UTMC | UToledo News

Categories

Archives

Resources

Categories

Archives

Resources

UTMC

Main Campus Pharmacy Announces Fall Hours, Services

Starting Monday, Aug. 31, The University of Toledo’s Main Campus Outpatient Pharmacy will return to normal business hours during the week.

The pharmacy will be open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will be closed Saturday and Sunday.

While curbside pickup is still available, the waiting room has reopened with appropriate safety precautions in place.

“Taking care of our customers safely is our No. 1 priority,” Dr. Valerie Householder, manager of the Main Campus Outpatient Pharmacy, said. “We are here for you.”

The Main Campus Outpatient Pharmacy offers immunizations, over-the-counter medications, and personalized healthcare.

Customers may download and use the RXLOCAL app to request refills and receive updates on their prescriptions.

The pharmacy is located on the southwest side of Main Campus across from the Horton International House in the University Health Center, where parking is available next to the building.

For more information, call the Main Campus Outpatient Pharmacy at 419.530.3471.

In addition, curbside pickup is available at the Health Science Campus Pharmacy and the UToledo Access Pharmacy.

The Health Science Campus Pharmacy is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The pharmacy is located at 3000 Arlington Ave. inside the UTMC Medical Pavilion. The phone number is 419.383.3750.

The UToledo Access Pharmacy at 3333 Glendale Ave. in the Comprehensive Care Clinic is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The phone number is 419.383.3370.

Handmade Face Coverings With a Message Benefit UTMC

The purple and teal-colored cotton fabrics were originally meant to be part of a quilt. Instead, they will help protect nurses and other healthcare workers at The University of Toledo Medical Center (UTMC).

The colors weren’t chosen at random. Purple honors National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which began in 1981; teal symbolizes Sexual Assault Awareness Month, observed nationally in April since 2001. The fabrics were to be stitched together with panels featuring supportive messages from students, faculty, staff and others in The University of Toledo community to create a “Messages of Hope” quilt as part of UToledo’s “What Were You Wearing?” exhibit, part of a nationwide effort to shed light on the experiences of sexual assault survivors and combat the myth that sexual violence is caused by a person’s choice of clothing.

Community volunteers Jennifer Kregel, Barbara Limes and Jen Minard, together with UToledo’s Title IX Office, donated 40 handmade masks for use at The University of Toledo Medical Center. The colors honor Sexual Assault Awareness Month (April) and National Domestic Violence Awareness Month (October).

But in March, as facilities and operations throughout UToledo shifted remotely in response to the growing threat of COVID-19 — including the format of the exhibit going to a virtual setting — the team in the University’s Title IX Office saw a different potential purpose for the energy and materials behind the quilt.

“We talked it over and quickly decided that cloth face coverings could have an immediate, meaningful impact at UTMC,” said Lindsay Tuttle, sexual misconduct prevention education coordinator for Title IX. “Our goal right now is to pull together as an institution, help our peers, and at the same time send a message in the fight against domestic violence and sexual assault.”

That’s where volunteer Jennifer Kregel comes in. Kregel, a family and consumer sciences teacher at Perrysburg High School and friend of the Title IX Office, saw right away how the two bundles of fabric for the quilt could be repurposed. Along with her mother, Barbara Limes, and Jen Minard, an acquaintance from church, the three began trying patterns and fits to determine what would be most comfortable.

“We really wanted the coverings to be practical, something you could wear all day,” Kregel said. “Especially right now, it was nice to know we were helping people in need and making people feel safer in their jobs. And the colors to raise awareness of sexual assaults and domestic violence were a big part of that.”

“Bringing awareness to sexual assault and domestic violence is not just a day or a month, so finding positive ways to continue the conversation is essential,” said Vicky Kulicke, UToledo’s director for Title IX and compliance, and Title IX coordinator. “If the recipients of the face coverings share the meaning behind the colors, then the conversation and awareness continue.”

Ultimately, 40 face coverings were completed with the group’s materials and delivered to UTMC, where they will be sent directly to the teams of nurses, clinicians and other workers.

“We are providing the cloth coverings to any department on site that is in need,” said Jennifer Pastorek, senior supply chain director for UToledo’s Health Science Campus. “Since they’re required, many staff wear the cloth face coverings in before transitioning to their personal protective equipment (PPE) required in the clinical spaces, thus preserving the use of PPE. We are so very grateful for this community outreach and outpouring of support for our hospital and clinical teams.”

UTMC Cancer Center, Toledo Clinic Partner to Expand Services

The Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center at The University of Toledo Medical Center and The Toledo Clinic Cancer Centers will collaborate to help expand services and oncology resources to residents of northwest Ohio in a new partnership effective Sept. 1.

“We are pleased to join teams with The Toledo Clinic,” said Rick Swaine, CEO of UTMC. “Dana Cancer Center has great staff and technology, and we look forward to expanding our capacity with these doctors.”

“This is a wonderful arrangement for the community,” said Rex Mowat, M.D., President of The Toledo Clinic Cancer Centers. “It allows for a number of talented physicians to collaborate, while providing additional resources offered by the Dana Cancer Center.”

The arrangement to collaborate between physicians, shared services, research and clinical trials is a three-year commitment.

The Dana Cancer Center, located on the UToledo Health Science Campus adjacent to UTMC, provides medical and radiation oncology services as well as technology and considerable support services for cancer patients.

The Toledo Clinic Cancer Centers are located in six locations throughout the area, including The Maurer Family Cancer Care Center in Bowling Green. The main campus is on Holland-Sylvania Road. Additionally, The Toledo Clinic is currently in the process of building a new state-of-the-art comprehensive cancer care campus in Maumee near St. Luke’s Hospital.

It is the expectation that the partners will be collaborating at all sites where cancer services are being provided.

“This will be a great opportunity for meaningful collaboration between The University of Toledo and The Toledo Clinic Cancer Centers,” said Henry Naddaf, M.D., president of The Toledo Clinic. “This collaboration will benefit both groups, and most importantly, improve and enhance patient care. This is exciting progress.”

“This is a very good start for the UTMC and Dana Cancer Center, but more critically, this partnership is essential for the patients of NW Ohio who are in need of comprehensive cancer treatment,” said Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur.

UToledo Continues Hospital Stabilization Efforts

While continuing to work on the 2021 budget, University leadership is performing a strategic review of the hospital’s business strategy and community needs assessment while also honoring the ongoing commitment to the growth and success of the Academic Affiliation Agreement.

Hospital leadership has been working diligently to review current service lines and future growth opportunities. “We are proud to be Toledo’s community-focused teaching hospital and are driven to provide exceptional patient-centered service to our region, while also providing training opportunities for UToledo’s many healthcare programs ranging from family medicine, to occupational therapy, to pharmacy, to nursing,” said UTMC CEO Rick Swaine.

UToledo’s Academic Affiliation with ProMedica also continues to enhance medical education for the College of Medicine and Life Sciences. Training opportunities for learners added in recent years include fellowships in endocrinology, rheumatology, hematology/oncology, surgery, patient safety and internal medicine.

“The Academic Affiliation was and is an important partnership for the continued growth of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences and helps fullfill its mission to enhance research, education and patient care,” said UToledo Interim President Gregory Postel, M.D. “The University is committed to healthcare programs that provide quality clinical learning environments.”

Earlier this year the University requested the assistance of the Ohio Auditor of State to review the finances of both UTMC and the College of Medicine and Life Sciences in an effort to provide transparency related to the hospital’s ongoing fiscal challenges. The Auditor performed a procedures audit of the last five fiscal years as well as the current fiscal year through March 31, 2020 as prepared by CLA, our independent audit firm.

UToledo officials are also cooperating with the State of Ohio as it reviews the Academic Affiliation Agreement. The University has committed to working with the State to perform a review of historical information pursuant to the implementation of the Academic Affiliation Agreement and the hospital’s operations.

The University of Toledo is committed to quality education, quality healthcare and impactful community engagement. Our training programs, patients and local community will all benefit from the work in which we are engaged.

UToledo Postpones RFP Process; Continues Hospital Stabilization Efforts

The University of Toledo, after consultations with the Board of Trustees, announced Thursday, July 16, that it is postponing the Request for Proposals (RFP) process indefinitely, and will focus our immediate efforts on stabilizing the University of Toledo Medical Center’s (UTMC) fiscal challenges. The RFP was one aspect of the University’s ongoing research to explore all possible options for the future of the hospital.

University officials and hospital leadership have been working tirelessly to address the sustainability of the medical center, including amending UTMC’s medical bylaws, enhancing partnerships with the Toledo Clinic and working on a number of business efficiency and cost reduction strategies.

“There has been much public discussion about the fiscal challenges facing our hospital. This is indeed a challenge we must address, and we will continue to do so,” UToledo Interim President Gregory Postel said. “We recognize the important role of the hospital in our community and are doing our due diligence to address the impact of the hospital’s current financial condition on the University enterprise, while thoughtfully determining the best long-term solution.”

Hospital leadership has made progress in its short-term stabilization efforts which provide an opportunity to focus immediate efforts on caring for the community during the midst of this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.

Following the Board of Trustees vote to amend the hospital’s medical bylaws in March by removing the faculty-appointment restriction for practicing physicians, there are now 16 Toledo Clinic physicians credentialed at UTMC. Hospital leaders have been working collaboratively with the Toledo Clinic to explore partnership opportunities in key practice areas, including hematology, oncology, cardiology and infusion services.

“Our hospital serves a critical role in our community as evidenced by the leadership role we’ve played during this pandemic,” UTMC CEO Rick Swaine said. “We were the first location in northwest Ohio capable of testing samples for COVID-19, and continue to be the central testing site for our region.”

“We appreciate the ongoing support of our elected officials and our community. UTMC is your community hospital and we are honored to care for you. As we look to grow our way out of these fiscal challenges, we need your continued support for our services and those of our highly trained physicians.”

As part of the hospital’s ongoing business strategy assessment, UTMC continues to grow its primary care marketshare and anticipates adding two family medicine physicians within the next quarter. UTMC has also recently hired two critical care specialists, an electrophysiologist and a new transplant surgeon. In addition, UTMC is the only hospital in the Toledo metro area that offers kidney transplants, and has been performing these since 1972.

UTMC’s increased focus on safety in recent years has had a dramatic impact improving the care received and overall experience of patients in the hospital. Since 2017, overall infections and infection rates have decreased by more than half and UTMC improved from 80th in 2017 to 8th in 2019 in the overall safety ranking by Vizient, a national network of healthcare organizations working to improve healthcare performance. In the last year alone, UTMC decreased blood stream infections by 90%, readmissions by 10% and overall mortality by 10%.

Additionally, UTMC’s request to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for a rural designation change was approved for FY 2021. This redesignation impacts the hospital’s reimbursement rates better aligning them with the actual cost of care in our region, and is expected to provide $5 million in additional reimbursement.

While ProMedica Toledo Hospital remains the area’s academic medical center as defined in the Academic Affiliation Agreement with the College of Medicine and Life Sciences, UTMC continues to serve as a teaching hospital for UToledo learners enrolled in the University’s many health professional programs.

“There are a number of challenges ahead and we can’t lose sight of our primary role as an educational institution; however, we also recognize that our community needs our hospital and we need them to support us by continuing to use our services. We must increase our patient volume to find a sustainable solution,” Postel said. “This will take all of us, working together, to find the best solution.”

Nursing Graduate Student Named Ohio Recipient of New Scholarship

A University of Toledo graduate student is one step closer to becoming a leader in her profession thanks to a newly created scholarship that supports nursing students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sandra Boateng, a student in UToledo’s Clinical Nurse Leader Master’s Degree Program, was the only recipient of the $500 scholarship in the state of Ohio. Boateng was selected from a pool of more than 2,800 applicants nationwide.

Boateng

Born and raised in the West African nation of Ghana, Boateng is the first in her family to attend college and received a bachelor of arts in biology from UToledo in 2013. She owes her success, in part, to the instructors and faculty she’s partnered with at the University.

“If it wasn’t for the professors and support they have given me, I wouldn’t have gotten this achievement. I appreciate them for all they do and really want to give credit to them,” said Boateng, who also works as a nurse aide at The University of Toledo Medical Center. “With this scholarship, I will be able to buy the books I need to complete my studies.”

The scholarship was awarded by the Foundation for Academic Nursing, a new philanthropic initiative of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing that promotes the importance of academic nursing and educational programs around the country.

“We applaud the Foundation for Academic Nursing for launching this new COVID-19 Nursing Student Support Fund and are very pleased that one of our very deserving students was chosen as the only recipient from Ohio,” said Dr. Linda Lewandowski, dean of the UToledo College of Nursing. “Sandra is an excellent student with great career goals to make a difference, and this scholarship will help her in her quest to achieve them.”

The foundation’s COVID-19 Nursing Student Support Fund was launched in April 2020 to remove barriers to new nurses entering the workforce. The program helps nursing students who are facing hardships as a result of the pandemic and need financial assistance to complete their degree programs.

UToledo Reviewing Proposals Following RFP Deadline

The University of Toledo is reviewing responses to the public request for proposal process (RFP) for a potential transaction for University of Toledo Medical Center.

As was shared publicly during the April UToledo Board of Trustees meeting, the University is moving forward with examining all options for the hospital, and a necessary part of the process is an RFP seeking proposals for a potential acquisition, lease, management agreement or other transaction of the hospital. The RFP was issued April 16 and closed 5 p.m. Wednesday, June 10.

The University is undertaking this process to be responsive to the community’s concerns about access to healthcare and our economic realities.

As planned, an update on the RFP process and the state of the hospital’s current financial challenges will be provided during the next regular meeting of the UToledo Board of Trustees scheduled for Monday, June 22.

UToledo Experts Share What You Need to Know About COVID-19 as States Reopen

As governments begin easing restrictions that were put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19, public health and infectious disease experts from The University of Toledo are offering insight into what you need to know about the novel coronavirus, how to protect yourself, and how to protect others.

The virus is still here. We have to act accordingly.

Fink

While the number of newly confirmed cases in many states — including Ohio and Michigan — appears to have peaked, the virus hasn’t gone away or become less dangerous.

“We all yearn for the way life was in the pre-pandemic days, and we are going to get there, but this is going to be the situation for a while,” said Dr. Brian Fink, an epidemiologist and professor of public health. “We have to respect that and continue taking the same precautions.”

Though it’s tempting to see businesses reopening and leisure activities resuming and think the threat of the virus is behind us, Fink said the reality is the novel coronavirus is still spreading across the United States.

Take steps to protect your own health and the health of others.

“People do still need to be careful,” said Dr. Jennifer Hanrahan, an associate professor of medicine and chief of infectious diseases at The University of Toledo Medical Center. “One of the worst things that people could do at this point is go out and resume their normal behavior. We would certainly have a resurgence.”

Diligent handwashing, avoiding touching your nose and mouth, staying home if you’re sick, and social distancing should all continue, UToledo experts said. Individuals who are older or high-risk because of underlying health conditions should be more careful.

Fink said there are simple things you can do. For example, when shopping, avoid picking up an item and then putting it back, and keep your distance from other shoppers. It’s also important, he said, to make decisions based not only on your own risk, but the risk of those around you.

“It’s difficult. We all want to see our friends and family,” he said. “We just have to be patient. If we’re patient and we follow the guidelines as best as possible, we’ll be back to normal sooner rather than later, even though that’s going to take time,” Fink said.

Wearing a cloth face covering does make a difference. Wear one if you’re around others.

Hanrahan

The shifting guidance from public health officials on mask usage has caused confusion and pushback, but Hanrahan encourages people to wear a simple mask or cloth face covering when around other people.

“Two things are happening. The person wearing the mask is reducing the amount of stuff they’re putting in the environment, and they’re also reducing the amount they breath in,” she said. “It’s not going to prevent everything, but there is some protection.”

Hanrahan said face coverings, combined with continued social distancing and new measures being implemented by businesses, such as clear barriers at cash registers and limits on the number of people allowed in one place at one time, will reduce the overall risk.

Fink said its important people recognize things such as mask recommendations or requirements are being done for the benefit of everyone, not to target specific individuals.

“I always tell my students there are going to be people in the population who aren’t going to be happy. We’re seeing that,” Fink said. “But we’re putting these guidelines in place for the health and well-being of everyone.”

Individuals with pre-existing health conditions are most vulnerable, but no one is immune to the illness.

As physicians and researchers learn more about COVID-19, there are also some troubling discoveries. Along with older Americans and those who have diabetes, compromised immune systems and chronic lung diseases, Hanrahan said doctors are finding people with morbid obesity and high blood pressure are at high risk of complications.

“Hypertension alone would not necessarily be thought of as a potential problem with a viral infection, but it actually is,” she said. “For people who have those conditions or other underlying medical conditions, they really need to think about whether it makes sense for them to go to the grocery store or be around a lot of other people.”

Additionally, there are an increasing number of reports of children developing a severe inflammatory response linked to COVID-19, even when they weren’t previously sick.

“COVID-19 is not just affecting people who are at high risk for complications,” Hanrahan said.

Scientists and physicians have learned a lot about the virus, but we’re still a long way from having routine treatments or a vaccine.

The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 was completely unknown before it began spreading among people early this year. Since then, there has been a tremendous amount of research both in how the virus spreads and potential ways to treat or prevent it.

“We have learned a lot about this virus,” Hanrahan said. “Most of the spread really is by droplets, typically within a few feet of the person. The social isolation part, keeping six feet of distance, that does actually make a difference.”

Doctors also have a better idea how to manage the virus, and hundreds of drugs are being examined to potentially fight COVID-19 and its effects. Some, including the antiviral drug remdesivir, are showing promising early results. Progress also is being made in vaccine development.

However, while there is reason for hope, Hanrahan said it will take time to get any of these therapeutics in the quantities needed. Gilead Sciences, which makes remdesivir, anticipates making a million courses of that drug globally by December.

“That’s not going to be enough to treat people if we get a really huge outbreak. This is unfortunately going to be with us for a while,” Hanrahan said. “That’s why it’s important everyone continue to treat this pandemic seriously.”

UTMC to Resume Outpatient Procedures, Seeing Non-Emergent Patients

The University of Toledo Medical Center is preparing to resume elective outpatient surgeries that were temporarily halted because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The restart is being done in accordance with guidelines from Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health, which include strict adherence to infection control practices, a sufficient supply of personal protective equipment, and conversations with patients about their relative risk of contracting COVID-19.

Aligned with the state’s Responsible RestartOhio guidance, UTMC’s first procedures are planned to take place Friday, May 1.

Patients in need of a surgical procedure will be required to complete a questionnaire and be tested for COVID-19 prior to surgery. The number of employees in the operating room will be limited to include only those who are absolutely necessary, and they all will wear extra personal protective equipment.

Prioritization will be given to patients who have the most urgent medical needs. While classified as elective, these medically necessary procedures cover a wide range of cases, many of which have significant implications for quality of life. They do not, however, require an overnight stay.

UTMC announced March 15 it was canceling elective procedures, two days before the Ohio Department of Health ordered all hospitals in the state to pause the procedures in an effort to preserve personal protective equipment.

The hospital also will soon begin phasing in more face-to-face visits with healthcare providers. Beginning Monday, May 4, some UTMC clinics will reopen to patients who require chronic disease management or select preventative services.

To further protect patients and employees, UTMC will enforce social distancing in all waiting rooms and clinics, screen for fever at entrances, provide additional cleaning of common and clinical areas, ensure patients and providers are wearing appropriate protective equipment, and stagger scheduling to reduce contact between patients.

UTMC continues to enforce visitor restrictions. The only exceptions are for end-of-life visits, minors, or individuals who need assistance with daily tasks.

UToledo Medical Student Organizes Effort to Gather Supplies for Local Hospitals

Gabrielle Hymel grew up watching her father, an emergency medicine physician, report to work never quite knowing what each day might bring.

But never had he, nor the thousands of other frontline healthcare workers in America, dealt with anything like the global coronavirus pandemic. As personal protective equipment has been in short supply across the country, a high percentage of those afflicted with COVID-19 have been healthcare workers.

Hymel

“He is in that age group where there are higher rates for severe complications if you get exposed,” said Hymel, a first-year medical student at The University of Toledo. “For a week or two, I was just very anxious watching coronavirus spread throughout the United States. I knew it was a matter of when, not if, this would come to our area, and I was just kind of wallowing in this anxiety.”

When a high school teacher of hers reached out to ask how they might go about donating gloves and hand sanitizer, a realization hit Hymel — she could do something to help.

“We need gloves, surgical masks, surgical gowns, isolation gowns, N95 masks, sanitizing equipment,” Hymel said. “A lot of people who have done painting work, do-it-yourself construction work, art with resin or spray paint, will buy N95s and forget about them. It’s just sitting in their garage, their basement. Let’s look.”

What started as a group chat with fellow medical students has grown into something much larger. Hymel quickly looped in with a group called Masks For Docs, a nonprofit organization dedicated to getting personal protective equipment in the hands of doctors, nurses and other medical professionals working with COVID-19 patients.

Hymel started a local chapter of Masks For Docs and began contacting tattoo parlors, schools, construction companies and other organizations that might have stock of personal protective equipment. The local chapter also is reaching out via social media to solicit donations from the community and has worked with UToledo academic labs to facilitate donations.

As of April 1, the group had collected a range of equipment and supplies, including 107 face shields, 165 surgical gowns, 85 boxes of gloves, hundreds of surgical masks, and a large supply of cleaning and disinfecting products.

The group also has been in touch with individuals who have experience in supply chain management and direct access to factories making personal protective equipment, including N95 respirators.

Hymel’s group has distributed material to a number of area hospitals, including The University of Toledo Medical Center.

“The willingness of our community to come and help has been very heartwarming,” Hymel said. “Every mask counts, every glove counts. These are people’s lives. These people have families. The more we can help them, the bigger the impact is.”

The northwest Ohio chapter of Masks For Docs can be reached via Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. Individuals can also email masks4docsnwo@gmail.com or call 567.218.3944.