Go Back

Mar 8, 2015

08 Mar 2015

March 8, 2015
breakfastBreakfast with the CEO Q&A recap

At the January breakfasts, physicians asked Salem Health CEO Norm Gruber a range of questions, from the future of Salem Health and private practices to the stability of the hospitalist program. Read the questions and Norm Gruber's responses.  


Return to top 
needsCommunity needs assessment

Since 2002, Salem Hospital has conducted a survey of physicians in the service area every two years to support the development of physician resources.  Federal regulations require a demonstration of need before using hospital funds to bring private practice physicians to the community.  As a result of these studies, Salem Hospital has helped recruit more than 100 physicians to private physician practices in Salem and Dallas over the last nine years. 


AmeriMed, a firm specializing in this type of confidential study, gathers data from physician offices in Marion and Polk Counties related to the number of full time equivalent physicians now practicing and the access available to patients covered by Medicare, The Oregon Health Plan, commercial insurance and indigent care.  In addition, physician surveys will be sent to explore the challenges physicians and their patients experience in accessing care.


Please participate in a telephone survey that AmeriMed will conduct over the next few weeks.  Your input will help obtain the data needed for a comprehensive assessment.


If you have any questions, please contact the project coordinator Dau Tucker by calling 503-561-5913. 

Return to top
PFAPServices for physicians and their families 

The Cascade Centers' Physician & Family Assistance Program (PFAP) is a free, confidential service that will assist you and your family members with any personal concern, large or small. It is available to those with Salem Health privileges or those on the Salem Health medical staff. The PFAP can help with relationship problems, depression or anxiety, stress management, community resources and identity theft. Services also include personal consultation with a PFAP professional, crisis counseling, legal and financial consultation, childcare and eldercare, and concierge and resource retrieval. Contact with Cascade Centers is completely confidential. No information is disclosed to anyone outside the PFAP without your written consent. Your identity will be protected within the limits of the law. 


Return to top
surveyMedical staff survey results

The Medical Staff Engagement Survey closed on March 4. We exceeded our participation goal with 268 responses or a 41 percent response rate. Thank you!


You are invited to help lead positive change at Salem Health by joining one of three sessions to review survey results and provide input.


On April 15 and 16, William Jesse, MD, FACMPE, Chief Medical Officer, and David Rowlee, PhD, Senior Vice President, from INTEGRATED Healthcare Strategies (IHS) will lead three action plan development sessions. IHS will provide a high level overview of the results. Attendees, in small groups, will brainstorm ideas to address issues, concerns, and opportunities identified through the survey. IHS will use your feedback and their own analysis to develop action plans. Those action plans will drive the Physician Engagement A3 (or roadmap) for 2015-16.       


Please email Mary Maberry, Physician Office Liaison, or call 503-705-0613 with the session you would like to attend. She will send you an Outlook invite for your calendar. 


All sessions are located in Building A, sixth floor conference room, and a meal will be provided:

  • Wednesday, April 15, 12 to 1 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 16, 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. 
  • Thursday, April 16, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.  

This is a great opportunity to hear how Salem Health compares with other medical staff nationwide and to develop ideas for the future. Please join!


Return to top 

answeringAnswering service update
This is the final reminder that the Salem Health answering service will be discontinued Tuesday, March 31, at midnight. Thank you for your patronage over the years.

If you have used the Salem Health answering service for your practice, it is recommended that you have an alternate in place ahead of the deadline. If you are not employed by Salem Health, but have been using a Salem Health-provided pager, please return it before Wednesday, April 1, to avoid charges.  


If your pager number or method of contact is changing, please complete the physician contact form and return it to Laura DiDomenico by fax, email, or in person.  


Salem Health staff will still be able to reach you through the switchboard, the same as today. Paging will not be eliminated as a method of communication, but rather Salem Health is eliminating its role as a physical pager provider and an answering service for private clinics.   


Please read the updated FAQ if you have further questions. 


Return to top 
analyzerNew point of care analyzer
The instrumentation for point of care analyzers is changing. Read about the changes, including reference ranges, critical values, and units of measure.

Return to top
diabetesNew diabetes order set
There is now only one best practice order set for diabetes care!  You will want to put it into your list of favorites. Read tips on how to find it and how to use it.  


Return to top
epicEpic transition complete

Thank you to all who completed their Epic 2014 training materials and reported issues to the command center.


The Epic 2014 upgrade is running smoothly. If you have any issues or requests related to Epic, please call the Solution Center at 503-561-4357. 

Return to top
VTEMandatory VTE prophylaxis risk assessment and orders

Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is the No. 1 cause of hospital-related death. Most deaths are preventable with risk appropriate VTE prophylaxis throughout the patient's entire hospital stay.


The VTE QOC/Strategy Team is developing standardized methods to ensure patient safety and compliance with Joint Commission Core Measures.


For 100 percent compliance with core measures and to prevent a "never event," mandatory VTE prophylaxis risk assessment and orders will be put in place.


Thank you for your support on this vital patient safety issue. For more information please read More Options for Hospital Core Measures from the Joint Commission or Optimizing Prevention of Hospital-acquired Venous Thromboembolism from the Journal of Hospital Medicine. 


Return to top

coonDr. Valerie Coon
Leader in Practice and Teaching of Excellence

Over the last 18 months, Valerie Coon, MD, has established herself as a leader in practice and a  teacher to several neuroscience nurses in the Medical Surgical ICU. She achieved this relationship while teaching neuro assessment techniques to nurses on clinical rounds. In addition, she presented several lectures to curious staff on the topics of intracerebral bleeds, traumatic brain injury and reading cerebral CAT scans. She inspired twelve nurses to attend the Neurocritical Care Society in Seattle last September, where they heard top physician and nurse researchers present their findings. She bridged a complex interdisciplinary communication gap as a result of her leadership and teaching. She developed a new ICP management physician order set and invited other physician specialists to use it. She maximized both her neurosurigcal skills and friendly disposition to engage employees and to improve patient safety.


Return to top    


vrannaDr. Lee Vranna
Leader in Practice and Teaching of Excellence

Lee Vranna, MD, stepped in and gave a wonderful educational session to the Oregon Stroke Network on rehabilitation medicine and stroke.


Dr. Vranna provided this educational opportunity without hesitation, and was well received by all participants. Dr. Vranna was asked at the last moment if he could fill in for someone who had cancelled--and he did it without a second thought. The conference was enhanced by his participation and teaching.


 Return to top    


hoelterDr. Jenny Hoelter

Role Model for Excellence
Jenny Hoelter, MD, was willing to go to the hospital on a Friday night and consult on a patient. She facilitated the transfer when the hospitalist attending was not available and OB was unable to consult on a young patient with a serious complication.


Dr. Hoelter was  willing to step into a difficult situation, respond to a request for assistance and help to meet the patient's care needs.


 Return to top  


guzmanDr. Ronald Guzman
Role Model for Excellence

Ronald Guzman, MD, demonstrated excellence in a complex discharge of one of his patients. It was a Friday afternoon and the patient was not going to discharge until the next day. Since the next day was a Saturday, Dr. Guzman knew that he was not going to be at work. So he called in the caregiver for the patient and spent over two hours personally going over the discharge instructions and medication list with the caregiver. Since the patient was going to a SNF, the discharge instructions were detailed. When his work was acknowledged, Dr. Guzman's reply was, "Of course! Patients always come first." This is just one of the ways that Dr. Guzman goes above and beyond for all of his patients.  


 Return to top    


surbaughDr. Mark Surbaugh

Role Model for Excellence
Mark Surbaugh, MD, has been a great asset and addition to Salem Hospital. He is an amazing doctor and staff feels fortunate to work with him. He is always approachable by nursing staff and treats them all with kindness and high respect. No question is ever a dumb question to him. When he is called with an urgent matter, he comes to the bedside right away and is attentive and thorough. He listens to nurses and takes their opinion and feedback seriously. He has excellent bedside manners and is always kind and soft spoken to the patient and families. In one instance, there was a traumatic urgent code and a doctor's help was needed right away. Dr. Surbaugh and Dr. Tate jumped in and helped out, even though it wasn't their patient. This was greatly appreciated and says a lot about his character and what kind of person and doctor he is.  


 Return to top    


nairDr. Raj Nair
Excellence Above and Beyond
Raj Nair, MD, successfully lead a Surgical Care Improvement Project last year. The project is on track to accomplish its goal of increasing the Appropriate Care Score at Salem Health. The SCIP team nominated Dr. Nair for a Service Excellence Award, not only for the technical success of the project but for his collaborative leadership and engagement. Read more about the project and Dr. Nair's nomination.
vaccineVaccines debate heats up in Oregon
The Oregon legislature is jumping into the conversation about vaccination, where legislators are considering a controversial proposal to limit vaccine exemptions to medical reasons only. Read: Ban on vaccine exemptions weighed from the Associated Press article on March 1.

Oregon Health & Science University President Dr. Joe Robertson also passionately chimed in on the topic at a Business Journal Power Breakfast. Read: OHSU CEO Robertson on vaccines: 'Your personal rights stop where my nose starts' from the Portland Business Journal Article on Feb. 26.

patnershipsSalem Health Community Partnerships
Salem Health recently partnered with four outstanding local organizations that share the goal of building a healthier community, including the Salvation Army of Salem and the Boys and Girls Club of Salem, Marion and Polk Counties. Read about the grants provided to these like-minded groups and the practical needs that will be met as a result.
weekDoctor's Week
Mark your calendars: The week of March 30 to April 3 is Doctor's Week. Salem Health is looking forward to celebrating doctors and all their hard work! More information coming. 
Return to top
CMEsContinuing education opportunities

There are two opportunities this month to earn continuing medical education credits. Click on the class titles below for more information:


Cardiac surgery M&M case review

Date: Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Time: 6 to 7 a.m.

Location: Building C - Room A1


Grand rounds - Ebola & C-diff: Parallel behavioral diseases

Date: Friday, March 20, 2015
Time: 7 to 8 a.m.
Location: Building D - Creekside Overflow

Return to top
checUpcoming classes at the CHEC  

Select class headlines to download a flier to print and share with your patients. For more information and to register visit the CHEC website or call 503-814-2432 (CHEC).


American Lung Association: Freedom From Smoking
Quitting smoking is the single most important step a smoker can take to improve the length and quality of his or her life.
Date: Wednesdays, March 11 to April 22
Time: 3 to 5 p.m.
Cost: $120, scholarships available


RISE Cancer Fitness
This four-week program is designed specifically for people suffering from fatigue and loss of strength that can result from surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation.
Date: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, March 16 to April 10
Time: 1 to 2 p.m. or 2:15 to 3:15 p.m.
Cost: $10

Exercise Ball
Working out on an exercise ball has a variety of physical benefits from gentle stretching to increasing strength.
Date: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays , March 18 to April 13
Time: 11:30 to 12:15 p.m.
Cost: $40


Sleep Apnea Support Group

This new support group, led by Salem Health's Sleep Center, is for sleep apnea patients and their family members.
Date: Thursday, March 12
Time: 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Cost: Free


Return to top 



Common Ground Newsletter Editorial Board 
For past issues of this newsletter, visit
Email us anytime with feedback, suggestions, or something for the next issue!  Dr. Ian Loewen-Thomas, Chair, Compact Implementation Committee