These are just some of Baystate Health's achievements in 2020 to improve the health of the people in our communities every day, with quality and compassion.
Baystate Health Recognized for Quality of Care
In 2020, we earned many national recognitions including awards and distinctions from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, the American Nurses Credentialing Center, and others. Watch special video on Baystates Medical Center's prestigious fourth nursing Magnet designation.
Collaboration to Establish COVID-19 Testing Sites Recognized for Excellence Award
The Nimble Response in a Pandemic: Establishing Ambulatory Testing Sites for COVID-19 team won the 2020 Baystate Health President's Excellence Award. This interdepartmental collaboration included Baystate Medical Center, Baystate Reference Laboratories, Supply Chain and Materials, Purchasing, Security, and other Baystate Health teams. Testing was initiated in a phased approach, starting with one site and then expanded to five community testing sites encompassing all Baystate Health regions to include patients, employees, and first responders with the ability to test >600 patients per day, seven days a week.
patients per day, seven days a week
Baystate Children’s Hospital Team Members Supported Care Where it was Needed Most
In 2020, given the high number of critically ill adult COVID-19 patients in units across the hospital, the need for additional hands in those areas was at an unprecedented high. Many caregivers in the pediatric areas (as well as in other areas throughout the organization) were redeployed to different areas within the hospital to help alleviate the stress and burden of care. Baystate Children’s Hospital nurses were also some of the first to staff the new "COVID-19 Employee Hotline," working diligently to answer questions and make appointments. The Child Life Specialist team was also essential, comforting and supporting both patients and staff.
New Palliative Care Program
Baystate Home Health & Hospice launched a community wide palliative care program to help initiate earlier conversations with patients and families about advanced directives and other end-of-life issues. During the pandemic, work by the palliative care team, primary care, I&T and care management led to enhanced clarity around advanced directives across the system, resulting in a 16% increase in documented plans within the electronic health record.
Baystate Doctors Were Among First in the U.S. to Use New Protocols
Baystate surgeons and anesthesiologists were among the first in America to adopt a new set of protocols for post-operative care called Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS). Initially developed in Europe, these approaches encourage patients to optimize themselves before surgery (with specific health measures including but not limited to exercise, healthy eating, pre-surgical cleansing and education of the surgical process start to finish), as well as standard preparation before and during surgery utilizing evidenced-based care when in the operating room (Surgical Site Infection Prevention techniques), and best practices after surgery (like walking, using an incentive Spirometer, and different types of pain control techniques to decrease complications which improve patient satisfaction as well as improve patient outcomes). Learn more about surgical care at Baystate Health.
Building and Environmentally Conscious Organization
In 2020, approximately 75% of Baystate Medical Center’s electrical power needs were met by our on-site cogeneration plant. To continue efforts to build an environmentally conscience healthcare organization, Baystate Health’s Facilities team has begun to track the organization’s waste streams and consumption of commodities. Partnering with Practice Greenhealth, they determined additional opportunities to reduce our consumption of fuel, water, electricity, and greenhouse gas emissions as well as our trash, medical, and recyclable waste streams. Based on this commitment, Baystate Health received a Practice Greenhealth Partner for Change Award in 2020 for significant achievement in building a more environmentally sustainable organization.
of electrical power needs at Baystate Medical Center met by our on-site cogeneration plant.
Infection Reductions Work Resulted in State Innovation Award
A multidisciplinary effort in the Neonatal ICU to achieve common awareness of infection reduction strategies among staff and families alike was awarded a statewide innovation award by the MA Association of Practitioners of Infection Control. In addition, work to reduce Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections (CLABSI) resulted in the Heart & Vascular Service Line going over 500 days without an event, with Baystate Children’s Hospital and the Inpatient Adult Oncology Units showing marked improvements as well. The Obstetrical Units also achieved marked reductions in surgical wound infections following hysterectomy through standardized procedures.
days without an event.
Interpreters Bridged the Language Gap
In 2020, and in spite of COVID, over 202,000 language interpreter sessions helped patients and families better understand their care. The department interpreted over 70 languages in person, over the phone, and via video, and translated more than 4,500 pages of patient-related information. To help battle COVID, prevention information was translated into various languages for neighbors that are fluent in languages other than English. Interpreter & Translation Services also worked with Baystate's Family Advocacy Center to translate a book into Spanish on how clinicians can help treat childhood and youth trauma. Less common languages interpreted for included Dinka, Farsi, Pashtu, and Tigrinya.
language interpreter sessions
New GetWell Network Elevated Patient Experience
An interactive patient platform called the GetWell Network was implemented both for inpatient televisions and remote devices. In addition to providing a wide variety of entertainment and educational options, the customized nature of the platform allows for proactive communication around care plans and wellness behaviors. The platform also allows survey questions related to self-monitoring and customized disease education and support. The GetWell app was adapted to monitor disease progression and quarantine for those at home with mild COVID-19 illness. So far, over 1,000 patients have been introduced to the application with 65% of patients enrolling. Of that group, over 90% engaged through survey and monitoring questions.
Award-Winning Care for Pregnant Women with Substance Use Disorder
The Birthplace at Baystate Franklin Medical Center (BFMC) continues to be recognized as a best practice statewide for the care of pregnant women needing support for substance use disorder (SUD) or other behavioral health issues. BFMC received a grant to support and extend its EMPOWER program, ensuring care coordination and mental health support for mothers in the outpatient setting following discharge. The grant helped establish a peer workforce at BFMC with a lived experience of SUD to serve as mentors for these new mothers. Watch a mother's emotional story about how the EMPOWER program helped her conquer her heroin addiction and give birth to a beautiful baby boy.
HNE was Top Performer in Customer Experience
Health New England (HNE) has been a perennial top performer in customer service and customer intimacy. A common measure of customer loyalty, called the Net Promoter Score (NPS), is calculated from the “Would you recommend…?” question, which is scored 1-10 on standard surveys. NPS is obtained by subtracting the percentage of 1-6 scores from the percentage of 9-10 scores, so values can range from -100 to +100. This year’s NPS for HNE was 58, up from 52 last year and greatly ahead of the industry average of 19. HNE continued its work on customer experience this year by conducting a number of journey mapping exercises and establishing an on-line listening post called "Voice of the Customer."
New COVID-19 Related Clinical Trial Launched
COVACTA trial of tocilizumab, a treatment for COVID-19 related pneumonia began at Baystate Health on April 6, 2020 and recruited participants through May 2020. A total of 14 patients were enrolled at Baystate. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the medication tocilizumab for adult patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia. Study participants were given an infusion of either tocilizumab or a placebo infusion in addition to their standard medicine that was routinely provided for COVID-19 care. The patients were monitored for symptoms through laboratory findings and X-rays to determine whether the study drug helped improve their condition. An analysis of results found that COVACTA did not meet the primary endpoint of improved clinical status in patients with COVID 19 associated pneumonia or the secondary endpoint of reduced patient mortality.
PURCH Students Create Volunteer Corps
Last winter, Baystate Health’s Population-Based Urban & Rural Community Health (PURCH) medical students wanted to help in any way that they could with community needs that came to light - or were exacerbated by - the COVID pandemic. They took the lead in creating the Student Volunteer Corps (SVC) at Baystate Health. The projects undertaken by the SVC are driven by community needs, not by student needs, and included COVID-19 tracking, supporting isolated elders, read-alouds for children and community gardening.
Baystate Health Awarded a $1M CDN grant by TD Bank to fund the Wellness on Wheels mobile health clinic (WOW Bus)
The WOW Bus is a 40-foot bus custom-built with fully-outfitted medical exam rooms, nurses' station, education area, and a wheelchair lift. It will travel to neighborhoods in the Springfield area providing low-cost or free screenings, health education, and counseling. The WOW Bus is expected to hit the road in May 2021 but in the meantime, when the pandemic struck, the WOW Bus team delivered COVID-19 services for their communities in 2020. They—along with volunteers from four community organizations, and medical, pharmacy, and social work students—set up pop-up sites in five neighborhoods and tested 460 community members for COVID-19.
Research at Baystate Improved Care
Faculty from the University of Massachusetts Medical School-Baystate published 271 peer-reviewed articles in 2020, acquiring and disseminating new knowledge to a broad audience. These original research findings will improve the care we deliver to patients.
155 Nurses Graduated from Nurse Residency Program
In 2020, 155 nurses graduated from the Baystate Health Nurse Residency Program. The program is a one-year program for registered nurses with less than 12 months experience, offering practice-based experience, in-depth learning, and ongoing professional development. Baystate Health’s Nurse Residency Program was Accredited with Distinction, the highest recognition awarded, as a Practice Transition Program by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) Commission on Accreditation. The program is one of 27 in the state of Massachusetts and 183 nationally to receive ANCC accreditation.
nurses graduated from Baystate Health Nurse Residency Program.
Future Healthcare Providers Received Comprehensive Training
A recognized leader in educational innovation, Baystate Health has been training doctors since 1914. In 2020, 379 residents and fellows in 10 residency and 21 fellowship programs trained at Baystate. In addition, Baystate provided training to over 175 medical students completing clerkships and electives in various specialties, over 650 nursing students and over 200 allied health students from local colleges and universities who completed clinical training as part of their associate, baccalaureate, master’s and post-doctoral work. In 2020, over 370 residents and fellows in 10 residency and 21 fellowship programs trained at Baystate.
Midwifery Education Program Graduates Continued to Excel
With a couple of pivots for COVID, the Baystate Midwifery Education Program was able to graduate a class of five in 2020, bringing the total graduates over 120 maintaining 100% American Midwifery Certification Board certification. The graduation of the class of 2021 will be delayed but is anticipated August 13, 2021. A full class was admitted in September. The Baystate Midwifery Education Program continues to support midwifery workforce in the region, with more than 30% of Certified Nurse-Midwives in practice in the greater Springfield area graduates of the Program.
BSEP Helped Students from the Community Pursue Education
In 2020, Baystate Springfield Educational Partnership (BSEP) rapidly transitioned its work to correspond with public health guidelines and Baystate Health policies. BSEP moved their Spring and Fall program cycles to a virtual platform and ran courses for 238 students, primarily residents of Springfield. During the summer, BSEP provided theme-based workshops for 47 students, coordinated 21 summer internships at Baystate Medical Center, and placed 3 students in work experiences. Overall, more than 125 former BSEP students have been hired as employees at Baystate Health. BSEP awarded a total of $25,000 in scholarships to 26 alumni of the program for undergraduate and graduate education. The ten-year total of scholarships awarded now exceeds $725,000. Watchalumni share how BSEP changed their lives.
BSEP scholarship funds awarded now exceed
Best Place to Work
Baystate Health Named a Top Massachusetts Employer by Forbes
Baystate Health again made the Forbes annual ranking of America’s best employers by state, among national organizations such as Johnson & Johnson, Amazon and Costco that have locations in Massachusetts. Selection for Best-In-State Employers was based on an independent national survey of more than 80,000 Americans working for companies with at least 500 employees. Respondents were asked to rate their employers on a variety of criteria and on how likely they would be to recommend their employer to others. There were 95 organizations in the Massachusetts ranking this year and Baystate Health was 37.
HNE Named Finalist for Commitment to Employee Health Award
Health New England (HNE) was named one of the 2020 finalists of the Healthiest Employers® of Massachusetts award, a nationally recognized awards program powered by the Springbuk Health Intelligence Platform. This recognition is for HNE’s outstanding commitment to employee health and exceptional corporate health programming.
Employees Donated Time Off to Colleagues in Need
Baystate Health employees donated 317 hours of their paid time off in 2020 to help colleagues in need of additional time off. Baystate Health's Paid Time-Off Leave Sharing Program allows team members to donate unused time to create a bank of time available to co-workers in need of additional time-off for medical or other reasons.
HNE Earned WELCOA Well Workplace Award
Health New England (HNE) received the Bronze Well Workplace Award from the Wellness Council of America (WELCOA) and was recognized as one of the nation’s healthiest companies in 2020 for its organizational commitment to health promotion. The WELCOA Well Workplace Award is designed to showcase organizations that are taking an impactful and innovative approach to workplace well-being.
Forgivable Loans Supported Nursing Education
In 2020, Baystate Health provided 33 nurses with forgivable nursing loans towards earning their ADN, BSN, master's, DNP, or PhD in nursing. The program was established in 2002 and to-date has supported nearly 615 RNs and student nurses providing more than $2,360,000 in forgivable loans.
2020: Employees Celebrated Each Other
Baystate Health's employees are recognized in numerous ways for their commitment to the mission and values of the organization. Meaningful recognitions come from patients and families, managers, and fellow employees. Through the Baystate Celebrates recognition program, more than 22,000 recognitions and celebrations of milestone years of service were awarded to employees and throughout the year, special appreciation events and celebrations were held virtually.
recognitions and celebrations of milestone years of service awarded to employees through the Baystate Celebrates program.
Baystate Neighbors Program Helped Employees Purchase their First Homes
As of 2020, 23 employees were awarded forgivable loans to purchase their first home through the Mark R. Tolosky Baystate Neighbors Program. This Baystate Health benefit provides forgivable loans to employees purchasing their first homes in the communities surrounding Baystate Health hospitals. To-date, the program has provided more than $2.2 million in forgivable home loans.
In the midst of the pandemic, Diversity & Inclusion thrived, offering many new initiatives to the organization. As an immediate response to the social unrest affecting our nation, the “Elevating Dignity Educational Series” was launched to advance understanding and learning related to race and injustice. Baystate Health’s first Structural Inclusion Committee was created, to help remove systemic barriers, ensure bias-free decision-making and purposefully build equity across the entire employee experience. In partnership with Government & Community Relations, the BH Community Response Team was created to focus on the Russian, Black/African American, LatinX and Immigrant Populations during the pandemic, resulting in a national webinar, “Religion & Culture and Its Impact on COVID-19.” These are just a few of the inaugural programs and policies that brought The American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) of Massachusetts to present Baystate Health with the Diversity Leader Award, which recognizes the hospital’s outstanding commitment to equality and humanity in the pursuit of healthcare excellence.
Community Members Named Baystate Health #1
For the fourth consecutive year, Baystate Medical Center has been recognized as "Best Local Hospital" in The Republican and MassLive's Reader Raves contest! In addition, Lucy Giuggio Carvalho, the Rays of Hope Founder, won as the first ever Best Community Hero. Founded in 1994, Rays of Hope has raised more than $15.7 million in support of breast cancer programs, research, services, and outreach and education efforts.
Family Presence and Staying Connected to Our Patients
Restricted by the pandemic, Baystate Health team members found innovative ways to connect with patients:
Virtual visits using "Jitsi Meets" on iPads helped in-patients and families stay in touch when no or few visitors were allowed.
Baystate Medical Practices (BMP) developed an approach to call patients during the initial phases of the pandemic to offer virtual visits and telehealth; provide assurance that cancelled procedures would be prioritized and rescheduled and to connect patients to their health teams and information via the patient portal.
Using a proactive outreach to the most medically vulnerable patients in our communities during the pandemic, six teams were tasked to gather information about food sources and transportation in high risk areas, assess the need for COVID-19 testing and more. Community leaders were engaged and mobile education and testing became a focus. Baystate is now embarking on a systematic approach to evaluate the impacts of this work and intends to disseminate the methods and findings as a template for others to follow.
Baystate Health Supported Local Schools and Teachers
Baystate Health employees donated gift cards for elementary schools and teachers in the Springfield, Greenfield, Westfield, Palmer, and Ware areas. Baystate's Community Benefits Program leveraged Baystate Health’s purchasing power to purchase $20,000 worth of school supplies that were donated across the four areas Baystate serves. Over 300 classrooms, 450 teachers/staff, and 5,000+ students benefited from the donations.
worth of school supplies donated to schools across the four areas Baystate Health serves, benefiting 5,000+ students.
Substance Use Disorder Prevention Efforts
The Baystate Noble Hospital Community Benefits Advisory Council (CBAC) awarded $62,500 in one-time grants (via a legislative earmark) to local community-based organizations with a focus on opioid and substance use disorder prevention and treatment in the Greater Westfield communities. A portion of the overall funding was used to enhance emergency department provider training to prescribe medication-assisted treatment (MAT), acquire tablets to amplify telehealth addiction consulting, and to purchase harm reduction kits and Narcan for the emergency department. Also, as part of the Hampden County Municipal First Responder Narcan initiative, a partnership between Baystate Health and Hampden County District Attorney’s Office, over 1,000 doses of free Narcan was distributed to 14 municipal police and fire departments.
Thousands of Diapers Provided to Families in Need
Baystate Health donated over 48,000 diapers collectively to United Way of Franklin County, Springfield Diaper Bank, and It Takes a Village in Westfield. Given the pandemic, these local organizations and the families served were especially grateful for Baystate Health’s ability to leverage purchasing power and provide large amounts of diapers to the community.
Virtual Toy Drives Brought Holiday Cheer During the Pandemic
Baystate Health hospitals held virtual holiday toy drives, inviting our employees to purchase and donate unwrapped toys, books, games, and other greatly needed items for children and families in our community. Beneficiary organizations included Baystate Community Health Centers at Mason Square, Brightwood and High Street, as well as Martin Luther King Jr. Family Services and New North Citizens' Council in Springfield, plus Community Action Pioneer Valley in Greenfield and Behavioral Health Network in Ware and Westfield.
Vans Drove Aid to Those in Need
In response to the need for increased community outreach, Baystate Health sponsored a 6-month rental of a cargo van for Martin Luther King, Jr. Family Services in Springfield to enable the expansion of their food pantry to make deliveries for homebound older adults. In addition, two cargo vans were also sponsored by Baystate Health for 6-months for Tapestry Health to enable the expansion of outreach (opioid/substance use) in Springfield, Holyoke, and Chicopee during COVID-19.