Date: 6/28/2000

Community Hospital reorganizes, improves emergency department services

The Community Hospital in Munster, Ind. is implementing a major reorganization, marking the beginning of a series of improvements designed to better address the growing numbers of patients and the complex medical care often needed today in the Emergency Department.

The hospital welcomes to the staff Michael Macuga, M.D., F.A.C.E.P., new Medical Director of the Department of Emergency Medicine and Maureen Grady, R.N., M.S.,C.E.N., Nursing Director of the Department of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Macuga has overseen the reorganization, which included the recruitment of new physicians who are all board certified/eligible in emergency medicine.

“The community’s needs and the input of our patients have guided many of the decisions we have made in reorganizing Community Hospital’s Emergency Department,” Dr. Macuga said. “We will continue to use their feedback as we plan for continuous quality improvements.”

Among the key changes is the addition of new emergency medicine physicians who are employed by Community Hospital. The emergency medicine physicians who will treat patients at Community Hospital beginning in July are: Cornelius Arnold, M.D.; Kevin Benfield, Jr., M.D.; Daniel Butterbach, M.D.; Carol Gilmore, M.D., Michael Macuga, M.D., Patrick McInerney, M.D.; Linda Mueller, M.D.; Shaheen Parvez, M.D.; Veena Shah, M.D.; and Alicia Shirakbari, M.D.

These physicians and the nursing staff will work closely with key specialists in administering the types of treatment that help patients successfully recover from conditions such as a heart attack or stroke. Cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons, along with neurologists and neurosurgeons have worked cooperatively in the reorganization of the Emergency Department. These teams of specialists work directly with the emergency physician to provide the expert care from the moment the patient arrives. And, with the recent addition of eight telemetry monitored beds within the hospital, patients can now be more quickly transferred to a room where that specialized care is continued.
This new physician expertise, along with some expansion of facilities and some new approaches to care, will help the hospital better service a growing number of patients seen today in the Emergency Department. With 40,000 emergency visits a year, up from 28,000 visits just five years ago, Community Hospital continues to examine ways to be as efficient as possible, Dr. Macuga said.

“The typical complaint of most emergency departments is how long patients have to wait,” Dr. Macuga said. “It is our goal to make waiting a very unusual scenario, while providing the highest quality care.”

Changes to staffing will make more physicians and nurses available to treat patients during the peak hours from 7 a.m. - 11 p.m. A area within the department is also being staffed to more efficiently treat illnesses and injuries that are not immediately life threatening. Physicians and nurses will be dedicated to this area located just outside the main Emergency Department.

“We know that every patient considers their medical needs to be an emergency,” Dr. Macuga said. “We understand this and share these same concerns. Our focus is to provide the highest quality medical care with the same urgency and efficiencies patients have come to expect from The Community Hospital.”