Carilion Clinic: 2009

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Dallas Morning News Column:

Carilion Working to Solve Health Care Crisis Without Waiting for the Federal Government

Dallas Morning News columnist Jim Landers posted a column today headlined "Local debates may shape the direction of health care"

Quoting the first line: "In Dallas, In Roanoke, VA, and in communities from California to Maine, health care debates are underway that might improve things without waiting for the federal government.

The column references Carilion's work with Brookings and Dartmouth to pilot an "Accountable Care Organization" next year.
Click the picture for a link to the full article.
(Interesting note, Landers is originally from Fairfax, VA)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Nancy Howell Agee Appointed to Joint Commission Board of Commissioners

Carilion Clinic Chief Operating Officer's term begins in 2010

ROANOKE, Va. (August 20, 2009) Nancy Howell Agee, Carilion Clinic’s Chief Operating Officer, has been appointed to the board of the Joint Commission, the nation’s oldest and largest health care accreditation agency. The board is the Joint Commission’s governing body and consists of 29 voting members, including physicians, administrators, nurses, employers, a labor representative, health plan leaders, quality experts, ethicists, a consumer advocate and educators. Agee was appointed to the board by the American Hospital Association.

“They could not have made a more appropriate choice,” said Carilion Clinic President and CEO Edward G. Murphy, MD. “We are fortunate to be the beneficiaries of Nancy’s inspiring spirit, tireless advocacy and unwavering commitment to our patients. It is not surprising that her leadership is recognized on a national level.”

In addition to the new position on the Joint Commission board, Agee serves on the Radford University Board of Visitors, and currently chairs the Board of the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association and the Foundation of Roanoke Valley.

The Joint Commission accredits and certifies more than 16,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States and is recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality. Commissioners serve three-year terms that are renewable for up to three terms. The Board’s composition includes representatives from each of The Joint Commission’s corporate members: American Hospital Association, American Medical Association, American College of Physicians, American College of Surgeons, and American Dental Association, six public members, one at-large representative of the nursing profession, and, as an ex-officio member, Mark R. Chassin, M.D., M.P.P., M.P.H., president of The Joint Commission.

Going... Going... Gone.

The last structure on the old Roanoke City Mill property came down yesterday. Once the debris is removed, the property will be clear.
Scroll down for progressive panoramas of the demolition process.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Hokie Stone set into Virginia Tech Carilion building facade

ROANOKE, Va., August 14, 2009 -- The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute (VTC) passed a symbolic milestone recently with the placing of the first batch of Hokie Stones in the facade of the new VTC building.

Hokie Stone, a type of dolomite limestone, is the traditional building material used on Virginia Tech buildings. Most of the stones come from a 40-acre quarry located near the Virginia Tech central campus in Blacksburg, Va.

“This milestone is exciting because it is something that you can actually see – and in many ways it represents the partnership between Virginia Tech and Carilion Clinic,” states Dennis Dean, acting director of the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute. “We are carefully putting the pieces together to make VTC a reality. The partnership is impressive – people have already begun to collaborate on many levels.”

Workers are hand cutting the stones on the VTC construction site in Roanoke. Approximately 170 tons of Hokie Stone will be used to cover about 5,570 square feet along the entrance to the VTC building.

“Virginia Tech is my alma mater, so this project is especially important to me. Hokie Stone is a wonderful complement to the building, the visual appeal is obvious -- but it is the emotional appeal that really makes a strong statement. The Hokie Stone serves as a foundation to the main entrance of the building, which reflects the academic foundation that Virginia Tech envisions for the new institution.” states Daniel DiMarco, project architect at AECOM.

Research conducted at VTC creates a bridge between basic science research at Virginia Tech and clinical expertise at Carilion Clinic. Research conducted by scientists at the institute is aimed at understanding the molecular basis for health and disease, and development of diagnostic tools, treatments, and therapies that will contribute to the prevention and solution of existing and emerging problems in contemporary medicine.

In early June of this year, VTC’s four-year doctorate of medicine program received preliminary accreditation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) and in July the school received certification by Virginia’s State Council of Higher Education. Later this fall VTC will be seeking approval from the State Association of Colleges.

The school’s first class of 42 aspiring physicians will begin their studies in the fall of 2010 and graduate with an M.D. degree in the spring of 2014.

With an innovative patient-centered curriculum, VTC addresses the increasing need for research-competent physicians who can translate research from the bench to the bedside and into the community. The curriculum provides an exemplary education in basic sciences and clinical sciences and skills, but transcends the traditional medical education model by providing a solid foundation in, and opportunities to explore the disciplines of research and interprofessionalism.

The VTC physician will be well prepared to enter any area of medicine and will possess the skills needed to become part of an interdisciplinary team. VTC graduates will be thought leaders in their chosen field, whether it is community or academic medicine, research, health policy and reform, or health information technology.

The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute comprise a unique partnership to establish a new generation of health care professionals and leaders in their chosen fields. Originating from the Carilion Clinic, one of Virginia's largest health care providers, and Virginia Tech, the commonwealth's leading research university, the school and institute will occupy the nexus of modern results-driven medical training with applications-oriented research.

Friday, August 7, 2009

VTC Construction Continues - Time-lapse Video Shows Progress

With the bricks and Hokie Stone going up on the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute - the building is really taking shape. Enjoy this collection of still images taken from our construction webcam, assembled into a time-lapse video.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Hip Replacement Surgery - Walk the NEXT DAY?

With the "Anterior Approach" minimally invasive hip replacement technique, along with computer-guided navigation available at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, Dr. Joe Moskal's patients are walking the next day, and back to normal activities in a few short weeks.
(Golfer Tom Watson had the procedure last year in California, walked out of the hospital with a cane the next day, and 6 months later tied for the lead in the 2009 British Open!)
Watch WDBJ's story about the procedure, including interviews with local patients who talk about the experience.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Infant Mortality Drops in Virginia

Governor Tim Kaine announced yesterday that infant mortality has hit the lowest level in State history. Read the governor's news release. Watch WDBJ's coverage below, including interviews with Neonatologist Manual Peregrino, Barbara Pack with the Southwest Virginia Perinatal Council, and parents in Carilion's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Camp Carilion Prepares Tomorrow's Health Professionals

What did you do at camp? If you attended Carilion Clinic's Heart Camp this week, you performed simulated microsurgery, learned CPR, and toured a medical helicopter, just for starters!
Check out WDBJ's coverage below.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Carilion Clinic Westlake Center Opens With Strong Community Support

Before we could pack up the tents and clean up the ribbon fragments, the waiting room at the Urgent Care Center at Carilion Clinic Westlake was nearly full.
Watch WLSL's coverage of the event with anchor and Health Reporter Karen McNew below.

Watch the ribbon cutting below, and hear comments from community leaders. Scroll down for the image gallery and news release.

Image Gallery


Now offering urgent care, imaging services, rotating physician specialists, and emergency helicopter and ambulance service at the lake

ROANOKE, Va. (July 29, 2009) – Carilion Clinic’s new state-of-the-art outpatient medical complex at Smith Mountain Lake has officially opened. Located at Westlake Towne Center, Carilion Clinic’s Westlake center represents an investment in the future health of the community at the lake. The center is a 10,000 square foot medical complex offering urgent care, imaging services, rotating physician specialists, and emergency helicopter and ambulance service.

“We are an integral part of this community, and our patients are also our neighbors and friends,” says Bill Jacobsen, chief executive officer and vice president of Carilion Franklin Memorial Hospital. “Our goal is to create a quality health care center at the lake. With our advanced medical facilities we are offering services that will improve lake residents’ comfort, security and quality of life.”

Carilion Clinic’s nationally accredited Sleep Center and Carilion Clinic Urgent Care, previously located nearby, have also moved to the new center. A helipad has been built for Carilion’s Life-Guard helicopters to land next to the center, and emergency medical transport personnel are located on-site. Carilion earlier donated two acres of land at its Westlake site to Franklin County to develop an EMS/fire station intended to be staffed around-the-clock.

The rotating physician specialists include surgeons, cardiologists and gynecologists. As the needs of the community grow, other types of specialists may be added to offer lake residents services they need that are close to home. Several medical practices have already expressed an interest in opening satellite services at the center.

The new complex is the result of many hours of consultation with members of the community, and Franklin County officials. As a result, the center has been tailored to meet the particular needs of the growing lake community. The 21-acre site allows considerable room for expansion as the community’s needs grow, and the center has been specifically designed to accommodate such expansion on two sides.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Read the Roanoke Times Sunday article about progress at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute

Leaders of the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute say lessons learned during its evolution ensure its success as economic development driver.

By Sarah Bruyn Jones
The Roanoke Times

The same hopes for new jobs and a vibrant research park once tied to the success of the Carilion Biomedical Institute now rest on the shoulders of the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute.
As workers shape the structure that will house the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and the research institute, leaders within the two groups are already planning for future construction.

"This is not going to be the last building," said Dennis Dean, acting director of the research institute. "I think this is going to end up being a biomedical research park that's an economic boon for the area."

The idea of a biomedical research park is not new to Roanoke. The joint vision of Carilion Clinic and the city was to establish one in the South Jefferson Redevelopment Area.
When Carilion Biomedical Institute was first unveiled a decade ago, its supporters contended it would attract promising biomedical businesses that would help to jump start the local economy.
Carilion Clinic gave $20 million as initial seed money to CBI and then several million more to help the organization build up its war chest of intellectual property and fund research ventures. CBI was supposed to become self-sufficient, and new businesses were expected to flock to the biomedical park.

Neither happened.

"We didn't regulate our money well," said Dr. Andre Muelenaer, who among several other positions is still the medical director for CBI. "We did a better job with entrepreneurs than with research labs, but it was a lesson learned."

While there are some CBI-backed companies still operating in the region and showing promise, to date Luna Innovations Inc. remains the only company to call the redevelopment area home. Luna, which develops and manufacturers products for the health care, telecommunications, defense and energy markets, filed for bankruptcy July 17.

Others, however, are located in downtown Roanoke and looking to grow. The biomedical park-- now called Riverside Center -- is being filled with a clinic building for Carilion physicians, a hotel, and the building that will house the VTC research institute and medical school.
Meanwhile, CBI has all but closed its doors.

Because the company still holds intellectual property it will not disappear entirely. Also, it still is incorporated with the Virginia State Corporation Commission.
Still, those who had leadership roles within CBI said the focus has shifted to the coming research institute.

"And now here we are almost 10 years later. Who cares in a sense what it ended up being?" said Dennis Fisher, the former president and CEO of CBI, a few weeks ago. "The final result is it occurred and brought an increased number of jobs and economic development."
It's just that the jobs and economic development are coming with Carilion recruiting doctors, and the medical school and research institute instead of new biomedical businesses, Fisher said.
Carilion officials maintain that CBI was the catalyst for VTC.

"It really is picking up the ball where CBI left it and having the research institute run with it," said Eric Earnhart, spokesman for Carilion. "And I don't think the ball was ever dropped."

New project made debut with promise of jobs

When the city and Carilion first unveiled the plans for a 75-acre biomedical business park in 2000, they estimated it could bring 2,500 high paying jobs. At the same time Carilion pledged to create 200 jobs within five years after buying the redevelopment land from the city.
CBI claims to have brought a dozen new companies to the Roanoke and New River valleys, bringing more than $100 million in economic impact and more than 100 new jobs since 2003. By the end of 2006, CBI says it helped facilitate $17 million in laboratory research, which has resulted in 100 discoveries, 68 inventions and 22 patents, according to the organization's Web site.

In the past three years, Carilion has hired more than 200 physicians, many of whom will see patients in the new clinic building set to open in September at the corner of South Jefferson Street and Reserve Avenue. The research institute seeks to employ more than 200 researchers by 2013. And so far, nearly 300 people have been given faculty appointments to the medical school, although many of those people also hold other jobs in the area.

Muelenaer said future partnerships beyond the initial VTC research institute could still be on the horizon. "A lot of seeds were planted and the trees are slowly growing," he said.

Dean said there are lessons that were learned from CBI that will allow the research institute to be more successful in bringing about economic development. "The first time was sort of an experiment, and then we realized the relationship between Virginia Tech and Carilion had not been developed," he said. "It [CBI] was not a failure because we learned a heck of a lot from that."

Seed money grows into research collaboration

The lessons are being applied in multiple ways, including in setting up the infrastructure for having people from Carilion and Virginia Tech collaborate on research.
While many of the details such as ownership of intellectual property are still being hammered out, Dean said both Virginia Tech and Carilion have learned a great deal on how to better keep collaborative efforts running.

In some instances it's meant intentionally pairing researchers from Virginia Tech with someone from Carilion. Previously those involved had thought that these pairings would happen organically, but Dean said it quickly became obvious that someone needed to match people who had similar interests.

That's how Shashank Priya, associate professor of materials science and engineering and of mechanical engineering at Virginia Tech, and Sonya Ranson, manager of the Center for Experiential Learning at Carilion, found each other. Ranson said her boss suggested she meet with Priya.

Priya is known for his research in energy harvesting, artificial muscles, humanoid skin and face, actuators and sensors, according to a Virginia Tech news release.
Ranson is in charge of running the robotic human simulator at Carilion to help clinicians practice and develop their clinical skills.

Together the two are working on a prototype of a human-like robotic patient. While current simulators can mimic some internal human functions, such as having a pulse, they do not exhibit external human features. So the simulator can't cry or reach for its neck when choking.
Using Priya's robotic skills and Ranson's understanding of the educational needs, the two are hoping to make the human simulators more realistic. "We're a nice team in that I have certain skills and background, and he has other skills that I don't," Ranson said. "I feel very fortunate."
To facilitate the partnership the research institute recently awarded the duo a $30,000 grant. In all, the research institute distributed six of these seed grants to get collaborative research off the ground.

Priya was out of town and unavailable for comment but said in a news release, "With this grant, we will develop a human-like patient and study specific disease states. This seed fund will significantly strengthen our efforts and allow us to achieve important milestones in order to secure funding from federal agencies."

Dean said the seed grants will be given out annually.

Besides supporting research that may one day be commercially viable, the seed grants are also allowing the research institute to work out some very technical details of how the collaboration between two separate entities will play out, Dean said. For example, one of the objectives of the grants is to gain an understanding of the expectations of both research partners.

Recruiting and construction ongoing

Dean and others leading the research institute are still focused on getting the building's doors open by August 2010. Construction is on time and on budget, Dean said.
While the state has put up $59 million to construct the building, it only covers the medical school side and two floors of the research institute. The third floor of the research institute will be a shell.

To finish the building, Virginia Tech has applied for a $10 million federal grant through the National Institutes of Health. The money is tied to the stimulus package signed by President Obama earlier this year and would allow the research institute to build its animal testing labs. In all, the third floor would likely cost $15 million, Dean said, meaning that they are also looking for philanthropic donations. "We need to get this done in the next year," he said.

The hunt is also under way for a founding director, with the hopes that the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors will have someone in place by January."We've had tremendous response to our ad," Dean said. "The quality of candidates is absolutely spectacular."

While the hiring determination ultimately rests with Virginia Tech, two subcommittees consisting of a dozen people from Virginia Tech and a dozen from Carilion are on the selection committee.

The committee has fielded 41 applications from all over the world and narrowed it down to a group of 10 candidates, Dean said. The hope is once that person is in place he or she will bring a team of researchers to fill senior research positions.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Hokie Stone Arrives at VTC!

Virginia Tech's distinctive Hokie Stone has arrived at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. According to Virginia Tech, the distinctive stone blocks are Chepultepec and Kingsport Formation dolomite—a variety of limestone especially rich in calcium and magnesium - creating its distinctive colors.

Hokie Stone sets Virginia Tech facilities apart, and is incorporated into all new buildings. We're proud to see it here in Roanoke at VTC. (you can also see Hokie Stone in Roanoke at the Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center).
Watch our real-time progress on the VTC construction webcam.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Can Genetic Testing Lower Your Cancer Risk?

Genetic testing can help some people take steps to reduce their cancer risk. Is genetic testing appropriate for you? Click below to hear from Kara Bui, Carilion Clinic's Certified Genetic Counselor, interviewed recently by Joy Sutton on WDBJ's Saturday morning newscast.

Kara will be speaking at Carilion's Women's Health University August 6th at 11:30 a.m. at the Jefferson Center's Fitzpatrick Hall.

Her topics include: the causes of hereditary cancer, the rule of genetic testing and counseling, insurance issues and new legislation designed to protect patients from discrimination.

The cost is $15, lunch is included. Registration is required - to register call 540-266-6000.

Carilion Clinic is Recruiting Volunteers

New volunteers sought to work in new outpatient facility opening at the Riverside Center in September

Volunteers play a vital role in Carilion Clinic's mission, working more than 32,000 hours last year. We're hoping to recruit 180 additional volunteers by the end of August.

Click below to watch WDBJ's Joy Sutton interview Volunteer Manager Shanna Flowers about the new initiative.

To learn more about the volunteer opportunities call 540-981-7819 in Roanoke or 540-731-2428 for the New River Valley.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Programs move away from fee-for-service model, supporting prevention, wellness, quality and technology

ROANOKE, Va. (July 21, 2009) Carilion’s conversion from a traditional, hospital-centric health care organization to a multi-specialty, patient-centered clinic is entering a new phase. The conversion began three years ago with a commitment to improve patient care, improve service and eventually decrease health care costs.

“We’ve made remarkable progress in building the organization and infrastructure necessary to fulfill our promise, “said Carilion Clinic president and CEO Edward G. Murphy, M.D. “We’ve added more than 200 doctors, a physician leadership structure and a comprehensive electronic medical record. At the same time we’ve improved our academic profile by developing a new medical school and research institute with Virginia Tech.”

According to Murphy, Carilion is now turning its attention to problems inherent in the current medical payment system, which rewards over-treatment while providing no incentive to keep people well. Two new pilot programs aimed and improving patient care, efficiency and wellness while lowering costs will begin in 2010.

Carilion Pilots Brookings-Dartmouth Model

A new and innovative, nationally-recognized health care model that rewards providers for improving patient outcomes while lowering cost growth will soon be pilot tested in Roanoke through a cooperative effort by the Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform at Brookings, The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, and Carilion Clinic. The “Accountable Care Organization” (ACO) model encourages physicians, hospitals, insurance companies, and the government to work together to coordinate care, improve quality, and reduce costs.

The Engelberg Center and the Dartmouth Institute have selected Carilion Clinic to be a pilot site to implement the model through the Brookings-Dartmouth ACO Pilot Project. In an ACO, providers assume greater responsibility for the quality and cost of the care they deliver –supporting providers when they take steps to keep their patients healthy, deliver high-quality care, and avoid costly medications and procedures. It makes it financially feasible for doctors to practice preventive care and to provide enhanced disease management for patients with chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.

“The Brookings-Dartmouth ACO Pilot Project and Carilion Clinic are on similar paths,” said Murphy, “We understand that rising health care costs are not sustainable and that provider leadership is essential to reforms that reduce costs, improve efficiency, and are accountable for clinical outcomes. As providers, we are best equipped to develop solutions that keep patient care and quality at the center of the discussion.”

Carilion’s work in developing an integrated multi-specialty physician group provides a strong foundation from which to pilot the payment reforms central to ACOs,” said Elliott Fisher, director of the Center for Population Health at Dartmouth.

“Accountable Care Organizations are a model for delivery reform that can help transform our nation’s health care system from one that rewards overuse to one that delivers high-quality care at lower costs,” said Mark McClellan, director of the Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform and Leonard D. Schaeffer Chair in Health Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution. “We look forward to working with the partners in Roanoke and with other sites around the country to test this promising new model.”

Carilion Clinic will receive technical assistance in setting up, implementing and testing the ACO concept, and will develop a pilot process for payment and delivery system reform based on accountability for quality improvement and cost reduction. Brookings and Dartmouth will assist with various components of the pilot to ensure the success of the multi-year effort, with the ultimate goal of generating a structure that can be easily replicated across the country.

Several insurance payers including Anthem, CIGNA, United Healthcare and Southern Health have expressed interest in participating with Carilion Clinic in the ACO pilot and are in discussions with Carilion, Brookings, and Dartmouth.

Medicare Health Plan

Carilion Clinic has received conditional federal approval to operate a Medicare Advantage Plan. The new organization, called Carilion Clinic Medicare Health Plan, will offer a variety of plan designs with no or low member premiums, affordable co-payments, prescription drug benefits, and wellness care.

Medicare Advantage Plans are paid a flat monthly fee, which makes it possible for participating doctors to provide wellness and preventative care. Quality, outcomes and patient satisfaction measures will be monitored to ensure patients are happier and healthier as a result.

Enrollment in the Carilion Clinic Medicare Advantage Plan for 2010 is expected to begin on November 15, 2009.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine Appoints Founding Chair of Family Medicine

"Any sustainable health care reform will include strong primary care as a foundation..." Mark Greenawald, M.D.

ROANOKE, Va. (July 15, 2009)
The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute (VTC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Mark Greenawald, M.D., associate professor, as the founding chair of the Department of Family Medicine for the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. This new academic department within VTC is being developed under Carilion Clinic’s Department of Primary Care and Regional Medicine. As part of his new role, Greenawald will also serve as associate chair for undergraduate medical education within the Department of Primary Care and Regional Medicine.

“Mark is a physician thought leader of the caliber we expect to graduate from VTC. His mentorship through the AAFP Chief Resident Leadership Development Program to residency directors at the front-line in teaching the next generation of physicians is critical to keeping the practice of family medicine vital,” states Cynda Ann Johnson, M.D., M.B.A., president and dean, VTC.

Greenawald is a graduate of Bucknell University and the University of Virginia School of Medicine. After five years as a naval medical officer, he joined Carilion in 1995, and since then has made a substantial impact on the family medicine community locally, regionally and nationally. Locally, he is the education director for the Carilion Clinic Family Medicine Residency and is current president of the Blue Ridge Academy of Family Physicians. This year he was named the family medicine residency inpatient attending of the year.

Regionally, Greenawald is on the board of directors for the Virginia Academy of Family Physicians and has been a pioneer in the development of a group self-assessment process, which has helped hundreds of family physicians with the new maintenance of certification process. He is a regular speaker at state academy meetings, particularly in the area of men’s health care. Greenawald has been very active in the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) initiative for primary care and serves on the executive committee for the tri-state PCMH residency collaborative. He has also held creative and leadership roles in the TO GOAL and IMPACT quality improvement programs sponsored by the Medical Society of Virginia Foundation for primary care practices.

Nationally, Greenawald is on the faculty for the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) Chief Resident Leadership Development Program where he has been involved in the leadership development of over 2,000 emerging leaders in family medicine and is the author of two monthly e-newsletters, Leaders Digest and Coaches Corner. He has also been part of a small group of faculty who have developed and implemented leadership development workshops for the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine. Through this leadership development work, Greenawald has become known for his innovation in teaching the skills of feedback, negotiation, conflict management and leadership coaching. Greenawald is also a regular presenter at the AAFP national meeting on the topic of rejuvenation in medical practice.

"Any sustainable health care reform will include strong primary care as a foundation, and family medicine will be an important building block of this foundation. We anticipate that the thought leaders who graduate from VTC will help lead the way to an even better American health care system,” states Greenawald.

About Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute
Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute is a public-private partnership that leverages Virginia Tech’s world-class strength in basic sciences, bioinformatics and engineering with Carilion Clinic’s highly experienced medical staff and rich history in medical education. Virginia Tech Carilion will improve human health and quality of life by providing leadership in medical education and biomedical and clinical research. More information at

Monday, July 13, 2009

Carilion's Roanoke Hospitals and Rehab Center Awarded Electroencephalograph Laboratory (EEG) Accreditation

Accreditation granted to less than 50 hospitals nationwide

ROANOKE, Va.The Laboratory Accreditation Board of the American Board of Registration of Electroencephalographic and Evoked Potential Technologists (ABRET) has recently granted the Electroencephalographic (EEG) laboratory at Carilion Roanoke Memorial and Community Hospitals and Rehabilitation Center a five year accreditation. Having received this approval, Carilion Clinic’s Roanoke campus joins an elite group of only four hospitals in the state of Virginia to receive this accreditation.

ABRET’s lab accreditation process evaluates technical standards, the quality of the laboratory’s performance and management. Accredited labs demonstrate the ability to produce high quality EEG recordings that conform to current American Clinical Neurophysiology Society (ACNS) guidelines.

“We are extremely proud to be accredited as this is not a common accomplishment. Less than 50 hospitals in the U.S. have approved EEG laboratories and it is an honor to be named among those institutions,” says Dr. Tom Wilson, medical director at Carilion Clinic. “Our motivated staff has worked very hard to achieve this prominent certificate, and it is our hope that patients and families will feel even more confident with our level of service, training and care.”

Carilion Clinic’s Roanoke campus has met strict standards and is to be recognized as a place where patients and physicians can have confidence they are receiving quality diagnostics. For more information, please visit

Mill Demolition Enters New Phase as Large Silos Come Down

Over the weekend demolition began on the large silos on the former Roanoke City Mill property, across the street from Carilion's Riverside Center and the future Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine.
Jefferson Street was closed over the weekend as workers built a temporary protective screen in the middle of the road to protect the buildings from possible flying debris.

The panorama of the mill site below was taken today (7/13).
Hat-tip to the folks at S.B. Cox for their professional, well-organized and remarkably fast work!

(Reminds me of a cell phone commercial)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Carilion Clinic Named One of Nation's "Most Wired" Hospital Systems

Third Information Technology Achievement Recognition in Three Months

ROANOKE, Va. (July 7, 2009) – Carilion Clinic has been selected as a 2009 “100 Most Wired” hospital system according to the Most Wired Survey and Benchmarking Study. This is the third time in three months Carilion Clinic has received national recognition for IT achievement.

"I think recognition as 100 Most Wired is a testament both to Carilion Clinic's commitment to technology as a key tool for patient care, and to the skill of our Technology Services Group,” says Daniel Barchi, chief information officer at Carilion Clinic. “Our talented Technology Services Group has been able to deliver an integrated electronic medical record (EMR) and other technology to seven hospitals and 110 physician practices that truly is as wired as a patient could expect anywhere."

Hospitals are named to the list based on a detailed scoring process. The survey asks hospitals to report on how they use information technology in regard to safety and quality, customer service, business processes, workforce, and public health and safety.

As more health care organizations implement IT projects, the bar is continually raised for achieving the “100 Most Wired” list. Hospitals & Health Networks, the journal of the American Hospital Association, has published this list annually since 1998. Previously, Carilion Clinic has been named on the “100 Most Wired” list six times. Carilion’s strong commitment to investing in technology that improves care, quality and efficiency keeps the organization at the forefront of health care IT. In 2008, Carilion began rolling out a fully integrated electronic medical record (EMR), and is currently on the leading edge of hospital systems moving toward paperless patient records.

Earlier this year, Carilion Clinic was included in CIO magazine’s “CIO 100” list, recognized among the top organizations in the country using IT to enable growth. Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics recognized Carilion as one of only 42 hospitals nation-wide to achieve “Stage 6” implementation of its electronic medical record.

For more information about Hospitals & Health Networks “100 Most Wired”, please visit

Thursday, July 2, 2009

President Obama Advocates Clinic Model as Key Part of Health Reform

Carilion Clinic began conversion to clinic model of care in 2006
In a meeting with health reporters and a Town Hall Q&A session in suburban Washington, President Obama praised the clinic model of care for coordination, quality and cost efficiency, stating "that coordinated care drives down costs tremendously, that's the kind of common sense approach we're going to have to take".

Click below for an excerpt of the President' s town hall meeting, in which he talks about coordinated care, and the need to provide incentives to reduce unnecessary care.

FDA Considers Changing Rules for Acetaminophen (Tylenol, Excedrin, Vocodin, Percocet) to Prevent Accidental Overdose

Carilion Clinic's Pharmacy has already made changes to protect patients.

400 people die every year and thousands are hospitalized according to the Washington Post. People are often unaware of the amount of acetaminophen they're taking when they combine medications.

Click below to watch a WSLS report on the issue, including an interview with Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital Pharmacy Director Karen Lowdon.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Six new Virginia Tech Carilion research projects address infectious disease, develop medical technology

Six $30,000 seed grants have been awarded to advance Virginia Tech Carilion (VTC) School of Medicine and Research Institute research to address falling risks, prevention and treatment of infectious disease, and development of a patient simulator.

The projects include "Prototyping a Human-like Patient". Virginia Tech associate professor Shashank Priya and VTC Associate Professor Sonya L. Ranson are developing human patient simulators as part of a larger project to create a full-scale patient simulation training facility.

Full details are available on the VT News web site.

Friday, June 26, 2009

UPDATE: CNRV Phone Issues Resolved

Verizon recently experienced phone service interruption throughout areas in the New River Valley. Because of that interruption, Carilion New River Valley Medical Center was without direct phone and fax services. Currently this issue has been resolved and direct phone and fax services restored.

Should patients, family members and friends have any trouble with the phone system, they may still contact Carilion New River Valley Medical Center by calling 540-981-7000 and be connected internally through our switchboard to Carilion New River Valley Medical Center.

We apologize for this inconvenience and thank you for your patience and understanding during this time.

CRNV Experiencing Phone Issues

Verizon is currently experiencing phone service interruption throughout areas in the New River Valley. Because of that interruption, Carilion New River Valley Medical Center is currently without direct phone and fax services. We are actively working with Verizon and other appropriate individuals/groups to restore service. We currently estimate that we will be restored by early afternoon.

Patients, families and friends can contact Carilion New River Valley Medical Center by calling 540-981-7000 and being connected internally through our switchboard to Carilion New River Valley Medical Center. We apologize for the inconvenience will keep you posted on our progress and thank you, in advance, for your patience and understanding.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Mill Demolition Making Progress

Demolition of the Roanoke City Mills property across from the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine construction site picked up the pace this week with the arrival of the wrecking ball.


Accreditation granted through March 2012

ROANOKE, Va. (June 19, 2009) – Carilion Roanoke Memorial and Community Hospitals and Rehabilitation Center received notification from the Joint Commission that accreditation has been approved through March 2012. The Joint Commission conducted an on-site survey this past March on Carilion Clinic’s Roanoke campus.

The Joint Commission certifies and accredits more than 16,000 health care organizations and programs in the U.S. Accredited organizations must demonstrate a commitment to providing high-quality health care and meet stringent safety and performance standards.

“We are proud to once again receive accreditation from the Joint Commission,” says Nancy Agee, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Carilion Clinic. “Accreditation confirms the dedication of our staff and their commitment to patient care and safety.”

In addition to receiving the Joint Commission’s “Gold Seal”, Carilion Clinic’s Roanoke campus is also certified by the Joint Commission for quality and safety in hip and knee replacement surgery.
For more information about the Joint Commission accreditation programs, please visit the Joint Commission's web site.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine Receives Preliminary Accreditation and Begins Recruiting First Class

The school is recruiting students to join the first class, which will begin in the fall of 2010. Applications are being accepted through the American Medical College Application Service. The application deadline is December 1, 2009.

Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine Live Construction Webcam

Reload the page for a fresh image
Rendering of competed building

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Roanoke City Mills Demolition Underway

Property located across the street from Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine

Anyone who drives down the South Jefferson Street corridor has asked the question - "When are the silos coming down" and "how are they going to do it?" Contractors began preparing the site for demolition this week. The mill, seen behind Carilion's Riverside 1 office building above, will come down piece by piece over the next four months.
The demolition supervisor says there will be no dramatic implosion or explosion. A wrecking ball and backhoes will slowly turn the structure into an estimated 2000 truckloads of concrete and bricks.
One lane of Jefferson Street, adjacent to the site, will likely be closed during most of the time the work is underway. The tallest structures, the block house on the left (above) and the large silos on the right, will be taken down on weekends, allowing workers to completely close Jefferson Street.

Another Tech Award for Carilion Clinic - the "CIO 100" Ranks Carilion Along Side AT&T, Dell and GE, Showcasing IT Excellence

ROANOKE, Va. (June 1, 2009) – CIO magazine named Carilion Clinic a CIO 100 organization for excellence and achievement in IT, honoring Carilion Clinic’s Technology Services Group for their work creating and supporting IT infrastructure. This award recognizes Carilion Clinic’s electronic medical record (EMR) system implementation as one of the 100 most effective uses of information technology.

The CIO 100 awards honor 100 organizations that use IT in innovative ways to deliver competitive advantage to the enterprise and enable growth. Other 2009 CIO 100 recipients include AT&T, Dell and GE Energy, establishing Carilion Clinic as a national technology leader, not just among health care organizations but among businesses globally.

"I am very proud of the work that the Carilion Clinic EMR team has accomplished in the past 24 months. The physician leadership, clinical work and technical experience that we brought together allowed us to achieve one of the fastest and largest EMR and CPOE roll-outs in the U.S.,” says Daniel Barchi, chief information officer at Carilion Clinic. “Additionally, we have been able to begin to see the patient safety, quality improvement and clinical informatics goals we sought to achieve."

Carilion Clinic's EMR is an integrated system which allows physicians anywhere in the system or the world with Internet and security access to see a patient's full medical history, current medications, allergies, and conditions. It is significant in the world of online health care in that Carilion Clinic's IT team has moved all clinical operations from many disparate processes and databases into a single system and database, thus providing lifesaving technology to improve patient care.

The speed and success of Carilion Clinic's EMR roll out sets it apart from all other major hospital EMR “go-lives” to-date. Carilion Clinic replaced 11 different independent electronic and paper medical and billing systems with a single integrated medical record, converted 780,000 patient records from old systems into the new record which is the largest patient medical record conversion ever, and conducted the most aggressive roll out in the history of its vendor.

Carilion Clinic will officially be recognized at the CIO 100 Symposium and Awards Ceremony on Aug. 25. Information about the awards will be featured in CIO magazine and available online at

Friday, May 29, 2009


Advanced implementation could qualify Carilion for Federal stimulus funding

ROANOKE, Va. (May 28, 2009)Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital was recently named a “Stage 6” hospital by Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics, joining an elite group of only 42 hospitals nationwide designated at least the Stage 6 level. HIMSS Analytics has created an eight stage model, called the “Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model” (EMRAM), to help hospitals develop a paperless environment in regards to patient records.

The EMRAM categorizes hospitals from Stage 0 through Stage 7. The seventh stage is the highest, meaning that the medical records are completely electronic. The Stage 6 title given to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital is defined as having implemented physician documentation, decision support, picture archiving and communication systems (PACS), closed loop medication administration, and computerized physician order entry (CPOE), among other requirements.

"Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital's recognition as a Stage 6 hospital highlights the investment Carilion Clinic has made in using IT to deliver quality patient care,” says Daniel Barchi, chief information officer at Carilion Clinic. “At this level, the care our clinicians deliver is tied together in an integrated way so that our nursing units, operating rooms, emergency department and pharmacy work from a common picture. This ensures care is coordinated and safety is checked against allergies, conditions and current medications.”

Earlier this year, President Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, more commonly known as the Federal Stimulus Package. Within this legislation, $19 billion are directed for health information technology. To qualify to receive money from this act, health providers must demonstrate “meaningful use” of certified electronic health records.

Carilion Clinic has made the commitment to implement the same integrated, networked EMR in every physician practice and every hospital, from the 880-bed Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital to the new 25-bed Carilion Giles Community Hospital. All Carilion Clinic hospitals and physician practices are likely to qualify for federal stimulus funds as the current EMR rollout plan will have all hospitals live on the new integrated system by July 2010 and the final physician practice live by October 2010.

For more information on the EMRAM, please visit

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


EC-145 aircraft joins Carilion Clinic Patient Transportation air ambulance team

Carilion Clinic recently retired the Bell 412 helicopter, flown as “Life-Guard 10” from air ambulance service. After 19 years in service, the decision was made to retire the Bell 412 aircraft and replace it with a more technologically-advanced helicopter. The new Life-Guard 10 is an EC-145 and leverages the latest technology to deliver high quality performance, operational reliability and improvements in safety.

The EC-145 has a number of safety features to help the flight crew and improve patient transport.

Some benefits of the new Life-Guard 10 include:

  • Communication center that can contact pilots directly concerning weather

  • Helicopter Terrain Awareness and Warning System (H-TAWS) gives pilots advanced warning about terrain for faster reaction times

  • Capabilities of night vision goggles

  • Easy loading of patients and equipment via the large rear doors

  • Meets all NTSB recommendations

"We are happy to have the ability to serve patients in the area with the EC-145, just as we have been but with better capabilities and technologies than the Bell 412," says Susan Smith, program director for Carilion Clinic Life-Guard. “The EC-145 is a modern aircraft that will allow our team to transport patients in a safer, more efficient manner.”

Up to two patients can be treated aboard the new aircraft. Life-Guard 10 typically makes two to three flights per day, with more flights in the summer months. The new EC-145 started servicing patients on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 10, 2009 and made three flights on its first day in operation.

For more information on CCPT, please visit their web site.