Our Services

Endocrinology

  • Endocrine Disorders

    The endocrine system is a network of glands that produce and release hormones that help control many important body functions, especially the body's ability to change calories into energy that powers cells and organs. The endocrine system influences how your heart beats, how your bones and tissues grow, even your ability to make a baby. It plays a vital role in whether or not you develop diabetes, thyroid disease, growth disorders, sexual dysfunction, and a host of other hormone-related disorders.

  • Causes of Endocrine Disorders

    Endocrine disorders are typically grouped into two categories:

    • Endocrine disease that results when a gland produces too much or too little of an endocrine hormone, called a hormone imbalance.
    • Endocrine disease due to the development of lesions (such as nodules or tumors) in the endocrine system, which may or may not affect hormone levels.

    The endocrine's feedback system helps control the balance of hormones in the bloodstream. If your body has too much or too little of a certain hormone, the feedback system signals the proper gland or glands to correct the problem. A hormone imbalance may occur if this feedback system has trouble keeping the right level of hormones in the bloodstream, or if your body doesn't clear them out of the bloodstream properly. Increased or decreased levels of endocrine hormone may be caused by:

    • A problem with the endocrine feedback system
    • Disease
    • Failure of a gland to stimulate another gland to release hormones (for example, a problem with the hypothalamus can disrupt hormone production in the pituitary gland)
    • A genetic disorder, such as multiple endocrine meoplasia (MEN) or congenital hypothyroidism
    • Infection
    • Injury to an endocrine gland
    • Tumor of an endocrine gland

    Most endocrine tumors and nodules (lumps) are noncancerous. They usually do not spread to other parts of the body. However, a tumor or nodule on the gland may interfere with the gland's hormone production.

  • Types of Endocrine Disorders

    There are many different types of endocrine disorders. Diabetes is the most common endocrine disorder diagnosed in the U.S.

    Other endocrine disorders include:

    • Adrenal insufficiency. The adrenal gland releases too little of the hormone cortisol and sometimes, aldosterone. Symptoms include fatigue, stomach upset, dehydration, and skin changes. Addison's disease is a type of adrenal insufficiency.
    • Cushing's disease. Overproduction of a pituitary gland hormone leads to an overactive adrenal gland. A similar condition called Cushing's syndrome may occur in people, particularly children, who take high doses of corticosteroid medications.
    • Gigantism (acromegaly) and other growth hormone problems. If the pituitary gland produces too much growth hormone, a child's bones and body parts may grow abnormally fast. If growth hormone levels are too low, a child can stop growing in height.
    • Hyperthyroidism. The thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone, leading to weight loss, fast heart rate, sweating, and nervousness. The most common cause for an overactive thyroid is an autoimmune disorder called Grave's disease.
    • Hypothyroidism. The thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone, leading to fatigue, constipation, dry skin, and depression. The underactive gland can cause slowed development in children. Some types of hypothyroidism are present at birth.
    • Hypopituitarism. The pituitary gland releases little or no hormones. It may be caused by a number of different diseases. Women with this condition may stop getting their periods.
    • Multiple endocrine neoplasia I and II (MEN I and MEN II). These rare, genetic conditions are passed down through families. They cause tumors of the parathyroid, adrenal, and thyroid glands, leading to overproduction of hormones.  
    • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Overproduction of androgens interfere with the development of eggs and their release from the female ovaries. PCOS is a leading cause of infertility.
    • Precocious puberty. Abnormally early puberty that occurs when glands tell the body to release sex hormones too soon in life.
  • Testing for Endocrine Disorders

    If you have an endocrine disorder, your doctor may refer you to a specialist called an endocrinologist. An endocrinologist is specially trained in problems with the endocrine system.

    The symptoms of an endocrine disorder vary widely and depend on the specific gland involved. However, most people with endocrine disease complain of fatigue and weakness.

    Blood and urine tests to check your hormone levels can help your doctors determine if you have an endocrine disorder. Imaging tests may be done to help locate or pinpoint a nodule or tumor.

    Treatment of endocrine disorders can be complicated, as a change in one hormone level can throw off another. Your doctor or specialist may order routine blood work to check for problems or to determine if your medication or treatment plan needs to be adjusted.
     

    Source: www.webmd.com

Internal Medicine

  • Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative (CPCI)

    The Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative is a multi-payer initiative which promotes the collaboration between public and private health care payers to improve primary care.  Medicare, along with commercial and state health care plans, is working with primary care practices to help deliver higher quality, better coordinated, and more patient-centered care.

    Primary care is a key point of contact for patients' health care needs.  The Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative's focus is to improve care coordination, making it easier for clinicians to work together, and helping clinicians spend more time with their patients while improving quality and reducing cost.

    Practices were selected through a competitive application process based on their:

    • Use of health information technology
    • Ability to demonstrate recognition of advanced primary care delivery by accreditation bodies
    • Service to patients covered by participating payers
    • Participation in practice transformation and improvement activities
    • Diversity of geography, practice size and ownership structure

    How does this affect St. Bernards Clopton Clinic patients?

    Better management of care for patients with high health care needs: Patients with multiple or serious medical conditions typically need more support to ensure they are getting the medical care they need.  St. Bernards Clopton Clinic has added Care Coordinators to help the physicians deliver intensive care management for patients with high risks.  By engaging patients in their care and treatment, we can work together to create a plan of care that will individually fit each patient's circumstances and values.

    Improved access to care: Unfortunately, health care needs and emergencies are not restricted to office operating hours. St. Bernards Clopton Clinic has staff available to patients 24/7 with real-time access to patient data and personal health information.

    Encouragement of preventative care services: Our care teams are proactively assessing patients to determine any needs they may have in order to provide appropriate and timely preventative care. 

    Getting patients and their caregivers involved in their health care: We are encouraging patients and their caregivers to be more involved in their healthcare decisions by providing education and one-on-one time with Care Coordinators.

    Improving the coordination of care across the medical neighborhood: Our care teams are currently working with patients, caregivers, and other health care providers involved in the patients care to ensure appropriate decisions are being made for the patient's well-being.

    St. Bernards Clopton Clinic Internal Medicine Care Teams

    Shelia Morgan, RN Care Coordinator
    (870) 932-1198 ext 377
    Physicians: Dr. Rick Tate and Dr. Mark Wood
    APRN: Tammy Hawkins

    Sheila Millay, RN Care Coordinator
    (870) 932-1198 ext 346
    Physicians: Dr. Ben Owens Jr. and Dr. David Pyle
    APRN: Valari Landrum

    Tami Philhours, RN Care Coordinator
    (870)932-1198 ext 343
    Physicians: Dr. Donald Guinn, Dr. Revel Porter, and Dr. Rebecca Osborne
    APRN: Starla Emery

    Natalie Engelken, RN Care Coordinator
    (870) 932-1198 ext 334
    Physicians; Dr. Corey Diamond and Dr. Veryl Hodges
    APRN: Amanda Hendrix

  • In-House Laboratory

    St. Bernards Clopton Clinic operates a state of the art, full service laboratory. The CLIA certified laboratory performs testing in the areas of hematology, coagulation, chemistry, special chemistry, therapeutic drug monitoring, and serology. The laboratory is open 8:00am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday, and is located on the 1st floor of the 300 Carson building.

  • Radiology

    Diagnostic Imaging
    St. Bernards Clopton Clinic’s radiology department provides high quality digital diagnostic x-rays, which are available for immediate review by our physicians. The radiology department is staffed by registered technologist.

    Bone Densitometry
    Bone Densitometry testing is a non-invasive procedure conducted in our radiology department. This test is used to evaluate a patient's risk for osteoporosis. It is also used to determine a patient's response to osteoporosis therapy. The procedure is painless and requires approximately 10 minutes to perform.

    Cardiovascular Ultrasound
    The cardiovascular lab is accredited by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC) and offers testing by ARDMS registered technologists in the following modalities:

    • Adult Echocardiography
    • Carotid Doppler
    • Venous Doppler

Nephrology

  • Dialysis Treatment

    Dialysis is primarily used to provide an artificial replacement for lost kidney function (renal replacement therapy) due to renal failure.  Dialysis may be used for very sick patients who have suddenly but temporarily, lost their kidney function (acute renal failure) or for quite stable patients who have permanently lost their kidney function (stage 5 chronic kidney disease).  When healthy, the kidneys maintain the body's internal equilibrium of water and minerals (sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sulfate) and the kidneys remove from the remove from the blood the daily metabolic load of fixed hydrogen ions.  The kidneys also function as a part of the endocrine system producing erythropoietin and 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol (calcitriol). Dialysis treatments imperfectly replace some of these functions through the diffusion (waste removal) and convection (fluid removal).

    Our dialysis services are offered at the St Bernards Outpatient Dialysis Center Jonesboro, Forrest City, Marked Tree, McCrory, Newport, Paragould, Wynne, and Kennett, Missouri.

    Chronic Kidney Disease Clinic services are offered in Jonesboro, Paragould, Pocahontas, and Wynne.

  • In-House Laboratory

    St. Bernards Clopton Clinic operates a state of the art, full service laboratory. The CLIA certified laboratory performs testing in the areas of hematology, coagulation, chemistry, special chemistry, therapeutic drug monitoring, and serology. The laboratory is open 8:00am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday, and is located on the 1st floor of the 300 Carson building.

Pulmonology

  • Bronchoscopy

    Clopton Clinic Pulmonary contracts with St. Bernards Medical Center to provide bronchoscopy services. Bronchoscopy is a medical procedure where a tube is inserted into the airways, usually through the nose or mouth. This allows the practitioner to examine inside a patient's airway for abnormalities such as foreign bodies, bleeding, tumors, or inflammation. The practitioner often takes samples from inside the lungs: biopsies, fluid (bronchoalveolar lavage), or endobronchial brushing. The practitioner may use either a rigid bronchoscope or flexible bronchoscope.

  • Pulmonary Function Testing

    Pulmonary function testing is used to measure lung capacity. This test may be used to evaluate conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Pulmonary function testing is painless, and requires approximately 5 minutes to perform. Spirometry (meaning the measuring of breath) is the most common of the Pulmonary Function Tests (PFTs), measuring lung function, specifically the measurement of the amount and/or speed of air that can be inhaled and exhaled. Spirometry is an important tool used for generating pneumotachograph to assessing conditions such as asthma, pulmonary fibrosis, and COPD.

  • Sleep Studies

    Pulmonology also offers sleep studies at St Bernards Medical Center. Our pulmonary staff is trained to provide you with state of the art care at the St Bernards Sleep Disorders Center. Our physicians are Board Certified in Sleep Medicine. Sleep studies are tests that watch what happens to your body during sleep. The studies are done to find out what is causing your sleep problems.

  • Thoracentesis

    Thoracentesis is an invasive procedure to remove fluid or air from the pleural space for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes. A hollow needle is carefully introduced into the thorax, after administration of a local anesthesia. If a large amount of fluid is present, then this procedure can also be used therapeutically to remove that fluid and improve patient comfort and lung function.

  • Radiology

    Diagnostic Imaging
    St. Bernards Clopton Clinic’s radiology department provides high quality digital diagnostic x-rays, which are available for immediate review by our physicians. The radiology department is staffed by registered technologist.

  • In-House Laboratory

    St. Bernards Clopton Clinic operates a state of the art, full service laboratory. The CLIA certified laboratory performs testing in the areas of hematology, coagulation, chemistry, special chemistry, therapeutic drug monitoring, and serology. The laboratory is open 8:00am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday, and is located on the 1st floor of the 300 Carson building.

  • Pulmonology Resources
  • Bronchial Thermoplasty
    St. Bernards is currently the only hospital in Arkansas actively treating chronic severe asthma using. Bronchial Thermoplasty. Dr. Mark Sifford and Dr. Joshua Morrison, with St. Bernards Clopton Clinic are the only physicians in Arkansas treating Bronchial Thermoplasty at this time.

    Bronchial Thermoplasty is an FDA-approved bronchoscopic procedure for the treatment of severe persistent asthma in individuals who are 18 years and older, whose asthma is not well controlled.

    Bronchial Thermoplasty uses thermal energy to reduce the excessive airway smooth muscle responsible for airway constriction in asthma patients, thereby providing long-lasting control in adults with severe asthma.

    Benefits to Patients

    • Non-drug Procedure
    • Clinically Proven
    • Safe and Effective
    • Long Lasting 

    The Bronchial Thermoplasty Procedure

    A full course of Bronchial Thermoplasty treatment includes three separate bronchoscopic procedures: one for the each lower lobe of the lung and another for both upper lobes. Each outpatient procedure is performed approximately three weeks apart.

    While the patients are under sedation, a catheter inside a bronchoscope – a thin, flexible tube-like instrument – introduced through the patient’s nose or mouth, and into his or her lungs delivering thermal energy into the airways. The patient is monitored after the procedure and usually returns home that day.

    For more information, visit BTforasthma.com.

    Good Candidates for Bronchial Thermoplasty

    • Adults between 18-65 years old
    • Non-smokers
    • Have severe or persistent asthma not well controlled by inhaled corticosteroids or long-acting bronchodilator medications

    Temporary Side Effects of Bronchial Thermoplasty

    • Couging 
    • Weezing 
    • Shortness of Breath

    Bronchial Thermoplasty Treatment Locations 

    St. Bernards Clopton Clinic - Pulmonolgy 

    Dr. Mark Sifford and Dr. Joshua Morrison

    300 Carson
    Jonesboro, AR 72401

    (870) 932-8181

  • Bronchial Thermoplasty: FAQs

    What is Bronchial Thermoplasty? 

    Bronchial Thermoplasty (BT) is a safe outpatient bronchoscopy procedure that uses mild heat to reduce excessive smooth muscle in the airways, which helps reduce severe asthma attacks.

    How does BT work?

    People with severe asthma have an excess of smooth muscle tissue lining their airways. During an asthma attack, this muscle constricts the airways, making breathing difficult. BT reduces the amount of excess muscle and helps minimize the narrowing of your airways during an asthma attack.

    What are the benefits and risks of BT?

    In a clinical trial, almost 79% of patients treated with BT reported significant improvements in their asthma-related quality of life—including a reduction in asthma attacks, ER visits and hospitalizations for respiratory symptoms, and fewer days lost from work, school, and other daily activities due to asthma. As with any procedure, there are risks, and individual results may vary. The most common side effect of BT is temporary worsening of respiratory-related symptoms (within 1 to 7 days). There is a small risk (3.4%) of these symptoms requiring hospitalization.

    Am I a candidate for BT?

    BT delivered by the Alair™ System is approved by the FDA for the treatment of severe asthma in patients 18 years and older whose asthma is not well controlled with inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting beta-agonists such as Advair™, Symbicort™, and Dulera™. Further evaluation with Dr. Mark Sifford, who is trained in BT, will help determine whether you are a candidate who may benefit from this procedure.

    What will happen during the procedure?

    To ensure safety and optimal results every step of the way, BT is typically performed under moderate sedation in three separate sessions scheduled three weeks apart. Each session lasts about an hour and focuses on a different part of the lung to ensure all of the affected areas are treated. The device is introduced into your airways through a bronchoscope that is inserted into your mouth or nose, so no incision is required. After the procedure, you will be monitored for 2 to 4 hours and discharged on the same day. The treating physician will provide you with more details on what to expect during and after the procedure.

    Who performs BT?

    Currently Dr. Mark Sifford is the only St. Bernards physician practicing BT. St. Bernards is also the only hospital actively treating BT at the moment.

    Will I be able to stop taking my asthma medications?

    BT does not replace your current daily maintenance medication, but instead works with it to provide long-term stability in your asthma symptoms and lessen severe asthma attacks requiring oral steroids (prednisone). Is BT covered by insurance? Coverage policies and payment vary by payer. Your BT physician/staff will work with you to request coverage of your BT procedure. 

    For more information please call the St. Bernards Healthline at (870) 207-7300. 

Rheumatology

  • Rheumatic Diseases

    Rheumatic diseases are painful conditions usually caused by inflammation, swelling, and pain in the joints or muscles.

    Some rheumatic diseases like osteoarthritis are the result of "wear and tear" to the joints. Other rheumatic diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, happen when the immune system becomes hyperactive; the immune system attacks the linings of joints, causing joint pain, swelling, and destruction.

    Almost any joint can be affected in rheumatic disease. There are more than 100 rheumatic diseases but we'll focus on some of the common types.

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Rheumatoid arthritis affects about 1.3 million Americans; about 75% of those affected are women.

    In RA, the body's immune system attacks its own tissues, causing joint pain, swelling, and stiffness that can be severe. The condition can result in permanent joint damage and deformity.                                                      

    RA signs and symptoms include:

    • Joint pain and swelling
    • Involvement of multiple joints (usually in a symmetrical pattern)
    • Other organ involvement such as eyes and lungs
    • Joint stiffness, especially in the morning
    • Fatigue
    • Lumps called rheumatoid nodules

    To diagnose RA, your doctor will ask about your medical history and do a physical exam. Also, X-rays and blood tests will likely be taken. One blood test may be for rheumatoid factor; it is positive in 70% to 80% of those with RA.

  • Diagnosing Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in the early stages can be difficult. There is no single test that can clearly identify rheumatoid arthritis. Instead, doctors diagnose rheumatoid arthritis based on factors that are strongly associated with the disease. The American College of Rheumatology uses this list of criteria:

    • Morning stiffness in and around the joints for at least one hour.
    • Swelling or fluid around three or more joints simultaneously.
    • At least one swollen area in the wrist, hand, or finger joints.
    • Arthritis involving the same joint on both sides of the body (symmetric arthritis).
    • Rheumatoid nodules, which are firm lumps in the skin of people with rheumatoid arthritis. These nodules are usually in pressure points of the body, most commonly the elbows.
    • Abnormal amounts of rheumatoid factor in the blood.
    • X-ray changes in the hands and wrists typical of rheumatoid arthritis, with destruction of bone around the involved joints. However, these changes are typical of later-stage disease. 

    Rheumatoid arthritis is officially diagnosed if four or more of these seven factors are present. The first four factors must have been present for at least six weeks. More recently, guidelines have changed somewhat in an attempt to diagnose RA in its earlier stages.

    Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis can come and go but are usually persistent. To diagnose RA, your doctor may need to see your joints when the disease is active for several reasons:

    • Patients may find it hard to describe symptoms to doctors in a way that allows them to make the diagnosis.
    • Rheumatoid arthritis can appear similar to other common causes of joint pain, leading to the wrong diagnosis.
    • Patients often think they are feeling "normal" aches and pains and ignore or just live with their symptoms for a long time before seeking treatment.

    Several diseases can masquerade as rheumatoid arthritis, which contributes to the difficulty in diagnosis. These other diseases include:

    • Osteoarthritis
    • Gout
    • Fibromyalgia
    • Other autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus)
    • Joint inflammation caused by infections

    Because of these difficulties, a proper diagnosis is often missed early on. In fact, the average time between the onset of symptoms and the official diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis is almost nine months.

    Though diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis isn't easy, it is extremely important to correctly identify those with the disease. Delaying the diagnosis can be harmful because joint damage can occur early in the disease. Some experts think that blocking early joint damage can have huge long-term benefits.

    The problem arises when it looks like someone has rheumatoid arthritis but they don't yet meet the criteria for diagnosis. If someone doesn't actually have it, it would be wrong to treat them because the drugs used to treat RA are powerful and can have serious side effects.


    Source: www.webmd.com

  • Rheumatology Resources