Safely Reduce Your Severe Asthma

Suffering from chronic asthma and asthma attacks is frustrating. It interferes with your daily life and can limit the types of activities you participate in. Even walking around the block can feel like you’re climbing a mountain. But you’re not alone. More than 25 million people in the U.S. have asthma. And of those 25 million, approximately 5-10% suffer from persistent or breakthrough asthma.

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) reports that uncontrolled asthma consumes over $18 billion of health care resources each year. In the U.S. each year, asthma attacks result in approximately 10 million outpatient visits, 2 million emergency room visits, 500,000 hospitalizations and 3,300 deaths.

Typically, medications are used to give a temporary reduction of persistent or breakthrough asthma symptoms. Some patients take a pill daily, along with carrying an inhaler and other emergency medications.Bronchial Thermoplasty reduces asthma attacks by reducing the amount of air way smooth muscle.

At Reynolds Memorial Hospital, we understand that frustrations and limitations of living with persistent or breakthrough asthma. That’s why we’re proud to offer a new state-of-the-art medical procedure to provide persistent or breakthrough asthma patients with a safe, long-term and proven treatment option to help reduce asthma attacks.



Continue reading “Safely Reduce Your Severe Asthma”

Dr. Hess Represented WVU Medicine and Reynolds at Rural Hospital Roundtable

Reynolds Memorial CEO, Dr. David Hess, had an incredible honor representing WVU Medicine and Reynolds Memorial Hospital at the US Senate Democratic Steering Committee’s Rural Hospital Roundtable.

The Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee is dedicated to creating a dialogue between Senate Democrats and leaders from across the globe. The committee hosts meetings with advocates, policy experts and elected officials to discuss their priorities and get their help in the development of the Senate Democratic agenda.

The Committee serves as a communication bridge between:

  • Senate Democratic offices
  • Advocacy groups
  • Intergovernmental organizations

It is one of two Democratic Leadership Committees in the Senate. The committee is chaired by Senator Amy Klobuchar (MN) and vice chaired by Senator Jeanne Shaheen.

Rural Hospital Roundtable
Senator Joe Manchin III (left)

Dr. Hess was one of seven presenters to discuss healthcare reform and potential impact of an ACA repeal on rural hospitals.

Thanks to Senator Joe Manchin III for the invitation and for being such a gracious host. Many may not realize but WV is going in the right direction as far as health measures. We had the second largest improvement going from 47th to 43rd last year,” said Dr. Hess.

An Apple a Day: Preventative Care in Wheeling, WV

Preventative care — visiting the dentist, the optometrist, immunizations, vaccinations and annual exams — are all vital to maintaining optimal health. During these regular preventative visits, you and your doctor will work together to create a health plan. The screenings your doctor may recommend will be based on your age, family history and symptoms. For example, your doctor may test your blood glucose and cholesterol while recommending a flu shot.

These preventative care measures catch health issues early on, allowing them to be treated before they’re severe. For children, preventative care typically includes immunizations and testing for normal musculoskeletal, reflex and cognitive development.

7 out of 10 deaths in America are from chronic disease (heart disease, cancer, etc). The rate of chronic disease in adults is around 50%. And most medical professionals agree that most of these diseases are preventable. Focusing on preventing these diseases helps create a healthier environment at home, work and school. Read on to learn about preventative measures you and your family can take to increase your wellbeing.

Family hiking to stay active and healthy as part of their preventative care plan.


You don’t have to go to the gym five times a week to stay active. You can play outside with your kids, go for a hike, enjoy swimming in summer and even play an active video game such as the Wii or Xbox Kinect. It’s important to chose exercise and activities that you enjoy, so that you’re more likely to stick with a routine. Make a reasonable goal to do something active four to five times a week. If it’s hard to fit exercise or activity into your day, focus on just doing something. You’ll soon find yourself settling into a routine.


Healthy eating doesn’t mean a salad for every meal and restricting your calories to extremes. It simply means making the best choice from the options you have available. Instead of serving french fries with dinner, consider serving sweet potato. Switch out a sugary chocolate cereal for oatmeal or a whole grain cereal with less sugar. Instead of a soda, try an unsweetened tea or fruit-infused water. Making small changes each day makes a major impact on the overall health of you and your family.


Many insurance companies now charge a premium for smokers and tobacco users. And policy holders have to be completely honest about usage. Many insurance companies are offering free programs for smoking cessation. With these programs and numerous community support groups, you won’t be alone in your journey to quit. If you smoke or use tobacco, quitting will have a major positive impact on the health of you and your family. Within one month of quitting, your risks of lung disease and other smoking-related illnesses drastically decrease. If you are unsure where to start, talk to your doctor. They won’t judge you for being a smoker, they just want to help you be your healthiest self.

Catherine MacAlister is Reynolds Memorial Hospital’s Tobacco Treatment Specialist. She offers inpatient counseling to individuals who wish to quit smoking. If you or a loved one would like to learn more about this service, please contact Catherine at 304.843.3258.


As uncomfortable as it can be to discuss with your significant other and teenage children, it’s crucial to ensure that you and your family are taking care of reproductive and sexual health. Boys and girls, along with their parents, can consider the three-part vaccination for HPV. This vaccination can prevent serious diseases, such as ovarian cancer. It’s important to schedule an annual exam for both men and women — these exams can help catch abnormalities while they’re still easy to treat. Most health insurance covers annual exams; however, if you’re uninsured or underinsured, you can call your local Health and Human Services Department to see what your options are.


There’s no need to feel embarrassed if you think you would benefit from seeing a licensed therapist — more people see a therapist on a regular basis than you think. It doesn’t mean you’re “crazy” or “weird”. It simply means you’ve made a decision to actively resolve the issues that you’re facing in life. Seeing a therapist can help you find healthy ways to deal with extreme stress, help you work through depression and manage anxiety. It can also be helpful to see a therapist with your spouse or a family member with whom you have conflict. Taking care of your mental health is a vital part of your overall health and shouldn’t be neglected. Making the first call to seek the support of a therapist is difficult — therapists are always completely confidential (this is the law) and your doctor can help you find somebody you trust.


If it’s been a while since you’ve seen your doctor for a preventative visit, call today to schedule an appointment. Maintaining your health throughout your life course is crucial to you and your loved ones.

Reynolds Memorial Hospital isn’t just for emergencies. We also offer a variety of preventative care options to help you stay healthy.



Governor’s Award for Life 

Reynolds Memorial receives Governor’s Award for Life for a recent tissue and cornea donation.

On Monday, October 10th, Angela Hockman, Reynolds Memorial Hospital’s CORE (Center for Organ Recovery & Education) Liaison presented Dr. David Hess and Brooke Francis with the Governor’s Award for Life for a recent tissue and cornea donation. The award recognizes area hospitals that have been successful in supporting organ, tissue and cornea donation within their own health care facilities, and have achieved increased donation rates as a result.





Dr. David Hess at Reynolds Memorial signing a rose vial that will be placed on the Donate Life float

Dr. Hess also signed a rose vial that will be placed on the Donate Life float in the Tournament of Roses parade which will be held in January.



About Core

The Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) is one of 58 federally designated not-for-profit organ procurement organizations (OPOs) in the United States. CORE works closely with donor families and designated health care professionals to deliver the gift of hope by coordinating the surgical recovery of organs, tissues and corneas for transplantation. CORE also facilitates the computerized matching of donated organs, tissues and corneas.


Reynolds Memorial Hospital presents the Run For Your Life 5K Run and Walk on October 29th, 2016. The race also features the trick or treat tot trot open to all children 10 and under! All race proceeds will benefit the ALS Association. Run For Your Life 5k Race Registration

Early Packet Pick-up: Oct. 28th 4:00-6:00p at Reynolds Memorial Hospital

Check-in & Race Day Registration: 7:30a – 9:00a

Trick or Treat Tot Trot: 9:00a

5k Run & Walk: 9:45a

Click here to download the registration form.



When we commonly talk about men’s health problems and concerns, there are some major diseases that raise a red flag. In this blog post, we would like to talk about some of the main concerns for men over the age of 50 may face.

Men's Health

  1. Cancer: The most common types of cancers men are most prone to are; prostate, lung, colorectal and bladder cancer. Every year approximately 305,000 men die in the United States age 45 and older from cancer. If not diagnosed in its early stages, chances of survival are close to zero. This is why it is so important to get regular checkups and screening tests, such as a testicular exam to check for prostate cancer. Preventative measures are your first line of defense.


  1. Heart Disease:  One in three adult men have heart disease making it one of the leading health risks for men. A few early signs of heart disease can be difficulty catching your breath after physical exertion, a discomfort or tightening in your chest lasting longer than 1 to 2 minutes and a heartbeat that is faster or slower than usual. However, heart disease can be prevented or managed through exercise and diet. Regular checkups also allow your doctor to find these signs early.
  1. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: COPD is a chronic condition that directly affects the lungs and airways, killing an approximate 60,000 of males annually worldwide. The root cause of COPD is smoking, which ultimately causes shortness of breath, lung cancer and limits the ability of the body to stay active. Other chronic conditions that affect men making them a health concern are diabetes, stroke, and liver disease.

 How to Stay Healthy After 50

Undoubtedly, some diseases are inevitable; however, there are some lifestyle choices that can help reduce their effects or delay their severity over time. If you have decided to make the transition to a healthier you, we would like to contribute with our expertise. Below are some tips to ensure that you stay fit and healthy naturally without chunking on too many medications. Follow these tips, and you will soon begin to feel more active and stress-free over time.

  • Stay Active Physically and Mentally: Greater amounts of physical activity is linked to improved mood. Medical experts suggest a 30-minute walk daily or a 20-minute cardio session to keep your body flexible and fit as you age. Exercising and challenging your mind can improve brain function and limit risk from cognitive disorders.
  • Quit Smoking: What most men don’t know is that smoking is the root cause to increase the chances of life-threatening conditions like cancer, stroke, heart disease and erectile dysfunction. Research has also found correlations of smoking to increase the risk of bladder cancer and adverse reproductive consequences in men after the age of 50. If you wish to feel young and healthy after the age of 50, medical experts strongly advise against smoking.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation: Many medical experts propose that moderate drinking (a glass of wine a day) is considered healthy for your organs; however, limit to no more than 2 drinks per day for men.
  • Lose weight: If you are overweight, your body may be the breeding ground of diseases like cancer, strokes, kidney failure and diabetes. You must reduce your weight in order to lead a healthier and balanced life.
  • Keep chronic diseases under control: Diseases like hypertension and diabetes must be kept in check as they directly affect your overall health
  • Check your diet: Maintaining a diet low in fat, sodium and sugar content is essential to decrease the risk of high blood pressure leading to stroke and heart attack. Cutting back on processed foods full of salt and getting plenty of lean protein, healthy fats (omega 3s), vitamins and minerals each day is crucial.


If you have any questions, call your Primary Care Provider or stop in any one of our hospital owned practices (our medical group), and pick up a new patient application.


HealthNet Aeromedical Services Selected as Transport Provider

Reynolds Memorial Hospital selects HealthNet Aeromedical Services as preferred critical care transport provider.

Reynolds Memorial Hospital recently became a member of the WVU Medicine family of hospitals.

The connection between Reynolds Memorial Hospital and the specialty services offered through Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, W,Va., expands the care available to the northern panhandle community served by Reynolds Memorial Hospital.

New Aircraft to Serve Reynolds Memorial Hospital

HealthNet Aeromedical Services is a not-for-profit shared service of WVU Medicine and through this relationship has initiated true critical care transport services to enhance the excellent care already available through Reynolds Memorial Hospital.

HealthNet Aeromedical ServicesAircraft now serving Reynolds Memorial Hospital are twin-engine helicopters with collision and terrain avoidance technology and are fully approved for instrument flight rules operations.

The large aircraft allow for greater weight carrying capability and allow for family members to accompany patients during their transport. The aircraft size can also benefit critically ill or injured patients by allowing specialty physicians to accompany the flight team during transport.

Requests for service and in-flight tracking are managed through the WVU Medical Command Center in Morgantown. This provides local knowledge of the area in contrast to flight programs whose requests and flight tracking are handled several states away.

How HealthNet Aeromedical Services Will Help Reynolds Memorial Hospital

Every HealthNet Aeromedical Services helicopter carries two units of blood on every flight. This feature supplements these resources already available at Reynolds Memorial Hospital.

Clinton Burley, president and CEO of HealthNet Aeromedical Services, commented:

“HealthNet Aeromedical Services is directly connected to the academic medical center, Ruby Memorial.  This connection allows us to provide Reynolds Memorial Hospital and the northern panhandle with true, high-level critical care transport services. We’re humbled by the confidence Reynolds Memorial has placed in us and look forward to an enduring relationship, serving patients in their community.”  

Reynolds is extremely gratified and excited to be the newest member of the WVU Medicine family.

“RMH’s goal, of course, is to provide the highest quality care in the most timely and efficient fashion to patients we serve. Our partnership with HealthNet assures that when the need arises for one of our patients to be flown to Morgantown, that they will be in the hands of an awesome group of professionals who have been protecting the well-being of West Virginians for three decades,” said David F. Hess, MD, CEO of Reynolds Memorial Hospital.

About HealthNet Aeromedical Services

HealthNet Aeromedical Services, Inc. is headquartered in Charleston, W.Va. The program is a nationally accredited, not-for-profit critical care transport system operated cooperatively by WVU Medicine, Charleston Area Medical Center and Cabell Huntington Hospital.

The organization operates seven helicopter bases in West Virginia, one in Ohio and one in Kentucky. Formed in 1986, HealthNet Aeromedical Services has safely transported more than 70,000 patients.

Reynolds Memorial Hospital is a nonprofit acute-care community hospital. The hospital is licensed for 90 beds and operates a 20-bed Skilled Nursing Unit.

Reynolds Memorial Hospital is licensed by the WV State Health Department and is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.

Reynolds is extremely gratified and excited to be the newest member of the WVU Medicine family.

For more information, contact: Clinton Burley, CEO, HealthNet Aeromedical Services,


A stroke occurs when a clot blocks a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain or when a clot bursts.  When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood and oxygen it needs, so brain cells die.

Stroke Facts

  • Strokes are the fifth leading cause of death in the United States
  • Strokes are the number one cause of disability in the United States but the leading preventable cause of disability
  • On average, a stroke occurs every 40 seconds
  • Every four minutes someone dies of stroke
  • 40 percent of stroke deaths occur in males and 60 percent in females
  • African Americans have nearly twice the risk for strokes than Caucasians


Types of Strokes

There are three types of strokes:

  1. Ischemic (clots): Occurs as a result of an obstruction within a blood vessel supplying blood to the brain.  This type of stroke accounts for 87 percent of all stroke cases
  2. Hemorrhagic (Bleeds): Occurs when a weakened blood vessel ruptures.  Two types of weakened blood vessels usually cause hemorrhagic stroke:
    1. Aneurysms
    2. Arteriovenous

But the most common cause of hemorrhagic stroke is uncontrolled hypertension (high blood pressure).

  1. TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack): Caused by a temporary clot.  Often called a “mini stroke,” these warning strokes should be taken very seriously.

Symptoms of Strokes:

F.A.S.T. is an easy way to remember the sudden signs of strokes:

  • Face drooping: Does one’s face droop, or is it numb?  Is the person’s face uneven?
  • Arm weakness: Is one arm weak or numb?  Ask the person to raise both arms.  Does one arm drift downward?
  • Speech difficulty: Is speech slurred?  Is a person hard to understand or unable to speak?
  • Time to call 9-1-1: If someone shows any of these symptoms, call 9-1-1, and get the person to the hospital.  Make sure to check the time so you know when the first symptoms appeared.

arm weakness sign of a stroke

Diagnoses of Strokes

When someone has a stroke, a doctor will get a medical history, perform a physical and neurological examination and/or diagnostic tests, such as imaging tests, electrical activity tests and/or blood flow tests.

Common imaging tests are CT scans and MRI’s.  Electrical activity tests consist of an EEG and/or an Evoked Response test.

Risk Factors for Strokes

 There are many risk factors for strokes that can’t be changed, including:

  • Age
  • Heredity
  • Race
  • Sex
  • Prior stroke or heart attack

 However, there are many risk factors that can be treated, changed or controlled.  These include:

  • High Blood Pressure: HBP is the leading cause of stroke and the most important controllable risk factor for stroke.
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Diabetes: Many people with diabetes also have HBP, high blood cholesterol or are overweight.
  • Carotid or other artery disease: The carotid arteries in your neck supply blood to your brain.  A carotid artery narrowed by fatty deposits from plaque buildup in artery walls may become blocked by a blood clot.
  • Peripheral Artery Disease: This is the narrowing of blood vessels carrying blood to leg and arm muscles.  It’s caused by fatty buildups of plaque in artery walls.
  • Atrial Fibrillation: This heart rhythm disorder raises the risk for stroke.  The heart’s upper chambers quiver instead of beating effectively, which can let the blood pool and clot.   If a clot breaks off, enters the bloodstream and lodges in an artery leading to the brain, a stroke results.
  • Sickle Cell Disease: This is a genetic disorder that mainly affects African-American and Hispanic children. “Sickled” red blood cells are less able to carry oxygen to the body’s tissues and organs. These cells also tend to stick to blood vessel walls, which can block arteries to the brain and cause a stroke.
  • High Blood Cholesterol
  • Poor diet: Diets high in saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol can raise blood cholesterol levels.  Diets high in sodium can contribute to increased blood pressure. Diets with excess calories can contribute to obesity, all which can increase the risk of strokes.
  • Physical inactivity and obesity

Prevention of Strokes

Strokes are 80 percent preventable.  It starts with managing the above mentioned risk factors, including high blood pressure, cigarette smoking, atrial fibrillation and physical inactivity.  More than half of all strokes are caused by uncontrolled high blood pressure, making it the most important risk factor to control.

Medical treatments may be used to control high blood pressure and manage atrial fibrillation among high-risk patients.

When arteries show plaque buildup or blockage, medical procedures may be needed.

Reynolds Memorial Hospital

May is American Stroke Month.  Strokes are largely preventable, so awareness and education is key.  The healthcare providers at Reynolds Memorial Hospital are passionate about helping you PREVENT a stroke, as well as caring for you if you’ve suffered a stroke.


Did You Know That High Blood PressureOne in Every Three Americans Suffer from High Blood Pressure?

Also referred to as hypertension, high blood pressure refers to the force with which the blood flows against the lining of our arteries. One of the greatest misconceptions about hypertension is that men are more prone to getting it. In reality, it is the opposite. Women are at a higher risk of developing hypertension when compared to men.


How Do You Know if You Have High Blood Pressure?

It is very difficult to identify whether one suffers from high blood pressure or not since there are no visible symptoms. Thankfully, medical advancements over the years have made it possible to find out if one suffers from it right at home.

You are suffering from hypertension if your blood pressure readings are consistently higher than 90 to 140 over a few weeks. You may also be suffering from hypertension if one of these numbers is higher than what is considered normal for a number of weeks.

High Blood Pressure Symptoms

There is a reason why it is often termed as the silent killer as people who have been suffering from it for many years won’t know of it until they get their blood pressure checked. However, some distinctive symptoms do develop in people suffering from severe cases of high blood pressure.

These may include:

  • Headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath

High Blood Pressure Causes

There is no absolute evidence as to what causes hypertension, however medical research so far suggests that it has everything to do with our lifestyles choices. You will be at a higher risk of hypertension if:

  • You take in too much sodium.
  • You don’t consume sufficient fruits and vegetables.
  • You don’t exercise regularly.
  • You are obese according to your BMI.
  • You consume excess alcohol.

Other factors such as age, ethnic origin, or family history may also cause hypertension.

High Blood Pressure Risk Factors

You may experience complications if your blood pressure remains higher than normal for some time. These complications may result in diseases and disorders as you age. Some high risk factors may even involve complications like:

  • Aneurysms: (abnormal bulges formed in the artery until they rupture)
  • Cognitive Changes
  • Heart Attack
  • Chronic Kidney Disease
  • Eye Damage
  • Heart Failure
  • Stroke
  • Peripheral Artery Disease

High Blood Pressure Treatment

If you are looking for answers to the question, “how to lower blood pressure,” there are many different ways it can be treated. Treatment can vary from taking prescribed medication to making lifestyle changes. We always try to encourage all our patients to rely on lifestyle changes rather than on medications as it shows positive results over time. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Take up an exercise routine
  • Watch your waistline and lose weight if needed
  • Quit smoking
  • Eat clean
  • Lower sodium content in your food
  • Cut down on caffeine
  • Keep a close eye on your alcohol consumption
  • Manage your stress levels
  • Visit a doctor every month and monitor your blood pressure levels at home on a weekly basis

If you think you may be suffering from high blood pressure, Reynolds Rapid Care can help. No appointment necessary. We gladly accept walk-ins!