FRANCISCAN MEDICAL SPECIALISTS

Franciscan Medical Specialists and Franciscan Hammond Clinic: Providing More Services for More Patients

2014-03-16T00:00:00Z Franciscan Medical Specialists and Franciscan Hammond Clinic: Providing More Services for More Patients nwitimes.com
March 16, 2014 12:00 am

Patients understand that top-quality health care is essential. But they also know that when travel and extra time are necessary, an appointment or procedure can put a major dent in the calendar. Regularly scheduled checkups for special conditions and health classes for wellness can turn into a burden when they’re not nearby.

Franciscan Alliance Healthcare System recognizes patients’ need for more, easily accessible clinics and board-certified physicians. To answer that need, Franciscan Medical Specialists and Franciscan Hammond Clinic bring the physician to the patients—right in their own community.

Whether the need is for managing a long-term condition like diabetes or rapid care for a sudden illness or injury, Franciscan Medical Specialists and Franciscan Hammond Clinic is bringing more accessible health care to northwest Indiana.

The blossoming gastroenterology department is a great example. Franciscan Hammond Clinic has recently purchased state-of-the-art gastroenterology equipment. This means patients who’ve had to go to Chicago or even Indianapolis to get top-flight care in gastroenterology can now visit Franciscan Hammond Clinic. That’s just one of the ways the organizations are bringing top-rated care to northwest Indiana.

Caring for all patients

Dr. James Cantorna specializes in internal medicine and pediatrics at his office at Franciscan Medical Specialists in Munster. He sees a huge benefit for patients who will have more immediate access to gastroenterology specialty care. “Patients will have access to the newest technologies that used to be only available at university medical centers. Now we can provide those kinds of university-level services within the community.”

Dr. Cantorna said the expanded gastroenterology services demonstrates the organization’s goals of bringing top-rated services to our community. In addition to expanding services, he says another goal is to have a large network of specialty and primary care physicians—including internists and pediatricians—located throughout the communities, available daily for sick and urgent care visits. “With same-day appointments, we can help people avoid the increasingly expensive emergency room visits. It’s much more cost effective to see your doctor in a clinic than it is to see someone in an emergency room.” In the eyes of Franciscan Medical Specialists and Franciscan Hammond Clinic, the focus is all about bringing university-level care and services into the northwest Indiana community.

Wide range of services at Franciscan Medical Specialists

Franciscan Medical Specialists has created patient programs that address health issues facing our community. Some even take into account patients’ personal lifestyle preferences.

For example, diabetics can access the latest development in managing diabetes with a full spectrum of services and monitoring systems. “At Franciscan Medical Specialists, our all-inclusive diabetes treatment center offers a unique and exclusive M3+ program,” says Dr. Alexander Stemer, President of Franciscan Medical Specialists. M3+ is an innovative disease management membership for those recently diagnosed with diabetes or who have difficulty maintaining glycemic control. It does not take the place of the patient's existing medical providers, but offers enhanced care and maximum access to services that help manage diabetes.

In addition to M3+, the organization has recently started a program titled Diabetes in Pregnancy for soon-to-be mothers. This program addresses the unique health concerns of pregnant women with diabetes and women recently diagnosed with gestational diabetes.

Franciscan Medical Specialists can also provide pediatric patients with a board-certified pediatrician who is also a homeopathic doctor. This physician provides homeopathic care for patients who prefer a more natural alternative to traditional pediatric care.

To address the serious issue of lung cancer, there is a lung cancer screening program for current or former smokers, who meet accepted guidelines. This program was developed to help detect lung cancer at an earlier stage when tumors are more effectively treated.

Franciscan Hammond Clinic – Ready to serve day or night

Residents in surrounding communities who need prompt attention for non-life-threatening illness receive quality care at Franciscan Hammond Clinic’s Quick Care Center in St. John, Ind. and at the Urgent Care Center in Munster, Ind., which is open 365 days a year. If patients are experiencing non life-threatening illness or injury, these clinics are a good alternative to emergency rooms. “We pride ourselves on accessibility and the highest quality care,” says Dr. Joselito Navarro, a physician at the Urgent Care Center. “The Urgent Care Center is open 365 days a year and is staffed by at least three certified health care practitioners at any given time.”

Franciscan Hammond Clinic also offers Nurse On-Call, an after-hours service exclusive to Franciscan Hammond Clinic patients. A registered nurse with access to patients’ medical records will work with patients to sort through their symptoms and help them make safe, effective and appropriate healthcare decisions in the evening and during the night.

Prevention and education

The organizations understand that patient education is key to maintaining good health and managing medical conditions, which is why they have created the educational program, Healthy You. Healthy You is a series of free educational seminars that are open to anyone in the community. Healthy You offers an average of three classes each month on a variety of health-related topics, from healthy eating and eye health to diabetes and life-saving skills like CPR and the Heimlich maneuver.

Many physicians, many programs, a wide population of patients cared for: That adds up to more convenience for patients who are valued and treated with individual, attentive care.

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