For me, 2017 marked something special: the beginning of an exciting new century of care for Decatur Memorial Hospital.

The year before we celebrated our first century of service. The start of 2017 meant it was time to turn the page and begin our next 100 years of caring. And if the past 12 months are any indication, the changes ahead will occur even more rapidly than we’ve seen in recent history.

The following is a quick list of some of DMH’s major accomplishments for 2017:

Level II Trauma Center designation

Decatur Memorial Hospital was formally designated as a Level II Trauma Center, which means residents in Macon County and surrounding counties now have access to quality trauma care.

To be a designated Level II Trauma Center, hospitals must meet rigorous standards, including specialized staff and advanced diagnostic equipment.

To that end, our emergency room physicians are armed with the latest imaging capabilities that deliver crystal-clear images of vital organs and severe injuries in seconds with fast, on-call access to surgical sub-specialists: anesthesiology, emergency medicine, radiology, obstetrics, cardio thoracic, orthopedic and urology.

Our trauma nurses have received additional certification and are specifically trained to respond quickly, assess, stabilize and prepare for emergency surgery, if necessary. But more than that, our care for trauma patients doesn’t end in the emergency room.

Intensivists are available 24/7 for patients who go to our critical care areas and our comprehensive rehabilitation services can help patients with pain control and help restore maximum function and independence.

Trauma care is the epitome of team care. Our team of surgeons and emergency care physicians are prepared 24/7 to care for Level II trauma patients. At DMH, we are proud to provide a new standard of trauma care in Macon County.

DMH Breast Center

This past year, the DMH Breast Center was granted a three-year/full accreditation by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) which is governed by the American College of Surgeons.

NAPBC accreditation is given only to centers that meet established standards for treating women who have been diagnosed with a full spectrum of breast disease.

A breast center that achieves NAPBC accreditation shows a firm commitment to its patients to offer every significant advantage in their battle against breast disease. In fact, our patients should know that receiving care at a NAPBC-accredited center ensures access to comprehensive, multidisciplinary, quality breast care close to home.

In addition to NAPBC, DMH was received accreditation as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology. The ACR recognizes breast imaging centers that have earned accreditation in mammography, stereotactic breast biopsy, breast MRI, and breast ultrasound (including ultrasound-guided breast biopsy).

New equipment

This year, DMH expanded its robotic surgical technology for hip and knee replacement with two new Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgical Systems, a minimally invasive alternative to traditional hip or knee replacement. We now have three robotic systems to assist orthopaedic surgeons in performing very precise total hip, total knee and patient knee replacement surgery. This means a quicker and easier recovery for most patients.

Our new equipment included an advanced nuclear cardiology imaging system that provides highly detailed pictures of the heart. This helps our doctors assess the location, extent and severity of heart disease quickly and accurately. The Discovery NM 530c nuclear imaging system from GE Healthcare uses revolutionary Alcyone technology to improve scanning speed and diagnostic accuracy.

More accreditations

The DMH Nuclear Cardiology Laboratory has been granted an additional three-year term of accreditation by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission in Nuclear Cardiology. The DMH Echocardiography Laboratory has been granted an additional three-year term of accreditation by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission in Echocardiography in the area of Adult Transthoracic.

New services

Through collaborations with SIU School of Medicine and Springfield Clinic, DMH offers a variety of programs and services on its campus. In addition, DMH opened the Center for Advanced Surgery, the DMH Vein and Vascular Center, a new medical office in Mount Zion and a new medical office in Shelbyville.

And last, but certainly not least, we ended 2017 with an updated children’s play area at Hickory Point Mall.

Healthcare. It’s constantly evolving. Constantly changing. In fact, if there’s one constant at all in healthcare, it’s change.

From all of us at Decatur Memorial Hospital, here’s to a happy, healthy new year for you and yours.

Serving our community’s healthcare needs is an honor and privilege and one we plan to do for centuries to come.

Timothy D. Stone Jr. is president and CEO of Decatur Memorial Hospital.

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