Bridging the gap to community wellness, personal fitness
Ohio Valley business executives to embark on three-month fitness, nutrition program to inspire others

As Mother Teresa once said,

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”

Community Fitness ChallengeLeveraging one’s own personal commitment to positively impact the lives of many others is exactly what 20 Ohio Valley business, education and municipal leaders are hoping to achieve by participating in the first-ever Community Fitness Challenge for Executives.

What is the Community Fitness Challenge for Executives?

After several weeks of preparation, the Community Fitness Challenge (CFC) will launch April 1, when the competitors will arrive at the Ryan Ferns Healthplex to undergo blood work and biometric testing to establish the baseline for their three-month fitness and wellness journey. Thanks to the support and guidance of designated RF Healthplex professional trainers and nutritionists, the group will participate in 5 a.m. workouts three days per week in addition to a weekly nutrition class over the course of a 12-week period, driving each toward what is anticipated to be a “total health transformation.”

“With West Virginia leading the nation in heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes, a tailored wellness program like this could have a major impact.  I founded the Community Fitness Challenge because I saw an opportunity to bring together busy executives who, like me, are looking for ways to improve the lives of people all around them while taking care of their own health.  The friendly competition among peers working toward healthier lifestyles, and the sharing of ideas and experiences along the way will benefit everyone.”

–Community Fitness Challenge founder David McKinley, CFP®, president and managing director of McKinley Carter Wealth Services.

McKinley, who has volunteered to be a CFC competitor, admits he hasn’t focused enough on his own health and wellness over the course of his adult years:

“Like many of the competitors, I just don’t find time to exercise on a regular basis, and I don’t really focus on eating right.  So I’m enthusiastic about this program and working with others who have similar goals and needs and to inspire one another and hopefully the community at large.”

Charity Involvement

An additional element of the challenge is that each participant will be competing on behalf of a charity of their choosing. Each competitor has donated $1,000 to the CFC charity pool, and at the end of the competition June 30, an overall winner will be determined and $20,000 in cash will be presented to his/her charity to use to enhance client services or programs.

“Involving charities is a significant aspect to this competition and an obvious source of even more motivation to stick with the program,” McKinley said.

He added that he will be competing for the Oglebay Foundation for the benefit of furthering projects to maintain and improve community services at Oglebay Park.


Ryan Ferns, the owner of the Ryan Ferns Healthplex, is a major sponsor for the event and has created the customized three-month Community Fitness Challenge program. He has designated King’s Daughters Child Care Center as his charity in the competition:

The Ryan Ferns Healthplex was designed to be able to provide lasting health and fitness changes in the lives of everyday people.  The CFC is an incredible opportunity for the Healthplex to showcase what we can do for executives who we know have limited time to dedicate to their well-being. Our goal is to target the leaders of these local companies and organizations, which we believe, in turn, will impact all of their employees and customers throughout the Ohio Valley. I am honored to be a part of an event of this magnitude.”

Estimated Impact

The estimated impact of this event is significant when one considers not only the employee numbers at each of the competitors’ own businesses (5,000+) but also the number of customers, clients, alumni, students and constituents of those same organizations, not to mention the numbers represented by the charities involved. The potential reach of the CFC—through its competitors, their companies and their designated non-profits—could well be more than 250,000, including nearly every resident of the Wheeling area and beyond.

Jim Pennington, president and CEO of The Health Plan, has also agreed to participate in the CFC as both a competitor and corporate sponsor:

“I agreed to participate in the Community Fitness Challenge for two primary reasons. Personally, I want to take my fitness to another level and develop a consistent wellness strategy for myself.  And professionally, with 19 other local leaders participating, I feel it sends a strong message that our respective organizations are committed to a healthier atmosphere at our companies and in Wheeling.”

Pennington has chosen to compete on behalf of Wheeling Health Right.

“Wheeling Health Right is a community partner whose mission complements that of The Health Plan in striving to manage and improve the health and well-being of our community members.”

Other Executive Competitors

In addition to McKinley, Ferns and Pennington, other CFC “executive” competitors (and their designated charities) include:

  • Lisa Allen of Ziegenfelder, Co. (Crittenton Services)
  • Lawrence Bandi of Central Catholic High School (Wheeling Jesuit University)
  • Michael Caruso of OVHS&E (Harmony House)
  • Todd Clossin of WesBanco, Inc. (American Heart Association)
  • Father James Fleming of Wheeling Jesuit University (Central Catholic High School)
  • Steve Greiner of West Liberty University (WLU Foundation)
  • Fire Chief Larry Helms of Wheeling Fire Dept. (Wheeling Health Right)
  • Dr. David Hess of Reynolds Memorial Hospital (Young Life of Marshall County)
  • Danielle McCracken of Oglebay Institute (Oglebay Institute)
  • Kim Miller of Ohio County Schools (Ohio County Schools Foundation)
  • Bryan Minor of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston (WV Catholic Foundation)
  • Mark Peluchette of Liberty Distributors (Central Catholic High School)
  • John Reasbeck of Omni Strategic Technologies (St. Vincent de Paul Parish School)
  • Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger of Wheeling Police Dept. (Special Olympics and Make A Wish Foundation)
  • Rob Sincavich of Team Sledd (Catholic Charities of WV)
  • Erikka Storch of Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce (The Linsly School)
  • Will Turani of Orrick (St. John’s Home for Children)

Event organizers are also proud to have additional corporate backing from Wheeling Island Hotel – Casino – Racetrack and the Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce. Both sponsors are providing significant financial and administrative support toward the success of the CFC.

Throughout the competition, weekly updates on competitors’ progress will be posted on the CFC Facebook page. In July, an awards ceremony will be held to crown the Challenge and charity winner.


Enough Talk Already. It’s Time for Action!

As a practicing internal medicine physician in Marshall County for the past 14 years, I have witnessed nearly every malady that threatens the human condition. Unquestionably, the current scourge of substance abuse that has so pervasively permeated our region/state/country, represents, in my estimation, the single greatest threat to humanity and our civilized society.

Indeed, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced that in 2013 (most current data available) 46,471 Americans died of drug overdose, more than automobile accidents (35,369) and firearm deaths (33,636). As an active member of the provider community and a hospital CEO, these senseless fatalities have created in me an indescribable level of frustration and incapacity.

What is BreakThru?

BreakThruAs it turns out, these sentiments were also universally manifested among our 25 member Board of Trustees, as well as vividly reflected in our recently completed Community Needs Assessment, wherein substance abuse was identified as the number one social problem facing our community, and the number two health concern (exceeded only by obesity). In short, we enjoyed unanimity in acknowledging our profound challenge, yet possessed few, if any weapons in our arsenal to combat the problem.

In March 2014, the management team at Reynolds Memorial Hospital (RMH) was challenged by our Board of Trustees to prioritize the development of a strategy that would allow us to leverage our resources and begin to offer assistance to those mired in the morass of substance abuse. Shortly thereafter, we introduced BreakThru, a medically supervised withdrawal management program.

The BreakThru model is the first of its kind to serve the tri-state region of West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania with the program addressing the distinct needs of patients who have voluntarily decided to take the first step toward breaking the addictive cycles of alcohol and drug abuse.

How Does BreakThru Work?

Our focus is directed at individuals that are imminent or an active early-stage withdrawal from alcohol, opioids, benzodiazepines or heroin. These patients are served on a medical/surgical floor where the physical symptoms of the withdrawal process are medically supervised to ensure safety, comfort and confidentiality. Medical literature

Medical literature tells us the initial stages of withdrawal are the most difficult as symptoms can cause severe anxiety, nausea, pain, distress and other potentially life-threatening health concerns. Doctors and nurses monitor the patient’s status, administer medications to ease symptoms to ensure a safe and comfortable environment. The service is covered by most health insurance providers and by Medicare and Medicaid. The average length of stay is three days, and the service aggressively assists patients entering into the next phase of their recovery, typically an intensive outpatient program (IOP).

BreakThru Response

BreakThru is now entering its fourth month of operation. Initially, we projected five to eight admissions during our first month. In actuality, we had 24. The response had been simply overwhelming. While we realize this effort represents only a small portion of the fight that must be waged, RMH is gratified to be making a contribution to the struggle. Interestingly, our care team has derived enormous satisfaction from the effusive gratitude our BreakThru patients have expressed for the opportunity RMH has provided them in taking the first step in achieving sobriety. It is clear to all of us that BreakThru is making a real difference.

Contact Us

Access to BreakThru services can be facilitated by contacting the office from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

If anyone reading this article has questions, needs assistance or has a referral, please contact the BreakThru office at Reynolds Memorial Hospital by calling 304-221-4528 or 855-341-9999.

**previously published in the WV State Journal.


B.M. Spurr School of Practical Nursing conducted by Reynolds Memorial Hospital recently received notification of Full State Accreditation by the West Virginia State Board of Examiners for Licensed Practical Nurses. The school has again received the maximum three-year accreditation award.

What Does this Full State Accreditation Mean?

According to Mrs. Carol Storm, MSN, RN, School Director, the accreditation follows an on-site visit and a thorough review conducted by the West Virginia State Board of Examiners for Licensed Practical Nurses. Accreditation’s can be awarded for one, two or three-year intervals.

The achievement of accreditation in nursing indicates to the general public and the educational community that a nursing program has clear and appropriate educational objectives and is providing the conditions under which these objectives can be fulfilled. Accreditation is a process of evaluation by which the nursing school program is appraised in relation to predetermined criteria and is publicly recognized as meeting or exceeding these standards.

The school also has a full 8-year accreditation through 2017 by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (A.C.E.N.) is officially recognized as the national accrediting agency for nursing education by both government and voluntary regulatory agencies.

A.C.E.N. focuses on outcome criteria based on federal and state regulations, which require educational effectiveness and public accountability. This organization exists to facilitate and stimulate quality within nursing while at the same time guaranteeing the integrity of nursing’s academic and professional standing to the world.

B.M. Spurr School of Practical Nursing Classes and Admission Testing

The B.M. Spurr School of Practical Nursing was founded in 1951 and has graduated 1,553 practical nurses.

Classes begin each September with entrance examinations scheduled in January, February, March and early April. The school is currently conducting admission testing for the fall 2016 class. Financial assistance in the form of student loans, grants and scholarships are available.

For more information on the program, contact the school office:

  • 843-3255 Monday through Friday
  • 6:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

B.M. Spurr School of Practical Nursing Full State AccreditationFaculty members pictured left to right: Terri Lyons, MSN, RN, Instructor, Mary Sue Rodriguez, MSN, RN, Instructor, Carol Storm, MSN, RN, Director and Tammy Crow, LPN, Secretary.






Copays…they’re unavoidable and sometimes a very costly part of any primary care physician, specialist, emergency room or urgent care facility visit.

You might be wondering what a copay is.  Your copay is the flat fee set by your insurer for a specific service.

How Much are Copays?

Take a look at your insurance card.  It might list several different dollar amounts or percentages based on where you are visiting.

  1. For instance, your Primary Care Physician is one amount, and usually, it is the least.
  2. A Specialist is usually a bit higher than a primary care physician.
  3. An Emergency Room copay could be anywhere from $50-$200.
  4. And finally, an Urgent Care Facility copay amount might also be listed on the insurance card. Generally, the Urgent Care Facility copay is an amount that is less than the Emergency Room, but far more than your Primary Care copay.

Often times, people will avoid seeking treatment, thus putting their health at risk, due to the high cost of the copay associated with an Emergency Room or Urgent Care Facility visit.

Reynolds Rapid Care Copays

When you visit Reynolds Rapid Care, you will not have to pay the high cost of an Emergency Room copay or Urgent Care copay. You will pay the same copay amount as you do at your Primary Care Physician’s office!

Reynolds Rapid Care offers x-rays, sutures, point of care testing, breathing treatments, Sports Physicals, EKG’s, Pulmonary Function Testing and much more. However, at Reynolds Rapid Care, they come at a far more practical cost.

Reynolds Rapid Care CopaysProviding Quality Care to the community at a reasonable cost –just another way Reynolds continues our mission to provide the best for our community for the next 100 years!

Reynolds Rapid Care is open from:

  • Monday through Friday:  11 a.m.- 7 p.m.
  • Saturday and Sunday:  8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Call us today, or visit our website304-843-3435  No appointment necessary!