Medical care returns to historic Anchorage house via telehealth

Heather Felton, M.D., is using Norton Telehealth to see patients from home — a home that doubled as a doctor’s office 100 years ago.

For pediatrician Heather Felton, M.D., seeing patients from her home is new. For her house, it’s like old times.

The home Dr. Felton and her family bought in Anchorage, Kentucky, five years ago was built around 1900 and owned by Joseph Winston, M.D. He lived and practiced in the house — treating the sick, providing medication and delivering babies.

“The house was built so the front of the house was the residence part,” Dr. Felton said. “But on the side, there’s a door with his nameplate. That’s where patients would enter. The room off the hallway was his office.”

Dr. Felton, who practices at Norton Children’s Medical Group – Germantown, has been seeing patients who don’t need an in-person appointment via Norton Telehealth. It’s an option that patients and providers like Dr. Felton have been using during the coronavirus outbreak.

Through her laptop, she’s talking to patients and families in that old office, though it also now doubles as her kids’ playroom. The house, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was designed by Clarke & Loomis, a prominent Louisville architectural firm.

Dr. Felton didn’t think about history coming full circle until her husband pointed it out.

“[Dr. Winston] would never have been able to imagine I would be sitting here seeing patients on my laptop more than a century later,” Dr. Felton said. “It’s just something you never would have envisioned happening again. But it’s something you can take out of all this, saying you know, it wasn’t all bad. There are little positive things you can hold onto.”

Norton Children’s Medical Group

Norton Children’s Medical Group, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, offers pediatric primary care at more than 20 locations throughout Louisville and surrounding communities, including Southern Indiana.

Telehealth changing the way doctors can treat patients

While the COVID-19 pandemic has created many changes and challenges in health care, Dr. Felton sees the expansion of telehealth as positive.

“I think we’ll continue to use some telehealth visits even after COVID-19,” she said. “There are some cases where you really just have to be seen in person, but there are some things that can be done over telehealth and it can be a really quick, really convenient way to do it. It’s also just a really convenient way for patients to be seen and to make sure that their needs are met.”