Message From The STC ACHE President

Joyce G. Brown, FACHE

As we head into the throes of summer in South Texas, your STC-ACHE Board is busy planning the summer and fall sessions for you.  The STC-ACHE summer teleconferencing session promises to be one-of-a-kind, as we work to collaborate with our Coastal Bend and Valley Local Area Program Councils and colleagues in Mexico.  This exciting opportunity will expand our meetings to our more distant colleagues comes as a result of our Chapter Innovation Grant to improve communication through technology. 

It is increasingly important for the STC-ACHE to offer Category I and Category II opportunities to all of our service areas as ACHE moves more and more to the Chapter Model.  The topics we are finalizing for the July summer program could not be more timely or appropriate: "Pandemic Influenza" and "Preparing Your Healthcare Organization, and Cultural and Language Challenges of Diverse Populations". 

In addition, the STC-ACHE  annual Advancement to Fellow seminar given by Paula Zalucki, FACHE and Dr. Michael Nowicki, EdD, FACHE was conducted in early June to prepare members for the upcoming Board of Governors Exam. 

The STC Board is busy planning meaningful and value-added events and learning opportunities for you to maximize the value of your ACHE membership.  We are always open to hearing your feedback and thoughts about future events and topics. 

Have a great summer!

Messsage From The Regent

J. Mark McLoone, FACHE

Regents Advisory Council
M. Scott Alarcon, FACHE
LTC Lee W. Bewley, PhD, FACHE
Joyce G. Brown, FACHE
Debbie D. Cox, FACHE
Charles E. Durant Jr., FACHE
Ashley S. Hixon, FACHE
Trudy L. Land, FACHE
Gary J. Meyn, FACHE
Michael Nowicki, EdD, FACHE
David R. Pearson, FACHE
William D. Rasco, FACHE
Jeannette R. Skinner, FACHE
Corinne S. Smith, JD
Mary Stefl, PhD
Karen A. Stiefel, PhD, FACHE

I hope this message finds all of you well and happy. As we enter the new ACHE year, I would like to ask for your assistance and that of the chapters, in two areas.

First, those of us who attended the Congress leadership sessions during the weekend of March 21st, learned about the decrease in attendance at Congress in comparison to last year. This is at a time when the membership of ACHE is at an all-time high. Clearly, the decrease in attendance was the result of the impact of the overall economy and the continued approach to expense management that many organizations have taken in reaction to the current economic conditions.

As Albert Einstein said though, "In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity". One of our opportunities is that the ACHE will hold a cluster meeting in San Antonio late this year.

We have also been advantaged, due to the large number of members in our two chapters, with an increase in the number of "Regent Tuition Waivers" that I may pass along to individuals who are not in a position to support their continuing education due to funding limitations.
This is a great way for up to four of our local affiliates to gain Category I credits to maintain their credential and status with ACHE. I need your help identifying the folks who may need that support though. Last year, I received only three inquiries for use of the fee waivers. Two of those requests were from folks who are, technically, not in our District. The cluster program in San Antonio will be held in November which gives everyone ample time to plan to attend, and submit a request for the fee waiver. Let me stress that we would like to hold these for affiliates who have limited or no ability to obtain other support for their continuing education. Attendance at the San Antonio cluster may be a challenge for some of our folks who live in Waco, the Valley or other distant areas, but this is still a great way to keep expenses low in gaining Category I credits.
Secondly, I would also like to remind the ACHE affiliates of the Regent's Awards which are presented each year at the annual THA meeting. This meeting will occur in early 2010, prior to ACHE Congress. The award selections will be made late in 2009 and nominations should be forwarded directly to me, or a member of the Regents Advisory Council (the names of the members are included in your newsletter).

Listed below are some of the criteria suggested by ACHE for determining appropriate award recipients to include:

  • An affiliate of the American College of Healthcare Executives;
  • Demonstration of leadership ability;
  • Demonstration of innovative and creative management;
  • Executive capability in developing his/her organization and promoting its growth and stature in the community;
  • Participation in local, state, or provincial hospital and health association activities;
  • Participation in civic/community activities and projects;
  • Demonstration of participation in ACHE activities and interest in assisting ACHE in achieving its objectives;
  • Contributions to the development of others in the healthcare profession
  • Demonstration of leadership in local, state, or provincial hospital and health association activities.

We welcome any nominations for these prestigious awards. I believe we would benefit from the nomination of at least three persons from each chapter. As in the past year, I will make one award presentation to an ACHE affiliate from each of our two chapters, one representing the Central Texas Chapter and one representing the South Texas Chapter. 
Should we be so fortunate as to receive multiple nominations, I would schedule them for review by the Regents Advisory Council (RAC) and the RAC would make a final recommendation regarding the award recipients.

I would also like to congratulate Trudy L. Land, FACHE who has been appointed to a three year term on the Management Series Editorial Board. 

Thank you for your continued support of our profession and ACHE.


South Texas Chapter Innovation Grant

Gary J. Meyn, MA, FACHE

The South Texas Chapter (STC) was one of eight ACHE chapters to receive a grant for Chapter Innovation. This grant will allow the STC to develop and implement video conferencing capabilities to broadcast educational programs to our Local Program Councils (LPC) in the Coastal Bend and Rio Grande Valley. The goal of this conferencing capability is to empower members in these locations to become more involved in the STC, as well as making ACHE credits more accessible.

The first video conference program is scheduled for Saturday July 25th from 7:30 AM to noon. The program selected for this inaugural program includes two panel discussions.  Panel topics include:“Pandemic Influenza: Preparing Your Healthcare Organization” and “Cultural and Language Challenges of Diverse Patient Populations”. The STC has requested ACHE Category I credit approval for both panels, which is currently unprecedented for a Chapter Educational Program.

The moderator of the pandemic influenza panel will be Jan Patterson, MD, FACP, FIDSA, CPE, Professor of Medicine, Infectious Diseases & Pathology; Director, Center for Patient Safety & Health Policy, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and Chief, Medical Service, South Texas Veterans Healthcare System. The moderator for the diversity panel will be Enrique Ruelas Barajas, MD, Undersecretary, Innovation and Quality Ministry of Health, Mexico. Panelist include faculty from San Antonio, Coastal Bend and Valley LPCs and Mexico.

Faculty and attendees will have the ability to ask questions and actively participate in the program from each of the participating sites. Currently we have five sites proposed within South Texas to include San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Harlingen, McAllen & Laredo, as well as participants from collegues in Mexico at the Universidad Anáhuac in Mexico City, University of Monterrey and Guadalajara University.

We encourage you to invite your non-ACHE member colleagues to attend and learn about the benefits of ACHE and our Chapter. Watch for periodic updates on this ground breaking educational opportunity at the STC website


Member and Community Leadership

Time and Passion To Make a Difference

Santa Rosa Children's Hospital Foundation announced that three endowed chairs have been established to assist the Christus Santa Rosa Children's Hospital. Thomas C. Mayes, MD, Chair Department of Pediatrics, University of Texas Health Science Center-San Antonio, will hold the prestigious Sister Angela Clare Moran Distinguised Chair for Pediatrics. The Goldsbury Foundation donated support for Kaye E. Wilkins, MD as the Distinguished Chair in Pediatric Orthopedics. The Walen Trust will support an "extraordinary physician-teacher" to be recruited as the Walen Family Distinguished Chair in Pediatrics Gastroenterology.

Camille Miller, President & CEO, Texas Health Institute, Dan Stultz, MD, FACP, FACHE, President & CEO, Texas Hospital Association, and Mary Stefl, PhD, Professor & Chair, Department of Health Care Administration, Trinity University, participated in the Healthcare Business Women's Association (HBA) inaugural healthcare state-of-the-industry panel discussion at the HBA Chapter May education program.

Trudy Land, FACHE, Principal, Healthcare Strategies & Solutions, Inc., was appointed to the American College of Healtcare Executive, Health Administration Press, Editorial Board.

Karen A. Stiefel, PhD, FACHE, Chief Learning Officer & Dean, School of Health Professions, Baptist Health System was appointed to the Journal of Healthcare Management editorial board.  Dr Stiefel also serves on the STC-ACHE Editorial Committee.

The Greater Chamber Bioscience Committee members Mary Stefl, PhD, Professor & Chair, Department of Health Care Administration, Trinity University and Sandra L Schneider, DrPH, EMBA, Research & Clinical Laboratory Systems, participated in the discussion and tour of the Emergency Operations Centers on Brooks City Base.

Ian Bernard, US Air Force Academy Healthcare Manager and NCOIC Histology Laboratory Manager, 10th Medical Group is the Colorado Association of Healthcare Executives (CAHE) Sponsorship Chair and will start a Master's degree in Healthcare Administration.  Prior to his move to Colorado Springs, Ian served on the STC-ACHE Board as Director of Programs.

Congratulations to Gennell Kidder, MHA, President & CEO, Tax & Financial Solutions, Inc. on  her commission as a Navy MSC Officer.  Gennell currently serves on the STC-ACHE Board as Director of Advancement.





Baptist Health System Chosen to Test New Health Care Approach

Medicare Selects Baptist Health System To Host Demonstration Project

Baptist Health System in San Antonio has been selected as one of only five health systems to participate in the Medicare “Acute Care Episode” (ACE) Demonstration project aimed at reshaping the way health care is delivered in the United States. Baptist was the only health system in Texas selected by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to host the demonstration.

The Baptist Health System was selected based on a variety of factors including the high quality standards in selected cardiac and orthopedic services, and its commitment to work with physicians and suppliers to keep costs low. “Like CMS, Baptist Health System is committed to improving the quality of patient care, and creating efficiencies and savings in the delivery of care, so we are happy to do our part in helping CMS investigate potential improvements in the way health care services are delivered,” said Trip Pilgrim, President and CEO of Baptist Health System.

The three-year Demonstration program began at Baptist on June 1. New processes being tested in the ACE model at all five of the Baptist Health System hospitals will create improved coordination of care for Medicare beneficiaries, and will result in a “share of savings” payment for eligible Medicare beneficiaries.

The market-based mechanisms being used in the ACE project to achieve improved quality and efficiency are: bundled payment, competitive bidding, gain-sharing and shared savings. The demonstration will test the use of bundled payments and gain-sharing for hospital and physician services for 9 orthopedic and 28 cardiac services to determine whether improvements in quality of care result from aligning financial incentives between hospitals and physicians in such a way as to facilitate and improve the coordination of care for these patients.

This demonstration provides an opportunity for Medicare to share savings achieved through the demonstration with beneficiaries who, based on quality and cost, choose to receive care from participating demonstration providers. However, beneficiaries will still be able to choose a hospital that best meets their needs and will not be restricted by this demonstration. Medicare will share 50 percent of the savings it gains under the demonstration with the Medicare beneficiary up to a maximum of $1,157.

The ACE Demonstration was designed by CMS as a way to determine what works to raise quality and reduce costs of health care. CMS will evaluate the Demonstration and make the results available to help bring about future improvements in the Medicare program.

Remington Medical Resort-San Antonio a First in the Nation

Now Accepting Guests

Remington Medical Resorts-San Antonio is America’s first luxury medical resort.
Remington delivers comprehensive medical care rehabilitation to guests needing short-term transitional care after hospital discharge, all within the luxury resort hotel setting.  The building, its amenities, and guest services are the same as those enjoyed in a fine hotel; within this luxurious setting, Remington takes rehabilitation services to a new level.
Remington is the newest rehabilitation option for patients with orthopedic injuries, stroke/heart attack, wound care, diabetes, pulmonary disease, or those needing IV therapy.  It is a new and pleasant alternative for patients after elective or cosmetic procedures.  Physicians can refer patients to Remington or patients can refer themselves before an elective procedure.

Patient Choice Integral to Recovery and Wellness
“From the moment of check-in, a patient becomes our guest and receives the attention and services needed to initiate the recovery process,” according to LaDonna Pack, Corporate Director of Rehabilitation Services.  “We offer guests choices; they participate in the management of their own care ,” Pack explained.

 "Guest care is at the center of everything we do," Pack explained.   “The healthcare industry needs the patient to be part of the program.  Having a degree of control over the care one receives goes a long way in one’s recovery,” Pack said.  Rather than having a predetermined schedule, Remington offers guests choices, ranging from when and where they want to eat their gourmet meals to what time they prefer to receive therapy.  The resort’s life enrichment program encourages guests to maintain their connections during their stay at Remington.  Options such as Internet, e-mail, and conference calling are available, letting guests correspond with work, family, or friends.

“A supportive clinical partnership of nurses, case managers, and therapists works as a team to assist each guest in achieving his or her goals for recovery,” Pack said.  “Combining the guest’s wishes with the recommendations of the treatment team is just one of Reminngotn's many committments to a guest-centered approach to care.” 

The Remington staff has established relationships with local hospitals to make transition to the resort as smooth as possible for discharged hospital patients.  Registered nurse Clinical Transition Coordinators are available around-the-clock, every day of the week, to meet at the hospital with potential guests and their families to help pave the way for a seamless check-in at the resort.  Remington accommodates check-in at whatever time of the day is convenient for the guest.

Technological Advances in Clinical Care and Safety
According to Stephanie Morgan, Remington’s Vice President of Clinical Services, Remington’s new model of care uses current technology to create the safest possible environment for guests.  “We provide technological resources that enable our clinical staff to work efficiently, allowing them to spend more time with the guests, reduce potential errors, and bring more of the human element back into health care,” Morgan explained.

Increased resort technological efficiency and safety is the robotic in-house pharmacy.  This system that reduces errors in dispensing each dose of medicine.  Educational materials accompany the medications to help guests learn new medication regimes and become self-sufficient before they go home.  Similarly, the clinical charting system is entirely computerized.  Attending physicians can access the system anywhere in the resort, or remotely.  “We have portable, wheeled computers that can be taken anywhere for real-time documentation and entry,” said Bert Buegeler, Remington’s Chief Clinical Officer.  “Since everyone involved has access to it, the system eliminates redundant entries,” Buegeler explained.

Combining Rehabilitation with Wellness
Skilled rehabilitation services are available up to six days per week, 12 hours per day, and include physical, occupational and speech therapy.  Remington has a rigorous staff selection and training process, recruiting therapists with a wide range of backgrounds and experience, thereby allowing Remington to treat a wide spectrum of medical and rehabilitative needs.

In most cases, guests can expect to receive up to two hours of therapy a day, but treatment goes beyond daily therapy.  Nursing staff is available to support and encourage guests to continue working on skills learned in therapy.  The clinical staff, both nurses and guest care specialists, implements a wellness program integrating nursing and rehabilitation programs to create an environment of healing for the mind and body.  This approach speeds recovery and helps to transfer newly-acquired wellness skills into everyday life. 

For guests having more complex medical needs, or for those who may not be ready for therapy in the resort’s fitness center, therapy comes to them.  All of the resort's private suites are built with both comfort and space.  Remington provides bedside treatments for guests who are tired or ill, or for those who can tolerate being out of bed for only about 20 minutes.

Remington’s staff works with the guest’s physician to individualize each pain management program.  Each member of the interdisciplinary team observes and ascertains the guest’s level of comfort so that nursing and therapy staff ensure that pain is adequately controlled.

Fitness Centers Designed for Safety, Strength, and Comfort
Remington Medical Resort includes a fitness center on each floor to accommodate a variety of therapy schedules, independent exercise programs, and individual treatment goals.  In addition to the resort’s private suites, the resort includes a therapeutic kitchen and transitional apartment, homelike settings designed to prepare guests for the return home.

The fitness center equipment accommodates a variety of body types, range of motion, and degrees of body function.  It maintains proper body alignment and movement patterns while it decreases stress on joints.  The fitness centers are aesthetically pleasing and provide a safe and comfortable workout.  Therapists customize each guest’s workout using Quantum fitness equipment, NuStep recumbent cross trainer, electrotherapy, and aquatic therapy modalities.

Aquatic Therapy Jump-Starts Recovery
In addition to the fitness centers, Remington offers guests the latest innovations in aquatic therapy, using the buoyancy of water to decrease stress on joints.  Many of Remington’s guest begin rehabilitation with aquatic therapy, resulting in maximum physical recovery in a shorter period of time, while promoting both safety and confidence.

The pool is equipped with a treadmill and underwater video-monitoring system.  Water depth is adjusted to accommodate treatments at different stages of weight-bearing capacity.  The nursing staff uses the latest procedures to waterproof surgical sites, allowing guests to begin aquatic therapy shortly after check-in.

Healthcare with Hospitality
Todd Mackenzie, CEO of Remington Medical Resort-San Antonio, explains the philosophy behind Remington’s new approach.  “Research suggests that a pleasant environment speeds healing,” Mackenzie said.  He added that research has also shown that patients often don’t do as well when they go home from the hospital prematurely, without adequate rehabilitation.

“We are providing a new option for patients, a different level of care that didn’t exist until now,” Mackenzie said.

Each of Remington’s guests is greeted curbside by a bellman, who carries their bags through the lobby, where the building’s main staircase spirals upward to the second-floor library.  In a few minutes, the new guest’s assigned “ambassador” presents them with a room-service menu of fine dining options.  The clinical and rehabilitation teams then begin the medical care and treatment plans leading to the guest’s return home.

All of Remington’s 60 private suites include comfortable, wide beds clothed with fine linens, private bathrooms with separate showers, flat-screen cable television, wireless Internet, and refrigerator.  Suites are decorated in soothing colors and soft lighting to speed recovery and make guests as comfortable as possible.  Complimentary coffee and newspapers are available, as well.

Upstairs, the library’s fireplace, inviting armchairs, computer stations, and well-appointed fiction stacks offer a choice respite for guests who venture from their suites.  Through the library’s tall French windows, the veranda awaits outdoor conversation, reading, or dining against the Hill Country panorama of San Antonio’s western horizon.  When some personal pampering is in order, the resort’s salon and spa offer everything from haircuts to manicures, pedicures, and massages.

Remy’s Café and coffee bar are the perfect downstairs counterparts to the library and veranda.  Remington’s Executive Chef Jack Burkett serves resort-quality, “made-from-scratch” food…always!  Guests have the option of dining in their suites, in the library, on the veranda, or at Remy’s.  Guests can order from the room service menu at anytime and have fresh meals delivered to their rooms at their convenience.  Because guests in medical rehabilitation may have special dietary needs, any dietary restrictions are noted in the guests’ computer records to ensure that dining choices are compatible with their personal medical needs.

Despite the luxurious amenities and services, the cost of staying at Remington does not exceed that of a standard rehabilitation facility.  Remington accepts standard Medicare reimbursements, as well as private-pay and privately insured guests.

Only the Beginning
Although Remington Medical Resort-San Antonio is the first resort to embrace this new approach to medical rehabilitation and wellness, it is only the first.  As the San Antonio resort opened in March 2009, Remington was building the next three of its resorts in Richardson, Denver, and Sugar Land, and more will follow these.
As San Antonio’s CEO Mackenzie said, “It’s the place you’d want to be if you were recovering.  It’s the place I’d want to be.”

Methodist Stone Oak Opens as Accredited Hispanic Healthcare Hospital

Methodist Stone Oak Hospital Becomes First Hispanic Healthcare Hospital in the Nation

The Diversity Health Care Institute of Mexico today named Methodist Stone Oak Hospital as an accredited Hispanic Healthcare Hospital, making it the first hospital in the nation to open with this accreditation.

“The accreditation recognizes the efforts of Methodist Stone Oak Hospital to make health care accessible to international and Spanish-speaking patients by removing cultural barriers,” said Dean Alexander, CEO, at the new hospital. “We must seek this designation annually. Our goal is to proactively ensure continuous improvement in the delivery of quality, affordable, accessible health care to our culturally diverse patient base.”

Methodist Healthcare is the only hospital system in the U.S. to obtain diversity accreditation from Mexico, and all Methodist Healthcare hospitals in San Antonio have achieved this prestigious designation.

 Photo left to right: Dean Alexander, CEO, Methodist Stone Oak Hospital; Enrique Ruelas, Surgeon General of Mexico; Aida Arrendondo, Executive Director Diversity Healthcare Institute, Jeannette Skinner, COO/CNO, Methodist Stone Oak Hospital; Joaquin Castro, Texas State Representative

The accreditation is based on the hospital’s ability to communicate with and accommodate patients from across the border by using signage in Spanish, using internationally understood symbols, and providing access to translators. In addition, hospital materials, such as legal documents, consent forms, patient rights materials, discharge instructions, patient education brochures, and waiting area publications are available in Spanish.

Methodist Healthcare is the only hospital system in the region with a dedicated International Services team to assist patients and their families in getting the medical services they need. The team also provides support for physicians and hospital staff in accessing healthcare services for patients from other countries.  Methodist Healthcare has offered international services for more than 14 years, and last year alone the staff assisted more than 1,000 patients in receiving the health care that they needed.

In addition, Methodist Healthcare has been instrumental in facilitating the exchange of information between medical professionals in the United States and in Mexico. Few health care systems in the U.S. have been as successful as Methodist in building mutually beneficial agreements and alliances with another country.

For more information on the Hispanic Healthcare Hospital designation, visit the Methodist Healthcare Web site,

First Class of Nurses Receives Associates Degree

Baptist Health System School of Health Professions has moved from Nursing Diploma Program to An Associate Degree Program

May 7, 2009 marked the beginning of a new era in the 105-year history of the Baptist Health System nursing education program. On that day, 72 nursing students became the first in their school to receive an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Nursing, rather than the nursing diploma that had previously been granted. 

Earlier this year, Baptist Health System School of Health Professions received full approval from all six required regulatory agencies to confer the Associate of Applied Science Degree in Nursing, moving the Department of Professional Nursing (DPN) from a diploma program to an associate degree program. 

The School, founded in 1903, had offered the oldest hospital-based diploma nursing program in continuous existence in Texas.  Karen A. Stiefel, PhD, FACHE, Chief Learning Officer & Dean, School of Health Professions noted that school leaders have pursued the goal of an earned degree for its nursing graduates in recent years in order to make its graduates more competitive.

Methodist Stone Oak Hospital Captures Birth Day

Hospital Provides Personalized Biovideos

Methodist Stone Oak Hospital has a special gift for mothers.  Mothers delivering a baby at Methodist Stone Oak Hospital will have this very special moment of the birth day captured on a personalized, musical DVD. A Biovideo photographer and digital producer will work with each family recording: the arrival of the mother-to-be and family at the hospital; the presentation of the baby to the mother after delivery; and interaction of newborn with the father, siblings, grandparents and other family members. Biovideo is a complimentary service to each family and will be a standard offering with each delivery. 

The Biovideo DVD also includes an educational section to help parents with such issues as nutrition, bathing, breastfeeding and additional information on other hospital services. The DVD is presented to the family in a customized case with baby’s name when mother and infant leave the hospital. “Through Biovideo we hope to capture the special experience of childbirth for each family,” said Dean Alexander, CEO, Methodist Stone Oak Hospital. Mother’s Day was selected to introduce the Biovideo service in honor of the special bond between mothers and their children and as a family keepsake for generations to come.”

Left to right: Ralph Foster II, Director International Services, Methodist Health-San Antonio;  Carlos Villaseñor, Owner/CEO, Biovideo;  Braulio Lopez, U.S. Operations/COO, Biovideo

The Biovideo program, founded in Mexico almost 3 years ago, is available in Mexico City, Monterrey and Guadalajara. Methodist Stone Oak Hospital is the company’s first client in the U.S. to offer this free, innovative, multi-media education service to the new parent/patient clients 

Global Health Care Issues

Methodist International Services Emergency Care Classes

Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) classes are organized and held by Methodist Healthcare International Services in various destinations throughout Mexico on an on-going basis.  Over the last several years the focus has been on offering ACLS classes for resort area physicians, nurses and paramedics who cater to U.S. travelers who have medical issues that arise while on vacation.  Due to San Antonio’s geographic location and the International Service Medical Emergency Travel Assistance (META) Program which has protocols in place to facilitate emergency air evacuations, Methodist Healthcare has become a preferred destination to refer patients that are in need of access to the nearest tertiary care facilities across the border.    

ACLS can save the lives of patients who are not breathing and do not have a pulse, and for whom a traditional way of reviving a patient, CPR, has not been successful.  ACLS instructors include Alicia Ruiz R.N., B.J. Nikolav R.N., Susan Voger R.N., and Jennifer Hill R.N. Ruiz, who is the lead instructor and teach 20 to 25 physicians a year. “We teach the whole ACLS protocol,” she said. “It’s hard enough to each in English, much less teach in Spanish. This can be intimidating, even when you are bilingual.”

One student attended the course said, “The instructors were very precise, patient, nice and knowledgeable, and I am very grateful to receive the course in Spanish as I do not understand English too well. ”Because they are successful, these nurses make a great impression on behalf of Methodist Healthcare. “We take to heart that we are representing Methodist Healthcare in San Antonio,” Ruiz said.

“ACLS classes are part of an international outreach to strength our relationships with physicians in resort area hospitals who treat U.S. travelers,” said Ralph Foster, Director of International Services for Methodist Healthcare. “But more importantly, we teach these classes so these physicians can provide better care for their patients.”

A special thank you to Clarice Golightly-Jenkins, PhD, RN, Vice President of Education and Research, and her staff for helping to coordinate and provide the necessary specialized bilingual instructors and equipment for ACLS classes to be made available to our friends and colleagues in Mexico.  

The Alamo Area Academies

Health Professions Academy

The Alamo Area Academies including the Alamo Colleges, St. Philip’s College Licensed Vocational Nursing (LVN) Program, Floresville Independent School District, San Antonio Independent School District, City of San Antonio, and major employers in the San Antonio health care industry have joined together to create a new early college technical academy for high school juniors and seniors interested in pursuing careers in the health professions. 

Modeled on the existing Academies in aerospace, information technology and manufacturing technology, the Health Professions Academy (HPA) will provide students an early college experience and direct pathway into well-paid careers in high-demand occupations.  The HPA will begin with nursing, enrolling students in the St. Philip’s College LVN Program, but will eventually offer programs in other allied health fields, perhaps as early as 2010.

The HPA will open in the summer of 2009 as a pilot program with nine students from Edison High School who will take their nursing instruction at the Martin Luther King Campus of St. Philip’s College.  These students will be placed as interns the following summer in the Methodist Healthcare System, the Christus Santa Rosa system and at Morningside Ministries.   A second group of eight students at Floresville High School will receive instruction from the St. Philip’s College LVN Program, some of which will be delivered by distance learning in concert with the Edison High School students.  The Floresville High School students will be placed as interns at the Connolly Memorial Medical Center, Floresville.

In the summer of 2010, other schools will be eligible to send students to the program as the capacity of the entering class in San Antonio increases to 24 students, with the possibility of a second distance-learning class.  To provide internships for this larger class, additional employers will join the program during the summer of 2011.

Benefits to Students and Parents

  • Students will earn approximately 35 hours of college credit during their junior and senior years of high school at no cost to them or their families.  Twelve college credit hours will be earned during the summer after high school graduation to complete the program, with scholarships and financial aid available for eligible students.
  • They will be taking college courses for half the day during their junior and senior years, providing them a real college experience shared by few other high school students.
  • They will have a paid summer internship with a health care provider.
  • They will be in an articulated career pipeline that will make them Certified Nursing Assistants by the summer after their junior year of high school, and Licensed Vocational Nurses by the end of the summer following their senior year. Qualified graduates of the program will then have the opportunity to apply for entry into the Alamo Colleges’ Professional Nursing (LVN-to-ADN) Program. 
  • The transition from the St. Philip’s LVN Program to completion of the (LVN-to-ADN) Program takes approximately 16 months for full-time students.   Successful candidates will have the opportunity to become a registered nurse and sit for the NCLEX-RN licensure examination.

The Alamo Colleges will

  • Provide an accredited program of study for all HPA programs;
  • Provide academic supervision of appropriate clinical and internship experiences for these programs;
  • Collaborate with the participating school districts, the Alamo Academies and employers on all matters pertaining to student rights, responsibilities, discipline and liabilities;
  • Collaborate with the ACCD Foundation and employers to offer financial aid and scholarships for the courses students will take to complete the program after they graduate from high school.

For the HPA’s Nursing Students, the St. Philip’s College LVN Program will

  • Be responsible for ensuring compliance with the Texas Administrative Code (Title 22), which includes responsibility for oversight of all aspects of the academic and clinical phases of the LVN Program;
  • Deliver instruction and provide academic supervision of clinical and internship experiences;
  • Collaborate with the participating school districts, the Alamo Academies and employers on all matters pertaining to student rights, responsibilities, discipline and liabilities.

Participating School Districts will

  • Identify and recruit students for the HPA;
  • Provide transportation to the training site;
  • Provide the necessary college textbooks;
  • Collaborate with the Alamo Colleges, the Alamo Academies and employers on all matters pertaining to student rights, responsibilities, discipline and liabilities.

The Alamo Area Academies will

  • Facilitate recruitment of students, in cooperation with the participating school districts ;
  • Work with employers to provide internship opportunities and training plans for those internships;
  • Collaborate with the Alamo Colleges, the participating school districts and employers on all matters pertaining to student rights, responsibilities, discipline and liabilities ;
  • Facilitate the placement of HPA graduates into further higher education and/or employment;
  • Promote the HPA to students and the community

The City of San Antonio will

  • Provide resources for the administrative support of the HPA as part of its economic development efforts.

Health Care Employers will

  • Determine which health professions are in demand;
  • Work with Alamo Colleges to develop and refine curricula that meet these needs;
  • Provide internships, mentoring, scholarships and employment opportunities.


  • Partners each to provide a share of the necessary resources as described above;
  • Grants and corporate support to be sought for scholarships and to offset some program costs.

Program Design for Nursing

  • Students take two online courses (Nutrition and Growth & Development) during the summer before their junior year (2 college hours);
  • San Antonio-area students go to St. Philip’s for 3 hours per day during their junior year (3-4 high school credits, 13 college hours);
  • Floresville students will be enrolled in the same courses but will receive some of this instruction by distance learning;
  • They will participate in clinical training at a San Antonio hospital; the Floresville students will receive their clinical training at Connolly Memorial Medical Center;
  • They have a paid internship the summer after their junior year with one of the participating employers and take one additional course (3 college hours);
  • They take 4 hours of LVN program courses per day during their senior year (3 high school credits, 17 college hours);
  • San Antonio-area students graduate from high school with a recommended or distinguished diploma;
  • All graduates will enroll at St. Philip’s College for the final semester of the LVN program the summer following their high school graduation;
  • They will attend all classes at St. Philip’s College (12 college hours).  Clinical training will be arranged at either San Antonio or Floresville area hospitals; 
  • Upon graduation from the LVN program, they are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for LVN’s.

Once they have completed the LVN program, students have a wide range of options for continuing their education in nursing or other related health professions.  Opportunities include admission to LVN to Baccalaureate nursing programs throughout Texas. 

For eligible students who wish to continue in nursing, it is anticipated that scholarships, financial aid and part-time employment will be available for them to enroll in the LVN to Associate Degree Nursing program at St. Philip's College or at San Antonio College.  With 4 semesters of study (approximately 16 months for a full-time student) they can become an Associates Degree Nurse and be eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam.

For more information contact Richard V. Butler, PhD, Professor of Economics, Trinity University; Chairman of Board and President/CEO, Alamo Area Academies, Inc.: Telephone 210-999-7256 or Email


FDA News Release

FDA Warns Consumers Not to Use Skin Products Made by Clarcon Due to Bacterial Contamination Risk

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced June 8, 2009 that Clarcon Biological Chemistry Laboratory Inc. of Roy, Utah, is voluntarily recalling some skin sanitizers and skin protectants marketed under several different brand names because of high levels of disease-causing bacteria found in the product during a recent inspection. The FDA is warning consumers to not use any Clarcon products.

Consumers should not use any Clarcon products and should throw these products away in household refuse. Analyses of several samples of over-the-counter topical antimicrobial skin sanitizer and skin protectant products revealed high levels of various bacteria, including some associated with unsanitary conditions. Some of these bacteria can cause opportunistic infections of the skin and underlying tissues.  Such infections may need medical or surgical attention, and may result in permanent damage.

Examples of products that should be discarded include:

  • Citrushield Lotion
  • Dermasentials DermaBarrier
  • Dermassentials by Clarcon Antimicrobial Hand Sanitizer
  • Iron Fist Barrier Hand Treatment
  • Skin Shield Restaurant
  • Skin Shield Industrial
  • Skin Shield Beauty Salon Lotion
  • Total Skin Care Beauty
  • Total Skin Care Work

Findings from the FDA’s recent inspection of the Clarcon facility are particularly concerning because the products are promoted as antimicrobial agents that claim to treat open wounds, damaged skin, and protect against various infectious diseases.  The inspection uncovered serious deviations from FDA’s current Good Manufacturing Practice requirements.

Health care professionals and consumers may report serious adverse events (side effects) or product quality problems with the use of this product to FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program. Online:;Regular Mail: use postage-paid FDA form 3500 and mail to MedWatch, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20852-9787; Fax: 800-FDA-0178; Phone: 800-FDA-1088

Request for Hot Topic eNewletter Articles

South Texas Chapter e-Newsletter

The South Texas e-newsletter is a rapid communication format to highlight the healthcare community accomplishments and educational programs. Members are encouraged to submit news and healthcare articles of interest to the South Texas healthcare community. 

Published articles of 800 words are eligible for member recognition points according to ACHE publication guidelines.  Newsletter submissions representing healthcare groups, institutions or organizations must be certified as being approved for submission and publication.  Quarterly submission deadlines are: March 1, June 1, September 1 and December 1. 

Newsletter submissions and/or inquiries for publication consideration can be sent directly to the STC-ACHE Editor Dr. Sandra L. Schneider at

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