Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center takes a team approach to identifying and treating a range of disorders
Approximately 70 million Americans suffer from digestive disorders, ranging from heartburn to colon cancer. Whether common or complex, many diseases of the digestive tract can be effectively treated or prevented. Earlier this year, Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center launched the comprehensive Digestive Health Program to help community members identify, treat and manage digestive conditions.
One Team, Many Specialties
Adventist HealthCare’s program takes a team approach with personalized services to treat a range of digestive issues, from chronic gastrointestinal (GI) and acid-related diseases to GI infectious diseases and cancers. The road begins with Adventist HealthCare’s digestive health nurse navigator, Stephanie Smith.
“Navigators are assigned to patients right at the beginning of their diagnosis, and they’re essentially a personal guide,” Smith says. With one call, the navigator can connect primary care doctors with digestive health experts to coordinate state-of- the-art medical care for GI issues.
Digestive health physicians in Shady Grove Medical Center’s program are board-certified in their specialties. They use the latest techniques and technologies to diagnose and manage everything from common digestive ailments to complex conditions, including:
- Biliary tract disease
- Colorectal cancer
- Functional disorders (constipation, diarrhea, gas)
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Peptic ulcer disease
A Wealth of Resources
Beyond the physicians, other members of the Shady Grove Medical Center team help manage the quality-of-life issues that can come with digestive troubles. Patients can access comprehensive nutrition services to help cope with diet and appetite. An oncology social worker connects patients with community resources such as transportation, financial support programs, home health services and support groups.
At Shady Grove Medical Center, digestive health patients and their families also have access to behavioral health specialists, surgeons, chaplains and cancer researchers. Throughout the treatment process, Smith, the digestive health nurse navigator, will serve as the patient’s advocate and liaison, helping to manage appointments, coordinate services and educate patients and their families.
“We want patients to feel empowered to make really good treatment decisions,” she says.