New Beaumont Health launched; Beaumont, Botsford, Oakwood complete affiliation

Beaumont Health System, Botsford Health Care and Oakwood Healthcare have completed their affiliation agreement to combine operations as a new organization called Beaumont Health. Federal and state regulatory officials have reviewed and approved the affiliation and granted tax-exempt status as a new $3.8 billion not-for-profit health care organization.

Beaumont Health was officially launched on Sept. 2.


Visit to read more about the new Beaumont Health including the latest press release and frequently asked questions.

Weekly roundup: August 29, 2014

Oakwood physicians treated a variety of ailments this week. From bacterial sinus infections to itchy bug bites, here’s a brief recap of what’s going around:

  • Sinus pain

    Pressure or pain around the face and eyes is a common symptom of a sinus infection.

    Doctors at Oakwood Healthcare Center – Southgate and Oakwood Healthcare Center – Canton treated a large number of patients with sinus infections. Sinus infections typically follow a common cold and are accompanied by thick, yellow nasal discharge and pressure or pain around the face and eyes. Sinus infections are most often treated with antibiotics, and decongestants can help decrease the swelling in your sinuses and nasal passages. Steam and hot showers may also be recommended to help loosen mucus.
  • At Oakwood Hospital – Wayne, doctors reported several patients with a stomach virus, which was characterized by abdominal pain with nausea.
  • Finally, the Emergency Department at Oakwood Hospital – Dearborn saw several patients coming in with insect bites, rashes and bee stings. Insect bites and stings are particularly common during the summer months, but can be prevented with the proper precautions.

Teamwork at its finest:’ more Stories from the Flood

As ‘Stories from the Flood’ continue to trickle in, it’s clear that even though Oakwood Hospital – Dearborn suffered significant damage during the historic rainfall on Aug. 11, it could have been a lot worse.

When water began to appear inside the lower level of the hospital, many team members started taking additional actions to protect patients and products alike—long before they knew how severe the issues would be.

“The frontline staff were the heart and core of why our disaster recovery was so successful,” said Kelly Smith, division president of Oakwood – Dearborn. “We had many, many staff and many, many physicians stay here overnight. Many team members pulled double shifts, many did things outside of their normal job description and pitched in in ways that far exceeded whatever would normally be expected of them.”

Story 1
Lynn McConnell was the clinical manager on duty in the Emergency Department when the flood waters rose.

“I saw ED teamwork at its finest during this time,” she said. “When the ED team got the news to evacuate the patients, they all took responsibility and lined up at the Skillman elevators with patients on carts. All four Pods were evacuated in record time. Staff sloshed through ever rising waters and waited patiently for the elevator in order to get patients to the second floor. After we all arrived on the second floor the ED staff continued to excel providing for patients and helping organize the halls outside of Short Stay Unit where the ED patients now resided. I could not be more proud of this Emergency Department Team!”

Staff Nurse George Hellmer said when he heard that patients were being relocated up to the Short Stay Unit, he hopped into his Mini Cooper and tried to navigate back to assist his team.

“I didn’t get far before traffic and rising water stopped me,” he said. “I parked my car at the Lowe’s in Allen Park, rolled up my scrubs and waded and walked into work.” Along the way, he stopped to check on people as he made his way to the hospital.

Hearing differing accounts of the damage, Dr. Nabil Khoury headed back to the ED to help out, and said he was stunned at what he saw.

“I couldn’t believe that we had a foot and a half of water right outside the ambulance entrance,” he said. “I tried to walk through the ED and quickly realized I needed rubber boots to make my way through.”

“The most important thing, by that point, was that the patients were evacuated from the ED and I think one of the greatest memories of that evening is that we had 70 patients in the ED and they were evacuated within 17 minutes,” Khoury added. “When you think about that, that’s about one patient every 15 seconds. That’s probably the greatest accomplishment this department could have ever done.”

Story 2
The Inpatient Pharmacy team had seen a few leaks and water issues in the past, but nothing on a scale like they experienced on Aug. 11, said Neha Desai, clinical pharmacy manager. This time, it was the entire pharmacy—and a number of our employees continued to work slogging through 4-5 inches of water so medication deliveries would not be interrupted.

Brett Clarke navigates the flood waters in the Inpatient Pharmacy at Oakwood Hospital -- Dearborn on Aug. 11

Brett Clarke navigates the flood waters in the Inpatient Pharmacy at Oakwood Hospital — Dearborn on Aug. 11

“Actually, the employees stayed in the pharmacy (with zip-lock booties) until we were told to evacuate because water had reached an electrical panel and it was no longer safe to work there,” said Clinical Pharmacist Jessica Kiesznowski. “Half of the employees relocated up to the Operating Room pharmacy so they would be able to supply medications to Critical Care areas. The other half went to areas with spare computers so orders could continue to be processed.  Even though our department was completely ruined, medication delivery was never paused. “

Pharmacy Director David Batkie, stayed throughout the night and did not leave until after the 7 a.m. disaster meeting was complete and staffing for the day was assessed and the department was stabilized for Tuesday operations. Monday night pharmacy staff included: Erin McGuire, Eric Munson, Mona Sabri, Brett Clarke, Lori Stocchi, Julie Lee, Patricia Liangos, Denise Ossiff, Louis Cancel, Paula Samul, Saju Geevarughese, Mariely Arellano, Kathy Kovach and Juan Miretti.

“They did not miss a beat in providing medications to all the patients in the hospital, even while the department was flooding,” said Desai. “The pharmacy department not only continued to function with wet walls and wet carpet, they also supported several departments as they were displaced and transplanted in a new location.”

The inpatient pharmacy is the last department to move out of the basement. The move will take place within the next two weeks with no interruption of patient care.

Intermediate Care nurse honored for compassion, dedication

Compassion for her patients and dedication to her job have earned Sara Rasizzi, RN, a staff nurse in the Intermediate Care Unit at Oakwood Hospital – Taylor, the July Daisy Award for nursing excellence.


Sara Rasizzi, center, a staff nurse in the Intermediate Care Unit at Oakwood Hospital — Taylor, earned the Nurse Daisy Award in July.

Rasizzi, who has worked with Oakwood for nearly 15 years, was nominated for the award following an incident that took place in May. A patient who was admitted to Oakwood – Taylor was very upset because he had just signed his wife of 54 years into Hospice care. She was at Oakwood Hospital – Dearborn and he was not well enough to go there to see her and distraught because he did not think he’d be able to say goodbye to her.

Rasizzi worked with her patient’s doctor and had the patient transferred to OH-D, where he was able to see her again.

“We were very impressed by her compassion and dedication to giving great care,” the patient’s family wrote. “She is a great example of nursing excellence! Great job!”

Rasizzi began her career with Oakwood as a nurse aide in 1999. She became a nurse extern in 2000 and a registered nurse with an associate’s degree in 2001. She continues to work as a room mom in her children’s elementary school, where she educates students and teachers alike on the importance of hand hygiene. Currently, Sara is a unit preceptor and council member for CPC. She has participated in CAP projects consistently as a nurse.

“Many of her patients rave about the love and affection she demonstrates when she cares for them. Her teammates truly respect and appreciate how freely Sara shares her nursing knowledge with them,” said her manager, Ilene George. “We are very fortunate to have Sara as an IMC nurse. She is truly an asset to the team and the healthcare system.  Thank you Sara for all that you do to make our patient’s come first!”

Anonymous heroes: more Stories from the Flood

A historic rainfall flooded the lower level of Oakwood Hospital -- Dearborn on Aug. 11

A historic rainfall flooded the lower level of Oakwood Hospital — Dearborn on Aug. 11

Less than two weeks into her role as director of Food and Nutrition at Oakwood Hospital – Dearborn, Teresa Ulrich found herself without a working kitchen.

On the lower level of the hospital, the kitchen was among the 250,000 square feet that suffered extensive flood damage from the excessive rainfall on Aug. 11. All the food and beverage items in it had to be discarded.

Ulrich, who had worked through a similar crisis—she worked at the St. Joseph Hospital in Macomb County during the blackout of 2003—knew how to handle the situation.

“Once we saw the water coming up into the kitchen, we had to close it down,” she said. “My job is to maintain patient safety. “

Because she was so new, she said she had to lean heavily on her staff—and they really came through.

“It was a team effort,” she said. “My team stayed through the night to make sure we had enough people to take care of our patients. I was nearly in tears; we had so many people who stepped up and asked: ‘What can I do?’ Everyone wanted to help. Everyone was focused on our patients.”

Taking care of patients on Tuesday involved a late-night shopping trip to a nearby Meijer. Boxed breakfasts were prepared and, because the majority of the elevators were inoperable, a human conveyor belt moved the meals to patient floors.

“It wasn’t the most ideal situation, but we tried to have fun with it,” said Ulrich.

Here are some other Stories from the Flood:

Story 1
“When the emergency flooding occurred, we didn’t have any patients in pre-op,” said Clinical Manager Terri Gray, RN, BSN. “Pre-op nurse, Sam (Hussein) Fawaz, immediately headed down to the ED to help and took the evacuation chair from our department with him. He made multiple patient transfers to get patient out of the ED—including walking an elderly patient up the stairs, one step at a time.

Story 2
Susanne French, a staff nurse in the Mother/Baby Unit, said she could not get back home due to the flooded roadways. She returned after 90 harrowing minutes and stayed the night at the hospital. She stayed until noon the next day to help out because many team members couldn’t make it in to work.

Story 3
The calls started coming in to the Environmental Services (EVS) department at about 5 p.m. on Aug. 11. Teri Nesbitt, patient flow coordinator with EVS, quickly sent staff out to try to mop up the water. When calls started coming in from the ED, too, they helped out wherever and however they could.

“Our team was helping people up the stairs; when the elevators went down we just put carts by the elevators to move housekeeping up and down floors, maintaining normalcy for the patients,” she said. “We were busy with water all the way up to 7 a.m.”

Story 4
Debbie Armstrong, who works at an Oakwood OPN practice, was with her husband in the ED when the flood started.

“Just prior to this, my husband had asked his nurse, Lester Borromeo, for some things. Before he could bring my husband the things he needed, the flooding began and the Oakwood team had a major catastrophe on their hands,” she said. “Everyone was doing what they had to do to make sure the patients were properly cared for. We were taken upstairs by an employee and put into the hallway with everyone else. Lester searched for and found my husband so that he could continue what he had promised my husband. As soon as Mr. Borromeo found us, he realized my husband was not on a cardiac monitor and immediately found a place for him so that he could be on his monitor.

“Everyone that evening was doing everything they could to handle this very chaotic situation,” she added. “If it wasn’t for Mr. Borromeo and his care and concern for his patients, I don’t know how my husband’s situation would have ended.  I feel that the team as a whole did an amazing job trying to keep the situation under control.”

Story 5
The staff in Central Sterile Supply processing had to work fast when the water started coming in, said Ken Warnock, supervisor, Central Sterile Processing.

“Chris Cherwak, Vilma Csicsak, David Daniel, Chynita Fears, Sandy Felder, Sarah Liley, Michael Rowell, Julie Snoes and Kevin Vaz all responded quickly, calmly and professionally to try to protect equipment and sterile supplies and instruments,” said Warnock. “They worked to get case carts that were prepared for the next day upstairs to ensure they would not become contaminated. They moved all of the electrical equipment off of the floors, they lifted the anti-fatigue mats onto carts and put work stools onto tables. The afternoon shift is a fine example of a well-focused team. Great job to all of them!”

Story 6
“Tuesday morning, was definitely an interesting ride to work,” said Robin Remington, an administrative secretary in Imaging Services. “What usually takes me 20 minutes from downriver, took me well over an hour. Every time I thought I had a route figured out, I would run into another lake of water or traffic at a standstill. When I finally got in, the team in Radiology had already hit the ground running, working hard, always putting our patients first. In addition, our Chief Radiologist, Dr. Don Conn, knowing that the cafeteria was out of commission and that staff might be called upon for extra shifts, acted quickly and ordered pizza for the entire radiology staff for lunch. Thank you, Dr. Conn!”

Story 7
Chaplain Marianne Burnett said examples of compassion and teamwork were evident everywhere she looked and wherever she went throughout the crisis.

“It’s amazing how many heroes remain anonymous to me because I do not know their names, but I witnessed teamwork at its best on Monday night, August 11. It seems as though no matter the discipline, Oakwood Hospital – Dearborn staff just helped out where necessary.”

Burnett mentioned team members who helped out stranded colleagues, EMTs transporting materials from the ED, Oakwood Hospital – Dearborn Security remaining very calm and staff escorting patients and visitors up and down the stairs and more.

“Everyone seemed to jump into action. I did not hear one complaint from the staff, though many staff heard from their loved ones (including myself) that their basements were flooded,” Burnett said. “I was touched by the hospitality and generosity of strangers. Most notably, the patients appeared to understand and delivered an extra ounce of patience. The entire night was incredible to watch and be part of.”

Story 8
Scott Stockinger, trauma prevention coordinator at Oakwood Hospital – Dearborn, said the response from the public safety community has been inspiring, too.

“Over the last week I have talked with many EMS crews about how things are going from their point of view. The comments have truly been very positive,” he said. “Many can’t believe that we were able to open back up as soon as we did and have it run so well. Other crews have commented on how they feel it is actually quicker for them to turn around and be back on the road. Overall the EMS community bringing patients to our new temporary Emergency Department are impressed and happy to be bringing patients to Oakwood Dearborn.”

A Labor Day weekend guide to insect bites & stings

by Jerald Purifoy, MD

As families enjoy the last major weekend of summer vacation, it’s important to be on the look-out for a threat that is usually smaller than a quarter: insects.


Besides being itchy or uncomfortable, insect bites and stings can cause a variety of complications, including allergic reactions, injection of toxic chemicals and transmission of dangerous bacteria and viruses.

The type of insect to be cautious of varies, depending on what you’re doing and where you’re doing it. If you’re spending Labor Day in your yard or near water, beware of bees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets and mosquitoes. Ticks are a concern for those who are hiking or camping in a wooded area.

Bees, hornets and wasps
Few people have to be told twice to stay away from insects with stingers, including bees, wasps, hornets and yellow jackets. Yellow jackets are the biggest threat, accounting for more than 95% of stings. Not only are these painful, but they may cause an allergic reaction.

The severity of a reaction can range from swelling to anaphylaxis (a full-body reaction that causes the airways to tighten), so it’s important to recognize the signs and take immediate action. If a child is stung or bitten and shows excessive swelling around the injured site or the mouth, feels faint or has trouble breathing, contact your physician immediately or go to the nearest emergency room. If you know that you or your child have a severe allergy to insect bites, carry an emergency epinephrine kit.

To help prevent stings:

  • Avoid bothering insects. If you know there is a hive nearby, don’t get too close or agitate the insects.
  • Pay extra attention while eating outside and avoid leaving food and drinks uncovered.
  • Be mindful of what you wear when you plan to be outdoors for an extended time. Brightly-colored clothing and heavily-scented soaps and perfumes attract insects.

Though most mosquito bites result in an itchy red lump, some bites may be much more dangerous. Mosquitoes are vectors, which means that they can transmit harmful diseases. In the United States, West Nile Virus is the most common mosquito-borne disease.

During warm weather, mosquitoes are out and active. They tend to come out at dusk to avoid their own predators, so it’s important to apply the appropriate repellent if you will be out after dusk or in the early morning. To avoid mosquito bites:

  • Wear repellent.

    A tarp that isn’t pulled tight can collect water and become a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

  • Wear long sleeves and pants, especially early in the morning or evening. 
  • Remove pools of standing water from your yard. Standing water, which can collect in bird baths, sandboxes, toy buckets and tarps that aren’t pulled tight, is a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

To treat an itchy mosquito bite, clean the wound with rubbing alcohol or soapy water. Apply calamine lotion or a baking soda paste to the affected area. For children with severe itching, apply 1% hydrocortisone cream (available at most drug stores) four times a day. Benadryl or another antihistamine may also provide relief for irritated skin. If a child develops a painful lesion, acetaminophen or ibuprofen may provide comfort, but be sure to contact your primary care physician first.

Ticks are about the size of a poppy seed, but they can cause much larger problems. There are two types that are found in Michigan: the deer tick and the dog tick. Like mosquitoes, ticks are also vectors – deer ticks are known for transmitting Lyme disease, while dog ticks can spread Rocky Mountain Spotted fever or Yellow Fever.

Ticks tend to inhabit grassy and wooded areas, so take precautions when spending time in these venues. When hiking or camping in a wooded area:

  • Wear long sleeves and pants, tuck your shirt in at the waist and tuck the pants leg into your socks.
  • Apply repellent to shoes/socks (permethrin products are more effective than DEET against ticks).
  • Perform tick checks during and after a hike. Shower shortly after returning indoors and carefully check the scalp, neck, armpit and groin.
  • Help children check for ticks, as well.


To remove a tick, use tweezers to grab it as close to the skin as possible.

If you find a tick, remove it quickly to prevent disease. For removal:

  • Use tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible (aim to get a grip on the head). 
  • Apply steady upward pressure until the tick releases its grip.
  • Don’t twist or jerk the tweezers, which may lead to breaking off of body parts. 
  • Don’t squeeze the tick, as this could cause it to inject dangerous pathogens.

If you develop a rash or fever within several weeks of removing a tick, see your doctor. Make note of when the bite occurred and where you most likely acquired the tick.

With any bug bite, it’s important to remember to contact a physician immediately if you have reason to believe your child has been bitten by a dangerous or poisonous insect, or if a bite looks infected. Signs of infection include yellow pus, spreading redness or red streaks around the site of the bite.

Here’s to a bug-free Labor Day weekend!

Jerald Purifoy, MD is a pediatrician at Oakwood Healthcare Center – Southgate.

The rain fell, flood waters rose, and Oakwood team members stepped up

As operations at Oakwood Hospital – Dearborn settle into a new state of normal following last Monday’s (8.11.14) record rainfall and subsequent massive flooding, stories are emerging of how the team responded during and after the crisis to help patients and colleagues alike.

Even though many team members faced flooding issues at home, stories of how they put patients first continue to surface, said Division President Kelly C. Smith.

“I am so proud of the way the team at Oakwood – Dearborn came together to handle this true crisis,” she said. “We not only responded per protocol, we continued to deliver on our promise of Every Patient, Every Time even during the most challenging of conditions.”

Here are just a few examples, as submitted by fellow friends and colleagues:

Story 1
“I was so impressed when I came into work on Tuesday morning (after the flood) to hear how my manager, Christine Duncan, was able to get to work,” said Jeanette Zombeck, an administrative secretary in the Medical Education Department. “Water nearly up to her home’s front door and knowing all too well that her vehicle would not make it through the flooded streets, she texted a co-worker, Sandy Monhollen, who agreed to pick her up in her big truck.

“Not wanting Sandy to chance getting stranded as well, Chris told her she would meet her at the main road, nine blocks away,” she added. “Chris put on shorts and flip-flops, grabbed a duffle filled with her change of clothes and a zip-lock baggy with a bleach and water soaked wash cloth and proceeded to walk the nine blocks in cold, filthy water that came up well over her knees. Sandy got to the intersection where they agreed to meet, to find Chris walking the last half block with both arms above her head—cell phone in one hand and duffle in the other. I wish there was a picture!”

Story 2
Tara Semperger, a staff nurse in 4 South, lives in Canada and said she couldn’t get home Tuesday morning. Her coworker, Amanda Weiland, stepped in. She took Semperger home with her, washed her scrubs, bought pizza for dinner and let her sleep on her couch. They drove in together for their next shift.

“It was really sweet of her to care that much,” Semperger said.

Story 3
Melissa Duede, a staff nurse in the Progressive Care Unit, said her car was stuck and stalled out. Two of her coworkers, Erin Federoff and Linda Cotter, not only helped her get to work and back, they also helped her get her children from day care. This was after they had put in a 12 hour day, she said.

“They are both true heroes, and dedicated to Oakwood,” said Duede.

Story 4
Dr. Anthony Spearman, an internal medicine resident, reacted quickly, reporting to the evacuation site where several patients still needed to be evaluated and treated. He assisted with all aspects of patient care, from assessing and treating to getting blankets and helping with transport.

“When the flooding occurred, rapid movement of patients was a priority,” said Nurse Practitioner Freda Musial. “His willingness to help and take ownership as part of the Oakwood team did not go unnoticed.   Thank you Dr. Spearman!”

Story 5
Brian Clayton, a certified physician’s assistant working on the Sixth Floor that night, bought lunch for the entire team.

“Many of us didn’t bring food that night and the cafeteria was closed,” the staff wrote in a letter signed by 14 people. “Many of the staff didn’t bring any money and a lot of the businesses were closed or would not deliver. This is something Brian did out of the goodness of his heart; he is an exceptional part of our team and we greatly appreciate him and all that he does for our patients and coworkers.”

Story 6
Dr. Raj Goswami bought food for the entire team on the 7th floor to keep the energy and spirit level high as the team moved into its brand new space (picture perfect renovations are now completed on the entire floor)….all while the disaster recovery was still continuing. “We really appreciate his active support of our unit, and the food was fantastic! It was a real morale booster,” said Donna Robinson McManus.


Story 7
It took Rose McShane, clerical coordinator for Imaging Services at Oakwood – Dearborn, about 90 minutes to make it in to work Tuesday morning, threading her way through back streets to avoid the flooded roadways. She stayed late that night and said she was happy to find all the business office assistants in her area had either stayed over during the flood, working a double shift, or made it in taking back roads like she did. 

“Everyone in our area went above and beyond to continue with our “Patients come First” and  get all the necessary work flow completed,” said McShane. “Great team work in Radiology!”