WVU Medicine Cabinet News Stories
Get the latest health news delivered to you.

WVU Healthcare observes Nurses’ Week May 6-12

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Each spring, the celebration of National Nurses’ Week begins May 6, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing. In support of this year’s theme, “Nurses: Advocating, Leading, Caring,” [...]

Bonnie’s Bus to offer mammograms in Green Bank

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – [...]

Bonnie’s Bus to offer mammograms in Martinsburg

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – [...]

Gutmann to hold book signing on May 10

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – [...]

May is Healthy Vision Month at WVU Eye Institute

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – May is Healthy Vision Month, and doctors at the West Virginia University Eye Institute are taking the opportunity to stress the importance of regular vision care. Millions of Americans are threatened by common eye diseases, such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration. Through early diagnosis, timely treatment and appropriate follow-up care, irreversible vision loss can often be prevented. Approximately one in 25 young children has poor vision. Because of their age and level of development, children are often unable to tell their parents when a vision problem exists. Every child should have his or her vision checked by age three or four. If vision screening detects a problem in one or both eyes, a pediatric eye care specialist can often diagnose the issue and plan treatment before the problem progresses. “The earlier treatment starts, the better the vision becomes when kids go to school and later grow into adults,” Geoffrey Bradford, M.D., WVU Healthcare pediatric ophthalmologist, said. “This is why it is important to not miss an eye examination if you or your pediatrician suspect a problem with your child’s eyesight.” On the other end of the spectrum, glaucoma more commonly affects the elderly. The condition damages the optic nerve by causing increased pressure within the eye, interfering with the relaying of visual information from the retina to the brain. “Glaucoma is the number one cause of preventable, irreversible blindness. Screening for glaucoma is easy and painless,” Kenneth Mitchell, M.D., WVU glaucoma specialist, said. The WVU Eye Institute offers a full range of routine and complex eye care services, including subspecialty medical and surgical treatment, laser vision correction and comprehensive eye exams. It houses the Vision Research Center, where researchers are finding better ways to treat and cure eye diseases. “We have the ability to make a real difference for the people of West Virginia,” Jennifer Sivak, M.D., WVU oculoplastic surgeon, said. Healthy Vision Month is a national eye health observance established by the National Eye Institute (NEI) in 2003. Through Healthy Vision Month, NEI is increasing awareness of the importance of early diagnosis and treatment through outreach efforts aimed at the general public.   [...]

WVU Healthcare seeking volunteers for ‘No One Dies Alone’ program

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – WVU Healthcare’s No One Dies Alone program is looking for volunteers to sit and spend time with patients as they make it through the final journey of their lives. “When patients have no family that can be with them, we need volunteers who care enough to step in and treat this person as if they were their own family member,” John Hardman, manager of Pastoral Care, said. “It’s important to honor this person’s life and treat them with the humanity and respect they deserve.” The program is seeking people who are caring, compassionate and comfortable with being around people as they die. It provides training to help volunteers understand the dying process and what can be said or done to make the last part of their lives meaningful and valuable. To be eligible for the program, volunteers must: •    Be age 18 or older •    Speak, read or write English •    Be reliable, and have a mature attitude about death and dying •    Have spare time to volunteer •    Complete a volunteer application and training One-hour training sessions will take place in May. For more information please contact Nancy Beckner, volunteer coordinator, at 304-598-4134 or becknern@wvuhealthcare.com.   [...]

WVU Institute for Community and Rural Health announces scholarship winners

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University Institute for Community and Rural Health has awarded five students with scholarships for the 2011-12 academic year in exchange for their commitment to practice in the state after graduation. The intent of the scholarship is to reduce financial debt and enable quality health professionals to practice in rural areas of the state. Recipients are required to practice in a part of West Virginia that is considered either medically underserved or a health professions shortage area. “We could have only dreamed of having such outstanding applicants for our inaugural awarding of scholarships to Health Sciences students. These awardees are not only representative of the most outstanding students in the schools of Dentistry and Medicine, they each have sincere passion for providing healthcare in underserved areas of our state,” Larry Rhodes, M.D., director of the Institute, said. “It is my opinion that if future applicants are of this quality and have similar dedication to the people of West Virginia, this program will have a significant impact on healthcare in rural West Virginia.” Two graduating seniors from the WVU School of Dentistry – Amy Isble of Kanawha County and Emily Mayhew of Jefferson County – each received $50,000 for two-year commitments to practice in the state. Both are finalizing plans to return to their home counties after graduation. “Growing up in a service-minded and hardworking family exposed me to people from various walks of life and has taught me how to relate to and have compassion for each individual,” said Isble, who hopes to practice in a rural area of Kanawha County. In recommending Isble for the scholarship, Susan Morgan, D.D.S., clinical assistant professor in the WVU Department of Periodontics, said, “I have no doubt that this young professional will not only be a positive role model for others, but that she will be a leader in her community as well as the dental profession.” Mayhew is finalizing practice plans in an area near her home and plans to care for patients in underserved areas. “Since I have actually experienced providing dental services in the community health setting, I am confident that it is a good fit for me to begin my career,” she said. “I would like to be able to afford to help those in need in my community.” Michael Bagby, D.D.S., professor in the WVU Department of Restorative Dentistry, recommended her for the award and said, “Emily is probably the best operator in her class. Her clinical skills are second to none. Her concern for her patients is on par with her clinical abilities. She is very effective and efficient in providing the best possible care for her patients.” Three students from the WVU School of Medicine – Stephanie Sisler of Preston County, Sky Gwinn of Summers County and Garrett Butler of Mineral County – also received scholarships. Sisler, who will graduate this month, received $50,000 for a two-year commitment to practice in rural West Virginia. After completing her residency training in pediatrics at WVU, she hopes to return to Preston County. “My strong conviction that patient rapport and close patient-physician relationships are keys to being a successful physician have drawn me towards the rural setting even more,” she said. Norman Ferrari, M.D., senior associate dean for medical education, recommended Sisler for the award, saying her commitment and interest in rural primary care practice are much stronger than the average medical student. Though Butler, a second-year medical student, was born and raised in Nebraska, he calls Mineral County his home. He received $25,000 for a one-year commitment. “I’m a slow-paced individual who loves family and friends. My ideal career is working in multiple small, family clinics in rural areas,” he said. “I’d also like the ability to teach students how to better care for rural residents.” Gregory Doyle, M.D., professor in the WVU Department of Family Medicine who recommended Butler for the award, called him a warm and caring individual with unlimited potential. “He’s well above typical,” Dr. Doyle said. “He is totally committed to practice in a rural, medically underserved area.” Gwinn will not be the first in his family to practice in rural West Virginia. His 88-year-old grandfather still practices as a family physician in Oak Hill. The second-year medical student and member of the U.S. Army received $25,000 for a one-year commitment to practice in a rural community. “By accepting the scholarship, I feel a special personal obligation to promote access to quality healthcare for rural and underserved West Virginians,” Gwinn said. “It is widely accepted that obesity and related chronic-health issues, such as diabetes, heart disease and uncontrolled hypertension, are more common among rural residents. Working with this population on a daily basis would help me become more actively involved in rural health research and promote comprehensive health reform in order to bring affordable, high quality healthcare to those that need it most.” Gwinn was recommended for the award by Brian Talbott, M.D., a resident in the WVU Department of Medicine. “Sky is from and loves rural West Virginia. His ability to care for and about the people of this state is a key part of who he is,” Dr. Talbott said. “He’s a genuine guy. West Virginia needs doctors like Sky.” Each student received a certificate from Rhodes and their respective deans on April 24. Attention reporters and editors: If you would like individual photos of a particular student, please contact Angela Jones at jonesan@wvuhealthcare.com or 304-293-7087. [...]

WVU Foundation announces creation of endowed fund in pain and palliative medicine

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – “No student in the medical fields should graduate without knowing what hospice does and the impact of unmanaged pain in our country,” Malene Davis, West Virginia University graduate (M.S.N./M.B.A.) and current CEO of Capital Caring, said. That’s why Davis decided to found a lectureship. After raising funds among friends and colleagues, Davis, together with Hospice Care Corporation of West Virginia, hosted the first of the Perry G. Fine, M.D., Lecture Series in the fall of 2008. This coming October will mark the fifth annual lecture in which Dr. Fine along with other guest speakers has talked about current issues in palliative care to hospice workers, professors, students and other interested persons from the region. The WVU Foundation has announced the recent creation of an endowed fund to support this project: the Perry G. Fine, M.D., Endowed Fund in Pain and Palliative Medicine. Fine, a clinician and professor at the University of Utah, is one of the leading scholars on pain and palliative care. He has published extensively and has served on scientific advisory boards and the editorial boards of several peer reviewed medical journals. “He is a rock star of the pain world with a hospice heart,” Davis said. Davis and Fine met when they served together on the board of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. Fine explained, “I’ve been very vocal about the important role of modern medicine in hospice care. Hospice care needs to move more towards mainstream medicine in terms of collecting outcomes and metrics. Malene shared this vision.” “I want to honor Dr. Fine in West Virginia,” said Davis, “because in his words ‘Pain respects no borders, and in order to help people get the care they need to live their lives to the fullest, I will get on a plane anytime, anywhere.’ I wanted our people serving our moms and dads to have the opportunity to hear him. We have really increased awareness of the need for palliative care and hospice. It’s a dream come true.” Davis hopes that other land-grant institutions will develop their own lectures about palliative pain management. “All medical professionals should ask patients about their comfort levels,” she said. “In West Virginia, when something is needed, we do it.” The lecture series is free and open to the public each October. Free continuing education units are provided.   This gift was made through the WVU Foundation, the private, non-profit corporation that generates, receives and administers private gifts for the benefit of WVU. To contribute to the Perry G. Fine, M.D., Endowed Fund in Pain and Palliative Medicine, please contact the Office of Development at the WVU Health Sciences Center at 304-293-3980 or development@hsc.wvu.edu. [...]

Want to stay up-to-date on the latest WVU Medicine health news?
Sign up to receive the quarterly WVU Medicine Cabinet e-newsletter