Family Medicine - Northridge Surrounds Patient with Care

Dr. Brian Ray and Sandy Smith

UnityPoint Clinic Family Medicine Northridge team members recently shared an example of how they work to provide care that puts patients at the center of everything they do with one of their patients.

Sandy Smith had a very rough 2018. She was hospitalized six times. She was struggling with breathing problems, pneumonia, a broken knee and hip and blood clots. Because of these struggles she often missed follow-up appointment, which led to complications and this would send her back to the hospital.

One of the issues Smith had trouble with was getting in and out of her home, a home she lived in for 20 years. It was even more difficult for Smith to get from her home to her car due to the bumpy and uneven terrain and steep, broken and uneven steps down to the sidewalk. A neighborhood organization had helped set up a ramp for Sandy at her home but it wasn’t working properly so she often felt alone and isolated.

After an impromptu visit to the patient 's home, UnityPoint Clinic Family Medicine Care Coordinator Kate Dorman was able to understand the barriers Smith was trying to overcome.

“I think it was overwhelming for Sandy to try and get into see her doctor so missing her doctor’s appointment probably seemed a lot easier than trying to navigate how she was going to get to the appointment,” explains Dorman.

Through a series of referrals, Smith was set up with services through the Heritage Agency on Aging, UnityPoint at Home nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy and Palliative Care. UnityPoint Health team members worked together to assist Sandy in establishing a support network. It has allowed her to overcome a many of her barriers.

“Sandy has made a dramatic improvement over the last few years,” shares UnityPoint Clinic Family Medicine Northridge Physician Brian Ray, DO. “She had a lot of stress and life was difficult but through it all – she has maintained a positive outlook. This has in turn helped her physical and mental health. The whole UnityPoint Health team was involved with making her health and life better overall.”

Smith is now walking and driving again thanks in part to her work with UnityPoint Health Physical Therapy. With help from the Palliative Care social worker  Sandy also has a new home and was able to move in February. She is social again - going to bingo twice a week and making new friends. The most important thing for Smith is she is once again feeling healthy.

UnityPoint Clinic would love to surround your family with care. Find a doctor and request an appointment.

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