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LMC Celebrates 20th Anniversary of Doula Program

Lexington Medical Center is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its first-of-its-kind doula program. A doula is a birth coach who offers mothers comfort and reassurance during labor and delivery. In 1994, the hospital began an innovative doula program that was the first-of-its-kind in the Southeast. The program has received national recognition and serves as a benchmark for programs around the country. Thanks to support from the Lexington Medical Center Foundation and its donors, doulas are a free service for any woman having a baby at Lexington Medical Center.

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“Lexington Medical Center’s doulas have been invaluable to the women of the Midlands,” said Nydia Harter, MSN, RN, NEA, BC, director of Nursing at Lexington Medical Center. “Over the past 20 years, they have supported thousands of women and families during one of the most important times of their lives – the birth of their babies.”

Doulas are experienced professionals who undergo training specific to assisting pregnant women and newborns. In addition to understanding the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of women in labor, doulas also facilitate communication between parents-to-be, help prepare birth plans and provide information about birth and delivery options. Postpartum doulas offer education, support and assistance to the new family. A doula brings much-needed confidence to a new mother through breastfeeding support and advice, newborn care and assistance with household duties.

The Lexington Medical Center Foundation sponsors the hospital’s doula program. LMC’s doula program is based on the highest standards of care set by Doulas of North America (DONA), the largest doula association in the world.

Lexington Medical Center’s innovative doula program has earned the prestigious Annie Kennedy Award from DONA. The award recognizes LMC doulas for excellence and dedication to their community as well as growth and teamwork in their program.

Lexington Medical Center has 16 doulas on staff and almost half of the doulas have been with LMC for ten years or more. Since the LMC doula program began, it has assisted more than 8,400 families.

Lexington Medical Center will recognize Lexington Medical Center’s past and present doulas at a special reception on July 29th on the hospital campus. Former doulas can contact the Lexington Medical Center Foundation at 791-2540 for more information on the event.

To learn more about LMC’s doula program, visit this link on the hospital’s website:
http://www.lexmed.com/medical-services/birth-center/delivery/doulas, or Lexington Medical Center’s Facebook page.

For information on training to become a doula, visit www.dona.org

LMC Earns Highest Rating Possible for Heart Program

Lexington Medical Center’s cardiovascular program has earned the highest designation given to hospitals – a three-star rating for heart surgery – from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS). For the year 2013, only 15 percent of heart programs nationwide have achieved this prestigious level, which is a designation that recognizes quality and clinical excellence.

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons has developed a comprehensive rating system for the quality of coronary artery bypass surgery among hospitals across the country. Lexington Medical Center ranked in the highest quality tier for 2013, earning the three-star rating. The STS 2013 analysis included more than 1,000 heart programs nationally.

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“The three-star designation shows that patients who undergo cardiac surgery at Lexington Medical Center receive outstanding clinical care along with the wonderful caring environment that the community has come to expect,” said Dr. Jeffrey Travis, Lexington Medical Center heart surgeon. “The three-star rating is widely regarded by clinicians as the gold standard by which to evaluate cardiac surgery programs.”

L to R: Dr. Steven Marra and Dr. Jeffrey Travis of Lexington Cardiovascular Surgery at LMC

L to R: Dr. Steven Marra and Dr. Jeffrey Travis of Lexington Cardiovascular Surgery at LMC


A Duke Medicine affiliate, Lexington Medical Center began its complete cardiac care program in 2012. The hospital expected to perform about 100 open heart surgeries each year. But the program has far exceeded expectations. To date, the hospital has performed more than 500 open heart surgeries. As reflected in the three-star rating, patients have experienced excellent outcomes.

Lexington Medical Center has also earned full chest pain accreditation with percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC). To receive this accreditation, Lexington Medical Center demonstrated its ability to quickly assess, diagnose and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack. By becoming an accredited chest pain center, Lexington Medical Center has enhanced the quality of care for cardiac patients and has showed its commitment to the highest standards.

The hospital has continued to build its heart program by offering a variety of new services. This spring, Lexington Medical Center began to offer transcatheter aortic valve replacement, known as TAVR. This state-of-the-art cardiovascular technology allows doctors to replace the aortic valve without open heart surgery.

amberg_130115_564Additionally, Lexington Medical Heart Center now offers non-surgical closure for holes in the heart called atrial septal defects (ASDs) and patent foramen ovale (PFO). Like TAVR, this minimally invasive procedure eliminates the need for open heart surgery, resulting in shorter hospital stays and faster recovery.

Lexington Medical Center has also begun to use insertable cardiac monitors, commonly known as loop recorders, to diagnose heart rhythm problems. These small devices, placed under the skin with a small surgical procedure, monitor heart rhythms around the clock. While versions of this technology have been available for years, new loop recorders are as small as a paper clip and require an incision of just a few millimeters.

Importantly, quality oversight is part of LMC’s affiliation with Duke Medicine for cardiovascular care. Twice each year, Duke cardiologists and heart surgeons come to LMC to review heart surgery and catheterization cases with physicians. The Duke physicians also provide ongoing peer review and evaluate new procedures for both the open heart and Cath Lab programs. When the hospital performs new procedures for the first time, a Duke representative is usually present for support.

Lexington Medical Center’s work with cardiovascular care extends into the community with a robust heart education program. Heart disease is an epidemic in South Carolina. One out of every 3 people in South Carolina dies of cardiovascular disease. Lexington Medical Center is working to teach our community about risk factors, prevention and cardiac technology.

For more information about Lexington Medical Center’s heart program, visit LexMed.com

LMC Welcomes High School Students for Partners Program

For the 24th consecutive year, Lexington Medical Center is welcoming some of the best and brightest high school students from Lexington County to experience the “Partners Program,” a summer internship that offers an excellent glimpse of careers in the health care industry.

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During a three-week session, students will rotate through three clinical areas in the mornings. In addition, they will participate in hands-on activities two days a week at the University of South Carolina College of Pharmacy, Midlands Technical College and Lexington Medical Center Extended Care. Students will also tour the hospital’s lab, view a virtual surgery and participate in a team-building activity.

Supported by Lexington Medical Center Foundation, the Safety Council of South Carolina and Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company, this year’s Partners Program received more than 100 applications. At the end of the program, a rising senior from each Lexington County high school and one rising senior from home/private schools will be awarded a $1,000 book scholarship for their freshman year of college.

The Partners Program continues to be a popular program with Lexington County students and LMC staff. In fact, several hospital employees participated in the program when they attended high school. Jon Bridges, associate director in the Physician Network, is one of those employees.

“The Partners Program gave me an early opportunity to learn about health care in our area. As a result, I realized that I wanted to seek further hands-on exposure to determine if health care was a good, long-term fit for me,” Bridges said.

Congratulations 2014 Partners Program Participants:

Brittany Redmond, Airport High School
Taylor Leigh Sofaly, Airport High School
Hanna Tanner, Airport High School
Hollie Powell, Brookland Cayce High School
Shelby Staton, Brookland Cayce High School
Andrew “Jordan” Eidson, Batesburg Leesville High School
Rachel Marie Gibson, Batesburg Leesville High School
Mary “Britt” Taylor, Batesburg Leesville High School
Chloe Bagley, Chapin High School
Hannah Booth, Chapin High School
Bailey Rodgers, Chapin High School
Anna Elise Scott, Chapin High School
Ipsita Pradhan, Dutch Fork High School
Kay Rojas, Dutch Fork High School
Kayla Shine, Dutch Fork High School
Kathryn Pitts, Gilbert High School
Allison Raitt, Gilbert High School
Ayan Dasgupta, Hammond
Hannah Goude, Homeschool
Abigail Unthank, Homeschool
Jaynie Buford, Irmo High School
Neha Malhotra, Irmo High School
Laura Nelson, Irmo High School
Elizabeth Tesh, Irmo High School
Kelsey Barnes, Lexington High School
Brelyn Burkett, Lexington High School
Madison Coffing, Lexington High School
Danielle Johnson, Lexington High School
Rebecca Jordan, Lexington High School
Hannah Melson, Lexington High School
Alexis Neeley, Lexington High School
Celine Peksenar, Lexington High School
Emily Scircle, Lexington High School
Catherine Shirer, Lexington High School
Jacob “Jake” Vining, Lexington High School
Lauren Williams, Lexington High School
Brittany Dorroh, Pelion High School
Kayla Ingle, Pelion High School
Jessica Lee Padgett, Pelion High School
Emily Beasley, River Bluff High School
Ellie Chao, River Bluff High School
Veronica Chiu, River Bluff High School
Haley Darnell, River Bluff High School
Stephanie Fernandez, River Bluff High School
Caroline Gable, River Bluff High School
Andrew Griffin, River Bluff High School
Thaddeus Holiday, River Bluff High School
Shivani Kapur, River Bluff High School
Graeson Kiser, River Bluff High School
Sarah Elizabeth Moore, River Bluff High School
Pranav Patel, River Bluff High School
Blaire Rikard, River Bluff High School
Jessica “Savannah” Smith, River Bluff High School
Levi Wright, River Bluff High School
Emily Turner, Spring Hill High School
Gabrielle Browning, White Knoll High School
Mikayla Nelson, White Knoll High School
Branly Sandoval, White Knoll High School
Jessica “Jessie” Tew, White Knoll High School
Breanna Tindal, White Knoll High School
Lauren Walters, White Knoll High School