Henry County Medical Center Introduces Medical Students to Board & Community; Dr. Chandler Updates Board on Orthopedics Center of Excellence

CUTLINE 1:  Pictured is Dr. Blake Chandler, Orthopedic Surgeon with West TN Bone and Joint, presenting to the HCMC Board of Trustees Thursday night at their board meeting.  Dr. Chandler showcased the Orthopedics Robotics Program at HCMC along with the Mako robot to the board.

CUTLINE 2:  Pictured are HCMC Board of Trustees, Medical Staff, and Partners, mingling with the eight medical students who began their third year clinical rotations at HCMC this month.  The dinner was held Thursday night prior to the Board of Trustees meeting.

Paris, TN – Henry County Medical Center welcomed eight medical students at the monthly Board of Trustees dinner prior to the Board meeting on Thursday night.  The eight medical students are from Lincoln Memorial University – DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM) in Harrogate, Tennessee and William Carey University – College of Osteopathic Medicine located in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.  Amanda Finely, DO FACOI FACP introduced the students to both the board members and community physicians and gave an overview of the program at the dinner.

The students are from all over the country including Iowa, Florida, Ohio, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Jackson, TN.  Each student went through the placement process at their school and were matched with Henry County Medical Center for their third year clinical rotations.

“By having medical students here in a rural setting, instead of doing rotations in an urban area, gives them a chance to see how rewarding rural healthcare can be and hopefully we instill in them a desire and passion to serve rural communities in this field at a time when access to care in these communities continues to dwindle,” said Dr. Finley, HCMC Internal Medicine Hospitalist and Director of Medical Education.

“The medical student program is a great opportunity for us to recruit physicians for our community and it is important that we are available and stay in touch with them,” said Dr. Scott Whitby, HCMC Board Chairman.  “The best scenario is for students to want to come back to smaller communities like ours.  A great example of this is Blake Chandler.”

Physicians like Blake Chandler, MD, Orthopedic Surgeon with West TN Bone & Joint, are the driving force in the success rural facilities see when physicians support programs that make a difference for patients and result in growth at a time that many facilities face closure.  Dr. Chandler brought the orthopedic robotics program to HCMC and was the catalyst for our Joint Center of Excellence.

Dr. Chandler, who has served HCMC for 20 years, presented with Neely Ashby, CNO, on the growth of the program and his personal achievement of over 500 robotics cases in the four years of the robotics program at HCMC.  The orthopedics robotics program has surpassed original forecasts with almost 1,000 robotic hips and knees performed at HCMC.  Drs. Chandler, Cutright, and Stephens along with the dedicated orthopedics staff at HCMC have accomplished a milestone for the organization and have truly moved us forward because of the strategies taken to be one of the first to bring this program to TN.  HCMC was the third hospital in the state to have an orthopedic robotics program and Dr. Chandler is now the third physician in the state to have completed 500 robotic orthopedic surgeries.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank the board for being in the forefront and allowing me and supporting me to bring this technology to my hospital,” said Dr. Chandler.  “It is an amazing advancement and we are so very lucky to have it.”

Ashby discussed the results of our orthopedics program since August 3, 2015, when Dr. Chandler did the first hip and knee case with the Mako robot.  With upgrades to the robotic software along with advances like Exparel, Q-Ball, and pre-admission testing along with a dedicated joint class prior to surgery, HCMC has seen a reduction in readmissions in the program, less hip dislocations, better quality results as well as same day outpatient knee surgeries and reduced length of stay.  Early mobility of patients has improved from 20% to 95% and functional assessments on the day of surgery have improved from 31% to 90%.  And, we are a Joint Center of Excellence, accredited by the JCAHO.

“The hospital took a chance on a piece of equipment and it has set us apart from other hospitals,” said James Travis, HCMC Board of Trustees member.  “Kudos to leadership for making us competitive and making our hospital stand out among all others.”

“We have seen that if our physicians are behind the projects and services we provide, we will be successful,” said Lisa Casteel, CEO.  “We have programs like robotics, the hyperbaric service, and the wound care center that are successful thanks to the leadership buy in, and support of our physicians.”

With both of these programs being featured, the HCMC Board of Trustees dispensed with several of the scheduled reports.  Dale Guffey, CFO, discussed the financials for the month of July, the first month of fiscal year 2020, showing a loss of over $500,000 consolidated.  Surgeries and some of the other services were below budget along with higher professional fees, causing the results to be negative for the month.  The board approved bad debts in the amount of $642,541 for the month along with capital equipment purchase of $139, 841.

Additionally, the Board of Trustees made a presentation to Kelly Winston, Executive Assistant to Casteel for receiving her Certified Healthcare Administrative Professional (cHAP) certification from the Association for Healthcare Administrative Professionals (AHCAP).

To learn more about the growth at Henry County Medical Center, go to our website at www.hcmc-tn.org and read about all the services we offer to care for our community.  The next Board of Trustees meeting will be September 26 at 5:30 p.m. in the HCMC Board Room.

About Henry County Medical Center

Located in Paris, TN, Henry County Medical Center is a progressive, integrated healthcare organization committed to serving the healthcare needs of Henry County and the adjoining region. Including a 142-bed hospital and 7 other facilities, the medical center provides a variety of outpatient services, as well as inpatient care. Henry County Medical Center is a county-owned and operated nonprofit institution. For more information: www.hcmc-tn.org.