VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital

Dr. Darrell Brown Joins VCU Health CMH

Darrell Brown, MD, FACOG

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

Dr. Brown 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 28 years. He earned a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree from St. Georges University School of Medicine, located in Grenada, West Indies and completed his residency training at multiple locations including Jersey City Medical Center located in Jersey City, New Jersey; Sinai Samaritan Medical Center located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and The Stamford Hospital located in Stamford, Connecticut. 

Dr. Brown most recently worked as an OB/GYN for Ashley Women’s Services in Crossett, Arkansas and at the Northern Hospital of Surry County in Mount Airy, North Carolina.  He also has many years of teaching experience, the last two years as an Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor at NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University.

Dr. Brown 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. Brown joins Dr. Ramesh Seeras, 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.  Throughout pregnancy, you’ll receive excellent prenatal care from this team of providers.  To view a full list of services visit:  VCU-CMH.org

Therapy Dog Program Seeking Volunteers

VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital is seeking volunteers with friendly and well-behaved dogs to participate in a program that aims to bring cheer to hospital patients, visitors and staff.

The Dogs On Call Therapy Dog Program provides complementary therapy to enhance the well-being of patients, staff, and students through canine-assisted interventions.  The dog and handler would visit patients that requested to have a visit and visit hospital departments to lift spirits of staff.

If you have a dog that would be a good fit for this program and would like to learn more about volunteering as a Dogs On Call team, please call 434-584-5411.

VCU Health CMH Team Member of the Month for May 2020

Photo Caption: (Left to Right) W. Scott Burnette, CEO, VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital presented Dr. Indu Shivaram, the VCU Health CMH STAR Service Team Member of the Month Award for May.  There to congratulate Dr. Shivaram was Dr. Ikenna Ibe, Vice President of Medical Affairs & Chief Medical Officer and Dr. Brenda Palmore, Vice President of Practice Management & Business Development.

Dr. Shivaram has been employed at VCU Health CMH for two years.  As VCU Health CMH's pulmonologist she helps patients with various pulmonary issues and is a vital part of the CMH family of physicians.  The nomination form submitted on her behalf by Mellisa Black, Director of Acute Care Nursing, stated, “Since COVID-19 began, Dr. Shivaram has shown the ICU how much she cares about our team and our patients through her words and actions.  She has consistently provided us with current, evolving information and guidance on caring for our COVID patients.  This has encouraged us to work together as a team to achieve optimal patient outcomes, which is our optimal goal.”

When asked what words of wisdom she would give other employees, Dr. Shivaram stated, “When working as a team, always be there for one another.”  She also said, "I'm proud to provide care to patients here at VCU Health CMH.  We have a small well ran hospital offering some of the best treatment options in a rural setting."  

In addition to the “star” award, Dr. Shivaram 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.

Dr. Shivaram currently resides in South Hill, VA.

Surviving COVID-19

Bonnie and Donald Johnston, photographed together on the front porch of their home in La Crosse, Virginia.

In early March, many Americans started hearing more about a novel Coronavirus also known as COVID-19 that was spreading like wildfire across our nation.  Most people didn’t know a lot about this virus and wondered if it would even reach the local people of rural Southside Virginia. 

On March 23rd, VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital admitted the hospital’s first COVID-19 patient; and that patient was La Crosse resident Donald Johnston.  Donald had been fighting a high fever for a few days and decided to make a trip to his primary care physician to get checked out.  During his check-up he was instructed to go to the VCU Health CMH emergency room and get tested for COVID-19; that test would come back positive.

In an interview with Donald, he stated that at this point he didn’t know how sick he really was or the fight he was about to begin.  That fight, would be a fight for his life.

Donald was transported and quarantined in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) where CMH doctors and nurses cared for him.  Because of the COVID-19 restrictions, Donald was not allowed any visitors, not even his wife, Bonnie. 

“Every day I felt helpless as I wasn’t able to see him.  We tried to talk on the phone, but Donnie could hardly breathe,” said Bonnie.  “On the 10th of April, my daughter Crystal and I had a video chat with Donnie’s doctor in the ICU.  We were told to prepare for the worst.  I remember that night, not being able to sleep as I kept thinking what am I going to write for Donnie’s obituary.”

Donald would spend 14 days in the ICU. “I don’t remember much about being there.  But I do know that if it wasn’t for the doctors and nurses in the ICU, I wouldn’t be here today.  The doctors and nurses along with God saved my life.”

After leaving the ICU, Donald would be transported to a regular patient room as he was still recovering. Bonnie said, “At this point it was still hard to talk to Donnie, his doctors and nurses were my lifeline to him.  They would call me and keep me updated on how he was doing.  The communication was as good as I could have asked.  The hospital staff was truly wonderful to us.”

On the path to recovery, Donald would spend six more days in his patient room.  He had finally reached the point where he was COVID negative and could be transported to an isolation wing of the Hundley Center where he would start rehab.  Donald didn’t know that the CMH staff had a surprise for him as he exited the hospital.

“When I came out of my room into the main hallway there were doctors and nurses lined all the way down cheering and clapping as I was being transported.  As I got further down the hallway I saw my wife for the first time in weeks.  It lit me right up; I was smiling from ear to ear, but she couldn’t see it because I was wearing a mask.  That was a memorable experience,” Donald said.

Donald would spend the next 24 days in an isolation wing of the Hundley Center.  His goal was to continue to recover and get stronger.  He worked with Hundley Center therapists on a set schedule to rehab his body since his illness had caused him to lose about 30 pounds since entering the hospital.  Donald said, “The Hundley Center staff was very professional.  I really looked forward to my time with the therapists and really enjoyed that experience, they were the best.”  Donald put in the rehab work needed to get stronger and now was finally healthy enough to go home and see his wife.

Donald said, “I had previously told the CMH staff while I was in the main hospital that I’m going to get home to my wife, I’m not dying here, I’m walking out of here.”  After a total of seven and a half weeks in the hospital and Hundley Center, that’s exactly what he did.

“I was discharged from the Hundley Center on May 14th at 11:30 AM.  I remember walking through the doors of the glass window corridor and everyone cheering as I walked down toward the exit.  I turned to the exit door and my wife was right there.  I know I hugged her for at least two minutes.  It’s something I will never forget,” said Donald.

Bonnie said, “It is truly a miracle that Donnie’s still here with me.  I hope the CMH doctors and nurses know how appreciative we are for saving his life.  I don’t think he could have been in a better place than CMH.”

“I’m feeling good and getting better day by day,” Donnie said. “I work in the yard and stay as active as I can.  To survive COVID at the age of 79, I thank Jesus every day.”

CMH Family Dental Clinic Update

In-person clinic visits are now an option again at the CMH Family Dental Clinic of VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital.  Established patients are welcomed back for all their routine dental care to include dental x-rays, six month check ups and cleanings, fillings, root canals, crowns and surgical procedures.  The dental clinic will begin to welcome new patients as well.

To ensure your safety, appointment times and schedules have been modified to allow dental clinic staff to follow infection control practices recommended by the CDC and State Medical and Dental authorities.  Some of these modifications include:  allowing more time for cleaning in between patients; more detailed patient screening; social distancing practices; more frequent hand washing; and wearing masks. 

There is a temporary hold on procedures that create air mist and aerosols, and the dental clinic is using only hand instruments and avoiding any motorized instruments. 

CMH Family Dental Clinic dentist, Dr. Natasha Grover stated, "While we appreciate everybody's patience while waiting to get scheduled, our established patients are the highest priority for scheduling. We encourage any existing patient to call us if they feel they need to be seen and we will move up their appointment so that their needs are met. We are following strict infection control and personal protective equipment (PPE) recommendations and will introduce more safety protocols as they become available to us."

The dental clinic has been open through this pandemic and remains available for all urgent care and emergent care for anyone, especially if they have severe dental pain, swelling or dental abscess. The clinic's goal is to make sure that patients receive definitive treatment rather than have multiple visits to the Emergency Department.

"As always, we hope that everybody is safe and healthy and recommend regular daily home oral hygiene practices of flossing and brushing (adding the use of a Waterpik if you have the time) as the best means of preventing any new dental disease from forming or any existing dental disease from getting any worse," added Dr. Grover.

If you have any questions you can reach the CMH Family Dental Clinic by calling (434) 584-5590. 

VCU Health CMH Team Members of the Month for March and April 2020

VCU Health CMH Star Service Team Member of the Month for March - Molly Hatchel

It hasn’t taken Molly Hatchel long to find a home in the Intensive Care Unit at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital.

She has been there since last July, but already calls the ICU home and her fellow team members as family. Molly has been named the Star Service March Team Member of the Month for her work in the ICU.

A patient nominated Molly saying, “I was admitted on Tuesday, March 10th for being in A-fib (an irregular, often rapid heart rate that commonly causes poor blood flow) with a very high heart rate and facing a cardioversion (a medical procedure by which an abnormally fast heart rate or other cardiac arrhythmia is converted to a normal rhythm using electricity or drugs). Molly’s sweet bedside manner and super patient helpfulness made a scary situation almost “fun”. One of the nicest nurses I have ever had and her simple explanation of procedures made them much less frightening.”

Mellisa Black, Nurse Manager for Critical Care, said, “Molly is a great example of a STAR Performer. She always gives great patient care combining the art and science of nursing. She was spot on in assessing what these patients needed and went above and beyond to give that special care.”

Molly is a graduate of Southside Virginia Community College’s nursing program and is currently working on her bachelor’s degree in nursing.   Originally from California, Molly lived in La Crosse since she was six years old before moving with her husband of one and a half years, David Bradley, to South Hill. Molly and David are expecting a little girl, Callie Mae Hatchel, later this year.

Molly said, “I did my internship here and it feels like coming home coming to work here. CMH is a big family. It feels great to feel appreciated and noticed for my work.”

Other team members nominated in March were: Kayla Franck, Nickey Powell and Hillary Tackett from the ICU; Sue Gayce from Registration; Rose Walker and John Watson from Physical Therapy; Vickie Kwasny of FANS and Dr. Ingrid Vaughan of Anesthesiology.

For being named a Team Member of the Month, Molly will get a special parking permit allowing her to park in certain places closer to the building and a $40 Amazon Gift Card.

VCU Health CMH Star Service Team Member of the Month for April - Dr. Seeras

Going above and beyond is pretty much the definition of being a STAR Performer at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital.

Evidently Dr. Ramesh Seeras has been studying the dictionary his entire career.

Dr. Seeras was nominated by the Garland Birthing Center labor and delivery nurses for Star Service Team Member of the Month and is the April winner.

In their nomination, the nursing staff said, “Dr. Seeras has handled the stress of the recent high demands of our unit with grace and charisma. No matter the circumstances, he is always a gentleman to the staff and patients. For example, a procedure needed to be done for an infant before discharge, there was not a provider on call to perform this procedure.  Having the infant come back as an outpatient would increase the risks for exposure during this pandemic. A nurse called Dr. Seeras to advocate for this patient. He responded with positivity even though he was not on call. He came in with a smile and did what was in the best interest for the patient. He always goes above and beyond for patient safety and satisfaction.”

On being chosen at Team Member of the Month, Dr. Seeras said, “I am very happy to be named the Team Member of the month. It is always good to feel appreciated. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everybody for entrusting me with their medical needs.”

What Dr. Seeras likes most about CMH is:  “CMH functions as a big happy family of which I am proud to belong. I find that the level and quality of care provided in this institution is as good as if not better than many larger institutions that I have been affiliated with ( and there were many).

He continued, “At CMH we always strive to be the best advocate for our patients and their families. My wife and I have also received care at this institution and we are very appreciative of the friendly, safe and high level of care we received.”

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 27 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 came 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, Ill. 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.

Others nominated in April were: Milagros Silverman from Acute Care and Christy Vaughn from EVS.

For being named a Team Member of the Month, Dr. Seeras will get a special parking permit allowing him to park in certain places closer to the building and a $40 Amazon Gift Card.

VCU Health CMH CEO 2020 National Hospital Week Message

To The Editor:

It is with great pride that I want to wish all the team members at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital a happy National Hospital Week. The staff at CMH have been on the front lines of this war on COVID-19. They have tirelessly provided care to members of the communities we serve. Our employees have repeatedly demonstrated their strong commitment to their profession and their care and compassion for our patients has been evident throughout this crisis.

I want to recognize them for all they have been doing and are prepared to do in the future as we work to provide the excellent health care our communities need and deserve. This has been a uniquely challenging time for all of us, but as we celebrate National Hospital Week 2020, I want to publicly thank them for their countless hours of vital and fantastic health care during this crisis.

I am proud to be part of the family that is CMH strong!

Sincerely,

W. Scott Burnette

CEO

VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital, South Hill, Virginia

 

(Editor's Note: Your letters may not always reflect the views of Emporia News. Letters to the Editor may be sent to news@emporianews.com and must include your name. Letters that may be considered inflamitory in nature will not be published. Do not include profanity, racial ephitets, lewd, demeaning or disparaging comments. Letters may be edited for space, clarity and/or grammar.)

VCU Health CMH to Resume Elective Procedures and Clinic Visits

During this unprecedented time we have been caring for emergent patients daily and now we are prepared to slowly phase in elective procedures again as well as in-person clinic visits,” said W. Scott Burnette, CEO, VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital.

We've taken these steps to keep you safe   

  • We are testing every patient for COVID-19 before undergoing surgery, so our teams can take the proper safety measures to care for them and keep others safe. In addition, we are testing all patients before admission to the hospital.  

  • We continue using telehealth for patient appointments and to communicate with patients both before and after their surgery.   

  • We screen everyone for coronavirus symptoms at our entrances and encourage everyone who enters our facilities to wear a mask. If you do not have one, we will provide one.  

  • We have extra hand-washing stations, robust cleaning and disinfecting protocols for our rooms and equipment, and protocols for treating patients with coronavirus symptoms in designated areas to minimize the spread of COVID-19. 

Some postponed surgeries already taking place 

We are already performing select surgeries and procedures for cancer and infection that were delayed due to COVID-19 and are urgently needed.

Our hospitals and emergency rooms are clean and safe -- don't postpone care 

Emergency rooms across the United States are seeing a decrease in visits due to fears of the virus. Paralleling a national trend, from March 20 - April 20, VCU Medical Center saw a 37% decline in patients seeking emergency care for stroke compared to the same time last year. Delaying care can put you at risk of further damaging your health.

“When we resume elective surgeries and postponed procedures, we want safety as our top priority. Therefore, we will be re-introducing those services gradually,” said Dr. Ike Ibe, Vice President of Medical Affairs at VCU Health CMH.

 

“We want to assure our patients and their families that it is safe to come to the hospital, and we ask them not to ignore health symptoms that can become major health issues if left unchecked,” Ibe added.

Gift of Special Bags Brings a Smile

Cancer doesn’t care one little bit about COVID-19, so treatment goes on and Penny, Shep & Jonathon Evans, as well as a host of friends, wanted to make that treatment process a little nicer and received a lot of help making that possible.

Penny Evans has held an event for each of the past several years to benefit cancer patients. She owns Thirty-One Gifts and asked customers and friends to donate so cancer patients at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital’s Hendrick Cancer & Rehab Center could be blessed with a special bag of goodies.

Teresa R. Collins, RN, BSN, OCN, Director of Radiation and Medical Oncology at the Solari Radiation Center/Hendrick Cancer Center, said, “A cancer diagnosis is scary and overwhelming for patients, these care bags are a true blessing and provide joy during such a horrible time. The bags provide our patients with a centralized location to keep appointments, information packets, goodies, and personal belongings as they are coming into the center for treatment. Our patients have voiced multiple times how honored they feel to have so many members of the community supporting them through their journey. As caregivers it is extremely heartwarming to see the smiles that these bags bring to their face. Penny and her team of angels are amazing and we are extremely grateful for her continued support of our cancer program through the years.”

Thanks to generous donors listed below, Evans was able to donate 319 Chemo/Radiation Care Bags to CMH.  “This community is known for its support, especially for cancer patients,” Penny said. “They really did a wonderful job in providing bags for our community.”

Penny wanted to give special thanks to Touchstone Bank, First Citizens Bank and Dance It Out Dancers for providing some of the contents to fill the bags. Also to all those who donated to make this project a reality are listed below.

Platinum Donors (10+ bags sponsored)

  • First Christian School 2/6/20 Chapel Collection - In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients Airtec -Judy & Jimmy Newman- In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Bill & Sylvia Solari - In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Fleet & Dennis Roberts - In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Michael & Donna Gregory- In Honor of Donna, my Mom, and Donna's Mom
  • The Pointe Realty Group - In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Lindsey and Jason Dawson - In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients

Gold Donors (5-9 bags sponsored)

  • Karobway Furniture, Robert Smith-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Michael and Katie Cieslinski-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Michelle & Scott Edmonds -In Honor of Louise Ogburn, Rebecca Laben, Scott Edmonds, & Michelle
  • Edmonds. In Memory of Michelle Roberts Sasser.
  • Marcia, JC, & Jaicee Clary-In Memory of Robert H. Reed, Nancy W. Reed, Hazel Luton, Everette Jones and In Honor of Sandra Stephenson
  • Rozier Termite & Pest Control -In Memory of Aunt Virginia Flinn
  • John & Patty Evans-In Honor of Shelia Paynter

Silver Donors (2-4 bags sponsored)

  • Pam & Terry McDaniel-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Rosser & Carleen Wells-In Memory of Ann & Donnie Wells and All Cancer Patients
  • Chris & Rebecca Bulluck-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Joyce & Charles Taylor-In Honor and Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Tiffany & Mike Dotti-In Honor of Nana Mabel Pulley and in Memory of Sam Bottoms and Lizzie Bottoms Kathy Sims-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Vera Primm-In Honor of Elizabeth, Tara, and Pops
  • Melinda Walker-In Honor of all survivors. In Memory of those we have lost. In honor of friends /family of Cancer Patients. #NoOneFightsAlone
  • Harold Vaughan-In Memory of Phyllis G. Vaughan
  • Judy & Ed Carroll-In Honor of Ernestine Evans and Sandi Taylor -In Memory of Carolyn Roberts
  • Sharon & Alvin Johnson-In Honor of Shelia Paynter
  • Debbie Moore-In Honor of Shelia Paynter
  • Lynn & Daven Lucy-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Margaret Luongo -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Chad Vaughan & Gavin Honeycutt -In Memory of Phyllis G. Vaughan and James G. Honeycutt
  • Mary Hardin-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • The Carpenter's House-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Brian's Mechanical, Brian & Tonja Pearce -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Susan and Steve Creed le-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Sarah Hutson-In Honor of Barbara Moore-Cancer Survivor
  • Tiffany & Jeremy Lynch-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Tim & Sandra Ittner-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Lori Kirkland-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Sybil McFarland-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Mary & Wayne Rawlings-In Memory of Ruth Rawlings
  • Judy Cleaton-In Honor of Mary Carol Kallam
  • Amanda & Brian Calhoun-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Jenny Davis-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Carolyn & Randy Carter-In Memory of Minnie R. Edmonds &Honor of Cha Ion Swanson
  • Exit Town and Lake Realty-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • New To You Consignment, Mary Edmonds-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients Ashley & Adam Lipscomb-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Sheryl & Ricky Thomason-In Memory of Michelle Roberts Sasser & In Honor of Penny Glenn Jean Bagley-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Brittany and Henry Edmonds-In Memory of Joyce Hodges
  • Sheri & Mike Sparkman-In Memory of Nancy Haggerty and Jim Libhart
  • Lynn & Linda Roberts-In Memory of Wanda Jones Beville and Jau Roberts
  • Jannon & Chad Coley-In Memory of Robert Higgins
  • Glenn & Linda Barbour-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Betty & Warren Edwards-In Memory of Marilyn Hudson
  • Angie & Lyn Mills-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Virginia Hall-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Martha & Bobby Overton -In Memory of Carolyn Roberts & In Honor of Sandi Taylor
  • Susan & Mike Moody-In Memory of Charles Hudson & In Honor of Shelia Paynter
  • Jasmine & Todd Cage -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Niki Shingleton -In Memory of Jennie Spielman & Angie Hepner
  • Candy McAvoy-In Honor of All Cancer Warriors
  • Shannon Crutchfield & Joseph Curtis -In Honor of Aunt Diane Kleis and Sylvia Jones
  • Lisa and Mike Pugh -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Lisa Graham -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • CiCi and Robbie Carroll -In Honor of Melinda Walker & Ernestine Evans
  • Terry Daniels -For Robert Lewis Daniels
  • Tanya Baskerville -Memory of Wendy Boyter Jackson & George Baskerville
  • Holly Fadool Painter -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Jennie Inge -In Memory of Earl Newman & Connie King
  • Dr. Desidero & Genevieve Rimon-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Marianne & Chris Early -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Ashley and Shawn Hardee -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Alexa Jackson -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Susan & Bitty Freeman -In Memory of Eddie Allen & Lois Taylor
  • Jessica & Austin Lafoon -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Danny Mason -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients

Bronze Donors (1 bag sponsored)

  • Nancy & Kell Fleshood-In Honor of Sandy Adcock Taylor
  • Kaye Bagley-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Charles & Ann Butts-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Teri & Troy Walker -In Honor Ernestine Evans
  • Crystal & Chris Murphy-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Tammy & Steve White-In Honor of Eli Newcomb
  • Jane & Mike Allen-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Stacy & Wade Archer-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Tammy and John Manning-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Katherine Crutchfield-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Mitzi and Tracy Powell-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Peggie and Robert Powell-In Memory of "Jack"Burns
  • Todd Jackson -In Memory of Wendy Boyter Jackson
  • Beth & Mickey Smith-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Alicia & Guy Short-In Memory of Michelle Roberts Sasser & In Honor of Sandi Taylor Brenda Curtis-In Memory of Alice Dawson
  • Judy & Chuck Martin-In Memory of Bobby Garrett
  • Jennifer Allman-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Holly & Chris McFarland -In Memory of Earl and Shirley Sasser
  • Candi, Atlas, & Reid Allen-In Memory of Dallas Allen
  • Kris & Scott Walker-In Honor of Our Moms
  • Barbara Moore-In Honor of Sisters-Cancer Survivors Judi Newman & Betsy Quicke Thelma Baird-In Honor of Jimmy Vaughan
  • Ernestine & Billy Evans-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Beverly Edwards-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Janice & Ken Currin -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Karen Myers-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Carol Ann Chapman-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Kim & Keith Corum-In Memory of Stephanie Kennedy Wilbur
  • Debbie Douglas-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Carri lee Spence-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Patricia Rogers-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Kim & Brent Evans -In Honor of Ernestine Evans
  • Robin & Tim Newton-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Miki Baird-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Terry & Shep Moss -In Memory of William Henry Wilson
  • Bonnie Jackson -In Memory of Nancy Lucille Thomas
  • Billy and Kathy Coffee -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Shelley & Chuck Mayer-In Honor of Shelia Paynter
  • Denny & Cathy Hardee-In Memory of David Hawkins, who lost his battle with cancer on 2/9/20
  • Stacy Farrar -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Lynn and Everette Gibson -In Memory of Lavenia Gibson
  • Nancy Jacobs -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Shelia and Calvin Paynter -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Johnna Maurice -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Tammy Parker -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Hope & Tommy Zincone -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Rita & Alvin Parham -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Susan Lucy-In Memory of Lavenia Gibson
  • Gloria & Carrol Roberts -In Memory of Michelle Roberts Sasser
  • Janet Hayes -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Carol Barker-In Honor of Shelia Paynter
  • Rose Towell -In Memory of John Towell
  • Sandi & Mark Kidd -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Lindsey Smith -In Memory of Michelle Roberts Sasser
  • Tina Wells -In Memory of Louise Horne
  • Scott, Devon, Kaisley, & Kyndall -In Memory of Pleas Jackson & Michelle Roberts Sasser & In Honor of Elaine Clary
  • Anita Kallam -In Memory of Greg Upton
  • Helen Gordon -In Memory of Polly Gordon
  • Timi Garcia -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Donna Wall -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Elma Wilkinson -In Memory of Terry Callahan & Rusty Callahan
  • Becky Barnes Lewis -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Betsy & Jimmy Clayton-In Honor of Joyce M. Perkinson
  • Diane & Larry Parker -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Dottie Collins -In Honor of Teresa Collins and the CMH Oncology Dept.
  • Diana Crowder -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Kris & Patricia Reed -In Memory of Faye Moseley
  • Debbie Piercy-In Memory Michelle Sasser
  • Vanessa Rudd -In Honor of Shelia Paynter
  • Elaine & Sherman Maitland -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Aileen Lewis -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Carrie Poythress -In Memory of Sandy Hamer
  • Crissy Carter -In Memory of Mama, Virginia Clark
  • Joy Hofler -In Honor of Shelia Paynter
  • Candice, Jason, Zoey, & Allie Riggan -In Honor of Mama/Gammy, Shelia Paynter
  • Wendy Pheil -In Honor of JCH
  • Maria Ford - In Honor of Lounell Stallings
  • Angie & Bryant Thomas - In Memory of Maude Thomas
  • Gwen & Steve Hinzman -In Honor of Susan Wilfong
  • Shannon Cunningham- In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Jeanie Troup - In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Jennifer Ellington - In Honor of Laura "Faye" Kniceley
  • Carol & James Johnson - In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Michelle Tanner- In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Debra & Spencer Crowder- In Memory of Bob Hoover
  • Kathryn & Raymond Bokesch - In Memory of Sandy Hamer & Heidi Semivan
  • Carolyn Saylor - In Honor of Shelia Paynter
  • Kim & Chris Brown - In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Brenda Crafton - In Honor of Shelia Paynter
  • Cynthia Oakley- In Honor of Shelia Paynter
  • Sandra Pearce - In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Lindsey Satterwhite, Paynter & Paschal -In Honor of Sherry Orman
  • South Hill Volunteer Fire Dept. Ladies Aux. - In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients Eileen & John Bigley - In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Marjorie Lawson- In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • JoAnn Wells- In Honor of Shelia Paynter
  • Michelle Crowder-In Honor of Melinda Matthews Walker
  • Kristy Hooper- In Honor of Shelia Paynter
  • Joyce Perkinson - In Honor of Shelia Paynter
  • Diane Nichols - In Honor of Shelia Paynter
  • Nichole & David Powell- In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Cheryl Abernathy- In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients

Prep continues at old hospital site, precautions a constant at CMH

Editor’s Note: In an effort to inform our communities about changes at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital, we are releasing this additional information about the stand up of the old hospital building on Buena Vista Circle and precautions taken routinely by CMH in dealing with infectious diseases.

“As VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital continues to prep the old CMH on Buena Vista to possibly accept patients, we felt it was important to let the community know about precautions we at the hospital take daily to help control the spread of this virus and other infectious diseases and to protect our patients, staff and the community as a whole,” said Scott Burnette, CEO of CMH. 

He explained, “At CMH we have taken extensive precautions through the years to protect everyone from the spread of infectious diseases. That was true in 1954and it is true today, although medical research has provided us with many more tools over the years. There are important steps each and every employee takes to reduce the possibility of spreading a disease to patients, other staff members and the community.”

“We practice a strict regimen in what is called donning and doffing of personal protective equipment (PPE). Every employee who works in direct patient care has been specifically trained in this thorough procedure that protects everyone,” he said. 

This protective equipment includes disposable gowns, gloves, masks and eye protection. Further, as staff members put on (don) or take off (doff) the PPE, an observer is to be present to make sure the procedure is followed correctly.

“When infectious diseases are present and those diseases have an airborne component like COVID-19, patients are placed in what is called a negative pressure room or can be managed by leaving the patient room door closed to the hallway at all times,” he added. 

Negative pressure rooms bring in air from the hallway outside the room at all times and then the air in the room is exhausted through the roof at CMH where it dissipates and is no longer an issue. 

Burnette explained that if a COVID positive patient is in a negative pressure room, the airborne virus cannot escape the room except being expelled harmlessly through the roof.

Employees remove their PPE in a very specific manner at the door of the negative pressure room before exiting the room and wash their hands during each step of removing their equipment. This keeps those staff members and others safe from contact with the airborne virus.

Burnette explained that this procedure is utilized at hospitals across the country and is the accepted practice of the World Health Organization and the Centers For Disease Control with the federal government.

But he added that everyone has a responsibility to help slow or stop the spread of infectious diseases.

“The most important thing everyone can do is practice social distancing.  Six feet is the magic number.  Staying six feet away from people, being careful what you touch, avoid touching your face and washing your hands often with soap and water or sanitizer is the best way to slow or stop the progression of this virus,” Burnette said. 

Burnette said that the decision to prepare the old hospital to possibly receive patients was appropriate and necessary.

"Preparing the old hospital for COVID-19 patients is a precautionary step to make sure we have the capacity to handle any and all patients who present at CMH.  If precautions are not put into motion right now there could be a scenario where people in our community, our friends or family, could be in need of health care and CMH would not have room for them.  Having the CMH facility on Buena Vista Circle available as an option is a way to prevent this horrible scenario from taking place.  We are in the business of providing the best possible care for our patients and having this facility available to us will give us the best chance to do just that."  

If anyone has questions about COVID-19 they should visit the CDC website at: cdc.gov.

VCU Health CMH Visitation Changes

For our patients — your safety is our top concern.

(March 30, 2020) The health and safety of our patients, team members, and visitors are critical at all times. Our patient care philosophy depends greatly on engaging family and friends to be part of the healing process. We continue to identify public health practices that reduce the risks of transmitting COVID-19, including restricting visitation within VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital and clinics.

Effective Monday, March 30 at 5:00 p.m., we are instituting a temporary full visitor restriction policy to keep our team members, patients, and communities safe. In this difficult and unprecedented time, we know showing love and care is of the utmost importance, and our teams are committed to providing safe and compassionate care.  All who enter the hospital or the CARE Building will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms.

For inpatients this means: We are suspending all in-person visits to hospitalized patients for the duration of the pandemic. Exceptions include:

• Labor and Delivery unit: One (1) adult visitor, 18 years or older, permitted per patient
• Pediatric patients in all units: One (1) adult visitor, 18 years or older, permitted per patient
• Patients who are at the end of life: The number of visitors are determined by the patients’ care team.

To reach a patient, please dial (434) 584, followed by the four digits of the patient's room number.

For outpatients this means: For those with appointments, we are instituting the following temporary outpatient appointment policy:

• Only patients with verified appointments may enter our hospitals and clinics. Appointments will be verified at entry screening stations.
• For pediatric patients with verified appointments: Two (2) accompanying adults, 18 years or older, permitted per patient

The restrictions also apply to people entering the Emergency Department.

As of last Friday, March 27, 2020 virtual appointments are now possible with all VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital provider offices.

The patient should contact the practice using the telephone number of that practice to get the process started. This is for established patients only, no new patients can be added to this process unless they are requesting appointments directly related to COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Once the appointment has been made, the patient should:

1. Check their email for a Zoom meeting invite.

2. Write down Meeting ID in case needed while joining meeting

3. To join meeting, click on the link below “Join Zoom Meeting”. The provider must have initiated meeting in order for patient to join in.  If not, the patient will not be able to join in until the provider starts meeting.  Patient may have to try and re-join after a couple of minutes.

4. Patient needs to select “Join with Video”

5. Then join with “Call using Internet Audio” or “Dial in” – will need Meeting ID if dialing in

6. Leave meeting by clicking “End Meeting”

Additional precautions:

- We ask everyone to take extra steps to ensure good handwashing.  Ten handwashing stations have been placed outside the entrances to the following locations and we ask that everyone please wash their hands before entering buildings:  main hospital, Emergency Department, C.A.R.E. Building, Leggett Center, Cancer Center – Medical and Radiation Oncology, Chase City Primary Care, Clarksville Primary Care and VCU Health at Tanglewood.

- Visitors who are required to wear a mask to enter a patient room will be provided with only one mask per day, to be used in the patient room.

We understand this is a difficult time for our patients and visitors, and we appreciate your help keeping our loved ones and our community safe. Working together, we are confident that these measures will help us succeed with managing the spread of COVID-19 within our facilities while balancing the visitation needs of our patients.

The Hundley Center

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has taken action to aggressively respond to the Coronavirus (COVID-19).  In order to comply with CMS mandates, nursing homes nationwide implemented restrictions and The Hundley Center at VCU Health CMH complied by suspending all visitation.  Residents have access to a private phone in their rooms.  To reach a resident, please dial (434) 584, followed by the number 4 and the three digits of the resident’s room number.  Our goal of protecting the health of each resident is of the utmost importance during this unprecedented situation.

VCU Health CMH is closely monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. For an official case count in Virginia (and locations of cases), please visit the Virginia Department of Health at www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/.

For more information about COVID-19, please visit:  vcuhealth.org/covid-19

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has a call line established for COVID-19 questions, the number is 877-ASK-VDH3.   (877-275-8343)

VCU Health CMH Team Member of the Month for February 2020

(Left to Right) W. Scott Burnette, CEO, VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital presented Nickey Powell, RN in ICU, the VCU Health CMH STAR Service Team Member of the Month Award for February.  There to congratulate Nickey was Mellissa Black, Acute Care Nursing Director and Mary Hardin, Vice President of Patient Care Services.

If you are sick or injured, you want someone fighting for you and that’s what you have in Nickey Powell, RN in the Intensive Care Unit.  Nickey was named the VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital Star Service Team Member of the Month for February.

Mellisa Black DNP, RN, MS, CCRN, NE-BC, and Director of Acute Care Services, described Nickey as “a wonderful nurse, who is never afraid to say something to benefit the patient.”

Nickey was nominated by the husband of one of her patients.  He said, “Nickey had such a pleasant attitude and genuine concern for my wife’s health and she went above and beyond to make my wife and I as comfortable as could be. She’s truly a blessing!”

Mellisa said, “The patient and her husband came by my office to express their gratitude for the excellent care they received from Nickey.  Nickey is a wonderful example of great relationship-based care.

Nickey has a Bachelor’s degree in nursing from East Carolina University and is originally from Elizabeth City, NC and now resides in Norlina, NC.

She’s been with VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital for the past five years and likes CMH because “it just feels like home.”  “We are such a family in the unit. I feel like I know everyone who works here.”

Nickey and husband, Tony, have three daughters, Claire, 7, Harper, 5, and Ella who turns three in March.

VCU Health CMH Update For our patients — your safety is our top concern

(March 20, 2020) “We are an acute care hospital and dealing with infectious diseases is something we are prepared to do every day,” said Scott Burnette, CEO of VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital.

Because of the magnitude of this world-wide pandemic, we are taking extra precautions with COVID-19 (Coronavirus).  Our staff is fully prepared to care for patients at all times and have expertise in dealing with illnesses of all kinds.

At VCU Health CMH patients are screened and those who meet the appropriate criteria for testing are then tested for the Coronavirus.  Once the swabs are collected they sent to either the Virginia Department of Health or Lab Corp, which are the only two labs approved in Virginia to run the tests.  Work is currently under way for hospital labs to get approved for analyzing the samples collected.

“I want everyone to know that we are taking all the necessary precautions to help slow the spread of the Coronavirus, but we also want people to understand that with proper precautions most people have a low risk of contracting COVID-19,” he added.

He continued, “We are asking people to practice social distancing – as in do not interact with others closely unless absolutely necessary. It is recommended that people keep at least six feet of distance from others to provide additional safeguards against the Corona (COVID) virus. Washing your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds is also vital in combating the virus.”

Burnette said many precautions have been implemented to make sure VCU Health CMH is doing everything possible to confront the challenges the Corona virus presents. Among those changes are a large number of temporary restrictions and closures, all done to prevent the spread of the virus, not because the virus is rampant in Southside Virginia and Northern North Carolina.

Among those changes are:

All non-urgent appointments that were scheduled with CMH providers will be rescheduled with consultation with our patients. CMH Family Care, Chase City Primary Care and Clarksville Primary Care will continue to be open as a resource of primary care physicians that can be contacted for guidance on appropriate care for people that are having symptoms related to COVID-19 or other serious illnesses.  The Emergency Department is open as usual for emergency cases.  In addition, elective surgeries that can be postponed will be, again in consultation with the patients.

Routine visitation is suspended until the transmission of COVID-19 is no longer a threat to our patients, visitors and team members.  For everyone’s safety, no visitors will be allowed who:

  1. Have any symptoms of fever, cough, sore throat or difficulty breathing
  2. Have returned from any of the COVID-19 high-risk countries or regions within the last 14 days
  3. Have been exposed to COVID-19
  4. Are children under 16 years of age

Other visitor restrictions: We recognize that there are times when having a visitor present is crucial. In these cases, visitors will be allowed based on the exceptions listed below provided they are not already excluded by the symptoms, age or exposure restrictions identified above. In general, visitors should limit visits to common waiting areas and maintain social distance to prevent sick individuals from coming in close contact with healthy individuals, in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations.

1.       Visitation is between the hours of 7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. effective Saturday, March 21st.   

2.       Adult patients: Only one visitor per day.  All others will be asked to wait for updates outside of the medical facility. Patients at the end of life may have two visitors after discussion with the patient care team.

3.       Pediatric patients: 2 visitors per day.

4.       Obstetrical patients: 1 visitor per day.

5.       Patients undergoing surgery, procedures, or other testing: 1 visitor per day.

6.       ER patients are limited to one visitor.

7.       Visitation to patients with suspected and/or confirmed COVID-19 will be through telecommunication.

Additional precautions:

  1. We ask everyone to take extra steps to ensure good handwashing.  Ten handwashing stations have been placed outside the entrances to the following locations and we ask that everyone please wash their hands before entering buildings:  main hospital, Emergency Department, C.A.R.E. Building, Leggett Center, Cancer Center – Medical and Radiation Oncology, Chase City Primary Care, Clarksville Primary Care and VCU Health at Tanglewood.
  2. Visitors who are required to wear a mask to enter a patient room will be provided with only one mask per day, to be used in the patient room.

“We understand this is a difficult time for our patients and visitors, and we appreciate your help keeping our loved ones and our community safe. Working together, we are confident that these measures will help us succeed with managing the spread of COVID-19 while balancing the visitation needs of our patients,” Burnette continued.

The Hundley Center

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has taken action to aggressively respond to the Coronavirus (COVID-19).  In order to comply with CMS mandates, nursing homes nationwide implemented restrictions and The Hundley Center at VCU Health CMH complied by suspending all visitation.  Residents have access to a private phone in their rooms.  To reach a resident, please dial (434) 584, followed by the number 4 and the three digits of the resident’s room number.  Our goal of protecting the health of each resident is of the utmost importance during this unprecedented situation.

Programs/Services Closure Updates:

CMH Family Dental Clinic, CMH Medical Fitness Center, Screenings & Support Groups

The CMH Family Dental Clinic closed March 18 and will tentatively reopen on March 30 for urgent and emergency visits only.

The CMH Medical Fitness Center will close Saturday, March 21 at 11 a.m. and a determination on when it reopens will be made at a later date.  Services affected by this closing include both aquatic and land-based fitness classes (The Matter of Balance Classes have been rescheduled beginning in August 2020). The cancer rehab services that operate within the center have been suspended.  Outpatient physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy services will remain open at this time, but with restrictions.  The cardiac rehab and pulmonary rehab programs that operate within the C.A.R.E. Building are still open, but also with restrictions.

All blood pressure clinic screenings, support groups, and scheduled public education events have been cancelled until further notice.

VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital is closely monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.  As of today (March 20, 2020) there is one confirmed case of COVID-19 in Mecklenburg County.  For an official case count in Virginia (and locations of cases), please visit the Virginia Department of Health at www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/.

For more information on our preparations, please visit:  vcuhealth.org/covid-19

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has a call line established for COVID-19 questions, the number is 877-ASK-VDH3.   (877-275-8343)

Pain Management Class

Community Out-Reach Education

South Hill – VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital will be hosting a free class on managing pain.  This course is designed for those experiencing consistent pain for three months or longer and/or have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.  If you are interested in learning more about how pain actually works and helpful strategies to better manage pain then you should attend.

This FREE class will be on Tuesday, February 18th at 11:00 a.m. in the Healthy Body Fitness Studio located inside the Thomas W. Leggett Center at 300 East Ferrell Street in South Hill.

Brandon Poen, PT, DPT, Cert DN, CF-L1, CMP will be the speaker for the program.  Brandon received his Bachelor’s Degree in Health Sciences and a Doctorate Degree in Physical Therapy from Northern Illinois University. He also obtained a Minor in Spanish from Northern Illinois University. He has completed numerous continuing education courses within orthopedics and sports physical therapy.  He is Mulligan trained in treatment of extremity and spinal pain conditions, certified in LSVT-BIG for Parkinson’s Disease, has gone through special training in persistent pain as well as running and weightlifting movement assessment and rehabilitation.

This class is limited to only 30 participants.  For more information or to register to attend, please call (434) 447-0895.

 

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VCU Health CMH Team Member of the Month for October 2019

W. Scott Burnette, CEO, VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital presented Jessica Carter, Care Partner in Acute Care, the VCU Health CMH STAR Service Team Member of the Month Award for October.  There to congratulate Jessica was Mary Hardin, Vice President of Patient Care Services and Melissa Black, Acute Care Nursing Director.

Providing assistance seems to be second nature to Jessica Carter, a Care Partner in Acute Care. Her giving attitude has earned her the VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital Star Service Team Member of the Month Award for October.

Jessica was nominated two times in the month, which speaks highly for her efforts at work.

In nominating her, a patient’s family member said, “While checking on my uncle and needing assistance, I went to the nurse’s station to ask for assistance. Jessica Carter came and assisted immediately and even offered more items of comfort I hadn’t event thought of. When leaving I found out he was not in her patient assignment. Not once while helping me did she suggest I ask for his RN or Care Partner – but rather helped even though he wasn’t her patient.”

Her second nomination came from Dr. Rani Reddy, a CMH Hospitalist, who said, “Jessica is a hard working team player who takes great care of my patients.”

Mellisa Black, Director of Acute Care Services, added, “Jessica always takes the time and puts forth extra effort to make her patients feel special. She innately knows the needs of her patients and team members and goes above and beyond to exceed their needs.”

Jessica enjoys her job because of the interaction with co-workers and patients. She has been with VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital for nearly four years and believes in the old adage of treating others like she wants to be treated.

She and her husband, Benjamin, have two children, five-year-old Skarlett and three-year-old Ember. Jessica is from Brodnax, VA.

In addition to the award certificate, Jessica 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.

Other employees nominated in October were Linda Allen, Food and Nutrition Services; Ashton Carter, Acute Care; Jessica Chapman, Orthopedics; Molly Hatchell, Intensive Care Unit; Jaimee Newcomb, Acute Care; Lucero Vasquez, Outpatient Rehab; and John Watson, Acute Rehab.

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VCU Health CMH Heart Walk set for Sept. 21st

SOUTH HILL, VA– VCU Health has partnered with the American Heart Association (AHA) to have a heart walk at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill, VA on Saturday, September 21st.  Activities will begin at 10:00AM and the one mile walk (two laps) around the hospital will begin at 10:30AM. There are plans to have snow cones, games, music, blood pressure checks, health information and an appearance by Rodney the Ram at the event.  T-shirts will also be available for a $25.00 donation.  A new feature for this year’s walk is you can receive a personalized shirt (up to 15 characters) with a separate payment of a one-time $20 screening fee per team name and a $5 imprint fee per shirt.  The t-shirt vendor, River City Logo in Richmond, will donate $10 from each screening fee to the AHA.  All personalized shirt orders must be placed by Tuesday, September 10.  If you would like to make a donation and receive a t-shirt before the event please call, (434) 447-0917.

If you are interested in participating, please sign-up at:  www.RichmondVAHeartWalk.org

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VCU Health CMH Team Member of the Month for July 2019

W. Scott Burnette, CEO, VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital presented Lynn Holt, Long Term Care Social Worker, the VCU Health CMH STAR Service Team Member of the Month Award for July.  There to congratulate Lynn was Tammy Trent House, Director of Social Work, Care Management and Chaplain Services, and Ken Libby, Vice President of Finance.

Lynn has been employed at VCU Health CMH for 11 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, “Lynn went above and beyond her normal work hours when asked to help the staff.  Her willingness to give up her personal time to meet the needs of her department demonstrates her professionalism and true teamwork philosophy.  She also exhibited a positive attitude through this usually busy period.  She performs thoughtful acts of kindness to other team members and is always well respected by her coworkers.  She constantly exhibits qualities of the Star Service Program and is a valuable asset to The Hundley Center.”

Lynn has been married to her husband for 50 years, has two sons, and two grandchildren.  When asked what words of wisdom she would give other employees, she stated, “Work hard and keep your sense of humor!”

In addition to the award, Lynn 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.

Lynn resides in Union Level, VA.

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Ladies of Antioch UMC Donate to VCU Health CMH Garland Birthing Center

Antioch UMW  Seated: Nannie Sue Dawson Standing (left to right): Susan Moseley, Shirley Hite, Barbara Callis, Anne Day, Nancy Turner, Dawn Bacon, Ginny Arthur  

The ladies of Antioch United Methodist Women (Lunenburg Charge) held a program, inviting Terry Wootten, Nurse Midwife, to come and speak about Maternal and Child Health. In conjunction with the informative and enlightening program, they had a Baby Shower for "Anybody's Baby" and invited members of their congregation to join in the cause. Many useful items were collected, including clothing, blankets, socks, diapers, Vitron-C iron supplements, Latch Assist, and more. These items benefit underprivileged babies and mothers at the Garland Birthing Center of VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital. The employees and medical staff at the hospital are grateful for these donations and would also like to thank Providence United Methodist Church and Trinity United Methodist Church for their previous support.

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Elizabeth T. Moseley Scholarship Winners

Kenneth Pitts, Auxiliary President; Mary Anne Carter, Auxiliary Member; Jessica Johnson, RN; Jennifer Weston, Acute Care Cardiac Monitor Tech; W. Scott Burnette, Chief Executive Officer; and Darlene Ferguson, Auxiliary Member.

The VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital’s Auxiliary recognized the Elizabeth T. Moseley Scholarship Fund Winners Jessica Johnson, RN, and Jennifer Weston, Acute Care Cardiac Monitor Tech.

Applicants for the scholarship, funded by donations to the “Tree of Love,” had to pursue a degree or certification that would enhance the employee’s capabilities in a position at the hospital. Both Jessica and Jennifer were selected after the committee evaluated each applicant’s required essay on how “receiving the scholarship would enhance your life.”

As part of Jennifer’s essay, she revealed how an organ transplant saved her life.

“I would love the opportunity to be present when others receive this life saving gift and to help take care of them,” she said. Jennifer is in the RN program at Southside Virginia Community College.

Jessica Johnson stated how much the scholarship would help offset the cost of books and supplies in her continued education being “13 months away from the completion of my post masters certificate in Pediatric Nurse Practitioner.” Jessica attends Maryville University online.

W. Scott Burnette, Chief Executive Officer and members of the Auxiliary were on hand to congratulate the winners and present the award.

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Our Future Health Care Providers

Career Scene Investigators - 1st row left to right: Abbie Long, Mary Katelyn Hite, Meredith Graham, Drew Jones, Claire Williams, Jayla Whitehead. 2nd row left to right: Hazel Willis, Education Manager and Camp Coordinator,  Kailey Smith, Alease Cleaton, Tristan Buchanan, Cassidy Smith, Lexi Weaver, Grace Howell, Yyetta Carter, Theresa Griles, RN Educator

Submitted by Hazel Willis, RN, BSN

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 29th thru August 2nd.  Thirteen students from Mecklenburg, Lunenburg, and Brunswick County Middle Schools participated in the camp. The focus of the camp was to give 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, and physical, speech or occupational therapists; while others want to become engineers, computer technologists or marine biologists.  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 2020 and it will also be available on VCU-CMH.org.

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Yasir Al-Khalili, MD Joins VCU Health CMH

South Hill – VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill would like to welcome Neurologist Dr. Yasir Al-Kahalili to our family of health care providers.  Dr. Al-Kahalili specializes in Neuro Science.

Dr. Al-Kahalili earned his MD with honors for excellence in research from St. George’s University, School of Medicine in Grenada, West Indies. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Ecology and Environmental Science from Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in Biotechnology and Genetics from Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.

Dr. Al-Kahalili received the Golden Apple Award in 2018 by Drexel University College of Medicine, making him nationally recognized for teaching in medicine. He completed his residency from the Drexel Neurosciences Institute at the Drexel University College of Medicine.

Dr. Al-Kahalili is joining Dr. Carlos A. Williams at VCU Health Commonwealth Neuro Specialists, located at 501 Lombardy Street in South Hill, VA. To schedule an appointment, call (434) 447-9033.

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Breast Health Educational Workshops

Women of all ages are invited to attend these free educational workshops on breast health, offered by VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital Health & Wellness at multiple times and locations this summer.July 10 (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.),
  • R.T. Arnold Library, 110 E. Danville St., South Hill, VA

  • July 24 (10 a.m. – 12 noon), Brunswick Co. Public Library, 133 W. Hicks St., Lawrenceville, VA

  • August 7 (10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.), Clarksville Public Library, Virginia Ave., Clarksville, VA

  • August 28 (10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.), Warren Co. Memorial Library, 1119 S. Front St., Littleton, NC

In addition to participants will receive a free blood pressure and sugar screening, they will learn about breast health education and breast cancer awareness, self-awareness breast massages, intervention and early detection, who is at risk for breast cancer, how often to have a mammogram, and education on colon cancer.

For more information, call VCU Health CMH Health & Wellness at 434-774-2541.

These workshops are funded through a grant from Susan G. Komen Central Virginia and in collaboration with VCU Massey Center’s Health Information & Advocacy @ Your Library.

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VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital receives Get With The Guidelines Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award

American Heart Association Award recognizes VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital commitment to quality stroke care

VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The 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.

VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period. These measures include evaluation of the proper use of medications and other stroke treatments aligned with the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. Before discharge, patients should also receive education on managing their health, get a follow-up visit scheduled, as well as other care transition interventions.

“VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital is dedicated to improving the quality of care for our stroke patients by implementing the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke initiative,” said Vickey Morgan, RN, BSN, SCRN, Stroke Program Coordinator at VCU Health Community Memorial. “The tools and resources provided help us track and measure our success in meeting evidenced-based clinical guidelines developed to improve patient outcomes.”

VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital additionally received the association’s Target: StrokeSM Elite Plus award. To qualify for this recognition, hospitals must meet quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke.

“We are pleased to recognize VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital for their commitment to stroke care,” said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., national chairperson of the Quality Oversight Committee and Executive Vice Chair of Neurology, Director of Acute Stroke Services, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts. “Research has shown that hospitals adhering to clinical measures through the Get With The Guidelines quality improvement initiative can often see fewer readmissions and lower mortality rates.”

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.

VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital achieved the recognition of Advanced Primary Stroke Center Disease Specific Certification from the Joint Commission in 2016 and again in 2018. Toward continuing to receive this recognition every two years, VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital follows the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association guidelines to achieve the Target Stroke awards: In 2016 the Target Stroke Silver Plus Quality Award; in 2017, the Gold Plus Target Stroke Elite Quality Achievement Award; and now the highest achievable award the Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award.

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Shana Williams, VHU-CMH May Team Member of the Month

W. Scott Burnette, Chief Executive Officer; Shana Williams, Dietary Aide; Curtis Poole, Director of Food and Nutrition Services; and Todd Howell, Vice President of Professional Services.

Shana Williams, a dietary aide with Food and Nutrition Services, is the Star Service Team Member of the Month. She has been employed at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital for nearly a year and a half, and worked in food services for about five years prior to working at the hospital. Her quick attention to a patient in his time of need shows how much of a wonderful asset she is to VCU Health CMH.   

Shana said she was talking with a patient early one morning, and everything seemed fine. While seated in his room, the patient later went to pick up his tray, leaned over, and began slurring. Shana said she immediately contacted his nurse, and the nurse checked to see if the patient could squeeze her hand. When the patient couldn’t, it was clear he was experiencing stroke symptoms.

“I used to do personal care and in-home care eight years ago,” Shana added. “I’ve very familiar with the signs of a stroke.”

The nomination form submitted on her behalf stated Shana went “above and beyond the call of duty.”

Shana said favorite part of her job is interacting with patients.

“I love how everyone has different personalities and I enjoy hearing about, their backgrounds and stories,” she said.

Shana lives in Chase City with her two children Sharniece Cary, 12, and Kenyae Carter, 9.

In addition to the award certificate, Shana 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.

Other team members nominated in May were: Jannifer Alcudia, Latasha Alexander, Krystal Cheely, Brenda Closson, Binyam Dessie, Sonya Hall, Jonathan Mihnovets, Saleem Naviwala, Nimesh Patel, Gloria Rogers, Larry Rogers, Gabby Spainhour, and Terry Wootten.

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Stacy R. Davis, FNP-CJoins VCU Health CMH

South Hill – VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill would like to welcome Family Nurse Practitioner, Stacy R. Davis, to our family of health care providers.  Nurse Practitioner Davis specializes in Family Care.

Davis earned her MSN Family Nurse Practitioner degree from Chamberlain University in Illinois. She received her nursing diploma from Bon Secours School of Nursing and completed her BS in Nursing from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. Stacy is certified by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.

Nurse Practitioner Davis is joining Jenea Bennett-Talley at Chase City Primary Care Center, located at 200 East Fifth Street in Chase City.  She is accepting new patients; to schedule an appointment call (434) 372-0900.To view a full list of services visit:  VCU-CMH.org

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Tamara Clary, April Team Member of the Month

Pictured (l-r) are Scott Burnette, Chief Executive Officer; Tamara Clary, RN; Mellisa Black, Acute Care Nursing Director; and Mary Hardin, Vice President Patient Care Services/CNO.

Tamara Clary, an RN in acute care, is the Star Service Team Member of the Month. She has been employed at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital for 10 years as a nurse, and worked two years as a CNA before that. 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, “Tamara is a long time employee of CMH and always provides the best quality of care for her patients and promotes an environment of caring.”

The form described how recently she had a patient in her care that had an 11-year-old child and no family in the area. Tamara bought meals for the child so he would not go hungry.

“She didn’t expect praise, but deserves it for her tremendous heart and for going above and beyond what is expected of her,” her nomination continued.

Tamara said she took the child to the cafeteria a few times and added that the chicken tenders were obviously a hit.

She said the most rewarding part of her job was “being able to help people and taking care of people.”

In addition to the award certificate, Tamara 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.

Other team members nominated in April were: Lourdes Guyos, Acute Care; Erin Truman, Acute Care; Sherry Reese, Lab; Shamar Clary, IT; John Watson, Physical Therapy; Sarah Fox, Lab; Lydia Ingram, ED; Robert Mitchell, EVS; and Ricky Bland; EVS.

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Advanced Heart Failure (Treatment Options)

Community Out-Reach Education

South Hill – You are cordially invited to attend May’s health seminar featuring treatment options for Advanced Heart Failure.

There are nearly five million Americans currently living with congestive heart failure. Many people with heart failure lead normal, active lives. They do so because they have learned to take good care of themselves by better understanding heart failure.

Dr. Nimesh Patel, heart failure expert, will discuss:

  • What is Advanced Heart Failure?
  • What are the warning signs of Advanced Heart Failure?
  • Living with Advanced Heart Failure and knowing your treatment options including LVAD and heart transplant.
  • Learn about what health care decisions you will need to make after discussion with your doctor and family.

Dr. Nimesh Patel is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiology, Echocardiography, Nuclear Cardiology and Vascular Cardiology. He provides comprehensive invasive diagnostic cardiovascular services for adults in his practice, CMH.

This FREE program will be on Tuesday, May 21st at 4:00 p.m. in the VCU Health CMH Education Center inside the C.A.R.E. Building located at 1755 N. Mecklenburg Avenue in South Hill.

Reservations are required for this program; seating is limited.  For more information or to register to attend, please call (434) 447-0917 or visit www.vcu-cmh.org. All attendees with have a chance to win door prizes and enjoy refreshments!

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VCH Health CMH Nursing Awards

The 2019 Nursing Awards winners this year include (pictured left to right) Margie Bartlett, Certified Surgical Tech, VCU Health CMH’s 2019 Dee McMillian Nurse Partner Award recipient; Tracy Bailey, RN, VCU Health CMH’s 2019 Alice Tudor Professional Nursing Award recipient; Cheryl Newcomb, LPN, VCU Health CMH’s 2019 Carole Love Practical Nurse Award recipient; and Mary Hardin, CNO, VCU Health CMH’s Ursula Butts Leadership Award recipient.

Every year during Nurses Week, VCU Health CMH presents awards to 3 deserving employees. New this year there is the addition of a fourth award for leadership.

The Dee McMillian Nurse Care Partnership award is named after the late Dee McMillian who was a true nurse partner for many nurses and nursing staff at VCU Health CMH.

The Carole Love Licensed Practical Nurse award is named in honor of Carole Love, RN, BSN, for her exemplary contributions to nursing at CMH.

The Alice Tudor Professional Nursing award is named in honor of Alice Tudor, RN, for the dedicated, professional and passionate care she provided to patients at VCU Health CMHfor over 50 years.

The Ursula Butts Leadership award is named for Ursula Butts, MSHA, in appreciation and recognition to an outstanding leader for her visionary guidance and exemplary leadership.

Also during the event, Erin Davis, RN, BSN, was recognized for the first VCU Service Excellence award and Hillary Tackett, RN, was recognized for the VHHA 1st Safety award.

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VCU Health CMH Offering Summer Babysitting 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 students 11 to 14 years old.  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 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. on the following dates: June 7th, June 20th, June 28th and July 12th.  The class is free but limited to 10 participants. To register for one of these courses, please contact the Health & Wellness department at 434-584-5390. These classes fill up quickly, so call today!

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CSI: Career Scene Investigation 2019

Special Summer Camp for Middle School Students

South Hill—No, we’re not investigating crime scenes, we’re exploring the world of health care.  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, and thanks to VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital, fifteen middle school students who have an interest in a health career will be chosen to attend this summer health care camp during the week of July 29 to August 2.  

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 and 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 the students and VCU CMH staff.

“We are very pleased to offer to area students this excellent opportunity to learn about the world of healthcare,” said Hazel Willis, RN, BSN, Education Department Manager for VCU-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 the health care professions will be twice the rate of job growth in non-healthcare 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.

During the middle school years is 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 the 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 student’s 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 or online at www.vcu-cmh.org.  For more information, or for an application, please call Hazel Willis in the Education Department at CMH at (434) 584-5438. 

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