Celebrating 50 Year Membership with American Hospital Association

Joan Lewis, American Hospital Association (AHA) Regional Executive visited Carteret Health Care on December 11th to celebrate Carteret Health Care’s 50th membership year in the AHA. A reception was held to honor the hospital’s continuous membership which equates to more opportunities for hospital’s to share best practices and tap into resources and initiatives that advance quality and safety.  With similar goals of improving access to care as well as making communities healthier, Carteret County is stronger and benefits directly from Carteret Health Care’s membership in AHA.  

Pictured left to right: 
Joan Lewis, American Hospital Association Regional Executive, Vernon Small, Carteret Health Care Board Member and Dick Brvenik, Carteret Health Care President.

Karen Gurney Named 2015 Clapsadl Award Recipient

Karen Gurney, RN in Carteret Health Care’s Surgical Services Department was awarded the 2015 

Clapsadl Award. Named in honor of Mildred Clapsadl, RN, the award recognizes the impact and importance of nursing on patient care.  

Ms. Gurney was one of many nominated from over 300 nurses, RNs and LPNs at Carteret Health Care.  

Cindy Jones, VP of Patient Care Services presented the award to Ms. Gurney and shared, “Her inspirational spirit motivates and encourages everyone to achieve more. She always offers to help co-workers. Karen’s peers and surgeons see her as a patient advocate focused on comforting and calming patients and families.”

Ms. Jones continued “Co-workers shared that Karen always ensures her patient is the top priority in the OR. She does an exceptional job educating families and patients before, during and after a procedure. She always assists others with a positive, contagious attitude and work ethic.” 

Additional co-workers noted that Ms. Gurney is dedicated to her teammates and the hospital. She makes sure new staff feel welcome and routinely helps others feel confident during procedures. She goes above and beyond and routinely steps up to help with staffing needs. 

As a recipient of the Clapsadl Nursing Excellence Award, Ms. Gurney will receive an expense paid trip to a national nursing convention of her choice, her name will be submitted to the North Carolina Nursing 100, and $500 cash.  She will also be challenged to continue to display excellence in nursing, act as a role model for nursing at Carteret Health Care, and serve on the Recognition Committee for one year.

Carteret Health Care recognizes nursing excellence twice per year in the fall/winter for the Clapsadl Award and in May for the Georgia Lewis Award.  The Clapsadl & Lewis Nursing Excellence Awards are open to all clinical RNs and LPNs at Carteret Health Care who have a minimum of three consecutive years of employment and a minimum of 1000 hours worked each of these years.  

Nominations for Excellence Awards may be submitted by letter to Hospital Administration describing how the individual demonstrates excellence in nursing or professionalism and are due 30 days prior to the announced presentation date.  

Cardiac Rehabilitation Certified by American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation

The Cardiac Rehabilitation department of Carteret Health Care is proud to announce the recertification of its cardiac rehabilitation program by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR). Carteret Health Care was recognized for its commitment to improving the quality of life by enhancing standards of care.

Cardiopulmonary rehabilitation programs are designed to help people with cardiac disease (e.g., heart attacks, coronary artery bypass, graft surgery) and pulmonary disease (e.g., chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD], pulmonary fibrosis, CHF) recover faster and improve their quality of life. Both programs include exercise, education, counseling, and support for patients and their families.

 “I am extremely proud of the Cardiopulmonary rehabilitation team of Carteret Health Care” shares Director Pam Rose. “The team works hard every day to care for patients and this confirms our commitment to excellence and expertise.” 

The Cardiac Rehabilitation program participated in an application process that requires extensive documentation of the program’s practices. AACVPR Program Certification is the only peer-review accreditation process designed to review individual programs for adherence to standards and guidelines developed and published by AACVPR and other professional societies. Each program is reviewed by the AACVPR Program Certification Committee and Certification is awarded by the AACVPR Board of Directors. 

For Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation programs, AACVPR-certified centers are recognized as leaders as they offer the most advanced practices available. AACVPR Program Certification is valid for three years.

Rose concluded, “This certification compliments the already high-quality care that Carteret Health Care provides.”

Founded in 1985, the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation is a multidisciplinary organization dedicated to the mission of reducing morbidity, mortality and disability from cardiovascular and pulmonary disease through education, prevention, rehabilitation, research and disease management. Central to the core mission is improvement in quality of life for patients and their families.

About Carteret Health Care
Carteret Health Care is an independent, 135-bed hospital serving Eastern North Carolina. Carteret Health Care leads the way to healthier lives through innovations in safety, quality, service and superior value.  As a not-for-profit Medical Center, we offer a full range of acute care, diagnostic and outpatient services at a level that you would only expect at a larger facility.  While providing quality health care with exceptional compassion and respect, Carteret Health Care achievements and awards include being ranked as one of the Best Hospitals by Business North Carolina. For additional information about Carteret Health Care, visit our website at 

Providing Two Free Total Hip Replacement Surgeries for Needy Patients

On November 30th and December 1st, two Carteret County residents will receive free orthopedic surgery as part of Operation Walk USA. All aspects of treatment – surgery, hospitalization, and pre-and post-operative care – are provided at no cost to the patients. 

Together Orthopedic surgeons Dr. Robert Coles and Dr. Thomas Bates will be leading the Carteret team involved with this project that is giving back to our community during the start of the holiday season. Dr. Coles will perform a total hip replacement on a male patient and Dr. Thomas Bates will provide a total hip replacement on a female patient as part of Operation Walk USA. Both patients are from Morehead City and this is the third year in which Carolinas Center for Surgery and Carteret Health Care have participated.

“It is our honor and privilege to be able to help people regain their mobility,” said Dr. Coles. “I am proud to lead the local effort again which unites our medical community for the benefit of patients. These patients can look forward to having relief from pain so they can enjoy spending time with their family and friends.” 

Together, Carteret Health Care and Carolinas Center for Surgery are donating physician fees and hospital services at no cost to the patients. Stryker has donated the surgical hip implants. Carteret Health Care Rehabilitation Services will be donating rehabilitation services for patients and the Pharmacy will be donating all post-operative pain medication required. Anesthesia services are provided by Mosaic and radiology professional services are donated by Eastern Radiology.

Currently, in its sixth year, Operation Walk USA, an independent medical charitable organization, provides all aspects of knee and hip replacement treatment at no cost to patients who may not qualify for government assistance, have insurance or afford surgery on their own. This year, an estimated 85 orthopedic surgeons will provide hip and joint replacements, free of charge, to 120 patients. 
While more than one million hip and knee replacements are performed in the U.S., each year, countless men and women continue to live with severe arthritic pain and immobility because they cannot afford joint replacement surgery.

“The most common cause of disability is arthritic disease and Carteret Health Care is pleased that these two individuals will not have to suffer anymore.” says Cindy Jones, Vice President Patient Care Services.   “With the start of the holiday month, the surgeries are a timely way for the hospital and the orthopedic surgeons to give back to the community and help patients improve their quality of life and mobility” 

Arthritic disease is the most common cause of disability in the nation, affecting approximately 46 million Americans, or more than 21 percent of the adult population. The debilitating pain of end-stage hip or knee degenerative disease often makes working, or completing even the simplest of daily tasks, excruciatingly painful or impossible. Hip or knee replacement surgeries are the most-effective and successful of all orthopedic procedures, eliminating pain and allowing patients to resume active, productive lives. 

Diabetes Education and Classes in Sea Level

Diabetes affects nearly 10% of the population in the United States and in Carteret County.  Up to a quarter of these individuals may not even know they have it. With more than 30 million people in the U.S. today being effected by diabetes, the often silent disease costs Americans an estimated $245 billion each year in medical cost. Diabetes is at an all-time high and medical professional advise that the rates are likely to continue to climb in the years ahead.

Unlike routine illnesses that can be solved with a visit or two to the doctor and a prescribed course of treatment, diabetes is a lifelong journey that often requires regular monitoring and lifestyle changes.

At Carteret Health Care, education is a top priority when diabetes or pre-diabetes are diagnosed.

“What we know from experience is that if people with diabetes get the right educational material, ideally right after their diagnosis, they have fewer chronic complications during their lifetime,” said Betsy Lane, BSN, RN, and Certified Diabetes Educator at the Carteret Health Care Learning Center. “We know that educating patients on prevention is also extremely important.”

Putting that information into the hands of those diagnosed with diabetes, regardless of how long they have lived with the disease, is exactly what the Diabetes Learning Center, 3722 Bridges Street Suite 203, aims to do. And there has never been a better time to make that first step than during November – American Diabetes Month. 

With proper treatment and monitoring, patients can avoid many of the chronic complications that frequently accompany diabetes. Hospitalization rates for heart attack are 1.8 times higher among those with diabetes, more than 60% of non-traumatic lower limb amputations occur in diabetic patients and more than 4 million diabetes patients suffer from retinopathy.

“Many patients aren’t even aware that there are a host of other medical conditions that are often caused or exacerbated when diabetes is present,” said Lane. “This makes it so much more important that we educate patients as soon as possible after their diagnosis.”

According to the 2013 Community Health Needs Assessment, 10.3% of Carteret County residents have diabetes, a slight uptick from the national average. In keeping its commitment to meeting the health care needs of the community, Carteret Health Care has continued to expand its free diabetes education.

“We do see a lot of it in the area,” said Lane. “Referrals to the Learning Center have gone up quite a bit.”

Referrals come from the hospital, as well as providers in the community. At the Learning Center, patients can expect one-on-one counseling to discuss diet, exercise and both acute and chronic concerns.

“The first visit takes about an hour,” she said. “We go over the disease process, what their particular risk factors are, family history, monitoring, medications, health eating, physical activity and complications of the disease.” In addition, Lane schedules a time for the patient to meet with a dietitian. Patients are also welcome to participate in support group meetings that are held from 6-7:30pm on the second Thursday of each month.

A free screening is scheduled Monday, November 30 from 9am until 11am in Carteret Health Care’s main lobby. Fasting is not required.

The program expands further this month by adding similar services in the rural reaches of Down East Carteret County. Lane and Learning Center staff held a free screening this month and will be meeting with patients beginning in January at Carteret Medical Group in Sea Level. Held the second Tuesday of every month, the group educational class will meet from 10am until 11am. Following the group class, individual classes will be offered in Sea Level by appointment. 

“We do get a lot of patients from the area and it’s definitely more difficult for them to access services just because they’re geographically further away,” said Lane. “Our goal, of course, is to make diabetes education as accessible as possible for everyone who can benefit.”

It’s just one more way Carteret Health Care is raising the level of Health Care and giving back to Carteret County.

The Learning Center is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday. To learn more about its free programs, call 252-808-6689 or visit 

Carteret County's Sole Hospital Scores A for Safety

Carteret Health Care Scores A for Safety Carteret Health Care is excited to share with you that the Leapfrog Group recently released its Hospital Safety Score for hospitals across the country and Carteret Health Care received a score of 3.341 which is an “A” in this latest release.  Dick Brvenik, Carteret Health Care CEO shared, “This score reflects our continuous commitment to quality and safe care and is an impressive accomplishment for each and every staff member associated with Carteret Health Care that includes our hospital staff, medical staff and our board.” According to information from The Leapfrog Group, the numerical scores this fall ranged between 1.546 and 3.669.  Carteret Health Care’s 3.341 is well above the average score of 3.0 and is in the top 31% of hospitals. For Carteret Health Care, this comes after other achievements such as being selected as one of the Best Hospitals by Business North Carolina and recognition for improving more rapidly   ...

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Golf Cart Service Added for Patient Convenience

We listened to our patients' suggestions and now have a new Golf Cart Shuttle Service.

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Focus on Affordable Care While Reducing Costs With Novant Health

We are reducing costs while offering affordable care with a new shared purchasing agreement with Novant Health

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Breast Health Spotlighted During October

In October, Carteret Health Care is putting the spotlight on Breast Health by lighting the exterior of the Medical Center in pink. This is a visual reminder for women and men that all cancer screenings can save your life. 

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Carteret Health Care First Hospital in NC To be honored with AFIB Quality Award

Carteret Health Care is the first Hospital in North Carolina to receive the AFIB Bronze Quality Achievement Award. Recognition for this Get With The Guidelines® award is for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology/Heart Rhythm Society guidelines for the management of patients with atrial fibrillation.

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