It’s Wednesday – auction day – in Springville, but Jane W.* has other plans. Starting at 10 a.m., Jane pulls up to the front entrance and uses the valet service to park her car for the day. Jane has used a cane to get around for a few years, and the convenience of the valet is one reason she doesn’t mind her regular visits to Bertrand Chaffee Hospital.
After visiting the registration department to sign in for lab work and imaging tests, Jane heads down the hall to the lab for a series of blood tests recommended by her oncologist. She’ll be seeing her primary care provider later in the day, and the results will be sent to both physicians.
Jane ventures further down the hall towards the Imaging Department. Her oncologist also recommended a chest x-ray, and she will spend the next half-hour with that procedure. Though her specialist is located in the Amherst, Jane has been able to do a surprising amount of the tests, surgical preparation and follow-up at her local hospital. The long trips north have been limited to the cancer surgery itself and in-office consultations with the specialist team.
It’s lunchtime now, and Jane gives her daughter – who works at BCH – a quick call to see if she can take a break. She can, and they eat sandwiches and soup from the coffee shop at the comfortable tables in the lobby.
But Jane is barely halfway through her day at BCH. With some time to spare before her afternoon appointment for a mammogram with the hospital’s new state-of-the-art 3D mammography service, Jane makes her way over to the Jennie B. Her own mother, Gloria, has been a resident at JBR for several years following an injury that required major surgery. Both have lived in Springville all their lives, and for Gloria to remain in her home community for nursing care has been a blessing for her family.
A few minutes before her mammogram, Jane walks back across the campus back to the Imaging Department. After an uneventful mammogram, Jane grabs a cup of coffee at the coffee shop to take her through the rest of the afternoon, placing it in her walker for the ride up the elevator to primary care.
Her appointment at the Primary Care Center with Dr. Heidelberger is one of the last of the afternoon. He reviews the results of her lab work from the morning, before having a discussion about her health conditions and talking through her continuing treatment plan with her oncologist. He makes recommendations for what to do before her next visit in three months.
If ever there were an example of keeping healthcare local, Jane has made it. She has been able to use the hospital’s robust outpatient services and Primary Care Center, and also take comfort that her elderly mother is well cared for at the Jennie B. Richmond Nursing Home.
This is based on an experience of a patient at Bertrand Chaffee Hospital. Names and some details are changed, and this story is used with permission.