Karla Smith Foundation Joins Extreme Makeover: Home Edition in Kansas to Increase Mental Health Awareness

Karla Smith Foundation Joins Extreme Makeover: Home Edition in Kansas to Increase Mental Health Awareness











Karla Smith Foundation Volunteers on the Set of ‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition’


Ottawa, KS (PRWEB) August 09, 2011

The Karla Smith Foundation, a St. Louis area based non-profit organization that provides support to families and friends affected by mental illness and suicide, spent the first week of August on the set of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” working to build a new, dream home for the Allen Hill Family of Ottawa, Kansas. Retired Staff Sergeant Allen Hill was nearly killed by a massive roadside bomb while serving in Iraq and now lives with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

BringChange2Mind, a partner organization of the Karla Smith Foundation, nominated the Hill Family for “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”. BringChange2Mind was founded by The Fountain House in New York, the International Mental Health Research Organization (IMHRO), Children Adolescent and Bipolar Foundation (CABF), and Oscar-winning actress Glenn Close, whose sister, Jessie, has bipolar disorder. The non-profit’s mission is to fight the stigma that surrounds mental illness. The show, set to air in October, will focus on Sergeant Allen Hill, his wife, Gina, and their children. In selecting the Hill Family, ABC Extreme also agreed to feature mental illness awareness in the two-hour episode.

“This week has been an outpouring of support from a local community for a very deserving family,” said Kevin Smith, Vice-President of Karla Smith Foundation, who has been in Kansas all week working as a Volunteer Lead and helped setup the Mental Health Awareness Tent. “The topic of mental illness has opened a lot of people’s eyes in this area and will touch many more across the country when the show airs.”

While SSgt. Allen Hill has recovered from the physical wounds of war, he has developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and just returned home from years-long inpatient treatment. Environmental triggers such as loud noises, crowds, dimly lit spaces and long hallways, can instigate Post Traumatic Stress Disorder episodes. The ‘extreme’ home is being built to make his treatment easier, as the home will be sound-proofed and will include a safe room for Allen to go in case of an episode. As not to trigger a PTSD episode for Allen, for the first time in the show’s eight year history, a silent revealing occurred. A crowd of several thousand people waving American flags showed their support by watching quietly for over 20 minutes as Ty Pennington welcomed the family during the famous ‘move that bus’ moment.

The Karla Smith Foundation has formed a strong relationship with SSgt. Hill and his wife Gina. Gina has become an active advocate for families whose loved ones suffer with PTSD. She is the author of an award nominated blog, has served on a media panel, and has spoken at mental health conferences and on Capitol Hill. In addition, Gina and her husband were interviewed on the Oprah Winfrey Show in May, 2009.

Gina will be speaking at the Karla Smith Foundation’s annual “Erase the Stigma Conference”, which will take place August 26-27, at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville, Illinois. Gina will share her family’s hopes and struggles as she has steered her family through the maze of mental illness, treatment and recovery. Gina will address: journeying with loved ones with mental illness, family and marriage issues, and care giving as a mother of young children.

“This week a house was built with hammers, nails, sweat and tears, but a home was made with hope, grace and strength,” said Erin Hazen, a Karla Smith Foundation volunteer working in the catering tent.

The Hill Family edition of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” is set to air in October, 2011 and will be a special two hour episode. You can learn more about Allen Hill and his family on the BringChange2Mind Facebook Page.

About Karla Smith Foundation

The Karla Smith Foundation offers support groups for family members of those with mental illness, support groups for families coping with suicide grief, peer-to-peer coaching, free education materials, public awareness events, a resource directory, and financial aid to family members and friends of those affected by mental illness and suicide. Since 2005, The Karla Smith Foundation has worked to combat the stigma of mental illness, and in 2009, partnered with the BringChange2Mind campaign co-founded by actress Glenn Close. For more information on the Karla Smith Foundation, visit http://www.karlasmithfoundation.org.

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Geisinger Partners with Orion Health to Build Mission-Critical Foundation for Data Integration

Geisinger Partners with Orion Health to Build Mission-Critical Foundation for Data Integration












Santa Monica, CA (PRWEB) May 23, 2011

Geisinger Health System, a physician-led health care system dedicated to health care, education, research and service spanning 42 counties and serving 2.6 million people, has selected the Orion Health Rhapsody Integration Engine as the health system’s new platform for migrating, managing, and streamlining message exchange between over 200 clinical and business systems. The new integration engine will enable them to better participate in Pennsylvania’s Keystone Health Information Exchange.

Gregory Miller, technical analyst at Geisinger explains, “We needed a reliable and flexible data integration platform that supports newer technology capabilities and connectivity to our RHIO — Rhapsody is a key component in our participation — and participation in health information exchanges. Rhapsody will also support our goals to automate and connect to federal programs such as NHIN and PHIN.”

Geisinger Health System’s previous integration engine was sunsetting so they used the opportunity to review their criteria list and explore other product options. Rhapsody was selected for its ability to provide a broad set of monitoring capabilities, for its easy to use drag and drop functionality and its ability to run anywhere, including UNIX. In addition, Rhapsody provides a migration tool set to enable a seamless, step by step process away from eGate, significantly reducing migration time.

Orion Health Senior Vice President of Global Marketing Christopher Ward says, organizations faced with a sunset situation as with eGate have the opportunity to deploy a platform for the future. “Orion Health’s focus on health care customers results in products that are remarkably straight forward and adapted to future requirements. Rhapsody’s eGate migration tool kit means an IT department can reduce the time it spends replacing technology and implement a platform to get on to the current and future business of meeting health data exchange needs.”

“Geisinger Health System is a leader in developing systems that help patients and physicians use technology to connect for better health outcomes. Orion Health is delighted to enjoy association with innovative, mission-forward organizations like Geisinger.”

Orion Health solutions use standards-based technology to integrate data within a facility and external partners without incurring costly rip and replace approaches. Currently the company helps facilities and healthcare communities that connect 35 million patients with tens of thousands of active users.

About Orion Health™ Rhapsody® Integration Engine

Orion Health Rhapsody is a powerful integration engine that delivers advanced inter-system messaging capabilities to health sector organizations of all kinds. Rhapsody is designed for rapid, effortless installation and use, and enables quick accurate and efficient exchange of electronic data. For more information please see http://www.orionhealth.com/products.

About Geisinger Health System

Geisinger is an integrated health services organization widely recognized for its innovative use of the electronic health record, and the development and implementation of innovative care models including ProvenHealth Navigator, an advanced medical home model, and ProvenCare® (“warranty”) program. The system serves more than 2.6 million residents throughout 42 counties in central and northeastern Pennsylvania. For more information, visit http://www.geisinger.org.

About Orion Health Inc.

Orion Health™ is the leading Health Information Exchange (HIE) solution provider with expertise in clinical workflow and integration technology for the healthcare sector. Orion Health’s easy-to-use solutions and applications improve patient care and clinical decision making by enabling the exchange of healthcare information among disparate systems and providing integrated health data in a single, unified view. By extending existing healthcare information systems, the Orion Health™ Rhapsody Integration Engine and workflow solutions provide healthcare workers with easy access to patient data and trends, and reduce errors and omissions by streamlining information transfer. Orion Health HIE also supports Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) continuing their goal of improved care coordination, cost savings and better quality of care.

Worldwide, Orion Health has deployed health information communities involving over 35 million patients with hundreds of thousands of active clinical users including Maine’s HealthInfoNet, Alberta Health Services and Spain’s IB Salut. Orion Health’s partners include leading health system integrators and IT vendors such as Accenture, Allscripts, IBM, Oracle, Philips and others. Orion Health has more than 1,000 clients around the world, including Lahey Clinic, Ochsner Health System, UCLA Medical Center, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Spain’s IB Salut, South Eastern Norwegian Regional Health Authority, New Zealand Ministry of Health. Orion Health is a preferred Canada Health Infoway Solution. More information can be found at http://www.orionhealth.com.

Orion Health and Rhapsody are registered trademarks of Orion Health Inc, its parent/or its affiliates. Other names used may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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Vocus©Copyright 1997-

, Vocus PRW Holdings, LLC.
Vocus, PRWeb, and Publicity Wire are trademarks or registered trademarks of Vocus, Inc. or Vocus PRW Holdings, LLC.