Health care facilities in The Villages keep pace with technology.
State-of-the-art technology is in the forefront of minimally invasive medical procedures, and high-tech tools are in The Villages—all intended to enhance patient experiences.
Photo: Fred Lopez
Heart of the Villages
Heart of the Villages, a full-service cardiology practice, uses the latest diagnostic equipment for patient evaluation and developing treatment plans. Dr. Georg Couturier, the founding cardiologist of the practice, leads the staff of physicians and technicians.
Media screens are in all nine exam rooms at the practice. “The doctors use it as a tool,” says Deb Colacci, office manager. “The content is cardiac-based with a diagram of a heart.”
Cardiologists display the lower chamber of the patient’s heart on the screen and often draw arrows to specific areas of the heart for clarification.
“They can show patients what a 55 percent blockage looks like versus a 75 percent blockage,” Deb says. “It’s one thing to tell a patient you have a blockage of 55 percent, but when they visualize it, it has more of an impact.”
The media boards are also linked to individual tablets in each room. If a patient has atrial fibrillation, for example, there’s a video to explain what it is, she says. The American Heart Association notes atrial fibrillation (also called AFib or AF) is a quivering or irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) that may lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure, and other complications. Statistics show at least 2.7 million Americans are living with AFib.
“The doctors say it makes a difference,” Deb says. “It is a good education tool for patients. I am a very visual person and if you show me, then I know what you’re talking about and grasp it. It’s very abstract when it’s in front of you and when you can see it. I know it improves patients’ understanding.”
She has found patients appreciate participating in their own health care.
“Even though this is mainly a senior population, most of them are very tech-savvy and bring their iPads,” Deb says. “And while they are waiting for the doctor, they bring up a video and watch it.”
In addition to new developments and treatments, Heart of The Villages participates in research trials of new pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
Photo: Fred Lopez
Lifestyle Solutions Med Spa
Dr. Michael Holloway believes a good patient experience begins with Lifestyle Solutions Med Spa’s tranquil setting.
“Our location is important because we provide a nice ambience for our medical spa that is enjoyable from the moment people arrive,” he says. “In terms of our services, we are well known for our weight-loss programs, and as our name says, it is a ‘lifestyle solution’ and not a diet.”
Due to the many entertainment activities in The Villages that involve food, he noted their goal is to help patients learn to achieve balance.
“Our program focuses on a real-world approach to help people still enjoy their lifestyle but lose weight at the same time,” Michael says.
Lifestyle Solutions has helped those who want to lose 10 to 200 pounds, but most patients seek to shed 30 to 60 pounds.
“We specialize in nonsurgical, minimally invasive, result-based treatments and services with very little downtime. This helps patients look and feel more youthful,” he says.
He performs Botox and Restylane injections, and laser therapy for sun spots or wrinkles.
“We do hair removal for those with unwanted hair on their chin or lips, and we do Coolscultping and HydraFacials. Coolscultping is incredibly popular,” says Michael, adding it pairs well with weight loss due to stubborn areas of fat around belly, thighs or love handles.
“One of the exciting developments is we can also get rid of that double chin,” he says. “It’s nonsurgical, no downtime, so people come in for a treatment and go out to dinner that night.”
Video screens are in exam rooms and the lobby so patients can learn about the procedures, and there are after-hours information sessions.
Photo: Fred Lopez
Legacy Clinic of Chiropractic
Legacy Clinic of Chiropractic uses virtual programs and condition sheets to keep patients informed and educated about their health.
“We believe we have succeeded because of our passion, patient education, and training,” Dr. John Theeck says.
The clinic often hosts disease-prevention seminars on Monday nights.
“We are also linked with all local imaging companies to be able to access patients’ images on our 65-inch monitor,” he says. “This allows us to show the patients how the damage occurred, and patients can interact with the virtual programs.”
The clinic focuses on treating the cause of a patient’s ills, not just the symptom. He says the use of state-of-the-art equipment and food plans designed to fit the needs of the individual are part of noninvasive treatment to bring the body to its highest functional level. Once patients learn the benefits of proper nutrition at the cellular level, John says, they often experience less fatigue, increased stamina, and improvements to overall health.
“When your body is functioning optimally and you’re eating real food, your cells get the appropriate nutrients, and you are preventing disease in the future,” says John.
Tri-County Foot & Ankle
The podiatrists at Tri-County Foot & Ankle provide medical and surgical treatments for patients in need of diabetic foot care and those who experience foot and ankle ailments, including bunions, hammertoes, fractures, heel pain, Achilles tendinitis, ingrown nails, fungus/nail discoloration, wounds, pain or swelling, cracked heels, corns and calluses, neuropathy, leg camps, and pain in legs with activity or rest.
“Our physicians do front foot and rear foot surgeries, so we are a one-stop shop for podiatry,” says Jenine Frazier, practice manager. “And we do offer physical therapy.”
Providing physical therapy in-house is ideal for patients, and patients also appreciate being able to get medical tests they need at the office, too, including those to see if they have blood flow issues in legs or feet.
“It makes us unique,” Jenine says. “Patients love the convenience and they know the quality of care they are receiving. They’re getting the same efficient care from physicians and physical therapist. They do not have to go to multiple places to receive this.”
The decision of offering physical therapy came up shortly after the practice opened in 2009.
Jenine adds, “We felt it was best for us to bring physical therapy in-house.”
Though podiatry is very different from cardiology or other fields that discover new procedures every year, there are still developments every year that make a difference in patient care.
Tri-County Foot & Ankle’s staff provides patients with detailed information, even on the practice’s Facebook page where educational foot-related postings include the hindering effects of hammertoes and why it’s best to avoid sandals and flip-flops.
“Proper footwear is always important, and we encourage people to wear the right shoes and have their feet checked, especially diabetics,” Jenine says. “We encourage all diabetics to see a podiatrist.”
Diabetics are at a greater risk for amputations and infections, so the need for proper diabetic foot care is vital, as well as regular visits with a podiatrist.
Patients should inspect their feet daily, and diabetics who suspect they may have a wound should call their doctor immediately.
Developing gangrene—dead body tissue from lack of blood flow—is a risk for diabetics. It can lead to sepsis and amputation.
Tri-County Foot & Ankle notes on its website that early treatment and daily inspection of diabetic feet are essential to stay healthy.
Tri-County Foot & Ankle offers the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.