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State-of-the-art procedure renews hiker’s knees so he can return to the outdoors

At age 65, Redmond Manierre lives a more active lifestyle than most people in their mid-30s. He mountain bikes through his town of The Plains, Virginia, at least twice a week. He has hiked the Grand Canyon and participated in National Outdoor Leadership School. Recently, he decided to take up mountain climbing.

But what makes it all the more impressive is that a decade ago, Manierre was beginning to feel the effects of an arthritic condition in his knees. They had deteriorated to the point where there was very little tissue between the knee bones. While he was still able to participate in some outdoor activities, Manierre saw the writing on the wall and felt he needed to do something before the arthritic condition brought his active lifestyle to a halt.

On a whim, he attended a presentation at his local community center by Bart Hosick, MD, an orthopedic specialist at Northern Virginia Orthopaedic Specialists. Dr. Hosick was speaking about a relatively new procedure he specialized in –

MAKOplasty surgery, a robotic-assisted procedure that functions as a partial knee replacement. It’s a much less invasive procedure than a full knee replacement.

“For many, the arthritic condition is too advanced for this surgery,” said Dr. Hosick. He adds that patients can’t be excessively overweight, can’t be smokers or poorly controlled diabetics, and need to have a desire to be active again. Luckily, Manierre checked all of the boxes, and he elected to have the surgery.

After a brief recovery period, Manierre quickly felt like he had his knees back. Unlike full knee replacements, the MAKOplasty procedure preserves all of the patient’s knee ligaments, and reconstructs the areas around them. “It feels like a much more normal knee to the patient,” Dr. Hosick said. Within six months, Manierre was back to hiking, and even took on his biggest challenge yet: the Grand Canyon.

For Dr. Hosick, Manierre was the “poster child” for how MAKOplasty surgery can repair the knees without pain and allow the patient to return to the lifestyle he enjoyed.

“Our goal of surgery is to improve the quality of the patient’s life,” said Dr. Hosick. “Whatever surgery we do, we want to restore an active, pain-free lifestyle. The greatest reason people delay surgery is the fear of pain, and MAKOplasty is a much less painful, less invasive surgery that gives patients back their lifestyles, like Mr. Manierre’s – which is very active.”

Manierre, who didn’t take up mountain climbing until after the surgery, wasn’t shy to sing Dr. Hosick’s praises. “I have absolute confidence in him. He was an absolute pleasure to deal with,” he said. “He has, for lack of a better word, the best bedside manner of any physician I’ve ever met.”

 

Share your remarkable story with us so we can recognize your physician for his or her dedication to extraordinary patient care here. 

 

‘Beyond the call of duty’

When Scott Howell brought his wife, Barbara, to the Novant Health Rowan Medical Centeremergency room in October 2017 for shortness of breath related to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), he didn’t know he was getting ready to make a friend for life.

But critical care nurse Morgan Earnhardt was about to enter Scott and Barbara’s lives in a profound way, one that made them feel like she was more than simply an expert care provider – she was also like a trusted family member.

“Morgan was a godsend. She went above and beyond the call of duty,” Scott said. “Barbara ended up staying in the ICU for two and a half months, and Morgan basically just took over care of her. Every day Morgan was working at the hospital, she’d be there with Barbara. She explained everything the doctors said, and answered all our questions. She helped me with the insurance paperwork. She even came to visit with us on her days off.”

Morgan’s care didn’t end there. Knowing Barbara would be in a wheelchair when she returned home, she asked Scott if they had a handicap ramp. When she found out they were planning to build one but hadn’t started it yet, she  reached out to her boyfriend.

“I told Travis, ‘We need to build a ramp, and we need to have it done before Dec. 22, because that’s when Barbara is going home,’” Morgan said. Travis and his church members swung into action and built the ramp on Saturday, Dec. 16.

Morgan showed Scott and Barbara pictures of the finished ramp while Barbara was still in the hospital, and they were both very excited. “Barbara couldn’t really talk at that time because of her condition, but when she saw pictures of the ramp, she grinned from ear to ear,” Scott recalled.

Inspired by Morgan’s kindness and generosity, the Howell family made a donation to the Rowan Medical Center Foundation’s Guardian Angel program in her honor. This program allows grateful patients to recognize the special people who have provided remarkable care by making a gift in their name.

In February, Morgan received a recognition letter and a guardian angel wings pin to wear on her ID badge. Her name will soon appear on the recognition wall in the lobby area at Rowan Medical Center.

“All the nurses were great, my wife’s doctor was great,” Scott said. “But Morgan is special. She does an awesome job, she’s A+.”

Morgan felt the same way about Scott and Barbara. “Some patients you really just click with, and Barbara was one of those patients,” Morgan said. “I don’t know what it was about those two, but they drew me in like a magnet.”

 

Barbara Howell passed away in early February 2018, but Scott and Morgan are still in each other’s lives.

Scott texts Morgan to check in, visits her at the hospital every couple of weeks, and regularly brings food to Morgan and some of the other nurses who helped care for his wife.

“Morgan became like family,” Scott said. “I’ll stay in touch with her for the rest of my life.”

 

The Barometer of Medical Care

Submitted by Peninsula neighbor, David Goodman

“The calling to pay forward the good fortune I received when my life was saved was an epiphany to lead by example. It became abundantly clear to me that my characterization of giving back is blending intellectual, emotional, spiritual components and frequently financial support.”

During a black-tie gala in 2014, David Goodman began to feel serious discomfort in his chest, abdomen and back. While setting up his camera gear to take pictures and make sure about the testimonial speech he was to give, the pain didn’t worsen but never went away. “Thinking the uneasiness was something minor, I ate dinner and delivered the testimonial.” Contemplating a trip to the ER, David and wife, Barbara, soon thereafter decided to head home and to add comic relief to the scary moment, Barbara said “if we need to go to the ER, I’d like to change out of these high heels – my feet are killing me”. This is the start to a journey – of multiple ambulance trips, numerous days in surgery after being diagnosed with a full length aortic dissection, and the raw emotions of a healing process – that makes listening to the Goodman’s experience with Novant Health, and their drive to give back, like turning the pages of a dramatic story with a happy ending.

 

In David’s own words:

Several decades ago, my father-in-law offered me advice, which is even greater today.  He said “Try to leave where you’ve been in better shape than when you came.  And that includes enjoying your life because so far, I’ve never met anyone who got out of life alive”.

In the aftermath of my experience, I grew to believe my surviving the multiple, complex and not without significant risk surgeries propelled me to lead by example. One of the components of my pay forward by example commitment is our establishment of a legacy plan which will allow those programs I/we support to continue in perpetuity.  This is what I call my invisible thread to the organizations and people that mean the most to me/us.  Hard for anyone to see or understand my connection but the strength can easily be felt.  I have addressed many groups since beginning this new journey, spreading the word of leading by example and the importance of leaving this world in better condition than when we arrived. Helping set an example of helping each other.   I have spoken at group gatherings of The Jewish Family Services of Greater Charlotte, The Foundation for The Carolinas, The Foundation for The Charlotte Jewish Community, Philadelphia University Alumni Association of NC, Novant Health Huntersville Medical Center’s Advisory Council, The Kent Cook Institute and served as Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center Foundation’s 2016 National Doctors Day Representative.

Greatness is born from consistency. In doing what others aren’t willing to do. In being able to persevere and deliver time and time again. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. You must be patient, and fall in love with the process if you are going to benefit. I consider myself the most fortunate person I’ve met.

My “Novant Experience” was my awakening of my pay forward commitment and today proudly includes being a Trustee at The Blumenthal Performing Arts Center where Barbara and I sponsor The Junior Ambassadors Program, and being one of the creators of an endowment honoring the lifetime commitment of Linda Beck who passed away last year.  I am a board member of The Kent Cook Institute, a Davidson-based metaphysical learning center. At The Peninsula Yacht Club, I serve as the Fleet Committee’s Boating Education Chair. In lieu of seeking attendance at boating education seminars, I crafted two comprehensive Boating Information Guides (190 and 300 pages) and 2 children’s Boating Safety Books, which were provided to members at no cost.

The bold statistic is that 20% of patients with aortic dissection die before reaching the hospital, overall 50% survive. I am fortunately in the very unpopulated group of those who came through without any complications, encumbrances, permanent damage or restrictions. This medical miracle group is miniscule.

Until I learned the harsh reality of the risk of my condition, and that my subscription to life might be cancelled, I had a very simple definition of quality medical care. If I had an earache, and the doctor prescribed an effective remedy, he was a good doctor. Similarly, if he discovered I had a condition I was unaware of, he was a scholarly diagnostician.

It became abundantly clear-cut that my life had be re-gifted and we needed to acknowledge those who gave of themselves for my benefit. Someone gave something to the Novant Health organization, to Dr. Robert Allen, to the entire staff, to make it possible for me to be here today. Now it is my and Barbara’s turn. Barbara and I first arranged for Dr. Allen to be knighted by Novant as a Guardian Angel and later the same for the ER attending physician at Novant Huntersville and critical care ambulance crew who, with the fate of my life at great risk, transported me to Novant Presbyterian. We hope we have set an example for others to fashion personal forms of recognition for those who aid their survival.

My survival was largely but not solely dependent on quality and dedicated medical care. I sincerely believe many invisible and indescribable healing forces were gifted to me. My wife, my family, my friends. All threaded together, invisibly, unselfishly for me.

My condition also motivated me to document my feelings on what should be used as the barometer of medical care quality. Holding true to my constitution of leading by example, I developed a compilation of health care reality check questions I share with practitioners, hospitals, staff members, support staff, etc. to ask themselves. Below are just a few of the bullet points.

Do your patients…

  • Categorize you as good at what you do? Going one step further, do you feel they categorize you as a great human being?
  • More than good, do they consider you to be a remarkable listener? More than being just professionals, do they value the fact that your staff’s attitude is exceptional?
  • Hospitalization is scary and traumatizing. Do you make it friendly and pleasing? Is your analysis and diagnosis the most effective it can be? Do you value the practice of medicine is a team not individual effort?
  • Do you understand, and can you convey the difference between fact and faith? Fact is reporting/discussing the illness diagnoses and treatment regimen. Faith is providing their patients the strength to recover.
  • Are you heartfelt? ‘Heartfulness’ spend time to look beyond the medical reports and understand the suffering and pain that patients are going through. Are you a ‘heartfelt’?
  • Medical care requires being more than a doctor, nurse, associate, intern, etc. You need to be a therapist, supporter, friend, well-wisher and angel in disguise. You need to install confidence. Are you? Do you?
  • Every health care entity and person helps the quality of life for patients every day. But does your team offer as if every patient was the most important person on earth?
  • Medicines can cure, but talented and inspirational words can give the strength to fight from within. Do you do just that?
  • The strongest prescription is a provider’s positive attitude. Do you take time to share that prescription?
  • A patient’s testimonial is less of a recognition of professional expertise, and more of a recommendation of the ability to listen, care and heal. Do your patients vouch for the fact that your abilities are unmatched.
  • Do you replace the Fear of Illness with Trust in Recovery?
  • Do you take a moment to conclude your visit with a patient with “thank you for allowing us to take care of you”?
  • Similarly, do your patients thank you for taking care of them? If works both ways.

On my hospital discharge day, Barbara & I took time to individually thank those who were a factor to the success of my hospital stay. I was so touched when most of them acknowledged me but also stated” but this is what we do!” That stuck with me. So, to all at Novant who provided me with the quality of care that would forever become etched in my heart, when asked why I chose to repay that goodness to the group of ‘heartfelters’, I say “this is what I do”.

If you’d like to submit a Grateful Patient story, click here.

From friend to guardian angel

It’s not often that a childhood best friend is still by your side during life milestones into your adult years. But, fortunately for Nicole Kloss, a friend she’s known since she was 3 years old supported her through two unexpected and frightening events. Leah Dillon was by Nicole’s side during two surgeries as her anesthesia CRNA at Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center.

“It was very comforting to have Leah with me,” said Nicole, director of corporate health. “We had full trust in everyone on my care team, but felt even better with Leah providing a second set of eyes for my family who she’s known for so many years.”

Leah’s remarkable care drastically helped Nicole calm her nerves. “She has a special way to put everyone at ease, even with so many things happening all at once,” said Nicole. “And, after my surgeries I experienced absolutely no nausea from my medications. I would recommend Leah to any surgery patient at NHPMC!”

Inspired by Leah’s compassion, Nicole chose to make a donation to NHPMC in her honor. The Novant Health Guardian Angel program allows grateful patients to do just this, recognizing the special people who have provided remarkable care.

In May, a ceremony was held for Leah at NHPMC. She received a pin to wear on her ID badge, and her name is now on the Guardian Angel recognition wall at NHPMC. Several team members attended her ceremony to show their support, including Paula Vincent, NHPMC president and COO, and Kenneth D. Weeks, MD (both pictured with Nicole and Leah).

Thank you Leah for continuing to provide exceptional care. And, thank you Nicole for choosing to honor a well-deserving team member.

Novant Health foundations provide opportunities for patients to donate on behalf of a team member or department in all of our markets.

Learn more or submit a Grateful Patient story here.

New guardian angel at Novant Health Thomasville Medical Center

Often when patients are admitted to a hospital or getting medical treatment they are treated by a medical care professional who goes above and beyond their expectations. Novant Health has developed a Guardian Angel program that allows patients and loved ones to honor the special people who have been a part of their care, diagnoses and treatment.

Jolanda “Jo” Mills, certified nursing assistant (CNA) at Novant Health Thomasville Medical Center for more than four years, recently received a Guardian Angel pin and scholarship for the remarkable care she provides to patients, and one in particular.

The husband of one of Jo’s recent patients, Jordan Washburn, heard about the Guardian Angel program and wrote a letter stating that Jo provided such wonderful care for his wife during a difficult time. Through conversations with Jo, Washburn discovered that she was working two jobs in hopes of continuing her education to become a registered nurse. To show his appreciation to Jo, he made a donation to the Novant Health Thomasville Medical Center Foundation’s Guardian Angel program in honor of Jo, to assist with her education.

A pinning ceremony was held at the hospital with Washburn and several staff in attendance.

“I thought, somebody ought to help her and give her encouragement during these times,” said Washburn. “I have a favored expression and I say it every morning with my prayers. ‘You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can’t pay you back,’” he said.

Mills said she is grateful that her patient’s husband had thought of her. “I’m taken aback by someone so gentle and so kind,” she said. “I don’t go to work expecting any recognition whatsoever; I know what my job is and why I’m there. To be recognized by a family member was one of the proudest moments of my career.”

“I had no idea the young lady working and trying to finish nursing school was me until they said my name,” said Mills. “I’m still floating on the clouds.”

Mills said she wanted to become a CNA after taking care of her grandparents at the age of thirteen. “I also participated in a volunteer program at my church assisting elderly,” said Mills. “We would come to their house and clean up, or fix breakfast, or do anything we could to help them. It always stuck with me to want to help someone who couldn’t help themselves.”

Mills said her daily motivation is to wake up every day and attempt to put a smile on someone’s face.

“By making a donation in honor of your Guardian Angel, he or she is recognized for their excellent services,” said Rick Parker, executive director of Novant Health Thomasville Medical Center Foundation. “Your Guardian Angel is notified and recognized with a pin for providing remarkable care and the gift you made in his or her honor.”

By contributing to the Patient Assistance Fund, you can help a patient in need focus on what is most important: getting healthy and staying healthy.

Contact us to learn more about our Guardian Angel program.

92-year-old back to active lifestyle after Cardiac Rehabilitation

In 2016, Mr. Russell was referred to Novant Health Thomasville Medical Center’s Cardiac Rehabilitation with a critical blockage that required a stent in his left main artery. His cardiologist says he was lucky to survive and his whole family was rattled with the thought of almost losing their dad. A month after surgery, he started Cardiac Rehabilitation and slowly regained his strength, stamina, and confidence to return to his normal daily activities of a very active 92-year-old.

Approaching graduation, Mr. Russell started to experience more shortness of breath and new chest discomfort. His cardiologist was notified and his medications were adjusted but his condition continued to deteriorate along with his quality of life. His cardiologist advised to treat him medically and reduce activity levels to control symptoms. Mr. Russell’s symptoms continued to escalate. The family was torn and relied heavily on our Cardiac Rehabilitation staff for emotional and psychological support.

One Friday, his wife contacted Sue Seymour while at home concerned her husband seemed to be really going downhill stating they had to do something. Sue advised them to go directly to Novant Health Forsyth Medical Centers Emergency Department. Even though high risk, a procedure was done with a second stent placed in another coronary artery.

Mr. Russell came back to the Novant Health Thomasville Medical Center’s Cardiac Rehabilitation and started the whole process over but this time with great success. He continues to exercise and remains stable in the Connection Link exercise program. The patient, and his wife, credits cardiac rehabilitation for giving them his life back.

Mr. Russell owes his life to Novant Health Thomasville Medical Center’s Cardiac Rehabilitation. 

Donate today to support Novant Health Thomasville Medical Center Foundation.

When giving a little turns into sharing a lot

Tansukh and Sarla along with their adult son, Rajesh, consider their good fortune a gift to share with others. For the last nine years, the three family members have worked out a plan to donate roughly two-thirds of their assets to worthy causes, of which Novant Health is honored to be part.

It was originally Rajesh’s suggestion that they give so others can benefit. “We have more than enough to live on for the rest of our lives,” he explained. “Why don’t we give it away to charities?”

The Ganatras agree on their giving priorities. Improving the lives of those in need and supporting education and healthcare initiatives get their first attention. Random acts of kindness are also part of their charitable repertoire. They have been known to pick up medical bills for patients who could not afford them as well as to pay tuition for the training and education for young adults who needed a little career help. “It’s the right thing for us to do,” said Tansukh.

For their healthcare, the Ganatras have gravitated to Novant Health providers. “All of us have been impressed with everyone on the care team,” said Tansukh, who can personally attest to Novant Health’s remarkable patient experience. Tansukh suffered a heart attack and was not expected to live. After he recuperated at Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center, he became a model patient, adjusting his diet and faithfully participating in cardiac rehabilitation three times a week.

In many ways, the Ganatra family has lived the American dream, though their story started in Africa, where Tansukh and Sarla, both of Indian ancestry, were raised. He grew up in Uganda while she was nearby in Kenya, and the two met during their college years at the University of Nairobi. Once married, they immigrated to America in 1969 and arrived with two suitcases, two Xerox boxes and $647 in their pocket. “It was everything we owned,” said Sarla.

The couple made their way to New York, where both landed jobs with Rochester Telephone. This also launched Tansukh’s successful career in telecommunications and digital networks. He is a detail-oriented person adept at seeing the big picture. It is this characteristic that allowed him to join a company, study the dynamics and then guide the company to tremendous growth.

Not fans of Rochester’s long hard winters, the Ganatras happily relocated in 1991 to Charlotte, where Tansukh was a co-founder and CEO of the US LEC, a telecommunications company.

Now they feel it is time to share their good fortune and passion with others. “We do little things for people,” said Tansukh. Their simple plan is destined to leave a great impact for many.

“The Ganatras are passionate about improving the lives of those in need in their community and supporting education and healthcare initiatives at Novant Health.”

Donate today to help us save lives and improve the health of our communities, one person at a time.

Cardiology patient honors physician who saved his life

During a black tie gala in 2014, David Goodman began to feel serious discomfort in his chest, abdomen, and back. Contemplating a trip to the emergency room, David and his wife, Barbara, decided to head home first to change clothes, and more specifically allow Barbara to change out of the high heels she had been wearing all night. It is this start to a journey – of a vivid ambulance trip, multiple days in surgery, and the raw emotions of a healing process – that makes talking to the Goodmans about Novant Health, and giving back, like opening a book you do not want to put down.

But it is their feelings about Dr. Robert Allen that truly create emotion and define the remarkable care provided at Novant Health. David and Barbara recognized Dr. Allen as a Guardian Angel in 2015 because, to David, that’s exactly what he represents.

“It became abundantly clear that my life had been re-gifted and we needed to acknowledge those who gave of themselves for my benefit,” David said.

Our goal at the Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center is to raise awareness and funding to empower and connect donors, like David, to programs, initiatives and in this case, physicians, that save lives and improve the health of our communities, one person at a time.

If you would like to honor your champion at Novant Health, please consider supporting our current capital campaign where your dollars will support the construction of a new outpatient heart and vascular and cancer facility that will transform patient care delivery.

“Someone gave to Novant Health Foundation, to Dr. Allen, to the entire staff, to make it possible for me to be here today. Now it is my turn.”

– David Goodman, Cardiology Patient
 Donate today to help us save lives and improve the health of our communities, one person at a time.

Prescription Assistance Program helps mother and special needs child

With the high cost of some prescription drugs, the uninsured—and sometimes even the insured patients—are not able to afford prescribed medications used to treat their medical condition. Without these medications the patient’s quality of life suffers and very often their condition worsens. Staying true to our mission, Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center Foundation provides prescription medication assistance to patients in need.

On a cold January day, the Brunswick Medical Center emergency department received a phone call from a tearful mother of a special needs child. She explained she could not afford the medication prescribed when she brought her five-year-old to the emergency room the day prior. Her child had been almost 24 hours without the prescribed antibiotics.

The emergency department contacted the case manager who immediately connected with the mother, who explained she had been to numerous pharmacies, but none would fill the prescription. She was told that the child’s insurance plan would not cover the entire cost of the antibiotics since they needed to be in a liquid suspension form suitable to be administered via a gastric feeding tube.

With the funds generously provided through the Foundation’s Prescription Assistance Program, this high-risk patient was able to receive the critical antibiotics in the necessary form.

The following day, the patient’s mother called the hospital expressing her gratitude for the generosity shown to her and her child from Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center. She was relieved to share her child already was showing great signs of improvement and had, in fact, even smiled at her that day.

If you are interested in helping Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center Foundation save and improve more lives like this child’s, please donate today or contact us to discuss more opportunities to make a difference.

Donate today to the Prescription Assistance Program.

Contact us to discuss how you can make a difference.