Lower Keys Medical Center has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Advanced Primary Stroke Center Certification.
Lower Keys Medical Center underwent a rigorous, unannounced onsite review on March 25, 2022. During the visit, a team of Joint Commission reviewers evaluated compliance with related certification standards including program management, supporting self-management, and delivering and facilitating clinical care. Joint Commission standards are developed in consultation with health care experts and providers, measurement experts and patients. The reviewers also conducted onsite observations and interviews.
“Advanced Primary Stroke Certification recognizes health care organizations committed to fostering continuous quality improvement in patient safety and quality of care,” said Mark Pelletier, RN, MS, chief operating officer, Accreditation and Certification Operations, and chief nursing executive, The Joint Commission. “We commend Lower Keys Medical Center for using certification to reduce variation in its clinical processes and to strengthen its program structure and management framework for stroke patients.”
“We congratulate Lower Keys Medical Center for this outstanding achievement,” said Nancy Brown, chief executive officer, the American Stroke Association. “This certification reflects its commitment to providing the highest quality of care for stroke patients.”
Lower Keys Medical Center CEO, David Clay, said, “Accreditation as a Primary Stroke Center acknowledges the commitment our team has made to employing best practices and providing the best care possible for our patients. I thank all of our employees for their dedication to continuous quality improvement.”
For more information, please visit The Joint Commission website.
Lower Keys Medical Center plays an integral role in the Lower Keys and Key West thanks to the knowledgeable and compassionate people who work inside. During Hospital Week, May 8 – 14, 2022, we recognize and celebrate our caregivers for the difference they make each day. We are health care and our team members are energized by their work to fight illness and promote wellness for patients and our community.
Around the clock every day of the year, the hospital offers a safe environment for care thanks to our physical plant and environmental services staff who work to keep the building clean and comfortable.
To help you live healthier, our primary care physicians, imaging and lab workers deliver screening and diagnostics to keep your health on track.
When you are ill, our nurses, physicians and other providers work to help you get better with the treatment you need, whether surgery, physical therapy or inpatient care.
As your family is growing, our labor and delivery team helps you welcome new members with childbirth services.
In a medical emergency, our emergency room physicians, nurses and other team members address your injuries or intervene with timely treatment of heart attack and stroke.
In times of pandemic, natural disaster or major accidents, we coordinate with first responders, the health department and other area providers to protect our community and support recovery.
Helping people get well and live healthier is our purpose at Lower Keys Medical Center. I am proud to recognize all of our team members who are here for you and look forward to serving you.
Over the course of a year, Lower Keys Medical Center makes a meaningful impact in the community, as the skilled and compassionate hands of physicians, nurses and other team members deliver safe, quality care around the clock every day. Beyond clinical care, the hospital is a major employer and regularly invests resources to expand and enhance the services available locally. The overall community benefit each year is significant and totaled more than $87 million in 2021.
Last year, the hospital and Keys Medical Group providers delivered care during more than 128,000 patient visits as the pandemic heightened the need for medical attention. The hospital has supported more than 400 COVID inpatients since March 2020 while sustaining all of its other medical services. To help protect the community from the COVID-19 virus, more than 350 outpatients were treated with monoclonal antibodies, helping them avoid serious symptoms and hospitalization.
“While our team at Lower Keys Medical Center cared for patients with COVID-19, we continued to provide emergency and routine care and treatment for patients with a variety of conditions,” said David Clay, chief executive officer for Lower Keys Medical Center. “I am so honored to work with this resilient and committed family of clinicians and caregivers who make a difference for so many patients each day.”
Employees and medical staff brought their skills and compassion to support more than 23,000 emergency department visits, more than 3,000 inpatients and perform more than 3,000 surgeries. Over 99,000 patients received care across our imaging centers, laboratory, physical, occupational and speech therapy clinics and the Keys Medical Group physician clinics. We also delivered joy to local families as more than 400 babies were born.
Lower Keys Medical Center continues to grow and evolve as resources are directed toward increased medical services, facility improvements and technologies that are important to patients. These include the addition of four new Keys Medical Group providers in orthopedics, obstetrics and psychiatry, implementation of a Cardiac Catheterization call team, upgraded robotic surgery equipment, purchase of a Cardiac MRI, replacement of flooring throughout the main campus, and the start of patient room renovations.
As Lower Keys Medical Center works to continuously meet patients’ needs, it also gives back to the Lower Keys region. The hospital provided over $21 million in charity and uncompensated care for the community’s most vulnerable. And the $3 million paid in property, sales and GRT taxes helps support civic resources and services.
Lower Keys Medical Center also works with local charitable and community organizations such as Boys and Girls Club of the Keys, Habitat for Humanity of Key West and Lower Keys, and the Key West Police Love Fund, who received donations in honor of the medical staff on Doctors’ Day last year.
The hospital’s payroll of more than $47.9 million ripples across the local economy as employees buy goods and services. The hospital also made capital improvements totaling more than $2.4 million.
“We are part of this community and are committed to doing all we can to provide quality healthcare services to help our residents live healthier lives,” Clay added.
Working with The College of the Florida Keys, Lower Keys Medical Center is helping to develop the next generation of clinicians. A new scholarship fund will also help local students discover their passion for healthcare.
To enhance the health of the community, Lower Keys Medical Center last year launched a free e-newsletter with a monthly dose of health and wellness inspiration. Individuals can sign up at LKMC.com/enewsletter-sign-up.
About: Lower Keys Medical Center accreditations include The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for Acute Care Hospitals, The Joint Commission as a Primary Stroke Center and for Laboratory Services, The American College of Cardiology as a Chest Pain Center, The American College of Radiology for Mammography and the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission for Echocardiography Services. The hospital has also been recognized with the American Heart Association’s “Get With The Guidelines”: Stroke Silver Plus Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll.
Lower Keys Medical Center has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Acute Care Hospital Accreditation by demonstrating continuous compliance with its performance standards. The Gold Seal is a symbol of quality that reflects a health care organization’s commitment to providing safe and quality patient care.
Lower Keys Medical Center underwent a rigorous, unannounced onsite review February 16 – 18, 2022. During the visit, a team of Joint Commission reviewers evaluated compliance with Acute Care Hospital Accreditation standards spanning several areas including emergency management, environment of care, infection prevention and control, leadership, medication management, and rights and responsibilities of the individual.
The Joint Commission’s standards are developed in consultation with health care experts and providers, measurement experts and patients. They are informed by scientific literature and expert consensus to help health care organizations measure, assess and improve performance. The surveyors also conducted onsite observations and interviews.
“As a private accreditor, The Joint Commission surveys health care organizations to protect the public by identifying deficiencies in care and working with those organizations to correct them as quickly and sustainably as possible,” says Mark Pelletier, RN, MS, chief operating officer, Accreditation and Certification Operations, and chief nursing executive, The Joint Commission. “We commend Lower Keys Medical Center for its continuous quality improvement efforts in patient safety and quality of care.”
"I'm so proud of our team at Lower Keys Medical Center. Joint Commission Accreditation surveys occur every three years, unannounced, but our employees believe in being ‘survey-ready’ every day. We know that the practices that are measured by The Joint Commission are, in fact, the best practices for us to follow daily for patient safety and optimal outcomes. We are pleased to be able to maintain this Gold Seal of Approval® and to continue to provide quality, compassionate care to our community," said David Clay, CEO of Lower Keys Medical Center.
Lower Keys Medical Center is also accredited by The Joint Commission for Laboratory Services and as a Primary Stroke Center. Other accreditations include the American College of Cardiology as a Chest Pain Center, the American College of Radiology for Mammography, and the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission for Echocardiography Services. The hospital has also been recognized with the American Heart Association’s “Get With The Guidelines”: Stoke Silver Plus Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll.
In recognition of National Doctors’ Day, Lower Keys Medical Center recognized the dedication of the medical staff. “On Doctors’ Day, and every day, I am thankful to work with our skilled and compassionate providers. Thanks to their professionalism, resilience and empathy for their patients, we have been able to continue to help our community with emergency, chronic and routine medical needs throughout the ebbs and flows of COVID-19,” said David Clay, CEO.
Since 2017, the hospital has been honoring the medical staff on Doctors’ Day by making donations to community organizations, chosen by the providers, in lieu of gifts. This year’s recipients were Samuel’s House, Wesley House Family Services and Florida Keys Children’s Shelter.
Photo (l to r): Renie Henslee, LKMC Chief Financial Officer; Maria Protopsaltis, Deputy Director, Samuel’s House; Aydin Atilla, MD, LKMC; Grace Epperly, Development Coordinator, Wesley House Family Services; Jimmy Bass, LKMC Assistant Chief Executive Officer; and Ben Kemmer, CEO, Florida Keys Children’s Shelter.
On February 9, 2022, Lower Keys Medical Center recognized its 2021 Annual Award recipients.
Holly Boyer, Patient Concierge, was named the 2021 Employee of the Year. David Clay, CEO, read comments from Holly’s colleagues, which recognized her for her composure, critical thinking skills, and daily care and compassion as she welcomes patients, guests and staff entering the facility. “Holly arrives at work each day with a smile! She treats everyone with kindness and respect. If an issue or difficult situation arises, we know it will be handled appropriately. She performs the essential duties of welcoming and screening all that enter our facility, directing and guiding patients and visitors, while cross-training in other roles as well. She never complains and is the epitome of a team player. She’s invaluable!”
Sean Dillon, RN, Surgical Services, received the 2021 Nursing Excellence Award. He was recognized for his dedication to his profession, connection with patients, honesty, authenticity and trustworthiness. Clay noted comments from co-workers, “Sean goes above and beyond in modeling our Compassionate Care Culture. He is a highly competent and skilled nurse. He believes, as a nurse, that we are here to provide technical, emotional, supportive and collaborative care to all we encounter. His professionalism is well-balanced with a great sense of humor and an incredible amount of empathy for those around him. When thanked for his efforts, Sean simply replies, ‘That’s what we’re here for… to take care of our patients.’”
Zuki Figueroa, Certified Medical Assistant, Keys Medical Group Obstetrics and Gynecology, received the 2021 Keys Medical Group Excellence Award, in recognition of her experience, insight and compassion. Colleagues commended her work ethic, mentorship, and ability to implement new processes in a positive manner. “Working in OB, you have to be a compassionate person. Zuki is warm and welcoming to patients and addresses them as a familiar friend when they come in. She is compassionate when patients are sad or afraid and shows the same compassion with her co-workers. You can really count on her!”
Yodis Fuentes Flores, Nursing Assistant, Emergency Services, was presented with the 2021 Clinical (Non-nursing) Excellence Award, for which he received eight separate nominations. Clay read, “Yodis is always willing to go the extra mile for patients. He always helps patients to feel comfortable with the process of being in the ER. He calmly talks to people that are in distress until they feel better. Yodis is a hard worker who takes pride in what he does. Yodis is very positive and extremely helpful. There is never a moment where he is rude to another human. He shows his compassion through his kind words and shows he cares with a smile.”
Tara Lowson, Registrar, Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy Rehabilitation Department, was recognized with the 2021 Non-Clinical Excellence Award. Co-workers noted, “Tara reassures our patients that their therapist(s) will take care of them and that they will receive excellent care. She provides compassionate care and enhances the patient experience by taking extra time to sit with patients, face-to-face, to explain their insurance, make calls to insurance companies, and really talk through their benefits. Patients have, time and time again, expressed how grateful they were to have Tara walk them through the confusing world of insurance. She is an active listener and can tell when someone needs a little extra help, attention, or needs space. She serves as a mentor to others in the department.”
Eddie Bushey, Human Resources Business Partner, received the 2021 Frank Houtman Award, named in honor of a long-serving volunteer at the hospital who wanted to give back to patients and employees as a tribute to his late wife. Frank once said he admired people with a sense of service, loyalty and commitment. “I look for people who shine,” Frank noted. Eddie was commended for his willingness to help out wherever he can and for organizing events and activities to keep the staff in good spirits. “He visits the floors to give out candy or pens, telling his ‘Eddie jokes’ and making everyone laugh. He treats everyone the same, is always outgoing, and knows staff by name,” Clay noted.
Angelina Ashler, RN, Director of the Intensive Care Unit and Patient Experience Champion, was honored as the 2021 Clinical Manager of the Year, for her compassion, leadership, and ability to adapt quickly in times of change. Clay shared, “Angelina is a consummate professional in all of her leadership duties. She goes above and beyond to support our team, our customers and our mission. She quickly responded to reconfigure services to meet pandemic concerns, ensuring quality patient care and safety of staff amid constant change and imperfect information. She and her team demonstrated extraordinary compassion for patients and families. She was also very aware of the impact on her team, providing compassion and ongoing frontline support.”
Lisa Noss, Director of Human Resources, was named the 2021 Non-Clinical Manager of the Year for her unwavering drive to improve the hospital environment, no matter what the challenge may be. Clay noted, “Lisa has the ability to multitask at a high level, which was paramount this year. She goes about this with a positive light and always looks for opportunities to improve the organization. She is always fair, calm, and can explain the ‘why’ behind policies while making individuals feel at ease. Lisa was instrumental in timely implementation of new COVID policies. No matter how much is on her plate, Lisa will always find time for you and, when she does, she is committed to your concern and does it with a smile.”
Also recognized were employees with 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years of service with Lower Keys Medical Center.
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