WVU Medicine Cabinet News Stories

Bonnie’s Bus offers mammograms

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Bonnie’s Bus, a digital mammography center on wheels, will visit Raleigh and Hampshire counties, offering digital mammograms and breast care education to women. A service of WVU Healthcare, Bonnie’s Bus will be at Gulf Family Practice/Raleigh County in Sophia from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Dec. 14 and at the Hampshire County Health Department in Augusta from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 16. The mammograms are not free, but billing to insurers is provided.  Women who lack insurance may be matched to government or nonprofit charities. A physician’s order is needed for a mammogram. For a Bonnie’s Bus appointment at Gulf Family Practice/Raleigh County call 304-683-4304 and at the Hampshire County Health Department call 304-496-9640. During its first year on the road in 2009, the 40-foot long Bonnie’s Bus travelled 9,000 miles, visited 20 counties and provided nearly 400 mammography screenings. The goal for 2010 is to make at least 60 site visits throughout West Virginia with a focus on communities that have high breast cancer mortality rates. Bonnie’s Bus represents a statewide partnership of women’s groups, clinicians, public health professionals 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 WVU’s Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center, Bonnie’s Bus is operated by WVU Hospitals. The bus is named after Mrs. Statler's late mother, Bonnie Wells Wilson. For information on Bonnie’s Bus, see www.wvucancer.org/bonnie. Attention reporters and editors: If you are interested in covering Bonnie’s Bus when it visits your area, please call the HSC News Service in Morgantown at 304-293-7087 in advance. Out of respect for patient privacy, please do not show up at the location without scheduling an appropriate time for interviews and/or photos. [...]

WVU Children’s Hospital therapist completes international training

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – As a physical therapist in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at West Virginia University Children’s Hospital, Debbie Wilson uses her hands to comfort the tiniest patients. Recently, she used those hands to obtain a special certification. Wilson completed the Newborn Individualized Developmental Care and Assessment Program (NIDCAP), an international program aimed at making sure all newborns in intensive and special care nurseries receive individualized, developmentally supportive, family centered care. Wilson said she uses the knowledge and skills she gained from completing NIDCAP training to help parents understand their babies’ cues and to assist nurses and other caregivers in reading those cues and adjusting their care accordingly. As a result of her training, a new program called Helping Hands was developed at WVU Children’s Hospital. In this program, an extra set of hands – a therapist’s, a nurse’s or a parent’s – is available to help keep the infant calm during stressful procedures. “When I speak with parents, I discuss the importance of developmentally focused care and how they can participate,” Wilson said. “I explain my role as a physical therapist and things that they can do to assist their infant’s development.” To become NIDCAP certified, a physical therapist must complete training from one of the 16 NIDCAP training centers worldwide. There are 10 in the U.S., five in Europe and one in South America. Much of Wilson’s initial work was independent study and practice sessions that she completed primarily outside her work hours. This year also marked the first time that an advanced practicum component was included as a requirement for certification. Wilson said her trainer explained that this four-month project is the equivalent of a thesis for a master’s degree. She said the final training and evaluation session was challenging and entailed reliability testing to assure her competency. “Although it was difficult and stressful at times since I was completing the training by myself, I still found value in the training,” she said. “The training was important to me in order to better understand my patients’ responses to caregiving and their environment and as a way to track their progress.” Wilson has been working with infants for more than 20 years and has worked in the WVU Children’s Hospital NICU for more than six years. She officially received her NIDCAP certification on Nov. 5. For more information on WVU Children’s Hospital see www.wvukids.com.   [...]

End-of-life care in W.Va. the focus of new documentary

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia Center for End of Life Care will be featured in an upcoming documentary in which individuals confronting end-stage disease reflect on how they want to live their final weeks. Produced by West Virginia Public Broadcasting, “The Last Chapter: End of Life Decisions” will air statewide Monday, December 13. The special examines the need for advance directives including a living will and medical power of attorney as medical providers, patients and families share stories that range from heartbreaking to inspirational. The importance of timely, open dialogue about death cannot be overstated, according to Alvin Moss, M.D., director of the Center for End of Life Care. “End-of-life discussions are very important. When patients, families, and doctors talk about the type of treatment that the patient would want at the end of life, everyone benefits,” said Dr. Moss, who’s also director of the Center for Health Ethics and Law at West Virginia University. “Research shows that in most cases, patients want to be kept comfortable at home with hospice helping their family. Patients don’t want to die in an intensive care unit connected to a breathing machine unable to talk. “ The program also discusses many ethical and practical questions about patients’ legal rights, family conflict surrounding end-of-life decisions, the tendencies of medical professionals to avoid conversations regarding death, and the need to document one’s desired scope of care in order to avoid treatment that can be unwarranted or even inappropriate. “In research about the impact of end-of-life discussions, patients report a higher quality of life and less depression if they have had them,” said Moss.  “Families say they receive more support from the health care team and have a better adjustment to the patient’s death. Doctors indicate that knowing what the patient wants makes it much easier to make decisions about what treatments to use and which to avoid. Overall there is less stress on everyone.” This program is part of West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s Aging with Grace and Dignity project, an on-going focus on healthy and productive aging and is produced by Suzanne Higgins. Previews of The Last Chapter: End of Life Decisions can be viewed at the West Virginia Public Broadcasting website at www.wvpubcast.org/television.aspx?id=17786. More information about advance directives and palliative care service, including downloadable forms of all the documents discussed in the program, is available through the West Virginia Center for End of Life Care website, www.hsc.wvu.edu/chel/wvi. [...]

WVU Healthcare nurse receives national award

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – If you want to know where Dawn Yost's passion lies, take a look at the photos on the walls in her office. Look at the photos that scroll across her computer screen for her screen saver. There you will find images of children from all over the world who suffer from clefts, severe burns and hand injuries. Yost, a registered nurse and pre-operative services manager of nursing operations and sterile processing at WVU Healthcare, recently received the first Barco's Nightingales Foundation Award for Nursing Excellence. [...]

WVU nursing leaders plan health reform in D.C.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Three West Virginia University School of Nursing leaders recently met with a group of select colleagues for a gathering many health professionals are already calling ‘historic.’ 500 U.S. nursing leaders spent November 30 and December 1 in Washington, D.C. discussing and designing a landmark plan of action expected to reshape the existing health care system by strengthening the roles of nurses at all levels of care. The goal of the invitation-only National Summit on Advancing Health through Nursing was to assemble a nursing ‘think tank’ of representatives from every state, all sharing the goal of creating improved accessibility of safer, higher quality health care envisioned in 2010’s Affordable Care Act. School of Nursing Dean Georgia Narsavage, Ph.D., Associate Dean Cynthia Persily, Ph.D., and Dr. Laurie Theeke, Ph.D. reviewed and debated the reform recommendations of the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Robert Wood Johnson Initiative on the Future of Nursing. Dr. Patty Hermosilla, D.N.P, clinical instructor at WVU School of Nursing, is playing a key role in the implementation of the report’s recommendations in West Virginia. Since mid-2009, an interdisciplinary team comprised of a wide range of IOM health professionals and scientists has worked to develop a comprehensive, evidence-based blueprint for nurses to make sweeping changes in the delivery of health care. “I think this could prove to be the most important document in modern American nursing education,” said Dean Narsavage. “It’s going to change not just education, but the way nurses are employed. With health care reform, there is a real need for the transformation of nursing.” Three million nurses make up the largest segment of the health care workforce, and the new IOM recommendations build the framework to give nurses the leading role in bridging existing gaps between the growing demand for services and limited resources for quality care. As the Affordable Care Act promises health services to 32 million Americans who aren’t currently receiving care, allowing nurse practitioners to treat lower-complexity cases could be a cost-effective solution for relieving much of the anticipated heavy demand for medical services. Current laws governing nurse practitioners’ abilities to treat patients and prescribe drugs vary by state, with some states having more restrictive rules, especially related to collaborating with physicians and prescribing medications.  “In order to have health care reform, we need all nurses practicing at the full extent of their education and training,” said Dr. Narsavage. [...]

Bonnie’s Bus offers mammograms

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Bonnie’s Bus, a digital mammography center on wheels, will visit Morgan, Harrison, Preston and Brooke counties, offering digital mammograms and breast care education to women. A service of WVU Healthcare, Bonnie’s Bus will be at the Mountaineer Community Health Center in Paw Paw from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 7; at the Clarksburg Mission from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 8; at the Rowlesburg Clinic from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Dec. 9.; and at the Brooke County Public Library in Wellsburg from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Dec. 10. The mammograms are not free, but billing to insurers is provided.  Women who lack insurance may be matched to government or nonprofit charities. A physician’s order is needed for a mammogram. For a Bonnie’s Bus appointment at the Mountaineer Community Health Center call 304-947-5500, at the Clarksburg Mission call Health Access at 304-622-2708, at the Rowlesburg Clinic call 304-454-2421, and at the Brooke County Public Library call the Brooke County Health Department at 304-737-3665. During its first year on the road in 2009, the 40-foot long Bonnie’s Bus travelled 9,000 miles, visited 20 counties and provided nearly 400 mammography screenings. The goal for 2010 is to make at least 60 site visits throughout West Virginia with a focus on communities that have high breast cancer mortality rates. Bonnie’s Bus represents a statewide partnership of women’s groups, clinicians, public health professionals 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 WVU’s Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center, Bonnie’s Bus is operated by WVU Hospitals. The bus is named after Mrs. Statler's late mother, Bonnie Wells Wilson. For information on Bonnie’s Bus, see http://wvucancer.org. Attention reporters and editors: If you are interested in covering Bonnie’s Bus when it visits your area, please call the HSC News Service in Morgantown at 304-293-7087 in advance. Out of respect for patient privacy, please do not show up at the location without scheduling an appropriate time for interviews and/or photos.   [...]

WVU Nursing students honored for work in rural W.Va.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. –Two West Virginia University undergraduate nursing students have won recognition for their efforts to increase county-wide emergency readiness levels in Taylor County, W.Va. Jaleesa Claytor of Beckley, W.Va. and Brienne Rudy of Iselin, N.J. received the award for Outstanding Student Community Service Project at this year’s annual West Virginia Rural Health Conference in Daniels, W.Va. Claytor and Rudy worked with Taylor County officials and local health professionals to both assess and address the rapid response needs of the rural county. In the years since the September 11 attacks, emergency preparedness has moved far up the list of public health concerns. Still, very few smaller communities have developed well-defined plans to follow in the event of a disaster. The pair’s work centered around educating local officials about the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), a federal program that allows medications and medical supplies to be delivered to any health department in the event of any disaster that could potentially empty existing local supplies. The public only has access to SNS resources when state and local health departments cooperate to establish emergency plans and designated points for dispensing the free medications and supplies. The Taylor County initiative was each student’s capstone project, a senior year requirement that allows students to apply and expand learned skills in a real-life setting. WVU School of Nursing students have claimed top honors for community service for four consecutive years at the annual conference "I was shocked and very honored to receive this award,” said Rudy. “I had no idea how much of an impact our little project had on the community of Taylor County and the state of W.Va." Results of Claytor’s and Rudy’s work showed greatly increased knowledge of emergency response plans and SNS dispensing procedures among the officials and public health professionals who participated. "I am completely honored,” Claytor said. “The capstone project was hard work, but knowing that it created a great impact on a small community was well worth it. And that is the true award.” For more information about the WVU School of Nursing, see www.hsc.wvu.edu/son.   [...]

WVU Healthcare, Health Sciences recognized for going tobacco free

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Wellness Council of West Virginia recognized West Virginia University’s Health Sciences Campus as a “Tobacco Free Champion” at the 24th Mid-Atlantic Conference on Worksite Wellness, which was held Oct. 21 and 22 at The Resort at Glade Springs. The “Tobacco Free Champion” award is presented annually to companies in the state that have made great strides in creating, implementing or enforcing tobacco-free policies. The HSC campus received the award for establishing tobacco-free policies for the WVU Healthcare properties and the Health Sciences Center. “We are honored to be recognized for efforts we feel were vital to protecting the health of our patients, visitors and staff,” Bruce McClymonds, president and CEO of WVU Hospitals said. “I am very proud of the cooperation and collaboration that have made this initiative a success.” Christopher Colenda, M.D., M.P.H., chancellor for health sciences, said, “As the state’s leading institution for health, it was our obligation to set an example for others and serve as a model for positive health behavior. It was definitely a change worth making.” WVU Healthcare officially went tobacco free on Nov. 19, 2009. The WVU Board of Governors approved a tobacco-free policy for the Health Sciences Center on June 4, 2010. [...]

WVU receives grant to study nanoparticles in the workplace

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Workplaces that have heavy equipment – construction sites, mines and garages – have employees who are potentially exposed to nanoparticles from diesel engine use. A West Virginia University researcher received a grant that will allow him and his team to study what effects those particles have on workers. Mike McCawley, Ph.D., associate research professor in the Department of Community Medicine, will use the $132,000 American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to purchase new equipment for WVU's Occupational Medicine laboratories that can reproduce industrial processes that generate nanoparticles. Nanoparticles are increasingly prevalent in consumer and industrial products, but research into the health effects of these extremely small manufactured materials is just beginning. “We can learn a lot from these traditional workplaces to predict what might be seen from emerging industries that use carbon fiber nanotubes in construction of new products that are lightweight but have high strength,” Dr. McCawley said. “We can also apply the knowledge to ambient air exposures in the general population from diesel exhaust and contaminants that may be produced as a result of the reaction of common pollutant gases, such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide, with oxygen in the atmosphere using sunlight as the energy source. The reaction products turn into nano-sized solid particles.” The new equipment will allow WVU to improve the training of preventive medicine health professionals. Many of those who will be trained in this lab are physicians in post-graduate training in occupational medicine.  “They are very likely to see the health effects from nanoparticle exposure in workplaces that are producing these products. By increasing their awareness of the properties of nanoparticles, we hope to prepare these doctors to detect potential health problems that may develop,” McCawley said. “They will also be better prepared to assist in developing safety measures that can prevent illness or injury from nanoparticles.” For more information on the WVU Department of Community Medicine see www.hsc.wvu.edu/som/cmed.   [...]