COLUMBUS – Columbus Community Hospital celebrated its new edition – the SURGE Center – with an open house and tour Thursday afternoon.

The event was held from 3-7 p.m.

“We are trying to be a destination of excellence,” said Dr. Richard Cimpl, physician champion for the SURGE Center and orthopedic physician at the Columbus Community Hospital.

Cimpl hopes to improve patients’ quality outcome after surgery through the services provided by the center.

The baby boomers are moving into the market which increases the need for total joint replacement services. The center offers total joint replacements, so patients who suffer from joint pain and arthritis are referred to physicians at the center.

Core members of the program led groups of six to seven people on the tour.

Attendee Jackie Richards participated in the tour because of her husband’s knee problems, noting she wants to explore more options.

“I didn’t think surgery would help him, but it sounds like that is what he is needing,” Richards said.

She was enlightened by the program and proceed to schedule an appointment with a physician.

“It sounds very efficient and good to me,” she said.

The center is for patients who “want to experience a better outcome and a better life because they don’t want to be in pain every day,” said Dona Kudron, patient experience manager at Columbus Community Hospital.

Patients with joint issues are generally healthy so the facility provides an area away from people with illnesses. It's a place where patients with similar concerns can come together.

The center aims to provide a whole spectrum of services aside from surgical care. Assistance is provided to patients from the day they step foot into the facility through post-surgery, Cimpl said.

Patients will jump through numerous hoops before surgery in an effort to diminish their nerves and anxiety, starting with the pre-education classes. Classes are held three to four weeks before the operation, which provides patients the opportunity to ask questions about the procedures and what to expect after surgery.

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Physicians and nurses will notify patients of the equipment they will need after their operations so they can plan accordingly.

“We don’t want them or their loved ones racing around trying to figure out what they need,” Kudron said. “We want them to have a relaxed experience and they’re well-prepared. The biggest thing is making sure that they’re prepared for surgery.”

Patients will also be taught how to adopt healthy lifestyles before their surgery dates.

“If you’re in better shape, you’re going to do a lot better,” Kudron said. “You’ll have a better outcome.”

Patients will participate in a group exercise program right after their surgeries that are led by a physical therapist. They will be taught different exercise routines to aid their recoveries. At the end of the program, patients will be given guidebooks based on the types of joint surgery they underwent, SURGE t-shirts and equipment to aid their recoveries.

SURGE was inspired by imagery of the Platte River because of the powerful force it depicts.

“The river is a powerful force and that’s how we want our joints to return to the community, a powerful force to surge through life again and to enjoy it,” Kudron said.

The center hopes to build camaraderie and competition among its patients through the different services provided such as the group therapy. During the beginning stages of the program, patients will be given the opportunity to connect with one another and then work toward recovery together.

Kudron said that when a patient sees another person in the same situation they are likely to recover more rapidly, it can help boost his or her confidence to do the same. Patients have seen improvements through the program.

Although walkers are provided by the center, patients are advised to bring their own so that staff can determine if their own equipment is a viable option.

“We want them to be active and we want them to up be moving around because the joints are ready to move,” Kudron said.

The planning phase for the center began in October with a core team of 24 that consists of physicians, physical therapists and certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNA). The program began April 2. Since its inception, its received positive feedback from the community.

“We’ve always done an excellent job with what we do but we wanted to continue to improve that,” Cimpl said.

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