Lance Porter, CEO for Banner Payson Medical Center, recently spoke to members of Banner High Country Seniors about the hospital.

Lance Porter, chief executive officer for Banner Payson Medical Center, gave members of Banner High Country Seniors an update on the hospital in July.

He led off by sharing the various community involvement activities in which the hospital has participated.

“We participated in the recent Monster Mudda event. Banner employees are very involved in our community and for the past couple of years have run the aid and water stations,” he said.

Another project Porter discussed was one of collaboration with New Beginnings Pregnancy and Parenting Center.

“New Beginnings is a great example of community collaboration here in Payson. Banner Payson owns the building at 111 E. Frontier St. that was sitting vacant. New Beginnings needed a location and asked if they could rent it, we are now renting it to them for $1 per year. New Beginnings is a great community partner and provides education and support to new mothers. The majority of those mothers deliver at Banner Payson and good prenatal care results in better outcomes.”

Up next for community involvement activities, “We will be at the Community Health and Care Fair event on Nov. 2, 2019, offering free blood draws and lab work. We will also have our new orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Jason Tani, attend to answer your questions. We also hope to have a pharmacist to answer questions about your medications, information on new primary care physicians, Banner Home Health and High Country Seniors,” Porter said.

Facility improvements

The hospital is creating a new shade pavilion outside of the entrance to the hospital. The shade sail will block out 80 percent of the sun and 100 percent of UV rays, so it will be a nice place for patients, visitors and employees to do lunch. Porter said the community could expect to have the project done by end of August.

Other improvements expected to be completed by the end of the year: new flooring in the administrative building, parking lot resurface, boiler replacement, and pharmacy upgrade.

“We are replacing all of the flooring in the administrative building. Many people from the community are now coming to the hospital cafeteria to eat or pick up their lunch. We recently hired a new culinary manager who managed employee food services for Disneyland and recently moved to Payson. His team has expanded the menu and the food is really good. We would love for you to come for lunch,” Porter said.

Serving patients

Discussing the number of patients served by Banner Payson Medical Center, Porter said, “as of July, the hospital had 565 admissions, 12 over the anticipated (budgeted) 553.”

“I do not want people to go to the hospital just because we are the only hospital in town. I want Payson residents to choose Banner Payson because they know they will have a good experience and receive great care. We continue to bring new physicians and new services to our community so you don’t have to drive to the Valley,” he said.

As an example the hospital started a swing bed option, Porter explained, “Swing bed is another term for inpatient rehabilitation. This is perfect for the patient who is not quite strong enough to go home and qualifies for physical, occupational and/or speech therapy. Patients can rehabilitate here in Payson, closer to home and family.”

Banner Payson continues to provide inpatient and outpatient surgeries. “Our ability to provide quality care here in Payson has really expanded as we have added Dr. Jason Tani, an orthopedic surgeon that had a very successful practice in the Valley. Dr. Tani takes care of most fractures, hip and knee replacements, arthroscopy and some hand surgery such as carpal tunnel surgery,” Porter said.

Added services

• EEG (electroencephalogram) now available

• Pulmonary Function Testing can now be done here, which is a real advantage, as many pulmonolgists will not see you until this test has been done.

• Comprehensive Wound Care Center: Offered as an outpatient service and is designed to help patients suffering from wounds caused by arterial disease, diabetes, infections, nutritional deficiencies, obesity, trauma, venous disease and other conditions. It specializes in treating chronic or traumatic open wounds that show no significant signs of healing over a period of several weeks. The staff also provides consultation to hospitalized patients who are recovering from surgery.

• Infusion/Chemo makes it possible for Rim residents not to go to the Valley for this anymore.

• Swing bed: You have acute care nurses and physicians who are there 24/7 and surgeons who are on-call. Physical, occupational and speech therapy are provided as well as activities coordination for these patients. They are encouraged to come down for meals. The more active they are, the healthier they will become.

• Pet Therapy: Animals can relieve anxiety, promote relaxation, comfort and companionship, and be a supportive presence. The team always asks the patient’s permission before entering their room and hospital protocols provide access guidelines. The dogs are bathed within 24 hours of their hospital visit. For patients susceptible to infections, the hospital does not allow the pet therapy visits.

• Reiki therapy and aromatherapy have also been started at the hospital — all to help patients feel more comfortable during their stay.

Looking forward

The hospital has a responsibility to provide a safe environment for its staff and patients. Due to an increase in violence across the country, Banner Payson has taken steps to improve security including the addition of security officers, new video cameras and badge swipe access at certain doors.

Before the end of the year it will be adding two additional services: a cardiologist and cardiopulmonary rehabilitation. Banner Payson has hired Dr. Mona Youssef and she will open her practice on Oct. 1 and the cardiopulmonary rehabilitation program will complement her practice.

“Again, Banner Payson Medical Center is doing all that we can to bring Banner Health quality medicine to Payson so our residents don’t have to drive to the Valley. That is our responsibility and commitment to this community,” concluded Porter.

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