HMH invests to enhance nuclear medicine, continue robotic surgery

October 15, 2019

Board of trustees approves $2.7+ million in expenditures for advanced equipment

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky, October 15, 2019 – The Hardin Memorial Health (HMH) Board of Trustees has approved the purchase of state-of-the-art equipment for the HMH robotic surgery and nuclear medicine programs. HMH leaders presented the investment plans at the board’s meeting Tuesday.

The investments include an approximately $1.8 million expenditure to lease a Da Vinci robot with the latest technology. HMH’s existing onsite Da Vinci robot’s technology is becoming outdated and the manufacturer is no longer offering some of the system’s instruments and accessories.

“The latest-generation Da Vinci robot allows surgeons to continue performing robotic procedures including general, urologic and gynecologic surgeries,” said HMH Assistant Vice President of Surgical Services Rita Pardee. “These procedures are minimally invasive, which translates to better patient outcomes, shorter hospital stays and the ability to stay close to home.”

In addition, the board approved approximately $900,000 in new nuclear medicine equipment and construction related to its installation. The funds cover the purchase of a Siemens dual head SPECT gamma camera and a Siemens SPECT-CT system.

Nuclear medicine involves giving patients a small amount of radioactive medication. The equipment detects the radiation emitted by the medication. Further, the SPECT-CT system merges two types of images, providing more precise information.

“It’s essential that we keep pace with the evolving needs of nuclear medicine technology,” said HMH Enterprise Director of Medical Imaging Bert Jones. “This investment ensures that we provide the highest quality diagnostic imaging and exceed our patients’ expectations for comfort and convenience.”

Jones also noted that the equipment positions HMH to handle increasing patient volumes. In the last two years, demand for HMH nuclear medicine services has increased 11 percent to approximately 320 procedures each month.

“These investments are important steps forward as HMH meets the growing demand for advanced services throughout our region,” Carrico said.

In other board news:

Financials. Also at the meeting, HMH Interim Chief Financial Officer Pam Gallagher presented financial reports for August and September, reporting a net operating loss of $471,000 in August and a gain of $421,000 in September. In addition, the board reviewed the 2019 audit results from BKD CPAs and Advisors. The firm issued a “clean” opinion of 2019 financial statements, which recorded a net operating profit of $1.36 million for the fiscal year ending June 30.

Volunteers. The board of trustees recognized the Volunteers of the Month for January through September. They include Becky Grant, Bettye Russell, Jean Logsdon, the late Dan Dantzler, Barbara Phillips, Mildred Pharris, Sandy Phelps, Violet Parks and Emma Tyler.

Ambassadors. Ann Taylor Cox and Roger Grimes were named the HMH Ambassadors of the Month for September. Cox works at Bardstown Family Medical Center as was nominated by a co-worker for her genuine concern for co-workers and willingness to help people. A co-worker nominated Grimes, a supply tech in the storeroom, after he helped make sure a patient received a replacement trach button. 

Rosa Vittitoe was named the HMH Ambassador of the Month for October. A co-worker nominated Vittitoe, a stroke coordinator on the clinical outcome team, for treating everyone she encounters like family and for the impact she’s made on patient care.

Daisy Award. HMH’s Inez Caswell, a registered nurse in the Intensive Care Unit, received the September DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses. She was nominated after caring for a very sick patient and meeting the emotional and spiritual needs of his family. Specifically, when all possible interventions had been put in place for a patient and the family learned of the poor prognosis, she fulfilled a young grandson’s request to pray with the family.