Straight Talk - "Five mandates that will carry us forward (part 2)"

May 2, 2013

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

The five major initiatives we adopted at our recent annual Board retreat are designed to carry NCH into the future as the region’s healthcare leader, and our region as the healthiest in the state.

Last week I talked about three of those initiatives—first, growing the capacity of the primary care network; second, integrating care to create seamless boundaries so patients avoid inconvenience and waste; and third, strengthening our already-robust NCH information technology network. Here are the final two initiatives that will mean so much for the future of wellness in our region.

  1. Make Collier County the healthiest in the nation. No objective is more important than improving the health of our neighbors. This means collaborating with community leaders on the educational resources to motivate everyone from private citizens of all ages to employers of all sizes to improve our collective and individual quality of life. A major emphasis would be accelerating our focus on fighting obesity, diabetes, and smoking, by enhancing an already-attractive environment for year-round outdoor activities. Creating more walking paths, placing calorie counts on restaurant menus, and forbidding smoking in public are just a few methods that have worked elsewhere, and might be implemented here. Collier County was just ranked by Gallup as the 5th least obese area in America. In Collier County, women enjoy the longest life expectancy in our nation and men the second longest. Collier has an extremely low cardiac mortality. So in terms of wellness, we might already rank in the top 10. That’s not good enough. We want to be Number One in the nation.

  2. Maximize the value of the NCH-Mayo Clinic affiliation. Finally, there is our historic partnership with the Mayo Clinic. This affiliation is now eight months old and continues to grow in many wonderful directions. We have assisted in the care of dozens of patients, with Mayo experts contributing, primarily via electronic communication. Mayo has shared best practices with physician communication, change management, congestive heart failure, outpatient clinic management, and soon, clinical cardiology research. Mayo now has 12 affiliates around the nation, and we will soon share best practices with each of them, as together we understand more clearly how best to distribute the deep knowledge that the Mayo Clinic possesses.

We will be able to achieve these five long-term initiatives because NCH is blessed with the finest physicians and caregivers, and they perform miracles every day. I was reminded of this last week in a note I received from Dr. Michael D. Lusk.

Dr. Lusk wrote about a six-month pregnant patient, who demanded immediate attention for a massive herniated disc. Emergent surgery at North Naples Hospital was made possible by a team consisting of John Rogers, assistant director of surgical services who arranged to have a critical neuro microscope moved to the north campus; Jackie Lowry, charge nurse DNH OR who arranged to have neuro staff go to NNH, Neurosurgery staffers Peter Zmigrodzki, Michelle Hoffman and Deborah Ellis who scrubbed and circulated the surgery; Anesthesiologist Dr. John Nolan; Dr. Holly Miller, the patient’s OB/GYN; and a neonatologist who is always on site. Dr. Lusk concluded his note by saying, “My gratitude for such wonderful people helping me cannot truly be expressed.”

Nor can mine. Ours is a wonderful team, saving lives every day and ensuring an ever brighter future for the healthcare and wellness of our neighbors. Thank you all.


Allen S. Weiss, M.D., President and CEO

You may contact Dr. Allen Weiss
and The NCH Healthcare System
by clicking here:

Please feel free to share Straight Talk:

To view past issues of Straight Talk click:

Join us on Facebook at: