Blessing will call the department the Hospital Medicine Program.

Blessing Hospital will staff and manage its hospitalist service effective Feb. 6. For the past seven years hospitalist care has been provided by a national company, Sound Physicians.

A hospitalist is a physician specially trained to care for patients while they are hospitalized. A member of the hospitalist team is on duty around-the-clock, every day.

Today many primary care providers consult with hospitalists to care for their patients when the patient is admitted to the hospital. This in turn makes the primary care provider more available to patients needing office-based care, rather than the provider splitting time between the office and the hospital.

Hospitalists are, in essence, a primary care provider’s partner in the hospital. They communicate with the patient’s primary care provider regularly during the hospital stay with the primary care physician resuming care of the patient after discharge from the hospital.

Blessing will call the department the Hospital Medicine Program.

“Sound showed us the way,” said Elliot Kuida, Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer, Blessing Hospital. “We contracted with them to start the program and they delivered outstanding results.

“Over the years we have seen the benefits of the hospitalist program for patients and their primary care providers,” Kuida concluded. “It is now time for Blessing Hospital to staff and manage the program as part of our integrated health system.”

“Blessing employing hospitalists directly, rather than contracting with a third party for the care, better aligns priorities between the hospital and provider and supports a shared organizational mission,” said Mary Frances Barthel, MD, Chief Quality and Safety Officer, Blessing Hospital. “This allows the hospitalist to be a part of the Blessing Hospital family.”

Blessing has hired Angelo Llana, MD, as Medical Director of the Blessing Hospital Hospital Medicine program. Llana is board certified in internal medicine. He comes to Blessing from Heartland Hospitalist Program in St. Joseph, Mo., where he provided care for the past 13 years.

Additional physicians and nurse practitioners are being recruited.