A blog by Baptist Health


Image of Vernon Brewer, DO - Planning for End-of-Life Care

Richmond Advanced Care Planning

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♪ End-of-life care is definitely a hard conversation, but it's also a very good conversation. You know, we can talk about being able to wrap up things in your life that you want to leave, a legacy with your loved ones, talking to them. The planning for end-of-life is important because it takes the burden off of the loved ones. Just knowing what the patient wants is extremely important, and it allows them to maybe even spend that time with their loved ones as opposed to worrying or looking for paperwork or trying to discuss what they would want in that situation.

There's different kinds of forms that you can fill out to help give your loved ones some guidance. The forms could be as simple as naming somebody you want to be your decision-maker and just leaving it at that and trusting that that person of your choosing knows what your wishes are and will make decisions based on your life values. The MOST form is a form that we use now in Kentucky for the last several years, and it gives a lot of detail about what the patient wants. So the patient can sit down specifically with their provider and it can go through and say, "I want IV fluids.

I want or I don't want to be brought back to the hospital, I want to be resuscitated or I don't want to be resuscitated." As a physician, being able to help facilitate those conversations and to make that journey as peaceful and as good as it can be, because end-of-life can be a beautiful process as well.
Image of Richard Pokorny, MD - General Surgery Close to Home

La Grange General Surgical Care

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♪ General surgery is a very broad-based specialty. We take care of a lot of surgical conditions, principally abdomen but chest such as breast and head and neck as well. We do a lot of a lot of things and that makes all the difference in the world because doing a lot of a lot of things makes you good at a lot of things and that knowledge base allows you to broaden your horizons when you're taking care of somebody and not lose the forest for the trees. So we are specialists.

We just specialize in a very wide variety of surgeries. I'm part of a very large group at Baptist Louisville. We started coming out to La Grange in January. And one of my other partners, Dr.

Lindsay Arnold, comes out here and that's where the specialization comes into play. Like Dr. Arnold has an extensive breast surgery practice. I do all sorts of advanced laparoscopic minimally invasive abdominal surgery and as general surgeons, we provide things to a smaller community, where you don't have to go to Louisville, yet you still get the quality of care that you would associate with a larger medical center.

So we are expanding the horizons of all the advanced general surgery care that can be provided here at La Grange. There's very little limit to what we can provide out here.
Image of Brianna Holderbaum - Behavioral Health at the Thrive Center

Richmond Behavioral Health Center

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♪ The Thrive Center at Baptist Health Richmond is an 11-bed inpatient psychiatric unit for adults who have mental health disorders including severe depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, self-harming behaviors, and suicidal thoughts. When a patient is admitted to the Thrive Center, they can expect to meet with our psychiatrist for medication management. They will have individual therapy, group therapy, family sessions. We have a recreational therapist who will do recreational activities.

We also do individualized care planning and aftercare planning. And we also have access to case managers and peer support services. The goals of the treatment team are to help each patient achieve their individual goals and provide symptom relief and help teach them the skills to thrive in the community. Before we had the Thrive Center, patients would come through the ER, they would meet with the therapist, and then they would have to decide which level of care they needed.

If they needed inpatient treatment at that time, then we would have to transport individuals outside of their community. And now that we have the Thrive Center, patients are able to be admitted to our hospital here at Baptist Health and stay within their community. I love being able to meet a patient where they are and provide compassionate care for them and help them along their journey to wellness at the Thrive Center.

Paducah Prostate Aquablation Treatment

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♪ - [Dr. Spicer]

Aquablation treats BPH or benign prostate hyperplasia. And benign prostate hyperplasia is just an increased number of normal cells of the prostate. It's a very common problem. Actually, by 50 years old, half of men will have symptoms that are related to their BPH.

And by the time men get to the age of 80, over 90% are having complaints about urination secondary to their prostate. Because the prostate tissue does two things. It can obstruct the urethra and it also causes changes in the bladder to cause urination symptoms. There are several options to treat BPH, among them, medications and other types of therapy.

But what Aquablation adds to the picture is Aquablation is a heat-free water jet that's controlled by a robot. It allows us to be very precise about the removal of prostate tissue, but more importantly, gives us predictive results with each patient.

- [Larry]

Dr. Spicer explained it like a power washer, where it blasts away, but it's done in a way that is very controlled.

- When a new treatment comes available to us, we want to be able to offer that to our patients. Fortunately Baptist Health Paducah has allowed us that opportunity to use cutting-edge technology that improves patient safety profiles and results. So obviously, as a physician, I'm delighted to have it as an option.

- Aquablation, it's very minimal recovery time. You know, I couldn't be more pleased with it.

Louisville Sleep Apnea Treatment

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♪ Sleep apnea is a condition where a patient stops breathing more often than they should during their sleep. So if you're noticing snoring, concerns for stopping breathing, and your sleep just isn't restorative or isn't refreshing, that would be a reason to get checked out for sleep apnea. In terms of treatment for sleep apnea, the gold standard is still a CPAP machine. One more option would be the Inspire therapy, which is newer, and for patients with more moderate to severe sleep apnea who cannot tolerate a CPAP machine.

So the Inspire therapy is essentially a nerve stimulator which is implanted in the chest wall of the patient through an outpatient procedure with only two incisions. The entire point of this device is that when the patient is sleeping, that device will stimulate the nerve which controls the movement of the tongue. Therefore, during sleep, the tongue will move forward in the patient's mouth as opposed to backwards and shutting the airway. In terms of the effectiveness of Inspire, the data is robust and it shows dramatic improvements in the events of stopping breathing, as well as improvements in how the patient feels the next day, in terms of how well-rested they feel.

So seeing a patient walk in after being treated for sleep apnea, I see them improving how they do at work. I see relationships improving. I see them functioning well in their communities and it's just a great feeling to be able to be a part of that.

General Surgical Care

Corbin Heart Imaging

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- [Dr. Croce]

A cardiac CTA or cardiac computed tomography angiography is a heart imaging test. It uses CT technology with IV contrast to visualize the coronary arteries or other heart structures in detail. The purpose is to look for blocked or narrowed arteries and to look at other abnormalities of the heart such as the valves or if there are congenital abnormalities involving the heart. It is a little bit different than a regular CT because it does involve the injection of dye into one of the veins, and it also uses computers to help reconstruct thin slices through your heart into a three-dimensional model so that we can visualize the structures more clearly.

Some of the benefits include a very short procedure time. Also, it's much less invasive than previously what we had done to look at the heart arteries, which involved threading catheters through the arteries. Cardiac CTA is not for everybody. People with irregular heart rates or heart rhythms, people who are severely obese, or people who may have already had stents placed in their heart vessels, that can affect the quality of the exam significantly and may not benefit from having the study done.

Cardiac CTA is a very advanced imaging tool, and it is a great benefit that our patients right here in Corbin have access to this imaging study without having to travel far distances to large cities.

Corbin Personalized Heart Care

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- [Dr. Brandon]

Candidates for the Heart Failure Clinic at Baptist Health Corbin are patients that have a historical or new heart failure diagnosis, patients with known difficulties with either their pumping or filling functions of their heart. We provide a multitude of services for our patients. We have a nurse, pharmacist, and a provider that evaluate the patient and use a team-based approach to find the individual needs.

- [Marvin]

They knew what my story was. They knew what to do. They knew what to look at. They asked all the right questions to figure out what my situation really was.

- Here at the Heart Failure Clinic, we are able to individually titrate and adjust medications. The same combination of medications isn't appropriate for every patient, and we take those factors into consideration. We use their vital signs, their blood work, even factors such as weight loss to determine what adjustments we might need to make for the patient, and that requires sometimes frequent visits, and we utilize your visits to individualize your treatment.

- Apparently these heart drugs take time to work. You don't just start them and stop them. And they keep a check on them, they see how they're doing, do they need to be adjusted. Well, this is good, but that's not so good.

We need to change this. Who else is going to do that stuff? Nobody else. These are the people who have worked with me and who have saved my life.

"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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