Michael Fischer, M.D., MPH & TM has worked for the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) for over 6 years in the Infectious Disease Control Unit (IDCU) and in October of 2017, he took-on the role of Antibiotic Stewardship Expert for the Health Care Safety Group of the Infectious Disease Control Unit at Tx-DSHS.
“The biggest predictor has been leadership.”
Prior to taking on this role, Michael served Texas as the epidemiologist and subject matter expert for prion disease surveillance. Additionally, Michael has also served as a medical epidemiologist, during outbreaks involving high consequence pathogens (West Africa Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in 2014) or events with elevated public concern (travel-related Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS-CoV)), providing consults to physicians, infection control practitioners, and healthcare facilities on appropriateness of testing, test results, prevention and control measures, and mechanisms of disease transmission.
As the Antibiotic Stewardship Expert, Dr. Fischer's primary role is to promote the implementation and enhancement of antibiotic stewardship programs in Texas across all healthcare settings.
Today we’re having a conversation with Andrea Wendling, M.D., Professor of Family Medicine and Director of Rural Medicine Curriculum at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine.
“Today’s medical students often say, “I want to care for a community. Teach me how to do that.” I think that’s really exciting.”
Dr. Wendling completed medical school at the University of Michigan and residency training at Michigan State University’s Grand Rapids Family Medicine Residency Program. After residency, she was an Assistant Director for the residency until 2003, when she moved to Northern Michigan to practice rural medicine.
Dr. Wendling is Director of the Rural Community Health Program, a rural training program for MSU-CHM medical students, and the Rural Premedical Internship Program, a pipeline program for undergraduate students interested in rural medicine.
She has received many teaching awards including MSU-CHM’s Arnold P. Gold Humanism Award, Outstanding Community Volunteer Faculty Award, and most recently, the Rural Professional of the Year Award from the Michigan Center for Rural Health.
Dr. Wendling has served on the editorial board for the Family Medicine journal since 2004, including Editor of the Dedicated Issue on Rural Health (2010), and Assistant Editor for the journal since 2013. She is also a founding Associate Editor of Peer-Reviewed Reports in Medical Education and Research (PRIMER). She participates on rural workforce research groups for the National Rural Health Association (NRHA) and Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and has presented and published in the areas of medical education and the rural health workforce.
Dr. Wendling lives in rural Northern Michigan, with her husband and four wonderful kids. When her family is not having adventures traveling the world they can be found playing bluegrass music, camping, or skiing and snowmobiling around Northern Michigan.
Today we’re having a conversation with Nicole Thorell, MSN, CEN, Chief Nursing Officer at Lexington Regional Health Center in Lexington, Nebraska. Nicole has been at Lexington Regional for ten years, and has been Chief Nursing Officer for four years. Prior to becoming the CNO, Nicole was a staff nurse and Director of Nursing Quality.
“The secret sauce is really the transition care team.”
Lexington Regional Health Center was able to reduce readmissions by over 80%. Nicole was one of the key players to accomplish this along with Leslie Marsh, CEO, and Dana Steiner the Chief Nursing Officer prior to Nicole being in that position. Nicole was the data collector at the beginning and the first Transitional Care Director really got a great foundation of where hospital needed to go. Current Director of Transitional Care, Brittany Hueftle, is now taking the program beyond what was thought to be possible.
Nicole received her diploma in nursing from Bryan College of Health Sciences, and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Masters of Science in Nursing from Kaplan University.
Today we’re having a conversation with Kelly McGrath, MD, MS, Chief Medical Officer at Clearwater Valley hospital and Clinics where he has served as a rural Family Medicine physician for 24 years. He is also the Idaho Medical Director for Qualis Health – the Medicare Quality Improvement Organization.
“I’ve gone from being a doubting Thomas to a true believer.”
Dr. McGrath is a graduate of the University of Washington Medical School and the Ventura County Family Medicine Residency program.
Prior to his career in medicine, Dr. McGrath worked as a research chemical engineer where he developed a strong interest in process improvement and system optimization. That previous experience continues to drive his interest in healthcare quality in his current capacity as Idaho Medical Director of Qualis Health and Chief Medical Officer at Clearwater Valley Hospital and Clinics.