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Olean General Hospital


Olean General Hospital Starts Intensivist Program For ICU Care

Posted on: 10/11/2010

Olean General Hospital will soon be part of a select number of hospitals across the country who use specially trained physicians, called intensivists, to direct and provide medical care of Intensive Care Unit patients.


Intensivists are physicians who specialize in the care of critically ill patients, usually in an intensive care unit. Studies have shown that patients whose care is managed by a specially trained intensivist in the ICU recover more quickly and achieve greater clinical outcomes overall.


“Currently, fewer than 20 percent of hospitals in the country utilize intensivists,” said Timothy J. Finan, President and CEO of Olean General Hospital and parent company Upper Allegheny Health System.  “This is a very significant quality enhancement with respect to the care of our sickest patients, those in the ICU.”


The decision to bring intensivists to Olean General Hospital has the full support of the hospital’s Medical Staff, who were involved in the process from its early stages.  Progress was discussed at many medical staff meetings to help ensure physicians remained updated and informed about progress.


Each intensivist at Olean General will have completed a primary residency and board certification in a specialty such as emergency medicine, surgery, internal medicine, or anesthesiology.  Additionally, they have completed two- or three-year fellowships in critical care medicine.


“The program is designed to enhance the treatment and safety of ICU patients by providing them with a higher level of care,” said William Mills, M.D., senior vice president of Medical Affairs.  Hospitals that utilize intensivist consultation or management for intensive care unit (ICU) patients have shown a 40% reduction in ICU mortality rates as well as an overall reduction in ICU length of stay.


The program implementation in the ICU is being coordinated by Dr. Mills. 


As part of a co-management strategy, intensivists will be the primary caregivers in Olean General’s ICU, working with the hospital’s medical staff members to coordinate each patient's care.  Intensivists will provide 24-hour coverage, 7 days a week, working 12-hour shifts in the hospital and remaining on-call for the other 12 hours.


“The addition of intensivists in our ICU is consistent with the efforts at Olean General Hospital to improve the clinical and quality of outcomes for all our patients,” said Mr. Finan.  “The specialized skill sets of these physicians will allow us to keep more patients right here in the hospital for their care and treatment, instead of needing to transfer them to tertiary centers in Buffalo or elsewhere.”


The current intensivists at Olean General Hospital include John W. Hoyt, M.D., who completed his Anesthesia Residency and Critical Care Fellowship at Naval Regional Medical Center in Portsmouth, VA; Sandralee Blosser, M.D., who completed her Internal Medicine Residency at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, DC, and her Pulmonary and Critical Care Fellowships at Johns Hopkins University Hospitals in Baltimore, MD; William Castaldo, M.D., who completed his Internal Medicine Residency at New Rochelle Hospital Medical Center in New Rochelle, NY, and his Pulmonary/Critical Care Fellowship at Albany Medical Center Hospital in Albany, NY; Alex Flaxman, M.D., who completed his Emergency Medicine Residency at Beth Israel Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, NY, and his Critical Care Fellowship at R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, at the University of Maryland in Baltimore, MD; Hector Peniston, M.D. who completed his Emergency Medicine Residency at the Medical Center of Delaware in Wilmington, DE and his Critical Care Medicine Fellowship: at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN; and Gilbert Witte, M.D., who completed his Internal Medicine Residency and Pulmonary/Critical Care Fellowship at the Medical Center of Vermont in Burlington, VT.

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