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Washington Hospital Celebrates Health, Hope and Healing

May 11, 2010

National Hospital Week Observed May 9—15

During National Hospital Week, which is recognized annually May 9—15, Washington Hospital celebrates the achievements of its employees and volunteers, whose hard work helps ensure a healthier community.

The theme of this year’s celebration, Celebrating Health, Hope and Healing, underscores Washington Hospital’s continuous dedication the wellbeing of community members.

Cancer care

Furthering its reputation as a top provider for cancer care, Washington Hospital’s Community Cancer Program received an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons (ACS), which marked the first time Washington Hospital has been awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award (OAA). Washington is only four hospitals in California and one of 82 hospitals in the country to receive this recognition since inception of this award in 2005.

The OAA recognizes all elements of cancer care, and as a result, the award reflects the achievements of a number of different individuals and specialties working together, including physician specialists, nursing staff, rehabilitation professionals, volunteers and support staff.

Women’s health

Similarly, Washington Hospital’s Breast Health Program earned a three-year/full accreditation designation by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), a program administered by the American College of Surgeons. The Breast Health Program is the only program in Northern California to hold this distinction.

As part of its accreditation, the Breast Health Program staff and physicians demonstrated compliance with standards established by the NAPBC for areas including center leadership, clinical management, research, community outreach, professional education and quality improvement.

Diabetes education

In the area of patient and community education, Washington Hospital staff has pushed to prove the institution’s reputation as a leader in diabetes education and support.

Research shows that diabetes education helps people prevent, delay, or reverse complications through effective self-management, and to broaden its reach, Washington Hospital’s newly relocated Outpatient Diabetes Center has continued to expand its range of programs, group classes and one to one classes geared toward specific topics related to diabetes management.

Neuroscience

In the fast-evolving field of neuroscience, Washington Hospital has emerged as a driving force in the treatment of neurological conditions through the Taylor McAdam Bell Neuroscience Institute, where world-class physicians, technologists, nurses and other professional staff use powerful, leading-edge, minimally-invasive technologies to treat adults and children with a wide range of neurological diseases and disorders.

People power

All of these programs and services cannot run on their own. They require the knowledge, expertise and commitment of a number of individuals.

Of more than 2,000 employees and volunteers in the hospital, more than 600 nurses coordinate all aspects of patient care. As team leaders, registered nurses (R.N.) guide the work of licensed vocational nurses (L.V.N.), certified nursing assistants (C.N.A.), unit clerks and orthopedic technicians. Other nurses, called clinical specialists, who must meet educational and clinical practice requirements beyond the basic nursing education and licensing required of all registered nurses, are available to consult and advise in specialty areas, such as mother-baby care.

In addition to nursing staff, the hospital employs a number of different highly qualified professionals. Therapists and technicians, with years of specialized training and experience, staff various departments, such as: Physical Rehabilitation, Speech Therapy, Respiratory Therapy, X-ray, Clinical Laboratory, Blood Bank, EEG (electroencephalography, or testing the brain’s electrical activity), EKG (electrocardiography, or testing heart function), Pulmonary and Cardiac Rehabilitation, Occupational Therapy and Pharmacy. Most of the skilled people working in these areas offer care and services to patients who have been admitted to the hospital, as well as outpatients referred by physicians.

There are also many more people behind the scenes that help make the hospital what it is.

From the Washington Hospital Service League volunteer who greets visitors in the hospital’s main lobby to the technicians in the Engineering Department who ensure that the power is always on, there are employees and volunteers at the hospital around the clock to help ensure that each person’s experience is the best it can be.

If a patient or family member is in need of counseling or comfort during their stay in the hospital, spiritual care volunteers are on-call around the clock to offer their support.

Hospital staff dietitians offer nutritional counseling. The Food and Nutritional Services Department staff members ensure patients receive meals that fit their dietary requirements.

There are so many dedicated individuals that work behind the scenes to make sure patient care at Washington Hospital functions seamlessly. These people include staff members employed in Admitting, Communications, Engineering, Environmental Services, Finance, Food and Nutrition Services, Housekeeping, Human Resources, Information Systems, Materials Management, Medical Records, Security, and Volunteer Services departments – just to name a few.

"Green" operations

Employee and volunteer efforts have been instrumental in a number of key achievements during the past year.

Recently, in recognition of efforts to achieve increasingly environmentally responsible operations, Washington Hospital was honored with a "Partner Recognition Award" by Practice Greenhealth, a national membership organization for health care facilities committed to "greener" operations. The award is one of the organization’s Environmental Excellence Awards given each year to honor outstanding environmental achievements in health care sector.

The hospital’s "Green Team" is an institution-wide initiative that embraces environmental responsibility as a core value. Established in 2008, the Green Team is comprised of more than 20 employees that work in different parts of the hospital, bringing together perspectives from a large cross section of backgrounds inside the hospital.

Looking toward the future

Washington Hospital’s many team members are helping to build the future of health care for residents in Washington Township Health Care District.

Hospital construction projects currently underway will serve as the foundation for critical expansion and seismic upgrades being funded by Measure FF, which was passed by voters in November of 2004.

The construction, which began with the hospital’s new central plant, is meant to support the growth and evolving needs of the community for the next 25 to 30 years.

Information about upcoming construction projects and upgrades at Washington Hospital will be available at Washington Township Health Care District board meetings, which are aired regularly on InHealth, A Washington Hospital Channel, on Comcast Channel 78.

Serving the community

During National Hospital Week, Washington Hospital’s leadership recognizes the dedication of the employees and volunteers who support the health, hope and healing in their community.

For more information about Washington Hospital and its programs and services, visit www.whhs.com.

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