better biopsies | New robotic technology is helping physicians at Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine in the fight against lung cancer. The institutions are the first in Missouri to acquire the Ion by Intuitive, a minimally invasive surgical platform that can be used to obtain tissue biopsies in previously hard-to-reach areas of the lung. “This robotic technology allows us to safely and precisely reach lesions not previously accessible before and will enable us to obtain tissue samples and diagnose lung cancers at earlier stages,” says Washington University pulmonologist Dr. Nathaniel Moulton. “It’s a big step forward for our lung cancer program.”

ethics & pediatrics
Saint Louis University hosted a symposium on pediatric ethics called “Best Interests and Beyond: Standards of Decision Making in Pediatrics.” During the three day event, 17 scholars debated the question of what moral precepts ought to guide parents in clinicians in medical decision-making for children. The discussions led to six recommendations for pediatric decision-making. “With these recommendations, we hope that pediatric providers feel better equipped to engage in decision-making with parents and patients, especially when there may be disagreement,” says Erica K. Salter, Ph.D., associate professor of health care ethics and pediatrics at Saint Louis University. “It can be very distressing when providers and parents disagree about what treatment option is best for a given child, but differences of opinion are not uncommon and should sometimes be expected.”

behavioral health care access
Mercy is working to get to the root of behavioral health care challenges. Using a model called Collaborative Care Management, it is working with a company called Concert Health to provide behavioral health care to patients in a primary care setting. “Instead of a referral out, it brings behavioral health experts into the existing relationship between the patient and their primary care provider,” says Patty Morrow, vice president of behavioral health operations for Mercy. “Concert Health provides behavioral health managers to patients via virtual and telephone visits, while a consultative psychiatrist supports the primary care physician in the diagnosis and treatment of various mental health conditions.” The program was piloted in Joplin, Missouri, and is planned to be implemented in all Mercy locations by the end of the year.

excellence in wound care
Congratulations to The Wound Care & Hyperbaric Center at SSM Health St. Joseph Hospital. It was the recipient of RestorixHealths’s Wound Center of Excellence Award, which recognizes organizations that have demonstrated exceptional success by meeting or exceeding clinical and operational benchmarks in several categories, including healing and adherence to clinical practice pathways, along with a patient satisfaction rate of 96% or higher. “This achievement reaffirms our mission to improve the health and quality of life for those in our community with wounds,” said Dr. Chris Wangard, the hospital’s chief medical officer. “We are proud to be recognized for the outstanding care that The Wound Care & Hyperbaric Center staff provides its patients every day.”