Healthcare Trailblazer of the Year: Barb Galantowicz, MD

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO
Healthcare Trailblazer of the Year: Barb Galantowicz, MD

Medical Director, Flying Horse Farms

There are many trails winding through Flying Horse Farms' 200 wooded acres. Dr. Barb Galantowicz makes sure every child at camp can adventure down them with their peers.

"They should try and forget as much as they can about their disease while they're here," says Galantowicz. "It's about the person you really are, not the disease you've become."

Flying Horse Farms provides medically safe, cost-free camp for 8-to-17-year-olds with serious illnesses and their families. Opened in 2010 near Mt. Gilead, the nonprofit camp is one of 30 camps and programs worldwide in Paul Newman's SeriousFun Children's Camp network. Galantowicz has been camp medical director since 2012.

Galantowicz-Dr. Barb to campers-makes sure that Flying Horse Farms provides medical care and programming adapted to campers' physical, mental and emotional needs. She oversees the WellNest, an on-site medical center staffed by volunteer healthcare providers from regional children's hospitals.

Flying Horse will host eight weekend family camps this spring and fall; three week-long teen Ranger Camps this summer; and week-long heart, hematology and oncology, rheumatology and gastrointestinal, pulmonary and craniofacial and siblings camps throughout the summer. Approximately 900 children and their families stay at Flying Horse each year.

Kids share cabins, dine together in a chow hall, canoe, swim, play sports, climb on high ropes, shoot arrows and all of the other experiences one might take for granted as part of growing up.

"They're told, 'you can't do this, you can't do that,'" says Galantowicz. "(I) have to make sure that they can do it."

Camp provides the physicians and nurses who volunteer with a view into their patients' lives outside the clinical setting.

"If you want to be a good physician, you have to really understand how it works in the home," says Galantowicz. Her volunteer work in a similar camp in New York years ago as a fellow at Sloan Kettering Cancer Center informed her own practice in pediatric emergency medicine.

Galantowicz is tireless in her rounds to hospitals across Ohio and the Midwest to recruit volunteers for the camp. "It's trailblazing. You've got to keep making your spiel, find opportunities to talk about it and people get interested."

Flying Horse has developed partnerships with eight Ohio children's hospitals and Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. Galantowicz has facilitated agreements with Ohio's largest healthcare systems (including OhioHealth and the OSU Medical Center) allowing their residents, fellows, nursing and dietary students to volunteer at Flying Horse as part of their training. Flying Horse "champions" often prescribe camp for their pediatric patients.

Nationwide Children's Hospital sends their hematology/oncology fellows to a week-long camp after their first year of training. Dr. Timothy Cripe, chief of Nationwide Children's Hematology, Oncology and BMT division, appreciates that Flying Horse allows children to experience "adventure and joy" with their peers, while also giving them independence from their home support groups.

Cripe believes the camp experience is transformative for practitioners as well as their patients.

"It's truly a reward for them to step back and see the big picture-to see what they're working so hard for, which is giving kids normal lives," writes Cripe in his letter supporting Galantowicz's nomination for the Healthcare Trailblazer Award.

Volunteering at Flying Horse has re-inspired and rejuvenated his own work, writes Cripe. "Camp gives me and fellow doctors and nurses the opportunity to have fun with the kids, and Dr. Galantowicz models this important behavior."

Camp helps remind acute care providers that they're working with kids, not simply patients. "Sometimes we forget, even in the hospital," says Galantowicz. Doctors and nurses take that "human factor" back to the workplace after a week at Flying Horse.

Galantowicz's long-term goal is to expand camp programming for children with other conditions. Near-term, she wants to build partnerships with medical and pre-med schools so students can volunteer and see what holistic care looks like as they train to enter the profession.

"I think there's a lot of opportunity for teaching here as well. But campers come first," she says. "For them to get better, they need to be kids. The more I've been here, the more I realize it's part of the healing process."

"For them to get better, they need to be kids," says Galantowicz. "The more I've been here (at Flying Horse Farms), the more I realize it's part of the healing process."

CEO Sean Lane & President Brad Mascho

The challenges facing the healthcare industry have inspired novel business solutions. Sean Lane and Brad Mascho founded CrossChx in 2012 as a way to combat identity theft. Today, the company has 100 employees and continues to gain popularity with healthcare providers as an administrative tool.

The company's SafeChx fingerprint identity scanner verifies patient information and links their benefit information instantly. SafeChx is currently being used by over 160 hospitals and in more than 600 locations across 23 states.

CrossChx's patient registration system, Queue, provides a digital kiosk for efficient patient check-in. The company estimates that Queue reduces patient wait-time by as much as 80 percent. Queue also provides hospitals an automated, secure data collection tool.

Memorial Health, Marysville

Pharmacists are often the last contact patients have with healthcare professionals before beginning a medication regimen. To make the most of the value pharmacists and technicians bring to patient care, Memorial Hospital in Marysville has built a unique pharmacy department that integrates medication counseling and patient advising into its traditional services.

The Memorial Hospital Pharmacy and Medication Therapies Center opened in the fall of 2014. It is staffed with clinical pharmacists and an oncology pharmacist, nurse practitioners, pharmacy technicians, a medication navigator and a patient medication assistance specialist.

Together, the team provides outpatient medication evaluation and counseling for Memorial Health System patients. This service includes customized medication schedule development, wellness education and advice on managing chronic conditions. Records of these interactions are sent directly to patients' primary care physicians.

Memorial Health reports that the center's services have yielded a decrease in medication non-adherence rates from 60 to 70 percent to less than 20 percent for most patients. The hospital estimates this generates cost savings of nearly $2 million for patients, insurers and the system.

Director, Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, and CEO, James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute

The tremendous research and care coming from the OSU Comprehensive Cancer Center and James Hospital are due in large part to visionary leadership. As director of the OSUCCC and CEO of the James, Dr. Michael Caligiuri has developed steady funding streams, recruited top oncological researchers and launched trailblazing programs for the institution.

Caligiuri led the establishment of the Oncology Research Information Exchange Network in 2014. Founded by the OSUCCC in partnership with the Moffitt Cancer Center of Tampa, ORIEN marries cancer research with big data by giving clinicians a tool to match patients with appropriate clinical trials and conduct more detailed analysis of specific cancer data.

Under his watch, the OSUCCC created the Drug Development Institute in partnership with seven OSU colleges and the university's technology commercialization office. The DDI develops cancer drugs in partnership with pharmaceutical and R&D companies. The DDI has catalogued 30 novel anticancer agents, according to the hospital.

Caligiuri led the opening of the new 306-bed James hospital in December 2014. He also played a key role in establishing the annual Pelotonia cycling fundraiser.