PMH Health Fair Friday
Susan L. Wilkins
Public Relations and Special Projects Coordinator
The Annual Health Fair at Pocahontas Memorial Hospital will be this Friday, May 3, from 7 a.m. until noon.
It promises to be a fun-filled morning with food, door prizes and more than 40 health-related exhibits and displays from organizations around the county and state. The Health Fair Planning Committee strives to bring in new organizations each year to keep things fresh, and a Zumba Station and Air-Evac Helicopter landing are in the plans for Friday. And, of course, everyone is encouraged to take advantage of the blood screenings being offered by the PMH Medical Clinical Laboratory.
The standard Executive I screening includes testing for cardiac, liver, cholesterol, hematology, thyroid function and electrolytes. This screening would typically cost $452, but during the Health Fairs PMH offers it for only $25. If men would like to include a PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen), the total cost is $30. The PSA is normally a test that costs $54 by itself. Other tests are also available at a discounted rate, including an A1C for an additional $14 and a bone density test for an additional $10.
PMH not only holds the Annual Health Fair at the hospital each year, but staff work diligently to offer Health Fairs across the county to allow folks to have blood work done in their own communities. As a result of the Health Fairs over the last 25 years, dozens of critical health conditions have been discovered for the first time such as anemia and low blood cell counts, thyroid issues, leukemia, diabetes, high lipids, bleeding disorders and prostate cancers.
Results from the blood screenings will be mailed to your home, and, upon request, will be provided to your regular healthcare provider.
“This is a great way for people to take the initiative for their own health,” says Terry Wagner, Chief Operating Officer at PMH and a director for the Health Fair.
A full schedule of locations and times is available in this edition of The Pocahontas Times or on the www.pmhwv.org website.
New Pediatric exam room at RHC
Susan L. Wilkins
Public Relations and Special Projects Coordinator
Pocahontas Memorial Hospital is extremely fortunate to have a staff made up of friendly, devoted and talented people. Many of the folks who work at the hospital have lived in the county for years; others grew up here, moved away and returned; while others chose to move here because of the uniqueness of the area and the professional opportunities available at the hospital.
One such person is Donna Lidel-Burley, the new Family Nurse Practitioner in the Rural Health Clinic (RHC). In this case, Pocahontas Memorial Hospital was lucky enough to not only gain an enthusiastic medical provider who wants the best for her patients, but a new volunteer recruit who shares that dedication.
Donna’s husband, Alan, a very recently retired Lieutenant Colonel with the Ohio Army National Guard, spent his first official day of retirement volunteering his time to paint the new Pediatric Exam Room of the RHC. Donna, who spent 10 years in Pediatrics at Cabell Huntington Hospital in Huntington, began the project during her first few days of working here – sketching Dalmatian puppies on the walls and using chalkboard paint to create a drawing area for children. Alan spent a week finishing up the paint work, including a fun border of paw prints around the room. Wal-Mart in Lewisburg generously donated a child-sized table and chairs to keep small patients away from the new computer. A computer is now required in every exam room as the RHC moves toward Electronic Health Records. Even an old medical stand got a makeover with a coat of bright red paint.
Alan and Donna are both quick to deflect praise or appreciation for their work on the new room.
“If it makes kids a little more comfortable so they want to come back – that’s what it’s all about,” Alan said.
And indeed, it should. In fact, many “grown-up kids” may decide they want to be seen in the cheerful room, as well.
The Pediatric Room will be open during the hospital’s Annual Health Fair on Friday, May 3. Be sure to ask for a tour!
To schedule an appointment with Donna or one of our other providers, please call 304-799-6200.
Take charge of your health at PMH Health Fairs
Pocahontas Memorial Hospital’s Annual Health Fairs will begin April 24.
The Health Fairs have been an important part of the community’s healthcare for more than 25 years.
As a result of the Health Fairs, critical health conditions have been diagnosed in some patients for the first time, such as anemia and low blood cell counts, thyroid issues, leukemia, diabetes, high lipids, bleeding disorders and prostate cancers.
A huge change in the Health Fairs this year is that PEIA Insurance will no longer be partnering with Pocahontas Memorial Hospital to offer the free Executive I screenings to its policyholders. PMH will still hold the blood screenings, and will continue to charge a discounted flat-fee for the basic Executive I screening. This screening covers practically every organ in the body and includes testing for cardiac, liver, cholesterol, hematology, thyroid function and electrolytes.
This screening would typically cost $452, but during the Health Fairs PMH will offer it for only $25. If men would like to include a PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen), the total cost is $30. The PSA is normally a test that costs $54. During the Health Fairs, this test is essentially being offered for $5. Other tests are also available including an A1C for an additional $14 and a bone density test for an additional $10. These tests are also being offered at discounted rates.
Even though PEIA will not pay for the Executive I screening like it has in the past, policyholders can still receive a discount on their insurance premium if they have the testing done once every two years.
Results from the blood screenings are mailed to your home in about a week and, upon request, will also be provided to your regular healthcare provider.
“This is a great way for people to take the initiative for their own health,” said Terry Wagner, PMH Chief Operating Officer at PMH and a director for the Health Fair.
The Annual Health Fair will be held on Friday, May 3, at PMH.
Public Health Fairs will be held throughout the county beginning on April 24 at VanReenen Funeral Home and on April 25 at Hillsboro Elementary School. A full schedule will be printed in next week’s edition of The Pocahontas Times.
As Pocahontas Memorial Hospital’s Rural Health Clinic continues to grow, a new Family Nurse Practitioner recently joined the healthcare team. Donna Lidel-Burley is excited to be a part of the Rural Health Clinic and begin seeing patients.
Donna is a West Virginia native and attended Marshall University and Mount Carmel College of Nursing. She has a Master of Science Degree in Nursing Administration and is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner. Donna has a special interest in pediatrics and family practice. Her goal in Pocahontas County is to promote health through education and disease prevention.
Before coming to the PMH Rural Health Clinic, Donna worked in an Internal Medicine private practice and at The Ohio State University Medical Center, specifically with The James Cancer Center. The James is a comprehensive cancer center designated by the National Cancer Institute.
Donna is married to an LT Colonel, who is active in the Ohio Army National Guard. The couple has been blessed with seven children. In Donna’s spare time, she enjoys dirt bikes, camping, boating and spending time outdoors.
As a nurse practitioner, Donna is qualified to diagnose and treat conditions such as diabetes, COPD, high blood pressure, infections, injuries and more. She is able to completely manage a patient’s care by ordering diagnostic tests such as x-rays and lab work, along with prescribing medications and other treatments.
The PMH Rural Health Clinic offers a full range of medical services including care for illness and chronic disease management, well child checks, immunizations, and physical examinations, in addition to women’s and children’s health services.
The clinic is open to anyone and is located inside the hospital, which allows patients easy access to lab and x-ray services. You may make an appointment with Donna or one of our other providers by calling 304-799-6200. The clinic is open Monday though Saturday 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m.
The Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion in West Virginia
Pocahontas Memorial Hospital is pleased to welcome a new AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer to the county. Claire Groth is a graduate from the University of California at Berkeley with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology. Her future plans include attending medical school. Originally from Portland, Oregon, Claire will live in West Virginia for the next year and work with the Rural Health Clinic at PMH to qualify as a “Patient Centered Medical Home.” She will focus on enhancing the patient experience for those who seek healthcare at the Rural Health Clinic. As part of that work, she recently attended a meeting highlighting the upcoming changes with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the possible Medicaid expansion in West Virginia.
Organized by the group “West Virginians for Affordable Health Care” (WVAHC), the Town Hall style meeting in Lewisburg specifically focused on changes that will affect women and children. After a presentation by the WVAHC, an expert panel including Dr. Coy Flowers of Greenbrier Physicians, Inc. and WVSOM professor Arnold Hassen, answered questions from meeting attendees.
A large focus of the meeting was Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s approaching decision on whether to expand Medicaid in West Virginia. Under the ACA, each state has the option of adopting Medicaid expansion before it will automatically go into effect in January 2014. As of March 1, 24 states have opted in, 14 have declined, and the remaining 12 (including West Virginia) are undecided. If Governor Tomblin votes to approve Medicaid expansion now, the following will go into effect immediately:
1) Those with incomes at or below 133% of the Federal Poverty Level ($15,000/year for individuals; $31,000/year for a family of four) will be eligible for Medicaid.
2) Those making between 100 and 400% of the FPL (400% of the FPL equates to $46,000/year for an individual and $94,000 for a family of four) will be eligible to receive private health insurance subsidies. For example, if you are a 40 year-old single adult with an annual income of about $22,000 (which would make you ineligible for Medicaid), you could receive a government tax credit that would cover around 65% of your annual premium (go to http://healthreform.kff.org/subsidycalculator.aspx to calculate the amount of subsidy you could receive).
Another important piece of the ACA discussed in the meeting was the requirement that new health insurance plans cover preventive care measures at no charge. Plans that were already in existence on March 23, 2010 (when the ACA was signed into law), referred to as “grandfathered” plans, are exempt from providing this extensive preventive care coverage so long as they do not make major changes in the costs paid by employees or the services they cover. PEIA, for example, has lost its “grandfathered” status because of the large changes it made in employee costs. Therefore, PEIA must cover the preventive measures required under the ACA. Here are a few of the covered preventive measures:
-Type 2 Diabetes screening for adults with high blood pressure
-Diet counseling for adults at higher risk for chronic disease
-Tobacco Use screening for all adults and cessation interventions for tobacco users
-Depression screening for adults and adolescents
To see a complete list,go to www.healthcare.gov/news/factsheets/2010/07/preventive-ser vices-list.html.
Risk factors for Heart Disease and what you can do
National Heart Month, observed each February, was designated to raise awareness of the seriousness of heart disease and what can be done to prevent it. Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in West Virginia, and it can affect all ages - even young children.
Why is heart disease such a problem in our state? The main reason is because many of us are overweight. Americans today are eating more and doing less, compared to statistics from as recently as the 1970s. Being overweight is usually accompanied by higher cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Both these factors raise one’s risk of developing heart disease. Simply being at a healthy weight does not mean you are safe from cardiovascular problems, however, as stress and an unhealthy diet play heavily as risk factors. And don’t forget – high cholesterol and blood pressure levels are not confined to only those who are overweight! Some risk factors are beyond a person’s control such as a family history of heart disease, being 55 or older and race. Another reason heart disease is so prevalent in West Virginia is our high rate of tobacco use. Smoking narrows and damages blood vessels, leading to blood clots. Smoking essentially deprives your heart of oxygen, making the heart work harder and faster.
There are several ways you can be proactive. First, talk to your doctor or medical provider about your personal risk factors and how you can reduce them. Second, eat a smart low-fat diet that includes lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and low-fat dairy. Third, choose to control your weight. If you are overweight, losing just five or 10 pounds can lower your blood pressure and cholesterol. Fourth, get some exercise. Make time every day to do something you enjoy – whether it be walking, biking, dancing or swimming. It is recommended that you get at least 30 minutes of activity each day. Fifth, if you smoke – stop. You should also make every effort to avoid second-hand smoke. And finally, control the stress in your life. We all have stress; but identify the sources and then find ways to minimize it. Activities such as exercise, fun hobbies, journaling and socializing are all effective in lessening the effects of stress.
Heart disease has no quick fix or “cure.” But you can significantly lower your heart disease risk by living a healthy lifestyle. In fact, the American Heart Association reports that a woman can lower her risk of heart disease by as much as 82 percent just by eating right, being physically active, not smoking, and staying at a healthy weight.
The risk of heart disease is serious – and it is your responsibility to know your risks, be proactive and take care of your heart.
Invitation to Join
The Pocahontas Memorial Hospital Auxiliary would like to extend an invitation to anyone in the community who might be interested in joining its group. The Auxiliary is a vital part of the PMH family and it has made significant purchases over the years to benefit the patients whom the hospital serves. Purchases include a dishwasher for the kitchen, clocks, chairs, IV poles and pumps, Pulse Oximeters, and most recently a state-of-the- art GPS for the Ambulance Service.
The Auxiliary is solely responsible for running the PMH Gift Shop. Members can also be found at various fairs and festivals around the county with Gift Shop wares. A special project of which the group is particularly proud is the Love Light Christmas Tree. This fundraising event allows donations to be made in honor or in memory of loved ones. Names are displayed on a tree in the front lobby of the hospital during the holiday season.
The Auxiliary members invite anyone who is interested in joining to attend their regular meeting at 1 p.m. on the second Monday of each month in the PMH Conference Room .
Commit as much or as little time to the group as you wish. All that is asked is that members be willing to work for the good of the hospital.
You may contact an Auxiliary member by calling the Gift Shop at 304-799-7400 ext. 1083.
Heart Healthy Cooking
Continuing with the February theme of “Heart Health Awareness” – no matter how much time you do or do not have for cooking, it is still possible to make quick and easy heart-healthy meals. Heart-healthy cooking focuses on lowering your intake of fat and salt, while increasing fiber.
Here are a few tips:
Change your plate proportions. Fill half with vegetables, a quarter with whole grains, and a quarter with fish, poultry or meat.
Cut the fat. The key here is to trim all visible fat from meat. Take the skin off poultry and fish to reduce both fat and calories. Instead of pan-frying or deep-frying, try baking, steaming, broiling, grilling or roasting.
Make smart swaps. Substitute healthy ingredients for less healthy ones like plain low fat yogurt for sour cream, lower-fat cheese for full-fat, and evaporated milk for cream.
Ditch the salt. Instead of salt, use interesting spices and pepper. Dill goes well with fish and paprika pairs with chicken.
Eating heart healthy doesn’t mean you have to give up desserts. Try this recipe for Pineapple Carrot Bars, provided by the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
This dessert is good for your heart and not overly sweet or rich.
Pineapple Carrot Bars
½ cup brown sugar
2 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup finely grated carrots
2/3 cup drained crushed unsweetened pineapple
½ cup raisins
½ cup skim milk
Combine sugar, oil, vanilla and egg. Stir well and set aside. In separate bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda; add to sugar mixture and stir well. Stir in carrots, pineapple, raisins and milk. Pat into lightly greased 13 x 9 in pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes until top is golden. Let cool.
Road to Recovery
By Jim Wilson
What’s in a number anyway?
Traveling down any road toward a destination has to have a starting point. This column’s title suggests we are on our way to recovery, but we aren’t there yet. In fact, we have only just begun. The starting point for addiction recovery is a dismal and dark place. You might even say that the road to recovery is a toll road, as one has to pay their pain-ridden dues before getting the green light to proceed. The darkest hour is right before the dawn, but the dawn is coming.
By the time you finish reading this article, more than eight people in the United States will die as the result of an addiction to a substance. Before today ends, an estimated 2,400 will have died for the same reason. You may or may not be able to assign a known name to any one of these numbers today, but they will occur again tomorrow – and the next day.
These numbers are important and always changing, but they aren’t the only numbers worth paying attention to. What about the parents, the children, the spouses, the friends, the neighbors and the co-workers who are on the front lines desperately trying to wrap their minds around the painful reality of substance abuse in their midst? What about the employers, the police officers, the teachers, the healthcare workers, the church leaders, the judges, lawyers and probation officers who are struggling to effectively manage the consequences of a substance abuse problem that is way out of their control? What about the communities that can’t hide nor contain their “elephant in the living room” anymore?
We’ll be addressing all of these issues and more in later articles, but for now please consider with me a few more numbers.
- Following the small two- inch dash which represented her life, the last date on the tombstone in a distant cemetery reads August 17, 1994. The inscribed date on the front end of that dash was September 2, 1970. Just shy of 24-years-old, she died of a drug overdose. In West Virginia last year, stories like hers were the leading cause of death, surpassing both traffic accidents and falls.
- A married, mid-thirties soccer mom with three children started taking prescription painkillers for back problems ten years ago. She developed a tolerance to the drug and started regularly depleting her scripts before it was time for a re-fill. To get more of the drug to feel “normal,” she resorted to buying illegal drugs on the street. She did this for several years before being arrested. She entered the West Virginia criminal justice system in 2009, where she joined ranks with roughly 8,000 more who were arrested on drug-related offenses that year.
- A 28 year-old unemployed young man who has been abusing alcohol and multiple other drugs since age 16 realizes that he is “sick and tired of being sick and tired” and enters a treatment center. There he learns to live a clean and sober life, one day at a time. He becomes a productive, employed and tax-paying member of his community.
I wish his story reflected the experience of the majority of the 152,000 adults in West Virginia who will need substance abuse treatment this year, but it does not. Unfortunately, many of these will be put on a waiting list for services they will never receive, others will be incarcerated, and still others will get lost in the confusion of trying to access appropriate services and just give up.
- Lastly for this month, and on a lighter note, a 46-year-old man who was blessed to find a Road to Recovery more than 9,100 days ago is asked to write a column for a local newspaper.
So, what’s in a number?
Individual lives are in these numbers, and so are choices. Some of these numbers can appear depressing and hopeless, but let’s not forget the power of the choices we make that help drive these numbers. Hope can be realized by the same standard- the power of one person’s choices can start a revolution, one life at a time.
In dealing with all of the uncertainties of this life, there are no guarantees of another day. If we have been smiled upon to see this day, then the 24-hour countdown has already begun. Perhaps the best time to start a revolution and deal with the substance abuse issue is today— 86,400 seconds and counting…
Free CPR Class to be held at PMH
CPR (Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation) is an important skill that everyone should learn. You never know when you may need to know CPR to save the life of a family member or perhaps a complete stranger. Just seconds of a person being unable to breathe can cause irreversible brain damage.
Pocahontas Memorial Hospital will offer a free class for anyone who is interested in becoming certified in CPR. The class will be held Monday, February 18, at 8 a.m. and will last approximately three hours. While there is no charge for the class itself, a certification card issued by the American Safety and Health Institute will cost $6. Space is limited, so please pre-register for the class by contacting Sara Casto at 304-799-7400 ext. 1020.
For parents and childcare providers - knowing CPR is strongly recommended and encouraged. Choking is a leading cause of death in children under the age of five. Young children are much more likely to put things in their mouths; and certain foods pose choking hazards, as well.
Someday you may encounter a person whose breathing or heart has stopped. Immediate action with CPR can mean the difference between life and death, as an ambulance might not arrive for several minutes.
Do yourself – and your loved ones – a favor. Get certified in CPR.
Show your heart some love with a cardiology appointment
February is National Heart Health Month. If you have a heart, you could have heart disease. Heart disease occurs when the arteries that supply blood and oxygen to the heart muscle become hardened and narrowed due to a buildup of plaque on the arteries’ inner walls. As plaque continues to build, blood flow to the heart is reduced. If the blood supply is completely cut off, it causes a heart attack.
Heart disease develops over time – sometimes beginning in childhood – and is a lifelong condition. There is no true cure for heart disease; once you have it, you will always have it. The state of West Virginia ranks fourth in the nation for heart disease death rates. Heart disease is the #1 killer of both men and women in West Virginia - about one in four people die from heart disease.
Pocahontas Memorial Hospital works hard to better the lives of those who live in and visit our community. One way we do this is by hosting monthly “specialty” clinics.
Dr. Gary Roberts, a Cardiologist with Greenbrier Cardiology, holds a clinic at PMH on the second Wednesday of each month. This is a wonderful opportunity for Pocahontas County residents to see a doctor specializing in heart health without traveling to Lewisburg or Elkins. For an appointment, you will need a referral from your regular medical provider. Please call Dr. Roberts’s office if you have any questions at 304-793-2574.
National Cervical Health Awareness Month
January is National Cervical Health Awareness Month and Pocahontas Memorial Hospital wants to remind women about the importance of regular lifesaving screenings and vaccines.
Each year in the United States approximately 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer. Even though cervical cancer is highly preventable, about 4,200 women die from the disease annually. The numbers are much higher on a global scale. Approximately 80% of deaths from cervical cancer occur in developing countries. In both the United States and around the world, the disease disproportionately impacts poor women. Cervical cancer tends to occur more among women under the age of 50.
The most common cause of cervical cancer is the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted disease. Most people with HPV do not even know they have it, because they never have symptoms or problems. Usually the body’s immune system will fight off the infection and it will go away on its own.
However, if the HPV infection does not go away and it is left untreated, cervical cancer may develop. Women who smoke, have HIV or other autoimmune deficiencies, have used birth control pills for five or more years, or have given birth to three or more children are at a higher risk for cervical cancer.
Fortunately, cervical cancer is easy to prevent and detect. Regular Pap tests can identify any abnormalities before cancer develops and is the best means of detecting cervical cancer at an early stage. Experts recommend that all women begin having Pap tests at age 21. Many women only begin seeing a gynecologist regularly after they become pregnant. It is then that they may discover they have cervical cancer, which can be dangerous to both the mother and the baby.
Two vaccines known as Gardasil and Cervarix can also help protect women from the disease. All females ages 11 to 26 are urged to talk to their healthcare provider about being vaccinated. The series of three shots is normally covered by insurance, however if you are uninsured, there are programs to help.
Early detection and preventative actions are crucial in saving lives. Please talk with your healthcare provider today. If you do not currently have a healthcare provider, please call the PMH Rural Health Clinic at 304-799-6200.
B-N-Charge diabetes classes
Tuesday, February 5, begins a new session of “B-N-Charge” diabetes self-management classes at Pocahontas Memorial Hospital. The program includes four group classes and additional individual meetings if needed. “B-N-Charge” provides the education and resources needed to control diabetes and is suitable for those just diagnosed or who have had diabetes for years. Topics include medication, nutrition, exercise, foot care, family involvement, social support, self-monitoring, prevention of complications, community services, behavioral change strategies,and stress tips. The classes are a Medicare-covered program and are also paid for by most health insurance plans. A physician referral is required. Please call Terry at 304-799-7400, ext. 1032, with any questions or for a referral form.