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News from St. Vincent Charity September 2016

By Admin on 
Posted on September 30, 2016


A $1.9-million-dollar gift to strengthen nursing education has been given to St. Vincent Charity Medical Center—one of the largest gifts in its history, given by the Robert S. and Germaine Lahiff Hines Endowment. 

Germaine Hines graduated from St. Vincent Charity School of Nursing and served as a first lieutenant in the Army Corps of Nurses during World War II. During her service, she was one of the pioneers to use the new drug penicillin to treat soldiers fighting on the front line. Honored for her brave service, Mrs. Hines received a Commendation Ribbon for noteworthy service, the American Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal and a letter from President Harry S. Truman.  \

She married Robert Hines who worked for General Motors and later became an educator, serving as dean of the College of Arts and Humanities at the University of Hawaii, Manoa. The couple lived in Hawaii there until their deaths. Mrs. Hines lived to be 98 and died in 2006 and Mr. Hines died in 2014.  

Dr. David Perse, president and CEO of St. Vincent Charity, said in a release: "This amazing gift by Germaine and Robert Hines was given because of their love and appreciation for the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine and the incredible education Mrs. Hines received decades ago. The Sisters taught not just the skills and discipline of nursing, but the importance of providing dignity to every patient. We are grateful that the Hines endowment will help preserve that legacy and provide opportunities for our own nurses to continue to deliver care beyond medicine."

The St. Vincent Charity School of Nursing, founded in 1898 trained more than 2,600 nurses during its 90 years. The school merged in 1984 with Ursuline College. Today, nursing education continues throughout the halls of St. Vincent Charity. Through the generous gift given by the Robert S. and Germaine Lahiff Hines Endowment, top priority will be given to continued professional nursing education, development of nurse educators, and specialized training for critical, emergency, surgery and behavioral health care. The view the full article, click here.


Obesity affects over 15 million people in the United States, increasing the risks of health issues including type II diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. Metabolic and bariatric surgical procedures have proven to be successful in reducing comorbidities related to severe obesity.  

St. Vincent Charity Medical Center has long been offering patients a comprehensive program for surgical treatment of severe obesity. Now, the Center for Bariatric Surgery has recently been designated as an Accredited Center under the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP®), a joint program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). To earn this accredited status, the center had to meet essential criteria for staff, training, protocols for care and facility infrastructure. In addition, it participates in a national data registry that yields semiannual reports on the quality of its processes and outcomes, identifying opportunities for continuous quality improvement.

“Achieving this accreditation is a result of all of the hard work of the multidisciplinary team at the Center for Bariatric Surgery at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center,” said Dr. Michael Nowak, MBS Director and Medical Director of the Center for Bariatric Surgery. “We have a legacy of providing high quality of care for bariatric surgery patients and are driven to continue to do so.”

The Center for Bariatric Surgery includes a multidisciplinary team approach of surgeons, nurses, health educators and nutritionists working as a team with each patient. Bariatric surgery treatment includes preoperative and postoperative educational and clinical care tailored to each patient’s needs. This comprehensive program improves patient surgical outcomes and continued success throughout their life.  

“St. Vincent Charity Medical Center is very proud of its nearly 20-year history of providing exceptional care for our bariatric patients,” said Dr. David F. Perse, President and CEO. “Our multidisciplinary approach is critical to the success of our more than 8,000 patients.”


St. Vincent Charity was recognized at the 22nd Annual NRC Picker Patient-Centered Symposium in August, named a Patient-Centered Care Champion for Continuity of Care and Transitions of Care. The awards are given based on categories identified by patients as being most important to their care. Marijo Atkinson and Anne Messer, representing St. Vincent Charity Medical Center were in San Diego to receive the award.

“Quality and patient safety are part of our mission,” said Dr. David F. Perse, President and CEO of St. Vincent Charity Medical Center. “We are constantly striving to improve the care we provide our patients and our community and this kind of recognition is validation of that ongoing work.”

As a 2016 award recipient, St. Vincent Charity Medical Center is among a select few healthcare innovators recognized by their patients as leading the way to quality patient-centered care. The awards are given based on those areas that patients have identified as being most important to their care.

Award recipients were selected based on categories that patients have identified as being most important to the quality of their care. The awards are given to those organizations that are ranked by patients as demonstrating high performance in one of the following categories: Overall Hospital Rating, Overall Provider Rating, Improvement Planner Champion, Value-Based Purchasing Champion, and Patient-Centered Care Champion.

The eight winners of the award were chosen from the large database of hospital clients based on their performance over the last four quarters.

"Implementing improvement processes are difficult and require large amounts of time and resources, so when organizations make the commitment to look past those constraints, it really defines who the winners are,” said Helen Hrdy, Senior Vice President of Client Service at NRC. “We congratulate St. Vincent Charity Medical Center for truly defining patient-centered care.”

NRC is headquartered in Lincoln, Nebraska. For more information, visit


Cuyahoga County is seeing an epidemic of opiate addiction and St. Vincent Charity Medical Center’s Rosary Hall is providing the only inpatient treatment program in all of Northeastern Ohio. As of July 2016, the county had lost over 230 individuals to opioid overdose. U.S. Surgeon General (VADM) Vivek H. Murthy recently made a visit to Rosary Hall and stressed that addiction is a chronic disease, encouraging community partners to come together with prevention and treatment efforts. 

Dr. Ted Parran, addiction medicine specialist and associate medical director of Rosary Hall said: “the ways that epidemics are beat down is through broad and ongoing community awareness about the dangers, increased treatment capacity and aggressiveness of a well-rounded program, and reinforcing to people with addictive brain disease that if you have a problem with one substance, you will have a problem with all substances.”

How does opiate addiction happen? 

People experience pleasure or happiness through a process called the dopamine surge. This can be achieved through a variety of experiences like being a parent, enjoying a sunny day, and activities with friends or loved ones. For those with an addictive brain, the dopamine surge can also be produced through the effects of opiate use. 

“Doctors have not been very good at figuring out who should never get within 100 yards of prescription opiates—people with addictive brain,” he said. When people cannot get prescription drugs or can no longer afford them, they get them illegally—drugs often made from illegal pharmaceutical labs.  Unlike prescription drugs that use a fixed amount of opiates within the chemical make-up, addicts do not know what the level of purity is when they use heroine, and other opiates made illegally.  

Why do we see more deaths from drug addiction than alcohol addiction?

“There are a handful of fatal overdoses from alcohol,” explains Parran. “The difference between intoxicated level and fatal overdose of alcohol is very broad. With heroin and opiates, the difference between intoxicated and fatal is very narrow.” 

Today, Rosary Hall is the only hospital in Northeast Ohio that has an inpatient opioid detox program, giving patients a safe and supportive place to chemically withdraw and then join a recovery program. Parron says: “People need a safe, clinically excellent place to chemically withdraw in a supportive environment. Being able to detox in a hospital setting is critical for opiate-dependent individuals. When you’re drinking or drugging, you’re not worrying about your health. They often require lab studies, imaging, medical or surgical consults, physical or occupational therapy and psychiatric evaluations. We have the ability to have those people seen and get treatment started while they are being detoxed. …Rosary Hall is rooted in the 12-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous that worked in 1935 and works today.”  To learn more, watch the video “The Addictive Brain.”




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