As noted in the Apr. 29 memo from Eric Dobkin, M.D. to medical staff, all outpatients with scheduled urgent procedures are required to have a COVID-19 test performed 48-72 hours prior to the procedure. Inpatients who have not been tested and require a procedure should also be tested and have the result back within 72 hours of the procedure. Any inpatient who has had a COVID-19 test during their current hospitalization will not need to be re-tested even if the test was performed more than 72-hours previously UNLESS there is a new onset of COVID-19 symptoms.
Celebrating Our Discharges
As Suburban’s COVID response continues, we want to make sure we are celebrating the positive news! A recorded file with applause is now being played on COVID units when patients we treated are discharged to either home or another facility. This is one small, but important way we can recognize our successes while also celebrating our patients.
New Safety Officer Roles
The role of Safety Officer has been created at Suburban to assist staff with the correct donning and doffing procedures for PPE in COVID units. These colleagues provide real time, in the moment assistance to staff with PPE and use of ante rooms. The Safety Officers will also provide assistance by checking that negative pressure is maintained and that problems with PAPRs are resolved. These officers are here to help and support our efforts to minimize everyone’s risk.
Suburban continues receiving different procedural and surgical masks, which means providers may notice a variety of masks in use. Security in the North Building main lobby will replace worn or damaged PPE including face shields, industrial masks and cloth sewn masks. If you don’t have hand sanitizer or a face shield, Security will be able to provide you with one. Please write your name on your face shield to keep for cleaning and reuse. Staff must wear the recommended PPE correctly—do NOT wear extra masks, i.e., an N95 plus a surgical / cloth mask. More PPE does not offer more protection and can introduce the risk of contamination.
If you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, you can call the JHM COVID-19 Employee Call Center (ECCC), seven days a week, from 7. a.m. to 11 p.m. at 443-287-8500 or 833-546-7546.The ECCC can schedule testing at Suburban’s drive-through site.
No matter the level of anxiety or stress you may be feeling, there is someone you can talk to. View a list of support services available across Johns Hopkins Medicine, including confidential, peer-to-peer support through the Resilience in Stressful Event (RISE) program, and 24/7 resources and support through mySupport by phone (1-888-482-2733 / TTY 711) or online at www.resourcesforliving.com (Username: JHHS; Password: JHHS). Here is some additional information and resources you may find to be helpful:
Planning Underway to Begin Increasing Access to Care and Services
As JHM clinicians and support staff continue to courageously work on the front lines of our COVID-19 response, we have begun planning for the time when we can begin to increase access to our broader range of care and services. As with other health systems and hospitals across the nation, a tremendous amount of staff time, expertise and resources have been dedicated to combating this unprecedented pandemic. Building back up to previous levels for surgeries and non-urgent clinical activities will take careful planning and thoughtful execution. Read this memo from Dr. Rothman, Kevin Sowers, and Dr. DeWeese to learn more.
Suburban Earns “A” Safety Grade from Leapfrog for Third Consecutive Time
Suburban Hospital has earned an “A” in the Spring round of the Leapfrog Hospital Safety grades, marking the third consecutive time in which the Leapfrog Group has awarded Suburban an “A” ranking.
The Leapfrog Group is a nonprofit organization working to drive improvements in health care quality and safety for consumers. Twice a year, the Leapfrog Group assigns letter grades to more than 2,600 general acute care hospitals in the U.S. based on performance in preventing medical errors, infections and other patient harm. These grades are used by national and regional health plans and other organizations to educate their users on the importance of choosing a safer hospital.
Healthcare Heroes Day Flyover
A special thanks to the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels; and the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds, for a stunning flyover this past Saturday amidst blue skies! Governor Larry Hogan declared May 2 as #HealthCareHeroes Day to recognize the dedication and bravery of frontline medical workers responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you to all of Suburban’s Healthcare Heroes! Visit the Suburban Facebook page to see video of the flyover.
Suburban Hospital Health Care Heroes
Congratulations to LeighAnn Sidone, MSN, RN, CENP, Suburban Hospital’s Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer, and Cindy Notobartolo MS, BSN, CHEP, HEM, Administrative Director of ED/Trauma, Safety, Security and Employee Health Services on being recognized as Health Care Heroes.
During a virtual meeting of the Montgomery County Council on Thursday, Apr. 30, Councilmember Andrew Friedson recognized LeighAnn as a Montgomery County Council Health Care Hero. Councilmember Friedson said "Thank you LeighAnn and to all the “LeighAnns” all over Montgomery County, the country, and the world who are setting their personal lives aside to help care for our families and friends. A reminder that nurses are the heroes of heroes – and were long before this pandemic.” LeighAnn was presented with this honor for her role in overseeing the near-instant creation of five nursing units dedicated to COVID patients. In the middle this effort, she also finished her doctorate requirements!
On Saturday, May 2, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan called out Cindy Notobartolo as a Health Care Hero for her role as Suburban’s incident commander on his Twitter page: “Nurse Cindy Notobartolo is the Incident Commander at @SuburbanHosp in Bethesda and leads Emergency Management, Security and Occupational Health. Cindy is described as 'calm, focused, thoughtful, collaborative and prepared.' Thank you, Cindy. #healthcareheroesday”
Members of community also continue to donate much-needed supplies—including PPE—that will be used for staff, patients and any permitted visitors.
**Please note that we are still in need of medical grade disinfectant wipes for our clinical areas. If your practice or ASC has containers you can spare, please consider donating them to Suburban. We are accepting donations at the McKinley Street side of the hospital on Tuesday and Fridays from 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.**
Additionally, food donation offers should be directed to the Office of Patient & Family Experience at 301-896-6034. Please contact Kris Hakanson at Khakans1@jhmi.edu with questions.
Resiliency Center Open Daily
Suburban’s Resiliency Center has welcomed an average of 450 staff a week since opening last month and encourages all staff to stop by to relax, talk, unwind, recharge and enjoy a refreshment.
Sessions offered throughout the day include:
Talk Circles (stress management)
Open Art Studio
Music Relaxation Therapy
Spirituality Mindfulness Meditation Sessions (Monday – Friday at noon, 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.)
Brief Individual Sessions
The Resiliency Center is located on the 4th floor of the South Building and is open 7 days a week from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. After hours, there is a relaxation lounge open outside of the suite in Interview room #3.
Pictured: Resiliency Center Staff (left to right)—Susan Webb, Andrea Beagles, Sandy Fineman, Debi Hersh, Karen Phinney and Lori Weir.
May is National Asian Pacific Islander American Heritage Month
May is National Asian Pacific Islander American Heritage Month, which focuses on the long and rich history of contributions from Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in industries such as science, medicine and the arts. Nearly 13% of the JHM workforce identifies as Asian American or Pacific Islander, with representation in our labs, among our student learners, at the patient bedside, in administrative roles and everywhere in between. Download this memo from Sherita Hill Golden, M.D., M.H.S., Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at JHM, to learn more.
Janice’s Espresso Now Open
If you haven’t stopped by Janice’s Espresso’s new home in the Café on the 2nd floor of the hospital, located just off the main lobby of the North Building, please do! They have a beautiful new space with an expanded menu and a grab and go. They are now selling sandwiches, salads and fresh fruits as well as homemade muffins and banana bread baked by Ashley Pak, who trained at a French pastry school!
The Café is now open Monday—Thursday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Pictured: Andrew Pak and Christy Gaffney
A Message from Maria Gomez, Suburban Hospital Trustee
Maria Gomez, a member of Suburban’s Board of Trustees, shared this note for all staff:
“I want to send my deepest gratitude to each member of the Suburban team for your courage and commitment during these very uncertain times. Thank you for staying healthy and for caring for and supporting one another.
It goes without saying that each one of you is wired for occasions like this. You have my deepest admiration. Please may you and your own families stay safe and keep well. Many blessings.”
Notice on Upcoming CME Activities
In response to COVID-19, JHM has adjusted its approach to CME. All enduring (on demand) activities remain open and available to you through the CME website. For live activities scheduled between now and early May, please check our CME website for updated information on an activity. Click here to subscribe to the CME email list.
Johns Hopkins Medicine Continuing Medical Education Series
May 6: Oncology Translational Research Conference “Earlier Detection of Cancer: From Bench to Patients”—to be streamed online via Zoom (Meeting ID: 917 0247 7701; Password: 032339). Text CME Code 22758 to 443-541-5052 up to eight hours after the event.