Joseph Cannatelli, a 73-year-old Barnegat resident, loves dancing, exercising and spending time with his wife, Rosemary, and family. When his neighbor scheduled an annual vascular checkup, Joseph decided to follow suit.
In early 2017, Joseph made an appointment at a hospital in southern New Jersey. He had an ultrasound that revealed a 90 percent blockage in the carotid arteries, which are major blood vessels leading to the brain. The blockage was caused by plaque buildup, which greatly increases the risk for a heart attack, heart disease or a major stroke.
His doctors initially suggested an endarterectomy, an incision in the groin to help blood flow more freely. After attempting to access the artery, however, they informed him that the procedure was unsuccessful and that he would need traditional surgery requiring an incision in his neck. Due to scarring in his neck from previous radiation treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, this procedure would be very risky. “I was not comfortable with this plan,” says Joseph. “I felt that moving forward with this procedure was too risky.”
Alternate Surgical Option
Joseph decided to get a second opinion. At the suggestion of his neighbor, he made an appointment in May 2017 with M. Usman Nasir Khan, M.D., section chief of Vascular Surgery at Jersey Shore University Medical Center. During the consultation, Dr. Khan discussed with Joseph an alternate new treatment called TCAR.
New Procedure to Prevent Strokes
Transcarotid artery revascularization (TCAR) is the safest way to treat carotid artery disease. The surgeon makes a small incision in the neck and places a flexible cover into the artery.
“This procedure reverses blood flow, pulling it away from the brain, preventing any loose plaque particles from entering the brain and causing a stroke,” says Dr. Khan, one of two surgeons in the state to perform this surgery. “The blood is filtered and returned, plaque-free, through a second covering through the femoral vein.”
“I felt comfortable with Dr. Khan’s treatment plan,” says Joseph. “He provided me with the best treatment concept and executed it flawlessly. I had full confidence in his capability.”
An Important Lesson
Joseph now has a new outlook on life. “Blocked arteries don’t show any symptoms, so it’s important to get them checked annually,” he says. “I remind everyone to get screened because the 90 percent blockage in my arteries would not have been detected without the angioscreen.” Joseph is back to dancing and walking the boardwalk with his wife and family, living the life he was meant to live.
Message from the President
If I had to choose one word to sum up 2017 at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, it would be “growth.” We’ve grown physically with the HOPE Tower project, experienced phenomenal volume increases, welcomed many new physicians, and earned numerous accolades for the exceptional work that is done at our medical center. Key to our success is the hard work and dedication of our team members and incredible physician partnerships.
Kenneth N. Sable, M.D., MBA, FACEP
Jersey Shore University Medical Center and K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital
The Home Stretch for HOPE Tower
2017 was an exciting year to see the full size and scope of the HOPE Tower project come to fruition. The $265 million investment on the east side of Jersey Shore University Medical Center’s campus now stands out as one of the tallest buildings in the area. Interior construction, equipment installation, millwork and finishing details took place throughout the year.
Validating Our Quality Care
Receiving third party recognition and endorsements is always an incredible way to validate the exceptional care provided at our medical center. Jersey Shore University Medical Center was recognized as a best hospital for 2017-2018 by U.S. News & World Report, ranking #4 in New Jersey and #11 in the New York metro area. In addition, we were recognized as high performing in eight common adult procedures and conditions including heart bypass surgery, heart failure, hip and knee replacement, lung and colon cancer surgery.
And then there are our incredible nurses. Not only did we receive Magnet designation for the fifth consecutive time, but Nurse.org, the web’s leading career site for nurses, recognized Jersey Shore University Medical Center as one of the top hospitals for nurses to work for in New Jersey. From job satisfaction to providing the highest standards in patient safety and quality care, the entire team at Jersey Shore University Medical Center has proven time and again that they stand out for their exceptional efforts.
Extraordinary Performance and Growth
2017 was an exciting year of growth at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, with phenomenal results in outpatient, inpatient and tertiary services. With the addition of several new obstetricians, labor and delivery births skyrocketed, up 14.8% from the prior year. This baby boom of 2,478 births in 2017 has supported plans for a maternity expansion project that is now underway. It also contributed to NICU growth surpassing expectations with a 19% volume increase.
Robotic volume made an impressive jump, increasing 82% over 2016 and exceeding target with 510 procedures. This contributed to a strong year-end finish for surgical services, up 2% from the prior year. A new 3T MRI contributed to significant volume that was 35% better than the prior year, and our Neuro ICU continued to prove its value as a dedicated unit that had a 25% increase in admissions. The Crisis Center had the busiest year ever, seeing 3,547 patients and demonstrating a 6.5 % increase in the demand for this vital behavioral health service.
Perhaps one of our most exciting areas of growth was in cardiovascular services, which increased by 12%. Our cardiac experts continued to lead the way, performing complex procedures such as the hospital’s first robotic-assisted CABG, being the only hospital in central/southern New Jersey to perform TCAR, performing our first CentriMag-supported cardiac surgical case, and our first “valve in valve” mitral transcatheter procedure.
Physicians Are Making Us Their Hospital of Choice
Having a vibrant and strong medical staff is critical to the success of a medical center, and we are extremely fortunate to have tremendous talent at Jersey Shore University Medical Center. It’s a symbiotic relationship, where the hospital must be ahead of the curve and offer advanced technology, skilled nursing and support teams, and quality care to attract physicians who bring specialized training and expertise to our community. Clearly, there’s something great going on at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, as our medical staff has nearly doubled in the past six years and now boasts 1,500 professionals!
Advances in Academics
Medical education, on the undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate levels, is one of the highest priorities at Jersey Shore University Medical Center. This commitment led to significant expansion of the residency and fellowship training programs. In 2017, the medical center added a Cardiology Fellowship Program, earning us the elite status of being only the seventh program (out of more than 40 teaching hospitals) in the state of New Jersey that has been approved to provide advanced training in cardiovascular diseases. Jersey Shore University Medical Center is also the only cardiology fellowship sponsored by a hospital within the Hackensack Meridian Health network.
Physicians from Jersey Shore University Medical Center are honored to be part of the development of the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University, and several doctors were appointed as chairs for their areas of expertise. Robert Sweeney, D.O., Mark Martens, M.D., Ramon Solhkhah, M.D., and Steven Kairys, M.D. will have an incredible and exciting role in framing the curriculum of the state’s newest medical school and establishing a learning environment unlike any other before for their respective areas of emergency medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, behavioral health and pediatrics. Additionally, our very own David Kountz, M.D., MBA, FACP was appointed Associate Dean for Diversity and Equity at the School of Medicine. It’s truly an exciting time to be part of this educational journey.
Changing Lives through Research
Along with academics goes research, and we were proud to see great progress with our Biorepository. Opened in 2016 with a total of 51 samples, we surpassed targets in 2017 and collected 287 samples. A biorepository can be described as a “library” where specimens are stored. It is a very high-tech storage unit, which includes a refrigerator, -20º C freezer, -80º C freezer and a liquid nitrogen freezer, where biospecimens (such as tumors, tissue and blood) are stored for research purposes.
Our research efforts were also extremely successful in terms of enrolling cancer patients into clinical trials. While the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer benchmark has set the enrollment rate at 8%, Jersey Shore University Medical Center hit 24%! This means that one in four of our patients diagnosed with cancer have enrolled in a clinical trial, which speaks to the tremendous awareness our physicians, nurses and researchers bring to this cause.
Innovation to Enhance the Guest Experience
Finding ways to improve the guest experience while focusing on efficiency and quality of care has been at the forefront of several initiatives in 2017. Building upon the success of the Tele Stroke program, Jersey Shore University Medical Center piloted a Tele Behavioral Health initiative in the Emergency Department.
Another interesting pilot project is the “Good to Go” initiative for cardiac surgery patients. As part of the Vocera platform, each patient’s discharge instructions are scripted and recorded to review online or by phone when they are home. This enables the patient to clarify any questions or confusion and enhance the discharge process. Plans are to increase this process for other services, and monitor success based on patient satisfaction feedback.
Kenneth N. Sable, M.D., MBA, FACEP
Jersey Shore University Medical Center
K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital
Kim Carpenter, M.D., FAAFP
Chief Medical Officer
Vice President of Operations
David S. Kountz, M.D.
Vice President, Academic Affairs
Co-Chief Academic Officer for Hackensack Meridian Health
Donna Ciufo, DNP, R.N., FNP-BC, NE-BC, CCRN
Vice President Nursing, Chief Nurse Executive
W. Timothy Foley
Vice President, Physician and Business Development
Medical Staff Leadership
Brian S. Erler, M.D.
Medical & Dental Staff President
Glenn S Parker, M.D.
Eric Costanzo, D.O.
Andrew Blechman, M.D.