Blake Medical Center’s Healthy Living – Navigating Health

(peaceful music) Hello, I’m Melissa Morgan
from Blake Medical Center and this is Healthy Living. A show that brings you
the information you need to live a healthier, happier life. Today’s episode, we’ll be talking about patient care navigators. I’m very honored to have
three special guests today. Patty Madsen. Thank you all for joining us today. Thank you. Patty, I’m gonna start with you. I know that you’re all
nurses and you’re all patient care navigators,
but each of your roles is very different. So can you tell us a bit
about yourself and your role as a patient care navigator? Sure, I started at Blake
almost 35 years ago. It’s like my family. And from a very early age, I
knew I wanted to be a nurse. I think the gift of compassion
and caring for people is one of the greatest things you can be. And over the years I’ve done
lots of different things from labor and delivery to auditing, but when the role of navigator
started about five years ago, I just knew it was something that had my name written for it. It’s been a great
opportunity to serve patients and their families. And what is role as a navigator? What do you do for those families? Well the main thing for a navigator is just being a part of a team. We are all there for the same reason. To care the best care we
can for those patients and their families. But the navigator has the
unique opportunity to be engaged a little bit
longer than most staff. The operating room nurse has
the patient for a short time, radiology for a short time. And that continues throughout their care. But the navigator’s role
starts at the beginning when the patient might not
even know that they have a cancer diagnosis and
continues on for several years till treatment’s completed. Now Kelsie, you’re the
lung and colon navigator and I’m sure your role
is ever changing as the field is changing. Absolutely. Can you tell us about the
services that you offer. So as a navigator, we
meet patients at the time of their lung and colon biopsies and you follow them
through to their diagnosis, surgery if need, oncology visits. You’re with that person
throughout the whole journey. Just like Patty was saying,
you’re with that patient from the very beginning to the very end. You’re holding their hand
through that process. And at Blake it’s nice to
be there with the patient during the procedure or with the patient through the surgery. And giving the families
updates throughout. And well you know, at Blake we work as multi-disciplinary team
and we try to find the best treatment plan and option for the patient. We wanna make sure that the patient has the best experience possible. So we provide a lot for
our patients at Blake. It sounds like it’s
very rewarding for you. Extremely rewarding. Being a nurse in general and
being a patient care navigator and having just like Patty
said, having that one on one interaction with a
patient and their family. And you’re with them, like I said, throughout the whole process. From the beginning to the end. That’s what really, it makes us feel good knowing that we’re making a difference. Now recently Blake added the women’s health and wellness program. And Jodi, you’re the
navigator for that program and I know that your
role is very different. What can you tell us about that? It is a little different as the women’s health and wellness navigator. I see women kind of at the
start of their journey, their beginning. So I’m guiding them at the beginning and helping them with a
lot of preventive services. Making sure they are up to
date on their health screening. They know what screenings they need to do. Making sure that they’re
staying with the program. They’re getting any treatment
options they they may need. A big part of my job is health
education, anything from heart disease, stroke
education, nutrition. Anything across the
spectrum, I’m there to help educate them and hopefully
prevent something early on so they don’t have to go
through a devastating diagnosis. So that primarily my job and we also have a new women’s hotline
that women can call in. It’s 24 hours a day. It’s staffed by registered RNs. They can call in with
their health questions, any information they have. And they can also request
a call back for a meeting with me and we can kind of go through the process together with them. And so these services, and
actually all of your services, is this something that costs
money or can anyone access it? That’s funny you say
that because Patty and I get that question a lot. Is it free? Does it cost something
to have a navigator? And Patty, we were just talking
about this the other day. It is free to have the navigators. Patty and I can have physician requests. Patty do you wanna add to that? I think when the navigation
program first started the feedback we got from the
patients to administration was thank you for this program because again, they thought it was an additional service. And now that there’s three
of us, it’s just that many more patients that we’re gonna
be able to interact with. Now you actually have the most experience as a navigator so tell us
more about that feedback you get from patients. When we started the navigation
program it was a new concept for Blake and what we
were looking to do was assess the needs of patients and
find out where we could make the most impact to assure
that their stay at Blake was exceptional. Every employee strives
for our motto which is, exceptional care for every patient. And that’s everyday. So in assessing patients,
you would be amazed that the little things is what
make a difference for people. And so the feedback we got was tremendous. I still get cards from
patients a year later saying, you were there on
the day I had my mastectomy and held my hand and today is one year and I just want you to know
I’ll never forget that day. Being there with a patient
when her hair is falling out and helping them with getting a new wig. It’s the little things
that we do that really have made an impact. And one thing I’m most proud about is being a new program and
being sent out there with no instructions,
it’s just been tremendous how it’s been received by the physicians and from other staff. I was afraid at first that
people would preconceive idea that it was just a little fluffy job. And now our anesthesiologists,
our surgeons, they’ve come to expect it
and the way we can interact with other staff members
to make that journey for that patient less
fearful is just tremendous. It’s wonderful. It really makes a difference. We’re gonna take a short
break and when we come back we’re gonna have more on
patient care navigators. We are Blake Medical Center. We are leaders in cardiovascular care. We are trained in advanced technology. Like the minimally
invasive tower procedure. We are committed to
giving you the best care. Because to us it’s about you. Your health. Your wellbeing. Your quality of life. – [Woman] Blake Medical Center. Exceptional care for everyone. (heart monitor beeping) It wasn’t my time thanks
to the trauma center at Blake Medical. We are Blake Medical Center. We are leaders in women’s
health and wellness. From education and screenings
to treatment options. We are with you every step of the way. We are committed to
giving you the best care. Because to us it’s all about you. Your health. Your wellbeing. Your quality of life. – [Woman] Blake Medical Center. Exceptional care for everyone. Welcome back to Healthy Living. I’m Melissa Morgan and joining
me now is Patty Madsen, Kelsie Corry, and Jodi Miranda. Patty, I know your area of
expertise is breast health. What can you tell us about
the importance of screenings and what women should be doing. Screening are vital. When it relates to breast
cancer, the earlier we can get it diagnosed, the better. So for screenings, of
course you can’t every top going to your physician and
establishing a good rapport with your physician and
getting a breast exam yearly. And I think that’s gonna
be key for Jodi to, we get so busy in our lives as women that we tend to put
off our own health care because we’re taking
care of everyone else. I think the role of having a
women’s health and wellness navigator will be a reminder to women of the importance of that. And then finally, insurance
companies are finally starting to look at the
screening possibilities for MRIs, which we do have at Blake. There’s a certain group of
women with dense breasts that the mammograms can be difficult and so an MRI might be the
next step in screening process for those women. And what about in between
these different screenings? What can women do at home? Always, always pay attention
to your body as a woman. In the shower you can
do breast self exams. There has been some
controversy about self exams, but no one knows their body
as well as the person does. So if you see any changes
in the shape of your breast, any retraction of the skin or pulling in, any changes with the
nipple or any drainage. Even if you just had your
mammogram two months ago and you see something, you
need to go to your physician. Because again getting to
something early is key. I can’t tell you how
many women that I’ve seen in the past few years where
they’ve attributed this change to something in their
life, something hit it, something rubbed it, I had an injury. And it’s kind of a denial
process because we don’t wanna think that it’s something,
but take care of yourself. Thank you. And Kelsie, let’s start with lung. I understand there is a lung
cancer screenings available which they weren’t always. What can you tell us about that? Well the low-dose CT lung screenings can reduce mortality by 20%. And with the low-dose CT
lung screenings patients can call me or physicians
can request a patient to call me and basically
how that gets started is the patient, what I will
do, is I’ll talk to them over the phone and we’ll
go through guidelines. The patient has to meet certain guidelines for this screening and
then once the patient meets the guidelines, I
will call them to schedule. Once the patient comes in for scheduling, I will meet the patient
and then afterwards follow up with them after. And if it is positive,
then we will find what the best next step is for the patient. We will communicate and
talk with pulmonologists and thoracic surgeons to find
the best plan for the patient. Now I know with cancer in general, and especially lung cancer,
smoking is such a big risk factor. What resources are available if they’ve made the decision to quit? Well there are smoking cessation classes out in the community. At the health departments
they are offering it. But also at Blake they are offering, we will be offering August
13th, which is the second Thursday of every month we
will be offering these classes. The class will be two hours. It’ll be from four to six
at the Medical Arts building at Blake and they are free. But you have to sign up
prior to taking the class because reservations
need to be taken prior. And with this class,
it provides free tools to help quit smoking
such as nicotine patches, Chantix, and all other resources that are available for the patient. Great, well let’s move on to colon. I know that the best
screening tool is colonoscopy but so many people just put that off.
Dread it. So what can you tell us? A lot of people dread it, but it’s an easy outpatient procedure. I know a lot of patients
don’t wanna drink the barium prior to having the colonoscopy. Colonoscopies are very
important especially at the age of 50. You should have a colonoscopy
five years after your first colonoscopy, that is if
you are at high risk. If you have a family member
with a history of colon cancer. But if they find something such as a polyp or an adenoma, then we
would have to follow up with that in five years. But if it’s just a
regular person, low risk, it would be every ten years. But it is an easy outpatient procedure. But a colonoscopy can save your life. Jodi, I know in addition
to being the health and wellness coordinator for
women, you also have a history in hearth health. I’ve heard so many
times, know your numbers. What does that mean and
why is it important? Well it’s very, very important
for men and women alike to know five important numbers. The first one is your total cholesterol. This is a simple fasting blood test that should be done on a regular basis. The total cholesterol consists of your HDL which is your good cholesterol. That actually takes the
spare cholesterol particles in your blood system and
takes them to your liver where the liver processes them out. The LDL which is your bad cholesterol and then the third component
of total cholesterol is your triglycerides which
are the fats in your blood. An idea total cholesterol level
should be at 180 or below. Your HDL, your good, you
want that as high as possible and we’re trying to shoot for 60 or above. And your LDL, they like to see below 100. And your triglycerides,
anywhere 150 and below is ideal. The second number is your blood pressure. Blood pressure is known
as the silent killer. A lot of people don’t check it regularly. A lot of times when you
have high blood pressure there’s no symptoms. So it’s very important to
check it on regular basis. And the ideal number is 120/80. If you consistently have
high blood pressure over time it can damage the lining of your vessels and just really weaken them and
cause a lot of issues there. The third number that’s
very important is your fasting blood glucose or your blood sugar. This can be done, a
simple blood test as well. And you fast, no food or
drink for eight hours. And the number that we’re
looking for is under 100 there. The fourth test that’s very important is your body mass index or BMI. Ideally, it’s taken with
your weight and height. It’s calculated that
way and the numbers are 18.6 to 24.9. That’s the ideal range. Anything 25 and above is considered obese and that puts you at greater risk as well. And finally the last number
is the size of your waste. It’s very important,
studies have shown that increased body fat in your waste area can lead to greater
risk for heart disease. And for women we try to
get at least 35 inches, below 35 inches and men, we want it to be 40 inches or below as well. Great. Very important information. We’re gonna take a short
break and when we come back we’ll have more on navigating your health. I’m Stephanie Lanham, I’m 22 years old. My name’s Rhonda. My daughter, Stephanie
was in a car accident on December 13, 2012 Two friends and I were going out to eat. They estimated between 90 and 140 an hour. The driver lost control of the car. We hit a telephone pole,
a tree, spun, flipped, hit a parked car. The driver past away. The other passenger was
supposed to be paralyzed, and I have a brain injury. I have an adult version
of shaken baby syndrome. I received a phone call
from my youngest daughter, Jessica, that Stephanie
was in the accident at three o’clock in the morning. And we talked to the hospital,
we found out by her tattoos that it was her. And they had told us about
her arm and her finger and then they announced that
she had a serious brain injury. I as in a coma for 26 days
and in the hospital for 66. All the staff there,
they were all fighting for Stephanie. We would have people walk
up to us, nurses, doctors, therapists, praying for
Stephanie every night and making us feel like
they’re our family too. They comforted me, they
comforted my daughter. They made us feel at home. They put me right in the
room with my daughter so she would feel safe through
her journey of waking up. The doctors fought very
hard to save my life. My family is extremely grateful for Blake. They treated my family as
if it was their family. Stephanie has made a 100% recovery. My future looks promising. I’m here, I’m alive, and
it’s all thanks to Blake. We are Blake Medical Center. We are leaders in care. From education and screenings
to treatment options. We are with you every step of the way. We are committed to
giving you the best care. Because to us it’s all about you. Your health. Your wellbeing. Your quality of life. – [Woman] Blake Medical Center. Exceptional care for everyone. Welcome back to Healthy Living. I’m Melissa Morgan and
I’m joined once again by Patty Madsen, Kelsie
Corry, and Jodi Miranda. Now Jodi as the newest member to the team, what do you see, what seems
so special about this program. I think as patient
navigators, we get to follow the patients from the beginning to the end of their healthcare journey
and that’s so important. We’re there at the beginning
helping them with the preventive services,
making sure they’re having their screenings that they
need and trying to prevent any type of devastating diagnosis. If the need arises and they
do need further testing or biopsies or surgeries,
then the navigators are there as well. And I’ve had the privilege
of shadowing both Patty and Kelsie the last couple weeks. And to me, I believe it’s the
best kept secret in the world what patient navigators
do and I’m so glad we have the opportunity to share
with the audience about it. I’ve seen them from the very
beginning with a patient, explaining the procedure or the surgery that needs to be done. They’re there in the operating room. They’re actually holding
the patient’s hand as the patient falls off to
sleep with the anesthesiologist. And it’s so comforting,
the patient is so comforted just knowing the
navigator’s there for them. And even during the surgery,
they’re running in and out of the surgery suite, talking
to the family, updating them, telling them the condition
of their loved one. And that provides a great
comfort to the family members. And then after surgery in
recovery, whether it’s a biopsy or a regular surgery, they’re
there checking on the patient, making sure that they’re
comfortable, they’re feeling well. And then educating them on what
to expect when they’re home, what’s the next step. Communicating with their physicians. It’s just an amazing
process and I’m so blessed that we have the opportunity to share that with the public and that
Blake offers this service. We’ve talked a lot
about how the navigators benefit patients, but you
also benefit surgeons. Kelsie, can you tell us
about that relationship and also how you help surgeons
and patients work together? Well it’s how patients and
surgeons work together, it’s all about communication. Making sure we’re all on the same page. And making sure that the patients know their treatment plan
and that the physicians have the proper tools to provide
the patient with surgery. It’s just like Jodi said,
it’s all about communication and making sure that both
the patient and the physician are all on the same page. And if a patient has a
question, they contact me and then I contact the
physician or the surgeon and relay the message to them and try to expedite everything. So Patty, I’m sure people
are gonna be very excited about the program. How do patients or just
people in the community access the services of a
patient care navigator? For those patients that
are having any type of a breast biopsy procedure or
have an abnormal mammogram, and that’s what’s so great
about out mammography department at Blake, they’re in contact
with the navigator right away saying that this looks
very suspicious and we need to contact this person and follow up. We do a follow up with
all abnormal mammograms to make sure that they have
gone and got additional information and have planned something. And we hope it’s back with us at Blake. Those patients are
automatically gonna be seen, but a physician can request
a navigator if they have somebody who’s extremely anxious. Colon patients and lung
patients, you know, we’re starting off small
here so we have to kind of just deal with certain
diagnosis, but we hope to expand and be able to reach more patients. But the physicians always have
the opportunity to contact one of us when they need it. And Jodi, you’re a little unique in that someone doesn’t have to be a patient before they contact you. Tell me about that.
Absolutely. I start kind of at the beginning, again, as I had discussed earlier
with the preventive and screening services. Women can call our new women’s hotline. I’m not sure if I gave the number earlier, but it’s 941-657-1020. They can call it 24 hours a day. It’s staffed by registered nurses. They can answer any health questions and they can also request
my services, a call back. They can even come in and
have a meeting with me. We can do physician referrals or discuss treatment options
or even what type of services, preventive services that
the patient may need. So I’m kind of at the beginning of that. They can also discuss with their physician and get a referral that way as well. So those are two of the basic
ways that they could do that. And the phone line, just
like the other services, that’s all free as well? It is. I know it’s amazing because
we do get that question. It’s absolutely, it’s a courtesy service of Blake Medical Center and
your insurance company’s not billed, you’re not billed. There’s no billing at all. It’s just a wonderful
service that Blake provides for their patients. That’s wonderful. So I’m gonna ask one last
question for each of you. What is the most rewarding
job, or rewarding part of being a patient care navigator? Kelsie, we’ll start with you. To me the most rewarding part would be making a difference in my
patient and family’s lives. Being with them through
their cancer journey. Just holding their hand and
knowing at the end of the day that I did make a difference. And that’s the most rewarding part for me. Jodi? I would say, I definitely
agree with Kelsie. And it’s just having the
privilege of touching people’s lives in such a positive way. People let us into their
world and sometimes it’s some of the most stressful times
that they’re going through and they share with us
their greatest fears and their greatest triumphs. And we have the privilege of going on that journey with them. It’s just an absolutely
amazing experience. And very blessed. You build that relationship. And Patty, you are clearly
passionate about what you do. What do you find so rewarding? There’s so many things. I think one of the most
rewarding things is being able to be in all the
different departments of the hospital and see that
there is staff in every area that is just as compassionate
and caring as we are that are doing a service
that’s greatly needed. And sometimes it’s the
big things they’re doing that are making the difference. But in the same token, it’s
realizing that it’s the little things that we are given
the great opportunity to do, that means so much. For example, a patient
who had lost her hair and her chemo was not going well. She was so sad and going
out, she missed her kids from school so going out
and making a phone call to the school later that afternoon. Seeing her room filled
with tissue paper flowers. Hundreds of them, those
are the kind of things that I find rewarding. Being able to not just
know about the diagnosis and the medical condition,
but getting that opportunity to learn about their family
or something that’s really distressing them and maybe
being able to connect them with the wonderful resources that we have. We haven’t touched on that much today, but we have classes at Blake. We have resources within
the community and I’ve even had patients that have had
cancer before and they said no one was with me like they have been, the way you have been. So it’s the little things
to me that seem rewarding. We had a patient that was not
gonna do her radiation therapy because she could not fill out the forms. Her arthritis was so bad. And we filled out the forms for her. So that’s rewarding. Thank you all so much
for everything you do. That’s all the time we have for today, but if you would like more information on patient care navigators or today’s guests please visit us at and click on the Healthy Living Talk Show. While you’re there, you can
also send me your comments or suggest a topic for an upcoming show. I’d love to hear from you. I’m Melissa Morgan,
wishing you healthy living. (peaceful music)

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