Month: July 2019

St. Luke’s opens State-of-the-Art Hybrid Operating Room and Electrophysiology Lab

Community leaders, physicians, and members of the St. Luke’s medical team are proud of the opening of the new Hybrid Operating Room (OR) and Electrophysiology (EP) Lab at St. Luke’s.

A hybrid OR combines a traditional operating room with advanced medical imaging capability, allowing for minimally invasive cardiovascular surgery, and an EP lab treats rhythmic disorders of the heart.

The hybrid OR and EP lab in total expand services to 8,500 sq. ft. and add the capacity for numerous enhanced procedures, including:

  • Expanded procedures to treat Atrial Fibrillation (AFib), a leading indicator of stroke risk
  • Enhanced technology for pacemaker implantation, keeping your heart beating regularly and improving quality of life
  • High-tech imaging from the most-advanced radiology equipment, with minimal radiation exposure
  • Ability to perform minimally invasive endovascular and other specialized vascular procedures

A $12.5 million investment, the hybrid OR and EP lab provide many significant benefits to patients.  Probably the most important of these is time.  For people having vascular or heart problems, minutes matter.

“With the hybrid OR and EP lab, patients won’t have to go hospital-to-hospital or even room-to-room to receive life-saving vascular and cardiac care,” said Dan Wakeman, President and CEO of St. Luke’s. “By providing rapid access to treatment using the latest technology, we will reduce the potential for irreversible damage.”

The use of minimally invasive surgical procedures provides an important second benefit.  In the past, many cardiac and vascular procedures required cutting the breast bone to get access to the heart and vascular system.  Procedures which can now be performed in the hybrid OR and EP lab at St. Luke’s will use much smaller incisions, reducing complications and improving recovery time.

“The minimally invasive procedures are built on incredible advances in imaging technology,” said Dr. Charles Gbur, a cardiologist at St. Luke’s.  “Surgeons and other procedure-based physicians can operate with unprecedented precision and patients get better and back to living their life faster than we ever could have imagined only a few years ago.”

Beyond the technology and the hardware, the hybrid OR and EP Lab were planned by physicians from throughout the region, including independent physicians and those from area hospitals and health systems.

“We always say we want St. Luke’s to be a good place to practice medicine,” said Wakeman.  “Our approach to planning this project reflects that philosophy.  These surgeons will be able to do their best work at St. Luke’s.”

The hybrid OR and EP lab are the latest examples of St. Luke’s commitment to providing life-changing care to its patients. For example, the St. Luke’s Heart & Vascular Health Center has full Chest Pain Center Accreditation from the American College of Cardiology.  St. Luke’s is also nationally certified as a Primary Stroke Center, among many other areas of recognized expertise.

“We’re changing the perception of St. Luke’s,” Wakeman said.  “Any patient can feel confident trusting their care to us, no matter how sick they are.”

Highly skilled Family Medicine Residents, provide the latest advances in medical care

People think about their health a lot. They subscribe to the latest miracle cures and pay for unused health club memberships.  While they’re looking for a quick fix, they often overlook a simple step with more impact over their health than dozens of fads put together: getting care from a family physician at the St. Luke’s Family Medicine Center.

To some people, the idea of seeing a family physician might seem outdated, but it’s timeless, built on long-term relationships and on preventing problems before anyone—the patient or their loved ones—gets sick at all.

The data bears this out: patients who receive primary care from a family physician are significantly less likely to need outpatient care, be hospitalized, or go to the ER. The care that family physicians provide is collaborative, continuous, comprehensive and community-based.

Family physicians achieve better outcomes in a variety of ways, but the most important is that they provide long-term care over years and decades.  Over those years, the physician gets to know the patient and the patient gets to know the physician.

That means the doctor is more likely to notice changes in a patient, or, connect two health events, even if they were years apart.

It also means that the patient will feel more comfortable talking openly to their physician about their health concerns.

Put those two things together, and you have a formula for better health.

At a family medicine residency like the one at St. Luke’s, patients get more than the benefits of a relationship with their doctor. Patients receive care based on the best medical evidence. They also receive care that has been certified by a national accrediting body and reflects the latest advancements in the field.

“A family medicine residency like ours represents a terrific opportunity for patients to get the benefit of primary care in a region where there is a shortage of physicians in this specialty,” said Louito Edje, MD, MHPE, FAAFP, program director of the St. Luke’s Family Medicine Residency.  “Our patients know that residents are doctors—medical school graduates—who are training to be family physicians.  Our residents work under the supervision of board-certified doctors and patients receive the highest level of care.”

St. Luke’s Family Medicine Center offers an additional feature that you would expect from an organization that prides itself on providing “health, plus care”:  in-house behavioral health and social work specialists who are available to come into exam rooms with patients to be sure that all aspects of their health and life are being addressed.

“Many people ask about what happens when the resident finishes their program and moves on,” Dr. Edje said.  “First of all, nearly two-thirds of them will stay here in this community and their patients can join them at their new practice.  For those who do not stay, their patients will stay on the panel of the supervising physician to ensure continuity of care.”

Primary care from a family medical specialist is something no one should be without, whether they are two years old or 90 years old.  To become a patient at the St. Luke’s Family Medicine Center, located in Perrysburg near Levis Commons, call 419.873.6836.

State-of-the-Art practice offers top cosmetic, reconstructive options

Most of us have things we wish we could change about our appearance. Maybe it’s a crooked nose, or old acne scars, or the inevitable wrinkles and sagging. Or, perhaps it’s a serious medical issue, such as breast reconstruction, or post-trauma surgery to restore appearance or function.

Whatever your concern, pēko aesthetics, the office of award-winning plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Peter Koltz, is northwest Ohio’s newest home for enhancements, rejuvenations and restorations.

Located in the Franklin Park area, the office offers consultations, aesthetician services and skincare products. Surgeries, which include a comprehensive range of procedures from facelifts to groundbreaking breast reconstruction techniques, are performed at St. Luke’s Hospital, in a warm and private community setting.

Specialized skills unique to the region

A native son, Dr. Koltz grew up in Maumee and returned to practice in the region following specialized training in New York and Philadelphia. He brought home over a decade of medical training, including the ability to perform leading-edge, big-city plastic and reconstructive surgical techniques that were previously not available in this area.

At the world-renowned University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Koltz trained in microvascular surgery techniques that allow lives to be restored in the most natural way possible. These advanced reconstructive procedures benefit patients with breast cancer, devastating extremity trauma or cancers, challenging head and neck problems, and a variety of pediatric conditions.

One microsurgery technique—autologous breast reconstruction—reconstructs the breast using tissue from another part of the body. When nerve endings and blood vessels are reconnected, the patient begins to regain feeling in the area, promoting a sense of wholeness and well-being. Patients also experience less pain and shorter recovery times after surgery. Beyond that, the technique minimizes complications at the site where the tissue originated.

“The key is to be able to offer patients the best surgical option for them,” Dr. Koltz said. “My goal for every patient I see is to provide them a reconstruction that will allow them to return to the things that they like to do as quickly as possible with the best aesthetic result. Whether performing DIEP flap breast reconstruction, implant breast reconstruction, extremity salvage, or reconstructing the head and neck following cancer or trauma, my goal is to individualize the reconstruction to every patient.”

Dr. Koltz is able to do this by offering a full breadth of options for reconstructions, ranging from common techniques to leading edge procedures.

“The beauty of Cosmetic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery as a surgical subspecialty is the ability to tailor every patient’s plan to their specific situation and return them to what they love to do. It is important to me to be able to offer all options safely and efficiently to accomplish this goal,” Dr. Koltz said.

Personalized options to meet your goals

The philosophy of tailoring plans to meet patients’ specific goals extends to all facets of pēko aesthetics. There are many different kinds of surgical lifts, for example, from facelifts to skin tightening after weight loss.

Beyond surgery, the options are ever-expanding. The first step to healthy, beautiful skin, for example, is proper daily maintenance with quality skin care products, which are personally evaluated by Dr. Koltz for their effectiveness and available in the pēko aesthetics office. In addition, the practice offers a complete range of other nonsurgical options, from facial peels to cosmetic injectables like Botox® and Juvederm®. These solutions can dramatically freshen your appearance, generally require little downtime, and can be performed right in the office.

“The thing I love about what I do is the ability to be able to use my two hands to change a person’s life,” Dr. Koltz said. “Patients come to me with a problem, be it cosmetic or reconstructive, and with my hands, I’m able to help them. I’m able to change their lives in a relatively short period of time.”

Dr. Koltz and pēko aesthetics can be reached at 567.408.7356.

St. Luke’s leads region in use of world’s smallest pacemaker

The pacemaker has been around since 1960 and has made an incredible contribution to the health and wellness of millions of people around the world.  Nearly everybody knows someone who benefits from a pacemaker.

Medical science is always advancing, and St. Luke’s is leading the region by offering the world’s smallest pacemaker—the Micra™, which is the size of a vitamin-capsule.

Pacemakers are used to treat bradycardia, which is a low heart rate.  A traditional pacemaker is located under the collarbone and connects to the heart using “leads.”  It senses when the heart needs to be sped up and uses electric impulses to get it done.

For patients who need a single chamber pacemaker, Micra accomplishes the same thing but in a much smaller package.  Micra is 93% smaller than conventional pacemakers, and therefore offers significant benefits.

For example, Micra is completely self-contained within the heart. It eliminates potential medical complications arising from a chest incision and from wires running from a conventional pacemaker into the heart.  These complications include infection and a collapsed lung, among others.

Research has demonstrated that patients with a Micra experience half the complications of a traditional pacemaker.  This reduction has been noted both 3 months and 12 months after the device is installed.  In fact, after 12 months the complication rate is 63% lower.

Micra is also less invasive.  The device is placed in the heart via a vein in the leg, without a chest incision, scar, or the bump that results from conventional pacemakers.

“St. Luke’s implants more Micra pacemakers than any other hospital in the region,” said Charles Gbur, MD.  “When it is appropriate for a patient, Micra offers the same effectiveness with significantly fewer complications and a higher quality of life.”

Like a conventional pacemaker, Micra is powered by a battery which lasts around 12 years.  Unlike conventional pacemakers, when it comes time to replace the battery it is possible for the existing device to be turned off and a new Micra implanted using the same minimally-invasive procedure.

The Micra pacemaker is yet another example of the life-saving services available at St. Luke’s. Along with the new hybrid OR and electrophysiology lab, patients can be sure that St. Luke’s offers the highest level of cardiac care.

Employee Spotlight

Courtesy to Patients

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Tom Zuver
Physical Therapist
Rehab Services
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Kristy Kohlman
Manager
Rehab Services

A high school tennis player who had just finished treatment in the Rehab Services Department arrived at the clinic on the day of her tournament with exacerbated symptoms. Because of her pain, the patient was incredibly concerned about her ability to play that day. Tom used his clinical skills to address her symptoms, which effectively reduced her pain and boosted her confidence in her ability to play tennis later that day.

During her treatment, the patient revealed that in addition to her pain, her favorite necklace had become tangled and was unable to be worn. This necklace was very important to her because it had been given to her by a teammate’s mother who had passed from cancer and it had become the patient’s lucky charm. While the patient was finishing her treatment, Tom and Kristy took the time to tediously untangle the necklace. The patient was ecstatic that she would be able to wear it to her match. Thanks to Tom and Kristy, the patient left the clinic receiving patient-centered care with compassion, staples of St. Luke’s Mission.

Courtesy to Visitors

Beth Simon, RN
Staff Nurse
Family Birthing Center

Because of her quick actions, Beth was able to aide in saving the life of a child. While walking in the hallway, she witnessed a toddler walking with his grandfather. Suddenly, the boy began to choke on a Cheerio. The grandfather attempted to help the toddler without success. Thankfully, Beth rushed to them and quickly performed rescue measures. The Cheerio popped out and the little boy was safe. However, he clearly was not happy that the stranger was pounding on his back!

Courtesy to Fellow Employees

Teri Thomas
Registered Sonographer
Radiology

After overhearing a conversation in the hallway, Teri gave a family an experience they won’t soon forget. One day, Teri heard a co-worker from Environmental Services mention that she would love to take her grandchildren to the Toledo Zoo, however, she couldn’t afford it.  Without hesitation, Teri purchased a Zoo membership for her fellow employee. St. Luke’s is very fortunate to have kind, compassionate people like Teri on our team.

Courtesy to Medical Staff

Matt Oster
Environmental Services Specialist II
Environmental Services

On several occasions, Matt assisted fellow staff members in the Cath lab without hesitation. During an extremely demanding night in the Heart and Vascular Center, the team was finishing up with their first patient when another STEMI ALERT was paged overhead. Matt recognized that the team was still attending to their first patient and stood by to assist the team with room turnover and prep. This is not the first time Matt has gone out of his way to assist the busy staff. On most nights when he is working, if a STEMI page goes out, Matt ensures that the room is ready and open for the team to begin work. Because of his actions, Matt has given valuable time to patients who are in a situation where every minute counts.