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Brodhead Family Care now open

Finley Hendrickson, M.D., returns to Brodhead to practice family medicine

Rockcastle Regional Hospital and Dr. Finley Hendrickson, along with nurse practitioner Barbara Prather, are bringing family health care to the town of Brodhead.

Brodhead Family Care, part of Rockcastle Regional Hospital’s healthcare system, is now open and offering the same quality services as the hospital’s main campus in Mt. Vernon.

Dr. Hendrickson, a native of Brodhead, and Barbara Prather, an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, are seeing patients there in a newly renovated office building at 46 West Main Street.

Dr. Hendrickson retired from his Danville practice in 2016, and when the opportunity arose, he was ready to begin practicing in his hometown.

“I always thought Brodhead is a place that needs a rural health clinic,” he said. “This gives people in Brodhead and Crab Orchard a place they can go to get the care they need.”

The practice, which is open 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, features new exam rooms and equipment. The staff – receptionist Heather Bustle and nurse Hope Johnson – are also from Brodhead.
“I’ve been impressed with the staff and facility,” Dr. Hendrickson said, “and the hospital has been very supportive.”

“We’re very pleased to be able to provide this level of quality care to the residents of Brodhead and Crab Orchard,” said Stephen A. Estes, Rockcastle Regional president and CEO. “With Dr. Hendrickson’s years of experience and the level of respect he has earned, and given that he is from Brodhead, we couldn’t have found a better fit. Add to that the experience of Barbara Prather, and we feel confident that we are meeting the need for family care in Brodhead.”

Prather brings more than 30 years of experience as a nurse in varied settings, but she’s always been attracted to family practice, and she knew that’s what she wanted to pursue once she became a nurse practitioner.

“I chose to be a family nurse practitioner so I could work directly with people of all ages,” said Prather, who lives in Somerset. “I want to help them to live healthier lives.”

To make an appointment or for more information, call 758-4748.

Ranked 4th in the nation for patient room cleanliness

Rockcastle Regional Hospital and Respiratory Care Center has been ranked 4th in the nation for having the cleanest patient rooms, as reported by patients. Rockcastle Regional received an average score of 94 percent, while the national average of all hospitals is 74 percent.

Becker’s Hospital Review released the list of hospitals based on data reported by The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers (HCAHPS) survey. The results are based on patient feedback that their room and bathroom were always clean and reflect responses from April 2015 through March 2016, the most recent data available on the CMS Hospital Compare website.

“We are exceptionally proud of the work we do every day to keep our patients safe in a healthy environment,” said Carol Bryant, Rockcastle Regional director of environmental services. “This recognition is a testament to our continued dedication and commitment to always providing our patients with the cleanest of rooms we can offer.”

While patient response data provided on the CMS Hospital Compare website is helpful, it really only provides a snapshot of patient responses from more than a year ago. As a standardized survey instrument to provide hospitals with patient feedback, CMS reports more up-to-date HCAHPS results to hospitals than is reported on Hospital Compare.

Looking at data from the last 24 months, Rockcastle Regional has received an average patient response score of 98 percent that their room and bathroom were always clean.

President and CEO of Rockcastle Regional, Stephen A. Estes attributes these sustained results to the hard work of the environmental services staff around the clock. “Patient safety is at the core of everything we do at Rockcastle Regional. Exceptional care and quality outcomes cannot be achieved for our patients if they are not provided in a clean and safe environment. This is at the heart of our patient care.”

Rockcastle Regional named a Best Place to Work in Kentucky

Rockcastle Regional Hospital and Respiratory Care Center has been named a Best Place to Work in Kentucky for 2017 by the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and the Kentucky Society for Human Resource Management (KYSHRM). This is Rockcastle Regional’s second year-in-a-row to be named to the list.

“We are incredibly proud to be named a Best Place to Work in Kentucky,” said Carmen Poynter, human resources director at Rockcastle Regional. “Our goal is to create a work environment that attracts talented individuals who choose to be employed at Rockcastle Regional because they believe in our mission and core values. Our employees take great pride in being part of a team that conducts purposeful, worthwhile, and meaningful work.”

Winners from across the state have been selected in three categories: small companies of 15-149 employees, medium companies of 150-499 employees, and large companies consisting of 500 or more employees. Rockcastle Regional was named a winner in the large company category based on its 678 employees. The selection process, managed by Best Companies Group, is based on an assessment of the company’s employee policies and procedures and the results of an internal employee survey.

The competition is a multi-year initiative designed to motivate companies in the Commonwealth to focus, measure, and move their workplace environments toward excellence.

“Engaged employees who are dedicated to the highest standards of job performance are the foundation for great organizations,” said Stephen A. Estes, Rockcastle Regional president and CEO. “For healthcare organizations in particular, studies have shown a correlation in engaged employees and the delivery of higher quality care, resulting in better health outcomes for patients. That’s why we are committed to creating the best workplace for our employees, because ultimately, that’s what’s best for our patients.”

Rockcastle Regional will be recognized at an awards dinner on April 26 where the final winner rankings will be announced.

For more information about career opportunities at Rockcastle Regional, or to apply for a job, please visit www.rockcastleregional.org/careers.

Rockcastle Regional Hospital and Respiratory Care Center is a not-for-profit community healthcare system that operates an emergency department, outpatient services, a 20-bed acute care hospital, a 99-bed long-term care program for residents dependent upon mechanical ventilation and three rural health clinics. Rockcastle Regional Hospital was established in 1956 and is accredited by the Joint Commission. The organization is an eight-time Kentucky Hospital Association Quality Award Winner, a U.S. News & World Report Best Nursing Home for 2013 and 2014, a winner of the Women’s Choice Award for America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Patient Experience 2013-2015, was recognized with the Women’s Choice Award as an America’s Best Emergency Care Hospital in 2015 and 2016, and a recipient of the 2013 Jackson Healthcare Charitable Services Award. For more information, please visit www.rockcastleregional.org.

Dinner with Dr. Bakhos

You’re invited to a free catered dinner and presentation:

All About Colon Cancer

Introducing
Dr. William Bakhos
Surgeon • Rockcastle Regional

Join us
Tuesday, March 21
6:00 p.m. • Rockcastle Middle School

To sign up, please call Kayla Rowe at 256-7767 by Monday, March 20 at 4 p.m.

Open Interviews: SRNAs

Open Interviews
State Registered Nurse Aides

Rockcastle Regional Hospital & Respiratory Care Center in Mt. Vernon is holding open interviews for SRNAs on March 21-22 and 28-29 from 9 to 11 a.m. in the Outpatient Services Center third floor Human Resources office (110 Newcomb Avenue, Mt. Vernon, KY). Must be an active nurse aide with the Kentucky Nurse Aide Registry. High school diploma or equivalent is required.

Full-Time Benefits Include:
-Paid Vacation & PTO
-Health, Dental, & Vision Insurance
-Employer Paid Life Insurance
-Employee Wellness Program
-401K Retirement Program
-Onsite daycare/child development center

Second time winning “Best Places to Work”

Rockcastle Regional Hospital and Respiratory Care Center has been named a “Best Places to Work in Kentucky” for 2017 by the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and the Kentucky Society for Human Resource Management (KYSHRM). This is Rockcastle Regional’s second year-in-a-row to be named to the list.

“We are incredibly proud to be named a Best Place to Work in Kentucky,” said Carmen Poynter, human resources director at Rockcastle Regional. “Our goal is to create a work environment that attracts talented individuals who choose to be employed at Rockcastle Regional because they believe in our mission and core values. Our employees take great pride in being part of a team that conducts purposeful, worthwhile, and meaningful work.”

Winners from across the state have been selected in three categories: small companies of 15-149 employees, medium companies of 150-499 employees, and large companies consisting of 500 or more employees. Rockcastle Regional was named a winner in the large company category based on its 678 employees. The selection process, managed by Best Companies Group, is based on an assessment of the company’s employee policies and procedures and the results of an internal employee survey.

The competition is a multi-year initiative designed to motivate companies in the Commonwealth to focus, measure, and move their workplace environments toward excellence.

“Engaged employees who are dedicated to the highest standards of job performance are the foundation for great organizations,” said Stephen A. Estes, Rockcastle Regional president and CEO. “For healthcare organizations in particular, studies have shown a correlation in engaged employees and the delivery of higher quality care, resulting in better health outcomes for patients. That’s why we are committed to creating the best workplace for our employees, because ultimately, that’s what’s best for our patients.”

Rockcastle Regional will be recognized at an awards dinner on April 26 where the final winner rankings will be announced.

For more information about career opportunities at Rockcastle Regional, or to apply for a job, please visit www.rockcastleregional.org/careers.

Rockcastle Regional Hospital and Respiratory Care Center is a not-for-profit community healthcare system that operates an emergency department, outpatient services, a 20-bed acute care hospital, a 99-bed long-term care program for residents dependent upon mechanical ventilation and three rural health clinics. Rockcastle Regional Hospital was established in 1956 and is accredited by the Joint Commission. The organization is an eight-time Kentucky Hospital Association Quality Award Winner, a U.S. News & World Report Best Nursing Home for 2013 and 2014, a winner of the Women’s Choice Award for America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Patient Experience 2013-2017, was recognized with the Women’s Choice Award as an America’s Best Emergency Care Hospital in 2015 and 2016, and a recipient of the 2013 Jackson Healthcare Charitable Services Award. For more information, please visit www.rockcastleregional.org.

Lung Cancer: Early detection is key

Lung cancer is the number one cancer killer in the country. It is the most common cancer worldwide, representing 13 percent of all cancer diagnoses. The most recent study showed that in 2013, Kentucky led the nation with the highest age-adjusted incidence rates for both men and women for lung cancer.

Currently, there are three screening methods for lung cancer: sputum cytology (looks for cancer cells in a patient’s sputum), standard chest x-ray, and low-dose CT scan. While all three methods detect signs of lung cancer, only studies on the low-dose CT scan show an actual reduction in the likelihood of death from the disease. Additionally, the low-dose CT scan poses less risk to the patient than the regular diagnostic chest CT because the radiation exposure is much lower.

In 2011, a study was released by the National Cancer Institute which compared the effectiveness of reducing the mortality rate from lung cancer from standard chest x-rays to that of low-dose CT scans. The decade-long study showed a 20 percent reduction in the death rate from this type of cancer.

Unlike some other cancers, patients with lung cancer typically only begin showing symptoms once the disease is in its later stages and has spread to other areas of the body.

When lung cancer is detected in its earliest stage, the survival rate is 55 percent; however, only 16 percent of lung cancer cases are diagnosed this early. For those found in later stages, the five-year survival rate drops to 4 percent. This is why early-detection lung screening, like low-dose CT, is so important.

In August 2016, Rockcastle Regional Hospital began offering low-dose CT scans. Since then, approximately 300 scans have been performed and 29 have returned test results that are suspicious of cancer. “The national average for suspicious results from low-dose CT scans is 3 percent,” said John Mitchell, director of Radiology at Rockcastle Regional. In this community, we are nearing triple that at 10 percent.

While low-dose CT scan is an excellent screening tool, it is not recommended for everyone. Those who are candidates for this test must meet all of the following “high-risk” criteria:

-55-77 years of age
-30 pack-year history of smoking. (Pack-years are calculated by multiplying the average number of packs of cigarettes smoked per day by the number of years a person has smoked. Example: 1 pack a day for 30 years, 2 packs a day for 15 years, etc.)
-Are a current smoker or have quit within the last 15 years.

If you think you are a candidate for this screening, it is important to note that some insurance plans may not cover this test. It is best to check with your insurance plan for coverage of the screening and for any additional procedures, as there may be other costs associated even if the actual screening is free. The American Lung Association offers a checklist of questions to ask your insurance provider when calling to inquire about the screening. Visit lung.org to learn more.

Caring for the youngest of patients

Hospice Care Plus presented it’s prestigious Above and Beyond Award at its 2016 annual dinner in December. The awards are given each year to civic groups, non-profits, churches, businesses, or other organizations that go to great lengths to support the mission of Hospice Care Plus and its patients and families.

During the dinner, Rockcastle Pediatrics and Adolescents was recognized with this high honor, along with three other organizations from across the region.

Rockcastle Pediatrics and Adolescents, or RockPeds, was thanked for its essential support of pediatric patients served by Hospice Care Plus. Practice physicians Dr. Callie Shaffer and Dr. Sarah Oliver both serve as medical directors for Hospice’s youngest patients.

Hospice Care Plus presented the award because both Shaffer and Oliver “make themselves available 24/7 to oversee medical care, participate in care team meetings, write orders for prescriptions, and help design plans of care that promote quality of life, and pain and symptom management.”

In presenting the award, Hospice Care Plus noted that without the support of Rockcastle Pediatrics, its staff, and Drs. Shaffer and Oliver, it would be difficult, if not impossible to provide care for pediatric hospice patients and their families.

Dr. Shaffer was honored to accept the award and said, “While it’s very emotional to provide palliative care for children, it’s great to work with such a high quality team as the Hospice Care Plus’ nurses and staff.”

Love Your Heart (Womens Heart Health)

From your head to your feet, keep a healthy heartbeat!

Ladies, you’re invited to join us for the 9th annual Love Your Heart event on February 9, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. in Rockcastle Regional’s Wellness Center. This event features door prizes, a healthy dinner, and a free gift for every lady. RSVP by February 6 to Kayla Rowe at (606) 256-7767.

Colon Cancer: Prevention is key

Colonoscopies are key to preventing cancer, and they aren’t as bad as you think

By Dalton Godbey, Southern KY AHEC Intern

The word “colonoscopy” conjures such dread that it’s a subject either to be avoided or sometimes treated in a joking way. Like a root canal, it’s the last thing most people want to have done if it’s not absolutely necessary.

But to decrease risk of colorectal cancer, it’s a necessity, and it’s not a joking matter.

Colon cancer strikes more than 130,000 people in the U.S. and is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among cancers that affect both men and women. In 2013, Kentucky had the highest incidence of colon cancer in the nation, and the fourth highest mortality rate.

But it’s also one of the most preventable and treatable cancers if found in its early stages. That’s where colonoscopies come in. And compared to the alternative of unchecked polyps or even cancer, a colonoscopy is nothing to dread.

This past summer, the Southern Kentucky Area Health Education Center and the Colon Cancer Prevention Project teamed up to educate the region about the importance of early detection of colorectal cancer. That early detection often involves a colonoscopy.

Amy Bray has worked as a registered nurse in the operating room at Rockcastle Regional Hospital for the last 10 years. Part of her job is to assist with colonoscopies.

“It’s really a simple procedure, and people don’t realize that.” Bray said.

A colonoscopy starts with some preparation a day before the actual procedure. A patient is put on a liquid diet and then drinks a bowel preparation drink in the evening to help cleanse the colon.

“A lot of people say the prep is the worst part, but it isn’t all that bad,” Bray said.

When they arrive for the procedure the next morning, patients are prepped and taken into a room where they are connected to an IV and have their vital signs checked. They are then sedated for the procedure, which only lasts about an hour and is done by using a scope to view the inside walls of the lower intestine.

“Once the procedure is over, patients wake up and don’t even realize that it has been done.” Bray said.

Colonoscopies typically are recommended at age 50. Regular colonoscopies allow doctors to prevent colorectal cancer by removing polyps from the colon before they turn cancerous. But those with a family history of colorectal cancer or symptoms such as pain in the lower stomach, a change in bowel habits, or blood in the stool should consult their physician to see if a colonoscopy is recommended. One in seven cases of colorectal cancer occurs in those under 50.

“Get it done,” Bray said. “It could save your life.”

Bray said a key factor in improving screening rates is education – not only about the importance of screening but also about the process of getting a colonoscopy. Many have an unfounded sense of fear.

Despite that sense of fear, Rockcastle Countians seem to be getting the message. In the hospital’s 2016 Community Health Needs Assessment survey, 75 percent of those surveyed over 50 said they had received a colonoscopy, which is above the state average.

Still, the survey also revealed many misperceptions about the procedure.

“A lot of people would be more willing to have screenings done if they knew what actually happens.” she said. “A few hours getting colonoscopy is nothing compared to your whole life.”

For more information on colorectal cancer and types of screenings, contact your family physician, your local health department, or call the Colon Cancer Prevention Project Hotline at 1-800-841-6399.

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