Hospital Testimony Supports Community College BSN Degrees

Ed Ness, president and CEO of Munson Healthcare

The Michigan Legislature held several hearings on legislation supported by the MHA during the week of Nov. 29. In the House Education Committee, initial testimony was taken on a bill to allow community colleges to offer 4-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degrees. The Senate Health Policy and Human Services Committee reported to the Senate floor legislation to make changes to pharmacy wholesale distributors, and the House Health Policy Committee reported a pair of bills that would allow Michigan to join the Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact (PSYPACT).

The first hearings were held Nov. 30 on House Bills (HBs) 5556 and 5557, which would allow community colleges to offer 4-year BSN degrees. Introduced by Reps. John Roth (R-Traverse City) and John Damoose (R-Harbor Springs), the bills would increase access to high-quality nurses in some areas served by Michigan’s small and rural hospitals where a four-year school does not currently exist. Ed Ness, president and CEO of Munson Healthcare, testified in support of the bills alongside Gabe Schneider, Munson’s director of government relations.

Ness told the committee, “Now more than ever is the time to support our front-line workers and all those in the healthcare industry as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.” The MHA also provided written testimony in support of HBs 5556 and 5557 and will continue to keep members apprised of any action.

Members of the Senate Health Policy and Human Services Committee reported the pharmacy wholesale distributors bill to the House floor. HB 5072 was introduced by Rep. Ryan Berman (R-Commerce Township) and is a state-level effort to exempt hospitals and other healthcare entities that are under common control from a medication distribution threshold that currently requires registration as wholesalers. The MHA supports the bill, as it would remove the requirement for additional paperwork for hospital pharmacies.

The House Health Policy Committee reported to the House floor two bills to allow Michigan to join PSYPACT. This compact is a legal agreement among states that creates an expedited pathway to licensure for psychologists who wish to practice telepsychiatry across state lines. HBs 5488 and 5489 were introduced by Reps. Bronna Kahle (R-Adrian) and Felicia Brabec (D-Pittsfield Township), respectively, and are supported by the MHA.

Members with questions on state legislation may contact Adam Carlson at the MHA.

Munson Healthcare Manistee Hospital Medical Assistant Honored for Speaking Up

Warman Speak Up Award

Erin Warman, Munson Healthcare Manistee HospitalThe MHA Keystone Center honored Munson Healthcare Manistee Hospital’s Erin Warman with the quarterly MHA Keystone Center Speak-up! Award July 10.

The award acknowledges individuals or teams in MHA Keystone Center Patient Safety Organization (PSO) member hospitals who raise concerns about healthcare quality and safety and prevent potential harm to patients or staff.

Warman, a medical assistant working in Manistee Hospital’s provider offices, received the award for her persistence and dedication to speaking up on behalf of a patient. Warman identified a delay in medical treatment by family to a homebound patient and voiced her concerns to colleagues, senior leadership and the patient’s family.

“I simply did the right thing and spoke up for the best interests of my patient and the patient’s safety,” said Warman. “I felt comfortable speaking up because of our safety culture, and I’m happy that we avoided any harm to our patient.”

Safety is a key focus area for Munson Healthcare’s True North Goals and a core value for the system. Munson Healthcare has implemented several initiatives to promote a culture of safety and willingness to speak up at its facilities. All staff undergo “Foundations of Safety Culture” training, important safety stories are shared regularly across the system, a robust reporting system captures safety events and near misses, and staff are encouraged to practice key safety behaviors in all situations. Manistee Hospital presents a Speak-up! Award to a staff member each quarter, and recipients are nominated for the state award.

“We are thrilled to have Erin and our safety culture recognized through the statewide MHA Keystone Center Speak-up! Award,” said Munson Healthcare Manistee Hospital CEO James Barker. “At Manistee Hospital, we aim to create a culture of safety by empowering all staff, at all levels of the organization, to speak up to protect our patients. This honor also represents the hundreds of healthcare staff who come to work every day to improve the health and wellness of our patients and our community.”

The Speak-up! Award was created in 2016 and has honored nearly 20 employees of Michigan hospitals to date. The award is presented quarterly, with one quarterly awardee recognized as an annual Speak-up! Award recipient.

“It is one thing to talk about what a safety culture is and how to improve safety, but the MHA Keystone Center Speak-up! Award celebrates the actions that have been taken to prevent potential harm,” said MHA CEO Brian Peters. “We applaud the safety culture created at Munson Healthcare Manistee Hospital and are thrilled to recognize Erin for doing the right thing and speaking up.”

Additional award finalists for the second quarter of 2020 include:

  • Erin Switzer, McLaren Greater Lansing, Lansing
  • Patricia Soper, McLaren Northern, Petoskey
  • Mike Always, Beaumont Hospital, Grosse Pointe
  • Leslie Muyskins, Spectrum Health Zeeland Community Hospital

Specifics on the MHA Keystone Center Speak-up! Award, including criteria and a nomination form, are available online. For more information, contact the MHA Keystone Center PSO.

Manistee Hospital is a 45-bed acute care hospital and is part of the Munson Healthcare system. The hospital provides high-quality medical care and advanced diagnostic services to residents of Manistee County and surrounding communities. Founded in 1970, Manistee Hospital is known for its early adoption of emerging diagnostic technology and its friendly staff.