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November 2011

Tell Blue Cross: 'I want to keep my doctor'

If you have Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance, you should know the insurer is trying to limit your access to the high-quality, affordable care from the Southcoast doctors you have come to rely on.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts recently walked away from negotiations with New England Quality Care Alliance (NEQCA), which is affiliated with Tufts Medical Center and includes Southcoast Physicians Network, which consists of some 200 physicians with direct affiliation with Southcoast Health System.

The NEQCA physicians, along with Tufts Medical Center and Floating Hospital for Children, have been in good faith negotiations with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts for four months. And we want to get back to the table.

Your local Southcoast Physicians Network physicians provide outstanding patient care at very reasonable prices. Despite this, Blue Cross has refused to reach a fair agreement with your local physicians.

If BCBS will not reach agreement with us by January 17, 2012, they would not allow patients to see Southcoast Physicians Network doctors.

It is important that Blue Cross hear from as many concerned members as possible, so they know how important your doctor is to you. You can call 800-262-2583 or email Thank you for your support.

Run with Santa, benefit Southcoast!

Join hundreds of other Santas as they bring cheer to New Bedford — and benefit Southcoast Hospitals and other local charities!

Be part of the first-ever Santa Sightings 5K fun run on Saturday, December 10, starting at 11 a.m. in New Bedford.

Meet two-time Olympian and Boston Marathon champion Geoff Smith and have fun running or walking through New Bedford and over the Fairhaven Bridge.

Festivities include a raffle of 100 T-shirts and goodie bags for all runners. Registration is $35 and includes a Santa suit.

Free vascular screenings

Southcoast Hospitals Group is offering free vascular screenings through December 2.

  • November 17: Fairhaven.
  • November 21: Wareham.
  • November 30: Dartmouth.
  • December 1: Fairhaven.
  • December 2: Fall River.

For more information on Southcoast's endovascular services call 800-276-0103.

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Southcoast to go 100% smoke & tobacco free

On January 1, 2012, all Southcoast facilities will be 100 percent smoke and tobacco free.

The goal of the program is to create a healing environment for patients and to take a leadership role in the community as the region's largest health care provider and employer.

The new policy will prohibit smoking and the use of all tobacco products on all Southcoast properties and adjacent grounds, including all three Southcoast Hospitals sites — Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River, St. Luke's Hospital in New Bedford and Tobey Hospital in Wareham. The new policy will apply to all patients, visitors, employees and anyone providing or receiving services at a Southcoast facility.

"As the region's health care leader, its largest employer and a strong community member, Southcoast is committed to providing a safe, healthy environment for patients, employees and visitors and to serve as a model of health promotion in our communities," said Keith A. Hovan, President & CEO of Southcoast Health System and Southcoast Hospitals Group. "We have a significant responsibility to provide a safe, healthy and positive patient experience at Southcoast. By becoming smoke and tobacco free, we are furthering this goal while maintaining our community leadership role as the source for health, healing and education."

Read more about Southcoast's new 100 percent smoke and tobacco free initiative.

Charlton Trusts pledges $2 million to Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care

Earle P. "Chuck" Charlton II (center) recently announced a $2 million pledge from the Charlton Charitable Trusts to benefit the campaign for Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care.

The pledge continues the Charlton Trusts' long legacy of giving to Southcoast Hospitals Group and honors Ruth Charlton Mitchell by naming the Fall River site of Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care, located on the campus of Charlton Memorial Hospital, in her memory.

"Part of the intent of the Trustees of the Charlton Charitable Trusts is to help ensure the people of southeastern Massachusetts have what they need," said Charlton, who is also a trustee emeritus of Southcoast Health System and Southcoast Hospitals Group. "We chose to make this pledge to the Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care because, as part of Southcoast Health System, the centers provide essential services to the area."

The pledge from the Charlton Trusts brings the Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care Campaign to $12.6 million funds raised with a goal of raising $15 million for the two centers.

"This generous gift to the Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care from the Charlton Charitable Trusts once again demonstrates the Charlton family's support for Southcoast as the leading provider of health care in the region," said Keith A. Hovan, President & CEO of Southcoast Health System and Southcoast Hospitals Group. "This truly allows Southcoast to continue to bring the best possible cancer care and technology to the entire region. We are so thankful to Mr. Charlton for supporting us in this endeavor."

Southcoast's chefs are 'best of the best'

Southcoast's chefs will make you forget everything you ever thought about hospital food.

Southcoast's Food & Nutrition team took first place in the "Best of the Best" Culinary Competition at the Massachusetts Health Council's annual gala held at the Seaport Boston Hotel.

The competition took place during the event's cocktail reception where 11 executive chefs from the health care and hospital industry, along with their teams, "out dished" each other by creating signature appetizers to be titled the "Best Chef in the Health Care Industry."

Southcoast's team won with a dish of rare beef tenderloin rubbed with coffee and chili powder over a poached pear on a whole wheat baguette brushed with truffle oil, topped with micro greens, crispy pancetta and a gorgonzola cream.

"When we first heard about the event there was only one goal we had in mind — to win the competition," said Michael Cogliandro, Manager of Southcoast's Food & Nutrition department. "There was so much talent in the competition. We knew that we had an ambitious goal, but our team put our minds together and put a great product on the plate. We made it happen."

Southcoast VNA opens community offices across the region

Southcoast Visiting Nurse Association, known in the community as Southcoast VNA, has opened community offices in Fall River and Portsmouth, R.I.

With its main office located at the South Coast Business Center at 200 Mill Road in Fairhaven and an existing community office located at 244 North Main Street in Raynham, the two new community offices will provide Southcoast VNA with additional support throughout its existing service area.

The new Southcoast VNA community office locations are:

  • 1822 North Main Street, Fall River.
  • Linden Tree Family Health Center, 2444 East Main Road, Portsmouth, R.I.

"For more than 100 years, Southcoast VNA has helped people of all ages recover or live with illness or injury through the provision of compassionate and personalized care, wherever they call home," said Sharon Jones, President & CEO of Southcoast VNA. "Our new community offices will allow our dedicated team of registered and licensed professionals to better serve our communities throughout the entire South Coast region."

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