After being sidelined with a brain bleed, a Manahawkin girl is healthy again thanks to the quick care she received.
Arianna Muti, a creative 9-year-old from Manahawkin, was getting ready to play in her first-ever soccer game. After the game, Arianna had a headache. Arianna’s mom, Genevieve (also known as Gina), noticed her husband, Joe, holding a limp Arianna in his arms. While sitting in the front seat, Arianna was speaking gibberish and then became unresponsive. That’s when the Mutis rushed her to the Emergency Department at Southern Ocean Medical Center.
Moses Olorunnisola, M.D., a pediatrician at Southern Ocean, came in to assess her condition. He ordered a computed tomography (CT) scan, which detected Arianna had a brain bleed.
The Root of the Problem
Arianna was born with an AVM, also known as an arteriovenous malformation, which is an abnormal connection between arteries and veins usually in the brain or spine. Although Arianna never had any symptoms, an AVM can rupture at any time and cause bleeding in the brain or spinal cord. “AVMs are more commonly seen in adults,” Dr. Moses says. “You usually find out that you have one from a rupture or complaints of frequent headaches.” Dr. Moses knew they needed to move fast. “With a brain bleed, there is nowhere for the blood to go. You are bleeding in a closed compartment so eventually you lose consciousness,” says Dr. Moses.
Arianna ended up having a stroke due to the pressure in her brain. Dr. Moses intubated her to help her breathe. Intubating would give Arianna a little more time to get where she needed to be. “She had to be in a facility where a pediatric surgeon could go in and get the bleed out,” says Dr. Moses.
Once the team knew Arianna was to be airlifted to Hackensack University Medical Center, “Everyone just stopped what they were doing to help our family; we are forever grateful,” Gina says. Dr. Moses, once a resident at Hackensack, was able to send Arianna’s CT scan via his cellphone so the doctors there would be ready for the family to arrive. Because of this, the doctors and surgeons at Hackensack were able to get Arianna into an operating room within minutes and into emergency surgery.
Recovery Through Rehab
After the surgery, Arianna became paralyzed on her right side; she couldn’t walk, talk, or move. After being in the hospital for two weeks, she went into an inpatient rehab facility to continue her recovery. Dr. Moses even went up to Hackensack to visit and make sure Arianna was doing well. Now in outpatient rehab, Arianna is working on her right-side fine motor skills. Her recovery time is looking to be about a year, but she is recovering so quickly that only time will tell. Arianna is an incredibly strong little girl. “Dr. Moses took her under his wing and is the epitome of the kind of doctor any parent would want their son or daughter to have – the kind that treats my kid as if she was his own,” says Gina.
Despite an unpredictable and changing health care climate, Southern Ocean Medical Center saw strong financial performance throughout the year. The site led the network with volume growth of 8.2 percent, realized a 9.5 percent profit margin and ended the year with $18 million on the bottom line, which helped contribute to the success of the entire organization.
We opened a new women’s imaging center with several advanced technologies for biopsies and testing capabilities, and enhanced our medical staff expertise with new physicians specializing in neurology, ENT, oncology and primary care. We continued a strong tradition of connecting with the community through events like the Signature Social and Men’s Health Night, and even marked the 25th anniversary of our annual Women’s Health Night.
There is much to be proud of at Southern Ocean Medical Center, and we are committed to being on the forefront of this challenging industry. The following accomplishments exemplify the great things that come from the hard work, dedication and support that our team members and physicians demonstrate each and every day.
Robert H. Adams Jr., FACHE
Riding the Tides of Change
With the creation of Hackensack Meridian Health came many opportunities, but also many changes. Once such change had significant impact at Southern Ocean. After 19 years as president, Joseph Coyle left his role in Manahawkin to pursue a new position within Hackensack Meridian Health. Joe was an esteemed president and leader for many years, and ensured that the hospital was in a strong place as he started a new journey in his career. It was an adjustment for the Southern Ocean family, but they were in good hands with the new president, Bob Adams, who brought his knowledge, experience and personal approach to the medical center. Working in collaboration with Dean Lin, regional president for Ocean County, the teams at both of the Southern-most hospitals have joined forces are in great positions to take on industry challenges, develop creative strategies and move to a combined next level of success.
An Evolution in Cancer Care Services
Our most exciting milestone revolved around the medical center’s cancer expansion and renovation project. Transformations took place on the first, second and third floors of the medical arts pavilion, creating spaces that were carefully designed to meet the clinical and emotional needs of patients. Key features of the areas that opened in September include a 20-station infusion suite, expanded nurse navigator services, specialty physician consultation offices, conference and family supportive care resources and a multidisciplinary oncology suite.
The final component of the project was the renovation of the radiation therapy suite and installation of a TrueBeam™ linear accelerator, which opened in March 2017. Having this new level of medical expertise and advanced technology at the medical center truly introduced the next evolution of incredible cancer services for the members of Southern Ocean County.
Emerging as an HRO
Southern Ocean Medical Center has been identified by the network as an emerging high reliability organization (HRO). Our leaders and team members were highly engaged in formal training – with 90 percent being educated in the key principles of safety, quality, empathy and respect in just four months – and have been translating these principles into action. Daily safety Huddles, HRO Coaches, iPADs at the bedside, and IPASS are a few of the newly implemented initiatives that are having a tremendous impact on communication, patient safety and outcomes. Collective efforts have led to improvements in patient satisfaction scores throughout the hospital, a 145 percent increase in event reporting from 2015 to 2016, and February 2017 marked one year without a CAUTI or CLABSI infection at the medical center. This is a great example of how we are committed to being a HRO and creating a culture that ensures zero patient harm.
Earning Exceptional Endorsements
Receiving third-party endorsement is always a nice reminder of the great care we deliver. Accolades from The Joint Commission included accreditation for Stroke-Level 1 Center, as well as accreditation for our Bariatric Center. In fact, our weight-loss surgery program also received national reaccreditation from the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program. Southern Ocean received Chest Pain Accreditation as a non-PCI center from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care, and designation as a Baby-Friendly Hospital by Baby-Friendly USA. These numerous awards acknowledge the diverse expertise and quality care available at the medical center.
Robert H. Adams Jr., FACHE
Myrna Capabianco, MSN, RN, PCCN, NEA-BC
Vice President of Nursing and Operations & Chief Nurse Executive
Theodore G. Zaleski, M.D., J.D.
Vice President, Clinical Effectiveness/Medical Affairs
Kimberly Clements, MSN, CCRN, CNRN, NEA-BC
Senior Manager of Patient Care Services
Michele Morrison, RN, BSHA, MPH
Senior Manager of Operations
Medical Staff Leadership
Lynn Bezpalko, D.O.
Rosenio Medenilla Jr., M.D.
Shikhar Soni, M.D.
James Orlando, M.D.
Member at Large