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Family Matters

Posted on June 26, 2019

Former department manager trusts Roane Medical Center; says staff works together “like family”

Larry Brown says he gets “white coat syndrome” whenever he visits his family doctor.

“Every time I’d go to the doctor my blood pressure would be up, but it would be fine at home,” said Brown, a 70-year-old Kingston resident. “I would convince my doctor that’s what it was. I’d say, ‘Hey, I’m just scared of you!’”

He was joking, of course. And when his blood pressure gets out of hand as it did last spring, he knows where he wants to be: Roane Medical Center.

“People think bigger is better, but they aren’t necessarily paying attention to what they’ve got right here at home,” said Brown, who lives only four miles from the 54-bed state-of-the-art hospital. “I can sit right here and tell you that in the times I’ve worked for this hospital and as a patient here, I have never seen a problem that I thought should have been handled another way. They’ve always been ‘right on’ with what they’re doing, and they always seem to have your interest at heart. I couldn’t ask for any better care.”

Brown managed Roane Medical Center’s respiratory therapy department more than three decades ago, when the hospital was located in downtown Harriman. “When I worked here, it was like a big family – everybody cared about each other, worked together, helped each other,” said Brown. “It was a wonderful place to work.”

Larry Brown, patient of Roane Medical Center
Larry Brown

That hasn’t changed in almost 30 years, he said. “Some of the respiratory people who are here now were with me then. I can go into the ER and they all know me, and most of the ER doctors know me because I worked with them,” said Brown. “I worked with a lot of the head nurses back when they were LPNs.”

Brown has dealt with high blood pressure all of his adult life. “For 25 years, my blood pressure was always regulated by one medication, and all of a sudden, it just quit,” Brown said. “All of a sudden, my blood pressure had become unmanageable.”

His physician changed his medication, but two days later, his blood pressure was back up. “I could tell my blood pressure was going up because I could feel it. I felt nauseated and pressure in my chest. So my wife says, ‘We’ve got to go to the hospital!’”

When Brown arrived at Roane Medical Center’s emergency department, he found plenty of familiar and friendly faces caring for him.

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