Kathy M. Irvine, MLT(ASCP)
The flowers are blooming, birds are singing, and the employees of Pocahontas Memorial Hospital are preparing for the annual PMH Health Fair.
The health fair is held each spring in conjunction with Laboratory Corporation of America to provide an affordable blood screen to the residents of Pocahontas County. However, the blood screen is not the only aspect of the health fair, other tests include bone density screening, facial screening and blood pressure checks. On the "Big Day," Friday, May 4, there will be displays and information from many health care services throughout our area.
The blood screen consists of test procedures to screen for diabetes, as well as to check kidney, liver, cholesterol, thyroid, iron and blood count. It is recommended that the testing be done when you have been fasting (nothing to eat after midnight). The regular cost of these tests at Pocahontas Memorial Hospital would normally be about $400, however during the Health Fair the cost is $25.
The Hemoglobin A1C test to monitor diabetes will be available at a cost of $14, and the Prostate Specific Antigen for men for an additional $5.
Bone Density Screens are $10 and the facial screen for skin cancer is free. Blood pressure checks will also be done. PEIA participants receive the basic screen at no cost, just be sure to register with the PEIA representative at each site designated as a PEIA site and present your insurance card.
Results are sent directly to the participant, usually within one week. Each report is screened by a registered nurse at PMH before being mailed, and abnormal results are noted. If requested, a copy can be sent to your healthcare provider, as well.
PEIA participant results are reviewed at PMH and then sent to PEIA, so these results may take a little longer. Once the results are received, it is recommended that they be taken to the participant's healthcare provider for them to review.
So make plans to take advantage of the annual Health Fair. Even if you have your testing done at one of the around-the-county sites, you are still invited to take part in the full-scale Health Fair at PMH on Friday, May 4, from 7 a.m. to noon.
"A moment of truth is defined as a moment when the customer forms an opinion."
Pocahontas Memorial Hospital's department superviors and officers spent last Wednesday learning how to improve their skills as leaders, and how to improve interaction with their customers.
The Leadership Training was conducted by Carl "Chuck" Kinder, Jr., Director of Training for the West Virginia State Auditor's Officer.
Although some may remember Kinder as a former kicker/punter for the WVU Mountaineers, it was the skills he honed as a trainer for middle management Army officers that brought him to Marlinton as the speaker for the training session.
Kinder, a lifelong resident of the Kanawha Valley, is president of the West Virginia Chapter of the International Personnel Management Association and a past member of the State Board of Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
The daylong session gave instruction in "The Art of Delegation," "Dealing with Stressful Situations," and providing "Quality Service."
The group learned the five dimensions of quality customer service - Reliability, Responsiveness, Value,ﾠ Empathy and Competency.
Research shows that a customer will make 11 judgments or form 11 opinions of a person and their organization in the first seven seconds of contact.
The secret to success is training leaders and employees to meet the expectations of those customers.
Kinder told the group that supervisor does not mean "super worker."
A good supervisor is one who can give "clear objectives, define responsibility, provide adequate training and create a motivating environment" for employees to whom responsibilities are delegated.
The job performance of each worker has an impact on other members of an organization, and in the healthcare industry it is vital to have a well-trained and competent staff.
Leadership Training is just one of the tools incorporated by PMH in setting a high performance standard for its employees as they work to provide a high standardﾠof healthcare for their patients.
PMH Senior Luncheon
Spring has sprung, and with it Pocahontas Memorial Hospital would like to welcome back our seniors as we once again offer a monthly program with guest speakers on subjects that are important to the senior population and to the general public, as well.
After a winter break PMH sponsored its first meeting of the year on March 21. The guest speaker was Edwina Garber, a registered nurse with more than 18 years of experience. Edwina works in case management and social services at PMH. Much of her experience has been in working with Home Health Services in the county, so she is very familiar with many of the seniors in the area, as well as to the types of services, supplies and information that is beneficial to them.
Edwina spoke to a group of 28 seniors about the different types of advance directives and the importance of having an advance directive. She also explained the "Swing Bed" program which is offered at PMH.
The luncheon went well, and everyone enjoyed the enthusiasm and obvious passion that Edwina has as a provider of healthcare services.
Our guests were very engaged and asked many questions, which Edwina readily answered.
If you have a topic of interest that you would like to have more information on or that you would like to present at the Senior Luncheon, you may contact Edwina, Monday through Friday at 304-799-7400, ext. 1081.
Watch The Pocahontas Times for the date and time of the next Senior Luncheon coming in April.
Seating is limited for these programs, so please RSVP as soon as possible.
As part of the Pocahontas Memorial Hospital's Workplace Wellness program, the following information was included in the PMH Employee Newsletter, and is published here for the benefit of the community at large.
Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month is a time to encourage everyone over the age of 50 to have regular screenings to detect colorectalﾠcancer.
What is colon cancer?
Colorectal cancer is cancer of the rectum or colon. It's the second leading cause of cancer-related death for both men and women. People over the age of 50 are at the highest risk for colorectal cancer. Other risk factors include: Growths (called polyps) inside the colon, family history of colorectal cancer, smoking, health conditions like Crohn's Disease and being African-American.
Here's the good news: you can reduce your risk if you have regular screenings for colorectal cancer beginning at the age of 50. You can also reduce your risk of colorectal cancer by being active, eating healthy and quitting smoking.
Want to learn more? Watch for brochures and flyers throughout the hospital or check out http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/Colorectal/basic_info/
PMH gifts county schools
Pocahontas Memorial Hospital presented Xboxes to the principals of each of the county schools Monday through a Partners in Health - Care Link grant.
"Healthcare providers recognize the problem of obesity,"ﾠ PMH Radiology Supervisor Cheryl Cain said.ﾠ "Help needs to begin at a young age."
Supplying the Xbox systems along with appropriate programs will encourage students to "get moving."
In addition to Monday's presentation, Cain advised the principals to contact PMH if they needed additional equipment to implement the use of the program.
"We would like to eventually have an obesity program where we can gauge results," Cain said.
The gift to the schools is just one example of PMH's outreach efforts to help stave health problems by encouraging healthy choices and lifestyles.
Through the Care Link grant, PMH has also provided educational materials and programs about healthy eating and oral hygiene to county 4-Hers. Door prizes for the Youth Health Fair were also purchased with grant money, as well as educational materials for all young participants.
"Having someone to encourage us to do such things has been a big help," said Cain.
That encouragement comes from CEO Barbara Lay who urges PMH staff to be involved in community projects and programs that aid and educate members of the community in the area of good healthcare.
The Pharmacy Department at Pocahontas Memorial Hospital is an integral component of the quality care provided to our patients. Having the right drug at the right time for patients is our pharmacy responsibility.
We provide a wide spectrum of needed medications for the Emergency Department as well as for hospital in-patients.
The spectrum of medications can be from IV medications for heart problems to oral medications taken every day for chronic diseases such as diabetes, congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
We dispense and monitor more than 5,000 doses of medication per month, and we are a reference source for drug interactions and medication allergies and incompatibilities. Monitoring patient's response to their drug regimen is another pharmacy responsibility.
Physician's orders are entered and reviewed by one of PMH's pharmacists. The pharmacy technician and pharmacist prepare daily medication for the hospital in-patients, as well as maintaining adequate medications to meet the needs of the Emergency Department and the PMH Ambulance service.
Our department is staffed by a full-time pharmacy director, a part-time pharmacist and two registered pharmacy technicians.
Being a part of an effective, caring Health Care Team is a very rewarding experience.
PMH Employee Wellness program
Employees and staff at Pocahontas Memorial Hospital are involved in an on-going Employee Wellness program.
The focus in January was on Healthy Living and Healthy Lifestyles.
February was healthy heart month and the group had weekly healthy cooking demonstrations.
Walking will be added to the program for March, as we go into the warmer, longer days of Spring.
The Centers for Disease Control estimates that if tobacco use, poor diet and physical inactivity were eliminated, 80 percent of heart disease and stroke, 80 percent of Type 2 diabetes and 40 percent of cancer would be prevented. If this weren't startling enough, these habits are also expensive, both monetarily and emotionally.
Chronic disease in the United States causes seven out of 10 deaths per year and costs more than $2 trillion dollars.
So, why don't we quit smoking? Why don't we eat better? Why don't we get moving? I'm sure you all know the answer. I think every one of us has made a New Year's Resolution to "Get Healthy," but actually implementing a behavioral change can be very difficult and seemingly fraught with insurmountable barriers. So how can we stick to our New Year's resolutions and commit to a healthy lifestyle change? The answer lies in a place where we spend more than half our days. The worksite.
Comprehensive worksite wellness plans are one of the only evidence-based ways to increase physical activity, eat healthier, lose weight and quit smoking and they benefit everyone. Employers who implement a worksite wellness program see reduced costs for chronic diseases, increased employee productivity, decreased absenteeism, reduced employee turnover, improved worker satisfaction and improved morale. And worksite wellness programs are also cost effective. For every dollar an employer spends on their worksite wellness program, they see a return of three to seven dollars. Employees benefit as well by feeling better, improving coping skills, lowering out of pocket costs, increasing access to health promotion resources and social support, improved job satisfaction, and an increased sense of community within the workplace. Overall, developing and implementing a comprehensive worksite wellness program creates a happier, healthier and more productive united environment.
The benefits of a worksite wellness program don't stop at work. A good worksite wellness program benefits our most precious gift - our families - by extending programming to employee families. This unites "work" and "home" families, forming a fundamental foundation of support for change.
So what is one of the first steps in designing and implementing a worksite wellness program? Get upper management involved. If you are lucky enough, you will work for someone like Pocahontas Memorial Hospital CEO Barbara Lay, who is deeply committed to worksite wellness. She feels that, "As a nation, we need to become more involved in our own healthcare. It is exciting that PMH is developing a worksite wellness program. I am motivated to participate in this program and to take a more active role in my own health and wellness." She is one of the very reasons that the PMH Wellness Committee was formed and has already brought in the "Living a Healthy Lifestyle" program, a four-week program on tools for better self-management, taught by Sally Hurst, Self-Management Outreach Coordinator, Marshall Center for Rural Health, and Richard Crespo, a professor of community health at Marshall University. PMH employees and their families can also look forward to fresh fruit for a nominal fee provided by the PMH Auxiliary, daily health tips, seminar speakers, walking programs, cooking demonstrations, and best of all - prizes.
So, if you are an employer, why should you implement a worksite wellness program? Or if you are an employee, why should you be active in one? It is not just about money. It is not just about life. It is about quality of life. It is about healthy behavioral changes. It is about healthier lifestyles. Healthier lifestyles for you. For your family. For life.
Interested in starting a worksite wellness program?
Contact PMH VISTA Misty Handley at 304-799-6200.
February is National Heart Month.
Pocahontas Memorial Hospital is focusing on making its employees healthier by having healthy cooking demonstrations each week. Staff also participated in National Wear Red Day and a seminar on "The Corbin Story."
Ruth Caruthers, a West Virginia mother who lost her child to congenital heart disease, spoke to members of the PMH staff on February 3.
PMH offers the following information from the American Heart Association to help the community be more "heart conscious."
Knowingﾠthe Warning Signs
Not all warning signs occur with every heart attack. If you have one or more of these symptoms, don't wait longer than five minutes before calling 9-1-1. for help.
Some heart attacks are sudden and intense, but most start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort.
Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
Discomfort in other areas of the upper body:
Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms or in the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
Shortness of breath:
This may occur with or without chest discomfort.
These may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
As with men, women's most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. Women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain.
For more information, contact your physician.
PMH Auxiliary News
With the support of the community, Pocahontas Memorial Hospital Auxiliary had a successful fundraising event with its Love Light Tree this year. A total of $1,215 was received in donations In Honor Of or In Memory of Loved Ones during the holiday season.
Those gifts will be used to assist PMH patients through the continuing work of the auxiliary.
Donations to PMH?Auxiliary
Frances Graham in memory of Gladys Waugh.
Robin Mutscheller in memory/honor donation.
Donations may be sent to:?PMH?Auxiliary Rt.2 Box 52W Buckeye, WV 24924.
American Heart Month
Misty Handley, PMH VISTA
On Friday, February 3, 2012, National Wear Red Day, Americans all over the country will wear red to show their support of women's heart health. At Pocahontas Memorial Hospital, employees are encouraged to wear red to support this initiative. In addition, we are promoting American Heart Month by hosting several events including heart healthy meal makeover cooking demonstrations and outside speakers.
Why promote awareness of heart health?
Heart disease, including stroke, is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States.
West Virginia ranked first in the nation in 2008 in the prevalence of heart attacks, angina or coronary health disease, and stroke.
Pocahontas County ranked 31 out of the 55 counties in West Virginia in prevalence of heart attacks, stroke, and angina. So, what puts people at risk of heart disease? You are at higher risk of heart disease if you are a woman age 55 or older, a man age 45 or older, or a person with a family history of early heart disease.
The good news is that heart disease can be prevented. To keep your heart healthy watch your weight, quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke, control your cholesterol and blood pressure, drink only in moderation, get active and eat healthy, talk to your doctor about taking aspirin every day if you are a man over the age of 45 or a woman over 55, and manage stress.
Find the ways to reduce your risk of heart disease:
1. Get Active
2. Eat Healthy
3. Stress Less
4. Talk to your Doctorﾠ
5. Quit Smoking
Want more information about heart disease and its prevention? Go to the American Heart Association www.heart.org or the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute at www.nhlbi.nih.gov/educational/hearttruth/
by Rosyln Curry, RN Stroke Committee Coordinator
Each year nearly 800,000 Americans suffer from a stroke. About 25 percent of them die and 15 to 30 percent remain permanently disabled. In 2010, the cost of stroke care was estimated at $53.9 billion.
The West Virginia Office of Emergency Medical Services is working toward establishing a stroke registry. The purpose of this registry is to measure, track and improve the quality of care provided to acute stroke patients thus reducing the number of deaths and disabilities from these events. Hospital participation in the stroke registry is voluntary. In addition to improving the quality of stroke care, the registry will also:
*Increase public awareness of stroke prevention and treatment.
*Decrease the amount of premature death and disability from acute stroke.
*Reduce disparities in acute stroke care by providing underserved populations with better access to high quality care.
At Pocahontas Memorial Hospital, our Stroke Committee is working with the OEMS to establish procedures and protocols that will enable us to be a part of the stroke registry. Our protocol is based on the American Stroke Association guidelines. Patients who come to the ER with signs/symptoms of a stroke are taken directly to CT scan. A CT scan of the head will tell the physician if the patient has had a stroke, what area of the brain is affected, and what type of stroke the patient has had. A standardized panel of lab work will be drawn to rule out any other causes for the patient's symptoms. Treatment will be based on the results of the CT and lab work.
Over the next few months, PMH will be in contact with several larger hospitals in the state (St. Mary's, WVU, CAMC) to establish transfer agreements for acute stroke patients. This will allow these patients rapid access to a higher level of care which will include neurologists, neuro-vascular surgeons, interventional radiology and intensive care.
Local EMS crews will be educated and informed of the PMH stroke protocols. Care of the stroke patient will begin as soon as the rescue squad arrives.
The staff at PMH wants everyone in the community to know the signs and symptoms of a stroke:
*loss of sensation on one side of the body
*weakness or paralysis on one side of the body
*problem with walking
*problem with speaking
*problem with understanding
If you, or someone you know, has any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately.
Do not wait until someone can drive you to the ER. Be sure to bring any medicines that you are taking or a medicine list with you.
At PMH our goal is to become a Level 3 Acute Stroke Care Hospital. By doing this, we will continue to provide our community with the best quality health care possible.
Trauma Care at PMH is an everyday event
We, at Pocahontas Memorial Hospital, pride ourselves in being the primary treatment center for those whom have the misfortune of becoming injured while visiting or living in our "Nature's Mountain Playground." The county population is approximately 9,000 residents, but we also host more than one million tourists each year. Our vast recreational activities range from hiking or biking the more than 800 miles of trails to year-round activities at Snowshoe including mountain biking, golfing and a wide array of winter activities such as skiing, snowboarding and tubing. The impact of travel and tourism is an important part of the economy as one out of every four jobs is generated by this industry, and it also presents a unique array of injuries that must be evaluated and treated.
Our patients receive excellent pre-hospital care and transport by our EMS providers, and then arrive for treatment and/or stabilization of injuries ranging from minor lacerations to major traumatic injuries. The volume of trauma that passes through this hospital has become such an important part of the services provided to the community that PMH is in the process of becoming a designated Level IV trauma center. While we don't have major surgical capabilities or critical care capabilities, most traumas can be managed at our facility due to its nature. In the event we can't treat the injuries here, we have arrangements with larger trauma facilities and will transport patients in an expedient fashion via helicopter or ground, depending on needs and weather conditions. The world of trauma has changed from an operative to non-operative approach, allowing us take care of many traumas that don't require intensive care or surgical intervention.
Of the 300-plus emergency room visits in the last 30 days, more than 25 percent were traumatic in nature. Fortunately, none of them required transfer to a larger facility. A summary of those traumas illustrates the capabilities of PMH's excellent physicians and staff:
56 Falls resulting in a variety of injuries from sprained ankle to stabilization of extremity fractures to concussions secondary to falling off ladder or skiing and snowboarding
11 Laceration repairs
6 Automobile accidents with traumatic injury
5 Eye abrasions
3 Bites from dog to skunk
1 ATV accident with injury
1 Carbon Monoxide poisoning
As the Trauma Director and Chief Medical Officer, I take great joy in knowing our residents and tourists can rest assured that they can enjoy "Nature's Mountain Playground" knowing that in the event of misfortune the staff at PMH can provide them with the highest quality of service during their times of crisis.
Pocahontas Memorial Hospital unveils recycling program
A comprehensive recycling program is being rolled out at Pocahontas Memorial Hospital. The project, developed and spearheaded by the PMH Auxiliary will encompass cardboard and paper, various scrap metals, plastics and glass waste at the hospital.
The efforts in establishing this program have been encouraged by the CEO and Board of Directors as well as by PMH employees. The cooperation of the senior staff members and the department heads at PMH in the development of the project reflects their collective support to the community and the hospital.
The Auxiliary acknowledges Pocahontas County Commission President David Fleming, Melvin Martin and Sue Helton for their participation without which they could not have developed a complete program.
They further recognize the additional generous contributions and commitment of Beverly, John and Brandon at the Pocahontas Recycling Center.
The PMH Auxiliary is chartered and functions under the guidance and approval of the PMH Board of Directors. From its inception it has been a vital program for raising money to provide much needed equipment for the hospital.
"It is a privilege to work with this dedicated group of ladies who founded this Auxiliary, have given generously over the years in their time and efforts, working in the background to support this community," said auxiliary member John Lamb. "They are our unsung heroes. "
Physical Therapy at PMH
'Where Experience and undivided attention pay off''
Tom Melko, MPA, PT, has 35 years of licensed physical therapy experience.ﾠ Prior to moving to Pocahontas County to work at Pocahontas Memorial Hospital, Melko held rehab management positions in large medical centers in Michigan, Florida and Martinsburg.ﾠ He also ran a private clinic in Florida.
"I was a working manager who never stopped treating patients," Melko said.ﾠ "Therefore I feel comfortable in my own skin when working with my patients.
"With the assistance of my capable co-worker, Megan Luikart, I help people with physical rehabilitation needs while hospitalized here on a short term basis for acute care or observation status, and also patients in need of longer stays when qualified for ﾑSwing Bed' status, which is comparable to skilled nursing facility rehab."
PMH also provides outpatient services by appointment.ﾠ In many instances discharged hospitalized patients return promptly as outpatients to continue their recovery without a change in therapists.ﾠ This continuity enhances progress and confidence.
Physical therapy addresses restoring function following a wide variety of surgeries, medical conditions and trauma.ﾠ This is done through closely supervised exercises, pain control measures, education and mobility training.ﾠ An example of this is seen in knee replacement surgery patients who continue their recovery atﾠ PMH as swing bed patients.
Melko and his staff teach these patients how to walk safely with assistive devices such as walker, crutches or canes.ﾠ They are also taught the most effective methods of getting in and out of bed, and how to stand without putting more weight on the affected leg than is recommended by their orthopedic surgeon.ﾠ Patients are closely supervisedﾠ as they practice special exercises to recover mobility and strength.ﾠ Following discharge from PMH, these patients have the option of continuing physical therapy as an outpatient.
"I feel that what sets us apart here at PMH physical therapy is our hallmark practice of treating one patient at a time, and the continuity of always having the same therapist," Melko said. "We treat you like a neighbor."
For more information on the physical therapy program at PMH call 304-799-1049.
Board of Directors to meet
The Pocahontas Memorial Hospital Board of Directors will meet Thursday, December 15, at 6 p.m. in the hospital conference room.