Sheila Dinan, Director of HealthWorks Lehigh Valley Health Network/Populytics, was named a winner in the 2019 Healthcare Heroes Award program, sponsored by Lehigh Valley Business. The award honors individuals who are making a significant impact on health care in the Greater Lehigh Valley through medical expertise, innovative approaches, management skills, community outreach, and patient care.
As program director, Sheila ensures that clients in the business community get the occupational health services they need and that clients and patients are satisfied with what they receive. This involves thousands of patient visits and other services annually. Her involvement is critical to the qualification of many individuals in meeting physical functions of employment. Dinan describes occupational medicine as ” the most wide-ranging of all medical specialties.”
Most recently, Dinan successfully led the implementation of an Electronic Medical Record system for the occupational medicine program, while continuing to manage the one already in place. At the same time, she assisted with operations of occupational medicine programs at other hospital sites outside of the Lehigh Valley, all of which have benefited from her expertise. In all her activities and responsibilities, Dinan demonstrates humility and kindness – two qualities that are exceptional in leadership.
Valley Preferred Associate Medical Director Kevin McNeill, MD, was also a winner in the 2019 Healthcare Heroes Award program. Dr. McNeill has spearheaded efforts across the region to educate providers and prioritize methods that mitigate the epidemic of opioid abuse in our Lehigh Valley and neighboring populations.
Primary care physicians (PCPs) are on the front lines of the opioid epidemic and often manage chronic pain. Dr. McNeill and colleague Gillian Beauchamp, MD, initiated a stewardship committee in 2017 with the mission of “safe and effective use of opioids for chronic pain across the Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) enterprise.” Committee members disseminate education to health care providers, take part in community outreach, and monitor progress among providers as they implement protocols and workflows on chronic pain throughout LVHN.
The work of the stewardship committee includes development of a dashboard to follow metrics on opioid prescribing, based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. Tracking data on opioid prescribing and sharing via the use of a dashboard allows providers to gauge progress. Targeted outreach to 10 family medicine offices contributed to these results:
- Opioid prescriptions fell by approximately 25%
- Co-prescribing with benzodiazepines and/or muscle relaxants decreased
- Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) utilization rose by over 80%
- The average morphine equivalent daily dose (MEDD) has remained below 50
Healthcare Hero award winners were featured in a special section in Lehigh Valley Business on June 25, 2019.
Synthetic opioids are currently the main driver of drug overdose deaths. Opioids were involved in 67.8 percent of all overdose deaths in 2017, and the states with the highest rates of death were West Virginia (57.8 per 100,000), Ohio (46.3 per 100,000), and Pennsylvania (44.3 per 100,000).
ABOUT VALLEY PREFERRED
Valley Preferred is a preferred provider organization formed in 1993 by Lehigh Valley Health Network and the Greater Lehigh Valley Independent Practice Association, Inc. Valley Preferred is dedicated to Achieving Clinical Excellence® through the development and implementation of innovative programs to improve health care delivery and value in the community. Valley Preferred is dedicated to the goals of the Quadruple Aim: improving health care quality, affordability and effectiveness, while also prioritizing the well-being of clinicians. For more information, visit valleypreferred.com