Archive for July, 2009

Hospital receives trauma designation

Northfield Hospital recently received a Level IV Trauma Hospital designation from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).

The designation acknowledges that Northfield Hospital has successfully met state standards of commitment, clinical and equipment resources and staff training for the assessment and treatment of trauma patients. The hospital will also participate in continuous performance improvement initiatives related to trauma care.

With this designation, Northfield Hospital becomes part of a developing statewide trauma system created by the Minnesota Legislature in 2005. It is an effort to ensure that optimal trauma care is available and accessible to seriously injured people across the state and recognize the vital role that rural communities, ambulance services, hospitals and health care professionals play in the care and management of trauma patients.

On average more than 2,400 Minnesotans die from trauma each year. For every death, nine people are hospitalized for injuries. States with trauma systems have seen survival rates increase by 15 to 20 percent.

According to Minnesota Commissioner of Health Dr. Sanne Magnan, the goal of the trauma system is to decrease injured patients’ time to care by making sure their medical needs are appropriately matched with hospital resources.

“With the designation of Northfield Hospital as a Level IV Trauma Hospital, we are getting closer to our goal of ensuring that seriously injured Minnesotans have access to an organized system of trauma care wherever they are in the state,” said Dr. Magnan.

There are four levels of designation in the trauma system. MDH assigns a designation on the resources and specialties available at each hospital. For instance, a Level I Trauma Hospital, such as Hennepin County Medical Center, earns that designation by having a broad array of surgeons available 24 hours a day. The standard of education and skills required of nurses and physicians are the same for all levels.

Northfield Hospital’s designation is the result of a rigorous, 18-month process that involved all areas of patient care. Policies and protocols were reworked to formalize partnerships with other hospitals in the trauma system so that trauma patients can be stabilized here and then seamlessly transferred to a larger hospital when needed.

Hospital’s Long Term Care Center gets high marks

Northfield Hospital’s Long Term Care Center is among the most highly ranked nursing homes in the state, according to the latest Nursing Home Report Card released earlier this year by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).

The hospital’s Long Term Care Center received 31 stars out of a possible 35 based on seven quality measures, tying it with the Little Sisters of the Poor in St. Paul, Fair Meadow in Fertile, Minn., and Caledonia Care in Caledonia, Minn. for top honors. The Long Term Care Center received five out of a possible five stars for staff retention, the sparing use of temporary staffing, the high proportion of single rooms” (100 percent), and scores on state inspections. It received four of five stars for outcomes on a number of state-mandated quality indicators and hours of direct care, and three out of five for quality of life ratings by residents.

“We are deeply honored to again be recognized as one of the top care facilities in Minnesota,” said Ken Bank, president and CEO of Northfield Hospital & Clinics. “The high ranking of our Long Term Care Center is a tribute to the staff, who under the steady guidance of center director Gretchen Murr, give so much of themselves every day to care for our residents.”

The department of health developed the report card as the result of a state legislative mandate in 2001. Health officials say it is a sophisticated tool that uses multiple quality measures and incorporates risk adjustments to level the playing field between facilities.

MDH acknowledges that the report card is a work in progress and should be used as a screening tool, not a decision-maker. They recommend using it in concert with personal visits and conversations with friends and family when making a nursing home choice.

The Nursing Home Report Card can be found at by clicking on Nursing Home Report Card.

Ken Bank to retire from Northfield Hospital & Clinics

Ken Bank, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Northfield Hospital & Clinics, announced this week that he will retire within the next year.

Bank, who has served as the hospital’s CEO since 1988, has been working with the board of directors for the past 18 months to develop an orderly succession plan. At a meeting last week, he formally advised the board of his intentions and announced his plans to hospital staff on Wednesday.

In a memo, Bank said he is grateful for the opportunity to work at Northfield Hospital & Clinics with a talented and committed staff of employees, a professional and deeply caring medical staff, dedicated Board members and a consistently supportive City Council.

“I could not have asked for a better place to work or a better group of people with whom to share that effort,” he wrote. “Throughout my tenure, I have been blessed to work with wonderful people. They are the secret to whatever success we have been able to achieve.”

He also addressed the anxiety that sometimes accompanies leadership transition.

“The prospect of changing presidents can create a sense of uncertainty in any organization,” he wrote. “I want you to know that our Board is keenly aware of this and has been in the process of carefully planning for a smooth leadership transition for over almost a year and a half….The goal of all the work the Board has done is to provide as much stability and continuity as possible before, during and after having a new president in place.”

In accordance with its succession plan, the board is in the final stages of selecting a professional search firm to assist in recruiting for a new president and CEO. The structure of the search process itself will be fully developed with the guidance of the selected firm.

Bank, a native of Minnesota and a St. Olaf College graduate, came to Northfield in 1988 from an administrative position at Tucson Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona. During his time here, he has presided over the development of the Center for Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, the expansion of surgical services and diagnostic imaging at the hospital on West Second Street, the design and construction of a new $34 million hospital that opened in 2003 and the development of a primary clinic network intended to provide the patient base to support a broader range of specialty services in the community.

Northfield Hospital expands services for pregnant women

Steve Calvin, MD, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist from the Twin Cities, will begin offering high-risk pregnancy care to patients in Northfield and the surrounding area in July through the Northfield Hospital Outpatient Clinic.

Dr. Calvin is a board certified obstetrician and perinatologist who specializes in the care of patients with maternal-fetal complications. He also provides genetic counseling. Patients will see him by referral from their primary provider.

This new consulting service will facilitate the expansion of obstetrical care at Northfield Hospital. Mayo Clinic Outreach maternal-fetal medicine specialists currently offer care once each month in the Women’s Health Center at Northfield Hospital to referred patients.

Dr. Calvin is an independent maternal-fetal medicine specialist who brings 30 years of obstetrics experience to the community. He received his medical degree from Washington University in St Louis and completed his OB/GYN residency at the University of Minnesota. He performed a fellowship in maternal-fetal medicine at the University of Arizona. He and his wife own a small farm in Rice County.

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