Northwest Hospital Alliance Conference on Navigating Patients Through Care Transitions and Improving Continuity of Care a Huge Success

Bringing together some of the best thinkers in health care transitions and patient centered care, the conference speakers and topics provided opportunity for attendees to explore how to connect and improve continuity across the continuum of care. “This continuity of care benefits our patients and helps us to improve the use of health care resources,” said one attendee.

Keynote speaker, Eric A. Coleman, MD, MPH, spent the first day of the conference with us teaching the multidisciplinary group of attendees how to use his nationally known “Coleman Model” of patient centered care transitions. The model is known as one of the best evidence based care transitions guidelines. Coleman’s credentials include: Professor of Medicine and Head of the Division of Health Care Policy and Research at the University of Colorado. He is the Director of the Care Transitions Program, and also serves as the Executive Director of the Practice Change Leaders.

Nationally acclaimed speaker, Allison Massari, was our keynote speaker on day two of the conference. Through her talk, “Transforming Patient Lives: The Art of Person Centered Care,” she shared her inspiring story of being burned alive in a car accident, and how the tender care of her nurses and care givers meant so much through her treatment and recovery.

Piri Ackerman Barger, from UC Davis spoke on Exploring Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Nursing and Nursing Education. In this talk Piri discussed aspects of culture and how it relates to perceptions and impacts care.

One participant exclaimed, “The entire content of this conference rivaled those I have traveled many miles to attend. All of the speakers brought unique and valuable information that can be integrated into daily work, improve patient experience and outcomes.”

Another said, “The level of speakers for this conference is impressive. Thank you for bringing this to our community. I appreciated all topics and learned that North Idaho is on the right path to better continuity of care for our patients in our communities. ”

Conference participants learned strategies and were given practical tools to enable them to:

  • Reduce avoidable hospital readmissions
  • Focus on patient centered care
  • Decrease medication errors
  • Improve patient outcomes
  • Increase self-efficacy of patients and family/caregivers
  • Identify the relationship between compassion, kindness, and patient satisfaction
  • Improve continuity of care by empowering patients and their families to be their own healthcare advocates

The conference was well attended by many different multi-disciplinary members of the Northwest communities including: Physicians, nurses, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, case managers, care navigators, discharge planners, social workers, therapists, and administrators representing hospitals, clinics, skilled nursing, rehabilitation, home health, palliative care, and hospice organizations.

We are so appreciative of our conference sponsors!

Hospice of North Idaho • Valley Vista Care • Kindred at Home •Kindred Nursing and Rehabilitation Mountain Valley • Pacific Source • Life Care Centers of North Idaho • North Idaho Advanced Care Hospital and Rehabilitation Hospital of the Northwest • Yellowstone Insurance

Navigating Through Care Transitions Conference April 19 and 20, 2017


Improve continuity of care while empowering patients to be their own healthcare advocates.

Conference Agenda


Transitions of care is one of the biggest topics in healthcare today. The Navigating Through Care Transitions: Improving Continuity of Care Conference will bring together the multidisciplinary team for a dynamic and interactive event to learn models of care and innovative processes leading to improved outcomes across the continuum of care and appropriate use of healthcare resources.

This two-day event will provide participants with the tools to:

  • Reduce avoidable hospital re-admissions
  • Focus on patient-centered care
  • Decrease medication errors
  • Increase self-efficacy of patients and family/caregivers
  • Improve patient outcomes
  • Identify the relationship between compassion, kindness, and patient satisfaction
  • To improve continuity of care by empowering patients and their families to be their own healthcare advocates.



By clicking on the registration button you will be taken to our Eventbrite registration page for easy online registration and online payment. There is a service fee for paying and registering online.

* For a reduced service fee, you can register online and select the option to pay by check. Once you have selected the number of tickets and choose to checkout- under payment methods- select pay by check. Mail your check to: The Northwest Hospital Alliance, 2003 Kootenai Health Way, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814.

Early-Bird Registration Rate (ends 03/01/17) Extended to 04/18/17!: $499
Early-Bird Group Registration Rate (3 or more from the same facility): $480
Onsite Registration Rate (begins 04/19/17): $600

The exciting line-up of topics and presenters focus on patient-centered care and transitions through the complex continuum of care.


Transitions of Care- the Scope of the Problem of poor Quality Care Transition

A six-prong multi-faceted approach to improving quality and safety (that includes meeting the patients at their level, engaging family caregivers, aligning financial incentives, improving cross setting collaboration and communication, building professional competencies and ensuring accountability. 

Don’t reinvent the wheel- Dr. Coleman will share tools and resources available in the public domain.

Stump the doctor to discuss real life scenarios and come up with solutions. 

Eric A. Coleman, MD, MPH, is Professor of Medicine and Head of the Division of Health Care Policy and Research at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. He is the Director of the Care Transitions Program, aimed at improving quality and safety during times of care “handoffs”. He also serves as the Executive Director of the Practice Change Leaders. Dr. Coleman was recognized with a 2012 MacArthur Fellowship for his work in bridging innovation and practice through enhancing the role of patients and family caregivers in improving the quality of their care transitions.

Known for the “Coleman Model”, Dr. Coleman is a national speaker and facilitator helping groups to develop and hone their own patient centered transitions of care work.


Transforming Patient Lives: The Art of Person-Centered Care
Allison Massari takes her audience on a journey, offering tools to rise above any obstacle, and find peace, purpose, and happiness despite turbulent times. She explains, “The power of what you do goes far beyond the technical part of your job. You are healing the places medicine cannot touch. In fact, YOU are the medicine.” As an advocate for both patient and healthcare provider, Allison’s powerful understanding of the essential nature of patient-centered care fortifies audience members, offering applicable tools for managing change, adversity, and the everyday challenges of being human.

Allison is on the “Best Keynote Speakers” List. Named One of the Top 10 Best Speakers in North America for Motivation – M&C Magazine.

Exploring Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Nursing and Nursing EducationAckerman-Barger 17_72
Piri Ackerman-Barger, PhD, RN, is an assistant clinical professor at the UC Davis Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing. She is an expert at teaching methodology in health sciences, social determinants of health, collaborative practice and organizational change. A much sought after speaker, in this talk Piri will tie in aspects of equity, diversity and inclusion and how it relates to perceptions and impacts care.her chronic disease programs.

Who Should Attend:

The conference is open to anyone engaged in improving health care quality and transitions of care.
This includes: Physicians, nurses, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, case managers, care navigators, discharge planners, social workers, therapists, and administrators representing hospitals, clinics, skilled nursing, rehabilitation, home health, palliative care, and hospice organizations.


The Coeur d’Alene Resort
115 South 2nd Street, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814

Special Room Rates:

Lake Tower $159.00
Park Tower $ 139.00
North Wing $119

Individual reservations can be made by calling the Resort’s reservation desk at 888-965-6542. 
To secure these special rates, you must reserve by March 9, 2017.

Check- In: 4:00 p.m. and Check- Out: 12:00 Noon.

The room rates are subject to State & Lodging Tax and Surcharge.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellation requests must be submitted in writing to the Northwest Hospital Alliance.
By email:
By regular mail: Northwest Hospital Alliance, 2003 Kootenai Health Way, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814

Cancellations received by close of business on Friday, March 30, 2017 will receive a full refund, minus a $30 administrative fee. No refunds will be made for cancellations received after Friday, March 30, 2017.



The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) granted Kootenai Health Magnet recognition for the third time; Kootenai has held Magnet status since 2006 and is one of only two Magnet hospitals in the state of Idaho. Magnet designation is the highest and most prestigious international distinction a health care organization can receive for nursing excellence.

The Magnet Recognition Program® recognizes health care organizations for quality patient care, nursing excellence and innovations in professional nursing practice. To be recognized as a Magnet hospital, health care organizations must pass a rigorous and lengthy review process demanding widespread participation from leadership and staff.

“Receiving re-designation as a Magnet hospital requires the teamwork of nearly every department in the organization and is a strong representation of our culture of excellent patient care,” Joan Simon, Kootenai Health Chief Nursing Officer, said. “We are proud of the hard work and compassionate care our staff delivers every day.”

Magnet recognition has been shown to provide specific benefits to hospitals and their communities, such as higher patient satisfaction with nurse communication, availability of help, and receipt of discharge information and higher job satisfaction among nurses.

“We are honored and excited to receive Magnet status,” Jon Ness, Kootenai Health CEO, said. “This achievement is a validation of the professionalism, teamwork, and compassionate patient care Kootenai Health is known for.”

Northwest Antimicrobial Stewardship Summit Resources

The Northwest Hospital Alliance recently hosted the Northwest Antimicrobial Stewardship Summit. The Summit was meant to be a launch to form a regional, if not statewide, effort toward developing Antimicrobial Stewardship Plans for facilities, but more than that, to work as a unified community to change the way antibiotics are thought of and prescribed – a cultural shift.

The purpose of this one-day event was to provide participants with the tools they need to plan and develop an Antimicrobial Stewardship Program within their own facility, as well as to establish a collaborative work group to implement a regional Antimicrobial Stewardship Program and Initiative. Visit the Summit’s Webpage for event handouts as well as other Antimicrobial Stewardship resources.

Northwest Antimicrobial Stewardship Summit

Please join the Northwest Hospital Alliance for the Northwest Antimicrobial Stewardship Summit. This one-day event will provide participants with the tools they need to plan and develop an Antimicrobial Stewardship Program within their own facility, as well as to establish a collaborative work group to implement a regional Antimicrobial Stewardship Program and Initiative.

DATE: Friday, June 24, 2016 | TIME: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

LOCATION: Kootenai Health Resource Center| Fox Auditorium
2003 Kootenai Health Way, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814

Featured Speakers Include:

Souvenir_MDDavid Souvenir, M.D., Infection Prevention Medical Director at Kootenai Health. Dr. Souvenir provides infectious disease consultative services for the region and is the only board certified infectious disease specialist practicing in northern Idaho.



Headshot portrait of Dr. John Lynch, infectious diseases.John Lynch, M.D., M.P.H., medical director of the Harborview Medical Center Infection Prevention, Antimicrobial Stewardship and employee health programs. Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Washington and leads the medical school’s WWAMI-wide “Invaders (microbiology) and Defenders (immunology)” course. Dr. Lynch is active in the region and nationally, working with the Washington State Hospital Association, the Washington State Department of Health and the Infectious Diseases Society of America, in the areas of health care associated infection prevention and antimicrobial stewardship.

Regional representatives from hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, infection prevention, microbiology, pharmacy, and quality.

COST: $45

Register for the Event

Nursing Grand Rounds: Bringing Hospital Teams Together

Nursing Grand Rounds (NGR) provide a forum for nurses between our partner hospitals to share clinical expertise, nursing best practices and education on related topics to improve patient outcomes and enhance patient experiences, as well as building collaboration and respect across the continuum of care. An NGR is a presentation given by nurses who share nursing care and are focused on a particular case.

In a partnership with the North Idaho College School of Nursing, the Nurse Leaders Peer Group of the Northwest Hospital Alliance developed this successful strategy to improve communication, build relationships, gain knowledge, and improve patient care by hosting quarterly Nursing Grand Rounds.

Kathleen Barbera presents the featured patient flow of care while in the ICU at Kootenai Health.
The format includes the case study of a patient who presented at one of the partner critical access hospitals and was then transported to Kootenai Health for specialty care that was needed.

The first Grand Rounds, held last December, featured a patient with a traumatic brain injury. The most recent Grand Rounds held on March 22, featured a patient with a ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI). Each NGR had more than 50 participants with videoconferencing used to bring partner hospital teams together.

Presenting a case study of a particular patient enables nurses to systematically examine a specific patient’s episode of care, review the pathophysiology, evaluate the nursing care provided and relate “doing of nursing care” to evidence and science.

“While the intention was to use this as a nursing education opportunity, we have found that inclusion of the EMT’s, air or ground transport teams, and others associated with the care of the patient may lead to a bigger learning opportunity, especially as it ties to Idaho working toward it’s Time Sensitive Emergency (TSE) structure.” According to Chris Way, Chief of Kootenai County EMS and Region 1 chair of the TSE Initiative, “If we all work together and learn from each case, we may be able cut precious time from the continuum of care for the patient.”

Regularly scheduled educational opportunities are associated with increased professionalism and improved outcomes for patients.

“Given the success of our current NGR’s, we plan to continue the conference style education opportunity on a quarterly basis,” said Tari Yourzek, Boundary Community Hospital Chief Nursing Officer. “They will occur in March, June, September and December. Participation of bedside nurses is encouraged in an effort to mentor and support professional development.”

Two Laboratory Science Students Begin Clinical Rotations in Northern Idaho Hospitals

Laboratory Science students, Mickinzie Johnson and Caleb Cox are beginning their clinical rotations in the laboratories of Hospital Alliance members. The students receive an excellent education through their experiences with knowledgeable staff.

In 2008, the five hospital labs of the Northwest Hospital Alliance became clinical affiliates of the Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center School of Medical Laboratory Science. This relationship was developed at the request of the lab managers of the north Idaho labs and in collaboration with the University of Idaho. At that time, the Medical Laboratory Science program increased the number of students from 12 to 14 to allow 2 students to complete half of their clinical rotations at the northern Idaho hospital labs, and the remaining specialty rotations at PSHMC and PAML.The Laboratory Science program director attends the quarterly meetings of the Hospital Alliance lab managers, and together they carefully plan coordinated clinical rotations for the students.

The benefits to the Alliance member labs are the potential to recruit students to become employees, and for lab staff to become involved in teaching which helps them stay up-to-date with laboratory testing theory and best practices, and the subsequent sharing of ideas regarding lab operation. The students enjoy the opportunity to experience a smaller rural laboratory environment with the Critical Access Hospitals and share with their classmates the nuances of practicing in rural communities.

“In dealing with a shortage of laboratory scientists we are able to work collaboratively with the hospitals to increase the number of students being trained,” said Kathy Gemar, Kootenai Health Laboratory Services Director. “This provides a greater pool of potential candidates to work in the various hospital labs.”

The five year program requires a Bachelor’s Degree in a hard science and a 12 month internship. The lab students spend time in the following departments: Hematology, Chemistry, Microbiology, Transfusion Services, Coagulation, and Urine Analysis. The program includes both clinical and theoretical work.

“This program is important to all of our labs,” said Connie Malone, Bonner General Hospital Laboratory Manager. “It produces quality students who then become quality employees. It is so important to introduce these bright young people into the profession.”

Northwest Hospital Alliance Grants $100,000 to NIC Nursing Program

The Northwest Hospital Alliance presented the North Idaho College nursing program with a $100,000 grant to help support nursing education in our region.

Pictured (from left): (front) Nancy Murren, NIC; Dr. Lita Burns, NIC; Marian Underdahl, NIC; Joan Simon, Kootenai Health; Tari Yourzek, Boundary Community Hospital (back) Eilene Pickett, NIC; Brittany Heidenreich, NIC; Kim Mitchell, NIC; Shannon Badgett, NIC; Misty Robertson, Bonner General Health; Beth Bates, Shoshone Medical Center; and Claudia Miewald, Kootenai Health

“North Idaho College is grateful for the longstanding partnership with the Northwest Hospital Alliance. The relationship truly is symbiotic,” said NIC Vice President for Instruction, Dr. Lita A. Burns (previously dean of Health Professions and Nursing). “North Idaho College Nursing Programs achieve outstanding student success because of the excellent clinical education the students receive at Kootenai Health and the other Alliance partner hospitals. The nurses are willing to teach and mentor students knowing that one day the students will be their peers.”The Hospital Alliance has a history of supporting the program, gifting $1.2 million over the past decade.

“The Northwest Hospital Alliance is delighted to be able to extend this grant funding to the nursing program at North Idaho College,” Joan Simon, Kootenai Health Chief Nursing Officer, said. “We see as part of our mission that we have a responsibility to ensure a knowledgeable, skilled and stable nursing workforce. These dollars will serve to strengthen the collaboration between the hospital and our academic partner, NIC; allowing us to work together on initiatives that strengthen and advance are professional nursing workforce in our region.”

The funds will not only help to educate future area nurses, but will also help those currently in the field maintain competencies and further develop their skill sets.

“The Northwest Hospital Alliance has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with North Idaho College, specifically when it comes to nursing education,” Tari Yourzek, Chief Nursing Officer at Boundary Community Hospital, said. “Funds given will assist in keeping the quality of nursing education at the level our region has grown to expect. In addition, the collaborative efforts of the college and the nursing leadership in our region have fostered a great relationship between our local hospitals and NIC. The future of nursing depends on these relationships in order to provide our community with the highest quality patient care and outcomes.”

Improving Health Care Quality Through DNV-GL Healthcare Accreditation and ISO-9001 Compliance

Kootenai Health is hosting FREE presentations from DNV-GL Healthcare
CEO, Patrick Horine. DNV-GL Healthcare works with national health care
authorities and providers around the world to manage risk and improve health care
delivery. Their innovative approach is helping health care providers identify, assess
and manage risk, enhance patient safety and quality, while ensuring sustainable
business practices.

Date: Thursday, July 30
Location: The Ponderosa Room in Kootenai’s Health Resource Center

Physician Presentation | 7 – 8 a.m. (includes breakfast)

Hospital CEO and Board Member Discussion | 8 – 8:45 a.m.

Quality and Compliance Staff Presentation | 9:30 – 11 a.m.
For hospital staff in charge of quality and compliance programs including:
directors of quality, compliance, accreditation, administrative staff, CNOs
and CMOs

To RSVP or for more information, contact Jon Scallan at or (208) 625-4320.

For details see the Event Flyer.

Kootenai Health’s Expansion

Kootenai Health ExpansionAs Kootenai Health offers more services to care for the patients and families of northern Idaho, more people are coming to our hospital for care. More space is needed to take care for our patients and to make room for improvements in our existing facility. That’s why we are building a new three-story addition.

Kootenai Health’s $57 million, three-story expansion is scheduled to open in the spring of 2016. The expansion will adjoin the east side of the existing hospital. Its first two floors will include a family birth center, neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), more patient rooms, a new hospital entrance and registration area, and expanded visitor waiting areas. The third floor will be staged for completion at a later date.

With thanks to our board, physicians, staff, and construction team, we are pleased to report that our expansion is on time and under budget. We would also like to thank you for your patience and understanding as we’ve modified our entrance, changed our parking areas and taken extra efforts to ensure all our patients receive the care they need. Together we are improving health care for our community now and for years to come.