Doctors reach out to patients directly

Doctors reach out to patients directly
(Source: KAIT-TV)
(Source: KAIT-TV)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Doctors stepped out of the office to bring information directly to patients.

The 6th annual Heart and Vascular Luncheon took place on Thursday at St. Bernards Auditorium.

Vice President for Cardiac and Cancer services at St. Bernards Medical Center Connie Hill said the public enjoys the chance to speak one on one with physicians.

"It's an opportunity for our patients and the community," Hill said. "They get to sit down with our physicians and interact with them. They get their questions answered on a personal level. And also to hear about the new technology that is coming for the following year. And that's one of our big things. We want them to know what we're working on and what new advances we're making in the cardiac division."

Hill said they battle each medical case as a team.

"One of the questions asked to the panel," Hill said. "Why is this important? What is beneficial to me to get my care at Heart and Vascular? The reason is St. Bernards has really put together a team of experts in both noninvasive and interventional cardiology. So, if you have a health problem, we sit down as a team and look at your care from a team approach. We think that is unique. But we also think it's best practice."

Heart patient Ludienne Finley said Thursday's luncheon wasn't the first one she's attended.

"I come every year," Finley said. "Every year I learn something new. It's just been educational for my husband and I both. We're both heart patients. And these are the doctors that take care of us."

Hill said people need to ask questions when it comes to their health.

"Health literacy is a problem," Hill said. "But also, the disease process of the heart and vascular system are complex. And so, I think every patient really wants to do their very best they can to participate in their health. But sometimes they're just not aware of all the things that they need to do or at what level, at what granular level. A heart failure patient is a good example of that. They may not understand how some of their behaviors conversely effect their health. But that's part of what our team approach is about. To make sure they're all educated about that."

Finley said the doctors on the panel make sure your question is not only answered, but that you understand.

"It means a lot," Finley said. "When you ask questions they answer you directly. And it covers what you want to know. The answers are not just broad. They make you understand. They explain it to you."

Hill said one of the biggest problems still scene are people trying to drive when they shouldn't.

"If you think that you've had a heart attack," Hill said. "Or if you think you're having symptoms in your chest that might be a heart problem, call 911. Don't get in a car and drive. We still have a very low rate in Arkansas of people calling 911. So, we want to get that message out. And we also want people to know that if they want to see a cardiologist, if they want to be seen at St. Bernards Heart and Vascular, we are more than happy to take them as patients. And please call us. We're happy just to answer your questions. Sometimes we can talk through on the phone with a patient and their symptoms and help them find the right provider."

Hill said Thursday's crowd was their biggest turn out yet.

For more information about St. Bernards Heart and Vascular, log onto their website.

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