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For the early detection of lung cancer in high risk individuals, The Medical Center now offers a lung cancer screening using low-dose computed tomography (CT). Screenings using low-dose CT can detect cancer early when it is most treatable.
A draft recommendation from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force suggests that adults who have no signs or symptoms of lung cancer but who are at high risk for developing lung cancer should be screened every year with low-dose CT. High risk is defined as people who meet the following criteria:
Heavy smoking is defined as a smoking history of 30 “pack years” or more. A “pack year” is smoking an average of one pack per day for one year. For example, someone is considered a heavy smoker if they smoke one pack per day for 30 years or smoke two packs per day for 15 years. Adults who meet the criteria above should also be asymptomatic for lung cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, the symptoms of lung cancer include:
A low dose CT scan is a test which utilizes x-ray technology to scan the body. CT uses low doses of radiation to produce a series of detailed pictures of the lungs. Unlike traditional x-ray, CT can more accurately identify early stage cancer when it is most treatable.
The cost of the scan is $125 and currently not covered by insurance companies. The fee is payable at the time of service. Only individuals who meet the criteria should be screened using low-dose CT. To check eligibility for the screening, individuals can call The Medical Center at 270-745-1199 or 1-800-231-9621 or talk with their physician. Low-dose CT scans can be scheduled at The Medical Center in Bowling Green, Scottsville, or Franklin, or at Western Kentucky Diagnostic Imaging. A physician order is required for the screening.
About Lung Cancer
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States and in Kentucky. According to the Kentucky Cancer Consortium, Kentucky’s death rate from cancer is 46% higher than the national rate. Over 3,500 people died from lung cancer in 2010. It is estimated that over 4,500 cases of lung cancer are diagnosed each year. Of those cases, 80% are diagnosed at a late stage.
The number one risk factor for lung cancer is smoking. It is estimated that about 85 percent of lung cancers are caused by smoking. In the United States, Kentucky has the highest rate of smoking.
The risk of developing lung cancer increases with age, with most cancers occurring in people age 55 and older. The risk of lung cancer also increases with the amount and length of time someone smokes.
Commonwealth Health Foundation has announced that contributions through the ECHO (Employees Contributing to Help Others) program has reached $1 million. The program was established in 2000 to enable employees of Commonwealth Health Corporation (CHC) to contribute to the Foundation which serves as the philanthropic arm of CHC.
“Employee giving is a powerful statement to our patients and community that the employees believe in our mission and are united in our commitment to help CHC improve the quality of life in the communities we serve,” said Connie D. Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of Commonwealth Health Corporation.
Currently the ECHO program has more than 800 active employees participating through payroll deduction. This total includes employees of CHC and its subsidiaries.
Donations to the program can be designated to support Commonwealth Health Free Clinic and The Dental Clinic, the Hospitality House or both. Commonwealth Health Free Clinic provides free medical services to the working uninsured, while The Dental Clinic offers a low cost alternative to those in need of basic dental care. The Hospitality House is a “home away from home” that serves the family members and caregivers of seriously ill patients receiving treatment at The Medical Center and Commonwealth Regional Specialty Hospital.
The Medical Center at Franklin announced today the completion of its $4 million surgery expansion project. Renovation and new construction encompassing 9,700 square feet includes two operating suites, an endoscopy suite, a six-bed recovery unit and other surgical support services.
“Commonwealth Health Corporation and The Medical Center at Franklin are proud to once again broaden the availability of quality healthcare services to the residents of Franklin and Simpson County,” said Connie D. Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of Commonwealth Health Corporation, the parent company of The Medical Center at Franklin. “Raising the level of healthcare with modern facilities and expanded services has been our goal since we acquired the hospital in 2000.”
“Enhancing our surgical services will have a major impact on the delivery of healthcare in Franklin and Simpson County,” said Clara Sumner, Chief Executive Officer of The Medical Center at Franklin. “Before the expansion, we were limited on the complexity of surgeries that could be performed at the hospital. Now with this new addition, physicians have a modern facility and equipment to perform an array of surgical procedures, reducing the need to refer patients out of Simpson County.”
The new expansion provides a more spacious and centralized area dedicated to surgical services and endoscopy. More complicated surgeries can be performed due to expanded space in the surgery suites for large, specialized equipment.
Earlier this year, general surgeon William Daniel, M.D. opened a practice in the Franklin Medical Pavilion on the hospital campus to expand local access to general surgery services. John Korba, M.D., general surgeon with Bluegrass Surgical Associates in Bowling Green, practices in Franklin as part of The Medical Center at Franklin’s Physician Specialty Clinics. Beyond general surgery, other specialties that comprise the hospital’s Physician Specialty Clinics including orthopaedic surgery, urology, and podiatry will be able to utilize the new surgical area.
Since Commonwealth Health Corporation acquired the Franklin-Simpson Memorial Hospital in April 2000, over $21 million has been invested in The Medical Center at Franklin including the surgery expansion project. Improvements have included 24/7 physician coverage in the Emergency Department, expansion of its diagnostic imaging services, construction of two medical office buildings and construction of a new 25-bed patient wing.
Commonwealth Health Corporation has been recognized as a Platinum-Level Start! Fit-Friendly Company by the American Heart Association’s Start! initiative for helping employees eat better and move more.
"Physical activity and employee wellness are important priorities at Commonwealth Health Corporation. We are honored to be recognized by the American Heart Association’s Start! movement as a Platinum-Level Start! Fit-Friendly Company," said Connie D. Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of Commonwealth Health Corporation. "We’re committed to providing the best workplace environment possible. This will benefit our employees' health and produce even more positive results for our company overall."
As a Platinum-level employer, Commonwealth Health Corporation promotes a wellness culture within the workplace and offers employees a variety of programs to promote healthy living. Some of the programs offered include:
The Start! Fit-Friendly Companies Program is a catalyst for positive change in the American workforce by helping companies make their employees’ health and wellness a priority. American employers face increasing healthcare expenses and health-related losses in productivity that cost an estimated $225.8 billion a year. Many American adults spend most of their waking hours at sedentary jobs. Their lack of regular physical activity raises their risk for a host of medical problems, such as obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. Employers face $12.7 billion in annual medical expenses due to obesity alone. Start! helps change corporate cultures by motivating employees to start walking, which has the lowest dropout rate of any physical activity.
"We in Southcentral Kentucky are truly blessed to have The Medical Center. Not only do they give outstanding care to their patients, but they truly care about their employees," said Michelle Alloway, Great Rivers Affiliate Division Director for the American Heart Association. “That’s why when it came to companies receiving this honor, I could not think of a better one to receive it. CHC is truly deserving of this honor, for they do a fantastic job of keeping their employees health as a priority."
For more information about the Start! Fit-Friendly Companies Program and how it is helping to improve the health of Americans by focusing on an activity that is convenient, free and easy, call (270) 842-5700 or visit startwalkingnow.org.
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