Sleep medicine program now available at VMH

In October, 2014, Veterans Memorial Hospital began a partnership with Whitney Sleep Diagnostics and Consultants to provide comprehensive sleep medicine services. Patients can now receive diagnosis and treatment for Sleep Apnea, Insomnia, Restless Legs Syndrome, Narcolepsy or any of the 84 known sleep disorders.
People who snore excessively or stop breathing during sleep may have sleep apnea.  It is estimated that up to 18 million American adults have sleep apnea. People who have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or not waking up refreshed may suffer from a treatable sleep disorder.  
“We have offered sleep studies at Veterans for many years, but our new partnership with Whitney Sleep allows patients to receive follow up from a Board Certified Sleep Specialist as well as on-site CPAP assistance,” said Mike Myers, CEO of Veterans Memorial Hospital.  “The patients I have talked with are very impressed with the level of care they have received and most are experiencing positive outcomes and better sleep as a result.”
Most insurance plans provide some level of coverage for sleep studies because, left untreated, sleep apnea can increase a person’s risk of heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, depression, diabetes, and work or traffic-related accidents due to daytime fatigue.
Dr. Courtney Whitney, who oversees all aspects of the sleep program at Veterans Memorial Hospital, became a Board Certified Sleep Specialist in 2005.  In 2008, he created Whitney Sleep Diagnostics specifically to provide comprehensive sleep medicine as an outreach service. His decision to partner with Critical Access and community hospitals provides people living in less populated areas access to the benefits of a free-standing sleep center typically only found in larger cities.
“Sleep issues have such an impact on overall health.  This partnership demonstrates the commitment Veterans Memorial Hospital has to the communities it serves,” Dr. Whitney said.
Those who would answer yes to two or more of these questions may consider talking with a health care provider about a referral for a sleep study:
• Do you snore?
• Are you excessively tired during the day?
• Have you been told you stop breathing while you sleep?
• Do you have a history of hypertension (High Blood Pressure)?
• Is your neck size greater than 17 inches (male) or 16 inches (female)?
• Do you wake up to use the bathroom more than twice a night?
• Have you ever fallen asleep while driving?
For more information, contact a local health care provider or call the Respiratory Therapy Department at Veterans Memorial Hospital at 563-568-3411.