The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


June 12, 2013

Hands-on care earns award for Evangelical

— LEWISBURG —– “You’re Lynn, 102,” an intensive care patient at Evangelical Community Hospital told Lynn Yannes, a registered nurse, after she’d introduced herself before tending to him. The patient explained he’d been there two days, and she was the 102nd person to assist in his care.

The seemingly high number, however, includes only the people he saw, not the others working behind the scenes — from maintaining the parking areas to cooking, processing data and overseeing daily routines — who together provide a patient experience that has earned Evangelical the Healthgrades Outstanding Patient Experience Award.

What makes it even sweeter: Evangelical has won it five years in a row.

“I give credit to our human resources folks,” said Michael N. O’Keefe, president and CEO of Evangelical. “They find that something special in the folks they recruit and hire who have a caring aspect for what they do.”

From the clinicians who help the patients to the support staff that helps the clinicians, he stressed, “There are no unimportant roles here.”

The award places Evangelical in the top 15 percent of hospitals nationwide for a consistent positive patient experience and only one of two in the state.

Paul E. Tarves, vice president of nursing administration, said Evangelical is a true prototype of a community hospital: Staff members and patients know each other through neighbors, friends or family.

“For the patients who are here, it’s almost impossible to avoid a connection somewhere,” he said, adding that creates an almost built-in system of checks and balances for patient care. “It’s priceless. That aspect is so striking to me.”

The men’s enthusiasm for their hospital showed as they pointed out its winning combination of compassion and expertise. The hospital is on track to perform 500 cardiac catheterizations in its new Cardiac Center this year, O’Keefe said, and as impressive as that number is, even more impressive are the outcomes, which are “nothing short of phenomenal.”

“The staff cares about what they do,” O’Keefe said, “and they are very technically proficient.”

Originally from the Philadelphia area, Tarves finds Evangelical’s number of board-certified physicians — well over 100 — incredible for a 130-bed hospital, and he compared its new surgical suite to “Star Trek,” saying, “Our capabilities are clearly second to none.”

Still, it comes back to the human touch.

“Patients expect that we have the technology,” Tarves said, “but what they’re really expecting is, ‘Is someone going to hold my hand when I’m scared during a procedure?’”

Greeting people with a smile. Maintaining clean facilities. Offering to walk patients to their destinations rather than just giving directions. And yes, comforting them through painful or scary procedures. These are the things patients in post-treatment surveys say they appreciate.

Both men cited Dr. J. Lawrence Ginsburg for his commitment to addressing patient care.

“He has set the standard so much, not just for the patients but also for the employees,” O’Keefe said. “He has led the charge.”

Tarves recalled an Evangelical employee who told him of the great experience she had as a patient and how proud she was of her co-workers. O’Keefe noted the care his own mother-in-law received, even before staffers realized they were tending to the CEO’s relative.

Evangelical respects the individual, O’Keefe said. At employee orientations, he shares such examples. “This is how we do it here. The Evangelical way, or the Evangelical culture.”

In addition to the Patient Experience honor, Healthgrades also recognized Evangelical with these awards: Five-Star Recipient for Treatment of Heart Attack, two years in a row (2012-13), Five-Star Recipient for Total Hip Replacement (2013), Five-Star Recipient for Gastrointestinal Procedures and Surgery, two years in a row (2012-13), and Five-Star Recipient for Treatment of Sepsis, six years in a row (2008-13).

“We try to have people who are empathetic to patients’ pain and anxiety,” O’Keefe said. “Regardless of an employee’s position, Evangelical prepares them to help.”

Text Only
  • dogs31.jpg Is Spike spiteful?

    Dog is often considered man’s best friend, but a recent study shows he may be a little green over how much time you spend with other pooches.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • CORBETT_TomC.jpg Corbett: VanKirk helped to save the world

    Gov. Tom Corbett today issued the following statement on the death of Northumberland County native Theodore “Dutch” VanKirk, the last surviving crew member of the Enola Gay:

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Afraid of grandson? "Now I am," Amanda Trometter says

    Erick Trometter slept with hunting and butcher knives beside his bed while living with the grandmother he allegedly attacked on the morning he was shot after allegedly pulling a knife on a city police officer.

    July 30, 2014

  • vk1.jpg Ted VanKirk: Seen from above

    The Daily Item is republishing online its spring 2012 interview with Northumberland native Ted “Dutch” VanKirk, the navigator of the Enola Gay, which dropped the first of two atomic bombs on Japan in 1945. The story appeared in Inside Pennsylvania magazine. VanKirk died Monday in Georgia at age 93.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • vankirk_ted1.jpg “The Japanese were beaten before we even dropped the bomb”

    Compared to the 58 other missions they ran together, the one they were assigned to carry out on Aug. 6, 1945 was easy.
    There would be no return fire, flying conditions were ideal, and if all went according to plan, they would be back to the base in Tinian by nightfall.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Ritz-Craft Ritz-Craft to hire 60 for Mifflinburg plant

    MIFFLINBURG — Sixty jobs are coming to Mifflinburg as a Ritz-Craft production facility that went dark seven years ago amid the housing downturn will come back on line during the next few months, company officials announced Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Selinsgrove man dies when tractor flips in Chapman Township

    PORT TREVORTON — A 57-year-old Selinsgrove man died Tuesday evening when the farm tractor he was driving overturned and pinned him beneath it, according to Snyder County Coroner Bruce Hummel.

    July 29, 2014

  • VanKirk 'Real hero' of World War II dies

    ATLANTA, Ga. — Theodore “Dutch” VanKirk, the last surviving crew member of the Enola Gay, which dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, died Monday of natural causes in the retirement home where he lived in Georgia. He was 93.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mayor: Rental ban for drug dealers a success

    SUNBURY — A controversial landlord-tenant ordinance passed by the City Council in 2012 has become one of Sunbury’s “better success stories,” Mayor David Persing said Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014

  • Mom cited for allegedly leaving baby in car for 12 minutes

    LEWISBURG — A summary citation carrying a maximum fine of $127.50 was filed Tuesday against a Lewisburg woman accused of leaving her 10-month-old baby unattended for 12 minutes in a car in Union County on July 21.

    July 29, 2014

The Daily Marquee

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.