CHI St. Vincent Awarded Healthcare Hero Awards by Arkansas Business

Apr 5, 2018

Health Care Heroes honors individuals, companies and organizations that are making a significant impact on the quality of health care in Arkansas. Through their commitment to their profession and their community, they serve as an inspiration to others in an effort to improve the quality of healthcare and discover new ways to assist those in need. The third annual awards, presented by Arkansas Business, included three finalists from CHI St. Vincent.

Dr. Emad Aboud, director of the Arkansas Neuroscience Institute Microsurgery Laboratory, received the Healthcare Innovator of the Year Award. The award recognized his Aboud Model that simulates blood flow in cadavers.

Other CHI St. Vincent finalists included:

  • CHI St. Vincent Hot Springs for Large Hospital of the Year
  • Tabitha Childers, Infirmary, director of Emergency Services, General Surgical and Intensive Care Services, for Nurse of the Year
Read the full stories below:

Dr. Aboud’s story
(as published in Arkansas Business)

Dr. Emad Aboud has come up with a concept that is the essence of preventive medicine. Aboud is director of the microneurosurgery laboratory at the Arkansas Neuroscience Institute at CHI St. Vincent. Motivated to come up with a way to prevent patient deaths through better surgical education, he has devised the Live Cadaver Model, U.S. Patent No. 6790043, which is a revolutionary technique for simulating lifelike conditions in cadavers.

The Arkansas Neuroscience Institute is a comprehensive neurosurgery program incorporating all aspects of neurosurgery and the spectrum of neurological disorders. Aboud, with CHI St. Vincent since 2011, realized that advances in surgical techniques and treatment modalities required more effective training strategies and teaching techniques.

“This technique that I developed, the Live Cadaver, is the first and only method for surgical training that combines the real human anatomy with the lifelike conditions at the same time,” Aboud said.

The Live Cadaver Model simulates the human body in terms of bleeding issues, circulation and pulsating vessels, allowing residents and young surgeons to practice methods and techniques without endangering patients. Nurses and medical students can practice inserting needles into veins and catheters and lines into vessels, among other techniques.

Centers using live anesthetized animals for surgical training have started to use the Live Cadaver Model, Aboud said, providing less costly but effective training.

Military surgeons, paramedics and soldiers have found the model valuable for training to treat wounds and combat injuries and prepare them to save soldiers’ lives.

In October, neurosurgeons from around the world visited the institute to learn about the “Aboud Model” under Aboud and Director Ali Krisht.

Hot Springs story (as published in Arkansas Business)

The Sisters of Mercy knew they wanted to provide faith-based healing when they founded their hospital facility in Hot Springs in 1888.

That goal is still being met. And then some.

CHI St. Vincent Hot Springs is a 309-bed hospital serving six counties and offering centers of excellence in heart and vascular services, cancer, diabetes, orthopedics, women’s services and wound care.

It is also an integrated health system that includes its 72-acre campus and physician practices throughout Hot Springs and rural communities in Garland, Montgomery, Clark, Hot Springs, Pike and Howard Counties.

It may be argued that even the Sisters of Mercy couldn’t have predicted a system that includes 28 clinic locations, more than 100 physicians and 44 mid-level providers, the area’s only Level II trauma center, a robotic surgery program and new, 40-bed, on-campus rehabilitation facility built in partnership with HealthSouth.

However the community involvement is exactly what the sisters’ original, healing mission was all about, said Patrick McCruden, vice president of mission.

“Jesus healed holistically,” McCruden said. “He didn’t just treat physical infirmities, but he made sure people were whole spiritually. Our involvement in the community reflects His ministry.”

The community is served by Meals on Wheels for senior citizens, violence and suicide prevention programs and a substance abuse prevention program in which staffers work alongside local law enforcement.

CHI St. Vincent Hot Springs offsets its high tech and state-of-the-art programs with internal initiatives, including a hand hygiene compliance monitoring system to prevent health care acquired infections.

In its 130th year, CHI St. Vincent continues to work with local community organizations and city and county leaders to provide greater access to care and to eliminate the obstacles to care that people often face.

Tabitha Childer’s story (as published in Arkansas Business)

Caring takes on all shapes and hat sizes. Just ask Tabitha Childers of CHI St. Vincent Infirmary.

Childers, 44, oversees nine departments as director of Emergency Services, General Surgical and Intensive Care services, as well as working with her team and physicians to grow the service lines and bring in patients.

The enormity of her job hasn’t kept Childers from impacting individual patients. Her most satisfying moment, perhaps, involved a WWII veteran who arrived in the ER with a brain bleed after being assaulted by a group of young men. Childers, who comes from a military family, was touched by the man’s background, and wanted to thank him for his service.

It was when the man expressed concern for a WWII hat his attackers had stolen that Childers got an idea and her team went to work.

“I watched a group of ER nurses go on a mission to find this gentleman a new hat,” Childers said. “We called all over town and finally located one at the VA. I made a mad dash to their gift shop to pick up the hat. When I got back, I let the nurses that did all the calling take it up to the ICU.”

But the man had become unresponsive as his condition declined, and Childers learned he had no family outside of friends at church. She and her staff took turns sitting with him until he was transferred to hospice.

Even then, Childers’ care continued; she contacted the man’s pastor so she could be notified when he died, and she and her husband attended the funeral only to find other hospital staff members attending.

“I learned through this experience that I serve with some of the most incredible, caring people,” Childers said.

The mad hat search and the hands-on attention by Childers and her team is an example of her call to heal and her leadership. She credits the talents of her staff and embraces the daily problem-solving challenges of her job.

Childers has learned to balance her work at St. Vincent with her family time, which includes working puzzles with her mother, and her volunteer work with several groups, including the American Society of Suicide Prevention-Arkansas Chapter.

“I have learned to bite off small pieces,” Childers said.