This content is sponsored by Adventist HealthCare Fort Washington Medical Center.
Residents in southern Prince George’s County are getting better access to medical subspecialties and surgeons thanks to the ongoing effort by Adventist HealthCare Fort Washington Medical Center to reduce local health care disparities.
“The hospital is a necessary entity in terms of providing access to specialty care in Prince George’s County,” said Dr. Rhamee Badr.
Badr is an orthopaedic surgeon at the Adventist Medical Group in Fort Washington who specializes in joint replacement.
“The surgical care that people in the county had access to had previously been very limited,” said Badr. “The hospital has now specifically focused on recruiting specialty surgeons.”
Hospital leaders outlined a vision for the future that includes a larger hospital, more beds and greater in-person capacity.
They have strived to add more primary care providers and are continuing to seek out specialists.
It’s all in the name of helping residents find care close to home so they don’t need to travel to places such as other Maryland counties, Virginia or D.C. in search of medical options.
“Having care that’s nearby in the community is one key component in making sure that people are actually getting the care that they need and are not putting it off,” Badr noted.
Another priority has been to bring in providers from diverse backgrounds to serve the Fort Washington area, which is largely comprised of people of color and residents with diverse backgrounds.
“It’s always great when physicians who treat patients mirror the patients themselves in terms of racial and cultural backgrounds,” said Badr. “Adventist HealthCare has stayed true to that.”
Using the latest technology
Before Badr was brought in to work at Adventist HealthCare Fort Washington Medical Center this past year, most of the highly specialized orthopaedic care in the region was offered in D.C. or Northern Virginia.
Now, that has changed.
“In the past, patients have had to travel to get good orthopaedic care,” Badr said. “We are eliminating that problem by bringing it to southern Prince George’s County residents.”
Badr performs most of his surgeries using innovative robotic equipment to accurately replace hips and knees. Even in D.C., there are just a handful of providers who have the capability to do that.
That kind of high-tech equipment is less invasive and more precise, helping patients achieve a better outcome and recover more quickly.
“The fact that in southern Prince George’s County we will be able to robotically do knee and hip surgery is pretty astounding,” Badr added. “We have come a long way.”
A ‘first’ in Fort Washington
There’s a first for everything, and Adventist HealthCare Fort Washington Medical Center just recently performed its first ever esophageal manometry.
That is a procedure that shows whether a patient’s esophagus is working properly.
“When patients have access to these things locally, they don’t have to take a day off work to travel to see a specialist who can address their specific issue,” said Dr. Tuesday Cook, a bariatric surgeon at the hospital who carried out the procedure.
Similar to Badr, Cook was hired at the hospital this past year as part of the effort to bring specialists to southern Prince George’s County, an area where residents too often face a lack of health care options.
“It increases access in the community to something that is clearly necessary,” Cook said. “They’re definitely making changes in terms of being able to take care of people locally. It’s important for patients to understand that they won’t have to travel anymore.”
Targeted care in Prince George’s County
As part of her work at Adventist HealthCare Fort Washington Medical Center, Cook performs minimally invasive surgeries that allow patients to lose weight more easily.
It helps them deal with an extensive, varied list of symptoms and conditions including hypertension, heartburn, obstructive sleep apnea and fatty liver disease.
“Having access to bariatric surgery on the local level is a remarkable development,” Cook said. “There’s literally no one else in southern Prince George’s County with a bariatric surgeon who is addressing these issues in the region.”
Cook helps treat obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and kidney disease.
Those are all conditions that people in Prince George’s County suffer from at higher rates when compared to the overall state average in Maryland.
“The hospital bringing in a subspecialist who can provide surgery to correct and improve these problems is a really big deal,” said Cook. “Now patients have something much closer to home.”
To learn more about refined patient care at Fort Washington Medical Center, and to find a physician visit www.AdventistFWMC.com/ForYou.