A blog by Baptist Health


Screenshot of Jennifer Nickell MD OBGYN Paducah Finding the Right OBGYN


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I've been an OB GYN for twenty one years. I chose obstetrics and gynecology so I could be a part of a woman's whole scope of their health care throughout their years.

It's been very enjoyable for me to be with the females through their childbearing years all the way up until the menopausal and and end of life years. I feel like new patients looking for an OBGYN should find someone that they're comfortable with, that they feel is well trained in their area and has the capability of taking care of their needs and concerns. And I feel that it's important for them to know that the team that's around them is also gonna help take care of them as well. Baptist Health has a lot to offer female patients.

We have a great group of OBGYNs as well as nurse practitioners, midwives, and staff, all who come together to take care of the patients.

My experience at Baptist Health Paducah has been very good. I feel like because there's a larger group of us working together that we're able to provide broader health care options for people. I've always been very honored to take care of patients. They trust us a lot with not only their lives, but the lives of their baby. And that brings a huge amount of trust in a relationship with that patient. And I've been lucky enough over the years to have very special relationships with my patients that have lasted the course of twenty plus years.
Screenshot of Megan Reitenbach, MD, Lexington Treating Thumb Arthritis


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Thumb arthritis is degenerative osteoarthritis, so it's that normal wear and tear similar to arthritic knees or arthritic hips, but it just happens in the base of the thumb. Thumb arthritis typically affects the non dominant hand a little bit more often, and that's usually because of gripping and pinching. So every time we pinch with our fingertips, we're loading that joint, and sometimes we can load that joint up to twenty times. It's a joint pressures that are typically there.

So looking at how we treat thumb arthritis, there are really two kind of components. We have the nonsurgical and the surgical. So it's looking at the nonsurgical options that typically starts with anti inflammatories, both oral, topical anti inflammatories work. And then we also have injections, and the injections are steroid injections.

So injecting the thumb base can really help relieve those symptoms, but they're very similar to injections you might get for your knees or for your hips, and this is actually a really unique part of the body. You can have as many injections as you want because this is an area where I can actually remove that arthritis if ever became a surgical option. So the surgery for thumb CMC arthritis is actually removing a small bone called the trapezium. So we remove that bone and then fashion tendons together to provide a nice hammock and base for the thumb to rest on.

So I got into hand surgery because I love thumb arthritis. I love treating it both non operatively and operatively. So if you've been told that there's nothing that can be done for your thumb arthritis, I would really encourage a visit into a hand surgeon's office office so you can discuss your options, and I would love to treat you.
Screenshot Daniel Kmetz


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Any men that have increased difficulty with urinating, including straining, getting up at night, or having to run urgently or frequently to the bathroom might have an enlarged prostate, and they should all be evaluated by a urologist.

Aquablation therapy is a minimally invasive invasive procedure for enlarged prostates or BPH, and it's one of the most recent developments and technologies for men with enlarged prostates. The main difference in this treatment is it doesn't use cautery to resect the prostate. It uses a high velocity water jet, and because of that, the recovery from the procedure is much faster while having maintained its equal effectiveness.

In our follow-up visits, I've noticed a significant change in patient's urinary symptoms from before and after the procedure. They're most happy with their ability to empty their bladder much faster and easier and without straining. They also tend to not have to run to the restroom as urgently or frequently after the procedure. They also have had no issues with patients with incontinence or leakage afterwards, and they are able to maintain their erectile functions, so overall we're able to treat this problem without causing any significant side effects. Baptist Floyd now offers this procedure and that's an indication of their dedication to the patients in their local community using one of the latest and greatest technologies for men out in our community.
Marti Hackworth RN Richmond Lactation Consultant


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Some of the benefits of seeing a lactation consultant after leaving the hospital is once your milk's in, you can see how much the baby is transferring over when it breastfeeds. A lot of times women need that reassurance so that they know that their baby's getting enough. I really encourage moms to try to be exclusively breastfed because of that being so important to the baby's immune system. And when you get digging into the research, breast milk is not just food.

It's like medicine for the baby. And the benefits to mom is astronomical. Astronomical. You know, for mom to stay healthier throughout her life by breastfeeding, she is decreasing her chance of breast cancer, uterine cancer, type two diabetes later in life, and hypertension later in life.

You know, these are huge health benefits that she's getting by breastfeeding. I just feel passionate that moms need to know this and moms need to do what's gonna make them healthier and their baby healthier. With my years of experience helping moms breast feed, moms come in with sore nipples. I know right then that the latch usually is the problem.

I tell her, you show me what you do, and she'll get her baby on just like she always does. I look and see that the baby's latch is good. And if I don't see that it's good, then I give her some suggestions how to make it better. And a lot of times, that'll fix the soreness.

That'll fix the baby's transfer. And then when the baby transfers, then it's getting good. Usually, once we fix the latch, mama see the baby will go to nursing fifteen minutes on each side, and mom's not a sore, and baby's more satisfied. He gets more sleep, mom gets more sleep.

Win win.
Nashley Steele MD Richmond Emergency Physicians


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Central Mercer Physicians is a physician owned group. We enjoy being a small group that allows us to maintain a connection with every one of our members and sort of create a family feel. We think Central Immersive Physicians provides a higher level of patient care by providing a very unique immersion department to staffing model. A few of the ways that we do that is we have ten hour shifts rather than twelve hour shifts.

Twelve hour shifts have been shown through a lot of research to lead to physician burnout, and quite frankly, the patient care at the end of those twelve hour shifts is not as good. We also have physician overlap, meaning that at the end of one physician shift, another physician is coming in and that allows the, first physician to focus on wrapping up the patient so you do not have to hand it off to the next physician or the next provider. We want the given person who initiated care for that patient to continue the care throughout the entire visit. And then the final part is a one physician to one APP ratio.

And APPs are your physician assistants or your nurse practitioners. You know exactly who you're working with for that shift. You do not get overloaded by patients that you're not familiar with. You actually have time to have detailed conversation about the patients that they're taking care of and even go see those patients if necessary.

We've been at Lexington for thirty two years, and obviously, we've expanded to Baptist Health Richmond. Patient care is number one on their list, and I think they're really focused on making sure that Richmond and surrounding community can come to Baptist Health Richmond, get all the care that they need so they don't have to travel somewhere else. And so we're really excited about that.
Austin Ward MD Paducah Minimally Invasive Heart Procedure


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Miss Burnham, she came to me with symptoms of being tired, and having some funny feelings in her chest whenever she was on the treadmill. With her symptoms, she underwent a heart cath. Miss Burnham had a blockage in the main artery going down the front of her heart. Given that this was the only major blockage that needed treatment in in her young age, I felt like she would do much better with bypass surgery in the long term.

I had a fear of just having my chest cut off because heart disease runs in my family.

And I have experienced it with my dad, my brother, my sister. So I was looking at a new procedure, a minimally invasive with the da Vinci robot.

In some select patients, we can do that where we go between the ribs using the robot to harvest the artery that supplies blood and oxygen to the chest wall and then use that to do the bypass through a small incision under the left breast.

I was very surprised that that technology and expertise a doctor had here in Paducah after researching. Not many hospitals can offer that type of service. I'm very appreciative after getting to know doctor Ward. He performed the procedure, and I was so happy because it was true. The procedure was quick. I was on my feet. He gave me a sense of feeling that I don't think I could have gone outside the Paducah area and gotten.


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My primary care physician sent me for a calcium score because of my blood pressure, and, they found a nodule. So he immediately contacted me and said, you need to go to the lung clinic. I went to see doctor Mahan here at Baptist Hospital.

So when I saw him in clinic, we had this brand new technology called the ion robotic bronchoscopy, and I thought he'd be a great candidate based on location of his tumor and size of his tumor. Ion robotic bronchoscopy is a technology that allows us to get a definitive diagnosis for lung nodules and lung masses with less complications and higher diagnostic yields than more traditional methods. I can access the majority of places inside the lung from the trachea, and we're able to navigate out to any area in the lung or any nodule in the lung to get a diagnosis. We can use the bronchoscopy nodule that will then show up with the da Vinci robot. So we can actually see where the nodule is with the dye while we're doing the robotic procedure.

Three weeks later, I was taken in for surgery, and doctor Mahan removed the upper left lobe in my lung. And, it was a great surgery. I was able to play golf the afternoon of my two week post op, and I'm cancer free still.

We are able to get patients' answers faster, more accurately, with less complications.
Screenshot of Kelly Waespe, MD, Cardiology - Lexington Cardiovascular Evaluation


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Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in Kentucky. We still live in a tobacco dominated state, and so I still have a lot of smokers as patients and a lot of people with genetic risk factors, family members who've had heart attacks. Generally, people are sent to me for something that's found in their primary care doctor's office, or they're sent to me because of symptoms, and those might include chest pain, shortness of breath, or heart racing symptoms. I like to divide the heart into three sections using the house as an analogy, the plumbing system, the foundation, and the electrical system.

The plumbing system would be evaluated on a stress test, so that's looking for blockages. A stress test involves walking on the treadmill, and then we look at the heart before and after with different types of pictures. If you have a murmur or a structural heart problem, that's evaluated on an echo, which is an ultra sound of the heart. And then a heart monitor looks at the electrical system of the heart or heart rhythm issues.

If you're getting a heart monitor, it's usually lot of patients lot of patients who are motivated after finding heart disease, who go to cardiac rehab programs after a stint, who really get better exercise endurance, who get better with their shortness of breath, and they do well after that.

"I’m just so appreciative for the life that I have and realize how many blessings I have and to not take any of it for granted."

Maddie Campbell had a hole in her heart and didn’t know it

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