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WVU Urgent Care sees 100,000th patient

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – With its fifth anniversary just a month away, [...]

Take control of your health

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Dr. Dean Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease has enabled thousands of people to lower their risk of heart attack and avoid the need for procedures like angioplasty and coronary bypass surgery. Learn more about this unique program at an Ornish Open House from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 16 in the cafeteria on the fourth floor of WVU Healthcare’s Ruby Memorial Hospital. “This lifestyle modification program enables participants to slow, stop and reverse many of the symptoms of coronary artery disease,” Dave Harshbarger, program director, said. “Many people are able to avoid invasive procedures and stave off first or repeat heart attacks or strokes.” The Ornish Program combines a low-fat vegetarian diet, moderate aerobic exercise, stress management and social support to reduce chest pain (angina), blockages in coronary arteries and serum cholesterol levels. The program’s components help improve blood flow through the heart muscle, exercise capacity and the sense of well-being and satisfaction with life.   Candidates for the program include: •    People who are contemplating bypass surgery or angioplasty but seeking an alternative that may reduce the need for these procedures. •    People who have previously experienced one or more heart procedures and want to minimize the chances of repeating them. •    People diagnosed with coronary artery disease (angina or past heart attacks). •    People with significant risk factors for heart disease, such as high cholesterol levels and a strong family history. “All participants have lost weight and dropped overall body fat. Their cholesterol levels have declined and their perceived stress has decreased dramatically,” Harshbarger said. “We’re very proud of these participants.”  A specially trained staff administers the program at WVU Healthcare. “The Ornish Program is a change in diet, attitude and lifestyle. People learn how to eat properly and adopt healthy behaviors to stop sabotaging themselves. They get back in control and start doing activities that many of them thought were lost forever,” Harshbarger said. “But the best news is that even for people with documented heart disease, it’s not too late. The program works – and it works well – in preventing and reversing heart disease.” For more information and to RSVP, call 304-293-2520. Those insured by Medicare, PEIA, Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Geisinger Health Plan may qualify for coverage. Heart disease is the leading cause of death among men and women in West Virginia and the United States. In fact, it kills nearly 7,000 West Virginians each year; in the United States, that number is closer to a half million. [...]

Bonnie’s Bus to offer mammograms in Belington, Rock Cave and West Milford

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Bonnie’s Bus, a digital mammography center on wheels, will visit Barbour, Upshur and Harrison counties, offering digital mammograms and breast care education to women. A service of WVU Healthcare and the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center, Bonnie’s Bus will be at: •    Belington Community Medical Services from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on August 7.  For an appointment in Belington call 304-823-2800. •    Tri-County Health Clinic in Rock Cave from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on August 21 and 22.  For an appointment in Rock Cave call 304-924-6262. •    West Milford Health Center from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on August 23 and 24.  For an appointment in West Milford call 304-745-4568. The mammograms are billed to private insurance, Medicaid or Medicare if available. Mammograms for women who do not have insurance will be covered by the West Virginia Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program (WVBCCSP) or through special grant funds. No woman over 40 is turned away due to lack of funding.  A physician’s order is needed for a mammogram. Since the startup of the mobile mammography program in 2009, Bonnie’s Bus has travelled more than 40,000 miles and provided more than 3,000 mammograms.  More than half of those were screened in 2011.  Many of those screened are uninsured or underinsured and qualified for screening through the WVBCCSP. Bonnie’s Bus works in collaboration with a statewide partnership of clinicians, public health professionals, women’s groups, and other community leaders working to help reduce the number of deaths from breast cancer in West Virginia.   Made possible by a generous gift from West Virginia natives Jo and Ben Statler to the Cancer Center, Bonnie’s Bus is operated in partnership with WVU Hospitals. The bus is named after Jo Statler’s late mother, Bonnie Wells Wilson. For information on Bonnie’s Bus, see www.wvucancer.org/bonnie.      [...]

WVU Ph.D. students receive national research fellowships

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Two Ph.D. graduate students in the [...]

Tele-stroke partnership with Elkins expands WVU Healthcare’s reach to rural areas

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Stroke patients at Davis Memorial Hospital in Elkins are able to receive advanced emergency care from a [...]

Chestnut Ridge awards annual Grassroots Grants

Alzheimer’s Association of West Virginia – for reprinting and updating Alzheimer’s services prescription pads [...]

HealthNet implements new flight method at Morgantown base

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – HealthNet Aeromedical Services has implemented a new method of flight operation in order to decrease the number of EMS flights that have to be cancelled due to poor visibility or low-hanging clouds. The new method, known as Instrument Flight Rules (IFR), is one of two sets of Federal Aviation Regulations governing civil aviation aircraft operation. It allows flights to operate in poor meteorological conditions – typically those where pilots must rely on navigation methods other than sight, including a system of ground-based navigation tools and satellite-based GPS systems. In early April, HealthNet pilots attended a week of formal classroom training with Air Methods in Denver, Colo. Air Methods partners with HealthNet to provide aviation service at its eight bases. Classroom training was followed by extensive in-flight training sessions simulating poor weather conditions. Pilots utilized “foggles,” which are goggle-type glasses that imitate clouds and fog. Pilots then learn how to navigate without any ground references. “They can’t look out the window and get their bearings from buildings, hills, the horizon, etc.,” Dave M. Wilson, program aviation manager for Air Methods, said. “They have to rely on electronic signals. It’s very different from what they’re used to.” Currently, Air Methods has approximately 40 air medical programs around the U.S. utilizing IFR. “As a program, HealthNet takes safety very seriously,” Bernie Reynolds, regional aviation director for Air Methods Northeast Region, said. “IFR is just another example of HealthNet’s commitment to providing safe air medical transport services to its customers and remaining on the cutting edge of flight techniques.” Reynolds added the primary focus of IFR training is to teach pilots to adhere to a disciplined set of procedures so that each flight is operated the same way under any weather circumstances. “We throw in as many distractions as possible during the training and teach them how to react,” he said. HealthNet first became interested in utilizing IFR after the purchase of its EC-145 helicopter, which is equipped to perform single-pilot IFR and has a fully redundant cockpit. This means that every system has a complete backup, according to Stellman Teter, chief flight nurse/base manager for HealthNet 1 in Morgantown. Once the helicopter was purchased, HealthNet conducted a three-month study to determine how many flights were declined due to poor weather conditions. In the first month alone, 19 flights were denied. Final study results showed that 11 of 19 flights could have been completed with the addition of IFR. Teter said both the pilots and flight crews have been excited about IFR, calling it a “wonderful addition to the program.” “HealthNet pilots have worked extensively with their flight crews to share their knowledge, and with each training session, the confidence level of the crew has increased tremendously,” he said. “Everyone’s goal is the same – to improve response times and to reach accident victims despite low visibility. IFR does just that.” Four HealthNet pilots have completed the training and several successful IFR transports have been conducted from the Morgantown base. Plans are to continue to expand the IFR method to the other HealthNet bases within the next 18 months. “The transition of HealthNet’s Morgantown base to IFR operations is another example of how the organization leverages technology to serve our patients,” Clinton Burley, HealthNet interim president and CEO, said. “We will now be able to safely reach critically ill and injured persons in more marginal weather conditions. Each time we fly, our expert medical teams bring the highest level of care to our patients. IFR simply increases our reach, and ultimately, the patient benefits.” [...]

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