Englewood Health Offers Patients Next-Generation PET/CT Scanner

With the acquisition of new imaging technology, Englewood Health improves disease detection, offering patients quicker, more comfortable scans, with potential for earlier diagnosis

December 19, 2023 — A faster, safer, and more effective medical imaging device has arrived at Englewood Health, with the addition of the Biograph Vision 450, the next-generation PET/CT scanner from Siemens Healthineers.

PET/CT scanners are a critical tool used to detect cancers and neurological disorders, as well as monitor progress in patients undergoing treatment for lung cancer, lymphoma, melanoma, and other cancers.

The new PET/CT scanner dramatically decreases the amount of time it takes to render an image—and therefore the amount of time patients need to spend in the scanner—from 40–45 minutes down to 12–15 minutes. The Biograph Vision 450 offers enhanced image quality and can detect smaller lesions than previously possible—as small as 1 mm in diameter.

This improved image quality not only offers greater diagnostic precision but also has the potential to enable earlier diagnoses, which is crucial for treating medical conditions at their most manageable stages, ultimately improving patient outcomes.

In addition to premium technology, the new scanner offers a larger and wider opening, as well as a higher weight limit, providing better patient comfort. At Englewood Health, patients undergo scans in private rooms equipped with TVs, art imagery, and a choice of their favorite music to listen to while being scanned.

“We understand that needing a scan can bring anxiety. Englewood Health technologists can help reduce that stress by promising a more comfortable and faster imaging experience,” says Mark Shapiro, MD, chief of radiology at Englewood Health. “With the addition of the latest imaging technology, we have further enhanced our patient experience and diagnostic capabilities, illustrating our role as leaders in cancer care for our community.”

“Our team is committed to leveraging innovative technologies to ensure the early and accurate detection of all cancers,” said Steven T. Brower, MD, FACS, medical director of the Lefcourt Family Cancer Treatment and Wellness Center and chief of surgical oncology at Englewood Health. “We remain steadfast in our pursuit of enhancing the ease and comfort of all stages of cancer care. This commitment to excellence and the patient experience is what distinguishes us.”

Englewood Health Earns Top Teaching Hospital Award from The Leapfrog Group

In earning the Top Teaching Hospital Award, Englewood Health ranks among the top 6 percent of hospitals in the nation considered by The Leapfrog Group.

December 5, 2023 — Englewood Health has been named a Top Teaching Hospital by The Leapfrog Group, a national watchdog organization dedicated to healthcare quality and safety.

This marks the sixth year Englewood Health has received the Top Teaching Hospital award. Of the over 2,100 hospitals considered by The Leapfrog Group, Englewood Health was among of just 132 (6 percent) to earn the top hospital award for 2023.

“We are thrilled to share that Englewood Health has been recognized as a Top Teaching Hospital once again,” said Warren Geller, president and CEO of Englewood Health. “Every day, we strive to create a safe and compassionate environment for our patients. This recognition reinforces our mission to provide the highest standard of healthcare to our communities.”

To qualify for the Top Hospital award, hospitals must achieve top performance and excel among their peers on the Leapfrog Hospital Survey, which assesses performance based on quality and patient safety metrics.

“Protecting patients from preventable harm is the cornerstone of The Leapfrog Group’s mission,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “Englewood Health has demonstrated that patient safety is their top priority, and we’re truly pleased to recognize them as a Top Hospital this year. Congratulations to hospital staff at all levels who made this national recognition possible.”

To see the full list and methodology of The Leapfrog Group’s 2023 Top Hospital awards, visit www.leapfroggroup.org/tophospitals.

Eliana’s Story ­– Thyroid Cancer 

After Eliana Baum’s teenage niece was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, every member of the family was advised to get screened. Now, Eliana reflects on the series of events that led to lifesaving care she received at Englewood Health.  

It had been just over two months since Eliana Baum’s teenage niece was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Discovered during an ultrasound for an unrelated condition, her niece’s cancer diagnosis prompted a shift for the entire family. 

Though Eliana’s family had a preexisting history of thyroid cancer—her mother was diagnosed in her late 20s—the onset of cancer in a younger member of the family meant that everyone’s risk for the disease had just increased.  

These were the circumstances that found the 33-year-old schoolteacher in the office of Englewood Health endocrinologist Fadwa Sumrein, DO

“I went in for an ultrasound and Dr. Sumrein found nodules on my thyroid. Within a few days, it was confirmed with a biopsy,” Eliana said. “I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer just two months after my niece.” 

Eliana’s first thoughts upon hearing her diagnosis were of her five-year-old son and her infant twins. 

“I was immediately thinking: will I need surgery, radiation, or chemo? By that time, there had been so much cancer in my family. I think I suffered from having too much information,” Eliana said. 

After the fog of her initial diagnosis cleared, Eliana committed to “taking it one step at a time.”  

“Dr. Sumrein called me before my initial appointment just to go over the results,” Eliana said. “She explained what my diagnosis meant and told me that we were going to take care of this together. She was very reassuring.” 

Dr. Sumrein explained that the first step would be to surgically remove Eliana’s cancer, along with her thyroid. This meant that Eliana would be on hormone replacement therapy for the rest of her life—care that Dr. Sumrein would facilitate after surgery. 

For the surgery itself, Eliana was referred to Englewood Health endocrine and general surgeon Ki Won Kim, MD

“A strong family history of thyroid cancer is a known risk factor that’s been well established in the medical literature. Close relatives of children diagnosed with thyroid cancer may be at an increased risk for developing thyroid cancer themselves,” said Dr. Kim.  

According to Dr. Kim, in circumstances such as this, it’s important to disclose the change in family history to your doctors, so they can advise you of the most appropriate screening guidelines going forward. 

“Dr. Kim is extremely personable. We’re similar ages and both have young kids, so we were able to relate,” Eliana said. “He walked me through the process of surgery and what the incision would look like once it healed. He told me he would blend it into a wrinkle on my neck.” 

Of the process of surgery and recovery, Eliana said it was surprisingly easy. 

“I love Englewood Health,” Eliana said. “I’ve had both of my births there, so I knew I would be taken care of. Everyone in the waiting area was so kind, so on top of everything, and so communicative with my husband. I was put in a beautiful room and was well taken care of the entire time.” 

Eliana was able to go home the day after surgery and was back with her third-grade class within two weeks. In that time, she had follow-up appointments with Drs. Kim and Sumrein, where she learned that, given how thorough the surgery was, she would not need any additional treatment such as radioactive iodine ablation or chemotherapy. 

“Hearing that was a big deal for me. I broke down crying: happy tears.” 

Today, Eliana has passed the one-year mark and is officially in remission. 

“At my most recent checkup, Dr. Sumrein reassured me that this experience was behind me now; that it was a part of my history; and that I did not have cancer anymore,” Eliana said. “I needed to hear that, and I think that was the moment I was able to begin emotionally processing all of this.” 

Of her niece, Eliana said that she is also in remission and back at high school, playing soccer and “doing everything a teenager should be doing.” 

Eliana said if there’s any advice she can offer others based on her own experience, it’s to follow through on the screenings your doctors suggest based on your unique family history. It could prove lifesaving. 

To learn more about thyroid cancer care at Englewood Health, visit: englewoodhealth.org/thyroid-cancer

Reuben’s Story – Prostate Cancer 

Reuben Francisco reflects on the innovative surgical technology that saved his life.

When Reuben Francisco received his test results indicating his PSA levels were elevated, he thought nothing of it.  

“It didn’t sink into me what that might mean. I thought, maybe I have an infection or an enlarged prostate,” Reuben said. “It never crossed my mind that I could have cancer.” 

After receiving these results, Reuben carried on with his life. As a husband, a father of three, and an emergency room nurse, he had a lot on his plate. The 47-year-old did something he would never counsel his own patients to do: he ignored it.  

“I got tested three months later and my levels were still elevated. Again, I ignored it,” Reuben said. “Then three months later I tested again. Finally, I accepted that it was time to see a urologist.” 

Reuben began asking his colleagues in healthcare for recommendations. If he was going to see a urologist, he wanted them to be among the best in the field, highly experienced, and using the latest technology to treat conditions of the prostate.  

“I had friends who told me that, if I needed surgery, I should go with a doctor experienced with the da Vinci surgical robot. I did my own research and knew this would be the best possible option for me.” 

Ultimately, Reuben was encouraged to call Maz Ganat, MD, Chief of Urology and Program Director of Urologic Oncology at Englewood Health. 

“When I talked to him, I felt right away: this is my doctor,” Reuben said. “I could tell Dr. Ganat actually cared.” 

Dr. Ganat performed a biopsy of Reuben’s prostate. When the results came back this time, it was confirmed. Reuben had prostate cancer. 

“It’s scary. When you hear that you have prostate cancer, you don’t know what will happen next,” Reuben said. “My only thought was that my kids still want me around. I still wanted to be around.” 

Dr. Ganat engaged in a detailed discussion with Reuben, presenting him with two primary options: surgery or radiation. Given his prior preparations and research, and due to his young age, Reuben swiftly made his decision in favor of surgery. In fact, he had a specific surgical approach in mind from the outset. 

“At Englewood Health, we have a special expertise with the da Vinci robot, which acts as a natural extension of a surgeon’s eyes and hands,” Dr. Ganat said. “The robot allows us to perform more precise and minimally invasive procedures, which means shorter hospital stays, less post-operative pain, and quicker recoveries, and can result in better outcomes. This is the kind of surgery Reuben ultimately opted for to remove his prostate cancer.” 

Reuben says that his great comfort during surgery and recovery was the conversations he had with Dr. Ganat in the preceding weeks.  

“He prepared me step-by-step for everything that I would eventually experience. He would say, ‘after this many weeks, you’ll feel like this,’ and it would all happen. Everything fell into place exactly as he said it would.” 

Today, Reuben is recovered and back at work caring for his own patients, undoubtedly encouraging them to prioritize their cancer screenings, just as he ultimately did. His experience, marked by the care he received at Englewood Health, continues to fill him with gratitude.  

Reuben stated, “Today, I am happy, and I know that Dr. Ganat saved not only my life but also my family’s. Now, I am here, living free from cancer.” 

Englewood Hospital Nurse Residency Program Receives Accreditation

Hospital Recognized by ANCC for Excellence in Transitioning Nurses to Clinical Practice

PTAP accreditation celebration - group of nurses

November 30, 2023 — Englewood Hospital’s Nurse Residency Program has received accreditation as a Practice Transition Accreditation Program® (PTAP) from the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Englewood Health is one of 21 New Jersey hospitals accredited as an ANCC PTAP, which sets the global standard for residency programs transitioning registered nurses into new practice settings.

“Our Nurse Residency Program is committed to helping transition novice nurses into clinical practice with confidence,” said Kathleen Kaminsky, MS, RN, NE-BC, senior vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer at Englewood Health. “This accreditation reaffirms our commitment to educating and supporting the clinical and professional development of new nurses as they become professional caregivers.”

Englewood Health’s 12-month Nurse Residency Program offers residents the opportunity to work in a collaborative learning environment alongside experienced staff in a real-life setting. New nurses work to improve their critical thinking, clinical reasoning, leadership, and inter-professional communication skills, preparing them to provide high-quality, evidence-based, patient- and family-centered care.

The accreditation process, which began in March 2023, included an in-depth review of the program’s history, leadership, orientation, development and design, goals and measured outcomes, and practice-based learning.

The program, launched in 2019 with Vizient, includes a four-day general nursing orientation, unit/specialty-specific orientation, two-day introduction to the program, and participation in monthly four-hour seminars, including lectures, group work, and simulation activities. Each resident is assigned a preceptor who guides the hands-on clinical experience. All nurses hired at Englewood Hospital who have less than one year of professional experience are automatically enrolled in the residency program.

“We are thrilled to mark another milestone in the growth and innovation of our Magnet-recognized nursing program as we work to shape the future of nursing at Englewood Health and in New Jersey,” said Kaminsky.

To date, the program has graduated 11 cohorts—totaling 103 graduated residents—and has outperformed the national benchmarks for one-year retention of new nurses in 2021 and 2022.

Englewood Health First Site in the Nation Offering Patients New Varicose Vein Device

November 16, 2023 — The Center for Vein Disease at Englewood Health, part of Englewood Health’s Vascular Surgery department, is the first site in the U.S. to utilize a novel medical device for the treatment of varicose veins and their underlying causes.

The ScleroSafe™, a VVT Medical device that recently received clearance from the FDA, offers patients a minimally invasive treatment option for varicose veins without the need for incisions, anesthesia, or thermal heating applied to the tissue.

ScleroSafe utilizes a dual syringe technique. During the procedure, one syringe injects a chemical solution used to treat varicose veins, while a second syringe simultaneously removes blood and residual substances from the vein, ensuring unwanted material is not left behind after treatment.

Last week, Steve Elias, MD, Director of the Center for Vein Disease at Englewood Health, performed the first and only ScleroSafe procedures thus far in the U.S.

“The Sclerosafe procedure takes less than 30 minutes, requires only one small needle stick and patients can resume normal activity immediately. We are constantly looking for new treatments to improve our patient’s quality of life. Sclerosafe is the latest addition to our armament of advanced treatment options for vein and vascular conditions,” said Dr. Elias.

“We take great pride in leading the way in the improvement of a varicose vein solution. ScleroSafe holds the promise of transforming varicose vein treatment, providing patients with a safe, effective, and straightforward option,” said Erez Tetro, CEO of VVT Medical.

First-in-US Varicose Vein VEINRESET Trial Seeking Patients

Englewood Health is the first and only facility in North America to enroll patients in this trial.

November 14, 2023 — The Center for Vein Disease at Englewood Health, part of Englewood Health’s Vascular Surgery department, is seeking patients with symptomatic varicose veins for a new clinical trial called the Sonovein VEINRESET Trial.

The Sonovein device used for the trial employs HIFU (High Intensity Focused Ultrasound) to target and seal abnormal veins. This is the next evolution of a completely in-office, non-invasive, through-the-skin method of treating vein disease. For patients whose veins are conducive to this form of treatment, there may be advantages, including no incisions, guidewires, chemicals, or scars, and patients can resume normal activities immediately after the procedure.

Learn more

Englewood Health Receives Leapfrog ‘A’ Hospital Safety Grade

One of five hospitals in New Jersey to have achieved an ‘A’ grade consecutively since fall 2019.

November 7, 2023 — Englewood Health has received an ‘A’ Hospital Safety Grade from The Leapfrog Group for fall 2023. The ‘A’ rating is a national distinction that Englewood Health has achieved 21 times since The Leapfrog Group—an independent nonprofit organization committed to driving quality, safety, and transparency in the U.S. health system—established the safety grade in 2012. The grade is released twice a year.

Englewood Health is among 30% of hospitals nationwide to achieve an ‘A’ for fall 2023, and among just five hospitals in New Jersey to have received an ‘A’ consecutively since fall 2019.

“We are honored to receive another ‘A’ rating from The Leapfrog Group,” stated Kathleen Kaminsky, MS, RN, NE-BC, senior vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer at Englewood Health. “Our team consistently places patient safety at the forefront of our priorities. It is this unwavering commitment to providing safe, high-quality, and effective care that has led to our continued recognition with a top safety grade.”

Tina Bloemer, MSN, RN, CPHQ, CPHRM, FASHRM, vice president for quality at Englewood Health, emphasized, “Each member of our dedicated team, spanning every department, plays a pivotal role in upholding patient safety. Englewood Health remains committed to consistently developing and enhancing systems to safeguard our patients. Our team members work tirelessly to maintain these systems, and we are pleased to see that important work recognized with an ‘A’ grade.”

“Earning an ‘A’ Grade means Englewood Health made a true commitment to put patients first,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “We congratulate the leadership, Board, clinicians, staff and volunteers that all had a role to play in this achievement.”

The Leapfrog Group updates hospital safety grades twice annually, in the spring and fall. To see Englewood Health’s full grade details and to access patient tips for staying safe in hospitals, visit HospitalSafetyGrade.org.

Englewood Health Earns 2023 Digital Health Most Wired Recognition for 10th Year in a Row

October 27, 2023 — Englewood Health has been named a Most Wired Hospital in the 2023 Digital Health Most Wired Survey, marking the tenth consecutive year Englewood Health has achieved this honor.

The annual survey—conducted by the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME)—functions as a comprehensive “Digital Health Check-up” for healthcare organizations across the world.

Englewood Health achieved a prestigious Level 9 out of 10 for both acute and ambulatory care. In doing so, Englewood Health also earned the Performance Excellence Award for these categories.

Among the more than 55,000 facilities surveyed, Englewood Health ranked in the top 20th percentile compared to its peers, with notable achievements in the following areas:

•  Clinical Quality and Safety

•  Cyber Security program maturity

•  Patient engagement. 

“We take great pride in our robust technological infrastructure, and our incredible team of professionals who propel the seamless integration of digital healthcare across our acute and ambulatory services,” said Inderpal Kohli, vice president and chief information officer at Englewood Health. “The recent CHIME survey underscores the pivotal role that technology plays in fostering a fully integrated healthcare experience for both patients and healthcare providers.”

“Technology lends crucial support to various facets of our clinical care. With the help of technology, we’re able to improve the safety and quality of the care we deliver using predictive, real-time, and retrospective analytics. We’re also able to greatly improve the experiences of our team members by offering them better ways to communicate with patients and each other,” said Hillary Cohen, MD, MPH, senior vice president of medical affairs. “As we venture into the realm of AI, we stand on the threshold of incredible opportunities to further enhance the quality of care we provide.”

As success in digital health increasingly influences the quality of patient care, the scope of the Digital Health Most Wired survey reflects the progress of leading healthcare providers reinventing healthcare for a new era. The survey assessed the adoption, integration, and impact of technologies in healthcare organizations at all stages of development, from early development to industry leading.

“We are proud to recognize Englewood Health’s exceptional dedication to digital health excellence,” said CHIME President and CEO Russell P. Branzell.  “Englewood Health’s pioneering performance in the industry not only inspires other organizations by example, but also provides patients around the world with better care.”

Englewood Health Named Among America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Orthopedic and Spine Surgery

Among the top 2% in the nation for orthopedic and spine surgery, according to Healthgrades.

October 27, 2023 — Englewood Health is one of America’s 100 Best Hospitals for orthopedic and spine surgery, according to new research released by Healthgrades, a leading resource for Americans researching doctors and hospitals. 

Hospitals included on Healthgrades 100 Best lists represent the top 2% of hospitals in their respective specialties. This distinction, along with numerous other accolades Englewood Health received from Healthgrades this year, reflects Englewood Health’s commitment to clinical excellence and distinguishes it as one of the country’s leading hospitals. 

“We are proud to be named one of the best hospitals in the nation for orthopedic and spine surgery,” said Kevin Yao, MD, chief of neurosurgery at Englewood Health. “This recognition reflects the commitment of our orthopedic and neurosurgery teams to delivering the highest quality care, ensuring good outcomes, and improving the lives of our patients. It is their skill, compassion, and tireless efforts that make our hospital a beacon of excellence in healthcare.” 

“Needing surgery for an orthopedic or spinal procedure can be a scary prospect for patients. At Englewood Health, our comprehensive clinical team understands these concerns and is dedicated to providing the highest level of care and expertise. Patients can be confident that they are in capable hands, receiving the best care possible. It is gratifying to witness this commitment being recognized by Healthgrades,” said Asit Shah, MD, PhD, chief of orthopedic surgery at Englewood Health. 

Englewood Health received additional recognitions from Healthgrades for orthopedic and spine care, including: 

  • The Healthgrades 2024 Orthopedic Surgery Excellence Award™ 
  • The Healthgrades 2024 Spine Surgery Excellence Award™ 
  • A Five-Star Recipient for Hip Fracture Treatment 
  • A Five-Star Recipient for Spinal Fusion Surgery  
  • Named Among the Top 10% in the Nation for Overall Orthopedic Services  
  • Named Among the Top 10% in the Nation for Spine Surgery  

Healthgrades evaluates hospitals solely on clinical outcomes. By focusing on what matters most, the Healthgrades ratings provide critical feedback for both patients and hospitals. The 2024 hospital assessment evaluated outcomes for 35 common conditions and procedures at approximately 4,500 hospitals nationwide to identify the top performers.   

To learn more about Healthgrades’ methodology and to see Englewood Health’s full list of awards, visit Healthgrades.com