Honoring Compassionate Emergency Care During EMS Week
When President Gerald Ford and the American College of Emergency Physicians declared the first National Emergency Medical Services Week in 1974, EMS professionals were still figuring out their role in healthcare. Now, we recognize EMS workers as an integral part of patient care, saving lives all across the country at all hours of the day and night.
This year marks the 41st annual National EMS Week and introduces the “EMS Strong” campaign. Hospitals around the country will be honoring the work of EMS workers with celebrations and events this week and throughout the year.
Here at OVH, we see the strength of EMS professionals every day in their willingness to work long hours and their compassion for their patients and Western PA communities. But some acts stand out as above and beyond the call of duty. Thomas McAllister, of Valley Ambulatory Authority, is no exception. McAllister’s efforts show that sometimes unconventional measures can make the best compassionate care, and make a patient feel like family.
While talking with an elderly patient with diabetes, McAllister learned that the patient did not have anything to eat that day. McAllister immediately went to the kitchen and made her breakfast. Instead of simply recommending next steps for the patient to follow or even transporting her for an unneeded visit to our emergency care clinic, McAllister took the time to do what he felt was right for that patient.
The hard work and dedication of our EMS workers are critical to OVH’s efforts to serve Pittsburgh’s communities. Every patient in our care is treated with the compassion and closeness of family, and we’ve been working that way for over 100 years. Our efforts to maintain this standard are made easier by the efforts of outstanding individuals like Thomas McAllister and every member of our EMS teams.
We would like to take this time to thank the EMS agencies who help carry out mission of compassionate care:
Have you had a great experience with our EMS workers? Share your story on our Facebook page!
Honoring the Passion Dedication of Our Nurses during National Nurses Week
The nursing profession has changed a lot since Ohio Valley Hospital’s School of Nursing opened in 1901. The rise of Intensive Care Units, emergency departments, and other specialties have led to more advanced technical skills for nurses to learn, as well as the development of multiple nursing specialties. Nurses can now pursue master’s and doctorate degrees and work more directly with patients.
However, one aspect of the nursing profession has not changed: A commitment to improving lives while honoring and respecting the patient.
Today marks the first day of National Nurses Week — a week-long celebration of the nursing profession and the role nurses play in delivering the highest level of quality care to their patients. Organized by the American Nurses Association (ANA), this year’s theme is “Ethical Practice. Quality Care.” The ANA will be treating the week as an opportunity to promote and advocate the rights, health and safety of nurses and patients alike. Here at OVH, we’re celebrating by honoring the nurses who support our various departments and our School of Nursing.
Fulfilling a Dream
Compared to 100 years ago, the scope of the nursing profession is much larger today. At OVH, this new scope of nursing is everywhere — especially when you talk to Barb Michel , our Interim Director of the School of Nursing.
Michel has worked at OVH for nearly 15 years and has had various roles and responsibilities as a nurse and nurse educator throughout the years — and they all helped her fulfill a childhood dream.
“From the time I was 12 years old, I wanted to be a nurse and help people,” she says. “I wanted to work in obstetrics and deliver babies — and to be the head nurse. And I reached those goals.”
Prior to her time at OVH, Michel worked as a Labor & Delivery nurse — even delivering her own niece and nephew — and managed different obstetrics departments. Now at OVH, teaching future healthcare professionals through our nursing program has been a key aspect of fulfilling her dream as well.
“In every position I have had in nursing, I loved to teach. That is what I have been doing since coming to OVH. It makes me very proud to see what my graduates have accomplished!”
Other nurses at OVH have found their calling by focusing on a specific type of nursing. Anna Reily, RN, started out as a nurse’s aide in OVH’s acute rehab unit (ARU) back in 2007. Since then, she’s transitioned to being an RN in the ARU. Now a clinical educator for the School of Nursing, Reily credits her family’s nursing roots for her passion for patient care.
“I followed in the footsteps of my grandmother and great grandmother by becoming a nurse. I have always been fascinated by the human body and everything it’s capable of. I enjoy making a difference in people’s lives, talking to people, learning about them and from them,” she says.
As a nurse in OVH’s ARU, Reily has been fortunate enough to feed another personal passion — connecting with people.
“With respect to acute rehabilitation, I felt it was a good fit for me because the longer length of stay — these patients give me the opportunity to create a bond with them.”
“Teaching has always been one of my talents and passions, and I’m fortunate to have been given the opportunity to be the clinical educator as well. Most people, if they are lucky, are able to fulfill one of their dreams. I, on the other hand, was able to fulfill two of them and combine them together — it’s an amazing and beautiful thing!”
Our Nurses on Quality and Ethics
OVH’s entire staff is committed to personalizing care for each patient. Given that the theme for this year’s National Nurses Week is “Ethical Practice. Quality Care,” we asked some of our nurses about what this phrase means to them.
Courtney Rice, RN, a graduate of OVH’s School of Nursing school and currently a nurse at OVH , says, “It means collaborating with all of the healthcare team members to provide education, excellent care, compassion, confidentiality, and overall advocating for the best interest of our patients.”
Riley adds, “It means thinking, making judgments, and carrying out actions with the patient’s best interest in mind. Treating all patients as if they were a family member because that is how we would want our family treated and it is the right thing to do.”
At OVH, our nurses display a remarkable commitment to quality care and ethics. Through their passion for helping others, dedication, and hard work, they make our hospital what it is today: A center for high-quality, community-based healthcare in Western PA.
Seeing the World Through Radiologic Technology at OVH
On November 8, 1895, Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen discovered the x-ray. Nearly 110 years later, the technology lives on. And while modern radiology barely resembles how Roentgen used this “new kind of ray,” healthcare professionals nationwide have turned the anniversary of his innovation into a week celebrating the vital work of Radiologic Technologists.
Barbara J. O’Connor, M.S.,R.T., the Director of OVH’s School of Radiography, has seen first-hand how far radiography has come. She first came to OVH’s radiography department in 1973, back when x-rays would have to be processed manually in the hospital’s darkrooms. Today, she’s in charge of the hospital’s radiology training program, which this year celebrates its 50th anniversary.
According to O’Connor, recent advances in radiologic technology have significantly simplified the logistics behind this complex, versatile medical service. For example, the advents of Computed Radiography (CD) and Digital Radiography (DR) have eliminated some of the most time-consuming steps in the process.
“Both of those technologies have basically deleted x-ray film from our reality,” she added.
Previously, Radiologic Technologists (RTs) would have to put x-ray film on a cassette, develop it in a darkroom, then collect, batch, and transfer them to a radiologist. Now, RTs work with digitized images within a system that can easily archive and transfer them to radiologists and referring physicians. This allows them to be read electronically, from anywhere. “It’s really changed a lot of what we do here at Ohio Valley,” says O’Connor. “It’s really increased the protection to the patient—these steps no longer have to be repeated.”
Although the field of radiology is sometimes synonymous with “x-rays,” this vital service has considerably broadened over the past few decades. Following their education at OVH, trained RTs (also known as radiographers) are able to work in the field of diagnostic radiology.
RTs can also pursue further certification to work in advanced radiology, mammography, bone density, computed tomography (CT), MRI, interventional radiology, cardio interventional radiology, ultrasound, and even nuclear medicine—all of these community radiology services are available now, at OVH.
The slogan for this year’s National Radiologic Technology Week is “Many Views with One Vision.” And to O’Connor, the phrase reflects the direction radiologic technology is going in.
“We have so many ways of looking at things now that didn’t exist before,” says O’Connor. “For example, if we do a shoulder x-ray, we might then do an arthrogram. Then an MRI. All to figure out the damage that’s been done. There are many more ways to view things in order to get the ultimate image needed to diagnose the patient.”
However, she notes not every aspect of radiology has transformed: “The beauty to my job is that the human body hasn’t changed.”
OVH Celebrates Quality Week With Full Week of Events
Across the nation next week , healthcare professionals will have their hard work recognized through National Healthcare Quality Week. An annual celebration created by the National Association for Healthcare Quality, the week focuses on acknowledging high quality patient care, patient safety professionals, and improved clinical outcomes. Quality Week will be observed at hospitals nationwide from October 19 to 25 —including, for the first time ever, at Ohio Valley Hospital.
In recent years, Ohio Valley Hospital has ramped up its commitment to high quality patient care. At the forefront of that transition has been Angel Thompson, MBA, MSN, RN, and Director of Quality Assurance and Quality Improvement.
As a clinician and former U.S. Army medic, Thompson has had vast experience enforcing patient safety measures. Her background as an oncology nurse has positioned her nicely for a role in Quality Assurance. She explains, “You want to make sure that patient safety is tantamount in any field, but especially in Oncology. Within oncology, it’s a very unique population. The patients have a lot of special needs. They may need home care, they may need compassionate care; they may need hospice care.”
No stranger to providing personalized care to meet specific patient needs, Thompson now oversees the hospital’s clinical quality and reporting measures–and has helped spearhead OVH’s inaugural celebration of National Healthcare Quality Week. In fact, every day during the week of October 19, OVH will be hosting events for the general public and clinicians in its Josephine Rosetta Auditorium, including:
- A talk Monday by Bob Winters of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on how to handle an active shooter in the hospital.
- A talk Tuesday by Ms. Thompson on the role of quality in modern healthcare
- A flu shot clinic on Wednesday, along with a set of poster presentations on quality by various clinical departments
- A Thursday presentation on organizational excellence by Joel Ettinger of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Awards
- A keynote speech on Friday from Dr. Bruce Block from the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative on quality in healthcare.
In addition, on Monday, October 20, from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM, the Allegheny County Health Department will be at the hospital to gather input from the community on how to prioritize its initiatives to make the area a healthier place to live, work, and play. Learn more about the “Our Health, Our Voice” community meeting.
Although it will be jam-packed with educational sessions, OVH’s first-ever celebration of Quality Week offers just a small glimpse into its commitment to patient care, according to Thompson. Every day, the hospital takes crucial, innovative steps to ensure patient safety and transparency.
“Our Quality Department is continually improving every day, to the point where we’ve incorporated new best practices and evidence based practices, including doing real time audits on the floors for things like falls,” says Thompson. “We’re part of a collaborative with multiple hospitals in Pennsylvania to provide instantaneous data on quality.”
As the healthcare landscape of the Greater Pittsburgh region continues to evolve, transparency of healthcare data is perhaps more important than ever for OVH–and patients can review quality metrics of different hospitals in their area by using Medicare.gov’s Hospital Compare tool.
OVH Invites You To A Barbecue and Back Pain Lecture
On Wednesday, August 27th at 6pm in our School of Nursing Auditorium, we welcome and invite you to our upcoming Barbecue and Back Pain lecture.
For those of you suffering from or have a loved one dealing with unrelenting back pain, please join us for a discussion given by our Pain Treatment Center physicians, Ankur Gosalia, M.D., and David DeChellis, D.O. They will be discussing Spinal Cord Stimulation, a treatment plan that may help you. Together with Orthopedic surgeon Gary Schmidt, M.D., they’ll walk you through how it could potentially take your pain away!
Click on this this link for more information!
A Look Back in Time at one Account of OVGH s First Nursing Student Graduation
The following is an article taken from The McKees Rocks Gazette, Thursday, June 9th, 1904 issue. It details the commencement of Miss Annabelle McAnulty, the first nurse to graduate from Ohio Valley General Hospital’s School of Nursing Program.
A Brilliant Function – Large Attendance – Eloquent Addresses – Reception, Etc.
INSTITUTION’S PROMISING FUTURE.
The graduation and commencement exercises of the McKees Rocks hospital training school Friday evening were a decided success and a significant event for the local hospital. It was the first occasion of this character and no doubt opened a brighter era for the hospital, which is now in a better position to meet the responsibilities and requirements of the great and growing Greater McKees Rocks than ever before.
The commencement exercises held at the Christian church was a brilliant and interesting social function. About 300 of the many friends of the physicians, nurses and those who had been treated at the institution were present. The platform in the main auditorium was occupied by Dr. J. A. Williams, Dr. Alex McG. Duff and Dr. C. G. Eicher.
Miss Anabelle McAnulty was the graduate and honor guest of the evening, and with her on the state were arrayed six of the corps of nurses, and Miss Josephine Scott, the head nurse, all handsomely gowned in full uniform.
Dr. J. A. Williams, president of the Hospital association, made a brief and appropriate address in which he complimented the honor guest upon her excellent and meritorious work at the hospital and related some of the history of the local training school. He said in part, that much credit was due the Ladies’ Auxiliary to the hospital and St. Vincent de Paul Society of McKees Rocks for the great success of the hospital recently, and that these societies made it possible for the institution to cover a broader field and number of patients.
Following the address there was a recitation by Miss Ella Marvin, a solo by Mr. James Messick and musical selections by the orchestra.
The diploma was presented by Rev. S. E. Brewster in an eloquent address, in which he dwelt upon the noble calling of the patient and charitable nurses, who were called nurses, but were in his estimation, angels when their work was well done.
Dr. Alex McG. Duff presented the badge and made a neat and fitting address to the recipient, encouraging her in her honorable and noble calling. He said in part: “You may have been inspired to choose this occupation by reading poetry or by the advice of a friend, but after you became acquainted with the bare and hard facts enjoined upon your arduous duties, you no doubt lost sight of the poetry you first anticipated there was in it. Now, what I desire to ask you to do is not to lose sight of the poetry in your profession, no matter what your duties, surroundings or responsibilities may be. It is true that life is largely what we make it, and there is poetry everywhere, if we can only see it in that light.”
The badge, being the first ever awarded by the local hospital, was designed especially for Miss McAnulty. It is circular in form with black enamel back ground and the words “McKeesRocksGeneralHospital” inlaid with gold around the edge. The words “Training School for Nurses” occupy the entire bar. It is a very beautiful emblem and well worthy of typifying three years apprenticeship in the hospital as well as being the first one emanating from McKees Rocks.
At the conclusion of the exercises Dr. Eicher, master of ceremonies, invited the audience to repair the hospital on the hill where a reception was held.
Here several enjoyable hours were spent. Many visitors from the city were present, among them Dr. F. T. Snyder and a delegation of nurses from the Southside hospital. The large ward of the hospital had been vacated and decorated with the National colors for the reception and all nurses that could be spared, gave over their time to serve the guests. Many of the young folks tripped the light fantastic to the renditions of Bridges’ Orchestra and for this particular occasion transformed the scene of affliction and suffering into one of recreation and amusement. Those who did not dance spent pleasant hours in cheerful intercourse in the hospital and on the verandas.
Miss McAnulty, the graduate, spent two years of her course in the Southside hospital, and finished with one year at the McKees Rocks hospital. The local training school being established and under the able management of Miss Josephine Scott, all nurses who serve the required term hereafter will graduate and receive diplomas and badges.
Miss Scott has held responsible positions in several of the leading hospitals of this State and the benefit of her experience is already apparent here. The McKees Rocks hospital now has a more promising future than at any time during its history.
GENE M BATTISTELLA D O RE-ELECTED TO BOARD of STATEWIDE MEDICAL ASSOCIATION
Gene M. Battistella, D.O., of McKees Rocks, was recently re-elected to serve on the board of trustees of the Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Association (POMA), a statewide organization for physicians holding the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) degree.
A co-owner and physician at West Hills Medical Providers, Inc., in McKees Rocks, Dr. Battistella specializes in internal medicine. Vice chairman of the Board of Directors and past president of the medical staff at Pittsburgh’s Ohio Valley General Hospital in McKees Rocks, he is treasurer of POMA’s District 8, and serves as a delegate to the POMA and the American Osteopathic Association.
Dr. Battistella is a graduate of St. Vincent College in Latrobe, and the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. He completed an internship at Conemaugh Valley Memorial Hospital in Johnstown, and an internal medicine residency at The Mercy Hospital of Pittsburgh.
Headquartered in Harrisburg, POMA is the official voice for over 7,000 osteopathic physicians in Pennsylvania.
Latest Stroke Protocols Save Lives at OVGH
Ohio Valley General Hospital is in the process of refining protocols for the care of stroke patients and suspected victims of stroke in preparation for certification by The Joint Commission for Primary Stroke Center.
Early diagnosis and treatment of stroke is now understood to be a critical factor in reducing brain damage and improving final outcomes. Nearly 800,000 people suffer the effects of a stroke in this country each year.
A variety of procedures and protocols that help speed a correct diagnosis of stroke and facilitate early corrective treatment have already been developed and are now in use. Medical, nursing, and ancillary staff have all been trained to remain abreast of the latest developments in the recognition of stroke symptoms and in the critical care of stroke victims.
Changes in our clinical practices in relationship with Emergency Medical Service teams have enhanced our ability to rapidly and efficiently care for stroke patients and their families. Suspected stroke patients are now transported directly from the ambulance to the CT scanner in rapid diagnosis and early life-saving interventions like intravenous treatment that has been repeatedly proven to prevent stroke death and improve long term stroke recover.
For additional information call Nora Suehr, 412-777-6313 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org