Latest Entries

WakeMed Dedicates Ronald McDonald Family Room

WakeMed is pleased to add a Ronald McDonald Family Room to the new WakeMed Children’s Hospital. This is a much-needed resource for families of Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) patients.

With comfortable couches, a microwave, a washer/dryer, a TV and computers, the Ronald McDonald room is a private, relaxing space for family members as they endure a stressful life experience. The room with all of its amenities and volunteer staff became a reality due to the efforts of the WakeMed Foundation and contributions of $70,000 from The Volunteers at WakeMed Raleigh Campus and The Volunteers at WakeMed Cary Hospital. Significant funding for operations has also been provided by the Ronald McDonald House Charities of North Carolina.

The Family Room will be dedicated during WakeMed Foundation’s annual Love Light Tree lighting ceremony tomorrow Thursday, December 9 at 6:45 pm. Following the tree lighting, attendees will join Twinkle, WakeMed Children’s mascot, for ornament-making, holiday goodies and pictures with Santa. Plus, attendees will decorate a tree for the Children’s Hospital.

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Pregnancy and Heart Palpitations

Dr. Kevin Campbell with Wake Heart & Vascular Associates discusses a common, but lesser known symptom of pregnancy, heart palpitations.

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Test Your Flu IQ

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Snoring problems? Try these solutions

Dr. Allen Marshall with Wake Specialty ENT was interviewed for a story that ran yesterday on WRAL all about snoring and snoring solutions.  Missed the story?  Watch it here.

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WakeMed Files Records Requests of UNC Health Care

Yesterday WakeMed Health & Hospitals filed a public records request with UNC Health Care and its subsidiary Rex Healthcare over concern that UNC Health Care is using taxpayer money to engage in predatory business practices that do nothing to improve health care for the people of Wake County.  Instead these practices simply duplicate and shift existing services.

WakeMed continues to care for the vast majority – in excess of 80 percent – of the uninsured and medically underserved in Wake County.  WakeMed receives no state or county funding other than the limited payments for services received from government-funded Medicare and Medicaid programs. 

If UNC Health Care’s predatory actions continue, it may threaten WakeMed’s long-term strength and may impact our ability to uphold our mission of providing state-of-the-art care to this community. 

Many media articles have been posted about this request, including today’s News & Observer.

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Remembering John Edgerton

John Edgerton, October 25, 1943 to November 15, 2010

Last week, many of us gathered with family and friends to give thanks for our blessings in life. We reminded those we love how much we care, and offered gratitude for our fortunes, big and small. 

At WakeMed, we give thanks to the countless employees, physicians, volunteers and friends who make our hospital the best in the region. And today, we remember an incredible employee who cared for our patients, their families, and our own WakeMed caregivers. We remember John Edgerton, director of Spiritual Care at WakeMed, and the legacy he left in the hearts of everyone he touched.  John passed away on Monday, November 15, 2010.

During his 22 years of service at WakeMed, John dedicated himself to shaping a spiritual care program that offers a complete range of pastoral care to all. His work, support and dedication to the emotional and spiritual wellbeing of people is felt at every level of care throughout our hospital – from WakeMed nurses, physicians, physical therapists and social workers to administrators, volunteers and more.

His creed was to teach those around him, and he did just that. John spent a lifetime of learning, and his enthusiasm for education helped him develop WakeMed’s Clinical Pastoral Education program. The program now provides yearlong, student residency placements throughout WakeMed, allowing pastoral students the opportunity to follow their dreams of careers in hospice, the military and hospital ministries.

Regardless of background or circumstance, John always took the time to listen, teach and offer encouraging words of inspiration to everyone he encountered. By doing so, he influenced and encouraged countless of patients and visitors, coworkers and peers to reflect on their lives.

Many of us at WakeMed knew John for the humorous and poignant stories he shared as he offered invocations at WakeMed events and ceremonies. John loved weaving his understanding of life through stories and prayer to inspire and support those around him. His sermons were often filled with lessons on healing and coping with pain, hurt, and grief. He connected his experiences with people he met through heart-felt expressions and sermons.

Friends at WakeMed fondly remember John’s resistance to e-mail and insistence on connecting face-to-face to carry out his work. He helped us all to understand the value of listening with an open heart and open mind. As Rev. Jim McKinnon so eloquently said in his prayer at John’s funeral, “Teaching us the value of attentive human interaction, the importance of really listening, the lessons of life to be found in common experiences … how to find profound truth in ordinary moments and events … he taught us so many things about our human condition, and he opened up visions of better and more meaningful life through his insight, and the clear and concise ways that he commented on the things that he saw and heard.”

John was seen every day at WakeMed throughout the hallways, exercising in Healthworks or joining coworkers for lunch in Café 3000. John also served on WakeMed’s Ethics Committee, since its beginning, asking questions and delivering compassion as he heard cases and discussed difficult situations that arose in the medical treatment of patients.

John‘s leadership in spiritual care didn’t stop at WakeMed. John’s work was felt throughout our community, as he ministered and provided pastoral care to several area churches, where he was known for his gifts of preaching, reflections and leadership.

Our WakeMed family will deeply miss John.  We will always treasure the legacy he leaves behind, and will see it every day through the hundreds of lives he touched throughout his tenure at WakeMed. Our hearts go out to his family, loved ones, friends and every person who had the pleasure of enjoying his insight, sensitivity and the love he shared.

Lil Galphin is director chaplaincy services at WakeMed Raleigh Campus.

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Trouble in Toyland

According to this year's Trouble in Toyland report, some Dora backpacks contain phthalates.

N.C. Public Interest Research Group recently released its annual 25th annual Trouble in Toyland  survey of unsafe toys.

Before heading out for holiday shopping, please take time to review the report and the group’s tips for toy safety.   

PIRG also has a new app for smart phones so you can have access to recalled toys and toy tips and hazards from wherever you are.

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WakeMed Mobile Critical Care Celebrates 20 Years

Founded in 1990 with one ambulance and seven providers, WakeMed Mobile Critical Care Services (MCCS) transported 229 patients during its first year of service.  By 2000, MCCS was completing over 1,800 transports annually with 22 providers and three ambulances. 

Today with 20 ground ambulances and one air ambulance, 133 employees, and WakeMed Mobile Critical Care Services transports 17,309 patients annually to or from all 100 counties in North Carolina, southeastern Virginia, and northeastern South Carolina. 

Over the last several years, WakeMed Mobile Critical Care has appointed a dedicated medical director, added 800 MHz radio communications for state-wide coverage, computer-aided dispatch (CAD) for better accountability and monitoring of the ambulances while in transit, and implemented safety equipment and software that monitors and records ambulance activity while in motion. 

Additionally, many of the ambulance configurations were upgraded to a quad cab to provide better crewmember safety en route to a call and to offer the ability to safely transport patients’ family members with the patient to the receiving facility.   (See the inside of an ambulance and WakeMed Air Mobile in our virtual tour.)

Mobile Critical Care Services also recently expanded its response area by adding remote bases in northern Wake County, Cary, Benson, and Apex.  Because of these developments, WakeMed Mobile Critical Care Services is pleased to be the recipient of the Ground Critical Care Award of Excellence given annually by the Association of Air Medical Services.

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FDA Pulls Darvon & Darvocet Due to Cardiac Risk

The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an order to withdraw Darvon, Darvocet and generic versions of the drug propoxyphene due to risk of cardiac toxicity. 

The FDA has concluded that the safety risks of propoxyphene outweigh its benefits for pain relief at recommended doses.

Click here to read a press release from the FDA on this withdrawal, including background information and recommendations.  CNN.com also has additional information.

Lynn Eschenbacher is clinical manager of the WakeMed Pharmacy.

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WakeMed Recertified for Excellence in Stroke Care

WakeMed has received recertification from The Joint Commission as a Primary Stroke Center, and WakeMed Raleigh Campus, Cary Hospital, North Healthplex and Apex Healthplex remain the only certified Primary Stroke Center in Wake County.

Being a Primary Stroke Center is important because North Carolina is part of the nation’s “Stroke Belt” where death rates from stroke are significantly higher than the rest of the U.S. According to the North Carolina Stroke Association, someone in North Carolina is hospitalized every 20 minutes with a stroke and every two hours someone dies from a stroke. Two-thirds of these stroke survivors are moderately to severely disabled, and approximately 20 percent of stroke survivors require long-term care, and up to 30 percent are permanently disabled.

Being a Primary Stroke Center demonstrates WakeMed’s commitment to stroke prevention and care. We have dedicated hundreds of hours over the past four years educating our community about stroke prevention, warning signs and symptoms. Additionally, WakeMed has made a significant investment of time and resources to ensure patients with suspected stroke are identified early, their care is streamlined and coordinated across disciplines, and they have access to the most advanced treatments and technologies available.

Learn more about stroke warning signs and symptoms by clicking here.

Kimberly Elks, RN, is the WakeMed Stroke Program Coordinator.

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