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9:45 PM Wed, Nov. 14th

Stat Home Health Care gets personal with its patients

AHRON SHERMAN/Miner<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->Gathered in the Stat supply room from left RN Sherril Scwartz, RN and clinical supervisor Janice Sifford and respiratory therapist/sleep study specialist Linda Cannelis.<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->

AHRON SHERMAN/Miner<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->Gathered in the Stat supply room from left RN Sherril Scwartz, RN and clinical supervisor Janice Sifford and respiratory therapist/sleep study specialist Linda Cannelis.<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->

KINGMAN - As guests in their homes, in-home health workers have the unique opportunity to provide care and get to know their patients on a personal level.

Stat Home Health Care, which opened about two years ago, has a robust staff that includes six registered nurses, a speech therapist, physical therapist, occupational therapist, respiratory therapist/sleep study specialist, a social worker and a certified nursing assistant.

"You get to meet people you wouldn't usually meet if you didn't do home health," said Stat RN Sherril Schwartz. "You get attached to a lot of your patients."

Stat's clinical supervisor, RN Janice Sifford, said it's a must to keep things professional, but at the same time, home health workers are guests in their patients' homes, where bonding is inevitable.

Stat offers a broad spectrum of nursing care, Sifford said. There's medication teaching, cardio/pulmonary assessments, intravenous therapy, disease teaching and wound care all done in the privacy of a patient's home, she said.

With medication teaching, Stat staff explains what each medication is, why it's prescribed and what it does - including side effects and how it can help a patient's condition. The nurses also set up dosage plans, so patients know exactly when to take a particular medication and how much of it to take.

Home health is a temporary service, Sifford said. Therefore, patients go through disease teaching as well, which outlines progression, potential, possible outcomes and treatment for particular conditions.

"Every patient has a goal," Schwartz said.

"We're trying to get you back to where you were before," Sifford added. "Anything that can be done in the home, we do it."

In order to qualify for home care, Sifford and Schwartz said patients must have a need for skilled nursing or physical therapy and have a doctor's order. Patients must have a home-bound status as well, meaning they have some type of debilitating condition that makes getting out of the house incredibly difficult.

Cristie Freiday co-owns Stat Home Health with Beverly Mracek, a RN who regularly cares for patients. They opened it because they saw a definite need for more home health workers in the community. Before they opened, there was only one other organization that provided home health care - Kingman Regional Medical Center.

Stat's nursing staff is available to provide care 24 hours a day and seven days a week, Freiday said. Once a patient is discharged from a hospital and has a referral for home health care, Stat nurses will see them within 48 hours of them making an appointment, she said.

Freiday also runs Stat Medical Supplies, which is family owned and has been open for 26 years. After moving here from Indiana in 1985, Freiday bought it from a man who had 12 patients. Ever since she opened the medical supply business, Freiday maintained hopes to one day open a home health business, and although it took 24 years to see those hopes come to fruition, she is happy they did.

Linda Cannelis, a respiratory therapist/sleep study specialist, works in both businesses. She started working for the Stat businesses about three years ago after working for Breathing Disorders Services before it closed down. She has been practicing respiratory therapy for 30 years and is well versed in the fitting of continuous positive airway machines, which are often used to treat sleep apnea and happen to be one of Stat's specialties.

Once a patient goes through a sleep lab and a physician refers them with a CPAP prescription, they will get one-on-one time with Cannelis and properly fitted with a machine within 24 hours.

These machines are always in stock, Freiday said. Stat also provides loaner machines for people who want to go out of town or had theirs break down, she added.

All of Stat's equipment is top notch, but it is affordable as well, Freiday said. This fact can shrink profit margins and make it difficult to run a business, but it shows that Stat's No.1 priority is the patient, she said.

Both businesses accept almost all forms of insurance, including Medicare, Freiday said. She is concerned with the way Medicare cuts affect reimbursements but added that all health care establishments are going through the same thing.

Future plans for Stat include the Alert Well and Keeping Energetic program, which uses guest speakers and an open invitation to the public as a platform for sleep apnea education.

Freiday wants the public to know both Stat companies are here and in the business of serving the community. They are located at 2316 Stockton Hill Road, Suite B. Call (928) 753-7828 or (928) 753-9015 for more information.

"You have a choice," Freiday said. "We hope you choose Stat."