Fun Facts About Our Gastro Guru, Dr. Aaron Pugh

Dr. Aaron Pugh is this quarter’s Featured Provider. Today, learn something new about Dr. Pugh!

Dr. Pugh

Fact: His favorite movie is “Frozen,” but only when he’s watching it with his daughter Ally-Belle.

Fact: One item on his bucket list is to own a winery in Napa Valley

Fact: If he could do any job for one day he would choose to be a stay-at-home dad.

Fact: If he had to eat one meal every day for the rest of his life, he would emphatically choose chocolate chip cookies.

Fact: Evansville, Indiana is his hometown.

Fact: We know that he hates spiders, but the FOOD he absolutely hates is anything coconut! He hates the taste and smell—that means candles, perfumes, and even lotions!

Fact: When asked what he’s most passionate about when it comes to DCC, Dr. Pugh says it’s “the quality of care that we provide to our patients.”

In response to the news of the potential exposure of 179 patients in Los Angeles, California to Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae, an infection resistant to most antibiotics, due to improper reprocessing of endoscopes following ERCP procedures, we want to ensure our patients and referring physicians that we hold scope reprocessing at the forefront of our Infection Control practices.  Our technicians receive extensive training administered by our manufacturer, Olympus, on the handling of our scopes and proper reprocessing techniques.  In addition to their initial training, we also have annual competencies and training sessions held in conjunction with our Olympus representative to ensure that we maintain a high level of compliance with all of their recommended manufacturer’s instructions as a means of minimizing the risk of infection.

We use state of the art reprocessors that ensure that each channel of the endoscope has been disinfected with peracetic acid and that all channels have been properly flushed.  A log is kept of each time a scope is reprocessed and the chemicals are tested each time the machines are run to ensure their effectiveness.

As an additional level of assurance that our practices are working, our Infection Control Committee requires that scopes are tested periodically after they have been reprocessed for the presence of proteins. A positive test for proteins would indicate the presence of bacteria or bodily fluids that could potentially pass from scope to patient and we have found zero scopes where proteins were found.

Scott Hamrick
Surgery Center Director

Ever been asked by a casual friend, “So what’s new?” I usually answer with the short but polite, “Not much, how about you?” This very situation happened to me yesterday at the grocery store and after we parted ways and I headed down the aisle it occurred to me how thoroughly and completely I had just lied to him.  For any of us here at DCC, saying that “not much” is going on would be almost rude it is so inaccurate.

For example, just here in the Endoscopy Center we have welcomed a group of CRNA’s and started using propofol sedation, introduced a brand new nursing concept (primary care nursing) and renovated the center to expand our recovery area all in the last year.  Oh yeah, and we got a new name and this brand new web-site!!  Indeed there has been quite a lot going on.

One of our nurses asked me a few months ago if we were ever going to hit a point where we didn’t have so many changes and things could just stay the same for a while.  I laughed and said, “Sure, when we retire!”  Advances in healthcare happen every day and I love working for a place that is dedicated to keeping up with those advances and doing what is right for our patients.  All of these changes have been made because they enhance the experience and safety for patients or decrease their pain and the amount of time it takes to have this procedure done.  Let’s be honest, no one wakes up and says, “You know what I want to do today… have a colonoscopy!”  That doesn’t mean that we can’t make our patient’s experience the absolute best it can be.

While I’m not sure that I am going to change my polite response to my friends, I do think it is important for our patients to know why we choose to do business the way we do.  Over the next few months, I will dig deeper into these new things to share with you how we keep making things better for our patients.  I have recently been a patient in our center and can say without hesitation that I would not want to go anywhere else for care.

Check back soon.  Next up: “Why do we use Propofol?”

Over the past couple of months, many people have asked why we are changing our name from Gastroenterology Associates to Digestive Care Center. While there are many reasons for the rebranding, more times than not I answer them that we didn’t just change our name. What we are experiencing is an evolution, or could be more accurately described as a metamorphosis. That concept became even more explicitly clear as we discussed our new logo and the image of the butterfly was selected to represent our company.

As a metaphor, the life of the butterfly speaks quite pointedly to the journey of our company. Think of the caterpillar living diligently and methodically with his thoughts focused on, I am hungry, I must eat. The caterpillar sets to his work and does his job thoroughly and completely, eating leaves whole, leaving not even a stalk. Soon, though, the caterpillar is led to cling to that branch he has been feeding off of and that which he has known as his body is soon shed away as he surrounds himself in a cocoon from which that beautiful butterfly emerges.

Surely our company has been that caterpillar, approaching our work diligently and establishing ourselves as the leading gastrointestinal group in southern Indiana. Now it is time to emerge from that cocoon and spread our wings. Just as the butterfly is still the same being as the caterpillar, so are we, the same providers offering the same great care, only enhancing our services along the way. Digestive Care Center is the umbrella under which we provide high quality and comprehensive care for all digestive health needs. While our name has changed, our focus on exceptional care continues. This new identity better reflects our reputation as the leaders in digestive health and treatment.

If you have been diagnosed with a disease of the digestive tract, have recently begun to have symptoms, or if it is just time for your colon screening, Digestive Care Center can handle your needs. We look forward to continuing to provide you with your health care needs and offering additional services along the way to better serve you. Thank you for trusting us as your health care provider for all your digestive health needs.