By Martha Nottingham (Reprinted from the 3/19/2013 edition of the Senior Citizens’ News)

In a previously submitted article for this publication, Braxton County Memorial Hospital’s role as a Critical Access Hospital (CAH) was briefly summarized. By continuing to maintain this designation, initially obtained in the year 2000, our small community healthcare facility experiences greater financial stability; although, there are limitations in the services that can be provided. Franklin D. Roosevelt was quoted as saying, “The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith.” With this thought in mind, we will focus on the possibilities available at BCMH rather than the limitations. The following attests to the success of our Swing Bed program as three individuals overcame physical limitations with the assistance of our compassionate staff. 

Having undergone extensive surgery involving a complete knee replacement in March 2009, Betty Frame was admitted to BCMH as a Swing Bed patient. She no longer required acute care following her surgery, yet a skilled need still existed for Physical Therapy. Betty was one of BCMH’s original nurses and she commented, “Nurses make the worst patients, but coming back to Braxton County Memorial was more like coming home.” During her stay at BCMH, Betty had to undergo comprehensive physical therapy provided by Gassaway Glenville Physical Therapy Specialists (GGPTS). She said, “Kevin and his staff were really nice - no frowning, growling or grumbling here.” (Pictured left) Clinical Director of GGPTS, Kevin Boring, MPT, remembered Betty stating, “She was a pleasure to work with; she was motivated and wanted to get better.” He adds, “Betty is exactly the type of patient that benefits from a Swing Bed program - someone who requires constant rehabilitation and therapy at least twice daily. We were able to work with Betty multiple times per day with wonderful results.”

Recovering from a fall and subsequent knee surgery, Rosalie M. Lough was transferred to BCMH as a Swing Bed patient in May 2009. She commented, “I was in a special skilled unit at Ruby Memorial after a steel bar was put in my knee, but I wanted to come home to Braxton County Memorial.” Thus, her friend, Jim McQuain, Executive Vice President at the Bank of Gassaway, was consulted. Uncertain as to the procedures required for such a transfer, Jim called Ben Vincent, BCMH Administrator, for direction. BCMH Social Services became involved and after communicating with Ruby Memorial, Rosalie was transferred to BCMH for comprehensive physical therapy sessions provided by GGPTS as a Swing Bed patient. “I didn’t want to go to a nursing home for rehabilitation,” Rosalie explained. “Dr. Russ Stewart is my personal physician and Kevin has worked on me from head to toe and has never let me down. He knows that I’ll try; and I have faith in both of them. That’s what we have in Braxton County, friends that care about each other. It’s about community and not about making money.” Kevin says, “The Swing Bed program is perfect for patients like Rosalie who had surgery elsewhere but wanted to be closer home where friends can visit frequently.” (Rosalie is pictured with Dr. Russ Stewart above.)

Imogene K. Clutter is our third success story. Following her knee surgery in July 2011, Imogene had requested that she be transferred to BCMH as a Swing Bed patient in order to continue her healing process and receive physical therapy treatment ‘close to home’. Kevin conducted an evaluation on Saturday so that therapy initiated at Stonewall Jackson Memorial would be uninterrupted. Imogene remembers, “They came everyday while I was in the hospital at BCMH and they were at my home three days a week.” Kevin explains, “After receiving a physician referral, we develop an individual treatment program for each patient with a goal of getting them more functional as soon as possible. The Swing Bed program allows patients to receive comprehensive therapy while in the hospital setting.” Imogene’s orthopedist, Dr. Sickles of the Weston Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Clinic, was unfamiliar with the program at first yet he stated, “I am very pleased with the rehab provided at BCMH. This hospital can be proud of the service it provides the community and I will refer future patients for continued care. I am aware of the wonderful, attentive care they receive and Kevin Boring does great work.” Imogene says, “It was convenient for my family to visit because of the short drive; and my neighbors and friends from church could come everyday.”  She was so pleased with her stay at BCMH in addition to the physical therapy treatment she continued to receive in her home that she told Dr. Sickles she wanted to come back to BCMH for rehab when she had the other knee replaced. (Imogene is pictured visiting with her neighbor and longtime friend Joyce Duckworth, CMA, prior to her follow-up appointment with Dr. Stewart.)

At BCMH we acknowledge our limitations in areas such as Intensive Care Units and Specialty Services; however, we are truly thankful for the ability to meet the needs of our patients by ‘Caring for you close to Home’. Special appreciation is extended to Betty Frame, Rosalie Lough and Imogene Clutter for allowing us to share their success stories and to all those who help us focus on the possibilities…  For additional information regarding Swing Bed services at Braxton County Memorial Hospital, call (304) 364-5156.                                                                                                               

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