A Message from Jim Forstner, CEO Emory Decatur Hospital, Emory Hillandale Hospital, Emory Long Term Acute Care

As I hope you are aware by now, the former DeKalb Medical Hospitals became part of Emory Healthcare on September 1, 2018. Much of the visual change has occurred – the signage is almost complete and our badges read Emory Healthcare. Our employees are now receiving their pay and benefits plans from Emory Healthcare and some of the corporate support functions are beginning to shift.

If you are a member of the DeKalb Physician Hospital Organization (DPHO), I hope you were able to attend the DPHO meeting last month. Information was shared about the Emory Healthcare Network (EHN) and the DPHO staff is now working hand-in-hand with the EHN staff making great progress towards a win-win in terms of a local clinically integrated network.

As for our hospitals, we will now begin developing a strategic plan for our operating unit which encompasses Emory Decatur Hospital (EDH) Emory Hillandale Hospital (EHH) and Emory Long-Term Acute Care (ELTAC). The DeKalb Medical Physicians Group is now officially part of the Emory entity known as Emory Specialty Associates and is working through their integration.

Our strategic plan will be focused on the next five years. While our operating unit will roll into Emory Healthcare’s five-year strategic planning process, we are undertaking an immediate strategic planning process – slightly off cycle – that will get us started on our path to growth and improvement.

Once our strategic plan is complete, the tactics necessary to fulfill that plan will be defined and translated into operational timelines and goals. The timeline for development of the plan is five months, beginning this month. The steering committee includes several physicians, including Dr. Nairn Shaheed, Dr. Scott Steinberg, Dr. Mark Stern, Dr. Chip Clifton and Dr. Tina Thompson. We are supported by Emory’s Strategic Planning department and additional physician input will be included via interviews by the department.

We recognize that there are some immediate needs that are more operational than strategic, and we will begin addressing them now, rather than waiting until the strategic planning process is complete. Emory is making a significant financial commitment into our institutions and we’re being very thoughtful about how those resources are prioritized, but are tending to clear and obvious needs such as replacements of beds, elevator replacements and clinical priorities that need to be addressed now.

I am extremely enthusiastic about our future and thank you for all you do for our patients and community, and for the support you give our hospitals as we begin this part of our journey. We are a team and couldn’t do what we do every day, without each of you! As always, please reach out to me with any concerns or opportunities for improvement.

Jim Forstner, Jim.Forstner@emoryhealthcare.org.


EDH, EHH and ELTAC Addresses Workplace Violence

To address disruptive or violent behavior from patients or family members, we have created a Workplace Violence Taskforce over this past summer. The taskforce has already begun to implement some tools and processes to increase safety for all staff. For example, adding additional security to the ED settings at Emory Decatur Hospital and Emory Hillandale Hospital, made the decision to adopt the Emory Healthcare Escalation Process for Disruptive Patients and more.

Also,  we have created a new tile in the Safety and Feedback Event (SAFE) reporting system isafen an effort to enhance our commitment to lessen or eradicate the serious issue of workplace violence. The purpose of this tile is to capture these events, conduct a thorough investigation and take the appropriate actions to minimize future occurrences.

Physicians and staff are encouraged to report these incidents using the Workplace Violence tile in SAFE. It is everyone’s responsibility to Report. Please note the Workplace Violence tile is not to be used to notify Security of an issue. You should ALWAYS make the emergency call to Security to assure your personal safety and that of others.

workplace violenceLook for this icon on the SAFE icon wall. Additional programs and training will be provided. Again, please remember that reporting is extremely important. There will be no reprisals against anyone for reporting threats or acts of violence.

The taskforce is made up of a representation from the EDH, EHH and ELTAC to include care management, chaplain services, staff, nursing, ED and security. It is critical that we keep our providers safe so that we can deliver on our mission.

Night of Lights celebrations planned

Join Emory Decatur Hospital, Emory Hillandale Hospital and Emory Long-Term Acute Care (formerly DeKalb Medical) for some family fun to kick off the holiday season! Enjoy live music and refreshments in anticipation of the main event- our tree lighting. Unique gingerbread creations will be on display at each location and attendees may vote for their favorite. If your practice would like to submit a gingerbread creation, please contact Tahira.carpenter@emoryhealthcare.org.

All three events will be held from 5-7 p.m. The first event will be at Emory Hillandale Hospital, 2801 DeKalb Medical Parkway, Lithonia on Tuesday, December 4 in the main lobby. Emory Long-Term Acute Care will host its event on Wednesday, December 5 in the main lobby. Emory Decatur Hospital will host its celebration on Thursday, December 6 in the Dr. Bobbie Bailey Tower Auditorium.

Experience the joy of giving! Lights on the trees represent and honor loved ones. Physicians, staff and community members are invited to make a donation online, click here (link to  www.dekalbmedical.org/foundation/make-donation/ways). Donations will also be accepted at the tree lighting. Any amount is appreciated.

Hip Fracture Program Aims to Provide Best Possible Care for Patients

Emory Decatur Hospital and Emory Hillandale Hospital have developed a hip fracture program that allows patients suffering from a hip fracture to undergo surgery within 24 hours from arrival in the Emergency Department.

Coordinated care amongst Emergency Department hospitalists, orthopedic surgeons, an orthopedic nursing staff, anesthesia, therapists and care management staff provide optimal care for the patient during and post-discharge.

“Our dedicated team has been instrumental in the development of a formal hip fracture treatment program. Our program has now medically optimized the fracture patient leading to: early recognition and orthopedic consult, early pain reduction without the use of strong opioid medications, early surgical intervention (less than 24 hours from ED to the OR), and early mobilization with physical therapy all leading to a decreased length of stay in the hospital, low complication rate, improved patient satisfaction, but more importantly, better outcomes and greater functional ability for our fracture patients,” said Matt Glogowski, program manager for the Joint Solutions Center at Emory Decatur Hospital.

Overall, having a dedicated multidisciplinary team approach and care pathway protocol allows for the successful treatment and patient outcome of hip fractures.


  • Program launched April 2018
  •  Number of patients through the program: 40+
  •  Medium time to surgery: 23 hours
  •  Average LOS: 4.04 days
  •  Femoral Nerve Block use for pain management
  •  Early ambulation with use of therapy rehabilitation

A dedicated multi-disciplinary team providing best outcomes for hip fracture patients


Physician and Practice Updates

  • Frank Rasler, MD retired in October as a practicing ER physician, with the last 25 years at DeKalb Medical (including 7y as ER vice-chair).
  • Joey Boiser, MD has moved to a neuro-hospitalist role, effective 10/1/18.  He is not be available for outpatient consults and follow ups after that date.
  • Ellen Schoen, NP-C is leaving Emory at Decatur Neurology & Sleep Medicine, effective 11/9/18.
  • Amod Sureka, MD is leaving Emory at Decatur Neurosurgery & Spine, effective 11/10/18.



Medical Staff Meetings

November 2018

13 Family Medicine, 1:00 p.m., Teleconference, 2nd Tuesday

14 QI Committee, 7:30 a.m., 4040 classroom, Women’s Center, 2nd Wednesday

14 DMC Semi-annual MS Meeting, 6 p.m., Theatre, quarterly

15 Multidisciplinary Committee, 7:30 a.m., 4040 Classroom, Women’s Center, 4th Thursday

15 System Credentials Committee, 5:00 p.m., Board Room or Auditorium, Monthly, 4th Wednesday

Continuing Medical Education


November 2018

12 Tumor Conference, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., Stubbs Auditorium, North Decatur

16 Cancer Conference, 12:15 to 1:15p.m., Keeton Auditorium, Emory Decatur Hospital

19 Tumor Conference, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., Stubbs Auditorium, North Decatur

20 Critical Care Conference, 12:15 to 1:15p.m., Hospital Theater, North Decatur

26 Lung Conference, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., Stubbs Auditorium, North Decatur

27 Hillandale Primary Care Conference, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., Board/Community Room, Hillandale

30 Primary Care Conference, 12:15 to 1:15p.m., Keeton Auditorium, Emory Decatur Hospital

To download the November 2018 calendar, click here:  Calendar 11-18.