Mitigating Disability Due to Burn Pit Exposure: The Challenge of Anemia in the VHA Patient Population

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Introduction

Over 2 million personnel have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001. The toxic exposures experienced from these wars appear to have lasting effects for ~40% of Veterans. In 2023 anemia diagnoses related to toxic burn pit exposure were added to the VA presumptive diagnosis list. Anemia is highly prevalent (40% or more) in hospitalized patients on admission and is the 3rd leading cause of disability after low back pain and depressive disorders. Anemic patients are at increased risk of receiving blood transfusion. Both anemia and transfusion are independently associated with poorer clinical outcomes. This paper discusses anemia as a primary outcome from burn pit exposure and as a secondary outcome related to development of cancer and other disease states from exposure. Cancer, kidney disease, and many chronic diseases have an increased incidence of anemia. To mitigate the negative outcomes associated with anemia, early identification and treatment is paramount. Most organizations fail to identify and treat anemia effectively because of complex workflows and inadequate infrastructure.

Leveraging MyBloodHealth® (MBH) as a solution to support standardized care for identification, diagnosis, and treatment of anemia in patients exposed to toxic burn pits can provide infrastructure and a simplified workflow. MBH is an integrated care coordination and clinical decision support tool that facilitates a multidisciplinary approach for anemia diagnosis and management. Management of anemia before hospitalization improves functional status, quality of life and clinical outcomes, while reducing reliance on transfusion. This, in turn, reduces the dependence on an increasingly volatile and expensive blood supply.

Our Clients

Accumen Areas of Expertise

The core of our success is the collective strength of our team, comprised of industry experts, esteemed medical advisors, and former C-Suite leaders, ensuring unparalleled results and dedication to your success.

Anemia Management

The MyBloodHealth® Anemia Management Opportunity Assessment provides a valuable analysis to any administrator considering a new Anemia Management program or looking to accelerate an existing program. Based on an organization’s own case volume, this assessment shows estimated revenue, cost reduction, and annual margin improvement available.

Additional Benefits:

Patient Blood Management

While many hospitals have implemented initiatives resulting in 10-25%+ reductions in blood utilization, most are unable to quantify their true remaining clinical and financial opportunity due to a lack of accurate, meaningful benchmarks and assessment tools. To request a complimentary assessment of your hospital or health system, simply complete the form. 

Additional Benefits:

Benefits

Expertise

Our team of experts with over 380+ years of combined experience in PBM and Transfusion safety, ensures our partners are successful

Leadership

The Accumen Team has dedicated expert resources of Medical Advisors and Clinical Nurses that are at the forefront of the Patient Blood Management community

Analytics

Accumen Data Analytics technology solution to drive sustainable and system-wide changes to clinical practice

Collaboration

Accumen will work alongside your Hospital and Health system throughout the partnership

Custom Solutions

Customizable strategies tailored to meet your health system’s and hospital’s needs​

Results

Having partnered with over 450+ Hospitals, clients have consistently experienced 20%+ reductions in blood product utilization and cost

Key Team Members

Joanna Peyton

Chief HR & Ops Officer

Jason Carney

Vice President / General Manager

Joseph Thomas

Vice President, Strategic Partnerships

Sherri Ozawa, RN

Director, Clinical Operations and Delivery 

Lisa Manganaro, RN

Director, Clinical Effectiveness

Tiffany Hall, RN

Director, Clinical Technology

Pam Baker

Clinical Delivery Leader

Nicole De Vita, RN

Clinical Resource Manager

Melissa Hollo, MBA

Director, Project Management

Joanna Peyton

Chief HR & Ops Officer

Joanna Peyton serves as the Chief HR & Ops Officer at Accumen Inc, a healthcare performance company. Joanna is a member of the executive leadership team and serves as both an Operational and Human Capital leader. Joanna’s background includes 15 years of international human resource and business operations experience. Joanna’s success is driven by her ability to build and motivate high performing, strategic teams that produce exemplary results. Prior to Accumen, Joanna was a member of the executive leadership team and the head of the HR for Kudelski Security. Joanna provided strategic direction and leadership of human resource and administrative related functions across the organization. In addition to Kudelski Security, Joanna led the HR function for the new Kudelski Group HQ in Phoenix, AZ, supporting Nagra USA, mycimena and other internal businesses. Before Kudelski, Mrs. Peyton joined Early Warning in a new HR leadership position for the company, having a unique background in leading HR functions while managing fin-tech operational projects and teams. Joanna started her career in the retail management industry, managing multiple retail locations and providing regional HR guidance to large retail companies throughout the US. Joanna earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Arizona State University and her MBA with an emphasis on Human Resource Management from the University of Phoenix.

Jason Carney

Vice President / General Manager

Jason Carney has 15 years of clinical blood banking and executive leadership experience. His career began at the American Red Cross Biomedical Headquarters serving as a Business Analyst, and also as the Chief Operating Officer at SunCoast Blood Bank in Sarasota, Florida. Jason also served as Florida’s first blood banking Transfusion Safety Officer, serving multiple hospitals and managing transfusion services for a 700-bed level 2 trauma center. As Chief Operating Officer for Patient Readiness Institute he was responsible for the product launch and validation of the MyBloodHealth web-platform for virtual anemia management, development of value-based care reimbursement strategy, and chronic disease tele-health platform adoption. As a leader in the blood banking and patient blood management areas Jason was recognized with the Florida Association of Blood Banks Dorothy M. Hansen Award for blood banking executive of the year in 2015, and was pivotal in the launch of the first pathogen reduced blood products in the continental US. Jason leads the Anemia Management service line for Accumen.

Joseph Thomas

Vice President, Strategic Partnerships

Joe Thomas is the Vice President, Strategic Partnerships of Comprehensive Patient Blood Management (PBM) at Accumen. Joe is a nationally recognized patient blood management and transfusion safety clinical expert with 14 years of experience in developing world class blood management programs for over 125 hospitals nationally. Knowledgeable in all aspects of blood management program development, Joe is able to support and create sustainable results for our clients with a proven track record of success.  He is a nationally recognized thought leader in PBM and an expert in accelerated change management for large organizations.

Sherri Ozawa, RN

Clinical Resource Director

Sherri Ozawa serves as the Clinical Resource Director for Comprehensive Patient Blood Management.  She is a founding member and past president of the Society for the Advancement of Blood Management (SABM). She has been a leader in bloodless medicine for more than two decades. Her background in critical care nursing has allowed her to create and most widely known multi-disciplinary patient blood management program at Englewood Health hospital in New Jersey. She has lectured nationally and internationally with a focus on the creation and implementation of sustainable, organized patient blood management programs. She has published numerous, peer-reviewed abstracts, posters, book chapters, and articles in the field and continues to be actively involved in research in her field. She worked extensively with regulatory agencies and other academic organizations such as the Joint Commission to analyze better practices for the delivery and creation of organized patient blood management programs.

Lisa Manganaro

Director, Clinical Effectiveness

Lisa has over 20 years’ experience positively impacting the healthcare industry. She began her career as a staff nurse on the Neuroscience floor at Mercy Hospital, a Level 1 trauma center and teaching facility in St. Louis, and quickly shifted her focus to critical care. During her 11 years at Mercy, she fulfilled multiple roles including ICU charge RN, Critical Care Nursing Fellowship Preceptor, Assistant ICU Research Coordinator, and Critical Care Quality Manager. ​For the next 13+ years, Lisa led the strategy and vision for critical care clinical software and ICU outcomes management solutions as a Senior Manager and Strategist at Cerner Corporation. Lisa has a proven track record of providing effective oversight for the full spectrum of software development from initial market research, competitive analysis, and sales alignment through successful delivery, implementation, and adoption. She has supported multiple clients in driving QI/PI initiatives resulting in marked quality advances and cost savings.​ Lisa earned her AS in Nursing from St. Louis Community College.​

Tiffany Hall, RN

Director, Clinical Technology

Tiffany Hall, BSN, RN is a Director, Clinical Technology for Comprehensive Patient Blood Management at Accumen Inc. She is a nationally recognized thought leader in PBM along with extensive experience implementing patient blood management programs. Tiffany has 29 years of clinical experience as a Registered Nurse at Eastern Maine Medical Center and the Florida Hospital System of Adventist Health Care Central Region. Tiffany received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from University of Maine School of Nursing, as well as attending University of New England School of Nursing where she received her Associates Degree of Nursing. Tiffany entered the specialty of Patient Blood Management at Eastern Maine Medical Center, where she served as a Patient Blood Management Coordinator from 2008 through 2012. In 2013 Tiffany was recruited to the Florida Hospital System for a new position of Clinical Director of Patient Blood Management and Transfusion Safety Officer to develop and implement a comprehensive Patient Blood Management and Transfusion Safety Program for a multi-hospital system prior to joining Accumen in 2018.

Pam Baker

Clinical Delivery Leader

Pam Baker serves as a Clinical Delivery Leader in Comprehensive Patient Blood Management for Accumen Inc. In this role, she supports the Patient Blood Management team with content development and expansion of products and services.Pam is a Registered Nurse who brings over 15 years of experience. Prior to joining Accumen she worked as an Engagement Leader and Solution Designer at Cerner Corporation. Previous to Cerner, Pam worked as a Registered Nurse at Olathe Medical Center in Olathe, Kansas.Pam received her AS in Nursing from Kansas City Kansas Community College.

Nicole De Vita, RN

Clinical Resource Manager

Nicole DeVita serves as a Clinical Resource Manager in Comprehensive Patient Blood Management. In this role she supports the Patient Blood Management team with content development and expansion of products and services.Nicole over 15 years of clinical and hospital experience as a Registered Nurse at NYU Lutheran and Lehigh Valley Health Network with expertise in Trauma, Oncology and Labor and Delivery. For the last 5 years prior to joining Accumen, Nicole has worked for Masimo as a Clinical Application Specialist in the Blood Management Division. 

Melissa Hollo, MBA

Director of Project Management

Melissa Hollo is the Director of Project Manager at Accumen on the Operations Excellence team. Melissa has 12 years’ experience working in a 15 hospital health system in Cleveland Ohio focusing on process efficiency, productivity, and overall operations.​ Melissa is a trained and certified Lean Six Sigma Blackbelt by Kent State University. Focusing much of her work on leading Kaizen events, Implementing hospital process improvement focus by utilizing visual management boards and Gemba walks at several hospitals. Melissa has educated and trained hospital staff in the A-3 methodology for everyday use. ​Melissa obtained her BS degree in Social Work from Concordia College, Master’s degree in science and social administration from Case Western Reserve University, and her Master’s in Business from Ashland University.