Archive for February, 2016

Ebola Training Center Launches New Website

NETEC is Collaboration Between Three Ebola Treatment Experts

The National Ebola Training and Education Center (NETEC) has launched its website, which is designed to help create a repository of resources for health care facilities and health departments.


The National Ebola Training and Education Center is collaboration between Emory University, UNMC/Nebraska Medicine and Bellevue Hospital Center. Members of the NETEC faculty come from all three entities. Some of the faculty members include (left to right): Kate Boulter, Nebraska Medicine, Shelly Schwedhelm, Nebraska Medicine, Ross Wilson, MD, Bellevue Hospital, Laura Evans, MD, Bellevue Hospital, Phil Smith, MD, UNMC, Chris Kratochvil, MD, UNMC, Bruce Ribner, MD, Emory University, Nathan Link, MD, Bellevue Hospital, Jay Varkey, MD, Emory University, Marshall Lyon, MD, Emory University, Sharon Vanairsdale, Emory University, John Lowe, UNMC and Sonia Bell, Emory University

 “The website will help us push out needed information, such as background information on Ebola, some new information on MERs, and maybe other potentially significant viruses or diseases that might arise. It will serve as a forum to get information out quickly to this new infrastructure we’re developing across the United States,” said Shelly Schwedhelm, executive director, Emergency Preparedness & Infection Prevention Services at Nebraska Medicine.

The website launch is one in a series of goals for NETEC, a collaboration between Emory University, UNMC and Bellevue Hospital Center in New York City. Funded by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) and CDC’s Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion (DHQP), the goal of the NETEC is to increase the competency of health care and public health workers and the capability of health care facilities to deliver safe, efficient and effective care to patients with Ebola virus disease and other highly infectious disease through a nationwide and regional network for Ebola and other highly infectious diseases.

Schwedhelm praises IT professionals Dan Moser, Lee Trant, Max Thakker and Anne Faylor for their work on the new website and NETEC technology needs.

“Our next step, again with the help of our IT folks, is to link a new learning management system with the website, so people can take courses to better educate themselves as well as get continuing education credit,” Schwedhelm says. “In addition to that, our team is also developing a process to where others across the United States could actually request a site visit using a process via the website.”


Through the five-year project period and in collaboration with ASPR, CDC, and other stakeholders, the NETEC will:
•Develop metrics to measure facility and health care worker readiness to care for patients with Ebola virus disease
•Conduct peer review and readiness assessments of regional and state Ebola treatment centers
•Create and maintain a comprehensive suite of educational materials (e.g., curricula, just-in-time training, templates, train-the-trainer modules, tools, simulations, online resources, webinars) for guidance related to care of patients with possible Ebola
•Support public health departments and health care facilities through the provision of training and technical assistance
•Conduct Ebola preparedness courses to cover the many aspects of managing a facility and/or public health jurisdiction tasked with assessing and/or treating Ebola virus disease patients

ORs Set Record for Cases Performed


The week of Nov. 16, Perioperative Services set a record for the most cases performed in a day.

There’s never a dull moment in our operating room suites. Last month, Perioperative Services set not one, but two records in the same week. On Nov. 16, 94 cases were performed, beating the old record of 92. But it doesn’t stop there. Just three days later, the record was broken again as the perioperative team bettered the old mark as 100 cases were performed.

As you may recall from an article back in August, Perioperative Services performed 18,038 cases in FY2015, which broke the previous record of 16,182 in FY2014.

It takes a great deal of teamwork and comradery from the OR staff and surgeons. To accomplish these amazing feats, more than 400 colleagues from 11 different cost centers must work together, often resulting in long days that stretch into the evening.

Congratulations to all colleagues who made this feat a reality!

A New Lease on Life for the New Year

1-6-free-hip-and-knee-Brenda-BosticBrenda Bostic and Curtis Hartman, MD, right before Bostic’s procedure.

While many of us take for granted our daily mobility, millions of Americans are living with excruciating hip and knee pain that cripples them, their lifestyles and their ability to work or provide for themselves or their families. There are physical and psychological tolls. Most of all, they just want their lives back.

The solution is often hip and knee replacement surgery. But what happens to those individuals who desperately need new joints to minimize pain and regain mobility and can’t have access to them due to lack of insurance coverage, financial or other constraints?

Through Operation Walk USA 2015, two Nebraska Medicine patients received free joint replacements from orthopaedic surgeon, Curtis Hartman, MD. In mid-December, 59-year-old Brenda Bostic of Bellevue, Neb., and 63-year-old Randy Robins of Blair, Neb., underwent surgery at the med center. Bostic worked in receiving at Walmart most of her adult life, and was very aware of the arthritis and pain in her knee. For 20 years, she tried to minimize the discomfort with cortisone shots, frequent doctor visits and other procedures. But, in October, she thought her knee was going numb. She was rushed to the emergency department and was told she needed knee replacement surgery. When Bostic mentioned to the med center physicians that she didn’t have insurance, they recommended Operation Walk USA. She applied and was accepted.

“I was absolutely ecstatic,” says Bostic. “I want to be able to jump up and down and run along the field to support my grandchildren at their sporting events. Being a grandmother is the joy of my life.”

1-6-free-hip-and-knee-Randy_Robins_IMG_0905-690x460Randy Robins smiles with second year orthopaedic surgery resident Tyler Larson, MD, and orthopedic surgeon Curtis Hartman, MD.

Bostic, who is also legally blind, underwent a total left knee replacement on Dec. 15, under the care of Dr. Hartman. That same day, Dr. Hartman performed a left hip replacement on Robins, who enjoyed a long career at Union Pacific Railroad. Over the years, Robins has met life’s challenges head on. Twelve years ago, his youngest daughter was diagnosed with cancer. Five years ago, he came down with a rare form of cancer himself. Then, came Robins’ left hip. He’d been feeling discomfort for years, but after his recovery from cancer, the pain was excruciating.“I’m a pretty tough guy. Always have been,” says Robins. “But, the pain was so bad that I couldn’t walk.”

Given the physical nature of his work, Robins was forced to retire early. He had little insurance and was still paying off his cancer bills. His eldest daughter had read about Operation Walk USA and applied on his behalf without him knowing it.

“I’m very emotional about it,” says Robins. “I’ve been an unselfish man all my life and told my case worker that I don’t want to take an opportunity away from somebody else. I consider myself a fortunate man just to be here. I want to live again. I want to work again.”

Operation Walk USA provides all aspects of treatment – surgery, hospitalization, and pre-and post-operative care ─ at no cost to participating patients who may not qualify for government health coverage, have insurance or afford surgery on their own. Operation Walk USA takes place annually in early December to allow for greater hospital, surgeon and medical staff participation – and as a holiday gift to the patients it treats.

Team Performs First Lung Transplant

Stress-surgery-photo1-690x412Serious Medicine

Back in November, we announced that Nebraska Medicine has re-implemented its Lung Transplant Program after a 17-year hiatus.

Transplant team members recently performed the first lung transplant on a patient in need of this life-saving procedure. This marks the first time the procedure has been performed here since the relaunch of the program.

Our patient has requested privacy during recovery, so this is all we are able to share at this time. Learn more about our lung transplant program in this video.