Straight Talk - "Best healthcare facilities and practices"

March 28, 2013

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

The future of healthcare has arrived in southwest Florida, and it is embodied by the affiliation of NCH Healthcare System and Mayo Clinic.

Together, our quality community network, coupled with a national healthcare power, will bring genomics, regenerative medicine, and a score of equally innovative medical technologies to us to improve our local quality of life (see: Mayo Clinic Care Network).

Now that NCH is one of 13-and-growing Mayo Clinic affiliates (see: Mayo Affiliates), NCH patients and their families will have access to these kinds of best healthcare facilities and practices:

  • Center for Individualized Medicine explores the science of the human genome. Its goal is to integrate the latest genomic, molecular, and clinical science to impact patients in treating cancer, diagnosing an unknown disease, sharing prognoses and other clinical situations. The sequencing of the human genome, no longer difficult or expensive, has arrived. Interpretation of results is challenging and we will be supported by Mayo experts.

  • Regenerative medicine takes a person’s own tissue, for instance a small piece of skin, and grows the cells in culture, transforming these cells into new tissue to replace damaged organs. Early success has been seen with congestive heart failure (too much fluid in the body) caused by heart attacks damaging the heart muscle.

  • Mayo’s Center for Translational Science Activities speeds discoveries to clinical practice. Traditionally, medicine has been slow to change. Taking knowledge to patients faster is an achievable goal.

  • Researching clinical and cost data is the essence of Mayo’s collaboration with UnitedHealth Group to glean lessons from more than 115 million healthcare encounters over the past 15 years. NCH has started a similar, smaller scale project with Florida Blue (see: Florida Blue & NCH Collaborative).

  • New educational programs, including Medical Grand Rounds, which uses internet technology to focus on specific diseases such as breast cancer or lymphoma. Board Certification and professional education programs on line and in person will help everyone stay current.

  • eTumor Boards, where patients with difficult diagnostic and therapeutic problems, are presented a forum for many competent physicians to share treatment suggestions.

  • Mayo clinical trials, about 650 at the moment, could help locally-enrolled patients. Our cardiologists are just about to start NCH’s first collaborative. Additionally, we have implemented Mayo’s model of having a physician and an administrator working together to lead change.

We owe a debt of gratitude to outgoing Chief Medical Officer Aurora Estevez, who first championed NCH affiliating with a luminary institution such as Mayo. As Aurora and outgoing Director of Strategy, Quality and Performance Improvement Sue Manning move on to other challenges, we thank them for contributing to a better, stronger NCH that will profit from its Mayo affiliation to build an enduring future of high quality healthcare in southwest Florida.



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

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and The NCH Healthcare System
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