Saturday, June 20, 2009

200th robot-assisted surgery

At 7:45 a.m. on June 1 Myron Luthringer, MD, performed the 200th robot-assisted surgery at Community General Hospital.

This makes Community's robot surgery program the fastest growing -- and the largest -- in Syracuse NY.

This new surgery has been developed safely and effectively, thanks to the surgeons and the robot team. Community's director of robot-assisted surgery is Po Lam, MD. He has performed the most cases to date, followed by Dr. Luthringer. Jennifer Marsiale, MD (in the photo), and Andres Madissoo, MD, have also been credentialed for this type of surgery, and other surgeons are in the process of becoming so.

Congratulations to Community's surgeons and the robot team.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Today's photo on the blog

Part of the fun is the banter.

I bantered a lot yesterday on the first hole at the Shenendoah Golf Course at Turning Stone Resort during the 25th annual Pro-Am Golf Tournament of the Community General Foundation. It turned out to be the Foundation's most successful tourney ever, netting some $110,000.

That makes it one of the top charity golf events -- if not the top -- in Central New York. And in this tough economic environment, that's saying something.

The tourney's success comes from great supporters of Community General Hospital -- the doctors, the businesses, and the individuals. It comes from a great Foundation Board, chaired by Scott Matukas; from great team participants and professional golfers; and from a great staff lead by Community's John Zacharek, Vice President - External Affairs.

Each foursome was paired with a Central New York PGA member. That means the amateurs played alongside pros with the interplay adding real value for the players during their five or six hours on an excellent course.

So there I was at the first hole, thanking all the players, making sure they got a gift memento of the day, and watching as team photos were taken. The picture-taking, as you may imagine, generated a fair amount of good-natured ribbing. Some exaggerated their golf accomplishments, some teased about shots-gone-horribly-wrong, and a few playfully lied about their names to Dan Cameron, who was snapping the pictures.

When David Northrup of Team Merrill Lynch challenged me to put the photo in Community's main lobby, I told him I wouldn't promise the lobby but he shouldn't be surprised to find the team on the web Saturday morning.

That's David, on the left, with his teammates Frank Pfau, Richard Neal, and John Redmond. They finished 10 under par in best-ball competition. In the center is PGA member Rob Phelps of the Onondaga Golf & Country Club. At two under, he tied for second place among PGA players yesterday afternoon.

The CNY PGA site has results of the morning flight for amateurs and pros, as well as the afternoon amateur and pro scores.

Thank you, everyone, for supporting a great cause on a great day.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Testing surge capacity

Community General Hospital tested its emergency preparedness this week when 20 “accident victims” showed up in the emergency department for a first-of-the-kind state exercise.

"Victims" arriving at Community General Hospital
The Exercise Plan (ExPlan) tests a hospital's surge capacity (at least 20% above typical emergency patient volume).

The ExPlan will be required for New York State hospitals in 2010, and Community was the first hospital to test the exercise for the Department of Health (DOH).

A "mass casualty" victim entering the ED
That screaming in our ED came from some of the high school students who played "victims" of a mass casualty event, complete with moulage (makeup simulating wounds). Exercising their vocal chords was part of the verisimilitude.

The training scenario, developed by the State Department of Health, activates a hospital's incident command system, allowing the hospital to practice its its ability to triage victims, to treat them, and to prepare the entire hospital, including surgery, for the influx.

Triaging a "victim"
It was a learning experience for all of us, and we certainly appreciate the help of the DOH in developing the significant resources needed to prepare, conduct, and evaluate this exercise.

Community's incident command center