Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Elmwood Fitness Center Links Video Games with Exercise to Fight Childhood Obesity

NEW ORLEANS – With childhood obesity rates increasing across the nation, one local fitness center is helping children fight fat with fun. Elmwood Fitness Center in Harahan now offers the latest fitness technology designed to get children off the sofa and into physical activity, called XRKade.

Parents are invited to bring their children to a FREE grand opening event on Saturday, August 7 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. to experience this new technology in action. The event will be held in Kidsports at Elmwood Fitness Center in Harahan, 1200 South Clearview Parkway, Suite 1200, in Elmwood Plaza Shopping Center.

XRKade is an active gaming system that links video games to exercise equipment to make working out more like playing an intense, interactive video game that allows you to compete with the people around you in real-time.

“With this system, children and adults use their bodies to play engaging, interactive games, kind of like a Wii, but with more physical activity,” said Damon Kremer, Director of Operations. “With this system, you’re not just riding a stationary bike, you’re racing other players up a mountainside. This is the next generation of active gaming, and it’s so much fun you hardly remember you’re exercising.”

Ochsner Health System is committed to improving the health of children and adults in Southeast Louisiana. Visit ochsner.org/community to find out more about how Ochsner is working to make our region healthier.

Ochsner Health System (www.ochsner.org) is southeast Louisiana’s largest non-profit, academic, multi-specialty, healthcare delivery system with eight hospitals and over 38 health centers in Louisiana. Ochsner has received the Consumer Choice for Healthcare in New Orleans for 14 consecutive years and is ranked as a “Best” Hospital by U.S. News and World Report. Ochsner employs more than 12,000 employees, over 750 physicians in 90 medical specialties and subspecialties, and conducts over 300 clinical research trials annually.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Survey: 30 percent on Gulf Coast Suffer From Mental Illness in Wake of Oil Spill

Psychological Distress Indicators in Louisiana Higher than After Hurricane Katrina

New Orleans – The oil spill ravaging the Gulf of Mexico has inflicted widespread psychological distress among coastal residents of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, etching scars even deeper than those whipped by Hurricane Katrina, according to a survey by Ochsner Health System, a nonprofit, academic healthcare delivery system.

The survey of the four-state area, the first to measure mental health impacts after the explosion aboard BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig off the Louisiana coast on April 20, found three in every 10 people surveyed (30 percent) suffer from “probable serious” or “probable mild-moderate” mental illness, based on the K6 psychological distress scale. The percentage of those suffering from serious mental illness varied, depending on location:

• Louisiana: 18 percent
• Florida: 14 percent
• Mississippi: 12 percent
• Alabama: 10 percent

The percentage of Louisiana respondents afflicted with serious mental illness is double what it was among South Louisiana residents in July 2007, two years after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit the state.

“To see so many people mired in psychological misery and in worse shape than they were after Katrina is disheartening,” said Dr. Joseph E. Bisordi, M.D., FACP, Ochsner’s chief medical officer. “This benchmark identifies the need for mental health services throughout the region. So that coastal residents can more quickly reclaim their lives, our region needs the immediate support of BP and the federal government to fund mental health resources. We cannot afford to delay any further.”

The younger respondents and those most financially vulnerable are at greatest peril for the mental health impacts of the calamitous spill, which has fouled fishing grounds, beaches and wetlands by gushing more than 92 million gallons into the Gulf, based on federal estimates.

The lowest income category (less than $25,000 annually) has the largest percentage (32 percent) of respondents classified as having probable serious mental illness. In contrast, only 2 percent of respondents whose annual incomes are more than $100,000 have the same classification.

Gulf Coast residents reported the most stress from money problems (34 percent) and work issues (19 percent), while relationship difficulties, substance abuse and missed appointments with mental health professionals added to their woes during the ongoing disaster.

Younger respondents (21-44 years old) more frequently reported that they are stressed by money (40 percent) and work (33 percent). And 22 percent of younger respondents likely suffer from serious mental illness.

“There’s no doubt that the oil spill has visited psychological torment among Gulf Coast communities,” said Dr. Bisordi. “Life has changed completely for many. Fishing, for instance, is a way of life for a lot of residents, a backbone of our coastal economy. But a fishing ban in much of the Gulf has disrupted livelihoods as people fear the oil will contaminate fish, shrimp and oysters.”

Nearly two of every five surveyed (37 percent) said they were “sad” or “depressed” at least a little of the time during the past 30 days.

“You can scrub the sand, and you can skim the sea,” said Dr. Bisordi, “But psychological pain sinks much deeper. It will stay embedded in people, unless we give them relief.”

About Ochsner
Ochsner Health System (www.ochsner.org) is southeast Louisiana's largest nonprofit, academic, multispecialty, healthcare delivery system with eight hospitals and more than 38 health centers in Louisiana. Ochsner has received the Consumer Choice for Healthcare in New Orleans for 14 consecutive years and is ranked as a "Best" Hospital by U.S. News and World Report. Ochsner employs more than 12,000 employees and more than 750 physicians in 90 medical specialties and subspecialties and conducts more than 300 clinical research trials annually.

About the survey
The survey was conducted by Market Dynamics Research Group (MDRG), which used a quantitative methodology with data gathered via telephone survey between June 25, 2010, and July 1, 2010. The 406 respondents were at least 21 years old. The total results reflect the population distributions of the parishes and counties.

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Friday, July 16, 2010

Ochsner Medical Center Ranked Among Best Hospitals In America

Only Louisiana Hospital Recognized by U.S. News & World Report across Seven Specialty Categories

New Orleans – July 16, 2010
– Ochsner Medical Center has been named one of America’s best hospitals, cited for its exceptional delivery of medical care across seven categories, according to U.S. News and World Report. The recognition was published online on July 15, 2010, as well as in the August print edition, available on newsstands July 27.

“Since Hurricane Katrina’s devastating impact to our region’s healthcare infrastructure 5-years ago, Ochsner has been focused on recruiting top medical professionals from around the country in more than 90 specialties and subspecialties,” said Dr. Patrick Quinlan, chief executive officer of Ochsner Health System. “Being named among the best hospitals in America by U.S. News & World Report is confirmation that we have built a nationally recognized quality healthcare organization with outstanding health professionals.”

Out of 4,852 facilities analyzed for the 2010-11 U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals rankings, only 3 percent earned a ranking in any of the 16 specialties. Ochsner, by contrast, earned a ranking in seven specialty categories, including:
• Ranked 23rd in Heart & Heart Surgery
• Ranked 28th in Ear, Nose & Throat
• Ranked 31st in Gastroenterology
• Ranked 36th in Orthopedics
• Ranked 36th in Pulmonology
• Ranked 39th in Gynecology
• Ranked 41st in Geriatrics

“Ochsner’s top priority has always been to provide the best possible care for our community and to be a best-in-class example for our nation’s healthcare providers,” said Warner L. Thomas, president and chief operating officer of Ochsner Health System. “This testifies to the hard work of Ochsner’s physicians, nurses and allied health professionals, and their unwavering dedication to improve health outcomes for the Gulf region. We are honored to be recognized among the best hospitals in America by U.S. News & World Report.”

U.S. News and World Report Hospital Ranking Criteria
The rankings in 12 of the 16 specialties were driven by hard data such as death rates, procedure volume, and balance of nurses and patients. In the four remaining specialties – ophthalmology, psychiatry, rehabilitation and rheumatology – hospitals were ranked on reputation alone.

To be considered in any of the 12 data-driven specialties, a hospital must meet at least one of four criteria: It had to be a teaching hospital; or be affiliated with a medical school; or have at least 200 beds; or have 100 or more beds and the availability of four or more types of medical technology considered important in a high-quality medical facility, such as a PET/CT scanner and certain precision radiation therapies.

Next, hospitals had to meet a volume requirement, individually calculated for each specialty. The required volume was the number of Medicare inpatients from 2006 to 2008 who had various specified procedures and conditions in the specialty. A hospital that fell short could still qualify if it had been nominated by at least one physician in any of the U.S. News and World Report Best Hospitals reputational surveys conducted in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

Previous Ochsner “Best Hospitals” listings include:
• 1996: Cardiology, Endocrinology, Gastroenterology, Neurology, Orthopedics, Rheumatology
• 1997: Oncology, Cardiology, Gastroenterology, Pulmonary Disease, Rheumatology
• 1998: Cardiology, Gastroenterology, ENT, Rheumatology
• 1999: Cardiology
• 2000: Cardiology, Gynecology, Rheumatology and Urology
• 2001: Gastroenterology
• 2004: Endocrinology
• 2007: Ear, Nose & Throat
• 2009: Ear, Nose & Throat
• 2009: Urology
• 2009: Heart & Heart Surgery (ranked 48th)


Friday, June 4, 2010

Groovin’ to Keep Louisiana “Stayin Alive” in Organ Donation

Ochsner Health System “Save Nine” Disco Video Seeks to Attract Organ Donors

NEW ORLEANS – In an effort to increase organ donation in Louisiana, celebrate the gift of life, and reach a diverse audience, New Orleans based Ochsner Health System has released a disco video with a pop culture appeal – costumed organs and real-life transplant recipients dancing around New Orleans landmarks to the Bee Gee’s hit song Stayin’ Alive. The goal of the video is to increase the LOPA organ donor registry by 6,000 over the next 6 months. The video, titled Save Nine, as every person who becomes an organ donor can potentially save nine other lives, is live on www.ochsner.org/savenine.

Ochsner asks the public to join this life-saving effort by simply viewing the video at www.ochsner.org/savenine then registering to become an organ donor.

“Organ donors are true heroes who’ve saved and enhanced lives through organ, eye and tissue donation. In order to reach and educate a broader audience on the impact of their choices, Ochsner chose to take an unconventional approach and get the public’s attention,” explains Dr. Ana Hands, Director of International Health and Transplant Services, Ochsner Health System.

Dr. Hands explains, “If 6,000 additional residents registered to become a donor, more than 54,000 lives could be saved or enhanced – the impact is tremendous and it only takes a few minutes to register.” One organ donor can save up to nine lives, and one tissue donor can enhance the lives of 50 individuals.

If more people became donors - patients, hospitals, and transplant centers around the world will have a greater opportunity to save and enhance more lives. “A better understanding of organ donation is needed to make this choice more comfortable and gratifying,” says Hands. Below are facts that dispel many of the most common transplant myths:

Fact: When you’re in the hospital, saving your life is the number one priority of doctors and nurses.
Fact: Even if you’re under 18, you can make your wish to become a donor known to a parent or guardian.
Fact: There is no defined age for organ donation; organ function instead of age is evaluated at the time of death.
Fact: Organ donation is consistent with the beliefs of most religions.


Friday, May 28, 2010

Local Residents “Race Across America” to Fight Childhood Obesity

Team Ochsner Athletes Prepare for a 3,000 Mile Bicycle Ride

NEW ORLEANS – Its extreme bicycling (3,000 miles to be exact) by local New Orleanians to raise awareness of childhood obesity. On June 12, 2010, Team Ochsner will join over 200 international athletes at the competitive cycling event “Race Across America,” stretching from Oceanside, California, to Annapolis, Maryland. Team Ochsner will be posting updates along the race route on Twitter.

Search www.twitter.com/teamochsner to keep up with the team.

“This will be the biggest challenge of my life, but it’s worth it to raise awareness of the need to fight childhood obesity in New Orleans and across America,” says Scot Young, a manager at Ochsner’s Elmwood Fitness Center. The riding team is comprised of local residents and Ochsner employees who are riding to fight childhood obesity: Gary Borgstede, Perry Braniff, Johnn Chauvin, Doug Connor, Dr. Richard Deichmann, Chip Porter, Marty Springer and Scot Young. The crew team includes Larry Borgstede, Alex Bush, Matt Connor, Gary DeValcourt, Sam Johnson and Willie Maklary.

Team Ochsner is striving to complete the race in 6 days rather than the allotted 12 days by covering more distance each day. Taking turns, each of Team Ochsner’s cyclists will spin their wheels for three hours each day and cover 50 to 60 miles each, which equals over 400 miles a day by the entire team. “We’ve invested the time and training required for this type of event and we’re excited to make the journey,” says Young.

The 3,000 mile journey is a testament to the benefits of good exercise and proper nutrition. Each rider is anticipated to burn between 2,500 and 3,500 calories each day, and they’ll be fueling up on the right foods to keep them going. With the assistance of a crew, the entire team will be traveling in a RV, which allows them to prepare their own meals. The menu will include spaghetti with meat sauce, red beans and rice, and jambalaya. For meals and snacks between rides, healthy fuel will include turkey, ham or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, bananas, oranges, apples, nuts and cereals. Each rider will also pack the necessary amounts of liquids to stay hydrated during the entire race.

Team Ochsner is working to raise awareness on the prevention of childhood obesity and funding of educational tools by the Ochsner Change the Kids, Change the Future initiative. Here’s how you can donate to the cause:

1) Go to ochsner.org and click on the "Donate & Volunteer" tab at the top of the page.
2) Click on the online icon.
3) Fill out your information on the donation page and put "RAAM" in the "other" field as the designation of your gift.

This year’s “Race Across America” consists of 40 teams and 30 solo riders, bringing the total number of racers to 232 individuals from 17 different countries.

Friday, May 14, 2010

$100,000 Humana Foundation Grant Supports Healthy Initiatives in Jefferson Parish Schools

NEW ORLEANS – The Humana Foundation has awarded Ochsner’s “Change the Kids, Change the Future” program a $100,000 grant which Ochsner will use to expand its healthy initiatives within the Jefferson Parish School System; specifically, conducting a year-long assessment of current physical activity and nutrition programs in schools and documenting successful, state-wide “best practices” programs such as Bissonet Plaza Elementary which include programs such as student tasting days, morning walk/run programs open to parents and the mile club.

• Representatives from The Humana Foundation will host a brief check presentation on Friday, May 14 at 9:00am at the Bonnabel Magnet Academy School-Based Health Center, 2801 Bruin Dr., Kenner.

• All representatives will then visit Bissonet Plaza Elementary, 6818 Kawanee Ave., Metairie, at 1:00pm to highlight some of the school’s best practices with the hopes of replicating these throughout the school system to improve students’ overall health.

Bissonet Plaza Elementary was recently selected as a recipient of the annual School Health Award for the 2008-2009 school year by the Louisiana Department of Education. The School Health Award recognizes activities that encourage students to develop lifelong healthful eating and physical activity habits and Bissonet's innovative health program will now be featured as a best practice in Louisiana.

“At The Humana Foundation, our goal is to support strategies that result in healthier children and families,” said Virginia Kelly Judd, Executive Director of The Humana Foundation. “We are delighted to sponsor Ochsner’s ‘Change the Kids, Change the Future’ initiative and its outcomes-based approach to promote healthy children and healthy schools.”

“As a business leader, Ochsner can help ensure our children’s strong future by supporting local schools in creating healthier bodies and minds. The support of The Humana Foundation will enable us to further support the cultural changes needed to further our mission,” says Dr. Pat Quinlan, CEO, Ochsner Health System.

“We are very proud to enhance our partnership with Ochsner through this grant from Humana,” said Dr. Diane Roussel, Superintendent of the Jefferson Parish Public School System. “We know that there is a correlation between good health and academic achievement and we’re excited to be able to help other schools replicate Bissonet’s success.”

About The Humana Foundation (www.HumanaFoundation.org), established in 1981, is the philanthropic arm of Humana Inc., one of the nation’s leading health-benefits companies. The Foundation is located in Louisville, Ky., the site of Humana’s corporate headquarters. The Foundation’s mission is to support charitable activities that promote healthy lives and healthy communities.

About The Jefferson Parish Public School System (www.jppss.k12.la.us) is the second largest district in the state of Louisiana and is nationally ranked in the top 100 for student enrollment. There are 86 schools located on the east and west banks of Jefferson Parish with a total enrollment of more than 43,000 students. Employees total more than 6,200, of which almost 3,000 are teachers. 96% of the school district’s teachers are state certified and 123 teachers are nationally board certified, which is the highest in the state.

About Ochsner Health System (www.ochsner.org) is southeast Louisiana’s largest non-profit, academic, multi-specialty, healthcare delivery system with eight hospitals and over 38 health centers in Louisiana. Ochsner employs more than 12,000 employees, over 750 physicians in 90 medical specialties and subspecialties, and conducts over 300 clinical research trials annually.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Dedication of Joint New Orleans/Australian Medical School

International Partnership with Ochsner Medical Center & the University of Queensland
NEW ORLEANS – On Monday, May 10, 2010, at 12:00 pm, Ochsner Medical Center, 1514 Jefferson Highway will host a formal dedication of The University of Queensland (UQ) School of Medicine Clinical School at Ochsner featuring the following UQ dignitaries:

• Professor Paul Greenfield, AO, Vice Chancellor of the University of Queensland
• Professor Nick Fisk, Executive Dean, Health Sciences of the University of Queensland
• Professor David Wilkinson, Head, School of Medicine of the University of Queensland

Following the dedication, Ochsner and UQ representatives will travel to Baton Rouge to meet with Louisiana Governor, Bobby Jindal, Senator Joel Chaisson, Speaker of the Senate, and James (Jim) Tucker, Speaker of the House of Representatives.

The UQ School of Medicine Clinical School at Ochsner is a unique, joint affiliation that provides U.S. medical students with unprecedented, international-medical training experience. The collaboration, which began in 2009, provides both overseas (Brisbane, Australia) and U.S. (New Orleans) education for Australian and American medical students.

“Very few organizations in the world offer this type of collaboration, whereby U.S. medical students can broaden their medical training and experience to receive some of the best education opportunities of two different countries,” explains Dr. William W. Pinsky, M.D., Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer at Ochsner Health System.

The University of Queensland Medical School in Brisbane, Australia, is fully accredited by the Australian Medical Council, the official entity that establishes the highest standards possible for Australian medical schools, and is one of Australia's leading medical schools.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Ochsner Hosts Health & Fitness Senior Day at Manhattan Athletic Club

Free Screenings, Physician Lectures and a Healthy Lunch Offered to Local Seniors
HARVEY, LA – It’s a “Golden Opportunity” for West Bank Seniors on Thursday, May 13, as Ochsner West Bank’s Golden Opportunity club and Manhattan Athletic Club are teaming together to host “Senior Day,” a FREE event for adults ages 50 and older. Festivities will take place from 9am-3pm, at the Manhattan Athletic Club, 4162 Manhattan Boulevard.

“Senior Day is a great opportunity for adults over 50 to take advantage of free health screenings and tips from fitness experts on age appropriate exercises,” explains Dr. Yvens Laborde, Vice President of Medical Affairs at Ochsner Medical Center – West Bank. “Regular health screenings like blood pressure and cholesterol checks, when paired with healthy eating and exercise, can significantly reduce improve quality of life and longevity.”

Several local Ochsner physicians will present 30-minute lectures; discussions will include:
• Pearls of Wisdom (Dr. John Phillips, Ochsner Emergency Care)
• Vitamins and Supplements (Dr. Amanda Fontenot, Ochsner Primary Care)
• Breast Cancer (Dr. Adam Riker, Ochsner Surgical Oncologist)

Local residents will enjoy the following “Senior Day” activities:
• Aquatic Exercise Demonstration
• BodyFlow Demonstration
• Light House for the Blind seminar
• Personal Safety demonstration
• Medicare Fraud lecture
• Cycling Tips from a personal trainer
• Manhattan Athletic Club Tours
• Free blood pressure, cholesterol, HDL and glucose screenings (9am to 2pm only)
• Free, healthy lunch provided by Morrison’s Healthcare Food Services

To register, call 1-866-OCHSNER. Space is limited.

**If you are deaf or hard of hearing and would like an interpreter during the event, please call in advance.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ochsner Welcomes High School, “STAR Program,” Class of 2010

NEW ORLEANS – The Ochsner STAR program (Science, Technology, Academics and Research) is a free, summer program for high school students, providing hands-on experience in scientific research within a medical lab setting. The 2010 STAR class includes 16 high school students from five surrounding parishes, making this the largest class in the program’s four year history. Students are as follows:

Student (Hometown) High School
Samuel Alexander (Marrero) St. Augustine
Mohammed Chowdhury (Kenner) Patrick F. Taylor Science & Technology Academy
Marcus Davis (Metairie) Metairie Park Country Day
Cambrey Dent (Destrehan) Destrehan High School
Rene Girard (Gretna) Patrick F. Taylor Science & Technology Academy
Aksheta Jain (St. Rose) Louisiana School for Math Science & the Arts
Keiera James (New Orleans) Lusher Charter School
Carolyn Le Thomas (Marrero) Jefferson High School
Ashleigh Ledet (Kenner) Mount Carmel Academy
Prudhvi Mandava (Kenner) Jesuit High School
Ramzy Muhsen (Gretna) Brother Martin High School
De'Jana Parker (Harvey) Thomas Jefferson High School
JaBrielle Manuel (Kenner) Crescent City Christian School
Brett Salomon (Kenner) John Curtis Christian
Catherine Santos (Gretna) Dominican High School
Haley Severin (New Orleans) Benjamin Franklin High School

The STAR Program gives students an opportunity to participate in hands-on scientific research in a laboratory setting with research-funded scientists in the areas of Molecular Genetics, Molecular Cardiology, Pediatric Endocrinology, Cellular Immunology, Infectious Disease and more. Leadership classes including how to use the Medical Library, Medical Terminology, Effective Teams, workshops on HIPAA, Stress Management, Nutrition and Clinical experiences such as CPR, Radiology, Robotics, Flight Care, Blood Bank and Ochsner’s Burkard Air Sampler (a regionally unique device that measures daily pollen counts) will also be offered.
High school students from schools in Jefferson, Orleans, St. Tammany, Plaquemines and St. Charles parishes were encouraged to apply for the 2010 program. Student applications were evaluated by the STAR Program Panel, including a finalist “meet and greet” for the parents and students.
For more information on Ochsner’s STAR program, visit ochsner.org/star or call Allison Fischtziur at 504-842-5321.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Ochsner CEO Named in “50 Most Powerful Physician Executives in U.S.”

Modern Physician Magazine Lists Dr. Patrick Quinlan for 5th Time

NEW ORLEANS – Ochsner has announced that Dr. Patrick Quinlan, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Ochsner Health System, has been named the 14th most powerful physician executive in the nation by Modern Healthcare and Modern Physician magazines. This honor is part of the magazine’s sixth annual ranking of the “50 Most Powerful Physician Executives in Healthcare.” In previous years, Quinlan was ranked accordingly by readers of Modern Physician and Modern Healthcare:

 2010: #14
 2009: #28
 2007: #1
 2006: #10
 2005: #43

Other honorees include executives from the healthcare industry: hospital systems, the U.S. Senate, federal health agencies, patient advocacy groups, health insurance companies, unions, prestigious journals and academic programs. The list was compiled from over 11,000 reader nominations. Rankings can be seen in the April 12, 2010, edition of Modern Healthcare magazine or at www.Modernhealthcare.com.

www.ModernPhysician.com is the leading online source of business news and information for physician executives, leaders and entrepreneurs. This site addresses the issues of most importance to physician executives by providing daily news updates, in-depth feature stories, archives that trace the history and development of the physician executive movement and links to various industry resources.

Ochsner Health System (www.ochsner.org) is southeast Louisiana’s largest non-profit, academic, multi-specialty, healthcare delivery system with eight hospitals and over 38 health centers in Louisiana. Ochsner has received the Consumer Choice for Healthcare in New Orleans for 14 consecutive years and is ranked as a “Best” Hospital by U.S. News and World Report. Ochsner employs more than 12,000 employees, over 750 physicians in 90 medical specialties and subspecialties, and conducts over 300 clinical research trials annually.