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Staff Newsletter – August

East Texas Football Season is here!


Azalea Orthopedics

Message from the CEO

The dirt work for The Center at Grande is well underway. By the time this newsletter is published we should have the building pad in place. The contractor says we should “go vertical” within two months. We have received a lot of interest in the project from area physicians and hospitals with many of them already committed to participation.

The expansion of our DME program is going well as we continue to tweak the workflows. I want to thank everyone involved in this project. We plan to eventually have a full-service DME department, including retail so the infrastructure currently being developed is critical.
We have also been looking at laboratory and pharmacy services. Both seem to make sense for us, especially lab because of the volume we do currently. Right now we don’t have enough volume to really have pharmacy make sense but when our SNF opens that could change.

Our Golden Road building is showing its age, particularly the top two floors, so we put in place about two years ago a phased approach to addressing it. Initially we addressed flooring including carpeting and bathroom floor tiles. We will soon have completed the replacement of exam and lobby chairs on the Main Level. Once John has done that he will be presenting a plan for the next phase of upgrades.

Our research program continues to grow and BPCI remains one of the top programs in the country. I want to thank everyone involved with those programs for your dedication and hard work.
Some of you may have heard that Medicare is in the process of changing our reimbursement methodology. In the coming months you will start to hear acronyms such as MACRA, MIPS and APM’s and it will all be very confusing initially. But, this is the next step in the process to move our healthcare system away from fee-for-service to value-based payments. PQRS and Meaningful Use will continue to be key components in the new payment methodology and we have already demonstrated success in them so, while they will change somewhat, we should be able to adapt quickly. As a team we have always been able to successfully handle anything Medicare has thrown at us and I am confident that this will be no different

Thank you all for taking great care of our patients.


Look for our new Palestine Clinic Opening!

The new Azalea Palestine Clinic is opening in early November. We are excited to open this new clinic building so Dr. Wupperman, Dr. Huffman, Dr. McNeil, Dr. Merrick and the rest of the fantastic Palestine staff can continue to help take excellent care of our patients.

Dr. McNeil’s New Exercise Videos

Stretching is extremely vital in patients’ recovery and well-being. Dr. McNeil has put together the first of many videos that explain exactly how to perform stretches at home. Dr. McNeil’s first video covers stretches that help prevent back pain. The video will be available soon and aims to increase the rate of success for patients’ at home stretching. Azalea’s goal is to create more physician videos for staff members to direct patients to for help with at home recovery.

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Materials Management

D&S solutions inventory control system is up and running in all of Azalea’s pods and location. Please remember to write down the patient’s MRN on the sticker sheet. This MRN will be used to track DME items through the billing and reimbursement process. Gone are the days of running down to the supply room for missing braces. Thank you so much for your help and understanding during the transition period.

Just a reminder, We don’t have a routine daily FedEx pickup. If you have packages to go out with FedEx, make sure you call them and ask for a pickup before you take it to the Garden level check-in. UPS picks up daily so no call is necessary. Please check back on your packages to make sure they were picked up. The check-in staff is not responsible for your package.

John Stanford, Director of Materials Management




Kelsey Blackmon | 3

Angela Brewer | 10

Shelley Spence | 14

Sheila Courson | 15

Ruth Monge | 18

Toni Vivien | 20

John Stanford | 21

Angela Ball | 24

Sheila Peterson | 26

Debbie Waldrop | 26

Lacy Tippett | 30


Keesha Bird | 3

Gloria Sikora | 6

Valerie Dinger | 8

Shanna Gorkmen | 8

Vicky Epperson | 10

Eneida Ramirez | 18

Janet Lopez | 21

Kristina Halbrooks | 24

Melissa Epperson | 29

Emily Aree | 30

Heidi Ebert | 30

Thank you for helping our patients be ‘Good to Go!’






Congratulations Ashley Berryhill!

Learn more about Ashley:

1. What position do you hold here at Azalea?
Check in, check out, scheduling and help with MA duties with Toby.

2. How long have you been in this position?
I have worked in Orthopedics for 7 years now, but with Azalea just two.

3. What’s the best part of your job?
I would say the best part about my job is the people I work with and getting to meet new people everyday. Also, there is a new challenge everyday.

4. What are the goals for yourself here at Azalea?
To help Azalea’s Mount Pleasant clinic grow within the community and provide a positive patient experience from start to finish.

Thank you Ashley Berryhill for always being #GoodToGo!

Azalea Customer Service Committee

Thank you everyone for participating in the Customer Service Committee’s 10/20 campaign this summer. Since the start of this endeavor our Press Ganey scores have increased! We would like to congratulate the entire clinic on this improvement, and let you know that we all appreciate the work you have put in towards this. We would like to also congratulate all of our ticket winners and hope they have enjoyed their prizes! For those that may not have won a prize however, do not worry! The Customer Service Committee is working on new ideas and campaigns that will offer more opportunities to win more great prizes! Also, we would like to offer a huge thanks to all the doctors who donated the money used for the prizes. Without them, none of this would have been possible and we greatly appreciate it!!! Everyone keep up the good work and we look forward to presenting new campaign ideas and games for the whole clinic to enjoy!


Azalea Customer Service Committee

On the Road with Chase

I had the Mazor S/I joint fusion surgery. My surgery went perfect. James and Dr. Raabe’s staff was excellent they went above and beyond to take excellent care of all my needs.

— Barbara Lambert, Dr. Raabe Patient, Winnsboro TX

Thank you for stopping by and visiting with us last week! Just wanted to let you know that Anthony in scheduling has been very helpful to us this week with settling a worker’s comp issue with an adjuster. I don’t know if you would be the right person to pass that on to but he is doing an awesome job! Thank you all for your help and we look forward to seeing you in the future.
— Candace Spain, RT(R), Team Lead at Urgent Doc, Nacogdoches, TX