Thursday, October 18, 2018

Partnering with our Community to Meet Needs Beyond Healthcare

We have built a community-based system of healthcare that we can be proud of, but we know that healthcare can only do so much to generate health. The GBMC HealthCare System must also become more involved with the social determinants of health: safe housing, food and clothing, education, and jobs. I would like to review some of our involvement with community partners to improve health beyond healthcare.

Since 2016, our Community Benefits Committee has been led by Cathy Hamel, Vice President of Continuing Care at GBMC HealthCare and President of Gilchrist, and Carolyn Candiello, our Vice President for Quality and Patient Safety. The committee recently updated our Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) and as a result, they’ve chosen three priority areas: Behavioral Health/Substance Use, Access to Care, and Obesity. The group studied the existing resources in the community for these priority areas, identified gaps, and created ideas for improvement. Their next meeting is before the end of this month and I look forward to hearing about our next steps. Stay tuned!

This year, GBMC teamed up again with ABC2 News to collect hundreds of needed items for the Fill the House initiative supporting the House of Ruth. Thank you to all who donated items for this year’s drive and to all who helped with the campaign.

We have partnered and will continue to partner with other community agencies as well. You may recall that a couple of years ago we collected thousands of pounds of non-perishable food items and delivered them to the Bea Gaddy Family Center and to the Assistance Center of Towson Churches (ACTC), a consortium of 50 churches that provides support to disadvantaged families in our community.  We also conducted a book drive for new and/or gently used books for the Reading Partners “Take Reading Home” program, whose main goal is to help provide support to children from kindergarten through fourth grade.

I am very proud of our involvement in the community and I know we can continue to do more!

Healthcare Security and Safety Week

I want to thank all the members of our GBMC security staff as this week is Healthcare Safety and Security Week (Oct. 14 — 20).

The GBMC security team can be seen walking or stationed throughout our medical center and at Gilchrist. The officers work every day to keep all of us safe at GBMC. They are vital members of the healthcare team and we cannot be successful without them.

Please join me in thanking our security staff for their hard work and for their strong commitment to keeping us safe.

International Infection Prevention Week

This week is also International Infection Prevention Week and it’s a time to highlight the importance of infection prevention and raise awareness of everyone’s role in protecting the public from healthcare-acquired infections.

Our Infection Prevention team members are all registered nurses with additional qualifications in Infection Prevention and Control, immunization, and HIV and Hepatitis Testing. They oversee our cleanliness, our use of antibiotics, and our use of protective equipment.

Under the guidance of our infection preventionists, here are a few of our accomplishments in FY18: reduced catheter-associated urinary tract infections to 4; reduced central line-associated bloodstream infections to 3; and improved hand hygiene compliance to 91%.

Please join me in thanking our Infection Prevention Department on a job well done!

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