New physician gives PMH a shot in the arm
With the finances and administration apparently headed in the right direction, Pocahontas Memorial Hospital has gained another positive influence for its future.
Dr. Frank Allen Puckett, MD, began his tenure at PMH in in-patient care on Wednesday, October 19.
Born in a McDowell County coal mining town, he was the first of his family to go to college, and he comes to Pocahontas County with a background, education and enthusiasm that should bring about favorable changes to this healthcare facility.
Puckett worked for 10 years at Union Carbide in South Charleston, putting his Master's Degree in Analytical Chemistry to good use.
He graduated from the Medical School at Marshall University, completed his General Surgery Training at Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and his Cardio-Thoracic Training at West Virginia University, as well as at Carolina's Medical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.
In addition to his medical training, Puckett brings with him an eye to the future and a step by step plan to expand the services at PMH.
"My goal is to take this institution to where people are comfortable with the consistency of care," he said. "Since I have been here I can see that this facility has an excellent foundation to provide service to the community."
Puckett said he wants to provide good quality and effective care, including on-site endoscopies, colonoscopies and bronchoscopies.
As a thoracic surgeon at Cabell Huntington Hospital, 95 percent of the surgeries he performed were for lung cancer.
"In the future, maybe we will have lung screening here," he predicted.
Dr. Puckett noted the dedication of care at PMH, which has a core staff that includes physicians, PAs, EMTs, paramedics, RNs, LPNs, med nurses and nursing assistants, offering a one-to-five staff-to-patients ratio.
"In larger hospitals you have a one-to-12 ratio of staff-to-patients," he said
"As a surgeon in a large hospital, I would only put a patient on the floor if they could survive in the parking lot," he laughed.
"Patients at PMH receive the same level of care as patients in ICU in other hospitals," he said.
With Puckett on board, the hospital can now offer wound care rather than shipping patients to other facilities.
"There is no need to travel three hours," he said. "That is costly and we are going to tighten up and provide good basic core care to our patients.
"Everything is in place to make this an excellent facility to provide care for the community, and people in a one and-a-half hour radius need to know that they should come here.
"I am excited, and I am very dedicated to a community of this size." ﾠ