If the majority of legislators and Gov. Bill Owens agree, Colorado will join 21 other states that have passed bills to protect nurses and other medical professionals who “blow the whistle” on medical errors and inefficiencies, according to a news release. Rep. Morgan Carroll, D-Aurora, has introduced HB 06-1193 – Whistleblower Protection, which prevents an employer from firing a health care worker in retaliation for the worker reporting substandard patient medical care.
Penrose-St. Francis Health Services has announced a late summer groundbreaking for a $200-million hospital at Powers Boulevard and Woodmen Road. The St. Francis Medical Center will service the growing northeastern communities of Colorado Springs. The 350,000-square-foot project will be completed by early 2008.
After a career in radio, Scott Stafford started his own company, Auxiliary Media, which supported Internet-based radio programs. Stafford left the radio business a few years ago to join Van Gilder Insurance Corp. as an employee benefits consultant. But his passion for radio has him back on the air.
Last week, the Memorial Hospital Blood Donor Center recognized blood donors and businesses that hosted mobile blood drives during 2005 at a ceremony at the Antler’s Hilton. Kathy Hook, donor resource coordinator for the Memorial Hospital Blood Bank, said people who gave at least a gallon of their blood (amounting to eight donations) were honored, along with 76 businesses and organizations that sponsored on-site blood drives. Other businesses were recognized for sponsoring drives where employees donated blood at the center.
The 23rd American Heart Association Heart Ball will take place from 5:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Feb. 4 at the Broadmoor International Center. The event includes a gourmet dinner, silent and live auctions, and dancing to local band Phat Daddy and the Phat Horn Doctors. The event sponsor is Spectranetics Corp.
The Colorado Health Institute released a study this month, “Profile of the Uninsured,” which highlights the state’s uninsured population through 2004. Based on the latest Census Bureau statistics, the report showed that about 770,000, or 17 percent, of the state’s residents don’t have health insurance, which falls above the 15.7 percentage for the nation. More than three-fourths – 77.8 percent – of Colorado’s uninsured population were working age adults between 18 and 64.
Business owners, CEOs, managers, human resource professionals, wellness coordinators, risk managers and anyone interested in promoting a healthy work force are invited to attend a workshop about incorporating and maintaining comprehensive wellness programs in the workplace. A national health promotion management company, Health Break, will present information about the components of a wellness program, cost containment strategies, expectations for a return on investment and examples of best practices.
Thirty-four grants, funded by Colorado’s new tobacco tax, which totals $8,688,269, have been awarded to state health care organizations and health departments to expand programs and establish programs for the prevention and treatment of cancer, cardiovascular disease and pulmonary disease. The programs include initiatives to provide free colorectal screening for low-income Coloradoans who don’t have health insurance, programs to ensure better and timelier treatment of strokes and a proposal for a mobile disease screening service for rural counties in southeastern Colorado.
The National Federation of Independent Business reports that the most important issue for its members going into 2006 is again the cost of health care insurance premiums. According to an NFIB news release, “Small business owners do not have access to the same high-volume health insurance discounts offered to larger companies. This inequity in the system does not provide affordable health insurance options to small employers, leaving many workers and their employers without insurance.”
The American Society for Bariatric Surgery has recognized the Penrose-St. Francis Center for Bariatric Surgery as a surgery center of excellence. The ASBS designation is awarded to surgical programs that have demonstrated favorable outcomes in bariatric surgery. Bariatric surgical procedures are gastrointestinal operations that reduce the size of a person’s stomach to minimize food consumption. The surgery, mainly used for weight-loss purposes, also rearranges the small intestines to reduce the amount of calories the body absorbs.
The National Research Corp., which measures health care performances, has named Memorial Hospital a Consumer Choice Award winner for the second consecutive year. The NRC selects hospitals that have high consumer ratings in quality and image. The findings are based on the NCR Healthcare Market Guide Study, which involved more than 200,000 households, representing about 400,000 consumers. Memorial Hospital was one of 206 health care facilities recognized nationwide. There were 3,000 hospitals included in the study.
Dr. James Simerville is a board certified occupational medicine physician and pediatrician who retired in 2000 as the southern Colorado medical director for PacifiCare/Secure Horizons. Practice Net Solutions has appointed Simerville as the medical director of a collaborative program among the El Paso County Medical Society, the Dallas County Medical Society and the Travis County (Austin, Texas) Medical Society.