Organizations Work Hard to Improve Access to Healthcare in Philadelphia

By staff writer

March 2019

Although Philadelphia is already known to be a city of medical firsts — including the first medical school, first hospital and first medical library in the United States — its public and private healthcare entities continue creating new and innovative partnerships to fight health inequities and improve access to healthcare.

The Health of the City 2018 report from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health showed that although most key health indicators in Philadelphia continue to improve, disparities in key health outcomes persist, particularly for racial/ethnic minorities and those experiencing poverty.

“As we assess the areas that need us most, our focus areas have been north, west and southwest Philadelphia, and we’re spending a lot of time and resources on creating communities of health in those underserved neighborhoods,” said Jennifer Davis, senior vice president and executive director of the American Heart Association in Philadelphia told Invest:.

Throughout the years, the American Heart Association has established strong partnerships with faith-based organizations, schools and community centers in order to educate and better serve the community in areas ranging from heart health and diabetes care to healthy cooking and physical fitness.

In addition, organizations such as The Renfrew Center, a treatment center for eating disorders, have created solid connections with insurance companies and a full continuum of care in the Philadelphia area.

“Mental health coverage has been a major focus area for us,” said Samuel Menaged, founder and partner of The Renfrew Center. “As the pioneer in the field of eating disorders, one of our missions is to take responsibility for expanding public awareness and understanding about mental health.”

Today, the Renfrew Center Foundation advances eating-disorder education, prevention, research, advocacy and treatment, and works to bring about better access to treatment.

Philadelphia is home to the second-largest university population in the U.S., and institutions of higher education also play a significant role in the healthcare arena. For example, in December 2018, Drexel University’s College of Medicine was given a $1.5 million, three-year grant to address the opioid epidemic.

“As an academic health center, we reach at-risk individuals in the community for evaluation and then offer evidence-based treatment,” said Daniel Schidlow, dean and senior vice president for medical affairs at Drexel. “Our research and educational programs will help the college develop new models of care to help curb the epidemic.”

There’s still much work to be done. Philadelphia’s 2018-2022 Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) identified two priority areas that need urgent attention: Improving access to, and utilization of, primary care; and a more robust effort to address social and economic determinants of health issues. The Invest: team will continue covering these efforts and many others focused on bringing about better health care access to all Philadelphians.

For more information on our interviewees, visit their websites:

The Renfrew Center: http://renfrewcenter.com/

Drexel University College of Medicine: https://drexel.edu/medicine/

American Heart Association in Philadelphia: https://www.heart.org/en/affiliates/pennsylvania/philadelphia

A Hub for Medical Innovation

By staff writer

February 2019

There are certain aspects of a community that will always prove to be true. One such truth is when you have an area like Tampa Bay that is home to nearly 3 million people, and that number is steadily increasing year after year, there is inevitably going to be a need for more medical care. With that comes an increased emphasis on medical education. So how is Tampa handling this increased demand? The simple answer is: innovation.

Tampa is home to a number of highly praised and widely recognized medical institutions, and one of these institutions is Ultimate Medical Academy. The academy is using innovative methods for its online school to better equip those students who might not have the flexibility in their lives to go to an actual campus. Invest: Tampa Bay recently sat down with the school’s president, Derek Apanovitch, to discuss how they are best supporting their medical students.

“It has been a good year at Ultimate Medical Academy,” Apanovitch told Invest:. “We reached 15,000 students nationwide, and we have more than 45,000 graduates across the country. We also received four more years of accreditation from the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools.

“We have what we call learner-services advisors who are assigned to individual students on their first day of class and stay with them through the duration of their program to help keep them on track,” Apanovitch continued. “One of the obvious challenges of running an online learning environment is that you don’t have students in front of you. We try to reaffirm that human element through constant interaction with our students, many of whom are single moms who are juggling part-time jobs and child care, so it’s important that someone is always available to help them. Faculty and the student support center employees are always on hand. That’s integral to the success of our students.”

Online institutions like Ultimate Medical Academy are proving successful because of their accessibility. This idea of accessibility has also been adopted by Tampa’s hospitals, making it so their patients have access to the items they need without having to go out of their way to procure them.

Invest: Tampa recently spoke with Tampa General Hospital’s CEO and president, John Couris, to discuss how they are leveraging innovative technologies to improve patient experience.

“We use a system called Epic for our electronic medical records (EMRs), and arguably it’s one of the best EMRs in the world,” Couris said. “It has improved access to clinical information exponentially for patients. Patients can access test results. They can communicate and message their doctors. They can make appointments. They can fill prescriptions. They have a to-do list for healthcare and tracking. They have a healthcare summary. They can see and pay their bills. They can do an e-visit, and they can share their records with any other Epic institution in the world. Not every institution has that kind of technology and infrastructure. We have it, and we’re continuing to get better at it.”

Innovation is not a new concept, but it is one that is necessary for Tampa Bay’s continued success in the medical field. As long as medical professionals and institutions continue to innovate, Tampa Bay will continue to be at the forefront of Florida’s medical community!

To learn more about our interviewees, visit their websites:
Ultimate Medical Academy: https://www.ultimatemedical.edu/
Tampa General Hospital: https://www.tgh.org/

The Opioid Crisis

By staff writer

February 2019

According to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 70,237 Americans died from overdose in 2017. This outnumbered nationwide deaths from both gun violence and car accidents. This staggering number of deaths is directly related to increased access to powerful opioids, and young people in particular are being hit hard. With the abrupt loss of the healthiest and most productive members of society, U.S. life expectancy has dropped three years in a row. The country has not seen this kind of consecutive-year decline since World War II.

In Florida, the news is a little bit brighter. A recent study by the Drug Enforcement Agency found that the state reduced its sale of opioids by 62 percent between 2010 and 2017. And according to recent data from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, overdose deaths dropped in Miami-Dade County in 2017. One reason for this reduction is the IDEA Exchange, Florida’s first and only needle exchange program. Through this program, which was established in 2016, the county has been saturated with thousands of doses of naloxone, an overdose-reversal agent used by first responders and emergency departments.

Other healthcare industry leaders are getting involved in the war on opioids as well. Our team at Invest: Miami recently spoke with Penny Shaffer, market president at Florida Blue, about what the insurance provider is doing to help combat the epidemic.

“At Florida Blue, we are taking an aggressive approach to fighting this opioid crisis in Florida,” Shaffer told Invest:. “We were the first health insurer in the state to eliminate coverage of the highly addictive opioid OxyContin. Our Florida Blue Foundation is contributing nearly $3 million to organizations that are providing front-line opioid addiction support. In October, we convened an Opioid Imperative at our Innovation Center in Lake Nona, bringing together leaders and influencers from the healthcare system, academia, nonprofit organizations, advocacy groups, first responders, government, those personally affected by addiction, families, employers and others to further discuss the issues we are facing and shine a light on effective solutions. And most recently, we announced a joint effort to develop a collaborative approach to the problem in one of the hardest hit areas in our state: Central Florida.”

However, despite these small gains, the opioid crisis is by no means nearing an end. “The opioid crisis is not something one organization can solve on its own,” Shaffer said. “It takes a team of dedicated individuals and organizations coming together, committed to the cause — and that is why we are partnering with a number of stakeholders to address this epidemic in communities across Florida.”

Echoing this sentiment of dedication and collaboration, H. Bruce Hayden, CEO of Banyan Health Systems, told Invest:, “Right now, society simply cannot support the population of people struggling with opioid addiction. However, we can be supportive of solving this issue through both collaboration and education.”

Hayden also underscored the importance of continuity of care in treating patients addicted to opioids. “Given the current healthcare climate, the industry is now a world of mergers and acquisitions,” he told Invest:. “There is an increased need for specialization and the ability to offer a continuum of services, which is one of the things Banyan Health Systems has strived to do as an organization with our community partners.”

With more than 140 Americans dying every day from overdoses of opioids such as heroin and fentanyl, opioids are the leading cause of death in the U.S. Miami-Dade’s healthcare leaders are taking this epidemic very seriously and working together to implement solutions that will save thousands of lives.

For more information on our interviewees, please visit their websites:
Florida Blue, https://www.floridablue.com/
Banyan Health Systems, https://www.banyanhealth.org/

 

Philadelphia’s Diversified Economy Highlighted at the Launch of Invest: Philadelphia 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 14, 2019

City of Philadelphia Director of Commerce Harold Epps will give the keynote address at the launch of Capital Analytics’ first publication focusing on Greater Philadelphia.

Philadelphia, PA – Greater Philadelphia’s robust healthcare industry, historically strong higher education sector and focus on innovation are just some of the focal points in the first edition of Invest: Philadelphia from Capital Analytics. The 2019 edition highlights the five-county region of Greater Philadelphia, including Philadelphia, Montgomery, Bucks, Delaware and Chester counties, with special focus chapters on the City of Chester and the dynamic neighborhoods in the City of Philadelphia.

Philadelphia’s housing market is one of the hottest in the country, and the region’s real estate industry is attracting increased interest from investors both domestically and abroad, particularly in the multifamily space. Utilities and infrastructure are covered in detail as the city looks to alternative sources of energy to sustainably grow and develop. Transportation is a hot topic, with the Philadelphia International Airport continuing to expand its reach and SEPTA making improvements to help keep counties connected via extensive bus and train routes. The Invest: Philadelphia publication from Capital Analytics is a 208-page economic analysis that highlights business opportunities for investors, entrepreneurs and innovators alike looking to Philadelphia for opportunities.

The official launch of the publication will take place on January 24, 2019, at the Loews Hotel. Following a short networking breakfast, Harold Epps, Director of Commerce for the City of Philadelphia, will give a keynote address that underscores some of the major achievements of Philadelphia’s economy over the past 12 months. This will be followed by three robust panel discussions.

The panels will address major themes currently dominating Philadelphia’s economy: education, healthcare and innovation. The “Healing the Community: Healthcare in Philadelphia” panel will be moderated by Susanne Svizeny of Wells Fargo. Panelists will be Dr. Jay Feldstein of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Jack Lynch of Main Line Health, Dr. Larry Kaiser of Temple University Health System and Ray Williams of DLA Piper. The “World Class Minds: Education in Philadelphia” panelists will be Craig Carnaroli of University of Pennsylvania, Guy Generals of Community College of Philadelphia and Michael Mittelman of Salus University. The “On the Cutting Edge: Innovation in Philadelphia” panel will be moderated by Mathieu Shapiro of Obermayer, and panelists will be Dan Hilferty of Independence Blue Cross, Tricia Marts of Veolia, Atif Ghauri of MAZARS and John Giordano of Archer Law.

The event will be attended by hundreds of high-level guests and officials from some of Philadelphia’s key industries and economic institutions.

“Invest: Philadelphia is Capital Analytics’ first foray into the Northeast,” said Abby Melone, president of Capital Analytics. “After resounding success in South Florida and Georgia, we wanted to expand up the coast to the hidden gem of the Northeast. Philadelphia is increasing its global visibility, and we wanted help the city capitalize on that. As the most affordable major city in the Northeast corridor, Philadelphia has a great deal to offer people of all ages, from students to young professionals and from entrepreneurs to capital investors. We are excited to be a part of Philadelphia’s journey.”

 

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About Invest: Philadelphia

Invest: Philadelphia is an in-depth economic review of the key issues facing Greater Philadelphia’s economy featuring the exclusive insights of prominent industry leaders. Invest: Philadelphia is produced with two goals in mind: 1) to provide comprehensive investment knowledge on Philadelphia to local, national and international investors, and 2) to promote Philadelphia as a place to invest and do business.

The book conducts a deep dive of the top economic sectors in the county including real estate, construction, utilities and infrastructure, transportation and aviation, banking and finance, legal, healthcare, life sciences, education, sports, and arts culture and tourism. The publication is compiled from insights collected from more than 200 economic leaders, sector insiders, political leaders and heads of important institutions. It analyzes the leading challenges facing the market, as well as covers emerging opportunities for investors, entrepreneurs and innovators.

For more information, contact us at: contact@capitalaa.com

 

 

The Fight for Fresh Food

By contributing writer Sean O’Toole
September 2018 – 2 min. read

Urban agriculture is an integral part of human civilization. The ability to cultivate food consistently in one place was the impetus for the founding of the first human cities, and the need for a reliable supply of food has been one of the most critical concerns of every city since. This was no less true for early America. However, over time, our ability to factory farm massive quantities of food on faraway farms and then ship it to urban destinations reduced the need to keep farms and gardens close to home. The victory gardens of World War II — necessitated by the need to conserve for the war effort — were an oasis of urban agriculture that quickly dried up when postwar prosperity made them obsolete yet again.

In 21st-century America, there is no shortage of food. But there is a shortage of good food. Our cities are food deserts — areas lacking fresh, healthy whole foods. Instead, we subsist on the processed, the fast and the fattening. We are always fed but never nourished. In response to the epidemic of bad food, urban agriculture is making a resurgence in cities across the country, including Atlanta.

 

 

Atlanta residents were extremely vocal about the need to improve the quality of locally available food, and the city listened by making food part of the Resilient Atlanta Strategy, among other local initiatives. This led to the rise of the AgLanta Grows-A-Lot program, which makes vacant, city-owned land available to residents and nonprofits for the cultivation of fresh fruits and vegetables. The program represents a positive step toward Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ goal of putting 75 percent of Atlanta residents within a 10-minute walk of fresh food by 2020 and developing a resilient food system by 2025.

MARTA is also bolstering this effort. In 2015, the organization launched its Fresh MARTA Market as a pilot program with the goal of both helping farmers sell their produce and providing healthy, fresh food to the city’s residents in a convenient location. What could be more convenient than a MARTA station? The program currently operates at five stations following the recent opening of the Bankhead Market on September 19, 2018.

Leading construction company Skanska also understands the importance of resilience and urban farming. “Our Atlanta office was the first Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) Gold-certified office space in 2007,” Scott Cannon, Skanska’s executive vice president, told our Focus: Atlanta team. “We have two unique and sustainable projects underway in Atlanta: the Georgia Tech Living Building Challenge and an urban farm shed along the BeltLine. The shed is a 500-square-foot off-grid storage and workshed featuring a photovoltaic energy and storage system, composting toilet and the use of salvaged and locally milled wood products.”

Atlanta’s renewed commitment to urban agriculture in recent years is already beginning to have an impact. The total area of the city’s food deserts shrunk by 17 percent between 2010 and 2016 alone. Like other successful programs in the city, this is thanks in part to the enthusiastic creation of public-private partnerships intent on furthering the expansion of urban agriculture. AgLanta Grows-A-Lot is receiving assistance from groups such as the Fulton County Soil and Water Conservation District, NewFields, the Atlanta Community Food Bank and many more. Thanks to these efforts, Atlanta will not just grow in the future; it will also grow healthier.  

For more information on the City of Atlanta’s resiliency efforts, visit the Office of Resilience website: https://www.atlantaga.gov/government/mayor-s-office/executive-offices/office-of-resilience

For more information on our interviewee, visit Skanska’s website: https://www.usa.skanska.com/who-we-are/contact-us/skanska-offices/atlanta-ga/

“Meds and Eds”

June 2018 — If there is one thing to take away from Philadelphia’s business market it is that higher education and healthcare — or as the locals call it, “meds and eds” — are two major sweet spots. Philadelphia and its surrounding region are home to numerous internationally ranked universities and hospitals that produce some of the world’s foremost thought leaders and life-changing research. The growth of both industries feeds into other sectors of the market as well.

Development projects for both higher education and healthcare are popping up all over the city, whether in the form of new innovation centers like Pennovation and Schuylkill Yards or new additions to Penn Medicine and Main Line Health. Life sciences, healthcare and education are some of the leading sectors driving business at the city’s law, accounting and consulting firms as well.

We sat down with some of Philadelphia’s leading minds in meds, eds and other industries affected by their growth in order to learn more about the region’s “meds and eds” phenomenon.

Craig Carnaroli, Executive Vice President, University of Pennsylvania

“Penn has amazing momentum right now. The research that is happening here, like Dr. June’s CAR-T therapy, and the people we are attracting to the university are creating an amazing trajectory for us. We are a part of some game-changing gene therapy that was just recently FDA approved and could have a huge impact on both improving lives and the Philadelphia economy. The University of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia higher education sector are very strong. There is a need for a larger STEM workforce, and with the quality of student we continue to attract, we can make an impact on that workforce.”

Jay S. Feldstein, DO, President, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

“60 percent of our graduates go into primary care. You can’t go to a medical institution in the Philadelphia or Mid-Atlantic regions without bumping into one of our graduates who’s either an attending physician in practice, a resident or a medical student. Our location and our affiliations offer a unique opportunity for students to really immerse themselves in the medical community and culture.”

Christopher Bruner, Office Managing Partner, EY

“Life sciences is a huge sector for us, especially in Philadelphia, and not just because the industry has a large presence in the city. It is because our employees want to give back. Millennials especially want to work with companies that they know are doing good, and they want to give back themselves, which is something we encourage as a firm.”

Teddy Thomas, President, Ronald McDonald House

“Medical tourism is something that happens organically. Because of the doctors and their sub-specialties we have here, people come for very specific reasons. People are not traveling for general care; they are traveling for specialized care. Medicine is continuing to evolve through the insurance industry, as well as in the form of hospitals building new and continuing to invest in their own research. Sub-specialized care draws people out of their local communities, and Philadelphia will continue to see a growth of people traveling to this region for their care. We feel very lucky to be in the amazing meds and eds corridor that we have.”

For more information about our interviewees, visit their company websites:

University of Pennsylvania: https://www.upenn.edu/
EY: http://www.ey.com/
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine: https://www.pcom.edu/
Ronald McDonald House: https://ronaldhouse-snj.org/

The Healthcare Research Capital

February 2018 — Known as a healthcare hub, Atlanta is nationally recognized not only for its patient care but also for its research in the healthcare industry. As the home of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and leading research institutions like Emory University and Georgia Tech, Atlanta paves the way in innovation within the industry. In fact, former Mayor Kasim Reed said that Atlanta would become the health technology capital of the Southeast after seeing the impact that the recently opened Atlanta Center for Medical Research has had on its surrounding community.

Focus: Atlanta spoke with a number of city leaders in the healthcare sector to get their insights on this. Here’s what they said:

Dr. Jonathan Lewin, President and CEO and Chairman of the Board, Emory Healthcare

“At Emory’s Woodruff Health Sciences Center, we are conducting more than $540 million of externally funded research in 2017. The Emory Vaccine Center is performing clinical trials for Zika virus vaccines,  we have made groundbreaking progress on HIV vaccines and antibiotic resistance. The Winship Cancer Institute, recently designated a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute, has participated in clinical trials for all the newest immunotherapy drugs. Our Brain Health Center is conducting research on Alzheimer’s, PTSD, stroke, and depression. We are leading the largest clinical trial ever in Atlanta, the Emory Health Aging Study, which will be enrolling healthy aging people across the city, looking at brain health development and dementia. It’s going to be one of the biggest trials ever conducted in the U.S. for brain health.”

Dr. Walter Curran, Executive Director, Winship Cancer Institute

“The National Cancer Institute considers several features of an institution when it designates CCCs. It looks at the quality of laboratory cancer research, the quality of clinical trials, the efforts to understand cancer in the community, including cancer prevention or early detection methods, educational training programs and the positive impacts of research on the local community. Our mission is to lessen the burden of cancer in Georgia. We do that by aligning our research and educational programs with our cancer care and prevention.”

Anne Meisner, CEO, Cancer Treatment Centers of America

“We have a presence of large academic institutions, and that is a driver of medical education as well as research.”

John Haupert, President and CEO, Grady Health System

“The Marcus Stroke and Neuroscience Center came online in 2010 and has become one of the leading stroke centers in the country. It is the largest in Georgia and a leading research facility. The Marcus Trauma Center has given us the capacity to manage larger numbers of trauma patients. Additional investments have been made in cardiology that allow Grady to be a 24-7 cardiac center and allow a 24-7 catheterization lab available to respond to ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction, a serious type of heart attack. Most recently, we have undergone a significant expansion and renovation of our emergency department. Because of the population we serve, we have created the state’s first psychiatric ER as we see a significant number of psychiatric patients.”

To find out more about our interviewees above, visit their websites at:

Emory Healthcare: https://www.emoryhealthcare.org
Winship Cancer Institute: https://winshipcancer.emory.edu
Cancer Treatment Centers of America: https://www.cancercenter.com
Grady Health System: https://www.gradyhealth.org

Invest: Miami speaks with George Foyo, Chief Administrative Officer, Baptist Health South Florida

 

Consumer choice is becoming more prevalent because either employers are not covering as many of the healthcare needs of their employees, or some employers are no longer covering their employees at all. With federal and private exchanges, the landscape of how people are acquiring healthcare has changed significantly. People are now forced to make a choice in what plan to buy, and they’re generally not well informed. People know how to buy a car, but buying a healthcare plan is very different. You have to know what network it covers and what the deductibles are. Some consumers are buying plans based on price alone, without realizing they have high deductibles or a narrow network. Whether you go through a private or federal exchange, you have to be mindful of what you’re buying. You may not realize the deductibles could end up being thousands of dollars. There needs to be a lot more education. Private exchanges will continue to grow, and time will tell how well that works. It will be interesting to see how the acquisition of healthcare plans change for consumers, based on availability, price and network. As Baptist Health grows and evolves, so does our patient profile. Because some of our technology and services are unique to the area, we collaborate with other healthcare organizations, such as children’s hospitals, to provide services. In Latin America, there are few similar facilities so we communicate our capabilities to doctors there, and they refer patients when necessary. For example, we recently had more than 100 doctors from Latin America present as we opened the doors of our Miami Cancer Institute. We hosted a series of lectures to familiarize them with the Institute and let them know how we can work together. One of our special services in the area of medical tourism is the focus on continuity of care. After patients leave us and return to their home cities, we connect with their local physician to ensure the care loop is closed.

Alliance of care

How Miami Cancer Institute’s role in the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance improves treatment options for cancer patients in South Florida

Michael J. Zinner Founding CEO & Executive Medical Director – Miami Cancer Institute

 

As the third member of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance, what is the importance of the hybrid academic and community cancer care model?

Around 85 percent of cancer care in this community is delivered in a hospital setting, not in highly academic research settings. A hybrid cancer center, of which there are now several in the U.S., is the marriage of a community hospital and an academic research institution. Our institution is Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York City. It means we are able to offer the same standards of care including clinical trials, resources and capabilities as one would receive in Manhattan. There is a distinction between what other national cancer centers do and what we are doing. Unfortunately, there are a lot of cancer centers that are branding exercises where the nationally-recognized name on a building creates the idea of better practices. This is not what we have done. For the past two years, Miami Cancer Institute has gone through a series of checks to ensure that the standards of care offered here in Miami are the same standards offered at Memorial Sloan Kettering and through the Cancer Alliance. For each cancer, there is a list of everything that needs to be done, for instance the preparation for surgery and during surgery in the operating room. There is a checklist the size of a telephone book that need to be prepared. This method is very different from other relationships and institutions around the country.

What are the advantages of proton therapy?

There is a difference between traditional X-ray therapy and proton therapy. Traditional X-rays are used to essentially burn a tumor. It burns the tissue on the way in, gets the tumor and then burns the tissue on the way out. There is a lot of harm to normal tissue. Proton therapy, however, has virtually no normal tissue side effects. It is very precise. Essentially, it only burns the tumor, but not the tissue around it. This is critical in children because if the normal tissue of a child is burnt, it interferes with development. It will also be critical in cases of brain tumors where you don’t want to damage the normal nerves around the targeted area. The same could be applied to spinal areas. We are expanding its use into other areas. For example, women who have had radiation therapy for breast cancer are at a higher risk of contracting a heart disease because of the cancer’s close proximity to the heart and the imprecise nature of that therapy. We might be able to eliminate that side effect by using proton therapy. The proton therapy unit is a very high-tech piece of equipment. It will take up to six months to get is calibrated and we expect to be treating patients in late summer 2017.