Celebrating North Hills’ Legacy of Caring

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Each and every day, ordinary citizens do extraordinary things to help make UPMC Passavant a world-class hospital right here in our own backyard. Passavant Hospital Foundation — a non-profit organization supporting our hospital and the health of our community — would like to share just a few of these inspiring stories.

The memory of Joey Chubbuck provides comfort for others:

In 2013, Joey Chubbuck, 22, left his home in Rome, NY to seek treatment at UPMC Passavant for a rare and aggressive cancer.  Despite his intense pain and devastating prognosis, Joey noticed how uncomfortable his mother was, sleeping on the recliner in his hospital room. In one of his final requests, he asked his parents to purchase more comfortable sleep chairs so that other parents could get a better night’s sleep while they spend time with their ailing children.  When Joey died that August, his family made a gift to Passavant Hospital Foundation to re-purpose a little-used space as a Family Room/Respite Alcove on the sixth floor.  The room provides families with a quiet, comfortable spot close by but separate from the patient’s care.  “We see families using the Joseph Michael Cubbuck Family Room/Respite Alcove every day,” said Susan Hoolahan, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, chief nursing officer, UPMC Passavant.

Passvant Hospital Foundation is seek-ing support to establish two additional Family Rooms/Respite Alcoves to provide comfort and reprieve for patient families and friends. For more information, contact Fay Morgan, President/CEO, at 412-748-6640.

Boy Scout tackles landscape project

Jaime Martinez, a 13-year-old Boy Scout of Troop 171 at Ingomar United Methodist Church, wants to be a neurosurgeon when he grows up.  But for now, he is eager to help his community hospital any way he can.  So, it only seemed natural that when the time came to choose his Eagle Scout service project, he turned to Passavant Hospital Foundation.  “When I heard that the Foundation was looking for someone to help re-landscape the areas outside the windows of the CancerCenter, I was ecstatic. I really wanted to do it. I’m honored to do it,” he said.  The project builds on Tibby’s Healing Garden, planted in 2012. The original garden was made possible by a gift from generous donors who wanted to honor the life of a friend.  Jaime set an ambitious $35,000 goal for his project, which will be implemented in spring 2017. He recruited Will Kmetz, an Eagle Scout from JML Landscape Management, to advise the landscaping installation. Landscape engineers Fahringer, McCarty, Grey Inc. offered to advise on the design.

The garden provides a diversion for  patients while they receive their chemotherapy treatments, which can last 4 to 6 hours per day. Studies have shown that plants can reduce stress levels, increase positive energy levels, and have therapeutic effects on patients.

To purchase a memorial tree for the garden, call the Foundation at 412-748-6640.

Celebrating a Legacy of Caring continued

Baierl Subaru sends cards and blankets to local cancer patients

As part of the national “Subaru Loves to Care” program, Baierl Subaru in McCandless donated 60 blankets and 60 well-wish cards — handwritten by customers and employees — for patients at UPMC CancerCenter at UPMC Passavant this past July.

Vigil of Hope helps families who have lost loved ones to substance abuse

Jason Snyder of The PA Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs provided an inspirational and uplifting message for the 132 people who attended this year’s Vigil of Hope, a remembrance service for the families of those who have died from a drug or alcohol addiction.  “It was said to me when my brother Todd died, that death is for the living in that we are the ones left to deal with it. I was reminded of that (at the Vigil of Hope). We talk about the numbers of people with addiction dying every day, and it is tragic. But to see that number multiplied exponentially in the loved ones left behind and the grief of those left to deal with death is powerful and moving,” he said.

Bridge to Hope is a weekly support group for families affected by addiction; Beyond Bridge to Hope is a monthly bereavement support group for adults who have experienced the death of a loved one due to addiction. Both are supported by Passavant Hospital Foundation. For details, visit bridge2hope.org or call 412-748-5120.

Seneca Resources donates funds to enhance a stroke-awareness campaign

Seneca Resources Corporation, an energy exploration and production company located in McCandless, donated $500 to fund screen-printed t-shirts and embroidered polo shirts for a stroke awareness campaign called FAST, which is an acronym used as a mnemonic to help detect and enhance responsiveness to stroke victim needs. The acronym stands for Facial drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty, and Timely response.

Donations help facilitate expansion of hospital’s cardiovascular services

A $4.12 million expansion of the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute at UPMC Passavant will add more examination rooms and move diagnostic testing equipment from an older section of the building so that patients will have all cardiovascular services in one convenient location at the hospital. The expansion also will add more room for state-of-the-art technology and provide additional privacy for patients.

Passavant Hospital Foundation has committed $600,000 to this project.

Passavant Hospital Foundation funds five initiatives to improve community health

In 2016, Passavant Hospital Foundation awarded five grants totaling $34,500 to local organizations that enhance the health of our community.  One grant, for $10,000, was made to North Hills Community Outreach in support of its food and hunger programs in communities served by UPMC Passavant. “We especially appreciate that $5,000 of the Foundation’s grant will be earmarked to purchase specialty foods such as gluten-free, low-salt, and sugar-free, etc. for people we serve who are on special diets,” said Sharon Wolf, Executive Director of North Hills Community Outreach.

The Foundation donated another $2,000 to Just Harvest, a locally-based non-profit organization that educates, empowers and mobilizes people to eliminate hunger, poverty, and economic injustice.  La Roche College received $10,000 from the Foundation for a community start-up program on obesity and exercise. It will be implemented within the nursing and health science departments, and will be offered free-of-charge to members of the community, the campus, and hospital family.

Kearns Spirituality Center received $10,000 for its Comfort & Hospitality Program, which provides financially-challenged families with affordable overnight accommodations when a loved one is being treated at UPMC Passavant.

Lutheran SeniorLife Foundation was awarded $2,500 to support its “Expanding Opportunities for an Abundant Life in the Community” program and its new senior center at St. John’s Lutheran Church of Highland in McCandless. Funds will be used to purchase equipment needed to launch the new location.

Passavant Hospital Foundation assists cancer patients who are struggling financially

Passavant Hospital Foundation’s Cancer Care Fund helps oncology patients who are struggling financially due to expensive or prolonged treatment. For those who qualify, the fund helps pay for basic needs during treatment, such as medicine, housing and food. “This takes such a huge pressure off patients, who are stressed enough by the diagnosis of cancer,” says oncologist John Comerci, MD.

Substance Use Services of UPMC Health Plan and Jason Snyder, Policy and Communications Director, PA Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, spoke at the Vigil.

MD, Natalie Lombardo, Leslie Koch, and Kiran Rajasenan, MD, ran to raise money.

Passavant Hospital Foundation recently participated as a Contributing Charity in the 2016 Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon. The

Foundation’s 17 runners raised an impressive $20,789. Matt El-Kadi, MD, was the top fundraiser and also sixth in individual fundraising for all

marathon charity runners, raising $11,280 for the Foundation’s mission. Four staff members from UPMC CancerCenter at UPMC Passavant teamed up for the Marathon Relay and raised $3,825. To sign up for Passavant Hospital Foundation’s 2017 marathon team, call Jennifer Steinsdoerfer at 412-748-6648 or e-mail her at steinsdoerferj@ph.upmc.edu.


Honoring extraordinary individuals who embody a Legacy of Caring

Passavant Hospital Foundation will host its annual Legacy of Caring Gala on Thursday, October 13 at 5:30 PM at Pittsburgh Marriott North in Cranberry. This year, the Foundation is honoring seven people who have served long and well to make UPMC Passavant a world-class hospital in our backyard.

James Boyle, MD

Chief Medical Officer at UPMC Passavant

Dr. Boyle specializes in Internal Medicine with a sub-specialty in Geriatrics, and he’s beloved by his patients. He began practicing at UPMC Passavant in 1986, fresh out of his residency. Noted by his peers for his leadership and communication skills, he was elected President of the hospital’s Medical Staff in 2005-06. Since 2007, he has been the Chief Medical Officer/VP for Medical Affairs at the hospital, where he continuously looks to improve patient care and safety, optimize hospital-physician relations, encourage new physician leaders and promote strategic relationships. He is an exceptional role model for the medical staff, with a commitment to cooperation and a spirit of inquiry. He presently serves on the board of UPMC Passavant.

LouAnn Brindle, MSN, RN, CPCS

Director, Medical Staff Services/Graduate Medical Education, UPMC Passavant

LouAnn is “Passavant Proud,” warm and extremely professional, serving in the role of nurse and medical services professional at UPMC Passavant since 1997. LouAnn is a team player who tirelessly provides assessment of practitioners to support patient safety, quality care and continued improvement for excellence in health care delivery. LouAnn administers Passavant’s Graduate Medical Education program with up to 300 physicians rotating through UPMC Passavant annually. She currently is serving as a board member of the National Association Medical Staff Services (NAMSS), a professional organization advancing the delivery of quality health care. She also serves on the La Roche College Alumni Board and is a consultant for Pittsburgh law firms specializing in credentialing and the physician peer review process. Since 2008, she has been an Adjunct Professor in the Health Management Program at Duquesne University.

Alex Chen, MD

UPMC CancerCare at UPMC Passavant

Board Certified in radiation oncology and surgery training, Dr. Alex Chen has a long-standing reputation for providing high-quality and advanced care of patients. He co-started the prostate seed brachytherapy program at UPMC Passavant. Notably, he worked with thoracic surgeon Rodney Landreneau, MD to initiate seed implants for lung cancer patients and performed the first of this therapy in the world. This technique now has been adopted by many hospitals across the country. “Dr. Chen comes to work every day with a smile, truly never in a bad mood, and his patients adore him for his devotion to their care,” said his colleague, Kiran Mehta, MD.

Susan Hoolahan, MSN, RN, NEA-BC

Chief Nursing Officer and VP of Patient Care at UPMC Passavant

Susan is recognized for her contributions to nursing practice not just at UPMC Passavant, but also throughout the UPMC system, and nation-

wide. Board certified in nursing administration, she’s noted for leading by example and supporting everyone around her. Susan has trained and nurtured many nurses who have gone on to become Chief Nursing Officers at other facilities. In 2008 she was selected as one of 20 nurses across the country to participate in the Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellow Program. She received La Roche’s Distinguished Alumni Circle Award in 2014, and presently is leading UPMC Passavant on the journey to achieve Magnet status from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the highest distinction a healthcare organization can receive for nursing excellence and high-quality patient care.

John Houston, Esq.

John is a founding member of the Houston Harbaugh law firm, where his practice is focused on healthcare, general corporate matters, and estate planning and wealth preservation. His community involvement for healthcare has included longtime Board service for UPMC Passavant and Passavant Hospital Foundation. Current chair of Passavant Hospital Foundation board, Dan Sullivan, MD, says, “John is a leader who serves humbly and well. We can always count on his wise counsel.” John’s other board service shows his commitment to the community and includes Sherwood Oaks of UPMC (past Board Chair), Pittsburgh Child Guidance Foundation (past president) and the Pittsburgh Public Theater.

Kiran Rajasenan, MD

UPMC CancerCare at UPMC Passavant

At UPMC Passavant since 2001, board-certified oncologist Kiran Rajasenan, MD, is committed to serving his patients and the community. He even makes an occasional house call! He has served as a Board member on the Greater Pittsburgh Unit of the American Cancer Society and as co-captain of his office’s Relay for Life team, raising over $30,000 for the American Cancer Society. He serves as the Physician Lead for Passavant Hospital’s Survivorship Celebration and has been an annual bell ringer for the Salvation Army for 20 years. A graduate of Gannon University, Kiran established The Rajasenan/Mankosky Endowed Scholarship there, and an annual scholarship at Lincoln High School in Ellwood City. Dr. Rajasenan was named one of the region’s “Best Doctors” by Pittsburgh Magazine for the last five years, has twice received the “Leo Creip” Award for patient care from UPMC CancerCenters, and a UPMC Passavant “Above and Beyond” Award in 2013.

Cynthia Stauber, MSN, RN, NE-BC

Unit Director, 3 Main, UPMC Passavant

Cindy started her nursing career at Passavant Hospital in 1986 right out of nursing school. In 2002, she was promoted to Primary Nurse Care Co-ordinator, a mentorship role she excelled in for seven years on several different nursing units. She was promoted to Unit Director of the busy Medical/Surgical Unit in 2009. Cindy became board certified in nursing leadership in 2014. During her tenure at UPMC Passavant, she has been a staunch patient advocate. She has participated in and led many important patient-care initiatives, including one to improve pain management during the patient’s hospital stay. This program was so effective that it was adopted hospital-wide and eventually spread across the UPMC system. Cindy has spoken locally and nationally about this program that markedly improves the patient experience.

If you would like to attend or sponsor the dinner, call Anthony Savannah at 412-748-5788 or e-mail him at savannahar@ph.upmc.edu