A five-alarm fire was coming, and Ricky Fetter’s only warning sign was shortness of breath. Just days before he got winded climbing up a hill to his truck, the Parma Fire captain was instructing the city’s new firefighters in a burning building. Loaded down with heavy gear at the live burn training – with five heart vessels more than 80 percent blocked – he feels lucky that a heart attack didn’t strike then. “Knowing what I know now, I could’ve died in that training,” says the Parma fire marshal and 28-year firefighter/paramedic, who would have been hauling an extra 70 pounds of gear on his 195-pound, 5-foot-8 frame. But the city’s EMS coordinator, who also runs University Hospitals Parma Medical Center’s EMS Education program, still had a few lessons to learn – and to teach his fellow firefighters and paramedics.
Parma General Hospital
University Hospitals has prevented more than 223,000 pounds of food waste, conserved nearly 2.5 million bathtubs of water and saved over 186,000 meals since implementing a new program 18 months ago to reduce food waste.
Generosity overflowed from the community at the March 2 Stuff the Squad event at UH Parma Medical Center, a collaboration with the Parma Fire Department to collect donations for the grade school at Saint Anthony of Padua. The State Road school sustained $1 million damage in a Feb. 19 fire that was ruled arson.
In the heart of Ohio’s largest Ukrainian community, UH Parma Medical Center organized a relief drive for the war-torn country as Russian forces continued their assault on Ukraine.
UH Parma Medical Center caregivers solemnly placed carnations in blue vases at the front of the room while music softly played. Then each received a blue heart pin from a leader to commemorate two of the most challenging years in health care that anyone could have ever imagined. They hugged and they released some of the emotions carried throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Christopher J. Dussel, MD, MBA, FACHE, who has served as Associate Chief Medical Officer over the past year at University Hospitals Parma Medical Center, has been promoted to Chief Medical Officer. James Hill, MD, MBA, CPE, FASA, FACHE, who previously held the dual role of CMO and Chief Operating Officer, will continue to lead UH Parma Medical Center as COO.
Throughout the latest surge in the COVID-19 battle, dozens of National Guard members worked alongside frontline caregivers at University Hospitals Parma Medical Center. In scrubs and combat boots, they assisted in the Emergency Department, COVID units, transporting patients, cleaning rooms and making beds, restocking supplies and other duties as needed.
For patients on multiple medications prescribed by different doctors, the Chronic Care Clinic offers a solution: a pharmacist to meet with patients to explain their prescriptions and help them understand the purpose and dosage for each one. “Having a Chronic Care Clinic has allowed us to better care for patients with long-term conditions that will impact their health,” says James Hill, MD, Chief Medical Officer & Chief Operating Officer of University Hospitals Parma Medical Center. “We have seen great benefit in the care of patients with diabetes, heart failure, respiratory conditions and many other chronic disease states. The pharmacy-led clinic has done a great job working collaboratively with primary care physicians to improve patient’s quality of life and keep them healthy out of the hospital.”
When two chronic conditions collided to land Christine Rand in the hospital, a special nurse navigator was waiting to guide her back to health – and keep her from returning. Just a month before her 69th birthday, Chris was exhausted, depleted of energy, winded and worn down. Feeling progressively worse, her legs were swollen and she noticed an alarming increase in shortness of breath. The daughter with whom she shares her third-floor walk-up condo in North Royalton called an ambulance. Chris was cheerful but concerned as she was wheeled into University Hospitals Parma Medical Center’s Emergency Department, waving to caregivers. Her blood pressure was very high and paramedics had put her on oxygen. She was surprised to receive a double diagnosis: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and congestive heart failure (CHF). “All my vices had to go away,” says the North Royalton retiree, a pack-a-day smoker for many years, who enjoys indulging in potato chips and an adult libation. “Son of a gun, it’s a lot of adjustments to make.”
A local man who had a stroke after breakfast learned the benefit of living near a community hospital experienced in quality stroke care – and the advantage of his local hospital being connected to an academic medical center where the clot in his brain could be specially extracted before lunchtime.
Even during a global pandemic, UH Parma Medical Center was among the top hospitals in the country honored for environmental excellence from Practice Greenhealth, the nation’s leading organization dedicated to environmental sustainability in health care.
Leaders in business and medicine are the two newest members of the Board of Directors at University Hospitals Parma Medical Center.
The existing strong cardiology program at University Hospitals Parma Medical Center is being reinvigorated by the top-rated cardiac surgery team of UH Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute. This expansion of cardiac services will allow patients to remain in their community for specialized care rather than traveling to UH Cleveland Medical Center for advanced procedures.
Bill Regan, a 79-year-old pickleball champ who has competed in national and international tournaments, knows all about collaborating for a winning result. So he was beyond grateful for the massive team effort of friends, police officers, paramedics and hospital physicians and caregivers who saved his life when he suffered a heart attack after playing his favorite pastime in Parma.
Sixty years after opening as a 200-bed, six-story hospital on Ridge Road, University Hospitals Parma Medical Center is celebrating its anniversary in 2021 by concluding its largest construction project in the main hospital building in three decades. The Surgical Services renovation and expansion will be completed this year, a $27.5 million project that underscores UH Parma’s commitment to remaining a cornerstone of the community. Its addition has changed the face of the hospital with a new modern section.
University Hospital’s Parma Medical Center has been officially designated by the State of Ohio as a Level III Trauma Center after a successful evaluation from surveyors from the American College of Surgery’s Verification Review and Consultation Program. Level III trauma centers can provide care to the majority of patients sustaining minor to moderate injuries and can promptly assess and stabilize those with severe injuries requiring a higher level of care prior to transfer to UH’s Level I Adult and Pediatric Trauma Center at main campus.
Women often ask the most pressing questions as they're leaving their health care provider's office. Call them hand-on-the-doorknob moments. That's what Lindsay Brown, a UH women's health nurse practitioner who works with OB/Gyn Steven Galun, refers to them as, and she gets them often. In this past year of pandemic isolation, where many women have been physically and emotionally distanced from their sisters and friends, the connection to one's health care professionals is most vital. “Women ask their most pressing questions when they feel most comfortable," says Lindsay. “During the exam and consult, they're still getting to know you and build a rapport. But when they're getting ready to leave, and they're feeling more comfortable and relaxed, they ask the questions they've been holding inside. There is a level of trust there."
A child has fewer than 2,000 days from birth to beginning Kindergarten to develop the social, emotional and educational skills for an impactful start in life. University Hospitals Parma Medical Center’s Child Care Center has been awarded Five Stars in state rankings for providing the highest possible advantage to the 170 children under its care.
Patients suffering from chronic pain will find many more options at University Hospitals Comprehensive Pain Center. UH is debuting the first of its centers at UH Parma Medical Center, with its proven interventional pain management program making it the ideal location for the new Center. The UH Comprehensive Pain Center builds on existing treatments for management of chronic pain (such as injections, spinal cord stimulators, and infusion therapy) with the addition of the UH Connor Integrative Health Network, offering chiropractic care, lifestyle and integrative health medical consults, massage therapy and guided meditation to complement its integrated approach to pain management. Additionally, the multi-disciplinary Center also offers physical and occupational therapy, behavioral health and addiction services. “Our dedicated team of physicians and clinicians are already experienced in helping patients struggling with pain,” says Brian Monter, Chief Operating Officer of UH’s West Market, which includes UH Parma Medical Center. “To enhance our care offerings, we recently recruited new physicians with decades of experience in treating patients with pain. I am confident that their expertise, combined with the multi-disciplinary slate of clinical practitioners available through the Center, will provide our community with an unmatched program that’s desperately needed.”
Carl Milano felt like a groom on the evening of his wedding day, anticipating the homecoming of his bride of 46 years. The Mayfield Village couple had survived COVID-19: he during a three-week bout at home, and Beverly during a marathon 76 days in two hospitals, including more than three weeks on a ventilator. They had missed Christmas and New Year’s together, and on a snowy February afternoon just after Valentine’s Day, he was taking his beloved home again. “We witnessed a miracle, and you all were a part of it,” said a tearful Carl, bowing in thanks to all the assembled caregivers cheering Beverly as she was discharged from University Hospitals Parma Medical Center.
Ailene Zaebst walked down the aisle at her wedding more than 140 pounds lighter from bariatric surgery, completing a weight-loss journey that began 18 months earlier at University Hospitals Parma Medical Center. Her beloved, Adam, waited for her at the altar. But her unseen partners in this journey were an entire team of specialists at UH Parma, supporting her in positive changes to last a lifetime. Initially, Ailene was inspired by her Aunt Patty, who had pledged to lose 50 pounds before her 50th birthday and ultimately dropped more than 150 pounds. Losing 30 pounds before her 30th birthday should be quite achievable, she figured. Ailene met with Dietitian Dina Corrao, who put her on a 1,500 calorie per day diet and urged her to ramp up her exercise. She lost 40 pounds before she underwent surgery in September 2019 – and she’s lost 100 pounds more since. The pre-surgery routines have been critical in ensuring long-term life changes. “Ailene has been a true example of success,” says Anna Hazinakis, BS, RN, CBN, the clinical coordinator and assistant nurse manager of the Nutritional Health & Bariatric Surgery Center at UH Parma, who has been recognized as a Distinguished Bariatric Nurse by the American Society for Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery, which accredits the program. “Ailene committed from day one to this journey and has been an inspiration to many around her.”
Chick-fil-A is awarding a year’s worth of complimentary meals to 18 local heroes at University Hospitals Parma Medical Center, right across the street from its new Parma location. “It was such an amazing surprise!” said 25-year employee Maria Scheutzow, an RN in Infection Control who has worked non-stop behind the scenes of the pandemic to keep caregivers safe and implement protocols to protect our patients. “What fun it is to be given an unexpected and undeserved gift, especially in the midst of the pandemic fatigue we are all feeling right now.” Chick-fil-A typically awards a year’s worth of free meals to its first 100 customers at each new restaurant. To prevent crowds in advance of its Jan. 21 opening and honor local heroes during the pandemic, the Parma location at 6676 Ridge Road awarded one meal per week for an entire year to select employees of UH Parma.
University Hospitals is proud to have been the first health system clinical trials site in Northeast Ohio for COVID-19 vaccines. Now, we’re seeing the positive results of participating in those trials.
On December 23, University Hospitals began vaccinating caregivers with its first shipments of COVID-19 vaccine from Moderna. UH is working with ODH, CDC and others and is following regulatory guidelines for vaccine distribution. UH caregivers, regardless of their role, with the greatest risks of exposure to COVID-19 positive patients, are among the first groups to receive the vaccination. More than 16,000 healthcare givers have filled out a survey requesting the vaccine, and we will be working to vaccinate all of these UH caregivers as vaccine doses become available.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, UH has leveraged the strength of our 19-hospital system to provide the best care possible for all of our patients. We are proud of our caregivers in clinical and nonclinical positions for their dedication to patients during this critical time. Now that we have received vaccines and begun distribution, we are doing the work to bring this pandemic to an end.
Exploring rocky, remote elevations fills Alan Studt’s leisure time. So luck was on his side when – just weeks before he was found to have four significant blockages in his coronary arteries through a coronary artery calcium score (CACS) test – the guitarist and graphic designer enjoyed a vacation climbing in the mountains of Idaho with his girlfriend.
Three years ago on Thanksgiving day, Destiny Faye Porter met her fiancé. This year, they will both be giving thanks that she is alive to celebrate the holiday. Two weeks before their October wedding, this otherwise healthy, 25-year-old woman had a medical crisis stemming from new onset diabetes. She went from teaching third grade, planning her wedding and preparing a new home for her and her future husband's life together to not feeling well and suddenly landing at death's doorstep.
When her fiancé, a surgical technician at UH Cleveland Medical Center, was unable to rouse her one morning, he rushed her to the Emergency Department at UH Parma Medical Center. They quickly discovered she was suffering from diabetic ketoacidosis – her body wasn't producing insulin, and her blood sugar was off the charts at over 600. She was admitted to the ICU for management.
But the ICU Medical Director Abdullah AlGhamdi, MD, felt strongly that there was more going on and immediately performed an ultrasound on her heart. Her heart was barely pumping due to severe stress-induced cardiomyopathy. Destiny was going into cardiogenic shock, a serious condition that occurs when the heart fails to pump enough blood and oxygen to the brain, kidneys, and other vital organs. They had to act quickly to prevent an imminent cardiac arrest.
Dr. AlGhamdi consulted cardiologist Paul Poommipanit, MD, and cardiac surgeon Masumi Yamamuro, MD. They all decided to initiate ECMO as a lifesaving measure since it was the only available option for her multiple organ failure. This heart-lung machine temporarily takes over pumping for the heart and requires a specific team to administer and manage.
“I knew she'd experience a cardiac arrest without mechanical support," said Dr. AlGhamdi. “A delay of even a couple hours and she would have been dead."
The ECMO team arrived within an hour, connected her to the machine and transferred her to UH Cleveland Medical Center. She suffered a cardiac arrest within an hour of arrival at main campus.
Six days later, Destiny woke up – intubated, with a feeding tube, and paralyzed from the waist down due to neuropathy. It had been a long road. She returned to UH Parma for 37 days of acute rehabilitation, learning to maneuver with a wheelchair. She is stunned by what she's been through, but happy to be alive.
“I'm an otherwise healthy 25-year-old girl, an elementary school teacher – there's no reason to think anything would be wrong," says Destiny, who's eternally grateful to her UH caregivers who looked beyond the obvious. “I can say with certainty that every single person involved in my care had a role in saving my life. There were so many people on top of their game, and being proactive. They listened, and they acted quickly.
University Hospitals has been recognized by Ethisphere, a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices, as one of the 2020 World’s Most Ethical Companies. This is the eighth year University Hospitals has received this recognition since 2012 and is one of only five honorees in the health care providers’ category. In 2020, 132 honorees were recognized spanning 21 countries and 51 industries. The award underscores an ongoing institutional commitment to lead with integrity and prioritize ethical business practices. “The 2020 World’s Most Ethical Companies award is a tribute to the integrity of our caregivers at University Hospitals,” said Thomas F. Zenty III, Chief Executive Officer of UH. “We strive to maintain high professional and ethical standards as we deliver the highest-quality care to our patients by living according to our core values: Excellence. Diversity. Integrity. Compassion. Teamwork.”
UH Parma Medical Center’s Newly Renovated Surgery Department Welcomes Arrival Of The Da Vinci Xi Robot
A high-tech robot is the latest complement to the $27.5 million renovation of the Surgery Department at University Hospitals Parma Medical Center, providing surgeons in various specialties an exciting opportunity to utilize the latest-generation surgical technology for superior patient outcomes.
Clevelanders are familiar with the seasonal onslaught of allergens, which are typically trees in spring, grasses in summer and weeds in fall. Now they can count year-round on an ENT physician to handle these concerns and more for patients of all ages.
“Allergies or environmental irritants can affect patients in so many ways; causing cough, ear complaints, as well as nasal issues,” says W. Colby Brown, MD, who trained at UH, completed his fellowship at one of the nation’s premier programs and is now based on the West-side at University Hospitals Parma Medical Center.
In addition to treating seasonal allergies, Dr. Brown also treats a wide range of more common ENT conditions, such as inflammatory diseases of the sinuses, including allergic rhinitis, chronic sinusitis, and nasal polyps. He handles many procedures, such as tympanostomies (ear tubes), tonsillectomies, and septoplasties.
“Dr. Brown brings to UH Parma a patient-centered focus with expertise in all aspects of pediatric and adult general ENT,” said Nicole Maronian, MD, Director of the UH Ear Nose and Throat Institute. “His full-time presence will allow for improved ENT care in a consistent manner for the greater Parma area. He has particular expertise in nasal and sinus disease, chronic sinusitis and polyposis, and allergy.”
Dr. Maronian also noted that Dr. Brown pursued sub-specialty training at the top rhinology and anterior skull base fellowship training program in the country at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he completed his fellowship in advanced sinus surgery and skull-base surgery, including treating rare tumors such as juvenile nasopharyngeal angiofibromas and nasal squamous cell carcinomas. He attended Case Western Reserve University for medical school after graduating magna cum laude from Harvard University.
Dr. Brown sees patients three days each week in his clinic in Medical Arts Center 1 on the UH Parma campus, and has two days dedicated to surgery in UH Parma’s newly renovated Surgery Department.
“Everyone has been very friendly, supportive and appreciative,” says Dr. Brown. “This is a very collaborative environment here at UH Parma.”
Dr. Brown joins ENT Nurse Practitioner Melissa Partyka NP, who also treats all general ENT, with additional expertise in hearing loss, tinnitus, and balance issues, as well as Shawn Li, MD, who has expertise in head and neck cancer, thyroid disease, and neck masses.
Dr. Brown’s office is located at 6681 Ridge Road, Parma. Patients can make an appointment by calling 440-743-8111.
Phase One of the largest construction project at University Hospitals Parma Medical Center in more than 30 years has been completed. A large modern addition to the front of the hospital and extensive renovation in existing space now houses the expansion of the Surgery Department. This phase includes five new operating rooms, three endoscopy suites and 30 private bays for pre-operative and post-operative care. The new section also has an expanded waiting room and a new discharge elevator for outpatients to bypass the hospital’s main lobby to exit the building.
Sudden loss of energy and shortness of breath set off alarm bells for Dale Kline. The Parma man, who works extremely long days as an award-winning food salesman, was used a busy life. He spent 38 years coaching basketball, soccer and baseball in Parma. But since the pandemic hit, the 60-year-old was spending more time sedentary as the vast majority of his business with party centers, restaurants and schools stalled. He noticed that he was getting winded doing yardwork. Though he smoked two packs of cigarettes a day, he could previously complete yardwork with no problem. In mid-June, Kline went to an urgent care and learned he was on the verge of pneumonia. He returned home to recover but was feeling increasingly worse. Wracked with chills and with a grayish pallor, he was shaky on his feet and had difficulty standing and walking. On Father’s Day, his daughter insisted on bringing him to the Emergency Department at University Hospitals Parma Medical Center. His daughter’s insistence – and his physician’s expertise - saved his life.
University Hospitals has announced expanded roles for three leaders at UH Parma Medical Center. This operating model aims to deliver the highest value health care for the West Market communities from Parma to Ashland and Westlake to Elyria, including affiliated UH health centers and other patient access points in the western region of Northeast Ohio.
University Hospitals Parma Medical Center has expanded its comprehensive pain management program to a new location in the North Royalton YMCA, further enhancing its already robust presence at 11409 State Road.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, University Hospitals Parma Medical Center has made the safety of patients and caregivers its top priority. The hospital has adjusted its visitation policies effective June 23. “Allowing visitors into the hospital is a welcomed transition to partner with friends and families, focusing on the care and well-being of our patients,” says Chief Medical Officer Kimberly Togliatti-Trickett, MD. “But masking is important for the safety of all.”
Grateful patients adapt their homemade masks for speech therapy patients Many people may be frustrated by masks that conceal facial expressions. But there is one group of patients that are overjoyed to see their caregivers in face masks now. These fortunate patients are those with outpatient speech therapy appointments at University Hospitals Parma Medical Center. A grateful physical therapy patient who has sewn hundreds of cloth masks for neighbors, friends and family chose to help out her UH Parma friends by modifying her pattern to add a vinyl window that allows patients to see the therapist’s mouth.
The pandemic prompted the environmentally minded staff at University Hospitals Parma Medical Center to begin making masks out of sterile wrap used for surgical instruments. Organized by nurses and fueled by volunteers sewing them, this effort that yielded more than 300 masks was not just resourceful but environmentally sound.
A COVID-19 survivor who spent 57 days in the hospital had a strong lesson before his recent discharge from University Hospitals Parma Medical Center: "Wear the mask and stay six feet apart. I'm telling you, this disease can kill you." Jerry Gustin, 74, of Parma left UH Parma Medical Center on May 27 following intensive rehabilitation in UH Parma Medical Center's Acute Rehabilation Unit. He underwent at least three hours of occupational and physical therapy every day to regain his strength to walk and care for himself again. The nurses, therapists and physicians became a second family to him, as no visitors are currently allowed in hospitals due to the pandemic. Jerry began every morning with a call to his wife, Linda, and received extensive support from his four children and eight grandchildren, who called and sent signs to motivate him.
Thousands of Patients Connect with Health Experts through Webinars From the convenience of your living room, now you can talk to the experts. University Hospitals has transformed its popular health seminars, which previously took place in person at the hospital and at community locations, into a virtual format. Patients can now sign up quickly online and watch free physician talks, with an opportunity to ask questions. Thousands of patients can access these webinars, offered on Zoom and reaching far more people than was possible in the previous format.
UH Parma Medical Center received a $500,000 community challenge grant from Parma Hospital Health Care Foundation to support the hospital’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds will help support the unanticipated costs of the health crisis, including extensive patient care, medical supplies and research as well as providing for the protection, wellness and resilience of UH Parma caregivers.
University Hospitals has secured two clinical trials that will provide the investigational antiviral drug remdesivir to hospitalized adults with a pneumonia due to the novel coronavirus. One trial will focus on COVID-19 patients with moderate illness. The second will focus on patients with more severe illness who may require care in the intensive care unit (ICU).
UH is committed to helping our community understand and manage their health and wellbeing. However, given the rapidly evolving situation regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19), including the newly confirmed cases in Ohio, we are taking proactive preventive precautions to protect our community.