HELP is a comprehensive program of care for hospitalized older patients, designed to prevent delirium and functional decline. Morristown Medical Center implemented HELP on a general medical floor in September 2010. The program has grown both in scope and importance since its implementation and is one of the most successful in the country. The rate of delirium has decreased over 40 percent on most medical units and up to 60 percent on others. In addition, we’ve seen more than a two-day decreased length of stay for patients enrolled in HELP. This program relies on grants and philanthropic support.
The Need: $140,000
Morristown Medical Center and the Department of Psychiatry will address this problem by establishing a substance abuse screening, assessment and treatment service for medical and surgical inpatients. This service will include patients age 12 and older at Goryeb Children’s Hospital. Funding will create a multidisciplinary service that includes a psychiatrist, a psychiatric advance practice nurse and two social workers. This team will provide consultation to all medical and surgical floors as well as to Sameth Emergency Department and work collaboratively with the Department of Psychiatry’s consultation-liaison service to establish the following:
Follow up calls to track patients and their compliance with aftercare.
In New Jersey, a growing number of patients require inpatient psychiatric hospitalization yet there are fewer psychiatric beds available. This disparity has resulted in an increased length of stay in the emergency department (ED) for individuals awaiting inpatient psychiatric placement. We have found that one of the most useful techniques used in the psychiatric ED setting is art therapy. This therapy works in tandem with traditional medical treatment to improve a patient’s physical, mental and emotional well-being. We now have a full-time art therapist providing these services during the work week and are currently seeking funds for a per diem art therapist in the psychiatric emergency department for the weekend shifts.
We seek to hire a full-time inpatient cardiac rehab nurse or exercise physiologist to support and work with patients in our Cardiac Intensive Care Unit and Cardiac Post Anesthesia Care Unit. Beginning cardiac rehab as early as possible facilitates a smoother recovery and quicker discharge.
Morristown Medical Center has been designated a NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders) hospital with “Exemplary” status and ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a top hospital nationwide for geriatrics. We have dramatically grown our geriatric medicine offerings and provide some of the finest care for older adults in our community. This fund will be used to make strategic investments in continued education, training and new programs for our patients.
Geriatrics focuses on the high-quality, person-centered care we all need as we age. There is a significant shortage of physicians trained in this specialty nationwide even as the population of people over age 65 continues to rise. The Geriatric Fellowship Program at Morristown Medical Center is a comprehensive one-year training program through which physicians trained in internal medicine or family medicine gain additional expertise in the assessment, treatment and management of geriatric patients in all clinical settings. The program currently trains one fellow each year. We are seeking funding to support the salary of an additional fellow to address this growing need.
In response to the growing number of family caregivers in our community, our interdisciplinary team of geriatric experts developed an evidence-based course to teach caregivers how to care for their aging loved ones and navigate the elder care maze. This five-part series offers a 10-hour interactive curriculum to teach approximately 20 caregivers the key issues involved in caring for an aging loved one, including personalized guidance and support. A session demonstrating hands-on care techniques includes small group teaching with a home health aide and physical therapist, along with a state-of-the art geriatric nursing mannequin. Funding will support the ongoing provision of the course, materials for attendees, mannequin maintenance and interdisciplinary staffing to support the multi-week course.
This program offers home visits by a registered nurse and/or social worker over a 60-day period following a hospitalization. The aim is to provide care and coordination for approximately 200-250 frail seniors who are at high risk for complications and hospitalization yet do not qualify for home care services under Medicare, either because they are not homebound or there is no complex clinical skill required. The medical professional reviews medications, including medication schedules and side effects; assesses home safety and assists with obtaining specialized equipment if needed; telemonitors cardiac/pulmonary patients who need vital signs checked daily; arranges for a visiting physician as necessary; identifies nutritional risks and connects patients with Meals on Wheels or other community resources; makes physician appointments and coordinates physician care; arranges transportation to medical appointments; provides educational tools and training for patients to more effectively manage chronic conditions; coordinates community resources for grocery shopping, household chores, and socialization; identifies those with end-of-life issues and uses palliative and hospice care if appropriate; provides information and educational support for caregivers.
Our home health aides provide temporary relief for caregivers so they can "recharge their batteries.” Medicare will pay for five consecutive days of respite care if it is provided in a skilled nursing facility. This fund allows us help those families who cannot move their loved one or afford to pay for in-home aide support.
This palliative medical modality is dedicated to the care of the dying with harp and voice. Music thanatologists serve at the bedside of the dying in all settings: hospitals, hospices, nursing homes and private homes.
Patients in most areas of Morristown Medical Center are able to receive complimentary healing and energy therapies at their bedside, including Jin Shin Jyutsu, massage, relaxation techniques, and reflexology. Our integrative medicine inpatient program, one of the largest in the country, is highly valued by patients and our nursing staff. The program is funded entirely through philanthropy and has demonstrated that patients who receive a treatment have a reduction of 40 percent or more in their anxiety, pain and nausea.
Morristown Medical Center has long been a leader in the field of nursing, and education and staffing needs are taken very seriously. Tenure is a key indicator to our success, and we are proud to report that our nurses remain at our hospital an average of 11.19 years and our vacancy rate is only 2 percent. An important component of maintaining our Magnet Recognition is a high level of excellence, which includes encouraging registered nurses to become certified in their area of specialty. Consequently, continuing education remains a top need for nursing. This fund will allow us to meet the education needs of nurses who are working to increase their training and expertise.
Carol G. Simon Cancer Center strives to recognize and address the psychosocial needs of our patients. In doing so, we understand that, when patients enter the cancer center, they are often anxious and overwhelmed by their disease and the treatment required. In this new program, the concierge would focus on patients’ non-clinical needs, ensuring that they move through their visits in a timely and efficient manner, scheduling and escorting them to testing, and arranging for visits with other team members, such as dieticians, social workers and nurse navigators. The concierge would also educate patients on the many programs and services available to support them during treatment.
A research associate is needed to support the work of our national expert Angela Alistar, MD, who is initiating a study of the characteristics of bacteria (gut flora) and its relationship to the survival of pancreatic cancer. There has been a great deal of interest regarding the gene–environment interactions that underlie cancer susceptibility and progression. Yet we have limited knowledge of which environmental factors are important and how they function during the formation of tumors. Human microbiome studies have revealed significant differences in the relative abundance of certain microbes in cancer cases compared with controls. Dr. Alistar, the medical director of GI/Pancreatic Medical Oncology, will be leading this three-year study.
We are establishing a precision oncology program to investigate the use of genetic sequencing to improve cancer care identifying subtle differences in each patient's cancer that potentially suggests the right treatment, at the right time, in the most cost-effective manner. As part of Atlantic Precision Oncology, we will be initiating a Molecular Tumor Board, a monthly multidisciplinary meeting to evaluate patients for optimal treatment, based on the molecular testing of their cancer and/or immune system. Funds will go toward the purchase of specialized computer software to manage these care decisions and suggest treatment and research options.
We are recruiting for an interventional GI specialist to help us transform and upgrade our non-operative capabilities in treating patients with cancers of the GI tract, especially cancers involving the pancreas, liver and stomach. This person would have similar responsibilities to the GI medical director, focusing on working with our surgeons, medical oncologists and radiation oncologists to create a multidisciplinary center to provide exceptional care to patients with these cancers.
The cost of cancer drugs continues to rise as new agents enter the market and patients remain on therapy for years. Therapy costs, coupled with the changing landscape of insurance coverage, high deductible plans and lifetime caps on health care expenses, leave many cancer patients with a large financial burden. Many are not aware of the subsidy programs available to help defray out of pocket expenses. We seek to hire a full-time expert in the field who is knowledgeable about coverage, drug assistance programs, and national and local foundations able to offer financial assistance. This uniquely skilled person would help patients complete forms, gather the necessary documentation, and submit applications for needed assistance.
An expansion of integrative medicine services into the inpatient unit will allow for a continuity of patient care and will reduce stress and anxiety related to an inpatient admission and cancer diagnosis. Services would include massage, acupuncture and nutritional consultations.
This fund will finance research on bone conditions in children and adolescents. We will enroll 200 patients between ages 5 and 18 years, who are treated for fracture at the Children’s Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center. Each will have a dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan soon after injury. Those with low vitamin D will begin supplements. A DXA will be repeated at 6 to 12 months. This testing may tell us if there is, in fact, a correlation between low vitamin D and bone mineral density, and if bone density can be improved with supplementation. The study will span two years. DXA is not covered by most insurance plans, so funding will cover the cost of the DXA and other related expenses.
A child life specialist engages children in age-appropriate supportive activities to minimize stress and help them and their families with their health care experience. These child development professionals promote effective coping through play, preparation, education, and self-expression activities. The eight beds recently added to the existing 26-bed pediatric inpatient unit at Goryeb Children’s Hospital have strained our staff of five child life specialists. The need for a sixth will be even more evident when the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit is expanded.
In the Gagnon Children’s Emergency Center, bedside ultrasound is needed by physicians for the timely diagnoses of various emergent conditions. The equipment will also be used to perform specific procedures with less complications. This unit will replace an existing one and will provide greater resolution and more features.
The Calais Human Milk Analyzer measures nutritional content of human breast milk protein, carbohydrates, fat and total energy. It would be used to customize breast milk supplementation to provide optimal nutrition for the frailest, most vulnerable, preterm infants.
This structured program combines classroom learning with community field trips to help children with autism develop the skills needed to function safely and appropriately in a variety of public settings. The overarching goal is to provide learn-by-doing experiences to help these children achieve their greatest potential and to serve as a vital family resource.
The Family Health Center, Morristown Medical Center’s charity care pediatric clinic, provides health literacy and psychosocial services to at-risk children and their families through the Family Counseling and Guidance Program. The program aims to address the underlying causes of poor health and improve access to high quality health care services for children who are at risk for high rates of poor nutrition and childhood obesity. The program offers supportive counseling sessions and health literacy education for both children and their families. Funding needs for the program include support for the salaries of the social worker and program educator and activity fees for youth gym memberships, cooking classes, and exercise programs like “Girls On the Run.”
Project Independence was established nearly three decades ago to help patients at Morristown Medical Center who fall behind in their bills because of extended periods of illness. Hospital caregivers identify financially burdened patients, and a Project Independence committee reviews the facts and decides if a patient is eligible to receive a one-time grant of up to $5,500. Since its inception, Project Independence has helped nearly 2,000 community members.
Parking charges present a burden to some families, especially those who have a family member hospitalized for an extended period of time. To help alleviate this financial strain, we began charging a $20 flat fee to qualified families for the length of hospitalization. This program is available on the first day of hospitalization to those who cannot afford to pay for standard parking or for those whose hospital stay is estimated to be five days or longer. These families are identified by the patient liaison, social worker, intake nurse, or charge nurse on the patient floor. Philanthropic funds would allow us to waive the flat fee for families who cannot afford the $20. Currently, approximately 2,700 families use this program each year.
The Breaking Bad News Program is designed to change the culture of medicine by training health care professionals to communicate effectively with compassion, providing patients and family members greater support during challenging times. Initially developed by neonatologist Dr. Anthony Orsini, the program teaches physicians how to discuss bad news with patients and families. The program uses professional actors in videotaped improvisation role-playing situations with physicians to teach compassionate communication. We would like to give each resident an opportunity to attend this invaluable training.
We seek to obtain educational tools that enhance our program and give residents maximum training in a condensed amount of time. Bioskills laboratories provide skill training that replaces the “see one, do one, teach one” model of the past. We would like to purchase simulation models, such as one from “Limbs and Things” for pelvic surgery and laceration repairs.
The Need: $39,000
Antepartum patients often have extended hospital stays causing disruption in their daily lives as well as concern for their pregnancy outcomes. These extended stays often cause the patient to feel overwhelmed and contribute to feelings of anxiousness and isolation; it also impacts their preparation for childbirth. An interdisciplinary team, including nurses, obstetrical and maternal fetal medicine physicians, a social worker, a care manager, a clinical specialist, and a patient liaison, met to consider input from patients and to determine the unique needs of this population. The primary recommendations were to create a more home-like setting; further use staff resources for improved educational programs; and to facilitate opportunities for more patient interaction, socialization and support. The solarium, located at the end of the antepartum unit, is the ideal location for these activities but requires renovation and upgrades to fill the need.
The Need: $25,000
The Women’s Health Clinic is a full-service charity care program of Morristown Medical Center that offers OB/GYN medical services for socioeconomically disadvantaged women. The majority of patients are Hispanic or Latina women who experience poverty, poor nutrition, and sub-standard housing and have limited access to health services. The Women’s Health Clinic serves as their medical home by providing culturally sensitive, high quality health care at no cost. Philanthropic support is needed for the clinic’s Prenatal Counseling & Guidance Program, which teaches patients and their families how to adopt and maintain a healthy lifestyle and achieve a healthy weight after pregnancy. The program offers counseling sessions, bilingual health education, and referrals to community resources. Funding is needed for the salaries of the bilingual program educator and dietician, as well as for program supplies and activities, such as cooking, yoga, and Zumba classes.
The Need: $90,000
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That’s the number of NJ kids diagnosed with autism. The good news? Our donor-funded expansion of the Child Development and Autism Center has resulted in earlier intervention. Wait times dropped from 6 months to a matter of weeks for new autism evaluations of kids 5 and younger.
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