*Sponsored content by St. Vincent’s
By Tommi O. Peters
For The Tribune
St. Vincent’s, which is a part of Ascension, has had a longstanding commitment to serving the Trussville and surrounding community with St. Vincent’s East. As the health system continues to look for ways to best serve the community in the midst of the changing healthcare landscape, that dedication has only grown with both the enhancement of existing services and the addition of new patient care treatment areas and offerings.
In fact, the health system opened a new outpatient center – St. Vincent’s Trussville off of Happy Hollow Road – in late 2017. The center offers primary care, after hours care, physical therapy, wellness services, and a variety of physician specialties. In addition, the center provides a wide range of easily accessible diagnostics, including a Wide Bore MRI, CT Scan, DEXA Scan, Digital X-Ray, Ultrasound, Digital Mammography (online scheduling available!), and Nuclear Medicine.
“The convenience factor for people that live near Deerfoot Parkway is huge. The hospital is here to serve our patients’ needs, but St. Vincent’s Trussville gives another convenient access point for diagnostics and other services,” said Andrew Gnann, president and COO of St. Vincent’s East, St. Vincent’s St. Clair and St. Vincent’s Blount.
“As healthcare evolves, it’s our job to make sure that we are providing health care that is accessible to the people we serve. Whether that’s through a hospital or an outpatient-based service out in the community.”
Patient comfort and convenience was the driving force in the remodeled orthopedic patient rooms at St. Vincent’s East.
“As we’ve enhanced our orthopedic patient rooms, we’ve been able to give our patients access to even larger rooms, which only improves their ability to have space for the various equipment and therapies to help them return to their everyday activities after surgery. We’ve received so much positive feedback from patients already,” explained Gnann.
Examples include occupational therapy and physical therapy, which can now be conveniently done in their orthopedic suite to cut down on travel to the various areas of the hospital. In addition to the convenience of in-room services, each room also includes a couch that converts to a bed for family members that want to stay bedside.
The rooms are also located on the same floor as additional orthopedic services, such as pre-admission testing and educational classes.
“For our orthopedic patients, we offer Joint Camp where they learn what their joint replacement experience will be like, how to prepare before surgery and how to recover after the surgery,” shared Gnann.
This greatly improves the patients understanding of their surgery and helps give them the knowledge and resources to recover as quickly as possible.
This commitment to serving its patients continues throughout St. Vincent’s East. Patient education and support are core values in each department of the hospital. A few examples include bariatric, hip & knee replacement patients, and cancer patients, who are each assigned a nurse “Navigator”, which Gnann deems a critical roles in helping patients navigate through their care.
“When someone is diagnosed with cancer, it can be overwhelming. So, the Navigator really helps the patient understand the various options available and guides them through the process — from the various treatment options to scheduling appointments to what to expect throughout their journey. The navigator’s job is to help coordinate that care during a time which can be very stressful,” Gnann explained.
Connected by a corridor, the hospital’s cancer treatment center is positioned away from the activity of the main hospital. The center includes gated private parking and rooms where classes and support groups are offered in partnership with Forge Breast Cancer Survivor Center.
“The meetings help people deal with and cope with different types of cancers. Classes are offered for patients and family members,” offered Gnann.
St. Vincent’s boasts some of the most advanced technology on the market for cancer treatment in their Varian TruBeam. The Varian offers focused radiation, with the intent to protect the healthy tissue around cancer. This more targeted technology often leads to shorter treatment times, limiting the patient’s exposure to radiation.
“Right here in our Trussville community, we have some of the most advanced cancer-fighting technologies available. It’s important to me as the leader here that we provide access to these technologies to the citizens in our community that we serve,” shared Gnann.
Heart and Vascular is another area where St. Vincent’s East offers some of the latest and most advanced treatment options right in the Trussville community.
The hospital is known for treating Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), AFib and structural heart conditions, including TAVR (Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement). TAVR, which offers a minimally invasive option for replacing the heart valve in patients who are a too high risk for open heart surgery, is a life-changing procedure for many patients.
“We recently had a celebration after performing our 100th TAVR procedure and all of the patients and their families were invited. It was great to go around and meet everyone and hear their stories. I met a lady that had completed her TAVR Surgery just three weeks prior. She looked great and had been at the zoo with her grandkids the entire day before.
“This is what’s great about the advanced technologies we have for our patients. They’re getting back to their lives and doing things they thought they might not get to do again.”
Bariatrics is another life-changing procedure that the hospital is known for.
“People lose on average about 50 pounds, but many people lose hundreds. It really has been a true lifesaver for so many people that were morbidly obese. For some people who have Type 2 diabetes, they see diabetes completely go away. People come back with lives changed.”
To learn more about all the services available at St. Vincent’s, visit ascension.org/alabama. For a physician referral, call St. Vincent’s Dial-A-Nurse at 205-939-7878.