Meet your daugh­ter, Pfc. Kis­sentaner

Modern Healthcare - - Outliers -

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.

Quotable

“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.

Kis­sentaner, inset,

gave some longdis­tance coach­ing from Iraq to Raven Davis

dur­ing the birth.

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