It’s Flu Season! 8 things all MLH Employees, MLH Providers and Contractors should know before the season begins!

  1. Get your flu shot! This is a MLH policy. The campaign will begin on Monday, October 1, 2018. There will be several opportunities to get your flu shot before the deadline of Monday, December 3, 2018. The schedule will be posted on the landing page of the Intranet.


  1. All MLHS employees, students, volunteers, members of the Medical Staff, members of the Specified Health Professional Staff, and contracted clinical personnel (those who have direct contact with patients or their environment) are required to receive the flu vaccination. Employees include those with or without direct patient care or contact.


You can read the “Influenza Vaccination (non-patient) policy, located under Policies and Procedures, for further details.


  1. To receive the high dose vaccine for persons age 65 and over or the egg free product, please schedule an appointment with Occupational Health Services (484-565-1293). These will not be offered at flu clinics across the campuses.


  1. The intra-nasal flu vaccine is not being offered at MLH. If you receive the vaccine outside of MLH please forward proof of vaccination to the flu vaccine fax line (610-903-1082), or scan it to the dedicated flu vaccine documentation email address: The deadline for receipt of this documentation is also December 3, 2018.


  1. If you require a religious or medical exemption, get this in early. The deadline to submit this year is Wednesday, October 31, 2018. Failure to meet this deadline will result in use of the Performance Management tool up to orange.  If a “temporary medical exemption” was granted last year, you must resubmit a request for exemption this year. Egg allergy is no longer considered a medical exemption due to egg free vaccine options being available.


  1. If you develop the flu or flu-like symptoms, you should:
  • Seek care where appropriate (PCP/Urgent Care etc.)
  • Stay home from work until you are 24 hours fever free AND 5 days out from symptom onset


  1. If you are exposed to a patient with Influenza during the course of your work at MLH AND Infection Prevention has confirmed the workplace exposure:
  • You may be offered Tamiflu by Occupational Health Services (OHS)
  • You should watch for signs and symptoms of the flu (fever, body aches etc.)
    • If you develop symptoms you should NOT report to work and seek care with OHS (484-565-1293)


  1. If you are exposed to an employee while at work, who is diagnosed with influenza and OHS/Infection Prevention have confirmed the exposure:
  • You may be offered Tamiflu by Occupational Health Services (OHS)
  • You should watch for signs and symptoms of the flu (fever, body aches etc.)
    • If you develop symptoms you should NOT report to work and seek care with OHS (484-565-1293).


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Best read of the week


Moody’s: Rising U.S. healthcare costs could hit other sectors of the economy
FierceHealthcare: The double whammy of rising healthcare costs and an aging population could cause a ripple of negative impacts across the U.S. economy.

Additional news media reports on MLH physicians and the health care industry, excerpted from MLH’s daily Morning News Report:

Main Line Health News….

Hurricane Baby Born At Montgomery County Hospital After North Carolina Family Flees Florence
CBS3: One family evacuated from North Carolina, came to Montgomery County, and they ended up at Lankenau Medical Center to deliver a baby.

Regional Health News….

Philly hospital uses ‘escape room’ to take the mystery out of sepsis
WHYY: The idea is to highlight the threat sepsis poses — and to put the condition at the front of practitioners’ minds.

Health Business News…    

Hospital operating margins dropped 39% over 3 years
Healthcare Dive: Nearly two-thirds of 104 U.S. health systems saw deteriorated operating margins from fiscal year 2015 to fiscal year 2017. For systems reporting decline, the overall hit tallied in at a $6.8 billion loss, a 44% reduction overall.

Quality and Safety News….

More than 40 healthcare organizations team up to improve diagnostics
FierceHealthcare: Some of the country’s biggest names in healthcare are joining forces to improve diagnostics.

Patient Care News…

Seven U.S. states now have adult obesity rates of 35 percent or higher
STAT: The CDC is calling for a comprehensive strategy to reduce obesity prevalence, with steps including healthy eating.

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LHI holds program to honor women with heart disease

By Heather Forgione, program manager, Women’s Heart Initiative Program,

Lankenau Heart Institute


On September 13, the Lankenau Heart Institute (LHI) hosted a program, “Connecting the Hearts of Women,” to honor women with heart disease who are patients at Main Line Health. This event was to bring these women together and learn about their heart journeys. The program was held at the Ballroom at Ellis Preserve in Newtown Square.

Dr. Francis Sutter welcomed the attendees. Dr. Maribel Hernandez spoke about the women’s heart program. Carol Cutler, patient ambassador, told her story and her emotional journey. A fireside chat moderated by Dr. Sandra Abramson, featured five of our female champions (patients) who talked about their emotional journey.


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Philadelphia Heart Walk is getting closer!

By John Mitchell, System director of Cardiovascular Services and Lankenau Heart Institute

Time is flying by! We are just five weeks away from the Philadelphia Heart Walk at Citizens Bank Park on October 27. Many of you have already registered as a coach, joined a team or donated to help us reach our Heart Walk fundraising goal, and I am very grateful for your support.

As we move one week closer to the Heart Walk, here’s what you need to know about registration, t-shirt orders and event details:


We’re looking for team coaches! So far, 75 employees have signed up to serve as Heart Walk coaches, but we need your help to reach our goal of 150 coaches. Coaches have an important role in ensuring a successful event, and we need your leadership.

Team coaches will be responsible for creating a team on the Heart Walk website, recruiting members, and reaching a team fundraising goal of $1,000. Feeling like you can step up to the plate as a Heart Walk coach? You can do easily: Visit the Main Line Health Heart Walk page for a step-by-step guide on how to register as a coach, join at team or donate.



Every MLH employee that registers as a walker AND makes a minimum donation of $25.00 will receive a MLH/Lankenau Heart Institute Heart Walk t-shirt. Donations must be received by Sunday, October 14.

You can register and make your donation online or in-person, but t-shirts will be available for pick-up across Main Line Health facilities during September and October. See the full list below of registration and t-shirt purchase/pick-up dates:

Berwyn/Malvern October 9
Bryn Mawr Hospital September 19, October 16
Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital September 26, October 18
Lankenau Medical Center September 28, October 11
Main Line Health Center in Newtown Square September 21
Main Line Health Center in Concordville October 10
Paoli Hospital September 27, October 9
Radnor Corporate Office September 17, October 19
Riddle Hospital September 18, October 10

If you have questions about t-shirt pick-up, please email Karen Rawlings at


The Heart Walk has gone digital! Search ‘Heart Walk’ in the App Store or Google Play to download a guide to this year’s AHA Heart Walk. Using the app, you can easily:

        Personalize your Heart Walk experience by adding a photo or story

        Recruit and communicate with team members

        Use pre-written email and social media templates to help solicit donations from friends and family

        Access fundraising tips and earn achievement badges

If you have questions about this year’s Heart Walk, Michelle Mockus, AHA Heart Walk Director, at or myself at


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STEEEP Huddle: P for Patient-Centered

This week’s STEEEP Huddle topicsubmitted by Marge Stafford, ICU nurse, and Trisha Care, PCU nurse, Riddle Hospital, focuses on My Hospital Passport, a communication tool that was developed for health care professionals to foster best communication with patients with an intellectual disability and/or a communication deficit. It identifies the patient’s baseline (abilities/care needs/routine/likes/disikes), giving the nurse a frame of reference to incorporate into the plan of care. My Hospital Passport aligns with MLH’s mission to provide the best care and to improve the quality of life in the communities we serve.

The STEEEP Huddle topics are posted on the Performance Excellence 2020 site at

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Announcing MLH’s newly appointed medical directors for Emergency Management and Riddle EMS

By Barbara Wadsworth, SVP, chief nursing officer

Dr. Joseph Bushra – System medical director, Emergency Management, MLH

It is our pleasure to announce Joe Bushra, MD, as the new System medical director for Emergency Management for Main Line Health. Dr. Bushra succeeds Ben Usatch, MD, who held this position for four years. Our sincerest recognition and acknowledgement goes to Dr. Usatch for his valuable contributions, including leading the preparation for the Papal visit in 2015, the annual Villanova Basketball games (Go CATS), golf tournaments and many other community events.

Dr. Bushra worked closely with Dr. Usatch on all of these events and brings significant qualifications to the role. In his new role, Dr. Bushra will have administrative responsibility for emergency management across the System, will promote a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to patient care in emergency and disaster situations, and will manage an operational plan for implementing strategic goals to guide sustained performance and perpetual readiness. Dr. Bushra will also have responsibility in mass casualty, mass gatherings and disaster preparedness. In the event of a mass casualty or mass gatherings as well as disaster preparedness, he will provide direct physician leadership including System-wide communication.

Additionally, he will ensure strategic knowledge of current practices, scientific advancement and best practices in interacting with external Emergency Medical Services (EMS) agencies and services, including patient care, policy and education.

Joe has worked at Lankenau Medical Center since 2003, and serves as the ED Campus Chief. He brings over 19 years of experience. Joe graduated from Jefferson Medical School and completed his ED Residency at MCP. Joe brings excellent clinical expertise, knowledge and emergency management experience to his new role. This role is in addition to his current duties at LMC.

Dr. Michael Whalen – medical director, Riddle EMS

We’re also pleased to announce that Michael Whalen, MD, is the new medical director for Riddle Emergency Medical Services (EMS). In this role, Dr. Whalen will be responsible for coordinating and revising an operational plan to achieve sustained performance and perpetual readiness for emergency management with Riddle’s EMS. In collaboration with Riddle and MLH System leadership, Dr. Whalen will provide medical leadership, supervision and direction to the Riddle EMS Emergency Preparedness program and provide medical oversight to the quality of care delivered by EMS. He will facilitate the implementation of policies, procedures, protocols for Riddle and MLH.

Dr. Whalen will also work closely with Administration to identify resources required to support emergency management, including staffing, educational qualifications, training programs and more. Additionally, he will provide medical direction for emergency response responsibilities for MLH-owned EMS assets and represent Riddle and MLH in county emergency management operations. Dr. Whalen will report directly to Dr. Bushra.

Shaun Essex, regional VP, Administration, Paoli and Riddle Hospitals, Phil Robinson, president, Lankenau Medical Center, and Barbara Wadsworth, SVP, CNO, share responsibility for Emergency Management in direct collaboration with Drs. Bushra and Whalen. We excited for the wealth of knowledge and expertise that both Drs. Bushra and Whalen will bring to their new roles.

Michael has worked at Lankenau Medical Center since 2015.  Michael graduated from Temple School of Medicine and completed his ED Residency at Temple. Michael brings excellent clinical experience, knowledge and enthusiasm to lead as the Medical Director. This role is in addition to his current duties at LMC.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Joe Bushra and Dr. Michael Whalen.

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Clinical Trial of the Week: Treatment study for patients diagnosed with squamous cell lung cancer with cMet protein

By Donna Loyle, communications specialist, LIMR

Main Line Health clinical researchers are recruiting patients who’ve been diagnosed with stage IV or recurrent squamous cell lung cancer and whose cancer cells test positive for the protein cMet. Researchers seek to determine the safety and effectiveness of the antibody medication telisotuzumab vedotin (ABBV-399), a drug currently being investigated to treat non-small cell lung cancer.

Inclusion criteria:

  • Must have an IHC positive based on Ventana SP44 assay (H score ≥ 150).
  • Must have progressed during or after prior platinum-based chemotherapy. For Stage I-III disease patients, progression on platinum-based chemotherapy must have occurred within one year from the last date patient received that therapy.
  • Must not have peripheral edema > Grade 1 or peripheral neuropathy > Grade 1 at the time of sub-study registration.
  • Must not have received prior treatment with cMet pathway inhibitors. And must not be taking strong CYP3A4 inhibitors within seven days prior to sub-study registration, nor plan to take while on protocol treatment and for 14 days after the last dose of study treatment.

Other eligibility criteria apply. Please visit the website for this trial for more information.

This trial (#S1400-K), which is part of the larger LUNG-MAP trial, is available at all Main Line Health acute care hospitals. Principal investigators are Albert DeNittis, MD, and Paul Gilman, MD. For more on this trial, visit

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Best read of the week

What’s The Evidence That Supervised Drug Injection Sites Save Lives?

NPR: As drug-related deaths rise to record numbers, at least a dozen U.S. cities are considering opening supervised injection sites, where people can use illicit drugs with trained staff present, ready to respond in case of an overdose.

Additional news media reports on MLH physicians and the health care industry, excerpted from MLH’s daily Morning News Report:

Regional Health News….

Monthly overdose deaths break record in Delaware
WHYY: More people died in August of suspected drug overdoses in a single month than ever before in Delaware, according to the Department of Health and Social Services.

Patient Care News…

AHA: Many With Supposed Drug-Resistant Blood Pressure Aren’t Taking Meds
Healthday: For about one in five people with what appears to be hard-to-treat, or resistant, high blood pressure, they simply aren’t taking prescribed medications, new research suggests.

Health Business News…    

It’s Hard for Doctors to Unlearn Things. That’s Costly for All of Us.
The New York Times: Procedures live on even after they’ve been proved ineffective. It can lead to harms and wasted resources.

Quality and Safety News….

3 ways hospitals are boosting hygiene practices to fight superbugs
Becker’s Hospital Review: Hospitals and health systems across the nation are setting stronger hygiene standards to help curb healthcare-associated infections, focusing on the hospital fixtures most vulnerable to contamination, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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Lankenau cardiologist examines rationale, design of heart study using smartwatches

By Donna Loyle, communications specialist, LIMR

Peter Kowey, MD, a cardiologist at Lankenau Heart Institute (LHI), co-authored a new manuscript that examined the rationale and design of a large-scale, application-based study to identify cardiac arrhythmias using a smartwatch. He also served on the steering committee for the study.

The Apple Heart Study, a single-arm trial funded by Apple, Inc., ran from November 2017 through July 2018. The study enrolled 440,309 participants and is the largest screening for atrial fibrillation (AF) to date. Results of the Apple Heart Study are forthcoming. A recently published manuscript from Dr. Kowey and his colleagues explains the rationale for the study and the protocol design. The study “may form the framework on which future studies using wearable technology to detect AF will be based,” wrote the authors.

Identifying patients with AF is a critical task for health care providers, as the disorder is progressive and can markedly increase a patient’s risk of having a stroke. Previous studies in which Dr. Kowey has participated showed that continuous monitoring of an undiagnosed at-risk population that had been fitted with miniature implantable recording devices uncovered AF in nearly 40 percent of patients.

“The surprising results of previous studies have confirmed that we need to develop a large-scale, non-invasive method to monitor the general population, since AF symptoms can be silent or minor,” noted Dr. Kowey, the William Wikoff Smith Chair in Cardiovascular Research at Lankenau Institute for Medical Research. “If we can identify AF patients earlier in their disease progression, we may be able to treat symptoms and prevent stroke and heart failure, the two most catastrophic outcomes associated with AF.”

Smartwatches and other fitness bands (known as wearables) passively measure pulse rate at the wrist using photoplethysmography (PPG). Longitudinal pulse information can be analyzed via PPG in real-time to determine irregularity and variability.

Participants in the Apple Heart Study whose pulse data identified them as potentially having AF were notified of such through the mobile app and encouraged to contact the telemedicine technology services company that had partnered with the study. If AF was suspected or confirmed, participants received a conventional seven day patch monitor to confirm the diagnosis. Participants with urgent symptoms were directed to go to an urgent care center or an emergency room for medical evaluation.

“The unique features of this study are its very large scale and its completely virtual design,” said Dr. Kowey. “Patients were enrolled, gave consent and were monitored remotely, without a physician present. This enabled a significant number of participants to be recruited in a short amount of time.”

Importantly, he continued, private health information (PHI) was protected, and Apple did not have access to patients’ PHI.

The authors concluded the Apple Heart Study “will provide initial evaluation of the ability of a smartwatch algorithm to identify an irregular pulse consistent with previously unknown AF.”

The full manuscript, “Rationale and design of a large-scale app-based study to identify cardiac arrhythmias using a smartwatch: The Apple Heart Study” was published in American Heart Journal and is available here:

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STEEEP Huddle: E for Equitable


This week’s STEEEP Huddle topics – submitted by Paul Yakulis, SVP, Human Resources, and Karen Fitzpatrick Smith, manager, Organizational Development – focuses on the two-day mandatory Diversity, Respect and Inclusion (DR&I) learning experience that MLH leaders attended to discuss DR&I barriers across the organization. 310 barriers were identified and then reviewed by the DR&I Steering Committee and senior leaders, and to date, 120 issues have been resolved/closed. Talk to your manager about any DR&I concerns or questions you have and look for more information via email about an upcoming DR&I course for all MLH employees.

The STEEEP Huddle topics are posted on the Performance Excellence 2020 site at


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