Wentworth-Douglas win award, Women in Medicine event: Seacoast health news

Portsmouth Herald

Wentworth-Douglass Hospital wins Patient Experience Award for 11th consecutive year

Wentworth-Douglass Hospital

DOVER – For the 11th consecutive year, Wentworth-Douglass Hospital has been named among the best hospitals in the nation for patient experience, according to an announcement released Tuesday by Healthgrades, a healthcare data company.

The award, which is given to those ranked among the top 15% of eligible U.S. hospitals, celebrates hospitals delivering best-in-class patient experiences.

Wentworth-Douglass was the only hospital honored with the 2024 award on the Seacoast, and one of just two in the state.

"The consistency of this honor underscores our relentless pursuit to distinguish Wentworth-Douglass in our mission of patient-centered care,” said Darin Roark, president and chief operating officer. “It speaks volumes about our team's steadfast dedication to delivering compassionate and top-notch care

For the annual analysis, Healthgrades evaluated Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) patient survey data for ten patient experience measures to identify the institutions displaying an unwavering commitment to prioritizing positive patient experience during a short-term, acute care visit. There were just 388 award recipients.

The company also awarded Wentworth-Douglass an award for excellent in pulmonary care, for “superior clinical outcomes in treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pneumonia.” And found that 81% of patients would “definitely recommend” Wentworth-Douglass, 11% higher than the national average.

“As consumers take a more hands-on approach to their healthcare journeys, hospital quality should be a top consideration when choosing where to receive care,” said Dr. Brad Bowman, chief medical officer and head of data science at Healthgrades in a news release. “With this information, consumers can feel confident they’re making the most informed decisions about their healthcare.”

Healthgrades’ ratings are publicly available on their website:

Access Sports Medicine & Orthopaedics to host Women in Medicine event

Access Sports Medicine & Orthopaedics will host a Women in Medicine event on March 27, 2024.

EXETER — Access Sports Medicine & Orthopaedics announced a special event, "Women in Sports Medicine and Orthopaedics," to be held on March 27 at 6:30 p.m. at 1 Hampton Road, Exeter.

This unique event offers an opportunity for students and anyone in the community interested in healthcare to learn about the inspiring journeys of Access Sports Medicine’s female professionals and leaders in the field. The celebration will feature speakers including Dr. Chelsea Backer, Dr. Deborah Pacik, PA-C Ainsley Petroski, Dr. Jane Yoon, and Director of Rehab Christie Traver PT.

Speakers will share their personal stories, discussing the paths that led them to become healers and leaders in sports medicine and orthopaedics. Attendees can expect to gain valuable insights into the daily responsibilities, challenges, and triumphs of professionals in these fields. They will also learn about the educational and experiential pathways to a successful career in sports medicine and orthopaedics.

Importantly, the event will also highlight the impact of women in sports medicine and orthopaedics on the field and beyond, underlining the importance of female leadership in healthcare.

"Women in Sports Medicine and Orthopaedics" is an event for everyone - whether you're a student aspiring to a career in medicine or simply curious about the healthcare profession. This event promises to provide valuable insights and inspiration. Join Access as they celebrate the accomplishments of women in medicine and learn from the experiences of their staff.

Measles cases on the rise: Dartmouth Health Children’s pediatrician urges vaccination

LEBANON – Measles cases are surging in various parts of the world, highlighting the critical importance of measles vaccinations. The highly contagious virus is primarily transmitted through coughing and sneezing, causing symptoms such as fever, runny nose, and a distinctive red-brown rash. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics emphasizes that one dose of the MMR vaccine provides protection to approximately 95 out of every 100 individuals, while two doses offer even higher protection, ranging from 97 to 99 out of every 100 people.

Experts attribute the recent increase in measles cases abroad to the significant number of unvaccinated individuals and the highly contagious nature of the disease, which ranks among the most infectious diseases globally. The World Health Organization (WHO) reported 941 measles cases in the WHO European Region in 2022. Shockingly, this number skyrocketed to over 42,000 by the end of December 2023, as stated in the mid-December bulletin.

“The recent rise in measles cases abroad is concerning,” said Dartmouth Hitchcock Clinics Manchester pediatrician Jaisal K. Pragani, MD. “Measles vaccination rates have dropped across the world since the start of the pandemic and we are seeing the effects of that in some countries among the unvaccinated. To me, this uptick in cases underscores the importance of getting your children vaccinated no matter where you are.”

The United Kingdom has been sounding warning bells concerning the rise in measles cases, with over 300 reported between October and January. The Health Security Agency warns that the virus poses a significant risk of further spreading among the unvaccinated population. Researchers in the UK attribute this surge to a low uptake of the measles vaccine, as recent data from the National Health Service (NHS) reveals that only about 85% of children in England received the recommended two MMR vaccine doses by the age of 5. This falls below the WHO's recommended vaccination rate of at least 95% to achieve herd immunity, which substantially reduces disease transmission.

While the United States has been relatively unaffected by the global measles outbreak, recent isolated outbreaks among unvaccinated individuals in some states have raised concerns among medical experts. Between December 1, 2023, and January 23, 2024, there were 23 confirmed cases of measles in the country. Alarming trends in vaccination rates have been observed, as the national MMR vaccination rate among kindergarten students fell below the Healthy People 2030 target of 95% for the second consecutive year. In 2021 through 2022, approximately 93% of kindergarteners received all state-required vaccines, including MMR, DTaP, and varicella, marking the lowest reported MMR rate in nearly a decade. Consequently, around 250,000 school children remain unvaccinated and vulnerable to measles.

Specifically, New Hampshire and Vermont have fallen below the national MMR vaccination average, with rates of 88.7% and 93.4%, respectively, according to CDC data compiled by the independent research organization KFF. Both states have yet to meet the Healthy People target.

“We have seen drops in vaccination rates in New Hampshire as well,” notes Pragani, pointing to a report by the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services suggesting that many children and adults fell behind on receiving recommended routine vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“All this is not to say that the US will experience what is happening in England or elsewhere where cases may be more concentrated due to population density of unvaccinated people,” said Pragani. “But as a pediatrician, my message has not changed. Get your children vaccinated.”

While the situation demands attention, it is crucial not to panic, especially if your children have been vaccinated. The American Academy of Pediatrics highlights that a high fever accompanied by a red or brownish blotchy rash is the most recognizable symptom of measles, although other symptoms such as cough, runny nose, fever, and red, watery eyes may precede the rash. For more information on protecting your children during a measles outbreak, refer to the resources provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics.