Local nurses honored for critical, life-saving reactions


BALTIMORE (April 2019) – A home healthcare nurses recently received awards for heroic actions that saved people’s lives. RNs at MedStar Health Home Care Heather Fitzhugh-Boehm and Jennifer Shrader were awarded MedStar Health’s 2018 Safety HeRO awards for taking charge in separate, critical moments that without intervention could have led to disastrous consequences.

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Fitzhugh-Boehm’s heroic story occurred last January when she helped rescue a family from a house fire. After finishing a home visit, Fitzhugh-Boehm noticed dark smoke in the sky. As she drove closer to it, she realized a rowhome was on fire.

Fitzhugh-Boehm immediately called 911. Then she heard someone scream.

A woman on the second floor of the house needed help. She had a baby inside and wanted to drop her out the window.

Fitzhugh-Boehm acted fast. She asked the woman to drop down a blanket she could use to catch the baby. Neighbors arrived, and with their help, Fitzhugh-Boehm was able to catch the child safely. Soon after, firefighters arrived and rescued the mother.

For her heroic actions and commitment to safety, Fitzhugh-Boehm received the 2018 Super HeRO award. 

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Shrader’s safety moment happened in the fall. During a home visit, Shrader’s patient told her he had been feeling particularly unwell that day. She urged him to go to the hospital, but the patient was hesitant. Shrader respected her patient’s wishes and instead asked him to text her later that evening when he made it upstairs safely.

After not hearing anything for several hours, Shrader returned to the house. She found the patient unconscious and bleeding from his head.

Shrader quickly tended to the patient and called an ambulance. The patient was taken and admitted to the hospital with diagnoses of sepsis and staph infection.

For her dedication to patient care and safety, Shrader received the 2018 HeRO Good Catch of the Year award.

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Both Heather Fitzhugh-Boehm and Jennifer Shrader received their awards during MedStar Health’s annual Hero Awards ceremony. The awards honor MedStar Health associates who exemplify an unwavering commitment to safety.


About MedStar Health Home Care

MedStar Health Home Care provides home healthcare services for homebound, disabled and chronically ill patients in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia. A nonprofit, Joint Commission-accredited organization, MedStar Health Home Care treats patients through skilled nursing and physical, occupational and speech therapies. MedStar Health Home Care is a proud member of the MedStar Health system. For more information about MedStar Health Home Care, call 800-862-2166 or visit MedStarVNA.org.

 

Media Contact
Carrie Koenig
Vice President, Patient Experience & Communication
MedStar Health Home Care
410-540-4634
[email protected]

Andrea Wilson
Senior Marketing and Communication Specialist
443-725-2931
[email protected]

MedStar Health Home Care Nurse’s Quick Actions Save Family from House Fire

 

Elkridge, MD (January 4, 2018) – A home healthcare nurse from MedStar Health Home Care is being hailed a hero for saving the lives of a family trapped inside a house fire in south Baltimore.

Heather Fitzhugh-Boehm, RN, was leaving her patient’s home when she noticed thick, black smoke in the sky nearby. The smoke was coming from a fire inside a row house, where a mother, baby, and teenager were trapped on the second floor. Fitzhugh-Boehm immediately called 9-1-1 and then ran to help.

The mother screamed for someone below to catch her baby. Fitzhugh-Boehm instructed her to throw down a blanket first, which she and a neighbor used to catch the baby, unharmed. The male teenager jumped from the second floor window to escape, and the fire department arrived just in time to rescue the mother. The fire engulfed the building almost immediately after the rescue.

Thanks to Fitzhugh-Boehm's quick thinking and her willingness to act, the entire family made it out safely. Surprisingly, Fitzhugh-Boehm was ready to return to work right after the incident. “Once my adrenaline stopped pumping, I wanted to continue my day and visit the rest of my patients,” she said. “I left as soon as help arrived and called the office to tell them what happened. I assured the office that I was good to go, despite my clothes smelling a little smoky.”

“We are grateful for nurses like Heather who are not only dedicated to their patients but also to the communities they serve,” added MedStar Health Home Care President Traci Anderson. “Our homecare team members must be quick thinkers and be very attentive to their surroundings. This story shows how valuable those skills are. We often say that our team members are heroes and lifesavers. Heather’s actions demonstrate the truth in that statement.”


About MedStar Health Home Care
MedStar Health Home Care is a nonprofit, Joint Commission accredited, in-home healthcare provider that offers skilled nursing and rehabilitation services for homebound, disabled and chronically ill patients in the Maryland, D.C. and Northern Virginia region. To support good health in the community, MedStar Health Home Care offers vaccination and wellness programs across the region. For more information about MedStar Health Home Care, call 800-862-2166 or visit medstarvna.org.

 

Media Contact
Carrie Koenig
Vice President, Patient Experience & Communication
MedStar Health Home Care
410-540-4634
[email protected]

MedStar Health Home Care Celebrates Homecare Month by Delivering Freedom to Patients at Home

 

Elkridge, MD (November 20, 2017) – MedStar Health Home Care celebrates National Homecare Month by recognizing the home healthcare professionals who help deliver the freedom people need to live safely in their own homes. Through their skilled care and tireless compassion, the homecare community supports individuals recovering from injury and illness, and overcoming disabilities.

During the month of November, home healthcare companies across the nation honor the millions of nurses, therapists, social workers, homecare aides, and other professionals who make a positive difference for the patients and families they serve. These healthcare and business professionals provide medical treatment, rehabilitation, IV therapy, wound care, self-care education, medication management, activities of daily living support, remote patient monitoring and other critical services to help patients live safely and comfortably in their own homes.

As one of the founders of home healthcare, MedStar Health Home Care began in 1900 as one of only 20 visiting nurse societies in the United States, seeking to improve health and treat disease in the community. MedStar Health Home Care continues to blaze the trail in home healthcare by creating innovative ways to care for patients in the home, while offering the empathy and compassion many patients need most.

To further celebrate Home Healthcare Month, MedStar Health Home Care honored all of its employees during an annual celebration event, held on November 7. This year, two outstanding associates celebrated 40 years of service with the MedStar organization. Twenty-two others celebrated 20 or more years of service. According to MedStar Health Home Care President Traci Anderson, “It takes a special person to dedicate their career to the health and well-being of others. Our employees live our mission to make a positive difference in people’s lives, and they deserve to be honored and celebrated.”


About MedStar Health Home Care
MedStar Health Home Care is a non-profit, Joint Commission accredited, in-home healthcare provider, that offers skilled nursing and rehabilitation for homebound, disabled and chronically ill patients in the Maryland, D.C. and the Northern Virginia region. To support good health in the community, MedStar Health Home Care offers vaccination and wellness programs across the region. For more information about MedStar Health Home Care, call 800-862-2166 or visit medstarvna.org.

 

Media Contact
Carrie Koenig
Vice President, Patient Experience & Communication
MedStar Health Home Care
410-540-4634
[email protected]

MedStar Health Home Care Vaccinates Health Officials During National News Conference

ELKRIDGE, MD (September 27, 2017) – On Thursday, Sept. 28, MedStar Health Home Care participated in the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) 2017 Influenza/Pneumococcal News Conference by offering flu vaccinations to those in attendance. Each year, NFID holds a press conference in collaboration with health officials like US Secretary of Health and Human Services, Thomas E. Price, MD, NFID Medical Director William Schaffner, MD, and other leading medical and public health experts to urge public and healthcare professionals to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendation that everyone age six months and older be vaccinated against influenza every year.

During the conference, Dr. Price said, “While we don’t know what this season has in store, the science on flu vaccination is clear. Vaccination can help prevent you or someone you love from becoming sick and missing school or work, or worse, becoming severely ill or being hospitalized from or even dying from flu.”  To lead by example, Dr. Price stood on the podium to receive his own flu vaccination from a MedStar Health Home Care nurse.  

CDC estimates annual influenza vaccination coverage for the United States to be at 46.8%, meaning that less than half of the country is protected from contracting influenza.  During the 2016-17 flu season, the vaccination rate for the 65 and older age group was 65.3 percent. Since MedStar Health Home Care’s patient population is predominantly senior citizens, MedStar Health Home Care encourages patients to follow CDC recommendations and receive the vaccine.  “As we age, our immune systems weaken. We are more prone to infection and disease, and as a result, at an even higher risk for developing severe flu symptoms and complications, explained Ashley McFarland, director of Immunization and Wellness at MedStar Health Home Care.  MedStar Health Home Care’s community outreach division vaccinates over 6,000 community members each year.

To learn more about influenza recommendations, please visit the CDC website: www.cdc.gov


About MedStar Health Home Care

MedStar Health Home Care, a non-profit, Joint Commission accredited, in-home healthcare provider, offers skilled nursing, rehabilitation and infusion therapy for homebound, disabled and chronically ill patients in the Maryland, D.C. and Northern Virginia region. To support good health in the community, MedStar Health Home Care offers vaccination and wellness programs across the region. For more information about MedStar Health Home Care, call 800-862-2166 or visit medstarvna.org

 

 

Media Contact

Carrie Koenig
Vice President, Patient Experience & Communication
MedStar Health Home Care
410-540-4634
[email protected]

MedStar Health Home Care Invests in the Future of Home Health

MedStar Health Home Care partners with George Washington University (GWU) to educate future nurses

future nursesELKRIDGE, MD (March 29, 2017) – MedStar Health Home Care recently  teamed up with George Washington University’s School of Nursing to give future nurses valuable experience in the home healthcare industry. During a five-week program, MedStar Health Home Care’s D.C. and Suburban MD agencies will host 10 GWU nursing students, as they learn clinical home healthcare practices, regulations, and infection control methods.

Now entering into its second session, Nadine Kidd, director of Education, MedStar Health Home Care says, “The program has been a great success. The students learn about the clinical practices, challenges and benefits of home health care through a unique hands-on experience.” This partnership not only highlights MedStar Health Home Care’s commitment to education and local educational institutions, but also their effort to foster the future workforce of home health care. “These students represent our future. We want to see them succeed and help them recognize that they have options outside of the more traditional healthcare settings,” said Kidd.

MedStar Health Home Care is enthusiastic about expanding its business relationships with local universities and colleges. “We are eager to continue this program,” said Suzanne Proctor, vice president, Business Development. “Collaboration with local universities is critical to developing the clinical expertise needed to better serve our communities.

About MedStar Health Home Care

MedStar Health Home Care, a non-profit, JCAHO accredited, in-home healthcare provider, offers skilled nursing, rehabilitation and infusion therapy for homebound, disabled and chronically ill patients in the Maryland, D.C. and Northern Virginia region. To support good health in the community, MedStar Health Home Care also offers vaccinations and wellness programs across the region. For more information about MedStar Health Home Care, call 800-862-2166 or visit medstarvna.org

Media Contact

Carrie Koenig
410-540-4634
[email protected]

MedStar Health Home Care Therapist Saves Baby’s Life Along Roadway

CALVERTON, MD (October 19, 2016) – Last week, a speech and language pathologist (SLP) from MedStar Health Home Care’s D.C. agency was driving between patient visits when she saw a woman screaming in distress. The woman yelled, “My baby is not breathing,” and she pointed to the ground. Froso Andreou, a MedStar Health Home Care SLP, immediately pulled over her car and jumped out to help.

She found a 16-month-old baby lying in the grass in front of the home. The child was cold and not breathing. Andreou told a bystander to call 911. She checked the child’s airway and started cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). After a minute or more of CPR, the baby started to cry. When Andreou recalls that moment, she says the sound was, “the best cry of my life.”

Andreou waited with the baby and the woman, who was the child’s caregiver, until emergency medical services arrived. When looking back on what happened, Andreou says, “I can’t believe the baby is alive.” As a speech therapist for adults, she admits, “I never thought I would need to perform infant CPR.”

A few days after the incident, she met the parents at their home to check on the child. During the visit, the baby’s mother called Andreou the baby’s angel. But, Andreou disagrees; she says, “That baby is my angel. I just did what everyone should do.”

According to MedStar Health Home Care President Traci Anderson, “Andreou saved this infant’s life because of her quick thinking and attention to her surroundings. She did not have to stop her car, yet she saw a woman in distress and decided to help. I am always impressed by the great lengths our homecare clinicians go to help our patients. This clinician cares so much that she pulled over to help a stranger. Her bravery and compassion are simply exemplary.”


About MedStar Health Home Care

MedStar Health Home Care, a non-profit, Joint Commission accredited, in-home healthcare provider, offers skilled nursing, rehabilitation and infusion therapy for homebound, disabled and chronically ill patients in the Maryland, D.C. and Northern Virginia region. Personal assistance and hygiene care services are also available through their residential service agency. To support good health in the community, MedStar Health Home Care offers vaccination and wellness programs across the region. For more information about MedStar Health Home Care, call 800-862-2166 or visit MedStarVNA.org.

Media Contact

Christina Heilman, Senior Marketing and Communications Specialist
443-725-2931
[email protected]