Through all the unknowns we have faced during the pandemic, the providers at SSM Health Medical Group, located at 172 Professional Pkwy. in Troy, have remained steadfast in their commitment to serve and care for the community of Lincoln County. These doctors are proud to follow an evidence-based approach to medicine while supporting their patients and community during this difficult time.
Being from a small town in Arkansas, Dr. Brandi Street, primary care physician, knows it is important to offer care and support close to home. “I have tried to listen to my patients’ fears, concerns and questions, while encouraging, praying and supporting them. Many have lost loved ones to this virus and they need someone to listen and comfort them during this difficult time,” said Dr. Street.
Now more than ever, patients are turning to their providers to not only support their physical well-being, but their emotional well-being too. This is something Dr. Thomas Ganz, OB/GYN, isn’t shying away from. “We have increased screenings for symptoms of depression and anxiety of our pregnant and postpartum patients, and now universally screen all our postpartum patients for postpartum depression. I think the most important thing patients can do is to talk with their provider if they are worried about how they are feeling. Often, if patients have a history of depression and/or anxiety, we will consider whether interventions are appropriate prior to delivery so we can mitigate or prevent the effects of postpartum depression,” said Dr. Ganz.
Of course, continuing to provide exceptional care to their patients while simultaneously learning about this new virus has been challenging. As Dr. Ganz describes, “COVID-19 has been a difficult time for both patients and healthcare providers as we figure out how to deliver healthcare safely and effectively. As our knowledge and experience grew, we felt that we could deliver routine care in a safe manner.”
And that is exactly what the doctors and their staff did – adjusted and rethought their operations in order to provide care in the safest manner possible. “Some precautions we have taken include a separate entrance for sick patients versus well patients along with scheduling well and sick patients at different times. This way we do not potentially carry any germs from a sick patient to a well patient,” Dr. Stanley Sachak, primary care physician, said. Other precautions they are taking include following CDC guidelines for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) usage, limiting waiting room time and offering virtual visits when appropriate.
As the pandemic has gone on longer than most of us anticipated, the recent rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination has provided a renewed sense of hope. “As we look forward to life beyond the pandemic, in addition to all the other public health measures that have become routine for us, the vaccine is certainly the keystone in helping us arrive at that destination,” said Dr. Ganz.
Of course, many people have a certain level of hesitation regarding the vaccine and that’s understandable. As Dr. Sachak says, “I want people to know that it is all right and normal to have questions and apprehension about new vaccines, therapies or treatments. Please exercise your best judgement and follow the manufacturer guidelines about any vaccine you receive. Try to follow data and the scientific method in drawing conclusions.”
If you are interested in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, pre-register with SSM Health by visiting ssmhealth.com/covidvaccine. Those pre-registered will be contacted based on eligibility and vaccine availability. For more information on SSM Health Medical Group or to schedule an appointment, go to ssmhealth.com/troymo or call 636-462-6106.