Tag Archive for: health care


Health Care Partnerships Soaring to New Heights

Bob Cogburn, a Landmark Education Team Management Leadership Program participant, Team 2, 3rd quarter, is president of TARPPS, an organization making a difference around the mounting concern around the subject of health care. Public opinion polls show that people are losing faith as the rising cost of medical expenses continues to adversely affect the quality of health care.

In the midst of all of this medical uncertainty rises an organization that is making a difference. The organization is called TARPPS. (Texas Association of Rehabilitation Professionals and Providers of Services.) TARPPS is an association that exclusively represents the interests of rehabilitation professionals.

Its’ membership is composed of case managers, vocational counselors, insurance nurses, professional counselors, job placement specialists, vocational evaluators, occupational therapists, physical therapists, psychologists, rehabilitation counselors, rehabilitation educators, and disability management specialists.

Cogburn is a VRC (Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor), and President of TARPPS. Mr. Cogburn saw an opportunity to bridge what was missing between rehabilitation professionals and the patients. His vision of what will make a difference in one segment of the health care industry for Texas has the potential to catch fire nationwide.

If you have never experienced a catastrophic injury or long term disability, you may not be aware of what is necessary to restore a person to good health or compensate them for the loss of mobility. As Mr. Cogburn listed all who were involved in rehabilitation restoration, I was amazed at the number of professionals necessary to meet the needs of the patients.

Below is a brief list of the most active professionals in TARPPS:

• Certified Life Care Planners (evaluating catastrophic injuries and long term healthcare costs)

• Medical Case Managers typically a nurse, evaluating the work capabilities and restrictions based on physical ability. They collaborate with the doctor making sure patient is getting proper treatment and report to insurance companies to verify payment has been authorized.

• Vocational Experts CRC (Certified Rehabilitation Counselors); These professionals assist courts and advocators in determining the occupational skills of the disabled.

• Case Managers working in free standing clinics like spinal clinics. As a result of improved therapy over time the case manager has the ability to have the patient evaluated by Medical and or Vocational Case Manager.

What’s missing in the United States is a source for effective evaluators to input accurate data so insurance companies can make prompt, effective, and equitable payouts. TARPPS will be instrumental in facilitating that the correct information is met with financial decisions being made on the patient’s behalf. The goal is to have an adequate and equitable payout matching each patient’s evolving circumstances.

Many times insurance companies need someone to gather medical records, meet with medical teams, and meet with the patient so that fair and equitable decisions can be made in a timely manner. This is where TARPPS members are instrumental in facilitating that the correct information is met with financial decisions being made on the patient’s behalf standing for an adequate payout matching each patient’s evolving circumstances.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is developing a new Occupational Information System (OIS) designed to provide SSA with a long-term replacement for the information that it currently obtains from the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) and companion
volumes, including the Selected Characteristics of Occupations (SCO) and Revised Handbook for Analyzing Jobs (RHAJ).

If someone becomes disabled, then the SSA and the Rehabilitation Professional will work together in finding modifications suitable for the client. This way, people with disabilities can resume meaningful employment instead of remaining idle. We are on the verge of a breakthrough because there are a variety of patient evaluation systems including government programs that occasionally render unreliable cost assessments.

SSA needs a new database that is optimized for its disability assessment and adjudication purposes. By enlarge, Insurance Companies, Hospitals, and Doctors rely on Rehabilitation Professionals that are employees assigned to the various cases. Many case managers work for other companies or hospitals conforming to rigid guidelines regardless of patient circumstances.

Organizations such as TARPPS will be instrumental in bringing certainty, manageability and integrity, to this area of the health care industry. TARPPS is providing the space for case management professionals to operate independently, as a free enterprise. They serve their referral sources with consistency, fairness, while keeping pace with the latest technology.

TARPPS is an organization for professionals who are called to make a difference in the lives of patients; an advocate as well as a rehabilitation provider.

Many health care professionals started out with a burning desire to make a difference, only to have that flame die down in the face of bureaucracy. “Following treatment guidelines and managing paperwork can be wearing. But seeing TARPPS evolve has personally made me proud to be a Rehabilitation Professional. Now the paperwork is a necessary part of the fulfillment to a bigger dream”, says Cogburn.

Mr. Cogburn said, “The Team Management and Leadership Program has been instrumental in the development of this organization. TARPPS is the possibility of inspiration, hope and restoration of well being. I can clearly see TARPPS as the Nationally Recognized Universal Trusted Source designed to ethically and responsibly meet the rehabilitation needs of people and the standard by which all healthcare provider professionals aspire to operate. There is no doubt TMLP has made all the difference for me.”

June 2010, Chicago, Action Quarter
Team Member: Bob Cogbum
Game: Healthcare Partnerships
Soaring to New Heights
Written by: Sharole Beckman
Edited by: Steve Schapiro



Emily Shields- Team Washington DC, Team 1, Quarter 1


What would it be like to wake up every day and absolutely love what you do? Or wake up every day and know that you changed someone’s life?   Emily Shields gets to have both of those experiences every day.  She found her passion when she and her co-workers created Lifesavers in Life, a team dedicated to re-defining the level of care in ICUs. 


As a physical therapist, Emily sees many ICU patients who are very sick.  Some cannot even perform basic functions of life, activities like walking, sitting up, and talking that we all take for granted.  


In a typical ICU, the mortality rates are typically very high, running on average between 12 and 17%.* Many of the patients who survive are unable to walk again.  But at the ICU where Lifesavers in Life began, it was a different story.  Of the 25 patients they worked with, 65% were able to walk again before going home. 


So, what did Lifesavers in Life do that made a difference? They created an environment where patients got to design their own recovery plans and the doctors, nurses, and physical therapists met with each patient and their family members to develop that plan.  The patients themselves decided what they wanted to accomplish during their recovery.  They had control of their diseases rather than being at the affect of their circumstances. 


One remarkable transformation happened with a woman critically ill with ovarian cancer, unable to walk or talk.  Her only line of communication was in through writing.  Undeterred by the challenge, the physical therapists worked with her daily.  Two months later, she left the hospital, walking and talking.  She is now winning her fight against ovarian cancer, thanks in part to Lifesavers in Life.


In creating Lifesavers in Life, Emily and her team saw it could be possible to give ICU patients a more positive outcome by supporting them in an exploration of what they could achieve and what outcome they wanted to create during their stay. The ultimate goal was to have every patient dance in the celebration of life. 


Emily used the knowledge she gained from the Team Management Leadership Program to create structure around Lifesavers in Life, setting specific goals and milestones to achieve unpredictable outcomes.  But that was only the beginning. Lifesavers in Life have now set their sights on changing ICU’s around the country.  They are working to develop a case study published in a professional medical journal by 2011. 


So Emily and the Lifesavers in Life are on their way, their goal to redefine the level of care in every hospital around the country and make a profound difference in the lives of critically ill patients.



* www.ahrq.gov/clinic/ptsafety/chap38.htm


skinChris Lundberg is a nurse and she loves her job. She works in a big city hospital as a lactation consultant, assisting a large team of labor and delivery staff. She started Skin to Skin as a way to make people aware of the miracle of birth, life, and the importance of nurturing mothers and babies in honoring motherhood.

Skin to Skin is a program dedicated to mothers and babies bonding immediately after birth by laying the babies Skin to Skin with the mothers. By placing the baby on the mother’s chest after birth, face down with head under mom’s chin, in direct contact with the mother, the touch and even the smell happening in that connection creates an unprecedented bonding. It provides for a warm welcoming environment for the baby who can hear the familiar sounds of mom’s heart beat and breathing. Lying the baby face down prevents the startle reflex and positively affects the baby’s blood sugar and heart rate; everything stays stable. Babies are also much more likely to initiate the process of finding the breast on their own, flinging or moving down and latching on all by themselves. This greatly reduces the stress that mothers feel about “am I going to be able to breastfeed?” as they see their baby being an active partner who actually leads the dance.

The longer term outcome of this bonding is a substantial increase in the duration of breastfeeding in mothers and the patient’s delight exceeding all expectations. The mothers leave the hospital happy and confident, feeling able to successfully parent their newborns and fully aware of the gift their babies are to their lives.

Chris believes that with the implementation of the Skin to Skin program. the mom and baby fall in love with each other and ultimately this brings about happier families who feel love and connection.

Chris says that her one intention with starting Skin to Skin was to institute an evidence-based practice that improves the method of care for mothers and newborns in her hospital based on evidence. The evidence showed a large increase in the number of mothers nursing their babies along with a large increase in the reported happiness of the patients.

Along with this unprecedented increase in patient happiness with hospital care, Skin to Skin made the staff’s jobs much easier, the nurses loved the patient response and every one felt great.

What Chris says she learned from the game she designed was to find the common ground between nursing staff and physician through communication so they could discover they all wanted the same thing for the patient—a happy hospital experience. According to Chris, the staff is now empowering women in a way that on leaving the hospital they feel they will be successful, caring mothers.

In the end Chris feels Skin to Skin is more than a way to have mothers and babies bond; it promotes a connection between the hospital staff, the babies and the mother where everyone can participate in the joy of birth and life.
Chris Lundberg, Team 1, Fourth Quarter, Team Cincinnati

Gift of Life

My game in the world is called “The Gift of Life” and it is a blood drive. This game is a gift that keeps giving. The blood drive has a special meaning for me and my family. From May 16, 2005, through May 27th, 2005, my daughter, Amanda (now 13) received transfusions totaling 21 pints of blood. Community Blood Center was the center in charge for Amanda to receive Directed/Designated donations from family and friends, and it was also the center in charge of providing blood transfusions from strangers. It was reassuring to know that my daughter was able to get her family and friends blood transfused into her and just as reassuring was to know that because of unselfish strangers who gave of themselves through blood donations, my daughter had all the blood she needed. I was there living in the hospital for over four weeks with my daughter, other patients and their family. I witnessed and experience how precious blood is.

I can remember vividly how much Amanda’s little body needed blood to survive surgery. I can remember when Amanda was the first time in intensive care and how much her little body needed blood to sustain and survive. I remember how every that blood that was in a bag hanging next to her was been transfused into her body and giving her body what she needed.

How important it is to have Blood Drives and get the community involved in them! I contacted one of the directors from Community Blood Centers. His name is Luis and I asked him to be on my team. Then we set a date, created our team, and played.

I said I wanted to contribute and assist in a way that I could give back to my community and the world. I wanted to say thank you to God, to life, to the world for all that was provided to Amanda to her friends and family. I wanted to say thank you to all the lives I saw that were saved by a pint of blood.

This pint of blood didn’t stop giving once transfused it kept giving and giving and it still is.
My Amanda is living proof that a blood donation is a “Gift of Life” and it continues to live on.
By unselfishly giving one pint of blood, one person assures another person or even three that they will get through.

So it’s a game that touches, moves, and inspires me and inspires me to play for the world!

— Maria Perez, Team Florico