Stan Guilmette

Smooth Transitions of Care and the Support of Care Coordination Made All the Difference!
 
If you were to see Stan Guilmette out working in his garden or kayaking and fishing you’d never know he had emergency open heart surgery and nearly lost his life. “One day I just happened to ask him how he was feeling and he said he was getting dizzy from time to time,” explains Debbie Guilmette, Stan’s wife who is also a nurse practitioner. That comment immediately sent up red flags. “I didn’t like the sound of that. I thought it’s either his heart or his brain.” Stan had an appointment with his primary care provider before the day was over. Thank goodness it saved his life.
 
“I went to my provider, Jen Penney, NP, at Inland Family Medicine in Waterville, and she had me wear a heart monitor,” recalls Stan. A day later, while wearing the harness, he blacked out while gardening and fortunately his wife was home from work that day. Debbie got him to Inland hospital where he had a stress test done, once again blacked out. With no time to spare, Stan was in an ambulance headed north to the Cath Lab at EMMC. “I’ll never forget when the surgeon, Robert Clough, MD, looked at me and said ‘there is no reason he should be walking, he’s a lucky guy.’ I’m not ready to lose my husband.” Stan had five blockages and a hole in his heart. After surgery, he stayed seven days at EMMC and then his care was transitioned closer to home to Inland’s Cardiac Rehab Center for 12 weeks.
 
“It was all so convenient my primary care practice made sure everyone stayed in the loop with my care plan and referrals. It took a lot of pressure off of me and Debbie,” shares Stan. An important relationship was established that kept Stan connected and on top of his recovery. A nurse care coordinator was always a phone call way to answer questions and to make sure Stan had what he needed so he could get back to living. Together, they all worked on diet and exercise. Today, Stan is back to doing everything he loves and is healthier than ever. “It gave me back my life; if I take care of myself I can live as long as I want.”
 
The entire experience gave Debbie a new outlook on how to enhance the care she provided her own patients at Inland’s, Oakland Family Medicine. “I saw firsthand how well nurse care coordination can work. I am very comfortable offering it to my patients. I can see them being far more successful. It’s a great compliment to the work we do in primary care.”