Not Just Another Appointment on the Schedule
By Mary Ellen South
“You need a colonoscopy.” These are dreaded words you never want to hear from your doctor, but that’s exactly what Katherine Plumley’s doctor said to her. She had a colonoscopy some 11 years earlier when she lived in Minnesota. It was a very clinical and particularly unenjoyable experience. The idea of finding a good gastroenterologist and going through it again made her very nervous.
Kathy has lived in Ocean View for the last three years; she moved east to be near her children. She is originally from Cape Cod, but has lived various places working for IBM. Finding a doctor became very easy when she started asking friends and her card club members. Their overwhelming response: “You have to go to Dr. Harry!”
Dr. Harry Anagnostakos is a physician with Beebe Gastroenterology Associates in Lewes. Kathy got her appointment and found the staff to be readily accessible, courteous, and kind. Dr. Harry put her at ease and asked questions to get to know her. He reassured her with information about the practice and told her that respect for the patient is of utmost importance to him, his associates, and staff.
Kathy writes in a thank you letter to Dr. Harry, “You greeted me as though I were important and the first person you had seen all day. You were wonderful at making me feel less anxious and less fearful, allowing me to breathe easier and be almost gleeful that I was having the colonoscopy done! As I drove home I asked myself, ‘How come I am not frightened or anxious?’ I have to admit, it was the lengthy, honest, enlightening conversation we had days before the procedure.
Although the prep solution was horrendous, the procedure was unremarkable and went without flaw. Dr. Harry walked me through the process explaining every step of the way as the instrument traveled throughout my colon. I felt not only comfortable but completely safe in your hands and for that I say ‘thank you.’”
Every Beebe experience Kathy has had in her three years here has been very professional and left her with a feeling of security about her healthcare. The Beebe Lab in Millville has been very welcoming. An experience at the Emergency Department in Lewes was excellent.
An active member of her community, Kathy serves as secretary for Lord Baltimore Lion’s Club in Ocean View. She is also a member of “Attack Addiction.” She currently works as a caregiver for Griswold Home Care in Lewes. After retiring from IBM. she lived in Merritt Island, Florida and worked at the Wuesthoff Hospital (now the Rockledge Medical Center) for three years. She’s had multiple experiences with many physicians in her 73 years, but reiterates that Dr. Harry is “one in a million.”
Kathy is quite complimentary as she likens Beebe to the Mayo Clinic, which she was familiar with from her time living in Minnesota. Both facilities provide excellent and compassionate care. Mayo Clinic is also a non-profit healthcare system. She emphasizes the importance of a community providing support for these type of systems.
Kathy’s was not the first comparison of Beebe to the Mayo Clinic. At Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, brothers Dr. James and Dr. Richard Beebe had studied under physicians who were at the forefront of modern medicine. Philadelphia was full of hospitals that offered groundbreaking procedures. Yet both Beebes elected to practice at home in Lewes, a maritime town surrounded by farmland. Inspired by Dr. William J. Mayo and Dr. Charles H. Mayo, the Beebe brothers in 1916 opened a three-bed hospital on Savannah Road next to their father’s farm. More information about the history of Beebe can be found in the book Beebe: 100 Years of Caring, which can be purchased at the Beebe Gift Shop or the Foundation Office at 902 Savannah Road.
In response to Kathy’s complimentary letter, Dr. Harry wrote, “On behalf of myself and the wonderful staff and nurses at Beebe Gastroenterology Associates, I thank Ms. Plumley from the bottom of my heart for her enormously kind words. In our fast-paced world, quickness and quantity are sometimes held in higher regard as markers of success than quality of care, however, it is not so in our office. We strive every day at Beebe Gastroenterology Associates to treat our patients with the respect and kindness they deserve – as people with unique thoughts, feelings, and worries, and not just as appointments on a schedule. It truly means the world to me that our patients feel comfortable and happy in our care.”
As a community-based, not-for-profit healthcare system, Beebe Healthcare depends on the generous support of individuals, corporations, businesses, and private foundations. All gifts to Beebe Healthcare, large or small, are tax-deductible and are channeled through Beebe Medical Foundation. Please consider making a gift today and sharing your story with our community. To make your proud personal donation or to learn more about Celebrate Excellent Care, go online to www.beebemedicalfoundation.org or contact the Beebe Medical Foundation at (302) 644-2900 or write to [email protected].
Photo caption: Kathy Plumley of Frankford celebrates Dr. Harry Anagostakos (‘Dr. Harry’) and his excellent care for her colonscopy along with team members from Beebe Gastroenterology Associates (left to right) Sean Mayhew, Dee Thiess, Donna Pennypacker, Melody McCleaf, and Georgetta West.