Odds are that Regis Philbin has never been treated at 243-bed Clark Memorial Hospital in Jeffersonville, Ind.
But the popular host of ABC's "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" would have felt right at home in a local version of his game show, which has been transformed into a staff training program at the small-town hospital.
Chadwick Brough, who is Clark's corporate compliance officer, created the unusual healthcare version of the show to prep staff for the upcoming Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations survey, set for Sept. 25-28. Clark Memorial CEO Tim Jarm played the Regis role, asking 20 hospital employees, whose names were drawn from the more than 200 entered, a series of 15 progressively more difficult questions. During four tense days staff competed in answering questions for the top prize of a $1,000 gift certificate to a local shopping mall.
Janet Davidson, a 10-year clinical resource nurse for the critical-care area, snagged the prize by correctly answering what JCAHO's performance measurement system, Oryx, means in the dictionary. "They tried to throw me off on that one," Davidson says with a laugh. Somehow she knew that an oryx is a kind of gazelle.
Davidson plans to buy a new computer with her loot. In all, the hospital gave away $3,500 in prize money.
"We accomplished what we wanted to," Bough says.
Well, not quite--the hospital hasn't passed muster with the JCAHO yet.
A real whopper. Press releases such as the one linking ex-baseball star Steve Garvey with a scandal involving the "Fat Trapper" will always attract media interest.
So when Garvey's name appeared on a Federal Trade Commission list of those involved in a $10 million deceptive advertising settlement reached earlier this year with weight-loss product manufacturer Enforma Natural Products, Outliers' collective cellulite jiggled to attention. The expanded complaint charges that Garvey and his management company, among others, helped develop deceptive claims to sell Enforma weight-loss products in infomercials that have aired more than 30,000 times since 1998. The ads extolled the unsubstantiated and fantastic-sounding virtues of products including the "Fat Trapper" and "Exercise In A Bottle." The former Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres star first baseman is accused of false advertising.
In the ads, Garvey claimed the Enforma products "will help you lose weight, burn more calories and even lower cholesterol by simply taking a pill. You can enjoy foods like fried chicken, pizza, cheeseburgers, even butter and sour cream, and stop worrying about the weight."
Yeah, right, and Outliers has a bridge in Brooklyn we'd like to sell you.
Novant boost. When things are tough, a little good news can go a long way.
Novant Health, a financially struggling Winston-Salem, N.C.-based not-for-profit system, got a welcome pat on the back last week when it landed in the top 10--and at No. 9, the highest-rated healthcare company--of Working Mother magazine's 2000 Top 100 list of the best companies for working mothers. (Eleven other healthcare systems, networks or hospitals were on the list.)
The best-of list, featured in the magazine's October issue, was based on five criteria: child care, leave for new parents, flexible work arrangements, work/life benefits such as elder care and adoption assistance, and opportunities for women to advance.
Among the Novant programs cited by Working Mother are a policy that allows employees to telecommute, a nine-month work schedule that gives selected nurses the summers off and conveniently located child-care facilities in both Winston-Salem and Charlotte, N.C. About 85% of the seven-hospital system's employees are women, mostly nurses.
Scooter scoop. OK, so you've seen those cool new lightweight foot-propelled scooters just about everywhere, and you're tempted to get one for yourself.
You might want to think twice. Last week the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that scooter-related injuries requiring ER treatment are up 700% since May. So far in 2000, ERs have seen more than 9,400 such injuries.
The commission recommends for scooter riders the same safety gear it suggests for bicycle riders or in-line skaters: helmets, knee and elbow pads, and wrist guards. Be careful out there.
Healthy outreach. Fifth-graders at Guggenheim School in one of Chicago's poorest neighborhoods are getting a good dose of health education from an organization based in one of the city's wealthier suburbs.
Karen Roulhac, director of outreach for the Robert Crown Center for Health Education in west suburban Hinsdale, Ill., coordinates educational programs for the kids at Guggenheim, a public school in the South Side's tough Englewood neighborhood.
Fifth-graders meet for an hour a week for the entire school year, then receive additional instruction in the sixth, seventh and eighth grades. Roulhac says the hope is that the program's four-year duration will drive the needed lessons home.
The fifth-grade course covers the spectrum of health education, including human development, pregnancy, prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, general hygiene and drug prevention.
The program is funded with a three-year $25,000 grant from GATX Corp. The Crown Center supports the program with curriculum materials.
"If you are going to prevent pregnancy or prevent STDs, you have to get them the education when they are going to need it, when they are starting to do these things," Roulhac says.