Receiving personalized care support
Lamar Rainey enjoys a good, long ride. He’d prefer that ride to be on his original 1967 Harley-Davidson motorcycle, rather than the roller coaster ride he’s faced in dealing with heart disease.
Lamar has a family history of heart disease. His mother suffered four heart attacks, the last one taking her life. His daughter experienced a heart attack at age 35, as did Lamar in 1989. He had triple bypass surgery in 1990 and recently underwent a heart catheterization procedure with a subsequent stent placed after presenting to Piedmont Atlanta Hospital with chest pain. Spending most of his life building power lines, Lamar’s health has been further complicated by six back and neck surgeries, including total back reconstruction to address back pain.
Managing multiple chronic conditions, physicians and medications can be complicated. However, Lamar has a great support system including family, friends and his Piedmont Clinic care advisor, Victoria McCord, RN. “When you’re sick and down and don’t feel good, that’s a bad time to be worried,” said Lamar. “Victoria took the worry and stress off my shoulders.”
Piedmont Clinic care advisors help patients facilitate and manage their care. They keep in contact with patients, especially those with chronic or complex conditions or frequent hospital visits. Their duties include helping with prescription refills, coordinating physician visits, answering questions, and assisting patients so they get the right care at the right time in the right setting.
That was the case one day when Victoria received a call from Lamar, who was on his way to the emergency department because his blood pressure was high.
“She’s professional, stays in touch with me once a week, is there to check on me and help me with appointments, prescriptions or anything else I need,” said Lamar. “She jumps right in and gets answers. There’s never anything that I’ve asked where she didn’t get an answer back, especially when some of my medications were not balancing together. She knows my story, has all the information in front of her and has smoothed over a lot of the rough edges.”
Lamar says he has a great support system from Victoria, his family and Piedmont.
“She cares about how I feel and I can be honest with her. Even if we don’t talk about medical stuff, she’ll just ask what kind of day I’m having and learn more about what I do during a normal day, and the hobbies I like,” added Lamar.
People are surprised when they hear about the care Lamar receives from Victoria. “I tell people I have my own nurse. They look at me funny and think I have home care. I say that I get ‘phone care.’ A lot of people have never experienced it. They may get just one call a couple days after a hospital stay, but what I get is different,” he said.
Because of the ongoing care, Lamar believes he’s more aware of his health because of his experience with Piedmont. Feeling better and taking care of his health means more time with his wife, Julie, and their six grandchildren. Lamar can also continue restoring motorcycles and old cars, like the 1973 Volkswagen Beetle he’s refurbishing for his wife. And soon, he hopes to check off his bucket list a smooth, winding 11-mile, 318-curve motorcycle ride on the famous Dragon’s Tail in the mountains of east Tennessee.