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News: 2011 Press Releases
Here you will find the latest information, feature stories, plus comprehensive articles in the latest treatment options and research at Altoona Regional Health System.



12/27/11 - CO-FACILITATOR HONORED FOR 25 YEARS OF SERVICE TO SUPPORT GROUP
12/24/11 - PATIENT ACCESS NAMES MANAGERS
12/23/11 - LAUREN DEUR, M.D., JOINS LEXINGTON RADIOLOGY
12/21/11 - FOUNDATION HOLIDAY EVENT RAISES $46,500
12/20/11 - NEW ORTHOPEDIC PRACTICE TO OPEN
12/19/11 - ALTOONA REGIONAL STAFF & VOLUNTEERS DONATE TO THE FAMILY RESOURCE CENTER OF UNITED WAY'S TOASTY TODDLER CAMPAIGN
12/16/11 - PENN STATE ALTOONA WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL ASSISTS BREAST CANCER AWARENESS
12/15/11 - CANCER CENTER DOCTOR APPOINTED ADJUNCT ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF RADIATION ONCOLOGY AT UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH
12/15/11 - MENORAH LIGHTING CEREMONY SET FOR DEC. 21
12/06/11 - TREE LIGHTING FESTIVITIES FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9
11/24/11 - DENTAL CLINIC, GACTC STUDENTS FORM PARTNERSHIP
11/23/11 - CASE MANAGEMENT SUPERVISOR RETIRES WITH 41-1/2 YEARS OF SERVICE
11/22/11 - ALTOONA REGIONAL OFFERS SUPPORT GROUPS/CLINICS IN DECEMBER
11/22/11 - ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS DECEMBER PROGRAMS
11/18/11 - CLINICAL DOCUMENTATION COORDINATOR PASSES CERTIFICATION EXAM
11/17/11 - NUCLEAR MEDICINE DEPARTMENT AND RELATED ACTIVITIES PASS STATE INSPECTION
11/16/11 - UNITED CONCORDIA MAKES DONATION TO ALTOONA REGIONAL'S PARTNERSHIP FOR A HEALTHY COMMUNITY-PARTNERING FOR DENTAL SERVICES CHILDREN'S DENTAL CLINIC
11/15/11 - VOLUNTEER SERVICES DEPARTMENT ASSISTS ALTOONA FOOD BANK
11/15/11 - HISTOLOGIST RETIRES WITH 26 YEARS OF SERVICE
11/15/11 - REGISTERED NURSE RETIRES WITH 33 YEARS OF SERVICE
11/15/11 - PHARMACIST HIRED AT ALTOONA REGIONAL
11/14/11 - CHARGE INTEGRITY HIRES NEW MANAGER
11/09/11 - NURSE PRACTITIONER WEEK CELEBRATED NOV. 13-19
10/31/11 - MASS OF THANKSGIVING ON NOV. 6 RECOGNIZES 76 YEARS OF CATHOLIC HEALTH CARE IN ALTOONA
10/18/11 - HEALTH CARE DATA COMPANY HONORS ALTOONA REGIONAL FOR PROGRESS TOWARD ELECTRONIC MEDICAL RECORD
10/17/11 - ALTOONA REGIONAL FOUNDATION FOR LIFE HOLIDAY SPLENDOR GALA AND AUCTION IS NOVEMBER 11
10/15/11 - ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS NOVEMBER PROGRAMS
10/14/11 - LABORATORY PATHOLOGIST RETIRES WITH 35 YEARS OF SERVICE
10/13/11 - FRIENDS OF ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM COMPLETE DONATION TOWARD MATERNITY/NURSERY SECURITY SYSTEM
10/13/11 - FRIENDS OF ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM GRANT THREE MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY SCHOLARSHIPS
10/12/11 - EXPANDED ER AREA OPENS AT ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM
9/30/11 - ALTOONA REGIONAL TRAUMA SERVICE MARKS 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF PUTTING BODIES AND LIVES BACK TOGETHER
9/29/11 - ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS OCTOBER PROGRAMS
9/19/11 - ALTOONA REGIONAL VOLUNTEER PUBLISHES BOOK ABOUT NEWRY
9/15/11 - AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF DIABETES EDUCATORS RECOGNIZES OUTPATIENT DIABETES EDUCATION PROGRAM
9/15/11 - NATIONAL CHILD PASSENGER SAFETY WEEK IS SEPT. 18-24
9/15/11 - ALTOONA REGIONAL EARNS TWO ACR ACCREDITATIONS
9/12/11 - DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATE JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM FOUNDATION FOR LIFE
9/12/11 - PONTZER, D.O., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM MEDICAL STAFF
8/29/11 - PAD SCREENINGS SCHEDULED IN SEPTEMBER - PERIPHERAL ARTERIAL DISEASE AWARENESS MONTH
8/24/11 - TRACY R. PREMATTA, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF
8/24/11 - ALTOONA REGIONAL 'RETIRED' UNIFORMS FIND NEW LIFE IN RECYCLING EFFORT
8/24/11 - WORLD BREASTFEEDING WEEK RECOGNIZED AT ALTOONA REGIONAL
8/24/11 - REBECCA C. MILLER, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF
8/18/11 - ALTOONA REGIONAL COMMUNITY EDUCATOR RECERTIFIED AS INSTRUCTOR TO TRAIN CHILD PASSENGER SAFETY TECHNICIANS AND INSTRUCTORS
8/17/11 - ALTOONA REGIONAL, HIGHMARK REACH AGREEMENT
8/15/11 - ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS SEPTEMBER PROGRAMS
8/12/11 - ALTOONA REGIONAL OFFERS SUPPORT GROUPS/CLINICS IN SEPTEMBER
8/11/11 - DAVID M. ROSE, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF
8/10/11 - SCOT CURRIE, D.O., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF
8/10/11 - NEW DIRECTOR OF SURGICAL SERVICES NAMED
8/10/11 - POLICE OFFICER RETIRES WITH 34.5 YEARS OF SERVICE
8/8/11 - ALTOONA FAMILY PHYSICIANS RESIDENCY PROGRAM GRADUATES SIX
8/1/11 - PRAYER PARTNER PROGRAM VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
7/21/11 - ALTOONA REGIONAL ULTRASOUND DEPARTMENT ACCREDITED
7/08/11 - FOUNDATION GOLF EVENT RAISES MORE THAN $60,000
7/07/11 - NURSE RETIRES WITH 18 ½ YEARS OF SERVICE
7/07/11 - MEDICAL SECRETARY RETIRES WITH 21 YEARS OF SERVICE
7/07/11 - ALTOONA FAMILY PHYSICIANS, WOMEN'S HEALTH AND WELLNESS AND WILLIAMSBURG FAMILY PRACTICE JOIN FORCES TO HELP CHILDREN
7/07/11 - ALTOONA REGIONAL NEPHROLOGIST NAMED MEDICAL DIRECTOR OF RENAL CARE FACILITY
7/07/11 - ALTOONA REGIONAL'S SCHOOL OF MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY/MEDICAL LABORATORY SCIENCE GRADUATES THREE
7/05/11 - JOINT NEWS RELEASE FROM ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM AND AFSCME
6/27/11 - FIREWORKS INJURE MORE THAN 2,000 KIDS EACH SUMMER
6/24/11 - LEXINGTON SURGICAL ASSOCIATES REALIGNS, FORMS TWO NEW GROUPS
6/23/11 - TIMOTHY A. LUCAS, M.D., RECERTIFIED IN PULMONARY DISEASE
6/23/11 - SAI RAMANUJAM, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF
6/23/11 - ALAN J. KANOUFF, D.O., CERTIFIED IN CRITICAL CARE MEDICINE
6/23/11 - WILLY HWANG, M.D., CERTIFIED IN DIAGNOSTIC RADIOLOGY
6/23/11 - JEANNETTE M. CAPELLA, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF
6/23/11 - SUPPLY TECHNICIAN RETIRES WITH 29 YEARS OF SERVICE
6/23/11 - EMPLOYEE PROMOTED TO MANAGEMENT POSITION
6/15/11 - ALTOONA REGIONAL OFFERS SUPPORT GROUPS/CLINICS IN JULY
6/15/11 - ALTOONA REGIONAL PARKING GARAGE TRAFFIC FLOW CHANGE
6/7/11 - REGISTRATIONS STILL BEING ACCEPTED FOR ALTOONA REGIONAL FOUNDATION FOR LIFE GOLF CLASSIC ON JUNE 27
6/7/11 - ICU, TELEMETRY UNTS EARN AWARDS IN CUSTOMER SATISFACTION
6/6/11 - TWO NEW HEART CATHETERIZATION LABS OPEN AT ALTOONA REGIONAL
6/3/11 - ALTOONA REGIONAL BEHAVIORAL HEALTH PSYCHIATRISTS PUBLISH ARTICLE ON PARANOID PSYCHOSIS CAUSED BY USE OF BLIZZARD
6/3/11 - REGISTERED NURSES EARN BACHELOR OF SCIENCE DEGREES IN NURSING
6/3/11 - NUCLEAR MEDICINE TECHNOLOGIST RETIRES WITH 41 YEARS OF SERVICE
6/3/11 - ALTOONA FAMILY PHYSICIANS RESIDENCY PROGRAM RECEIVES RECOGNITION FROM NATIONAL COMMITTEE FOR QUALITY ASSURANCE
5/23/11 - WOMEN'S NIGHT OUT RAISES FUNDS FOR DIGITAL MAMMOGRAPHY
5/19/11 - NEW CHIEF CRNA NAMED FOR LEXINGTON ANESTHESIA
5/18/11 - WILHELMINA P. CRUZ-VETRANO, M.D., NAMED MEDICAL DIRECTOR OF LABORATORY SERVICES AT ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM
5/18/11 - SHIRAH SHORE, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF
5/18/11 - SUZANNE Y. DIB, M.D, IS CERTIFIED BY AMERICAN BOARD OF FAMILY MEDICINE
5/18/11 - ALTOONA REGIONAL RECEIVES GET WITH THE GUIDELINES - STROKE GOLD PLUS QUALITY ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
5/17/11 - ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS JUNE PROGRAMS
5/16/11 - ALTOONA REGIONAL OFFERS SUPPORT GROUPS/CLINICS IN JUNE
5/5/11 - ALTOONA FAMILY PHYSICIANS PARTICIPATES IN STATEWIDE FAMILY MEDICINE RESIDENCY COLLABORATIVE
4/26/11 - ALTOONA REGIONAL FOUNDATION FOR LIFE GOLF CLASSIC IS JUNE 27
4/22/11 - ALTOONA FAMILY PHYSICIANS RESIDENCY PROGRAM HOSTS PENNSYLVANIA ACADEMY OF FAMILY PHYSICIANS EDUCATIONAL CONFERENCE
4/22/11 - CLINICAL EDUCATOR RECEIVES GRADUATE DEGREE
4/21/11 - ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS MAY PROGRAMS
4/21/11 - PUBLIC INVITED TO OPEN HOUSE AT ALTOONA REGIONAL OUTPATIENT FACILITY AT STATION MEDICAL CENTER
4/20/11 - EARTH DAY EVENTS SET FOR TUESDAY, APRIL 26 AT ALTOONA REGIONAL
4/14/11 - MAY IS MENTAL HEALTH MONTH: NATIONAL EXPERTS TO SPEAK ABOUT CONSUMER EMPOWERMENT, TREATMENT CHOICE AND PATH TO RECOVERY
4/12/11 - ALTOONA REGIONAL DEPARTMENT OF LABORATORY SERVICES ATTAINS ACCREDITATION
4/01/11 - SURGICAL SERVICES NURSE RETIRES WITH 45 YEARS OF SERVICE
3/31/11 - SOUP COOK-OFF BENEFITS FAIRVIEW AREA RESIDENTS
3/31/11 - PENN STATE ALTOONA LADY LIONS BASKETBALL TEAM CONTRIBUTES TO TEAM PINK
3/31/11 - MARKETING EMPLOYEE ADDS INSURANCE RESPONSIBILITIES
3/31/11 - NEW ADMINISTRATIVE DIRECTOR NAMED FOR EMERGENCY SERVICES
3/29/11 - SOME TERMINOLOGY AS CHANGES OCCUR AT ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM
3/29/11 - GRIEVING PARENTS FIND SOLACE IN NEW PERINATAL LOSS SUPPORT GROUP
3/29/11 - FOUNDATION FOR LIFE RAISES $90,000 THROUGH HEALTH CARE HONORS EVENT
3/29/11 - NEW DIMENSION IN OPEN MRI AND PATIENT COMFORT COMES TO ALTOONA
3/28/11 - ALTOONA REGIONAL NONINVASIVE LABORATORY ATTAINS ACCREDITATION
3/24/11 - MEDIA ADVISORY
3/21/11 - ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF ELECTS NEW OFFICERS
3/16/11 - ALTOONA REGIONAL OFFERS SUPPORT GROUPS/CLINICS IN APRIL
3/9/11 - ALTOONA REGIONAL CONTINUES MISSION-DRIVEN HEALTH CARE AS BSHSI SPONSORSHIP CONCLUDES
3/4/11 - PATRICIA ELLIOTT, R.N., RECERTIFIES AS POST ANESTHESIA NURSE AT ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM
3/3/11 - ALTOONA REGIONAL SUPERVISOR ACCEPTS NEW POSITION
2/28/11 - ALTOONA REGIONAL TO OFFER VALET PARKING TO EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT PATIENTS AT ALTOONA HOSPITAL CAMPUS
2/24/11 - ALTOONA REGIONAL TO OPEN ADDITIONAL SERVICES AT STATION MEDICAL CENTER
2/18/11 - ALTOONA REGIONAL'S DIGITAL MAMMOGRAPHY SERVICES TO OPEN FEB. 21 AT STATION MEDICAL CENTER
2/17/11 - ALTOONA REGIONAL FOUNDATION FOR LIFE NAMES RECIPIENTS FOR MARCH 28 HEALTH CARE HONORS AWARDS
2/16/11 - FREE HEART ATTACK RISK ASSESSMENT AVAILABLE THROUGH ALTOONA REGIONAL
2/3/11 - ALTOONA REGIONAL AWARDED HFAP ACCREDITATION
2/3/11 - FOUNDATION HOLIDAY EVENT RAISES MORE THAN $40,000
2/3/11 - DAVID J. BOZAK, D.O., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF
1/31/11 - GO RED DAY TO SUPPORT THE FIGHT AGAINST HEART DISEASE AND STROKE IN WOMEN SET FOR FRIDAY, FEB. 4
1/20/11 - ALTOONA REGIONAL HOSTS STROKE COORDINATOR MEETING
1/20/11 - ALTOONA REGIONAL WELCOMES TWO NUCLEAR MEDICINE INTERNS
1/20/11 - CARDIOLOGY TECHNICIAN RETIRES FROM ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM
1/20/11 - ALTOONA REGIONAL NURSING ADMINISTRATOR PRESENTS AT NATIONAL FORUM
1/19/11 - ALTOONA REGIONAL'S OUTPATIENT LABORATORY SERVICES TO OPEN JAN. 24 AT STATION MEDICAL CENTER
1/12/11 - ALTOONA REGIONAL'S CONTINUING MEDICAL EDUCATION PROGRAM RECEIVES ACCREDITATIONS
1/06/11 - ALTOONA REGIONAL'S PROJECT SANTA RECEIVES OVERWHELMING RESPONSE
1/06/11 - ALTOONA REGIONAL FOUNDATION FOR LIFE RECEIVES $2,500 DONATION
1/06/11 - REV. MCGAFFIN RETIRES FROM ALTOONA REGIONAL INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW COMMITTEE
1/06/11 - SIMON LAMPARD, M.D., FACS, ELECTED TO PENNSYLVANIA TRAUMA SYSTEMS FOUNDATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS
1/06/11 - HAITHAM M. HREIBE, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF
1/06/11 - GOLAM MOSTOFA, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF
1/06/11 - ARTHUR J. DEMARSICO, D.O., ELECTED A FELLOW OF AMERICAN COLLEGE OF OSTEOPATHIC SURGEONS
1/06/11 - NANCY T. KENNEY, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF
1/04/11 - ALTOONA REGIONAL'S NEW RADIOLOGY GROUP BRINGS EXPERTISE IN VARIETY OF AREAS
1/04/11 - ALTOONA REGIONAL PHYSICIANS TO PRESENT AT HEALTH-O-RAMA 2011
1/03/11 - FIRST BLAIR COUNTY BABY OF NEW YEAR BORN AT ALTOONA REGIONAL

December 27, 2011 - CO-FACILITATOR HONORED FOR 25 YEARS OF SERVICE TO SUPPORT GROUP

Mardell Bonasso and  Les Weiss of the Alzheimer's Support Group present a certificate for 25 years of service to Jean Reighard.
Altoona Regional Behavioral Health Services recently honored Jean Reighard of Altoona for 25 years of service to the Alzheimer's Support Group.

Reighard became involved in November 1986 when her late husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. The group was the area's only resource, Reighard said.

"Back then there was only about a two-inch paragraph in one medical book about Alzheimer's," she said. "At the support group, we shared what we knew and it was all trial and error, what worked, what didn't work back then."

"Jean has been a valuable source of information and support to many members of our community," Ernie Podrasky, consultation and education supervisor, said. "Jean has been the primary reason for the success of this group. She has unequivocal dedication and compassion. We are grateful to her for her time and commitment."

After her husband succumbed to the disease in 1995, Reighard continued with the group to share her experience and knowledge with new members. Support group facilitator Les Weiss calls her an "invaluable asset."

"She has a very natural and compassionate way of engaging caregivers in need of support," he said. "Jean has always given in a selfless way to others and is always available day and night to those requesting assistance."

Photo: Support group participant Mardell Bonasso (left) and facilitator Les Weiss of the Alzheimer's Support Group present a certificate for 25 years of service to co-facilitator Jean Reighard.






December 24, 2011 - PATIENT ACCESS NAMES MANAGERS

Laura Cresswell of Bellwood

Jessica Nail of Altoona
Laura Cresswell of Bellwood and Jessica Nail of Altoona have been promoted to the positions of Patient Access managers in the Patient Access department at Altoona Regional Health System.

The Patient Access department is responsible for collecting all accurate demographic and insurance information on every patient who receives a service, as inpatient or outpatient.

Their responsibilities include overseeing the department of approximately 40 Patient Access representatives on the Altoona Hospital Campus, 7th Avenue Campus and Station Medical Center.

They will rotate between Station Medical Center and Altoona Hospital Campus and will delegate all work responsibilities to 7th Ave Campus.

Cresswell was hired in August 2009 as a Patient Access representative and was promoted last year to a buyer in the Purchasing department in Supply Chain. She is a graduate of St. Francis University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish and marketing.

Nail was hired in September 2010 as a Patient Access representative in the Emergency department. She received her Bachelor of Science in health policy and administration from Penn State University.






December 23, 2011 - LAUREN DEUR, M.D., JOINS LEXINGTON RADIOLOGY

Lauren Deur, M.D.
Lauren Deur, M.D., recently joined the Medical Staff of Altoona Regional Health System in the department of Radiology. She practices with Lexington Radiology, a team of 12 radiologists with specialized training in various facets of diagnostic and interventional procedures.

Dr. Deur is board certified in diagnostic radiology and fellowship-trained in breast imaging. She is also certified to read digital mammography. During her fellowship training in breast imaging, she received the Fellow of the Year Award at New York University Medical Center. Dr. Deur received her doctor of medicine degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York. She completed a transitional internship at St. Vincent's Medical Center and a radiology residency and fellowship training at New York University.

She has two undergraduate degrees: B.A. in biological basis of behavior from the University of Pennsylvania College of Arts and Sciences and a B.S. in economics with a major in health care management from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business. Dr. Deur is a member of the American College of Radiology.






December 21, 2011 - FOUNDATION HOLIDAY EVENT RAISES $46,500

The Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life's annual Holiday Splendor gala and auction raised $46,500 to help fund the purchase of a digital Doppler ultrasound system and to aid in diabetic education.

"We sincerely appreciate all of this year's Holiday Splendor attendees, as well as the numerous businesses and individuals who sponsored the event, contributed auction items and made donations," said Ann Benzel, chair, Altoona Regional of the Foundation for Life. "Thanks to their dedication and contributions, everyone was able to enjoy a beautiful evening in support of our nonprofit community health care system."

Gold sponsors included Altoona Center for Nursing Case, Altoona OB/GYN Associates, HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Altoona, Highmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Holliday Corvette, S&T Bank and UPMC. In addition to sponsorship support, Holiday Splendor was a big success due to the time and talents of volunteers, committee members and the staff of The Calvin House.

For more information on how you can make a gift in support of health care in our community, call 889.6406 or visit www.altoonaregional.org.

Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which exists to secure charitable donations to help financially support exceptional health care for the well-being of all Central Pennsylvania residents. Because the Foundation for Life is a qualified charitable organization, donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.






December 20, 2011 - NEW ORTHOPEDIC PRACTICE TO OPEN

Southern Alleghenies Elite Orthopedics will open and begin seeing patients Tuesday, Jan. 3. Appointments are being made now.

Elite Orthopedics is a unique, full-service orthopedic physician practice serving Blair, Huntingdon, Bedford, Clearfield, Cambria, Centre and Somerset counties from its office at Gateway Centre, 601 Hawthorne Drive, across from the YMCA in Hollidaysburg. Phone 889-3600.

Dr. Charles Harvey, formerly of Blair Orthopedics, is now with Elite Orthopedics. Dr. Harvey is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who specializes in spinal (neck and back) disorders and total hip replacement.

Dr. Corey Schutt, a fracture specialist currently with University Orthopedics Center, will begin with Elite Orthopedics in early February. Dr. Schutt is a fellowship-trained orthopedic trauma surgeon with unique skills in all aspects of fracture care.

"Our practice is fully committed to outstanding patient service," said Nicole Vranka, office manager. "From the caregivers to our office staff, our goal is to provide an exceptional patient experience."

Elite Orthopedics is an affiliate of Altoona Regional Health System. Visit Elite Orthopedics at www.eliteorthodocs.com.






December 19, 2011 - ALTOONA REGIONAL STAFF & VOLUNTEERS DONATE TO THE FAMILY RESOURCE CENTER OF UNITED WAY'S TOASTY TODDLER CAMPAIGN

Altoona Regional Health System employees, physicians and volunteers donated coats to the Family Resource Center of United Way's Toasty Toddler campaign


Altoona Regional Health System employees, physicians and volunteers from all three campuses donated 89 girl's coats and 68 boy's coats, plus hats, gloves, handmade scarves, boots and blankets to The Family Resource Center of United Way's Toasty Toddler campaign.

In addition, $140 in cash was received, according to Dana Shade, Community Education coordinator and coordinator of Altoona Regional's Toasty Toddler donation drive.

Standing behind the health system's donations are (from left): first row - volunteers Mary Roberts, Betty Nevel, Carol Graham and Ann Nesbella, and Frances Wilson R.N., BSN, Quality Management; second row - volunteers Barb Sickles and Michelle Burmeister; Vickie Leberfinger, R.N., Outpatient Surgery; Dana Shade, Community Education, and volunteers Denny McArthur and Leona Granville; third row - Bob Strawser, Mission and Customer Service; Michael Walton, Greeter Services, and volunteer Pat Ravina.






December 16, 2011 - PENN STATE ALTOONA WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL ASSISTS BREAST CANCER AWARENESS

Penn State Altoona women's volleyball team
The Penn State Altoona women's volleyball team recently made a donation of $300 to the Community Education department for education awareness of breast cancer. In the photo are (from left): first row — Katey Cheplick, Samantha Link and Kelsie Bumbarger; second row — Robin Tabaka, Nikole Burkhardt, Emily Frye and Paige Hensor; third row — Jessica O'Donnell, Moira Corrigan and Marina Cotarelo; top — head coach Phil Peterman. Unable to be in the photo were assistant coach Valerie Brumbaugh and players Sarah Seibert, Marla Sanders and Morgan Marasco.






December 15, 2011 - CANCER CENTER DOCTOR APPOINTED ADJUNCT ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF RADIATION ONCOLOGY AT UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH

Marsha L. Haley, M.D.
Marsha L. Haley, M.D., a member of the Altoona Regional Medical Staff, has received an academic appointment as an adjunct assistant professor of radiation oncology in the School of Medicine, Department of Radiation Oncology, at the University of Pittsburgh.

As a specialist in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, Dr. Haley, a radiation oncologist, practices with Jack Schocker, M.D., in the Altoona Regional Center for Cancer Care.






December 15, 2011 - MENORAH LIGHTING CEREMONY SET FOR DEC. 21

WHAT: Menorah Lighting Ceremony

WHEN: 9 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 21, Altoona Regional Health System, Altoona Hospital Campus, 620 Howard Ave., main lobby

AND

10 a.m., Wednesday, Dec. 21, 7th Ave. Campus, 2500 7th Ave.

WHO: Rabbi Joshua Wohl, spiritual leader of Agudath Achim Synagogue in Altoona.

WHERE: Altoona Hospital Campus, 620 Howard Ave.

WHY: Hanukkah is the Jewish festival of lights honoring the preservation of Judaism during ancient times, and the story of how the Menorah lamp miraculously remained lit for eight days. Hanukkah begins Tuesday, Dec. 20, at sundown and ends Wednesday, Dec. 28.

Altoona Regional annually lights a Menorah in honor of this Jewish festival.






December 6, 2011 - TREE LIGHTING FESTIVITIES FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9

9 a.m. 7th Avenue Campus, main lobby: Hosted by the Pastoral Care department, join Altoona Regional employees for the Christmas tree blessing with music provided by St. Rose of Lima school children and a scholarship presentation by the Friends of Altoona Regional. School children will then go caroling around the hospital to cheer patients.

11 a.m. Altoona Hospital Campus, main lobby area: Hosted by the Pastoral Care department, join Altoona Regional employees for the Christmas tree blessing with music provided by Altoona Central Catholic school children and a scholarship presentation by the Friends of Altoona Regional. School children will then go caroling around the hospital to cheer patients.






November 24, 2011 - DENTAL CLINIC, GACTC STUDENTS FORM PARTNERSHIP

Haley Hawk, D.M.D., (left) and Kathy DePiro - Altoona Regional Partnering for Dental Services.
Children who receive dental care at the James W. Barner Community Pediatric Dental Clinic, a cooperative effort between Altoona Regional Partnering for Dental Services and Greater Altoona Career and Technology Center, not only receive an excellent dental checkup and instruction on proper mouth care, they receive a gift that could last a lifetime - a new book that may whet their appetite for reading.

Kathy DePiro, Logistics/Material Management instructor at the GACTC, discovered a win-win-win opportunity for her students, the clinic and First Book National Book Bank. Her students practice and master new skill sets; the clinic receives beautiful new books for its kids, and First Book has gained an important link in its supply chain.

"A percentage of each shipment processed in our building is allocated to the GACTC, which in turn has donated thousands of books to over 20 schools and organizations for distribution to the children in our community," Kathy said.

Thirty GACTC Logistics/Material Management students gain practical experience unloading each 50,000-book shipment, which is divided into 26 pallets, each 4-foot by 4-foot wide and 6-feet tall. Students also assemble orders, apply mailing labels and ship the books to children nationwide. GACTC is one of just four programs in the country to work this way with First Book, Kathy said.

Nancy Hawk, clinic coordinator, and Kathy agree that the book program and the dental clinic are a perfect match because the gift of a book makes the visit to the dentist a little easier, and the logistics students can see first-hand the joy that their work for the National Book Bank brings.

"It has been a wonderful addition to our program," Nancy said. "Our children can't wait to visit the book rack at the end of their exam and pick out a book. It's a wonderful incentive to gain their cooperation and attention sometimes."

Photo: Haley Hawk, D.M.D., (left) and Kathy DePiro, Logistics/Material Management instructor at the GACTC, check out books from First Books that are given to children who receive treatment at Altoona Regional Partnering for Dental Services.






November 23, 2011 - CASE MANAGEMENT SUPERVISOR RETIRES WITH 41-1/2 YEARS OF SERVICE

Patty Ross, R.N., CCM
Patty Ross, R.N., CCM, a supervisor with the Case Management department, retired Nov. 18 with 41-1/2 years of service.

Patty was hired by Altoona Hospital as a staff nurse in Maternity on April 7, 1970, two days after graduating from the Altoona Hospital School of Nursing. She also worked on a medical-surgical unit and in the recovery room. She left bedside nursing in 1975 to become a utilization review coordinator for eight years. She returned to bedside nursing on Tower 14, first as a staff nurse and then as the daylight charge nurse. In 1989, Patty transferred into Case Management, where she later became a supervisor.

In 2001-02, Patty received the annual "Special Recognition Award" from the residents of Altoona Family Physicians Residency Program for her work with them on a quality initiative program.

Ross lives in Altoona.






November 22, 2011 - ALTOONA REGIONAL OFFERS SUPPORT GROUPS/CLINICS IN DECEMBER

Altoona Regional Health System offers the following support group meetings and patient clinics in December as a public service to the community. They are listed alphabetically according to the campus on which they are conducted.

Support groups meeting on the Altoona Hospital Campus, 620 Howard Ave., use the Allegheny and Bedford rooms and the Rotunda on the 6th floor of the Outpatient Center and Dining Room B adjacent to the main cafeteria on Tower 4.

The Bariatric Support Group, for people who have had or are thinking of having gastric banding, meets at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 7, Rotunda. Call 943-7040 for information.

Breastfeeding classes are offered to expectant parents Wednesdays, Dec. 7 and 14, from 6-8 p.m. Please call 889-2557 for room. Two-part class. Participants are encouraged to attend both parts.

The Breastfeeding Support Group meets at 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 28. Please call 889-2557 or 889-2310 for room assignment.

The Caregivers Corner Support Group meets at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 1, at Hoss's in Duncansville. For information, call 889-3123.

The Depression and Bipolar Support Group meets at 7 p.m. Wednesdays in Dining Room B, Fourth Floor, Altoona Hospital Campus Tower. Call 889-2141 for information.

Diabetes Outpatient Education is available by individual appointment and group sessions. A referral by a physician is required. Call 889-2487 for information.

Perinatal Loss Support Group meets 7-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6, at Blair Medical Center, 501 Howard Ave., Building F, Suite 5, Laurel Conference Room. For people who have experienced the loss of an infant, either through miscarriage, stillbirth or newborn loss. For more information, call 889-2706.

The Support Group for Those Who Have Lost a Loved One to Suicide meets at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15, in the Access Center, Blair Medical Center, Building C, 501 Howard Ave. Call 889-2706 for meeting information.

The following support groups and clinics meet at the 7th Avenue Campus, 2500 7th Ave. The Trzeciak Conference Suite is in the Education Center at 2621 8th Ave. For Kaufman Dining Room and fourth floor waiting room, please use the 7th Avenue entrance. For Physical Medicine, please use ER entrance on 8th Avenue.

Alcoholics Anonymous meets at 8 p.m. every Monday in the Kaufman Dining Room. For information, call 946-9002.

The Breast Cancer Support Group meets from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1, in the Trzeciak Conference Suite. Call 674-3708.

The Faith-based Bereavement/Grief Support Group meets at 6 p.m. Wednesdays, Dec. 7 and 14, in the fourth floor waiting room. For information, call 889-4323.

The Stroke Support Group meets at noon Tuesday, Dec. 13, in Kaufman Dining Room. For information, call 889-4463 or 889-3249.

Wheelchair Clinics will be held at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13, in the Physical Medicine gym, second floor. Physician referral required. Call for information and appointment, 889-4463.






November 22, 2011 - ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS DECEMBER PROGRAMS

The Healthy Living Club has scheduled the following educational programs and screenings for December as a community service. Call 889-2630 or 1.888.313.4665 to make an appointment or to register unless otherwise indicated. The Altoona Hospital Campus is at 620 Howard Ave.; the 7th Avenue Campus is at 2500 7th Ave.; the Education Center is at 2621 8th Ave., and Station Medical Center is at 17th Street and 9th Avenue.

Join Dr. Scot Currie, general and bariatric laparoscopic surgeon with Allegheny Regional Surgical Associates, on Friday, Dec. 2 as he explains the criteria for bariatric surgery candidates and the reasons for and risks and benefits of gastric bypass surgery. Lunch is at 11 a.m. followed by program until 1 p.m. at the 7th Avenue Campus Education Center. Trzeciak Conference Suite. No fee. Registration required. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665. Is your weight a health problem? Are you at risk for developing other health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, joint problems and more due to your weight? Have you tried "everything" but can't seem to lose and/or maintain the weight loss? Find out the answers at this informative program. Ample time will be allotted for your questions.

A Child Safety Seat Checkup Station will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 9, at the Altoona Hospital Campus parking garage, Blue Level. Look for the Safe Kids van. No fee. It is by appointment only. To make an appointment, call Safe Kids Blair County at 889-7802. Find out if your child's safety seat is installed properly. Your child's life may depend on it.

A Seniors for Safe Driving eight-hour course will be held at 7th Avenue Campus Education Center on Tuesday, Dec. 6. Fee $15. Registration required. Call 1-800-559-4880 or log on to www.sfsd-pa.com.vv.

This classroom course covers age-related physical changes, perceptual skills, rules of the road and more. All automobile insurance companies in Pennsylvania provide a premium discount to graduates 55 and older. Most require both spouses insured under the same policy to take the class to receive a discount.

A screening for peripheral artery disease (PAD) will be held by appointment only from 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 14, at the Vascular Institute, 3rd floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. No fee. Call 889-2005 or 1-877-855-8152 to schedule your appointment.

Peripheral artery disease occurs when plaque clogs leg arteries or vessels and restricts blood flow. Untreated PAD not only can make walking difficult but may increase your risk of heart attack or stroke. Kay Adams, nurse practitioner and manager of Central Pa. Cardiovascular Associates, will check for PAD with an ABI (ankle-brachial index) screen, a painless process in which blood pressure is measured in legs and arms to determine blood flow. Please be prepared to remove shoes and socks. No fee.

Healthy Steps In Motion exercise classes will take place every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8:15 a.m. or 10 a.m. at the Abundant Life Assembly of God Church, 231 Howard Ave., Altoona. There is no fee. Must be 55 or older. Call to register.






November 18, 2011 - CLINICAL DOCUMENTATION COORDINATOR PASSES CERTIFICATION EXAM

LeeAnn Cheung-Conaway, R.N., CCRN, CCDS, clinical documentation coordinator in the Quality Management department of Altoona Regional Health System, recently passed the certifying exam to become a certified clinical documentation specialist.

Clinical documentation specialists possess knowledge of a wide range of specialized disciplines, including education in anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology and pharmacology. They also have knowledge of official medical coding guidelines, CMS, and private-payer regulations related to the Inpatient Prospective Payment System, along with an ability to analyze and interpret medical record documentation and formulate appropriate physician queries, and an ability to benchmark and analyze clinical documentation program performance.

The certified clinical documentation specialist credential has been created to provide a mark of distinction for this unique profession. Applicants who pass the certifying exam receive the designation CCDS.

Cheung-Conaway resides in Hollidaysburg.






November 17, 2011 - NUCLEAR MEDICINE DEPARTMENT AND RELATED ACTIVITIES PASS STATE INSPECTION

The Altoona Regional Health System Nuclear Medicine department activities, including the brachytherapy programs in Radiation Oncology, have been found in good standing following a recent inspection by the Department of Environmental Protection - Radiation Protection Program.

The outcome of this inspection by the state demonstrates that the health system continues to operate with strict adherence to state and federal regulations pertaining to the uses of nuclear byproduct material, said Jared Hoover, radiation safety officer.

The hospital has had such a license for more than 43 years, said Drew Appleman, supervisor, Nuclear Medicine.






November 16, 2011 - UNITED CONCORDIA MAKES DONATION TO ALTOONA REGIONAL'S PARTNERSHIP FOR A HEALTHY COMMUNITY-PARTNERING FOR DENTAL SERVICES CHILDREN'S DENTAL CLINIC

Haley Hawk, D.M.D., Julia Mallory of United Concordia Dental, Lanny Ross, D.Ed. Courtney Hamer, dental assistant
United Concordia Dental has made a donation to Altoona Regional's Partnership for a Healthy Community-Partnering for Dental Services children's dental clinic at the Greater Altoona Career and Technology Center.

"For the past eight years, we've been helping promote dental health awareness in the communities we serve," said Julia Mallory, community outreach representative for United Concordia Dental. "Through events like this one, we are helping deliver dental care to children with minimal or no insurance."

In 2010, United Concordia Dental helped provide nearly $1.7 million in free dental services nationally to more than 8,000 children and adults with minimal or no insurance.

United Concordia also provided children with goody bags filled with a toothbrush, floss, a tooth necklace which protects a lost tooth until the tooth fairy visits, and other items.

The donation partially reimburses some of the supplies used in caring for one day of patient visits at the James W. Barner Community Pediatric Dental Clinic.

Haley Hawk, D.M.D., the dentist who provides care at the site, said 2,600 children are registered as patients and about 2,500 children have been seen in the past year. The clinic had about 800 visits in 2008. The clinic had started with 1.5 days of care in 2008 and expanded to four full days in June 2008 when Dr. Hawk was hired to meet the rapidly growing needs.

While most children have state dental coverage, the problem is very few private dentists accept it. "We now accept ACCESS, Gateway, Unison MedPlus, UPMC for Kids, UPMC, Aetna for Kids, Geisinger for Kids and United Concordia CHIP," said Dr. Hawk.

The mission of the clinics is to provide oral health care to area children and adults who cannot obtain services. This area is designated a dental health professional shortage area.

Initially, children ages 1-18 received screening and preventive oral health education in a clinic at the Greater Altoona Career and Technology Center (GACTC), a partner in providing the care. Services were then expanded in 2002 to include fluoride treatments, X-rays, restorations and extractions. The program later expanded to a second location at Blair Medical Center on Howard Avenue to include adults who lacked access to restorative care.

In addition to serving all school-age children from Blair County schools and surrounding counties, another unique feature of both the GACTC pediatric dental clinic and the adult clinic are that student dental assistants are being trained at the clinics, said Lanny F. Ross, D.Ed., executive director, GACTC. Second- and third-year high school dental assisting students and adult dental assisting students receive on-site clinical experience. The clinics strive to operate as a "real world" dental office to help prepare students from the Dental Assistant Program at the GACTC for work in private dental offices.

Additionally, the clinics serve as clinical training sites for dental students of the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine, and the adult clinic serves as a clinical site for dental hygiene students from Allegany Community College.

Photo: Haley Hawk, D.M.D., (left) receives a donation from Julia Mallory of United Concordia Dental of Harrisburg as Lanny Ross, D.Ed. of the Greater Altoona Career and Technology Center, and Courtney Hamer, dental assistant, look on. All are holding goody bags containing tooth brushes, floss, stickers and other dental-related items that United Concordia Dental donated to clinic patients.






November 15, 2011 - VOLUNTEER SERVICES DEPARTMENT ASSISTS ALTOONA FOOD BANK

Altoona Regional volunteers Karen Parvin and Gail Murphy, and Volunteer manager Debbie McClellan
Altoona Regional Health System volunteers and Volunteer Services staff recently collected enough nonperishable food items to fill 18 grocery bags and13 boxes and received $215 in donations for the Altoona Food Bank.

Debbie McClellan, manager of Volunteer Services, was inspired after hearing a plea for help from the food bank on the radio because its shelves were depleted due to an overwhelming demand by individuals and families.

"I witness every day how helpful and caring our volunteers are and know how fortunate we are to have what we have. I felt this donation would greatly help the food bank and the people in the community it serves," McClellan said.

In the photo (from left) are volunteers Karen Parvin and Gail Murphy, and Volunteer manager Debbie McClellan.






November 15, 2011 - HISTOLOGIST RETIRES WITH 26 YEARS OF SERVICE

Janet M. Bodnar of Altoona
Janet M. Bodnar of Altoona retired with 26 years of service as a histologist with the Laboratory department, Altoona Regional Health System, 7th Avenue Campus.

Bodnar graduated from the Lab Assistant program at Altoona Hospital in 1968. She worked in the Laboratory at Mercy Hospital from 1969 to 1974. She moved from the area and returned in 1976. She worked in the Pathology department of Mercy Hospital for two years before leaving to raise a family. She resumed her career in 1986 when she was hired as a histologist at Mercy.






November 15, 2011 - REGISTERED NURSE RETIRES WITH 33 YEARS OF SERVICE

Marcy Hatch, R.N., of Altoona
Marcy Hatch, R.N., of Altoona recently retired from the Endoscopy unit at the altoona Hospital Campus with 33 years of service.

Hatch was hired in 1979 as a nurse in the Intensive Care Unit, transferred to Maternity, where she worked for six years, and to Endoscopy, where she cared for patients for 23 years.






November 15, 2011 - PHARMACIST HIRED AT ALTOONA REGIONAL

Bryan Kudlawiec, Pharm.D., of Ebensburg as a pharmacist at Altoona Hospital Campus
Altoona Regional Health System has hired Bryan Kudlawiec, Pharm.D., of Ebensburg as a pharmacist at Altoona Hospital Campus.

Kudlawiec is a graduate of Duquesne University: Mylan School of Pharmacy, Pittsburgh.

Prior to being hired as a full-time pharmacist, he served as a casual staff pharmacist at Altoona Regional while also a full-time manager at Walgreen's Pharmacy, Altoona.






November 14, 2011 - CHARGE INTEGRITY HIRES NEW MANAGER

Jolinda Trude of Hollidaysburg
Jolinda Trude of Hollidaysburg has been hired as the manager of Charge Integrity at Altoona Regional Health System.

Her responsibilities include the oversight of two patient account auditors and two charge reconciliation analysts, who determine that all lines of charges within the health system chargemaster are billed accurately and within compliance of regulations. Trude also provides education to clinical departments on how to account for the use of materials and services in providing patient care.






November 9, 2011 - NURSE PRACTITIONER WEEK CELEBRATED NOV. 13-19

National Nurse Practitioner Week is being celebrated Nov. 13-19. Forty-six certified nurse practitioners are in Blair County - 23 of whom work at Altoona Regional Health System providing high quality, cost-effective, patient-centered care.

Danielle Gibbons, CRNP, who works in outpatient behavioral services with Primary Health Network, serves on the executive board of the PA Coalition of Nurse Practitioners and is the founder and current president of the Blair Regional Nurse Practitioner Association.

When Gibbons was hired by Altoona Hospital in 2003 by Behavioral Health Services, she said there were only one or two other CRNPs. Today, those numbers have grown substantially locally, across the state, nation and in all clinical settings. In Pennsylvania, 7,545 clinical nurse practitioners care for patients in many settings - pain management, dermatology, hospice, cardiology, psychiatry and family practice offices, to name a few. Growth has also brought greater patient acceptance.

"Patients now know to a greater extent who we are and what we do and are more comfortable with nurse practitioners," she said. "A nurse practitioner follows the nursing model of care. We look at patients holistically. We not only diagnose illness, but we educate the patient, we promote health, maintain health and prevent disease," Gibbons said.

Nurse practitioners have graduate, advanced education and clinical training beyond their registered nurse preparation. Most have master's degrees and many have doctorates.

While regulations concerning practice privileges vary from state-to-state, Pennsylvania grants CRNPs:
  • The ability to order and read tests
  • Approval to diagnose and treat acute and chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, infections and injuries
  • Prescribe medications and other treatments
  • Manage patients' overall care
  • Spend time counseling patients.
CRNPs work with a "collaborating" physician. A collaborating physician, Gibbons explained, is one who is available for consultation about a patient and for chart review, if needed.

Nurse Practitioner Week is a time to celebrate these unique health care providers, said Penny Kay Jensen, DNP, APRN, FNP-c, FAANP, president of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. "Nurse practitioners have a proven track record of success, and research has shown that they provide high quality primary care."






October 31, 2011 - MASS OF THANKSGIVING ON NOV. 6 RECOGNIZES 76 YEARS OF CATHOLIC HEALTH CARE IN ALTOONA

7th Avenue Campus Altoona PA
A Mass of Thanksgiving will be held Sunday, Nov. 6, at 5 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in recognition of 76 years of Catholic health care in Altoona.

The Mass will be celebrated by Bishop-Emeritus Joseph V. Adamec, and the public is invited to attend. A reception in the Cathedral Parish Hall will immediately follow the Mass.

The Mass will honor the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth, the Sisters of Bon Secours, and hospital physicians, staff and volunteers who served patients at the former Mercy/Bon Secours-Holy Family Hospital.

The hospital was established in 1910 by prominent and civic-minded leaders - doctors, business people and a priest. Its name, originally Mountain City Hospital, was changed to Mercy Hospital with the hope that a congregation of sisters would be found to operate the facility.

In 1935 the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth in Pittsburgh brought Catholic health care to Altoona when they answered the call to minister to the health care needs of families at Mercy Hospital. They brought with them their unique mission and ministry to shepherd the hospital through the tough social and economic times of the Great Depression.

The Sisters served in a wide variety of positions: as board members, administrators, nurses, teachers and direct patient caregivers. The prayers of the founders of Mercy Hospital were answered - the Sisters provided the dedication and commitment so that the hospital could continue to deliver health care services to the Altoona community.

The Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth led Mercy Hospital for six decades, expanding health care services to families in need.

In 1996, the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth sought and found a compatible mission partner, Bon Secours Health System of Marriottsville, Md., beginning a co-ministry with the Sisters of Bon Secours, a Catholic religious congregation of women with the mission of "ministering to the sick, the suffering, the dying and their families."

In 2003 with the hospital in the good hands of the Sisters of Bon Secours, and desiring to dedicate more time and focus on their family ministries, the Sisters of the Holy Family withdrew from co-sponsorship of Bon Secours-Holy Family Hospital.

In March of this year, with the necessary consolidation of acute care services planned on the Altoona Hospital Campus, and the closing of the Bon Secours Hospital Campus certain, Bon Secours Health System withdrew as a partner in Altoona Regional Health System, ending 76 years of Catholic health care in Altoona.

Pastoral Care will continue its faith-based ministry to patients, families and employees, and Mass will continue to be celebrated on both campuses until the former Bon Secours Hospital Campus (now 7th Avenue Campus) closes.






October 18, 2011 - HEALTH CARE DATA COMPANY HONORS ALTOONA REGIONAL FOR PROGRESS TOWARD ELECTRONIC MEDICAL RECORD

As of October 2011, just 4.5 percent (236) of the more than 5,300 U.S. hospitals tracked by HIMSS Analytics had reached Stage 6 on its Electronic Medical Record Adoption ModelSM (EMRAM) and only 250 in the world.


ALTOONA, Pa. - HIMSS Analytics has announced that Altoona Regional Health System has achieved Stage 6 on the EMR Adoption ModelSM (EMRAM).

HIMSS Analytics developed the EMR Adoption Model in 2005 to evaluate the progress and impact of electronic medical record systems for hospitals in the HIMSS Analytics™ Database.

"HIMSS Analytics congratulates Altoona Regional Health System for leading the way toward health IT adoption," said John Hoyt, executive vice president for Organizational Services at HIMSS. "Stage 6 represents a level of sophistication that only 236 U.S. hospitals have reached to date."

"This recognition is a true indication that we are committed to providing safe, quality health care to members of our community," said Dale Fuller, vice president and chief information officer for the health system. "Integrating automated systems that improve care is a result of the total dedication of our exceptional Information Technology staff."

He said Altoona Regional has been on a journey for a number of years installing many electronic systems that improve the delivery of care for its patients, like the Picture Archiving System that allows viewing of imaging tests throughout the health system.

He also pointed to Computerized Provider Order Entry, which performs safety checks on physician medication orders for patient allergies, drug interactions, etc. Before medication is administered, electronic barcode scans ensure that the right drug is given to the right person at the right time.

Tracking their progress in completing eight stages (0-7), hospitals can review the implementation and utilization of information technology applications with the intent of reaching Stage 7, which represents an advanced electronic patient record environment.

Stage 6 hospitals:
  • Have made significant executive commitments and investments to reach this stage.
  • Appear to have a significant advantage over competitors for patient safety, clinician support, clinician recruitment and competitive marketing for both consumers and nurse recruitment.
  • Have almost fully automated/paperless medical records when they have implemented their IT applications across most of the inpatient care settings.
  • Are either starting to evaluate their data for care delivery process improvements or have already documented significant improvements in this area.
  • Have made investments that are within reach of most hospitals and recognize the strategic value of improving patient care with the EMR.
  • Have begun to create strategic alignments with their medical staff to effectively use information technology to improve the patient safety environment
  • Are well-positioned to provide data to key stakeholders, such as payers, the government, physicians, consumers and employers, to support electronic health record environments and health information exchanges.
Stage 6 hospitals also have achieved a significant advancement in their IT capabilities that positions them to successfully address many of the current industry transformations, such as meaningful use criteria in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, claims attachments for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, pay for performance, and government quality reporting programs.

About Altoona Regional Health System
Altoona Regional is a nonprofit community health care provider. Two acute-care hospitals anchor the 433-bed system, which includes a modern outpatient center and more than 20 affiliated health care companies. Altoona Regional offers centers of excellence in cancer, heart, stroke, vascular and emergency care; neurosciences; behavioral health; sleep medicine; wound care, and much more. Altoona Regional's Trauma Center serves more than 20 counties in Central Pennsylvania. The mission of Altoona Regional Health System is for exceptional people to provide exceptional health care.

About HIMSS Analytics
HIMSS Analytics is a wholly owned not-for-profit subsidiary of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). The company collects and analyzes health care data related to IT processes and environments, products, IS department composition and costs, IS department management metrics, health care trends and purchase-related decisions. HIMSS Analytics delivers high quality data and analytical expertise to health care delivery organizations, health care IT companies, state governments, financial companies, pharmaceutical companies, and consulting firms. Visit www.himssanalytics.org for more information.






October 17, 2011 - ALTOONA REGIONAL FOUNDATION FOR LIFE HOLIDAY SPLENDOR GALA AND AUCTION IS NOVEMBER 11

The Foundation for Life is helping kick off the holiday season with a special opportunity for you to celebrate and participate with the community in support of Altoona Regional's community health missions.

Holiday Splendor, a unique Foun­dation for Life fund-raiser featuring holiday and non-holiday gift items, baskets and decorated Christmas trees, will be held on Friday, Nov. 11, at the Calvin House in Duncansville. Tickets are $90 per person.

This event is the celebration of the season - an evening of sparkling champagne, great food, delicious des­serts and lots of fun, including spirited auctions and entertainment.

Proceeds from this year's gala and auction will be applied to the purchase of a digital Doppler ultrasound system and to aid in diabetic education.

If you cannot attend but wish to participate, opportunities exist to donate an item, basket, wreath or tree for the evening's fun-filled live and silent auctions. Sponsorship opportunities also exist.

For more information on tickets, sponsorships or donating auction items, please contact Shirley Hoyne, event coordinator, at 814.889.7673. Reservation deadline is Nov. 1.

Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which exists to inspire gifts from individuals, foundations, corporations and other entities to support the preservation of health care for the well-being of community members in Central Pennsylvania. As a qualified charitable organization, donations to the Foundation for Life are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.






October 15, 2011 - ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS NOVEMBER PROGRAMS

The Healthy Living Club has scheduled the following educational programs and screenings for November as a community service. Call 889-2630 or 1.888.313.4665 to make an appointment or to register unless otherwise indicated. The Altoona Hospital Campus is at 620 Howard Ave.; the 7th Avenue Campus is at 2500 7th Ave.; the Education Center is at 2621 8th Ave., and Station Medical Center is at 17th Street and 9th Avenue.

A Child Safety Seat Checkup Station will be conducted at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 18 at the Altoona Hospital Campus parking garage, Blue Level. Look for the Safe Kids van.

No fee. It is by appointment only. To make an appointment, call Safe Kids Blair County at 889-7802. Find out if your child's safety seat is installed properly. Your child's life may depend on it.

Free osteoporosis screenings (heel scans) will be held by appointment only on Friday, Nov. 11, 12:30-3 p.m., for men and women at Station Medical Center, Imaging Services department. No fee.

Osteoporosis is often called the "silent disease" because bone loss happens without symptoms. Osteoporosis occurs when, over time, bone loss causes bones to become porous, brittle and more likely to break. This painless screening takes just a few minutes and assesses bone density in the heel (a good indicator of bone health and fracture risk) by using ultrasound. Please be prepared to remove shoes and socks.

A Seniors for Safe Driving eight-hour course will be held at 7th Avenue Campus Education Center on Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 8 and 9 (must attend both evenings) from 5:30-9:30 p.m. Fee $15. Registration required. Call 1-800-559-4880 or log on to www.sfsd-pa.com.

This classroom course covers age-related physical changes, perceptual skills, rules of the road and more. All automobile insurance companies in Pennsylvania provide a premium discount to graduates 55 and older. Most require both spouses insured under the same policy to take the class to receive a discount.

A screening for peripheral artery disease (PAD) will be held by appointment only from 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 9, at the Vascular Institute, 3rd floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. No fee. Call 889-2005 or 1-877-855-8152 to schedule your appointment.

Peripheral artery disease occurs when plaque clogs leg arteries or vessels and restricts blood flow. Untreated PAD not only can make walking difficult but may increase your risk of heart attack or stroke. Kay Adams, nurse practitioner and manager of Central Pa. Cardiovascular Associates, will check for PAD with an ABI (ankle-brachial index) screen, a painless process in which blood pressure is measured in legs and arms to determine blood flow. Please be prepared to remove shoes and socks.

An A1C Screening for Diabetics will be held on Thursday, Nov. 3, 10-11 a.m. and Tuesday, Nov. 8, 4:30-5:30 p.m. in the Station Medical Center Classroom. Screening participation limited to diabetics attending the Nov. 17 evening or Nov. 18 daytime program (see below): "For Diabetics and Those Who Love Them." No fasting required. No fee. By appointment only.

The A1C blood test is used to gauge how well you are managing your diabetes. The test result reflects your average blood sugar level for the past two to three months. Specifically, it measures what percentage of your hemoglobin is coated with sugar (glycated). The higher your A1C level, the poorer your blood sugar control and the higher your risk of diabetes complications. Please take your test result to the program you are attending.

"Taking Control - For Diabetics and Those Who Love Them: The A1C Champions Program," a unique educational program is offered Thursday, Nov. 17, 6:30-8 p.m. in the Rotunda, 6th floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus.

It will also be offered Friday, Nov. 18. Friday's program includes lunch at 11 a.m. followed by the program until 1 p.m. at the 7th Avenue Campus Education Center, Trzeciak Conference Suite. No fee.

Please bring your results from the A1C screening. Topics include the importance of physical activity, meal planning, diabetes medications and the benefits of insulin. The presenter is Owen Medd. Diagnosed with diabetes in 1986, Owen initially struggled with lifestyle changes and taking control. With knowledge, Owen took action, gained control and joined the A1C Champions Program in May 2005. This is an opportunity to learn about diabetes from someone who has diabetes. Ample time will be allotted for questions.

An adults-only program, "Helping Children Manage Grief," will be offered from 7-9 p.m. Monday, Nov. 7, by Rev. David Hammerle at the 7th Avenue Campus Education Center, Trzeciak Conference Suite, 2621 8th Ave.

Rev. Hammerle provides an understanding of the subject of grief while focusing on a child's level of cognitive development. While children have all the same emotions as an adult, it is important that the adult try to understand the coping mechanisms that children use to help them through the difficult pain caused by grief. This task is made more difficult by the fact that in most cases, the adult is struggling with his/her own pain and grief. CEUs being offered: 0.2.

A donation of $10 is requested to help cover cost of handouts but is not required. Registration required.

Healthy Steps In Motion exercise classes will take place every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8:15 a.m. or 10 a.m. at the Abundant Life Assembly of God Church, 231 Howard Ave., Altoona. There is no fee. Must be 55 or older. Call to register.






October 14, 2011 - LABORATORY PATHOLOGIST RETIRES WITH 35 YEARS OF SERVICE

Associate Laboratory Director Louis M. Jourdain, M.D.
Associate Laboratory Director Louis M. Jourdain, M.D., has retired from the Laboratory department at Altoona Regional Health System after 35 years of service.

Dr. Jourdain was hired at Altoona Hospital in February 1976 as an associate pathologist. He is also retiring from practice with Pathology Associates of Blair Inc., a corporation that provides services to the health system and health system affiliates and did consulting work for Tyrone Hospital.

He also served as medical director for the Laboratory department of Tyrone Hospital since 1993 and is retiring from there as well.

Dr. Jourdain received his medical degree from the University of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. He did his residency training at Danbury Hospital, Conn., in association with Yale University. He received fellowship training in Pathology at the Jewish Hospital and Medical University at Brooklyn NYU.

This was followed by a commission in the U.S. Army as a major in the Medical Corps in 1969 until an honorable discharge in 1971. From 1971 until 1976, he was at Jersey Medical -Fitkin Hospital, Neptune, N.J., as an associate professor of Pathology at the New Jersey College of Medicine.

Between 1972 and 1976 he was an assistant professor of Pathology at Hahnemann Medical School in Philadelphia.

He continued teaching at Altoona Regional in the School of Medical Technology/Laboratory Science, Altoona Family Physicians Residency Program, Critical Care Nursing program and others.

He also served as medical director for the Pathology department at Miners Hospital in Northern Cambria County from 1997-2003.






October 13, 2011 - FRIENDS OF ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM COMPLETE DONATION TOWARD MATERNITY/NURSERY SECURITY SYSTEM

Peggy Cawthern presented the check to Bob Strawser, executive director of Mission Services at Altoona Regional
Friends of Altoona Regional Health System, the health system auxiliary which raises money to benefit patients, recently completed an $80,000-plus donation to the Maternity/Nursery department with a final $21,605 payment.

The completion of this three-year fund-raising effort helps further secure the safety of the approximately 1,300 babies born at Altoona Regional each year.

Peggy Cawthern, treasurer of Friends, presented the check to Bob Strawser, executive director of Mission Services at Altoona Regional, at its September meeting.






October 13, 2011 - FRIENDS OF ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM GRANT THREE MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY SCHOLARSHIPS

$500 scholarships awarded to three Altoona Regional Health System School of Medical Technology/Clinical Laboratory Science students
Friends of Altoona Regional Health System recently awarded $500 scholarships to three Altoona Regional Health System School of Medical Technology/Clinical Laboratory Science students.

They are:
  • Selena Frank of Altoona, a graduate of Penn State who has a degree in Biology.
  • Sara Evans of Altoona, a graduate of Carlowe University, Pittsburgh, who has a degree in Biology.
  • Tiffany Adams of Ebensburg, a senior at Indiana University of Pennsylvania who is studying Clinical Laboratory Science.

Photo: Friends of Altoona Regional Health System recently presented scholarships to students of Altoona Regional Health System School of Medical Technology/Clinical Laboratory Science. On hand, were (from left) Joe Noel, program director; scholarship recipients Selena Frank, Sara Evans and Tiffany Adams, and Peggy Cawthern, treasurer of Friends.






October 12, 2011 - EXPANDED ER AREA OPENS AT ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM

Phase one of the $10 million Emergency department expansion/consolidation project opened Oct. 11 with 19 bays ready for patient use.

The project is about 60 percent complete, and the full ER is expected to be completed and seeing patients by March 1, said Dr. Matthew Bouchard, chairman of Emergency Medicine. When completed and campuses consolidated, the ER will have 51 beds. This will result in an increase of 13 beds.

"Our goal is exceptional care, and we have dedicated ourselves to exceeding patient expectations for emergency services," said Ron McConnell, chief operating officer.

The Emergency department sees about 70,000 patients a year. And, since he started here 11 years ago, Dr. Bouchard said the patients presenting at the ER doors are sicker and patient visits have steadily increased.

Registration has been streamlined so patients are assessed by a medical professional and prioritized according to their medical need-to-be-seen.

In addition to physical changes, patients will also see a culture shift among the staff that will result in more efficient care in a quieter and less chaotic atmosphere.

"We modeled our approach after the best ERs in the country for patient satisfaction and combined their best practices with our own for an upgraded, patient-friendly system of emergency care," Dr. Bouchard said.

The result is private and more spacious rooms where family members can visit with patients. The rooms are divided by walls to increase patient privacy.

Also, a "small ER feel" is created by dividing both the physical space and the caregivers into teams. The new area, for example, has two teams. Each team consists of a physician, PAs, nurses, technicians and secretaries who are assigned to a select number of patients.

"Patients will find this team approach to care less chaotic and confusing because they will be interacting with the same people during their course of treatment," Dr. Bouchard said.

Another change to patients is bedside registration, Val Imler, nurse manager, said. This increases the efficiency of having a patient seen and eliminates multiple steps in the old process.






September 30, 2011 - ALTOONA REGIONAL TRAUMA SERVICE MARKS 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF PUTTING BODIES AND LIVES BACK TOGETHER

Altoona Regional Health System's Trauma Service celebrates its 10th anniversary in October.

Trauma Service staff members have treated more than 11,000 patients from across the region, impacting not only their lives but the lives of all those close to them.

"These highly trained and dedicated professionals go above and beyond to provide the full, comprehensive care we would want our own family members to receive," said Simon Lampard, M.D., FACS, trauma surgeon and Trauma Service medical director. "We provide all these essential resources for every trauma patient, every day."

Denise Gdula, Trauma Service administrative director, said that when the center opened, projections indicated it would see 600-700 patients a year. The first year, it saw almost 900 and since then has averaged more than 1,100 patients a year.

While the faces change, the leading causes of injuries remain the same: motor vehicle crashes, falls, motorcycle crashes and all-terrain vehicle crashes.

Dr. Lampard is quick to credit staff for the trauma program's success.

"Being a trauma center is not just about the trauma surgeons," he said. "It's about the huge cadre of people around you, like Trauma Service and ED staff, OR, PACU, 5E, T-11, T-14 Surgical, SPCU, STICU, Case Management, Occupational, Physical and Speech therapies, Radiology, Respiratory Therapy, Laboratory Services, Blood Bank, Pharmacy, Nutrition Service, Pastoral Care and Rehabilitation liaisons.

"In addition, there is the exceptional teamwork between the trauma surgeons and all the local specialists, including emergency medicine, orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, facial specialists (ENT and plastic surgery), vascular surgery, cardiothoracic surgery, radiology, anesthesiology and physiatry.

"Their support has been tremendous over the years. Without them, many of our trauma patients would have had to be transferred to trauma centers in Pittsburgh, Geisinger, and Hershey."

The head of the accrediting body for trauma systems in Pennsylvania also has high praise for Altoona Regional's Trauma Service, starting at the top.

"First and foremost, credit goes to the board and administration, who are willing to support the financial needs of a trauma program to purchase state-of-the-art equipment and recruit the right people," said Juliet Geiger, executive director of the Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Foundation (PTSF).

She also has high praise for Altoona's medical director and administrative director.

"A trauma program physician-leader such as Simon Lampard combines passion, integrity and clinical expertise to guide the team toward excellence," she said. "This excellence is not just noted internally but on a statewide and national level."

About the trauma physician practice
Altoona Trauma/Emergency General Surgery is a unique physician practice that provides care to trauma patients and general surgery patients, especially those who need acute surgical care resulting from medical/surgical disease or injury.

This service also manages the critical care of patients in the Surgical Trauma Intensive Care Unit. The 24/7 in-house availability of the service's exceptionally trained trauma/general surgeons, along with the service's physician assistants, provides immediate care for trauma/emergency general surgery patients as well as the ongoing management of their care throughout their inpatient hospitalization and beyond.

Altoona Trauma/Emergency General Surgery strives to improve not only the timeliness of care but also overall patient care and outcomes.






September 29, 2011 - ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS OCTOBER PROGRAMS

The Healthy Living Club has scheduled the following educational programs and screenings for October as a community service. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665 to make an appointment or to register. The Altoona Hospital Campus is at 620 Howard Ave.; the 7th Avenue Campus is at 2500 7th Ave.; the Education Center is at 2621 8th Ave., and Station Medical Center is at 17th Street and 9th Avenue.

Two series of Hatha yoga will be offered for beginners: a six-week series Tuesdays, Oct. 4 through Nov. 8, 5:30-6:40 p.m., fee $30, and a four-week series for beginners, Tuesdays, Nov. 29 through Dec. 20, 5:30-6:40 p.m., fee $20.

Sessions take place in the Rotunda, 6th floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. Register now as class is limited to 30. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

Gail Murphy, registered instructor in Hatha yoga, leads these programs, which offer mind/body exercise, breath control, stretching and strengthening to promote mental, physical and spiritual well-being. Yoga mat needed for all classes.

Free osteoporosis screenings (heel scans) will be held by appointment only on Friday, Oct. 7, 12:30-3 p.m., for men and women at Station Medical Center, Imaging Services department. No fee.

Osteoporosis is often called the "silent disease" because bone loss happens without symptoms. Osteoporosis occurs when, over time, bone loss causes bones to become porous, brittle and more likely to break. This painless screening takes just a few minutes and assesses bone density in the heel (a good indicator of bone health and fracture risk) by using ultrasound. Please be prepared to remove shoes and socks.

A Seniors for Safe Driving four-hour refresher course will be held at 7th Avenue Campus Education Center on Tuesday, Oct. 11, from 5:30-9:30 p.m. This refresher course is for anyone who has taken the eight-hour course. Fee $15. Registration required. Call 1.800.559.4880 or log on to www.sfsd-pa.com.

This classroom course covers age-related physical changes, perceptual skills, rules of the road and more. All automobile insurance companies in Pennsylvania provide a premium discount to graduates 55 and older. Most require both spouses insured under the same policy to take the class to receive a discount.

A screening for peripheral artery disease (PAD) will be held by appointment only from 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 12, at the Vascular Institute, 3rd floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. No fee. Call 889.2005 or 1.877.855.8152 to schedule your appointment.

Peripheral artery disease occurs when plaque clogs leg arteries or vessels and restricts blood flow. Untreated PAD not only can make walking difficult but may increase your risk of heart attack or stroke. Kay Adams, nurse practitioner and manager of Central Pa. Cardiovascular Associates, will check for PAD with an ABI (ankle-brachial index) screen, a painless process in which blood pressure is measured in legs and arms to determine blood flow. Please be prepared to remove shoes and socks.

Join Donald Betar Jr., D.M.D., clinical director of the Partnership for a Healthy Community dental clinics, for "Dental Health and You," on Friday, Oct., 21, as he will discuss common dental problems in older adults, including gum disease, tooth decay, bad breath, dry mouth and more. Lunch is at 11 a.m. followed by program until 1 p.m. at the 7th Avenue Campus Education Center, Trzeciak Conference Suite. No fee. Registration required. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

Not only can dental health affect overall health, so can overall health affect dental health. Studies have shown that dental problems, which often progress silently and with minimal discomfort, can stem from or lead to significant health problems.

"Overcoming Depression: A Biblical Approach" will be offered on Monday, Oct. 17, from 7-9 p.m. at the 7th Avenue Campus Education Center, Trzeciak Conference Suite. After working his way through several weeks of severe depression, Rev. David Hammerle wrote "A Biblical Pathway Through Depression." This seminar will include portions of his book that provide guidelines for overcoming depression and focus on several causes for depression and ways to deal with them. This material is not meant to be a substitute for professional help or prescription medication. Rev. Hammerle is a member of Altoona Regional's Pastoral Care team, a counselor, and has taught developmental psychology.

Donation of $10 is requested to help cover cost of handouts but is not required. Registration required. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665. CEUs being offered: 02.

Sharon Rydbom will lead participants in making adorable painted Pilgrim tea towels to accent fall décor on Friday, Oct. 28, at 6:30 p.m. or Sunday, Oct. 30, at 1:30 p.m. at the 7th Avenue Campus Education Center, Trzeciak Conference Suite. Fee $8 if you have fabric, paint brush and Identi-pen; $13 if not. Registration required by Oct. 21. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

Materials needed include two pieces of cardboard at least 7x7 inches covered with aluminum foil then wax paper, five paper towels, masking tape, two large Styrofoam plates, paint shirt (if desired), fabric brush and Identi-pen (you bring or we provide).

Healthy Steps In Motion exercise classes will take place every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8:15 a.m. or 10 a.m. at the Abundant Life Assembly of God Church, 231 Howard Ave., Altoona. There is no fee. Must be 55 or older. Call 889-2630 or 1-888-313-4665 to register.






September 19, 2011 - ALTOONA REGIONAL VOLUNTEER PUBLISHES BOOK ABOUT NEWRY

Frank
Altoona Regional Health System volunteer Frank "Hezzie" Thompson recently published a book, "Tales from the Bench." It is a compilation of stories and memories of Thompson about his parents and their 12 children growing up in the Newry area.

In the book, Thompson, who was born in 1932, includes several entertaining stories about growing up in the 1940s and 1950s, and offers some insight into local history. The books are available for $10 by calling 942-4631 or may be purchased in the Altoona Regional gift shops on both campuses.

Proceeds made (after book printing costs) will go toward funding a scholarship for students in 4th through 9th grade to attend Camp Zacchaeus, sponsored by the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.

Thompson and his wife, Charleen, have been volunteering as Eucharistic ministers at both Altoona Hospital and 7th Avenue campuses since 1992. The couple live in Altoona.






September 15, 2011 - AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF DIABETES EDUCATORS RECOGNIZES OUTPATIENT DIABETES EDUCATION PROGRAM

The Altoona Regional Health System Outpatient Diabetes Self-Management Program has been recognized for maintaining compliance with accreditation standards set by the American Association of Diabetes Educators, Chicago.

Diabetes education is a collaborative process through which people with diabetes or at risk for it gain the knowledge and skills needed to modify behavior and successfully self-manage the disease and its related conditions. It is provided by diabetes educators.

"The submission of an annual status report during our four-year accreditation reassures patients that they continue to receive excellent quality care in their diabetes management education," said Pat Rose, MS, R.N., CDE. "To achieve accreditation in July 2010, Altoona Regional demonstrated that it met national standards for diabetes education. This is important because education in self-management has been shown to improve patient health and quality of life."

The American Association of Diabetes Educators established the accreditation program in 2009.






September 15, 2011 - National Child Passenger Safety Week is Sept. 18-24

During Child Passenger Safety Week, Safe Kids Blair County is joining the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to remind families to review their child's safety in the family vehicle.

The theme for the week, "Back to 2!" reinforces to parents and caregivers the need to keep their toddlers in rear-facing car seats until age 2, or until they reach the maximum height and weight for their car seat. The American Academy of Pediatrics recently updated its recommendations for children in car seats to include this information.

Additionally, research has found children are safer in rear-facing car seats. A 2007 study published in the journal Injury Prevention showed that children under age 2 are 75 percent less likely to die or be severely injured in a crash if they are riding rear-facing.

Motor-vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among children ages 3 to 21, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Correctly buckling in a child safety seat, booster seat or seat belt is the single most effective way to protect motor vehicle occupants and to reduce fatalities in a crash.

Safe Kids Blair County will be holding the following car seat checks during National Child Passenger Safety Week:
  • Friday, Sept. 23, from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Kohl's in State College
  • Saturday, Sept. 24, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Boscov's in Johnstown.
Altoona Regional Health System is the lead agency for Safe Kids Blair County.






September 15, 2011 - ALTOONA REGIONAL EARNS TWO ACR ACCREDITATIONS

Altoona Regional has been awarded three-year terms of accreditation in both nuclear medicine and mammography as a result of a recent review by the American College of Radiology (ACR).

The ACR gold seal of accreditation represents the highest level of image quality and patient safety. It is awarded only to facilities meeting ACR Practice Guidelines and Technical Standards after a peer-review evaluation by board-certified physicians and medical physicists who are experts in the field.

Image quality, personnel qualifications, adequacy of facility equipment, quality control procedures, and quality assurance programs are assessed. The findings are reported to the ACR Committee on Accreditation, which subsequently provides the practice with a comprehensive report they can use for continuous practice improvement.

Nuclear medicine is a branch of medical imaging that uses small amounts of radioactive material, ingested by the patient, to diagnose and treat a variety of disease, including many types of cancers, heart disease, and certain other abnormalities within the body.

Mammography is a specific type of imaging test that uses a low-dose X-ray system to examine breasts. A mammography exam, called a mammogram, is used to aid in the early detection and diagnosis of breast diseases in women.

"We are very proud to have achieved the distinction of ACR accreditation," said Michael Corso, administrative director of Imaging Services at Altoona Regional. "There are many people who spend countless hours through the accreditation process, which ensures that Altoona Regional is on the forefront of patient safety and doing things the correct way."

The ACR is a national professional organization serving more than 34,000 diagnostic/interventional radiologists, radiation oncologists, nuclear medicine physicians, and medical physicists with programs focusing on the practice of medical imaging and radiation oncology and the delivery of comprehensive health care services.






September 12, 2011 - DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATE JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM FOUNDATION FOR LIFE

Gayle Conner of Roaring Spring
Gayle Conner of Roaring Spring has been hired as a development associate for the Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life, a private, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which exists to inspire gifts from individuals, foundations, corporations and other entities to support the preservation of health care in Central Pennsylvania.

Conner's responsibilities will include management of the Foundation's donor records and annual giving program. In addition, she will assist and help manage fund-raising events and volunteer committees and work to help develop new stewardship and fund-raising programs for the Foundation.

Conner previously served as program coordinator of volunteers at AseraCare Hospice in Altoona and as a marketing/development assistant at Allegheny Lutheran Social Ministries in Hollidaysburg.

She graduated from Penn State Altoona with a bachelor's degree in Communications/Public Relations.






September 12, 2011 - MATTHEW M. PONTZER, D.O., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM MEDICAL STAFF

Matthew M. Pontzer, D.O.
Matthew M. Pontzer, D.O., has joined Altoona Regional Health System Medical Staff in the department of Psychiatry. He will practice with Behavioral Health Services.

He received his medical degree from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. He did his internship and residency at National Capital Consortium, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C.






August 29, 2011 - PAD SCREENINGS SCHEDULED IN SEPTEMBER - PERIPHERAL ARTERIAL DISEASE AWARENESS MONTH

The Vascular Institute will provide information on peripheral arterial disease (PAD) during September.

The schedule is as follows:
  • Thursday, Sept. 1 - Altoona Hospital Campus Atrium, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Friday, Sept. 2 - 7th Avenue Campus Cafeteria, 11a.m. to 1p.m.
  • Friday, Sept. 9 - Station Medical Center Lobby, 10 a.m. to 1:p.m.
Individuals will have the opportunity to schedule an appointment for a free PAD screening on Sept. 14. A PAD screening is a simple test that measures the blood pressure in the legs and compares it to the arm blood pressure.

Door prizes will be awarded to raffle ticket winners. Names will be drawn for special prizes from those who correctly complete a PAD crossword puzzle. The puzzle is available on the Hospital's intranet.

PAD affects 8 million to 12 million Americans, and people with PAD are three to four times more likely to die of a heart attack or stroke.

Symptoms of PAD include:
  • A cramp or ache in the muscles of the calf, hip or thigh when walking that subsides with rest
  • Leg or foot that feels better when dangling
  • Pain at rest
  • Sores or ulcers on the toes, ankle or foot that do not heal
  • Blue or black discolorations of the toes
PAD is more common in men. Other risk factors include:
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Family history
  • Cardiovascular disease







August 24, 2011 - TRACY R. PREMATTA, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF

Tracy R. Prematta, M.D.
Tracy R. Prematta, M.D., recently joined the Altoona Regional Health System Medical Staff in the department of Pediatrics & Newborn (Allergy & Immunology). She practices with Central Pennsylvania Asthma & Allergy Care, 501 Howard Ave., Suite 201A, Altoona.

She is board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and is board eligible for the American Board of Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology.

Dr. Prematta received her medical degree from Penn State University College of Medicine. She did her residency at Penn State Hershey Medical Center, where she also received fellowship training in allergy and immunology.






August 24, 2011 - ALTOONA REGIONAL 'RETIRED' UNIFORMS FIND NEW LIFE IN RECYCLING EFFORT

Go Green Initiative committee members Kim Johnson, PT, and Nancy Spielvogle, PT
Altoona Regional employees generously responded to a unique request for donations - a "retired" medical uniform (scrubs) recycling drive, which generated more than 1,000 pieces of clothing for local charities and Operation Small Steps.

Health system employees from Altoona Hospital Campus, 7th Avenue Campus and Station Medical Center responded favorably to the first-of-a-kind event. The "retired" uniform recycling drive was a combined effort of the health system's Go Green Initiative, an employee-led committee on recycling initiatives, and a Mission Outreach Project.

The recycled uniforms were donated to St. Vincent DePaul, Goodwill, Salvation Army clothing stores and Operation Small Steps, an Altoona-area orthopedic medical outreach organization.

The Operation Small Steps medical team, led by orthopedic surgeon Jack Rocco, M.D., of University Orthopedics Center, recently made a trip to Madagascar, an island country off the southeastern coast of Africa.

Operation Small Steps will take the recycled uniforms to medical personnel who work in the hospitals where Operation Small Steps volunteers because Madagascar health care workers have trouble finding appropriate work attire.

PHOTO: Go Green Initiative committee members Kim Johnson, PT, and Nancy Spielvogle, PT, of 7th Avenue Campus go through a small fraction of the 1,000 "retired" scrub pieces donated by employees to be recycled.






August 24, 2011 - WORLD BREASTFEEDING WEEK RECOGNIZED AT ALTOONA REGIONAL

WORLD BREASTFEEDING WEEK RECOGNIZED AT ALTOONA REGIONAL
Altoona Regional Lactation Services celebrated World Breastfeeding Week Aug.1-7 with a large display in the Altoona Hospital Campus Atrium featuring helpful information about breastfeeding .

The theme for the week was "Talk to Me: Breastfeeding - a 3D Experience."

Certified lactation consultants Michele Thompson, R.N., IBCLC, and Maureen Mitchell, R.N., IBCLC, from Maternity, share some interesting and fun facts:
  • Skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby is highly recommended, especially immediately after birth. The skin temperature between the mother's breasts rises to regulate the baby's body temperature.
  • It is not the size of the woman's breast that determines the amount of milk a mother produces. The quantity of milk depends on the number of feedings and the amount of stimulation she gets from her baby.
  • Rooming-in with the baby familiarizes mom with her baby's needs. It also increases feeding, which helps increase milk supply.
  • A baby's stomach grows from marble size (holding a ¼ ounce of breast milk) on his birthday to 1 ounce on day 3 and 2-2.5 ounces by day 10 (size of a small, rubber bouncy ball). An adult's stomach holds 1 quart of food and is the size of a softball.
  • A human baby may drink from 2.5 to 4 cups (a quart) of breast milk per day. A baby humpback whale drinks up to 130 gallons of milk per day.
  • Almost three-quarters of moms produce more milk with their right breast (no correlation to being right- or left-handed).
For more information on breastfeeding, call Lactation Services at 889-2557. If no answer, please leave a message and your call will be returned within 24 hours.

Here are more helpful online resources for breastfeeding information: www.kellymom.com and www.drjacknewman.com.

PHOTO: Altoona Regional Lactation Services celebrated World Breastfeeding Week. Certified lactation consultants Maureen Mitchell (center) and Michele Thompson (right) provided information for a display in the Atrium of Altoona Hospital Campus. Assisting visitors at the display was volunteer Andrea Bolan of Hollidaysburg.






August 24, 2011 - REBECCA C. MILLER, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF

Rebecca C. Miller, M.D.
Rebecca C. Miller, M.D., has joined the Altoona Regional Health System Medical Staff in the Department of Emergency Medicine.

Dr. Miller received her medical degree from Drexel University, Philadelphia. She completed her residency training at Temple University Hospital.






August 18, 2011 - ALTOONA REGIONAL COMMUNITY EDUCATOR RECERTIFIED AS INSTRUCTOR TO TRAIN CHILD PASSENGER SAFETY TECHNICIANS AND INSTRUCTORS

Sherry Turchetta, R.N.
Sherry Turchetta, R.N., Altoona Regional Health System community educator specialist who also serves as Safe Kids Blair County coordinator, has been recertified as an instructor for The National Child Passenger Safety Certification Training Program (NCPSCT).

She is one of only three instructors in Pennsylvania. Turchetta has been a certified instructor since 2001 and became a certified technician in 1999. Child Passenger Safety (CPS) technicians and instructors put their knowledge to work through a variety of community safety activities, including child safety seat checks where parents and caregivers receive education and hands-on assistance in the proper use of child restraint systems and safety belts.

To be recertified as an instructor for NCPSCT, Turchetta had to have:
  • A verified seat check activity (five types) verified by another instructor.
  • Six hours of continuing education.
  • 20 hours of teaching a certified course.
Turchetta uses her knowledge as part of her role in Safe Kids Blair County, a program supported and funded by Altoona Regional that strives to prevent unnecessary harm to children 14 and younger, mainly through educating adults and children on the risk of car-pedestrian injuries, but also fires and burns, poisoning, drowning and choking.

Altoona Regional and Safe Kids have educated parents of young children not only in Blair County but in surrounding areas that don't have the opportunity to establish a Safe Kids program. Altoona Regional Health System has been the lead agency for Safe Kids Blair County since 1992. Safe Kids is a national effort to educate parents on the increased risk of unintentional injuries to children. For more information, go to: http://www.altoonaregional.org/about.htm Altoona Regional is one of 318 national coalitions making local Safe Kids programs possible through funding and other assistance. As the lead agency, the health system offers financial accountability, office space, support and a coordinator position.






August 17, 2011 - ALTOONA REGIONAL, HIGHMARK REACH AGREEMENT

Highmark and Altoona Regional Health System have reached a three-year agreement to extend access to Altoona Regional for Highmark members in all of Highmark's insurance products.

The contract provides unique opportunities and commitment from both parties to work together over the term of the contract to ensure access to affordable, quality care for Altoona and surrounding communities.

Both Highmark and Altoona Regional are pleased that they were able to resolve their contractual issues for the mutual benefit of Highmark members and Altoona Regional patients.






August 15, 2011 - ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS SEPTEMBER PROGRAMS

The Healthy Living Club has scheduled the following educational programs and screenings for September as a community service. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665 to make an appointment or to register. The Altoona Hospital Campus is at 620 Howard Ave.; the 7th Avenue Campus is at 2500 7th Ave.; the Education Center is at 2621 8th Ave., and Station Medical Center is at 17th Street and 9th Avenue.

Free osteoporosis screenings (heel scans) will be held by appointment only on Friday, Sept. 2, 12:30-3 p.m., for men and women at Station Medical Center, Imaging Services department. No fee.

Osteoporosis is often called the "silent disease" because bone loss happens without symptoms. Osteoporosis occurs when, over time, bone loss causes bones to become porous, brittle and more likely to break. This painless screening takes just a few minutes and assesses bone density in the heel (a good indicator of bone health and fracture risk) by using ultrasound. Please be prepared to remove shoes and socks.

A Child Safety Seat Checkup Station will be held Friday, Sept. 9, from 9:30-11 a.m. in the Altoona Hospital Campus parking garage, Blue Level. No fee. It is by appointment only. Call Safe Kids Blair County at 889.7802. Find out if your child's safety seat is installed properly. Your child's life may depend on it.

"Scams, Schemes and Cons: Don't Be a Victim" will take place Monday, Sept. 12, from 6:30-8 p.m., Rotunda, 6th floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. No fee. Registration required. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665. What are the signs of being conned? How to avoid being a victim of fraud and scams? What to do if a victim?

A Seniors for Safe Driving four-hour refresher course will be held at 7th Avenue Campus Education Center on Tuesday, Sept. 13, from 5:30-9:30 p.m. This refresher course is for anyone who has taken the eight-hour course. Fee $15. Registration required. Call 1.800.559.4880 or log on to www.sfsd-pa.com.

This classroom course covers age-related physical changes, perceptual skills, rules of the road and more. All automobile insurance companies in Pennsylvania provide a premium discount to graduates 55 and older. Most require both spouses insured under the same policy to take the class to receive a discount.

A screening for peripheral artery disease (PAD) will be held by appointment only from 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 14, at the Vascular Institute, 3rd floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. No fee. Call 889.2005 or 1.877.855.8152 to schedule your appointment.

Peripheral artery disease occurs when plaque clogs leg arteries or vessels and restricts blood flow. Untreated PAD not only can make walking difficult but may increase your risk of heart attack or stroke. Kay Adams, nurse practitioner and manager of Central Pa. Cardiovascular Associates, will check for PAD with an ABI (ankle-brachial index) screen, a painless process in which blood pressure is measured in legs and arms to determine blood flow. Please be prepared to remove shoes and socks.

Healthy Steps In Motion exercise classes will take place every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8:15 a.m. or 10 a.m. at the Abundant Life Assembly of God Church, 231 Howard Ave., Altoona. There is no fee. Must be 55 or older. Call 889-2630 or 1-888-313-4665 to register.






August 12, 2011 - ALTOONA REGIONAL OFFERS SUPPORT GROUPS/CLINICS IN SEPTEMBER

Altoona Regional Health System offers the following support group meetings and patient clinics in September as a public service to the community. They are listed alphabetically according to the campus on which they are conducted.

Support groups meeting on the Altoona Hospital Campus, 620 Howard Ave., use the Allegheny and Bedford rooms and the Rotunda on the 6th floor of the Outpatient Center and Dining Room B adjacent to the main cafeteria on Tower 4, as well as the 4F Conference Room in the Behavioral Health Center, 5th Street and Willow Avenue.

The Alzheimer's Support Group meets at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27, in the Allegheny Room. Please call 889.2706 for information.

The Bariatric Support Group, for people who have had or are thinking of having gastric banding, meets at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 7, Rotunda. Call 943.7040 for information.

Breastfeeding classes are offered to expectant parents Wednesdays, Sept. 7 and 14, from 6-8 p.m. Please call 889.2557 for room assignment. Two-part class. Participants are encouraged to attend both parts.

The Breastfeeding Support Group meets at 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28. Please call 889.2557 or 889.2310 for room assignment.

The Caregivers Corner Support Group meets at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 1, at Hoss's in Duncansville. For information, call 889.3123.

The Central Pennsylvania Ostomy Society meets at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18, in the Rotunda. Call 943-3782 for more info.

The Depression and Bipolar Support Group meets at 7 p.m. Wednesdays in Dining Room B, Fourth Floor, Altoona Hospital Campus Tower. Call 889.2141 for information.

Diabetes Outpatient Education is available by individual appointment and group sessions. A referral by a physician is required. Call 889.2487 for information.

The Parkinson's Support Group meets at 11 a.m. Monday, Sept. 26, at Hoss's Restaurant, Altoona. Guest Speaker will be Heather Feather. Call 889.2141 for information.

Perinatal Loss Support Group meets 7-8:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 6, at the Pregnancy Care Center in Blair Medical Center, 501 Howard Ave., Building F, Suite 5, Laurel Conference Room. For people who have experienced the loss of an infant, either through miscarriage, stillbirth or newborn loss. For more information, call 889.2706.

The Support Group for Those Who Have Lost a Loved One to Suicide meets Sept. 15, 7 p.m., in the Access Center, Blair Medical Center, Building C, 501 Howard Ave. Call 889.2706 for meeting information.

The following support groups and clinics meet at the 7th Avenue Campus, 2500 7th Ave. The Trzeciak Conference Suite is in the Education Center at 2621 8th Ave. For Kaufman Dining Room and fourth floor waiting room, please use the 7th Avenue entrance. For Physical Medicine, please use ER entrance on 8th Avenue.

Alcoholics Anonymous meets at 8 p.m. every Monday in the Kaufman Dining Room. For information, call 946.9002.

The Breast Cancer Support Group meets from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 1, in the Trzeciak Conference Suite. Call 674.3708.

The Faith-based Bereavement/Grief Support Group meets at 6 p.m. Wednesdays, Sept. 7 and 21, in the fourth floor waiting room. For information, call 889.4323.

The Stroke Support Group meets at noon Tuesday, Sept. 13, in Kaufman Dining Room. For information, call 889-4463 or 889.3249.

Wheelchair Clinics will be held at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 13, in the Physical Medicine gym, second floor. Physician referral required. Call for information and appointment, 889.4463.

The Station Medical Center is at 17th Street and 9th Avenue. Please use the main entrance.

The Sleep Apnea Support Group meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20, in the Institute for Sleep Medicine waiting room. An educational support group for people using CPAP or BiPAP therapy. For information, call 889.4466.






August 11, 2011 - DAVID M. ROSE, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF

David M. Rose, M.D.
David M. Rose, M.D., has joined the Altoona Regional Health System Medical Staff in the Department of Radiology. He is affiliated with Lexington Radiology Inc.

He is board certified by the American Board of Radiology.

Dr. Rose received his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas. He did his internship and residency training at Scott and White Memorial Hospital, Temple, Texas. He received fellowship training in Vascular and Interventional Radiology also at Scott and White Memorial Hospital.






August 10, 2011 - SCOT CURRIE, D.O., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF

Scot Currie, D.O.
Scot Currie, D.O., has joined the Altoona Regional Medical Staff in the Department of Surgery. He is practicing at Allegheny Regional Surgical Associates with Matthew Newlin, M.D., and Robert Wertz, M.D., at 1701 12th Ave.

He is board certified by the American Osteopathic Board of Surgery and by the Surgical Review Committee as a Center of Excellence Surgeon in bariatric surgery. He is a fellow of the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons.

Dr. Currie performs all aspects of general surgery with an emphasis on advanced laparoscopic surgery and laparoscopic bariatric surgery.

He received his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. He did his internship at Community General Osteopathic Hospital, Harrisburg, and his general surgery residency at Pinnacle Health at Community General, Harrisburg.






August 10, 2011 - NEW DIRECTOR OF SURGICAL SERVICES NAMED

Dana Kopera, R.N., B.S.N., CNOR
Dana Kopera, R.N., B.S.N., CNOR, has been named director of Surgical Services at Altoona Regional Health System. In this capacity, she will be responsible for the overall administrative and daily operations of the Surgical Services department.

Kopera was a nurse manager in the operating room since September 2007. Before that, she served as a surgical technician for three years and then an operating room nurse for six years at Altoona Regional.






August 10, 2011 - POLICE OFFICER RETIRES WITH 34.5 YEARS OF SERVICE

ARHS Police Officer Bill Nolan of Altoona
Altoona Regional Health System Police Officer Bill Nolan of Altoona retired Aug. 2 with 34.5 years of service.

Nolan was hired by then Altoona Hospital on Feb. 21, 1977, as a security officer with the Security/Safety department.

When the department changed from being a security department to a credentialed police department with arresting powers, he received training to become a police officer at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Institute for Criminal Justice Training, Pennsylvania Regional Police Training Academy.






August 8, 2011 - ALTOONA FAMILY PHYSICIANS RESIDENCY PROGRAM GRADUATES SIX

Altoona Family Physicians Residency, a program of Altoona Regional Health System, held graduation recently.

Senior residents Jarrett Bender, D.O., Jason Fincham, D.O., Madie Hartman, D.O., and Stacey Bowser, D.O., graduated June 30, as did osteopathic intern OluJimi Oluwole, D.O. Senior resident Dan "Jenny" Luu, M.D., graduated July 31.

Dr. Bender will join the practice of Russell Miller, M.D., in Patton. He is a 2008 graduate of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Dr. Fincham will practice in West Virginia. He graduated from West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine.

Dr. Hartman will join the practice of Wellspring Family Medicine in Oakland, Md. She is a 2008 graduate of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Dr. Bowser will practice with UPMC Pennwood Family Practice and Saxton Family Practice. She graduated from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2008.

Dr. Luu will be traveling with her father to Vietnam upon completion of her residency. She is considering entering a palliative care fellowship.

Dr. Oluwole will continue residency at Wyoming Valley Osteopathic Family Medicine Residency Program in Wilkes-Barre.

Senior resident Dan OluJimi Oluwole, D.O.Jarrett Bender, D.O.
Dan "Jenny" Luu, M.D.OluJimi Oluwole, D.O. Jarrett Bender, D.O.
Jason Fincham, D.O.Madie Hartman, D.O.Stacey Bowser, D.O.
Jason Fincham, D.O.Madie Hartman, D.O. Stacey Bowser, D.O.







August 1, 2011 - PRAYER PARTNER PROGRAM VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

Altoona Regional Health System's Pastoral Care department is looking for volunteers to serve in its Prayer Partner Program. This specialized ministry is seeking caring persons who are able to offer a gentle and compassionate presence, a listening ear and prayer to patients and families of all faith traditions in several outpatient areas.

Informational sessions for those who would like to explore this ministry will be offered at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 10, in the All Faiths Chapel at the Altoona Hospital Campus, and again at 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 11, in the Holy Family Chapel at the 7th Avenue Campus. Specialized training will be provided for those entering the program, and the hours are flexible. For more information or to RSVP for one of the information sessions, please contact Tony Conrad, director, at 889-4323.

"We are looking for folks who love the Lord and have particular gifts that enable them to offer a gentle and compassionate presence, a listening ear and prayer to our patients of all faith traditions," Conrad said.






July 21, 2011 - ALTOONA REGIONAL ULTRASOUND DEPARTMENT ACCREDITED

The Ultrasound Practice Council of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine is pleased to announce that Altoona Regional's Diagnostic Ultrasound department is among the growing number of ultrasound practices to achieve accreditation in obstetrical/gynecology ultrasound.

"The AIUM's Ultrasound Practice Council reviews numerous ap­plications for accreditation," said AIUM's Director of Accreditation Paula Woletz. "Altoona Regional has achieved accreditation in recognition that the practice has met voluntary standards set by the diagnostic ultrasound profession. The entire practice was reviewed, including the practice's person­nel, physical facilities, documenta­tion, storage and record-keeping practices, policies and procedures, quality assurance methods, and how the practice meets the AIUM standards.

Altoona Regional successfully com­pleted the application process for the obstetrical/gynecology ultra­sound practice and was awarded accreditation in the area for a period of three years. According to Ultra­sound Supervisor Ann Hudak, RTR, RDMS, the department has been accredited by the AIUM since 1999.

"With a staff of 12 registered so­nographers, we perform over 13,000 exams a year with half of these being OB/GYN exams. By having an accredited practice, with registered sonographers, this as­sures the patients that our staff are competent in the exams we per­form," she said.






July 8, 2011 - FOUNDATION GOLF EVENT RAISES MORE THAN $60,000

Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life Golf Classic


The second annual Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life Golf Classic raised more than $60,000 to help fund the purchase of a van (shown in photo) to transport patients to and from Altoona Regional's Center for Cancer Care.

"We sincerely appreciate all of this year's golf participants, as well as the numerous businesses and individuals who sponsored the event, contributed prizes and made donations," said Ann Benzel, chair, Altoona Regional Foundation for Life. "Thanks to their dedication and contributions, everyone enjoyed a beautiful day of golfing and supported one of our community's most valuable assets: Altoona Regional Health System."

AMED, Altoona Center for Nursing Care and Siemens Healthcare were tournament sponsors. Platinum sponsors included Limbach, Radiology Business Solutions and Xanitos. In addition to sponsorship support, the Golf Classic was a big success due to the time and talents of volunteers, committee members and the staff of Scotch Valley Country Club.

For more information on how you can make a gift in support of health care in our community, call 889.6406 or visit www.altoonaregional.org.

Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which exists to inspire gifts from individuals, foundations, corporations and other entities to support the preservation of health care for the well-being of community members in Central Pennsylvania. As a qualified charitable organization, donations to the Foundation for Life are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.






July 7, 2011 - NURSE RETIRES WITH 18 ½ YEARS OF SERVICE

Christine Bossi, R.N.
Christine Bossi, R.N., coordinator of Outpatient Pulmonary Rehabilitation and Pennsylvania Black Lung Program and registered nurse with Pulmonary and Hyperbaric Medicine, retired July 1 with 18 ½ years of service.

Bossi was hired by the former Altoona Hospital on Dec. 21, 1992, as coordinator of Outpatient Pulmonary Rehabilitation and the Department of Health Coal Worker Respiratory Disease Program.

In 2001, she began working in Hyperbaric Medicine when that service opened.

In 2002, Altoona Regional obtained its own grant to provide services to black lung patients and, working with Windber Hospital, formed the Pennsylvania Black Lung Coalition. The coalition, which Bossi serves as program director, operates three clinics, in Altoona, Windber and eastern Pennsylvania.






July 7, 2011 - MEDICAL SECRETARY RETIRES WITH 21 YEARS OF SERVICE

Mary Masic, medical secretary in the Altoona Regional Institute for Sleep Medicine
Mary Masic, medical secretary in the Altoona Regional Institute for Sleep Medicine, retired June 30 with 21 years of service.

Masic was hired by then Mercy Hospital in 1990 and worked in the Rehabilitation unit until she transferred to the Sleep Lab when it opened in 1996.

Masic resides in Altoona.






July 7, 2011 - ALTOONA FAMILY PHYSICIANS, WOMEN'S HEALTH AND WELLNESS AND WILLIAMSBURG FAMILY PRACTICE JOIN FORCES TO HELP CHILDREN

Staff of Altoona Family Physicians, Women's Health and Wellness and Williamsburg Family Practice


This spring Altoona Family Physicians, Women's Health and Wellness and Williamsburg Family Practice combined their efforts and had a pajama and book drive in support of the Pajama Program, a not-for-profit organization which provides new, warm pajamas and new books to children in need in the United States and around the world.

The drive benefits thousands of children who live in orphanages, group homes, shelters and temporary living facilities. These children are waiting and hoping to be adopted and may not know the comforts of a mother or father to tuck them into a cozy bed and read them a bedtime story. Too many have been abandoned and most have been deprived of any love at all.

"This is our second year we have contributed to this worthy cause," said Sue Chew, practice manager said. "We have collected new books and new pajamas totaling over $1,000 per year. We collect the pajamas and the books and send them to a representative of the Pajama Program in the State College area. They are then distributed to the children in the Blair and Center County areas."

Photo: Staff of Altoona Family Physicians, Women's Health and Wellness and Williamsburg Family Practice display some of their donations to the pajama and book drive.

First row, left to right: Kim Weaver, Bev McConnell, Tina Zumer-Quinn, Kim Glacken, Mary Roesch, Marcia Shirk, Jean Costlow, Marie Gailey

Second row: Patty Edevane, Donna Benson, Cathy Castellucci, Julie Fochler, Sue Chew, Mary Lou Conway, Dr. Kathy Sweeney, Dana Rosser

Third row: Brad Maines, Loni Baird






July 7, 2011 - ALTOONA REGIONAL NEPHROLOGIST NAMED MEDICAL DIRECTOR OF RENAL CARE FACILITY

Pawan K. Gupta, M.D., FACP
Pawan K. Gupta, M.D., FACP, a member of the Altoona Regional Health System Medical Staff and chief of the clinical service of Nephrology, has been named medical director of U.S. Renal Care Altoona, 200 E. Chestnut Ave., Altoona.

Dr. Gupta is board certified in Internal Medicine and Nephrology (kidney diseases) by the American Board of Internal Medicine.

He received his medical degree from RNT Medical College, Udaipur, Rajasthan. He did his internal medicine residencies at Ravindra Nath Tagore Medical College in India and at Mercy Hospital of Pittsburgh. He did his Nephrology fellowship training at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York City. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians.






July 7, 2011 - ALTOONA REGIONAL'S SCHOOL OF MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY/MEDICAL LABORATORY SCIENCE GRADUATES THREE

graduates of the Altoona Regional Health System School of Medical Technology/Medical Laboratory Science
One area student was among three graduates honored at the 36th annual graduation exercises of the Altoona Regional Health System School of Medical Technology/Medical Laboratory Science conducted June 24 at the Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus.

The area graduate was Kimberly Kline, daughter of Kenneth and Theresa Kline of Carrolltown.

The other graduates were Gregory Acero, son of Alvin and Maria Acero of Allentown and Amanda O'Brien, daughter of William and Lorrie O'Brien of Scranton.

Rebecca Jacobs, MT (ASCP), director of Laboratory Services, Nason Hospital, Roaring Spring, was the guest speaker.

Laboratory tests performed to aid physicians in their diagnosis and treatment of patients are done under the direction of medical laboratory scientists (medical technologists).

Working in a hospital, clinic, research laboratory, physician's office or in a public health laboratory, they are responsible for a variety of chemical, hematological, immunological, microbiological, serologic and other laboratory procedures. Such determinations contribute to patient care and provide important diagnostic data. Other duties are quality control of the laboratory and supervision of other laboratory personnel.

Medical Laboratory Science is regulated both from within the profession and, in some states, by law. Completion of the program at Altoona Regional earns a bachelor's degree in Medical Technology/Medical Laboratory Science.

Photo: Altoona Regional Health System School of Medical Technology/Medical Laboratory Science graduates Kimberly Kline, Gregory Acero and Amanda O'Brien






July 5, 2011 - JOINT NEWS RELEASE FROM ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM AND AFSCME

Altoona Regional and AFSCME are pleased to announce that on Tuesday, July 5, 2011, members of AFSCME Local 691 ratified a new three-year labor contract between the health care system and AFSCME's members.

"Altoona Regional and AFSCME both bargained in good faith and reached a fair and reasonable agreement," said Jerry Murray, Altoona Regional president and CEO. "We are pleased that the membership affirmed the months of hard work of the bargaining committees."

The contract, which will be retroactive back to July 1, will continue through June 30, 2014. It provides for a PTO (paid time off) program, changes to the health care/pharmacy plan, and wage increases of 3% each year, and covers all AFSCME employees currently employed at both hospital campuses and the Station Medical Center.

For more than 30 years, AFSCME Local 691 has represented the hospital's service, clerical and technical workers including practical nurses, aides, technicians, clerks, maintenance, housekeepers, and others.

"I want to thank and recognize members of both negotiating committees for their efforts in achieving a fair contract," Tim Miller of AFSCME said.






June 27, 2011 - FIREWORKS INJURE MORE THAN 2,000 KIDS EACH SUMMER

The Fourth of July is a time for celebration across the country and fireworks are a crowd favorite each year. While fireworks can be fun to watch, they can also be very dangerous.

In 2009, an estimated 3,432 children ages 15 and under were injured by fireworks, with most of the injuries occurring from the middle of June until the middle of July. Children and teenagers are most likely to be injured as a result of consumer fireworks. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, approximately 40 percent of the people injured by fireworks were under the age of 15.

"Don't ever let kids play with fireworks or sparklers," says Sherry Turchetta, Safe Kids Blair County coordinator. "The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to watch them at a community event where professionals handle them."

Safe Kids also recommends that adults never use fireworks with children around.

The U.S. Fire Administration reminds everyone that kids should never play with fireworks or sparklers. Sparklers can reach 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to melt some metals. Do not allow kids to pick up pieces of fireworks after an event. Some may still be ignited and can explode.

Fireworks, including sparklers and flares, can cause serious burns as well as blast injuries that can permanently impair vision and hearing. "Teach your children how to call 911 in an emergency. Also teach them what to do if their clothing catches on fire - stop, drop and roll," added Turchetta.

All pyrotechnic devices are illegal in Pennsylvania. Where permitted by law, fireworks should be handled and used in strict accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and all warning labels.

For more information about fireworks safety and burn prevention, contact 814.889.7802 or visit www.safekids.org.

Safe Kids Blair County works to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the leading cause of death and disability to children ages 1 to 14. Its members include local and state police, fire departments, businesses and individuals dedicated to keeping our children safe. Safe Kids Blair County is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing unintentional injury. Safe Kids Blair County was founded in 1995 and is led by Altoona Regional Health System.






June 24, 2011 - LEXINGTON SURGICAL ASSOCIATES REALIGNS, FORMS TWO NEW GROUPS

Lexington Surgical Associates, 1701 12th Ave., Altoona, has realigned its organization, dividing and forming two new physician practices — Altoona Trauma/Emergency General Surgery and Allegheny Regional Surgical Associates.

Altoona Trauma/Emergency General Surgery has a main office at Altoona Regional’s Altoona Hospital Campus, 620 Howard Ave., Altoona. The main phone number is 814.889.6157.

Practicing with Altoona Trauma/Emergency General Surgery are board-certified surgeons Simon Lampard, M.D., Johannes Schokker, M.D., Jeannette Capella, M.D., and Alex Guerrero, M.D.

The Altoona Trauma/Emergency General Surgery team will provide care to the critically ill or injured at Altoona Regional’s Trauma Center. Drs. Lampard and Capella serve as the Trauma Center’s medical director and assistant medical director respectively.

Allegheny Regional Surgical Associates has remained at the 1701 12th Ave. office location. The main phone number is 814.943.7040.

Practicing with Allegheny Regional Surgical Associates are Matthew Newlin, M.D.; Scot Currie, D.O, and Robert Wertz, M.D. All are board-certified surgeons who perform all aspects of general surgery with an emphasis on advanced laparoscopic surgery and laparoscopic bariatric surgery.

"Each of our physicians is committed to providing the highest quality and most effective care to each of our patients,"" said Dr. Newlin, "and will continue to do so as we move forward with this transition."






June 23, 2011 - TIMOTHY A. LUCAS, M.D., RECERTIFIED IN PULMONARY DISEASE

Timothy Lucas, M.D.
Timothy Lucas, M.D., has been recertified in Pulmonary Disease by the American Board of Internal Medicine. He practices with Altoona Lung Specialists, Altoona. He is also board certified in Critical Care Medicine and Sleep Medicine.

He received his medical degree from Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey.

Dr. Lucas completed both his residency training and fellowship at Pennsylvania State University, Hershey.






June 23, 2011 - SAI RAMANUJAM, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF

Sai Ramanujam, M.D.
Sai Ramanujam, M.D., has joined the Altoona Regional Health System Medical Staff in the Department of Psychiatry. She practices in the Behavioral Health Services department.

She received her medical degree from Rangaraya Medical College, India, and internships at Rangaraya Medical College and at Government General Hospital, Kakinada, India.

Dr. Ramanujam completed her residency training psychiatry at Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, D.C.






June 23, 2011 - ALAN J. KANOUFF, D.O., CERTIFIED IN CRITICAL CARE MEDICINE

Alan Kanouff, D.O.
Alan Kanouff, D.O., has been certified as a diplomate in Critical Care Medicine by the American Board of Internal Medicine. He practices with Altoona Lung Specialists, Altoona. He is also board certified in Pulmonary Medicine.

He received his medical degree from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Dr. Kanouff completed his residency training at Conemaugh Valley Memorial Hospital, Johnstown, and his fellowship at Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh.






June 23, 2011 - WILLY HWANG, M.D., CERTIFIED IN DIAGNOSTIC RADIOLOGY

Willy Hwang, M.D.
Willy Hwang, M.D., has been certified in diagnostic radiology by the American Board of Radiology. He practices in the Department of Radiology, with Lexington Radiology.

He received his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine, Houston.

Dr. Hwang completed his residency training at St. Louis University School of Medicine, and his fellowship at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore.






June 23, 2011 - JEANNETTE M. CAPELLA, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF

Jeannette Capella, M.D.
Jeannette Capella, M.D., has joined the Altoona Regional Health System Medical Staff in the Department of Surgery, Clinical Services of General Surgery and Trauma/Surgical Critical Care Medicine. She practices with Lexington Surgical Associates, Altoona. She is board certified by the American Board of Surgery.

She received her medical degree from University of South Florida, College of Medicine.

Dr. Capella completed her residency training at Children's Hospital, Boston, and University of Florida Health Science Center, Jacksonville. She did her fellowship at Hartford Hospital, Hartford, Conn.






June 23, 2011 - SUPPLY TECHNICIAN RETIRES WITH 29 YEARS OF SERVICE

Mary Aungst of Altoona
Mary Aungst, supply technician with the Supply Chain department on the 7th Avenue Campus, retired recently with 29 years of service.

On April 20, 1982, Mary was hired by then Mercy Hospital as a child development aide for the child care center. When the day care closed in 1987, she transferred to the Operating Room and became a surgical aide. Later, surgical aides were transferred to Materiel Management, which was later renamed Supply Chain.

Mary resides in Altoona.






June 23, 2011 - EMPLOYEE PROMOTED TO MANAGEMENT POSITION

Lindsay McCahan of Altoona
Lindsay McCahan of Altoona was recently named Perioperative Materials Manager for the Supply Chain department at Altoona Regional Health System.

She is responsible for making sure all Surgical Services areas have sufficient and correct supplies and inventories at all times. The Surgical Suite on the Altoona Hospital Campus has 12 operating rooms, the Surgical Suite on the 7th Avenue Campus has four operating rooms and the Surgery Center has six operating rooms. Her responsibilities include the supervision of one buyer and two perioperative support assistants. The surgical areas exchange over $1 million in inventories each month.

McCahan was hired as buyer for the Supply Chain in February 2007 and was promoted to perioperative support assistant in 2008. Two years later, she assumed the role of ISS/Capital Equipment & Contract Administrator.

She is a graduate of Penn State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Policy and Administration.






June 15, 2011 - ALTOONA REGIONAL OFFERS SUPPORT GROUPS/CLINICS IN JULY

Altoona Regional Health System offers the following support group meetings and patient clinics in July as a public service to the community. They are listed alphabetically according to the campus on which they are conducted.

Support groups meeting on the Altoona Hospital Campus, 620 Howard Ave., use the Allegheny and Bedford rooms and the Rotunda on the 6th floor of the Outpatient Center and Dining Room B adjacent to the main cafeteria on Tower 4, as well as the 4F Conference Room in the Behavioral Health Center, 5th Street and Willow Avenue.

The Alzheimer's Support Group meets at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 26, in the Allegheny Room. Please call 889.2706 for information.

Breastfeeding classes are offered to expectant parents Wednesdays, July 6 and 13, from 6-8 p.m. Please call 889.2557 for room assignment. Two-part class. Participants are encouraged to attend both parts.

The Breastfeeding Support Group meets at 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 27. Please call 889.2557 or 889.2310 for room assignment.

The Caregivers Corner Support Group meets at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, July 7, at Hoss's in Duncansville. For information, call 889.3123.

The Depression and Bipolar Support Group meets at 7 p.m. Wednesdays in Dining Room B, Fourth Floor, Altoona Hospital Campus Tower. Call 889.2141 for information.

Diabetes Outpatient Education is available by individual appointment and group sessions. A referral by a physician is required. Call 889.2487 for information.

The Lap Band Support Group, for people who have had or are thinking of having gastric banding, meets at 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 6, Rotunda. Call 943.7040 for information.

The Parkinson's Support Group meets at 11 a.m. Monday, July 25, at Hoss's Restaurant, Altoona. Speaker topic: "Assistive equipment through Home Health Resource." Call 889.2141 for information

Perinatal Loss Support Group meets 7-8:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 5, at the Pregnancy Care Center in Blair Medical Center, 501 Howard Ave., Building B, Suite 205. For people who have experienced the loss of an infant, either through miscarriage, stillbirth or newborn loss. For more information, call 889.2706.

The Support Group for Those Who Have Lost a Loved One to Suicide. Call 889.2706 for meeting information.

The following support groups and clinics meet at the 7th Avenue Campus Education Center, 2500 7th Ave. The Trzeciak Conference Suite is in the Education Center at 2621 8th Ave. For Kaufman Dining Room and fourth floor waiting room, please use the 7th Avenue entrance. For Physical Medicine, please use ER entrance on 8th Avenue.

Alcoholics Anonymous meets at 8 p.m. every Monday in the Kaufman Dining Room. For information, call 946.9002.

The Breast Cancer Support Group meets at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 7, in the Trzeciak Conference Suite, call 674.3708.

The Faith-based Bereavement/Grief Support Group meets at 6 p.m. Wednesdays, July 6 and 13, in the fourth floor waiting room. For information, call 889.4323.

The Stroke Support Group meets at noon Tuesday, July 12, in Kaufman Dining Room. For information, call 889-4463 or 889.3249.

Wheelchair Clinics will be held at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 12, in the Physical Medicine gym, second floor. Physician referral required. Call for information and appointment, 889.4463.

The Station Medical Center is located at 17th Street and 9th Avenue. Please use the main entrance.

The Sleep Apnea Support Group, an educational support group for people using CPAP or BiPAP therapy, meets at 6 p.m., July 26, in the Institute for Sleep Medicine waiting room, 889.4466.






June 15, 2011 - ALTOONA REGIONAL PARKING GARAGE TRAFFIC FLOW CHANGE

The bottom entrance to the parking garage at Altoona Hospital Campus will be closed for cleaning and maintenance until July 6.

All cars must use Willow Avenue entrance!

Follow orange signs from Howard Avenue and 7th Street to Willow Avenue entrance.


We regret the inconvenience and thank you for your cooperation.






June 7, 2011 - REGISTRATIONS STILL BEING ACCEPTED FOR ALTOONA REGIONAL FOUNDATION FOR LIFE GOLF CLASSIC ON JUNE 27

The second annual Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life Golf Classic is set for Monday, June 27, at Scotch Valley Country Club, Hollidaysburg. Proceeds benefit the purchase of a new van to transport patients to and from Altoona Regional's Center for Cancer Care.

The event is a four-person scramble. The morning shotgun start will begin promptly at 8 a.m. If an afternoon shotgun is needed, it will begin at 1:30 p.m. Prizes include:
  • Hole-in-one ($10,000)
  • Closest to the pin
  • Longest drive
  • Longest putt
  • Putting contest
  • Circle contest
Sponsorship opportunities range from $5,000 to $1,500. Individual golfers can play for an entrance fee of $125.

In addition, a helicopter ball drop event is scheduled for 1 p.m. that day. Tickets are $20 per ball. First prize, for the ball that lands closet to the pin, is $500. There are also second and third prizes of $250 and $100 respectively.

For more information on participating, sponsorships or purchasing chances for the helicopter ball drop, please contact Shirley Hoyne, event coordinator, at 814.889.7673. Registration deadline is June 21.

Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which exists to inspire gifts from individuals, foundations, corporations and other entities to support the preservation of health care for the well-being of community members in Central Pennsylvania. As a qualified charitable organization, donations to the Foundation for Life are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.






June 7, 2011 - ICU, TELEMETRY UNTS EARN AWARDS IN CUSTOMER SATISFACTION

Staff from the Intensive Care and Telemetry units on Altoona Regional Health System's 7th Avenue Campus recently celebrated earning "Best Practice" commendations from Professional Research Consultants (PRC), Altoona Regional Health System's patient satisfaction vendor.

The awards are 4-star (top 25 percentile nationally) and 5-star (top 10 percentile nationally) on results for individual questions from the survey. The units combined to achieve five 4-star awards and three 5-star awards.

The 5-star awards were for teamwork, pain management and overall nursing quality. The 4-star awards were for discharge planning, nurses' response to calls, nurses' explanation of treatment/tests, friendliness of staff and overall quality of care.

"Earning eight individual awards is a great achievement for the entire staff," said Bob Strawser, executive director of Mission and Customer Service. "The 'overall quality of care' score also takes into consideration all of the ancillary support, such as laboratory, imaging, physical medicine, dietary and housekeeping, that those patients receive on the units. This truly exemplifies our motto of T.E.A.M. (together everyone achieves more)!"






June 6, 2011 - TWO NEW HEART CATHETERIZATION LABS OPEN AT ALTOONA REGIONAL

Altoona Regional Health System Cardiac Cath lab staffAltoona Regional Health System Cardiac Cath lab
PHOTO: Cardiac Cath lab staff with (seated, left) Gan Pettenati, R.N., clinical manager and (seated, right) Sharon Ciccarella, R.N. B.S., administrative director.
Heart catheterization technology took a leap forward in the region recently with the opening of two state-of-the-art labs at Altoona Regional Health System's Outpatient Center on the Altoona Hospital Campus, 620 Howard Ave.

The opening marks the completion of the first of a two-phase update and expansion to the labs, which have 6,000 patient visits per year, including diagnostic catheterizations, coronary stentings and electrophysiology studies, such as device implants and ablations. The second phase is the updating of two other labs on the Altoona Hospital Campus which should be completed by the end of summer.

"With our new labs and new equipment, it places us on the leading edge of the newest technology available," said Dr. V. Janakiraman, medical director. "The new space will increase patient satisfaction with more privacy and enhance the flow of patient care."

"The X-ray system, by Philips, has a unique rotation scan that allows for one-arc imaging, thereby reducing radiation dose and X-ray contrast volume injected into the patient."

He added, "We're excited about the technology because it reduces the patient's radiation exposure and decreases the contrast dosage, but we still get enhanced imaging on the system."

Other new equipment includes IVUS, or intravascular ultrasound, which reveals the extent of the narrowing of the vessel wall. Overall, the health system has made a total investment of about $2 million in updating equipment for these new labs.






June 3, 2011 - ALTOONA REGIONAL BEHAVIORAL HEALTH PSYCHIATRISTS PUBLISH ARTICLE ON PARANOID PSYCHOSIS CAUSED BY USE OF BLIZZARD

Joseph L. Antonowicz, M.D. Amy Metzger, M.D. Sai Ramanujam, M.D.
Joseph L. Antonowicz, M.D. Amy Metzger, M.D. Sai Ramanujam, M.D.
Three Altoona Regional Health System Behavioral Health psychiatrists have had an article on the psychological side effects of methylenedioxypyrovalerone (Blizzard) accepted for publication in a forthcoming issue of General Hospital Psychiatry.

The authors are: Joseph L. Antonowicz, M.D., Amy Metzger, M.D., and Sai Ramanujam, M.D. The article is entitled: "Paranoid psychosis induced by abuse of methylenedioxypyrovalerone (Blizzard): two cases."

The paper is significant, Dr. Antonowicz said, because few resources are available to physicians and psychiatrists who are seeing an influx of patients suffering from psychological after effects of this synthetic chemical which produces an addictive high. Legislators are attempting make Blizzard and similar drugs illegal in many states, including Pennsylvania.

The article will be available online in the coming months.






June 3, 2011 - REGISTERED NURSES EARN BACHELOR OF SCIENCE DEGREES IN NURSING

Altoona Regional Health System nurse Thayne Lowey Altoona Regional Health System nurse George Gallagher III Altoona Regional Health System nurse Patricia Miller
Thayne Lowey George Gallagher III Patricia Miller
Three Altoona Regional Health System nurses on the Altoona Hospital Campus recently earned Bachelor of Science degrees in Nursing from area colleges.

George Gallagher III and Thayne Lowey, both of Duncansville, each received their degrees from Mount Aloysius College. Gallagher works as a nurse in the Medical Intensive Care Unit. Lowey works as a nurse in the cardiac catheterization laboratory.

Patricia Miller of Bedford received her bachelor's degree from Penn State. She works in the intensive care unit.

She resides in Altoona.






June 3, 2011 - NUCLEAR MEDICINE TECHNOLOGIST RETIRES WITH 41 YEARS OF SERVICE

Judy DeStefano, a nuclear medicine technologist
Judy DeStefano, a nuclear medicine technologist in the Imaging Services department at Altoona Regional Health System, retired April 30 with 41 years of service.

DeStefano was hired as a technologist in Radiology at the former Altoona Hospital in1968 upon graduation from the Altoona Hospital School of Radiology. She is a registered technologist in Diagnostic Radiology and certified in Nuclear Medicine. During her career, she received additional cross-training to work in the Nuclear Medicine and Ultrasound areas.

During her years of service, she was recognized as an "Employee of the Month."

She resides in Altoona.






June 3, 2011 - ALTOONA FAMILY PHYSICIANS RESIDENCY PROGRAM RECEIVES RECOGNITION FROM NATIONAL COMMITTEE FOR QUALITY ASSURANCE

Altoona Family Physicians (AFP) residency program of Altoona Regional Health System was recently recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) with a Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home accreditation - the first and only practice in Blair County to achieve this recognition, so far.

Both the Altoona Family Physicians and Williamsburg Family Practice offices were recognized by the NCQA. Patient-Centered Medical Homes are model practices of health care delivery that aim to improve the quality and efficiency of care. Practices with Level 3 recognition (the highest level) have been awarded this honor for demonstrating the very best use of evidence-based, patient-centered processes.

"The NCQA recognition assures patients that they are getting the quality of care and timeliness of care espoused by the concept," said Art Morrow, D.O., associate director at AFP. "It also tells the insurance payers that our practice offers the highest quality, patient-centered care currently available."

Research shows that patient-centered medical home certified practices lead to higher quality, lower costs and improved outcomes, according to the NCQA. NCQA is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of health care organizations and is committed to providing health care quality information for consumers, purchasers, health care providers and researchers.






May 23, 2011 - WOMEN'S NIGHT OUT RAISES FUNDS FOR DIGITAL MAMMOGRAPHY

Esther Miller, Marcy Hatch, Carol Miller, Mary Beth Schmidhamer, Tammy Finochio, Deborah Marino
More than 600 women turned out at The Casino in Lakemont for Altoona Regional Health System's Women's Night Out, a fun-filled fund-raiser for lifesaving digital mammography.

The annual event sponsored by Altoona Regional's Healthy Living Club raised $2,775 and featured Lisa Smartt of Dresden, Tenn., who delivered a heartfelt message of humor and hope.

The event was a fund-raising effort by the Altoona Regional Foundation for Life, which supports the recent acquisition of digital mammography equipment. Digital mammography is now available at the women's imaging center at the Station Medical Center, Altoona. It is a valuable tool in the diagnosis of breast cancer.

Six women were also rewarded for their generosity for participating in a jewelry raffle sponsored by Your Jewelry Box, Altoona.

In the photo, winners are (from left): seated - Esther Miller, Saxton, and Marcy Hatch and Carol Miller Altoona; standing - Mary Beth Schmidhamer, Tammy Finochio and Deborah Marino, all of Altoona.






May 19, 2011 - NEW CHIEF CRNA NAMED FOR LEXINGTON ANESTHESIA

Brian Duclos of Altoona
Brian Duclos of Altoona has accepted the position of chief CRNA (certified registered nurse anesthetist) for Lexington Anesthesia Associates, an affiliate of Altoona Regional Health System.

In this capacity, Duclos will continue his clinical duties while also being responsible for the overall administrative and daily operations of the anesthesia departments at Altoona Regional's two hospital campuses and surgery center.

Prior to his appointment, Duclos served as a staff CRNA with Lexington Anesthesia for five years. He formerly served as clinical manager of post-anesthesia care unit/outpatient services at Altoona Regional's 7th Avenue Campus for four years.

He received his Master of Science degree from Excela Health School of Anesthesia in 2005.






May 18, 2011 - WILHELMINA P. CRUZ-VETRANO, M.D., NAMED MEDICAL DIRECTOR OF LABORATORY SERVICES AT ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM

Wilhelmina P. Cruz-Vetrano, M.D.
Wilhelmina P. Cruz-Vetrano, M.D., joined the Altoona Regional Health System Medical Staff as medical director of the department of Laboratory Services May 1. She is practicing with Pathology Associates of Blair County and is board certified by the American Board of Pathology.

She received her medical degree and completed her internship at Far Eastern University, Philippines.

Dr. Cruz-Vetrano completed her residency training at SUNY-Health Science Center, Brooklyn, N.Y., and her fellowship at North Shore University Hospital, Manhasset, N.Y.






May 18, 2011 - SHIRAH SHORE, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF

Shirah Shore, M.D.
Shirah Shore, M.D., has joined the Altoona Regional Health System Medical Staff in the department of Pediatrics and Newborns (Pediatric Cardiology). She practices with Geisinger Medical Center, Danville.. She is board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and Pediatric Cardiology.

She received her medical degree from Medical College of Virginia, Richmond.

Dr. Shore completed her residency training at University of Maryland, Baltimore, and her fellowship at Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati.






May 18, 2011 - SUZANNE Y. DIB, M.D, IS CERTIFIED BY AMERICAN BOARD OF FAMILY MEDICINE

Suzanne Y. Dib, M.D.
Suzanne Y. Dib, M.D., has been certified by the American Board of Family Medicine.

She joined the Altoona Regional Health System Medical Staff in the department of Family Medicine in 2010. She practices with her husband, Dr. Hassan Zammam at Quality Care Medical Center, Altoona.

She received her medical degree from Tishreen University Faculty of Medicine, Syria.

Dr. Dib completed her residency training at Altoona Family Physicians.






May 18, 2011 - Altoona Regional Health System receives Get With The Guidelines- Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award

Award demonstrates Altoona Regional' s commitment to quality care for stroke patients


Altoona Regional Health System receives Get With The Guidelines- Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award
PHOTO RIGHT: From left: Steve Dentel, American Heart/Stroke Association (third from left), presents the Get With The Guidelines- Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award to Joseph Clark, M.D., and members of the Stroke Program (from left) Sharon Ciccarella, administrative director; Janet Ashurst, neuroscience clinical coordinator; Sandra Lazor, PA-C, and Debbie Fornwalt-Bieswenger, administrative assistant.

Other members of the stroke team are Drs. Zhenui Steve Li, M.D., Mark Lipitz, D.O., and Wen Ying Wu-Chen, and Christine Dively, RN.





Altoona Regional Health System has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes Altoona Regional's commitment and success in implementing excellent care for stroke patients, according to evidence-based guidelines.

To receive the award, Altoona Regional achieved 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality Achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month intervals and achieved 75 percent or higher compliance with six of 10 Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality Measures, which are reporting initiatives to measure quality of care.

These measures include aggressive use of medications, such as tPA, antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, DVT prophylaxis, cholesterol reducing drugs and smoking cessation, all aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.

"With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award demonstrates Altoona Regional's commitment to being one of the top hospitals in the country for providing aggressive, proven stroke care," said Janet Ashurst, BSN, CCRN, Neuroscience clinical coordinator, of the Stroke Center. "We will continue with our focus on providing care that has been shown in the scientific literature to quickly and efficiently treat stroke patients with evidence-based protocols."

In the Stroke Program's baseline year, 2005 (the inaugural year), the program treated 40 patients and 45 percent of patients were "defect-free." "Defect-free" means the percent of stroke patients who received all of the interventions for which they were eligible (appropriate use of medications like the clot-busting drug t-PA, antithrombotics and anticoagulation therapy, as well as cholesterol-reducing drugs, dysphagia screening, smoking cessation counseling, stroke education and rehabilitation assessment).

In the intervening years, both the numbers of patients grew steadily to an all-time high in 2010 of 578 and a 92.2 percent "defect-free" rate of care.

"Altoona Regional is to be commended for its commitment to implementing standards of care and protocols for treating stroke patients," said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., chair of the Get With The Guidelines National Steering Committee and director of the telestroke and acute stroke services at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. "The full implementation of acute care and secondary prevention recommendations and guidelines is a critical step in saving the lives and improving outcomes of stroke patients."

Get With The Guidelines-Stroke uses the "teachable moment," the time soon after a patient has had a stroke, when they are most likely to listen to and follow their health care professionals' guidance. Studies demonstrate that patients who are taught how to manage their risk factors while still in the hospital reduce their risk of a second heart attack or stroke.

Through Get With The Guidelines-Stroke, customized patient education materials are made available at discharge, based on patients' individual risk profiles. The take-away materials are written in an easy-to-understand format and are available in English and Spanish. In addition, the Get With The Guidelines Patient Management Tool give health care providers access to up-to-date cardiovascular and stroke science at the point of care.

"The time is right for Altoona Regional to be focused on improving the quality of stroke care by implementing Get With The Guidelines-Stroke. The number of acute ischemic stroke patients eligible for treatment is expected to grow over the next decade due to increasing stroke incidence and a large aging population," said Ashurst.

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is one of the leading causes of death and serious, long-term disability in the United States. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes, and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

Altoona Regional is a nonprofit community health care provider. Two acute-care hospitals anchor the 497-bed system, which includes a modern outpatient center and more than 20 affiliated health care companies. Altoona Regional offers centers of excellence in cancer, heart, stroke, vascular and emergency care; neurosciences; behavioral health; sleep medicine; wound care, and much more. Altoona Regional's Trauma Center serves more than 20 counties in Central Pennsylvania. The mission of Altoona Regional Health System is for exceptional people to provide exceptional health care.

About Get With The Guidelines
Get With The Guidelines® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's hospital-based quality improvement program that empowers healthcare teams to save lives and reduce healthcare costs by helping hospitals follow evidence-based guidelines and recommendations. For more information, visit www.heart.org/quality.






May 17, 2011 - ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS JUNE PROGRAMS

The Healthy Living Club has scheduled the following educational programs and screenings for May as a community service. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665 to make an appointment or to register. The Altoona Hospital Campus is at 620 Howard Ave.; the 7th Avenue Campus is at 2500 7th Ave., the Education Center is at 2621 8th Ave., and Station Medical Center is at 17th Street and 9th Avenue.

Free osteoporosis screenings (heel scans) will be held by appointment only on Friday, June 3, 12:30-3 p.m., for men and women at Station Medical Center, Imaging Services department. No fee.

Osteoporosis is often called the "silent disease" because bone loss happens without symptoms. Osteoporosis occurs when, over time, bone loss causes bones to become porous, brittle and more likely to break. This painless screening takes just a few minutes and assesses bone density in the heel (a good indicator of bone health and fracture risk) by using ultrasound. Please be prepared to remove shoes and socks.

Join the Rev. David Hammerle of the Altoona Regional Pastoral Care department who will share some of the areas of child development that are often overlooked by adults. The program, "Building Self-Esteem in Children," is offered 7-9 p.m. Monday, June 6, 7th Avenue Campus Education Center, Trzeciak Conference Suite. Donation of $10 is requested to help cover cost of handouts but is not required.

Noting the difficulties that children with low self-esteem face, the words we share and the way we respond to children when guiding, correcting, teaching or otherwise interacting with them can shape their lives in a positive or negative way. This program will teach the positive things that can be said and done to shape the child's thinking concerning himself or herself. (Offering 0.2 CEUs.)

A Child Safety Seat Checkup Station will be held Friday, June 10, from 9:30-11 a.m. in the Altoona Hospital Campus parking garage, Blue Level. No fee. It is by appointment only. Call Safe Kids Blair County at 889.7802. Find out if your child's safety seat is installed properly. Your child's life may depend on it.

A Seniors for Safe Driving four-hour refresher course will be held at 7th Avenue Campus Education Center on Tuesday, June 14, 5:30-9:30 p.m. This refresher course is for anyone who has taken the eight-hour course. Fee $15. Registration required. Call 1.800.559.4880 or log on to www.sfsd-pa.com.

This classroom course covers age-related physical changes, perceptual skills, rules of the road and more. All automobile insurance companies in Pennsylvania provide a premium discount to graduates 55 and older. Most require both spouses insured under the same policy to take the class to receive a discount.

A screening for peripheral artery disease (PAD) will be held by appointment only from 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 15, at the Vascular Institute, 3rd floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. No fee. Call 889.2005 or 1.877.855.8152 to schedule your appointment.

Peripheral artery disease occurs when plaque clogs leg arteries or vessels and restricts blood flow. Untreated PAD not only can make walking difficult but may increase your risk of heart attack or stroke. Kay Adams, nurse practitioner and manager of Central Pa. Cardiovascular Associates, will check for PAD with an ABI (ankle-brachial index) screen, a painless process in which blood pressure is measured in legs and arms to determine blood flow. Please be prepared to remove shoes and socks.

A Safe Sitter Class will be offered 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday, June 20, at the 7th Avenue Campus Education Center, Trzeciak Conference Suite. Fee $25, includes materials, snacks and lunch. Registration required. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665. Class size limited.

Certified Safe Sitter instructors will prepare adolescents ages 11 to 13 to baby-sit infants and young children in a safe, responsible and competent manner. Participants will learn basic child-care and first-aid skills, keeping a house secure, how to prevent accidents and recognize common signs of illness, and how to rescue a choking child or infant.

Join Dee Martin-Spallone, Penn State master gardener, for "Creating a Pollinator Garden," 6:30-8 p.m. Tuesday, June 21, in the Rotunda, 6th floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. No fee. Registration required. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665. Class size limited to 50. Imagine living in a world without bees or other pollinators. It would be a place without flowers, fruit, even a cup of coffee. And imagine a world without chocolate! Ample time will be allotted for questions.

Altoona Regional is a nonprofit community health care provider. Two acute-care hospitals anchor the 497-bed system, which includes a modern outpatient center and more than 20 affiliated health care companies. Altoona Regional offers centers of excellence in cancer, heart, stroke, vascular and emergency care; neurosciences; behavioral health; sleep medicine; wound care, and much more. Altoona Regional's Trauma Center serves more than 20 counties in Central Pennsylvania. The mission of Altoona Regional Health System is for exceptional people to provide exceptional health care.






May 16, 2011 - ALTOONA REGIONAL OFFERS SUPPORT GROUPS/CLINICS IN JUNE

Altoona Regional Health System offers the following support group meetings and patient clinics in June as a public service to the community. They are listed alphabetically according to the campus on which they are conducted.

Support groups meeting on the Altoona Hospital Campus, 620 Howard Ave., use the Allegheny and Bedford rooms and the Rotunda on the 6th floor of the Outpatient Center and Dining Room B adjacent to the main cafeteria on Tower 4, as well as the 4F Conference Room in the Behavioral Health Center, 5th Street and Willow Avenue.

The Alzheimer's Support Group meets at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 28, in the Allegheny Room. Please call 889.2706 for information.

Breastfeeding classes are offered to expectant parents Wednesdays, June 1 and 8, from 6-8 p.m. Please call 889.2557 for room assignment. Two-part class. Participants are encouraged to attend both parts.

The Breastfeeding Support Group meets at 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 22. Please call 889.2557 or 889.2310 for room assignment.

The Caregivers Corner Support Group meets at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, June 2, at Hoss's in Duncansville. For information, call 889.3123.

The Depression and Bipolar Support Group meets at 7 p.m. Wednesdays in Dining Room B, Fourth Floor, Altoona Hospital Campus Tower. Call 889.2141 for information.

Diabetes Outpatient Education is available by individual appointment and group sessions. A referral by a physician is required. Call 889.2487 for information.

The Lap Band Support Group, for people who have had or are thinking of having gastric banding, meets at 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 1, Rotunda. Call 943.7040 for information.

The Parkinson's Support Group meets at 11 a.m. Monday, June 27, at Hoss's Restaurant, Altoona. Call 889.2141 for information

Perinatal Loss Support Group meets 7-8:30 p.m., Tuesday, June 7, at the Pregnancy Care Center in Blair Medical Center, 501 Howard Ave., Building B, Suite 205. For people who have experienced the loss of an infant, either through miscarriage, stillbirth or newborn loss. For more information, call 889.2706.

The Support Group for Those Who Have Lost a Loved One to Suicide. Call 889.2706 for meeting information.

The following support groups and clinics meet at the 7th Avenue Campus Education Center, 2500 7th Ave. The Trzeciak Conference Suite is in the Education Center at 2621 8th Ave. For Kaufman Dining Room and fourth floor waiting room, please use the 7th Avenue entrance. For Physical Medicine, please use ER entrance on 8th Avenue.

Alcoholics Anonymous meets at 8 p.m. every Monday in the Kaufman Dining Room. For information, call 946.9002.

The Breast Cancer Support Group meets at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 2, in the Trzeciak Conference Suite, call 674.3708.

The Faith-based Bereavement/Grief Support Group meets at 6 p.m. Wednesdays, June 1 and 15, in the fourth floor waiting room. For information, call 889.4323.

The Stroke Support Group meets at noon Tuesday, June 7, in Kaufman Dining Room. For information, call 889-4463 or 889.3249.

Wheelchair Clinics will be held at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 7, in the Physical Medicine gym, second floor. Physician referral required. Call for information and appointment, 889.4463.






May 5, 2011 - ALTOONA FAMILY PHYSICIANS PARTICIPATES IN STATEWIDE FAMILY MEDICINE RESIDENCY COLLABORATIVE

Altoona Family Physicians (AFP) and Williamsburg Family Practice (WFP) are participants in a 24-practice collaborative effort coordinated by the Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians (PAFP). The collaborative is known as the Pennsylvania Improving Performance in Practice or "IPIP Collaborative."

IPIP has two goals. The first is to improve care for several chronic medical conditions and the second is to certify each involved practice through the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as a Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH).

The PAFP is viewed as the leading influential resource among family physicians and physicians-in-training in Pennsylvania. It is the primary voice of family medicine health care issues within state legislative and administrative branches of government, as well as media and professional health organizations.

A few of PAFP's goals are to:
  • Improve care at residency program clinics, which are often safety net practices.
  • Enhance coordination and patient-centered care.
  • Prepare resident physicians to work in or with PCMHs.
The PAFP IPIP collaborative, the largest of its kind in the country, is teaching systems change in residency programs so that performance improvement and patient-centered care are not limited to individual sites. Originally designed and funded as a one-year collaborative, IPIP has now received funding for years two and three, so AFP and WFP will continue be involved in the design and implementation of improvements to the care of chronic conditions for another two years.

The PCMH is a health care setting that facilitates partnerships between individual patients, their personal physicians and, when appropriate, the patient's family. Care is facilitated by information technology, health information exchange, enhanced patient communication, and many other means to ensure that patients get the indicated care to treat their medical conditions, when and where they need it and in a cost-effective manner.






April 26, 2011 - ALTOONA REGIONAL FOUNDATION FOR LIFE GOLF CLASSIC IS JUNE 27

The second annual Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life Golf Classic is set for Monday, June 27, at Scotch Valley Country Club, Hollidaysburg. Proceeds benefit the purchase of a new van to transport patients to and from Altoona Regional's Center for Cancer Care.

The event is a four-person scramble. The morning shotgun start will begin promptly at 8 a.m. If an afternoon shotgun is needed, it will begin at 1:30 p.m. Prizes include:
  • Hole-in-one ($10,000)
  • Closest to the pin
  • Longest drive
  • Longest putt
  • Putting contest
  • Circle contest
Sponsorship opportunities range from $5,000 to $1,500. Individual golfers can play for an entrance fee of $125.

In addition, a helicopter ball drop event is scheduled for 1 p.m. that day. Tickets are $20 per ball. First prize, for the ball that lands closest to the pin, is $500. There are also second and third prizes of $250 and $100 respectively.

For more information on participating, sponsorships or purchasing chances for the helicopter ball drop, please contact Shirley Hoyne, event coordinator, at 814.889.7673. Registration deadline is June 21.

Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which exists to inspire gifts from individuals, foundations, corporations and other entities to support the preservation of health care for the well-being of community members in Central Pennsylvania. As a qualified charitable organization, donations to the Foundation for Life are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.






April 22, 2011 - ALTOONA FAMILY PHYSICIANS RESIDENCY PROGRAM HOSTS PENNSYLVANIA ACADEMY OF FAMILY PHYSICIANS EDUCATIONAL CONFERENCE

Altoona Family Physicians (AFP) residency program of Altoona Regional Health System recently hosted the Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians (PAFP) continuing medical educational conference in State College.

More than 100 family physicians from around the state attended the conference March 11-13 at the Nittany Lion Inn.

Arthur W. Morrow, D.O., associate director, and Sabesan Karuppiah, M.D., assistant director, served as hosts for the weekend.

The following AFP physicians presented lectures: Patrick Rice, M.D., "Spirometry"; Dr. Karuppiah, "Osteoporosis," and Kathleen Sweeney, D.O., "Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in the Family Medicine Office," with her sister Carol Terry, Ph.D., of Norman, Okla.

AFP resident physician Jarrett Bender, who is involved in a teaching and training project on diabetic foot exams in family practice offices, displayed a poster on that subject at the conference.

PAFP is viewed as the leading influential resource among family physicians and physicians-in-training in Pennsylvania. They are the primary voice of family medicine health care issues within state legislative and administrative branches of government, as well as media and professional health organizations. PAFP sets the standard for organized medicine, health care issues in the community and continuing education for family physicians in Pennsylvania. The academy supports its members through advocacy and education to help ensure a patient-centered, physician-coordinated medical home for every Pennsylvanian.






April 22, 2011 - CLINICAL EDUCATOR RECEIVES GRADUATE DEGREE

Brenda Carles, M.S.N., R.N., a clinical educator in the Education department at Altoona Regional Health System, recently received her Master of Science degree in Nursing Education from the University of Phoenix.

Carles, who lives in Hollidaysburg, has been employed with the health system for 14 years.






April 21, 2011 - ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS MAY PROGRAMS

The Healthy Living Club has scheduled the following educational programs and screenings for May as a community service. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665 to make an appointment or to register. The Altoona Hospital Campus is at 620 Howard Ave.; the 7th Avenue Campus is at 2500 7th Ave., the Education Center is at 2621 8th Ave., and Station Medical Center is at 17th Street and 9th Avenue.

Free osteoporosis screenings (heel scans) will be held by appointment only on Friday, May 6, 12:30-3 p.m., for men and women in Station Medical Center, Imaging Services department. No fee.

Osteoporosis is often called the "silent disease" because bone loss happens without symptoms. Osteoporosis occurs when, over time, bone loss causes bones to become porous, brittle and more likely to break. This painless screening takes just a few minutes and assesses bone density in the heel (a good indicator of bone health and fracture risk) by using ultrasound. Please be prepared to remove shoes and socks.

A Seniors for Safe Driving course will be held at 7th Avenue Campus Education Center on Tuesday, May 10, and Wednesday, May 11, from 5:30-9:30 p.m. And a four-hour refresher course will be held for anyone who has previously taken the eight-hour course Saturday, May 14, 8 a.m.-noon. Fee $15. Registration required. Call 1.800.559.4880 or log on to www.sfsd-pa.com.

This classroom course covers age-related physical changes, perceptual skills, rules of the road and more. All automobile insurance companies in Pennsylvania provide a premium discount to graduates 55 and older. Most require both spouses insured under the same policy to take the class to receive a discount.

A screening for peripheral artery disease (PAD) will be held by appointment only on Wednesday, May 11, from 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at the Vascular Institute, 3rd floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. No fee. Call 889.2005 or 1.877.855.8152 to schedule your appointment.

Peripheral artery disease occurs when plaque clogs leg arteries or vessels and restricts blood flow. Untreated PAD not only can make walking difficult but may increase your risk of heart attack or stroke. Kay Adams, nurse practitioner and manager of Central Pa. Cardiovascular Associates, will check for PAD with an ABI (ankle-brachial index) screen, a painless process in which blood pressure is measured in legs and arms to determine blood flow. Please be prepared to remove shoes and socks.

Join the Rev. David Hammerle, a member of Altoona Regional's Pastoral Care department and director of counseling for the Altoona office of New Day Inc., for "Helping Children Manage Anger," on Thursday, May 12, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the 7th Avenue Campus Education Center, Trzeciak Conference Suite. He will introduce anger management guidelines and 13 rules to follow when attempting to help a child express anger in a positive way. This program will stress the importance of adult intervention when a child is struggling with feelings and with control of his/her emotions. (Offering 0.2 CEUs.) A donation of $10 is requested to help cover cost of handouts but is not required. Registration is required. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

Create a 'Slice' of Summer Friday, May 13, 6:30 p.m., or Sunday, May 15, 1 p.m. with Sharon Rydbom, as she provides guidance in making a perfect watermelon welcome sign for summer. Needed for class: one 24-inch piece of wax paper, eight paper towels, pencil, scissors, large eraser and small round craft brush (if you have), two large Styrofoam plates and a paint shirt if desired. It will be held at the 7th Avenue Campus Education Center, Trzeciak Conference Suite. The cost is $17. Call 889.2630 or toll-free 1.888.313.4665. Must register by May 2.

A Child Safety Seat Checkup Station will be held Friday, May 13, from 9:30-11 a.m., in the Altoona Hospital Campus parking garage, Blue Level. No fee. It is by appointment only. Call Safe Kids Blair County at 889.7802. Find out if your child's safety seat is installed properly. Your child's life may depend on it.

Healthy Steps In Motion (HSIM) program is held every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8:15 a.m. or 10 a.m. at Abundant Life Assembly of God Church, 231 Howard Ave., Altoona. No fee. Registration required.

If you are 55 or older and looking to improve your strength, flexibility and balance and start toning up, then Healthy Steps In Motion is for you! Healthy Steps In Motion is a fun, peer-led, weight resistance and strength training program designed with you and your good health in mind.






April 21, 2011 - PUBLIC INVITED TO OPEN HOUSE AT ALTOONA REGIONAL OUTPATIENT FACILITY AT STATION MEDICAL CENTER

(ASSIGNMENT EDITORS: OPPORTUNITY FOR VIDEO/PHOTOGRAPHS AND INTERVIEWS OF VARIOUS SERVICE AREAS AND PROVIDERS.)

Altoona Regional Health System invites the public to an open house at its new outpatient services located at the Station Medical Center, 17th Street and 9th Avenue from 3 to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 26.

The public has an opportunity for behind-the-scenes informational tours into the following outpatient service areas:
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation
  • HealthForce
  • Imaging Services (MRI, including open MRI, CAT, Ultrasound, X-ray, Digital Mammography)
  • Laboratory Services
  • Neurology Testing
  • Patient Access
  • Physical, Occupational & Speech Medicine
  • Sleep Center
  • Surgical Pretesting
This beautiful, modern outpatient facility offers a convenient location with easy scheduling and free parking. Multiple tests are offered in just one location and results are reported to the patient's doctor's office usually within 24 hours.

"Our goal at Station Medical Center is the same as it is with all of the patient care we provide - create a customer-friendly experience that exceeds your expectations," Jerry Murray, President/CEO, said.






April 20, 2011 - EARTH DAY EVENTS SET FOR TUESDAY, APRIL 26 AT ALTOONA REGIONAL

Altoona Regional Health System plans Earth Day events Tuesday, April 26, between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. with educational displays by various vendors who will have "Go Green" information. The event will be held in the lobbies on the Altoona Hospital Campus, 620 Howard Ave. and Station Medical Center, 17th Street and 9th Avenue and in the cafeteria at the 7th Avenue Campus.

The event is sponsored by the "Go Green" Committee, which is comprised of Altoona Regional employees, community leaders and Stericycle, a national leader in waste stream management. Stericycle of Lake Forest, Ill., provides recycling consulting and business services to more than 471,000 customers worldwide. The fifth largest waste company in the United States, Stericycle focuses solely on health care organizations.

Over the past year, Altoona Regional invigorated its recycling efforts. It kicked off a three-campus recycling effort by distributing new recycling cans for paper, cans, glass and plastic bottles with an educational campaign this month. In the preceding months, the health system implemented the reduction of "red bag" waste, increased disposal of pharmaceutical waste in an environmentally responsible manner, and switched from disposable to reusable sharps containers.

"Altoona Regional evaluated its impact on the waste stream and realized improvements in methods and technology existed," Gary Zuckerman, vice president of Supply Chain and Go Green committee chairman said. "We knew we needed outside expertise in this specialized field to help us accomplish our goals and Stericycle has been instrumental in helping us do so. Our aim is to reduce our carbon footprint in our environment and we have taken significant steps toward achieving that goal."






April 14, 2011 - MAY IS MENTAL HEALTH MONTH: NATIONAL EXPERTS TO SPEAK ABOUT CONSUMER EMPOWERMENT, TREATMENT CHOICE AND PATH TO RECOVERY

May is Mental Health Month and area mental health providers and agencies present two national experts in the treatment of co-occurring disorders. Kenneth Minkoff, M.D., and Christie Cline, MD, MBA, PC, will speak Thursday, May 12 at the Ramada Altoona Conference Center, 1 Sheraton Drive, Altoona.

This free educational event opens with a health fair at 6:30 p.m. at which area agencies will provide free information about their respective programs. There is no registration. Continuing education credits are available for professionals. For information call 889.2706.

Drs. Minkoff and Cline will speak on the topic "Changing the World: Empowerment, Hope and Recovery." The evening's topic provides information on the changing role of the behavioral health delivery system with emphasis on consumer empowerment, treatment choice and the individual's path to recovery.

Sponsors for the event are Altoona Regional Health System, Blair County Mental Health Program, Blair Family Solutions, Community Behavioral HealthCare Network of Pennsylvania, Home Nursing Agency, Lytle Behavioral Health, Penn State Altoona Health & Wellness Center, Primary Health Network and National Alliance on Mental Illness of Blair County (NAMI).

Drs. Minkoff and Cline are nationally recognized, board-certified psychiatrists with wide-ranging expertise. Each has been instrumental in program development and redefining recovery, treatment and consultation of persons with complex disorders. Their work extends to all levels of program implementation, including a significant consultative and teaching role for the Blair County treatment community.

Those interested in this subject may also be interested in attending a separate, daytime conference sponsored by NAMI, which requires registration. This is for consumers and by consumers of mental health services. It is entitled "On the Right Track - Empowerment, Involvement, and Recovery" and is being held 8:15 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The workshop is free but registration is required. For a conference brochure, please contact: Marcia Weller, executive director, NAMIPA, Blair County, (814) 943.0414, ext. 3065. Web site: www.nami.org/sites/NAMIPABlairCounty






April 12, 2011 - Altoona regional department of laboratory services attains accreditation

The Department of Laboratory Services at Altoona Regional Health System has attained accreditation by the Accreditation Committee of the College of American Pathologists (CAP) based on the results of a Jan. 24 onsite inspection. Altoona Regional is one of more than 7,000 CAP-accredited laboratories worldwide.

During the CAP accreditation process, inspectors examine the laboratory's records and quality control of procedures for the preceding two years. CAP inspectors also examine laboratory staff qualifications, as well as the laboratory's equipment, facilities, safety program and record, in addition to the overall management of the laboratory.

This stringent inspection program is designed to specifically ensure the highest standards of care for all laboratory patients by advancing the quality of pathology and laboratory services through education, standard setting, and ensuring that laboratories meet or exceed regulatory requirements. CAP accreditation is valid for three years.






April 1, 2011 - SURGICAL SERVICES NURSE RETIRES WITH 45 YEARS OF SERVICE

Shirley "Shortie" Ickes McNeel, a registered nurse in the Surgical Services department at Altoona Regional Health System, recently retired with 45 years of service.

McNeel was hired at Altoona Hospital as a registered nurse on March 7, 1966. In her 45 years of service, McNeel worked in the intensive care unit, medical-surgical units and recovery.

She lives in Imler.






March 31, 2011 - SOUP COOK-OFF BENEFITS FAIRVIEW AREA RESIDENTS

Brent Faust (right), surgical assistant, won with his corn chowder in a soup cook-off organized by registered nurses Denny Miller and Judy Nocita.
Operating room, anesthesia staff and physicians at Altoona Regional Health System raised money for the Ruth Hamilton House, a nearby home to help people in the Fairview area of Altoona.

A soup cook-off fundraiser was organized by registered nurses Judy Nocita and Denny Miller who work in the OR. The event raised $185.

"We often hold fundraisers for Hamilton House, which is owned by registered nurse Sandy Kovensky who works with us. We enjoy doing it. For the cook-off, we asked staff to anonymously prepare a variety of soups. Then, for a donation, staff and physicians sampled and voted for their favorites. It was fun and very delicious." Judy Nocita, said.

Brent Faust, surgical assistant, was the top vote-getter for his corn chowder. Volunteer chefs were Judy Nocita, Denny Miller, Cheryl Fedeli, Diana Lidwell, Jolene Young, Dr. David Higgins, Brent Faust, Jon Seiner, Melissa Patterson and Gene Moore.

"Everyone in the OR has been tremendous," Sandy Kovensky said. "They have held various fundraisers and made donations to the yard sales we have had for the residents."

Kovensky purchased The Hamilton House, 903 Lexington Ave., in 2007 after it had been abandoned for many years. The home, built in 1884, required extensive renovations, all done by Sandy and her friends. The second floor remains under construction; the first floor and large porch area will open in May, she said.

Photo: Brent Faust (right), surgical assistant, won with his corn chowder in a soup cook-off organized by registered nurses Denny Miller and Judy Nocita.






March 31, 2011 - PENN STATE ALTOONA LADY LIONS BASKETBALL TEAM CONTRIBUTES TO TEAM PINK

Fredina M. Ingold, Penn State athletic director, presents a check to Fred Thursfield, president, Foundation for Life
Penn State Altoona Lady Lions basketball team hit a slam-dunk and donated $2,000 to the Altoona Regional Foundation for Life TEAM Pink campaign in support of bringing lifesaving digital mammography to Blair County.

The team, coached by Donna Kling and Pat Nagle, sold T-shirts, collected money and donated ticket sale proceeds to TEAM Pink. The game was held Feb. 16 at the Adler Athletic Complex.

"We greatly appreciate the team's hard work and stellar effort," said Fred Thursfield, president of the Foundation.

Digital mammography uses computers and specially designed digital detectors to produce an image that can be displayed on a high-resolution computer monitor, and transmitted and stored like computer files. It is available at Altoona Regional's Station Medical Center outpatient radiology facility.

Photo: Fredina M. Ingold, Penn State athletic director, presents a check to Fred Thursfield, president, Foundation for Life.






March 31, 2011 - MARKETING EMPLOYEE ADDS INSURANCE RESPONSIBILITIES

Anne Stoltz, MBA
Anne Stoltz, MBA, has been promoted to marketing and insurance contracts manager at Altoona Regional Health System.

In this capacity, Stoltz will continue her responsibilities in the Marketing and Communications department while also working with Risk Management on various insurance-related duties.

Stoltz was hired in 2005 in the Marketing and Communications department. She has a bachelor's degree in public relations from Penn State and a master's in business administration from Saint Francis University.

She resides in Duncansville.






March 31, 2011 - NEW ADMINISTRATIVE DIRECTOR NAMED FOR EMERGENCY SERVICES

Kim Corle, R.N., MSN, MHA, CCRN
Kim Corle, R.N., MSN, MHA, CCRN, has been promoted to administrative director, Emergency department, according to Chris Rickens, R.N., senior vice-president/chief nursing officer at Altoona Regional Health System.

In this capacity, Kim will be responsible for the overall administrative and daily operations of the Emergency departments on both hospital campuses.

Corle began her career in 1987 as a registered nurse in a medical-surgical unit on the Altoona Hospital Campus. Her nursing career progressed as she became a clinical manager, nurse manager, and most recently a manager of quality and research.

She has a bachelor's degree in nursing from Penn State and two master's degrees from the University of Phoenix: one in nursing and one in health administration.

Corle lives in Martinsburg.






March 29, 2011 - SOME TERMINOLOGY AS CHANGES OCCUR AT ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM:

Altoona Hospital Campus
(includes the main hospital and adjoining buildings as well as the newly refurbished G Building, formerly the Altoona Center)

Altoona Regional Trauma Center
(located on Altoona Hospital Campus)

7th Avenue Campus
(formerly Bon Secours Hospital Campus)

Altoona Regional at Station Medical Center
(certain outpatient services)







March 29, 2011 - GRIEVING PARENTS FIND SOLACE IN NEW PERINATAL LOSS SUPPORT GROUP

Altoona Regional Health System is offering a new support group to help anyone who has experienced a perinatal loss.

The Perinatal Loss Support Group is a monthly, peer-led support group which meets the first Tuesday of each month from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Pregnancy Care Center, 501 Howard Ave, Building B., Suite 205, Altoona. The first meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 5. For more information, call 889-2706.

Each person who has experienced a perinatal loss is invited to share his/her story, tell about their baby, ask questions or discuss any topics in which he or she has an interest or need. Discussions will focus on coping with family and friends, creating memories, returning to work, due dates, holidays, baby's birthday, grief reaction (such as anger and depression), ways to express and deal with grief and pregnancy after loss. Each meeting will begin with a short introduction given by facilitators.

"Those of us working in this field saw a need for this type of service in our community," said Julie Vitko, R.N.C., nurse manager, Maternity department. "When our patients experienced the loss of an infant, either through miscarriage, stillbirth or newborn loss, we had nowhere to direct them where they could share their feelings. We did refer to Altoona Regional's Bereavement Support group; however, it is not specific to perinatal loss. We wanted to create something that was more specific to this unique situation."

The Perinatal Loss Support Group is a collaborative effort of the health system's Maternity, Pastoral Care and Behavioral Health departments and the Pregnancy Care Center.







March 29, 2011 - FOUNDATION FOR LIFE RAISES $90,000 THROUGH HEALTH CARE HONORS EVENT

The Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life is pleased to announce that its signature charitable event, Health Care Honors, held Monday, March 28, at the Blair County Convention Center, drew more than 300 guests and raised $90,000 in support of important programs and services for Altoona Regional patients and their families.

"We are so very pleased with the support we have received from private donors and corporate sponsors who realize how important it is to have high quality health care services in our own community," said Ann Benzel, chair, Foundation for Life. "Their generosity speaks volumes in regard to Altoona Regional's significance to our families, friends and neighbors in this region."

The Foundation for Life presented awards to the following six people in distinct recognition categories:

Robert E. Wertz, M.D. - Board of Directors Award
Dr. Wertz served as chairman of the Altoona Regional Health System and the former Altoona Hospital boards of directors for the past 25 years. During his tenure, Dr. Wertz's foresight, dedication and commitment to quality patient care and services have positively impacted the health care delivery system in our region. Under his board leadership, the two former city hospitals (Altoona and Bon Secours-Holy Family Hospital) merged in November 2004 to better serve the health care needs of our region. Dr. Wertz continues to provide a sound business and respected clinical perspective for the board.

Sister Mary Aquinas Tolusciak - Award of Honor
For more than three decades, Sister Mary Aquinas, a sister of the Holy Family of Nazareth, has been synonymous with the health care institution known through the years as Mercy Hospital, Bon Secours-Holy Family Hospital and Bon Secours Hospital Campus. On an average day, she arrives around 7:30 a.m. and doesn't eat, sleep or become distracted until she has satisfied the needs of every single patient and employee who has sought her help. Beneath the iconic stature, boundless energy and frank talk is a humble servant of God, who works tirelessly in the service of others.

Anthony J. Maniglia, M.D. - Health Care Professional Award
Over the past 30 years, Dr. Maniglia has made long-term contributions of time and talent to Altoona Regional. In addition to practicing as an internal medicine specialist with Blair Medical Associates, he has voluntarily served on more than 15 health system committees and most recently served as medical staff president from 2006 to 2010. Dr. Maniglia has maintained an excellent reputation among his peers and patients for his professionalism, dedication and compassion.

Sheldon R. Burk - Volunteer Award
For 11 years, Sheldon has given significant personal time (roughly 400 hours a year!) to Altoona Regional, volunteering every Monday and Friday in the laboratory. He puts in many "miles" pleasantly transporting specimens to and from hospital departments in a timely manner. More than 35 laboratory employees nominated Sheldon for this award, a fitting tribute to his dedication and service to the health care system and its patients.

Brenda A. Smithmyer, R.N., B.S.N. - First Responder "Hero" Award
An Altoona Regional employee, Brenda is being honored for her quick and professional reaction for an accident victim. While checking out at a local grocery store, she overheard that a pedestrian was hit by a car. She ran outside and found a young boy unconscious on the road. Brenda initiated CPR and continued lifesaving measures until paramedics arrived. The young boy was taken to the hospital and has recovered.

M&T Bank - Philanthropy Award
As the $100,000 title sponsor for the Foundation for Life's inaugural Health Care Honors event in 2008, M&T Bank helped establish a standard of philanthropic giving to Altoona Regional. M&T enabled the then newly formed foundation to aid the health care system in providing meaningful and lifesaving benefits to the community. The contribution clearly demonstrates M&T's commitment to its community and improving health care for local residents.

Platinum sponsors pledging $10,000 of support were Blair County Anesthesia, Hayes Large Architects and Kopp Drug.

Other sponsors included several community members and more than 50 local businesses, including $5,000 gold sponsors CBIZ Benefits and Insurance Services, HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Altoona, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, S.P. McCarl and Company and Sheetz.

"Being a member of this community and having worked closely with Altoona Regional for many decades, we understand the importance of providing quality medical services close to home," said S. Dwight Knouse, II, AIA, LEEDAP, executive partner, Hayes Large Architects. "Hayes Large is proud to support the vital role that the Foundation for Life plays in expanding health care access and helping those in need."

The Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life is a private, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which exists to inspire gifts from individuals, foundations, corporations and other entities to support the preservation of health care for the well-being of community members in Central Pennsylvania. As a qualified charitable organization, donations to the Foundation for Life are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.







March 29, 2011 - NEW DIMENSION IN OPEN MRI AND PATIENT COMFORT COMES TO ALTOONA

ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM INSTALLS SIEMENS 1.5T MAGNETOM ESPREE WITH TIM™ — WORLD'S FIRST OPEN BORE MRI


Altoona Regional Health System has installed the region's first open bore, 1.5 Tesla, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system that combines a larger bore, or opening, for obese and claustrophobic patients, with the ability to capture high-field quality diagnostic images.

Claustrophobic patients present a challenge for MRI systems. They can be sedated, adding to their inconvenience and the time it takes to schedule and perform an exam.

The Siemens Medical Solutions MAGNETOM Espree, installed at Altoona Regional's Station Medical Center Campus, features a bore opening nearly 2.3 feet in diameter and almost one foot of free space between a patient's head and the magnet.

The Espree also features the shortest 1.5 Tesla magnet available. Approximately 4 feet long, the magnet allows more than 60 percent of exams to be completed with the patient's head outside the bore, helping to ease claustrophobia.

"This is going to increase our efficiency and patient convenience," said Michael Corso, director, Imaging Services. "The patient-friendly design of this magnet will make it easier for large patients and those with claustrophobia to have an MRI examination that produces higher quality images. This will potentially reduce the need to repeat and interrupt exams."

Since two-thirds of American adults are overweight, the health-care industry is challenged to accommodate these larger patients with imaging systems that were designed for people who weigh much less. Currently, patients too large to fit inside the bore of a high-field MRI magnet have image studies done in open MRI systems with low-field magnets. This limits the diagnostic usefulness of the images obtained. The field strength of a magnet is measured in units of Tesla - the higher the number, the higher the field strength. The higher the field strength, the better the quality of images produced.

The new system provides up to four times more signal-to-noise ratio over traditional open MR designs, which is desirable in imaging larger patients. In addition, the Espree can perform advanced clinical applications in less time, because it combines strong gradient performance with Siemens' Total imaging matrix (TimT) technology. Tim is the first whole-body surface coil design that enables the highest resolution images in a shorter acquisition time. Tim coils are very light, making them both easy to position and tolerate when scanning larger patients, improving cooperation.







March 28, 2011 - ALTOONA REGIONAL NONINVASIVE LABORATORY ATTAINS ACCREDITATION

The Noninvasive Laboratory at Altoona Regional Health System has attained recognition for its commitment to providing a high level of patient care and quality testing for the diagnosis of vascular diseases, such as PAD (peripheral artery disease), DVT(deep venous thrombosis) and cerebrovascular disease. The facility achieved accreditation by the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Vascular Laboratories (ICAVL).

The Noninvasive Laboratory at Altoona Regional is one of a few accredited non-invasive labs in the area. And, it has been accredited since 1990 - one of the first 200 in the nation to meet the rigorous standards of the ICAVL.

During the accreditation process, every aspect of the laboratory's daily operations and its impact on the quality of health care provided to patients is assessed and reviewed. While completing the application, laboratories are required to identify and correct potential problems, revising protocols and validating quality assurance programs.

Participation in the accreditation process demonstrates the laboratory's attention to a high level of patient care and quality testing. ICAVL accreditation is valid for three years.

Patients are encouraged to ask their physicians if they are referring them to an ICAVL-accredited vascular laboratory for testing as these laboratories are considered to maintain the highest standards for care.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, costing society over $83.7 billion each year in health services, medications and lost work time due to disability.

Stroke, a disorder of the blood supply to the brain, is the third leading cause of death and disability in this country, with 500,000 new strokes occurring annually.

One American dies every 32 seconds of cardiovascular disease, disorders of the heart and blood vessels. Each year, 2 million people in the United States alone develop deep vein thrombosis - blood clots in the veins. This affliction becomes life threatening for 500,000 of those people when the blood clot breaks loose and travels to the lungs.

Early detection of these life-threatening vascular diseases is possible through the use of noninvasive vascular testing techniques performed within vascular laboratories.






March 24, 2011 - MEDIA ADVISORY

The Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life will hold its second Health Care Honors recognition dinner/fund-raiser from 6 to 9:30 p.m. on Monday, March 28, at the Blair County Convention Center.

Representatives from more than 50 local businesses and foundations, as well as several community members, will be in attendance in support of important programs and services that benefit Altoona Regional patients and their families.

The Foundation for Life will present awards to the following six people in distinct recognition categories:
  • Robert E. Wertz, M.D. - Board of Directors Award
  • Sister Mary Aquinas Tolusciak - Award of Honor
  • Anthony J. Maniglia, M.D. - Health Care Professional Award
  • Sheldon R. Burk - Volunteer Award
  • Brenda A. Smithmyer, R.N., B.S.N. - First Responder "Hero" Award
  • M&T Bank - Philanthropy Award
Please call Anne Stoltz at 889.6405 by noon on Monday if you plan to attend for media purposes or if you require further information about the event. An informational release will be provided at and following the event.






March 21, 2011 - ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF ELECTS NEW OFFICERS

Dr. Jack D. Schocker, president
Altoona Regional Health System's Medical Staff has elected new officers.

They are: Dr. Jack D. Schocker, president (pictured, right); Dr. Howard M. Black, vice president/chair of Medical Staff Executive Committee, and Dr. Jeffrey M. Rosch, secretary-treasurer. Dr. Anthony J. Maniglia, immediate past president, continues as a voting member of the executive committee.

They took office Jan. 1.

Dr. Schocker graduated from Hahnemann Medical College in Philadelphia. He completed his internship and residency at Hahnemann University Hospital. He is a board certified therapeutic radiologist in the department of Radiation Oncology and has been in practice since 1982.

Dr. Black graduated from Tufts University School of Medicine in Massachusetts. He completed his internship at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia and his residency at Muhlenberg Regional Medical Center in New Jersey. Dr. Black is board certified by the American Board of Surgery and has been in practice since 1987.

Dr. Rosch graduated from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. He completed his internship and residency at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. Dr. Rosch is board certified in allergy and immunology.

In addition to serving as a voting member of the Medical Executive Committee, Dr. Maniglia will chair the Medical Staff Nominating Committee. He was Medical Staff vice president from 2002-05 and president from 2006-10.






March 16, 2011 - ALTOONA REGIONAL OFFERS SUPPORT GROUPS/CLINICS IN APRIL

Altoona Regional Health System offers the following support group meetings and patient clinics in April as a public service to the community. They are listed alphabetically according to the campus on which they are conducted.

Support groups meeting on the Altoona Hospital Campus use the Allegheny and Bedford rooms and the Rotunda on the 6th floor of the Outpatient Center, and Dining Room B adjacent to the main cafeteria, 620 Howard Ave., Altoona;, and the 4F Conference Room in the Behavioral Health Center, 5th Street and Willow Avenue.

The Alzheimer's Disease Support Group meets at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 26, in the Allegheny Room. Please call 889-2141 for information.

The Bariatric Support Group meets at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 6, in the Rotunda. The Bariatric support group is for people who have had or are thinking of having gastric surgery or lap-banding. Please call 943-7040 for information.

Breastfeeding classes are offered to expectant parents Wednesdays, April 6 and 13, from 6-8 p.m. Please call 889-2557 for room assignment. Two-part class. Participants are encouraged to attend both parts.

The Breastfeeding Support Group meets at 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 27. Please call 889-2557 or 889-2310 for room assignment.

The Caregivers Corner Support Group meets at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, April 7, at Hoss's in Duncansville. For information, call 889-3123.

Central Pennsylvania Ostomy Society meets at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 17, in the Rotunda, Outpatient Center, Altoona Regional Health System, Altoona Hospital Campus, 620 Howard Ave., Altoona, 944-2766.

The Depression and Bipolar Support Group meets at 7 p.m. Wednesdays in Dining Room B, Fourth Floor, Altoona Hospital Campus Tower. Call 889-2141 for information.

Diabetes Outpatient Education is available by individual appointment and group sessions. A referral by a physician is required. Call 889-2487 for information.

The Parkinson's Support Group meets at 11 a.m. April 25, at Hoss's Restaurant, Altoona. Call 889-2141 for information.

Perinatal Loss Support Group meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 5, at the Pregnancy Care Center in Blair Medical Center, 501 Howard Ave., Building B, Suite 205. For more information, call (814) 889-2706.

The Support Group for Those Who Have Lost a Loved One to Suicide. Call 889-2706 for meeting information.

The following support groups and clinics meet at the 7th Avenue Campus Education Center, 2500 7th Ave. The Trzeciak Conference Suite is in the Education Center at 2621 8th Ave. For Kaufman Dining Room and fourth floor waiting room, please use the 7th Avenue entrance. For Physical Medicine gym, please use ER entrance on 8th Avenue.

Alcoholics Anonymous meets at 8 p.m. every Monday in Kaufman Dining Room. For information, call 946-9002.

The Breast Cancer Support Group meets at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 7, in the Trzeciak Conference Suite. For information, call 674-3708.

The Faith-based Bereavement/Grief Support Group meets at 6 p.m. Wednesdays, April 6 and 13, in the fourth floor waiting room. For information, call 889-4323.

The Stroke Support Group meets at noon Tuesday, April 12, in Kaufman Dining Room. For information, call 889-4463 or 889-3206.

Wheelchair Clinics will be held at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 12, in the Physical Medicine gym, second floor. Physician referral required. Call for information and appointment, 889-4463.






March 9, 2011 - ALTOONA REGIONAL CONTINUES MISSION-DRIVEN HEALTH CARE AS BSHSI SPONSORSHIP CONCLUDES

In November 2004, Altoona Hospital and Bon Secours-Holy Family Regional Health System merged, forming Altoona Regional Health System. Altoona Regional was formed as a values-based not-for-profit health care organization to improve the quality, efficiency and scope of health care services in the Altoona community.

Board members, leaders and staff from both of the merged entities have worked together for more than six years to advance the Altoona Regional mission, providing services at both the Altoona Hospital Campus and the Bon Secours Hospital Campus.

During these years Altoona Regional has conducted extensive evaluations of various quality and efficiency plans, space requirements, building codes, health care standards and community health needs. Based upon the evaluations, the Altoona Regional board determined, and the Altoona Regional corporate members (including Bon Secours Health System Inc.) agreed, that the best course to achieve long-term improvements in the quality and efficiency of health care services for the Altoona community was to combine acute-care services on the Altoona Hospital Campus and outpatient services at Station Medical Center.

A Facility and Service Enhancement Project has been under way at Altoona Regional since 2009 and involves construction and/or renovation at the Altoona Hospital Campus, the former Altoona Center, and Station Medical Center, and the associated relocations of services. This is a $60 million project designed to enhance the provision of health care services to the community.

This project is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2011.

When the project is completed, all Altoona Regional acute care and outpatient services will be consolidated at the Altoona Hospital Campus and Station Medical Center, and all health care services will end on the Bon Secours Hospital Campus. The hospital will close.

Bon Secours Health System has been privileged to participate in the sponsorship of Altoona Regional Health System and the shaping of future health care services to the Altoona community. With the consolidation project in place and under way, Bon Secours Health System has formally withdrawn as a corporate member of Altoona Regional, and Bon Secours Ministries has withdrawn as canonical sponsor of Bon Secours-Holy Family Hospital (Bon Secours Hospital Campus) effective March 8, 2011.

Rob Halbritter, chairman, Altoona Regional Health System Board of Directors, said: "The partnership established in 2004 between Altoona Hospital and Bon Secours helped build a stronger system of health care for our community. The progress continues to this day and will continue into the future thanks to that partnership."

Rich Statuto, BSHSI chief executive officer, said: "Altoona Regional is a values-based and mission-driven organization very consistent with that of a faith-based facility. It offers community-oriented, not-for-profit health care. Its board, leadership team and staff are committed to the health and well-being of the community."

Bon Secours' participation in the Altoona Regional partnership helped enhance what Altoona Regional does for the community. The success of this collaborative partnership resulted in the great organization we have today.

Altoona Regional will continue to grow into the future, consistent with the needs of this community and in line with our mission and values.

Pastoral Care will continue its faith-based ministry to patients, families and employees at both hospital campuses, and Mass will continue to be celebrated at both sites.






March 4, 2011 - PATRICIA ELLIOTT, R.N., RECERTIFIES AS POST ANESTHESIA NURSE AT ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM

Patricia Elliott, a registered nurse at the Altoona Regional Surgery Center
Patricia Elliott, a registered nurse at the Altoona Regional Surgery Center, was recently granted recertification of her Certified Post Anesthesia Nurse (CPAN) status by the American Board of Perianesthesia Nursing Certification Inc. (ABPANC).

The Altoona woman is one of 22 nurses nationwide and one of two in Pennsylvania who have attained CPAN status for the past 25 years - since the certification's inception in 1986. These elite nurses will be honored at the national CPAN convention in April.

Elliott has 38 years of service with Altoona Regional Health System.

She joins a group of more than 9,000 other perianesthesia nurses who are certified in their specialty. CPAN certification validates knowledge gained through professional education and experience. Nurses who take the next step beyond licensure by seeking voluntary board certification credentials, demonstrate a commitment not only to the perianesthesia nursing profession, but even more important to promoting quality patient care.

To achieve recertification, nurses must have a current, unrestricted registered nurse license, a minimum of 1,200 hours of perianesthesia nursing experience, and either successfully complete a rigorous three-hour, 175 multiple choice question examination or earn 90 contact hours through ABPANC's continual learning program. The certification credential is awarded for three years and must be renewed.

The CPAN and CAPA certification programs are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification, formerly known as the ABSNS Accreditation Council.






March 3, 2011 - ALTOONA REGIONAL SUPERVISOR ACCEPTS NEW POSITION

Sandy Thompson-Colyer, of Altoona
Sandy Thompson-Colyer, of Altoona, has accepted the position of greeter services coordinator for Altoona Regional at Station Medical Center.

In her new role, Thompson-Colyer will help create a friendly and caring atmosphere for patients and visitors at Station Medical Center. She will be part of Altoona Regional's mission of providing exceptional care by welcoming guests, escorting patients to their destinations, answering questions and coordinating a group of dedicated vol­unteers in ensuring service excellence.

She began her career at Altoona Regional as a part-time switchboard and paging operator. She has served as supervisor of Communications since May 2007.






February 24, 2011 - ALTOONA REGIONAL TO OPEN ADDITIONAL SERVICES AT STATION MEDICAL CENTER

On Monday, Feb. 28, Altoona Regional Health System will open its occupational medicine program - HealthForce - in the Station Medical Center, 17th Street and 9th Avenue, Altoona. Hours of operation are 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

HealthForce is available to treat employees of local businesses and industries. Services include physicals (DOT/nonDOT), fitness-for-duty evaluations and a full range of drug testing and OSHA surveillance. To contact HealthForce, call 889.4244.

The Imaging Services department will open diagnostic ultrasound on Monday, Feb. 28, and X-ray on Tuesday, March 1. Other services already operating at Station Medical Center are:
  • Digital mammography
  • MRI
  • Bone density
  • Breast ultrasound
"Altoona Regional at the Station Medical Center will not only make outpatient radiology services easier to reach but provide an upgrade to state-of-the-art technologies," said Michael Corso, administrative director of Imaging Services. "And, we'll be able to maintain our patient schedule without interruption from inpatient or emergency cases."

Hours of operation for Imaging Services at Station Medical Center will be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. The department's main phone number is 889.3806, but to schedule an imaging exam you must call Central Scheduling at 889.4222.

Other outpatient services moving to the new facility in coming weeks include Cardiac Rehabilitation, Sleep Center, Neurology testing and Surgical Pretesting.






February 28, 2011 - ALTOONA REGIONAL TO OFFER VALET PARKING TO EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT PATIENTS AT ALTOONA HOSPITAL CAMPUS

Beginning March 1, Altoona Regional will offer free valet parking for Emergency department (ED) patients at its Altoona Hospital Campus from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Monday through Friday. To receive this free service, patients must get their tickets validated at the Emergency department's front desk.

Valet parking will continue to be offered at the main entrance for all other patients and visitors of Altoona Hospital Campus from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, at a cost of $3.

The addition of valet parking for the ED is part of an overall expansion project scheduled to be completed in the fall, at which time all Altoona Regional ED services will be consolidated to the Altoona Hospital Campus.

When completely renovated, the ED will include approximately 52 treatment areas - 48 regular treatment bays and four trauma bays. This is an increase of 14 bays over the total now available at both hospital campuses.

"The increase in bays will reduce our wait times and improve the speed in which we can assess patients and give them the care they deserve," said Matthew Bouchard, M.D., chairman of Emergency Medicine. "Our goal is to improve the patient experience."






February 18, 2011 - ALTOONA REGIONAL'S DIGITAL MAMMOGRAPHY SERVICES TO OPEN FEB. 21 AT STATION MEDICAL CENTER

As breast cancer continues to take a staggering toll on American women and their families, Altoona Regional has made a million-dollar investment to battle the disease locally.

Digital mammography is world-class technology that saves lives, and is now available at Altoona Regional's Station Medical Center outpatient radiology facility.

Previously, many women traveled outside Blair County for the benefits of this leading-edge cancer detection method. Numerous studies prove that early detection is a vital component in the successful treatment of breast cancer.

"The use of mammography has greatly enhanced the ability to detect breast cancers at earlier stages," said Richard A. Wertz, M.D., a radiologist with Altoona Regional's exclusive radiology provider Lexington Radiology. "Now this new technology, called 'full field digital mammography,' shows great promise in the fight against breast cancer."

Mammograms play a central part in the early detection of breast cancer because they can detect changes in the breast that may be early signs of cancer but are too small or subtle to be felt. Digital mammography uses computers and specially designed digital detectors to produce an image that can be displayed on a high-resolution computer monitor, and transmitted and stored just like computer files.

"From a patient's point of view, having a digital mammogram is very much like having a conventional screen-film mammogram," explained Peter James, M.D., also with Lexington Radiology "Both film-based and digital mammography use compression and X-rays to create images of the inside of the breast."

During all mammography exams, the technologist positions the patient to image the breast from different angles and compresses the breast with a paddle to obtain optimal image quality. But unlike film-based mammography, digital mammograms produce images that appear on the technologist's monitor in a matter of seconds. There is no waiting for film to develop, which can mean spending less time in the breast imaging suite.

"Unlike other parts of the body, the breast is composed mainly of soft tissue," said Dr. Wertz. "When breast tissue is X-rayed, it creates an image that looks something like a smoky haze, making it difficult to see tiny 'spots,' called 'microcalcifications,' and other subtle signs of early cancer."

With digital mammography, the radiologist reviews electronic images of the breast using special high-resolution monitors. The physician can adjust the brightness, change contrast and zoom in for close-ups of specific areas of interest. Being able to manipulate images is one of the main benefits of digital technology.

"Another convenience of digital mammography over film-based systems is it can reduce the need for retakes due to over- or under-exposure," said Dr. James. "This potentially saves additional time and reduces your exposure to X-rays."

Because they are electronic, digital mammography images can be transmitted quickly across a network. Digital images can also be easily stored, copied without any loss of information, and transmitted and received in a more streamlined manner, eliminating dependence on only one set of "original" films.

"The addition of digital mammography at Station Medical Center completes the circle of Altoona Regional's investment in women's health," said Michael Corso, administrative director, Imaging Services. "We want to help women receive the screenings they need in order to help identify breast cancer at the earliest stage possible."

According to the American Cancer Society, women 40 years old and older should receive an annual mammogram. To schedule your digital mammogram at Altoona Regional, obtain an order from your physician and call 889.4222.

Altoona Regional is a nonprofit community health care provider. Two acute-care hospitals anchor the 497-bed system, which includes more than 20 affiliated health care companies. Altoona Regional offers centers of excellence in cancer care, heart care, neurosciences, behavioral health, vascular and wound care and much more. Its Regional Trauma Center serves more than 20 counties in Central Pennsylvania. The mission of Altoona Regional Health System is for exceptional people to provide exceptional health care.






February 17, 2011 - ALTOONA REGIONAL FOUNDATION FOR LIFE NAMES RECIPIENTS FOR MARCH 28 HEALTH CARE HONORS AWARDS

Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life's second Health Care Honors recognition dinner will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, March 28, at the Blair County Convention Center, Altoona. Dinner reservations are $65 per person, and a cash bar will be available. Health Care Honors is held to recognize exceptional personal contributions by Altoona Regional board members and employees, as well as associated health, safety and social service providers and philanthropists, to improve community health. Proceeds are used to support a recognized institutional need. The Foundation for Life will present awards to the following six people in distinct recognition categories:
Robert E. Wertz, M.D. - Board of Directors Award Robert E. Wertz, M.D. - Board of Directors Award
Dr. Wertz served as chairman of the Altoona Regional Health System and the former Altoona Hospital boards of directors for the past 25 years. During his tenure, Dr. Wertz's foresight, dedication and commitment to quality patient care and services have positively impacted the health care delivery system in our region. Under his board leadership, the two former city hospitals (Altoona and Bon Secours-Holy Family Hospital) merged in November 2004 to better serve the health care needs of our region. Dr. Wertz continues to provide a sound business and respected clinical perspective for the board.
Sister Mary Aquinas Tolusciak - Award of Honor Sister Mary Aquinas Tolusciak - Award of Honor
For more than three decades, Sister Aquinas, a sister of the Holy Family of Nazareth, has been synonymous with the health care institution once known as Mercy Hospital, then Bon Secours-Holy Family Hospital and now Bon Secours Hospital Campus. On an average day, she arrives around 7:30 a.m. and doesn't eat, sleep or become distracted until she has satisfied the needs of every single patient and employee who has sought her help. Beneath the iconic stature, boundless energy and frank talk is a humble servant of God, who works tirelessly in the service of others.
Anthony J. Maniglia, M.D. - Health Care Professional Award Anthony J. Maniglia, M.D. - Health Care Professional Award
Over the past 30 years, Dr. Maniglia has made long-term contributions of time and talent to Altoona Regional. In addition to practicing as an internal medicine specialist with Blair Medical Associates, he has voluntarily served on more than 15 health system committees and most recently served as medical staff president from 2006 to 2010. Dr. Maniglia has maintained an excellent reputation among his peers and patients for his professionalism, dedication and compassion.
Sheldon R. Burk - Volunteer Award Sheldon R. Burk - Volunteer Award
For 11 years, Sheldon has given significant personal time (roughly 400 hours a year!) to Altoona Regional, volunteering every Monday and Friday in the laboratory. He puts in many "miles" pleasantly transporting specimens to and from hospital departments in a timely manner. More than 35 laboratory employees nominated Sheldon for this award, a fitting tribute to his dedication and service to the health care system and its patients.
Brenda A. Smithmyer, R.N., B.S.N. - First Responder Brenda A. Smithmyer, R.N., B.S.N. - First Responder "Hero" Award
An Altoona Regional employee, Brenda is being honored for her quick and professional reaction for an accident victim. While checking out at a local grocery store, she overheard that a pedestrian was hit by a car. She ran outside and found a young boy unconscious on the road. Brenda initiated CPR and continued lifesaving measures until paramedics arrived. The young boy was taken to the hospital and has recovered.
M&T Bank - Philanthropy Award M&T Bank - Philanthropy Award
As the $100,000 title sponsor for the Foundation for Life's inaugural Health Care Honors event in 2008, M&T Bank helped establish a standard of philanthropic giving to Altoona Regional. M&T enabled the then newly formed foundation to aid the health care system in providing meaningful and lifesaving benefits to the community. The contribution clearly demonstrates M&T's commitment to its community and improving health care for local residents.
For sponsorship and/or ticket information, please call the Foundation for Life at 889.6406 or visit www.altoonaregional.org/gift_giving. To guarantee your reservation, please respond by March 14.






February 16, 2011 - FREE HEART ATTACK RISK ASSESSMENT AVAILABLE THROUGH ALTOONA REGIONAL

Altoona Regional is offering a free service called HeartAware that will tell people without symptoms if they are at risk for heart disease and help them avoid a potentially fatal attack.

Nearly 2,400 Americans die of heart disease each day, an average of one death every 37 seconds! It remains the number one killer of both men and women.

HeartAware prescreens people for heart disease using an online risk assessment. The assessment can be accessed by visiting www.altoonaregional.org/checkmyhealth.

To launch the assessment, click on the "HeartAware" icon on the home page and follow a series of simple steps. It only takes about seven minutes to complete.

The assessment asks questions about such risk factors as weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, family history and smoking habits. Participants immediately receive a report detailing their risk for heart disease, as well as recommendations to reduce those risks.

People who meet the clinical criteria for being at risk for heart disease have the option of receiving a free consultation with a nurse practitioner at Altoona Regional. The consultation includes a blood pressure check, a painless blood draw to measure cholesterol, a brief physical exam and recommendations for risk factor reduction.

"Altoona Regional is committed to offering the highest level of cardiac care," said Sharon Ciccarella, R.N., director of Cardiology. "HeartAware allows us to identify people at risk, without symptoms, and intervene before an event occurs. They may feel healthy on the outside, but inside, many are ticking time bombs."

Persons interested in taking part in HeartAware are encouraged to visit www.altoonaregional.org/checkmyhealth. Call 889.2005 for more information.






Altoona Regional was awarded accreditation from the Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP), an independent, recognized accreditation authority. It earned this distinction after HFAP conducted an extensive and objective review of the hospital's quality and safety standards.

"Altoona Regional clearly demonstrates a commitment to quality patient care," said Michael Zarski, CEO of HFAP. "We base our decision on federal standards, patient safety and treatment, quality improvement, and environmental safety. Altoona Regional met or exceeded standards in every case."

"We're proud to achieve this prestigious distinction," said Jerry Murray, Altoona Regional president/CEO. "By awarding us accreditation, the HFAP has recognized our commitment to providing outstanding care to our patients and our community. In fact, quality is consistently the priority focus in our strategic plans and goals."

The HFAP is one of only three national voluntary accreditation programs authorized by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to survey all hospitals and other medical facilities for compliance with the Medicare Conditions of Participation.

The HFAP is a nonprofit, nationally recognized accreditation organization. It has been accrediting health care facilities for more than 60 years and under Medicare since its inception. Its mission is to advance high quality patient care and safety through objective application of recognized standards. Its accreditation is recognized by the federal government, state governments, managed care organizations and insurance companies.






February 3, 2011 - ALTOONA REGIONAL AWARDED HFAP ACCREDITATION

Altoona Regional was awarded accreditation from the Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP), an independent, recognized accreditation authority. It earned this distinction after HFAP conducted an extensive and objective review of the hospital's quality and safety standards.

"Altoona Regional clearly demonstrates a commitment to quality patient care," said Michael Zarski, CEO of HFAP. "We base our decision on federal standards, patient safety and treatment, quality improvement, and environmental safety. Altoona Regional met or exceeded standards in every case."

"We're proud to achieve this prestigious distinction," said Jerry Murray, Altoona Regional president/CEO. "By awarding us accreditation, the HFAP has recognized our commitment to providing outstanding care to our patients and our community. In fact, quality is consistently the priority focus in our strategic plans and goals."

The HFAP is one of only three national voluntary accreditation programs authorized by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to survey all hospitals and other medical facilities for compliance with the Medicare Conditions of Participation.

The HFAP is a nonprofit, nationally recognized accreditation organization. It has been accrediting health care facilities for more than 60 years and under Medicare since its inception. Its mission is to advance high quality patient care and safety through objective application of recognized standards. Its accreditation is recognized by the federal government, state governments, managed care organizations and insurance companies.






February 3, 2011 - FOUNDATION HOLIDAY EVENT RAISES MORE THAN $40,000

Altoona Regional Foundation for Life's annual Holiday Splendor logo
The Altoona Regional Foundation for Life's annual Holiday Splendor gala and auction raised $43,000 to help fund the purchase and installation of the LifeNet System, which helps EMS teams start the clock earlier and deliver patients to the hospital with a better chance for successful outcomes.

The wireless data transmission system allows an ambulance crew to transmit to the emergency room physician the EKG on a patient experiencing signs and symptoms of a heart attack. This allows the physician to diagnose acute EKG changes that determine if the patient is an immediate candidate for heart catheterization.

"We sincerely appreciate all of this year's Holiday Splendor attendees, as well as the numerous businesses and individuals who sponsored the event, contributed auction items and made donations," said Ann Benzel, chair, Altoona Regional Foundation for Life. "Thanks to their dedication and contributions, everyone was able to enjoy a beautiful evening in support of our nonprofit community health care system."

Gold sponsors included Altoona Center for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Altoona OB/GYN Associates, HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Altoona, Highmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Holliday Corvette and S&T Bank. In addition to sponsorship support, Holiday Splendor was a big success due to the time and talents of volunteers, committee members and the staff of The Calvin House.

For more information on how you can make a gift in support of health care in our community, call 889.6406 or visit www.altoonaregional.org.

Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which exists to inspire gifts from individuals, foundations, corporations and other entities to support the preservation of health care for the well-being of community members in Central Pennsylvania. As a qualified charitable organization, donations to the Foundation for Life are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.






February 3, 2011 - DAVID J. BOZAK, D.O., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF

David J. Bozak, D.O.
David J. Bozak, D.O., has joined the Altoona Regional Health System Medical Staff in the Department of Medicine, Clinical Service of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Dr. Bozak practices with Blair Orthopedics.

He received his medical degree from Nova Southeastern University, Fla. He completed his internship at Memorial Hospital in York, Pa., and his residency at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore.






January 31, 2011 - GO RED DAY TO SUPPORT THE FIGHT AGAINST HEART DISEASE AND STROKE IN WOMEN SET FOR FRIDAY, FEB. 4

It's a simple, visible way to support the fight against heart disease and stroke in women on Friday, Feb. 4 - by wearing red.

Cardiovascular disease - heart attacks and stroke - is the number one killer of American women, causing one in every 2.6 female deaths.

Altoona Regional's Vascular Institute, Primary Stroke Center, Cardiac Rehab department, HealthForce and Healthy Living Club encourage you to stop by either hospital campus for a free blood pressure checkup. The blood pressure screening will be offered between 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. in the Atrium at Altoona Hospital Campus, 620 Howard Ave., and at the Bon Secours Hospital Campus, 2500 7th Ave., outside the gift shop.

Drawings will also be held to win gift certificates for vegetable and fruit trays prepared by the hospital Nutrition Services department and for Subway sandwich party platters.

Women's heart attack symptoms may be different from men's because women tend to have blockages not only in the main arteries but also in smaller blood vessels, according to Kay Adams, CRNP, manager, Vascular Institute. If experiencing symptoms, call 911! Do not drive to the hospital yourself!

Symptoms may include:
  • Neck, shoulder, upper back or abdominal discomfort
  • Shortness of breath - get winded, hard to catch breath
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Unusual fatigue
Risk factors for heart disease include:
  • Fat around the belly
  • High blood pressure (140/90 is Stage 1 hypertension)
  • High blood sugar (fasting blood sugar of 126 indicates diabetes)
  • High triglycerides
  • Mental stress and depression - makes it difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle and follow recommended treatment
Steps to prevent heart disease include:
  • Eat less red meat, more vegetables (red, yellow, green colors)
  • Eat more fiber (read labels for fiber content)
  • Exercise: Walk 10,000 steps a day
  • Reduce stress and emotional conflict - list stressors and what can be done about them
  • Increase joy and self-love - meditation, yoga, massage
In addition to heart attacks, cardiovascular disease also includes strokes.

Altoona Regional is a Primary Stroke Center, said Janet Ashurst, a cardiac care registered nurse, neuroscience clinical coordinator: "This means a dedicated stroke team of trained professionals is available to provide emergent evaluation and treatment to halt the progression of brain damage from stroke or impending stroke to area residents. The stroke team evaluates a patient through NIH stroke scale assessment, CT scanning, EKG and lab testing. It's available 24 hours daily."

Stroke is the number three leading cause of death in the U.S. and the number one cause of functional disability. Research has shown that compared to patients who received care in general medical units, patients on dedicated stroke units had a 17 percent reduction in death rates, a 7 percent increase in discharge to home and an 8 percent decrease in the length of stay, and the reception of a clot-busting drug rose from 2 to 10 percent.

If suspicious that a person has suffered a stroke, ask him or her to:
  • Smile. Does one side of the face droop?
  • Raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • Repeat a simple phrase. Does the speech sound slurred or strange?
If any of these signs of stroke are observed, call 911.

Altoona Regional is a nonprofit community health care provider. Two acute-care hospitals anchor the 497-bed system, which includes more than 20 affiliated health care companies. Altoona Regional offers centers of excellence in cancer care, heart care, neurosciences, behavioral health, vascular and wound care and much more. Its Regional Trauma Center serves more than 20 counties in Central Pennsylvania. The mission of Altoona Regional Health System is for exceptional people to provide exceptional health care.






January 20, 2011 - ALTOONA REGIONAL HOSTS STROKE COORDINATOR MEETING

Altoona Regional recently hosted the January meeting of the Central Pennsylvania Stroke Coordinator (CPSC) group. CPSC provides representatives from several facilities the opportunity to share successes and failures. Group members share information and knowledge on providing the best care to stroke patients.

Dinner for the meeting was sponsored by Susan Cheloski from Genentech, and Dr. Arthur DeMarsico, medical director of Altoona Regional's Vascular Institute, gave a lecture on carotid endarterectomy vs. stenting.

Representatives from Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Mount Nittany Medical Center, Susquehanna Health, Chambersburg Hospital, Pinnacle Health System and Ephrata Hospital attended the meeting at Altoona Regional.

Other hospitals involved but unable to attend include Lancaster General, Reading Hospital, Hanover Hospital, St. Mary's Hospital and Conemaugh Memorial Hospital.






January 20, 2011 - ALTOONA REGIONAL WELCOMES TWO NUCLEAR MEDICINE INTERNS

Drew Appleman, supervisor, Altoona Regional Nuclear Medicine, with student interns, Casey Miller and Jessica Jeffries.
Casey Miller and Jessica Jeffries began their eight-month Nuclear Medicine internship at Altoona Regional Health System. They are students at the University of Findlay, Ohio.

Casey is the daughter of Deborah and Dennis Miller of Duncansville. Jessica is the daughter of Josephine Dean of Connellsville.

Photo: Drew Appleman, supervisor, Altoona Regional Nuclear Medicine (center), with his sixth class of student interns, Casey Miller (left) and Jessica Jeffries.






January 20, 2011 - CARDIOLOGY TECHNICIAN RETIRES FROM ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM

Altoona resident Judy Klingeman, LPN/Cardiology technician
Altoona resident Judy Klingeman, LPN/Cardiology technician, Altoona Regional, retired Jan. 4 after 31 years of service. She was hired in 1979 and worked on Tower 11 until her 2004 move to Cardiology.






January 20, 2011 - ALTOONA REGIONAL NURSING ADMINISTRATOR PRESENTS AT NATIONAL FORUM

Paula M. McNulty, R.N., BSN, MBA
Paula M. McNulty, R.N., BSN, MBA, administrative director, Altoona Regional Nursing Resources, presented a poster at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's 22nd Annual National Forum on Quality Improvement in Healthcare in Orlando, Dec. 7 and 8.

McNulty's poster depicted Altoona Regional's Capacity Management Decision Grid, which was designed to be a one-page, front and back, user-friendly tool, adaptable by any hospital system.

The number of holds and in-house conditions lead to actions to be taken. The person responsible for each action is clearly noted. Reference standards, policies and guidelines are listed. It is simple and concise, a great tool for any nursing director, supervisor or administrator.

The forum was attended by 5,800 people from around the world and was broadcast by satellite to thousands more.






January 19, 2011 - ALTOONA REGIONAL'S OUTPATIENT LABORATORY SERVICES TO OPEN JAN. 24 AT STATION MEDICAL CENTER

(Assignment Editors: The opportunity to take photos and video of the move will be available Monday, Jan. 24. Please call 889-6405 to make arrangements.)

On Monday, Jan. 24, Altoona Regional Health System will open its second outpatient service - Laboratory Services - in the Station Medical Center, 17th Street and 9th Avenue, Altoona.

Services will include blood draws, EKGs, and specimen collection and drop-off. Results will be reported to your doctor's office usually within 24 hours of your visit.

"The opening will be a welcome convenience for our patients," said Joe Pufka, administrative director, Laboratory Services. "The facility is so much easier to access compared to the hospital campuses. The overall architecture of the building is spectacular, and the designers of the facility put the needs of our patients first.

"In fact, laboratory staff helped design the new department. We captured their years of experience, ideas and insight to develop a site that will meet the needs of our patients today and well into the future."

The outpatient Laboratory Services department has increased its staff and hours to better serve patients. Expanded hours will be Monday through Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays, 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The department also has a new phone number (889-2378) and a new fax number (889-7868).

Also beginning Jan. 24, Patient Access (registration) staff will be available at Station Medical Center to register and assist patients.

Altoona Regional's Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation department relocated to Station Medical Center in October 2010. Other services moving to the new facility include Cardiac Rehabilitation, Sleep Lab, HealthForce, outpatient radiology services, Neurology testing and Pre-Anesthesia.

Altoona Regional is a nonprofit community health care provider. Two acute-care hospitals anchor the 497-bed system, which includes more than 20 affiliated health care companies. Altoona Regional offers centers of excellence in cancer care, heart care, neurosciences, behavioral health, vascular and wound care and much more. Its Regional Trauma Center serves more than 20 counties in Central Pennsylvania. The mission of Altoona Regional Health System is for exceptional people to provide exceptional health care.






January 12, 2011 - ALTOONA REGIONAL'S CONTINUING MEDICAL EDUCATION PROGRAM RECEIVES ACCREDITATIONS

The Pennsylvania Medical Society Commission on Continuing Medical Education has approved Accreditation with Commendation of Altoona Regional Health System's Continuing Medical Education (CME) Program, without joint sponsorship privileges for a period of six years.

In addition, the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) Council on Continuing Medical Education notified Altoona Regional that the health care system passed the document survey review with 100 points and was awarded accreditation for a three year period as a Category 1 CME Sponsor.






January 6, 2011 - ALTOONA REGIONAL'S PROJECT SANTA RECEIVES OVERWHELMING RESPONSE

Tricia Nylan, R.N., (left) and medical secretary Michelle Carnicella, and gifts donated to Project Santa.
Community Education coordinator Dana Shade is proud to report that with the help of Altoona Regional employees, Christmas for 31 children from 10 families was a very merry one indeed!

"It was truly one of the most heartwarming Christmas experiences," said Tricia Nylan, R.N., clinical manager on Tower 10. "We had an absolute blast shopping for what became 'our kids.' The only thing that would have made it better would have been to see their faces Christmas morning! Thank you for bringing a truly wonderful experience to the hospital!"

Photo: Tricia Nylan, R.N., (left) and medical secretary Michelle Carnicella, Tower 10, stand beside some of the gifts donated for Project Santa.






January 6, 2011 - ALTOONA REGIONAL FOUNDATION FOR LIFE RECEIVES $2,500 DONATION

Girls Night Out check presentation to Altoona Regional's Foundation for Life
The planning committee for the third annual Girls Night Out fund-raising event recently donated $2,500 of its proceeds to the Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life. The event, held in October at the Jaffa Shrine, drew a crowd of 500 women.

Event chair Julie Bratton reported raising a total of $33,716 (a net of $13,000 more than last year).

"We wanted to give something back to our community," Julie said. "That's why we selected Altoona Regional's Foundation for Life to help local hospital patients."

Additional proceeds from the event were split between the Joyce Murtha Breast Care Center Foundation and the Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute.

To make a donation to Altoona Regional's Foundation for Life, please call 814.889.6406.

Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which exists to inspire gifts from individuals, foundations, corporations and other entities to support the preservation of health care for the well-being of community members in Central Pennsylvania. As a qualified charitable organization, donations to the Foundation for Life are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

Photo: At the check presentation are (front row, from left) - Dana Chestney, Girls Night Out committee member and four-year breast cancer survivor, and Ann Benzel, chair, Foundation for Life; (back row, from left) - Mike Corso, director, Altoona Regional Imaging Services; Fred Thursfield, president, Foundation for Life; Julie Bratton, Girls Night Out event chair; Nancy Campbell, secretary/treasurer, Foundation for Life, and Jerry Murray, president/CEO, Altoona Regional.






January 6, 2011 - REV. MCGAFFIN RETIRES FROM ALTOONA REGIONAL INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW COMMITTEE

Rev. Doug McGaffin (center) receives his

At its Dec. 15 meeting, Altoona Regional's Institutional Review Committee (IRC) accepted the resignation of committee member Rev. Doug McGaffin.

Rev. McGaffin voluntarily served on the committee as a community member for over 20 years. He was a patient advocate as investigational studies were reviewed. Altoona Regional's IRC defines expectations for conducting and incorporating research into clinical practice to protect patients and respect their rights during research, investigation and/or clinical trials involving human subjects.

In acknowledgement of his many contributions to the health care system and the IRC, Rev. McGaffin was presented with a "Resolution of Appreciation" signed by Altoona Regional President/CEO Jerry Murray, IRC chair Dr. Michael Drass and IRC vice chair Dr. Jeffrey Rosch.

The committee's feelings were conveyed in the resolution, stating: "Many of us have had the pleasure of working very closely with you throughout your career here and have witnessed the long hours of service you have provided to the IRC and our community, reflective of your dedication to our hospital and patient care.

"We are very proud to have had the opportunity to work with you, and in knowing that your participation on the IRC has allowed us to continue to provide a credible program within which our physicians and health care team can participate in research and/or clinical trials for the betterment of patient care."

Photo: Rev. Doug McGaffin (center) receives his "Resolution of Appreciation" from Dr. Michael Drass (left), Altoona Regional IRC chair, and Ron McConnell, Altoona Regional chief operating officer.






January 6, 2011 - SIMON LAMPARD, M.D., FACS, ELECTED TO PENNSYLVANIA TRAUMA SYSTEMS FOUNDATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Simon Lampard, M.D., FACS
Simon Lampard, M.D., FACS, has been elected to the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Foundation (PTSF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting standards for the operation of trauma centers in the commonwealth.

Dr. Lampard will join the 20-member board of directors that governs the activities of the foundation and will serve as the board's representative to the Pennsylvania Medical Society.

Since it was created in 1984, the foundation has developed a private, voluntary trauma center accreditation program, evaluated Pennsylvania hospitals and issued certificates of accreditation to those hospitals meeting the standards. The board of directors ultimately makes the decision on which hospitals are accredited as trauma centers and identifies issues needing correction.

"It is a great pleasure having Dr. Lampard join the PTSF board," said PTSF Executive Director Juliet Geiger, R.N., M.S.N. "He has been a passionate and committed leader of our rural trauma committee and will be a valuable asset as PTSF works toward improving trauma care to injured patients in rural regions of the state."

A fellow of the American College of Surgeons, Dr. Lampard is medical director of Altoona Regional's Trauma Service and is chair of critical care at the health care system. He is board certified and practices general surgery with Lexington Surgical Associates, Altoona.

The PTSF was created in 1984 by the combined efforts of the Pennsylvania Medical Society and The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania, along with the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association, the Pennsylvania Emergency Health Services Council, and the Pennsylvania Department of Health.






January 6, 2011 - HAITHAM M. HREIBE, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF

Haitham M. Hreibe, M.D.
Haitham M. Hreibe, M.D., has joined the Altoona Regional Health System Medical Staff in the Department of Medicine, clinical service of Cardiology.

Dr. Hreibe practices with Blair Medical Associates Cardiology, 501 Howard Ave., Suite D203, Altoona. He is board certified in cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Hreibe received his medical degree from the American University of Beirut and completed his residency at the University of Pittsburgh. He completed fellowships at the American University of Beirut, the Medical College of Georgia and the University of Florida College of Medicine.






January 6, 2011 - GOLAM MOSTOFA, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF

Golam Mostofa, M.D.
Golam Mostofa, M.D., has joined the Altoona Regional Health System Medical Staff in the Department of Medicine, clinical service of Internal Medicine.

Dr. Mostofa practices with Lexington Hospitalists Inc., Altoona. He is board certified in internal medicine.

Dr. Mostofa received his medical degree from Chittagong University, Bangladesh. He completed his residency training at Chittagong Medical College Hospital, Bangladesh, and Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Wilkes-Barre.






January 6, 2011 - ARTHUR J. DEMARSICO, D.O., ELECTED A FELLOW OF AMERICAN COLLEGE OF OSTEOPATHIC SURGEONS

Arthur J. DeMarsico, D.O.
Arthur J. DeMarsico, D.O., has been elected as a fellow of the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons.

Dr. DeMarsico serves as medical director of Altoona Regional Health System's Vascular Institute. He practices with Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, Altoona. He is board certified in general and vascular surgery.

The American College of Osteopathic Surgeons (ACOS) is a national organization committed to ensuring excellence in osteopathic surgical care through education, advocacy, leadership development, and fostering of professional and personal relationships.






January 6, 2011 - NANCY T. KENNEY, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF

Nancy T. Kenney, M.D.
Nancy T. Kenney, M.D., has joined the Altoona Regional Health System Medical Staff in the Department of Medicine, clinical service of Internal Medicine.

Dr. Kenney practices with Lexington Hospitalists Inc., Altoona. She is board certified in internal medicine and geriatric medicine.

Dr. Kenney received her medical degree from and completed her residency at the Medical College of Pennsylvania.






January 4, 2011 - ALTOONA REGIONAL'S NEW RADIOLOGY GROUP BRINGS EXPERTISE IN VARIETY OF AREAS

first Blair County baby of 2011
A first-class team of radiologists is using modern, safe imaging technology to bring patients of Altoona Regional the highest quality imaging services available.

The health system's team of experienced, board certified radiologists, known as Lexington Radiology, came to Altoona from all over the United States, bringing innovative diagnostic and interventional procedures to Blair County.

"The health care system decided to put something exceptional together for radiology services," Robin Prasad, M.D., medical director of Lexington Radiology, said. "We have a remarkable group of super-specialists from around the country, offering a variety of skills."

The physicians of Lexington Radiology are: Robin Prasad, M.D., medical director; Tomislav Deur, M.D.; Willy Hwang, M.D.; Peter James, M.D.; E.R. Karunaratne, M.D.; Mark Kuzucu, M.D.; Manesh Mathew, M.D.; Leslie W. Roub, M.D.; Richard Wertz, M.D., and Irini M. Youssef, M.D.

Group members' expertise includes fellowship training in neuroradiology, magnetic resonance imaging, angiography, interventional radiology, musculoskeletal imaging, nuclear medicine and cross-sectional imaging.

Radiologist training requires four years of medical school and five years of radiology residency. Fellowship training requires an additional one year minimum of in-depth specialty training under the guidance of a top radiology specialist in one specific area.

Altoona Regional patients can expect high quality, accurate reports given by radiologists who are among the most knowledgeable, experienced and skilled in their particular specialty area.

"At the heart of our team is dedication to those we serve - our patients, the referring medical staff," Dr. Prasad said. "We deliver phenomenal results using the best technology available."

For more information, visit www.altoonaregional.org/lexradiology or call 889.2854.






January 4, 2011 - ALTOONA REGIONAL PHYSICIANS TO PRESENT AT HEALTH-O-RAMA 2011

Join Altoona Regional Health System staff and physicians and more than 50 other exhibitors at Health-O-Rama on Saturday, Jan. 15, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Blair County Convention Center, Altoona. Parking is free.

The event is sponsored by Allegheny Mountains Convention and Visitors Bureau and Altoona Regional and is the region's largest health fair. It features informative and entertaining exhibits, interactive demonstrations, screenings and hands-on product displays.

The following is a list of Altoona Regional physicians who will present informative and helpful seminars on several medical conditions and procedures:

9:30 to 11 a.m.
Hip and Shoulder Pain: Common Causes and Treatments
Rooms 202-204
Christopher McClellan, D.O., and William Tyndall, M.D., Ph.D., orthopedic surgeons, University Orthopedics Center
Join Drs. McClellan and Tyndall for this presentation on common causes of hip and shoulder pain and the latest in minimally invasive treatment options. This discussion will include arthroscopic options and advances and the risks and benefits of total joint replacement. If joint pain is keeping you from doing the things you enjoy, don't miss this presentation!

10 to 11 a.m.
Don't Let Heel Pain Limit Your Life
Rooms 205-206
Bert Altmanshofer, D.P.M., board certified podiatric surgeon, Foot & Ankle Care
We've all heard the saying, "If your feet hurt, you hurt all over." If heel pain is limiting your activity, this presentation is for you! Join Dr. Altmanshofer as he discusses the more common causes of heel pain, including plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, Achilles tendonitis and tarsal tunnel syndrome, and their prevention, diagnosis and proper treatment.

10 to 11 a.m.
Statins: How Are They Helpful to Your Health?
Rooms 207-208
George Jabbour, M.D., interventional cardiologist, Blair Medical Associates
Statins have been shown to significantly reduce the risk of cardiac disease in patients with high cholesterol levels and to reduce the risk of heart attack in patients with and without proven coronary artery disease. In addition, statins offer reduced risk of stroke and peripheral artery disease. Join Dr. Jabbour as he discusses the benefits and possible side effects of statins.

11 a.m. to noon
Understanding and Living With C.O.P.D. (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary/Lung Disease)
Rooms 202-204
Timothy Lucas, M.D., pulmonologist,
Altoona Lung Specialists
COPD can be a debilitating illness. Signs of COPD can vary but generally include wheezing, chest tightness, chronic productive cough and/or shortness of breath, especially during exertion. Dr. Lucas will explain COPD, its diagnosis, treatment options and prevention. Learn how you can control symptoms, reduce risk of complications, minimize further damage and improve your ability to lead an active life.

11 a.m. to noon
On Top of Your Game: Nonsurgical Treatment Options for Your Aches, Pains and Strains
Rooms 205-206
David Bozak, D.O., physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist, Blair Orthopedics Musculoskeletal conditions can affect your muscles, joints, tendons and/or ligaments, causing pain and discomfort and limiting your ability to get the most out of everyday life, work and play. Dr. Bozak will discuss nonsurgical treatment options for musculoskeletal conditions and what you can do to prevent problems.

11 a.m. to noon
Skin Cancer: Would You Know It If You Saw It?
Rooms 207-208
Jane Rowe, D.O., dermatologist, Blair Medical Associates
Should you think about skin cancer in January? Absolutely! Skin cancer can strike any time, and while some types of skin cancer are easily curable when caught early, malignant melanoma is more serious as it is more likely to spread. Would you be able to recognize skin cancer if you saw it? Did you know that even if you stay out of the sun and tanning booths as an adult, time spent in your past has a lasting effect on your skin? Join Dr. Rowe as she discusses the different types of skin cancer, how to identify it, treatment and what you can do to prevent this potentially deadly disease from sneaking up on you.

1 to 2 p.m.
How to Stay Well and Prevent Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease
Rooms 202-204
Michael Humphrey, D.O., endocrinologist, Blair Medical Associates
Do diabetes and cardiovascular disease run in your family? Do lifestyle factors put you at risk for these diseases? Have you already been diagnosed? What can you do to prevent or control these debilitating diseases before they take control of you? Dr. Humphrey will answer these questions and discuss ways to put you on the road to wellness.

1 to 2 p.m.
Aging Eyes
Rooms 207-208
U. Fusan Cardakli, M.D., ophthalmologist of EyeDoc Associates
What normal eye changes occur with age? What are some of the more common eye diseases that can occur as we age? What can you do to keep your eyes healthy? Join Dr. Cardakli as she discusses these changes and their symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.

1:30 to 2:30 p.m.
Understanding Grief; Learning to Cope With Loss
Rooms 205-206
Rev. David Hammerle, Altoona Regional Pastoral Care and New Day Inc.
Grief is about loss, and loss is an event where life will be forever different. How do we cope with these feelings of grief? How long will they last? Does one ever get over loss? Is it possible to move forward and be happy again? Rev. Hammerle will help grieving people and those who care about them understand the grieving process and provide guidance toward the discovery of ways to cope and heal.

Dana Shade, Community Education coordinator at Altoona Regional, said the health system will also offer screenings for body fat analysis, sleep problems, osteoporosis, blood pressure, stress and more.

Admission is $2 for adults and children. For information, contact the Convention and Visitors Bureau at 943.4183 or 800.842.5866.






January 3, 2011 - FIRST BLAIR COUNTY BABY OF NEW YEAR BORN AT ALTOONA REGIONAL

first Blair County baby of 2011
The first Blair County baby of 2011 was born at 1:12 p.m. Jan. 1 in Altoona Regional Health System's Maternity department.

Zoey Leanne Kennedy was born to Danielle and Alex Kennedy of Altoona. She weighed 5 pounds, 13 ounces, and was 18 inches long.

As the first baby born at Altoona Regional, the family received the following gifts:
  • Mother: a dozen red roses and a $50 gift certificate from Target
  • Father: a $50 gift certificate from Target
  • Baby: a $200 savings bond
  • A newborn picture taken at the hospital at no charge.
There was one other baby born here Jan. 1. Her family received the following:
  • Mother: 1/2 dozen red roses and a $25 gift certificate from Target
  • Father: $25 gift certificate from Target
  • Baby: $75 savings bond
  • Newborn picture taken at the hospital at no charge.
Photo: Zoey Kennedy, the first Blair County baby of 2011, and her parents, Danielle and Alex Kennedy, are welcomed by Julie Vitko, nurse manager, Maternity, and Jerry Murray, president/CEO.




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