Baptist Establishes Heartburn and Evaluation Treatment Program

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Baptist Medical Center in Jackson, Miss. has started a Heartburn and Evaluation Treatment Program (HEAT) so people dealing with heartburn can receive a free consultation with a nurse providing support and overall coordination of care.

Baptist Medical Center in Jackson, Miss. is helping people learn what causes gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and the health problems it can lead to if untreated.

Baptist’s Heartburn and Evaluation Treatment Program (HEAT) is set up so people dealing with heartburn can receive a free consultation with Nurse Coordinator Bobby Stokes, RN. She provides support and overall coordination of care, including scheduling any necessary appointments and diagnostic procedures. Existing physician referral patterns and patient preferences are always maintained. If the patient has no physician preference, physicians are selected on a rotating basis using participating HEAT physicians.

“Our goal is to reduce the pain and suffering associated with chronic heartburn. Baptist offers a starting point for people who don’t know where to go for help,” Stokes added.

Some of the symptoms of GERD include severe indigestion or a burning sensation in the center of your chest, sour or bitter-tasting fluids flowing up into your throat or mouth, acid backing up in your throat when you lie down or bend over, and hoarseness or a chronic unexplained cough.

“This common digestive problem occurs when the contents of the stomach flow back up into the esophagus. Heartburn and acid regurgitation are common symptoms,” Stokes explained. “For people with GERD—heartburn more than two to four times per week—doctors may prescribe medications called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and/or combination drugs. Sometimes surgery is an option for chronic cases.”

Baptist has built web pages on it’s website to give people specific information regarding heartburn. Visit http://www.mbhs.org. For more information on the Heat program call the Baptist Health Line at 601-948-6262 or 1-800-948-6262.

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Robby Channell