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2016 ISSUE 3




Standing Strong

Provider Spotlight PAGE 12

Healing a Heart with Innovative Technology

Check Out Our Great Events & Classes!

FIRST WORD MEET PRESIDENT RICK STEVENS What an honor it is to be writing my first First Word in Christian Cares magazine. This publication represents so many of the wonderful reasons that inspired me to join Christian Hospital and Northwest HealthCare. There’s such a strong sense of community among our team of compassionate caregivers, who provide excellent patient care with many innovative treatments. I’m truly excited for what lies ahead and look forward to serving you — building upon the success of my predecessor Ron McMullen, and everything this team has achieved. Innovative Care Close to Home During my interviews, one of the things I found most impressive about Christian Hospital was the availability of advanced procedures here. Transcatheter aortic valve replacements, or TAVR, is a minimally invasive procedure that’s only available in 2 percent of hospitals nationwide. In April, Lily Hughes became our first TAVR patient, which was performed in our state-of-the-art hybrid room, which was funded in part by the very team who performed the procedure. You can read more on Page 6. Another great example of advanced treatments at Christian Hospital and Northwest HealthCare is total joint replacements. Our orthopedic specialists provide comprehensive care for shoulder, knee and hip replacements — from consultation, surgery and rehabilitation. Martha Nash from Florissant saw great results from her recent knee replacement, and is back to doing the things she loves. Read more about Martha on Page 10. A Strong Sense of Community Here at Christian Hospital, our commitment to this community goes far beyond the hospital walls. With a variety of events and free health services, we’re all invested in the wellness of the community at large. You can see some of these great opportunities on Page 14. My Vision for Christian Hospital My first two months have been met with such a warm welcome, both from the incredibly talented caregivers and from members of this community. You can read more about my background and vision for Christian Hospital on Page 4. Thank you for reading our magazine. Here’s to the health of this community,

Rick Stevens President, Christian Hospital 2

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2016 ISSUE 3

Standing Strong



















Expanded Content Online For additional patient stories, videos and archive issues of Christian Cares, visit

Provider Spotlight Visit us at


President Q&A

Get to Know Christian Hospital President Rick Stevens Q A

Tell us a little about your background and your family. I was born in Memphis, Tenn., and grew up in Rockford, Ill., but until recently my wife, two children and I lived in the San Francisco Bay area, where I was chief administration officer at St. Luke’s Hospital. We’re all glad to be back in the Midwest, where we’re closer to family. Q: Why did you want to work at Christian Hospital? A: There’s a true sense of community here, and that’s something I wanted to be a part of. I was really impressed with how committed this entire team is to the health and wellness of its patients, and the community at large. Specifically, initiatives like the Community Health Access Program, or CHAP, is making such a positive impact on reducing emergency room visits. It meets people right where they are. I was also impressed with all the innovative treatments and clinical programs available here — it’s such a great thing to offer that level of care so close to our patients’ homes.

Q: Over the next two years, there’s $20 million in facility improvements coming to Christian Hospital. What are you most excited about? A: The first is the gut rehab of our third-floor patient rooms, which we’re converting to modern single-occupancy rooms. It’s been proven that private rooms can promote faster healing, so I’m really passionate about that.


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The next is the renovation of the main hospital lobby. I’m looking forward to giving patients a warm and inviting welcome to our hospital, one that really reflects the friendly atmosphere Christian Hospital’s team creates for its patients.

Q: What’s your vision for Christian Hospital and Northwest HealthCare? A: I’m committed to continue increasing our impact in this community. We’ll soon be expanding programs like the Community Health Access Program (CHAP) and investing in the emergency medical technician (EMT) and patient care technician (PCT) academies we have here. BJC HealthCare, BJC Medical Group and Washington University School of Medicine have some of the best medical minds in the world, and families have access to them right here in North County. More broadly, I want this community to know that we offer the best medicine. In my short time here, I’ve already met several patients who told me they’d never go anywhere else. That’s already such a rewarding thing to hear, and I look forward to spreading that message.

Renovation and Expansion Upgraded Radiology Room The radiology room used for X-ray and live imaging procedures has been renovated and upgraded with a new radiography and fluoroscopy machine. This machine allows for a wider range of procedures to be performed including gastroenterology studies, joint and spine injections and ERCPs (imaging of the digestive tract). This new technology offers significantly superior resolution of images, faster exam times and less radiation to patients.

Expanded Endoscopy Lab The newly renovated Endoscopy Lab has expanded to include 15 private bays for pre-procedure and recovery. The lab also includes four larger procedure rooms with new equipment offering the latest in technology for upper and lower GI procedures and pulmonary procedures.

Upcoming Hospital Renovations The third floor will begin renovation later this year to convert all patient rooms to modern, single-occupancy rooms. A similar renovation of the 10th floor will follow. A renovation of the main hospital lobby is in the planning stages to make a more welcoming space for patients as they enter the hospital.

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A Healed Heart First TAVR Procedure Performed in Hybrid Room In January, Lily Hughes, 73, knew something was wrong. She was experiencing fatigue and had severe difficulty breathing. “I was always tired, even though I slept all the time. I would wake up, do a few things and I would be tired right away again,” says Lily. After a consultation with her primary care physician, it became clear it was a problem with Lily’s heart. She was referred to Christian Hospital for further treatment. The cardiology team at Christian Hospital performed an extensive evaluation of Lily’s condition. “Lily had severe aortic valve stenosis, and needed her aortic valve replaced. She previously had suffered a major stroke and was significantly disabled. For this reason, she was considered a high-risk patient for traditional open heart surgery and we were left with limited treatment options for Lily,” says Stefano Schena, MD, a Washington University


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Physicians cardiothoracic surgeon who practices exclusively at Christian Hospital. When the aortic valve is damaged, it doesn’t allow the heart to adequately force blood to flow to vital organs. The traditional treatment replaces the diseased valve by means of open heart surgery. However, with Lily’s extensive medical history, it was too risky to perform. Her only option was an advanced procedure called transcatheter aortic valve replacement, or TAVR. “TAVR is a minimally invasive way to replace the aortic valve by threading a new prosthetic valve through a small puncture site in the groin. This provides the patient with a quicker recovery time, much smaller incision site and less pain than open heart surgery,”

says Rita Mukerji, MD, a BJC Medical Group interventional cardiologist at Christian Hospital. TAVR is currently only offered to high-risk patients, and Lily fit the criteria. TAVR is performed in a hybrid room, which combines the equipment of an operating room, procedures of a cardiac catheterization lab and advanced medical imaging technology in one space. These specialized rooms are only available in around 2 percent of hospitals across the country. Christian Hospital opened its hybrid room in 2015, the only of its kind in north St. Louis County. “The hybrid room allows us to provide care for our patients in a way we previously could not. Before, Christian Hospital could only offer traditional surgical treatment options for valve replacements. Having this technology has opened up a highway of possibilities and revolutionizes the way we treat multiple cardiac and vascular conditions,” says Dr. Schena. Lily’s need for TAVR arose around the same time the hybrid room became equipped to perform the procedure. She was the first patient to receive the procedure at the hospital. “It was scary to be the first,” says Lily, “But I had comfort knowing I was in good hands.” And she was. Christian Hospital has a dedicated heart and valve team, who have obtained additional credentials and specialized training in TAVR. “Without the level of training and expertise of our entire team, we wouldn’t be able to have such successes like we did with Lily,” says Dr. Schena.

Lily woke up shortly after her procedure, able to breathe strongly and clearly — something she had not experienced in a long time. Lily recovered in the hospital for only three days before returning to her home in Alton, Ill. “When we see a patient who has had the TAVR procedure, it’s typically an amazing recovery. Usually this person is very sick before, but almost immediately, they are able to breath better, and eventually resume their lives,” says Dr. Mukerji. Five months after the procedure, Lily feels like herself again. “Now I’m awake and energetic, and I can do things I like to do again, like shopping,” says Lily. She also enjoys spending more time with her five children and watching her grandchildren play. “They took great care of me at Christian Hospital and treated me very well. Everyone was very nice and friendly.” CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE

Watch Dr. Schena and Dr. Mukerji talk about TAVR, Christian Hospital’s heart care and Lily’s experience at

THE HYBRID ROOM The hybrid room is a $5.5 million modern facility that allows Christian Hospital to perform advanced cardiac therapies, including TAVR. It is available in only 2 percent of hospitals across the country. Funding for the hybrid room was primarily raised by the Christian Hospital Foundation, which received donations from Christian Hospital physicians, staff and the community. Visit us at


“The TAVR procedure gave Lily a second chance. When she first came to us, she felt defeated. Now, she has a new perspective and renewed hope. I look forward to providing this same level of care to other patients,” says Dr. Schena. Since Lily’s case, multiple successful TAVRs have been performed in the hybrid room. “It’s an ongoing effort at Christian Hospital to provide world-class care to more patients with a greater diversity of needs. Since the opening of the hybrid room, we are constantly working to bring more extensive, innovative treatment options to our patients”, says Dr Schena, “The TAVR procedure is only the first step.” To learn more about TAVR at Christian Hospital, call 314.747.WELL or visit

From left to right: Susan Burch, director of Surgical Services at Christian Hospital, Stefano Schena, MD, Washington University Physicans cardiothoracic surgeon at Christian Hospital, and patient Lily Hughes.

WHAT IS TAVR? Transcatheter aortic valve replacement, or TAVR, is a minimally invasive procedure to replace the aortic valve of the heart. It is performed by threading the new valve via a catheter through the groin. A balloon expands the replacement valve within the damaged valve, allowing it to begin immediate, healthy function.

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Christian Hospital PCT Academy The Christian Hospital PCT Academy was introduced earlier this year to provide training to those interested in becoming a patient care technician (PCT). The PCT Academy aims to help the community by providing jobs, assisting student nurses to attain their career goals and serving as a pipeline for future nurses and other health care professionals. The academy’s first class graduated in May. Those accepted into the program become Christian Hospital employees as soon as they enroll, and are paid as a PCT for 40 hours each week during the 10-week training program. Each academy graduate is guaranteed a job upon completing the program, as part of a required one-year commitment to Christian Hospital.

Tracey Bartley, a recent academy graduate, now works on the 6th floor. She started working at Christian Hospital two years ago as a housekeeper before deciding to transition to patient care. She also has an associate’s degree in health care administration and recently completed her bachelor’s in health care management.

The PCT Academy training includes four weeks of classroom instruction with daily testing and four weeks of clinical rotations on nursing floors. The last two weeks of clinical instruction are on the floor where the student will work after completing the program.

“The PCT Academy opened the door for me, and I’m really grateful for it,” says Bartley. “I wanted to get hands-on experience in a health care setting and this academy has made it possible for me.”

For more information on the Christian Hospital PCT Academy, contact Jeremy Yates at

Child Development Center

Open Enrollment Christian Hospital’s Child Development Center (CDC) has been serving the families of this community for more than 30 years, with programs for children aged 6 weeks to 6 years, including a full-day kindergarten. Our facility is state licensed, Missouri accredited and staffed with caring, experienced professionals. • Year-round availability (excluding major holidays) • Four outside play areas • Infant-toddler program • Preschool program with field trips • Full-time and part-time options • Full-day kindergarten with extended care • Developmentally appropriate curriculum, assessments for kindergarten readiness • Special events for holidays • Safe child identification kits

The CDC is open Monday-Friday 6 a.m.-6 p.m. For more information, call 314.653.5600.

Visit us at


Standing Strong

Minimally Invasive Total Knee Replacement Gets Florissant Woman Moving Again For almost 20 years, Martha Nash, 74, lived with constant knee pain. She put off treatment for years, fearful of undergoing major surgery. But when the pain got so severe she found it difficult to walk, to sleep and to enjoy life like she used to, Martha decided it was time to see an orthopedic specialist. After her physician referred her to Mark Belew, MD, BJC Medical Group orthopedic surgeon at Christian Hospital, Martha called and made an appointment. “When Martha came to me, she was struggling to walk and her knee was unstable,” says Dr. Belew. “Understanding her apprehension, I first tried more conservative approaches than surgery, including bracing and medications. But she was to the point that nothing was really helping.” It became clear the best course of treatment was a total knee replacement. Dr. Belew walked Martha through the process, answering her questions and ensuring she knew what to expect every step of the way. “Part of what the


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procedure offers is the chance to not only get rid of arthritis, but also the opportunity to realign the leg and make a joint that is stable again. That’s exactly what Martha needed,” says Dr. Belew. In March, Martha underwent total knee replacement surgery. She was walking, without pain, the next day. “We encourage patients to get up and start moving as soon as possible. In most cases, that’s the same day of surgery, or the day following. We work to gain their independence back as soon as possible,” says Dr. Belew. Throughout her stay and recovery, Martha had a team of physicians, nurses, physical therapists and staff working with her to get her back on her feet. “During my stay, if I needed anything, they were there. And Dr. Belew has a great bedside manner,” says Martha. Three days after surgery, Martha returned to her home in Florissant. She completed three weeks of in-home physical therapy, followed by a few months of outpatient physical therapy at Northwest HealthCare.

“Surgery is just part of the process. We rely very much on physical therapy to help the patient recuperate, gaining back motion and strength,” says Dr. Belew. “What we want is a great outcome, and if there are things we can do to make it safer, easier and better, then I want to do that for my patients.” With her new knee, Martha is able to enjoy life again. “I can do things with my great grandkids that I couldn’t do before. I missed their sports games and activities because I wasn’t able to get out of the house. Now I can do so much more,” says Martha. She’s also an usher at her church and can stand, without pain, through the whole service. “After my knee replacement, I am pain-free. And I haven’t been pain-free in 20 years. All I can say is ‘hallelujah.’” “It’s rewarding to follow the recovery of patients like Martha, as they are able to get back to their lives again. Recovery with minimally invasive surgery is night and day compared to traditional methods. The patient is more comfortable sooner and recovery time is much quicker. Things that used to be done a month or two months following surgery are now done a week or two after,” says Dr. Belew. Dr. Belew has been performing minimally invasive total knee replacement for almost five years. In addition to total knee replacements, the orthopedic team at Christian Hospital also performs total hip and total shoulder replacements. The team is constantly working to improve and expand the treatment options for patients,

Watch Dr. Belew talk about Christian Hospital’s joint replacement and Martha’s experience at

implementing new procedures like a reverse total shoulder replacement procedure, which helps patients with rotator cuff tears and arthritis. “This is the best thing I could have done. I wish I had done this years ago,” says Martha. “For anyone with aches and pains who needs an orthopedic specialist, come to Christian Hospital. Dr. Belew is awesome. I can’t say enough good things about him. I need to see him for a shoulder replacement next, so I’ll be back.” To learn more about total joint replacement at Christian Hospital, call 314.747.WELL or visit Oct. 20, 12–1 p.m.: Listen to Dr. Belew discuss minimally invasive knee surgery at the Christian Hospital Detrick Building Atrium. Lunch will be provided. To register, call 314-747-WELL (9355).

Christian Hospital’s Total Joint Replacement With Christian Hospital and Northwest HealthCare, total joint replacement patients have access to comprehensive, end-to-end care, that includes:









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Events & Classes

Stay Active and Healthy For additional information or to register for an event or class, call 314.747.WELL (9355) or (toll-free) 1.877.747.WELL (9355) or visit Exercise YOGA Calm your mind, increase your concentration and enhance your ability to cope with stress. Northwest HealthCare Sept. 30–Oct. 28 Oct. 31–Nov. 30 Dec. 2–Jan. 6 Jan. 9–Feb. 3

BOOT CAMP Fat-burning and strengthtraining exercises that will help you gain endurance, strength, flexibility and speed. Nov. 8–Dec. 15 Dec. 20–Jan. 26 Tuesdays & Thursdays 5:15–6:15 p.m. ZUMBA Learn to swivel, pivot and shake your way to fitness through the popular Latin dance-inspired class.

Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays 9–10 a.m. Christian Hospital Oct. 5–Nov. 16 Nov. 21–Jan. 9 Jan. 11–Feb. 20

Sept. 28–Nov. 7 Nov. 9–Dec. 28 Jan. 4–Feb. 13

Mondays & Wednesdays 5:30–6:30 p.m.

Mondays & Wednesdays 5:30–6:30 p.m.

TAI CHI Resist illness, combat stress and fatigue and increase flexibility through meditation in motion.

SHAPE EXERCISE (Senior Health And Physical Exercise) is designed for people 55 and older. Oct. 10–Dec. 2 Jan. 9–Mar. 3

Nov. 3–Jan. 5 Jan. 9–Feb. 16 Mondays 7:45–8:45 a.m. Thursdays 9–10 a.m.

Northwest HealthCare Dec. 14: 12–4 p.m. Cancer Care LOOK GOOD, FEEL BETTER Anyone currently undergoing or finishing cancer treatment is invited to experience a free makeover from certified cosmetologists. Nov. 14: 10 a.m.–12 p.m. Heart & Lung FREE LUNG FUNCTION SCREENING Call 314.953.6040

Mondays & Thursdays 1–2 p.m.

All support groups are free and cover a variety of topics.

Tuesdays & Thursdays 9:30–10:30 a.m.

2017 Heart Fair Northwest HealthCare 1225 Graham Road

The Mammo-thon is a comfortable, relaxing atmosphere and offers convenient times. And if you can’t afford a mammogram, we may be able to provide assistance. Visit or call 314.747.WELL (9355) or (toll-free) 1.877.747.WELL (9355) to register.

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Christian Hospital Dec. 13: 10 a.m.–3 p.m.

Support Groups

We are encouraging women 40 or older who haven’t had a mammogram in recent years to schedule an appointment.


AMERICAN RED CROSS BLOOD DRIVE Open to the general public. Walk-ins are welcome; appointments have priority.

Mondays & Wednesdays 9–10 a.m.

Mammo-thon Sunday, October 16 7 a.m.–7 p.m.

Blood Drive

SAVE THE DATE Saturday, February 18 8:30 a.m.–1 p.m. Detrick Building Atrium 11133 Dunn Road Free screenings, informational booths and lectures. Visit or call 314.747.WELL (9355) or (toll-free) 1.877.747.WELL (9355) to register.


Saturday, October 8 9 a.m.–1 p.m. Detrick Building Atrium 11133 Dunn Road Visit or call 314.747.WELL (9355) or (toll-free) 1.877.747.WELL (9355) to register.

Christian Hospital Auxiliary Fundraisers All Auxiliary sales are held in the Christian Hospital Lobby. STUFF-A-CRITTER SALE A large variety of plush animals that will be stuffed on-site. Oct. 4: 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Oct. 5: 7 a.m.–4 p.m. JEWELRY IS FUN Select from a wide variety of costume jewelry — just in time for the holidays! Dec. 13: 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Dec. 14: 7 a.m.–4 p.m. Dec. 15: 7 a.m.–3 p.m. BOOKS ARE FUN New books are discounted 40 to 70 percent for readers of all ages. Nov. 1: 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Nov. 2: 7 a.m.–4 p.m. Nov. 3: 7 a.m.–3 p.m. PURSE PALOOZA Choose from the latest styles in fashion handbags. Nov. 29: 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Nov. 30: 7 a.m.–3 p.m. TRIVIA CHALLENGE Round up your friends and family for a fun night of trivia. Christian Hospital Auditorium Oct. 15: 7 p.m. SPOTLIGHT ON TUSCANY Vacation to Italy.

Learn about cancer prevention and gain knowledge with informative lectures and free screenings. Visit educational booths, enjoy a delicious lunch and receive a goody bag with valuable information. Help us fight cancer by making your reservation today.

Seniors BETTER CHOICES, BETTER HEALTH–DIABETES® OASIS Community Health Facilitators Workshop to manage diabetes with lifestyle and health tips. Lewis and Clark Library Oct. 1–Nov. 19 Saturdays 9:30 a.m.–12 p.m. Jamestown Bluffs Library Oct. 5–Nov. 23 Wednesdays 10 a.m.–12:30 p.m. PEER-LED DISCUSSION GROUPS Enjoy fellowship and conversation on a variety of topics while making new friends or reconnecting with old ones. Village North Retirement Community Food for Thought Oct. 20: 1:30–2:30 p.m. Rules for Getting Along with People Nov. 17: 1:30–2:30 p.m. The Power of Laughter: Funny Moments Dec. 15: 1:30–2:30 p.m. FIT FOR FUNCTION Learn about the new research proving basic strength training can reverse muscle loss. Indian Trails Library Dec. 6: 10 a.m.–12 p.m.

MATTER OF BALANCE OASIS Community Health Facilitators Workshop on factors that can lead to a fall and practical tips to keep yourself on your feet. Indian Trails Library Oct. 3–Nov. 21 Mondays 1–3 p.m. FIGHTING FATIGUE Learn about the causes of fatigue, its impact on daily function and how to fight it. Rock Road Library Nov. 4: 12–2 p.m. FREE FROM FALLS Learn how to prevent falls and assess your mobility and balance through a balance screening. Jamestown Bluffs Library Sept. 29: 10 a.m.–12 p.m. Mental Health CENTER FOR SENIOR RENEWAL Day treatment program for adults over 60 suffering from anxiety, depression, grief, loss or isolation. CHRISTIAN HOSPITAL RECOVERY CENTER Intensive outpatient program (IOP) for adults (18-60 years old) suffering from mental health or substance abuse.

Nov. 9–17, 2017 Presentation: Oct. 4: 6 p.m. Visit us at


Provider Spotlight

SUPRAJA REDDY, MD Endocrinologist “My goal is to provide patients with the right diagnosis and the right treatment at the right time. I also want to be efficient with my care, distributing it in a timely, but attentive manner so I can help as many patients as possible. I’m dedicated to providing them with the best care possible.” Dr. Reddy is a BJC Medical Group endocrinologist at Christian Hospital. She joined the Endocrinology Department in September. Dr. Reddy provides care for chronic conditions, including diabetes, thyroid disorders, osteoporosis, obesity

and pituitary disorders. She performs procedures that include thyroid ultrasound and fine needle aspiration (FNA) to properly diagnose and treat her patients. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Reddy, please call 314.953.8799.

MATTHEW F. SCHOENHERR, MD Primary Care Physician

“I want to empower my patients to make the right decisions to keep themselves as healthy as possible. In everything that I do, I strive to provide treatment that is evidence-based balanced with the idea that every patient is unique and requires a humanistic approach.” Dr. Schoenherr will join Family Care at Christian Hospital in October as a BJC Medical Group primary care physician. He will be providing clinic-based care for all ages of patients for a wide range of issues, performing preventive acute and chronic care. Dr. Schoenherr provides patients

with the necessary treatment, guidance and coordination for a timely, effective recovery or chronic disease management. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Schoenherr, please call 314.653.5484.

CODY BASCIANO, FNP-BC Family Nurse Practitioner “I love the atmosphere of Christian Hospital. The Family Care office is a friendly, warm environment. Everyone enjoys their jobs and serving the patients in North County.”

Cody, a BJC Medical Group family nurse practitioner, will also join Family Care at Christian Hospital in October. She will be providing primary care to patients of all ages, from pediatrics through geriatrics.


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Cody performs both acute and chronic care, focusing on the comprehensive wellness of her patients. To schedule an appointment with Cody, please call 314.653.5484.

Foundation News

Save the Date N OV E M B E R 3 , 2 0 1 6 PA U L F. D E T R I C K AT R I U M AT C H R I S T I A N H O S P I TA L


C O N G R AT U L AT I O N S TO T H I S Y E A R ’ S H O N O R E E S : Dr. Timothy Rearden PHYSICIAN OF THE YEAR


Bestowed upon a physician who has dedicated much of his/her career to serving the patients at Christian Hospital with compassion and expertise.

Dr. Ray E. (and late Mrs. Sally) Howell Honors an individual whose impact and commitment has left a legacy in the North County community.


Recognizes an organization or community member who has created economic opportunities to further the North County area’s presence in the region.

The Christian Hospital Foundation creates opportunities for individuals and organizations to provide vital support that directly improves the health and wellness of our community. We support efforts such as patient care, advanced medicine and technology, community benefit programs and staff education.

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Christian Cares • 2016 Issue 3  

Community Health & Wellness magazine from your neighbors at Christian Hospital in St. Louis.

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