Sun Health President and Chief Executive Officer Ron Guziak is one of 10 new members recently elected to Care Continuum Alliance’s (CCA) 2013-14 board of directors. Guziak was elected during a business meeting at the CCA Forum 2013, the association’s national meeting, held Oct. 23-25 in Scottsdale.
CCA is the leading advocate for population health management and wellness. The care continuum includes wellness and health promotion, prevention, care coordination and patient advocacy, condition management and complex case management. CCA promotes the role of these and other strategies in raising care quality, improving health outcomes and reducing preventable health care costs for individuals with or at risk of chronic disease.
Guziak was cited for bringing “…an entrepreneur’s sprit to Sun Health, believing the best business practices must be applied to achieve strategic outcomes,” according to CCA’s official announcement.
Guziak joins a board of top executives from Accenture, Accountable Health, Alere, ASAP Brazil, HealthFitness, ICA, Noridian, Silverlink and Viridian. Fred Goldstein, the association’s president for accountable care, was approved as chairman.
Sun Health’s Care Transitions program also received a second consecutive “Outstanding Leadership in Population Health Award” from CCA during the national meeting.
Anniversaries are often marked by a special surprise. For Sun Health Care Transitions, that surprise was doubly exciting. The team celebrated its second anniversary by receiving a second consecutive “Outstanding Leadership in Population Health Award” from the Care Continuum Alliance (CCA). Representing more than 200 health companies, organizations and individual providers committed to improving the health of populations, the CCA focuses on raising care quality, improving health outcomes and reducing costs for individuals affected by chronic disease.
Sun Health, together with Banner Health, was honored in the “Advancing Accountable Care” category for both organizations’ successful collaboration “…toward Community Health and Wellness.” Sun Health Vice President of Business Development Jennifer Drago, MHSA, MBA, FACHE and Banner Health Vice President for Patient Care Innovation Deborah H. Dahl, BSE, MBA, FACHE accepted the award during CCA’s national meeting, held Oct. 23-25 in Scottsdale.
“Sun Health Care Transitions is impacting the lives of thousands of patients and their families,” explained Ron Guziak, president and chief executive officer of Sun Health. “As one of 102 sites designated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as a Community-based Care Transitions Program, we are also demonstrating how to assist individuals to take control of their own health status.”
The award acknowledges the program’s impact on nearly 2,000 chronic disease patients, who are living healthier lives since the program launched in November 2011. Partnering with Banner Boswell Medical Center, Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center, community physicians and other providers, Care Transitions nurses educate patients on how to better manage their disease and stay healthy. Ultimately, this support reduces their chances of being rehospitalized. Fewer than seven percent of patients participating in this free program have been readmitted, compared to a 20-percent national average among Medicare services beneficiaries.
This latest award is one in a series of recent recognitions at the local, regional and national levels. A study on the program also was recently published on the BMC Geriatrics website. The study showed that in addition to high levels of patient satisfaction with the Care Transitions program, participants’ confidence with self-care was significantly improved. Further, the program demonstrated a 73-percent reduction in readmissions and an actual Medicare cost savings during the nine-month period of $214,192, excluding administrative costs. The study can be found at http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2318/13/94.
R. Jack Stephenson has been elected chairman of the board for Sun Health Services for the fiscal year beginning July 1.
Stephenson, a resident of Sun City West, has a rich history of civic involvement, serving as president of both the Sun City West Rotary Club and the Briarwood Country Club in 2011. He previously served as vice chairman of the Sun Health Services Board, and has been active on a number of board committees as well as the Sun Health Foundation Board.
The founder/owner of the Pacific Northwest law firm Carney, Stephenson, Badley, Smith & Spellman, Stephenson’s distinguished legal career stretched nearly four decades. His areas of concentration included construction, products liability, insurance coverage and environmental law.
“Jack brings an impressive combination of keen legal and business acumen that will serve us well in shaping Sun Health’s vision for healthy living,” Sun Health Chief Executive Officer Ron Guziak explained. “He has a passion for the role Sun Health plays in the West Valley and is a natural fit for this role.”
Stephenson previously served as chair of the Trial Practice section of the Washington State Bar Association and as president of Washington Defense Trial Lawyers. He also served as chair of environmental and coverage for the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel.
Stephenson also brings extensive real estate experience to the Sun Health Services Board, having owned a 70-acre apple and pear orchard and having managed a real estate LLC.
“I’m honored to serve as chairman,” Stephenson said. “This is an exciting time for Sun Health, with a number of new programs being introduced. I believe great things are ahead.”
An avid golfer, Stephenson has held numerous positions both at Briarwood as well as Sand Point Golf and Country Clubs in Seattle.
Sun Health was named Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce’s “2011 Non-Profit of the Year.” The award was presented during the Chamber’s annual awards banquet on March 9 at The Colonnade, a Sun Health Senior Living Community in Surprise.
“We are fortunate to receive this honor and be recognized among such an impressive group or organizations that are making an impact in the Northwest Valley,” Sun Health Chief Executive Officer Ron Guziak said. “2011 was an amazing year of expansion and growth for Sun Health, and we’re excited to continue our community support of health and healthy living programs throughout 2012 and beyond.”
Sun Health’s three major components include the Sun Health Foundation, providing funding and support for Banner Boswell Medical Center, Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center and the Banner Sun Health Research Institute; Sun Health Senior Living; and Sun Health Community Health including its Medication Management and Care Transitions programs.
Below are highlights on how each of Sun Health’s components worked to help guarantee superior health care throughout the West Valley during 2011:
Sun Health Foundation contributed nearly $14.5 million to health and human service programs, including $7 million for the new Cath Lab at Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center. The Cath Lab opened to the public on Valentine’s Day, 2012.
During 2011, Sun Health announced its decision to purchase The Colonnade. Currently consisting of 70 casitas, four townhomes and the recreational village, the planned $100 million nonprofit retirement community is projected to include 150-250 additional units, most built as townhomes and multistory villa apartments.
More than 300 people are benefiting from safer medication regimens thanks to the 2011 launch of Sun Health’s Medication Management program. This program helps individuals take control of their medication regimen through a suite of services ensuring greater accuracy, safety and efficacy of their medication plans.
Offered at no charge to patients, Sun Health’s Care Transitions program was launched in 2011 to support chronically ill patients following a major hospital stay. The program helps patients better understand their condition and the necessary lifestyle changes needed to prevent future admissions. Offered in partnership with Banner Boswell Medical Center and Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center, all patients involved in the program to date have avoided readmission.
Sun Health and MedMinder have partnered together to allow participants from the Sun Health Medication Management program a 30-day trial of the My Electronic Pillbox for as little as $1. If, at the end of the 30 days, participants opt to keep My Electronic Pillbox, they will be enrolled in a lease-to-own program and charged $25 per month for 23 months.
My Electronic Pillbox is a state-of-the-art program that helps participants keep track of their medication, allowing for a greater peace of mind for both the individual and his or her family. The MedMinder pill dispenser has the same features of a regular pill organizer; however, it also provides medication reminders to the user and informs him or her if medications are missed. Loved ones and caregivers can also be notified through email or text message when a medication must be taken or was missed.
Ron Guziak, Sun Health’s chief executive officer, spoke about the dangers of poor medication adherence among seniors.
“Study after study clearly illustrates just how serious and prevalent the problem of poor medication adherence among seniors is,” Guziak says. “The numbers indicate this is a potentially life-threatening issue, and My Electronic Pillbox conveniently and affordably provides an answer.”
My Electronic Pillbox is easy to use and has no digital readouts. Instead, it utilizes flashing lights, audible beeps and phone calls, text messages and emails to remind participants to take their medication. This wireless pill dispenser and its complementary medication management service makes it easier to adhere to complex medication regimens.
My Electronic Pillbox can be programmed via the Internet by either the participant or Sun Health. There is no need for a wireless router, computer, phone line or any form of internet access to use the MedMinder pill dispenser.
“This new program will help keep seniors independent, at home and at ease with their medication management,” says MedMinder’s Chief Executive Officer Evan Shavelsky.
About Sun Health Sun Health is a long-standing community partner providing philanthropic resources for area healthcare, comprehensive senior living options and signature programs that leverage technology to enhance healthcare and service — both within and outside hospital walls.
Its emerging chronic disease and medication management programs, for instance, will enable Sun Health to provide residents with even greater access to healthcare tools and services that promote healthy living.
Its Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization that provides philanthropic funding for Banner Boswell Medical Center, Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center, Banner Sun Health Research Institute and other non-profit services. Its senior living services provide care at three distinct retirement communities: The Colonnade in Sun City Grand, Grandview Terrace in Sun City West and La Loma Village in Litchfield Park.
To learn more about the 30-day trial or My Electronic Pillbox, call (623) 832-4100 or visit medminder.com.