LANCASTER, Ohio (April 10, 2012) – More than 150 people from the Lancaster community and surrounding areas attended the annual “State of the Center,” held April 4 at Fairfield Medical Center (FMC).
The presenters for the evening were Mina Ubbing, FMC president and CEO; Russell Rudy, M.D.; Timothy Custer, M.D.; Jarrod Bruce, M.D.; Sarah Alley, M.D.; Richard Bardales, M.D.; Douglas Pope, M.D.; Bob Williams, R.N., FMC cath lab supervisor; and Krishna Mannava, M.D.
During the welcome, Ubbing spoke of how important it is for the community to become re-acquainted with FMC. “It’s about having the capabilities locally that a community hospital would not normally have,” she said. “Some people will always want to go to the big city for medicine, but the message we’re trying to convey tonight is, you don’t have to.”
Dr. Rudy, FMC emergency department physician, focused on new technology being used to treat stroke patients. FMC offers telestroke technology capabilities through REACH Health. REACH’s telestroke technology allows physicians at FMC to use live video and on-demand patient data to consult with The Ohio State University (OSU) neurologists in Columbus for rapid diagnosis and treatment. “Such technology is crucial to increase the chances of survival for our patients and help with a good outcome after a stroke occurs,” Dr. Rudy said. “We recognize that this is a great benefit to our community and are glad to work in partnership with OSU.”
Another topic that was discussed that evening was the Fairfield Medical Heartburn Center. “We are now able to use a collaborative, patient-centered model of care to provide options for people suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease,” explained Dr. Custer, general surgeon at FMC. “The center provides state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment services for residents of Southeastern Ohio through a partnership with Legato Health Systems, the nation’s leader in heartburn treatment centers.”
Dr. Bruce noted how important it is to have more education regarding respiratory and pulmonary illnesses. “We offer free programs to address any concerns people have and provide helpful information to improve the quality of life of our patients,” he said. “FMC provides great continuity of care for our patients because of the solid relationships among our medical staff.” During his part of the presentation, Dr. Bruce explained how easy it was for him to text a physician or call when he needed assistance in the care of his patients.
When it comes to health and wellness, FMC has been partnering with local businesses to promote fitTOGETHER. Dr. Alley, FMC primary care physician, spoke of the newest fitTOGETHER restaurant at Cristy’s and the new menu options available at Shaw’s Restaurant. “We have formed a partnership not only with the medical community, but also with schools and business to help people lead healthier lives,” Dr. Alley commented. “This is the first generation that might actually die before their parents because of the obesity problem we are facing –not just in our county, but as a nation.”
In regards to heart care, Ubbing was pleased to announce FMC’s Accreditation by the Society of Chest Pain Centers (SCPC). To become an Accredited Chest Pain Center, FMC engaged in a rigorous evaluation by SCPC for its ability to assess, diagnose and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack. “We’re very honored to be recognized. This says that in Lancaster we are a place that you’ll be well-treated, promptly treated and competently treated should you need heart care,” she explained.
Dr. Bardales also mentioned that FMC’s Cardiovascular Institute has made an impact by joining physicians across medical disciplines – from family practice and internal medicine to interventional radiology, nephrology, cardiology and surgery – for the evaluation of current heart care practices and to develop improved methods of heart care delivery to Fairfield Medical Center patients.
Dr. Pope and Williams spoke about the Snider Community Heart Watch and its efforts to protect the community from unnecessary deaths attributed to sudden cardiac arrest. “My hope is for people to leave the presentation with a sense of responsibility to help those in need and do what it takes to save lives,” Dr. Pope said. He also noted that each year in the United States 350,000 Americans die suddenly and unexpectedly due to cardiac arrhythmias. Alarmingly, nearly 4,000 of those are under the age of 35. What was most alarming is that this condition can run in families and can be hidden until it is too late.
A vascular services update was given by Dr. Mannava focusing on the new vascular ultrasound lab located in the cardiovascular diagnostics area, next to the stress testing labs at the north entrance of the hospital. “This new lab meets the needs of patients with potential or known vascular issues,” Dr. Mannava said. “It is staffed with specially trained registered vascular technologists providing non-invasive diagnostic vascular exams to screen for issues such as deep vein thrombosis (blood clots), peripheral vascular disease, as well as many other vascular diseases and conditions.”
At the conclusion of the presentation, Ubbing focused on cancer care services in our area and her hopes to have an outpatient cancer center by 2016. “Patients could receive chemotherapy, radiation oncology, along with their surgery, right here,” she said. “We have the capability to have even more big-city medicine right here in Fairfield County.”
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