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VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital

CMH Family Dental Clinic Opening November 26th

~Something to Smile About~

Smile!!! A new service is coming to VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital. On Monday, November 26, 2018, the CMH Family Dental Clinic will open its doors and begin a new era for VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital.

Headed by Dr. Natasha Grover, the six-operatory Dental Clinic will provide a wide range of dental services to area residents. The Dental Clinic is accepting new patients now. Patients may call 434-584-5590 to schedule an appointment. The Clinic is housed in the new C.A.R.E. Building at 1755 North Mecklenburg Avenue in South Hill. There is a separate entrance to the CMH Family Dental Clinic located on the north side of the C.A.R.E. Building.

Among the services offered at the clinic are exams, cleanings, fillings, x-rays, dentures, root canals, bridges, endodontics, extractions, pediatric and cosmetic dentistry and dental surgery featuring faculty and residents from the VCU School of Dentistry.

Dr. Grover has 15 years of dental experience. She is a graduate of VCU School of Dentistry and spent the past year at a dental clinic in Danville.

“We are excited to be working with the VCU School of Dentistry to bring this new family dentistry practice to VCU Health CMH to help fill the provider gap caused by the recent retirement of some dentists in our service area.  We recognize the valuable services the existing community dentists have been providing in this region for decades and hope to develop strong collegial working relationships with them all,” said W. Scott Burnette, CEO, VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital.

The new six-operatory CMH Family Dental Clinic was made possible, in part, by a $235,000 grant from the Virginia Health Care Foundation. That grant helped equip the clinic. The grant money was used to purchase a 3-D imaging system, a microscope used for a variety of dental services and two complete operatories in the clinic.

The Virginia Health Care Foundation awarded the grant to VCU Health CMH because the CMH Family Dental Clinic will be serving, in part, an at-risk patient population. The Clinic will participate in Medicaid’s Smiles For Children Program and will also see patients who qualify for CMH’s indigent and charity care programs.

“VCU Health CMH’s new Family Dental Clinic will bring greatly needed and affordable access to dental and oral health services to this part of Virginia, which is a Dental Professional Shortage Area. This is at the heart of our mission and we are delighted to be a partner in this exciting endeavor,” said Deborah D. Oswalt, Executive Director, Virginia Health Care Foundation.

Additional support was provided by donations from Microsoft, Mid-Atlantic Broadband and Dominion Energy.

A wide variety of dental insurances will be accepted at the CMH Family Dental Clinic, according to Dr. Grover.

“We are accepting all of the most popular dental insurances – Delta Dental, Cigna, Aetna, DentaQuest, MetLife, Anthem, United Concordia, United Healthcare and Interactive Medical Systems to name a few,” Dr. Grover said. “But we encourage our patients to call ahead to make sure we accept their dental insurance to be sure.”

Dr. Grover is a general dentist, but she has a special interest in dentistry for children, as well as root canals and difficult extractions.

“I want people to know I can treat the entire family,” she said.  “From your baby’s first tooth, to your child’s fillings, to whitening your teeth and giving you a nice smile to helping your parents hold on to their teeth for as long as they can.”

Dr. Grover explains her approach to dentistry as a team effort. A team that includes the patient as part of the decision making process.

“I want the patient to know they will always stay in control of their treatment plan and they make the decisions,” she said. “We don’t want anyone to experience pain and we want them to have comfortable visits so they can change their dental story to one full of successes.”

Dr. Grover further explained, “I don’t practice dentistry as a job. I practice dentistry like it is a team activity and the patient is the star. I empathize with anybody who has had a bad dental experience and my team and I will work tirelessly to turn that feeling around.”

Floss Cutting Ceremony To Celebrate New CMH Family Dental Clinic Opening

Most everyone knows flossing is very important to proper dental hygiene, but did you know floss is also a great way to celebrate a grand opening?

The brand new CMH Family Dental Clinic will be holding a Floss Cutting Ceremony on Monday, November 19th at 5:00 pm at the clinic’s entrance which is outside the C.A.R.E. Building on the VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital campus located at 1755 North Mecklenburg Avenue in South Hill.

An open house will follow at the Dental Clinic where visitors may tour the brand new space and meet the staff of the clinic.

“We are excited to be working with the VCU School of Dentistry to bring this new family dentistry practice to VCU Health CMH to help fill the provider gap caused by the recent retirement of some dentists in our service area.  We recognize the valuable services the existing community dentists have been providing in this region for decades and hope to develop strong collegial working relationships with them all,” said W. Scott Burnette, CEO, VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital.

The CMH Family Dental Clinic will open for business on Monday, November 26th at 8:00 am at 1755 North Mecklenburg Avenue.  Headed by Dr. Natasha Grover, the six-operatory Dental Clinic will provide a wide range of dental services to area residents. The Dental Clinic is accepting new patients now. Patients may call 434-584-5590 to schedule an appointment.

The CMH Family Dental Clinic was made possible in part by a grant from the Virginia Health Care Foundation. 

The Virginia Health Care Foundation awarded the grant to VCU Health CMH because the CMH Family Dental Clinic will be serving, in part, an at-risk patient population. The Clinic will participate in Medicaid’s Smiles For Children Program and will also see patients who qualify for CMH’s indigent and charity care programs.

“VCU Health CMH’s new Family Dental Clinic will bring greatly needed and affordable access to dental and oral health services to this part of Virginia, which is a Dental Professional Shortage Area. This is at the heart of our mission and we are delighted to be a partner in this exciting endeavor,” said Deborah D. Oswalt, Executive Director, Virginia Health Care Foundation.

Additional support was provided by donations from Microsoft, Mid-Atlantic Broadband and Dominion Energy.

VCU Health CMH Team Member of the Month for August 2018

Photo Caption: (Left to Right) W. Scott Burnette, CEO, VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital presented Laure Gill, Administrative Representative, the VCU Health CMH STAR Service Team Member of the Month Award for August.  There to congratulate Laure was Ursula Butts, Vice President of Patient Care Services and Lillian Gibson, Director of Patient Experience and Administrative Representatives.

Laure has been employed at VCU Health CMH collectively for more than 22 years.  Laure has spent all but four months of her professional career at VCU Health CMH.  She is a Park View High School graduate and also received a Bachelor’s Degree from Baker College in Health Care Administration. 

The nomination form submitted on her behalf stated, “When Laure received a request for a Notary Public in the home of a hospice patient, she volunteered her time, without hesitation, to go to the patient’s home to complete this task. The family was very appreciative of her kindness and prompt service.”  “Laure went well above and beyond for the patient.  She always does what is best for each patient and is an awesome example of STAR Service.”

In addition to the award certificate, Laure received a STAR Service lapel pin, letter of commendation from Administration, a $40 gift certificate, and a parking place of her choice for the month.

Laure resides in South Hill.

Breast Cancer – Symptoms, Treatment and More

~Community Out-Reach Education~

South Hill – Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women worldwide.  Each year, breast cancer accounts for 12 percent of all cancers diagnosed globally, and is the second leading cause of cancer-related death among women.  What are causes, symptoms and stages of breast cancer?  What are current treatments and the newest research related to breast cancer?  What are breast cancer risk factors?

If you are seeking answers to questions like these you should attend October’s C.O.R.E. (Community Out-Reach Education) Program at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital to learn about breast cancer.

This FREE program will be on Monday, October 22nd at 4:00 p.m. in the VCU Health CMH Education Center inside the new C.A.R.E. Building located at 1755 N. Mecklenburg Avenue in South Hill.

The speaker for the program with be Dr. Masey Ross.  Dr. Ross specializes in oncology, the branch of medicine that deals with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer.  Dr. Ross received her medical degree from Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine in Chicago, IL.  She completed her residency and internship as well as a fellowship from VCU Medical Center in Richmond, VA.  Dr. Ross evaluates, diagnoses and coordinates care for patients at the Hendrick Cancer and Rehab Center in South Hill; at VCU Medical Center North Hospital and Stony Point 9000 in Richmond.

Reservations are not required for this program; however, they are recommended.  For more information or to register to attend, please call (434) 447-0854 or visitwww.vcu-cmh.org.

Dr. El Mouallem Joins VCU Health CMH

Nemer Junior El Mouallem, M.D.

South Hill – VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill would like to welcome Dr. Nemer Junior El Mouallem to our family of health care providers as a Medical Hematologist-Oncologist and Medical Director of VCU Health CMH Cancer Care. 

Dr. El Mouallem comes to VCU Health CMH with clinical specialties in medical oncology, hematology and internal medicine.

Dr. El Mouallem received a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Doctorate of Medicine from the American University of Beirut located in Beirut, Lebanon.  He completed his residency at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital, located in Birmingham, Alabama.  He completed his Fellowship at the Department of Internal Medicine – Hematology, Oncology, and Palliative Care Division at Virginia Commonwealth University Health System, Richmond, VA and Veterans Affairs Medical Center, also located in Richmond. He is licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia and board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine.  Dr. El Mouallem is a professional member of the American Society of Hematology, American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American College of Physicians.

Dr. El Mouallem is currently working at the Hendrick Cancer and Rehab Center located at 750 Lombardy Street in South Hill. Dr. El Mouallem joins the CMH Cancer Care team of Dr. Monica Morris, Radiation Oncologist; Dr. Shekhu Brar, Medical Oncologist; Dr. Masey Ross, Medical Oncologist; Dr. Mark Malkin, Neuro-oncologist; and Mrs. Lisa Moss, Oncology Nurse Practitioner.  To schedule an appointment with Dr. El Mouallem call (434) 774.2417.

Dr. Ramesh Seeras Joins VCU Health CMH

 

South Hill – VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill would like to welcome Dr. Ramesh Seeras to our family of health care providers.  Dr. Seeras specializes in Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN).

Dr. Seeras is a Board-Certified OB/GYN who has devoted his career to providing the best and most complete OB/GYN care for his patients for more than 23 years. He earned a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree from the University of Saskatchewan in Canada and completed his residency training  in obstetrics and gynecology also at the University of Saskatchewan. 

Dr. Seeras comes to South Hill from Illinois, where he has been in private practice since 1998 and served as Chief of the Department of OB/GYN at MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn, Illinois.  He has served as a Clinical Assistant Professor of OB/GYN at the University of Illinois in Chicago since 1995.  He is skilled in minimally invasive surgery including outpatient hysterectomy, pelvic prolapse and abnormal bleeding problems.  He also provides complete care for pregnant women including high risk prenatal care and delivery.

Dr. Seeras is currently working at CMH Women’s Health Services located inside the new C.A.R.E. Building, 1755 N. Mecklenburg Avenue in South Hill.  He is accepting new patients; to schedule an appointment call (434) 584-2273 (CARE).

Dr. Seeras joins Dr. Cynthia Austin, OB/GYN, Dr. Reinertson OB/GYN  and Terry Wooten, Certified Nurse-Midwife, to provide a complete range of personalized and preventive gynecologic care to women at every stage of life.  To view a full list of services visit:  VCU-CMH.org

Dental Health Why a healthy mouth is good for your body

Community Out-Reach Education

South Hill – Good oral health has a positive impact on your general health and timely dental care can help you keep your teeth longer.  Bad oral bacteria that cause tooth and gum disease can travel to other parts of your body, contributing to chronic diseases like high blood pressure and diabetes. How can natural aging affect my teeth?  Is there a link between gum disease and heart disease?  Which dental treatment options will work best for me?

If you are seeking answers to questions like these you should attend September’s C.O.R.E. (Community Out-Reach Education) Program at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital to learn more about dental health.

This FREE program will be on Tuesday, September 18th at 4:00 p.m. in the VCU Health CMH Education Center inside the new C.A.R.E. Building located at 1755 N. Mecklenburg Avenue in South Hill.

Dr. Natasha Grover will be the speaker for the program.  Dr. Grover is a graduate of the VCU School of Dentistry in Richmond, VA. She is licensed with the Virginia Board of Dentistry and is a member of the American Dental Association and The Royal College of Surgeons in England.  Dr. Grover’s scope of practice includes general dentistry for children and adults, with special interest and continuing education in pediatric and adult restorative dentistry as well as root canals, crowns, bridges and dental extractions.  She will practice in the new CMH Family Dental Clinic that will be located in the C.A.R.E. Building at 1755 N. Mecklenburg Avenue in South Hill, VA. The new dental clinic is planned to open in November, 2018.

Reservations are not required for this program; however, they are recommended.  For more information or to register to attend, please call (434) 774-2550 or visitwww.vcu-cmh.org.

Nurse Extern Program at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital

Jenna Lindner, RN Mentor, Heather Hill, Nurse Extern, Kassie Felts, Nurse Extern, April Hayes, Nurse Extern, Ashley Willis, RN, Nurse Mentor (Nurse Externs not pictured: Keri Lenhart, Jamie McGhee, Allison Meyer)

Submitted by Hazel Willis, RN, BSN

Six Registered Nursing Students participated in the Nurse Extern Program offered by VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital this summer. The Nurse Extern Program at VCU Health CMH is designed to give Registered Nursing students that will graduate next year the opportunity to work side-by-side under the supervision of a Registered Nurse Mentor. It is a ten-week program that allows them to rotate to different nursing units of their choice. The students get hands-on experience while working with registered nurses.  The program expands their knowledge and helps to prepare them for their senior year of nursing school and the role of a Registered Nurse in the workforce. 

The Nurse Externs described their experiences as wonderful and a great learning adventure. They stated, “We really felt like we were a part of the VCU Health CMH health care team. It boasted my confidence tremendously and it was an awesome experience to have the opportunity to apply what I have learned in school.” The Nurse Externs had many nursing stories to share and reiterated that they were glad they had taken the time this summer to participate. They completed the program stating they would strongly recommend it to other registered nursing students.

This was the fourteenth year that VCU Health CMH has offered the program. We are pleased that we can offer this opportunity to registered nursing students,” states Hazel Willis, RN, BSN, VCU Health CMH Nurse Extern Coordinator. It has been a positive recruitment tool to attract nurses to VCU Health CMH upon graduation. The nurses that attended the program previously and joined the VCU Health CMH Nursing team after graduation described the transition from nursing student to Registered Nurse as already feeling as if they were a part of the dynamic health care team at VCU Health CMH. We encourage other nursing students to take advantage of the program next summer to better prepare themselves for the workforce and their senior year of the Registered Nursing Program.

VCU Health CMH Team Member of the Month July 2018

(Left to Right) W. Scott Burnette, CEO, VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital presented Bertha Evans, Environmental Services Supervisor, the VCU Health CMH STAR Service Team Member of the Month Award for July.  There to congratulate Bertha was Todd Howell, Vice President of Professional Services.

Bertha has been employed at VCU Health CMH for 17 years.  Her dedication and work ethic are just two of the qualities that make her a wonderful asset to VCU Health CMH.  The nomination form submitted on her behalf stated, “Bertha consistently exceeds expectations.  She is a wonderful example of whom a supervisor should be in that she never asks of her team anything she wouldn’t do herself.  She always has a warm and approachable manner.  Bertha recently went above and beyond to find a patients phone that had been lost in a linen pile.  Bertha along with her team member Linda Wilkins took on the challenge and found the phone while having a positive attitude. There isn’t a time that she has not stepped up to resolve an issue, especially for patients.”

In addition to the award certificate, Bertha received a STAR Service lapel pin, letter of commendation from Administration, a $40 gift certificate, and a parking place of her choice for the month.

Bertha resides in South Hill, VA.

Our Future Health Care Providers


Front Row Left to Right: Theresa Griles, RN Educator, Sophia Crowder, Cindy Trejo, Hailey Forbes, Natalie Hall, Hazel Willis, RN, Camp Coordinator; Second Row Left to Right: Kaylee Newman, Madyson Willis, Lillie Puryear, Alex Love, Miguel Ballesteros, Matthew Gaskins; Third Row Left to Right: Steven Gardner, Ayrin Matthews, Nicole Stanley, Mackenzie Long, Ashley Balducci

CSI (Career Scene Investigators) returned to VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital, not to investigate crime scenes, but to explore the suspects of health care. VCU Health CMH offered a week camp to seventh and eighth graders from local middle schools July 30th thru August 3rd.  Fifteen students from Mecklenburg, Lunenburg, Brunswick, and Bluestone Middle Schools participated in the camp. The focus of the camp was to give the students an opportunity to learn about the many exciting careers available in health care. The camp offered a variety of activities that allowed the students to observe and interact with health care professionals in their work environment.  The campers rotated through various departments getting hands on experience with simulated activities that health care professionals perform daily.         

The middle school years are the ideal time to introduce students to the various career opportunities in health care. It attributes to the selective Science, Math, and or English courses that they may include into their curriculum as they choose their classes throughout their high school years. By the end of the week some of the campers want to be doctors, nurses, physical, speech, or occupational therapists, while others want to become engineers or computer technologists.  We are excited that some of our campers from previous years chose health care careers, have graduated from college, and are currently employed here at VCU Health CMH as Registered Nurses, Certified Nursing Assistants, and Exercise Physiologists.   

VCU Health CMH is pleased that they can offer this excellent opportunity to area students to learn about the world of health care.  Southside Virginia Community College in Alberta participates and supports the camp each year with the provision of activities and a pizza lunch. Southside Virginia Rescue and VCU Health Med-Evac also participate in the activities for the campers. According to the students, it was a fun week and they learned what health care professionals do daily to help and provide care to others. 

We encourage other middle school students to apply to attend the CSI Camp next summer. The information and the application for the camp will be delivered to the local schools in the Spring, of 2019 and it will also be available on the VCU-CMH.org.

VCU Health CMH Team Member of the Month for June, 2018

W. Scott Burnette, CEO, VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital (far right) presented John Watson, Jr., DPT, the VCU Health CMH STAR Service Team Member of the Month Award for June.  There to congratulate John was (L to R) Todd Howell, VP of Professional Services; Mike Simmons, Respiratory Manager; and Donna Jarrell,  Director of Rehab Services.

You know you’re doing it correctly when a patient’s family takes the time to write a note to your supervisor about your workday.  John Watson, DPT, from the physical therapy department, was calm, cool and collected when an emergent situation happened while he was working with a patient in the hospital recently.  To quote the family member, “John was instrumental in getting quick assistance when my son passed out while visiting.”

For his efforts, John was named the VCU Health CMH Star Service Team Member of the Month for June.  The family member also wrote about John’s effort working with her mother following knee replacement surgery.  “He has a friendly disposition and demonstrates caring for his patients. He is very articulate,” she wrote.

John works in Acute Rehab in the Physical Therapy Department and spends quite a bit of his time in the hospital. He’s been with VCU Health CMH for almost nine years and enjoys the teamwork his department shows and he’s really enjoying the new hospital.

Originally from Weldon, NC, John did his undergraduate work at Winston Salem University and stayed there for his post graduate degree. He received his doctorate from Chatham University and another from the Neuro Recovery Institute.

Mike Simmons, his supervisor, said John is an exemplary employee who takes customer service seriously. Mike was also proud of the way John handled the emergent situation with the family member.

In addition to the award certificate, John received a STAR Service lapel pin, letter of commendation from Administration, a $40 gift certificate, and a parking place of his choice for the month.

John resides in LaCrosse, VA

VCU Health CMH is Upbeat about New Cardiologists

         

VCU Health CMH knows that cardiovascular (CV) disease is the most common cause of acute and chronic illness globally, in the U.S. and in Virginia. Heart disease is the second leading cause of death in Virginia and stroke is the third cause of death in our state. It is predicted that CV patients will account for 15% of overall hospital utilization by the year 2028. With this information, it is clear, that local access to advanced diagnostic cardiovascular services is critical for the patients in our region.

VCU Health CMH recently increased the scope of cardiovascular services with the opening of our new hospital in November, 2017 and the addition of our in-house catheterization laboratory. Dr. Nimesh Patel, Cardiologist, has been providing cardiology services here since 2016. He performs diagnostic cardiac catheterizations in the new cath lab. Having diagnostic cardiac catheterization available helps to promote faster care and better clinical outcomes.

On July 2, 2018, VCU Health CMH, in collaboration with VCU Health in Richmond, took another leap forward with the addition of Dr. Bethany Denlinger and Dr. Jayanthi Koneru to our CMH Physician Services cardiology practice. Dr. Bethany Denlinger, who is no stranger to CMH, has been providing cardiology services to the area since 1995 through South Hill Internal Medicine & Critical Care, previously known as Dr. Strunk’s office. Dr. Denlinger has been traveling from Richmond three days each week since 1995 and for years was the only cardiology provider in the area. Dr. Denlinger will continue her travels to South Hill each week on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday but will now see patients at CMH Cardiology Services located in the C.A.R.E. Building at 1755 N. Mecklenburg Avenue, South Hill.

Dr. Jayanthi Koneru is also well known in our area. He has been seeing patients and providing cardiology services through South Hill Family Medicine two days each month. Dr. Koneru specializes in cardiac electrophysiology/heart rhythms and will now provide services through CMH Cardiology Services.

In September, Dr. Khalid Mojadidi will join CMH Cardiology Services as a full-time cardiologist. Dr. Mojadidi is an Invasive Cardiologist and is currently at VCU Health in Richmond completing a Fellowship in Cardiovascular Disease.

Our patients and families can continue to expect the highest level of care -- today and well into the future, thanks to this team-based care. Having these cardiologists in one location will provide easier access to cardiology services and bring substantial expertise in the diagnosis and treatments for patients with heart disease and related conditions to our service area.

VCU Health CMH Auxiliary Annual Awards 2018

If you’ve ever been inside a hospital—as a patient, family member, or friend—you’ve probably been assisted by an Auxilian. Perhaps he or she helped you make a selection in the gift shop . . . or gave you directions to a patient’s room . . .  or comforted you as you waited to hear the outcome of a loved one’s surgery. 

VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill is fortunate to have the wonderful support of a large team of volunteers through the Hospital's Auxiliary.  VCU Health CMH volunteers provide service, support and good cheer for patients, visitors and staff, and help complete the hospital community.

Perhaps in no other industry is volunteering more vital than in health care.  Each year, these dedicated volunteers make valuable contributions to VCU Health CMH through countless hours of service to patients and the hospital with donations that strengthen health care services for the community. 

The Auxiliary's mission is to advance the welfare of the hospital.  With a membership of 170 members, these dedicated volunteers donated 22,281 hours of service to patients and the hospital over the past year.  

The Auxiliary holds fund-raisers throughout the year to help support its programs and services. Their main source of funds is from the “Fish Bowl” Gift Shop.  Each year, the Auxiliary makes a generous donation to the Hospital on behalf of its fundraising efforts. During their Annual Awards Luncheon held recently, outgoing Auxiliary President, Nancy Bradshaw, reported on their accomplishments for the past year and presented VCU Health CMH CEO, W. Scott Burnette with a $47,000 check. This donation is the third installment of the Auxiliary’s $225,000 pledge to VCU Health CMH’s “Healthcare for Life” capital campaign. 

During the banquet, new officers were installed and members were awarded pins and certificates for the number of hours of service to the hospital.  Also the special “Lou Saunders Award of Excellence” was given.

VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital Auxiliary 2018/2019 Officers –  Ruth Reams, President; Kenny Pitts, First Vice President; Linda McNabb, Second Vice President; Becky Waters, Treasurer; Nancy Bradshaw, Recording Secretary; Jean Zembower, Corresponding Secretary

Joyce Tudor was awarded the Lou Saunders Award of Excellence, the Auxiliary’s highest honor.  The Lou Saunders award was established in 2010 and named after longtime CMH Auxiliary volunteer, Lou Saunders. Joyce is a past President of the CMH Auxiliary and she currently serves on the Auxiliary Board as Historian and Mecklenburg County Co-Coordinator. Joyce also volunteers at the information desk. She recently served on the CMH Foundation’s Capital Campaign Committee raising funds for the C.A.R.E. Building.

New Auxiliary Members - Bonnie Johnston, Lily Atkinson, Dorothy Minter-Saunders, Will Woodall, Trevor Kidd, Keith Ellis, Tom Watters, Sandra Burch, Mabel Wood, Carolyn Wagoner; NOT PICTURED: Patricia Buebendorf, Judy Echard, Shayna Kendall-Maxey, Sandy Mechalske, Zahra Murtaza, Tammy Oakes, Joyce Bagley Pinkney, Heather Raum, Matthew Rodriguez, Frances Tuck, Richard Watson

6,600 – 13,500 HOURS OF SERVICE – June Meyer, 13,000; Virginia Lucy, 11,000; Sylvia Lambert, 13,500; Anne Cole, 8,300; Lois White, 8,000; Charlene Gray, 8,500; Sandra Gainer, 7,000; NOT PICTURED: Delphine Harris, 6,600; Shirley Carrillo, 10,400

3,300 – 6,400 HOURS OF SERVICE – Marlene Reinders, 4,100; Gerry Nash, 6,400; Ann Gauchat, 6,000; Joyce Tudor, 5,400; Ruth Reams, 4,500; Leanna Jones, 4,200; Barbara Fife, 3,800; Hattie Baird, 3,300; NOT PICTURED: Deborah Wilson, 3,500; Brigitte Eberle, 4,500; Brenda Roberts, 5,400; Shirley Huested, 6,000

2,000 – 3,000 HOURS OF SERVICE – Dorothy Williams, 2,900; Belle Jones, 2,700; Dottie Collins, 2,500; Sylvia Solari, 2,900; Roger Pendergrass, 3,000; Rebecca Waters, 2,500; Nancy Bradshaw, 2,000; Edna Jones, 2,500

1,000 – 1,900 HOURS OF SERVICE – Ann Allman, 1,900; Jean Zembower, 1,500; Janet Morris, 1,500; Pat Adams, 1,500; Gladys Jenerette, 1,100; Larry Minter, 1,900; Mary Werber, 1,300; Ann Jones, 1,200; Kenneth Pitts, 1,000; Brenda Curtis, 1,000; NOT PICTURED: Carmen Cornely-Clarke, 1,100; Mary Carter, 1,500; Sharon Watson, 1,500

500 – 900 HOURS OF SERVICE – Doris Turner, 900; Brenda Cahoon, 600; Ruth Griggs, 700;  Sharon Carter, 500; Linda McNabb, 900; Margaret Waller, 700; Suzanne Creek, 500; Billie Wells, 700; Barbara Heagran, 700; NOT PICTURED: Phyllis Beasley, 600; Dick Smith, 600; Judith Moody, 800; Sadie Simmons, 800; Vicky Walker, 800

100 – 400 HOURS OF SERVICE – Linda Gage, 400; Fran Steiert, 300; Jane Stringer, 200; Clare Williams, 200; Tom Watters, 100; Willis Woodall, 100; Darleen Ferguson, 100; Carolyn Wagoner, 100; Jean Houston, 200; NOT PICTURED: Shari Beale-Hasenmueller, 100; Fannie Echard, 100; Sandy Mechalske, 100; Frances Tuck, 100

Nourish Your Brain

Community Out-Reach Education

South Hill – Have you ever walked into a room and forgotten why?  Perhaps you’ve misplaced your glasses just to find them on your head a little later. As we age we must make a concerted effort to provide our brain plenty of nourishment from healthful foods and mentally stimulating activities to prevent or at least slow the progression of more serious brain conditions.

If you are interested in learning more about antioxidant-rich foods and physical/mental activities that can contribute to brain health then you should attend July’s C.O.R.E. (Community Out-Reach Education) Program at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital’s Rehab & Exercise Therapy Center.

This FREE program will be on Friday, July 13th at 10:30 a.m. in the CMH Rehab and Exercise Therapy Center located at 750 Lombardy Street in South Hill.

Amy Moore Hawkins, Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences Virginia Cooperative Extension for Mecklenburg County, will be the speaker for the program.  Amy has been with the Virginia cooperative Extension for 14 years. Her job responsibilities include education the public on nutrition, health and wellness, particularly chronic disease prevention and maintenance.  She also focuses on local foods and their connection to health and wellness.  Since coming to Mecklenburg County, she has implemented the Balanced Living with Diabetes program, Mast Food Volunteer training, multiple nutrition and wellness workshops, food safety and food preservation workshops as well as school garden projects.  

Reservations are not required for this program; however, they are recommended.  For more information or to register to attend, please call (434) 774-2506

Book Signing Set for July 10th

Willoughby Hundley, III, MD

SOUTH HILL, VA– The VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital Auxiliary will be hosting a “book signing” event featuring Willoughby Hundley, III, MD on July 10th from 11:00AM - 2:00PM in the front lobby of the hospital, located at 1755 N. Mecklenburg Avenue in South Hill, VA.

Dr. Hundley, Emergency Room Physician at VCU Health CMH has recently published his fourth novel titled, “Evil Wake” and will be in attendance to sign copies for the public. This event is free and open to the public and a portion of the book sales from the event will benefit the CMH Auxiliary.

VCU Health CMH Team Member of the Month for May, 2018

(Left to Right) W. Scott Burnette, CEO, VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital presented Megan Llewallen, Registered Nurse, the VCU Health CMH STAR Service Team Member of the Month Award for May.  There to congratulate Megan was Mellisa Black, Acute Care Nursing Director.

Megan has been employed at VCU Health CMH for six months.  Her dedication and work ethic are just two of the qualities that make her a wonderful asset to VCU Health CMH.  The nomination form submitted on her behalf from a patient’s family member stated, “Megan has amazing bedside manner.  She is very empathetic and caring with her patients.  She is a very knowledgeable nurse who is in this field for the right reasons.”  Megan’s director stated, “Megan brings her ‘A’ game every day she works.  Her focus on patient-centered care is noted by both her peers and patients.”

In addition to the award certificate, Megan received a STAR Service lapel pin, letter of commendation from Administration, a $40 gift certificate, and a parking place of her choice for the month.

Megan resides in Chase City, VA

VCU Health CMH Presents 2018 Nursing Awards

Teresa Collins, RN, ONC, the Alice Tudor Professional Nurse Award recipient; Icie McMiller, the Dee McMillan Nurse Care Partner Award recipient; Ursula Butts, BSN, MSHA, CNAA-BC, FACHE, the Ursula Butts Nurse Leader Award; and Magen Wright, LPN, the Carol Love Licensed Practical Nurse Award recipient.

The Professional Development Council of VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital recently recognized four extraordinary people.  One of the council’s goals is to offer recognition to nurses and nurse care partners for their continual commitment to excellence.

VCU Health CMH first gave out these awards on Nurses’ Day, May 6, 2009 and this tradition has continued and grown stronger each year.  This year the Professional Development Council of VCU Health CMH received numerous nominations, a testament to the many dedicated professionals among the hospital’s staff.  This year’s awards were given to four incredible individuals, whose impact and contributions to nursing at VCU Health CMH have been tremendous.

The three original awards were named after three special people, Dee McMillan, Carol Love and Alice Tudor. These women embodied the values that are respected in nursing: hard work, diligence, kindheartedness, compassion, knowledge, loyalty and support. 

This year the Professional Development Council presented a new award, the Ursula Butts Nurse Leader Award.  This inaugural award was presented to the person for which it was named, Ursula Butts, Vice President of Patient Care Services.  Ursula has been at VCU Health CMH for 41 years.  She has seen and lived many changes, but her compassion for nursing and her vision of giving the best possible care and leadership has never changed.  Under Ursula’s leadership and guidance, VCU Health CMH was able to establish Home Health and Hospice Care.  As a nursing leader, she has stimulated and encouraged many nurses to stay challenged, focused and unwavering in their determination to be the best they could be.

The Dee McMillan Nurse Care Partner Award is named after the late Dee McMillan, who was a true nurse partner for many nurses and nursing staff at VCU Health CMH. She was a person who wore many hats when she worked within the organization. Dee demonstrated commitment in her work and a kindhearted attitude toward everyone she met. This award is presented each year in her memory as the Dee McMillan Nurse Care Partner Award.  This year’s recipient is Icie McMiller.  Icie works in Surgical Services and has been employed at VCU Health CMH for more than three years.  She collaborates with team members all over the campus and beyond to acquire information to provide safe and timely care for our patients.  Icie has a trademark smile and truly values her relationship with patients, families and team members.  Her personality is so engaging that others remember her name.  She is especially talented with the computer system and is a resource to the department.

Carol Love, LPN, was awarded the first LPN Award from the Professional Development Council of VCU Health CMH in 2009 for her leadership, commitment, caring attitude, demonstration of professionalism, and contribution to the Practical Nursing Program.  Thereafter, the award was named the Carol Love Licensed Practical Nurse Award in her honor, and is given each year to an LPN, for their exemplary contribution to nursing at VCU Health CMH.

The recipient of this year’s Carol Love Award is Magen Wright, LPN.  Megan has been employed by VCU Health CMH for twelve years.  She started her career in The Hundley Center and is currently working with our Physician Practices.  Magen is described as being conscientious of patient safety and exhibits empathy and concern for each patient and their family members.  She displays a sense of calmness that puts patients at ease.  Megan always conveys professionalism and a positive impression in both her appearance and demeanor.

The Alice Tudor Professional Nursing Award is named after Ms. Alice Tudor, a CMH professional registered nurse. Ms. Tudor always presented with a professional appearance at work, her demeanor was an example of how a professional registered nurse should behave around their co-workers, patients and families. For more than 50 years, nurses looked up to Ms. Tudor and what she stood for as a professional nurse. This award is presented to a Registered Nurse each year in her honor as the Alice Tudor Professional Nurse Award.

The recipient of this year’s Alice Tudor Professional Nurse Award is Teresa Collins, RN, ONC.  Teresa has been employed by VCU Health CMH for more than twenty years and is currently in Oncology as the Clinical Coordinator. Theresa is the perfect example of a professional nurse.  She has been a pervious Alice Tudor Award winner. Her co-workers felt that this year she was well-qualified to be nominated again as she continues to display superb professionalism, with patients and families, every day in the Cancer Center.

All 2018 Nursing Award recipients were nominated by their peers or their manager. Each one has demonstrated care and compassion to patients and families and exemplifies excellence in nursing practice and leadership.

Books for New Parents Donated to VCU Health CMH

Pictured (L to R): Front row:  Connor Lacks, Drew Jones, Regan Tanner, Cody VanGoethem, Nathan Daniel, and Addison McDaniel; Second row:  Tucker Warren, Seth Bishop, Aveline Wollenberg, Joshua Rosenfeld, Kyndall Jones, Alyssa Hershey, Ken Kurz (VCU Health CMH), Ally Clark, Saylor Moody, and Amanda Boileau

The joy of reading was shared by students at First Christian School with patients at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill.

The 5th and 6th grade students at First Christian School recently completed a mission project under the direction of their teacher, Ms. Amy Crowder. 

“The students spear-headed the "Books for Babies" project, whose goal was to put books into the hands of parents in our community who give birth at VCU Health - CMH in South Hill,” according to Ms. Crowder. “New moms and dads will have the opportunity to pick out a book to share with their new little one.  Together with book and financial donations, the students collected almost 150 books.”

According to Ken Kurz, Director of Marketing and Development at CMH, the books will be featured in the Garland Birthing Center at the new VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital.

The students went the extra mile by designing and constructing a bookcase to store the new baby book library.  Students worked to teams to come up with their own design and model which was presented to the class.  The model selected was designed by Drew Jones, Addison McDaniel, and Cody VanGoethem, and represents a Ticonderoga pencil.  The classes shopped for supplies and constructed the bookcase with the assistance of parents, grandparents, teachers, and friends. 

“We were thrilled when Amy contacted us,” he said. “What the students did, not just gathering so many books to be shared with our new parents, but constructing a fun bookcase to house those donations was just fantastic.”

Ms. Crowder used this project as an opportunity for her students to utilize skills that were learned in the classroom and apply them in a real world setting.  She is very proud of the effort and excitement that her students have shown throughout the process, but is more impressed with the desire to give back to the community selflessly by blessing those around them.

According to Ms. Crowder, a special thank you goes to Home Depot in South Hill and Det. Chris Whittemore of the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office for their assistance with the project.

Menopause What Every Woman Must Know

Eric Reinertson, MD

Community Out-Reach Education

South Hill – Menopause is an inevitable component of aging.  The physical and emotional symptoms may disrupt your sleep, lower your energy and affect overall health.  What happens during menopause?  What is hormone therapy and how is it given?  What can you do to stay healthy after menopause?

If you are seeking answers to questions like these you should attend June’s C.O.R.E. (Community Out-Reach Education) Program at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital to learn more about menopause.

This FREE program will be on Tuesday, June 19th at 4:00 p.m. in the VCU Health CMH Education Center inside the new C.A.R.E. Building located at 1755 N. Mecklenburg Avenue in South Hill.

Dr. Eric Reinertson will be the speaker for the program.  Dr. Reinertson is Board Certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.  He practices at VCU Health CMH Women’s Health Services located in the C.A.R.E. Building at 1755 N. Mecklenburg Avenue in South Hill, VA. 

Reservations are not required for this program; however, they are recommended.  For more information or to register to attend, please call (434) 774-2550 or visit www.vcu-cmh.org.

Phi Beta Lambda Business Club of SVCC Donates Books

Pictured with some donated books are Phi Beta Lambda members from Southside Virginia Community College, Crystal Jones, instructor, Nirali Patel, Kenyada Baker, Ashley Jones, Drequan Robinson and Janet Wilson, along with VCU Health CMH’s Marah Michael, Marketing Administrative Assistant.

Green eggs and ham; one fish two fish, red fish, blue fish. These are very familiar refrains from some of Dr. Suess’s classic children’s books and thanks to the Phi Beta Lambda Business Club at Southside Virginia Community College, children who are in the new VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital or C.A.R.E. Building will be able to read them for themselves.

Crystal Jones, advisor for the group, explained, “We held a book drive from March12th -31st for new or gently used children’s books in celebration of Reading Month and Dr. Suess’s birthday.”

The club had drop-off sites at the Christanna Campus in Alberta, the John H. Daniel Campus in Keysville and the Lake Country Advanced Knowledge Center in South Hill and collected a total of 59 books that the group presented to VCU Health CMH in May.

“Anytime folks want to do something to benefit our patients and families, we get very excited,” said Ken Kurz, director of the CMH Foundation. “When Crystal called me and told me what they were doing, I just knew this was going to make a lot of kids happy.  We will place a sticker in the books letting people know they came from the Phi Beta Lambda book drive. We will place them in the C.A.R.E. Building and also in the hospital.”

He continued, “We want to express our sincere thanks to this fine group of students and everyone who helped them by donating books to this project. We are a community hospital and we have always enjoyed tremendous community support and this is another great example of that.”

Kurz added that others who might be interested in helping should contact the CMH Foundation at 434-774-2575.

CU Health CMH Receives National Recognition for Stroke Care

SOUTH HILL, VA, June 2018 ― VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award after a recent survey. VCU Health CMH has been designated as a Primary Stroke Center by the Joint Commission, a national accrediting organization and by the American Heart Association since 2016.

This award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

“We’re proud to achieve these distinctions because it sends a key message to people throughout the region; all stroke care is not equal,” stated Vickey Morgan, Stroke Program Coordinator at VCU Health CMH.  “The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association only recognize hospitals that make exceptional efforts to foster better outcomes for stroke patients.”

“These prestigious designations signal to South Hill and surrounding communities that we have the physicians, nurses and clinical protocols in place to respond quickly and intervene when stroke occurs,” said David Brown, MD, Director of Emergency Services at VCU Health CMH.  “We applaud the excellent teamwork and coordination required within the hospital to achieve such a designation.”

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke every 40 seconds and nearly 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

Just in the STROKE of time! Community Out-Reach Education

South Hill – Stroke is a serious, life-threatening medical condition that occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off.  Every minute the brain is oxygen deprived, brain cells are damaged.  The good news is, if the stroke is treated immediately, brain damage can be minimized. 
 
As a Primary Stroke Center, VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital is dedicated to the prevention and treatment of stroke.  American Stroke Month in May gives us an important opportunity to join together to prevent, treat and beat the number five killer in the United States.
 
How can a stroke be prevented?  What are clot busting drugs with new clot “retrievers”?  What are ways to beat stroke and manage fatigue and depression?
 
If you are seeking answers to questions like these you should attend May’s C.O.R.E. (Community Out-Reach Education) Program at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital to learn more about stroke.
 
This FREE program will be on Tuesday, May 29th at 4:00 p.m. in the VCU Health CMH Education Center located inside the C.A.R.E. Building, 1755 N. Mecklenburg, Avenue, South Hill, VA.
 
Dr. Nina J. Solenski will be the speaker for the program.  She is an associate professor in neurology, subspecializing in cerebrovascular disease at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA.  Dr. Solenski is a graduate of Jefferson Medical College (Philadelphia, PA ’89).  She received her residency training at Dartmouth Mary-Hitchcock in internal medicine and at University of Virginia in neurology.  She completed an ACGME accredited cerebrovascular disease fellowship training program at UVA in clinical and basic research.  She is currently dual APBN boarded in general and vascular neurology.
 
Reservations are not required for this program; however, they are recommended.  For more information or to register to attend, please call (434) 774-2550 or visit www.vcu-cmh.org.

VCU Health CMH Team Member of the Month

(Left to Right) W. Scott Burnette, CEO, VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital presented Ashley Wray, Registered Nurse in Surgical Services, the VCU Health CMH STAR Service Team Member of the Month Award for April.  There to congratulate Ashley was Joanne Paynter, Director of Perioperative Surgical Services.

Ashely has been employed at VCU Health CMH for 13 years.  Her dedication and work ethic are just two of the qualities that make her a wonderful asset to VCU Health CMH.  The nomination form submitted on her behalf stated, “Ashley has always demonstrated pride in her work at CMH and has exhibited true teamwork.  She has recently taken on working every weekend and also helped in the ER when needed.  Even though this wasn’t her normal area, she remained upbeat and positive through a very busy day.  Ashley definitely demonstrated STAR service by going above and beyond to offer support to another area that she knew was in need.”  “Ashley is a remarkable person.  She is very willing to do whatever is asked of her.  Ashley always represents this hospital well and is a true STAR performer.” 

In addition to the award certificate, Ashley received a STAR Service lapel pin, letter of commendation from Administration, a $40 gift certificate, and a parking place of her choice for the month.

Ashley resides in LaCrosse, VA.

CSI: Career Scene Investigation

Special Summer Camp for Middle School Students

South Hill—No, we’re not investigating crime scenes, we’re exploring the world of healthcare.  Area middle school students in Mecklenburg, Lunenburg and Brunswick Counties will have the opportunity to attend a unique program at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill that will introduce them to a broad range of health careers. 

A special, one-week, summer camp has been planned for the last week in July entitled, “CSI: Career Scene Investigation” and will focus on the many exciting career opportunities that are available in health care.  Partnering with Southside Virginia Community College, VCU Health CMH will choose fifteen middle school students who have an interest in a health career to attend this summer’s health care camp during the week of  – July 30th  – August 3rd   .   

The camp will be offered at no charge to students.  During this week-long camp, students will spend time with staff from many clinical areas and have “hands-on” opportunities.  They will learn how to apply casts and splints, take x-rays, learn about monitoring the heart, spend time in the Emergency Department, dress in scrubs, see the operating rooms, learn how to suture, work with Rehabilitation Therapists and much, much more!  The week will be fun, interactive and exciting for students and VCU Health CMH staff. 

“We are very pleased to offer to area students this excellent opportunity to learn about the world of health care,” said Hazel Willis, RN, BSN, Education Department Manager for VCU Health CMH.  “The program will offer a variety of activities that will allow students to observe and interact with health care professionals in their work environment and gain valuable insight into health care careers.  We want to provide a positive learning experience for students and encourage teens to explore health care careers.”

According to Mrs. Willis, health care careers are the fastest growing, and will be the most in demand careers for the future. Rapid technological and scientific advances in the medical field, along with a large aging population have created high demand for health care professionals.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the growth rate of new jobs in health care professions will be twice the rate of job growth in non-health care professions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also predicts a need for 5.3 million health care workers to fill job openings created by departures and new positions in the next five years.

The middle school years are the ideal time to reach students and introduce them to career ideas so they can begin to plan a curriculum that includes the necessary sciences and other required courses. 

A total of fifteen students from local middle schools with at least a “C” average will be selected to attend the camp from applications that include a short essay about why they want to attend the camp, and from teacher/guidance counselor recommendations.  Breakfast and lunch will be provided daily for the students.  Transportation to and from VCU Health CMH will be the responsibility of the students’ parents.  Students will receive a backpack with supplies and a CSI: Career Scene Investigation T-shirt.  Parents will be invited to attend a special graduation ceremony at the conclusion of the week.

Applications for the camp may be obtained through each school’s guidance counselor, online by visiting vcuhealth.org, from VCU Health CMH’s Education Department or Human Resources.  For more information or for an application, please call Hazel Willis at (434) 584-5438.

Dr. Eric Reinertson Joins VCU Health CMH

South Hill – VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill would like to welcome Dr. Eric Reinertson to our family of health care providers.  Dr. Reinertson specializes in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Dr. Reinertson is a Board Certified OB/GYN who has devoted his career to providing the best and most complete OB/GYN care for his patients for more than 24 years. He earned a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree from North Dakota School of Medicine in Grand Forks, North Dakota and completed his internship and residency training at Washington University/Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. 

Dr. Reinertson has spent most of his professional career working in women’s health in Pekin, Illinois.  Most recently he worked as an independent contracted physician in Illinois and Hawaii.  He is skilled in minimally invasive surgery including outpatient hysterectomy, pelvic prolapse and abnormal bleeding problems.  He also provides complete care for pregnant women.

Dr. Reinertson is currently working at CMH Women’s Health Services located inside the new C.A.R.E. Building, 1755 N. Mecklenburg Avenue in South Hill.  He is accepting new patients; to schedule an appointment call (434) 584-2273 (CARE).

Dr. Reinertson joins Dr. Cynthia Austin, OB/GYN and Terry Wooten, Certified Nurse-Midwife, to provide a complete range of personalized and preventive gynecologic care to women at every stage of life.  To view a full list of services visit:  VCU-CMH.org

VCU Health CMH Saved My Life

Karen Kurz, a native of Ohio, whom currently resides in Bracey, VA.

SOUTH HILL -- You might not think it’s possible to mistake an appendicitis attack for the flu, but if you ask Karen Kurz from Bracey, Virginia, she will assure you it was actually pretty easy.

Karen was scheduled for a colonoscopy on a Wednesday at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital and began her prep on Tuesday. But prior to starting the prep, she began experiencing stomach cramps, which she attributed to being hungry since you can’t eat prior to a colonoscopy.

Being a compliant patient, Karen started her prep, but quickly realized it wasn’t going to work as she got sick to her stomach. Stomach cramps, nausea and what inevitably happens when you begin prep for a colonoscopy certainly check off a lot of boxes that would lead a lay person to believe she had the flu. She also started running a slight fever that first day.

Move to day two and now the fever is rising and all the other symptoms continue unabated. She even had her husband text their son to let him know they wouldn’t be traveling to visit the grandkids that weekend because she ‘had the flu.’

Day two saw her fever spike to 102.2 with no let-up of her other symptoms. Unable to keep things down, Karen was quickly becoming dehydrated. Fast forward to day three and she finally experienced right lower quadrant abdominal pain  - severe enough abdominal pain to prompt a visit to VCU Health CMH’s Family Care.

There she was seen by Teresa Parham, nurse practitioner, and Dr. Paul Weidman.  A blood draw showed an extremely high white blood cell count, coupled with severe dehydration, nausea and pain and the Family Care providers moved her quickly to the Emergency Department.

That move, according to Karen’s husband, Ken, most likely saved her life.

“You have to know my wife to understand how tough she is,” he said. “I knew she was truly ill because she didn’t fight going to the doctor. For two days she thought she had the flu. But Teresa (Parham) took one look at her and sprang into action ordering a stat complete blood count to go along with a urinalysis and the physical exam. I firmly believe they, along with the ED staff and Dr. Michael Tozzi, saved her life. I can’t say enough good about the care provided by them and everyone at CMH.”

As Karen was wheeled from the CARE Building to the emergency department, things were already in motion. A CT confirmed a ruptured appendix which meant emergency surgery on a Thursday night.

Ken explained, “Dr. Tozzi came in and told us he would be performing the emergency appendectomy and he feared that she was going to face a serious ordeal. He explained that he would most likely have to open Karen up completely to take care of the problem.”

Normally the appendix can be removed through laparoscopic surgery, but because of the rupture, Karen would be looking at a full-blown 3-4 hour surgery.

“Karen was really, really sick,” her husband said. “When we got to the doctor’s office her blood pressure was 80 over 50 and everyone was afraid she was going into septic shock. Dr. Tozzi told me after surgery that she was in shock. This is the kind of stuff that people die from.”

According to Ken they worked in the emergency department infusing fluids into Karen prior to the surgery to get her BP up, but they also began an extensive regimen of antibiotics to battle the poison that was flooding her system from the ruptured appendix.

A three-hour surgery that saw Dr. Tozzi use about 10 liters of saline to flush Karen’s abdominal cavity saved her life.

“I can’t say enough about how everyone worked so well together, from Teresa and Dr. Weidman through the Emergency Department, Dr. Tozzi and all the nurses,” Ken said. “When someone you love experiences a life-threatening emergency, you don’t want to worry about the people taking care of that person.  I will tell you that I never once worried that she wasn’t receiving outstanding care. They kept me informed throughout the surgery, they all answered questions about what was going on, what could happen, what should happen.  It was exactly how I feel things should have been handled. They showed confidence in their abilities and I felt they were certainly capable of taking care of my wife.”

The good news is, Karen is home now after a six-day hospital stay.  She has an eight-inch incision to show for her “flu.” She does face a prolonged recovery period because of the seriousness of the surgery, cutting of her stomach muscles, and the infection because of the ruptured appendix, but the prognosis is very good.

“I believe we owe an incredible debt to VCU Health CMH, Teresa Parham, Paul Weidman, Michael Tozzi and all the other staff,” Ken said. “I know they saved Karen’s life.”

VCU Health CMH to Offer Babysitting Training Course

SOUTH HILL --The Health & Wellness Department of VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill will offer the Smartkids 101 Babysitting Training Course this summer.

The Smartkids 101 Babysitting Training Course is especially designed for student’s age 11 to 14.  It teaches essential child care skills needed for responsible babysitters caring for infants, toddlers and older children.

The class will include child and infant safety, poison control, CPR, first aid and basic child care skills.  At the end of the class students will receive a babysitting certificate, and be certified in American Heart-Heart Savers CPR and First aid.  Students will also be taught to react in an emergency situation and know who to call.  Students will learn about the babysitting business, build self-esteem and learn skills that will last a lifetime.

This one day, 8-hour course will be taught in the VCU Health CMH Education Center (inside the C.A.R.E. Building) at 1755 N. Mecklenburg Avenue in South Hill from 8:00AM to 4:15PM on the following dates- June 15th, June 29th, July13th and July27th.  The class is free but limited to 10 participants. To register for one of these courses, please contact the Health & Wellness department at 434-774-2541. These classes fill up quickly, so call today!

Why Be An Organ Donor?

Community Out-Reach Education

South Hill – Transplantation gives hope to thousands of people with organ failure.  Today, there are 115,000 men, women and children awaiting lifesaving organ transplants. What is organ donation and transplantation?  What organs and tissues can be transplanted? How can I become an organ donor?

If you are seeking answers to questions like these you should attend April’s C.O.R.E. (Community Out-Reach Education) Program at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital to learn about the life-saving benefits of organ and tissue donation.

This FREE program will be on Tuesday, April 17th at 4:00 p.m. in the VCU Health CMH Education Center inside the new C.A.R.E. Building located at 1755 N. Mecklenburg Avenue in South Hill.

    

Hannah Lee, MD and Dhiren Kumar, MD

The speakers for the program with be Dr. Hannah Lee and Dr. Dhiren Kumar.  Dr. Lee is a practicing transplant hepatologist with VCU Health Hume-Lee Transplant Center in Richmond, VA. Dr. Lee graduated from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. She completed a residency at New England Medical Center. Dr. Lee also specializes in Gastroenterology and Internal Medicine.  Dr. Kumar is a transplant nephrologist with VCU Health Hume-Lee Transplant Center. Dr. Kumar graduated from University of Virginia School of Medicine. He completed a residency and a fellowship at VCU Medical Center. Dr. Kumar also specializes in Internal Medicine.

Reservations are not required for this program; however, they are recommended.  For more information or to register to attend, please call (434) 774-2550 or visit www.vcu-cmh.org.

First Citizens Bank Presents Check to VCU Health CMH Foundation

South Hill – First Citizens Bank representatives Dean Marion, Cindy Thomas and Tammy Manning present Ken Kurz, Director of Marketing & Development for VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital, a check that benefits the Health Care for Life Capital Campaign.  The check that was presented is part of a $25,000 pledge First Citizens Bank made during the Health Care For Life Capital Campaign last year.  Donations for the Capital Campaign are still being accepted, for more information call (434) 774-2575.

Test of Faith - A Local Transplant Success Story

A man of God, Dr. Wayne Guynn ministers to his congregation at Olive Branch Baptist Church in Blackridge, and he travels abroad to fulfill his mission. Yet, his faith was severely tested when at the age of only 49 his heart suddenly failed. Only one thing could save his life and return him to his family, his work and life as he knew it — a heart transplant.

In April 2016, Wayne returned home from a two-week mission trip to Ghana. Over the weekend he felt tired, short of breath and mildly ill. Thinking that his symptoms were due merely to the long flight and being a bit out of shape, he went about his business and worked Monday and Tuesday. But, by the end of the week and two trips to the emergency room at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital, it became apparent that this was more than a mere case of jet lag. Wayne’s kidneys were shutting down and he was immediately transported to VCU Health in Richmond.

The doctors at VCU Health Pauley Heart Center quickly realized that Wayne was suffering from heart failure. The medical team could not find a direct cause, and determined that a virus might have attacked and damaged Wayne’s heart. The specialists initially hoped the problem could be treated with medication, but in a matter of days they realized more aggressive measures were needed. Several options were considered, from a pacemaker to an artificial heart called a “Freedom Driver” that would serve as a bridge until a heart for transplant could be located.

Ultimately, the treatment team determined that the best solution would be a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) — a mechanical device that is surgically attached to the heart and helps pump blood from the left side of the heart to the rest of the body. The LVAD was a temporary measure and a heart transplant would still be needed, so Wayne and his family settled in for what they thought would be a two- to four-year wait for a new heart. “The LVAD worked well and was nothing more than a minor inconvenience,” comments Wayne. “My life pretty much went back to normal.”

Unfortunately, that state of normalcy was short-lived. The Monday before Thanksgiving, Wayne suffered a mild stroke and was transported by medical helicopter to VCU Health in Richmond. “It’s hard to believe, but my stroke was actually a blessing in disguise,” he reflects. “I immediately moved up the list for a heart transplant from a priority B to an A.”

On May 14, 2017, Wayne and his wife, Sarah, were celebrating Mother’s Day in Richmond with their children, Ashleigh, Christian and Jonathan. During dinner, the family received the phone call they had been waiting for. Wayne was told to come straight to VCU Medical Center. A heart that was a perfect match was waiting.

The very next day, Wayne had his heart transplant, performed jointly by VCU Health’s Hume-Lee Transplant Center and Pauley Heart Center. His recovery was miraculous. He was discharged from the hospital after only 12 days, and subsequent heart biopsies performed periodically after surgery show no signs of rejection. “I’m feeling better and stronger every day,” he says. “I’m even back at work about three quarters of the time. We’re very fortunate to have access to this level of healthcare — starting here in South Hill and then up in Richmond.”

Wayne is now a real advocate for organ transplants, saying, “It’s amazing that one person as an organ donor can help many other people — and it makes perfect sense in the context of Christian faith.”

“I feel very fortunate to know another heart transplant patient right here in our community,” says Wayne. “Jimmy Murray, a friend and member of our congregation, received his heart 12 years ago. It’s encouraging to see how well he is doing and reassuring to think that I might have such a positive outcome.”

“This experience has had a profound effect — extending far beyond the scars on his chest and the 20+ pills that Wayne takes every day. “Now, when I hear my own heart beating, I am reminded that this heart once lived in someone else’s body and that a family lost a loved one. I was given a second chance at life. Now, I have to be a good steward of this amazing gift.”

To learn more about being an organ donor, please call the VCU Health Hume-Lee Transplant Center at (804) 628-0711 and speak with one of our living donor coordinators.

If you or a loved one needs an organ, contact the VCU Health Hume-Lee Transplant Center at (804) 828-4104 or vcuhealth.org/transplant.

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