Phoebe considers applicants, new procedure

ALBANY, Ga. -- The primary role of the Professional Affairs Committee at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital is to review reports as they come through from the credentials/bylaws and medical executive committees, and from there pass them along to the full board for final approval.

On the Professional Affairs Committee's plate on Monday was consideration of personnel as well as privileges for a new procedure.

Bronchial thermoplasty is a new procedure Phoebe pulmonologists may soon be able to use as a method for dilating the muscles of the airway if respiratory problems reach a certain stage, said Dr. Doug Patten, senior vice president of medical affairs at Phoebe.

The action taken on Monday allows privileging criteria for the procedure and the individual physicians who use it to be created as a means of ensuring the staff is properly trained on how to use it.

The action is common practice for new procedures, Patten said.

The procedure itself, in which waves of thermal energy are sent to airway walls to reduce excessive airway smooth muscle, is delivered by the Alair System and is performed in three outpatient procedure visits, each scheduled approximately three weeks apart. The first procedure treats the airways of the right lower lobe, the second treats the airways of the left lower lobe and the third procedure treats the airways in both upper lobes.

The procedure is generally performed during a bronchoscopy, available information on the Alair Bronchial Thermoplasty System says.

Dr. Henry Barnard II, an orthopedic surgeon, and Dr. Joe Parker, a teleradiologist, were recommended for appointment to the medical staff, the credentialing report before the professional affairs committee on Monday said, while Drs. Ira Tyler and Marcus Parker, both radiologists, are undergoing the reappointment process, which physicians are expected to do every two years as a way to ensure the members of the medical staff remain in good standing.

Meanwhile, obstetrician Dr. Jeffery Ellis, radiologist Dr. Michael Baldwin and surgeon Dr. Ki-Hon Lin have requested a change in status. Ellis and Baldwin are requesting to go from being temporary employees, or "locum" to active staff, while Lin has asked to go from active staff to locum, the credentialing report said.

The report was recommended for approval by the full board, which is expected to act on it at an upcoming meeting.