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LifeBrite

Christian Fletcher: making a profound impact on rural community healthcare

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To say that Christian Fletcher, CEO of LifeBrite Hospital Group, is a man with strong convictions might be the understatement of the century.

Christian and his wife Amber started LifeBrite Hospital Group out of concern for a major epidemic facing small rural community hospitals throughout America. The increased closures of these hospitals touched the Fletchers deeply, as it leaves rural townspeople to drive 1-3 hours away to get the critical healthcare they needed.  After all, nearly 1 in 5 Americans live in rural areas and really reply upon their community hospitals for care ranging from the flu to a broken bone to more urgent medical conditions. In addition, many of these rural hospitals run skilled nursing facilities, so when they close, elderly patients are displaced, and families that care for them are left desperate for solutions.

Christian’s deep empathy with the elderly began in his early years, when he volunteered his time at a skilled nursing facility in his hometown of Mobile, Alabama. He became particularly close to an Alzheimer’s patient when they just “clicked” with each other.  “He made a huge impact on me,” remarked Christian. “This man thought I was either his son or his grandson, and he looked forward to my visits and lit up when I walked in the door.” 

The Fletchers, to date, have purchased hospitals in Blakely, Georgia (LifeBrite Community Hospital of Early) and Danbury, North Carolina (LifeBrite Community Hospital of Stokes). These two hospitals were acquired out of bankruptcy, and the Fletcher’s LifeBrite Hospital Group’s purchase was exactly what these two facilities needed to stay alive. With the acquisition, both hospitals were able to continue providing essential services to the community they serve and accomplish things that were beneficial to these vulnerable communities. 

Christian often walks the halls of these hospitals, checking in on things and providing morale boosts to the workers in the facility. “The work we do – it gives tremendous purpose to our lives,” says Christian. “These hospitals were on the verge of closing, and through our company LifeBrite Hospital Group, we [Christian and Amber] get to play a personal role in sustaining them.” So far, they’ve been able to provide both hospitals with new invaluable technology and recruit non-employed physicians in nearby larger cities to do surgeries in their ambulatory surgery center. They also have been able to market open beds in their skilled nursing facilities to referral sources such as other hospitals and physician practices.

Other philanthropic endeavors

Home might be Mobile, Alabama, but after a stint in Los Angeles, the Fletchers have lived in Atlanta since 2014. These two still maintain deep roots in Mobile, engaging with a local church there to build a new facility encompassing church and youth. This facility and its programs for youth are more than just spiritual outlets – they teach courses ranging from STEM to entrepreneurship. “It’s a full gamut of youth life,” says Christian. “We envision it becoming a center of influence – not just church-related things but also valuable life skills such as tutoring, job skills, resume-building, athletics, and philanthropy. This will be a place where the youth actually desire to go.”  It’s very much a “come as you are” type of program: no dress code, no money needed – a real changing force in the community. 

Back in Atlanta, Christian and Amber have been involved with organizations that are working to start up schools focused on inner-city “at-risk” youth. These schools will focus on young people who’ve grown up in bad circumstances in impoverished areas for which they had no control. Their goal is to teach young people that you CAN rise above your circumstances intellectually.  Says Christian, “I’m quite passionate about helping those without equal opportunities. Opportunities many of us had growing up aren’t afforded to everyone. I’ve always operated spiritually – from my heart, and not for accolades.” 

As if the Fletchers don’t sound busy enough to you, they are both in the process of finishing up Master’s Degrees (Christian from George Washington University, and Amber from the University of Alabama in Birmingham). And they also manage to spend a lot of quality time with their four very active children, including one brand-new baby (all under the age of eight). 

Needless to say, this humble power couple is living proof that the power of prayer, empathy, and philanthropy can make profound changes in the communities around you. 

 

virus

Learn The Facts About Coronavirus and How To Protect Yourself

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Coronavirus: The Facts and What You Need To Know

Coronavirus, also known as Covid-19, has been talked about in the news, discussed on social media, and written about in Blogs in recent weeks. We’re sure that you have questions about the Coronavirus outbreak, and we want to help answer them.

  • What is Coronavirus Covid-19
  • Should I be worried about contracting Coronavirus?
  • What are the best precautions to take against Coronavirus for my family and me? 
  • What are the symptoms of Coronavirus
  • If I suspect I have Coronavirus, what should I do? 

While these are just a small sampling of the questions we have seen asked, these are ones that are most frequently asked. Today we want to give you Coronavirus facts that help answer these questions and helpful tips to keep your family healthy and safe. 

 What is Coronavirus Covid-19? 

Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that range from the common cold to a more severe respiratory disease. Covid-19 (COVI for coronavirus, “D” for “disease,” and “19” for the year it was identified) is the new Coronavirus that started the outbreak in China. 

If you were able to see the virus, what you would see is a miniature tennis ball with a bunch of spikes coming out from it, and these spikes can attach to certain places. Let’s say the spike attaches to your nostril, you might experience symptoms of a common cold. But if the spike attaches to cells inside your lungs, which is what Covid-19 wants to do, then it programs itself to reproduce and essentially overtake the healthy cells. When this happens, the patient can experience much worse symptoms. 

Should I be worried about contracting Coronavirus?

Just like with influenza, there is always the possibility of contracting an illness. But there are ways to protect yourself and your loved ones from Covid-19. The best protection is to avoid being exposed to the illness in the first place. 

Other precautions to take against Coronavirus include:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. 
  • Cover your cough and sneeze. 
  • Do not touch your face with your hands. 
  • Clean and disinfect doorknobs, faucets, and other regularly touched items. 
  • Wash your hands often with antibacterial soap but especially before eating, after using the restroom, after sneezing or coughing, and after being in a public location. 

How does Coronavirus spread? 

Coronavirus is spread by droplets such as sneezes and coughs. Try to avoid people that are sneezing or coughing and keep your hands away from your face. Some people have considered a face mask in hopes to keep the virus away. Most face masks that the public can buy have leaks that will allow droplets through. Masks should be worn if you are sick to help stop the spread of Coronavirus. 

What are the symptoms of Coronavirus?

The symptoms of Coronavirus vary from person to person. Symptoms can present as soon as two days from exposure to as long as fourteen days after exposure. 

There have been mild cases that resolve quickly, and there have been severe cases that have resulted in death.  Most people have experienced a cough, fever, and shortness of breath. Coronavirus has turned into pneumonia and severe upper respiratory illness quickly. 

I have recently traveled, what should I do? 

If you recently traveled and you feel fine, do nothing. If you have recently traveled and become sick, you should take the necessary steps to ensure that you do not spread the illness to others. 

Restrict your out of home activities to seeking medical care only. If you make an appointment to see your doctor, inform them that you may have Covid-19 so they can take the proper precautions for your arrival.  If you are home, separate yourself from other people and from your pets. Should an emergency arise and you need to call 911, make sure that you inform the dispatcher that you may have been exposed to Coronavirus.

Just like with any illness, proper precautions can limit the spread. The most important thing that you can do to help stop the spread is to wash your hands often. 

To follow new developments regarding the Coronavirus outbreak, check the CDC website where you will find updated information on this evolving situation. 

Atlanta-based LifeBrite, led by CEO Christian Fletcher, operates LifeBrite Laboratories and LifeBrite Community Hospital of Stokes. To learn more about Lifebrite Community Hospital of Early, visit our homepage

 

mental

What Organizations Are Doing to Improve Mental Health Care

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Mental health awareness and support on a local level

Mental health in America is really a public health issue. 1 in 5 adults (46.6 million people) and up to 20% of children in the United States are dealing with some type of mental health problem.  How are healthcare organizations and communities working together to offer help, encouragement, and support to those in need? Let’s take a look.  

Raising awareness of mental health issues

In 1949, May was declared Mental Health Awareness month. The entire month is dedicated to raising awareness, support, and essential funding for mental health in America. Bringing attention to the need for ongoing support and community mental health services is critical as lack of access to care can have severe consequences, including suicide and/or jail time.  

The month of May is utilized by organizations to help raise awareness in their community of the different mental healthcare options that are available.  Many healthcare organizations offer free screenings through Mental Health Awareness month as well as organize fun events such as carnivals and 5K runs that promote Mental Health Awareness. 

PMH-APRN’s for mental healthcare

Many hospitals are recruiting PMH-APRNs to their teams in order to help alleviate the mental health in America crisis. A Psychiatric Mental Health Advanced Practice Registered Nurse is a  Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) or Nurse Practitioner (NP) with advanced education in the mental health field. They can provide the specialized care that is needed for mental health problems, including: 

  • Patient education
  • Diagnose and treat illnesses 
  • Prescribe medication 
  • Order, perform, and/or read diagnostic tests and studies
  • Administrate preventive care
  • Perform exams
  • Perform procedures 

Having a PMH-APRN on board is a step in the right direction for healthcare organizations that are committed to changing the landscape of mental healthcare in the United States.

National mental health care on a local level

NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) has thousands of trained volunteers across the United States who bring peer-led programs to a local level. These programs include a NAMI Basics class designed for parents and caregivers of youth with mental health illnesses, Family to Family for family members and significant others of those with mental health issues, and others. There are also seminars and support groups offered. 

American Mental Wellness is another organization that offers programs and education on a local level. Programs such as Mental Health First Aid, an 8-hour course that teaches how to help in a mental health crisis, are equipping people with the information and resources that they need to help those around them.

Mental health in America is a public health issue, and with the public’s help, more people may be encouraged to seek the help and support they need.

Atlanta-based LifeBrite, led by CEO Christian Fletcher, operates LifeBrite Laboratories and LifeBrite Community Hospital of Stokes. To learn more about Lifebrite Community Hospital of Early, visit our homepage