James Rhee, M.D., Honored as 2017 Emergency Physician of the Year

Posted on Thu, May 25, 2017
James Rhee, M.D., Honored as 2017 Emergency Physician of the Year

James Rhee M.D., FACMT, FACEP, FAAEM, medical director at Corona Regional Medical Center in Corona, Calif., received Envision Physician Services’ 2017 Emergency Medicine Physician of the Year award.

“I am thrilled to be selected as one of Envision Physician Services’ Physicians of the Year,” Rhee said. “I would like to acknowledge the dedicated team members at Corona Regional Medical Center whom I am proud to work alongside every day. We constantly strive for excellence and, in our short time together, have built a strong foundation for which we provide quality, patient-centered care.”

“Dr. Rhee took over as the director of the emergency room at a time when there was a need for strong physician leadership and a change in culture,” said Mark Uffer, chief executive officer at Corona Regional Medical Center. “He has helped recruit a stable core of providers that demonstrates daily the commitment to quality care and service. We find him to be a calm and calculating director who is committed to the vision of our administration and the values required to be the hospital of first choice in the market."

In his two years at the facility, Rhee has applied his clinical expertise and strong leadership skills to improve operational efficiency and enhance the patient experience. Within 11 months, he helped reduce the amount of time between patients’ arrival and consultation with a physician from 70 minutes to 27 minutes. Since implementing Lean principles to improve patient flow and experience, he has been asked to consult Corona Regional Medical Center’s partnering hospitals in Las Vegas.

“Dr. Rhee’s dedication to his team members and the patients he serves is unparalleled,” said Thom Mayer, M.D., regional chief executive officer for Envision Physician Services. “Through his strong leadership abilities, evidence-based practices and commitment to excellence, he has been able to implement substantial and far-reaching improvements in the clinical operations and employee culture at Corona Regional Medical Center. In a word, Dr. Rhee is an exemplary physician.”

Rhee was presented with the award during the Envision Physician Services 2017 Annual Leadership Conference held in Las Vegas April 18-20. In addition to honoring the year’s top emergency medicine physician, the organization recognizes leading physicians in hospital medicine, radiology and acute surgery.


Specialty Training Program for APPs Wins Award for Innovation

Posted on Thu, May 18, 2017
Specialty Training Program for APPs Wins Award for Innovation

A new program is empowering emergency department advanced practice providers (APPs) to practice at the top of their license, which is helping enhance the delivery of care and improve productivity, job satisfaction and clinician turnover rates at collaborating Envision Physician Services facilities.

Lynden Pelbath, PA-C, MBA, regional director of APP services at Envision Physician Services, and Adam Brown, M.D., MBA, regional medical director at Envision Physician Services, developed the APP Skills, Training, Experience and Professional Credential (STEP) program. They are the recipients of Envision Physician Services’ prestigious 2017 Genesis Cup award.

“I am honored to receive the recognition and proud to have the opportunity to promote the successful development of APP programs,” Pelbath said. “Nurse practitioners, physician assistants and other advanced practice providers are essential to the healthcare system. When we perform the initial evaluation and advanced treatment on high-acuity patients presenting to the emergency department, we lessen the burden on physicians, improve operational efficiency and enhance the patient-caregiver experience.”

The Genesis Cup is an award for healthcare innovation presented each year by Envision Physician Services. Pelbath and Brown presented their award-winning APP STEP program, which prepares APPs to become expert emergency medicine caregivers, at the Envision Physician Services 2017 Annual Leadership Conference held in Las Vegas April 18-20.

In the emergency department, there are wide variances in APPs’ experience and capabilities. APP STEP is minimizing that gap. Providers first undergo a skills assessment for placement in one of the program’s three stages. Then, with the appropriate education and training, they advance through the program. In addition to leveraging on-site experience, the program requires advanced certification and continuing medical education training.

Together, Pelbath and Brown launched the pilot program at the beginning of 2015 at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center in Woodbridge, Va. Initially, nine APPs who primarily triaged and tended to patients with mild ailments and minor injuries participated in the program. Currently 21 APPS are providing the same level of care and are working in the intermediate care, acute care and observation units. Pelbath and Brown have since implemented the program in five additional Envision Physician Services sites throughout the north division with more than 50 APPs participating.

“We are committed to supporting our providers and equipping them with the tools they need to provide quality care,” Brown said. “APP STEP is easy to implement in all sites and hospital departments, and we find that our partnering facilities experience improved productivity and patient outcomes. I am extremely proud of what we have been able to accomplish and look forward to broadening the reach of the program.”

The Genesis Cup program recognizes and celebrates the creativity and innovation of everyday physicians as part of the company’s ongoing pursuit to improve the delivery of patient care. In addition to recognizing the inventor/innovator, the Genesis Cup acknowledges those involved in the initiative and the regional office supporting such endeavors.


National Nurses Week: Finding Balance

Posted on Mon, May 08, 2017
National Nurses Week: Finding Balance

By Ginger Wirth, RN

Nurses, like most healthcare professionals, struggle with work/life balance. This stems from the reason that most of us pursued a career in healthcare – an innate desire to care for others.

Your interest in the field may have developed from early exposure to some aspect of healthcare. A family member or personal experience with your own or someone else’s medical issues can ignite the passion for the art of caring for others.

That passion for making a difference in the lives of patients, families and those we work with takes center stage for most nurses in the industry. There are times when our personal needs are put aside, our schedules changed and, sadly, family milestones are missed to execute our craft to the best of our abilities. This apparent oversight is never intentional, but it often creates conflict in our home lives.

It’s a constant struggle to find that delicate balance. This was brought to my attention by my then-5-year-old son, who asked me at the dinner table one evening several years ago, “Mom, are you going to be a nurse forever?” It was a strange question, to be sure, but our dinner table was usually where I’d recount my day in the emergency department. I answered honestly, “Of course I’ll be a nurse forever.” He then bluntly retorted, “Well, then you will never see your grandkids!” and promptly went back to eating his macaroni and cheese. Out of the mouths of babes … I have thought about that question many times throughout the rest of my almost 30-year career. I use it as a barometer when whatever in my professional career seems to be consuming all of my time, or I have inadvertently missed something important in my “outside life.”

Those close to you – your family and friends – deserve your attention and time. A true balance of both only makes you stronger, and both parts of your life get better. And, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that it’s also important to take time to care for yourself. We cannot effectively take care of others if we are not taking care of ourselves. I wrote a blog article with some tips you may find useful.

The impact that we are able to make on the world through a career in healthcare, and in nursing in particular, is immeasurable. That is undeniable, and truly makes the world a better place.

Ginger Wirth

Ginger Wirth, RN, joined Envision Physician Services in 2013 as a divisional director of clinical services. Her goal is to make positive changes in healthcare by helping others focus on quality, excellence, and the overall patient experience. Wirth regards her role as the ideal opportunity to partner with nursing, physicians and facility leaders to make positive changes to the entire patient care experience. Her nearly 30-year nursing career has been dedicated to quality and excellence, promoting overall positive outcomes and safety for patients.


Emergency Physician’s Photography Featured at New Smithsonian Exhibition

Posted on Wed, Apr 12, 2017
Emergency Physician’s Photography Featured at New Smithsonian Exhibition

Envision physician Jeff Gusky, MD, FACEP, lives two lives: one as an emergency physician and the other as a National Geographic photographer, explorer and now television host. His photographs and discoveries have been featured in media and museums around the world – and even on Broadway.

Dr. Gusky, who is an emergency physician at Emergis ER locations in Dallas and Fort Worth, was fortunate to find and photograph a hidden world of World War I, modern underground cities beneath the former trenches in France that once housed tens of thousands of troops at any given time. They were equipped with electricity, railways, telecommunications and the infrastructure of a modern city. One site is more than 25 miles underground in one place, another housed 24,000 troops underground and had a 700-bed hospital. Almost all of these findings are beneath private farmland and unknown to the outside world, even today. Now in complete darkness are thousands of messages that soldiers left behind: notes to loved ones, museum-quality art and inscriptions, names and addresses – a hidden world frozen in time.

The 100-year anniversary of the United States entering World War I was last week. On April 6, an 18-month exhibition of Dr. Gusky’s work opened at The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. More than 13 million people are expected to visit the exhibition. This short video, which is part of the exhibition, underscores the connection between emergency medicine, art and exploration.

“My mission as an explorer and artist is identical to my mission in the ER: to help people see and avoid danger,” explains Dr. Gusky. “I strive to inspire hope about the future among ordinary citizens by encouraging people to ask questions about modern life we have forgotten how to ask and by helping to create a language for us to talk about how technology and life in cities affects conscience.”

He made his debut as a television host March 13 on the Smithsonian Channel when the documentary titled “Americans Underground: Secret City of WWI” aired.

Dr. Gusky’s career as an explorer and artist began on a bleak day in December 1995 at the former Nazi concentration camp Plazow, just outside Cracow, Poland. Acting on a hunch while visiting a memorial near the camp’s entrance, he climbed a nearby hill in knee-deep snow. Approaching the top, a barbed wire fence came into view surrounding a Nazi-era compound: an abandoned building with prison-bar windows next to a set of ovens, ashes still present. In the dim light and silence, Dr. Gusky experienced a strong sense that unspeakable acts of barbarism once occurred there. Guided by intuition, he began photographing what he felt, the same method he uses today.
Since that day, Dr. Gusky has been on a quest to understand why mass murder and terrorism still threatens us. Exploring places in Poland, Belgium, France, Moldova, Ukraine, Transnistria and Romania, where millions of innocent people have been slaughtered in modern times, he has discovered a common thread to every modern mass murder.
“Technology and the inhuman scale of modern life endangers us by making us feel like machines and by disabling our moral compass,” Dr. Gusky said. “My work seeks to help communicate the looming human emergency caused by compromises we make that diminish our humanness.”
Dr. Gusky’s first year of medical school at the University of Washington was spent in Alaska as part of the WAMI (Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho) Program, created to inspire students to become country doctors. After graduation, he combined his love of flying and rural medicine and used his plane to reach remote hospital emergency rooms on short notice throughout Texas and Oklahoma. Since 1991, he has taught trauma skills to other physicians as an instructor in the Advanced Trauma Life Support program. He is a member of Alpha Omega Alpha and a fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians.
He has published three books, and frequently posts new photographs and videos on his website and social media channels. Several other television productions are in the pipeline.

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