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Community Howard Opens New Hip and Knee Joint Replacement Unit

For release on October 21, 2016

Kokomo, IN—Community Howard Regional Health announced today the opening of the Center for Joint Health, a comprehensive program based on a national best practice model for hip and knee replacements.

The new nine-bed unit at the hospital is dedicated to hip and knee joint replacement and is part of an overall joint replacement program structured around the fundamental principles of wellness.

“The Center for Joint Health is the first program of its kind in the Kokomo area and will change the way patients and their families think about and experience hip and knee joint replacement surgery,” said Joe Hooper, president of Community Howard Regional Health. “The addition of this exciting new program furthers Community Howard’s mission to provide exceptional care right here in this community.”

Alongside a joint care coordinator, physical therapist, nurses and social worker, patients at the Center for Joint Health will be navigated through the surgical and rehabilitation process from beginning to end - including their transition out of the unit and back home.

This fundamental concept of wellness is executed throughout the entire program, which incorporates advanced, minimally invasive and rapid-recovery surgical techniques —with an environment that maximizes patient recovery through education, a culture of early mobility, family involvement, and group interaction.

Before surgery, patients will attend a pre-operative class where they receive information on what to expect before, during and after their joint replacement surgery. They will be encouraged to have a friend or family member act as a “coach” as they go through the joint replacement process. They will also exercise and eat together as a group while at the Center for Joint Health and will wear their own clothes instead of hospital gowns.

“The focus on group interaction, education and the overall patient experience is unique and proven to improve outcomes for the patient,” said orthopedic surgeon Dr. Clifford Evans. “From the surgeons to the rehab therapists to the nurses in the unit, our goal is to get patients back to doing the things they enjoyed before being sidelined by joint pain.”

As part of the program, patients will follow a daily schedule that begins the morning after surgery. Each day patients receive a daily newsletter letting them know the agenda for the day, along with tips on how to care for themselves after they go home. Group therapy sessions are also held each day. To provide additional motivation for rehab, progress on how far each participant is able to walk is tracked on a large exercise board.

After leaving the hospital, patients receive calls from the Center for Joint Health staff within 72 hours of discharge, and again one to two weeks later. Reunions for the Center for Joint Health patients and their coaches will be held with surgeons and their entire team.

“This is a truly comprehensive program that supports a joint replacement candidate from the time of their first appointment until after they return home,” said Jennifer Harrison, MSN, RN, Joint Care Coordinator for Community Howard.

About Community Howard Regional Health
Community Howard Regional Health, part of Community Health Network, offers high-quality, patient-centered services close to home. A compassionate and comfortable environment of care is provided at two hospital campuses—a full-service hospital (main campus) and rehabilitation hospital. The main campus offers primary and specialty inpatient and outpatient services, which include behavioral health, oncology, orthopedics, pediatrics, emergency, sleep disorders, surgery, wound care, obstetrics and gynecology. Outpatient rehabilitation services are offered at Community Howard Specialty Hospital, located 15 minutes from the main campus. To learn more about Community Howard Regional Health, visit eCommunity.com/howard.

George Mast, Manager Communications & Public Relations, Community Howard
George Mast
Manager Communications & Public Relations, Community Howard Regional Health