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The Future of Health Care

  • Author: Future Health Care
  • Date Submitted: Jun 18, 2019
  • Category: Team Stories

The Future of Health Care

Have you seen a nurse practitioner (NP) recently for your healthcare needs? If not, there is a good chance you will in the near future.

NPs are advanced-practice nurses trained at the master’s or doctoral degree level, capable of providing high-quality primary, acute, and specialty healthcare services. As a result, the NP role is expanding rapidly in all areas of medicine across the nation and right here at Kaweah Health as well. When the NP program began at Kaweah Health in 2011, only two NPs called the medical center home. Today, that number is up to 25.

“We are here to help guide patients through their medical experiences and support physicians by assisting in the management of day-to-day care,” shared NP Manager Mary Staton. “Because we have such great patient outcomes, the field of advanced-practice nursing is exploding.”

In addition to applying their nursing expertise to clinical and management roles, NPs are streamlining medical procedures, easing the transition from in- to outpatient care, and developing innovative programs that improve the health of our communities. They also bring a unique perspective to patient care by focusing on the overall well-being of the whole person, emphasizing both care and cure. At Kaweah Health, you’ll find NPs practicing in cardiology, chronic disease management, pediatrics, neurosciences, palliative care, case management, emergency medicine, and orthopedics.

NP Carolyn Berglund is passionate about the impact she and her peers make on cardiac care. “Our goal is to partner with physicians to promote and educate patients on the importance of things like self-care and medication management after a heart procedure,” she said. This focus on patient outcomes has been proven to reduce the length of hospital stays and reduce readmission rates – that's great news for patients transitioning from hospital to home after being treated for a serious heart issue.

The medical center’s recent affiliation with the Cleveland Clinic Heart and Vascular Institute is helping drive cardiac care at Kaweah Health into the future and Melisa Arreguin, a NP practicing at the Kaweah Health Specialty Clinic Center (CDMC), is looking forward to the advancements in care to come. In 2018, Melisa and the NPs at the CDMC worked with Cardiologist and Kaweah Health Chief of Staff Dr. Harry Lively to create the “Empowered Hearts” heart failure program, which educates patients on their chronic medical conditions and optimizes their medical management to reduce hospitalizations. “We aim to expand the program based on Cleveland Clinic’s existing patient education resources,” she said. “NPs at Kaweah Health strive to promote evidence-based practice and aim to work with multidisciplinary teams. We understand comprehensive care and improved outcomes happen when we integrate best research and clinical experience.”

Carolyn agrees. “The new affiliation with Cleveland Clinic provides a great opportunity for the NP service line to grow and get better,” she expressed. “Our protocols will be in line with the organization that sets the best heart care standards in the country.”

As hospitals throughout the country evaluate healthcare delivery and look for ways to maximize available resources, the role of NPs in all specialties of medicine will evolve and contribute to increased quality of care. Compassion, education, listening, motivating, and empowering patients are taught to all NPs as part of the nursing foundation, and Kaweah Health is tapping into that expertise to advance patient care into the future.

Learn More About Health's Affiliation with Cleveland Clinic

The affiliation between Kaweah Health and the Cleveland Clinic Heart & Vascular Institute means our patients have access to the broadest possible range of heart care solutions. Learn more by visiting