did you not take advantage of your employee contribution limits for your company’s retirement plan?
BILL MORRIS

The Bottom Line
Warning Shot Fired

Dr. Robert Stokes in Grand Rapids, Michigan, was convicted of fraud after being charged with 72 counts of billing fraud. Thirty-five counts of the indictment had to do with billing for laboratory testing services. While the 31 counts Dr. Stokes was convicted on did not include the laboratory billing charges, it is significant that the federal prosecutors included the laboratory services in the indictments.
Bill Morris

The Certified Legal Nurse Consultant Ready to Take On Challenging Medical-Legal Cases

Mildred Coursey, CLNC®
The Certified Legal Nurse Consultant Ready to Take On Challenging Medical-Legal Cases
What does a medical professional do when faced with involvement in a legal action? Expertise in both medicine and law is required. One option for physicians and lawyers is to turn to a legal nurse consultant. A new profession which has come about in the last twenty-five years, the CLNC® (Certified Legal Nurse Consultant) requires an RN and additional intensive training and education in aspects of the law that are involved in cases of illness or injury.
MERRY FOXWORTH

TMA Installs Officers, Honors Physicians
At the 172nd Annual Meeting of the Tennessee Medical Association, which was held in Nashville late last month, the organization installed J. Mack Worthington, MD, a family physician from Chattanooga, as the 2007 president. Founder of the Department of Family Medicine and the Family Medicine Residency Program at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine – Chattanooga

TMA Will Work Toward Passage of Legislation to Stem Lawsuits
TMA Will Work Toward Passage of Legislation to Stem Lawsuits
Medical liability reform–coupled with arresting the number of frivolous lawsuits filed against physicians–is again a top agenda item for the Tennessee Medical Association in 2008. As for another organization representing clinical practitioners, the Tennessee Nurses Association, educating the next generation of nurses is high priority.
SHARON H. FITZGERALD

Training Parents in Home Health
When evaluating annual hospital reports such as number of patients seen or net worth, it’s not often you see stats like the number of popsicles eaten, band-aids used and dogs giving tours, that is, unless you’re looking at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital (ETCH).
GLORIA BUTLER BALDWIN

Transpacific Study Reveals Different Liability Fears

Robert B Leflar, University of Arkansas and University of Tokyo Law Professor
Transpacific Study Reveals Different Liability Fears
Where American doctors fear tort, Japanese doctors fear handcuffs. A recently published study finds the threat of litigation looms large for medical professionals in the United States and Japan. U.S. malpractice cases consume vast quantities of time and money in addition to the risk of damage to professional reputation, but in Japan, the stakes are even higher.
JENNIFER BOULDEN

Tri-Cities Hospitals Focus On Safety
Striving to establish an all-encompassing system of safety standards, Wellmont Hospital System has launched a program called the Safest Hospital Initiative. The goal of the initiative is not only to make Wellmont hospitals safer, but to establish criteria that can be used by other systems in hopes of elevating hospital safety standards on a national basis.
JOHN SEWELL

Trust Your Heart
Prevention and Early Detection Programs at Memorial Hospital

“Memorial” has been a household word in the Chattanooga community for generations. Memorial Health Care system has taken on an ambitious endeavor to provide Chattanooga and surrounding areas with the ultimate in cardiac care. The system offers every service imaginable for the heart patient. In implementing these services, it gives particular attention to pairing superior practitioners with the latest technology.
CARL RAUS

Unique Theatre Experience the Pride of Historic Virginia Town
Unique Theatre Experience the Pride of Historic Virginia Town
“With vegetables you cannot sell, you can buy a good laugh.” That was the motto for Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Va., when it opened its doors on June 10, 1933. This jewel of the state charged admission of 40 cents or the equivalent in produce, which is where it derived its name.
HOLLI W. HAYNIE

UT College of Pharmacy Opens Knoxville Campus

UT President John Petersen joined UT Health Science Center officials, pharmacy students and local dignitaries for the College of Medicine ribbon cutting ceremony
UT College of Pharmacy Opens Knoxville Campus
For the past decade, the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy has been considered one of the top pharmacy programs in the nation. Graduates of the program have gone on to achieve a 99.09 percent pass rate on national board examinations — over 7 percent higher than the national average
MEREDITH HULETTE

Victory Center’s Recovery Education Center Empowering Individuals throughout Upper East Tennessee
Victory Center’s Recovery Education Center Empowering Individuals throughout Upper East Tennessee
Since 1982, Frontier Health, which is celebrating 50 years of service this year, has provided recovery services for individuals who have experienced mental illness or have alcohol/drug dependencies. In December 1989, Frontier opened the Victory Center, a psychosocial rehabilitation program, in order to offer vocational training for its members.
BRIDGET GARLAND

Zzz!
Fort Sanders Docs Want Patients to Fall Asleep While Waiting

Serving the Knoxville area for more than 20 years with three offices, the Sleep Disorders Center at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center heightens the quality of life for patients suffering from a myriad of sleep-related complications. A Covenant Health facility, Fort Sanders, which is supported by the Parkwest Sleep Disorders Center and the Methodist Sleep Diagnostic Center in Oak Ridge, assists patients with
JOHN SEWELL

Zzz!
Fort Sanders Docs Want Patients to Fall Asleep While Waiting

Serving the Knoxville area for more than 20 years with three offices, the Sleep Disorders Center at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center heightens the quality of life for patients suffering from a myriad of sleep-related complications. A Covenant Health facility, Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center, along with the Parkwest Sleep Lab and the Methodist Sleep Diagnostic Center in Oak Ridge,
JOHN SEWELL