Travel with Care
Saint Barnabas Medical Center reaches out to the community both near and far.
Giving back to the community locally, nationally and internationally has been a focus of Saint Barnabas Medical Center physicians, nurses and staff since the inception of the hospital back in 1865. In 2015 alone, Saint Barnabas Medical Center provided in excess of $1 million of community benefit reaching over 32,000 community members.
“Whether it was providing free melanoma or lung cancer screenings, offering health lectures throughout the region or participating in mission work, we are passionate about keeping our communities healthy while providing exceptional care to our patients and their families,” says Stephen P. Zieniewicz, FACHE , President and CEO , Saint Barnabas Medical Center.
This past year, a team of Saint Barnabas Medical Center physicians and staff volunteered their time to providespecialized services to a medically underserved area in the mountains of Appalachia. In the town of Wise, Va., many individuals fall into the cracks of health insurance—too poor to afford their own coverage but too well off to qualify for subsidies under the Affordable Care Act. Margie Heller, Administrative Director of Community Outreach, learned about this underserved group after watching a 60 Minutes program about Health Wagon, an organization that provides free medical care to the medically underserved in Appalachia.
Heller wanted to help and reached out to Ernani Sadural, M.D., obstetrician/gynecologist and Director of Global Health for RW JBarnabas Health. Together, they partnered with Health Wagon who has been providing care to the community for decades. “We asked them to identify five needs not being met for their patients,” Heller says. As a result, two missions were planned to address the community needs. The first three-day trip included John Russo, M.D., an internal medicine specialist along with Dr. Sadural to treat patients with diabetes as well as women’s health issues. A second three-day trip in October sent gastrointestinal and anesthesiology specialists, who saw 42 patients and performed 67 procedures. "Robert Schuman, M.D., treated several patients with precancerous lesions,” Dr. Sadural says. The procedures removed those lesions and likely saved them from developing cancer. Along with providing care, the team is learning more about the community’s health needs to form a lasting partnership, Dr. Sadural says.
“Our physicians were so happy to be there, to help on their time, and to see how much they got out of it was really special,” Heller says. Dr. Sadural adds, “We came in to help, like a neighbor would. We want to make this a reflection of who we are at Saint Barnabas Medical Center, to always remember to help for no other reason than that.”
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT SAINT BARNABAS MEDICAL CENTER, VISIT BARNABASHEALTH.ORG/SBMC. TO SHARE THIS ARTICLE WITH A FRIEND OR TO RECOMMEND IT ON YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE, VISIT MSXHEALTHANDLIFE.COM.