News Releases

Melrose-Wakefield Hospital receives prestigious international award

April 12, 2012 –Hallmark Health System’s Melrose-Wakefield Hospital has been named a Baby-Friendly® birth facility by Baby-Friendly® USA. The local community hospital is one of only a handful of organizations in Massachusetts to receive this prestigious international recognition and the only in our region.
Baby-Friendly USA, Inc. is the country’s authority for the implementation of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The initiative encourages and recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies. Based on the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, this prestigious international award recognizes birth facilities that offer breastfeeding mothers the information, confidence and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies.

“Receiving this award is such an honor for Melrose-Wakefield Hospital and is a true testament to the exceptional care we provide mothers and their babies,” said Mary Foley, lactation program coordinator at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital. “The Baby Friendly initiative has helped us to create an environment that is supportive of optimal infant feeding, and we will continue to support and educate our new moms through prenatal education, in-hospital consultations and post discharge support.”

There are more than 20,000 designated Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers worldwide. Currently there are 138 active Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers in the United States. The “Baby-Friendly” designation is given after a rigorous on-site survey is completed. The award is maintained by continuing to practice the Ten Steps as demonstrated by quality processes.

“We have been working toward the Baby Friendly designation for a number of years so it is very rewarding to see it come to fruition,” said Tien-Lan Chang, MD, a pediatrician on the Hallmark Health System Medical Staff. “The nursing and medical staffs worked very hard to reach this goal and couldn’t have done it without the amazing support of the hospital’s administration. This is a great honor for Melrose-Wakefield Hospital.”
For more information about Hallmark Health, visit www.hallmarkhealth.org or follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/hallmarkhealth.

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Hallmark Health System is the premier, charitable provider of vital health services to Boston's northern communities. The system includes Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford; Melrose Wakefield Hospital, Melrose; Hallmark Health Hematology and Oncology Center, Stoneham; The CHEM Center for MRI, Stoneham; Hallmark Health Medical Center, Reading; Hallmark Health VNA and Hospice; Lawrence Memorial/Regis College Nursing and Radiography Programs, Medford and Hallmark Health Medical Associates, Inc. Hallmark Health is affiliated with Massachusetts General Hospital for cardiology and Tufts Medical Center for neonatology and the Joslin Diabetes Center for diabetes care.

 

 

Hallmark Health System reaches out to diverse women through ‘Meet, Mingle and Mammogram’ events

March 29, 2012 – Getting a mammogram can be frightening and full of anxiety for many women, but Hallmark Health System (HHS) has taken a new spin on the important medical test to ensure it’s a more positive experience.

“Meet, Mingle. Mammogram.” offers women the chance to get a mammogram in a relaxed environment that includes spa treatments as well as food, raffles, swag bags and music. Women can come by themselves or in a group to enjoy nail polish changes, hand massages and most importantly get their mammogram.

The American Cancer Society recommends a yearly mammogram starting at age 40. Early detection of breast cancer by a mammogram before it can be felt can save lives.

“We found if we combined health and beauty into one great event women would like it,” said Judy Sadacca, Outreach Manager for Imaging and Cardiac and Endovascular Services. “By adding some fun to the event it took away a lot of the worry. Women have raved about the great time they’ve had at our events and most importantly we helped them get a mammogram, which is so critical.” 

HHS piloted Meet, Mingle. Mammogram. in 2011 after securing a grant from the Massachusetts Affiliate of Susan G Komen for the Cure and has since offered several events geared toward women of various ethnic backgrounds. HHS looked at its primary service area’s population and decided to focus events for Portuguese, Spanish and Haitian-Creole speaking women as well as Asian women. These mammogram parties were held at 101 Main St. in Medford and received high marks from participants.

HHS partnered with organizations like the YWCA of Malden, the Asian Breast Cancer Project and the Massachusetts Alliance of Portuguese Speakers for the events to identify music and food that represented the ethnicities of women attending the event.

HHS is the Official Healthcare Partner of the 2011 Champion Boston Bruins® and includes Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford and Melrose-Wakefield Hospital.

For more information about HHS, visit www.hallmarkhealth.org or follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/hallmarkhealth.

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Hallmark Health System is the premier, charitable provider of vital health services to Boston's northern communities. The system includes Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford; Melrose Wakefield Hospital, Melrose; Hallmark Health Hematology and Oncology Center, Stoneham; The CHEM Center for MRI, Stoneham; Hallmark Health Medical Center, Reading; Hallmark Health VNA and Hospice; Lawrence Memorial/Regis College Nursing and Radiography Programs, Medford and Hallmark Health Medical Associates, Inc. Hallmark Health is affiliated with Massachusetts General Hospital for cardiology and Tufts Medical Center for neonatology and the Joslin Diabetes Center for diabetes care.

 


 

Hallmark Health teams with Bruins to combat sports concussions

Hallmark Health and the Boston Bruins are teaming up, in an effort to give young athletes a head start when it comes to combating sports concussions.

As the official healthcare partner of the Boston Bruins, Hallmark Health have joined forces with the 2011 Stanley Cup Champions to educate more than 1,000 student-athletes, parents, coaches and athletic trainers on the signs, symptoms and management of concussions.

Over the past two years, Hallmark’s Young Athlete seminars have covered how concussions occur, what happens in the brain, symptoms, prevention, treatment, management, return to play protocols and short and long term effects.

In addition, the program recently received an added financial boost thanks to a $10,000 grant from the Boston Bruins Foundation. The funding will help Hallmark Health offer advanced concussion education and testing throughout the Greater Boston area.

“The Boston Bruins Foundation have been so supportive,” said Jessica Harney, Director of Rehabilitation Services for Hallmark Health. “Without their support we wouldn’t have made the strides that we have so far.”

Hallmark Health System recently purchased the ImPACT program (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing). It is considered the most widely used computer-based neurocognitive testing program in the world. Administered by trained healthcare professionals, ImPACT assists in determining an athlete’s ability to return to play after suffering a concussion.

Baseline testing is a valuable tool in concussion management, as it establishes the brain’s normal level of functioning. Hallmark Health offers this testing for individuals at its medical offices on Main Street in Medford, or at local high schools to test entire teams. Hallmark Health’s specially trained athletic trainers and physical therapists administer the testing for a nominal fee.

But it doesn’t end there. In addition, Hallmark Health continues caring for patients post-concussion with ongoing physical therapy. The multi-phase program addresses cardiovascular, strength, balance training as well as sports-specific movements to increase exercise tolerance without provoking concussive symptoms. Hallmark Health physical therapists work closely with the patient’s athletic trainer and physician to ensure steady progress towards a safe return to play.

Tackling the problem head on
According to Harney, the origins of this project can be traced back to 2010, when the state of Massachusetts was going through a process of enacting a new policy and law regarding head injuries and concussions for high school athletes.

Hallmark Health, which service five-area high schools (Malden, Wakefield, Northeast Regional Vocational, Pope John and Arlington Catholic) with athletic training contracts, opted to get involved implementing an education program on concussions and head injuries at their area hospitals.

The program drew plenty of interest, including former Boston Bruin Bob Sweeney, who is now the current Director of Development for the Boston Bruins Foundation. The former Acton-Boxboro and Boston College star played a key role in getting the program off the ground.

“As a former hockey player and having kids of his own and now coaching, Bob Sweeney was really was taken back by our efforts to reach out to the community and educate as many people as possible with our program,” Harney said. “He started helping us out, going on tour with us, if you will. He came to a lot of our education programs, spoke to athletes, coaches and really gave us a lot of support through the Boston Bruins Foundation.”

A year later, Sweeney awarded Hallmark Health with the grant that it used to purchased the ImPACT program, for high school athletes who needed base line testing.
In addition to the five-area high schools with full-time athletic training contracts, Hallmark Health is certainly not limited to its reach across the area. Harney notes that Melrose, Reading, Winthrop and Everett High School, have also expressed interest in adopting the program.

Since baseline testing began Feb. 1 2012, the program has garnered positive reviews.

“We’ve had outstanding response from the community,” Harney said. “People are calling to have their athletes baseline tested to protect them in the future should they suffer a concussion. We now have something to compare with concussion evaluations. Parents are really stepping up and caring for their kids with this.”

Crunching the numbers
According to Hallmark Health research, some 3.8 million sports and recreation-related concussions occur in the United States each year. A concussion is a brain injury caused by a bump or blow to the head that can change the way your brain normally works. Those who play school or recreational sports, ranging from football, basketball, hockey and lacrosse to cheerleading or gymnastics are susceptible.

Steven Sbardella, MD, chairman of emergency medicine for Hallmark Health System, urges student athletes, parents and coaches to take concussions very seriously.

Symptoms of a concussion include confusion, loss of short-term memory, headaches, blurred vision, nausea and vomiting. Dr. Sbardella said treatment for concussion includes an evaluation in the hospital’s Emergency Department followed by a CAT scan and a follow-up appointment with a neurologist.

“Concussions are potentially very serious,” he stressed. “Anyone who has symptoms of a concussion should be taken out of the game immediately and be evaluated by a physician.”

According to Harney, baseline testing is the primary focus for Hallmark Health as they head into the summer months

“We have a lot of schools that are coming to us and have their entire school baseline tested,’ she said. “That’s going to be a huge undertaking for us this summer.”

“We’ll also continue to develop our concussion program, working with our physicians as well as our emergency room to develop a prompt care program for athletes who need to be evaluated post concussion, within the first 24-72 hours playing their sport.”

For more information on advanced concussion education and testing, call 781-395-7750.

-This story appeared in the March 15, 2012 edition of the Medford Transcript and was written by Chistopher Hurley.

Melrose-Wakefield Hospital, one of only 10 hospitals in the state offering eICU

April 13, 2012 – Hallmark Health System’s (HHS) Melrose-Wakefield Hospital (MWH) is one of only 10 hospitals in Massachusetts using an eICU system to add another layer of quality and safety for patients in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). HHS has entered into a relationship with UMass Memorial Health Care to provide eICU to our most critical patients. The system takes advantage of the advanced electronic environment at MWH by providing a constant feed of data on ICU patients through a highly sophisticated critical care software program that provides the highly-trained MWH ICU physicians and nurses with an extra level of expert care, consultation and round-the-clock monitoring of critically-ill patients.

UMass physicians and nurses who are specially trained in intensive care medicine monitor MWH patients electronically through voice, data and video monitoring, 24-hours a day, seven days a week from a high-tech monitoring center in Worcester. This team works in concert with the MWH medical team to monitor vital signs such as blood pressure, oxygen saturation, heart rate, test results, nursing notes and other patient information over secure transmission lines.

Using two-way, high resolution video cameras at the patient’s bedside, the UMass team can speak directly with the MWH team or with the patient and family should a health concern arise. The MWH team can also contact UMass directly by pressing a button should they have an area of concern. The video monitors are not always on, but they can be activated in an instant when the UMass team is needed. Patients are treated with the same attentive, courteous HHS care on screen as they are by a live staff person.

UMass Memorial Medical Center is an 834-bed teaching hospital in Worcester and a leader in 21st century telemedicine. The Journal of American Medicine recently published a study, which showed that eICU’s improved care and outcomes for ICU patients by acting as a second set of eyes for on-site doctors and nurses.

Kellie Smith, RN, BSN, NE-BC, director of critical care and Medical 3 at MWH, explains, “In addition to the expert care we provide here, our ICU patients will have direct round-the-clock access to a teaching hospital’s expertise in intensive care. There is no substitute for hands-on direct patient care, but the eICU system can quickly alert staff to changes that indicate a patient is getting into trouble, faster than staff may be able to detect. Our outcomes were always very good, but this eICU program adds an extra level of safety and back-up.”

For more information about Hallmark Health System, visit www.hallmarkhealth.org or follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/hallmarkhealth.

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Hallmark Health System is the premier, charitable provider of vital health services to Boston's northern communities. The system includes Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford; Melrose Wakefield Hospital, Melrose; Hallmark Health Hematology and Oncology Center, Stoneham; The CHEM Center for MRI, Stoneham; Hallmark Health Medical Center, Reading; Hallmark Health VNA and Hospice; Lawrence Memorial/Regis College Nursing and Radiography Programs, Medford and Hallmark Health Medical Associates, Inc. Hallmark Health is affiliated with Massachusetts General Hospital for cardiology and Tufts Medical Center for neonatology.

 

Center for Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine now open

March 5, 2012 – The Hallmark Health Center for Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine is now open and treating patients at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital. The Center offers comprehensive wound care for all types of chronic wounds including diabetic ulcers, venous and pressure ulcers as well as wounds caused by poor blood flow or other underlying medical conditions. The Center is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.
 
Alfonso Serrano, MD, a board-certified general and vascular surgeon, serves as the medical director for the Center. A multi-disciplinary team of highly-skilled physicians, nurses and specialists helps patients get their lives back by concentrating on non-healing wounds, ones that have resisted healing after months and even years of traditional treatment.
 
The Center also features two hyperbaric oxygen chambers. If a patient’s wounds qualify for this type of treatment, the patient will breathe 100 percent oxygen under pressure while resting comfortably inside the roomy, plexiglass chamber. This non-invasive, painless treatment known as hyperbaric oxygen therapy, increases the patient’s oxygen level in the bloodstream. This enhances the body’s natural healing, strengthens the immune system, and often results in a return to an active lifestyle.

The Center also contains dedicated exam and treatment rooms that provide the best treatment for these patients. For more information visit hallmarkhealth.org and select ‘Clinical Programs’ or call (781) 979-3500.


For more information about Hallmark Health, visit www.hallmarkhealth.org or follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/hallmarkhealth.

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Hallmark Health System is the premier, charitable provider of vital health services to Boston's northern communities. The system includes Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford; Melrose Wakefield Hospital, Melrose; Hallmark Health Hematology and Oncology Center, Stoneham; The CHEM Center for MRI, Stoneham; Hallmark Health Medical Center, Reading; Hallmark Health VNA and Hospice; Lawrence Memorial/Regis College Nursing and Radiography Programs, Medford and Hallmark Health Medical Associates, Inc. Hallmark Health is affiliated with Massachusetts General Hospital for cardiology and Tufts Medical Center for neonatology.

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