Jackie Shares Cancer Treatment and Care at Flaget Memorial Hospital

wayne and martha spalding

Pictured: Wayne and Martha Spalding

When Jackie Spalding’s husband Wayne chose CHI Saint Joseph Health – Cancer Care Center at Flaget Memorial Hospital for his treatment, she knew that opened the door to high quality medicine and fast appointments.

She also knew that would give Wayne, who had late-stage gallbladder cancer, a sense of normalcy.

“When you’re a cancer patient, you want to live as normal as you can,” said Jackie, a nurse at Flaget Memorial Hospital, where she’s worked for 35 years. “That normalcy is hard to come by. Your life is so directed by treatments.”

The cancer center was just a quick drive from home, and Jackie was able to both work and be by her husband’s side during his appointments.

Being at Flaget Memorial Hospital also meant that if Wayne needed fluids, they wouldn’t have to face the downtown Louisville traffic and parking. “If you can get a bag of fluids in four hours as opposed to 12 hours, that’s a big deal,” Jackie said.

Choosing the cancer center also meant that Wayne could get treatment alongside his mother Martha, who was being treated for colon cancer.

“Chemo day was a party,” Jackie said. The family would gather around, laugh and tell stories.

The nurses and volunteers joined in, too, Jackie said. “They’d always get me to laugh, even on bad days.”  

After about nine months of battling the disease, Wayne passed away on August 3, 2018.

Jackie said she’ll always remember the warmth and love that they received at Flaget Memorial Hospital’s cancer care center.  

Being there “felt like going home,” she said.

Learn more about the CHI Saint Joseph Health – Cancer Care Center at Flaget Memorial Hospital. For more information on how you can help today, visit Flaget Memorial Hospital Foundation’s Project Hope.

Health From the Outside In

sunscreen

Summer is the season of sunshine, but basking in the warm rays may put you at risk for developing skin cancer, the most common type of cancer affecting Americans.

“When we lay out to tan, we increase our chances of developing skin cancer, especially if we are already at high risk,” said Monte E. Martin, MD, medical director, CHI Saint Joseph Health – Cancer Care Center in Bardstown. “If you have light skin, blue or green eyes, blonde or red hair, freckles, large moles, or a history of cancer yourself or in your family, protecting your skin is especially important.”

A plan for prevention

woman gardening

To help your skin stay as healthy as possible:

Cover up. Choose lightweight clothing that covers your arms and legs and a hat to protect your face and head when you are outside.

Have a check up. Talk with your primary care provider about regular skin cancer screenings.

Lather your skin. Opt for broad-spectrum sunscreen that has a sun protection factor (SPF) 30 or higher. Reapply throughout the day, especially after sweating or swimming.

Seek shade. Stay out of the sun during peak hours in the midday, or from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Keep an eye out. If you notice a spot or growth on your skin that is new or has changed in color, size or texture, see your primary care provider.

Wear sunglasses. This favorite summer accessory can block out ultraviolet A and B rays.

To schedule a skin cancer screening, call 859.313.2255.

This article was originally published in the Spring 2019 edition of Spirit of Health magazine. Subscribe to Spirit of Health magazine to read more stories like this one.

Get a Jump Start on the School Year

Get a jump on the school year

Summer reading? Check. School supplies? Check. Your child’s health? Check.

With school starting soon, many parents find themselves busy helping prepare their children for the new academic year. One vital to-do is your child’s yearly wellness exam.

“It’s always a good idea to see your child’s pediatrician yearly to make sure he or she is staying healthy,” said Clair Palley, MD, CHI Saint Joseph Medical Group – Primary Care in Lexington. “Scheduling children’s exams while they are out of school is not only more convenient for parents but also helps keep children healthy in the upcoming year.”

During a back-to-school visit, your child’s pediatrician will check his or her development and growth, and you can address any concerns you may have about your child’s health.

“These wellness visits aren’t just for physical wellness,” Dr. Palley said. “Doctors address children’s mental and emotional health during this visit, as well.”

Community immunity

During yearly wellness visits, Dr. Palley also recommends using this opportunity to ensure your child receives all vaccinations on time.

“Vaccines not only help protect the people getting them but also the people around them from getting sick,” she said. “There are some people who cannot receive vaccines, such as those who are allergic to the ingredients. Vaccinating yourself helps keep you from spreading diseases to other people.”

As best as you can, adhere to your child’s recommended immunization schedule. Staying up to date on vaccinations promotes wellness in both your child and community.

Growing together

wellness visit

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children receive care at a facility from a provider who knows their full medical history and maintains a relationship with them as they grow. Back-to-school visits are an excellent way to help your child build that relationship with his or her pediatrician and will also lead to better care later in life.

“Physicians call that kind of facility a medical home,” Dr. Palley said. “It’s important to me to provide that for my patients. Keeping children healthy allows them to participate fully in life, and having their regular checkups helps them do so in a happy, healthy way.”

Athlete awareness

Does your child play a sport, or want to in the upcoming school year? Many schools require sports physicals before the season begins.

During a sports physical, your child’s provider will take a medical history and perform a physical exam. The provider can address any health concerns that may affect his or her ability to play and offer advice on how to prevent sickness or injury during the season.

Even if your school does not require a physical before your child can play sports, the Nemours Foundation recommends your child receive a sports-specific physical in addition to a yearly physical.

Need to schedule an appointment with a pediatrician? Call 859.313.2255 or visit our online provider directory to schedule an appointment near you.

This article was originally published in the Spring 2019 edition of Spirit of Health magazine. Subscribe to Spirit of Health magazine to read more stories like this one.

A Season for Healthy Eating

Healthy summer prodcue

Bursting with fresh fruits and veggies, summer is the perfect time of year to focus on eating well.

The air is warm, the sun is shining and the farmers market is rife with leafy greens, juicy melons and colorful peppers.

“Local produce is easily accessible during the summer months, which is wonderful for a variety of reasons,” said Amanda Goldman, MS, RD, LD, FAND, system director, CHI Food and Nutrition Services, and director of diabetes and nutrition care, CHI Saint Joseph Health. “Naturally low in calories, fresh produce grown close to home can be purchased and consumed as soon as possible after harvest when the items are most flavorful and the nutrient content is richest. It also may be less expensive than items shipped from far away.”

Smart meal preparation

The ingredients you buy will dictate the success of your meals, so take your time to put together grocery lists with items that are refreshing and satisfying. Think tomatoes, peppers and sweet watermelon. Or, if you have a green thumb and are teaching your children to garden, you may harvest fresh produce from your own backyard. Pick up some of your favorite seasonings, as well as sources of lean protein, like chicken or white fish.

bowl of honeydew melon

View recipe for Honeydew Melon Salsa Over Tuna Steaks.

Grilling is a great way to prepare seasonal dishes, including fruit drizzled with honey, marinated tuna or vegetable kebabs. Focus on variety — farmers markets often offer fruits and vegetables you won’t find in the grocery store.

This article was originally published in the Spring 2019 edition of Spirit of Health magazine. Subscribe to Spirit of Health magazine to read more stories like this one.

Enjoy a Healthy and Safe Summer with These Wellness Tips

Family and Friends Summertime Camping

Summer is a time for rest and relaxation, sunshine and vacations. But summer fun comes with the potential for serious health risks. This summer, take a few simple steps to help prevent common health issues and avoid frequent visits to the doctor’s office.

When you’re out enjoying the summer sun, remember that you’re at a greater risk of developing a heat-related illness or skin cancer from prolonged exposure to the heat and the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays. The same goes for doing any level of manual labor or playing outside during the warmer months. Even young, healthy people can get sick from the heat, and prevention is the best defense for heat-related illnesses.

Tips for heat and sun protection

Take these important steps to protect yourself from the heat and sun.

  • Never leave children or pets in a parked car for any duration of time, even if the windows are down.
  • Dress in light-colored, lightweight and loose clothing, and schedule demanding outdoor activities during the cooler morning or evening hours.
  • Stay hydrated when spending time in the heat.
  • Apply sunscreen with at least SPF 15 protection anytime you go outside to protect your skin. It only takes a few serious sunburns to dramatically increase your risk of developing skin cancer later in life.

Protect yourself from insect bites

Family Summer Gardening

Summer also means more bugs. In addition to itchy discomfort, insects like ticks and mosquitoes can cause harmful diseases like Lyme disease and West Nile virus, respectively.

Cases of these viruses increase significantly during the summer in the United States. Lyme disease can cause you to experience flu-like symptoms, along with joint pain and weakness in the limbs, while West Nile virus can lead to a high fever and other negative symptoms.

Take these steps to protect yourself from insect bites:

  • Always use insect repellent before going outside.
  • Check yourself and your children for mosquito bites and ticks after outdoor activities.
  • Remove leaf piles or unkempt yard waste from recreation areas to help deter ticks and create a buffer between wooded areas and lawns with gravel or mulch to restrict tick migration into frequently used areas.
  • Use citronella candles to keep mosquitoes and other insects away.

Summertime activity safety

Fun summer activities like swimming can also cause risks. Here are some key actions to stay safe.

  • Always supervise children when they are in or around the pool or another body of water to avoid water-related accidents.
  • Take the time to teach kids about water safety and how to swim.
  • Learn CPR; it’s helpful not just for summer, but also throughout the year.

Taking simple, preventive and precautionary steps is the best way to reduce your risk for health issues this summer. Think about your planned activities ahead of time and have preventive solutions to any health-related issues that could occur. Avoid these illnesses and more, and have a safe and memorable summer.

Honeydew melon salsa over tuna steaks [Recipe]

Honeydew melon salsa over tuna steaks recipe

Bursting with fresh fruits and veggies, summer is the perfect time of year to focus on eating well.

Honeydew Melon Salsa Over Tuna Steaks

Severs 2
Prep/cooking time: Approximately 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 small honeydew melon, finely diced
  • 1/2 red chili pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch granulated sugar
  • 2, 5-ounce tuna steaks
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 10 fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips
bowl of honeydew melon

Directions

In a medium bowl, add the honeydew melon, red chili pepper, 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, lime juice, salt and sugar. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil in a skillet.

Season both sides of the tuna steaks with salt and pepper.

Sear tuna steaks in skillet, about 3 minutes per side.

Serve tuna steaks with a heaping spoonful of honeydew melon salsa and sprinkle with basil leaves.
This is a versatile salsa recipe that also goes well with white fish or grilled chicken.

Recipe courtesy of Catholic Health Initiatives.

What is a hospitalist?

What is a hospitalist?

A hospital visit can be a stressful time, filled with questions and concerns. In some cases, patients may not be familiar with some of the roles and responsibilities of the different health care providers who help them during their treatment. One of those roles – the hospitalist – is becoming more prevalent in current health care approaches. So, what is a hospitalist?

About Hospitalists

Hospitalists often have a difficult time explaining to patients what medical field they specialize in because it is a relatively new specialty. They are certified medical doctors with expertise in the acute care of adults and children, who have elected to work in one specific hospital, rather than outpatient primary care. They are the leaders of the health care team, ensuring all the different medical specialists involved in the care of a person work in harmony to treat each condition and provide the best quality care.

The Society of Hospital Medicine describes a hospitalist as a physician whose primary focus is the general medical care of hospitalized patients, as well as teaching, research and leadership. These physicians and their advanced practice providers, such as nurse practitioners and physician assistants, focus on each individual patient’s minute-to-minute medical needs. They are constantly coordinating between different departments and specialists to ensure that all of a patient’s unique medical needs are being addressed.

Hospitalists typically have backgrounds in internal medicine, family medicine or pediatrics, and they serve as a primary point-of-contact for patients throughout a hospital stay.

Coordinating Patient Care

The role of hospitalists has grown as our health care system has evolved. Primary care physicians once had the flexibility to visit their patients who had been admitted to a hospital.

provider speaking to patient

The medical history and knowledge of that patient held by their primary care doctor was immensely beneficial in treating the hospitalized patient. However, starting in the 1990s, physicians with their own practices and larger numbers of patients found they could not devote the prolonged time needed to provide quality care to their hospitalized patients. This problem created a new field of medicine – hospitalists, which has quickly become the fastest growing field of study.

Because of advancements in what can be treated through primary care or outpatient procedures, patients admitted to hospitals today tend to have more complicated medical problems than in the past.

The United States now has more acutely ill patients with multiple medical conditions that require various specialists to treat them.

Hospitalists direct and coordinate a patient’s treatment between different hospital departments and help the patient navigate treatment. In the process, they are also primarily responsible for monitoring the patient’s overall care.

Without hospitalists, patients would be left on their own to work with the multitude of medical professionals involved in their treatment, who otherwise have little daily contact with one another. Having a hospitalist that thoroughly understands the inner workings of their hospital and can tend to each patient’s medical needs has become essential.

The next time you or a loved one are admitted for a hospital stay, talk to your medical care team about securing additional guidance during treatment from the facility’s hospitalist. Remember that they’re there to be your advocate, and to help coordinate the best possible treatment, leading to better health outcomes.


Author: Nina Lum, Chief Quality Officer and Hospitalist, CHI Saint Joseph Health

Your colorectal cancer screening cheat sheet

colorectal cancer screening

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). Fortunately, colorectal cancer is preventable with lifestyle changes, such as a healthy diet and regular exercise, and staying up to date on cancer screenings.

The ACS recommends adults age 45 and older get regular colorectal cancer screenings, which fall under two main types:

  • Visual tests, such as colonoscopies
  • Stool-based tests
Kathleen Martin, MD

Kathleen Martin, MD, gastroenterologist at CHI Saint Joseph Medical Group – Gastroenterology, recommends a colonoscopy for most of her patients.

“A colonoscopy provides the best visualization for the provider,” said Dr. Martin, who adds that a doctor uses a miniature scope to examine the colon from within. “It allows us to detect and remove precancerous lesions, called polyps, so we can both prevent and diagnose cancer.”

While she most often recommends a colonoscopy, Dr. Martin said that the best choice of screening varies from patient to patient. For patients who are anxious about going under anesthesia, Dr. Martin recommends a CT colonography, also called a virtual colonoscopy.

“It’s a good alternative to a traditional colonoscopy,” Dr. Martin said. “We also use it for people who have scar tissue that may prevent passage of the scope.”

A stool-based test is another option for patients, offering its own benefits in identifying colorectal cancer.

“Stool-based tests are for patients who are on certain medications or have compromised pulmonary function, making ti difficult to perform a colonoscopy,” Dr. Martin said. “The best one is the multitargeted stool DNA test. It checks for secretions form tumors and dangerous polyps.”

Whichever test you choose, both Dr. Martin and the ACS agree that regular screenings are crucial to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.

Which test is best?

Learn more about the different types of colorectal cancer screenings as described by the American Cancer Society (ACS), and decide which option is best for you.

  • Colonoscopy: a provider uses a scope – a tube with a small camera – to look for and remove precancerous polyps and cancer. This test requires general anesthesia and must be done every 10 years.
  • CT Colonography: Also called a virtual colonoscopy, this uses an X-ray machine to look for polyps and cancer. This test must be performed every five years.
  • Fecal Immunochemical Test: Done once a year, this test requires you to take a stool sample using an at-home kit your provider gives you. You mail your sample to a lab where it is checked for blood in the stool.
  • Multitarget Stool DNA Test: This test is done every three years. You collect a stool sample using a kit your provider sends to you. The sample is mailed to a lab and tested for blood, as well as abnormal DNA form polyps or cancer.

Find out which colorectal cancer screening is right for you. To schedule a screening, call 855.345.9663 or learn more about Colon Cancer Screenings and Prevention.

This article was originally published in the Winter 2019 edition of Spirit of Health magazine. Subscribe to Spirit of Health magazine to read more stories like this one.

Living by faith

Kathy Mattone

From the moment she was born, Kathy Mattone’s life story has been interwoven with that of Saint Joseph Hospital.

“I am a wife and mother by vocation, a nurse and an educator by profession and a chaplain by the grace of God,” Mattone said.

Mattone has found her life journey interwoven with Saint Joseph Hospital. She was actually born at Saint Joseph, and while her career includes nursing, teaching and running a bed and breakfast, she kept hearing the call to serve at Saint Joseph Hospital.

While studying theology at Saint Meinrad Seminar and School of Theology in Indiana, she was a clinical instructor for first semester nursing students at Saint Joseph Hospital. During a moment of prayer in the chapel, there was a sense of call to chaplaincy. Mattone learned during her clinical pastoral education internship and residency at Saint Joseph Hospital that chaplains extend holistic patient and staff spiritual care with emphasis on finding meaning and purpose in life.

Once her seminary and chaplain training were complete, there were no positions open. So she worked as a hospice nurse at the University of Kentucky and as a night chaplain at Baptist Health Lexington. As a Catholic, she was awaiting the call to return home. That call came four years ago, when a chaplain position opened up at Saint Joseph East in Lexington.

“I had this longing to be back in Catholic health care, to be able to live and share the richness of my faith tradition,” Mattone said. “I felt called to be a part of the healing ministry of Jesus Christ brought to Lexington by the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth over 140 years ago.”

Mattone is now the director of spiritual care for CHI Saint Joseph Health.

At CHI Saint Joseph Health, we’re called to serve. Learn more about rewarding career opportunities at one of our facilities.

This article was originally published in the Winter 2019 edition of Spirit of Health magazine. Subscribe to Spirit of Health magazine to read more stories like this one.

Code stroke: Every second counts

image of a clock

Learn how to recognize and react to a stroke.

When “Code Stroke” is announced over the hospital loudspeaker, a designated health care team immediately moves the patient for a CT scan to confirm the diagnosis.

“It is the staff’s first step in managing a stroke,” said Jennifer Chism, MSN, RN, director of nursing at Saint Joseph Mount Sterling. “We have to act fast because every 15 minutes of stroke symptoms can equal one month of disability.”

The clock starts ticking at the first sign of a stroke, which is why it is important to know what to do if a stroke is suspected. The acronym F.A.S.T. can help you remember how to identify and react to the symptoms so potential brain cell loss is minimized.

Act F.A.S.T.

Face: The person may experience facial weakness. Ask him or her to smile and check to see if his or her face appears uneven or droopy.

Arms: One or both arms may feel weak, numb or paralyzed. Ask the person to try to raise his or her arms and observe whether either arm drifts.

Speech: Determine if the person has slurred speech, difficulty speaking or trouble repeating simple phrases.

Time: There is a limited time frame to treat an ischemic stroke, which is caused by a blockage of a blood vessel to the brain – the cause for about 87 percent of all strokes. If a person exhibits any symptoms, note the the time the symptoms started and call 911 immediately.

Managing high blood pressure can help reduce stroke risk. Make an appointment with your primary care provider to have your blood pressure checked. Need a provider? Visit our online provider directory.

This article was originally published in the Winter 2019 edition of Spirit of Health magazine. Subscribe to Spirit of Health magazine to read more stories like this one.