Penrose-St. Fran. names director of cancer center

Filed under: Health Care |

Dennis P. Bruens has been named director of the Penrose Cancer Center. He is replacing Deborah Hood, who will be leaving after 27 years with the health system.

Bruens was the former director of the San Juan Cancer Center at St. Mary’s Hospital and Medical Center in Grand Junction. He also served as director of planning and business development.

The Penrose Cancer Center is accredited by the Commission on Cancer. Only 25 percent of cancer programs in the United States are approved programs. Penrose received its first accreditation in 1952 and has maintained the status since.

National poll: flu, small pox hard to diagnose

Results of a national survey reveal that more than half of physicians, 62 percent, say that it would be difficult to diagnose the avian flu; while less than half, 43 percent, say it would be difficult to diagnose small pox.

The national survey was conducted by HCD Research from May 15-16 and included 607 physicians.

Among the findings:

  • While 61 percent of physicians reported that they are familiar with avian flu symptoms, a similar number, 62 percent, indicated that if a patient presented symptoms prior to a nationwide outbreak being identified, it would be unlikely that they would make the correct diagnosis.
  • 64 percent of physicians reported that they are familiar with small pox symptoms, yet 43 percent indicated that if a patient exhibited symptoms prior to a nationwide outbreak being identified, it would be unlikely that they would make the correct diagnosis.
  • A majority of physicians, 61 percent, believed that there will be either an avian flu pandemic, small pox bio-terrorism attack or a combination.
  • 74 percent of doctors reported that they do not change their clinical alertness to bio-terror threats based on the homeland security color-coded threat levels.

When asked to compare their knowledge of small pox symptoms today versus prior to the events of 2001, the majority, 65 percent, indicated that their knowledge of the symptoms has not increased significantly.

Drug-resistant bacteria focus of Joint Commission

The spread of a drug-resistant bacteria known as methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is the focus of a three-day discussion to examine the best practices to combat the growing problem.

“Managing MRSA: A Call to Action” is the theme of the Aug. 14-16 conference where experts from the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations will meet with infection prevention and control leaders to study the issue.

The conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency in Cambridge, Mass.

More than 70 percent of the bacteria that causes infections for 2 million hospitalized people each year are resistant to at least one of the drugs most commonly used to treat them, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In addition to infections in hospitals, MRSA is occurring with increasing frequency in the community. Estimates of the prevalence of MRSA vary significantly from country to country, as do prevention efforts and methods of control. Topics of discussion at the conference will include newer, faster screening methods to identify colonized or infected patients, together with contact-isolation, enhanced methods for hand hygiene, treatment options, personal protective equipment, antimicrobial prophylaxis and active surveillance cultures.

Prior to July 14, the registration fee is $475 for APIC members and $575 for nonmembers. After July 14, the cost of the conference is $550 for APIC members and $650 for nonmembers.

Construction begins on Centennial Center

Colorado Springs is the location for a new sub-acute care and rehabilitation facility.

The Center at Centennial, located at the south end of Centennial Blvd. near Fillmore Street, will support 80 private rooms for patients with sub-acute rehabilitation needs.

Sub-acute care is a specialty care option for patients whose needs fall between acute hospital care and “traditional” long-term nursing facility care.

The center is a $13 million project with more than 65,000 square feet of medical care space.

Dr. Alex Senkoff, medical director for the center, said market demand drove the need for the facility.

“As the boomer generation ages, the need for this type of specialty care will continue to grow,” he said

The sub-acute care market in Colorado Springs generates $20 million per year and the market growth during the next 10 years is expected to exceed 45 percent.

The Center at Centennial will offer sub-acute and rehabilitative care in a private setting. Each of the 80 patient rooms will be private and will include a private bathroom.

“This facility represents a major shift in the provision of sub-acute care in that no other facility offers a private and focused environment as does The Center at Centennial,” said Robert Seever, project manager with RTA Architects.

The design process began in 2004. Construction will be managed by H.W. Houston Construction Co. of Pueblo. H.W. Houston has had experience developing medical facilities, having worked on the St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center.

Construction is expected to be completed within 12 months.

Amy Gillentine covers health care for the Colorado Springs Business Journal.