Browse Author: Paul Hackbarth

robotics

PCRMC Begins Offering Robotic-Assisted Surgeries

 

This fall, surgeons at Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) began using da Vinci robotics to assist with certain surgeries. In November, Dana Voight, MD, general surgeon at PCRMC, successfully performed three surgeries using the da Vinci Si surgical system.

This system is a new tool at PCRMC that utilizes advanced robotic, computer and optical technologies to assist surgeons with their operations. The technology does not act on its own, and the robotic system’s movements are controlled by surgeons, said Shawn Hodges, administrative director of ancillary services at PCRMC.

“We’ve started with common surgeries, such as gallbladders and hernias,” said Dr. Voight, who was the first surgeon at PCRMC to use robotics in a surgery. However, other physicians and surgeons are starting to use the technology, too. By February or March of 2018, robotic-assisted surgeries are expected to be available in the following PCRMC service lines: general surgery, urology and obstetrics/gynecology.

“General surgery is experiencing a shift to advanced minimally invasive techniques utilizing robotic technology,” said Jennifer Bechtel, director of surgical services at PCRMC. “Robotic surgery is the current standard of care in performing surgical prostate cancer treatments, and much of the gynecological surgical platform and urological procedures are also being performed via robotics.”

PCRMC surgeons have been performing laparoscopic surgeries, which are minimally invasive, for many years. Laparoscopy involves using several small incisions (also known as ports) to perform a surgical procedure rather than making a large incision.

Robotic surgery is a laparoscopic procedure, only with an added layer of technology. “Robotics augments what we already do,” Dr. Voight said.

One of the features of the da Vinci Si surgical system is its high-definition 3D vision capability. This allows the surgeon access to special instruments and computer software to operate with enhanced vision, precision, dexterity and control.

According to information from Intuitive Surgical, maker of the da Vinci robotics system, “the 3D-HD image is highly magnified, so your surgeon has a close-up view of the area he or she is operating on.”

Unlike laparoscopic surgeries, the da Vinci instruments have mechanical wrists that bend and rotate to mimic the movements of the human wrist. This lets surgeons make small, precise movements inside patients’ bodies.

“It’s like having an articulating wrist inside that can rotate 360 degrees,” Dr. Voight said.

The robotic system includes a patient cart that has the robot with arms. The physician can control the robot’s arms from a separate surgeon’s console.

Studies of the da Vinci surgical system have shown many benefits compared to open surgery. Some of these include a shorter hospital stay, fewer complications, less blood loss and less need for narcotic pain medicine after the operation.

“There’s potential for less pain and for a faster recovery time,” Dr. Voight said.

Currently, there are robotic programs available at hospitals and medical centers in Springfield, St. Louis, Jefferson City and Columbia. While many of the surgeries that can be performed with the help of robotics already occur at PCRMC, there may be some, such as gynecological procedures, that patients will not have to travel far for anymore.

Robotic surgeries are not for everybody. Patients should talk to their physician to decide if da Vinci surgery is right for them. Only a physician can determine whether an operation using da Vinci robotics is appropriate for a patient’s situation.

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Rolla Mayor Proclaims December 4 as Chaplaincy Day

Rolla Mayor Louis J. Magdits IV proclaimed December 4th, 2017, as Chaplaincy Day in Rolla. We urge the community to thank chaplains for a job well done, celebrate their contributions to providing spiritual support and express sincere gratitude for all of their service.

Shown are Dr. Phil Cox, PCRMC pastoral care director; Louis J. Magdits IV, Rolla mayor; and Tina Pridgeon, director of Auxiliary & Volunteer Services at PCRMC.

The proclamation reads:

WHEREAS: The Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) chaplaincy program, which has existed since May 11, 1987, was established as the result of a vision from local ministers, hospital staff and volunteer services; and

WHEREAS: The chaplaincy service has grown over the years and is now under the PCRMC Pastoral Care Department, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2017; and

WHEREAS: A total of 12 PCRMC chaplains, including 10 engaged and dedicated volunteer chaplains, provide coverage 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to patients needing spiritual and emotional support or guidance; and

WHEREAS: PCRMC chaplains listen carefully to all voices and promote the growth of the human spirit, which helps patients, along with their families and friends, navigate through or recover from life’s most challenging moments; and

WHEREAS: Thousands of patients and their loved ones have been blessed because of the chaplains’ willing hearts and servant attitudes. The chaplains, through their voluntary efforts, play a vital role in helping PCRMC with its mission of providing care and comfort to all patients as well as the community.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Louis J. Magdits, IV, Mayor of the City of Rolla, Missouri, do hereby proclaim December 4, 2017, as CHAPLAINCY DAY in Rolla, Missouri, and urge the community to thank chaplains for a job well done, celebrate their contributions to providing spiritual support and express sincere gratitude for all of their service.

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PCRMC Food Drive Benefits Local Families

Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) teamed up with GRACE (Greater Rolla Area Charitable Enterprise) and the Good Samaritan of the Ozarks – Waynesville this fall to provide Thanksgiving meals to families in need during the “A Box of Thanks Giving” food drive.

PCRMC employees and volunteers, along with community groups and businesses, were encouraged to donate non-perishable food items during the food drive held from October 10 through November 10. This marks the seventh year PCRMC has sponsored this food drive.

This year, a total of 181 boxes of food were filled, with one box feeding a family of four. In addition to the boxes, an extra 214 items were collected for local food pantries.

The PCRMC Marketing Department also donated turkeys, butter and eggs to complement the food items, so area families have all of the items they need to fix a full Thanksgiving meal.

The completed boxes and food pantry items were distributed to GRACE and the Good Samaritan of the Ozarks – Waynesville. The results of this year’s food drive well surpassed PCRMC’s goal to collect 100 boxes.

During last year’s food drive, 105 boxes – plus an additional 400 food items – were collected. The 2016 goal was to collect 70 boxes.

PCRMC employees donated most of the food, and several community organizations and businesses made donations as well, including the Phelps County Courthouse, Rolla Family Dentistry, Drury University – Rolla Campus and Life Care Center of Waynesville.

The PCRMC Mission Possible group sponsored this year’s food drive, and on the last day of the drive, PCRMC employees were invited to help pack the boxes of donated food.

“We don’t want anyone to go without a Thanksgiving meal,” says Debbie Cook, Mission Possible team member and customer service liaison with PCRMC Guest Relations. “PCRMC is a generous health organization that reaches out to others as the need arises.”

Tina Davis, executive director of GRACE, says families in the Phelps County area could apply for assistance through GRACE to receive one of the boxes. “This will help nearly 100 families and provide them with a Thanksgiving meal they wouldn’t have otherwise,” Davis says.

Davis says any leftover boxes can be used at Christmas for families.

Heather Frabel, emergency resource manager with the Good Samaritan of the Ozarks – Waynesville, says because of the generosity of PCRMC employees and the community, 42 boxes were distributed to families served by the agency.

“It was amazing, and the people who received the boxes of food were so excited and so grateful,” Frabel says.

The Mission Possible organization thanks everybody who contributed to this year’s food drive.

diabetes

PCRMC Is Celebrating National Diabetes Awareness Month This November

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, and Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) is joining the American Diabetes Association, International Diabetes Foundation and World Health Organization to raise awareness of diabetes, especially in women.

Diabetes is a disease in which the body, specifically the pancreas, does not produce insulin (type 1 diabetes) or does not properly utilize insulin (type 2 diabetes). Insulin is a vital hormone that regulates blood sugar, which fuels the body for life-sustaining processes.

Symptoms of diabetes can include frequent urination, blurry vision, extreme hunger, excessive thirst, increased fatigue, irritability, unexplained weight loss as well as infections and slow healing of cuts or sores.

While the cause of diabetes is unknown, people may be more at risk for diabetes if they are age 45 or older, are overweight or have a family history of the disease. In 2015, 84 million Americans age 18 and older were diagnosed with pre-diabetes, and currently 1.5 million new cases of diabetes are diagnosed each year. By 2050, about 1 in every 3 people will develop diabetes.

This disease can lead to devastating long-term complications including blindness, heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, amputations and even death. Diabetes remains the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. as of 2015 and the primary cause of death for 79,535 Americans each year.

According to the American Diabetes Association, about 1.4 million Americans age 20 and older are newly diagnosed with diabetes each year. However, this condition is not only seen in adults. In fact, approximately 208,000 people younger than age 20 have diabetes.

World Diabetes Day is celebrated on November 14 of each year, and the theme for 2017 is “Women and Diabetes – Our Right to a Healthy Future.” This year’s campaign is meant to promote the importance of affordable and fair access for all women at risk for or living with diabetes to essential diabetes medicines, technologies, self-management education and information.

According to the International Diabetes Foundation, there are currently over 199 million women living with diabetes around the world. This total is projected to increase to 313 million by 2040

Diabetes is the ninth leading cause of death in women globally, causing 2.1 million deaths each year. Additionally, approximately one in seven births is affected by gestational diabetes.

Diabetes can cause several health problems in women. For instance, women with type 1 diabetes have an increased risk of having an early miscarriage or having a baby with malformations. The International Diabetes Foundation also states that women with type 2 diabetes are almost 10 times more likely to have coronary heart disease than women without the condition.

PCRMC provides many resources and educational opportunities for people diagnosed with diabetes along with their families and caregivers.

The Diabetes Outpatient Clinic at PCRMC, which is fully accredited by the American Diabetes Association, has the tools people need to manage their diabetes and enjoy life. Patients must be referred to the clinic by their primary care provider. Diabetes self-management education/training helps patients to improve glycemic control, which could reduce the risk for diabetes complications, hospitalizations and healthcare costs.

The Diabetes Outpatient Clinic is located at the PCRMC North Entrance, 1000 West 10th St., Rolla. There also are outpatient clinics Tuesday evenings only at Forest City Family Practice, 1000 North Jefferson St., in St. James and Thursdays only at the Waynesville Medical Plaza, 1000 GW Lane St., in Waynesville.

In addition, PCRMC offers a free diabetes support group on the first Saturday of each month (except for January and July) from 10 a.m. to noon in Private Dining Room 2 near the cafeteria at PCRMC in Rolla. For more information about diabetes self-management education/training and the monthly support group, call 573-458-7697 or visit pcrmc.com.

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Rolla Mayor Proclaims November 5-11 as National Radiologic Technology Week

National Radiologic Technology Week, which is being celebrated November 5-11 this year, is an ideal time to learn more about medical imaging and radiation therapy as well as the profession of radiologic technologists.

Medical imaging encompasses X-rays, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasounds, nuclear medicine, mammography and bone density scans. Radiologic technologists are medical personnel who perform diagnostic imaging examinations and administer radiation therapy treatments.

When you are scheduled for a medical imaging examination or radiation therapy treatment, the person who performs your exam or delivers your treatment is called a radiologic technologist. These individuals are educated in anatomy, patient positioning, examination techniques, equipment protocols, radiation safety, radiation protection and patient care.

There are 332,755 registered radiologic technologists across the country, including about 7,000 in Missouri, according to a 2016 census by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. They perform approximately 159.7 million X-ray procedures annually, 78.7 million CT procedures and 37.8 million MRI procedures. Additionally, there are about 1.2 million radiation therapy treatments initiated.

On Friday, November 3, Rolla Mayor Louis Magdits IV signed a proclamation marking November 5-11, 2017, as Radiologic Technology Week in the City of Rolla.

The proclamation reads, in part, “Qualified practitioners who specialize in the use of medical radiation and imaging technology to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of disease share a commitment to bring the people of the community a safer, more compassionate environment now and in the future.”

Several Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) Medical Imaging staff attended the proclamation signing and reading at Rolla City Hall.

Rolla Mayor Lou Magdits, right, is shown with CT Technologist Nancy Moore, RT(R)(CT)(MR), left. Also pictured are Brandi Grindel, instructor; Kylie Moon and Thomas Coggins, both student technologists; Donna Wilson, assistant director of medical imaging-radiology, RT(R), RDMS, BA; Shawn Hodges, administrative director of ancillary services; Dennis Enloe, director of medical imaging-radiology, RT(R)(N), CNMT, CRA; Kristy Upshaw, CT Technologist, BSRT(R)(CT); and Mechelle Grumney, secretary/student technologist, RT(R), BA.