Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin took time on Oct. 1 trip to Jonesboro to visit St. Bernards Medical Center.
Administrator Michael K. Givens showed the elected official through the 438-bed medical center. One of the stops was in the St. Bernards Emergency Department, one of the busiest emergency departments in the state. He talked with Martin about renovations that will improve patient flow in the ED, and Martin heard from ED nurses about the highly successful STEMI (ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction) protocol that is in use at St. Bernards for patients with a particular kind of heart attack. The STEMI program involves not only St. Bernards staff members but also now has been shared with first responders and other hospitals in the area to improve outcomes for patients throughout Northeast Arkansas.
Givens also took Martin and a small group accompanying him to the Ben E. Owens Cancer Center and talked about the state-of-the-art technology used by the St. Bernards cancer team in treating patients throughout the region. He showed visitors the new Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanner now in use as well as some of the treatment areas. He also talked about the programs of care offered through the cancer center, the first to be developed in the region.
In addition, Givens took Martin into one of the three cardiac catheterization labs at the St. Bernards Heartcare Center, and Dr. Devi G. Nair, one of two electrophysiologists on staff, talked with visitors about the area’s only dedicated Electrophysiology Lab, explaining some of the unique procedures used there to correct heart rhythm problems.
The tour included a look at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and the secure labor and delivery unit. The Level III NICU was developed in conjunction with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Arkansas Children’s Hospital and is the only such facility in the eastern part of the state. There a specially trained team provides care for premature and sick babies under the direction of neonatologist Dr. Douglas Seglem. The unit allows parents to stay closer to home while their infants need specialized care. It has been open about a year and a half, and its usage has far surpassed projections at the time it was being developed.
Martin was in Jonesboro to attend the annual meeting of the Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce.