March 9, 2015
Eight million: That’s the number of Americans currently living with undiagnosed diabetes. The number of people who are diagnosed? 21 million. That means if you were to ride a 747 aircraft, there would be around 40 diabetics on your flight. If you looked at the person to your right, there would be a 2 percent chance they were an undiagnosed diabetic.
If you looked at yourself instead, those chances would be the same.
When it comes to preventing any illness, awareness is key. That’s why Tuesday, March 24, is known nationwide as the American Diabetes Association’s Diabetes Alert Day. It’s a one-day “wake-up call” urging Americans to take a Diabetes Risk Test to see if they are at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes.
Ohio Valley Hospital is taking part in this Alert Day by hosting our 7th annual Diabetes Day. Please join us! From 9:00 am to 1:00 pm at our Josephine Rozetta Auditorium in the School of Nursing, we’ll be hosting 4 hours of diabetes-related events for the community. Throughout Diabetes Alert Day at OVH, you’ll see:
- Vendors distributing diabetes supplies and information, such as glucose level log books, drinks formulated for diabetics (trust us, they taste great!), and diabetic shoes;
- A diabetes-friendly cooking demonstration led by OVH’s Food Services Director, Jim Dixon – and yes, free samples will be distributed afterward!;
- A series of lectures on issues related to diabetes, featuring OVH staff and other organizations;
- Blood pressure, blood sugar, body fat analysis and bone density screenings; and,
- A $30 Health Check Blood Screen that includes 39 different tests, including A1C.
The hemoglobin A1C test is a laboratory diagnostic service used to determine an individual’s average blood sugar levels over the last 2-3 months and their risk of diabetes. Please make sure to fast for 10-12 hours to make your blood screen results as accurate as possible. You do not need to fast for an accurate A1C reading. If you do not fast on that day, we can offer you a coupon for getting the blood screen done with the A1C test at one of our labs during normal office hours!
We’ll also be holding a raffle with prizes throughout the day!
And of course, OVH staff will be available to discuss all the great services for diabetics available at the hospital, including representatives from Pathways at The Willows, The Willow Brook Geropsychiatric Unit, and the Wound Care Center.
OVH’s Outpatient Dietitian and Diabetes Educator, Susan Zikos, RD, LDN, CDE, who has been our champion for our Diabetes Day this year, sees the event as a great opportunity for the community’s diabetics and non-diabetics alike to get real information about what it’s like to live with the disease. Specifically, she notes that treating diabetes now is much different than it was in decades past. Today, there’s a wide array of new products and therapies that the general public might not be familiar with.
“Especially with the older population, many see it as a death sentence,” she says. “It can be stressful for them to be diagnosed as diabetics themselves. But today, diabetics tend to be diagnosed much earlier than they were before, and can make changes to lessen the progression of diabetes.”
In 2015, living a healthy, comfortable lifestyle as a diabetic is much more attainable than it used to be. Zikos notes that one of the main goals of the event is to encourage lifestyle choices that promote good diabetic health: “We really just want to get people out there, exercising within their abilities, taking their medicines as directed, and eating properly.”
At OVH, Zikos offers outpatient nutrition and weight loss counseling to patients with diabetes and other conditions. She also runs a series of classes aimed at helping new diabetics understand their condition and a diabetes support group that meets throughout the year. Check out the full schedule of classes in her brochure.
For more information on these programs, please call (412) 777-6205.
March 9, 2015
January 20, 2015
Nothing brings a community together like a common challenge. This May, we’ll see yet again how hard Western Pennsylvania residents can push themselves at the 34th Annual Ohio Valley Hospital/Kennedy Township 5K. What began as an annual 10K, organized by Kennedy Township back in 1981 as part of the Township’s Fourth of July celebration, turned into a race half as long (a 5K!).
But what was lost in kilometers has been more than made up for in other ways. The rising popularity of the race in the 80’s led Kennedy Township to join forces with Ohio Valley Hospital, according to the hospital’s President and CEO, David Scott.
“As the event grew too big and too complicated, the Township was looking for a partner to help them with its organization. That’s how we became involved.”
Last year, 165 people registered for the Ohio Valley Hospital/Kennedy Township 5K, which now bears the tagline “For the Hill of it.” And if you get a glimpse of the 5K’s challenging course, it’s easy to see why. Runners start out downhill, in front of the hospital, and then continue uphill to McKees Rocks Road. They proceed to venture out on Pine Hollow Road before heading back up to the hospital. The finish is no walk in the park — the final ascent back to OVH is regarded as the hardest hill of the race.
The difficulty of the course, according to OVH’s Director of Marketing and Communications, and Race Director Megan Eaton, is one way the event brings the Kennedy Township, McKees Rocks, and Coraopolis communities together. “Because of the course’s longevity and level of difficulty, we get ‘true’ runners who routinely compete in other tough courses across Western PA.”
In addition, hospital staff, their friends, and family are also frequent participants in the 5K. OVH’s Physical Therapy department has a group that runs the race every year. Dr. Gary Sauer, a Family Practice physician and member of the OVH Board of Directors, is a perennial participant in the race.
“Supporting the hospital is a good cause,” says Dr. Sauer. “The course is challenging, usually good weather, and a good turnout. Nice Race!”
Several other employees, including CEO David Scott, also participate; with many bringing along their friends and families. Kennedy Township volunteers help out with registration, and on the course.
But OVH’s annual 5K is clearly about more than just the race. The event is preceded by the singing of the Star Spangled Banner. A D.J. keeps the mood light while playing the runners onto the course. And throughout the 5k, you get a sense of the large outpouring of support from the community.
“We’ve got nursing students, staff and volunteers ringing cowbells and cheering them on up and down the course,” says Eaton. “We have people taking pictures everywhere, which is a fun memento.”
The race also attracts a large field of walkers; community members who take to the race course in solidarity with their neighbors, and for the health benefit the 5k provides. After the race, there is always an after party, which features a ton of food and of course, a reprise from the D.J.
And all along the way, Kennedy Township’s Police, Fire, and EMS departments are there to make sure everything goes smoothly, including Police Chief Anthony Bruni, who always drives the pace car. Eaton adds, “The great thing about our race is that it truly is a community event.”
Interested in running the 2015 OVH 5K “For the Hill of It?”? You can find more information by clicking here.
We offer registration on active.com!
Check out photos from last year’s race. If you have any photo’s you want to share of ANY one of our past races, especially one of the earlier ones, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Our timing service is Miles of Smiles!
November 19, 2014
Meet Bear. He’s the Ohio Valley puppy who lives with our residents at Willow Lane. Bear is always excited to play with his human friends at The Willows, and he’s happy that Ohio Valley wants to give back to his furry pals as well. Bear posed for a picture with our President and CEO, David Scott, to encourage others to donate new or gently used items on the last week of the Western PA Humane Society drive!
Another Puppy-filled story is below!
Ohio Valley Hospital’s Willow Brook patients enjoy spending their Tuesdays with two loyal and furry friends, Gracie and Holly. The golden retriever mother-daughter duo is cared for by hospital volunteer, Ray Koper and his wife, Shirley (see their story here!).
Just as these two loving animals help bring a smile to a Willow Brook patient’s face, we have the unique opportunity to lend a paw to their fellow animal pals this holiday season.
Ohio Valley Hospital will be collecting donations for our four-legged friends at the Western PA Humane Society. From November 20 through December 20, please considering donating anything from pet food to stuffed animals (new or gently used).
Check out the list of specific needs the Western PA Humane Society has suggested:
• 17 x 17 cat cage blankets
• Cat/dog treats or food (dry/wet)
• Rabbit/ferret/bird food
• Stainless steel/Teflon cat litter pans
• Timothy Hay/corn cob bedding
• Feeding bowls (new or used)
• Throw/area rugs (new or used)
• Cat carriers/ dog crates
• Gauze pads, Q-tips, cotton balls
• Martingale dog collars, all sizes
• Clay cat litter
• Shampoo, brushes, clippers
• 6’ leashes (new or used)
• Stuffed animals (new or used)
• Cat toys
• Balls (larger than tennis balls)
• Scratching posts
November 7, 2014
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.”
October 29, 2014
Ohio Valley Hospital wrapped up the month of October with its inaugural celebration of
National Healthcare Quality Week.
Featuring daily special events focused around our commitment to healthcare quality and patient safety, the week was a tremendous success! We’d like to thank the Western PA community, our staff, and all of our guest speakers for making it happen.
Up first on Monday was a well-attended lecture on Active Shooters by Robert Winters, Protective Security Advisor from the Department of Homeland Security. That night, OVH’s auditorium was the location for a discussion on community health improvement by Allegheny County Health Department’s Advisory Coalition. Event attendees said it was a great opportunity for community members to discuss potential solutions to area problems. Willow Brook Geropsychiatric Unit’s Community Relations Coordinator Lisa Dalena, RN added, “People really seemed to value being here and learned a lot. There are a lot of social issues in our area that we’re trying to address and we’re glad to have this opportunity.”
Angel Thompson, OVH’s Director of Quality Assurance and Quality Improvement, organized all of the week’s events. She emphasized at Wednesday’s Festivities Day that one of the major goals was to engage the local community with easy-to-understand, accessible information: “Quality week has been going well. Yesterday, I gave my ‘M&M presentation,’ explaining how M&M (candy pieces) relate to healthcare data and other outliers.”
Festivities Day also included a gift basket raffle and poster presentations from various clinical departments at OVH. The theme of the poster presentation was “Your Passport to Healthcare Quality”: Guests were given a “passport” to fill with stickers as they made their way around to different clinical presentations, which were decorated to incorporate different countries. The Willow Brook Geriatric Unit’s country was Germany, and of course, its color scheme reflected that:
While the information presented on the posters was certainly complex, the clinical departments made a concentrated effort to simplify it for the general public. Said Jessica Janicki, RN, of the Geriatric Psych Unit: “We wanted people who come in from the community to truly understand it.”
Once again, we’d like to once again thank everyone involved in making Quality Week possible! We hope to see you again next year!
October 8, 2014
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.
October 3, 2014
Underground maintenance is needed on the area between our Emergency Room driveway and our School of Nursing building. As the work must be completed before winter, the construction will begin either on 10/6/14 or 10/13/14.
During this time, a trench will be excavated through the ambulance bay, across the ER drive, and through the sidewalk of the School of Nursing.
We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, however, all areas will remain open and usable during this process. The work will be completed as quickly as possible.
September 23, 2014
A broad coalition led by Allegheny County Department of Health (ACHD) is developing a plan to help make Allegheny County a healthier place to live, work and play.
ACHD is holding meetings in each of the 13 county council districts in the coming Fall, where we will be presenting the findings of our first major Community Health Assessment (CHA) and welcoming public discussion and participation. The Assessment collected data about our population’s health, to inform the community and the Department as we work towards creating a county-wide Health Improvement Plan. We want to know about the health issues and problems in your community and the best ways to improve health for Allegheny County residents.
We are pleased to announce that Ohio Valley Hospital is hosting the District 4 community meeting, Monday, October 20 6:00-8:00pm in their auditorium.
All residents are welcome to the community meeting, and light refreshments will be served. We hope you will join us.
If you require special accommodations or need more information, email our community liaison email@example.com.
August 29, 2014
Our School of Radiography Seniors kicked off the chain here at the hospital by nominating one of their professors…and since then many other employees have taken the icy plunge; nominating other employees to do so as well!
Head to our Facebook page to check out some of their videos, and be sure to “like” and comment on your favorites!
If you would like more information on how you can donate to ALS (always an option in addition to or instead of dumping water on yourself), check out this link. To date, the organization has raised more than $90 million in donations thanks to the challenge. That is compared to the $2 million raised last year.
…and of course many others choose to donate to other organizations and charities instead, from the American Cancer Society to the Humane Society!
Here’s a little information on the short history of the #icebucketchallenge
The ice bucket challenge started back in June, and was not associated with any particular organization or charity. Then it got a little help from some friends. From www.mashable.com:
“While “Today” show anchor Matt Lauer was one of the first to bring the ice bucket challenge to the mainstream on July 15 during a live broadcast, it wasn’t until golfer Chris Kennedy participated too and challenged his cousin Jeanette Senerchia of Pelham, New York to film her own video — her husband is battling is ALS.
“I was called out by a friend who had picked a different charity — the purpose of the challenge was to pick a charity that was personally significant to you,” Kennedy told Mashable. “When I challenged my friends and Jeanette, the charity of my choice was the ALS Foundation. Family and friends eventually rallied behind them and it spread like crazy.”
From there, it made its way to 31-year-old ALS patient Pat Quinn from Yonkers, New York, and later former Boston College baseball player Pete Frates, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2012. When it finally reached Frates’ social network, the challenge went viral. This explains how Boston became instrumental in spreading it to other parts of the country.”
The ALS organization is currently working on trademarking the challenge name.
For anyone still wondering WHAT the challenge is or HOW to participate:
Step 1: Grab a bucket of ice water
Step 2: Pour it over your head (preferably while using your imagination to make it more unique and viral-friendly)
Step 3: Have someone film the whole thing
Step 4: Post the clip to Facebook or Twitter
Step 5: Challenge at least 3 friends/family members/co-workers/favorite celebrities to do the same within 24 hours, or make a $100 donation to charity. Of course, the idea is to do both.
What is ALS?
According to www.alsa.org:
“Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death.”
For more information on what ALS is and how it affects people, check out this link.
Who is Lou Gehrig?
Lou Gehrig, or “The Iron Horse,” was a first baseman for the New York Yankees for 17 seasons. As a Yankee, he set several major league records held for decades, including most career grand slams (23) and most consecutive games played (2,130), a record that stood for 56 years. His game streak (and grand slam numbers) could have gone on much longer…but in 1939 he was diagnosed with ALS, forcing him to retire at the age of 36. He died 2 years later.
“Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about the bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth. I have been in ballparks for seventeen years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans…So I close in saying that I might have been given a bad break, but I’ve got an awful lot to live for. Thank you.”