Friday, October 24, 2014

Big Changes for Better Health

Keeping you "well and good" by making a care delivery transformation

In my time as CEO here at the hospital, I have focused on specific goals for LMH that direct and improve what we can provide for this community. Like most other healthcare organizations, we have had to make changes along the way to ensure that we deliver what our community needs from us. At LMH, we’re making BIG changes… but we want to make sure you know why we’re doing it.

When you need medical care, you just want your doctor to make you feel better. In a perfect world, your doctor’s office would stay in touch with you, the hospital, and any other specialists or healthcare professionals who treated you, so that everyone would be on the same page and working together to keep you healthy.

But the truth is, we don’t live in a perfect world.

What’s happening now is that doctors are generally paid for every service they provide for you. This can lead to you having to go through and pay for tests and screenings that you may not really need. Or you could need to have the same test or screening performed multiple times, because you see different physicians that are trying to treat the same problem. This kind of duplication does not really help you or the providers who are treating you… instead, it just makes things take longer and cost more.

Hospitals around the country – including Logansport Memorial Hospital – know that this is happening and understand that it is frustrating for our physicians and patients. That’s why we are trying to address the issue by making some changes to the way we provide care for you. 

But we also know that change can be confusing, so we want to help you understand what’s happening. You’re going to start seeing and hearing more about how Logansport Memorial Hospital is becoming a Patient-Centered Medical Home and Accountable Care Organization. All that really means is that we will have much more of a team-based approach to caring for you. This team – including your primary care provider, nurses, health coaches, care coordinators, and others – are going to depend on you to take an active role in your healthcare. Your team will work with you and listen to you to determine what you need and want for your health. Then, they will work together to coordinate the services that you receive from us, from other specialists, and from community agencies and organizations. 

Implementing these changes means that our doctors and providers at Logansport Memorial Hospital will work on keeping you as healthy as you can be. We want to treat you – and all of our patients – as a whole person, focused not only on healing you when you’re sick, but helping you stay healthy. It’s our mission to make your health our passion, and we’re passionate about this because we believe it’s the right thing to do – for you.

So let’s recap, okay? We now deliver care by placing you, the patient, at the center of your care decisions. This means that the most important person in the process is YOU! For these changes we’re making to work, we need you to take an active role in your own health and well-being too. It’s true that we still don’t live in a perfect world, but lots of us in the healthcare community – especially those of us at Logansport Memorial Hospital – are working hard to make it better. 

Feel free to contact me at any time – at the hospital, in the community – if you have additional questions about these ongoing changes. You can also visit to learn more.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Logansport Memorial Hospital offers free breast screens

The Logansport Memorial Hospital (LMH) Making Strides Breast Screening Program is focused on the importance of early detection in breast cancer. The initiative serves low-income, uninsured and/or underinsured Cass County women by offering free breast screens.   

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, LMH encourages all age- appropriate women to get their annual mammogram.  Women interested in scheduling a free breast screen can call Logansport Memorial Hospital Central Scheduling at (574) 753-1488. 

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, after skin cancer. One in eight women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of their lifetime. Early detection is the best prevention for breast cancer. 

The Free Breast Screens are funded through a competitively awarded grant to Logansport Memorial Hospital by the Indiana Breast Cancer Awareness Trust (IBCAT). To learn more about our services, visit

Monday, September 29, 2014

March of Dimes and Indiana Hospital Association recognize Logansport Memorial Hospital's work to improve the quality of lives for mothers and newborns

March of Dimes and the Indiana Hospital Association (IHA) recognized Logansport Memorial Hospital at the Indiana Perinatal Hospital Summit on Friday, September 5 at the Ritz Charles in Carmel for their work to reduce the number of elective inductions and cesarean deliveries performed before 39 completed weeks of pregnancy. This will give more babies in Logansport a healthy start in life.

“The last weeks of pregnancy are important. Babies aren’t just putting on weight. They are undergoing important development of the brain, lungs and other vital organs,” says Lori Reeves for March of Dimes. “I commend IHA and Logansport Memorial Hospital for being a champion for babies with their quality improvement effort.”

Worldwide, 15 million babies are born too soon each year and more than one million of those infants die as a result of their early births. Babies who survive an early birth often face the risk of lifelong health challenges, such as breathing problems, cerebral palsy, learning disabilities and others. Even babies born just a few weeks early have higher rates of hospitalization and illness than full-term infants. Recent research by the March of Dimes, the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found that although the overall threat is small, the risk of death more than doubles for infants born at 37 weeks of pregnancy when compared to babies born at 40 weeks, for all races and ethnicities.

Through Strong Start, a partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, March of Dimes has been getting the word out that “Healthy Babies Are Worth the Wait.”  

“We are very proud to have been part of this effort. It has truly been a team-approach made by our dedicated OB/GYNs and caring staff in the Family Birth Center,” comments Jeanette Huntoon, Chief Executive Nurse for Logansport Memorial Hospital. “We want our new moms and babies to be as healthy as they can be, and to be provided with the highest quality of care while they’re with us for their journey through pregnancy to parenthood. We know that encouraging and helping them to wait as part of this campaign and initiative is what will ultimately be best for them and for their baby. We wouldn’t participate if we didn’t wholeheartedly believe that,” she says.

The campaign urges women to wait for labor to begin on its own if their pregnancy is healthy, rather than scheduling delivery before 39 completed weeks of pregnancy. In Indiana, IHA and the March of Dimes Indiana Chapter have partnered to improve the quality of birth outcomes statewide, including the effort successfully completed by Logansport Memorial Hospital.

Pictured at the ceremony holding the recognition banner are (L - R): Jennifer Hurtubise, IHA Representative, Jeanette Huntoon, Chief Executive Nurse of Logansport Memorial Hospital, OB Nurse Laura Gallahan, and Dennis Casey, March of Dimes Representative.

This banner displayed by LMH staff will soon be positioned outside of the Women’s Health Center and Medical Office Building East, right along Michigan Avenue. Logansport Memorial Hospital is proud to display it as recognition of our efforts to keep moms and babies as healthy as they can be. Standing with the banner are (L – R): Dr. Timothy Hall, Dr. W. Bruce Murray, OB Nurse Tammi Lavy, OB Nurse Manager Jade Herr, OB Nurse Chelsey Sommers, and Dr. Jessica McClintock.

Logansport Memorial Hospital is an 83-bed, HFAP accredited, regional medical center providing healthcare services to residents in Cass County and the surrounding areas of north central Indiana.

March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. The March of Dimes offers professional and consumer education materials about the importance of a full term pregnancy and the critical development of the brain, lungs and other organs that occur during the last weeks of pregnancy. 

Indiana Hospital Association is a non-profit organization that serves as the professional trade association for 164 Hoosier hospitals. These members are either independent or a member of one of the 23 systems in the state. Membership includes hospitals, multi-hospital systems and community mental health centers. The mission of the IHA is to provide leadership, representation and services in the common best interests of its members as they promote the improvement of community health status. IHA’s primary responsibility is to represent the interests of hospitals in matters of public policy. IHA also provides members with education, communications and data collection services.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Prenatal classes at Logansport Memorial Hospital still have open spots for registration

The Family Birth Center at Logansport Memorial Hospital takes great care and commitment to provide educational classes for parents-to-be in our local healthcare environment. Classes are featured in a variety of topics, all designed to help parents prepare for the arrival of their newest addition to the family. 2014 classes still have open spots available, and most are free with pre-registration.

Smoking Cessation class: This is a 4-week class offered at two different times. Patients may register for whatever time best fits their schedule – Tuesdays beginning October 2 from 10 – 11 am, or Thursdays beginning October 7 from 5 – 6 pm.

Car Seat Safety class:  Learn how to properly install the tricky car seats that keep your baby safe. This class meets on Thursdays, and will be offered in September on Thursday, September 25 from 1 – 5 pm at the WIC office.

All pregnant moms are welcome to attend these classes, and any others we offer. A class schedule is available in the “Women’s Health” section of our website at Call central scheduling at (574) 753-1488 to register or the Family Birth Center at (574) 753-1395 if you have questions or would like to know more.

These class offerings are part of our recently launched Passport to a Healthy Baby program, which is designed to help all moms-to-be receive the best possible prenatal care and education right here in our community. To learn more, visit

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Are you a smart healthcare consumer?

Most people these days understand that healthcare costs are continuing to rise. We are watching healthcare reform efforts fall into place and affect the type of care that we are receiving as patients. It is also affecting what we are providing for you at the hospital – more specifically, how we are providing it. 

If you haven’t noticed them yet, you’ll start to see changes soon. Big changes… for better health. We’ll make sure that you stay informed about this, and soon you’ll start to see it everywhere. Communicating what changes we’re making and why that’s important for you is just one part of our commitment to making sure you stay “well and good.”

But in the midst of these changes, do you realize that you actually play a crucial role in your healthcare? That’s one of the big changes that we want you to understand and implement for yourself. In today’s healthcare environment, it’s important to be a smart healthcare consumer. That means becoming more involved in your health, taking responsibility for making wise healthcare decisions, and leading a healthful lifestyle.

Think about some of the ways listed below to be an active and smart healthcare consumer. How can you use these for yourself?

Consider the real cost of healthcare (including how much your employer/organization and/or insurance pays for the medicine, doctor visit, tests, procedures, etc.) when making decisions. It’s easy to forget about all of these factors and only evaluate the amount of a copayment or co-insurance.

Make thoughtful healthcare plan and provider selections. Insurance companies provide a lot of information about what they offer, but it’s often hard to navigate and understand. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of the human resources department at your organization or call the insurance company directly to ask your questions. To find a provider, start by talking with family and friends to see who they recommend or use already. Also, you can check the listings provided online by your insurance company to ensure the provider you pick is within your insurance network.

Practice prevention. To do this, follow and complete what’s recommended for early detection and age-appropriate guidelines.

Live a healthy lifestyle. Participating in activities to maintain or improve health is always smart, and there are so many options! Choices in physical activity, healthy food preparation, and quitting smoking are just a few of them.

Talk with your doctor and share in the decisions made about your health. One way to help improve communication between you and your doctor is to write down a list of questions and bring two copies to your office visit. Give one list to the doctor and use the other list to write down his or her answers. This will help you remember what was said. If you are a caregiver for a sick or elderly loved one, the answers can be shared with other family members who are part of the caregiving team.

The list doesn’t stop here, but you get the idea. What is emerging through most of these changes is a renewed emphasis on the patient-provider relationship. You need to know that you have the largest impact on your own healthcare decisions… because ultimately, you make them happen. Know that Logansport Memorial Hospital is also here to help you with them… as a provider and as a health advocate.

Keep your eyes peeled for more from us about big changes for better health. In the meantime, here’s to your health as a smart healthcare consumer!