21Jun

Lumberton mom named the 2018 Acuity Healthcare Clinician of the Year

Lumberton mom named the 2018 Acuity Healthcare Clinician of the Year

After 12 years of hard work and dedication to her patients and team, and a nearly 30-year nursing career, on May 3, Jiji Mercado was named the 2018 Acuity Healthcare Clinician of the Year at the Acuity Specialty Hospital of Southern New Jersey in Willingboro. And to think that at one point she was going to become a dentist.  Click here to read the rest of the story featured in the Burlington County Times.

02May

ACUITY HEALTHCARE NAMES JIJI MERCADO, BSN, RN 2018 CLINICIAN OF THE YEAR AWARD

ACUITY HEALTHCARE NAMES JIJI MERCADO, BSN, RN 2018 CLINICIAN OF THE YEAR AWARD

Charlotte, North Carolina – (May 3, 2019) – Acuity Healthcare, an employee-owned hospital company and a national leader in long-term acute care, is pleased to announce that Jiji Mercado, bachelor of science in nursing and registered nurse, has been named the 2018 Acuity Healthcare Clinician of the Year. She works in Acuity Specialty Hospital of Southern New Jersey, located in Willingboro, New Jersey.

Mercado, started her career in 1989 working in the Philippians at the University of Santo Tomas. In Saudi Arabia, she worked in a military hospital for six years before serving as a flight nurse for an additional three years. She began her career in the United States in 2003, and has been an integral member of the Acuity team since 2007.

“Nursing is about compassion and you have to put your heart into every day and in everything you do. Not just to sick people but to elderly people too, said Jiji Mercado, BSN, RN. “I tell my daughter if God ever gave me another life, I would still want to be a nurse. This award is such an honor. It was unexpected, and I am privileged to be a part of the Acuity Healthcare team.”

“Jiji is a dedicated, innovative employee who is a strong leader of our nursing team. Her commitment to care exceeds all standards,” said Judy K. Weaver, M.B.A., B.S.N., R.N., vice president, clinical quality and chief clinical officer and chief executive officer, Acuity Specialty Hospital of  Ohio Valley. “We all marvel at how she performs her work with zeal. She considers each patient’s needs and individualizes their plan of care and has worked hard for this. We could not be any prouder of Jiji and we applaud her today and every day for all she does to make Acuity the best in all we do.”

Mercado’s leadership skills and positive attitude are evident in how she leads the team successfully.  She is an active volunteer at Red Cross to educate children regarding nursing, and she prides herself on organizing and participating in her church’s annual Christmas functions.

About Acuity Healthcare

Acuity Healthcare is an employee-owned (ESOP) long-term acute care hospital (LTACH) company founded in 2001 with headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina. Acuity Healthcare currently owns and manages three LTACHs in New Jersey, Ohio and West Virginia. Acuity is focused on the development and operation of LTACHs and the delivery of specialized care with improved outcomes. We offer quality care in a cost-effective manner to medically complex patients who require intensive hospital services for an extended length of stay. To learn more about Acuity Healthcare, please visit us at www.AcuityHealthcare.net.

Acuity Specialty Hospital of Southern New Jersey:

Acuity Specialty Hospital of Southern New Jersey (AHSNJ) is a 69-bed long-term acute care hospital. AHSNJ is conveniently located on the campus of Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County in Willingboro, New Jersey.

To learn more about Acuity Healthcare, please visit us at www.AcuityHealthcare.net

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29Jan

ACUITY SPECIALTY HOSPITAL NAMES DAVITA GARFIELD DIRECTOR OF PROVIDER RELATIONS

ACUITY SPECIALTY HOSPITAL NAMES DAVITA GARFIELD DIRECTOR OF PROVIDER RELATIONS

Willingboro, New Jersey – (January 29, 2019) – Acuity Healthcare, a leader in long-term acute care, is pleased to announce that DaVita Garfield has been named Director of Provider Relations of Acuity Specialty Hospital of Southern New Jersey.

Garfield is a seasoned leader who has spent the past 18 years in a variety of healthcare roles serving as a social worker, clinical liaison and regional director of sales and marketing.

“DaVita is a welcomed addition to our team. Her expertise and extensive background will support us in our continued effort to serve patients and families to provide the best long-term acute care option in the region. Her drive and industry knowledge is an invaluable asset to Acuity,” said Monica Titus, Regional Chief Executive Officer of Acuity Specialty Hospital of Southern New Jersey and Acuity Specialty Hospital of New Jersey.

“I am excited to be a part of the Acuity family. This position allows me to utilize all of my experience and share my knowledge to help the growth and development of the marketing team,” said Garfield. “Seeing the positive impact our hospitals have on our patients’ and families’ lives is extremely rewarding to me.”

Garfield holds a BA in Social Work from Millersville University, Millersville, PA and a MA in Health Administration from University of Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ. Garfield is an active member of the Marie Conley Cushing’s Fund where she shares her personal health experience to help educate new medical professionals on the rare, Cushing’s disease.   She also volunteers for The EPIC Foundation (Empowering People with Invisible Chronic Illness), where she helps to support patients and families who suffer from invisible chronic illness.

Acuity Specialty Hospital of Southern New Jersey

Acuity Specialty Hospital of Southern New Jersey (AHSNJ) is a 69-bed long-term acute care hospital. AHSNJ is conveniently located on the campus of Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County in Willingboro, New Jersey.

About Acuity Healthcare:

Acuity Healthcare is an employee-owned (ESOP) long-term acute care hospital company (LTACH) founded in 2001 with headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina. Acuity Healthcare currently owns and manages three LTACHs in New Jersey, Ohio and West Virginia. Acuity is focused on the development and operation of LTACHs and the delivery of specialized care with  improved outcomes. We offer quality care in a cost-effective manner to medically complex patients who require intensive hospital services for an extended length of stay.

To learn more about Acuity Healthcare, please visit us at www.AcuityHealthcare.net

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10Dec

Teacher brings holiday cheer to patients in Willingboro specialty hospital

Teacher brings holiday cheer to patients in Willingboro specialty hospital

Kim Mulford, Cherry Hill Courier-Post Published 2:37 p.m. ET Dec. 7, 2018

WILLINGBORO – More than four years after nearly dying from a severe form of Guillain-Barre syndrome, Linda Stepler arrived at Acuity Specialty Hospital on Wednesday bearing gifts from not so far.

A first-grade teacher at Haddonfield Friends School, the 51-year-old asked students to make holiday decorations for patients at the acute-care facility, where she learned to breathe on her own again.

Twenty kindergartners made guided Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer drawings with crayons and markers on oak tag (“Halfway down your paper, draw a big U,” Stepler told them). Fifteen first-graders glued paper dreidels with tissue paper “stained glass.” And 15 sixth-graders — the same kids who nearly lost their teacher in 2014 —made guided drawings of nutcrackers.

For the Audubon resident, such artwork was good medicine. The message on a student-made banner encouraged her during her months-long recovery: “You’ll get better. Stay positive!”

Linda Stepler claps during a multi-denominational holiday gathering at Acuity Specialty Hospital Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018 in Willingboro, N.J. Stepler, who spent weeks there after nearly dying from Guillian-Barre syndrome at age 46 is now 51 and fully recovered. Stepler delivered holiday decorations made by her students at Haddonfield Friends School.

“When I saw it, it was an epiphany for me,” said Stepler. “That’s what I need to do. I need to stay positive.”

It was a long road. At age 46, after spring break in April 2014, Stepler got up for a second cup of coffee before work and discovered her feet felt like cinder blocks. By the next morning, she was “like a marionette,” unable to walk or sit up on her own.

Fifteen minutes after arriving at Cooper University Hospital in Camden, she gasped: “Somebody help me. I can’t breathe.”

A rush of white coats swarmed around her before everything went black.

Likely triggered by an upper respiratory virus she caught a few days earlier, the syndrome paralyzed Stepler from the neck down. The rare condition develops when the immune system attacks the nerves, leading to weakness, numbness, tingling and sometimes paralysis.

“It was so scary,” Stepler recalled.

Twelve days later, she was transferred to Acuity (then known as Lourdes Specialty Hospital), where she spent the next three weeks before moving to a rehab. By September, she returned to teaching, using only a cane.

Every year, she returns to the specialty hospital to share her students’ artwork, usually around Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. This year, staff asked her to come a little early. The decorations will be used to brighten the hospital.

Linda Stepler lowers her head during a prayer at a multi-denominational holiday gathering at Acuity Specialty Hospital Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018 in Willingboro, N.J. Stepler, who spent weeks there after nearly dying from Guillian-Barre syndrome at age 46 is now 51 and fully recovered. Stepler delivered holiday decorations made by her students at Haddonfield Friends School.

Holidays spent away from home are especially hard for patients, said Monica Titus, the hospital’s regional CEO and a former trauma nurse. It’s important for patients to have personal memorabilia hanging in their rooms, reminders of “why they’re fighting the fight.” Patients spend an average 28 days in the specialty hospital.

“Sometimes, this is their last chance to fight,” Titus said.

Today, Stepler hardly has any lingering effects from the syndrome, though she’s careful not to catch another virus and can never again get a flu vaccination. She met other Guillain-Barre survivors who haven’t recovered as well as she has. She calls herself “very lucky.”

“I thank God every day, I really do,” Stepler said.

Holiday decorations made by Linda Stepler’s students of Haddonfield Friends School ready to be displayed at Acuity Specialty Hospital in Willingboro, N.J.

 

05Dec

ACUITY SPECIALTY HOSPITAL OF SOUTHERN NEW JERSEY AWARDED HOSPITAL ACCREDITATION FROM THE JOINT COMMISSION

ACUITY SPECIALTY HOSPITAL OF SOUTHERN NEW JERSEY AWARDED HOSPITAL ACCREDITATION FROM THE JOINT COMMISSION

December 3, 2018 – Acuity Specialty Hospital of Southern New Jersey today announced it has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Hospital Accreditation by demonstrating continuous compliance with its performance standards. The Gold Seal of Approval® is a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to providing safe and effective patient care.

Acuity Specialty Hospital of Southern New Jersey underwent a rigorous, unannounced onsite survey on September 27, 2018. During the review, a team of Joint Commission expert surveyors evaluated compliance with hospital standards related to several areas, including emergency management, environment of care, infection prevention and control, leadership, and medication management. Surveyors also conducted onsite observations and interviews.

The Joint Commission has accredited hospitals for more than 60 years. More than 4,000 general, children’s, long-term acute, psychiatric, rehabilitation and specialty hospitals currently maintain accreditation from The Joint Commission, awarded for a three-year period. In addition, approximately 360 critical access hospitals maintain accreditation through a separate program.

“Joint Commission accreditation provides hospitals with the processes needed to improve in a variety of areas from the enhancement of staff education to the improvement of daily business operations,” said Mark G. Pelletier, RN, MS, chief operating officer, Division of Accreditation and Certification Operations, The Joint Commission. “In addition, our accreditation helps hospitals enhance their risk management and risk reduction strategies. We commend Acuity Specialty Hospital of Southern New Jersey for its efforts to become a quality improvement organization.”

“Acuity Specialty Hospital of Southern New Jersey is pleased to receive accreditation from The Joint Commission, the premier health care quality improvement and accrediting body in the nation,” added Monica Titus, Regional Chief Executive Officer of Acuity Specialty Hospital of

Southern New Jersey. “Staff from across the organization continue to work together to develop and implement approaches that improve care for the patients in our community.”

The Joint Commission’s hospital standards are developed in consultation with health care experts and providers, measurement experts and patients. The standards are informed by scientific literature and expert consensus to help hospitals measure, assess and improve performance.

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The Joint Commission

Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission accredits and certifies more than 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. An independent, nonprofit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Learn more about The Joint Commission at www.jointcommission.org.

Acuity Specialty Hospital of Southern New Jersey

Acuity Specialty Hospital of Southern New Jersey (AHSNJ) is a 69-bed long-term acute care hospital. AHSNJ is conveniently located on the campus of Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County in Willingboro, New Jersey.

Its parent company is Acuity Healthcare, an employee-owned (ESOP) long-term acute care hospital company (LTACH) founded in 2001 with headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina. Acuity Healthcare currently owns and manages three LTACHs in New Jersey, Ohio and West Virginia.

Acuity is focused on the development and operation of LTACHs and the delivery of specialized care with  improved outcomes. We offer quality care in a cost-effective manner to medically complex patients who require intensive hospital services for an extended length of stay.

To learn more about Acuity Healthcare, please visit us at www.AcuityHealthcare.net.