to receive IHA award
Casey Meza, CEO, Clearwater Valley and St. Mary’s Hospital and Clinics, will be receiving an award from the Idaho Hospital Association at their annual convention in early October. The Award of Excellence in Patient Care honors the two facilities for their efforts to expand and improve health care services and their ability to use limited resources to provide quality medical care to the 28,000 patients in Clearwater, Lewis and Idaho County.
The IHA award letter states, “This award is given to a healthcare professional who has displayed professional knowledge, leadership ability and a passion for collaborative learning.”
“I am honored to receive this award, but the credit truly goes to all our employees, our medical staff and board members,” said Meza. “I believe the award reflects our constant openness to new ideas and our willingness to take advantage of new opportunities. In 1998 we recognized the benefits of having both hospitals collaborate and more recently we’ve been incorporating new technology and telehealth to provide education to our staff and more local services to our patients.”
Meza also credits the hospitals’ partnership with St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise for sharing their expertise and equipment including their joint participation in mock ER scenarios where local medical and nursing staffs plan a ‘trauma’ and provide the ‘care’ and afterwards the remote SARMC specialists critique the processes and procedures.
The SARMC Trauma Center also conducts ED Grand Rounds every other month for the SMHC and CVHC Emergency Department providers using videoconferencing equipment. Also, last year four CVHC and two SMHC OR nurses completed a five month course mentored by the SARMC Telemedicine Perioperative Educator using the RP-7 robots. The six nurses were certified by the Association of periOperating Room Nurses (AORN). The robots are also regularly placed in the operating room at CVH for training purposes so OR staff can see and hear the surgery and subsequently discuss operating procedures. A SARMC congestive heart failure educator also holds monthly CHF clinics at St. Mary’s Hospital for cardiac patients and cardiologist, Dr. Kevin Kavanaugh, from Heart Clinics Northwest in Spokane meets with patients instead of canceling those appointments if he cannot commute to Orofino due to weather conditions. CVHC and SMHC are also hoping to provide teledermatology services locally using a dermatologist from one of the Essentia hospitals in Minnesota. Both facilities are members of the Essentia Health System.
“The long distance educational opportunities for our staff provided by St Als are absolutely wonderful because they translate into superior care for our patients,” said Meza. “They also initiated our use of Boise based psychiatrists who meet via our robots with patients who have mental health issues.”
The IHA Award also recognizes Meza for her membership on the Region II Mental Health Board and the Governor’s Health Quality Planning Commission. The Commission recently selected a health data exchange system to facilitate electronic communication between Electronic Medical Record software systems throughout the state. CVHC and SMHC will serve as the rural pilot project sites for the IHDE project.
“I believe all our employees, our medical staff and our board members are sincerely dedicated to ensuring quality local health care for the people in this region not only for today, but for tomorrow, also,” said Meza. “I am fortunate to work with such committed people.”