Four UTHCT employees achieve distinction

Monday, April 9, 2007

Four employees at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler recently achieved noteworthy accomplishments in their respective fields.

They are Vice President for Patient Care Operations and Chief Nursing Officer Kleanthe Caruso, RN, MS; Vice President and University Counsel Dr. Patricia Blair, Ph.D., JD, RN; Sandra Fly, RN, director of Quality Services; and Tony Hill, RN, MS, MBA, director of Environmental Health and Safety, Operations, and Biomedical Engineering.

Caruso and Dr. Blair were part of the volunteer work group that assembled and edited the American Nurses Association’s 2007 edition of “Corrections Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice.” This book outlines the essentials of this nursing specialty, its activities, and accountabilities.

Caruso, who joined UTHSCT in June 2005, chaired the work group under the auspices of the ANA, which published the book. She is certified in advanced nursing administration by the ANA.

Dr. Blair, who joined UTHSCT in November 2004, has about 30 years’ experience in clinical nursing and nursing education. She has been a health law attorney for 15 years and has been involved in legal and ethical issues concerning correctional health research involving nurses.

Fly recently organized a regional chapter of the Texas Association for Healthcare Quality. Its mission is to promote excellence and professionalism in health care through the advancement of theory, policy, and practice of quality.

She started the chapter, called the East Texas Association of Healthcare Quality, after recently joining the statewide organization. About 35 members from hospitals within a 100-mile radius of Tyler have joined ETAHQ. Fly, who is a certified professional in health care quality, came to UTHSCT in October 2004.

Hill was elected to the board of directors of the Texas Association of Healthcare Facilities Management. His two-year term began April 1, and he will be one of nine board members, each from a different Texas region.

TAHFM is the state chapter of the American Society of Hospital Engineering. The purpose of both organizations is to help improve facilities management in health care. Hill, who is a certified healthcare safety professional and a certified safety professional, joined UTHSCT in January 2006.

Hill and Fly recently were recognized for a patient safety skit they wrote, called “Room of Horrors.” The skit was included in the second edition of the book “Ready, Set, Patient Safety!” published by HC Pro, Inc., an international health care publishing company.

The skit has been presented as part of UTHSCT’s patient safety curriculum, and it has been recognized across the nation as a valuable tool for training health care workers in patient safety.

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