Family Chooses Hometown Passavant Area Hospital for Orthopedic Care

Beard-Family-Passavant--2Jacksonville’s Beard family understands they have a choice when it comes to healthcare. Over and over again, they choose Passavant Area Hospital—seven times for orthopedic care alone in the past several years.

Erica Beard is an old soul when it comes to hip surgery. The 21-year-old has endured three different hip operations while in college, and she appreciates good care when she sees it.

Even after being referred to and meeting with a specialist and surgeon at Washington University near St. Louis, the college senior chose the attention and care that could be provided only by the team at Passavant Area Hospital in her hometown.

“From my surgeon, Dr. Leutz, to the nurses who worked so hard to keep the pain under control, to the anesthesiologists who reviewed my history and put a plan into place—each person took time to get to know me,” Erica said. “They make you feel less like a patient and more like a person.”

Erica was diagnosed with a familial predisposition to weak labrum cartilage, a condition familiar to her mother, Kathleen, 45, who has also had two successful hip operations at Passavant with Darr Leutz, MD, a Springfield Clinic orthopedic surgeon.

After recovering fully from her second hip operation in the summer of 2013, Kathleen hit a patch of black ice on her way to the mailbox in December and broke her left ankle in nine places. Passavant’s Emergency Department (ED) stabilized her until Dr. Leutz arrived.

“I’ve never seen people move so fast,” Kathleen said of the ED employees. “Then Dr. Leutz came running into the room and said we were going to surgery right now. A plate and ten screws later, I was on the mend.”

Kathleen grew up in a small farming community where the nearest hospital was more than 30 miles away. Today, she is grateful for excellent healthcare located practically in her backyard.

“I want to be close to home with healthcare professionals who know me,” she said. Kathleen’s husband Noel, 46, knew right where to go when shoulder pain started keeping him up at night. He has fully recovered from his subsequent surgery and is living pain-free.

“There is such a feeling of security at Passavant, just that sense you will be taken care of as quickly as possible. The nurses make you comfortable,” Noel said. “With the ambulatory care, you are in and out, which is convenient. But if there’s a hitch, they don’t rush you out the door. We just totally appreciate Passavant.”

Erica, a history major, walks without pain now and her high heels are back into her wardrobe rotation. She danced at a history reenactment ball recently. The only reminder she (and her mom) have of their hip surgeries is weather-related.

“We can always tell when a storm is coming,” she said with a smile.