Medtronic Care Management Services patient Corky LaFleur

THE IMPORTANCE OF A GOOD COACH

Medtronic Care Management Services patient Corky LaFleur and his special relationship with nurse Helen Deloney.

Former minor league baseball player Corky LaFleur knows the importance of a good coach.

Someone who helps teach and guide, and who sometimes says the things that you don’t necessarily want to hear.

But when it came to his own personal health, Corky admits he too often ignored his coaches - his doctors and nurses.

A good example is the time they sent him a Medtronic Care Management Services scale.

“And I said I don’t want this, I don’t need this. I know how much I weigh. So I sent it back,” LaFleur said.

 “It” is a specially designed scale that connects Corky every day to his own personal nurse.

He agreed to start using it after another serious scare with his congestive heart condition and diabetes.

Today he’s glad he listened to his coaches.

“You feel so much better,” he said. “And a person like me, I’ve always been active. Now I’m more active.”

Every day, Corky steps on the scale. The machine asks him questions. And the results go instantly to a nurse.

“If there’s any problems my buddy Helen is going to call me,” he said.

He’s talking about Helen Deloney. She is one member of a team of registered Medtronic nurses, looking after patients all over the country.

She works with the same patients every day, monitoring their vital signs, tracking their health and getting to know each and every one of them.

“That’s what’s great about care management nursing is you develop relationships with these patients, with their family and caregiver,“ Deloney said.

Her relationship with Corky is like player and coach. Only this time, Corky is not the one doing the coaching.

“She’s gotten on my case a couple times. Because I gained a couple pounds,” he said.

“If their weights are trending up, obviously if we’re trying to keep them out of the hospital, there are certain things that they need to know,” Deloney said. “And so if they’ve not been adhering to their dietary restrictions they’re going to hear that from us. “

“She’s terrific. She’s fantastic in fact,” LaFleur said.

Since the beginning of his Medtronic Care Management program, Corky’s trips to the emergency room have been cut by two thirds. He’s making healthier diet choices, taking his medication on time, getting more exercise. And resting easier knowing that somebody there is looking out for him.

“That’s the big difference. You don’t know what nurse you’re going to get when you go to the doctor, I got Helen,” he said.

Because after all, behind all the greatest players, is a great coach.