Community Health: A Conversation about Robot-Assisted Knee/Hip Replacement

total knee replacement

We recorded today’s conversation on location at Warren Memorial Hospital with Mesfin Shibeshi DO, fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon and Grace Speicher, Program and Operations Manager, Valley Health Orthopaedic Clinics, Southern Region. Click here to have a listen to the conversation.

Dr. Shibeshi shared his knowledge and experience with respect to robot-assisted total knee replacement. Using this technology, Dr. Shibeshi is able to create a 3D model of a patient’s knee before surgery, allowing for precise planning of incisions and implant placement. The robotic surgical technology offers a level of personalization and precision that can limit soft tissue damage, preserve bone and reduce post-surgical pain for some patients.

Dr. Shibeshi is using this technology to aid in same-day total knee reconstruction procedures at Warren Memorial Hospital, the first Valley Health hospital to earn the Gold Seal of Approval® for Total Knee Replacement and Total Hip Replacement Certification from The Joint Commission.

Grace explained why certification is important. Certification keeps everyone focused on providing high quality patient care by providing:

  • Patient Education– patients are prepared for their total joint journey.  This is accomplished by distributing a total joint book to each patient, along with teaching what to expect prior, during, and after surgery.  This is a collaborative effort with the surgeon, nursing, therapy and case management involvement.
  • Early Ambulation and Pain Control– Studies have shown the sooner a patient ambulates the better their recovery. In order to accomplish this, pain must be controlled.  In an effort to keep narcotic use at a minimum, they have what is called a multimodal approach which includes a block placed by the anesthesia team during the surgical process, along with a periarticular injection placed by the surgeon.  This approach allows for a longer pain control with less need for oral pain pills.  This is easier on the patient’s stomach, as well as less of a threat for narcotic dependence.

Practice Office in Front Royal:

Valley Health’s Orthopedics practice in Front Royal is located in the multispecialty clinic on the campus of Warren Memorial Hospital. Dr. Shibeshi sees patients in clinic there, and performs procedures in the OR at Warren Memorial Hospital. Info about the clinic can be found here: Orthopedic Care in Front Royal | Valley Health (valleyhealthlink.com)

More information about the robotics and certifications can be found here:

Two Valley Health Hospitals Add Robotic Technology for Knee Replacement

Warren Memorial Hospital Earns Gold Seal of Approval for Total Hip and Knee Replacement Program

Community Health: Robot Assisted Joint Replacement

total knee replacement

We recorded today’s conversation on location at Warren Memorial Hospital with Mesfin Shibeshi DO, fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon and Grace Speicher, Program and Operations Manager, Valley Health Orthopaedic Clinics, Southern Region. Click here to have a listen to the conversation.

Dr. Shibeshi shared his knowledge and experience with respect to robot-assisted total knee replacement. Using this technology, Dr. Shibeshi is able to create a 3D model of a patient’s knee before surgery, allowing for precise planning of incisions and implant placement. The robotic surgical technology offers a level of personalization and precision that can limit soft tissue damage, preserve bone and reduce post-surgical pain for some patients.

Dr. Shibeshi is using this technology to aid in same-day total knee reconstruction procedures at Warren Memorial Hospital, the first Valley Health hospital to earn the Gold Seal of Approval® for Total Knee Replacement and Total Hip Replacement Certification from The Joint Commission.

Grace explained why certification is important. Certification keeps everyone focused on providing high quality patient care by providing:

  • Patient Education– patients are prepared for their total joint journey.  This is accomplished by distributing a total joint book to each patient, along with teaching what to expect prior, during, and after surgery.  This is a collaborative effort with the surgeon, nursing, therapy and case management involvement.
  • Early Ambulation and Pain Control– Studies have shown the sooner a patient ambulates the better their recovery. In order to accomplish this, pain must be controlled.  In an effort to keep narcotic use at a minimum, they have what is called a multimodal approach which includes a block placed by the anesthesia team during the surgical process, along with a periarticular injection placed by the surgeon.  This approach allows for a longer pain control with less need for oral pain pills.  This is easier on the patient’s stomach, as well as less of a threat for narcotic dependence.

Practice Office in Front Royal:

Valley Health’s Orthopedics practice in Front Royal is located in the multispecialty clinic on the campus of Warren Memorial Hospital. Dr. Shibeshi sees patients in clinic there, and performs procedures in the OR at Warren Memorial Hospital. Info about the clinic can be found here: Orthopedic Care in Front Royal | Valley Health (valleyhealthlink.com)

More information about the robotics and certifications can be found here:

Two Valley Health Hospitals Add Robotic Technology for Knee Replacement

Warren Memorial Hospital Earns Gold Seal of Approval for Total Hip and Knee Replacement Program

Community Health: A Conversation About Advance Medical Directives

advance medical directives

Today’s conversation on The Valley Today is part of an ongoing community health partnership with Valley Health where host, Janet Michael talks each month to physicians, administrators, nurses, etc. from Valley Health about a wide range of topics regarding healthcare. The guest today was Dr. James VanKirk, Director of Palliative Care for Valley Health, based at Winchester Medical Center about advance medical directives. You can click here to listen to the conversation.

Dr. VanKirk explained what palliative care is: a specialized, interdisciplinary approach to improving comfort and quality of life at any stage of serious illness by addressing symptoms, communications, and next steps. The two talked about National Healthcare Decision Day that happens on April 16 each year. He told us that it’s actually observed for the entire week but advance medical directives can be done at any time of year.

Dr. VanKirk talked about the different types of advance medical directives, how to start the conversation with loved ones, how to decide who you’d like to be “your person” and the steps you should take to ensure your wishes are on file somewhere like your local hospital. An advance directive is a form you can complete so that you can be in charge of your health care if you become unable to make healthcare decisions for yourself because of injury or illness. “It always seems too early until it’s too late.”

An Advance Directive includes two important parts:

  • Choosing someone to be your voice when you cannot speak for yourself. This person is commonly called a health care agent, or may also be known as a Health Care Proxy, Substitute Decision-Maker, or Medical Power of Attorney.
  • Communicating the kind of medical treatment you want or don’t want. This is called your Living Will.

For more information, visit their website: https://www.valleyhealthlink.com/patients-visitors/for-patients/advance-care-planning/

To hear more conversations in this series, visit the podcast page: https://theriver953.com/communityhealth/

Community Health: Advance Medical Directives

advance medical directives

We were on the screen today for a conversation with Dr. James VanKirk, Director of Palliative Care for Valley Health, based at Winchester Medical Center about advance medical directives. This is part of an ongoing community health partnership with Valley Health where I talk every month to physicians, administrators, nurses, etc. from Valley Health about a wide range of topics regarding healthcare. Have a listen to the show by clicking here.

Dr. VanKirk explained what palliative care is: a specialized, interdisciplinary approach to improving comfort and quality of life at any stage of serious illness by addressing symptoms, communications, and next steps. We talked about National Healthcare Decision Day that happens on April 16 each year. He told us that it’s actually observed for the entire week but advance medical directives can be done at any time of year.

Dr. VanKirk talked about the different types of advance medical directives, how to start the conversation with loved ones, how to decide who you’d like to be “your person” and the steps you should take to ensure your wishes are on file somewhere like your local hospital. An advance directive is a form you can complete so that you can be in charge of your health care if you become unable to make healthcare decisions for yourself because of injury or illness. “It always seems too early until it’s too late.”

An Advance Directive includes two important parts:

  • Choosing someone to be your voice when you cannot speak for yourself. This person is commonly called a health care agent, or may also be known as a Health Care Proxy, Substitute Decision-Maker, or Medical Power of Attorney.
  • Communicating the kind of medical treatment you want or don’t want. This is called your Living Will.

For more information, visit their website: https://www.valleyhealthlink.com/patients-visitors/for-patients/advance-care-planning/

To hear more conversations in this series, visit the podcast page: https://theriver953.com/communityhealth/

Valley Health offers Direct Access to Physical Therapy

direct access to physical therapy

Today’s conversation on The Valley Today is part of our community health partnership with Valley Health. Every month, we chat with physicians, nurses, administrators, and others within the Valley Health system to talk about topics involving the health & wellness of our community. Click here to have a listen.

Today, we talked with Mary Presley, Director of Rehab Services at Warren Memorial Hospital. Mary has been a frequent guest on the show. Joining Mary, was Marsha Cooper, a physical therapist based at Shenandoah Memorial Hospital.

The pair explained a fairly new program offered at all the Valley Health facilities: Direct Access to physical therapy services. This program bypasses the usual primary care/urgent care visit and allows patients to go directly to one of their physical therapists for sprained ankles, aching backs, vertigo, the list goes on as Marsha explained.

Valley Health direct-access physical therapists have a doctorate degree in physical therapy and significant training in evaluation and diagnosis. These experts use various techniques depending on the patient’s individual needs. They also use an evidence-based tool called FOTO (Focus on Therapeutic Outcomes), which generates real-time data to measure how well the treatment is working. Physical therapists specialize in areas such as orthopedics, sports medicine, pediatrics, wound care, pelvic health, and balance disturbances; they can also help with neurologic issues and frequently work with individuals recovering from stroke.

Mary explained how direct access is often less expensive for patients – along with being more convenient because it reduces the cost of other copays and prior doctor visits before landing at physical therapy. The clinic will contact a patient’s insurance company to obtain authorization, just like when a patient visits their doctor, and verify the copayment determined by the patient’s health plan. Medicare/Medicaid options are also available.

Direct Access is available at all of Valley Health’s outpatient PT clinics. To learn more, visit their website: valleyhealthlink.com/physicaltherapy and read the article about it here.

Community Health: Direct Access to Physical Therapy

Our conversation today was part of our community health partnership with Valley Health. Every month, we chat with physicians, nurses, administrators, and others within the Valley Health system to talk about topics involving the health & wellness of our community.

Today, we talked with Mary Presley, Director of Rehab Services at Warren Memorial Hospital. Mary has been a frequent guest on the show. Joining Mary, was Marsha Cooper, a physical therapist based at Shenandoah Memorial Hospital.

The pair explained a fairly new program offered at all the Valley Health facilities: Direct Access for physical therapy services. This program bypasses the usual primary care/urgent care visit and allows patients to go directly to one of their physical therapists for sprained ankles, aching backs, vertigo, the list goes on as Marsha explained. 

Valley Health direct-access physical therapists have a doctorate degree in physical therapy and significant training in evaluation and diagnosis. These experts use various techniques depending on the patient’s individual needs. They also use an evidence-based tool called FOTO (Focus on Therapeutic Outcomes), which generates real-time data to measure how well the treatment is working. Physical therapists specialize in areas such as orthopedics, sports medicine, pediatrics, wound care, pelvic health, and balance disturbances; they can also help with neurologic issues and frequently work with individuals recovering from stroke.

Mary explained how direct access is often less expensive for patients – along with being more convenient because it reduces the cost of other copays and prior doctor visits before landing at physical therapy. The clinic will contact a patient’s insurance company to obtain authorization, just like when a patient visits their doctor, and verify the copayment determined by the patient’s health plan. Medicare/Medicaid options are also available.

Direct Access is available at all of Valley Health’s outpatient PT clinics. To learn more, visit their website: valleyhealthlink.com/physicaltherapy and read the article about it here.

Community Health: Heart Valves

Community Health: Heart Valves

February is American Heart Month so we pulled up the mics to chat with Dr. Ernesto Jimenez as part of our community health partnership with Valley Health. Dr. Jimenez is a board certified cardiothoracic surgeon specializing in minimally invasive valve surgery, mitral valve repair and coronary artery revascularization with arterial conduits. He’s part of Valley Health Cardiothoracic Surgeons and the advanced valve program team at Winchester Medical Center’s Heart & Vascular Center.

Our conversation centered around healthy valves and what happens when they start to break down. Dr. Jimenez explained how valves work, what happens to them over time and talked about symptoms we might experience when they begin to fail.

He walked us through a few treatment options and talked about the advancements in minimally invasive surgery for valve repair/replacement since the 1950’s.

For more information about Valley Health’s Heart & Vascular Center, visit their website HERE.

Making Healthy Choices With or Without Surgery

Today’s conversation with Georgeann Freimuth, MS, RD, LDN, a registered dietitian with Valley Health’s Metabolic and Bariatric Program was pretty insightful. She gave us some great tips about making healthier eating choices and busted a few myths about how often you should be eating each day to lose weight. Click here to have a listen.

Valley Health’s Metabolic & Bariatric Program offers surgical and non-surgical options. She explained the non-surgical options that include a comprehensive plan with a team approach. We talked about their medication assisted & Optifast programs. She also gave us a rundown of the surgical options available.

We discussed the importance of changing your mindset and your lifestyle for long term success.

To get more details about their various weight loss programs, click here to visit their website.

Community Health: Understanding Omicron

As part of our ongoing Community Health series in partnership with Valley Health, today’s conversation with Dr. Jeffrey Feit centered around the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

He explained why this variant is particularly tricky and talked about what is known vs what is not known about it’s spread, virility and the impact vaccines will have in fighting it.

Community Health: A Priority for Valley Health

Our conversation today with Dr. Jeffrey Feit, Valley Health Population & Community Health Officer and Tracy Mitchell, Director, Valley Health Wellness Services centered around how/why Valley Health prioritizes and implements various community health objectives.

Dr. Feit explained the Community Health Needs Assessment that Valley Health conducts every three years. You can take the survey here: valleyhealthlink.com/survey

Tracy told us about the various partnerships with local nonprofits, school systems and area agencies to develop community gardens and distribute the goods to those in need in our community. She also told us about health educators and the role they play in keeping our communities healthy.

During our conversation, Dr. Feit mentioned the Community Benefit Report- which I found fascinating. You can get more details about it here: https://www.valleyhealthlink.com/about-us/our-community-commitment/community-benefit/

Have a listen to the conversation by clicking here.