Meet your daughter, Pfc. Kissentaner
A father assisting with the birth of his child is a common practice, and it’s one that Army Pfc. Gerald Kissentaner, 20, was determined to experience when his daughter, Cassidee, entered the world.
Recently deployed to Iraq, Kissentaner was disappointed that he wouldn’t be able to witness his daughter’s birth and coach her mother, Raven Davis, 19, through the experience. So when an Army buddy suggested he use the free Internet camera-phone service Skype to be “present” for the big day, Kissentaner went to work setting up the arrangements. He told Davis about his idea and then contacted officials at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southwest Fort Worth to see if using Skype during the delivery was doable. Officials already had some practice, after using Skype for another military family birth at Texas Health Arlington Memorial.
“We just had to make sure there was a computer technician available in case we lost the connection,” Texas Health spokeswoman Megan Brooks says.
On the day of Cassidee’s birth—just three days shy of Mother’s Day—Kissentaner and Davis used Skype from the time the mom-to-be was admitted to the hospital about 9 p.m. on May 5 until their bundle of joy was delivered at 6:38 a.m. on May 6. “He was laughing, trying to cheer me up while I was in pain,” Davis says of her and Kissentaner’s interaction during the labor. She adds that he was “excited and shocked” to witness his daughter’s actual birth.
While using Skype helped the family be together during the important moment, mom and baby are hoping they’ll get to see dad in the flesh sometime this August.
Modern-day Horatio Algers
Healthcare spending represents about $1 of every $6 in the U.S. economy, so the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans had it about right this year when they chose two healthcare executives among their 11 winners of the association’s annual award. Lawrence Higby and Alan Miller were among those who were inducted last month into the association during a ceremony at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington.
Higby is vice chairman and former CEO of home-health provider Apria Healthcare, Lake Forest, Calif.
Miller is the founder, chairman and CEO of Universal Health Services, King of Prussia, Pa., which operates both acutecare and behavioral-health hospitals.
The award, with a nod to the youth novels that author Horatio Alger Jr. wrote in the 19th century, recognizes leaders who overcame adversity through honesty, hard work, self-reliance and perseverance.
Other 2010 inductees include former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and retired Gen. Tommy Franks, former commander-in-chief of the U.S. Army’s Central Command who oversaw the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
“If you need a doctor, you are an orphan. You go to emerg or you drive to Ottawa.” —Retired pilot Richard Newcombe, who has been waiting nearly three years for a family doctor, in the Toronto Star on Ontario’s Health Care Connect program. In its first year, the program
referred only 48% of those registered to a family physician. “Too often, New York’s Medicaid system treats tax dollars like Monopoly money. There is too much easy come, easy go allowed in the program.” —New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, in the
Journal News (White Plains, N.Y.), on a series of audits that allege the state doled out at least $150 million in overpayments to
hospitals since 2002. “However, my own view, as a doctor who has used (electronic medical records) for almost a decade, is that it is fast becoming a professional responsibility that will be the standard of care in the 21st century. I would hope professionalism and the desire to keep up with the best in the field will push physicians to adopt these systems as much as the financial incentives.” —David Blumenthal, national coordinator for health
information technology, in the Boston Globe.
Alan Miller was among two healthcare executives honored at the Horatio Alger Awards in Washington.
gave some longdistance coaching from Iraq to Raven Davis
during the birth.