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Pediatric Dentistry Offers Special Care for Kids

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Gunnison Valley Hospital Opens New Dental Clinic Offering Sedation and Anesthesiology

Little Girl Brushing TeethA visit to the dentist can be stressful for an adult. Imagine what flashes through the mind of a five-year-old.

To help ease the fears children may have, dentists often team up with anesthesiologists. Now, young children can simply “sleep” through their dental procedures. For that reason, Gunnison Valley Hospital opened a special dental clinic this past March for children ages four and under as well as disabled individuals, or for anyone who requires or chooses sedation or anesthesia for a dental procedure.

“We’ve partnered with four local dentists,” Cheryl Hansen, nurse manager at the hospital adds, “to provide dental care that they are unable to provide at their individual offices without access to anesthesia services.” While these services are available to anyone, Hansen notes that insurance companies typically do not pay for dental work for individuals over the age of four using sedation or anesthesia.

In the past, says Hansen, residents in counties surrounding Gunnison Valley Hospital have had to drive at least an hour and a half to have their children checked and treated by a pediatric dentist. “Now dental services for young children and disabled individuals are available by their own family dentist here at the hospital. It’s a much less stressful experience not only for the child but also for the parents,” she adds.

The four area dentists working through the hospital are:

  • Dr. Conner Thompson, DMD, who practices in Ephraim.
  • Dr. Colton Douglas, DMD, who also practices in Ephraim.
  • Dr. Kelly Frandsen, DDS, who practices in Gunnison.
  • Dr. Barry Sorensen, DDS, who practices in Salina.

Only recently have dentists introduced sedation into their dental services. The reason is obvious. It’s nearly impossible to get very young children to sit in a dentist’s chair for any period of time. Why is it important for children to see a dentist? Children under the age of five require dental work on their “baby” teeth for a multitude of reasons. These include baby bottle tooth decay, thumb sucking, tongue thrust, early tooth loss and poor tooth care.

Additionally, in many cases, the enamel on children’s teeth is not as strong as that on adult’s teeth, which makes a child more at risk of suffering dental problems. Many parents dread the idea of taking their child to a dentist, and in some cases delay the vist rather than put themselves and their child through the discomfort. In such cases, dental care may come too late. According to the American Dental Association, babies should be seen by a dentist six months after the first tooth becomes visible or by their first birthday. At this time, dentists are able to determine problems that may surface in later years, and issues that should be corrected before they become more serious.

Consensus too is that children should definitely see a dentist by the age of two or three after all the baby teeth are in, and should follow up with checkups every six months. Studies have shown that fear of the dentist is a major reason for avoiding regular visits for children and even adults. The new dental clinic at Gunnison Valley Hospital is intended to make dental procedures available, accessible, and far less frightening.

All dental procedures requiring sedation or anesthesia are arranged directly through the individual dentists, who then arrange to come to the hospital’s dental clinic to do the required work. In order to meet the needs of the community, the hospital has created a state-of-the-art dental clinic, including all the necessary equipment required by an anesthesiologist.


Gunnison Valley Hospital Launches New Website [Press Release]

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For Immediate Release

GUNNISON VALLEY HOSPITAL LAUNCHES NEW WEBSITE

 

New website designed to provide increased resources to the community

 

GUNNISON, Utah (Aug. 5, 2014) – Gunnison Valley Hospital recently launched its new website designed to provide increased resources and information to best serve patients. The new website is focused on educating and informing patients in an effort to promote health and wellness within the communities it serves.

 

Gunnison Valley Hospital’s website features a new Providers section that offers information about each individual provider. The hospital website also facilitates a sophisticated search engine powered by MedlinePlus that allows patients to research health information, including the latest treatments, medical terminology, medical videos, prescription details and more. Expanded content on the website also includes sections highlighting employment opportunities and upcoming events to assist in keeping the public informed.

 

“Our new website, which is centered on our culture of caring, enhances our ability to provide valuable resources to the community,” said Mark Dalley, hospital administrator at Gunnison Valley Hospital. “We are committed to building and maintaining trusted relationships with our patients through our personalized and high-quality care and our website is an example of our ongoing efforts.”

Complementing its online tools and interface, the new patient-focused website is optimized for desktop, tablet and mobile use. The website’s accessibility, features and expanded content will assist patients and community members in making well-informed health care decisions.

About Gunnison Valley Hospital

Gunnison Valley Hospital is a critical access hospital that provides personalized care and cutting-edge technology, while preserving its roots in the community. The hospital offers a variety of medical services, including acute inpatient care, surgery, ambulance and emergency medicine, respiratory therapy, laboratory, labor and delivery, physical therapy, advanced diagnostic imaging, home health and hospice care and visiting specialists. For more information, visit www.gvhospital.org.

# # #

 

Press Contact:

Anne Williams

801.458.3837

awilliams@intrepidagency.com


Patients Involved in their own Pain Relief

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Gunnison Valley Hospital offers anesthesiology services

june14-newsletter

Ron Yardley knows about pain, or more specifically, pain relief. His medical field, you could say, is one of the world’s best pain relievers. Yardley is a certified registered nurse anesthetist at Gunnison Valley Hospital. At the beginning of 2014, Gunnison Valley Hospital added two certified registered nurse anesthetists, including Ron Yardley and Jordan Thompson, to work with Dr Richard Nay in providing anesthesia care for their patients. The team is responsible for administering anesthesia to patients in preparation for medical procedures.

How important CRNAs to the medical field? Try to imagine a patient undergoing total knee replacement or the deivery of a newborn without anesthesia. Or imagine trying to perform oral surgery on a young child undergoing what has to be the most terrifying experience of their life without sedation. The first public demonstration of general anesthesia dates back to 1842 and was presented by a Boston dentisst. Since that time the field has become as specialized as any in the medical profession. There are many categories of anesthesia, and the three most commonly used are general, MAC and regional. And, as Yardley points out, “The best anesthesia is always the one with the lowest risk to the patient, but that makes it possible to complete the procedure without pain.”

Yardley bases his choice of anesthesia on the patient’s health, the complexity of the medical procedure being performed and the patient’s desires. “Prior to a medical procedure, we’ll review the patient’s health history, work with the doctor and involve the patient. We’ll determine the best anesthetic plan and explain the risks and the benefits of certain anesthesias, for example, whether to go with a local anesthesia or put the patient completely under. Then we let the patient decide which he or she would prefer,” he adds.

In the case of child birth, patients have a multitude of choices. Yardley explains that whether the labor process has started on its own or is a scheduled delivery, the doctor and patient will discuss all the options. Once they determine together that the labor process will begin or continue, whatever the case may be, then anesthesia can be administered. “in most cases, the decision is to go with an epidural to control pain during labor, but the decision, again, is up to the patient. Very rarely are there any complications with an epidural.” The procedure involves inserting a sterile guide needle and a small tube or epidural catheter into the epidural space. The pain that some patients feel is usually the numbing medicine that feels like a small bee sting.

An anesthetic medication is injected into the catheter to numb the body providing excellent pain control and relief. “From this poin on, the anesthetic is administered by the patient. The woman has a button she can push whenever she feels she needs more anesthetic, within safe parameters, of course.” Yardley says. Generally, Yardley will offer patients a couple of different options. For example, for a total knee replacement, he may present a spinal or general anesthesia. “We explain that spinal anesthesia provides pain control post op, as we can keep the patient asleep as well as during the surgery with other medication. When they do wake up, it will control the pain for 18 to 24 hours, which enables doctors time to find pain relief after surgery,” adds Yardley. “But they may opt for general anesthesia. It will keep the patient asleep during surgery, but when they wake up they will encounter some pain before relief is available. We recommend the best and safest anesthesia, but again, we leave that decision up to the patient.”

One area getting more attention at the hospital these days is pediatrics or the treatment of children. It is an area of treatment not all area residents realize is available and some still believe they have to travel hundreds of miles to receive professional care for their children, especially the very young.

“We do, in fact, provide medical service for children, even the very young. We have doctors on call 24-7 that provide excellent care to children. It’s the same with our anesthesiology services. We are available 24-7 to participate in a range of elective surgeries for children, such as tonsillectomies or to help in a dental procedure or serious accident. We are sometimes required to sedate children undergoing an MRI. It’s difficult to get children to remain motionless for any period of time, especially with something so foreign to them,” he says.


Colonoscopy is Key for Early Cancer Detection

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Gunnison Valley Hospital offers lifesaving advice on colon cancer prevention

Some reluctance to schedule a colonoscopy examination is understandable, but it can be lifesaving. And, says Cheryl Hansen, registered nurse and OR nurse manager at Gunnison Valley Hospital, “It’s not as bad as some think. In most cases the patient isn’t even aware of the procedure.”

A colonoscopy is a medical procedure that views the rectum and inner lining of the colon or large intestine for the purpose o early detection of precancerous growths or polyps. Colorectal cancer, or colon cancer, in uncontrolled cell growth in the color, rectum or appendix. And, if left undetected, it can result in death.

Last year there were 142,820 new cases of colon cancer reported in the United States. There were also 50,830 deaths related to colon cancer reported. It is estimated that about 1 in 20 people will be diagnosed with colon cancer during their lifetime. And there are approximately 1.2 million people currently diagnosed with certain stages of colon cancer.

Early detection is really the key to surviving colon cancer, notes Hansen. Statistics show the five-year survival rate of patients at the earliest stages of colon cancer is 74 percent, whereas the five-year survival rate of patients with stage five colon cancer is only 6 percent. “Colon cancer, if detected early, is highly treatable. The more advanced it becomes, the less treatable it becomes, which is why it is so important for both men and women, starting at age 50, to schedule a colonoscopy examination,” she notes.

The recommended age to begin testing is 50. However, if there is a history of colon cancer in the family or symptoms begin to manifest themselves, then it may be advisable to begin testing early. “Under these circumstances or if polyps are detected, a patient should seek advice from their doctor; a doctor may recommend examinations every six months, year, or five years,” she adds. The general rule is from age 50 on, a patient should schedule a colonoscopy examination every five years.

As noted, the examination itself is typically simple and painless. The patient is sedated and a thin tubular instrument called a colonoscope is used. A small camera on the colonoscope gives the doctor a view of the rectum and the colon. The entire length of the large intestine can be examined, and if a suspicious growth is observed, a tiny tissue sample can be obtained for later examinations. In some cases, if detected, tiny polyps can be removed using the colonoscope. “Some people have heard horrible stories about the preparation and procedure, so they’re afraid,” explains Hansen. “Or they believe they should wait until they’re older or think because there’s no family history of colon cancer or they have no symptoms that they don’t need to undergo the examination. True, the perparation is no fun, but it can lead to the detection of cancerous polyps that can be treated in the early stages. It comes down to a matter of life and death in some cases.” Preparation requires the bowels to be cleansed 24 to 48 hours before examination.

Hansen says the doctors at Gunnison Valley Hospital ask the patient to take a laxative the evening before and note eat 24 hours before the examination. Patients can drink clear liquids up to six hours before the procedure. And, as noted, the patient is generally completely unaware of the procedure itself. Hansen does warn individuals that if they do encounter telltale symptoms, they should immediately contact their doctor. Those symptoms include rectal bleeding, a change in bowel habits (like persistent diarrhea), a decrease in blood count due to a loss of iron, significant weight loss, or chronic unexplained abdominal or rectal pain. During the examination, doctors can also check for other bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Doctors recommend after the examination that patients take it easy and rest that day, but they can resume regular activities the following day. Hansen said there are five doctors at the Gunnison Valley Hospital that specialize in colonoscopy examinations. Individuals can contact the hospital or their primary care physician for more information on colonoscopy examinations.

For more information or to schedule a colonoscopy, call Gunnison Valley Hospital at (435) 528-7246.


Home Care: Same Quality, More Comfort

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Gunnison Valley Hospital Home Care offers in-the-home home health and hospice services.

Home is not only the place where people prefer to be, but medical studies show that health improves much more rapidly in a home environment.

“Home is the perfect place to recover from illness or surgery,” states Angie Merchant, director of Gunnison Valley Hospital Home Care. “The goal of home health and hospice is to allow patients to enjoy the comfort of their own homes with all their loved ones, while still receiving excellent care. We strive to provide exceptional professional care in the most affordable way possible.”

Gunnison Valley Hospital Home Care’s team includes physicians, nurses, physical therapists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, social workers, certified nursing assistants and volunteers. “These professionals can come into the home and help with rehabilitation from surgery, illness, and injuries. We also have programs available to help with the day-to-day personal care and homemaking duties.”

One of the more common home health services involves physical therapy after surgery, such as hip, shoulder or knee replacement. This therapy covers everything from pain control, exercise programs, strengthening, range of motion, gait training, stretching and how to use specialized equipment. “Our center works with exceptional therapists who really care about their patients,” Merchant adds. Personal care services include bathing, oral hygiene, skin care, assistance in dressing, light laundry, essential errands and meal preparation. “These services are especially helpful to families because it allows them to focus on being a family member rather than the caregiver,” she explains. “It is a lot easier if there are people out there to give professional support.” Home health also includes hospice care, which focuses solely on helping to improve the quality of life for an individual. Merchant urges families to discuss hospice care before it reaches the critical stage.

“Too often,” she warns, “people will not call until the individual is very sick. We’ve found that once we get involved, the patient’s quality of life improves and generally they show improvement. It’s better to decide on hospice care well before it gets to the critical stages.” Those in the later stages of life often require special medical, spiritual and emotional care, services often best given by someone trained in hospice care. “There are times when the family is unsure of what to do in cases of physical or emotional pain,” Merchant says. “They need direction. Hospice nurses are often able to do things the family may feel uncomfortable doing or simply do not know how to do. Sometimes families and caregivers just need to know that they are doing the right things.”

After the passing of an individual, Gunnison’s staff also offers bereavement services to the family. Along with providing literature to help cope with the death of a loved one, the center also holds a bereavement support group session once a month. Dr. Adam Jensen is Gunnison Valley Hospital’s certified hospice physician and provides continued training for hospice nurses, who also undergo special training on hospice care and typically have many years of experience in care-giving.

Home health also holds support group sessions for patients of diabetes and chronic pain. Specifically, the diabetes self-management program helps train and teach individuals with diabetes on subjects related to the disease. Classes are held monthly in Gunnison and Monroe. Additionally, a six-week training class is held for chronic disease management. Participants learn how to handle and manage chronic diseases, such as cardiac failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, asthma, hypertension, arthritis, depression, as well as any other chronic conditions. Expers cover areas such as diet, exercise, medication management, dealing with emotions, making decisions, pain and fatigue management.

Many of the center’s services are covered under Medicare, Medicaid, most private insurance plans, HMOs, and managed care organizations. Private-pay services are also available.

“It’s important to know that you have a choice in the home care services you need,” Merchant says. “Gunnison Valley Hospital Home Care covers all of Sanpete, Sevier, and Wayne counties and has nurses that live in each of these areas. If you have questions about whether you or a loved one could qualify for home care, please give us a call. We will listen to your situation, call your insurance company, and work to fin a program that is right for you.”

Learn More about Gunnison Valley Home Care

 

 


Main Street Clinic Brings Quality Care to Manti

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Gunnison Valley Hospital Affiliate in Manti Has Seen Success Since Opening in May

manticlinicnewsletterCall it a “labor of need” for Laurie Miller. Residents of Manti and surrounding areas were in need of convenient family medical services, and she responded.

She opened the Main Street Clinic in Manti this past May with support from Gunnison Valley Hospital.

And, she said, “It has been very well received, especially by residents of Manti. It’s something that was very much needed.”

Miller’s clinic is able to handle most any medical issue.

“We provide care for everyone from kids to senior adults, and we treat everything from lacerations to wellness issues to immunizations,” Miller said.

“We leave surgeries and delivering babies to the staff at the Gunnison Valley Hospital. Outside of that, we do offer a lot.”

The Main Street Clinic is and affiliate of Gunnison Valley Hospital and receives support from the hospital in the clinic’s service of providing a convenient, traditional family practice to residents in the Sanpete County area.

Miller had been a registered nurse in Manti for more than 30 years. After her children were raised she decided to expand her education. She enrolled in Georgetown University master’s program to become a nurse practitioner. The new degree prepared her to fulfill the role of a dedicated practitioner able to provide care and cures for families in a primary care setting.

Because of the robust training nurse practitioners receive, Utah’s law does not require a doctor to oversee a nurse practitioner, allowing Laurie to open the clinic as the head healthcare operative.

“My daughter operated a flower shop in Manti. After she had a baby, she was no longer able to operate the business. We owned the building, so it made sense to use it,” Miller remembers.

“We started from the ground up with the clinic. It’s very modern, and we have all the medical equipment we need to treat patients. It also helps that I’ve lived in the community for so long. People have come to know and trust me.”

Within the clinic’s 1,400 square feet, there are three examination rooms, a lab, a nurses’ station and a waiting room.

The clinic also provides tests such as rapid strep, pregnancy and urine analysis. The tests are sent to other labs for processing, which saves the patients the time and energy of driving to a lab themselves.

“Having lab testing available has proven to be very important to the healthcare of our patients,” she adds.

The clinic also focuses on women’s health and preventative medicine, physical examinations, pain and wellness issues, annual checkups and in managing chronic diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension. Additionally, the clinic gives immunization shots, which has proven very valuable to area patients, from the very young to senior citizens.

The clinic’s staff includes nurses Sarah Simmons, Jennifer Bredsguard and Caitlin Miller; office manager Jeri Lyon; assistants Tia Miller and Chelsey Christensen; and accountant Shauna Nordgren.

Manti’s Main Street Clinic is located at 46 North Main Street and is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday; closed Tuesday; from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday; from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday; and from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday. For more information, call 435-835-6000