Capital Health System (CHS) has had an outstanding year, filled with many accomplishments. Their centers of excellence in oncology, dialysis, trauma services, maternal child health, mental health, orthopaedics and infectious disease continue to thrive and expand.
Despite the continuing struggles faced by the healthcare industry, CHS continues to move forward in their mission to provide comprehensive, quality healthcare services that honor the dignity of every person.
The process of blending clinical services at Capital Health System has begun, and through consolidation, they are creating programs that are unsurpassed for their quality and efficiency. A major milestone was recently marked with the integration of the Pediatric Unit to the Mercer Campus. Pediatric patients and their families are already benefiting from this enhancement of services, and the unit is just one reason why CHS is the unparalleled regional leader in maternal child health services.
The expanded Pediatric Unit on the Mercer Campus has 36 beds. It offers the outstanding nursing care that is a hallmark of CHS, retaining excellent nurses with roots at both campuses. CHS has the only inpatient pediatric unit in the county, as well as a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
With recent approval from the State of New Jersey, Capital Health System has consolidated in-patient maternity services to a new, expanded unit on the Mercer Campus. This new Maternity Unit is now home to all special deliveries. They are the only healthcare provider in the region to have 24-hour, in-house coverage of obstetricians, midwives, neonatologists and anesthesiologists seven days a week. Families have their choice of birth settings, and we offer individualized nursing care and a full range of education and support programs for the entire family.
Nineteen ninety-nine was quite a year for emergency services at CHS. In the prehospital care arena, the 911 Communications Center for Mercer County received 48,000 calls for help. Their critical care transport service assisted 540 critically injured or ill patients. Mobile intensive care providers for Mercer County were dispatched to over 20,000 calls and treated 7,200 patients.
As for hospital emergency care, the Fuld and Mercer Campuses treated over 60,000 patients in our Emergency Departments in 1999. And more than 1,000 trauma victims were treated at the Level II Trauma Center at the Fuld Campus.
Experienced trauma surgeon Dominick J. Eboli, MD recently joined Capital Surgical Associates (CHS' trauma team). Dr. Eboli received both his undergraduate and post-graduate training at UMDNJ - Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. With the addition of Dr. Eboli, the current focus on the Fuld Campus Trauma Center will expand to reflect full clinical capabilities including general surgery, minimally invasive surgery, trauma surgery and surgical critical care.
Earlier this year, CHS added patient transport to its extensive array of emergency services. The patient transport vehicle will be staffed by two emergency medical technicians who provide basic life support and transportation services for Capital Health System patients. It will be used to transfer over 3,000 patients annually between the Fuld and Mercer Campuses. In addition, CHS will use the vehicle to transport patients to nursing homes, and for those who can't walk, home from CHS.
Renal dialysis services at Capital Health System remains a leader in supporting the healthcare needs of the community. Since 1970, patients with end stage renal disease from Mercer, Bucks, Burlington, Hunterdon and Warren counties have been served by this program. It is the only hospital-based program in the area and offers comprehensive dialysis services that include hemodialysis home hemodialysis and home peritoneal dialysis (CAPD and CCPD).
A highly trained professional team works with the patient to help maintain maximum health. Patient care is directed by outstanding nephrologists and supported by a professional staff of registered and licensed practical nurses, dietitians and social workers. Care is given using state-of-the-art equipment in a friendly, spacious environment, which recently expanded and received over a $500,000 in renovations.
Additionally, Capital Health System has renovated and expanded its Adult Clinic area on the Fuld Campus, and added a state-of-the-art computed tomography (CT) system from Siemens Medical Systems, Inc. to its Radiology Department. The new CT system allows CHS to expand diagnostic services to substantially more patients in the region. CHS is the only hospital in Mercer County with this high level of CT capability.
Partnerships with other outstanding organizations lift up CHS' clinical quality and reputation for excellence. Through these organizations, CHS is participating in national studies that will greatly impact the future of the medical profession.
As a member of the Penn Cancer Network, CHS is. participating in the STAR trial, Study of Tamoxifen and Raloxifen. One of the largest breast cancer prevention studies, STAR is being conducted by the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project, a network of research professionals, and is supported by the National Cancer Institute.
The trial includes 22,000 post-menopausal women with an increased risk of breast cancer. It aims to determine whether the osteoporosis prevention drug raloxifen (Evista) is as effective in reducing the chance of developing breast cancer as tamoxifen (Nolvadex) has proven to be.
CHS is also taking part in a first trimester Down syndrome screening being conducted by researchers at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. This screening method gives expectant parents important information about the health of their unborn child and the possibility of birth defects.
The CHS Maternal Fetal Medicine Department has been providing the new screening since the beginning of August. The department has been seeing an average of four to five patients a week. There is no charge for the screening test and referrals from insurance companies are not necessary.
Above all is CHS' partnership with the community. This sturdy bond with their friends and neighbors makes CHS the strong organization it is. The support of their friends and neighbors allow CHS to continue to grow and expand for the betterment of the community.