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Health for Life is a publication of Piedmont Henry Winter 2013

Heart & Soul

Winter 2013 Health for Life is intended to provide general health information only. It should not be used to self-diagnose or as a substitute for advice by a physician or other healthcare professional. For questions or comments about Health for Life, please write or call the Piedmont Henry Marketing Department, 1133 Eagle’s Landing Parkway, Stockbridge, GA 30281, 678.604.1026.

Charles Scott President and CEO Jeff Cooper Vice President and COO Donna M. Braddy Director of Marketing, Public Relations, Community Education and Volunteer Services Michelle A. Nunnally Public Relations Specialist Design and Art Direction by tbg design Terry B. Gardner – Designer Leigh Delozier – Writer Michie Turpin – Photographer Health for Life, Winter 2013. Published bi-monthly by Piedmont Henry. All information herein has been checked for accuracy to the best of the publisher’s ability. No responsibility is accepted for deletions, omissions, errors and/or inaccuracies. No materials contained herein may be reproduced without the exclusive written permission of the publisher.

“My Daddy is on the cover!” Meet Jeff Doyle and his adorable family story on page 8

©2013 Piedmont Henry. All rights reserved. Printed in the U.S.A.

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In this issue - it's all about

Heart & Soul 4 Second Chance - Betty Bent

7 Chest Pain Center Accreditation 8 Triple Blessings - Jeff Doyle 11 Sweet Life - Mary Conner 14 Hospital News Mary Conner is on the job in Lollipops Gift Shop at Piedmont Henry Hospital.

15 Foundation News

February is heart health month “There are other

hospitals closer to my home. But if I have to go, I go to Piedmont Henry.

~ Betty Bent


Betty Bent is a very lucky woman.

story on page 4




have gastroparesis and reflux, so I thought that’s what it was,” Bent says.

“My chest was killing me part of the time while we were shopping on Friday, but then it would stop.” By Monday, Bent’s daughter convinced her to call her cardiologist. When she told them she was having active chest pains, they recommended she go straight to the emergency room. Bent insisted on Piedmont Henry Hospital.

“I’ve been to Piedmont Henry many times and have always had good results,” she says. “There’s something about that hospital and the people there that make it where I want to go.”

Tests in the Emergency Department showed that Bent had experienced a heart attack. 4

Betty Bent began having chest pains

ECOND CHANCES one Thursday last September, but they went away. She went shopping with her daughter and granddaughter the next day as planned.

“The pains on Friday were intense,” Bent says. “When we were on the way home from shopping, I rode in the backseat with my granddaughter. I just slumped over and wasn’t saying anything. Looking back, I believe that’s when I had my first heart attack.”

Staff prepped Bent for the Cardiac Catheterization Lab. “Over the past year, I’d gotten to where I couldn’t climb the stairs as well and I would get tired when I was out shopping,” she says. “But I never dreamed I had heart issues.” The procedure showed that Bent had two 95 percent blockages in her main artery and another artery with a 50 percent blockage. Her surgeon placed four stents to open up the main artery. Health for Life Winter 2013 | page 5

“I want to truly make a connection with my patients. This is not just a job.” ~ Derrick Lee, R.N. Lee tries to downplay his involvement, but it’s obvious that he loves his work and his patients.

“The last thing I remember was that the pain was tremendous, and they gave me something for it. When I came to, I thought I’d just drifted off to sleep. The demeanor of everyone was different. The doctor was looking down at me calling my name and I asked, ‘Why are you yelling at me? What’s wrong?’

They told me I had died on the table.” As the staff explained to Bent’s family, the blockage moved, which made the artery collapse and her heart stop beating. “They said they put a balloon up next to my heart to help it pump,” Bent says. “It took about two minutes to get me back. I thank God it wasn’t longer because there could’ve been a lot more damage.” Although Bent considers everyone involved with her care a hero, one person in particular stands out to her: Derrick Lee, RN. “Derrick was right there with me the whole time,” she says. “He made sure the whole night afterwards that I lay there like I needed to and didn’t move wrong. To have a nurse pay that kind of attention to you is really special.”


“I work mainly on Critical Care Unit (CCU), but also work in the admission and recovery areas of the Cardiac Cath Lab,” he says. “The patients I see are sometimes going through the worst times of their lives. Whatever happens here can change their lives forever.” Lee strives to ease the patient’s anxiety and assure them that he’s there to help. “I try to put myself in their position and make them feel as comfortable as possible. I want them to know that I’m their advocate, I’m watching out for them, that it’s safe to go to sleep. Once they turn that corner and feel safe, they relax and things can go much better.” Patients like Bent trust Lee because they know he’s genuine. “My mom was a nurse, my grandmom was a nurse,” he says. “I fought it for a long time, until I was in the hospital for a long stint and saw what kind of a difference the nurses made. Nursing is my calling. It’s all I’ve done now for 22 years, and I have no Plan B. I love it.” “Derrick was my rock,” Bent says. “I knew he had my back.” Recovery from that type of situation can be slow, but Bent doesn’t mind. She’s grateful for every day she has.

“I’m so thankful for my family, and for all the people at Piedmont Henry. “Cherish every minute of your life.” ~ Betty Bent

HEALING MORE HEARTS With services including two cardiac catheterization labs and an electrophysiology (EP) lab, Piedmont Henry Hospital understands the importance of offering the best possible cardiac services to the community. The hospital’s next step toward cardiovascular excellence is attaining Chest Pain Center accreditation.

Education is another key to prevention and better care. Piedmont Henry and the Henry County Fire Department offer programs on Early Heart Attack Care (EHAC) so even high school students recognize the signs of heart attack and stroke, and can share that knowledge with others. “Everyone needs to understand the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of heart attack,” Judkins says. “Don’t wait two or three days before going to the doctor. Get to the hospital and give us the chance to help you early instead of having to work with a situation that’s more dire.” Gaining Chest Pain Center accreditation is another way to ensure patients know they are receiving the best cardiac care at Piedmont Henry Hospital.

“If we’re aiming for 100 percent, it’s safe to say we’re 80 percent there,” says Ngarangi “Twiggs” Judkins, RN, Chest Pain Center Coordinator. One of Judkins’s primary initiatives is to foster better collaboration between the hospital, Henry County Emergency Medical Services and dispatch services. “Every person from dispatch when someone calls 911 to the paramedics to the hospital staff and physicians makes a difference in response time,” Judkins says. “The sooner we can recognize signs of a heart attack and expedite procedures to treat the patient, the better. Every minute helps save heart muscle and can mean a higher quality of life with their family.”

“It has everything to do with providing emergent care closer to home,” Judkins says. “We want to be innovative in how we deliver that care, and contribute to helping other communities improve their care. We want to be the ‘poster child’ for cardiovascular services in a community hospital.”

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Shauna & Jeff Doyle

of McDonough weren’t too surprised when their twins, Sam and Dean, were born six weeks premature.

The surprise came two days later when Shauna was discharged from Piedmont Henry Hospital to return home – and Jeff was admitted because he’d suffered a stroke.

“If you have health issues, pay attention to them. Be mindful of what might be happening, and don’t discount what might be signs of a problem.” ~Jeff Doyle

Triple Blessings



The boys were born on Monday, February 13, after their parents spent a sleepless night in the labor and delivery department. “I heard healthy cries, and both of their APGAR scores showed they were

doing very well,” Shauna says. “They were taken to NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) as a precaution since they were preemies.” Sam later began showing signs of respiratory distress and developed some heart rate problems. “It probably was because he just wasn’t quite ready to be born yet,” Shauna says. “But we knew the boys were well taken care of.” Jeff agrees. “I never considered the boys to be in real danger. We had some surprise issues, but no big ‘gotchas.’ It wasn’t as bad as what a lot of people go through.” By that evening, Shauna encouraged Jeff to go home for the night. “He’d gone more than 24 hours with very little sleep,” she says. “I told him that we were all being looked after and he needed to get some rest.” When Jeff returned to the hospital on Tuesday, Shauna knew something was wrong. Jeff said he had a migraine, which they thought made sense under the stressful circumstances. He’d had some trouble seeing clearly while doing some things at home that morning, but felt better after taking a shower and went to see his family at the hospital as planned. “Looking back, my biggest clue should’ve been his speech problems,” she says. “He said that the words were in his head but he couldn’t get them out. We thought it could be attributed to the migraine, and still being tired. We were both still mainly concerned about the babies.” “As the day wore on, I was basically a mush-mouth,” Jeff says. “I was fumbling over my words and had trouble saying what I wanted.” When Jeff was still in pain on Wednesday, he called to get his doctor’s opinion. “I could tell I had an issue – I’d never had migraine pain two days in a row. The doctor told me to go to the hospital, and I told him I already was.”

“Leaving my babies in the hospital when I was going home was the hardest experience I’ve ever had. But I knew they were well taken care of.” ~ Shauna Doyle

Jeff stopped by to see Shauna, who was scheduled to be discharged that day. He then walked down to the Emergency Department and after receiving several tests was admitted to the hospital. One of their close friends kept Shauna updated on things before she was discharged. “He was constantly checking up on me and letting me know what was happening with Jeff,” Shauna says. “He walked in my room that afternoon and said, ‘So, Jeff really did have a stroke. They’re going to admit him and try to figure out what happened.’ I could hardly believe it.” Jeff was slightly less Health for Life Winter 2013 | page 9


doctors said helped him recover so quickly. “It was a bit disconcerting to not have an answer to why it happened, but after a while I learned to stop waiting for the next one to happen,” Jeff says. “The boys help keep me focused on other things.” The Doyles are also more aware of how subtle the signs of stroke might be, and how they might be confused with other issues. Although Jeff experienced several signs of stroke (speech difficulty, vision problems, and severe headache), they initially attributed it to stress and exhaustion. shocked when he heard the MRI results. “I wasn’t really prepared for the worst, but I was almost expecting it,” he says. “Once the doctor had told me and I was alone again, I did have a few minutes when I was close to panic. I was 35 years old and had been a father for one day – and now I’d had a stroke. It was like waiting for the next shoe to drop.” Friends and the hospital chaplain helped Jeff start adjusting to the reality. “The chaplain came by to talk to me, which was very reassuring. He helped me work through that initial bit of hysteria and bring me down a notch. It was good to have him there.” “My nurses and the NICU nurses knew what had happened to Jeff,” Shauna says. “It was one of those situations where you either laugh or cry, because what are the chances of having your babies one day and your husband having a stroke the next? The staff was so supportive.” Shauna was discharged from the hospital on Wednesday, but Jeff wasn’t released until Friday. “I never had any muscle weakness, and my speech was returning to normal by Wednesday,” he says. “I felt fine. The best thing was that I could go to the NICU and see the boys. Being able to hold them and spend time with them was very reassuring and calming.” Follow-up tests while in the hospital and afterwards never showed a definitive reason for Jeff ’s stroke or other health problems other than high lipids (which he’d already known about). The MRI showed that only a small area of his brain was affected, which


The reality is that anyone experiencing these types of symptoms (along with facial or limb weakness or numbness and/or trouble with coordination or dizziness) should call 911 immediately. Every minute counts when someone experiences a stroke.

Piedmont Henry Hospital has partnered with the Henry County Fire Department to raise awareness of stroke signs, symptoms, and risk factors. The program trains local high school students, who then educate others in the community. Piedmont Henry also is working to attain certification as a stroke center. Certification involves a rigorous review of how stroke patients are treated, including staff training, physician training, patient education, and follow-up care. “Once Jeff ’s stroke was diagnosed, he was way outside the time limits for the medication that can help,” Shauna says. “If you have headache pain in addition to anything else – especially speech problems – get to the hospital immediately. It might be nothing, but at least you checked.” As Dean and Sam approach their first birthdays, their family has many reasons to celebrate. “Dean stayed in NICU for eight days, and Sam was there for 21 days,” Shauna says. “Now they’re growing and healthy, and you’d never know they spent time in NICU. We were very, very lucky with their situation and with Jeff – so many other things could have happened. Life is looking really good.”


The Sweet Side of

LIFE Some people have a knack for always seeing the brighter side of things, no matter how hard life might seem.

Mary Conner has a long family history of diabetes and high blood pressure that caught up with her at age 35. She was diagnosed with adult onset diabetes and began taking medication. continue reading about Mary...

“I’ve learned to take charge of my healthcare. The doctors can’t do it all. ~ Mary Conner Health for Life Winter 2013 | page 11

Stockbridge resident Mary Conner is a prime example, encouraging “I thought if I took the medicine and ate right, I would be fine,” Conner says today. “There were probably many times when my sugar level or blood pressure was high, but I never had symptoms.” By the time 15 years passed, the diabetes and other underlying problems took their toll. Conner was diagnosed in September 2007 with Stage 4 renal failure. “Tests showed that my kidneys were only functioning at 8 percent,” Conner says. “I was technically in renal failure, but had no real symptoms. I asked the doctor what it meant, and he said I had to go on dialysis.” Conner initially began peritoneal dialysis, a form of treatment that allows the patient to remain at home. She used a port in her abdomen to connect to a machine that removed waste and toxins from her body. The process took nine hours, so Conner arranged her activities so she was always home and in bed by 9 p.m. and could complete the dialysis overnight. “I liked the peritoneal dialysis because I could control it and I could stay at home,” she says. “I still had my days free to do whatever I wanted.” The only drawback was that the tape used to hold the port’s tubing in place irritated her skin. Conner was afraid the tubing would get caught on something and dislodge, so she began investigating


options and experimenting with ideas. She soon created a cloth pocket that seemed to work well. One of her nurses noticed it during a check-up and asked where she’d gotten it. “When I told her I’d made it myself, she thought it was a great idea. She suggested that I sell them to other patients.” Conner later created a website for selling the pouches and applied for a U.S. patent. “People call and order them, so it gives me an opportunity to tell them how I’ve overcome some of the problems of doing dialysis. It gives me a purpose.” Things went well until July 2010, when Conner’s port became clogged. “I noticed that the machine would click and fill, but it wouldn’t drain. It wasn’t painful, but my stomach felt tight. I stopped the treatment and called my doctor’s office the next morning.” Conner had dialysis at her physician’s office that day, but it didn’t solve the problem. She dealt with fever, pain and multiple office and hospital visits for several days before one of her physicians pinpointed the problem: a blocked catheter. The complications meant that Conner would need future treatments at a dialysis center instead of using the machine


“I was so self-conscious when I first went on dialysis,” Conner says. “Then my daughter reminded me that no one will ever know I’m on dialysis unless I tell them. It’s a lot to adjust to, but now I don’t let dialysis keep me from doing things.” One look at Conner’s schedule proves what she says. She keeps busy volunteering at Piedmont Henry’s Lollipops Gift Shop, making and selling her tubing pouches, sewing for clients who need alterations, and experimenting with new recipes. “I tell people I have a 24-hour job just taking care of myself, but I can’t let that be the only thing I do. I especially love my time as a volunteer – it gives me a way to give back to others.

“I hope to have a kidney transplant someday, but I’m not going to push it. I feel fine and don’t feel sick. Life is just great.”

everyone she meets despite challenging circumstances of her own. at home. Physicians implanted a fistula in Conner’s left arm to make treatments easier (a fistula is an enlarged vein that’s created by connecting an artery directly to a vein, thus generating greater blood flow). They also placed a permacath in her right shoulder so she could continue treatments while waiting for the fistula to “mature” and be ready for use. Two months later, the portacath became infected. Conner was admitted to Piedmont Henry Hospital so the infected portacath could be removed and another port could be inserted. She spent more than a week in the hospital battling MRSA. “I couldn’t have dialysis until they were sure there weren’t any traces of MRSA left,” she says. “Otherwise, the infection would’ve spread all over my body.” As frightening as the situation was, Conner did have two things to be thankful for. “When my cardiologist came to see me, he didn’t want me to know how alarmed he was. The MRSA could’ve affected my heart valve – but it didn’t.” Conner’s illness also led to dramatic weight loss. “I lost 31 pounds in less than a month,” she says. “It meant I could stop taking insulin to control my diabetes, so that was a silver lining. As long as I keep my weight at a certain point my pancreas should be able to produce enough insulin for my body.” Unfortunately, having her diabetes under control didn’t help Conner’s kidneys. She has treatments at North Henry DaVita Center three days a week for nearly four hours each visit. She’ll continue treatments indefinitely as she waits for a kidney transplant.

2,500 Transplants

…and counting

People such as Mary Conner who have serious kidney dysfunction and need routine dialysis hope to someday receive an organ transplant. Help is sometimes closer than they might think. The Piedmont Transplant Institute has been providing life-saving kidney, pancreas, and liver transplant surgeries for 25 years. Heart transplant services were added in 2011. From initial evaluation through the transplant itself and follow-up care, Piedmont patients work with a team of professionals dedicated to the best in every aspect of care. The Piedmont Transplant Institute is ranked among the top 15 percent of abdominal transplant programs in the U.S., and is considered one of the top transplant programs in the Southeast. Surgeons have performed more than 2,500 transplants since 1986, with wait times that often are significantly shorter than the national average. To learn about the Piedmont Transplant Institute, visit and click on “Medical Services,” then “Transplant Services.” You can also call 404-605-4600 for more information. Health for Life Winter 2013 | page 13

PIEDMONT HENRY HOSPITAL News PIEDMONT HENRY BECOMES A TOBACCO-FREE CAMPUS ON JANUARY 1, 2013 Piedmont Henry Hospital is a tobacco and smoke-free campus. As of January 1, 2013, the use of any tobacco products inside or outside the hospital facility will be prohibited, including in areas currently designated for employees, patients and visitors to smoke. According to the CDC, tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of disease, disability and death in the United States. Making our campus tobacco-free firmly supports Piedmont Henry’s belief in the health and wellness of our community.

Tavari Taylor and Taryn Tennyson

Cancer Wellness Cooking Demonstration offered to Cancer Patients Piedmont Henry Hospital will begin hosting a cooking demonstration course aimed at helping cancer patients Eat Smart, Feel Better, Cook Less. The first class will be available at Piedmont Henry on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 from Noon to 2 p.m. in the hospital’s Foundation Education Center. Visit to register for the cooking demonstration.

Thank you to Piedmont Henry Auxiliary Through the generous contributions of our Auxiliary, Piedmont Henry Hospital is now better able to serve its patients and visitors.

The Piedmont Henry Auxiliary met in December to celebrate the holidays and to participate in its annual reorientation and training session. More than 120 volunteers attended the event.

The Auxiliary recently purchased a Courtesy Golf Cart that allows the volunteers to shuttle patients and visitors to and from their cars. And, communication with patients, visitors and staff has been taken to a higher level thanks to the purchase of digital signage for the hospital. Take a minute to stop and see what’s going on at PHH.

Volunteers pictured include: Front seated: Ginger Bryant; Middle Row: Rosemary Stanfield, Melinda Sponder, Carlese Bunn, Jo Sublette and Jodi Combs; Back Row: Bobbi Nechamkus, C.J. Smith and Kay Maddox.


Coming Soon! New Henry Physician Center Ground was broken Friday, December 14 on the Henry Physician Center located on the corner of Eagle’s Landing Parkway and Rock Quarry Road. The Center is a joint project between Piedmont Henry Hospital, Ackerman Medical and Commercial Assets Group. The building will be completed by October 2013. Southern Orthopaedic Specialists will be relocating to the Henry Physician Center.

Piedmont Henry Hospital is proud to be named Person of the Year 2012 by Southern Journal Magazine

FOUNDATION News Annual Golf Tournament presented by Onsite RIS Each year the Piedmont Foundation hosts its annual golf tournament to support the services offered at Piedmont Henry Hospital. In October 2012, 84 players teed up for the annual event held at Crystal Lake Golf & Country Club, raising some $45,000 for Piedmont Henry Hospital’s Breast Cancer Awareness efforts. Team Jenmar led by team captain David Hurd turned in the lowest score, winning the tournament.

Onsite RIS teams Health for Life Winter 2013 | page 15


1133 Eagle's Landing Parkway • Stockbridge, Georgia 30281

Support Groups Al-Anon Meets every Wednesday and Saturday in the Foundation Education Center, 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Ala Teen Meets every Wednesday in the Foundation Education Center, 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Alcoholics Anonymous Meets every Wednesday and Saturday in the Foundation Education Center, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Cancer Wellness Program at PHH Offers support to cancer patients, survivors and caregivers. Meets fourth Thursday of each month in the Foundation Education Center, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Diabetes Support Group Meets third Tuesday of each month in the Foundation Education Center at 6 p.m. Pre-registration required. Call 678.604.5106 for more information. Fibromyalgia Support Group Meets Last Thursday of each month in the Foundation Education Center, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Georgia Losing for Life Weight Loss Surgery Meets second Saturday of each month in the Foundation Education Center, 11 a.m. to noon.

Grief Recovery Call 678.604.1054 for registration, dates and times. Hearts of Henry A support group for anyone with Heart Disease. Meets first Thursday of each month in the Foundation Education Center, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Call 678.575.7746 for more information. LaLeche League Provides education, information, support and encouragement to women who want to breastfeed. Meets second Thursday each month, 6:30 p.m. in the 4th Floor North Tower Conference Room.

Classes and Services Cancer Wellness Cooking Demonstration Designed to help patients battling cancer Eat Smart, Feel Better, Cook Less. The cooking demonstrations are held in the hospital’s Foundation Education Center. They are intended for cancer patients and one guest. Call Piedmont Henry’s Community Education department at 678-604-1040 for more information.

CPR and First Aid Rescue techniques are taught by the American Heart Association guidelines. Call 678.604.1040 to register. Diabetes Self-Management Two-day classes are held each month. Evening Seminar Series Lung Disease Seminar is an annual program that provides patients and families with the most current information on prevention and treatment.

Lupus Support Meets second Saturday of each month in the Foundation Education Center, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Narcotics Anonymous Meets every Friday from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Foundation Education Center, and every Sunday in the Executive Dining Room, from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Overeaters Anonymous Meets every Saturday in the Foundation Education Center, 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Post-Partum Support Telephone support provided to new mothers and family members. Call 678.209.4739.

Rachel’s Gift Infant Bereavement Support Group For Parents, Families and Friends who have experienced a loss through miscarriage, stillbirth or infant death. Meets second Thursday of each month in the Foundation Education Center, 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Call 770.320.7059 for more information. Sisters By Choice For women diagnosed with breast cancer. Meets second Tuesday of each month in the Foundation Education Center at 7:30 p.m.

Southern Crescent Parents of Multiples Meets fourth Thursday of each month in the Foundation Education Center, 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Southside Weight Loss Surgery Group Meets fourth Tuesday of each month in the Foundation Education Center, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Stroke Resources Call 678.604.1040 for more information. WomenHeart Meets first Tuesday of each month in the Foundation Education Center, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Call 678.575.7746 for more information. This group is open to men and women.

For more information about classes, please call 678.604.1040.

First Steps Offers emotional support, current parenting information, community resources and follow up contacts to parents of newborns. The program also offers telephone follow up for the baby’s first three to six months. Call 770.507.9900 for more information or to volunteer. Get Moving Again For hip and knee surgery patients. Meets the last Saturday of the month.

Health Fairs Free screenings are offered for blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose, bone density, prostate and many other services. Look Good Feel Better This program is designed to help women undergoing cancer treatment to regain self-confidence and control over their lives. Meets at Henry Radiation Oncology Center monthly from 10 a.m. to noon. Call 770.631.0625 for dates and to register.

Planning for your Final Healthcare Learn how you and your family can discuss and plan in advance for health care at the end of life. Call 678.604.1054 for more information. Pregnancy and Infant Care Class for Teen Moms Classes offered twice a year to pregnant teenagers age 12 to 19 years old. Call 678.604.4896 for more information.

Tours for New Parents & Siblings Tours of Piedmont Henry Hospital’s Women’s Center are offered to new parents and siblings throughout the year. Visit classes/prevention for more information on dates, times and to register.

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Health for Life | Winter 2013  

Health for Life is a publication of Piedmont Henry