Holy Cross Hospital meets and treats patients and non-patients wherever they can best serve
Perhaps Holy Cross Health should instead be known as Holy Moly Health! Their reach, their connection, their commitment is so far, wide and deep that the health system’s involvement and promise are indeed worthy of loud exclamations.
By the numbers, Holy Cross is certainly impressive: Founded in 1963, Holy Cross Hospital is now one of the largest hospitals in Maryland with 449 beds. Holy Cross Germantown Hospital opened in 2014 and has 80 beds. With expertise in cancer, neuroscience, women’s health, surgical services, and seniors, Holy Cross Health cares for more than 36,000 inpatients each year. The two hospitals deliver more than 10,000 babies annually and are Maryland’s largest provider of emergency care. The list goes on.
Just as impressive and impactful as the hospital-based inpatient and outpatient services is Holy Cross’ community outreach.
Kim McBride, the health system’s vice president of community health said, “It’s unique for a system to be so community focused. Holy Cross goes above and beyond to have programs to meet the community need. It is just as important as the medical care.”
Annice Cody, president of the Holy Cross Health Network added, “Others do these things but we have a much more extensive network of programs. As a not-for-profit, we were founded to improve the health and well-being of the community. We consider this a core part of our mission.”
Holy Cross fulfills this core promise in many ways. First, under their fitness and wellness umbrella, there are more than 70 exercise, health education, screening, prevention and self-care management programs available to community members in every phase of life.
Kim said, “We design the classes to be financially and geographically accessible. The majority of our classes are at no cost to participants.” They are offered at locations across Montgomery County. For a class list and info on how to participate, call 301-754-8800 or visit HolyCrossHealth.org/classes-events. Some classes are offered in Spanish and interpreters are available if needed.
The offerings include childbirth and parenting classes; youth classes; senior health and wellness programs and resources for caregivers; support groups including grief support, epilepsy support, lymphedema support, stroke support and many others; first aid and CPR classes; info sessions on topics including insurance, joint-replacement surgery, and surgical weight loss.
Another part of the care continuum is Holy Cross Home Care and Hospice offering skilled nursing care and therapies for people who are discharged to home and still need additional support. It also includes a virtual care program called Home Care Connect that provides monitoring of patients in their home.
“If you have congestive heart failure, you have to manage your weight,” Annice said, as an example. She explained that this hypothetical patient would receive a tablet attached to a scale and a blood pressure monitor which would transmit data to a virtual care center each day. “If the nurse sees fluctuations (in the patient’s weight), they reach out and see what’s going on. Or, if you wake up and you’re not feeling great, you touch a button and get connected to a nurse,” Annice said of the program. “The nurse looks at the patient and assesses them,” she said.
There is also a Medical Adult Day Center that provides respite to caregivers while their loved one gains social skills and clinical care.
Holy Cross also owns and operates primary care practices known as Holy Cross Health Partners. Located at Asbury Methodist Village in Gaithersburg, and in Kensington, these practices specialize in internal medicine for adults and include physicians with geriatric medicine training and expertise. The Kensington practice also has special services for active-duty military members, their families and veterans. These practices are accepting new patients.
Holy Cross will soon be expanding with more primary-care locations and adding urgent-care services. And that’s just a small sampling of what Annice said illustrates the health system’s goal “to connect care to where people live, because that’s where health happens.”
Through Holy Cross Health’s accredited, comprehensive cancer program, people receive personalized, high-quality treatment close to home. Patients have access to 25 clinical trials and teams of specialists. Out-patient options for care including radiation therapy are among the system’s innovative services.