Friday, December 18, 2009

Merger feasibility

Several weeks ago, I wrote to you about discussions between Community General Hospital and Crouse Hospital. I’d like to update you on these discussions.

The boards of directors of both hospitals have approved a joint memorandum of understanding (MOU) authorizing the hospitals to move forward in their discussions regarding a closer affiliation. Over the last several months, we have had preliminary discussions about working together, with the common goal to create a patient-centered, cost-efficient delivery system.

The MOU outlines a process the two hospitals will follow to evaluate the feasibility of a closer relationship. As part of this process, the hospitals have worked together to select health care consultants to help conduct a feasibility study. This study will include a detailed analysis of the two facilities, as well as a financial, operational, programmatic and regulatory review to identify opportunities for enhanced patient care and increased efficiencies. The feasibility study will begin in early January and be completed during the first half of 2010. The firms selected include Alvarez and Marsal Inc. as feasibility study consultant, and Nixon Peabody LLP as legal counsel. Both firms come highly recommended and have extensive experience within the health care environment.

As previously reported, our discussions continue to be exploratory in nature as we continue with normal business operations. As the consultants begin their work, members of the Community General family may be asked for information to assist them in their research, and I encourage participation. I will continue to keep you informed as discussions continue throughout the coming weeks and months.

Most importantly, I appreciate the dedicated service and commitment to Community General Hospital and to the patient care by all members of the Community General family. My best wishes for a safe, happy, and healthy holiday season and prosperous new year.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas 65 years ago

In 1944 US. Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe wrote his famous one word response to the German demand that he surrender. He said, "Nuts." The US went on to win the Battle of the Bulge, as it came to be called.

John T. Prior, MD was there, and his memoir "The Night Before Christmas - Bastogne 1944" is one of the more popular postings on this blog.

Dr. Jack Prior, who was the Chair of Pathology at Community for many years, gave me permission to post his memoir.

He was also a brave man. I didn't learn how brave until I read his obituary in November 2007 and learned that he received the Bronze Star, the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit, the Crois de Guerre, and medals from the cities of Bastogne and Metz.

The Battle of Bastogne took place 65 years ago. If you haven't already done so, I suggest you read Jack Prior's reminiscence about it here.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

A note from Kristen

Here a nice note from Kristin Schofield, Director of Volunteer Services, to the Community employee family:

I wanted to take just a minute to reach out to those of you who were not able to make the Holiday Lights on the Hill – Light the Logo event. . . .

Our Holiday Lights on the Hill tradition was started in 1983 to give us an avenue to remember. It gave us a way to memorialize someone who was special to us in some way. Some of our lights are given in honor or thanks of a person or event and others as a memorial to someone’s life. Over the years there have been many life lights purchased - 420 of them to date.

Many of lights out there – as you might expect are memorial lights; a light given as a celebration of a person’s life. We have lights from people from all over the hospital. In 1991, Marsha Connor, who was a nurse with us then, bought a life light for her son Navy Lt. Patrick Connor who was killed in the Persian Gulf War and another for his comrade Lt. Commander Barry Cook who was MIA in the same incident. A lot of you, I am sure, remember when that happened. There is also a light for hospital administrator Mark Miller who died here at CGH. Many employees contributed to his light. There are other lights that were purchased for loved ones none of us ever knew. I spoke with an employee this morning and she shared with me that she sees her mom’s life light every time she leaves here at night and it makes her smile. Parents, children, friends and spouses all share a special place on our trees.

Another group of the lights have been given in honor of someone - like a favorite physician. You see lots of docs in the memorial book – Lockwood, Changlai, Watts, Neulander but also lights for their staff and hospital staff like our volunteers, John Carnowski and his security team, the unit secretaries on Maternity and yes, even Tom Quinn has a life light on the tree!

As you can tell, the tree lighting. . . did not start out as decorating for Christmas. It started as a way to remember. To remind us of what is important and to celebrate the people who have meaning in our lives. This year we have moved back to the basics. . . by lighting the two trees out front that are reminiscent of our logo. These two trees were planted for the purpose of accommodating the life lights of the people we cherish. So this holiday season - when we leave here at night – or for some of us that are getting here in the dark - we can take a look at the lights and be reminded of
what they represent. . . .

We continue to celebrate and remember those loved ones you have asked us to light a light for. May this season be happy and healthy for you. Make memories – they are important.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Lights honoring lives

Many of the trees on the campus of Community General Hospital date from the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. Those trees appear in stylized version on the disc that is part of the hospital's logo.

This week the Auxiliary to Community General Hospital illuminates two of those trees as it holds its 26th annual holiday celebration on December 2.

Tree lights may be sponsored in honor or in memory of someone.

Sponsorships are at the sliver ($25), gold ($50), and life light ($150) levels.