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1 E ast L iverpool C ity H ospital Entire contents 2013 by Volume 3, Number 1 SPRING 2013 East Liverpool City Hospital welcomes Akron Children s Hospital Page 3 Dr. Moncy Varkey joins River Valley Physicians Page 4 Infection control Page 6

2 In the last newsletter, we focused on all of the positive changes that are happening throughout River Valley Health Partners. All of these changes have been planned around improving your patient experience. We will continue to evolve our medical services to better meet your health care requirements, as we believe our people, facilities, and technology provide patients with great care. Within the medical community, we recognize that you are on information overload. You are bombarded with advertisements continually, whether you are at home watching TV, driving your car listening to the radio, reading the daily newspaper or analyzing a new purchase on the internet. We recognize that the primary time you seek information about health care is when those services are needed. With all of the recent activity around our health care system, we have also arrived at the conclusion that we need to improve our methods of communications to capture your attention and keep you aware of changes. In April of 2013, we launched a new website at The content we created is built around your patient experience, and it provides you with valuable information about preparing yourself for a hospital stay, how to speak to your children about surgery and suggestions on properly caring for a family member while they are hospitalized. We will continue to add new patient centric articles to the website to keep the content fresh and useful. The navigation of the website is user-friendly, and it is simple to find the information you are seeking. Since June of 2012, we have added around 700 friends to our Facebook page. We have introduced pictures of the new babies born in the hospital to the page. In addition, you will find press releases, informational articles and events. Our Facebook friends find the website fun, friendly and useful. Online communication is valuable to many people in the area that have computer and smart phone access, but we realize that online communications are restricted to people that have adopted the necessary technology. In 2011, we began mailing the Living Well newsletters to area residents. We have had a lot of positive feedback about our newsletter, as we believe it is far different from the content you receive from other area medical facilities. Instead of just using the newsletter as a marketing tool, we seek to provide you value by informing you of trends in medicine, medical success stories, new purchases and recently added services. Our newsletter is different because it helps to keep you informed. It is not a sales pitch and it does not just tout our successes about the awards we have received. It does contain useful information about what health care services we can offer you and how our implemented changes are resulting in a better patient experience. We will continue to participate in events that bridge the gap of information that exists between the hospital and the regional community. We will once again be at the Columbiana County Fair in late July/early August and at other area events answering your medical questions. Please take a moment to stop by and speak to us when you see us. Thank you for continuing to use our services. Sincerely, Kenneth Cochran, RN, FACHE President & Chief Executive Officer River Valley Health Partners Thank you for reading this edition of Living Well. While we hope you find the content of this newsletter helpful and informative, we want to emphasize that it is not intended to serve as medical advice. If you have any questions regarding your treatment or care, always consult a physician. If you have questions, comments or suggestions regarding Living Well, send us an at If you would like to receive Living Well at home, please subscribe by calling Living Well Spring 2013

3 East Liverpool City Hospital welcomes Akron Children s Hospital When area residents are asked which regional medical center offers the best care for pediatric medicine, a vast majority of area residents believe in Akron Children s Hospital. East Liverpool City Hospital (ELCH) is now one of over 80 locations that offer the specialized care provided by Akron Children s Hospital. ELCH transitioned its 15 bed pediatric unit in January of 2013, so that patients could experience the best care available for their families. Melissa Monte, Nurse Manager for Akron Children s Hospital at ELCH explained, The nurses have adopted Akron Children s model which enhanced the standard of care for our patients. We have experience in properly treating the infants, children and adolescents according to their developmental stage with treatments options available that result in the best outcome. Now, families from Columbiana County, Ohio and neighboring West Virginia and Pennsylvania communities can experience the medical expertise that is associated with Akron Children s close to home. Upon being admitted by the ELCH Emergency Department, you can expect your child to be treated in East Liverpool for gastrointestinal problems, respiratory, ears, nose and throat conditions, and general surgical care. When your child is experiencing a medical condition outside of these specialties, the physicians and nurses can gain access to expertise remotely through Akron Children specialists associated with burns, cancer and blood disorders, cardiovascular, diabetes and endocrinology, fetal treatment, genetic treatment, neurodevelopment, plastic and reconstructive surgery and vision problems. While the quality of care you receive is your primary concern, we know how to wow people with the details. We are going out of our way to bring about a few smiles during your stay and to promote a better experience. The pediatric unit within ELCH has been renovated to promote healing in a child friendly atmosphere. The workstations on wheels (wows) look like lady bugs and giraffes and children s artwork adorns the hallway to bring sunshine with rainbows even when the outdoors aren t cooperating. A playroom is available right in the unit, and in many cases you can hear giggling and laughing coming from patients and their brothers or sisters visiting them. The walls have been painted in bright, friendly colors, and the flooring has been updated and includes a brightly colored design. According to Ken Cochran, CEO of River Valley Health Partners, At East Liverpool City Hospital, the changes we have recently implemented offer our patients the best quality care and optimal medical outcomes. The collaboration with regional health care providers such as Akron Children s Hospital instills confidence in our community that they will receive the best pediatric care possible. Akron Children s Hospital sees over 600,000 patients annually and is ranked nationally in eight pediatric specialties. By partnering with Akron Children s Hospital, sick children have access to quality care locally in Columbiana County. At ELCH, our area children are very important to us. Besides the collaboration with Akron Children s Hospital, we are creating more programs to assist children in living happier and healthier lives. Some of the programs include: Head and impact testing for concussions by partnering with local schools Staffing area schools with athletic trainers Autistic programs for families Health and fitness programs to combat obesity Living Well Spring

4 Dr. Moncy Varkey joins River Valley Physicians as its newest Family Doctor When asked about the criteria someone should consider when selecting a family physician, Dr. Varkey stated something that was insightful about his personality. He thought from the patient s perspective when he said, I m a doctor that doesn t have a doctor. I don t like most doctors because they are late, perform lots of expensive tests and typically rush through an office visit. Most doctors are not considerate of your time or money. When prompted further, Varkey continued by mentioning that finding a doctor is an investment. He believes you should speak with the doctor and get to know them. Patients should learn about their own needs and try to match them to their doctor. When deciding on a new doctor, you should determine whether you are a person that needs motivation to stay healthy or do you need a health partner that listens carefully to your ideas. According to Varkey, doctor s visits should be easy and relaxed. Often, physicians will throw terms at patients that are unnecessary. It is my opinion that doctors need to relate to their patients in easy and understandable terms. I suggest when finding a doctor that you seek someone that is willing to spend the time with you to address all of your health concerns. Moncy s background Dr. Varkey is originally from Olney, a Northeast suburb of Philadelphia. He attained his undergraduate degree from LaSalle University in Philadelphia, attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and performed his residency at the Sacred Heart Hospital in Allentown, Pa. Upon completing his residency program, Dr. Varkey interviewed at several hospitals. He and his wife Nancy chose East Liverpool, because the area felt welcoming. In his own words, Moncy stated, we were looking for a small town atmosphere that was lively, not too urban or too suburban. East Liverpool made quite an impression during our visit. He completed his residency in July and started practicing at the River Valley Family Practice in Calcutta in September. Moncy and Nancy placed more permanent roots in the area when they recently closed on a house in East Palestine. Nancy is currently a Physician Assistant. You may run into her at the hospital, where she will be working. When you see them, make certain to welcome them both to the community. Schooling was instrumental in manifesting his enthusiasm for a medical career. It was during those years that Moncy found people that inspired him to strive to provide more of a personal touch. Dr. Varkey expanded on this point by mentioning, I don t want to be someone that treats It is fulfilling to be in the position to help people live longer, happier lives. Dr. Moncy Varkey patients based on only numbers and statistics or is driven by money to push through a certain numbers of patients each day. I want to be a doctor that treats the individual. I was inspired to become a primary care physician, because I see them as the heroes in medicine. A good relationship with your doctor is going to prevent heart attacks and 4 Living Well Spring 2013

5 strokes. I enjoy meeting with people and establishing relationships. I find the prospect of partnering with a patient to help them manage heath care decisions throughout their life to be rewarding; it is fulfilling to be in the position to help people live longer, happier lives. When asked about his most rewarding medical experience he could recall, a woman in her sixties that had been suffering from back pain for years came to mind. She had visited orthopedic specialists, pain management specialists and she had been taking medication for her pain. Moncy treated her back and hip. She was touched by his care and demeanor. Though she is not completely pain free, her pain is not as intense. Dr. Varkey explained, I made a connection with this patient by helping ease her pain through a different method of treatment that resulted in improving her quality of life. It made me feel fulfilled. I enjoyed overcoming her pre-existing expectations of medicine and outcomes by having her try something new that had a positive impact on her persistent health problems. Dr. Varkey as your partner in health Setting expectations can help to alleviate the anxiety of meeting a doctor for the first time. During a patient s first visit, physicians typically begin by establishing a patient s history and perform a wellness check. Dr. Varkey will ask patients questions to get to know them. He said, I want new patients to feel comfortable with me as their doctor, so I try to relate to them on a personal level by making some small talk. I m an avid football fan, I follow the Eagles, which opens up some great conversations. I enjoy watching movies, reading, playing video games and eating some good junk food. I also enjoy exercising by bike riding or jogging. These are conversation starters that I have with most of my patients to help to put them at ease. During the wellness visit, Dr. Varkey analyzes and makes suggestions to help patients lead a healthy lifestyle for the long term. He also discusses any medical topics and procedures, ensuring that the patient understands why they need to be performed. Upon meeting Dr. Varkey for the first time, people will find him to be friendly and talkative. They will encounter a professional that likes to put a patient s fears aside and works with them to maintain or improve their quality of life. During the information age, patients have become more informed. They medically treat themselves by talking with a pharmacist or by trying a home remedy based upon their symptoms. According to Dr. Varkey, The availability of medical information to patients today is truly wonderful. I welcome the opportunity to speak with my patients about their thoughts on their ailment and the treatments they have discovered. Once a diagnosis is made, I talk with the patient about the options they present and additional options I have to offer. My greatest concern is continued quality of life, and I ll inform the patient how their decisions could impact it by partnering with them on treatment options. River Valley Physicians are an extension of River Valley Health Partners. Dr. Varkey and Dr. Mehlenbacher are primary care physicians that share an office at St Claire Avenue within the Delta Plaza at Suite 201 in Calcutta. To contact either doctor for an appointment, call them at River Valley Health Partners also comprises the East Liverpool City Hospital, The Therapy Center in Calcutta, The Therapy Center II in Lisbon, Dasco-River Valley Home Medical, and Ohio Valley Home Health Services. River Valley Health Partners health system accelerates your diagnosis, care, and recovery through seamless communication. The organization serves residents of Columbiana County, Ohio and surrounding communities in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Contact us at or visit the website at Living Well Spring

6 Creating a better hospital experience through Infection Control There are many departments within a hospital that form the patient experience. It would be rare for you as a patient to interact or even be aware of a department that is empowered to create policy, proactively manage patient information and direct hospital personnel to protect patients by preventing infection and managing highly communicable diseases. Hospitals have an Infection Control Department that performs this role. The Infection Control manager implements policies and procedures based upon best practices learned from experience within the hospital and shared information between health care systems. Their job is to protect the health and well-being of the general hospital population, which includes patients, their families and hospital employees. In some instances, in order to ensure patient safety, steps are taken to isolate affected patient from others through specialized rooms or specific environmental suits that must be worn in the patient s presence. The Infection Control Manager at ELCH, Julie Dunlop, begins her day by analyzing lab tests from patients, and looks for red flags; such as blood cultures that indicate a patient has C diff (clostridium difficile) which is a bacteria that causes diarrhea and severe inflammation of the colon, MRSA (methicillinresistant staphylococcus aureus) a form of bacteria that is resistant to traditional antibiotics, influenza and other diseases that could impact the health of patients within the hospital and people within the community. During 2012, ELCH treated four C-Diff cases and four MRSA cases while discharging 8,312 patients. Once a patient has been identified with these conditions, there is a formal procedure that the hospital follows to reduce the potential for exposure. East Liverpool City Hospital has taken steps to reduce the potential for the spread of contagious viruses by deploying several hand sanitizers that include an alcohol based solution that significantly reduces the spread of influenza. The Infection Control manager also provides a flu shot to hospital employees. During the flu season of , she immunized 95.37% of hospital employees. ELCH has the expertise and capability to treat patients with various medical problems. In the emergency department, you will find negative flow rooms that are specifically designed to contain pathogens and contaminants from escaping the room by continuously bringing in fresh air, while removing existing air safely. ELCH is also equipped to manage a patient s exposure to chemicals, radiation and other harmful conditions. The Infection Control department also measures our success in treating our patients by looking for trends and patient outcomes that are outside of national and regional measurements. When a problem appears statistically, an investigation ensues. Typically, infection control will look for something new that has been introduced to a medical procedure or process in an effort to rapidly determine the cause of a discovered medical condition. These investigations are quite extensive, and may introduce new steps within our policy for patient care. ELCH has a proud tradition of safely caring for our residents. During 2012, ELCH experienced; No post-operative infections associated with 86 Cholecystectomies. Two post-operative infections associated with 921 surgeries. No ventilator-associated pneumonia reported during 324 ventilator days. One catheter associated urinary tract infection occurred during a total of 2,227 catheter days. At ELCH, our proactive approach has led to great results for patient care. The employees take pride in their work so that you do not have to worry about preventable exposure to diseases and infections. ELCH, your local hospital has the knowledge, equipment, technology, procedures and the people in place to properly care for your medical needs. Our attention to detail is a part of providing you with a positive patient experience by delivering the best care possible. 6 Living Well Spring 2013

7 Inspired Nicole Smith, a pharmacist with East Liverpool City Hospital, was graduating with her Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of Florida in the winter of A requirement for graduation was completing a research paper. The inspiration for this paper was finding an answer through medical research to her mother s symptoms of dizziness. Nicole s mother had been diagnosed with diabetes 28 years ago. She had recently begun having symptoms of dizziness while standing up. The clinical term for her experience is orthostatic hypotension, which is a sudden drop in blood pressure when standing up or stretching. Nicole found that several studies existed, but none of them analyzed the success rate of using medicine to treat people with diabetes with these same symptoms. She decided to review the previous case studies performed, and extract the information on diabetics that were treated for these same conditions. The paper summarizes which medications and treatment options were most effective in treating the condition for diabetics. Nicole found that this paper generated interest outside of school, and she was recently published in The Journal of Pharmacy Technology, Volume 29 Number 1 in the January/February 2013 online edition. The title of her article is Orthostatic Hypotension in the Patient with Diabetes: A Broad Review of Pharmacologic Treatment Options. Her paper also included studies on the successful use of options besides medications. They included exercises, the use of physical binders, and drinking a cold glass of water prior to standing. Upon completing her research, Nicole s mother has tried the various medications that were successful in treating other diabetics, but they were unsuccessful in treating her symptoms. Nicole had noted that many of these instances of Orthostatic Hypotension go unreported to a person s primary care physician, as many people think this is a condition that was associated with aging or just written off by others as something that is not medically a concern. Nicole recommends speaking to your doctor about these symptoms, as there are treatment options available. Nicole grew up and graduated from Wellsville High school in 1996 as its Valedictorian. The people within the hospital are very proud of Nicole s recent publication. She is an example of a local product making a difference in the lives of the people from East Liverpool and its surrounding communities. Living Well Spring

8 425 West Fifth Street East Liverpool, OH Calendar of Events at ELCH East Liverpool City Hospital invites you to the following events. This schedule may change, so please call the listed number if you are interested in any of the offerings. Heart Saver First Aid and CPR May 21, August 27, November 26 8 a.m. 1 p.m. Education Conference Room Fee: $25 This American Heart Association course will teach basic first aid principals for medical and injury emergencies. It is designed for non-health care professionals (such as persons in business and industry who may be expected to respond to emergencies in the workplace), parents, grandparents, babysitters, daycare providers, teachers, lifeguards and coaches. The course is also appropriate for health care professionals including nurses, paramedics, pharmacists, clinical students. This is a five-hour class. Call to register. Advanced Cardiac Life Support November 4, 9 a.m. Education Conference Room Fee: $35 for recertification $35 for the course manual This American Heart Association course is designed to teach participants advanced cardiac life support (ACLS). It will teach a systematic approach to dealing with people experiencing cardiopulmonary emergencies and sudden death. It is designed for health care professionals including nurses, physicians, paramedics and respiratory therapists. Call to register. Health Care Provider CPR and Recertification May 20, June 24, July 29, August 26, September 30, October 28 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Education Conference Room Fee: $10 This American Heart Association course is designed to teach basic life support (BLS) and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) of the adult, infant and child. It will teach how to recognize and respond to lifethreatening emergencies such as cardiac arrest, respiratory arrest and foreign-body obstruction. The course is intended for health care professionals. Call to register. Participants must register at least one week in advance. Childbirth Class First Saturday of every month, 9 a.m. This class is designed to train expectant parents in breathing/relaxation techniques and what to expect during labor and delivery. Topics of discussion include pain medications, c-section deliveries, infant care and breastfeeding. The class is held in the Obstetrics Department and is intended for expectant mothers who are six to seven months pregnant and their significant others. Call for more information. Breastfeeding Preparation Class First Saturday of every month (except holidays) 9 a.m. The class is provided by the Obstetrics Department, during which participants receive practical evidence-based information and support to help enhance the breastfeeding experience. It is especially helpful for expectant and new moms! Call to register. Breastfeeding Support Group First Saturday of every month (except holidays) 11 a.m. This class is provided by the Obstetrics Department and is designed for breastfeeding moms and their babies. Moms receive instruction on breastfeeding techniques by a certified lactation consultant along with information and support to help enhance the breastfeeding experience. Babies are weighed each week. Call to register. Diabetes Education Class May November (dates TBA) 4-6 p.m. Education Conference Rooms This eight-hour class is broken up into two or three sessions (two or three evenings). The class covers a wide range of topics including diabetes disease process, acute complications, long term complications, foot care, eye care, nutrition, medications, exercise and glucose testing. The class is provided through the Cardiac Rehabilitation Department and is especially helpful for those who are newly diagnosed, those having difficulty managing the disease or those who need a refresher. Call for dates and to register. Arthritis Aquatic Class Monday, Wednesday and Friday 11 a.m. to Noon $30 for the six-week session $10 for YMCA members The Therapy Center at the Calcutta YMCA The Arthritis Exercise Class is an educational and recreational exercise program that teaches participants to manage symptoms, maintain independence and enjoy life. It is suitable for any adult with any type of arthritis. Participants must have consent from their physicians and be able to walk independently or with assistive devices. If in a wheelchair, you must be able to enter and exit the pool with a ramp. Call to register. Autism Support Group June 5, August 7 and October 2 6:30 7:30 p.m. East Liverpool City Hospital Education Rooms This program provides participants with information about caring for autistic spectrum disorders. It is designed for caregivers, and provides chances to share resources and network with other caregivers. It is also helpful to family members, teachers, health care providers and anyone interested in learning more about autism spectrum disorders. Call for information. You Can Quit! Stop Smoking Program Dates and times vary. Education Conference Room This six-session outpatient course is designed to provide information, resources and support for anyone wanting to stop smoking. Classes are taught by certified smoking cessation instructors. Contact the Ohio Department of Health at for help. Call or to register. Parkinson s Disease Program: LSVT Loud An individualized high effort speech therapy program that improves voice projection, which results in improved speech clarity. The program focuses structured tasks for each individual to help them carry over the loud voice from the therapy session into the real world. To obtain additional information about the program or to make an appointment, call Parkinson s Disease Program: LSVT BIG An individualized high effort physical therapy program that improves the capability of people with PD to perform everyday tasks with greater confidence. To obtain additional information about the program or to make an appointment, call Note: Upon request, ELCH also offers other classes for groups of eight to 10 people. The fees vary. To request a group session or to find out what is scheduled, call These classes include: ECG Interpretation Heartsaver CPR Contact Information Anesthesiology Cardiology Emergency Medicine Family Practice Gynecology/Obstetrics Hospitalists Internal Medicine Pediatrics Radiology Surgery Physician Referral Assistance

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