News from Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center

Karen Armacost, BSN, RN, director of Hopkins ElderPlus, was appointed to the National Interfaith Coalition on Aging, a member group of the National Council on Aging. Armacost will serve as a representative of the National Gerontological Nurses Association, the organization in which she was granted fellowship status earlier this year.
Armacost also is a board member of the National PACE Association and was recently appointed to the Home and Community-Based Services Development Cabinet of the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (AAHSA).

Jo Deaton, MSN, RN, has been appointed director of nursing for psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Bayview. She is responsible for nursing in the Medical Center’s Inpatient Psychiatry Unit, Addiction Treatment Service (ATS), Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit (BPRU), Community Psychiatry Program and Center for Addiction and Pregnancy (CAP).

With over 20 years of leadership experience in nursing executive and management positions, Deaton comes to Johns Hopkins Bayview from a management position at Howard County General Hospital. The Advisory Board, a prestigious health-care consulting firm, awarded Beth Petterson, RN, the 2007 Future of Nursing Leadership Award. The award is presented to three nurses nationally who have shown tremendous individual growth and professional development.

Petterson, a nurse in the Johns Hopkins Bayview Care Center, developed an innovative suite of patient education tools and materials to help avoid hospital readmissions due to non-compliance with medication. The solutions included a formal pharmacy education profile for each patient, a medication time chart and pill box specially designed for elder patients who take multiple medications throughout the day.

Petterson also developed a house-wide staff education program about the new discharge policies. As a result, patient satisfaction scores related to home care and education increased from the 80th percentile to the 95th percentile.

Wendy Houseknecht, BSN, RN, obstetrics, received the 2007 Nursing Excellence Award for mentoring. The award was created by Nursing Spectrum and NurseWeek to recognize contributions nurses make to their patients, each other and the profession of nursing. Wendy was nominated by Cindy Walters, RN, senior director of nursing. Here is an excerpt from her winning nomination:

“As an advanced clinical nurse, Wendy has more than 15 years of experience in caring for the obstetrical patient in the ambulatory and acute care setting. During the past three years, Wendy has embraced all aspects of the obstetrical patient safety initiative and consistently exemplified new safety behaviors that are critical to instilling a culture of safety within the patient care arena. Patient safety training focused on the implementation of the interdisciplinary Med Teams program, which is derived from resource management concepts in the aviation industry.

“On a daily basis, Wendy mentors staff on how to utilize the prescribed Med Teams communication strategies during interdisciplinary coordinating team meetings and maintains team focus on situational awareness, team awareness of the plan of care, cross-monitoring, use of S-BAR, and the need to consider a plan of action for ‘what if’ patient scenarios. She supports staff during the debriefing process after patient events and staff shifts to help the entire team evaluate what they did well, what they could do better and what they learned.

“Wendy stands out from other nurses with her clinical excellence and consistent ‘can do’ attitude. She is often described by staff as a cheerleader who promotes a positive attitude and whose energy is always available to assist with managerial or clinical issues. She is able to transition quickly from administrative responsibilities to assisting the team during a clinical emergency.

“Wendy’s efforts have been successful in gaining inter- disciplinary staff support for changes in how safe patient care is provided on a daily basis. She has contributed to the nursing profession through her commitment and ongoing efforts, which empower the obstetrics (OB) team to advocate for the safety of mother and baby. Wendy has worked collaboratively with the newly developed role of the OB safety nurse during the implementation of this critical initiative.

“Wendy’s energy is contagious. She has the ability to make others smile and see the positive side in almost all situations. These positive attributes are quickly observed and appreciated by her colleagues and supervisors.”

Three other Johns Hopkins Bayview nurses were named finalists for the 2007 Nursing Excellence Award and recognized at an awards ceremony in June. Congratulations to Rowena Orosco, RN, Johns Hopkins Burn Center (clinical care); Delores Sweets, RN, pediatrics (community service); and Linda Miller, RN, CNS, Magnet Project (teaching), on their nominations.

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