News of Excellence



News of Excellence
News of Excellence
A monthly publication for the employees of MCGHealth
May 12, 2008
MCGHealth Performs Its First Heart Transplant
Freddie McCullum received a heart
in the first cardiac transplant ever at
MCGHealth. The former heavy
equipment operator and his wife
Shirley (left) said that God provided
the heart because He still has things
for McCullum to
do in this world.
April has always been special
for Freddie McCullum of Stone
Mountain. He was born in
April, and he married his wife,
Shirley, in April. But McCullum
has a new reason to love April
— it’s the month in 2008 when
he received his new heart, just
10 days shy of his 42nd birthday.
“I am very excited about it,”
said McCullum, who on April 8
became the first patient in the
history of MCGHealth to
undergo a heart transplant.
“I’m glad to have it. But
whether I was first, second or
whatever, I’m just a regular
guy, and happy to have been
given a second chance.”
“This was a vision I had for
MCGHealth and this community when I came here,” said Dr.
Kevin Landolfo, MCGHealth
Chief of Cardiovascular Surgery
and Director of the Cardiac
Transplant Program. “What we
aim to provide is more hope for
area patients on the waiting list
for a new heart by giving them
a place closer to home where
they can receive a transplant.”
About 2,100 heart transplants are performed in the
United States each year,
according to the Organ
Procurement and Transplant
Network. In our region, there
are currently 318 candidates
on the waiting list for a new
heart and until recently, there
were only 16 hospitals designated for heart transplantation in the six-state region.
MCGHealth is the only medical facility outside of Atlanta
currently performing heart
transplants in Georgia. South
Carolina has only one hospital with a heart transplant
continued to page 5
Members of the transplant team are (left to right, standing): Thomas
Wagner, Administrative Director of the Cardiovascular Center of
Excellence; Josh Clifton, Transplant Data Base Analyst; Marc Rhodes,
APRN, Heart Failure Nurse Practitioner; Wakesi Murray, Heart Transplant
Administrative Assistant; Lisa Gerardot, MsW, Transplant Social Worker;
and Kristy Hyatt, Transplant Data Coordinator. Left to right, seated:
Dr. Henry Wiles, Pediatric Transplant Cardiologist; Dr. Vijay S. Patel,
Cardiothoracic Surgeon; Dr. Kevin P. Landolfo, MCGHealth Chief of
Cardiovascular Surgery and Director of the Cardiac Transplant Team;
Dr. Chandra Kunavarapu, Adult Transplant Cardiologist; and Elizabeth
Barranco, R.N., BSN, Transplant Coordinator. Not pictured is
Dr. Muralidharan Jagadeesan, Nephrologist.
Today’s Nurses Are the Backbone of Health Care
Beginning with this issue of the
newsletter, we will publish a series of
essays in which members of our nursing staff describe what nursing means
to them. We kick-off this series with
the following National Nurses Week
message from Sandra I. McVicker,
Senior Vice President of Patient Care
Services and Chief Nursing Officer:
To say that being a nurse has
changed since the days of
Florence Nightingale is an
understatement. Gone are the
days of women in dresses tagging along with a physician
simply to carry charts and take
vitals. Today, nurses are the
backbone of the American
healthcare system – our knowledge, skills and commitment
establish the foundation of
patient care.
It is often said that doctors
cure and nurses care. How true.
Our daily role requires compassion, critical thinking and an
interest in pursuing quality care
for our patients and their families – qualities that Florence
Nightingale introduced, and
why she is credited with founding the modern nursing profes-
sion. In a nutshell, today’s
nurses facilitate their patients’
efforts to reach their fullest
health potential.
Perhaps the biggest advance
in nursing today is that nurses
are attuned to the whole person, not just their unique
health problems. Patient
Family Centered Care is the
closest thing to putting ourselves in our patients’ shoes.
We directly involve patients
and their families in the plan
of care. We assess their fears,
goals, expectations and perceptions to better meet each
patient’s needs. We make them
part of the care team.
Nurses no longer take problems at face value. We look for
the underlying cause because
careful questioning can make
the difference in an accurate
diagnosis and a more favorable
outcome for each patient. It can
mean discovering a medication
error, providing quick intervention to alleviate pain or detecting symptoms in their early
stages. Looking deeper can
mean the difference between
life and death.
Today’s nurses embrace
change. Better technology and
the advent of multidisciplinary
teams are transforming the
way nurses function. We are
being equipped with better
resources; then we are taking
the lead in implementing these
resources in order to provide
quality patient care more
quickly and shorten the length
of hospital stays.
Most people associate nurses
with hospitals, but hospitals are
just one of the many areas
where today’s nurses practice.
Other settings include home
care, private practice, public
health, extended care centers,
clinics, offices, schools, military
service, corporations, healthrelated industries, hospice,
occupational settings, and
health and wellness centers.
Another advance in the profession is that nurses are no
longer confined to the bedside.
We can be found in professional venues once thought
impossible. Nurses influence
legislation, change healthcare
delivery systems, write and
publish, educate about disease
prevention, facilitate support
groups and participate on
boards of directors.
According to the American
Nurses Association, there are
nearly 3 million registered
nurses in the United States
today. In celebration of
National Nurses Week, I congratulate and salute my peers
in nursing on their accomplishments. What we do is
extremely demanding and
always evolving, but it is very
rewarding, especially when our
patients do well. Be sure to
thank a nurse this week.
Two Named Healthcare Provider of the Week
by the Augusta Chronicle
Congratulations to pediatric
hem/onc nurses Pam Favro, RN,
CPON and Kate Ferguson, RN,
CPON, for being featured by the
Augusta Chronicle as its
“Healthcare Professional of the
Week.” The were nominated by
Kelley Dube, an MCGHealth
patient advisor.
In her nomination, Dube said:
“Like Laverne & Shirley and Lucy
& Ethel, Pam Favro and Kate
Ferguson have been “teaming
up” for 18 years and 20 years
respectively to treat pediatric
hematology and oncology
patients at the Pediatric
Hematology/Oncology Clinic at
the MCGHealth Ambulatory
Care Center. As a parent, to witness them in action is truly
amazing and reassuring, but as a
child, it is entertaining and comforting. Ms. Pam and Ms. Kate,
also known as Ms. Kam and Ms.
Pate, are a constant in a scary
and ever changing world for
children facing life threatening
diseases. They’re the bad “guys”
in this clinic setting as they
must draw blood, access chemo
ports, give “yucky” oral medications, and administer IV medications. Usually, as one of them is
doing their “job” of obtaining
blood, the other one is doing
their “job” of distracting your
child or comforting you as the
parent. Their jobs aren’t easy —
emotionally, mentally, spiritually
and physically. They have been
yelled at, cursed at, hit, kicked
and spit at. But, they always
greet us with a smile. They
remember names, siblings,
schools, favorite story books,
favorite movies, security blankets, where one went on vacation, you name it and they will
remember it. How is this possible? Their sincerity is so real.
They would never believe how
many lives they have touched.
Currently, close to 100 children
are seen in that clinic each week
— ranging from infants to
teenagers. I spoke to many parents before sending this email
and they had such positive
things to say about Pam & Kate.
Many of the older kids spoke of
the respect for privacy that Pam
and Kate show for them and
they felt like Pam and Kate
treated them like adults. The
middle school kids said Ms. Pam
and Ms. Kate were cool. You just
don’t find too many children
who love their nurses. And as a
parent, I love these nurses too.
I believe, Pam and Kate love all
these children unconditionally.
I can honestly say, I have
never seen either one of them
have a bad day. We all have
bad days, and not them. To have
the same two nurses in the same
clinic for
continued to page 5
Save Big with the
MCGHealth Extra
Rewards Program
Your MCGHealth employee
badge or your discount booklet
are your keys to participating in
all the discounts offered to you
by companies participating in
the MCGHealth Extra Reward
The discounts and incentives
offered are valid through
February 2009.
Unfortunately, most of the
companies will not allow you to
combine other discounts with
their MCGHealth Extra Rewards
Companies are being added
all the time. To find the latest
participating companies or to
learn the specific discounts they
offer, go to
See page 4 for the businesses
currently participating in the
MCGHealth Extra Rewards
Program as of presstime.
Mark Your
Children’s Miracle Network
May 31 - 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.
June 1 - 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Broadcast by NBC/Augusta from
the lobby of the MCGHealth
Children’s Medical Center
clip and save
MCGHealth Extra Rewards Participants
Company Name
Bedingfield, McCutcheon
Company Name
Granite Counter Tops Unlimited
and Perry CPA’s
Accounting & Tax Services
Lynndale Furniture Showroom
Shaw Tax Services
Accounting & Tax Services
House Doctors
Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art
Augusta Art and Frame Shop
Art School
Art, Framing, Engraving
Augusta Marriott Hotel and Suites
Granite and Tile
Home and Garden
Home Repair
Satcher Insurance
State Farm Insurance
Shepard, Plunkett, Hamilton, Boudreaux & Tisdale, LLP Attorneys
Liberty Mutual Insurance
Randolph Frails, P.C, Attorney at Law
Nationwide Insurance
Rhodes Law Firm
Anything Audio
Audio/ Video Services
Automotive Excellence
Auto Detailing
Foreman Financial (Investment Solutions)
Mike Howard Landscaping
Gordon Chevrolet
Auto Sales
Anderson Horticultural Concepts
Duke Automotive
Auto Sales
Laser 1st
Fairway Ford
Auto Sales
Check Advance
Johnson Motor Company
Auto Sales
Colvin Finance
Landscape Design
Laser Cosmetic Care
Midas Auto Service
Auto Service and Repair
Merry Maids
C&C Automotive
Auto Service and Repair
Augusta Center for Massage
Massage Therapy
Georgia Bank & Trust
Augusta Mortgage Solutions
Queensborough National Bank and Trust Co.
Financial Freedom Senior Funding
Hayes Marine
Boat Sales
American International Movers
Cable Provider
Lynndale Faithful Personal Assistants
Cable Provider
D&D Pest Control
CSRA Camperland
TNT Quality Services
The Daily Grind Coffee House
Baldwin Custom Homes
Carpet Cleaning
Cell Phone Provider
Coffee House
Custom Homes
The Animal House
Augusta Christian Schools
Maid Services
Personal Assistants
Pest Control
Pet Care
Private Schools
Meybohm Realtors
Real Estate
Exit Realty Leading Edge
Real Estate
Gwen Fulcher Young and Associates
Real Estate
Fort Discovery
Family Attractions
Redd & Associates
Kendra Financial Group Inc.
Financial Services
Wing Stop
Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc.
Financial Services
Barbarito’s Restaurant
Shaw Financial Services
Financial Services
The Jury Room
Fitness Centers
Dairy Queen
Thomson Carpet Center
Tony Roma’s
The North Augusta Carpet Shop
Wild Wing Café
The Cotton Patch
Backyard Burgers of Augusta, L.L.C
Flowers Xpress
Real Estate Appraiser
Chance & Hydrick Directors
Funeral Home
Isdell’s Bedding Super Store
Halo Salon and Spa
Salon and Spa
U-Finish-It Furniture
Serenity Day Spa
Salon and Spa
Frost and Keading
Jennifer Salon and Spa
Salon and Spa
Gifts and Collectables
Alert Security Services
Broadway Tackle Shop
Sporting Goods
Strictly Country Inc.
Bartram Trail Golf Club
Master Craft Flooring
Granite and Tile
Evans Vacuum
Designer Tile and Tubs
Granite and Tile
Sunbusters Window Tinting
Vacuum Cleaners
Window Tinting
in the startup of this program
continued from page 1
at more than $2 million. We
MCGHealth gained approval
are committed to making this
from the United Network for
investment to save lives,” said
Organ Sharing last summer to
Don Snell, President and CEO
begin its cardiac transplant proof MCGHealth.
gram. “This was a team effort,”
“Four years ago, MCGHealth
said Dr. Landolfo. “We were
made a commitment to Dr.
Drs. Chandra Kunavarapu, Vijay Patel Landolfo that we would progiven the green light in July
after spending two years build- and Kevin Landolfo look at the chart of vide the resources for him to
Freddie McCullum, who received a
ing and preparing our team of
perform our first heart transheart in the first cardiac transplant at
two surgeons, two cardiologists, MCGHealth.
plant within four years and
two heart failure/transplant
we’ve delivered on that promcoordinators, a nephrologist,
quick action. Transplant
ise. MCGHealth already is the
an administrative director, a
Surgeon Dr. Vijay Patel was
only health system in the
data coordinator, database anaflown to the donor. He
CSRA capable of performing
lyst, social worker and an
removed the organ and accomthe more advanced and comadministrative assistant,” he
panied it to the Augusta operplex electrophysiology procesaid. “We couldn’t accomplish
ating room, where Transplant
dures, and now with heart
such a great feat without the
Cardiologist Dr. Chandra
transplantation, we’ve taken
entire team.”
Kunavarapu readied McCullum
another leap forward in develThe behind-the-scenes team
to receive it. Then Drs.
oping our Cardiovascular
includes a group of OR,
Landolfo and Patel put the
Center of Excellence.”
Perfusion and ICU staff, who
heart in the chest of its new
In addition to the cardiac
rotate 24/7 call once a transowner and watched as the
transplant program,
plant candidate reaches cateorgan began to beat. “That was
MCGHealth has a Kidney/
gory 1-A status. They are
a great moment for the team,”
Pancreas Transplant Program.
specially trained to care for
Dr. Landolfo said.
Since 1968, surgeons in the
these patients before, during
“The certification process
program have performed more
and after transplantation.
requires that the first nine carthan 1,800 kidney transplants,
When a donor heart was
diac transplants be performed
setting a record annual high of
found for McCullum, the transat no cost to our patients, put110 transplants in 2007.
plant team was mobilized for
ting our financial investment
First Heart Transplant
Two Named Healthcare Providers
continued from page 3
this long is truly a blessing.
This continuity of care speaks
louder than words. Let me
also point out, I have never
been to the clinic when BOTH
of them were on vacation at
the same time either.
How considerate of them, not to
plan this or to leave their children with two unfamiliar faces.
I believe my child is in remission, has done so well, and has
no fear of the clinic setting and
a nurse because of Pam and
Kate. They are angels and you
just can’t have one without the
other. I could not just bring
myself to nominate one of
them. They compliment one
another. Who would Laverne
be without Shirley and Lucy
without Ethel? If you have
any doubt — you have got to
meet them.”
Collaborative Research is Topic of
Presentation at Nursing Conference
Sue Andrews, RN, BAN, MA,
CAPA, Perioperative Manager,
presented from the podium at
the 5th Annual Conference sponsored by the Beta Omicron
(MCG) and Pi Lambda (USC
Aiken) Chapters of Sigma Theta
Tau International, the Nursing
Honor Society. The conference
was recently held in Augusta.
The study and presentation,
“Setting the Stage for Successful
Point of Care Research: The
Pinnacles & Pitfalls of Building an
Academic/Clinical Research
Partnership,” was a collaborate
effort with Vallire Hooper Ph.D.(c),
MSN, RN, CPAN, FAAN, Assistant
Professor and Doctoral Candidate
at the MCG School of Nursing.
Other MCGHealth or MCG
participants included Beth
NeSmith, Ph.D., RN, President of
the Beta Omicron Chapter; Robin
F. Johns, MS, RN; Janie Health,
Sandra Inglett, BSN, RN; and
Julie Behr, MSN, APRN-BC.
Falcons’ Mughelli Visits Peds Patients
Atlanta Falcons fullback Ovie Mughelli recently visited the
MCGHealth Children’s Medical Center and distributed plush Falcons
bears to patients and their siblings. Nine-year-old Falcons fan Trevor
Hurst of Valdosta was surprised and delighted by the visit from the
2007 Atlanta Falcons’ Man of the Year.
Meetings Focus on
Patient Family
Centered Care
Four patient advisors recently
represented MCGHealth at an
invitation-only meeting of the
Accreditation Council for
Graduate Medical Education in
Chicago. Mollee Atkinson, Max
Bassett, Nettie Engles and Mark
Hines helped formulate the
agenda and format of an upcoming national Patient Family
Centered Care Design
Conference. The patient advisors were joined by Pat
Sodomka, MCGHealth Senior
Vice President of Patient- and
Family-Centered Care and
Executive Director of the MCG
Center for Patient- and FamilyCentered Care and Dr. Walter
Moore, Senior Associate Dean,
Graduate Medical Education in
the MCG School of Medicine.
Also recently, Beverly
Johnson, Executive Director
of the Institute for FamilyCentered Care, facilitated a
meeting at which Emergency
Medicine leadership and hospital
administrators explored the
future integration of Patient
Family Centered Care and
emergency care.
News of Excellence is published by the Public Relations Department of MCGHealth Strategic Support and Philanthropy. Sheila O’Neal, Vice
President of Strategic Support and Philanthropy. Please direct all story ideas and comments to Deborah Humphrey, Director of Public
Relations, at 706-721-9177 or [email protected] Reproduction of this publication is prohibited without the express, written permission
of MCGHealth’s office of Strategic Support and Philanthropy. Physicians of MCGHealth are community physicians, faculty of the Medical
College of Georgia or employees of MCG Physician Practice Group, not employees of MCGHealth.

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