Hand Day: Nashville 2019

Source: Blog Post

Thirty-five Vanderbilt University Medical Center employees gathered at Vanderbilt Bone and Joint Outpatient Surgery Center on August 10, 2019 for the 3rd annual Vanderbilt Orthopaedic Hand Outreach Day. This event is graciously sponsored by the American Association for Surgery of the Hand’s Touching Hands initiative. The outreach day was planned and coordinated by Dr. Donald Lee, Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation. The volunteers included patient care partners, certified registered nurse anesthetists, scrub technicians, nurses, a Spanish interpreter, attending physicians, the hand and upper extremity fellow, resident physicians, and medical students.

The surgeries were performed by Dr. Donald Lee, Dr. Jaron Sullivan and Dr. Mihir Desai with assistance from the hand and upper extremity fellow, Dr. Derek Vaughn, and orthopaedic resident physicians Drs. Nicholas Golinvaux, Callie Jewett and Hayden Joseph. Anesthesia services were provided by Dr. Vikram Bansal, Assistant Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology, and certified registered nurse anesthetists Donna Keeney, Shuhanna O’Bryan and Gwen Sanders. Spanish interpretation was provided by Dr. Elsa Rodriguez, a clinical research coordinator in the orthopaedic trauma department. The nursing and surgery center staff were led by Belinda Coakley, patient care services manager, and Randi Blakely, clinical staff leader.

Seventeen uninsured patients received free surgeries, including carpal tunnel release, ganglion cyst excision, ulnar nerve decompression, palmar fasciotomy and extensor tendon transfer. All patients were referred by Nashville area free clinics, including Charis Health Center, Faith Family Medical Center, Neighborhood Health, Shade Tree Clinic and Siloam Family Health Center. After referral, all patients were screened by a hand orthopaedics team. Shade Tree Clinic, Vanderbilt’s student-run free clinic, provides medical care for about 400 of Nashville’s uninsured or underinsured residents and helped to coordinate the screenings. Many patients have very complex medical and socioeconomic situations and do not otherwise have the opportunity for surgical management of their hand problems.  Some patients had suffered from these conditions for years due to their inability to pay for surgical treatment.

 All patients were extremely grateful for this unique opportunity to receive free treatment for their various upper extremity conditions, many of which were debilitating and limited their normal daily activities or employment tasks.

The Vanderbilt orthopaedics team also tremendously valued this opportunity to give back to the Nashville community. Regardless of their roles in the outreach day, all staff members were eager to serve the outreach patients. This uplifting energy was demonstrated by the compassionate collaboration and cooperation exemplified by all volunteers. From front desk check-in to post-operative nursing, all volunteers were highly committed to providing top-quality medical care to the outreach patients. Many volunteers had participated in Vanderbilt’s 2017 and/or 2018 hand outreach days and were excited to volunteer again, and the new volunteers were equally enthusiastic about their first outreach experience. All volunteers expressed their gratitude and enthusiasm for providing a unique service to the local community. Breakfast and lunch were provided to volunteers in partnership with Jason’s Deli and Jim ‘N Nick’s Barbeque.

We are grateful to the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, Touching Hands, Shade Tree Clinic, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Jim ‘N Nick’s and Jason’s Deli for their generous support of this event! We are also appreciative to Nashville’s free clinics for their assistance in patient referrals and are thankful to work with such a collaborative community of medical professionals.