A CAPITAL MOVE FOR THE JSC
The Jemsek Specialty Clinic's transition to its new location in Washington, D.C., is making steady progress, while ensuring that quality patient care always remains the top priority.
The clinic is currently in the process of making state-of-the-art renovations and upfits to a 5,200-square-foot office space it has secured near the heart of the nation's capital. The renovations are expected to be complete for the start of the New Year. In the meantime, the clinic is subleasing shared space in the same medical building, where Dr. Jemsek has already started seeing patients on a limited basis.
Until the renovations are complete in late December, Dr. Jemsek will balance his time with a work cycle that calls for him to be in Washington for ten days at a stretch, then returning to Charlotte for four days to be with his family. Dr. Jemsek's five-year-old daughter, Jordan, was recently diagnosed with an aggressive Leukemia (AML), and his wife, Kay, was diagnosed with breast cancer.
"My schedule is, of necessity, a function of what is best for Jordan and Kay," Dr. Jemsek said. "We continue to be grateful for the support and understanding that patients have shown for our family during these difficult times."
During the clinic's transition to Washington, its office in Fort Mill, S.C., will remain open until late December. Patients are encouraged to continue using the Fort Mill office as a primary contact for scheduling and coordinating appointments, which can be made at (803) 396-5885.
The clinic's new location in Washington, D.C., at 2440 M Street N.W., is located less than two miles from the White House and about a mile from the Georgetown neighborhood. The new facility is easily accessible from the Foggy Bottom Washington Metro station, and is less than a six-mile taxi drive from Reagan National Airport. For patients driving into the city, the clinic building at 2440 M Street has ample underground parking available.
The Jemsek Specialty Clinic looks forward to providing the best possible patient care in our new facility, and will continue work to minimize any inconvenience the transition has caused. We extend our sincere thanks for your cooperation and patience.
PROCLAMATIONS MAKE STRONG CASE FOR LYME AWARENESS
As a retired Marine lieutenant colonel and high-flying pilot for Delta Airlines, Dave Tierney is used to getting missions accomplished. He had his sights set on a big one earlier this year. Tierney was determined to rectify an oversight of the North Carolina Department of Public Health, which had failed last year to officially recognize Lyme Disease Awareness Month within the state.
The issue struck a personal chord with Tierney, who is on the road to renewed health subsequent to being diagnosed and treated for Lyme disease after a previous misdiagnosis for MS nearly cost him his job as a pilot.
"North Carolina would only do tick and mosquito awareness month and didn't focus on Lyme disease, as several other state proclamations did," says Tierney, who lives in Cary, North Carolina. "They finally ending up issuing a proclamation by our governor, but it was pretty weak and didn't mention Lyme disease at all."
So Tierney decided to get the ball rolling when it came to having proclamations issued that specifically emphasized the need for and importance of Lyme disease awareness. Donna Dean joined in the effort, which also hit close to home for her. Dean, along with four members of her family, has Lyme disease.
"A huge amount of credit goes to Donna," Tierney says. "She did a lot of the ground work to get town officials to recognize the importance of increasing awareness of Lyme."
Tierney, Dean and a grassroots movement of Lyme advocates lobbied officials and politicians from towns and cities across the state, with requests to approve proclamations that officially designated a particular week, or in some cases a whole month, for Lyme Disease Awareness.
"One of our main goals was that by getting towns involved with increasing awareness," Tierney explains, "we'd be in a position of being able to leverage the proclamations later in dealings with the state when it comes to recognizing Lyme disease and increasing awareness throughout North Carolina."
Over the course of several months earlier this year, through phone calls, e-mails, follow-up phone calls and follow-up e-mails, the lobbying efforts began to bear fruit.
Tierney, Dean, and their troop of Lyme advocates were able to get Lyme Disease Awareness proclamations approved for nearly a dozen municipalities across the state, from Cary, High Point, Holly Springs and Winston-Salem to Locust, New London, Albemarle, Burlington and Elon.
The impact of securing the proclamations was twofold, Tierney says. In addition to providing a tool that will provide Lyme advocates leverage in convincing state officials to acknowledge the high risk and existence of Lyme disease in North Carolina, the proclamations, in many cases, were also used by local news outlet for stories that focused on the issue of Lyme disease.
The push to increase awareness of Lyme disease in North Carolina seems to be gaining a foothold and paying dividends. After years of refusing to even concede that Lyme existed, state officials in October took the unprecedented step of issuing a statement that the tick-borne illness can, in fact, be acquired in North Carolina.
In at least four cases this year, Lyme was confirmed among patients who never left their home counties, according to an October article in the Raleigh News & Observer, ruling out the prospect that they contracted the disease while traveling.
"What we're trying to communicate to physicians is that it's possible to acquire Lyme in North Carolina, so don't hold to an old belief," said Dr. Megan Davies, state epidemiologist.
Tierney says that's a good start, but he and other Lyme advocates are pushing for more.
"My plan is to use the state's recent announcement that Lyme disease is in North Carolina," he says, "to get more cities and town next year to also recognize Lyme disease here, with the goal of having over 30 towns approving proclamations for Lyme Disease Awareness."
The plan also includes more lobbying of political leaders to encourage the state's health department to intensify Lyme research and awareness efforts.
"Having all these towns recognize the risk of Lyme disease really helps politicians and community leaders to focus attention in their districts," Tierney says. "Our state Department of Public Health's previous denial of Lyme disease and statements that there have been no proven cases of Lyme in North Carolina, have now changed the playing field forever.
"We will now do whatever it takes to have them recognize that residents continue to suffer from the state's slow acceptance of Lyme here," Tierney says, "and how residents continue to struggle to regain their health from tick-borne diseases acquired in our state."
JEMSEK FAMILY GRATEFUL FOR PRAYERS OF SUPPORT
As fall leaves splash the landscape with vibrant colors, and sights and sounds of the Holiday Season begin to fill the air, we are reminded once again of the importance that friends and family play in our lives.
The Jemsek Specialty Clinic would like to extend its sincere thanks for all of your prayers and support for Dr. Jemsek and his family, as they deal with medical problems faced by Dr. Jemsek's wife, Kay, and his five-year-old daughter, Jordan.
Kay was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and last month underwent lumpectomy surgery. She is currently being treated with radiation therapy, and her strength of character and positive attitude has been remained steadfast. While battling cancer, Kay has simultaneously managed to keep the Jemsek household running smoothly - and even kept Dr. Jemsek in line. A truly amazing feat by any standard.
Jordan, who has been diagnosed with an aggressive Leukemia (AML), continues to be an inspiration to us all. She recently finished a second round of chemotherapy and is recovering for a few weeks until she begins another round of treatment. Her journey is being chronicled at www.caringbridge.org/visit/jordanjemsek. It's said that lessons in life can be found everywhere, and Jordan's strength and courage throughout the last few months have offered a tremendous one.
"We have been eternally grateful for everyone's kind thoughts and prayers for our family during these difficult times," Dr. Jemsek said. "I've always thought of the clinic's staff and our patients as being part of a giant extended family, and the last few months have reaffirmed that belief."