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ExecuHealth: One day that could forever change your life St. Luke’s program tailored for executives has several success stories in first year

PHOTO COURTESY OF ST. LUKE'S UNIVERSITY HEALTH NETWORK/ Bruce Palmer, an accountant, meets with Dr. Ray Durkin, chairman of the department of cardiology at St. Luke's University Health Network. Palmer said the ExecuHealth program caused him to be more conscious of his health and lifestyle.

A little more than a year after launching a program aimed at helping busy executives schedule medical examinations, St. Luke’s University Health Network officials say it has saved three patients who appeared to be on the verge of personal catastrophe.

A little more than a year after launching a program aimed at helping busy executives schedule medical examinations, St. Luke’s University Health Network officials say it has saved three patients who appeared to be on the verge of personal catastrophe.

“Just yesterday, a spouse came back and said that we literally saved her husband’s life,” said Janet Arner, manager of the ExecuHealth program, during a recent interview from her office at St. Luke’s Hospital-Anderson Campus in Bethlehem Township. “She was so thankful that we have this program.”

ExecuHealth allows executives — or really anyone who can pay $2,995 out of pocket — to undergo a full day of thorough diagnostics, testing and evaluation by a number of doctors and health professionals to provide them with a complete picture of their health and, in most cases, a plan to improve it.

“The nice thing about it, from a patient’s perspective, is that it’s very comprehensive. It’s efficient,” said Dr. Mark Kender, a primary care physician and one of 11 St. Luke’s staff doctors who work in the program.

“These people are often very busy folks. You get three months of things done in one day. It’s also highly interactive. You spend the end of the day in a conference environment.

“Basically, your information is put up and there’s a panel of doctors in front of you who saw you during the day. Everything is presented to you. You get to ask anything you want. You get your questions answered. If anything’s found, we do a follow-up for you. We set up any appointments at the end of the day.”

Three of 51 patients who have gone through the program had serious coronary issues, one of whom required immediate hospital care, Arner said.

Two had aneurysms in their thoracic aorta, the main artery extending from the top of the heart, Kender said. Another had “significant coronary artery disease,” he added.

“Those are things that can go completely undetected until there is a catastrophe, and we were able to find out through the diagnostic testing,” he said.

Examinations also have detected autoimmune diseases and other significant health issues such as obstructive sleep apnea, Kender said.

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