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The BMC Brief

October 11, 2013 Volume 2, Issue 17

BMC Honors Staff Service Milestones

With the sound of noisemakers, loud cheers and Jay-Z echoing inside a large white tent sprawling the Moakley Green, the energy at the Service Recognition Ceremony Sept. 25 felt akin to a rock concert. It was here that colleagues gathered to recognize and celebrate the 10,590 collective years of service of 764 employees to BMC.

Service Recognition Ceremony
Lisa Kelly-Croswell, Claire Murphy and Kate Walsh

Lisa Kelly-Croswell, BMC’s new Vice President of Human Resources, welcomed the crowd, telling everyone how delighted she is to be at BMC.

“Joining BMC has become very personal for me,” she said, telling the crowd that her brother-in-law trained here as a resident and that a close friend receives ongoing treatment at BMC. “In my brief time here, I feel a soulful and vibrant spirit and I am very glad to be a part of it. I congratulate you on this milestone and I look forward to working with you.”

Attendees watched TV screens positioned around the tent as Kate Walsh, BMC President and CEO, took the crowd back in time five to 45 years ago, highlighting significant events from each era, including music, movies, health advances, politics and sports. From “Thanks for the Memories” by Fall Out Boys to “Respect” by Aretha Franklin, the audience was treated to clips of the most popular songs of the respective year.

Of the 764 honorees, four staff members celebrated 45 years of service to the hospital, having started their careers at Boston City Hospital (now BMC) in 1967, among them Claire Murphy of Human Resources. Murphy started working at Boston City Hospital as a radiology clerk while attending high school, earning $1.50 an hour. After she graduated, she returned to the hospital, holding many positions throughout the years, including as a typist, machine operator, and director of compensation to her present role as senior employee relations specialist. In addition to working full time at BMC, Murphy also enrolled at Boston College and earned her bachelor’s degree.

“One physician noted that on a particularly complex matter, Claire expertly managed it and that BMC is fortunate to have a resource like her,” said Kelly-Croswell in introducing her to the crowd. “In addition to her professional accomplishments, Claire does a lot to foster morale in our department. She remembers people’s birthdays and is known to bring in treats from her local bakery to share with her team to celebrate successes or just because. She embodies the American Dream spirit that if you work hard and apply yourself, doors will open for you.”

“The past 45 years have gone by in the blink of an eye but as they say, time flies when you are having fun,” says Murphy. “It isn’t the buildings that make BMC what it is; it’s the employees and their commitment to providing exceptional care without exception. No one could work in an organization for more than 45 years unless they love work and the people they work with, and I do sincerely love working at BMC.”

Murphy accepted a floral bouquet from Walsh while her favorite song, “In My Life” by The Beatles played in the background.

“Today we celebrate a collective 10,590 years of service to our hospital and its’ patients,” Walsh told the crowd. “On behalf of the millions of patients and families whose lives you’ve touched, thank you for many, many years of hard work and commitment. You do us proud.”

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Training Program for Effective Communication with Families is One of Three Patient Safety Grant Winners

When a loved one is hospitalized, good, effective communication from providers to the patient’s family is essential. That communication becomes even more critical when the patient is in a high-stakes situation, such as near death, and caregivers need to deliver the news at a family meeting. To deliver this type of sensitive news in a consistent, compassionate manner, the departments of Geriatrics and Palliative Care created a family meeting simulation training for clinical staff and trainees. For their work, the group won a $25,000 Patient Safety Grant in 2013 and a renewal grant for 2014 from BMC and BMC’s Insurance Program.

Patient Safety Grant Winners

BMC awards Patient Safety Grants annually to interdisciplinary and interdepartmental projects developed by staff that are highly aligned with BMC’s priorities, such as reducing preventable mortality, improving performance on quality, safety or patient experience measures; and measurably improving clinical care. This year 16 teams submitted applications and the program distributed three awards, totaling $65,000 in grant funding.

Geriatrics and Palliative Care’s family meeting simulation training project originated from feedback from clinical staff who regularly attended family meetings and identified opportunities for improvement. The departments first established an interdisciplinary communication collaborative (ICC) whose goal was to create and implement communication skills training across disciplines to improve patient care and family and staff interactions. The ICC then began developing, piloting and evaluating a training program on how to conduct an optimal family meeting for Intensive Care Unit (ICU) professionals, with a strong emphasis on inter-professional collaboration.

“The framework we developed for the family meeting is a collaborative-care model for physicians, nurses and other members of the health care team, including social workers, chaplains and patient advocates,” says Matthew Russell, MD, MSc, Geriatrics, and principal investigator for the grant. “This standardized format promotes an efficient interdisciplinary meeting that allows for maximal and efficient sharing of information and conflict resolution."

“This collaborative-care model promotes an approach that is an essential framework in providing safe care,” notes Laura Harrington, Executive Director, Quality and Patient Safety.

Over the course of the year, the ICC conducted 12 two-hour sessions with ICU nurses, physicians and primary care physicians in BMC’s Solomont Clinical Simulation and Nursing Education Center. The training included three components: a pre-family meeting “huddle” for clinical staff, a discussion of the patient’s prognosis with the family and a staff debriefing to encourage feedback by all members of the interdisciplinary team.

“The training evaluations we received were overwhelmingly positive,” says Russell. “Participants requested continued training in this area of professional skills. Moreover, our survey results showed that the training experience resulted in real-life situational improvement, with more groups doing a pre-family meeting huddle.”

With their grant renewal, the ICC will build on the success of the ICU training program by expanding the training to other high-stakes areas of the hospital as well as continue to offer the family meeting simulation training for ICU staff on a quarterly basis.

“Our goal is to improve patients’ experience and thus improve BMC’s inpatient satisfaction scores,” adds Russell.

“We are very pleased to have the opportunity to support the wider application of family meeting training to additional areas of the hospital,” says Stanley Hochberg, MD, Senior Vice President, Quality, Safety and Technology. “Continuing this important work will greatly enhance the experience of our patients and staff.”

The two other projects that received Patient Safety Grants are:

  • Creating WHO-Adapted, Standardized Response Protocols for Environmental OR Emergencies to Ensure Patient Safety
    David McAneny, MD, Surgery

  • Instituting Health Care Ethics Consultation Best Practice Standards and ACECS Ethics Coding
    Michael Ieong, MD, Medical Pulmonology, Critical Care and Allergy

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Time to Get Your Flu Shot: BMC Rolls Out Staff Influenza Vaccination Program

All it takes is one sneeze, which exits the body at up to 100 miles an hour and contains thousands of germs, to come in contact with the flu virus. With flu season soon upon us, BMC is once again requiring all employees who wear a BMC ID badge to receive a flu shot by the end of October to protect patients and one other.

Flu shot

BMC, as well as many other Boston hospitals, requires universal staff flu vaccination, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and state Department of Public Health.

The flu season runs approximately December-March and during this time it is estimated that one in six BMC employees may become infected with influenza. Getting vaccinated early matters, before the surge of flu starts. It takes about two weeks after the vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide full protection, so during that time you are at risk for getting the flu or another virus.

“We have a commitment and responsibility to our patients, fellow employees and our families to help keep them well and not expose them to infection,” says Chief Medical Officer Ravin Davidoff, MBBCh. “The flu vaccination is one of the easiest ways to ensure that our patients and staff are protected from an infectious disease that we can prevent.”

Last year, BMC vaccinated 97 percent of staff; this year the goal is 100 percent vaccination.

New this year is an an alternative vaccine for those who suffer from severe egg allergies. Staff who are unsure of which vaccine to get can call Occupational and Environmental Medicine (OEM) to set up a time to discuss options. Employees can choose to receive the vaccine at BMC or from an outside provider, like a CVS or Walgreens. Those choosing to get it outside BMC will need to provide proof of immunization to OEM. Staff who choose not to get a flu shot at all or who receive a medical exemption will need to wear a surgical mask while on BMC property starting Dec. 1.

“Our goal is to get as many people vaccinated as possible, but when it is not medically appropriate for some employees to get the vaccination, it is our expectation that staff will wear the mask everywhere on BMC’s campus,” says Davidoff. “We do this because you can’t know who has been exposed to the virus or has gotten it. For this reason wearing a mask is the most appropriate way for us to optimize our protection.”

Free drop-in flu shots are available through Oct. 31 in OEM, located on the first floor of the Yawkey Ambulatory Care Center (YACC). Staff can stop in from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday to receive their flu shot or drop off their proof of immunization. There also will be hours in the Doctors Office Building (DOB) satellite clinic and mobile OEM flu shot carts across campus, including evening, night and weekend hours.

For a complete schedule of all OEM clinics, as well as general influenza information, visit the homepage of the intranet and click the flu bug.

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BMC Transitions to ICD-10 Coding

National health reform. Budget sequestration. Government shutdown. You may be wondering what other changes and challenges the health care system may face under federal regulations. A new one, called ICD-10, is coming and will change the way all hospitals and health-care providers bill for procedures.

One year from now, the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will mandate the transition from the current national coding language for diagnoses and procedures, known as ICD-9, to ICD-10. Hospitals will be required to use the new codes in order to receive reimbursement from any payer.

ICD-10, an updated version of ICD-9, contains more than 100,000 codes. The deadline for hospitals to convert to ICD-10 is Oct. 1, 2014, four months after BMC launches eMERGE, its new electronic medical record system.

BMC already has begun preparing for ICD-10. A dedicated team is working closely with clinical departments, the eMERGE team, and finance and revenue staff to ensure a seamless transition. Every BMC system, process and transaction that uses or contains a diagnosis or procedure code will be involved.

Clinical staff who code, along with coders and revenue staff who submit claims to payers, will undergo training to prepare for this significant transition.

Under the ICD-10 system, clinicians will be required to document with greater specificity to support the selection of the proper code, since there will be many more codes from which to choose. For example, ICD-10 utilizes codes that not only describe the nature and severity of a patient’s injury, but also document where the injury took place, what caused the injury and what part of the body was injured.

Every clinical department will have a designated physician lead to ensure that each specialty receives information and training that is tailored to its clinical expertise.

The project’s clinical efforts are being spearheaded by William Creevy, MD, President and CEO of the Faculty Practice Foundation, and Frederic Little, MD, ICD-10 Physician Champion. Little is Medical Director of the Pulmonary, Allergy and Sleep Clinics, and Program Director of the Allergy/Immunology Fellowship Training Program.

“This is a sea change for BMC and every other hospital in the US, and my role and that of the clinical leads is to make this transition as smooth as possible, which is why we’re planning ahead,” says Little. “In the next year, physicians can expect to be fully prepared and confident as we move forward with the ICD-10 transition.”

A key goal of the ICD-10 project team is seamless integration between ICD-10 and eMERGE. The ICD-10 team also is actively communicating with health insurers to ensure that claims will be paid without delay after the transition.

“Getting this transition right is critical for BMC’s revenue continuity,” says Pam Hansen, ICD-10 Program Director. “ICD-10 and eMERGE are transforming the health information technology landscape at BMC.”

For more information, visit the ICD-10 section of the intranet.

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What’s for Dinner?

As the days grow shorter and the chilly autumn nights grow longer, warm yourself up with this recipe from the Demonstration Kitchen’s Tracey Burg!

If you are looking for a hearty meal that is easy to prepare and cook, look no further than this flavorful soup. The white beans provide a healthy dose of fiber while the kale packs a nutritional punch. The best part: this variation on minestrone is great to cook in bulk on a Sunday night to freeze for the week.

White Bean Soup with Kale

White Bean Soup with Kale


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 onions, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 4 cups cooked white beans
  • 1 teaspoon dried sweet Marjoram or basil
  • 3 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 3/4 inch chunks
  • 2 to 3 cups of shredded kale, leaves only
  • 6 cups vegetable stock (or water)
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice.


  1. Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté over medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until softened and translucent. Add garlic, curry, and cumin and saute for additional 2 minutes.
  2. Add the cooked beans, marjoram (or basil), squash, kale, and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, add salt, and cook for 20 minutes, or until squash is tender.
  3. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add lemon juice to taste just before serving.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:
Makes six servings.

  • Calories: 249
  • Total Fat: 3 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Carbohydrates: 45 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 15 g
  • Sodium: 308 mg
  • Protein: 15 g

Recipe Source:
"Greens, Glorious, Greens" by Johnna Albi and Catherine Walthers. Published by St. Martin's Press.

Do you have a recipe that you would like to share with the BMC community? Send it to communications@bmc.org and we’ll feature it in a future issue of the BMC Brief!

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What do you do, Neely Hines?

Name: Neely Hines, MD
Title: Director
Department: Breast Imaging
Time at BMC: 6 months

Neely Hines, MD
Neely Hines, MD

What brought you to BMC?
I was working at a private practice in South Florida and decided it was time for a change. I had trained at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, so I had friends in Boston and had experienced the city. When the job at BMC opened, I jumped at the chance to work at an academic medical center where I could teach and work more closely with my colleagues.

What do you do?
In Breast Imaging our days are spent carrying out diagnostic imaging, where we review test results with patients, answer their questions and make follow-up appointments, as well as perform procedures, such as biopsies.

What projects are you working on?
Although BMC employees can make appointments to be screened at any time, recently we opened up dedicated time in the afternoon for hospital staff to get mammograms on their break. This is an easy and convenient way to get tested and it takes no more than 30 minutes. To schedule an appointment, call 414-9729.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. What is BMC doing to promote awareness of breast cancer?
On Saturday, Oct. 19, we are partnering with the Pine Street Inn and the Barbara McInnis House to offer mammograms at BMC to local homeless women. Our staff will perform the mammograms, interpret the results and do further diagnostic testing, if necessary. A hot breakfast provided by BMC will be served, and T.J. Maxx and B.J.’s Wholesale Club have generously donated bras for the women.

Why is it important for women to be screened?
Early detection is the best way to get cured, as treatment is better tolerated and more effective. The American Cancer Society recommends annual screenings for women at the age of 40, or 10 years earlier than the first degree relative who was diagnosed with breast cancer.

What activities or hobbies do you participate in to maintain a healthy work-life balance?
I enjoy endurance sports. I have done marathons and triathlons. Despite some minor setbacks from knee injuries, I’m beginning training for the Miami Marathon in February 2014!

Do you know a staff member who should be profiled? Send your suggestions to communications@bmc.org .

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In Their Words

Patients share their BMC experience

This letter is four years overdue, but it’s all glowing, so please bear with me.

In 2009, I suffered a debilitating back injury at work and spent the following 10 months lying flat on my back, wondering how I was going to pay my mortgage or the overdue bills that were accumulating on my desk. I was hospitalized at a nearby hospital (not yours) for a week, where I did not have a good experience. I had recently joined a new health plan that turned out to be so limited that the only doctor accepting new patients was rather burnt-out with a hostile bedside manner, who rushed me in/out of my appointments. During this time, my worker’s compensation insurance provider denied my claim. Things were not going well for me.

My new health plan only gave me two choices for pain management: the hospital I couldn't wait to leave and BMC. So I called BMC and was connected to my future lifeline, Jean Roshon in Anesthesiology, who is quite possibly one of the kindest, most patient and efficient people on the planet. My insurance provider has been less than cooperative in approving my treatments over the past few years, causing Jean a great deal of extra work, phone calls and follow-up paperwork. I don’t know how she manages to juggle her workload, when my treatments require so much time-consuming work and follow-up, yet she never fails to come through for me. At any rate, Jean scheduled me for an appointment with Dr. Eduard Vaynberg and his team. The day I walked into the reception area for my first appointment, the receptionist, Keisha, was very friendly and greeted me immediately. In my line of work we say, “You only get one chance to make a great first impression,” and she is someone who makes a great impression each and every time.

As I was taken into the treatment area, I couldn’t help but notice the floors were sparkling clean. In fact, I wish mine looked that good! Everything was spotless. The nursing staff was phenomenal – friendly, kind, compassionate, efficient and helpful. The residents and technicians came into my waiting area and introduced themselves, told me a little bit about what their role was and made me feel quite at home. Then Dr. Vaynberg came in, and within a very short amount of time, I knew I was in great hands. He spent several minutes with me discussing my MRIs and X-rays, my condition and the optimum course of treatment. I’m one of those people who bring two or three pages of notes/questions with me to medical appointments and Dr. Vaynberg was very patient and responsive.

During these visits, I’ve noticed that Dr. Vaynberg and his colleagues consistently extend the same consideration and courtesy to all of their clients, no matter how difficult the circumstances (or patient). Dr. Vaynberg spends as much time as needed with each one and nobody is rushed in or out of there. I’m happy to report that I have had the same positive experience every single time I’ve returned for treatment over the past few years and have recommended Dr. Vaynberg and his team to other folks with back injuries.

Finally, Dr. Vaynberg and his team are a happy, cohesive team that works well together – they treat each other respectfully, they all know their job and do it well, and they seem to enjoy working with one another. I think their positive team spirit is a big factor in their success as well as their patients’ success and satisfaction. Dr. Vaynberg and his team are truly committed to BMC’s promise of “exceptional care without exception” and I am so thankful that I chose to go to BMC for my pain management treatments. They have truly improved my quality of life and for that, I will always be grateful.

Hull, Mass.

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News of Note

Play Me, I'm Yours

“Play Me, I’m Yours” Piano Street Art Project Comes to Campus
British artist Luke Jerram’s street art series, “Play Me, I’m Yours,” has landed in Boston and the medical campus is home to one of the 74 pianos deployed across the city. Since 2008, more than 1,000 pianos have been installed in 37 cities around the globe and the project has reached more than four million people worldwide. Using donated pianos that have been decorated by local artists, the intention is that any member of the public is welcome to play. The campus piano is located in front of the BUSM Instructional Building and will remain there until Oct. 14.

Seafood Throwdown

BMC Executive Chef Competes at Boston Local Food Festival
BMC Executive Chefs Todd Dion and Jason Mclean, contracted through Morrison Management Specialists, took part in the Boston Seafood Throwdown Oct. 6, where they competed against the executive chef from Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH). The competition, held at the Boston Local Food Festival, challenged the chefs’ culinary creativity with a secret seafood ingredient. The chefs were allotted three of their favorite ingredients and $25 dollars to shop for 15 minutes for additional ingredients among the festival vendors after discovering the secret ingredient. After their shopping spree, they were given one hour to cook and present their entry to the judges. The judges included Callie Crossley from WGBH; Mary Griffin, Commissioner, Massachusetts. Department of Fish and Game; Jean Kerr, Editor, Northeast Flavor Magazine; plus a randomly selected member from the audience and a representative from Future Chefs in Boston. The secret ingredient revealed was fresh pollock. Dion and Mclean created a vegetable curry sauce that wowed the judges and tied for the win with BCH.

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Awards and Accolades

Finance Director Chosen for Chamber Leadership Program
Kathryn Beach, Director of Accounting, Budgeting and Financial Reporting, has been selected to participate in the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce’s Women’s Leadership Program. The year-long curriculum is conducted in collaboration with the Simmons School of Management and is designed to help participants enhance their leadership skills and become engaged in the region’s civic and business communities. The participants were selected from a pool of more than 100 qualified candidates nominated by chamber members and feature a variety of young leaders from the business, government, and nonprofit communities.

Chief of Urology Receives Lifetime Achievement Award
Richard Babayan, MD, FACS, Chief of Urology, is the recipient of the Joseph B. Dowd, MD Lifetime Achievement Award from the New England Section of the American Urological Association (NEAUA). Babayan was selected for his dedication to the practice of urology, service to the NEAUA and mentoring of fellow urologists at BMC and around New England. He is the fourth to receive the award since its creation in 1999.

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Media information after hours: 617.638.8405

Boston Medical Center
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4th Floor
Boston, MA 02118

Fax: 617.638.8044

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