News Releases

Two Hallmark Health Practices Earn National Recognition for Patient-Centered Care

The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) announced that the practice of Nicole Bloor, MD, PC of Melrose and Hallmark Health Medical Associates Family Medicine at Ball Square in Somerville have received NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Recognition for using evidence-based, patient-centered processes that focus on highly coordinated care and long‐term, participative relationships.

The NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home is a model of primary care that combines teamwork and information technology to improve care, improve patients' experience of care and reduce costs. Medical homes foster ongoing partnerships between patients and their personal clinicians, instead of approaching care as the sum of episodic office visits. Each patient's care is overseen by clinician-led care teams that coordinate treatment across the health care system. Research shows that medical homes can lead to higher quality and lower costs, and can improve patient and provider reported experiences of care.

"NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home Recognition raises the bar in defining high-quality care by emphasizing access, health information technology and coordinated care focused on patients," said NCQA President Margaret E. O'Kane. "Recognition shows that Dr. Bloor's practice and Hallmark Health Medical Associates at Ball Square have the tools, systems and resources to provide its patients with the right care, at the right time."

To earn recognition, which is valid for three years, Nicole Bloor, MD, PC and Hallmark Health Medical Associates at Ball Square demonstrated the ability to meet the program's key elements, embodying characteristics of the medical home. NCQA standards aligned with the joint principles of the Patient-Centered Medical Home established with the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Osteopathic Association.
To find clinicians and their practices with NCQA PCMH Recognition, visit http://recognition.ncqa.org.

 

What's In A Name? Top Baby Names for 2014

Many expectant parents agonize over what to name their baby,
while others name their sons and daughters after a family member or friend. With
approximately 1,000 babies born each year, Hallmark Health System's
Melrose-Wakefield Hospital (MWH) sees its fair share of both unique and classic
names.

For the second year in a row, Ava was the most popular name
for baby girls born at MWH with Isabella and Olivia as the second and third
most popular choices. Joseph came out on top for the boys after coming in at
number two in 2013. The second and third slots this year went to Jayden and
Alexander. The local names differed from that of the top 100 names found on
parenting website babycenter.com, which had Sophia and Jackson coming out on
top. Sophia was number 5 at MWH, but Jackson did not even make the top 10 list.

Here is the full list of the top 10 most popular baby names
at MWH for 2014:

Girls: Ava,
Isabella, Olivia, Audrey, Sophia, Ella, Emma, Hannah, Sarah and Layla.

Boys: Joseph,
Jayden, Alexander, Liam, Mason, Robert, Benjamin, Matthew, Brayden and
Jonathan.

Roseline Giglio, of Saugus, had her son Joseph at
Melrose-Wakefield Hospital in July and said she isn't surprised it was this
year's most popular male moniker.

"I know so many Josephs," she said. "Our family alone
there's three Josephs."

Giglio said her husband chose the name, but added she plans
to call him "Jo Jo."

"It's kind of like a family name," said Giglio. "My husband
wanted to continue the tradition."

To see MWH's 2013 list, visit http://hallmarkhealth.org/Melrose-Wakefield-Hospital-releases-top-baby-names-of-2013.html.

MWH is a Baby-Friendly® birth facility, a prestigious internal recognition from
Baby-Friendly® USA, which encourages and recognizes hospitals that offer an
optimal level of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies. MWH is one of
only a handful of Baby-Friendly® organizations in Massachusetts.

Hallmark Health Staff Gives Back to Those in Need

 

In an outpouring of giving, employees and staff throughout the
Hallmark Health System have given back to the communities we serve by helping
to make the holidays a little brighter for families in need.

In a tremendous effort, 25 departments and groups within the
Hallmark Health system "adopted" 15 families in need, provided nearly $14,000 in
donations, and donated more than 400 gifts to the Massachusetts Department of
Children and Families (DCF) through the Adopt-a-Family and Kids Fund programs.

DCF Kids Fund Executive Director Saf Caruso thanked Hallmark
Health staff for their "beautiful spirit of giving." "Your hard work, efforts
and commitment to our children and families each year bring so much happiness
to those who are trying hard to succeed and build a better life for themselves
and their children. Your compassion shows them they are thought about and
remembered, and the world has many caring people in it. This lesson will stay
with them throughout their lives."

Is Mumps Making a Comeback?

The news that more than a dozen National Hockey League (NHL)
players and referees were recently diagnosed with mumps has caught some
headlines. A once common childhood illness, mumps has been nearly eradicated
since a vaccine was introduced in the late 1960s. So why the comeback now?

Dr. Edward Butler, chief academic officer and hospital epidemiologist at Hallmark Health and chairman of the Department of Medicine at Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford says "the mumps vaccine is very effective in the short term, but after 10 years or so, that effectiveness begins to wane."

"Several years after the vaccine was introduced, we began to see a number of pre-teens developing mumps, and we realized that a "booster" was needed to ramp up protection."

In the United States, the mumps vaccine is now given in two
phases: once at age 12-15 months, and then again sometime between ages 5-10.
There is, however, a generation of young adults who fell outside the window of
receiving a booster. There are also a number of international players who may
not have been exposed to the same vaccination program as those in the United States,
and as a result, may never have received the vaccine.

"We've seen small outbreaks in the United States over the
past few years," added Dr. Butler. "Typically they occur among groups of
similar types of people in close quarters, such as college students. NHL
players sharing locker rooms could be another example."

Mumps is an infection of the parotid glands, which sit between
the cheek and the ear. Symptoms are similar to the flu, including painful
swelling around the face, fever, sore throat, aches and pains, difficulty
chewing or swallowing and nausea. In some extreme cases, meningitis and
encephalitis can occur. There is no specific treatment for mumps because
viruses cannot be treated with antibiotics, but it typically runs its course in
10-12 days. The virus is spread through close contact with an infected person's
saliva, and the long incubation period of one to three weeks makes it hard to
pinpoint an exact source of infection.

According to Dr. Butler, there are typically about 500 cases
of the mumps each year in the United States. "Most of the cases seen are due to
the waning of the vaccine, or the fact that a small population remain
susceptible despite the vaccine. Regardless, it is important for all children
to receive the vaccination as well as the booster. When it comes to fighting
mumps, one dose is good, but two doses are better."

Meet Junko Wright - Hallmark Health's November Employee of the Month

Phlebotomist Junko Wright has been drawing blood for oncology patients
for the past four years. During her weekend shift at Lawrence Memorial
Hospital, they tell her how their illnesses are affecting them week after week.

"They are going through a lot," Wright said. "Sometimes I don't know
what to say." She and her patients know that everything that can be done to
help them get better is being done. So often she just listens.

"I am living with cancer," wrote one of Wright's regular patients to
the hospital. "Her caring personality means so very much each and every time I
have to go in [to do lab work]."

For this gentle yet powerful impact on patients, Wright was awarded
November's Employee of the Month at Hallmark Health System. Evelyn Franzese, outreach phlebotomy supervisor at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, lauds Wright's outstanding phlebotomy
and customer service skills and notes that she does more than gracefully draw
blood. "Junko's greatest attribute with patients is her ability to be
compassionate and a keen listener," she said.

Wright is humbled and honored by the recognition and feels like it
should go to the whole team. "I didn't do anything special," she said. Instead,
she admires her patients for their strength and gets emotional when she talks
about being recognized for helping them.

"They don't realize that they're actually helping me more," she said.
"I get caught up in little dramas. They come in and tell me what they go
through. It takes me back and helps me see things in the bigger picture."

Originally from Japan, Wright came to this country to pursue her
passion for dance but found her calling in health care. Her patients inspire
her to grow and improve. "What they go through is so hard," she explained. "It
makes me want to do better, to do more." Someday Wright hopes to transition to
a role as a surgical technologist and make an even bigger difference.

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