June 21, 2022
Hi Team –
What a beautiful weekend to celebrate Father’s Day and all of the wonderful dads and granddads in our lives, including so many of our own team members and physicians here at TriHealth! I hope you were able to take advantage of the great weather, enjoying lots of fun activities with your families. And with today being the official first day of summer, the great weather and outdoor fun are just getting started! At TriHealth, we begin the week, once again, with important milestones on our journey to Get Healthcare Right...
Getting Healthcare Right: TriHealth Board Approves FY2023 Annual Plan
I’m pleased to share that earlier this month, the TriHealth Board approved our FY2023 Annual Plan, which was developed through a multi-disciplinary planning process, involving physicians, administrative and nursing leaders from across the system. As part of this process, the steering team identified environmental forces – ranging from continued workforce disruption to growing inflation and economic challenges to organizational stress and fatigue – all caused by the more than two-year global pandemic. In addition, the glaring health disparities (which are preventable differences in the quality of care and health outcomes experienced by socially and economically disadvantaged racial, ethnic, and other population groups and communities) became even more acute throughout COVID – and now require even more dedicated attention and sustained long-term investments. All of these challenges and environmental forces helped to inform the strategic planning process and have sharpened our focus for FY2023 around the following important priorities:
- Renewal and Well-being: Re-engaging and investing in our clinical and support teams through post-COVID training, orientation and onboarding, and well-being support.
- Health Equities: Addressing health disparities in a more formalized and aggressive manner.
- TriHealth Way – Back to Mastery: Redoubling use of our proven TriHealth Way practices and tools to ensure consistently exceptional quality, safety, and service for all.
- Cost Challenges: Proactively addressing the inflationary “surge” in health system input costs, including labor, drugs, and medical supplies.
- Access and Consumerism: Continuing to expand access and “patient-centered” care through our high-quality network of hospitals, ambulatory campuses, physician practices and service lines.
- Value-Based Care: Building our competencies in population health and management of total cost of care to achieve the Triple Aim – better care, better health, and better value – by delivering the right care at the right time in the right place to produce the right clinical outcomes at the right cost.
- Foundational/Support Infrastructure: Investing in, and further building, our capabilities related to Digital Health, “Telling Our Population Health Story,” Innovative Workforce Solutions, and Analytic Insights.
Learn more about our FY2023 Annual Plan and what to expect in the fiscal year ahead at today’s June Team Member Town Hall (see details below).
June Team Member Town Hall – Today at 12Noon
Join us today at noon on Bridge to celebrate recent system wins, hear current COVID updates, and learn more about our FY2023 Annual Plan, which maps out our essential work ahead to Get Healthcare Right. As always, we will devote plenty of time to answer your questions, and those who participate in the conversation will have the chance to win some great TriHealth prizes! I hope to “see” you there!
New Program Director for Internal Medicine Residency Program
After a remarkable ten years of dedicated and exceptional service as Program Director for TriHealth’s Internal Medicine Residency Program (that’s more than double the average tenure for this role!), Scott Friedstrom, MD, is officially passing the baton to his colleague and protégé, Angel Javier Mena, MD, Associate Program Director. Dr. Mena will become our next Program Director, effective July 1st, and Dr. Friedstrom will return full time to his clinical practice within our TriHealth Infectious Diseases department.
In some ways, Dr. Mena has been preparing for his new role for more than a decade! He trained in our Internal Medicine Residency Program from 2010-2013, and then went on to become Chief Resident from 2013-2014. From 2014-2018, he served as a faculty member and a practicing primary care physician. In 2018, Dr. Friedstrom asked Dr. Mena to develop our now highly successful hospitalist teaching service to expand clinical practice and learning opportunities for our residents, while improving and hardwiring transitions in care. In 2020, Dr. Mena was named Associate Program Director, taking on expanded responsibilities for management of the inpatient and outpatient components of the residency program, which included oversight of the quality and safety of care provided by our residents.
Please join me in congratulating Dr. Mena on his well-deserved new role and in thanking Dr. Friedstrom for his decade of outstanding service!!
We are encouraged to see that the increase in new COVID case rates appears to be leveling off in some areas of the U.S. and Ohio. New cases across the nation have decreased – down from 230 cases per 100,000 population last week to the current rate of 212 cases per 100,000. In Ohio, new cases have stabilized statewide over the past two weeks and are now averaging about 138 cases per 100,000. Locally, and here at TriHealth, we expect that cases will begin to plateau, but are thankful that the spike in new cases is still not resulting in an increase in severe illness or hospitalizations.
Even as hospitalizations and case severity remain low, COVID transmission has caused an increase in frontline healthcare workers testing positive and having to stay home, including doctors and nurses, which impacts our ability to properly staff and care for our patients. In light of these COVID-related staffing challenges, and with the support of infectious disease and other physician leaders, we have made the decision to reinstitute “CDC contingency staffing status” to lessen staffing shortages. What this means is that:
- Team members with an active COVID infection or positive COVID test result can return to work after 5 days, IF they are:
- Additionally, asymptomatic team members who have been exposed to COVID without testing positive, can continue to work, but should monitor their symptoms, wear a mask, and continue to test.
o Asymptomatic or symptoms are improving;
o AND, do not have a fever for 24 hours prior to return, without the use of fever-reducing medication;
o AND, feel well enough to perform their job duties.
Reinstituting these measures for the foreseeable future will help to ensure we can continue to provide care to ALL those in need, never turning even a single patient away, which has been the case at TriHealth since the start of this pandemic nearly two and a half years ago.
Thank you, once again, for your continued commitment to work together as ONE TEAM, TRIHEALTH STRONG overcoming every challenge as we improve the health of all those we serve, always!