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Fauci Updates Healthcare Professionals on COVID-19 During IDWeek 2020
Pandemic Pressures & Stress Takes Toll on Mental Health
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, Anna Cook, is seeing firsthand the effects the pandemic is having on the mental health of West Tennesseans
By CINDy SANDERS
for the National Institutes of Health, discussed the current understanding of COVID19 and where the United States stands in the fight against a virus that had killed more than 230,000 Americans at press time.
In late October, healthcare professionals in infectious disease, healthcare epidemiology and prevention gathered virtually for IDWeek 2020, perhaps one of the most consequential conferences in Coronavirus & SARSthe Infectious Diseases Society CoV-2 of America’s 57-year history. Fauci began his preDay one began with a sentation by noting the sciglobal event, “Chasing the entific community has long Sun,” as IDSA joined with experience with coronavirus partners around the world for in humans and in bats and 24 hours of global perspecother intermediate hosts. In tives and data on COVID-19 Anthony S. Fauci 2002, he said the world had – from clinical presentation, its first experience with the diagnostics and therapeutics pandemic coronavirus SARS with another pandemic potential coroto infection control, mitigation strategies and vaccine developnavirus in 2012 with MERS. ment. Kicking off the special event, Anthony S. Fauci, MD, di(CONTINUED ON PAGE 5) rector of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Working on the front lines of mental health, Anna Cook, DNP, PMHNP, can attest to the fact that the pandemic’s reach is beyond just those who contract the disease. As a psychiatric nurse practitioner in both an inpatient geriatric unit and in her outpatient private practice, Cook has seen a surge in demand for psychiatric services since the start of the pandemic and it is a surge that she does not see dwindling anytime soon.
Lawsuit Questions Referral Arrangement A summary of complaints & the responses in suit against local providers By JAMES DOWD
Profile on page 3.
Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare and West Clinic engaged in a patient referral and kickback scheme that generated more than $1.5 billion in new revenue for Methodist and more than $400 million in payouts to West physicians over several years, according to allegations in a lawsuit brought by two whistleblowers against the Memphis medical giants. Jeffrey Liebman, who previously served as Methodist’s CEO, resigned from the organization and filed the suit in 2017. He is now CEO of CharterCARE Health Partners in Providence, R.I. Joining the suit is
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Pandemic Pressures & Stress Takes Toll on Mental Health
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, Anna Cook, is seeing firsthand the effects the pandemic is having on the mental health of West Tennesseans By SUZANNE BOYD
Working on the front lines of mental health, Anna Cook, DNP, PMHNP, can attest to the fact that the pandemic’s reach is beyond just those who contract the disease. As a psychiatric nurse practitioner in both an inpatient geriatric unit and in her outpatient private practice, Cook has seen a surge in demand for psychiatric services since the start of the pandemic and it is a surge that she does not see dwindling anytime soon. The Mississippi native has over 14 years of nursing experience and five years of experience as a mental health nurse practitioner. Cook obtained a master’s degree in nursing from Murray State University in 2010 and a post master’s degree from Vanderbilt University in 2015. She is a board-certified Registered Nurse, adult Clinical Nurse Specialist and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. She completed a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) from the University of Alabama, Huntsville in 2019. Cook started her career in cardiology where she found a passion for the geriatric population. She later began working in nursing homes offering psychiatric services, deciding then to pursue a post master’s degree in order to specialize in mental health. Since that time, she has worked as a regional director for a company providing psychiatric services to long term care facilities in West Tennessee. Later, she began working part time at an inpatient geriatric facility in Martin, Tennessee. “I initially just worked two days a week at Unity in Martin, but realized how much I loved it and moved to four,” said Cook. “I had always liked geriatric patients in general, but the more I worked with them, the more I found it to be so rewarding. I love spending time with them and hearing their stories. Additionally, being able to provide education and emotional support to families of loved ones with dementia is something I feel led to do. I am grateful to have the opportunity to help them in such difficult situations. As a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner who holds a doctorate, Cook specializes in evaluating, diagnosing, and treating various mental health conditions. She splits her time between an inpatient geriatric program with Unity Psychiatric in Martin, Tennessee, and private practice with iMind Mental Health and Wellness in Jackson. One of her primary roles in both the inpatient facility as well as in her private practice, is to assess the medications a patient is taking and make recommendations. “Often the patient is on too many westtnmedicalnews
medications,” she said. “Many times, patients are put on medications with the best intentions but when you look at what they take collectively, there are too many.” In addition to the medication aspect of psychiatry, Cook is also trained to provide psychotherapy for her patients. The clinic employs two Licensed Counselor Social Workers who handle most of the intensive therapy for patients. “When we opened the clinic, it was to offer something different than what was available in terms of mental health services in our community. The need was there, and we wanted to address that in a way that allowed us to determine the amount of time devoted to each patient,” said Cook. “I try to get all patients in therapy because medications are just a part of treatment. We know the best outcomes are typically gained by a combination of both medication and counseling services. Cook says that, even before the pandemic, the need for psychiatric services had been growing, but it has escalated since March, especially for geriatric patients as well as those that are dually diagnosed with intellectual and coexisting mental health disorders such as anxiety, depressions, and mood disorders. The lack of structure and routine, and increased isolation caused by the pandemic has taken a toll on this population. Depressive
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episodes are at an all- time high. The influx of new patients needing services has been overwhelming but we are doing our best to keep up. “There are not a lot of outpatient resources as it is, and since we opened the clinic two and a half years ago, we had seen steady growth,” said Cook. “Since the pandemic, it is almost like a crisis for the practice as we have seen such an increase of people in need of mental health services.” For the general population, things such as being unemployed, job loss, loss of insurance, kids not in school, working from home and having to teach virtual school as well as just being confined with family for months and months are major stressors said Cook. “People who are already anxious, don’t deal with unknowns very well and with the pandemic there has been nothing but uncertainty,” she said. “For patients with an underlying intellectual disorder such as autism, having their world turned upside down by the pandemic can be especially stressful as strive on structure. Constant changes in the rules and regulations has been especially hard on them. I am happy to work closely with Madison Haywood Development Center who are offering intensive outpatient group therapy “virtual classes” that help with coping skills, dealing with depression and anxiety and offering a social outlet for the patients. Even if the classes are virtual, the interaction with their peers has been a great resource. ” Cook says the geriatric population, especially those in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, has been hit especially hard by the pandemic. The inpatient unit has almost a constant waiting list due to the decompensation in patients that are now needing an inpatient hospitalization. “It has been awful,” she said. “In the beginning, it wasn’t as bad because no one knew how long it would last. As the weeks have worn on and people have been isolated from family, we are having patients coming in that have had a rapid cognitive decline. Some of them may have had some degree of dementia in March but now they are not able to engage at all and have completely shut down. I think it is due to the loneliness factor.” To mitigate the spread of the virus, many facilities would not let patients come out of their room, so it was as though they were in solitary confinement to some degree said Cook. “While it was in their best
interest medically, it caused patients to decompensate,” she said. “Treating them has been difficult as the guidelines change frequently. Isolation does not lend itself to dealing with advanced dementia, but we have tried to adapt and engage them as much as we can safely. I feel like the first week they are in the facility and they have to be isolated to ensure they are COVID free, we just cannot make a lot of progress but there is no way around it.” The inpatient facility in Martin is full and Cook says referrals are not slowing down. “We have been pretty slammed the past two months and there is no sign it is going to slow down. COVID caused us to make all our rooms private and that is something that is not going to change. We are adding two beds to our 14-bed facility in January due to demand.” For those dealing with COVID- related stress, Cook has this advice. “While we want people to stay informed, I recommend limiting media exposure to just a couple of times a day and from reliable sources that provide accurate information. Engage in self-care activities, eat a healthy diet and exercise, even if it is virtually at home,” she said. “Try to avoid turning to things like alcohol or overeating in an effort to deal with stress. These are what we call negative coping skills that could result in further health problems. Know that it is okay to seek help and therapy to change your thought process or just to have someone to talk to. Set goals and how you plan to achieve them. Do not stop engaging in hobbies you like to do. Stay engaged with others through technology, especially with family members who may not be involved in holiday, social or family activities. Check on people especially if you notice a change in behavior or that they are more withdrawn. Often, someone will go in for what they think is medical treatment and it turns out to be depression related.” I recommend medical clinics be more diligent in screening for depression and anxiety at routine office visits. Cook, who has personally experienced COVID herself, says she has a whole new perspective. “I am being more vigilant about wearing a mask and encouraging others to wear one as well,” she said. “Feeling stress and anxiety right now is normal, don’t feel guilty about it. Big thing is to focus on what you can do to mitigate your risk of getting it. Stay on a routine as much as possible and make time for fun and relaxation.”
Anna Cook, DNP, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Clinical nurse specialist, RN, Unity Psychiatric, Martin, TN, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lawsuit Questions Referral Arrangement, continued from page 1 Plaintiff Complaints
From 2012 through 2018, the Methodist Defendants paid West Clinic physicians over $400 million in cash payments in a scheme to induce and reward referrals of cancer patients for hospital admissions, infusion drug therapy, radiation therapy, outpatient procedures, and ancillary services. Throughout the course of their “alliance,” Methodist and West Clinic physicians shared massive profits at the expense of compliance with federal laws. Methodist paid West $25 million in co-management fees without proof that any such services rendered. Methodist invested $7 million in Vector Oncology (formerly known as ACORN), a for-profit research entity controlled by West Clinic physicians. West Clinic’s managing physicians required this $7 million payment as a condition of entering into the “partnership” with Methodist. Approximately 50 percent of the $7 million payment by Methodist was to pay off Vector’s debts, to repay some of West’s physicians for personally financing Vector’s losses.
Defendants deny lawsuit claims, but attorneys declined to comment. Our professional relationship with Methodist complied with the law and resulted in increased access to high-quality cancer care for an underserved patient population. (Dr. Kurt Tauer, founder, chairman and Medical Oncologist for West Cancer Center) We cooperated fully in the government’s investigation of these allegations, and we are pleased the government has decided not to intervene in the lawsuit at this time. The lawsuit lacks merit, and we will continue to vigorously defend ourselves. (Methodist) West vigorously disagrees with the allegations in the complaint and looks forward to having the opportunity to prove them incorrect in a court of law. Together Methodist and West increased access to high quality cancer care in the Memphis area, decreased mortality rates among cancer patients, introduced new and innovative treatments not previously available in the Mid-South, and significantly increased funding for cancer research. (Mitch Graves, CEO of West)
Dr. David Stern, who served as dean at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center until 2019 and was a Methodist board member until being removed in 2017. The suit was sealed Jeffrey Liebman for two years during a government investigation. In September, 2019, the government decided not to intervene, but the case continues to be monitored, said David Boling, public information ofDavid Stern ficer the U.S Attorney’s office in Nashville. Neither Liebman nor Stern responded to requests for interviews and attorneys for both sides declined to comment. In addition to the Methodist and West systems, other named defendants include West executives Dr. Lee Schwartzberg and Erich Mounce, and former Methodist executives Gary Shorb and Chris McLean. West denied the charges. “Over two years ago, The West Clinic became aware that the government was reviewing its affiliation with Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare. West fully cooper-
ated with the government in that review. In December 2019, it was revealed that the government’s review was the result of a lawsuit filed by a former Methodist Le Bonheur executive and a former Mitch Graves dean at the University of Tennessee’s Health Science Center,” CEO Mitch Graves replied in a written statement. “West also learned that after conducting an extensive investigation, the government chose not to intervene in this lawsuit. We are disappointed that these individuals have filed this lawsuit. West vigorously disagrees with the allegations in the complaint and looks forward to having the opportunity to prove them incorrect in a court of law.” Methodist also refuted the claims. “Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare upholds the highest standards and complies with all legal and regulatory requirements. Our professional agreements with The West Clinic and its physicians provided needed medical services for cancer patients,” the healthcare system responded in a written statement. “We are certain that closer examination of our agreements with West Clinic will make it clear that these were agreements built on integrity, and
focused on a shared approach to elevating the quality and scope of cancer care in our community. We cooperated fully in the government’s investigation of these allegations, and we are pleased the government has decided not to intervene in the lawsuit at this time. The lawsuit lacks merit, and we will continue to vigorously defend ourselves.” The suit claims that in 2011, West moved to end its two-decade patient referral partnership with Baptist Memorial Health Care with the intention of building a lucrative cancer patient referral pipeline to Methodist because of an expected “windfall” of profits for both facilities. Plaintiffs allege that West physicians received hundreds of millions in dollars for referring cancer patients to Methodist, and Methodist saw profits jump from increased admissions, therapies and treatments for those patients. Damages to Medicaid and Medicare, the suit claims, exceed $800 million. Under the False Claims Act (FCA), liability would triple that amount, bringing the total damages to more than $2.4 billion. In fraud cases in which the government intervenes, plaintiffs may receive between 15 and 25 percent of the amount recovered by the government. In cases that do not involve government intervention, plaintiffs may receive between 25-30 percent of any
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proceeds that are awarded. The suit asserts that West doctors leveraged Methodist’s status as a nonprofit health care system to gain access to the federal 340B Drug Pricing Program that allows covered entities such as Methodist to obtain expensive cancer drugs at steep discounts. The suit further claims that West profited from the retail sale of those drugs at much higher charges to patients and insurance companies, and alleges that the complexity of the 340B program and the federal government’s “lack of sophistication” in being able to uncover such a partnership provided a “safe” way to share profits. If substantiated, such acts could violate the federal AntiKickback Statute (AKS), which prohibits healthcare systems from offering financial incentives or offers of payment for referrals that would lead to reimbursements from federal health programs. In this case, the suit alleges that from 2012-2018 Methodist paid West physicians more than $400 million in exchange for patient referrals, and those referrals by West physicians generated more than $1.5 billion in revenue for Methodist. In addition, the suit alleges that Methodist paid West $25 million from 2012-2018 for non-existent management services. And Methodist invested $7 million in a Westowned research company, with about $3.5 million of that amount used to reimburse West doctors who had personally financed Vector’s losses. The Methodist/West partnership ended in late 2018 when West announced plans to join OneOncology as a founding member. Defendants point out that timing coincided with a nearly 30 percent decrease in the Medicare payment rates for drugs that covered entities were able to purchase through the 340B program. In early 2019, West purchased its nearly 200,000-square-foot medical building at 7945 Wolf River Boulevard from Methodist. Following the dissolution of the partnership, Methodist announced its own plan to form the Methodist Cancer Institute. Earlier this year, defendants filed a motion to dismiss the suit. No settlement has been reached and the discovery process continues for both sides. A hearing may occur in early 2021.
Fauci Updates Healthcare Professionals on COVID-19, continued from page 1
The current pandemic coronavirus was recognized at the end of December 2019 as a disease and was confirmed by the Chinese in the first week of January 2020 as yet another strain of coronavirus. As the current strain is proximal to the original SARS coronavirus, it has led to a change in nomenclature with the 2002 outbreak being called SARSCoV-1 and the current strain as SARS-CoV-2. “As of two days ago, the numbers throughout the globe have been stunning, making this already the most disastrous pandemic that we have experienced in our civilization in over 102 years,” said Fauci. At the time of his talk in the third week of October, there had been more than 40 million cases and over 1.1 million deaths globally.
COVID-19 in the US
“Unfortunately for the United States, we have been hit harder than virtually any other country on the planet,” he said. Comparing the United States to the European Union, which has a larger population than the US, Fauci noted tracking shows the EU peaking a little before the US in March, driven by the outbreak in northern Italy, but then coming back down to a baseline under 10,000 new cases for the seven-day rolling average. “The situation in the United States was a bit more complicated,” he said. “We had a major peak slightly after the European Union driven by the outbreak in the New York metropolitan area, which at one point early on accounted for about 40 percent of all the cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the United States.” However, he noted, as the New York area went back down to a low baseline, the rest of the country did not. “We began seeing outbreaks throughout the country, as you might expect with a pandemic.” Unlike the EU, the US never saw the baseline dip below 10,000 cases. Fauci said between April and June, the country’s lowest mark was at 20,000 cases for the seven-day rolling average before the country began seeing increases as operational restrictions were lifted from businesses. Although cases did come down for several weeks, the US trajectory is on the rise again, much like the EU, which began sharply spiking in mid-October, surpassing new cases in the United States. However, by the end of the month, the US was seeing record-breaking numbers of new cases entering the winter, as well. Transmissibility & Severity COVID-19 is spread by respiratory droplets from person to person. Recent evidence points to aerosols that remain in the air over considerable time and distance as a component of the transmission equation. Similarly, contaminated services do occur, but Fauci said the role is likely WESTTNMEDICALNEWS
not nearly as much as person-to-person transmission. “There are five major principles that I talk about all the time in preventing acquisition and transmission of SARS-Coronavirus-2,” Fauci stated. “The universal wearing of masks or cloth face coverings; maintaining physical distance where possible; importantly, avoiding crowds and congregate settings, particularly indoors; trying to do things outdoors much more preferentially than indoors; and frequent washing of hands.” He continued, “These five public health interventions alone have been shown in multiple setting to have a major impact in preventing surges and diminishing surges after they’ve occurred.” For those who do test positive for COVID-19, Fauci said 40-45 percent of people exhibit no symptoms at all. “But those that do, about 81 percent are mild to moderate where about 15 to 20 percent are either severe or critical with a
case fatality rate that varies from a few percent to up to 20 to 25 percent for people requiring mechanical ventilation,” Fauci explained. Fauci said the scientific community is learning more about manifestations of severe disease and lingering effects. While the most common is acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), he said clinicians are seeing cardiac dysfunction, neurological disorders, hyperinflammation, hypercoagulability, acute kidney injury and multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). Fauci added another critical part of the current pandemic is the “extraordinary racial and ethnic disparity” of COVID-19. He said the problem is twofold with incidence of infection being linked to the front line work done by many in minority communities that increases exposure to the virus, as well as the prevalence of underlying comorbid conditions that predispose these populations to more severe disease.
Therapeutics & Vaccines
“The NIH has formed an expert US Treatment Guidelines Panel, which meets regularly and forms a living document online,” said Fauci. The information is available online at covid19treatmentguidelines.nih.gov and includes expert
insights from clinicians around the country and a look at the latest literature. As for therapeutics, Fauci noted, “Some of the recommended ones you know are remdesivir and dexamethasone. Remdesivir is shown to have been effective in diminishing the time to recovery in hospitalized patients who have lung involvement,” he said. A randomized, placebo-controlled dexamethasone trial showed patients hospitalized with very advanced disease requiring mechanical ventilation, as well as those with high-flow oxygen, saw significantly diminished 28day mortality. “However,” he continued, “there are a number of other investigational therapies aimed at early disease.” While more research is required, he said there have been some encouraging results with a number of interventions including convalescent plasma, hyperimmune globulin, monoclonal antibodies and immunomodulators such as those that block inflammation and cytokine inhibitors. “We here in the United States have taken a strategic approach to COVID vaccine research and development, which means that we’ve made major investments in six companies either in facilitating the development of clinical trial or of buying a product to be ready after the clinical trials are over,” Fauci explained. The three major platforms being pursued are nucleic acid, viral vectors and protein subunit. With five already in Phase 3 trials, Fauci said, “We feel confident that we’ll have an answer likely in mid-November to the beginning of December as to whether we have a safe and effective vaccine.”
Who’s INCHARGE in 2021? A POWERFUL ECONOMIC DRIVER,
West Tennessee’s diverse healthcare offerings impact the industry on a local, regional and national basis. Knowing who is ‘in charge’ is important to fostering relationships and partnerships to keep this vital industry moving forward. Each January, WestTennessee Medical News provides a definitive list of leaders in the annual InCharge Healthcare issue, which is formatted as a glossy, fourcolor magazine.
InCharge West TN Medical News
HEALTH CARE 2020
InCharge showcases a wide range of diﬀerencemakers, including:
Hospital, health system and large practice leaders Top researchers and academic leaders Go-to healthcare advisors including the top healthcare attorneys, bankers, accountants and consultants
Key healthcare investors and entrepreneurs
William Preston, MD President & Chairman The Jackson Clinic, PC
And other leaders … including some working behind the scenes … who continue to grow Memphis’ multibillion dollar industry.
Chief Operations Officer Woman’s Clinic, PA
Coming in January! Lisa Piercey, MD
Tina Prescott, RN
Commissioner Tennessee Department of Health
Chief Operating Officer & Chief Nursing Officer West Tennessee Healthcare
INSIDE: The leaders focused on improving rural healthcare in West Tennessee.
Interested in advertising in the next InCharge? Talk to the publisher: Pamela Haskins 501.247.9189 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
GrandRounds Mechelle Taylor Moragne, MD, PhD, Wins Two Silver Stevie® Awards In 2020 Stevie Awards For Women In Business
JACKSON – Mechelle Taylor Moragne, MD, PhD, has been named the winner of two silver Stevie® Awards in the Female Entrepreneur of the YearBusiness Services and Frontline Medical Hero categories in the 17th annual Stevie Awards for Mechelle Taylor Women in Business. Moragne The Stevie Awards for Women in Business honor women executives, entrepreneurs, employees, and the companies they run– worldwide. The Stevie Awards have been hailed as the world’s premier business awards. Winners will be celebrated during a virtual awards ceremony on Wednesday, December 9. More than 1,500 entries were submitted this year for consideration in more than 100 categories. Moragne Founder/Executive Director of Taylor Medical Center, won in two categories: Female Entrepreneur of the Year Business Services-10 or Less Employees and new category, Frontline Medical Hero of the Year. Moragne has been a pillar of the Jackson medical community for more than 15 years. She is the owner of Taylor Medical Center and is dedicated to the health and wellbeing of her patients. Moragne serves as the first Vice President of the Links, Incorporated and the Public Relations officer of the Gamma Alpha Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. She has graduated the Leadership Jackson and is a member of Jackson Chamber of Commerce and the African American Chamber of Commerce in which she won a Ruby Award. Moragne grew up in Memphis. She matriculated at both Fisk University and Meharry Medical College in Nashville. At Meharry she was the first African American female to earn both the Ph.D and MD degree.
West Tennessee Healthcare Welcomes Rachel Armstrong, MD
JACKSON - West Tennessee Healthcare recently welcomed Rachel Armstrong, MD, general surgeon. Armstrong comes from the United States Air Force where she served as a General Surgeon at Nellis Air Force Base Rachel Armstrong in Nevada, as well as serving in South Korea and Africa. She received her medical degree from the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine in Bryan, Texas, and completed
residency at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. She has also presented at national and regional conferences. Armstrong specializes in all aspects of the diagnosis and treatment of surgical disorders, including breast, gastroenterology, and endocrine disorders, acute care and more. In addition to being a highly skilled surgeon, she is also committed to helping patients through non-surgical methods, including therapy and palliative care. Her new medical practice is located at Jackson Surgical Associates, located at 8 Medical Center Drive in Jackson.
Texas. She has also presented at national conferences and completed research projects. Dr. Unruh specializes in all aspects of the diagnosis and treatment of surgical disorders, including breast, gastroenterology, and endocrine disorders, acute care and more. In addition to being a highly skilled surgeon, he is also committed to helping patients through non-surgical methods, including therapy and palliative care. His new medical practice is located at Jackson Surgical Associates, located at 8 Medical Center Drive in Jackson.
Dr. Veronica Jarido, MD Joins West Tennessee Medical Group
The Jackson Clinic Announces Addition of New OB/GYN Physician
JACKSON West Tennessee Healthcare recently welcomed Veronica Jarido, MD, gastroenterologist, to West Tennessee and her new medical practice at West Tennessee Gastroenterology. She is accepting new patients at his office at 27 MediVeronica Jarido cal Center Drive, Jackson. Jarido is experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of digestive health conditions. She specializes in therapeutic endoscopy, gastrointestinal wellness and nutrition, and the treatment of autoimmune digestive disorders including celiac disease. She performs minimally invasive procedures exclusively at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital. Jarido earned her medical degree from University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburg, PA. She completed her residency in internal medicine at Duke Univeristy. She also completed fellowship training in gastroenterology at The Ohio State University. She also specializes in minimally invasive procedures that use endoscopes equipped with tiny video cameras to visualize the upper and lower gastrointestinal tract. Depending on the findings, what may start as a diagnostic procedure can progress to a therapeutic procedure, such as in cases of upper GI bleeding or the discovery of polyps during colonoscopy.
West Tennessee Healthcare Welcomes Bryant Unruh, MD
JACKSON - West Tennessee Healthcare recently welcomed Bryant Unruh, MD, general surgeon. Dr. Unruh comes from the University of Texas Medial Branch where he served as Chief Resident in Galveston, Texas. He received his Bryant Unruh medical degree from the University of Texas Medical School at Houston, Houston Texas, and completed residency at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston,
JACKSON - The Jackson Clinic recently added Dr. Shannon F. Renfrow to their OB/GYN Department. Dr. Renfrow joins Dr. Kiana Brooks, Dr. Lolly Eldridge, Dr. Stephen D. Hammond, Dr. W. Franklin Pierce, IV, Dr. Lisa W. Rogers, Dr. Nancy P. Utley and Dr. ChristoShannon R. pher T. Welsch. The Renfrow OB/GYN Department is located at 2863 Hwy 45 Bypass. Dr. Renfrow completed her undergraduate degree at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana. She received her Doctor of Medicine from Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana. Dr. Renfrow completed her Residency at Madigan Army Medical Center, Lakewood, Washington. She is Board Certified, American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Obstetricians and gynecologists (OB/GYN) treat all medical and surgical problems related to the female reproductive organs. The gynecologic examinations include pap smears, mammograms and pelvic exams. The obstetricians provide care needed for the management of normal and complicated pregnancy, delivery and postpartum period.
West Tennessee Bone & Joint Surgeon is the First to Perform a New Knee Replacement Procedure in US
JACKSON - J. Douglas Haltom, MD, was the first in the United States to complete a new knee replacement procedure aimed at reducing pain and increasing mobility and activity. Haltom, who is a board-certified and fellowshiptrained orthopedic surgeon at West Tennessee Bone & Joint Clinic P.C., performed the procedure at the Physicians Surgery Center in Jackson. The patient-specific and custommade Episealer® implant from Episurf Medical, which is based in Sweden, is used in a minimally invasive partial knee replacement procedure that allows for early weight bearing and rapid rehabilitation. The metal implant is ideal for older patients and is designed from high-resolution images of a specific knee to match the size, shape and
contour of damaged cartilage, Episurf Medical literature explained. Jason T. Hutchison, MD, who also is a board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon at West Tennessee Bone & Joint, is the lead investigator in Jackson for a study on the Episealer implant. He already has several patients who are waiting to be screened to see if they are candidates for the study. The individualized design of the Episealer implants and surgical instruments are based on a patient’s MRI. A virtual 3D model of the damaged knee joint is recreated. The Episealer and instruments are designed to remove the damaged tissue and restore the area with a perfectly fitting implant. The individualized drill guide used during surgery increases the precision of the surgical procedure for optimal positioning of the implant, the company said.
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Physicians are on the medical staff of Lakeside Behavioral Health System, but, with limited exceptions, are independent practitioners who are not employees or agents of Lakeside Behavioral Health System. The facility shall not be liable for actions or treatments provided by physicians. For language assistance, disability accommodations and the non-discrimination notice, visit our website. Model representations of real patients are shown. Actual patients cannot be divulged due to HIPAA regulations. 200251-1209 10/20
2911 Brunswick Road Memphis, Tennessee 38133 901.377.4733 | lakesidebhs.com
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