Kymberly Kloefkorn, AGNP-BC, Joins CaroMont Heart in Gastonia

CaroMont Health announces the addition of a new provider to their medical team. Kymberly Kloefkorn, AGNP-BC, joins CaroMont Heart in Gastonia. CaroMont Heart offers a complete range of services and treatments covering all aspects of cardiac, vascular, thoracic and complex cardiovascular care, including innovative procedures for chest pain evaluation, open heart surgery, lung surgery, post-hospital support and cardiac rehabilitation.

Kloefkorn attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she received advanced training as an Adult/Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner. She dedicates herself to offering comprehensive and holistic care to all her patients. Kloefkorn’s goal is to provide the education and guidance needed to assist adults in achieving and maintaining cardiovascular health. She believes each patient should be cared for individually by incorporating personal values and beliefs in their continuum of care.

Kloefkorn earned certifications from the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Advanced Cardiac Life Support.

She leads with her personal philosophy to give exceptional care and develop lifelong personal relationships with patients. In her spare time, she enjoys outdoor activities and traveling.

CaroMont Heart offers five convenient locations in Gastonia, Belmont, Lincolnton, Shelby and Lake Wylie, and can be reached at 704-83-HEART.

CaroMont Health Welcomes Cheryl Baxter, FNP-BC

CaroMont Health and CaroMont Medical Group welcome Cheryl Baxter, MSN, FNP-BC, to their medical team. Baxter joins South Point Family Practice in Stanley, North Carolina, which offers a wide range of primary health care services for all stages of life.

Baxter completed advanced training in the Family Nurse Practitioner Program and earned a Bachelor of Science from Clarion University in 2001, with a focus on x-ray and lab interpretation and simple suturing. She began her career as a Registered Nurse at VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System for eight years. Before coming to CaroMont Health, she practiced at Cherryville Primary Care.

Baxter has a special interest in diabetes management and women’s health care. She leads with her personal philosophy to give exceptional care and develop lifelong personal relationships with patients. In her spare time, Cheryl enjoys crafts, gardening and spending time with her family.

South Point Family Practice in Stanley is located at 159 East Dallas Road in Stanley and can be reached at 704.825.5333.

Ceremony Kicks Off Construction at CaroMont Regional Medical Center

CaroMont Health officially marked the commencement of construction for a 10,000 square-foot renovation of the existing Emergency Department at CaroMont Regional Medical Center.  The project aims to enhance emergency medicine offerings in Gaston County and continue to improve patient experiences. Employees, business people and community partners gathered to celebrate the ceremonial groundbreaking on Tuesday morning at the hospital in Gastonia.

“The renovation project at CaroMont Regional Medical Center reflects our longstanding commitment to provide state-of-the-art health care in a high-touch, patient-friendly environment,” said Doug Luckett, President and CEO at CaroMont Health. “We are excited to make these enhancements to improve emergency services; they will benefit our patients, community and our employees well into the future.”

When completed, the $16.5 million project will create more space for a larger waiting area, four private triage rooms and a care transition area to provide more comfort for patients and their families. The new space will also feature a pediatric care space with a separate waiting area and treatment rooms to care for the unique needs of pediatric patients. These enhancements support CaroMont’s commitment to improving patient flow and expediting care for patients.

The growing need for emergency care is evidenced by the nearly 100,000 people who visit CaroMont’s Emergency Department annually, making it one of the busiest emergency facilities in the state. The last renovation of the Emergency Department was in 1999 and was designed to serve approximately 60,000 patients a year.

“We have been meeting with our community over the last year to get input about how we can improve our patient services and experience,” said Luckett. “We have been able to incorporate this feedback into these improvements to make care more convenient, patient-centered and efficient for our residents.”

The renovation is expected to be completed in 2016.












Emergency Department Entrance Change

Beginning Friday, August 22 at 7:00 a.m., all CaroMont Regional Medical Center Emergency Department patients will be directed to a new entrance and waiting area.  All emergency traffic will now enter from Entrance B off Court Drive. Signage and staff will be around campus to help direct traffic during this time.  This change marks the beginning of an extensive renovation and expansion of the Emergency Department at CaroMont Regional.  When finished in 2016, the new Emergency Department will offer a new pediatric area, a larger general waiting area and private triage rooms.

During the initial phase of this project, a portion of the parking lot will be closed.  To ensure the highest-quality care and experience for our patients, security will closely evaluate all Emergency traffic and offer complimentary 24-hour valet service for handicapped parking and those with medical emergencies who are unable to self-park.  All other patients and visitors are asked to park in the visitor parking deck adjacent to the Birthplace.

Here are some helpful hints for patients using valet:

  • Please remove or conceal all valuables: Your vehicle will be parked in a secure area, but CaroMont Regional Medical Center and Park Inc. are not responsible for items left in your vehicle.
  • Keep your claim tickets:  Please keep the claim tickets you were given when you dropped off your car. You will need these to claim your car when you leave.  If the tickets are lost, please see one of the parking attendants.
  • Picking up your vehicle:  Upon discharge, please visit the valet podium at the Emergency Department entrance with your claim tickets.  Please allow 10 to 15 minutes for staff to retrieve your vehicle.
  • Hospital Admissions: If you are admitted to the hospital, please make arrangements to have your car moved within 24 hours. If you are alone, please notify registration staff that your vehicle is parked in valet.
  • Questions: If you have any questions about valet services, please ask the valet attendants.  For customer service or patient care questions, please call the Patient Representatives department at 704.834.2694.
  • Please do not tip valet attendants.  For the convenience of our patients, this service is complimentary; attendants are unable to accept tips. 

New Traffic Pattern

Beginning Friday, August 22 at 7:00 a.m., all CaroMont Regional Medical Center Emergency Department patients will be directed to a new entrance and waiting area.  All emergency traffic will now enter from Entrance B off Court Drive. Signage and staff will be around campus to help direct traffic during this time. Click here for more information.

Graydon F. Stallard, DO Joins CaroMont Health

CaroMont Health welcomes Graydon F. Stallard to their medical team.  Dr. Stallard joins CaroMont Surgical Associates, a premiere surgical practice in Gastonia that provides extensive surgical care including elective general surgery, acute care surgery, trauma and surgical critical care.

Dr. Stallard earned his Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine (DO) at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.  He completed his residency at Mt. Clemens Regional Medical Center and fellowship at the University of Illinois College of Medicine. Dr. Stallard obtained a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition from the University of Florida and a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from the University of South Florida.

Dr. Stallard has a special interest in Trauma, Surgical Critical Care, General Surgery and Laparoscopic Surgery. He leads with his personal philosophy to strive every day to care for his patients and their families as if they are his own.

“There is no greater bond than that between surgeon and patient,” said Dr. Stallard.

In his spare time, Dr. Stallard enjoys picnics with his wife and daughter, playing golf, running and watching college sports.

CaroMont Surgical Associates is located at 2555 Court Drive, Suite 450 in Gastonia and can be reached at 704.671.7652.

Asthma – Know Your Triggers

Asthma symptoms range from minor to severe and vary from person to person. You may have infrequent asthma attacks, which means that you have symptoms only at certain times, such as during exercise or you may have ongoing symptoms that you affect you on a daily basis.

Signs and symptoms of asthma may include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness or pain
  • Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing
  • A whistling or wheezing sound when exhaling (wheezing is a common sign of asthma in children)
  • Coughing or wheezing attacks that are worsened by a respiratory virus, such as a cold or the flu

Many things can trigger or worsen asthma symptoms. Your doctor will help you find out which things (called triggers) may cause your asthma to flare up if you come in contact with them.

Asthma Triggers: For some people, asthma symptoms flare up in certain situations

  • Exercise-induced asthma, which may be worse when the air is cold and dry
  • Occupational asthma, triggered by workplace irritants such as chemical fumes, gases, tobacco smoke or dust
  • Allergy-induced asthma, triggered by particular allergens, such as pet dander, cockroaches, dust mites, pollen and sulfites or preservatives in processed food
  • Emotional anxiety and stress may increase asthma symptoms and trigger an attack

Not all people who have asthma have these symptoms. Likewise, having these symptoms doesn’t always mean that you have asthma. The best way to determine if you have asthma is to see your physician for the proper testing.

Allergy-induced asthma may produce problems year round, because it’s triggered by substances found in the everyday living environment. Other people only deal with the symptoms at certain times of the year, especially if they have the outdoor allergies, meaning that triggers are commonly found outdoors, rather than indoors. And still, others have allergy/asthma symptoms year-round but find they get much worse in the summertime when summer pollens are in the air

Know your triggers: It is important to recognize what triggers your asthma and minimize your exposure to allergens (substances to which you are allergic). Allergen exposure can temporarily increase the inflammation of the airways in a person with asthma, making them more susceptible to an asthma attack.

Article Provided by: Pam Alley, Respiratory Therapist at CaroMont Regional Medical Center

CaroMont Health Partners with Gaston County Schools to Provide Athletic Training Services

CaroMont Health and Gaston County Schools have announced a partnership to provide athletic training support and services for the upcoming academic year. The partnership will place CaroMont Health as the exclusive athletic training provider for the County’s high school athletes.

“We understand the importance of the student-athlete experience in education and the critical role that keeping student-athletes safe and healthy plays in our county,” said Doug Luckett, President and CEO at CaroMont Health. “Our history of providing high-quality medicine and a comprehensive continuum of care makes us uniquely and expertly qualified to support the school system. We look forward to supporting these student-athletes to ensure their physical well-being into the future.”

CaroMont Health’s Athletic Training program is managed and staffed by nationally-certified athletic trainers who are state licensed to provide optimal medical care. The partnership will offer five trainers to cover the 10 high schools in Gaston County, and CaroMont Health has extended offers to existing Athletic Trainers should they want to join the program under CaroMont Health’s leadership.

CaroMont Health will also provide fast-track Emergency Department services, Saturday morning bumps and bruises clinic with on-site physician support, and ongoing injury reports and assessments for all schools. Additionally, CaroMont Health hosts a Sports Medicine Council compromised of a multidisciplinary team of physicians, physical therapists, administrative leaders and athletic trainers. The Council meets regularly to discuss and review topics that are pertinent to the field and conducts an annual program review to evaluate progress and devise ways to continually improve the program.

“The athletic trainers provide a valuable service to our high schools, and we are grateful for everything they do to support our athletics program and ensure the safety and well-being of our student-athletes,” said Superintendent of Schools, W. Jeffrey Booker. “We look forward to working with CaroMont Health to develop ways to enhance our athletics program. Our high schools, student-athletes, parents, and the community will continue to see a high level of athletic training services.”

CaroMont Health offers collaborative care in one system, which results in an optimal situation for student-athletes and their parents. The Athletic Training program will help guide athletes through the treatment and rehabilitation process when there is an issue or injury.

“We are thrilled by the opportunity to support our community’s athletes,” said Luckett.

CaroMont Health Announces Plans to Enhance Emergency Care Experience for Patients

Renovation and Expansion Underway for CaroMont Regional Medical Center

CaroMont Health today announced several projects and partnerships being implemented in Emergency Medicine at CaroMont Regional Medical Center. The goal of this effort is to enhance emergency medicine offerings in the county and continue to improve patient experiences.

Emergency services play a pivotal role in a health care system and the increasing demand for these services is seen in emergency departments across the country. CaroMont Health treats an average of 100,000 patients each year making it one of the busiest emergency departments in North Carolina. This high patient volume places it in the “Mega ED” category; only five percent of emergency departments in the country see this annual high patient volume. Despite this trend, CaroMont Regional continues to be well below national medians for wait times.

“We are known across the country for providing exceptional care, and our ED services must reflect that standard,” said Doug Luckett, President and CEO at CaroMont Health. “Our ED is a major entry point for patients, so it is critical that we provide an excellent experience every time.”

With this in mind, CaroMont Health is working to create opportunities for improvement. Here is an overview of the projects underway at CaroMont Health:

Renovation: Over the next several weeks, CaroMont will begin a major renovation and expansion project for the Emergency Department (ED) at CaroMont Regional Medical Center. The $16.5 million project will add more than 20,000 square feet of space to the existing department, including a larger waiting room and intake area for patients and four private triage rooms. Additionally, imaging will be relocated to better facilitate basic radiology procedures directly from triage, and a dedicated pediatric unit will offer separate waiting, triage and treatment rooms.

The project will take place in multiple phases over the next 18 to 24 months. To minimize interruption during the renovation, the main patient waiting area and entrance will be relocated to the opposite side of the ED. The patient waiting room will transition to what is currently overflow seating and traffic patterns for patients and ambulances will also shift, with all traffic entering from Entrance B (Veterans Drive) beginning Friday, August 22. During this time, additional services will be provided to patients and visitors, including security-monitored parking and valet services.

“This expansion project is important for the residents of our community,” said Doug Luckett, President and CEO at CaroMont Health. “Our last renovation of the Emergency Department was about 15 years ago and was designed to service 60,000 patients a year. We’ve made good use of that space, but we’re ready to expand our footprint and services to ensure we continue to provide excellent care well into the future.”

Emergency Medicine Provider Partnership: CaroMont Health recently began a partnership with ApolloMD, a physician-owned multispecialty practice that provides emergency medicine physician staffing. ApolloMD’s leadership team works closely with each partner hospital to improve patient care within the department by decreasing wait times while improving patient satisfaction and clinical quality.

The collaboration between CaroMont’s ED staff and ApolloMD has made for a very smooth transition, and patients are already seeing positive results. In fact, since ApolloMD began work at CaroMont on July 1, 2014, the typical wait time in the ED has decreased by 20 percent.

“We are dedicated to providing the highest quality Emergency Medicine services and committed to working collaboratively across specialty lines to better serve Gaston County,” said Yogin Patel, MD, President for ApolloMD Region IV. “We look forward to working closely with CaroMont’s incredible nursing team and skilled medical staff to build a lasting partnership with the community and a strong, thriving Emergency Medicine practice.”

CaroMont Regional Medical Center – Mount Holly Construction: In January 2015, CaroMont Health will open CaroMont Regional Medical Center – Mount Holly, a freestanding ED located across from Mount Holly’s city offices.  The goal of this new facility is to offer more than 20,000 residents in the northeastern part of the county more convenient access to emergency care and to alleviate some of the volume at the ED at CaroMont Regional.

The 38,000 square foot facility is uniquely designed using an innovative “no wait” model for patient care delivery. Upon entering, patients are immediately taken back for triage and initial assessment into one of the six Rapid Medical Evaluation (RME) rooms where they are seen by a physician/nurse team. The ED has 12 exam rooms and two resuscitation/trauma rooms.  Also included is a diagnostic imaging suite (CT, X-Ray, Ultrasound) and laboratory.

“Once again, we are able to build, expand and grow in our own backyard with our community encouraging us,” said Luckett. “We are pleased to offer this level of service to Gaston County.”

A Commitment to Excellence Puts CaroMont Health in a League of its Own

During the Prevention Partners’ Annual Meeting earlier this month, CaroMont Health was recently recognized for providing the highest standard of excellence for comprehensive wellness programs offered to their employees.  The national award, which celebrates hospitals’ commitment, focus and creativity in making wellness and healthy places a priority, is shared with only one other health system in the state.

“We are honored to receive this award,” said Andrea Serra, Vice President of Community Care Services at CaroMont Health.  “It represents years of commitment from the organization’s leadership and its employees to enhance individual health and to raise the bar on health and wellness in the workplace.”

Instituting a culture of health and wellness was something CaroMont embarked upon nearly four years ago when its Board of Directors modified their corporate vision statement to include a focus on health enhancement and prevention.  Fueled by the continuous flux in health care, global obesity issues and the growing chronic disease epidemic, the need for better wellness and prevention strategies is a trend taking shape across the country and in Gaston County.

“Gone are the days when we look only at someone’s sickness when they come to the hospital,” said Serra.  “We are not only treating the symptoms, but looking at optimal treatment options that will help to prevent future health issues.”

Beginning in 2011, CaroMont’s wellness strategy began incorporating employee wellness into corporate goals in order to create an environment to support health workplace wellness.  These included:  creating employee incentives for healthy behaviors, redesigning the health benefit structure, offering clinical health risk assessments and redefining the philosophy in food services management.

“Health and wellness is a lifestyle,” said Serra.  “We are continually looking for creative ways to encourage health and wellness for employees by making healthier options and activities more accessible.”

Today, when employees and visitors visit the hospital cafeteria they have a plethora of healthy and nutritionally balanced meal options at their disposal.  Food is prepared fresh daily and includes a colorful salad bar with more than 25 items, as well as a sushi bar, vegan corner, various hot meat and vegetable options, seasonal fruits and vegetables, grill station, deli station and daily lunch specials. Foods are baked or grilled, never fried.  Nutritional values are visible on most food items to help patrons identify the healthiest options.  Additionally, all vending machines throughout the hospital are stocked with healthy snacks.

While eating well is important to staying healthy, so is exercise.  It’s not uncommon to find employees taking walks during breaks and at lunch.  Employees are encouraged to get the recommended 30 minutes of daily exercise before, during and after work.  Employees also have access to the CaroMont Health and Fitness Center, a state-of-the-art gym that offers cardiovascular equipment, strength-training stations and group fitness classes.  The fitness center extended its services to the community in January of this year.  Other employee wellness programs include:  metabolic testing, tobacco cessation, fit breaks and healthy back classes.

CaroMont Health continues to set the bar for organizational wellness in terms of programs and incentives for employees, and this dedication also extends to their work in the community.  Last month, CaroMont held the first annual CaroMont Community Challenge—a run, walk and bike event aimed to motivate the community to get healthier drawing nearly 800 attendees.

The excellence award also comes on the heels of the Healthiest Employer Award by the Charlotte Business Journal in which CaroMont surpassed many larger business and health systems in the greater Charlotte area to receive the first place distinction as a healthiest employer.

Healing People

Leading the way in quality care, CaroMont Health believes in treating everyone with respect, having open and responsible communication, never compromising integrity, and highly values customer satisfaction. Patients can come to CaroMont Health with the utmost trust and confidence that our staff is hard at work pushing the edge of medical science and saving lives. In 2010, we achieved HealthGrades Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence. And our Cancer Center won the Outstanding Achievement Award from the American College of Surgeons Commission.

Gaston Memorial Hospital

Magnet Award
Health Grades Award
CareChex a rating service of The Delta Group

Building Community

We believe that a community’s wellbeing is dependent on everyone contributing and that together we can help our community thrive. By offering special events, sponsoring athletic competitions and attracting great speakers like Dr. Oz, CaroMont Health is creating shared community experiences. CaroMont Health has also developed CLiC Immediate Care Center in the Mountain Island lake community, which will save you time without sacrificing the quality of non-emergency care.

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CaroMont Health has created support and educational services in a safe, family-centered environment to promote healthy lifestyle choices. By providing a variety of classes focused on topics for men, women, the elderly, newborns and more, CaroMont Health hopes to empower individuals to make a difference. Some classes offered for expectant and new parents for example, enhance the experiences involved in birth and beyond – such as Second Time Around, Moms in Motion, and Infant CPR and Safety.

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