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Moving forward

Technological innovation helps St. Vincent serve the community

Built in 1888, St. Vincent was the first hospital built in the city of Little Rock. Technological innovation has always pushed the hospital forward and 2010 is no different. Two doctors in two very different fields recently discussed about what it's like to work and live in the same community and how St. Vincent remains one of the best hospitals in Little Rock.

Dr. John Brizzolara has a been a urologist at St. Vincent his entire medical career. Brizzolara started at the hospital 25 years ago, about the same time his field was undergoing a dramatic change.

"It used to be that most people had to have an incision to remove stones in the kidney," Brizzolara says. "We now have a machine that breaks up the stones. It's now an outpatient procedure. Before, the majority of people had to be in the hospital for five to seven days."

St. Vincent was one of the first hospitals in the country to receive one of the machines and has been on the forefront of medical technology ever since.

"For the size of the community here, the expertise and the clinical technology that is in Little Rock is second-to-none," Brizzolara says. "There's nothing that can be done in California, New York, Minnesota and Florida that can't be done here."

Dr. Lowry Barnes is an orthopedic surgeon who has been working at St. Vincent for 18 years. He agrees that technology is advancing at a rapid pace. Recovery times are down for most surgeries performed in his specialty and people can get back to their daily lives much more quickly.

"Over the past five years or so we've seen a marked movement toward every question being answered by, 'What's best for the patient?' As that's happened, we've seen everything else get better. As long as we put the patient first, everything gets better."

Both doctors live in the Heights neighborhood and say it's very rewarding to live and work in the same community.

"It's nice to be able to live close to the hospital where I work," Barnes says. "My office is close as well. It's very easy for me to check on patients at night and on weekends. Many of the patients I care for are neighbors."

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