Back in “the day,” when a hockey player was checked head-first into the boards or hit his head hard on the ice causing dizziness, nausea, headaches, blurred vision, and other symptoms, he was just told to go to the bench for a couple of minutes and “shake it off.”
After all, what value was that player to the team if he couldn’t play?
More recently, there have been numerous cases of football players with documented head trauma caused by helmet-to-helmet contact, illegal blocks, hits from the rear and more which have not only ended promising careers but in some cases have led to severe dementia and life-long disabilities.
Even when state-of-the-art equipment is sized and fitted properly and used as intended, head trauma cannot be completely eliminated making parents wonder if little Johnny should be allowed to play football or baseball or if Susie should participate in soccer.
Concussions, also known as traumatic brain injuries (TBI), can occur in any sport or physical activity not just football and hockey. Recent studies have shown a huge increase in the number of TBIs that have been documented in soccer, baseball, softball, basketball, and wrestling among other sports. As children and athletes of all ages are playing longer and harder than ever before with the emphasis on participation and winning, the potential for a TBI continues to grow as well.
How can a parent be assured Johnny or Susie won’t be affected by a TBI?
There isn’t a 100 percent guarantee they won’t but a program has been instituted in Adams County school systems which protect the long-term health of athletes and nationally this program is proving to be very valuable in its effectiveness.
Known at the ImPACT Concussion Management Model (ImPACT stands for Immediate Post Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing), trainers at the schools are being educated to provide the highest level of care for athletes of all ages.
In Adams County, Dr. Kate Heimann of the Decatur Family Medicine office is a certified ImPACT physician (the only such provider in Adams County) which goes hand-in-hand with her background in college where she received her bachelor’s degree in neurophysiology at Purdue and ImPACT is an industry leader in concussion management as it’s trusted by teams and organizations around the world.
Dr. Heimann said the ImPACT program uses computerized base line testing program to identify at-risk athletes and puts standards in place to allow the trainers to provide a framework for the overall management of a concussion. The age of the person suffering a TBI has a direct affect on treatment since children and teenagers are more at risk because the brain is still developing and they do not recover as quickly as an adult.
What makes ImPACT more effective is how it uses neurocognitive tests on athletes to evaluate an injury. While it might take as long as 20-30 minutes for serious complications to develop from a TBI (such as bleeding in the brain known as a subdural hematoma), trainers and coaches will follow a concussion plan that initially includes an on-field exam for the ABCs (airway, breathing and circulation) of an athlete. They’ll take into consideration the characteristics of the injury and the type and severity as well.
Athletes who have suffered a TBI generally report symptoms such as dizziness, balance problems, blurred vision, headaches, nausea, feeling sluggish, or having sensitivity to light or noise.
Dr. Heimann said the base line testing that will be done on athletes prior to the season will help trainers assess the athlete better. Due to brain development and age of the athlete, following a concussion the athlete between the ages of 14-18 is usually withheld from competition for seven days while a college athlete is about five days, and a professional player around three days.
The Decatur physician stressed that a student who suffers a concussion needs “brain rest.” That means no overstimulation which could come from any number of sources such as watching television, listening to headphones, using an IPOD, reading, even going to school. Dr. Heimann said the schools are on-board with this theory as well since they want their students to be alert and healthy to be in an environment conducive to learning.
“Think about the injured student who goes home and wants to play a video game. That takes a good deal of intense concentration on their part which means the brain is being overloaded with activity. We need to provide something different that allows the brain to rest and not be over stimulated,” Dr. Heimann said.
She continued to note that “the general connection is that someone who is hit in the head and is not treated could have a bad result, sometimes resulting in a life-long problem. We don’t want parents to be so fearful of head injuries that they don’t allow their children to participate in athletics or extra-curricular activities but at an early age, the brain is delicate. Early treatment and education concerning signs and symptoms of a TBI is crucial.”
Dr. Heimann’s office currently has a pamphlet available for athletes concerning those signs and symptoms and passed them out during the recent physicals offered to athletes from Adams Central, Bellmont, and South Adams in their office. “We want to work with these kids early on so there aren’t any of them who fall through the cracks and don’t get the treatment they need,” she emphasized.
Several rules of thumb were listed by Dr. Heimann for athletes who may have sustained a TBI from activity.
“These kids should be held out and not be allowed to return to play that same day. There should never be pressure on a child to play after being hurt, whether it be from a coach, teammate, fan, or parent. These kids should be closely monitored for one to two hours after an injury occurs and there needs to be documentation written down as to how the injury occurred (should delayed symptoms occur later on). Athletes of any age or level may be reluctant to admit or address the possibility of a TBI because initial effects are so subtle or because they may want to return to their normal activities as soon as possible,” she said.
Less than 10 percent of sports injuries to the head will result in a loss of consciousness and Dr. Heimann further noted that an untreated TBI can easily affect on-field performance as well as school work, memory retention, and the child’s ability to focus and pay attention.
ImPACT statistics show an estimated 4-5 million concussions occur annually in the United States, including an emerging trend in younger middle school athletes. As a result, many states have enacted legislation (as did Indiana during the last session of the General Assembly, sponsored by State Senator Travis Holdman of Markle) that drives greater accountability for management of concussions.
Parents who feel their child may have suffered a concussion or TBI should call Dr. Heimann at 728-3848. AMH also has the benefit now of having neurologist Dr. Yu Liu on staff locally to assist with treatment of symptoms as well.
“We all have the same goal and that is to provide a safe and healthy environment for our kids to participate,” concluded Dr. Heimann.
A free skin cancer screening clinic will be offered on Monday, June 2 in cooperation between the Adams Memorial Hospital and Fort Wayne Dermatology it was announced today by hospital officials. A second free screening date will also be offered in September of this year as an Adams County Relay for Life event.
The clinic will be held in Suite B of the Physician’s Office Building at 815 High Street and will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The screenings will be performed by FWD nurse practitioner Laura Baker, a native of Decatur who also has weekly office hours in the Physician’s Office Building on Mondays.
FWD officials said patients who would like to be screened should call the hospital at 724-2145, ext. 4397 to schedule an appointment for the special event. The exams will also take a few minutes and those seen that day must have an appointment.
FWD offers a wide variety of dermatology services to patients with wrinkles, skin cancers, warts, rosacea, psoriasis, rashes, moles, acne and other skin disorders. To make an appointment for another issue beside the skin cancer screening, patients may call the FWD office at 888-567-3376 and request a time in the Decatur Clinic.
Adams Memorial Hospital’s Behavioral Health Department has announced it will begin providing management services to Jay County Hospital’s Gero-Psychiatric Department. The program with continue to operate under the name of Life Bridges, and is a 10 bed inpatient behavioral health unit. Adams Memorial submitted a management contract proposal to Jay County Hospital in early March of this year, and competed with several other outside companies who also specialize in geriatric behavioral health services. Adams Memorial Hospital was recently awarded the management contract, and will begin providing management services in August of 2014. Life Bridges was previously managed by a company outside of Indiana.
According to JoEllen Eidam, CEO of Adams Memorial Hospital, “AMH will bring a strong understanding of rural issues to the Jay County community as well as vast clinical experience in daily operations of the unit. Dr. Samir Ishak will serve as Medical Director of the unit, and Dr. John Gibson will take over the management of daily operations. Their knowledge and experience will assist and guide in many areas, and make Adams Memorial an excellent choice in providing gero-psychiatric services.”
Dr.Ishak, and Dr. Gibson bring over 30 years of experience in providing geriatric behavioral health services, and both currently provide those same services to Adams Memorial Hospital’s Behavioral Health Unit. Dr. Ishak has been employed as Medical Director at AMH’s unit since 2005 and is Board Certified in Psychiatry, while Dr. Gibson has served as Department Director of AMH’s Behavioral Health Department for the last 13 years.
The Life Bridges Unit will continue to provide treatment to geriatric patients in the areas of depression, dementia, anxiety, and substance abuse for the elderly population. Any treatment questions should be directed to Dr. John Gibson at 260-724-2145 x3404.
Adams Memorial Hospital Chief Executive Officer JoEllen Eidam recently announced the hospital has added the private practice of Geneva physician Dr. Paul D. Steenburg to its growing list of hospital-owned family practice physicians in Adams County.
The transfer became effective April 1 and Eidam said office hours for Dr. Steenburg on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday will remain the same. The office will be closed on Wednesday. The staff of Dr. Steenburg will remain intact with the exception that his wife, Lynn, has retired after 23 years of service.
John Martinsky, director of physician practices for the hospital, noted “we are pleased to have Dr. Steenburg as a hospital employee. Although his office location was originally built and is owned by the hospital, we look forward to being able to increase medical services by having Dr. Steenburg as an employee. Southern Adams County has always been an integral part of the hospital’s vision for providing top level health care.”
The hospital plans to renovate Dr. Steenburg’s office within the next month or so and Martinsky said that will improve the overall layout of the structure, adding “we want to make accessibility to health care as easy as possible for our patients in southern Adams County.”
Patients will still make appointments with Dr. Steenburg by calling the same office number is 368-7370. The hospital will begin to handle the billing for Dr. Steenburg and medical records transcription work will now go through the hospital as well.
Having Dr. Steenburg as a hospital employee will make it easier to have additional equipment at the office according to Martinsky. “Access to capital is crucial because it’s less expensive for the hospital to buy items as a group than it would be for one physician to do so. He’ll have more resources now to serve his patients with so it’s a win-win situation for all involved,” he concluded.
The Decatur Behavioral Health Services Outpatient Office will be relocating effective Monday, March 31st from their current location on High Street to the Adams Medical Office Complex located on the Adams Memorial Hospital Campus behind the Strickler Cancer Institute. This is the same building that Decatur Family Medicine is currently located in.
The new offices will be located in a private suite at the back portion of the building. Counselors included in the move are Dee Diehl, Emily Porter, Baldemar Silva, and Carrie Binegar as well as Rick Cain, Nurse Practitioner. Behavioral Health Services is being moved to the back section of the building that was originally completed, but has never been used. Patients are advised to register/check-in at the desk located at the back of the building right outside the new offices.
Counseling services offered by Behavioral Health Services in Berne will not be affected by this move and they will continue to see patients at their office on West Main Street in Berne.
Behavioral Health Outpatient Counseling Services can be reached by calling 728-3906.
For More Information, Contact: John Martinsky, director of physician services, 724-2145, ext. 1450
The first phase of moving physician offices in the Adams Memorial Hospital Medical Office Complex has been completed with the physicians of Decatur Family Medicine--Drs. Kathleen Heimann, Jessamine Hippensteel, and Crystal Jencks--switching from one side of the building to the other on December 30.
When the building was first constructed by the hospital two years ago, it was decided to finish only one half side of the interior structure but with the addition of new physicians and changing locations of services being offered, the AMH Board of Trustees authorized construction work last fall to complete the other half.
Thus, the Decatur Family Medicine practice now is located in the new section of the recently-completed building (finished over a month ahead of schedule) and the office gives the doctors much needed additional space to enhance patient care. The new space houses eight patient exam rooms as well as procedure rooms for fetal monitoring of obstetric patients.
AMH director of physician services John Martinsky pointed out “more room was needed for the Decatur Family Medicine practice since the original group was just Drs. Jencks and Hippensteel. When Dr. Heimann came on board last year, it soon became evident we needed to increase their service capacity.”
Located next to the original DFM office was the office of Adams General Surgery. Originally staffed by Dr. Anthony Nigliazzo, the office now includes Dr. Lindsay Hardley and nurse practitioner Felicia Colclesser and they have also seen their practice increase in numbers. They will be staying in the same location as where they are now, but with some modifications of the old DFM office, they will be assuming that space as well to take over the majority of the left side of the building.
When that work is done (estimated date is early March), orthopaedic surgeon Dr. David Coats and his physician assistant Erin Whitman will bring their orthopaedic practice along with the AMH Sports Medicine Clinic to the surgery wing of the building. They are currently located in the Paul and Kathryn Strickler Oncology Center.
Another facet to the renovations and additions will be the presence of a central reception desk for patients to report at upon their arrival. Martinsky emphasized this site will greatly improve patient flow throughout the building.
Once the work for the Adams General Surgery is done and Adams Memorial Orthopaedics has been moved, several services offered in the hospital will be moved to the Strickler Oncology Center.
Neurologist Dr. Yu Liu, internist Dr. A. Baher, and physician’s assistant Brad Boyle (the latter is in charge of the AMH Diabetes Pump Clinic) will move from the third floor of the hospital to the Oncology Center on the space currently occupied by Dr. Coats.
Another change that will be accomplished within the next two weeks will find the Decatur out-patient counseling service of the Behavioral Health Services moving to the back portion of the Adams Medical Office Complex. Counselors included in the move are Dee Diehl, Emily Porter, Baldemar Silva, Mary Lou Scheumann, and Carrie Binegar and they will be in a section of the building that was originally completed but has never been used. Their office is currently off High Street.
Counseling services offered by Behavioral Health Services in Berne will not be affected by this move and they will continue to see patients at their office on W. Main Street, Berne.
All of the physicians in the Adams Medical Complex are hospital employees, currently welcoming new patients and may be reached by calling: Decatur Family Medicine at 72-3843, Adams General Surgery at 728-3982, Adams Memorial Orthopaedics at 728-3900, and Behavioral Health Outpatient Counseling at 728-3906.
In order to better serve patients who need to speak with a representative of the Adams Memorial Hospital financial/business office, hospital officials said extended evening hours will begin starting on January 8.
A hospital release said the cashier’s office, located in middle of the hospital’s first floor foyer, (left of the café entrance) will now be open until 7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays while normal business hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the other four days of the week will remain the same.
Business office manager George Loudenslager noted “the new evening hours will allow us to provide additional customer service and convenience for our community.” Loudenslager also reminded persons that patients may pay hospital bills on line at www.adamshospital.com or may drop payments off at the drop box in the alley adjacent to Decatur City Hall.
The Adams Memorial Hospital will be hosting a new support group for patients who are gluten free in their dietary habits beginning Tuesday, December 10 at 7 p.m. in Decatur Room 1 at the hospital.
The group will discuss educational information on how to live a gluten-free lifestyle and will provide recipes for their members to make their cooking an easier job in the kitchen.
Kris Bischoff, R.D., CDE and Becky Goble of the hospital will lead the support group and will be performing a survey to see what participants would like to see from such as support group.
A hospital press release noted that persons who are interested in the support group but who cannot attend the first meeting or would like to complete a survey should call Goble at 724-2145, extension 1421. Persons may also email Goble at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Adams Heritage Nursing Home in Monroeville has once again been honored by the U.S. News and World Report publication by being included in their annual “Best Nursing Homes in the United States” list.
USNWR used data published by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in January 2013 which ranked nursing homes throughout the country and in that survey Adams Heritage was listed as a “five-star” facility. Only 17 percent of nursing homes in America are recognized as “five-star” facilities.
Adams Heritage Nursing Home administrator Maria Diaz says the honor comes with a lot of hard work and dedication from “an awesome staff that has many years of experience in long-term care.”
Diaz said the latest survey by the Indiana State Department of Health was an intensive exam of the facility that looked at policy compliance, cleanliness and upkeep of the facility, food service, and quality of life issues. Nursing homes are inspected annually by the ISDH on an unannounced basis.
“The State comes in and examines the charts of residents checking issues such as medication management, adequacy of infection control, proper skin care and how the staff interacts with them. To receive five stars in the CMS rating, the nursing staff has to provide at least four and a half hours of care a day to each resident, including about 43 minutes from a registered nurse. And last year, CMS also began displaying the number of hours residents receive from physical therapists (therapists from Adams Memorial Hospital visit Adams Heritage regularly to provide such services),” Diaz said.
One of the strengths that Diaz said the nursing home has is the strong family involvement of residents.
“We encourage family members to come visit their loved ones often and to be involved. I have an open door policy to communicate with family members so they are involved with the care of their loved one. Monroeville is a very close community and the people here are very involved with our residents. When the Village of Heritage (as it was originally called) first opened 13 years ago it was because of the demand of area residents who wanted such a facility in their town. The majority of residents at Adams Heritage now are from the southeastern area of Allen County,” Diaz added.
Adams Heritage is now in the process of changing to a system known as Answers on Demand which is switching nursing personnel from doing paper charting to electronic charting via computer.
“This is going to save our staff valuable time, time that can be spent giving them even more care and attention. It will also be a more accurate system of documentation for us,” Diaz said.
Adams Memorial Hospital recently completed its hook-up of the communication system with a fiber optic tower to the nursing home giving the facility wireless capabilities throughout the building. Regular maintenance of the building is performed with new carpet having just been installed throughout the 61-bed facility.
“No one ever wants to have to place a loved one in a nursing facility,” Diaz said, but concluded by adding “our staff cares for and treats our residents like family. We want family members to know their loved ones are safe and secure here. It’s just a home away from home for them.”
Congratulations to the Adams Heritage Staff for all their hard work and dedication in meeting the mission of Adams Health Network, which is “Serving with Compassion and Excellence.”
Officials with the Adams Memorial Hospital announced today that for the convenience of their patients, payments for hospital bills may soon be deposited at the drop box located in the alley adjacent to City Hall in downtown Decatur.
Currently, residents receiving city water bills may utilize the drop box to pay their monthly bill, thus saving the cost of a postage stamp. AMH officials said Decatur Mayor John Schultz agreed to let the hospital use the drop box and payments for hospital bills may be placed there effective March 12th.
Hospital officials said no cash payments should be placed in the deposit envelope and there should be something on the outside of the envelope marking it as a hospital payment.
The hospital also accepts payments online at www.adamshospital.com, in person at the cashier’s desk in the hospital lobby or via the mail.
A grant received from the Indiana Breast Cancer Awareness Trust (IBCAT) will allow the Adams Memorial Hospital to provide free mammograms to low income women in the area it was announced today by IBCAT and AMH officials.
Beth A. Knapp, executive director of IBCAT, said the mission of her group is to increase awareness and improve access to breast cancer screening and diagnosis throughout Indiana. IBCAT grants are 100 percent funded through the purchase of specialty license plates for breast cancer awareness in Indiana.
AMH radiology director Julie Zimmerman noted women who exceed the 150 percent federal poverty level are eligible to receive a free mammogram at the hospital along with a diagnostic reading by a board-certified radiologist. Women should call the AMH Central Scheduling Department at 724-2145, ext. 1507 to see if they qualify and to schedule the exam.
An IBCAT press release noted over $2 million has been distributed since 2002 in competitively-awarded grants for screening mammograms for women in medically underserved population areas in Indiana.
Knapp added that persons who purchase the specialty license plate for breast cancer awareness may take $25 of the $40 fee on their taxes as a charitable deduction, as the laws allow. Plates may be purchased for use on passenger cars, trucks, recreational vehicles up to 11,000 pounds, and motorcycles.
Adams Memorial Hospital offers 2 locations for confidential outpatient counseling services in Decatur and Bern. The Resource Centers were developed with privacy and professionalism in mind. Services are available for children, adolescents, adults and seniors. Counseling is provided by therapists and social workers. The Resource Centers specialize in Anger Management, Anxiety Issues, Depression, Family Issues, Eating Disorders, ADHD, Grief/Loss, Alcohol/Drug Issues, and Life Changes. To schedule an appointment in Decatur call 728-3906. To schedule an appointment in Berne call 589-2442.
Freedom From Smoking Classes…
Open to the community. New classes start every 8 weeks. Call John Gibson at 724-2145 x 3404
Court-ordered Tobacco Education Classes…
Offered on an on-going basis. Call John Gibson at 724-2145 x3404 for more information.