Getrud Champe

A Rescue Kit… Because You Never Know

Getrud Champe has witnessed a lot of history in her years. Austrian born, she came to the US with her parents fleeing the Nazis. As a divorced single mom, Gertrud raised her two sons in Iowa were she was a professor at the university. When her mother moved to Surry in the 1970s, Getrud always felt like she was coming home when she would visit. So it was no surprise after retiring that she made Surry her home. “I just love it here - the people, the location, the community, and my old home; I’m quite content.”

Gertrud is a patient at Blue Hill Family Medicine where she gets care coordination to support staying healthy with COPD (congestive obstructive pulmonary disease) among other things associated with getting older. “They’ve helped me recover after joint replacement surgery, as well as with my high blood pressure and weight control.” Between Zoe Tenney, her family nurse practitioner, and Catherine Princell, nurse care coordinator, Getrud is able to live life on her terms, which means enjoying family and friends, gardening, and continuing to work a bit.

She is very thankful for the benefits that come along with getting her primary healthcare through Blue Hill Memorial Hospital. Electronic medical records make it easy for Gertrud’s provider to keep on top of her preventative care and also her chronic conditions. “It feels more like family and I know they are looking out for my best interest.”

Recently, Zoe noticed some notes her care coordinator had made during a phone check-up with Gertrud that she seemed to be struggling. Zoe recommended bringing Gertrud in for an office visit. “I worry about her, she’s stoic and won’t always ask for help and I want to continue to keep her out of the emergency department and hospital,” shares Zoe. During the appointment the two women talked about getting an air conditioner in one room of Getrud’s home and also about using compression stockings to reduce the swelling in her legs. Gertrud was also encouraged to user her COPD rescue inhaler before her symptoms became unbearable and required emergency intervention, a part of her “rescue kit.”  EMHS care coordinated COPD patients have “rescue kits” to allow them to start treating themselves when they feel symptoms of their disease coming on to avoid hospitalization. .  Many COPD patients are hospitalized because they don’t have access quickly to treat their symptoms. The availability of the “rescue kit” has made a difference on more than one occasion for Gertrud. The kit gives her and her care team peace of mind.