Putting a Global Spin on Local Healthcare

by Sam Dewey
OSF Saint Francis Medical Center

The local, personalized healthcare mission proves universal in nature.

Thanks to a few area juggernauts, Peoria has always been a player on the global business stage. Companies like Caterpillar and Maui Jim have ensured a certain level of prestige when it comes to Peoria’s international presence, but the global impact is about more than capital and trade. For years, OSF HealthCare has been extending its services and resources to people across the country and around the world. On a daily basis, OSF Saint Francis proves that local and personalized healthcare can also mean innovation, technology and collaboration with some of the best medical minds in the world.

Most Wired, Most Connected
For the third year in a row, OSF Healthcare System has been named one of 2014’s “Most Wired” hospital systems, a recognition awarded by Hospitals & Health Networks magazine. The nation’s Most Wired hospitals concentrate on transforming health information technology (IT) in order to streamline electronic communication systems, improve quality and patient safety, and reduce the likelihood of medical errors.

IT enterprises at Most Wired hospitals don’t stop at internal technology and communication infrastructure. In order to keep consumers informed and engaged in their healthcare, many of these organizations make standard measures of quality performance reports publicly available, with nearly half inviting patients to find this information on their websites. Advanced technology and transparent communication means that localized healthcare can be offered on an increasingly grander scale.

Worldwide Community of Caregivers
The caregivers at Children’s Hospital of Illinois hold the health and well-being of the children they serve with the utmost importance. As a result, caregivers from around the world can successfully come together to care for sick children without the difficulties of cultural, political or linguistic barriers. In April 2013, a doctor from Peoria met Hannah Warren, a young Canadian-Korean girl living in Seoul, South Korea, who had been born without a trachea. After tracking down the help of an Italian doctor—with educational and professional ties to Sweden, Spain, Germany, France and the U.S.— who specialized in regenerative medicine, Hannah became the first child ever to receive a lab-grown, synthetic trachea, right here in Peoria.

As Hannah’s case unfolded, this community of caregivers continued to grow. Her story was picked up by national and international media, and soon, people from around the world held Hannah and her family in their thoughts and prayers. Articles in The New York Times and Huffington Post and spotlights on CNN and NBC drove thousands of visitors to the Children’s Hospital website, sending donations and words of support. In Hannah’s case, her caregiving team was truly global.

Best in the World
On its own, the Illinois Neurological Institute Comprehensive Stroke Center (CSC) at OSF Saint Francis boasts an impressive catalogue of achievements, including being the second certified comprehensive stroke center in the nation (the largest in Illinois), with the fastest published door-to-clot-buster time in the world. Services include acute stroke diagnosis, management, rehabilitation and pioneering clinical trials.

But the INI CSC’s strides and successes are more far-reaching than Rockford or Springfield. David Wang, DO, FAHA, FAAN and director of the INI Stroke Network, is a global leader in stroke treatment. In addition to his work with INI and OSF Saint Francis, Dr. Wang and his team have worked with the Chinese Stroke Society in China for nearly a decade to improve stroke treatment, response time and recovery in both countries. Dr. Wang is a guest professor at four Chinese medical schools and was recently the recipient of the Tiantan Stroke Research Award for excellence in advancing stroke research and care.

“Stroke is a big public health problem for both the U.S. and China,” says Dr. Wang. “We can learn from each other and collaborate to explore new therapies and stroke prevention. Our work on a global level translates to our patients receiving the very best stroke care. It’s the best in the world.” iBi


Source URL: https://www.peoriamagazines.com/ibi/2014/oct/putting-global-spin-local-healthcare