Patient-centered Medical Homes: A Promising Trend in 21st Century Medicine

Lauren Burch, a Plano mother with two children, was visiting relatives in Lubbock. Her infant son Owen became ill and could not seem to shake a viral stomach illness. She emailed Dr. Sander Gothard of Village Health Partners in Plano. He sent back instructions to Burch to see a local physician and advised the Lubbock doctor about the child’s medical background and clues as to what might be wrong. Burch says the email exchange averted potentially serious consequences. Burch pays VHP $100 annually for unlimited email access to Gothard, and queries him about four times a month. Owen, now 2,… Full Story

Can This Supplement Minimize Concussions?

Running back Sammy Morris had a slim chance of making the New England Patriots’ roster. His hope was that a compelling performance against the New York Giants in the Patriots’ final preseason game of 2011 might secure him a spot. Less than five minutes into the game, however, Morris’ audition came to a jarring end, by way of an unmarked, free-blitzing defender whom he tried to block at the last second. Morris’ reward for his effort (he was actually covering for a teammate who got mixed up on a blocking assignment) was a blow to the head that left him… Full Story

Cancer Crusader

Adrian Barfield is a Duncanville kind of guy, a proud graduate of both Duncanville Middle School and High School. But he’s also an Austin, San Antonio, Princeton, N.J., and Indianapolis kind of guy, too, having lived for a while in each city. Today he’s back, living less than a mile from where he grew up. “It was my wife’s decision,” says the 45-year-old Cardinal Health vice president, looking out at downtown Dallas from his Uptown office. “I didn’t expect it to be like that, but I like it.” After graduating from the University of Texas-Austin with a degree in nutrition, Barfield… Full Story

Need to Know: Steve Love, Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council

Title President and CEO, Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council Why You Need to Know Him: Because he runs the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council, a group that works to unite 75 member-hospitals that collectively generate 240,000 jobs in the area. The DFWHC is comprised of thee entities—including GroupOne, a wholly owned, for-profit subsidiary that provides human resource services. DFWHC employs 70 and is funded by membership dues, fees for services (such as background checks), Group One revenue, and grants. In most areas of the country, such councils don’t exist. This keeps hospitals ultra-competitive and makes it difficult for them to tackle common… Full Story

Palliative Care’s Graceful Exits

Ann Scruggs, 79, beat cancer—twice. Then her nemesis returned in September, appearing first in the pancreas and quickly spreading. Her penetrating blue eyes and strong voice reflect the determination that allowed her to defeat cancer before. This time, she is equally determined to let the disease take its course. “I thought I was done with [cancer],” she says, sitting in a chair next to her hospital bed and tethered to oxygen. “At first, I fought it. Then I decided, ‘This is not living.’ I knew where we were heading. “I fought for more life at first because I wanted my… Full Story

A Mother’s Determination

Sonia Kirkpatrick knew early on that something was wrong with her daughter. Megan had difficulty sucking on a bottle and didn’t walk until she was 19 months old. When she did finally get up on her feet, she fell down more often than other children her age. At 5, Megan still lacked the manual dexterity to operate a pair of scissors, and even the simplest playtime activities, like skipping and pedaling a bicycle, seemed beyond her. Kirkpatrick took her daughter to the family’s pediatrician again and again, hoping for some insight. “The concern,” she says, “was minor.” And it remained… Full Story

Excellence in Nursing Awards—2012 Winners

With the Sept. 7 deadline looming for the 2013 Excellence in Nursing Awards, we thought we’d take a look back at the outstanding professionals recognized in the 2012 program. For our inaugural Excellence in Nursing awards, we asked doctors, patients, and other nurses to nominate the most outstanding nurses in North Texas. We really didn’t know what sort of response we’d get. So we were both gladdened and overwhelmed when we received 349 nominations. There was the nurse who contained an outbreak in a school. Then there was the nurse who staged a senior prom in the hospital for a… Full Story

JPS Gets Healthier Under CEO Robert Earley

JPS, which has been guided by Robert Earley since he was appointed its interim CEO in 2008, has three rules for everyone who works in the health network—including vendors and physicians who work at, but not for, the system: No. 1: You own it. No. 2: You must seek joy. No. 3: Don’t be a jerk. Each rule is equally weighted, but No. 2 has an infectious, physical manifestation. “If you work in healthcare and you can’t smile, go to another profession; don’t work here,” says Earley, who dropped the interim title in 2009. “We had 1.1 million ‘patient encounters’… Full Story

How Stryker Communications Plans to Clean Up Hospitals

Hospital operating rooms are special places. They are stages on which health is restored and lives are saved. Yet they’re typically messier than your 9-year-old’s bedroom, says Chad Croasdale. “Most U.S. operating rooms are strewn with medical devices sent in on carts that really clutter the surgical field,” says Croasdale, general manager of Stryker Communications in Flower Mound. “It’s a chaotic environment.” That’s where Stryker Communications comes in. A unit of medical-technology behemoth Stryker Corp., its “iSuite” integrated solutions do away with the typical muddle of equipment and cables, improving efficiency and reducing accident risk for surgeons and staff. Read the full D… Full Story

Dallas Leads the Nation in Drunk-driving Deaths

Statistics measuring drinking and driving can be tricky. If you’re looking for the city where drunken driving is most prevalent, you can’t just count arrests. One city might police it more strenuously than another. But there can be no confusion about traffic deaths in which alcohol plays a role, and Dallas has more of those than any other city in the country. In the only peer-reviewed (i.e., trustworthy) study found on the subject, LSU’s Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine ranked 97 cities based on their number of alcohol-related traffic fatalities. The study, released in 2002, was titled “The… Full Story