The first time 84-year-old Osman Elhadary set foot in the University of Minnesota Clinics and Surgery Center, he thought immediately of his son, a dentist in Egypt.
“I went out from the car, and a lady came to help me because I have a cane with me,” Osman said, several days after his first appointment at the new center, which opened in late February.
“We walked together inside, and she asked me ‘What can I help you with?’ I was looking around at this spacious entrance, and the design was not like other hospitals. I wanted my son in Egypt come see this place. I wanted him to see what healthcare in America is like. He would be shocked. He would be astonished.”
Elhadary’s words were moving for Alice Snorteland, MBA, OTR/L, CHT, a hand therapist who had an appointment with Elhadary that day. Snorteland, has been helping care for Elhadary’s trigger finger, a condition caused by inflammation of the tendons in one or more fingers. People with trigger finger often experience a painful or irritating “snapping” when they bend or straighten the finger. The affected fingers may also lock in the bent position.
The condition can affect a person’s ability to grip objects or complete everyday tasks, like writing. Elhadary also received cortisone injections from University of Minnesota Health Sports Medicine Physician Jennifer Oberstar, MD, to reduce his symptoms.
“I have made it a habit to ask patients about their experiences when visiting the building because I want to make it as great of an experience as possible,” Snorteland said. “As soon as I asked Osman, he looked at me and his eyes lit up.”
The new Clinics and Surgery Center has been very advantageous for Snorteland and her patients, because it brings many multidisciplinary specialists together in a single space to provide care.
“After patients see the hand surgeon, if they need therapy, they can walk to the next treatment room and be seen in hand therapy. This provides more efficient and seamless care for our patients,” Snorteland said. “It also provides me the ability to speak to the surgeons daily about patients and their plans of care.”