MedWatch: Urology Care Close to Home

When looking for medical care, patients would always prefer to be close to home. But when you live in rural northern Michigan, that’s not always the case.

Munson Healthcare is trying to bring more specialists to more hospitals.

In this month’s MedWatch, Michelle Dunaway shows us how that’s reducing travel times and improving care.

Janet Rousse compared it to childbirth, with a knife in your back, a constant pain that had her throwing up.  That pain stemmed from huge kidney stones, something the Lake City woman has dealt with before.

When she got her latest x-ray, she says the stone on her right side was 15 mm and it damaged the tube that went to her bladder. 

She had a stent put in during her first surgery when they removed it in January. Her second surgery was in February to remove the second stone. It was 17 mm.

Both of the surgeries were a success thanks to urologist Dr. Lynne McCormick, a new addition to Munson Healthcare Cadillac Hospital.

Dr. McCormick says, “That’s part of the initiative that the hospital and the Munson system had in bringing me here and that is to be able to cover the need. The hospital has been, unfortunately, having to make sure that patients are cared for, but the need here was larger than the ability to take care of the patients, so patients had to go out to different areas because there’s such a shortage of urologists all across the U.S.”

Finding care close to home was a big deal for Janet, because she says, “I have limited income, so gas-wise, and it makes it more convenient and easier for me to go in and see her and go in for checkups and that kind of thing.”

And aside from being convenient, Janet is more than happy with the care she got.

She says, “I felt at ease. She is very personable, she explained things well and I just had a lot of faith any way and just knowing that things would be ok.”

Dr. McCormick says that care goes beyond the surgery. The ability for patients to have easy access to their specialists is crucial.

“It’s very good because it helps give me the one-on-one ability to reach to patients and to get to know their families, and to get to know their support systems and to help them maintain their disease.” She adds, “Especially patients with cancers and patients with large stone disease like Janet, because patients like that are going to have long-term care and that’s very important because we’re going to need to continue their follow up so the patients don’t get lost in the shuffle.”

For more information on urological services in your community, click here.

Categories: MedWatch