The achievement is part of findings released today in American Hospital Quality Outcomes 2014: Healthgrades Report to the Nation, which demonstrates how clinical performance differs dramatically between hospitals and the impact that this variation may have on health outcomes. A 5-star rating indicates that Penrose-St. Francis’ clinical outcomes are better than expected when treating the condition or conducting the procedure being evaluated.
“Penrose-St. Francis has been a vital part of this community for more than 125 years,” said Margaret Sabin, president and chief executive officer of Penrose-St. Francis Health Services. “Until recently, consumers chose a hospital based on reputation or location. Tools such as this Healthgrades report now allow consumers to research and choose a hospital based on the quality of care that a hospital provides, and we’re finding that they’re willing to travel to get quality care.”
Penrose-St. Francis has been one of Healthgrades America’s 50 Best Hospitals for the past six consecutive years. The 2014 recipient list is scheduled to be announced in February 2014.
“Hospitals achieve this distinction by providing better than expected outcomes for specific conditions and procedures,” said Evan Marks, Executive Vice President, Informatics and Strategy, Healthgrades. “When selecting physicians associated with a hospital that has achieved this recognition, consumers can expect a commitment to exceptional clinical quality care.”
For its analysis, Healthgrades evaluated approximately 40 million Medicare-patient records for nearly 4,500 short-term acute care hospitals nationwide, assessing hospital performance relative to each of 31 common conditions and procedures. Healthgrades awards hospitals quality achievements for cohort-specific performance, specialty area performance, and overall clinical quality. Individual procedure or condition cohorts are designated as 5 star (statistically better than expected), 3 star (statistically as expected) and 1 star (statistically worse than expected) categories. Detailed performance information, such as cohort-specific outcomes data and quality achievements for individual hospitals may be found at www.healthgrades.com/find-a-hospital.
More information on the American Hospital Quality Outcomes 2014: Healthgrades Report to the Nation, including the complete methodology, can be found at www.healthgrades.com/quality.
At a Death Cafe people, often strangers, gather to eat cake, drink tea and discuss death.
The objective of Death Cafe is 'to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives'.
Our Death Cafes are discussions about death that are always offered:
- On a not for profit basis
- In an accessible, respectful and confidential space
- With no intention of leading people to any conclusion, product or course of action
Do you or a friend fear death? Would you like to help a loved one in a meaningful way who is facing death? Are you curious about what happens at the moment of death? If you would like to explore these questions in a safe, nurturing environment, then we invite you to attend this deeply personal one-day transformative workshop.
The coming Castle Rock Adventist Hospital is a little far away, but if you're into some of the greener things in life it may be worth it. Opening Aug. 1, the newest arm of religious-minded Centura Health — of which Penrose-St. Francis Hospital and Health Services is a part — boasts of a community garden, a free bicycle-rental program and a "health-focused restaurant" called Manna helmed by chef Dan Skay.
The Wall Street Journal covered Skay in 2009, writing: "Judges hung a gold medal around the neck of Daniel Skay for his Machaca Flat Iron Steak With Cilantro Tomalito and Corn Chile Sauce. He clasped his hands and bowed. It was official: Mr. Skay had been named top chef — of hospitals."
An open house will be held this Sunday, July 14, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. if you want to see it for yourself. In the meantime, here are some facts provided via press release:
• On Thursday, August 1, 2013, the hospital will open to begin serving the residents of Castle Rock and surrounding communities with Labor and Delivery services, an ICU and acute care wing and a full-service women’s imaging center.
• The women’s imaging center is equipped with the only DEXA scan in Castle Rock. This equipment is used to determine bone density in women and diagnose osteoporosis. The center also provides digital mammography and is staffed with a fellowship trained breast radiologist.
• In addition to the services that will become available on August 1, the hospital also has an Emergency Room and imaging center, which have been serving patients since the phase one opening in 2011. The opening on August 1 completes the $130 million project.
• The hospital is 212,240 square feet, complete with 50 beds and fully staffed with 300 employees. A Flight for Life helipad is also on-site to be able to quickly and safely transport patients to or from the hospital if needed.
• With your first step into the Castle Rock Adventist Hospital Atrium, you’re greeted by inspirational music and six massive Aspen tree sculptures with leaves that illuminate to the tunes of the song playing. From the lively and unique artwork scattered throughout the hallways and sitting areas to the modern furniture and interior design details, Castle Rock Adventist Hospital was built to inspire a feeling of comfort and appeal to the community that it serves.
That's the truth, and while that may sound alarming, consider that Miami-Dade County, though a much larger city, registers at 1,208 people for every 100,000.
We know this thanks to AIDSVu, a highly detailed interactive map that allows you to view the spread of AIDS across the U.S.
Each state is then broken down by county, each registering a different color based on the number of infections recorded there (naturally, the darker the color, the higher the number). The data, though now three years old, is carefully compiled by local and state health departments, which are then reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which then double-checks it.
AIDSVu receives that data, and then goes on to report other factors that are similarly mapped, like race, median household income, poverty, the number of uninsured people in the area and sex.
Which brings us back to El Paso County, which shares similar statistics with Saguache, Lincoln and Summit counties. Fremont and Denver counties reported the highest numbers in the state, however the study notes that some rates are inflated due to the presence of correctional facilities.
The map does even more. It allows you to compare your county or state's HIV diagnoses with, say, the percentage of the population living in poverty side by side. Unsurprisingly, the rate of diagnoses goes up with the rate of poverty. Others are murkier, with no direct lines between the disease and other social factors, but it's worth noting that HIV has a long dormancy period, so many patients go years without knowing they are infected, which skews the data.
It also offers a state profile, comparing the prevalence of HIV among races and how the state's stats line up against national averages. From there, you can also view state funding toward HIV care, awareness and prevention, and even find a local clinic for testing.
Zooming back out, it's quite the tool for understanding the spread of HIV country-wide, and observing the unbiased facts on the prevalence of poverty, lack of health insurance and a high school education and rates of disease.
According to El Paso County Public Health, there's little to be gained from spending time outside today — unless you're on your way to check in on a neighbor.
El Paso County Public Health advises people to take precautions to protect from wildfire smoke
As smoke from the Black Forest Fire and fires in surrounding areas continue to affect air quality in El Paso County, Public Health recommends that people monitor air quality and if needed, take precautionary steps.
El Paso County Public Health is advising people, especially young children, those who exercise outdoors, those involved in vigorous outdoor work and those who have respiratory disease (such as asthma) to reduce or limit strenuous outdoor physical activity. If visibility is decreased in your neighborhood to less than five miles, smoke has reached levels that are unhealthy.
“If you can see or smell smoke, it is a good indicator to reduce your exposure by going indoors,” said Jill Law, R.N., M.H.A., El Paso County Public Health Director.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has issued a wildfire smoke health advisory for the Black Forest Fire. To monitor current air quality, visit www.elpasocountyhealth.org.
For those individuals without indoor air conditioning, consider moving to cooler areas when possible. Drink plenty of water or other non-alcohol or decaffeinated fluids. Your body needs water to keep cool.
“This is the time for people to reach out to their friends and neighbors,” Ms. Law said. “If you know someone affected by wildfire smoke that doesn’t have air conditioning, help them in any way you can, by inviting them over or helping them find a safe place.”
Individuals experiencing symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain or coughing should consult their medical provider.
The Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance announced today that a statewide health insurance marketplace will create a customer service office in Colorado Springs, adding about 100 jobs and occupying about 25,000 square feet of space.
Connect for Health Colorado, the state’s health care exchange as required by the Affordable Care Act, will set up shop this summer in Colorado Springs in preparation for giving assistance to people via telephone. The exchange operates online.
With little fanfare, the Business Alliance issued this press release:
"The new Customer Service Center will be a significant part of our network of support for individuals, families and small businesses in Colorado," said Patty Fontneau, ED/CEO of Connect for Health Colorado. "We are excited to support the Colorado Springs economy and to partner with Colorado Springs businesses and organizations to reach our mission of increasing access, affordability and choice for individuals and small employers looking for health insurance in Colorado."
Starting in October, Connect for Health Colorado will serve individuals, families and small employers who are looking for health insurance and will provide access to up-front financial assistance to eligible consumers to reduce costs. Customers will shop through a website and get expert help in person and over the phone from a network of customer service professionals, including Customer Service Center Representatives, Health Coverage Guides and certified health insurance agents and brokers. The marketplace is a public, non-profit entity that was established by Senate Bill 11-200, passed by the General Assembly in 2011. More information is available at www.connectforhealthco.com.
In addition to the phone support provided by the Colorado Springs site, several area organizations will provide in-person assistance to customers as part of a new program called the Connect for Health Colorado Assistance Network. Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments and Peak Vista Community Health Centers in Colorado Springs, Tri-Lakes Cares in Monument, and the Healthy Communities initiative at Memorial Hospital will serve as Assistance Sites for individuals, families and small employers in the region. These organizations will conduct outreach in late summer to educate residents about the new marketplace and will deploy Health Coverage Guides to provide in-person assistance in October.
The Customer Service Center site was chosen after a statewide evaluation of 31 sites, including 21 site visits across the state. The evaluation considered cost, age and condition of the buildings, access to mass transit, a strong labor pool and services, opportunity for expansion and safety. The site in central Colorado Springs met all requirements and provided excellent value and flexibility.
"We are delighted that Colorado Springs has been selected as the location for this important center which will be supporting and serving citizens all across the state of Colorado for their health benefit needs," said Joe Raso, President and CEO of the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance. "Colorado Springs is recognized as a hub for customer support and back office operations for key corporate employers, and our region's intensified focus on the healthcare industry makes this center a perfect fit for our community."
The Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance, the leading business development organization in Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region, has worked with the Connect for Health Colorado team on the project since late 2012 and will continue to assist them as they transition into the community with expedited permitting, identifying training funds available for employees, addressing workforce needs, etc.
Information about how to apply for jobs for the Customer Service Center will be available here by June 17, 2013.
Tonight's the season finale of Season 16 of Dancing With the Stars, a season that pales in comparison to last year's most-awesome All-Star round, not to mention Season 13, in which J.R. Martinez, a soap star, motivational speaker and vet, took home the mirror ball trophy.
Another reason probably has something to do with the fact that Jacoby Jones is still in the running, and — hello! — we must not promote the Baltimore Ravens. Gross.
Martinez won a huge following just by being a nice guy who, despite his lack of past experience, could really dance. He also overcame huge physical and emotional hurdles after suffering terrible burns following an IED explosion while deployed in Iraq in 2003.
So, the guy knows a thing or two about serious shit, which is why it's fitting that he'll be the keynote speaker at this year's Heroes of Mental Health Luncheon, hosted annually by AspenPointe. Tickets aren't yet available for the Oct. 15 affair, as AspenPointe will next month begin to accept nominations for the this year's Hero of Mental Health. (Last year's recipient: Dr. Sara Qualls.)
Yesterday, Colorado Springs Citizens for Community Rights filed suit against the city in its ongoing effort to put a ban on fracking before local voters.
As explained in this week’s paper, the Initiative Title Setting Review Board last week rejected CSCCR’s proposed amendment to the city charter that would prevent “the extraction of natural gas or oil, including but not limited to, the processes commonly known as hydraulic fracturing and/or directional natural gas and oil well drilling, within the City of Colorado Springs.” The board contended the amendment violated the city’s rule against having multiple subjects addressed in a single ballot measure; CSCCR disagrees with that assessment, and even argues that the single-subject rule itself may not be legally valid.
The University of Denver Sturm College of Environmental Law Clinic will take up the cause, pro bono. That clinic is also representing a quartet of environmental groups aligned with the city of Longmont, which is being sued by the state for enacting a ban on fracking there.
“They’re very up to speed on the issue,” says CSCCR’s Dave Gardner. He adds that “the supervising attorney actually taught three classes about fracking at DU in the law school this last semester.”
With the suit filed in the 4th Judicial District, the city will be expected to file an answer. Gardner was unsure of the timeline for that; we have asked the city for more information, and will provide an update if and when we receive it.
Asked about a best-case scenario for his group’s effort, Gardner says that would involve the city simply backing down from its current stance.
“There’s still plenty of room for the city to do the right thing and not waste their resources in court and not waste everybody’s time fighting this in court.”
Here’s the group’s filed complaint:
Yesterday the Pikes Peak Road Runners hosted a 5k to honor the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. Stephanie Wurtz, coordinator of the quickly organized event, estimates that 400 to 500 runners came out. And though participation required no registration fee or purchase of any kind, they were able to raise approximately $500 for onefundboston.org, which financially assists those affected by the tragedy and, at the time of this blog, had raised more than $29 million.
Some local runners in attendance had actually participated in this year's Boston Marathon, and all runners were encouraged to sign a banner which will make its way to the Boston Athletic Association, which hosts the marathon.
Often at the Independent we look forward to brightening your week with fun articles, witty commentary, and entertaining local news. But sometimes we find ourselves affected by non-local news, as was the case a few weeks ago when the country became transfixed by the events at the Boston Marathon.
That sad and tragic time, however, once again showed how we as a country bond tighter in the face adversity. This Monday, May 6, the Springs will do its part as the Pikes Peak Road Runners (sister program of the Boston Athletic Association) hosts a 5K to honor and remember those who were lost and injured in the tragedy.
See attached flier:
From the listings desk: If you happen to have some old oxycodone from your grandpa stashed under the counter, this news is for you.
Saturday is the Sixth National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, where you can safely and freely rid yourself of old medicines.
I know, you really, really just want to just flush them down the toilet. But you shouldn't. Those pills can find their way to streams and drinking water supplies.
So maybe you can just trash them. But you shouldn't do that either; kids can find them, or worse. (I don't need to tell you that feeling adventurous with old narcotics is a bad idea.)
What you can do is take them to one of several locations around town, where they'll be properly collected and destroyed. You can find locations via ZIP code through the Drug Enforcement Administration's handy website. Plan ahead, too — collection sites will only operate from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Also, needles, sharps, oxygen containers and items like chemotherapy drugs will not be accepted.
For more information, call 444-7448.
Last year, Colorado voters were so supportive of a "personhood amendment" that Amendment 62, which would have mandated that "the term ‘person’ shall apply to every human being from the beginning of the biological development of that human being," failed to even get enough support to make the November ballot.
Undaunted, Springs Republican Rep. Janak Joshi has sponsored HB 13-1032:
The bill provides that, if the commission of any crime codified in the criminal code or traffic code is the proximate cause of death or injury to an unborn member of the species homo sapiens, the prosecuting attorney, in charging the underlying offense, may also charge the homicide or assault offense that is appropriate to the death or injury.
On Monday, Personhood Colorado plans to hold a press conference at the Capitol in Denver to show their solidarity with Joshi.
From the press release:
In recent years, multiple cases of harm to women and their unborn babies have gone unrecognized and unprosecuted due to current loopholes in Colorado law. Heather Surovik, victim of a drunk driving accident who lost her son Brady as she was preparing for delivery, will be testifying and speaking at the press conference.
Colorado law currently disallows prosecution for crimes against children in the womb, allowing drunk drivers and perpetrators of violent crime against pregnant women to avoid criminal charges when found guilty of harming or killing children who have not yet been born. As seen in the recent malpractice case involving Catholic Health Initiatives, there is often no recourse for parents of unborn babies harmed or killed due to negligence or medical malpractice.