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Coordinated Care Makes the Difference

The MedQuarter | May 29th, 2019

Mike Hessenius

A hallmark of the MedQuarter Regional Medical District is finding all the care you need in one place. More than that, you can count on our providers to work together to meet patient healthcare needs.

Mike Hessenius of Cedar Rapids knows firsthand the benefit of the MedQ’s coordinated care.

Mike has always been an active person, so when his foot was causing him pain and slowing him down, he visited a foot specialist. An ankle fusion was recommended, and he had surgery in November 2011, with an expected three- to four-month recovery.

Although he was a patient at an out-of-state clinic, Mike had weekly care locally at Mercy Wound Treatment Center in the MedQuarter. Mike went to Dr. Warren Verdeck, a foot and ankle orthopedic specialist and then head of the center.

When Mike’s ankle didn’t heal and continued to swell, Dr. Verdeck operated and tested for infection. Blood tests found Staph and MRSA.

MRSA is a bacterium that causes infections in different parts of the body and can be difficult to treat because of its resistance to antibiotics.

After several more surgeries and treatments out of state, Mike went back to Mercy with another infection – this time in the bone. That’s when Mike transferred to Mercy Medical Center to receive the full care he needed.

Treatments continued over the next year. Mike’s infection was gone, but Dr. Scott Ekroth, orthopedic surgeon in the MedQuarter, delivered some tough news — only amputation would completely remove the MRSA to prevent infection from coming back.

Mike wasn’t ready for that step. “I had to see for myself that, no matter how stubborn and bullheaded I was, it was not going to get better,” he said.

Mike agreed to the amputation of his right leg below the knee in summer 2014.

Getting His Life Back

Today, Mike credits the quality, coordinated care he received in the MedQ for his successful recovery. “I was able to come to the same location for my surgeon, prosthetic leg and therapy,” Mike said.

Mercy Treatment Center worked with Clark & Associates Prosthetics and Orthotics to fit him with a leg and foot to suit his needs and active lifestyle. Then Mike moved on to physical therapy at PCI.

“Mike was extremely, highly motivated,” said Jason Willer, a physical therapist at PCI. “He was very active and had a very active lifestyle.”

Jason notes the convenience and efficiency of coordinated care within the MedQuarter. Jason said it was easy to reach a prosthesis specialist or surgeon if he had questions or concerns, because they are all in the same location.

Mike documented parts of his journey with video, including his first time walking with his prosthetic. He shares these videos with amputee patients before surgery to help them know what to expect and to ease their concerns.

“If I can help or make it easier for somebody else to be able to deal with some of the same issues that I had, then I know I can help make an impact for somebody else and make their transition easier,” Mike said.

When not receiving care or working 40 hours a week, you can find Mike at the gym or doing things around his house or yard. He also enjoys motorcycle trips.

He’s glad he found a quality care team in the MedQ and that he put in the work to get well and return to activity. “It’s well worth it in the end because you get your life back.”