Lexington Memorial Hospital Newsletter

Lexington Memorial Hospital "Health Matters" newsletter

Health Matters

Published regularly as a community service by Lexington Memorial Hospital, Inc.

Your Health Matters to Us!

Lexington Memorial presents this, the first issue of the hospital’s new community newsletter featuring hospital and health care news of interest to area business and community leaders.

Titled “Health Matters,” the newsletter will be published regularly and distributed free. If you have questions or suggestions, please contact the editor, Mary Wesley, or hospital president John H. Frank at (704) 246-5161.

Lexington Memorial Charges 18-25% Less

A recent study by the North Carolina Database Commission revealed that Lexington Memorial Hospital’s average charges are 18 to 24.7 percent lower than charges at other hospitals performing comparable procedures, including Community General, Forsyth Memorial, High Point Regional and Davie County.

Based on average charges per case for 29 of the most common diagnoses, Lexington Memorial’s $72,043 accumulated total charges were 24 percent lower than the state average total of $94,809.

The most common diagnoses at hospitals comparable to Lexington Memorial include normal delivery and newborn care, heart disease management and surgical procedures. Charges at hospitals providing highly complex medical services, such as North Carolina Baptist Hospital, are typically higher than charges at other hospitals.

Hospital Holds 2nd Annual Health Fair

Approximately 350 people attended Lexington Memorial’s second annual health fair Saturday, October 14. Twenty-three community health care organizations participated in the event, along with hospital employees and members of the medical staff.

The fair’s theme, “A Decade of Progress, a Challenge for the Future,” refers to the hospital’s tenth anniversary at its present location.

Outpatient Center Completes 2nd Year

Lexington Memorial’s Outpatient Surgery and Diagnostic Center ended its second year of operations recently, with a 52 percent increase in volume compared with the unit’s first year. Since opening in May 1987, the LMH Outpatient Surgery and Diagnostic Center has been one of the hospital’s most active departments, with 22,282 outpatient surgical procedures from October 1, 1988, through September 30, 1989, accounting for 54% of the year’s surgeries at the hospital.

Hospital to Offer Cancer Clinic

Lexington Memorial Hospital has arranged with Duke University Medical Center to offer a bi-weekly cancer clinic to local cancer patients. The clinic will be staffed by Peter Gerard Ellis, M.D., a senior fellow in hematology and oncology from Duke.

Ellis will see cancer patients in Lexington Memorial’s Outpatient Surgery and Diagnostic Center, evaluate their needs and advise them and their doctors on the most effective treatment currently available. All appointments with Ellis will be arranged through referrals from local doctors.

Within six months to a year, after Lexington Memorial’s nurses receive additional training in caring for cancer patients at Duke, Lexington Memorial will provide chemotherapy and other treatment for area cancer patients through the Outpatient Center.

Labor-Delivery-Recovery Rooms Under Construction

Lexington Memorial Hospital has begun remodeling the Obstetrics Department’s labor and delivery suite to create three new combined labor, delivery and recovery (LDR) rooms.

The new LDR rooms will feature such amenities as carpeted floors, decorator colors and oak furniture. The hospital is also redecorating patients’ postpartum rooms in the Obstetrics Department to provide a more attractive, home-like atmosphere for parents and their newborns.

“Traditionally, new mothers have labored in one room, moved to the delivery room to have the baby, moved to the recovery room immediately after giving birth and, finally, to a postpartum room to stay a couple days before going home,” said Sandra Allen, vice president of nursing practice. “With the combined labor-delivery-recovery rooms, we eliminate much of the confusion of moving from room to room and that, along with the more attractive surroundings and greater privacy, improve the quality of the birthing experience.”

Costs for construction and renovation are expected to total $230,000. Partial funding for the project will come from the Duke Endowment. The hospital will cover the remaining costs. Renovations will be complete in February.

Speakers Bureau

Lexington Memorial is organizing a speakers bureau of doctors and hospital employees to help area civic and church groups find qualified speakers on health care topics. The bureau’s services will also be available to area employers who want to offer health-related programs to employees.

“In the past, we’ve often helped arrange special programs and speeches for groups in the area,” said the hospital’s director of development and community relations, Mary Wesley. “By organizing a speakers bureau, we hope to promote better health care education in our community.”

Hospital Offers Health Screening Tests to Employers

As part of its continuing service to the community, Lexington Memorial Hospital is offering on-site health screening tests to area employers. Tests include venipuncture cholesterol, blood pressure and colon cancer self-screening pads. According to Assistant Director of Human Services Ed Holmes, who is in charge of scheduling the tests, the hospital will arrange them on a first-come, first-served basis.

Holmes said the hospital recently offered on-site screening tests to all city and county school system employees. Of the 75 percent of employees who participated in testing half had cholesterol levels within the normal range, 37 percent tested moderately high and 14 percent tested high enough to warrant further treatment.

“Just about anytime we do cholesterol or blood pressure screening for a group of employees, we find several people with levels that ought to be checked by a doctor,” said Holmes. “By bringing screening tests into the work place, we hope to reach people who might not otherwise show symptoms or seek treatment” For more information about screening tests for employee groups, contact Ed Holmes at (704) 246-5161, extension 558.

Hospital Establishes Foundation

Lexington Memorial Hospital has established the Lexington Memorial Hospital Foundation, Inc., to secure and administer charitable gifts to the hospital. Donations to the Foundation are tax-deductible.

“Our hospital is fortunate to enjoy sound financial health at a time when many community hospitals are struggling for survival,” said John H. Frank, president of Lexington Memorial. “But we want to do more than just survive. By seeking additional support through the foundation, we can greatly enhance the care we provide while continuing to keep our charges the lowest in the area and among the lowest in the state.”

The hospital began work on establishing the foundation last April and appointed a Board of Directors, chaired by C.H. “Tim” Timberlake, Jr., in August Other officers are Vice-Chairman Robert L. Grubb, Treasurer Robert F. Lowe, Secretary Sara C. Calvert and Assistant Secretary Peggy B. Honrine. John H. Frank is foundation president. Other board members are Helen S. Brinkley, J. Bryan Brooks, Ed.D., Lee S. Dukes, Russell J. Gabrielson, John E. Horne, Jr., Deborah S. Callahan, M.D., Gladys E. Leonard, Fred H. McIntyre, Burr W. Sullivan, Robert A. Team, M.D, and J.S. Young. Jr. Hospital employee Mary M. Wesley was appointed director of development for the foundation in September.

Colon Cancer Self-Tests Available

Medical Park Pharmacy, on Old Salisbury Road across from the hospital, is now stocking at-home screening tests for detecting hidden blood in the stool, a symptom of colon cancer. Medical Park Pharmacy, which specializes in medically-oriented products, is owned by the parent corporation that owns Lexington Memorial Hospital.

“Early detection is critical in successfully treating any kind of cancer,” said Director of Laboratory Services Melodee DesNoyers. “While a positive result on the test may come from a number of less-serious causes, these self-tests give people a simple, easy way to find out on their own if they should have a doctor test for colon cancer.”

The self-test pads sell for $1 each, or three for $2.50. Area employers who wish to offer the self-tests to employees as a benefit may contact Mary Wesley, director of development and community relations, at extension 559 to arrange for quantity discounts.

Hospital Offers Supervised Weight-Loss Program

Beginning this month, Lexington Memorial Hospital is offering a medically-supervised weight-loss program for obese adults who are at least 30 percent overweight. Five of the hospital’s physicians have agreed to supervise program classes.

“Like many of the weight-loss programs we hear about these days in the news, the ULTRAFAST® Program is based on a protein-sparing modified fast,” explained program coordinator Norma Whisenant, R.N. “These programs can be very effective in helping people lose significant amounts of weight, but they can also be very dangerous without proper medical supervision. As a hospital, we have the staff and facilities to help people lose weight quickly and safely. That’s why we’re offering this program to the community.”

Whisenant said the hospital chose the ULTRAFAST® Program because of the program’s long-term approach to weight management. “About 80 percent of ULTRAFAST® Program participants achieve their goal weight,” said Whisenant, “and to help keep the weight off, the program emphasizes ongoing support and education about life-long weight management.”

A $75 weekly fee covers the cost of diet supplement formula, check-ups and laboratory work, and classroom training about weight loss, exercise and nutrition.

Due to overwhelming initial response, the first ULTRAFAST® class is filled to capacity.

For information on future classes, contact Norma Whisenant, extension 313, or Kaye Farabee, extension 552, at Lexington Memorial Hospital.

Wellness Series Scheduled for Spring

A series of six evening programs on health-related topics will be presented in Lexington Memorial Hospital’s classroom on alternate Tuesdays from March 6 through May 15, 1990. The series, “Spring Into Wellness,” will feature members of the medical staff and hospital professionals.

A tentative list of topics includes arthritis and total joint replacement, choosing over-the-counter medicines, using laser surgery in ophthalmology, drawing on emotional resources for wellness, controlling cholesterol and protecting yourself from hepatitis A.

For more information about the series, contact Mary Wesley, director of development and community relations, at (704) 246-5161, extension 559.

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