About YRMC

  • The Science of Sound: YRMC Introduces BAHA Implants

    by Community Outreach and Philanthropy, (928) 771-5686, released August 6, 2013 | Aug 30, 2013

    Two Quad Cities’ residents—a 16 year old and an 84 year old—were the first to undergo bone anchored hearing aid (BAHA) implants when the surgery was introduced recently at Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC). “Single sided deafness, or S-S-D, affects people of all ages,” said Derek K. Hewitt, MD, MPH, Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeon at YRMC. “This kind of deafness doesn’t respond well to hearing aids, which are designed to amplify sound.”

    Dr. Hewett displays the tools used by BAHA implantsYRMC—the only hospital in western Yavapai County to offer BAHA implants—worked with Dr. Hewitt and Mark Strasser, MD, to prepare for the procedure’s introduction. BAHA implants have successfully restored hearing to people with SSD for decades.

    “Now that this procedure is available in our community, people can work with a local physician, undergo the procedure at YRMC and remain close to home for follow-up care,” said Jeannie Dew, RN, Director of Surgical Services, YRMC West in Prescott.

    BAHA implants tap the body’s natural capacity to conduct sound. While conventional hearing aids amplify sound, the BAHA implant bypasses portions of the ear to send sound through the skull to the cochlea (inner ear) of the person’s normal hearing ear. The tiny hair cells inside the cochlea then change the sound vibrations into electrical impulses, which travel to the brain and allow the BAHA recipient to experience sound.

    “The BAHA allows people to re-gain 360-degree sound awareness,” said Dew. “It’s like going from mono to stereo for people.”

    During the approximately 30-minute procedure, Dr. Hewitt implants a titanium prosthesis with a small “abutment” into the patient’s skull, behind the ear. The abutment—which is just visible outside the skin—is covered with a healing cap that is removed a week after the surgery.

    As required by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Dr. Hewitt waits three months after the procedure to place and activate the sound processor. The sound processor is snapped onto the abutment and transmits sound vibrations through the titanium abutment, then through the skull to the patient’s normal hearing ear. This allows the person to hear.

    “It’s a great thing for these people to hear again,” Dr. Hewitt said.

  • Sound Management and Performance Lead to Upgraded Bond Rating and Savings for Yavapai Regional Medical Center

    by Community Outreach and Philanthropy, (928) 771-5686, released July 23, 2013 | Aug 30, 2013

    Moody’s Investor Service has upgraded Yavapai Regional Medical Center’s (YRMC’s) investment grade bond rating to Baa1 from Baa2. YRMC’s performance outlook is stable.

    YRMC’s Baa1 rating is based on strong performance metrics that include:

    • A strong market share of 75%;
    • Good volume growth with combined inpatient admissions and observation stays up 5.6% in the three years through December 31, 2012;
    • Strong and consistent operating performance and cash flow margin; and
    • Minimal indirect debt.

    The stable performance outlook reflects Moody’s assessment that YRMC will continue to produce strong operating results.

    “At a time when credit downgrades are more common than upgrades, it’s reassuring to know that YRMC is standing on solid financial ground,” states Tim Barnett, President and Chief Executive Officer, Yavapai Regional Medical Center. “Our strong bond rating is a reflection of the excellent relationship YRMC has with the communities we serve.”

    Healthy Rating Leads to Bond Refinancing

    Following the positive financial news from Moody’s, YRMC was able to refinance bonds that were issued in 2003 to pay for major healthcare expansion projects, including the construction of YRMC East in Prescott Valley. By refinancing these long-term bonds, YRMC will realize a significant savings of $6.3 million over the next 20 years.

    “The lower interest rates today compared to when the original bonds were issues in 2003 made it very attractive to refinance,” states Brian Hoefle, Chief Financial Officer, Yavapai Regional Medical Center. “With all of the changes in healthcare today, we always go the extra mile to find ways to reduce our expenditures so that we can add new healing services for the community. Refinancing the bonds is just another example of YRMC’s commitment to provide affordable, high-quality healthcare to our region.”

  • Hyperbaric Oxygen Chambers Help Patients Heal Close to Home

    by Community Outreach and Philanthropy, (928) 771-5686, released June 24, 2013 | Aug 30, 2013

    YRMC Launches Northern Arizona’s First Hyperbaric Medicine Program

    The Advanced Wound Care Center at Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC) recently launched Northern Arizona’s first Hyperbaric Medicine program.

    “The purpose of hyperbaric oxygen therapy is to repair and rebuild,” said YRMC’s Greg Mann, MS, CHT, Director, Advanced Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine.

    YRMC’s two new hyperbaric chambers—the core of the Hyperbaric Medicine program—are already improving the lives of many area residents. Located in YRMC’s recently expanded Advanced Wound Care Center, 3262 N. Windsong Drive in Prescott Valley, the hyperbaric chambers allow Northern Arizona residents to stay close to home for treatments.

    “This is important because hyperbaric therapy can last two hours a day for up to six weeks,” Mann said.

    YRMC’s “monoplace” hyperbaric chambers are designed for one person. They’re pressurized with pure oxygen that the patient breathes directly. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy temporarily increases the amount of oxygen the blood can carry to injured tissue. This promotes healing and fights infection for a diverse list of conditions, including:

    • bone infections;
    • burns;
    • diabetic ulcers;
    • embolisms (blockages in the bloodstream);
    • non-healing wounds;
    • radiation tissue damage; and
    • other conditions.

    The tube-shaped hyperbaric chambers are 34 inches in diameter and 7-feet long. The chambers include clear acrylic which allows patients to see out during treatment sessions. During these sessions, patients are continuously monitored by YRMC’s nurses and therapists.

    “We’re very cognizant of both patient comfort and patient safety,” said Mann. “We talk about the importance of wearing 100 percent cotton clothing during hyperbaric therapy sessions. We teach patients how to clear their ears as the air pressure increases in the chamber. We do everything we can to prepare people for the therapy sessions and to reduce any anxiety.”

    Physicians involved with YRMC’s Hyperbaric Medicine program are certified in hyperbaric oxygen therapy by the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society while nurses and therapists are certified by the National Board of Diving and Hyperbaric Medical Technology. Certification means these professionals have participated in comprehensive training that covers the physiology of hyperbaric therapy, its side effects, how to recognize patients who could benefit from hyperbaric therapy and more. Additionally, the Hyperbaric Medicine team collaborates with other YRMC healthcare professionals, emphasizing healthy habits that complement the healing therapy. For example, diabetes educators work with patients to discuss the importance of controlling blood sugar levels.

    “We look at the whole person, including his or her nutritional status and lifestyle habits,” Mann said. “Eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise and not smoking, they’re all important to the healing process.”

    A physician’s order is required for outpatient hyperbaric oxygen therapy. For more information, contact Greg Mann at (928) 771-4788.

  • NASA Anti-Gravity Treadmill Allows Patients, Athletes and Fitness Enthusiasts to “Moonwalk” at YRMC

    by Community Outreach and Philanthropy, (928) 771-5686, released May 14, 2013 | Aug 30, 2013

    Whether you’re recovering from orthopedic surgery, undergoing therapy to reduce the side effects of Parkinson’s disease, or preparing to run a marathon, Yavapai Regional Medical Center’s (YRMC’s) AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill may be in your future.

    “The AlterG rehabilitation treadmill incorporates technology that was developed by NASA to help astronauts compensate for the effects of weightlessness in space,” said Rich Tenney, PT, DPT, PRC, Physical Therapist at YRMC.

    Like many NASA innovations, the AlterG has applications beyond its original purpose. In the medical setting, the AlterG has become a major part of rehabilitation for a variety of conditions. The Quad Cities’ only AlterG was introduced recently at YRMC’s Wellness Center at YRMC West, 930 Division Street in Prescott.

    AlterG NASA Anti-Gravity Treadmill

    “The Alter G can unload up to 80 percent of the patient’s body weight, simulating a gravity environment that is similar to walking on the moon’s surface,” Tenney said. “When you decrease the pull of gravity on the body, there’s less impact, tension and stress on the body’s joints and tissues when standing, walking or running. The AlterG offers our patients the opportunity to build muscle, increase their endurance and move without pain.”

    How does the AlterG work? It uses differential air pressure to unload up to 80 percent of an individual’s body weight in precise 1 percent increments. Before this process begins, the patient dons a pair of comfortable shorts—similar to bicycle shorts—over his or her clothing. Next, the patient steps into the treadmill’s air chamber where the shorts are zipped to the casing. This creates an air-tight seal. Air then fills the chamber as it unloads the designated percentage of the patient’s body weight.

    “The AlterG reduces the stress of weight on the body, similar to what we experience in pool therapy, but with less risk for infection,” Tenney said. “The AlterG also more closely matches the environment in which we live: air rather than water. I’ve seen a patient who had extreme difficulty walking with an assistive device, walking on her own—and without pain— while using the AlterG. It’s incredible.”

    The AlterG enhances rehab after sports-related injuries such as tendonitis, ACL repairs, and total joint replacements. It can be used to treat people with balance and movement dysfunction resulting from stroke, Parkinson’s disease, or other neurologic disorders. The AlterG can also be used to decrease the pressure on the spine following back surgery. This allows the patient to rehab and build core strength with less pain and discomfort.

    “For example, a patient may be able to walk or run on the AlterG without pain at 50 percent of their body weight,” said Tenney. “We work from this, gradually increasing the patient’s body weight on the AlterG until they can walk or run at 100 percent of their body weight without pain.”

    Athletes also use the Alter G to reduce the frequency of injuries, improve their fitness and develop muscle coordination with less impact on the body. People interested in learning more about the AlterG Antigravity Treadmill may contact the YRMC Wellness Center at (928) 771-5131.