News Releases

Q: What are some reasons I should see a gastroenterologist?

Tuesday, January 19, 2021
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A: Everyone should see a gastroenterologist for a colonoscopy every 10 years beginning at age 50. African Americans and people with a family history of colorectal cancer should start at age 45. If you have new abdominal pain or heartburn that does not respond to over-the-counter medications, particularly if you are over age 45 or a smoker, you should see a gastroenterologist. You should also see a gastroenterologist if you have blood in  your stool. Lastly, see a gastroenterologist if you have abnormal liver function levels on routine labs in more than two or three occasions.
Nathaniel “Teddy” Winstead, M.D., FACP, FACG, AGAF
Gastroenterologist with Gulf Coast Gastroenterology
Read more in our Winter 2021 issue of BEST Magazine.

Q: How does radiation therapy treat cancer? What are the benefits?

Tuesday, January 19, 2021
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A: Radiation uses focused, high-dose X-rays to attack the DNA of cancer cells. This destroys the blueprints of the cells, so when they try to divide, they die. In radiation therapy, the side effects are limited to where the radiation is targeted. For example, treating cancer below the head will not cause hair loss. Treatments are fast, and you cannot feel them, similar to getting a CT scan.
Addison Willett, M.D., J.D., M.B.A.
Radiation oncologist with Infirmary Cancer Care
Read more in our Winter 2021 issue of BEST Magazine. 

Q: What do I need to know about human papillomavirus (HPV)?

Tuesday, January 19, 2021
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A: Human papillomavirus, or HPV, is a DNA virus. There are more than 100 different types of HPV, but not all of them cause disease. High-risk strains of HPV are found in six different types of cancer, including cervical, vaginal, vulvar, anal, head and neck cancers. These high-risk strains of HPV are obtained through any skin-to-skin contact with someone who has HPV, including intercourse. The HPV vaccine, Gardasil, is approved for men and women ages nine to 45 and provides 90% protection against all HPV cancers. Gynecologists should start screening women for HPV beginning at age 30.
Brittney B. Laughlin, D.O.
OB-GYN with Women’s Health Alliance of Mobile
Read more in our Winter 2021 issue of BEST Magazine.

Q: What are risk factors for vascular disease? And what can I do to guard against them?

Tuesday, January 19, 2021
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A: Vascular disease is a circulation disorder that causes the blood vessels outside of the heart or brain to narrow, block or spasm. This can occur in the arteries or veins. Risk factors for vascular disease include smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, being over age 50, obesity, kidney disease, a personal history of heart disease and a family history of vascular disease. Lifestyle choices that increase the risk of developing vascular disease include smoking and drug use, poor eating habits and not exercising. 
To prevent vascular disease, adopt a healthy lifestyle. Do not smoke, control your blood sugar, work to lower your cholesterol and blood pressure, set exercise goals and be attentive to physical changes. New aches and pains, skin changes or ulcerations, focal weakness or paresthesia, facial asymmetry or speech changes may be symptoms of vascular disease and warrant medical attention.

Melanie K. Rose, M.D.
Vascular surgeon with Cardio-Thoracic and Vascular Surgical Associates
Read more in our Winter 2021 issue of BEST Magazine.

Thomas Hospital: Our Community's Hospital

Tuesday, January 19, 2021
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For more than 60 years, Thomas Hospital has been the community’s trusted partner for care. Our team has watched our friends, neighbors and community members become parents and grandparents, fought alongside them through cancer treatments and helped them recover when they defeated an illness. Thomas Hospital is here for you and our community.
Did you know that Thomas Hospital is home to Baldwin County’s only open-heart surgery program and the county’s only inpatient rehabilitation hospital? Baldwin County has grown immensely over the past six decades, and Thomas Hospital has grown right along with it. We are proud to provide you with the world-class, sophisticated care that is normally only found in large metropolitan areas.

Thomas Hospital is our community’s hospital. As one of the county’s largest employers, our team is dedicated to providing you and your family with the highest quality of care. Since 2005, more than $110 million has been invested in major Thomas Hospital projects, like the new birth center, the breast center, expanded cardiac services, the freestanding emergency department at Malbis and the Advanced Endoscopy Lab.

Thank you to our community for your continued support. We look forward to serving you for the next 60 years.
LEARN MORE
For more information on Thomas Hospital, please visit infirmaryhealth.org.

World-Class Surgery Where You Live

Tuesday, January 19, 2021
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Two years ago, Diane Evans started experiencing shortness of breath and a fast heartbeat. Her symptoms gradually worsened until the Perkinston, Mississippi, resident, then 78, could no longer manage any activity for longer than 10 minutes at a time. “I did notice I was slowing down, and I didn’t enjoy things as much because I really didn’t feel good,”  she said. “I wasn’t certain what it was, but I still functioned.”
HITTING BOTTOM
Diane had not seen a doctor in 30 years — and had never been in a hospital except to give birth. Nor had she told anyone about her difficulties. A turning point came, however, in September 2019, when she attended a birthday party for her great-granddaughter. Diane struggled to breathe and make it through the celebration. Her daughter and son-in-law then texted friends in medicine, who urged them to get her to the emergency room at Mobile Infirmary. Diane finally agreed to go.
Diane also had a heart rhythm disorder known as atrial fibrillation, in which the heart beats too fast. “Diane’s condition was serious, but, overall, her heart was relatively strong,” Dr. Johnson said, “and she had no other health issues.” He recommended surgery to replace her mitral valve. During this time, he would also perform a sophisticated technique known as the Maze procedure to treat her atrial fibrillation. This involves using heat and/or cold to produce scar tissue in the heart to block the abnormal electrical impulses causing the irregular heartbeat, allowing new electrical pathways to be created.
All open-heart operations are very complex, requiring not only highly skilled cardiovascular surgeons but an entire multidisciplinary team of experienced professionals providing support in
and out of the operating room. Dr. Johnson and his colleagues at Cardio-Thoracic and Vascular Surgical Associates are exceptionally equipped to meet these needs. They offer top-tier treatments for the full spectrum of congestive, degenerative and congenital heart and vascular disease.

DIAGNOSING THE PROBLEM
After a comprehensive evaluation and testing, doctors determined Diane had severe mitral valve regurgitation. Mitral regurgitation occurs when the leaflets of the mitral valve, one of the four valves in  the heart, do not close properly, allowing blood to  leak backward.
“The severity of the leaking put Ms. Evans in congestive heart failure,” said William Johnson, M.D., a cardiothoracic surgeon at Infirmary Health who consulted with Diane. “And while there are many causes of congestive heart failure, the end result is that the heart simply can’t adequately pump the blood out to the body to sustain all the functioning it needs to, and that blood backs up into the lungs.”
EVERYTHING YOU NEED CLOSE TO HOME
“We tell people all the time that you don’t have to go out of town to get world-class surgery or to find surgeons who have been trained at world-class institutions and who have brought these skills to our community,” Dr. Johnson said. “Infirmary Health has done a terrific job of providing all of the ancillary support — all the personnel, equipment and resources — we need to help us be successful at what we do.” Vascular surgeon Michael Do, M.D., said it is uncommon to find so many multidisciplinary surgical specialists working together under one roof.
“If you think about cardiac surgery and then peripheral vascular surgery, classically there’s not a lot of overlap,” he said. “Fortunately, we have such talented surgeons in our group that there is some overlap. There are several procedures, including aortic aneurysm repair, where we oftentimes team up and do combined surgeries because that’s how we’ll achieve the best result. And that reflects the breadth of our experience and expertise.”
KEEPING PACE WITH MEDICAL ADVANCES
six cardiothoracic surgeons in the group primarily focus on heart surgery, enabling Dr. Daniels to specialize in a vast variety of complications in the chest outside of the heart. “That’s allowed us to really progress this practice to where we’re now able to treat patients with much more challenging thoracic conditions,” he said. “And the reason I’m able to do it is simply because of our team approach, the idea that one of us is going to focus on a particular area so that the whole group is able to function more effectively.”
LIFE CHANGING RESULTS
The care she received at Mobile Infirmary, Diane said, has turned her life around. “It had a very great impact because now I can walk more than 10 steps without stopping to catch my breath,” she said. “I received excellent care at Mobile Infirmary,” she added. “I was there 16 days in two different ICUs and then on the cardiology floor, and I had a whole slew of nurses and caregivers. They were all wonderful. The same for the cardiologists and Dr. Johnson — they were really, really good. I’m very grateful to be 80 and able to do what I’m doing. I feel certain this surgery will give me more years than I could have imagined.”
Read more in our Winter 2021 issue of BEST Magazine.

Bringing outpatient physical therapy closer to home

Tuesday, January 19, 2021
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Whether you have suffered an injury, are recovering from an illness or recently had surgery, physical, occupational and speech therapy can be a powerful tool to help you regain your health. To make it easier for patients to access high-quality outpatient therapy services, Infirmary Health plans to expand its outpatient therapy clinics in Mobile and Baldwin counties, beginning in early 2021.
A REPUTATION FOR EXCELLANCE
“Infirmary Health is known for excellence in inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation. We’re committed to expanding that same high level of care in more outpatient therapy locations,” said Russell Porter, PT, Infirmary Health’s director of outpatient therapy services.
“We’re proud of the comprehensive outpatient therapy program we offer at ProHealth Fitness Center in Mobile, Thomas Fitness Center in Fairhope and North Baldwin Fitness Center in Bay Minette. We understand it can be a challenge for patients in outlying areas to travel to and from these main locations for therapy. So, our focus is on making care more convenient by expanding the number of locations.”
The first Infirmary Health satellite therapy clinic will be located on Hillcrest Road, near Infirmary Health’s Diagnostic and Medical Clinic. Two additional clinics are planned for later in the year. These clinics will offer a full range of outpatient therapy services for adult patients with orthopedic, neuromuscular and neurological disorders.
A SEAMLESS CONTINUM OF CARE
“A primary benefit of the satellite clinics is continuity of care,” Porter said. “Infirmary Health’s electronic medical record allows patients who are treated in both the inpatient and outpatient setting to experience a seamless transition of care,” he said. “The patient’s records are accessible to all their providers at Infirmary Health, no matter the location. Everyone is on the same page.” On a patient’s first visit, their therapist performs an evaluation and learns about their needs and goals. Then, the therapist develops a personalized treatment plan. This may include treatments to improve movement and strength, as well interventions to control swelling and pain. Typically, patients are also given exercises to do at home.
LEARN MORE
For more information about Infirmary Health’s outpatient physical, occupational and speech therapy services, please visit infirmary.care/physicaltherapy or call ProHealth (251-435-5844), Thomas Fitness Center (251-279-1640) or
North Baldwin Fitness Center (251-937-2823).
Read more in our Winter 2021 issue of BEST Magazine.

Infirmary Health opens COVID-19 Vaccine Call Center beginning Monday, January 18

Thursday, January 14, 2021
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Community members age 75 and older and first responders can contact the Infirmary Health COVID-19 Vaccine Call Center for an appointment beginning Monday, January 18. Please do not attempt to call the phone number if you are not eligible for an appointment. We anticipate large call volumes, and your patience is appreciated.

Infirmary Health COVID-19 Vaccine Call Center
251-341-2819
Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Infirmary Health to begin vaccinating ages 75+ beginning January 18

Friday, January 8, 2021
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As directed by Gov. Kay Ivey, Infirmary Health will begin administering the COVID-19 vaccine to citizens who are 75 years or older and first responders by appointment only, effective January 18.  Information on appointment availability will be published the moment it is available, as Infirmary Health works to double its vaccine capacity. If you have questions about whether you qualify, please visit https://www.alabamapublichealth.gov/covid19/vaccine.html

I AM MORE Awards | November - December 2020

Thursday, January 7, 2021

THE MORE AWARDS 
Please join us in congratulating the employees and departments who were recently recognized across our system.
 
I AM MORE - November

  • Milton Wilson | Mobile Infirmary - Medical Electronics
  • Aubrey Wiggins | Infirmary Health - Administration

WE ARE MORE - November

  • Pharmacy | Mobile Infirmary
  • Clinical Documentation Improvement | Mobile Infirmary
  • MICU | Thomas Hospital
  • SICU | Thomas Hospital

I AM MORE - December

  • Kenny Ngo | Mobile Infirmary - 3600's
  • Patrick McDonald | Mobile Infirmary - Surgery
  • Ariana Gordon | Mobile Infirmary - 4 South
  • Angela Dolby | Thomas Hospital - Emergency Department
  • Drusilla Farley | Eastern Shore Family Practice
  • Holly Oliveira | Infirmary Health - Accounting
  • Kristy Childres | Thomas Hospital - Endoscopy

WE ARE MORE - December

  • Customer Services Department | Infirmary Health
  • Plant Operations | Thomas Hospital

These awards, organized by our Customer Service department, recognizes employees for service that goes above and beyond. Nominees are submitted by peers and administration. A committee then selects the winners who have demonstrated a commitment to our goals and values.

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