Adena News and Press Releases
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Posted May 11, 2021
(image) Adena Regional Medical Center (ARMC) has received the highest overall hospital rating, five-star, given by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The overall hospital rating is based on data publicly reported on CMS’ consumer-oriented website Hospital Compare. ARMC is among just 35 of Ohio’s 134 rated hospitals to receive a five-star rating.
Hospital Compare provides information on how well hospitals provide recommended care to their patients, becoming one tool consumers can use to compare performance measures from multiple hospitals.
“Patients and their families should use all available tools at their disposal to make informed healthcare decisions that are right for them,” said Jeff Graham, Adena President & CEO. “Adena is committed to the goal of transparency, providing accurate, meaningful information about its quality for our patients. I am so proud of everyone that calls themselves an Adena caregiver for this recognition representative of the care they provide whether in critical times such as the Coronavirus pandemic or meeting everyday care needs.”
CMS looks at more than 50 measures that fall into five quality categories: mortality, safety of care, readmission, patient experience and timely and effective care. A hospital's overall rating is calculated using only those measures for which data is available.
“A five-star hospital rating from CMS is not easily achieved,” said Rhett Holland, Adena Vice President of Quality and Safety. “Of 4,586 hospitals CMS rated nationally, only 13.5% or 455 hospitals received five stars. It truly speaks volumes about the commitment of every provider and caregiver in our organization to provide the best care possible.”
Adena Director of Quality and Performance Improvement Seth Haynes added, “Our quality model is an integrated approach and annual focus of priority objectives, measures and plans by our committees and Quality Collaborative Teams. A five-star rating is something we have strived for since the inception of this CMS program and over the past few years we have focused on quality along the frontlines and improving safety through our Zero Harm journey of continuous improvement with every patient encounter.”
To access the Hospital Compare website, visit www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare.Read More
Posted May 10, 2021
When a patient experiences a stroke, every minute matters. Know the signs and call 911 immediately and rely on Adena’s Stroke Team to help you with their many therapy and recovery options.
Each year, we recognize May as Stroke Awareness month. It’s important to call attention to stroke symptoms so that anyone experiencing signs of a stroke can recognize them and react, quickly.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the U.S., someone has a stroke every 40 seconds; every four minutes, someone dies of stroke. It is the leading cause of death in the U.S. and the risk of stroke varies with race and ethnicity.
A stroke occurs when there is a disruption of blood flow to the brain, preventing brain tissue from getting oxygen and nutrients and causing brain cells to die within minutes. There are two main causes of stroke: a blocked artery (ischemic stroke) or a leaking or bursting blood vessel (hemorrhagic stroke). For some people, they may only experience a temporary disruption of blood flow to the brain, known as a transient ischemic attack (TIA), that doesn't cause lasting symptoms.
Factors that put people at risk for stroke include existing medical conditions like high blood pressure, smoking or secondhand exposure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, history of heart or cardiovascular disease, family history of stroke or heart disease or possibly patients who have had a COVID-19 infection. Additional contributing health factors, such as excess weight/obesity, lack of exercise, binge or heavy alcohol use, or use of illegal drugs like cocaine or methamphetamine, can also increase stroke risk. People over 55 are at higher risk of having a stroke and men tend to be more at risk for strokes then women.
Since a stroke can be fatal, it is important to know the signs. Strokes come on suddenly and progress rapidly, causing permanent disability quickly if not treated. A common way to remember the signs of stroke is by using the acronym BE FAST. It also helps people remember that every minute matters if they or a loved one are experiencing stroke symptoms. The symptoms representing BE FAST are:
B = Balance – is the person having trouble standing or maintaining balance?
E = Eyes – is the person experiencing blurred, double or loss of vision in either or both eyes?
F = Facial drooping – does one side of the person’s face appear droopy or seem numb? Ask the person to smile.
A = Arm weakness – has the person lost strength in one of his/her arms? Ask them to raise both arms and see if one arm drifts or they can’t control.
S = Speech – is the person’s speech slurred or they are unable to speak. Ask them to repeat a simple sentence over and over, like “The sky is blue.”
T = Time to call 911 – if a person displays any of these symptoms, call 911 and/or get them to a hospital as quickly as possible.
Remember, minutes matter. If you suspect you or another person are experiencing a stroke, call 911 and get help immediately. The Stroke Team at Adena treats patients with a range of therapy options to help each patient work toward recovery. Adena Regional Medical Center (ARMC) is certified as a Primary Stroke Center and has an established protocol; providing fast treatments for patients in order to greatly reduce chances of long-term disability. Adena has been recognized by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA) with the Get with The Guidelines® Stroke Gold Plus achievement award and has won The Ohio State University quarterly Door-to-Needle Challenge in October 2020,with the fastest time to respond in getting stroke patients onto a life-saving IV.
Adena’s Stroke Team includes neurologists, emergency physicians, nurses, social workers, rehabilitation experts, hospitalists, radiologists and lab technicians. They work together and sometimes with external partners, such as the physicians at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, when additional consultation is required. When a stroke patient arrives at the emergency department, Adena staff work to ensure a provider sees the patient within 10 minutes. Tests and scans are taken quickly with a goal to have results read within 45 minutes.
Adena’s Stroke Team knows that each person is unique and they approach each patient’s stroke treatment with individualized care. No matter the treatment or recovery therapy (physical, occupational or speech), Adena’s dedicated providers are here for you. If you or a loved one have experienced a stroke or are concerned about risks, call Adena Neurology at 740-542-6797 or visit www.Adena.org/stroke for more information.Read More
Posted April 29, 2021
Dr. Dennis Mesker joins Adena Family Medicine – Washington Court House in advance of Fayette County Memorial Hospital officially joining Adena Health System May 2
(image) Sometimes we choose what we do with our lives. Sometimes, what we do chooses us.
The latter may best apply to Dennis Mesker, MD one of the newest members of the Adena family coming into the Health System in advance of the May 2 addition of Fayette County Memorial Hospital (FCMH) into that family. Dr. Mesker, a primary care physician at Adena Family Medicine – Washington Court House, brings with him a longstanding relationship with the Fayette County community.
His roots in medicine, however, were planted early on – painfully so, in fact – in the Dayton area where he grew up.
“It’s kind of a stupid story, but I can remember exactly when I thought about becoming a doctor,” he said, chuckling at the memory. “I was six years old playing on a swing set that was brand new and all the neighborhood kids were over and all were swinging. My dad had not yet put the anchors in the ground and I’m up on the A-bar and everybody’s swinging and all of a sudden this thing starts tipping over and I fall hard and break my arm.
“I was taken to the hospital and I can recall, even in all that pain, being absolutely fascinated going into that hospital. From that point on, I thought this is what I want to do.”
It wouldn’t be the last time an element of fate impacted his professional life.
There was the time the first practice in which he worked in Washington Court House burned to the ground within two years of his start there, leading to a full-time offer from the Emergency Room group at FCMH where he ended up spending five years from 1995 to 2000.
Then, after becoming affiliated with a couple of nurse practitioners and starting his own primary care practice and Washington Court House’s first urgent care facility – which he would be involved with over the next seven years -- the health of his parents in the Dayton area declined and they had to be placed into an assisted living facility. His twin brother, Dave, had a practice just two miles from that facility and when one of his partners happened to leave, he offered the opening in the practice to Dennis. For the next six years, Dr. Mesker commuted each day from Washington Court House to Englewood – more than two hours daily – to practice medicine so he could visit his parents frequently.
“Retrospectively, I don’t regret it at all,” he said. “I left the practice I had going here, but I’ll never get that time back and it was something I just had to do.”
Fate wasn’t done with him quite yet. About the time the demands of the commute began wearing on him, Dr. Albert Gay, FCMH hospitalist and Fayette County coroner, tragically collapsed during rounds and later died during surgery.
“The next thing I know, I’m getting a call from the hospital wanting to know if I would be interested in the hospitalist position,” he recalled. “It seemed like moments earlier I had just been talking with my wife about how I was just so exhausted with the drive, so from that perspective at least, the offer was almost like a God-send.”
He served in both hospitalist and coroner roles until late last year, when he decided to move back into primary care and recently became a part of Adena’s growth in serving the Fayette County community.
“I’ve actually worn many hats as a physician so far – primary care, hospitalist and ER were my main ones as a physician,” he said. “Besides coroner, I was the medical director for a while at one of the nursing homes in town and I was the medical director of what was known as the Life Squad, which was our EMS service before the hospital took them over. I also was the team doctor for Washington school sports teams for 15 years and was a hospice director for many years.”
Primary care, however, has been his true love. From having delivered more than 100 babies in his days as a resident to being able to care for the full circle of life in a community he’s called home for many of his 60 years, it’s the personal relationships he’s come to cherish with his patients that make it so special.
“When you’re a physician, you are kind of instantly drawn into a family unit,” Dr. Mesker said. “You can hopefully sense some trust and welcome when you do things with families, and it happens quickly in those situations, it’s not something that needs months to build up. They’re looking to you for that help, for those kind words or hopeful words or whatever that might be.
“Primary care, that’s where you actually get to know everybody a lot better, unlike an emergency or hospitalist setting where you’re seeing people in their very worst possible situation. It’s great when you can get them home and things are going better, but the idea behind primary care is preventative care to keep stuff like that from happening and trying to keep everybody at their best to avoid those situations.”
Dr. Mesker understands how important primary care is to families, having raised one of his own with his wife of nearly 35 years, Cherie, a retired teacher. His four sons, Adam, Jeremy, Luke and Noah, all graduated from Washington Senior High School.
As he works to grow his new practice under the Adena umbrella, he understands the excitement brought about by the announcement earlier this year that FCMH would officially be joining Adena’s family May 2. That announcement has given a community that has long supported its hospital a glimpse into its future.
“Under this agreement with Adena, one of the first things they said they were going to do is build a new hospital,” he said. “That’s exciting and something the community can look forward to because that hospital was built in the 1950s. It has been upgraded several times internally, but you can only do so much with a building.”
Personally, he is also excited to bring his welcoming smile and lifetime of experience caring for the community into his latest endeavor with Adena and getting to know a whole new group of patients in the years to come.
Assuming, of course, that’s what the fates allow.
Dr. Mesker is now accepting new patients at Adena Family Medicine – Washington Court House, 308 Highland Avenue, Suite C, Washington Court House. To schedule an appointment, call 740-333-4950.
Posted April 28, 2021
Adena Regional Medical Center has been recognized by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Ohio with a Blue Distinction® Centers (BDC) for Maternity Care designation, as part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.
“Adena is proud to be recognized by Anthem for meeting the rigorous BDC quality selection criteria for maternity care set by the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program,” said Dr. Richard Villarreal, medical director for the department. “The Adena Women and Children’s Center is committed to offering high-quality maternity care close to home for our patients during one of the most meaningful times a family will share.”
Racial and ethnic disparities are persistent and widespread across maternal healthcare, primarily driven by socioeconomic status, geographic location, and implicit provider bias. To help address these gaps in care and to help ensure the better health of mothers, The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association enhanced its quality evaluation for the Maternity Care program to address key factors driving the United States’ maternal health crisis such as preventable or treatable pregnancy-related conditions, high utilization of Caesarean sections, and racial and ethnic disparities in maternal healthcare.
Research shows that, compared to other providers, those designated as Blue Distinction Centers demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients.
In 2020, the Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care Program was expanded beyond traditional outcome measures to include assessments of internal quality improvement, data collection and dissemination, and internal protocols that better address clinical quality and equity issues in maternity care.
“Blue Distinction designation is an important recognition of Adena’s innovative and patient-centered approach to maternity care quality,” said Barry Malinowski, M.D., Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Ohio’s medical director. “The Blue Distinction program recognizes commitment to quality and helps consumers identify high performing health care providers. I congratulate the entire maternity team at Adena for this well-deserved honor.”
For more information, or to schedule an appointment with the Adena Women and Children’s Center, visit www.adena.org/women.
Posted April 27, 2021
Adena Health System, as part of its longstanding commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, is joining with other community organizations to act on its further promise to open uncomfortable dialogues that can have a positive impact on any communities dealing with racial tensions, hate and unacceptable acts of violence.
This week, Adena representatives will join others from the Ross County NAACP, Ross County Health District, United Way of Ross County and area churches to actively listen, discuss and share information so they can partner together in order to bridge gaps that may exist within our local communities to affect change.
“To prevent discomfort from being an obstacle to change, we must continue down our journey one step at a time,” said Michele Valentine, Adena Director for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. “Our journey must continue at Adena by inspecting the very fabric that has helped shape this great organization to ensure we are listening to the voices of our caregivers, as well as the communities in which we serve.”
She added, “As an African American woman and mother, I hear their voices. I feel the fear, anger and unrest. I see the frustration. It’s how we respond that will determine when we can finally break free from hate and systematic racism. Transformation happens when we acknowledge the trauma of all hate and work together to dissolve it. Being silent is part of the bondage. When we collectively join together – all human beings – we begin to make change. We commit to listen. We commit to learn. We stand up for change. We stop the violence. We will help change our tomorrow.”
In her role for almost a year, Valentine has worked tirelessly to position Adena to be part of that change. That includes implementing the Health System’s diversity and inclusion principles:
Adena is committed to creating an inclusive environment that respects the human dignity and diversity of each member of the Adena community. Each member deserves and will be treated fairly and equitably.
Adena is committed to equity and inclusion with all of our patients and families, our physicians, our workforce, our business partners and the communities that we serve. We will enhance our cultural competency by educating, recognizing and celebrating the value of diverse cultures, beliefs and identities.
Adena understands each caregiver is unique and recognizes individual differences. We will not view our differences in cultures, ethnicities, beliefs and racial backgrounds as a tolerance but an inclusive organization of all individuals, as well as individuals not in the majority. We will embrace and empower each caregiver to bring their unique self forward each day in conjunction with our Vision, Mission, Values and Guiding Principle. Each caregiver will be respected, valued for who they are, and supported.
Adena caregivers will represent the communities in which we serve and have equal access to opportunities. We are called to serve and will commit to provide the highest level of quality health services to the diverse communities and actively listen to their individual needs.
“At Adena, we are dedicated to living out our organizational values of integrity, quality, excellence and trust, for every patient, every time,” reiterated Jeff Graham, Adena President and CEO. “Adena’s physicians and caregivers represent many of our world’s cultures, beliefs and races. It is what makes us unique as individuals, and it makes us stronger as a team and organization. We firmly believe that diversity, equality and inclusion is what makes a community. Each of our individual qualities and experiences is necessary in building a culture that keeps us all moving forward. We are committed to providing the highest quality health care to anyone who needs us. Michele has shown great leadership and strength in building Adena’s diversity, equity and inclusion program. Her vision and drive is why our organization and the communities we serve can feel confident in the message and actions of our Health System.”Read More
Posted April 22, 2021
(image) Adena general obstetrician/gynecologist Neely Nelson Wade, MD has been practicing OB/GYN for the past 11 years (after having served as a general practitioner in the U.S. Navy for four years). She’s been with Adena for two years, serving patients throughout the week at appointments and rotating weekend coverage for labor and delivery with her Adena physician partners. She is a mother of two with a third on the way, so she understands the demands on mothers and women. She also loves the idea of moms dedicating a month to their health and wellbeing, “I know that being a mom is a challenge, but in order to be the best moms we can be, we have to take good care of ourselves.”
May We Take a Little Time for Ourselves?
May is Women’s Health Month and a great time for women to make healthy changes so we can look and feel our best. Whether you're a mother or not, focusing on self-care and your best health can revitalize your outlook, benefiting you and those close to you. As women, it's often in our nature to take care of others first. Let's make May the time to care about us.
A great place to start is by scheduling your Well Woman Annual exam with Dr. Wade and the team at Adena OG/GYN. Adena’s Well Woman Annual exams take patients’ whole health into consideration. “It is an excellent opportunity to address a women's general health,” says Dr. Wade. “We can discuss any particular concerns a woman has and also assess her smoking status, dietary choices, and exercise level—things, that if not curbed or controlled, we know can lead to health problems and can also negatively affect a women’s reproductive health.”
The Adena Well Woman Annual exam is comprehensive and looks at a number of health issues to help improve and benefit patients in the region. Among the many health items addressed in a Well Woman Annual exam, are blood pressure, screening for cancers of the cervix (Pap smear), breast exam (mammogram), pelvic exam, uterus exam (assessing any abnormal bleeding), body mass index (BMI), skin (assessing suspicious moles), discussions of substance abuse, mental health, domestic violence, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), family planning counseling and healthy diet and exercise. “We want women to know we have numerous resources at Adena to help women achieve a healthy lifestyle,” says Dr. Wade. “If we can help our everyday caregivers (moms/women) develop healthy behaviors, it can translate into healthier behaviors for families and future generations.”
Screen Time is Important
In this case, we are talking about health screenings. Preventative health screenings are the best way to detect and treat health issues early. Below is a basic chart based on ages and key screenings, but family and personal histories also factor in. It is important to discuss all screenings with your Adena Primary Care physician or Adena OB/GYN at your annual exams.
Once a year
Once a year
Once a year
Once a year
Thyroid test (TSH)
Every 5 years
Every 5 years
Every 5 years
Every 5 years
Every 5 years
Every 10 years
Every 10 years
Bone Density test
Initial test, discuss with provider
Diabetes-blood sugar test
Starting at 45, every 3 years
Every 3 years
Every 3 years
Discuss with provider
Once every 1-2 years
Once every 1-2 years
Pap smear/pelvic exam
Annual exam or less based on provider recommendation
Annual exam or less based on provider recommendation
Annual exam or less based on provider recommendation
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
As recommended by provider
Starting age 50 then every 10 years unless more often recommended by provider
Every 10 years unless more often recommended by provider
Every 10 years unless more often recommended by provider
Take Time, Make Time
For a well-balanced and healthy life, it is important for women to make time for themselves. It is often not easy or convenient and may require effort to make happen, but it is essential to maintaining your best health. Exercise is good way to take a little extra time for you and make you feel good. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), exercise can help maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints, lower blood pressure, improve heart health, improve mental health, reduce anxiety and depression, and help control weight, build muscle and reduce body fat. You can start with taking a simple walk after dinner, doing work in the garden or out in the yard. There are also many free online and video resources that guide you through exercises no matter what level you are capable of. The key is to schedule time for it and stick with it.
Yes, You May
We know women play an important role in their families. That means it’s equally important to stay healthy and feeling well. Dr. Wade and the team at Adena OB/GYN can help. They are here to guide women throughout their lives, from the reproductive years through the elder years. “As women’s health needs change over their lifetimes, we can help them focus on the best health practices to make good transitions,” says Dr. Wade.
Adena OB/GYN has the experience, resources and counseling skills to help you transition through all the many life changes women face. For example, Dr. Wade is highly skilled in minimally invasive robotic surgery and uses a robot to perform hysterectomies. By using the robot and small incision ports, patients typically have shorter recovery times, less discomfort, reduced need for pain medications, less blood loss and minimal, if any, scarring. “We continually work to improve patient outcomes,” says Dr. Wade, “technology has helped us make a lot of advances in women’s health.”
This May, we hope women everywhere will take time for themselves and to focus on their health and wellbeing. Call Adena OB/GYN at 740-779-7201 or visit Adena.org to book your Well Woman Annual exam. Whether it’s this month, or down the road, making your health a priority will have a positive lifelong impact on you and those you love.Read More
Posted April 21, 2021
(image) Bradley Sevy, DO, is an Adena Board Certified Family Medicine Physician who works out of Adena Family Medicine and Pediatrics – Jackson. He has been seeing Adena families for over three years and has a unique perspective on weight loss since he personally has lost over 160 pounds. He knows that each patient’s journey is different and works with patients to help make their weight loss sustainable and part of their life-long healthy habits.
Weight, I Can Relate!
Dr. Sevy’s story is like many others. Growing up, he was always bigger than the other kids around him. He was told he’d grow out of it, but never did. Consequently, he has always struggled with being overweight, having to check chairs before sitting in them and not feeling good due the stress on his body. When he had children of his own and was starting to have weight-related health consequences, he decided to take action. He initially lost 60 pounds on his own and then opted to have bariatric surgery to help him continue to lose weight. Unfortunately, Dr. Sevy, had a rare unknown genetic blood clotting disorder which complicated his surgical outcome. He ended up losing “110 to 120 pounds in three months” which was much too fast and led to several hospital stays. “I always tell patients my story with the understanding that I am part of the rare 1% that had an adverse complication,” says Dr. Sevy. “Although there is always some risk with bariatric surgery, there is a much higher rate of success. I would go back and do it again if I didn’t have the clotting disorder.”
The Right Tool
Part of how Dr. Sevy helps patients is by helping them find the right means to a healthier lifestyle. Overcoming obesity is not easy and it’s an ongoing health issue in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 1962 and 2000 adult obesity in U.S. increased over 17%. Many of the health issues patients face today, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, joint pain, and sleep apnea, are all linked to excess weight and obesity. “We often address weight issues with patients in order to help reduce negative health consequences -- also known as comorbidities,” says Dr. Sevy.
Adena can offer patients a variety of tools to help guide them through healthy weight loss. “We typically start with diet and increased activity,” says Dr. Sevy. From there, Adena has additional levels of solutions which are designed to help patients on their individual path to reducing weight and improving health. Dr. Sevy works with patients to connect them to the right resources, such as access to Adena nutritionists and dieticians. He can counsel patients through possible drug therapies or even bariatric surgery. “What is important for patients to understand, is that these are tools, means to a healthier lifestyle,” says Dr. Sevy. “What we’re ultimately working towards for our patients is a way to change their lifestyle and develop healthier habits.”
Don’t Be an Impatient Patient
Dr. Sevy knows the weight loss journey has its peaks and valleys. “Consistency is key,” says Dr. Sevy. “We encourage patients to remain focused and persevere through weight loss plateaus -- just stick to their plan.” Dr. Sevy explains that when patients “plateau” or seem to get “stuck” at a certain weight, they often get discouraged and fall back into old, unhealthy habits. “When patients first start to lose weight, they tend to lose a lot upfront which is often attributed to losing water weight,” says Dr. Sevy. When the amount of weight loss starts to decrease, patients can get discouraged. “Really, a half a pound a week, is safe, realistic weight loss.” He adds that generally patients lose weight at different rates, so trying to target any particular number per week is not realistic.
Fad Might Not Be Fab
“When we talk to patients about diet and exercise, we talk to them about ‘weight management’ not just weight loss,” says Dr. Sevy. He also cautions patients against fad diets like low carb or high protein diets. These diets may have quick results, but they are often too difficult to maintain over time and can deny the body of certain nutrition. Ultimately, they may make dieters gain weight once they reintroduce dietary items they had cut. “If patients are really looking for a diet to follow, we will often recommend the ‘Dash Diet’ or the ‘Mediterranean Diet,’ says Dr. Sevy. They are based in making healthier food choices across the nutrition spectrum.
“My job is to help patients get ahead of health problems, to try and be preventative,” says Dr. Sevy. He coaches patients to read food labels, focus on controlling portions, lower calorie intake and increase activity to get them started. Dr. Sevy and the team of Adena Family Medicine professionals are helping patients daily take control of their health. If you have health concerns or questions about how to improve your diet, exercise, weight and general wellness, please contact Adena Family Medicine and Pediatrics – Jackson by calling 740-395-8090, or visit Adena.org to find an Adena primary care provider near you.Read More
Posted April 19, 2021
Adena Health System is expanding its care for patients with the addition of five specialty providers, across multiple service lines. These incoming physicians and advanced practice providers are delivering even more options for comprehensive, close-to-home care for patients throughout the region.
Adena is pleased to welcome:
Courtney Durham, Certified Nurse Practitioner, joins the growing group of providers with the Adena Cancer Center caring for patients in Chillicothe and Washington Court House. Durham has been a caregiver with Adena since 2015 serving previously as an Intensive Care Unit Registered Nurse. She earned her Family Nurse Practitioner degree from Ohio University.
Rodney Lee Holdren, Certified Nurse Practitioner is welcomed to the team of providers at the Adena Spine Center seeing patients in Chillicothe. Holdren has been with Adena since 2014 caring for patients as a registered nurse and patient care associate. He earned his Family Nurse Practitioner degree from Ohio University.
Anna Huffman, Certified Nurse Practitioner is accepting new patients with Adena Pediatrics, seeing patients in Chillicothe and Circleville. Huffman earned her Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner degree from The Ohio State University.
Mariya Larson, Certified Nurse Practitioner has been with Adena since 2012. She has served in various roles within Adena Regional Medical Center as an ICU Nurse and Labor and Delivery Nurse. Larson received her Family Nurse Practitioner degree from Ohio University and is now seeing patients in Chillicothe with Adena Urology.
Dennis Mesker, MD is now caring for patients at Adena Family Medicine – Washington Court House. He joins Adena having provided primary care services in Fayette County for over 30 years. Dr. Mesker earned his medical degree from Wright State University.
In addition, Adena has several of its providers transferring their services to new locations expanding patient access across the region.
Theresa Barnett, Certified Nurse Practitioner has joined Adena Family Medicine – Piketon.
Madison Mercer, Certified Nurse Practitioner is welcomed to Adena Family Medicine – Ironmen Clinic in Jackson.
Posted April 12, 2021
It’s something we all take into consideration as we begin to think about our lives and the lives of our loved ones. Should something happen to us, what do we leave behind?
Many times, when we consider these deep thoughts, we find ourselves contemplating what we want our legacy to be – whether through strength of deeds or family or giving back to the community. For Mart De Waard, that answer was found through giving, and the Adena Health Foundation was the perfect partnership to make that legacy a reality.
“I wanted to make sure my estate, should something happen to me, it was not going to get caught up in probate,” said Mart, who joined Adena more than two years ago in Home Health and now works as a manager in Business Development for the Health System. “I just decided to put a donation in my will for Adena Health Foundation and added them as a beneficiary designation to my retirement.”
“The main reason for that was really peace of mind for myself. If something happens to me, I’d be at peace knowing that the money saved for my retirement would go to good use in the community. Adena Health Foundation is close to home, it’s close to my heart, it serves the local community right here, and I thought that was the right thing to do.”
While a planned gift may not always be the first thought that comes to mind for your estate, Mart said it should definitely be a consideration. Personal experience has led him to that opinion.
To begin with, he has seen what he called an “absolute mess” that can occur when the correct paperwork for distributing an estate is not in place. When his parents died, there was no written road map for their estate and, with himself and another of his three siblings living abroad outside his native Netherlands, things did not go smoothly.
Then, during eight years working in hospice care, he saw several “horror stories” of what happened with people who didn’t have their estate plans in order. That hospice experience also served as a reminder that nobody is immune from dying – himself included – and that it may be time for him to consider where his money should go if he wasn’t able to enjoy it himself during his lifetime.
“My situation is a little more unique,” Mart said. “I’m not married and I don’t have any children. My family is all overseas, so I wanted to do my planning right so that if something happens to me, it doesn’t get caught up in probate.”
Mart became involved with the Adena Health Foundation shortly after beginning work with Adena, originally helping out as a volunteer for the Annual Scioto Valley Golf Classic and donating to the annual employee giving program for the organization. As he got a better look at how the foundation helps – both through support and outreach in the community and within the Health System providing for needs that enhance patient experience and care – the idea for a planned gift emerged.
“I chose the Foundation specifically because it is close to the community,” he said. “I live here, I work for Adena, and I felt that this was a really valuable opportunity. The other reason I made the choice is that healthcare affects us all indiscriminately. It doesn’t matter who you are, each and every one of us can get sick and each and every one of us can find ourselves in a situation where it is difficult to get help. I find that’s a really peaceful thought that Adena can do something local to help and that gives me a good feeling. I can see that being a good motivator for somebody else thinking about that.”
Calling Adena “one of the best kept secrets” in the region and pointing to a wide array of national recognitions various service lines and the system as a whole have received for their care. Mart said there is a quality to the organization embodied by the physicians, specialists, leadership and other caregivers that the community can count on for years to come.
Community is key to that statement.
“I think the Adena Health Foundation is a great place to keep in mind for a planned gift of your estate, to keep it in mind as a beneficiary because the Foundation works for the whole community,” Mart said. “It is not one group of people singled out -- that’s not to say there’s not organizations that do great work while focusing on a smaller group of people – but for me, it was important that I had the feeling this was going to be of good use for nobody in particular but for everybody.
“I think if you have a feeling like that, you should definitely keep the Adena Health Foundation in mind.”
HOW YOU CAN MAKE AN IMPACT
Planned giving is just one of many ways you can support the Adena Health Foundation’s mission.
For answers to questions and more information on how you can make an impact that will transform the work of the Adena Health Foundation for generations to come, please call 740-779-7528.
Tax-deductible donations also may be made online www.adena.org/foundationfocusRead More
Posted April 08, 2021
Adena Greenfield Medical Center (AGMC) now provides services to patients reporting to its Emergency Department following a sexual assault. Adena Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide care, support and aid to these patients.
“Providing patients affected by sexual assault the best possible trauma-informed care has always been our top priority,” said Julie Fairchild, SANE/Forensic Nursing Coordinator. “By not having to be transferred to another facility to see a SANE nurse, or having to tell their story one more time can mean the difference between a patient seeking additional services or not.”
Previously, patients arriving at AGMC with a report of sexual assault were transferred to Adena Regional Medical Center, located in Chillicothe, for an examination by a specially trained SANE nurse. Trauma-informed services now being provided at AGMC can include medical examination; sexual assault evidence collection; prophylactic treatment of sexually transmitted infections; appropriate testing; forensic photography, and documentation of injuries. Additional services to help the patient in her/his recovery includes advocacy; resource linkage; referral to safety services, including safety planning and shelter placement.
Adena’s Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners are qualified forensic nurses who have received special training to conduct sexual assault evidentiary exams for sexual assault victims. SANE nurses are specially trained in the medical, psychological, and forensic examination of a sexual assault victim. They collaborate with the health care team, law enforcement and community members to provide the best response to the needs of the community concerning interpersonal violence.
For more information about SANE and Adena’s Sexual Assault Survivor Advocate Program, visit www.adena.org/sane.
Posted March 30, 2021
(image) Cassidy Simmons, Adena Advocacy Program’s After Care Coordinator, and Julie Fairchild, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE)/Forensic Nursing Coordinator, are two special caregivers. They are dedicated to caring for sexual assault victims who come to Adena for treatment and help. They share a tremendous compassion for their patients and want anyone who has experienced any kind of abuse to know “that Adena is here is help and that victims are not alone.”
A History of Support
This April marks the 20th anniversary of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). Originally coordinated by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC), Sexual Assault Awareness Month raises awareness and educates communities and individuals on how to prevent sexual violence. The color teal and wearing teal ribbons shows support for victims and serves as a reminder that sexual assault continues to be a serious and widespread violation of human rights.
The Shocking Reality
According to statistics presented by the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence (OAESV), nearly 1 in 5 women in the U.S. have experienced rape in their lifetime; nearly half of all women have experienced sexual violence other than rape; 1 in 71 men in the U.S. has been the victim of rape in their lifetime; and 1 in 5 has experienced sexual violence other than rape. Roughly 1 in 2 transgender individuals have experienced rape or sexual assault in their lifetime.
In general, sexual violence:
- Is suffered disproportionately by women of color, individuals with disabilities and individuals who identify as LGBTQI.
- Is one of the most underreported crimes.
- Is associated with numerous negative health and economic outcomes for survivors.
In Ohio in 2011, 61% of reported rapes were committed against juveniles. ; The average age of victimization was 15 (Ohio Incident-Based Reporting System). 1
There is Help
(image) Julie Fairchild has been an Adena SANE/Forensic Nursing Coordinator since 2014. She helps manage a group of 11 SANE nurses who can perform a forensic exam on patients and provide holistic nursing care for the victims of abuse. SANE nurses need to have a minimum of one year as a Registered Nurse (RN) before being eligible to take the specialized SANE nurse training. At Adena, our SANE nurses care for both adult, adolescent and pediatric patients. This specialized care requires extra training, which gives SANE nurses a broad insight into cases. Training includes orientation on cases, a shadowing experience at the child protective center, court proceedings experience and a tour of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation. This helps our SANE nurses understand the various processes involved in a sexual assault/abuse case.
“When a patient comes into the Emergency Department for sexual assault, one of our SANE nurses will complete an examination and collect of evidence as long as the patient consents and it is within the allowed timeframes. Adults have 96-hours or four full days and children have 72-hours or three full days for sexual assault evidence collection to be done.” She adds that each patient scenario is different and that Adena works with each patient individually to get them the help they need. “What’s most important to us is that the patient is safe, and that the patient’s body is safe. Collecting evidence is secondary, but it can help the patient in obtaining justice and regain control of the situation”.
In 2020 at Adena Regional Medical Center, the SANE nurses saw 134 sexual assault cases come into the hospital; 46 of these cases were adults and 88 were adolescent/pediatric. The SANE nurses operate out of three Adena Emergency Departments at this time. Services at Adena Greenfield Medical Center’s Emergency Department began this month. Fairchild stated she is proud to be expanding their trauma informed SANE services to more Emergency Departments. The Adena Sexual Assault Advocates follow-up care work out of the majority of Adena locations.
There is Hope
(image) Adena After Care Coordinator Cassidy Simmons helps counsel and provide sexual assault to others who have experienced interpersonal violence with connections to resources beyond the Emergency Department as victims begin their path to survivors. “After a person comes into Adena who has experienced some type of Interpersonal Violence, it’s my role to connect with that person to see how we can continue to help. After they leave the Emergency Department, I call and assess their situation and see what other needs they might have to get back on their feet or to help end their exposure to violence.” Simmons says she often helps victims with things like getting a protection order, navigating the criminal justice system, applying for public benefits, becoming economically independent, finding an attorney, help with child care, locating temporary shelter or a place to live, and providing ongoing emotional support. Cassidy works with each survivor to develop a self-driven goal based advocacy plan based off their needs to live a safe independent life free of violence.
After a patient comes into Adena for treatment with signs of abuse or reports interpersonal violence, Simmons will call to engage that patient to help with additional resources. Shejoined Adena in 2017, after escaping her own abusive relationship, so she can relate to the struggle of abuse and “feeling like there’s no way out.” All interpersonal violence victims are offered a Crisis Response Advocate while at the hospital, receive a resource folder, and are offered an Aftercare follow-up with Simmons. Simmons will continue follow-up and provide regular check-ins to see how that patient is doing. This is typically for a year as the survivor continues to heal from their trauma.
“I have some patients who meet with me as much as once a week for ongoing support and some that reach out much less frequently,” Simmons says. We work with some survivors who are in pretty bad situations, dealing with sex trafficking, addiction, mental health issues, and homelessness – at times I serve as the only social service provider they are maintaining contact with. “I think it’s just important for them to realize that they have an advocate who can help support them, without judgement, no matter what their situation is.”
Simmons is very passionate about her work and about helping victims. “Helping and empowering survivors to realize they don’t have stay in their situation of abuse, helping them find their independence, helping them realize they can flourish like I did, that’s what I love about my work. I want to help patients realize their potential – empower them from victims to survivors to thrivers.”
Help End the Cycle
Both Simmons and Fairchild want to let sexual assault and abuse victims know that what they’ve experienced is not their fault and that Adena is here to help. Unfortunately, statistics show that during COVID-19, while people were forced to stay home, abuse and sexual assault instances rose on a global level. There are many opportunities for people in our area to take action and help victims free themselves from a cycle of abuse. Adena Advocacy Program Services are always free of charge and funded by the Ohio Attorney General’s Victims of Crime (VOCA) Grant. The Advocacy Program is always looking for volunteers to help with projects, crisis response, outreach activities, or follow-up with patients. If you are interested in helping, know someone who needs help or are a victim of abuse, visit Adena.org/advocacyservices, call 740-779-7263, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Help is always available.
1 National Sexual Violence Resource Center. 20 Events That Shaped Sexual Violence Prevention in the Last 20 Years. Harrisburg, PA: National Sexual Violence Resource Center, 2020. https://www.nsvrc.org/blogs/20-events-shaped-sexual-violence-prevention-last-20-years.Read More
Posted March 29, 2021
(image) As announced by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine earlier this month, Adena Health System will serve as one of 15 mass vaccination clinic sites throughout Ohio significantly expanding regional access to COVID-19 vaccines. Adena is set to receive the one dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine to begin administration as a mass vaccination clinic site on Wednesday, March 31 at the PACCAR Medical Education Center, located on the campus of Adena Regional Medical Center in Chillicothe.
Each regional mass vaccination clinic will be locally operated with support from the Ohio Department of Health and Ohio Emergency Management Agency. Adena’s clinic will be equipped to administer thousands of vaccines a day depending on supply and demand.
“As a rural health system with a mission of being called to serve our communities, it is a tremendous honor to be asked by the Governor and assist our state officials as one of Ohio’s mass vaccination clinic sites,” said Jeff Graham, Adena President & CEO. “Vaccines are our best defense against COVID-19, and it is a privilege to collaborate with our healthcare partners across the region and state in this coordinated effort to ensure all individuals have an opportunity to receive the vaccine as it becomes available.”
Adena’s mass vaccination administration is by appointment only.
Vaccination appointments can be made by individuals 18 years of age and older by calling 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634) or visiting gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov.
The vaccine is being offered at no cost.
WHERE: PACCAR Medical Education Center
446 Hospital Rd
Chillicothe, OH 45601
Parking - FREE
WHEN: Starting Wednesday, March 31, 2021
Tuesday – Friday
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Individuals with appointments to receive their vaccination through Adena are asked to bring photo identification and be prepared to wait approximately 15-30 minutes following their shot for monitoring. This is not a drive-thru vaccination location.Read More
Posted March 25, 2021
Certified Nurse Practitioner Kara Roof is a caring health care professional who puts patients of all ages at ease.
Kara Roof, CNP, is a powerhouse in the world of Adena health care. Her skills, versatility and relatable manner make her invaluable to patients and to Adena Health System. Although she currently spends most of her time caring for patients at Adena Family Medicine and Pediatrics – Jackson, she can, and has, served patients throughout the area; filling in where needed to make sure patients receive timely health care.
Kara is dedicated to serving patients with quality health care and by making them feel comfortable. Her approachable nature and engaging smile put patients at ease. She grew up in Oak Hill and now lives in Jackson with her husband so they are close to local family members.
Kara is very thorough and likes the ability to develop care plans and follow-up with patients. “She wants patients to be as healthy as they can be,” says Anita “Kay” Davis, Manager, Adena Family Medicine and Pediatrics – Jackson. “She is comfortable seeing all range of patients, from newborns to the elderly.” Kara is fully credentialed to cover all patient needs from examination to prescriptions.
Kara stays busy during her 10-hour workdays. Although she does most of her patient care in Jackson, she also helps manage and see patients one day a week at the Adena Health Center – Oak Hill. “Her experience and compassion make Kara a great patient advocate,” says Lynsey Chapman, Manager, Adena Clinic Staff and Operations – Oak Hill. Some patients have even followed her from previous practices because they enjoy her pleasant attitude and value her attention and quality of care.
If you are in the Jackson or Oak Hill area, have health concerns, or just need a check-up, call Adena Family Medicine and Pediatrics – Jackson at 740-395-8090. You’ll know Kara when you see her, she’ll be the one making you feel right at home.Read More
Posted March 24, 2021
Adena Health System practices have again received the prestigious NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home recognition.
For the sixth time in a row, Adena primary care practices have received the designation as a Patient-Centered Medical Home™ from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). This notable distinction means that Adena meets the high-quality standards of patient care recognized as important by a committee of industry leaders and peers. The Patient-Centered Medical Home recognition means that Adena practices operate in “the way patients want it to be,” emphasizing accessibility, health information technology and coordinated care focused on patients.
As a Patient-Centered Medical Home, Adena health care professionals work to create ongoing partnerships with their patients, focusing on total health instead of just addressing single health issues one at a time. Each patient’s care is overseen by clinician-led care teams that coordinate treatment across the Adena health care system. Research indicates that health care practices recognized as “medical homes” can lead to higher quality care, lower health care costs and ultimately improve the patient/provider experience.
In addition to the patient-centered continuum of care, Adena strives to make health care more convenient for its patients. Our Adena Urgent Care and Walk-In Clinics are designed to treat patients quickly with same day treatment and extended hours. To reduce time in the waiting room, patients can use our online appointment system to select a time at any of the Adena seven clinics located throughout the region, including convenient locations inside the Chillicothe Walmart and Jackson Middle School. Many of our Urgent Care and Walk-In Clinics are open 7-days a week, but check our online listing to check hours and see the clinic locations nearest you.
The NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home program reflects the input of the American College of Physicians (ACP), American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and American Osteopathic Association (AOA) and others. It was developed to assess whether clinician practices are functioning as medical homes and recognize them for these efforts. The NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home standards emphasize the use of systematic, patient-centered, coordinated care that supports access, communication and patient involvement. As a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health care quality, NCQA is helping raise the bar for patient care. *Read More
Posted March 24, 2021
Jackson City Schools and Adena Health System reopen the Adena Family Medicine-Ironmen Clinic at Jackson Middle School to provide primary care services conveniently to area students.
On Monday, February 22, Jackson School district students and staff welcomed the return of the Adena Family Medicine - Ironmen Clinic back to school grounds at Jackson Middle School. The Ironmen Clinic, named after the school mascot, provides convenient primary care services to school students, staff and is open to area residents.
During the height of our COVID-19 response, the clinic’s services were temporarily suspended in order to address pandemic demands. But now, our Adena-employed certified nurse practitioner Madison Mercer is back onsite and ready to serve the school and public.
The exterior entrance makes it easy for community members outside of the school to visit the clinic, while also keeping students and staff safe and secure. The onsite clinic means easy healthcare access to school students with no need for transportation or having a parent miss work, although the clinic staff likes to see parents if they are able to accompany their student.
The clinic is open for appointments or walk-ins: Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. Beginning April 9, it will be open 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. on Fridays too. The Ironmen Clinic provides services consistent with primary care, including:
- Treatment of acute illness such as ear/sinus infection, cold, flu, cough, sore throat;
- Chronic disease management including diabetes and asthma;
- Behavioral health treatment such as anxiety, depression and ADHD/ADD;
- Comprehensive annual wellness exams and sports physicals;
- Immunizations and disease prevention;
- On-site testing for blood sugar, strep throat, flu, hearing, vision and more;
- Lab specimen collection (including blood draws); and
- Reproductive health needs.
The Adena Family Medicine – Ironmen Clinic accepts self-pay, Medicaid as well as most forms of insurance. For more information, or to request an appointment, call 740-286-7869 or visit www.adena.org/ironmen.Read More
Posted March 23, 2021
Teresa is a homegrown nurse practitioner who is passionate about caring for members of her community.
If you’ve ever gone to Adena Family Medicine - Piketon or Jackson, you may have encountered nurse practitioner, Teresa Barnett. You may not remember her, but she likely will remember you. Teresa is a long-time dedicated nurse who loves to get to know her patients. She is invested in her patients’ health and often looks beyond what they came in for.
“One of the greatest compliments I ever received was when a son told me I took care of his mom as if she were my mom,” says Teresa. That pretty much sums up Teresa’s attitude and approach to patients, taking care of each one as if they were a family member. “Teresa likes to look at the whole person,” says Nicole Stiver, Adena Family Medicine Piketon Clinical and Operations Manager. “She genuinely wants to make a difference and help people.”
Since January 2021, Teresa has been working from the Adena Family Medicine - Piketon office only. She says she likes getting to know the patients and practicing in the community where she grew up and now where she and her family live. “I identify with the community and know the community challenges,” says Teresa. “I like the community feeling. We often might treat one family member, and then as time goes on, start seeing more family members come in because they’ve heard it’s a friendly, caring and important health experience.”
Teresa likes to talk to patients about preventative care and is passionate about coaching patients regarding diet and exercise. “Even small changes in weight and activity can make a patient feel better,” says Teresa. She takes extra time to help empower patients with resources to make lifestyle changes. Teresa also knows the value of patient follow-up. She frequently follows up with high risk patients to check on their condition and with patients she knows might need extra encouragement.
If you have health concerns, or it’s been a while since your last well-check, call Adena Family Medicine - Piketon at 740-947-6480 and make an appointment. If you see Teresa during your visit, make sure you say ‘hi.’ Chances are you’ll have a new health advocate to help look out for you.Read More
Posted March 22, 2021
Adena Health System announced that it has adjusted its visitor policy effective today in an effort to loosen restrictions due to declines in regional COVID-19 cases.
To ensure a safe environment, all visitors are still required to maintain social distancing, follow hand hygiene guidelines, and must wear a mask or face covering throughout their visit, including while inside patient rooms.
“We recognize how important family, friends and support persons are to a patient’s recovery, and we’re pleased to be able to welcome more people back into our facilities,” said Chief Clinical Officer Kirk Tucker, MD. “As we continuously review all available data, we felt like this was the right time to loosen some of our visitor restrictions as our hospitalizations related to COVID-19 decrease and more people in our communities are being vaccinated.”
He added, “While these are good signs, it does not signal an end in our fight against Coronavirus. I urge everyone to continue to push for adoption of the precautions we all know work – like masking, hand hygiene and social distancing – and push for high rates of vaccination so we can overcome this virus.”
Highlights to the new visitor policy guidelines include:
Inpatients: Non-COVID patients may have two visitors. Visitation is still restricted for COVID positive or suspected positive patients.
Outpatient/Ambulatory: One support person allowed per patient. Limits may be necessary based on clinic/department’s space allowing for social distancing.
Inpatient Maternity/Labor and Delivery/Pediatrics: Patients may have three visitors throughout duration of each day.
Behavior Health: One visitor per patient between the hours of 5-6:30 p.m.
Hospital visiting hours have also expanded to 8 a.m. - 8 p.m., seven days a week.
Adena’s full visitor policy is available at Adena.org/VisitorPolicy.
Posted March 22, 2021
A type 2 diabetes diagnosis can seem devastating, but with careful monitoring and updates in diet, you can keep on the “sunny-side” of life.
Many people may think that type 2 diabetes is caused by an unhealthy diet or being overweight, and while those things can increase the risk of getting type 2 diabetes, every day people who are at a healthy weight and that are eating a well-rounded diet are diagnosed with diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) roughly 1 in 10 Americans have some form of diabetes and 90-95% of those Americans have type 2 diabetes.
After we turn 45, our chances of getting type 2 diabetes increases because:
- Our cells become more resistant to insulin (a hormone that transports the sugars we eat into our cells so that our cells can use the sugar for energy)
- The pancreas does not produce as much insulin as it did when we were younger
- People with a family history of diabetes are also at an increased risk for getting the disease
Symptoms of diabetes include fatigue, increased hunger or thirst, unexplained weight loss, increased urination, or blurred vision. Other symptoms include frequent skin infections or slow healing cuts and bruises. Some people with diabetes don’t realize they have it because the symptoms start slowly and can be mistaken for other problems, or even ignored. However, if diabetes is left untreated it can cause serious problems like heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, blindness and even amputations.
A key indicator of diabetes is A1C level. The A1C test is a simple blood test that measures the average blood sugar level over the past three months. Your Adena primary care provider can make sure you get this test, especially if you have concerns, or risk factors. According to the American Diabetes Association, up to 70% of people who have prediabetes will eventually develop diabetes.
5.6% or less – Normal
5.7% - 6.4% - Prediabetes
6.5% or higher – Diabetes
Diabetes is not hard to manage, but it does require a change of habits. People newly diagnosed with diabetes will need to monitor their blood sugar several times during the day. Your Adena primary care provider can help you plan how to best monitor your sugars. Thanks to newer technology, there are many options for monitoring your blood sugar that now include phone apps or wearable monitors that can keep track of blood sugar constantly. This not only helps people keep track of their own sugars, but can also help keep track of other family members who struggle with their own testing such as elderly parents.
People with diabetes can help lower their blood sugars with diet and exercise. Some people with diabetes can actually improve their A1C so much that they will no longer need medications. Adena has a team of nutritionists who can help people with diabetes adapt to new eating habits, plan for monitoring and lifestyle changes. Your primary care provider can refer you to a nutritionist so you can make the most of this service. The key is to stay alert, monitor sugars, improve diet, exercise and work with the team at Adena to make sure you receive regular A1C tests and follow up visits.
Talk to your Adena primary care provider about A1C screenings and the steps you can take now to improve your chances against getting Type 2 Diabetes. Call your primary care provider’s office, or if you need a new primary care provider call 740-779-FIND (3463) or go to Adena.org to schedule an appointment.Read More
Posted March 19, 2021
Feeling blue from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic? You aren’t the only one. Here’re tips that can help!
Have the effects of COVID-19 got you feeling down? Fear of illness, death, limited social interaction, restricted travel, business closings, mask wearing, home schooling, changes in virtually every aspect of life – it can all be overwhelming. According to the JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) Network, depression in U.S. adults has basically tripled since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Those who had previous financial worries have been particularly hard hit. Now, more than ever, we need to pay attention to our mental health and make sure we are taking steps to help keep it in check.
Strongly linked to our mental health is our physical health. Making good decisions about food and exercise are great places to start in effort to help keep “the blues” away. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), physical activity can reduce your risk of depression and anxiety and help you sleep better. It doesn’t need to be intense activity, just a brisk walk can be beneficial. Regular exercise releases endorphins and other natural brain chemicals that can enhance your sense of well-being. Generally, it is recommended that you exercise at least 20 to 30 minutes a day, three days a week. If you’ve been inactive for a while, take it slow to start out, and then build up to more frequent and longer or more intense exercise. Try not to make exercise a chore by possibly making it a break from work, or by joining a friend or group that can safely exercise together.
Eating habits can also impact mental health. Consuming a balanced diet full of vegetables and fruits while limiting sugary or processed foods can help. People who follow extremely low carbohydrate diets can run the risk of feeling depressed because brain chemicals, like tryptophan and serotonin that promote a feeling of well-being, are triggered by carbohydrate-rich foods. That doesn’t mean to load up on carbohydrates which can add weight, but cutting them out completely could have a negative impact. Vitamins are also important in your diet. Vitamin deficient diets have shown to be more common in patients diagnosed with depression and anxiety. Including vitamin rich foods like fruits and vegetables in your everyday eating habits and/or taking vitamin supplements will help your body perform and feel at its best. Improving your diet and physical health can have a positive impact on your mental outlook.
Another suggestion to help your mental health during COVID-19 is to volunteer or take an active community role to feel more connected. There have been many studies to suggest that volunteering can help counteract mental stress, anxiety and depression. Researchers have found that being helpful to others can induce a feeling of happiness and satisfaction. It can give people a sense of purpose and boost their feelings of social connection. Particularly for older individuals, volunteering can help alleviate loneliness and create a support structure and sense of belonging. The people you help can also benefit and feel better from your kindness and connection. Although volunteering may seem a little difficult during times of COVID-19, there are a number of safe ways for folks to get out into the community to help those less fortunate. A few starter ideas are:
- Donate to or help volunteer at a local food bank
- Deliver Meals on Wheels to shut-ins or those who can’t go to the store
- Donate blood
- Bake treats and drop them off for front line workers (EMTs, Firefighters, Paramedics, Hospital staff)
- Volunteer at a clothing donation charity or thrift store
- Make phone calls for a local church or community center to check on the elderly and neighbors
- Tutor a student virtually
You can also check local churches, government groups and community centers for volunteer opportunities. Chances are there is a group that would love your help and that you could benefit from helping.
If you find yourself still struggling with depression, anxiety, stress, tell your Adena Primary Care Provider, or contact the Adena Counseling Center at 740-779-4888.
If you’re experiencing a more serious mental health crisis and need immediate support, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text #4HOPE to 741-741.Read More
Posted March 16, 2021
(image) Penicillin: Not a Villain
Board-certified allergists and immunologists Rekha Raveendran, MD and Dana Esham, MD, are well familiar with the treatment of seasonal allergies. Dr. Esham is the Medical Director for ENT and Allergy and has been with Adena for over nine years. Dr. Raveendran joined Adena in 2020 after having worked at The Ohio State University and in private practice. They both enjoy their work at Adena where the “inclusive, welcoming environment allows for more collaboration and great patient care.”
Are You Sensitive?
Dr. Raveendran and Dr. Esham have noticed a concerning trend. It’s the trend to move away from common penicillin-based prescriptions, like Amoxicillin and Augmentin, in favor of other antibiotics secondary to many patients having a history of penicillin allergy.
“Part of what the medical community sees happening is that people’s medical records have them marked as having a penicillin allergy, when that is not the case,” says Dr. Raveendran. “They may have had a rash when they were younger that was thought to be a reaction to penicillin, but wasn’t, or they did have an allergy, but at this point no longer have a sensitivity to penicillin.” The result is that many people are thought to have a penicillin allergy which leads them to taking alternative antibiotics that are more expensive, possibly less effective and more likely to cause antibiotic resistance.
Penicillin is Your Friend, Don’t Resist It
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 10% of the U.S. population reports a penicillin allergy but <1% of the whole population is truly allergic. And approximately 80% of patients with a penicillin allergy lose their sensitivity after 10 years.1 We would like for penicillin allergic patients to be aware that they have a 90% chance of not being allergic now. We recommend to contact Adena Allergy to get penicillin tested.” says Dr. Raveendran. “That way, if we can take penicillin off of their allergy list, they can take a penicillin-based antibiotic which is likely more effective, less expensive, have less side-effects and reduce the risk of contributing to these resistant ‘super-bugs’ we hear about.”
Antibiotic resistance happens when germs and bacteria develop the ability to resist the drugs intended to kill them, hence the nickname of “super-bug.” That means the germs can continue to grow and cause infection. In many cases, antibiotic-resistant infections require extended hospital stays, additional follow-up doctor visits, and more costly, and potentially more severe side effects.
Penicillin Can Make a Diff-erence
“One of the biggest concerns, especially for patients admitted to the hospital, is that some antibiotics are more prone to cause you to develop C. difficile, or C. diff,” says Dr. Esham. C. diff is a dangerous, highly contagious bacteria that can cause severe diarrhea and colitis [an inflammation of the colon] and can possibly lead to death if not treated aggressively. “With penicillin-type medications, patients have less of a risk of acquiring C. diff,” says Dr. Esham. “Penicillin based antibiotics are generally well tolerated while some of the alternatives can have more severe side effects.”
Patients who have or suspect they have a penicillin allergy can contact Adena Allergy and Immunology at 740-779-4393 or visit Adena.org to schedule an appointment online. Dr. Raveendran and Dr. Esham can initially screen patients using a virtual visit or an in office visit to make sure a penicillin -test is appropriate. If a patient is a good candidate, they would next come to the Adena offices for a simple penicillin allergy skin test. The test usually takes two hours, so that the Adena team can carefully monitor any potential negative reactions. If there are no reactions, the patient will no longer be penicillin allergic, and that can benefit the patient with more and potentially better options for fighting infections.
1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Evaluation and Diagnosis of Penicillin Allergy for Healthcare Professionals. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017. https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/community/for-hcp/Penicillin-Allergy.htmlRead More
Posted March 16, 2021
When you bring a loved one in for a doctor’s appointment, an Emergency Department visit, a surgical procedure or hospital stay, you expect your local healthcare heroes to provide top-quality, compassionate care.
The commitment to provide that level of care is core to Adena providers and caregivers as they embody the ideals of those called to serve our communities. That commitment – the one that truly earns them the designation of healthcare heroes – has always been on full display at Adena but was highlighted to an even greater degree with the onset early last year of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Facing difficult odds, seemingly endless hours and double shifts, rising patient counts and the emotional and physical demands of battling a pandemic while maintaining quality performance in all service lines across the Health System, Adena’s healthcare heroes have worked tirelessly to ensure that the needs of patients, their families and each other were met.
While they remain busy providing the best possible care for those across the counties served by Adena, however, who’s caring for the caregivers? Thanks to a fund created through the Adena Health Foundation, the answer could be you.
While some Health Foundation money is used to support the efforts of the Health System’s frontline workers in a variety of ways to better serve patients, the Healthcare Heroes Fund was created to help meet a specific set of needs for caregivers who have always been there for their communities. It makes money available to our healthcare heroes upon special request to help alleviate the many burdens they may face which, in turn, helps them better serve you as they continue to care for you and your loved ones.
Through generous support in 2020, the Healthcare Heroes Fund supplied the means to create Wellness Rooms inside Adena’s hospitals in Chillicothe, Greenfield and Waverly. The rooms offer staff a place of solace with dimmable lighting and massage chairs to provide a few minutes of respite from the stresses and long hours associated with the work – particularly during a pandemic. While that use of the fund benefited all hospital staff, specific individual requests may be made for personal mental or physical care, massages or therapy, meals, childcare or other items that may help alleviate some of the burdens your caregivers may face.
Those heroes need heroes, too, and you can become one with your donation to the Adena Health Foundation. When you contribute, 100% of your donation will be distributed to individual funds according to your wishes, and since Health Foundation expenses are covered by Adena Health System, you can be sure that anything you give is going directly to the fund you wish to support.
More information about making a donation to the Healthcare Heroes Fund or other Adena Health Foundation projects is available:
- By mail at Adena Health Foundation, 9 S. Paint St., Chillicothe, OH 45601
- By phone at 740-779-7528
- Make a tax-deductible donation online
Posted March 15, 2021
Adena Greenfield Medical Center (AGMC) is expanding health care services to residents of Greenfield and the surrounding area. A new 8,500-square-foot medical office building will be attached to the medical center and house new specialty clinics and equipment that will expand local access and convenience.
“As the population of Greenfield and surrounding communities has grown and changed, so has its health care needs,” said Jeff Graham, Adena President and CEO. "The expansion of a new medical office building will give AGMC the opportunity to create more access to specialty care and introduce new specialty services in the future reaffirming Adena’s commitment to provide the most comprehensive care close to our patient’s home. When completed, the new space will allow AGMC to provide triple the patient visits Adena currently provides in Greenfield, Highland County, and the surrounding areas.”
The roots of care in Greenfield run deep, dating back over 100 years to a small community hospital founded in a stately house on what then was the edge of town. The hospital has evolved since those humble beginnings, and over the years grew to become a modern 25-bed general medical and surgical hospital with a newly renovated emergency department.
The new Greenfield medical office building, which will include exam rooms, procedure rooms, space for inpatient pharmacy, waiting areas, as well as add parking, will provide the physicians, space and technology to enhance existing services or add new services in the areas of:
- General Surgery
- Pain Management
- Sports Medicine
- Wound Care
The $3 million project is anticipated to open spring 2022.
Posted March 15, 2021
Prostate cancer is a common cancer, second only to skin cancer for men. According to the American Cancer Society, there are roughly 248,000 new cases of prostate cancer diagnosed in the U.S. each year with approximately 34,000 of those cases resulting in death. It’s the second leading cause of cancer death for men behind lung cancer. “Although the incidence of prostate cancer is high, with the standard treatment options of surgery or radiation therapy, outcomes are very successful,” says Matthew W. Christian, MD, Adena Urologist.
The prostate is a walnut-sized gland that produces seminal fluid in men. If cancer cells develop, this could lead to an elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level which may be an indicator of potential prostate cancer. Symptoms can include difficulty urinating, blood in urine or semen, bone pain, unexplained weight loss, or possibly no symptoms at all. This makes PSA screening critical for men ages 55 and older, and possibly sooner if a patient has symptoms, or risk factors like family history or African American race. Dr. Christian and the Adena Urology team will likely recommend further testing or a biopsy for patients with a PSA level of 4 ng/mL or above. “Each patient is different,” says Dr. Christian, “Fortunately, most prostate cancer is relatively slow growing. If we find we do find cancer in the biopsy, we assess the grade of cancer, patient health, age and other risk factors in order to set the best treatment course.” In some cases, treatment may just mean active surveillance, or it may require more aggressive therapies or surgery.
Once a diagnosis of prostate cancer is confirmed, the Adena Urology and Oncology teams work together to quickly set a course of treatment. They present the patient’s case to the Adena Multidisciplinary Tumor Board which meets weekly to thoroughly evaluate and assess the best treatment options for patients. Adena also pairs each prostate cancer patient with an Adena nurse navigator. The nurse navigator is the immediate “go to” person for the patient and helps guide patients through appointments, x-rays, insurance – anything that is needed to help the patient through their treatment and making sure they receive the appropriate follow-ups.
The standard treatments for prostate cancer are either surgery (radical prostatectomy) or radiation therapy. Dr. Christian often performs a robot-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy in order to increase precision, reduce blood loss and improve recovery time compared to traditional open surgery. A patient’s hospital stay is usually one to two days. After surgery, most patients will require no further treatments.
Some patients will opt for primary radiation therapy to treat prostate cancer. The radiation oncologists at Adena utilize the latest technology to precisely treat prostate cancer and avoid toxicity to other organs. Surgery or radiation therapy are equally effective in treating prostate cancer which provides patients the ability to make a personalized choice in their care. Finally, surgery or radiation are not always required for prostate cancer which is why the Adena Urology and Oncology teams work together to determine the best care path for their patients. Many patients can be followed with just periodic surveillance.
“As for many types of cancer, screening for prostate cancer and early detection is key to effective treatment and long term outcomes,” says Dr. Christian. Adena Urology offers leading, comprehensive care for regional patients with all types of urological needs. Adena physicians are accessible to patients and dedicated to the mission of serving our communities. Should you experience symptoms or be a candidate for screening, tell your primary care provider or call Adena Urology at (740) 779-4370.Read More
Posted March 10, 2021
One in eight women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in her lifetime; and the American Cancer Society says one in 39 women will die from the disease. Screenings and consistent treatment are proven to increase the chance of survival, though many people face other challenges while in the fight for their life. These can include job loss, mounting utility bills, housing insecurities, or a lack of transportation or childcare that may be keeping a patient from getting to their breast cancer treatment.
There is help.
Adena Health System is proud to be a 2021 Breast Cancer Fund of Ohio (BFOhio) grant recipient. BCFOhio makes emergency funding available to any Ohio resident who is currently fighting breast cancer, and meets program criteria. The applicant does not have to be a patient of Adena Cancer Center to be eligible for this assistance.
Each year, BCFOhio funds go to Ohio organizations that manage the emergency financial assistance to help breast cancer patients meet essential living needs, making it easier for them to get the quality health care and treatment they require.
The Breast Cancer Fund of Ohio is a statewide, independent, nonprofit organization established by breast cancer survivors. Help provided by BCFOhio is funded by the sale of Ohio's Breast Cancer Awareness License Plate and other contributions.
To learn how you can apply for BCFOhio Emergency Assistance, contact Adena Cancer Center Social Worker Mary Brown by email at email@example.com, or by phone at (740) 542-3061.Read More
Posted March 04, 2021
(image) The Adena Regional Medical Center (ARMC) Laboratoryhas again received a two-year accreditation from the Accreditation Committee of the College of American Pathologists (CAP). The accreditation is based on results of a recent on-site inspection.
“As far as lab accreditations go, CAP is the highest accreditation a laboratory can receive,” said Adam McGonigle, Director of Laboratory Services. “There are thousands of regulatory requirements that we are held to. By going through CAP, we know that we are providing the best quality service we can for our patients and providers.”
With this recognition, ARMC’s Lab – which during the 2020 portion of the Coronavirus pandemic added about 4,300 COVID-19 tests each month to its usual heavy patient test load – remains one of only about 8,000 CAP-accredited facilities worldwide.
The CAP accreditation process is designed to ensure the highest standard of care for all laboratory patients. During an inspection, laboratory’s records and quality control of procedures for the preceding two years are inspected. CAP inspectors also examine laboratory staff qualifications, equipment, facilities, safety program and record, and overall management.
The stringent nature of the accreditation process is why Adena chooses to pursue the designation. Since the early 1960s, the federal government has recognized the CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program as being equal to or more stringent than the government’s own inspection program.
Adena Health System Laboratories provide testing in chemistry, COVID-19, hematology, microbiology, pathology, molecular, and transfusion services. Adena’s CAP-accredited labs are located at Adena Regional Medical Center in Chillicothe, Adena Greenfield Medical Center and Adena Pike Medical Center in Waverly. Adena also offers lab specimen collection sites in Chillicothe, Circleville, Greenfield, Jackson, Washington Court House, Waverly and Wellston that work directly with its accredited labs. For more information, visit Adena.org/lab.Read More
Posted March 01, 2021
While Adena Health System, like many other organizations administering COVID-19 vaccinations to state-designated members of the public, looks forward to more widespread vaccine availability in the future, it is successfully continuing to maximize the number of shots in arms it is administering with the vaccine it receives.
“We’ve had little to no waste, which is our number one priority – not wasting any vaccine and staying within the parameters the Ohio Department of Health has given us,” said Seth Haynes, Adena Director of Performance and Quality Improvement who has also been involved with state and regional discussions regarding the vaccine rollout.
Currently, those state parameters permit vaccination of those 65 and older and any Ohioans born with or who have early childhood conditions that carried into adulthood which put them at higher risk of serious illness due to COVID-19. A list of those conditions can be found on Adena’s and the Ohio Department of Health’s respective websites.
During a recent day of appointment-only vaccine administrations at Adena’s PACCAR Medical Education Center in Chillicothe, that connection to other health issues was cited by Linda Cozad and Karen Butterbaugh as key reasons why they chose to be vaccinated. Butterbaugh, after praising the professionalism and ability of the caregiver administering her shot, stated that she was there because she didn’t want to “catch something and die.”
“I’m serious, because I have diabetes and asthma and I know I wouldn’t make it, especially when it affects your lungs like it does,” Butterbaugh said.
Don and Linda Cozad had different reasons for coming down together for their vaccinations – Linda due to concerns over COVID-19 in connection with her other health issues and Don because of his work around other people in a church pantry with which he’s involved – while Terry and Sheryl Morris said that concern over the seriousness of the disease and a desire to do their part to get everyone through the crisis and back to normal life drove their decision to vaccinate.
As of the middle of last week, Adena had vaccinated around 2,800 members of the general public off a list of more than 5,000 names who at that point had expressed a desire to be vaccinated since January. While the Health System has the processes in place to be able to handle more vaccinations, the limiting factor is the amount of available vaccine it is being provided.
Haynes said Adena has, on average, been receiving between 200 and 600 weekly doses of the Pfizer vaccine to be administered as first doses to those on the list. It also receives the appropriate number of second doses for those returning at the appointed time for those to be administered.
While vaccine availability continues to be a concern nationwide during the initial stages of the public vaccination rollout, there is reason to hope for a significant improvement heading into the spring and summer months. In early February, Moderna announced that it should have its first 100 million U.S. doses delivered by the end of March with a second 100 million in May. The U.S. government also has purchased a third batch of 100 million doses from the company. Pfizer, meanwhile, plans to have 200 million doses of its vaccine delivered as soon as May. Both vaccines require two shots spaced nearly a month apart for maximum benefit.
A third vaccine from Johnson & Johnson received emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration late last week and cleared its final hurdle over the weekend to start putting shots in arms. While availability of that single-shot vaccine will initially be limited to around 4 million doses until production is ramped up following its approval, Biden administration officials indicated Sunday that around 16 million doses may be available by the end of March.
To take advantage of the expected expanded availability, Adena officials continue to encourage residents of any age older than 16 -- regardless of whether they regularly receive care from an Adena medical provider -- to visit Adena.org/covidvaccine and fill out an online form to be added to its list of those interested in being vaccinated. The Pfizer vaccine has been approved to be administered to those 16 and older while the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines have been approved for those 18 and older. Clinical trials are currently ongoing regarding those younger than 16 so those in that age range should not be signed up for vaccinations at this time.
Haynes reiterated that Adena is following state guidelines regarding who is eligible to be vaccinated, which as of Monday were those older than 65 or those with one of the state-approved conditions. During a press conference Monday afternoon, however, Governor Mike DeWine announced a new phase 1C of eligibility beginning Thursday that will include individuals working in child care services, funeral services and law enforcement and corrections officers, as well as those with type 1 diabetes, pregnant women, bone marrow transplant recipients and those living with ALS. DeWine also said Thursday will mark the beginning of Phase 2 eligibility, meaning anyone age 60 and older will be eligible to be vaccinated. A timeline has not yet been set for future age reductions.
Toward that end, Haynes has a request for those who can’t make it to scheduled appointments.
“I would encourage anybody who is not able to make it to their scheduled appointment for whatever reason to please contact our Hotline at 740-542-SAFE (7233) to let us know because that will allow us to get somebody else scheduled,” he said.Read More
Posted February 23, 2021
(image) Bennie Upchurch, MD, FACP, AGAF, FACG, FASGE is an Adena Gastroenterologist who joined Adena Health System in 2020 after years of serving patients in private and institutional practice throughout central Ohio. As a physician certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, Dr. Upchurch treats all ranges of and all ages with gastrointestinal issues. He can’t stress enough the importance of age- and history-appropriate colonoscopies to help save the lives of patients.
Don’t Vent, PRE-Vent
There are around 140,000 of cases colorectal cancer (CRC) diagnosed each year in the U.S. CRC can occur in the colon or rectum when abnormal cells appear in a tissue growth or polyp. Polyps are often initially noncancerous and occur in nearly half of average-risk men and women age 50 and older. But if left untreated, the polyps can develop the abnormal cells that lead to cancer.
“Colorectal cancer is preventable cancer,” says Dr. Upchurch. “It’s one of only a few preventable cancers because by following advised screening practices, patients get any potentially harmful polyps removed during their colonoscopies.” So why would patients not get their prescribed colonoscopies? There could be a few excuses why patients don’t get their regular colon screening, but typically, once a patient has a colonoscopy, they realize it’s generally simple, painless and the definitive way to prevent colorectal cancer.
“Some patients have anxiety over getting their colonoscopies – they’ve heard the prep is unpleasant, the procedure is uncomfortable or risky, or they might have an adverse reaction to the anesthesia,” says Dr. Upchurch. “But there have been a lot of improvements to colonoscopy procedures, and our Adena Gastroenterology (GI) team uses innovative techniques.” The Adena GI team screen and assess patients before their visit. Currently, patients are required to have a pre-colonoscopy COVID-19 test to ensure their health safety. Once patients are cleared and ready for prep, the Adena GI team works with them and walks them though every step of the process.
Watch Your Back
Generally, as with many cancers, as people get older, their risk of getting colorectal cancer increases. Women 50 and older have an increased chance of getting cancer of the proximal colon, or first and middle parts of the colon, than men of the same age.* Other commonly found risks that increase chances or colorectal cancer are existing medical conditions such as a bowel disorder (i.e. Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis) or personal/family history, or a lifestyle habit such as: lack of exercise, poor diet (low fiber/high fat), obesity, or regular use of alcohol or tobacco. To know what factors may put you at personal risk, visit the Adena colon cancer health risk online assessment tool.
Early colorectal cancer may often appear without symptoms, which is why it is so essential to get proper screenings. If a patient does have symptoms, they could be:
- Bleeding from the rectum
- Blood in the stool or in the toilet after having a bowel movement
- Dark or black stools
- Decreased appetite
- Unintentional weight loss
- Weakness/fatigue – shortness of breath
Don’t Poo-Poo the Prep
One thing Dr. Upchurch always stresses to his patients, “Understand the importance of bowel prep.” The better the prep works, the easier it is for the doctor to see everything and make sure that any polyps are removed. “There have been lots of changes to preps over the years to make them more tolerable for patients,” says Dr. Upchurch. The Adena Gastroenterology team can help patients choose a prep method/product that will work best for them. “Proper prep basically ‘washes the grass clippings from the sidewalk’,” says Dr. Upchurch, “and it is key for a successful colonoscopy.”
Adena Primary Care Providers will refer their patients 50 years and older, or sometimes sooner if they have certain risk factors or history, to receive a colonoscopy. Most insurance companies and Medicare will cover a patient colonoscopy after age 50 and follow-up colonoscopies every five to ten years. Patients can also call Adena Gastroenterology directly at 740-779-8530 to schedule their colonoscopy or visit Adena.org. Having your colonoscopy can prevent colorectal cancer. It’s an important health milestone you can’t afford to neglect. If you’re due for a colonoscopy because of age or risk factors, call you doctor or Adena Gastroenterology today!
* American Cancer Society. Colorectal Cancer Facts & Figures 2020-2022. Atlanta, GA: American Cancer Society, 2020. https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/research/cancer-facts-and-statistics/colorectal-cancer-facts-and-figures/colorectal-cancer-facts-and-figures-2020-2022.pdf.Read More
Posted February 23, 2021
The American College of Surgeons (ACS) Commission on Cancer (CoC) has granted the Adena Cancer Center another three-year, full accreditation. The status recognizes the Adena Cancer Center – designated as a comprehensive community cancer program that is the only one of its kind in southern Ohio – among the nation’s best facilities for improving survival and quality of life for cancer patients, using cancer prevention, research, education, and comprehensive, quality care.
Adena has received the accreditation every three years going back about three decades. During the last three-year review period, Adena was able to create a medical oncology clinic in Fayette County, add a thoracic surgeon and achieve radiation oncology accreditation from the American College of Radiology for the first time. Roughly 70 percent of all cancer programs nationwide choose to go through the voluntary Commission on Cancer national accreditation process, and Adena Radiation Oncologist Dr. Gregory Thompson said the process utilizes strong benchmarks to help ensure the Health System is providing the highest standards in cancer care delivery.
“We are going on probably around 30 years of accreditation, which is remarkable,” Dr. Thompson said. “There’s a lot of people who work really hard to maintain that accreditation. It’s a huge investment of resources that really pays off in terms of quality and delivering the best care to the community.”
The CoC survey assesses Adena’s cancer program on a number of standards including: quality, research, continual goal setting and improvement, and survivorship. The CoC accreditation is a measure that shows Adena is delivering quality care across the spectrum of a cancer diagnosis. This includes the program’s continued growth and adaptation to the ever-changing landscape of cancer care.
With this accreditation, Adena Cancer Center will be listed on CoC’s website in the, "Find a CoC-Accredited Program" section, making it easier for patients to find close-to-home, comprehensive cancer care. A CoC designation helps the public immediately recognize Adena’s commitment to patient-centered cancer care and quality.
If you or a loved one are in need of cancer care, contact the Adena Cancer Center at (740) 542-3030 or visit Adena.org/cancer.Read More
Posted February 15, 2021
(image) Quit the Smoke – No Joke!
Fred Yingling, RPh, MBA, Health System Director of Pharmacy Services and Michael Johnson, PharmD, Ambulatory Pharmacy Director are two hard working Adena pharmacists. They’ve both been with Adena for nearly ten years, of which, almost six of those years have been dedicated to creating and overseeing Adena’s Smoking Cessation program. The program initially started at the request of a local company looking to improve their employees’ health by helping them to quit smoking. The program was such a success that Adena Health System offered it to their own employees, and now it is available to anyone who wants to quit smoking.
The “Why” in Try
Cigarette smoking is the number one cause of preventable disease and death worldwide, according to the American Lung Association. It claims over 443,000 American lives each year. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Ross County, Ohio, has a significantly higher rate of lung cancer (94.7) compared to the state of Ohio (69.3) and the U.S. (54.6). Ross County also has considerably higher death rates due to cancer (196.2) than state (176.2) and national (159.4) levels, of which, the leading occurrence is lung cancer. In addition to the high death rate due to lung cancer, Ross County has higher than state and national rates of heart disease, stroke and chronic lower respiratory diseases*. These are all conditions that can be brought on or have an increased risk from smoking.
To lead by example and create a healthy environment for our patients, visitors, employees and volunteers, Adena Health System follows a 100% smoke- and tobacco-free policy at all its facilities. This policy applies to all visitors, patients and employees on all areas of Adena properties including green spaces and parking lots. The Adena tobacco-free policy sets a positive example for community members and helps those wanting to quit know they have a safe and healing environment at Adena.
“We show smokers there are immediate and long-term health benefits to quitting,” says Michael Johnson. Some of the immediate benefits are improved taste and smell, improved breath, less yellowing of teeth, fingers and fingernails, and less being “winded” by daily activities such as walking or climbing stairs. Healthwise, smokers who quit, experience:
- After 20 minutes: drop in heart rate and blood pressure
- After 12 hours: the carbon monoxide level in blood drops to normal
- In 2 weeks to 3 months: improved circulation and lung function
- In 1 to 9 months: reduction of coughing and shortness of breath
- After 1 year: risk of coronary heart disease reduced to half that of a nonsmoker
- After 5 years: risk of mouth, throat, esophagus and bladder cancer cut in half; stroke risk can fall to that of a nonsmoker after 2-5 years
- After 10 years: risk of dying from lung cancer reduced to half
- After 15 years: risk of coronary heart disease is that of a nonsmoker
In addition to better health, smokers who quit can also realize some significant cost savings by not purchasing cigarettes or other tobacco products. Michael and Fred have detailed cost saving scenarios showing patients they can save thousands of dollars a year by quitting.
The “It” in Quit
Tobacco, like other addictive substances, is not easy to quit which is why Adena is here to help. Studies show cessation programs that combine counseling and medications significantly increases a participant’s success rate. “We typically use nicotine replacement or drug therapy to help patients reach their goal of quitting,” explains Fred Yingling, “And we are often able to help supply patients with initial over-the-counter medications.”
At Adena, the Quit Clinic helps patients take the appropriate interventions based on their willingness to quit. “We work with patients to determine their best cessation pathway,” says Yingling, “Each person requires an individual approach. We use the five A’s: Ask, Advise, Assess, Assist, and Arrange, to guide our patients through their tailored cessation program.”
The Adena Quit Clinic is a 12 week, in-person (or via online) clinic, designed to help people quit smoking. Program participants have a scheduled visit every two weeks in order to discuss and assess their challenges and progress. During a patient’s first visit, an Adena Quit Clinic pharmacist works to evaluate the participant’s tobacco habit and develop a cessation plan that is achievable. They help patients find the right tools to enable success, including over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapies and/or prescription drugs depending on the patients’ needs. The Adena Quit Clinic operates out of the Adena Chillicothe Rehab & Wellness location and from the Adena Medical Centers in Jackson, Waverly and Greenfield.
The How is Now
“We partner with patients through each step of the program to help them reach their goal of quitting,” says Johnson. Part of the program entails identifying “triggers” that entice smokers to light up. Sometimes, just the habit of lifting a cigarette to mouth just needs to be broken. “We talk to patients about their triggers and work to find healthy replacement options, such as taking a walk when they crave a smoke or drinking a glass of water.”
Quitting is hard. The Adena Quit Clinic pharmacists know how to help smokers use a variety of means to get them through the difficult times. “We often tell patients to let all their friends and family know they are quitting,” says Yingling, “this keeps them accountable to themselves and helps others be supportive.” Other tips include setting a quit date, knowing that a craving lasts six minutes to try and avert lighting up with another activity and realizing that the first 72 hours will be the most difficult. Patients may also experience restlessness, frustration, anger and difficulty concentrating along with other temporary withdrawal symptoms. But each day without smoking is a step in the right direction.
If you or a friend or family member want to quit smoking, talk to your Primary Care Provider for a referral or call the Adena Quit Clinic program at 740-779-8745. The experienced program pharmacists can provide smokers with the resources, tools and confidence to quit smoking, for good.
* Adena Health System. Ross County Community Health Needs Assessment. Chillicothe, OH: Adena Health System, 2019. https://www.adena.org/files/resources/ross-county-chna-2019-final.pdf.Read More
Posted February 15, 2021
(image) Adena Health System and Fayette County Memorial Hospital (FCMH) finalized their agreement for FCMH to become a member of Adena, officials from both organizations and Fayette County Commissioners announced in a signing event held earlier today. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The 25-bed critical access hospital, located in Washington Court House, will officially become part of Adena Health System on May 2, 2021, and operate under the name Adena Fayette Medical Center. Adena will assume operation management of the hospital today.
“In today’s healthcare landscape, strong, regional networks are vital, and we are excited about Fayette County Memorial Hospital becoming part of our Adena family,” said Adena President & CEO Jeff Graham. “By adding FCMH, we ensure close to home access to critical medical services for the residents of Fayette County and further advance our delivery of care across the region. Our goal is to grow the care here and not to have people leave the county.”
Graham also set a vision for what the future of healthcare in Fayette County will look like in the coming years, “A key component of this agreement is what the future holds for the physicians, advance practice providers and caregivers at Adena Fayette Medical Center and the residents of Fayette County. Through the course of our due diligence, we looked at the investment needed for the current hospital and it really changed our discussions about the future. And that future involves building a new critical access hospital on the current site. We understand the impact localized healthcare has on a community and how a new hospital drives the local economy. Having facilities that allow new services for patient care.”
Further details around Adena Fayette Medical Center’s construction project will be announced at a later time.
The new agreement deepens a collaboration between the two organizations and builds on an existing partnership established in 2018.
“The mission of Fayette County Memorial Hospital, since its founding in 1950, has been to improve the health of our community through high-quality patient care and education,” FCMH CEO Mike Diener said. “That mission and the desire to be our community’s first choice for healthcare has been the foundation for our decision to initially partner with and now join Adena Health System. Adena has already proven their commitment to providing access to valuable care right here at home. Adena’s desire to come along side us and invest in our caregivers and our campus will ensure our original mission continues in a new hospital that will enhance our ability to deliver quality patient care with advanced medical technology and increased training opportunities for our caregivers. We are eager to take this next step with Adena Health System and look forward to what the future holds for the residents of Fayette County and our surrounding communities.”
Adena and FCMH received approvals to move forward with all agreements in unanimous votes by the FCMH Board of Trustees on Jan. 25 and the Adena Board of Trustees and Fayette County Commissioners on Feb. 1.
“Fayette County Commissioners are very pleased to come to this agreement with Adena Health System,” explained Jim Garland, President, Fayette County Board of Commissioners. “Adena’s commitment to keeping healthcare local and their demonstrated years of partnership in providing specialty care in Fayette County, we believe presented the best possible outcome for our residents. We look forward to a long, successful relationship.”
Based in Chillicothe, OH, Adena Health System is an independent, not-for-profit and locally controlled healthcare organization founded by nine area churches serving the needs of people in nine counties of south central and southern Ohio for over 125 years. It employs nearly 4,000 people. Adena provides specialty services typically found in larger markets keeping patients close to home for their care. Driven by a mission of “Called to serve our communities”, Adena Health System now includes four hospitals, six regional clinics and multiple primary care, specialty clinics and urgent care locations.Read More
Posted February 09, 2021
Have you had to miss some of life’s best moments due to abdominal pain, nausea or worse, after eating? It could be a sign of gallstones or gallbladder disease. Fortunately, Adena Health System can help!
The gallbladder is a small pear-shaped organ located under the liver. It stores and concentrates bile produced in the liver that gets released into the upper small intestine and aids in the digestion of fat. When the duct to the small intestine gets blocked with either gallstones or bile build-up, the resulting irritation causes inflammation that leads to abdominal pain, discomfort and often gallbladder disease.
Gallstones are caused by a chemical imbalance in the bile that leaves excess cholesterol to form small “stones” in the gallbladder and the hepatic duct (which leads to the small intestine). Gallstones are very common and not problematic until they start accumulating. It is thought that an excess in high-fat foods may trigger the gallstones. Foods such as fried foods, highly processed foods like cakes, pies and cookies, whole-milk, cheese, ice cream, butter and fatty red meat should be avoided if a person has gallbladder issues. Symptoms of gallbladder disease include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, chills, fever, chronic diarrhea, jaundice and irregular stools and urine.
Although medicines can be used to relieve discomfort, the definitive treatment for gallbladder issues is to remove the gallbladder surgically. Removing the gallbladder often has little impact on the digestive system and the procedure is regularly done minimally invasively to reduce pain and recovery time.
The risks of not treating gallstones can include unpredictable attacks of gallstone pain, gallbladder rupture, episodes of inflammation or serious infection of the gallbladder, bile ducts or pancreas. Jaundice and discomforts like gas, vomiting, and diarrhea can occur and diminish quality of life.
The bottom line? You don’t need to live with the disruption of gallbladder pain and discomfort. Call Adena Surgical for a consultation at 740-779-4550, so you don’t have to leave your date at the table!Read More
Adena Board and Fayette County Commissioners Approve Agreements for Fayette County Memorial Hospital to Join Adena
Posted February 02, 2021
(image) Adena Health System took several steps closer to adding Fayette County Memorial Hospital (FCMH) to its family of hospitals, with the approvals on several agreements by the Adena Board of Trustees and Fayette County Commissioners.
The Adena Board of Trustees, in a unanimous vote on Monday, agreed to move forward on all transaction agreements for Adena to acquire the 25-bed critical access hospital. Last week, in another unanimous vote, the FCMH Board of Trustees adopted a motion to move forward with the agreement as well. Under the approved agreement, Adena would begin a management agreement of FCMH operations on February 15, with targeted completion of the transaction April 1.
Additionally, the Fayette County Commissioners agreed yesterday to move forward with the transfer of real estate and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) management agreements to Adena. Because FCMH is currently county-owned, Commission approval of the agreements was needed.
“Having FCMH formally become part of the Adena network is the welcome next phase in making sure people across our region have continued access to quality health care, right in their own back yard,” said Adena President and CEO Jeff Graham. “The partnership we have had with FCMH has been successful for them, for Adena and most importantly for the patients who don’t have to travel far from home to receive the specialty care they need.”
Graham added, “When we reengaged with the Fayette County Commissioners and FCMH Board about taking on FCMH, we decided it was the right thing to do for each of our organizations; as well as an important opportunity to keep care local for those in the communities we serve. This is exciting news for the growth our Health System and rural healthcare across southern and south central Ohio.”
In a statement released by the Fayette County Commissioners, “The Fayette County Commissioners are happy to report an agreement is being finalized to bring Fayette County Memorial Hospital into the family of Adena Health System. As Commissioners we are pleased that the many conversations that have been held with both the Fayette County Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees and Management from have brought us to the point of continuing to provide local health care. Adena Health System provides the opportunity with many specialists to allow our families, friends and neighbors to get care close to home.We look forward with great anticipation to working with Adena Health System to provide great health care right here in our community.”
Adena has been providing a wide range of primary and specialty care services to residents in Fayette County since 2012. Adena and FCMH partnered on a formal clinical affiliation agreement in September 2018, expanding the volume of specialty care being offered on the hospital’s Washington Court House campus.
Adena Health System currently includes Adena Regional Medical Center, located in Chillicothe; Adena Greenfield Medical Center; and Adena Pike Medical Center, located in Waverly. FCMH, which will be rebranded as Adena Fayette Medical Center, will be Adena’s fourth hospital in its system.Read More
Posted February 01, 2021
(image) John Keller, MD is an Electrophysiologist who has been with Adena Cardiology for eight years. During that time, he and the Cardiology team have brought many new procedures to Adena Health System to not only help treat patients, but also give them a chance at a cure. He takes pride in advancing the cardiac treatment of patients locally so they can be cared for close to home.
The A to Z on Afib
Atrial Fibrillation, commonly called Afib or AF, occurs when the heart's upper chambers (atria) beat irregularly, out of coordination with the lower chambers (ventricles). “Afib is caused by disorganized electrical impulses in the atria,” says Dr. Keller, “ultimately, we don’t know what causes these disorganized charges, but we know that conditions such as obesity, hypertension (high blood pressure), coronary disease and sleep apnea can all lead to risk of developing Afib.”
Often patients will present no symptoms of Afib, but when symptoms do occur, they can include heart palpitations, shortness of breath and fatigue. “Forty percent of patients are asymptomatic,” explains Dr. Keller, “but having Afib can put them at risk for some dangerous things, such as a heart attack, stroke or heart failure.” The erratic heartbeats in the atria can lead to blood clots which can then move to other parts of the body, causing stroke (brain) or heart attack. This is an important reason for people to get appropriate screenings and regular check-ups. “The longer that a patient has Afib, the harder it is to get rid of,” says Dr. Keller.
Keeping You on Rhythm
If a patient shows signs of Afib during a check-up or screening, their Primary Care Provider will generally refer them to the Adena Cardiology team where specialists like Dr. Keller perform thorough case reviews to assess the patient’s risk factors for heart attack, stroke and heart failure. This helps determine the best Afib treatment plan. There are two approaches in getting a patient’s heartbeat back into regular rhythm – one, is rate control and the second, is rhythm control. “The approach we take depends on the patient’s history, age, general health and symptoms,” says Dr. Keller. “Each case is very individualistic, so we need to tailor a treatment to the complexity of the patient’s condition.”
A rate control treatment is generally a medication-based approach using blood thinners or beta blockers, while rhythm control is treated with medication, cardioversion (shock treatment), ablation or surgery (or a combination of these) with the intent to end or cure a patient’s Afib. Dr. Keller says that he’s been treating Afib patients more and more with AF ablation that uses a burning or freezing technique to create scar tissue in the atria that disrupts the erratic electrical impulses. Dr. Keller quite often uses cryoablation (freezing technique) which is a relatively fast and simple and has repeatable outcomes. Once the procedure is over, a patient usually stays in the hospital one to two days for observation. Ablation cure rates for Afib are around 70-75% says Dr. Keller, although in some cases it may take more than one Afib ablation procedure.
How Not to Clot
Not every patient is a candidate for ablation, shock therapy or surgery. In these cases, doctors often use blood thinners to help prevent clotting to reduce risk of strokes or heart attacks. When blood thinners aren’t an ideal solution due to a patient’s risk factor of blood loss through a fall or injury, Adena Cardiologists often use an advanced, minimally invasive, implantable deviceto help avert blood clots. “This implant is what’s known as a left atrial appendage occlusion device,” says Dr. Keller, “and it can be highly effective in preventing clots for patients who can’t go on blood thinners.”
We’ll Treat You Right
Dr. Keller wants patients to know that Adena Cardiology offers comprehensive Afib treatments with options for every patient – “right here where they live.” The Adena Cardiology team helps patients manage their Afib through a number of therapy options, and partners with them to help them control and often reverse atrial fibrillation. If you’ve experienced Afib symptoms, or have heart concerns, contact your Adena Primary Care Provider, Adena Cardiology at 740-779-4570 or visit Adena.org to schedule an appointment. There are options for treating and even curing Afib – Adena can treat you with a comprehensive care approach close to home.Read More
Posted February 01, 2021
(image) In recognition of February being American Heart Month, let’s focus on the body’s wonderful workhorse, your heart! Your heart is at the center of it all, continuously pumping around 2,000 gallons of blood through the body each day. It delivers oxygen and nutrients to the cells while also removing waste. It’s comprised of four chambers: two upper chambers called the right and left atria (singular: atrium) and two lower chambers called the right and left ventricles. The heart is an amazing vital organ!
To help you with heart care, Adena Cardiology has a range of advanced services and strategic relationships with the area’s top cardiac professionals. Adena can check patients’ heart health with a Cardiac Calcium Scoring test. Cardiac calcium scoring can determine if you’re at risk of a heart attack or heart disease and is recommended for women over 50 and men over 40 who have risk factors including:
The cardiac calcium scoring exam is a simple, painless computerized tomography (CT) scan that can be completed in minutes. It determines the amount of calcium build-up in the heart’s coronary arteries which can indicate a patient’s risk for a heart attack. The exam can detect early stage heart disease even when a patient shows no symptoms.
Adena Cardiology offers comprehensive treatment for heart disease and related cardiac issues. They have a strategic partnering relationship with the Heart and Vascular Center at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. “Our partnership with OSU’s Heart and Vascular team is a great benefit for our patient’s,” says Adena’s Jarrod Betz, MD, “together, we are able to take a holistic approach to our patients that may need heart surgery.” Dr. Betz is an interventional cardiologist who often treats patients for aortic stenosis, a leaky heart valve, one of the most common and serious heart valve diseases. Aortic stenosis occurs when there is a narrowing of the valve in the large blood vessel (aorta) branching off the heart. This narrowing keeps the valve from opening fully, reducing blood flow and putting additional stress on the heart. Symptoms of aortic stenosis can be shortness of breath, chest pain or tightness and/or chronic fatigue.
“When a patient comes to us with aortic stenosis, we do thorough work-ups with CT scans and tests to understand the range of their condition,” says Dr. Betz. He then engages the team from the Heart and Vascular Center at The OSU Wexner Medical Center to determine the patient’s best care path, including options for surgery. “We meet regularly as a ‘heart team’ to discuss the best plan for our patients,” says Dr. Betz. “Most often, we have to replace the aortic valve and we’ve had a lot of success in treating our aortic stenosis patients with a transcatheter valve replacement (TAVR) procedure.” The TAVR procedure has really become the standard of care over the last 15 years for aortic stenosis, explains Dr. Betz. Prior to that, patients would typically have open-heart surgery to replace the aortic valve, which is harder on the body and often requires a four to eight week recovery time. “With the TAVR procedure, we access the valve through the femoral artery or through small incisions in the chest which makes the replacement less invasive and usually means a quicker recovery time,” says Dr. Betz.
“The strategic alliance with The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center’s Heart and Vascular team means that our Adena patients get comprehensive expert care with all their planning and follow-ups happening close to home,” says Dr. Betz. “The team approach promotes individual assessment and continuity of care and that’s what makes it such a benefit to our patients.”
Patients who feel they may be experiencing heart disease symptoms such as general tiredness, chest pain or tightness and/or shortness of breath, should check with their Adena Primary Care Provider to assess their risk and determine next steps through either a calcium scoring test or other examination. Annual health exams are highly recommended by Dr. Betz as an important means of discovering heart issues. Fortunately, the Adena Cardiology team can address and treat patients for a full range of cardiac issues, so they can help you start the journey to heart health.
If you have heart concerns, call 740-779-4570 or visit Adena.org/cardio to see how Adena Cardiology can help!Read More
Posted January 28, 2021
Adena Health System is expanding its care for patients with the addition of six specialty providers, across multiple service lines. These incoming physicians and advanced practice providers are delivering even more options for comprehensive, close-to-home care for our patients throughout the region.
Adena is pleased to welcome:
Brenda Mershon, Certified Nurse Practitioner joins Adena Kidney Specialists caring for patients in Chillicothe. Mershon earned her Family Nurse Practitioner degree from Marshall University in Huntington, WV.
Kirk Rankine, MD is now accepting new patients with Adena Kidney Specialists, seeing patients in Chillicothe, Circleville, Jackson, Washington Court House and Waverly. A board-certified nephrologist, Dr. Rankine earned his medical degree from the State University of New York Upstate Medical University
Emily Reynolds, Certified Nurse Practitioner is now seeing patients at Adena Urgent Care locations throughout the region. Reynolds has been with Adena for eight years previously working as a staff registered nurse and patient care coordinator. She earned her Family Nurse Practitioner degree from the Chamberlain College of Nursing.
Matthew Weaver, Certified Nurse Practitioner, is welcomed to the growing team of providers at Adena Urgent Cares. Weaver returns to Adena having cared for patients with Adena Occupational Health during his clinical rotations. He earned his Master’s degree in Nursing from The Ohio State University.
Brittany Weeks, PsyD is now caring for patients at the Adena Counseling Center. Dr. Weeks is a graduate of Marshall University in Huntington, WV, where she earned her doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology.
Laura Wells, Certified Nurse Practitioner comes to Adena Cardiology caring for patients in Chillicothe. Wells earned her Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Specialty degree from the Mount Carmel College of Nursing.
Posted January 27, 2021
(image) Meet Seth Haynes, Director of Quality and Performance Improvement at Adena Health System. Seth, who has been very active working with other regional and local organizations in connection with COVID-19 vaccine distribution, unfortunately has personal experience with Coronavirus after contracting the virus shortly before Christmas. Here, he shares his story of being hospitalized during the holidays to provide another perspective to area residents considering whether to wear masks, socially distance, practice good hand hygiene, avoid large gatherings and get vaccinated when the vaccine becomes available to them.
On discovering he tested positive for COVID-19
“I tested positive for COVID December 16. I’m a healthy 37-year-old and I’ve never been hospitalized in my life. I’ve actually only been to an Emergency Department once in my life, nothing serious. During the first five days after testing positive, I had very severe, flu-like symptoms and I had all COVID symptoms minus losing my taste and smell that you’ve heard of. After day five, though, I went to the ED here in Chillicothe because I started to have really bad shortness of breath. It really progressively got worse until Christmas morning when I woke up about 5 a.m. – I was really trying to make it to watch my 3-year-old and 7-year-old open Christmas presents – but I couldn’t make it any longer because my oxygen level had dropped to about 85 percent and I was really gasping to try and breathe. I probably waited a day longer than I should have before going back to the ED. I was admitted on Christmas Day and I was hospitalized for five days.”
On his hospital stay
“I was very scared for the first 48 hours because at one point my oxygen had dropped below 70 percent and I was put on very high-flow oxygen to maintain my level at 90 percent for several hours with nurses constantly monitoring me. Honestly, I thought I might die in the place I was born in 1983 without any family by my side and not being able to watch my kids grow up. That still, just to think about it right now, just kind of upsets me.”
On the road to recovery
“I received the best care and treatment from our Adena 2NE team. I received the full regimen of treatment – plasma, steroids, Remdesavir – and then I was able to go home after five days. I still have bilateral pneumonia and other lingering COVID symptoms but I’m feeling much better now. I really want to thank my family, friends and everyone who was praying for me in the community. It really meant a lot, and I think that helped me get through this.”
A message to the community
“Our family has really taken everything with COVID very seriously with masking and social distancing, but I hope my story that I’m sharing puts into perspective that this virus is unbiased to who gets it, how it might impact you – no matter your age or how healthy you are – and also who you might unknowingly pass it to. I’m urging you to sign up on our website to get the vaccine and when it’s your turn to come get it and to also encourage others in the community to do the same. The vaccine and continuing good hand hygiene, masking and social distancing is the path to endingRead More
Posted January 21, 2021
(image) Meet Laura Arnett, a nurse practitioner at Adena Health System who has both worked with patients suffering from COVID-19 and dealt with being infected herself. She has experienced self-quarantining in the basement of her home away from her family for a time and the frustration of being unable to respond when her baby was crying while pregnant with she and her husband’s second child. Despite her best efforts, her husband, baby and mother-in-law, Valerie – who ended up having to be hospitalized -- contracted the virus.
Here, she and Valerie share some of their thoughts -- both from the front lines and as those who have battled the virus -- for members of the community to consider when deciding whether to mask, social distance, practice vigorous handwashing and avoid large gatherings.
On being infected and trying to protect her family:
“I quarantined away from my husband and baby and they still caught it a few days later. I’m pregnant and my symptoms included dizziness, shortness of breath, fever, chills, body aches, sore throat, cough, loss of taste and loss of smell. I still can only smell at random times three months out now, and I regained my taste a month and a half after having COVID. Even after my 10 days of quarantine, I was still short of breath and dizzy intermittently for a couple weeks after. We tried and tried and tried to avoid (contracting the virus), especially when I was in my first trimester, but couldn’t.”
On the toll hospitalization can take on family members:
“I think the biggest thing that people need to remember is if their family member’s in the hospital, they won’t be able to be there with them. Think about the toll that’s going to take on the family member trying to heal and the toll it’s going to take on the family as well. A lot of these patients can’t handle being away from family.”
Valerie on being in the hospital without family:
“It’s very difficult. You can talk to them on the phone, but it’s not the same. We had to double up beds because they were so crowded (during one of the significant patient surges) and they split the room. My first thought – I’m a very non-social person – was ‘Oh, no!’, but I found myself needing that human contact and having someone else in the room, even though they were sick, too, it was kind of comforting just having someone there. … You think about a lot of things – your priorities and how you want to handle things. It’s really scary and you don’t know if you’re going to die, you really don’t.”
On any similarities to the flu:
“I worked ER for five years before I went to what I’m doing now and this is not the flu. I think it’s hard for people to see that because COVID is so much more contagious – they see just how easily it can transmit without people being symptomatic. Also, people do not realize the long-term effects COVID has on the body in comparison to the flu. It is much different in that sense, in addition to how much more contagious it is.”
On some of the frustrations in offering treatment:
“You try to hold up the morale as best as you can, but you have so many people who don’t take it seriously still. Then, to come in (to work), it’s hard to juggle that.”
On how people should approach stopping the spread:
“I think my biggest thing is people still need to wear a mask, they still need to care about one another, care about your neighbor.”
You can find more stories from the frontlines by visiting Adena’s healthcare heroes pageRead More
Posted January 20, 2021
Your Wellness Journey
People often use the word wellness, but what does it truly mean? Wellness likely means different things to different people. What might be wellness for you, may look completely different for your neighbor or your friend. From a health care perspective, wellness is actively engaging in healthy habits to enable your best physical and mental outcomes. Wellness can be attained, but it must also be maintained in order to achieve a person’s best health. The following tips are presented to help you on your personal wellness journey.
The COVID-19 Detour
When talking about wellness, it’s hard to ignore this past year and the health challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. But even amidst the health care upheaval, Adena teams have been on the front lines preparing for your office visits. We know the importance of wellness and want patients to know that our Primary Care Physicians (PCPs), Pediatricians and all of our health care specialists are here for you. We are taking extra precautions so you can continue your wellness journey.
In addition to wearing a mask and maintaining six feet of distance between you and others, we also strongly encourage all patients to get their seasonal flu shots. The flu shot is designed protect a person from getting the flu or lessen their flu symptoms. If someone gets the flu without having had a flu shot, they may be more vulnerable to contracting COVID-19. Adena offers flu shots at most of its locations, including Adena Urgent Care facilities (Chillicothe, Circleville, Hillsboro, Jackson and Waverly), the clinic at Walmart in Chillicothe and at all Adena Primary Care and Pediatrician offices.
Adena also recommends that all persons 65 or older or those with a chronic condition such as lung, liver or heart disease, diabetes, alcoholism or smoking, should talk to their PCP about getting a pneumococcal vaccination (pneumonia vaccine). Many COVID-19 patients have struggled with the extra burden of pneumonia in addition to COVID-19. This puts them at greater risk of respiratory failure. Your Adena PCP can help you determine if a pneumonia vaccine may make sense to reduce this health risk.
Taking precautionary measures, getting your flu shot and practicing safe COVID-19 guidelines, are all proactive steps you can initiate on your path to wellness.
The Highway of Lifestyle
Healthy lifestyle habits, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking and reducing stress, can help you on your path to achieve and maintain wellness. If a person is used to living a certain way, it’s not always easy to adjust. But there is help. Adena offers counselling and guidance from physicians and diet/education specialists who can advise patients in making lifestyle changes. The key is starting gradually, making incremental changes you can control and plan for. For example, a newly diagnosed patient with Type 2 Diabetes will likely need changes in their diet, weight, exercise and medications in order to help control their blood sugar. Adena Diabetes & Education specialists are available to guide patients in this new territory. Making small initial changes like eliminating soda, tea or energy drinks from a person’s diet can make a big difference. When a patient starts taking control of their wellness they are working to feel their best.
Along the Way
People, especially as they get older, should envision wellness as a destination, not just a side trip. To help them navigate, it is important for patients to visit their PCP or pediatrician to receive annual wellness checks, vaccines and to get age appropriate health screenings. Adena Family Medicine professionals are committed partners in guiding patients through health risks and for knowing when screenings are necessary. Adena also has convenient online health risk assessment tools. Our PCPs are recognized by NCQA, a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality, as a Patient-Centered Medical Home. This means our PCPs educate, diagnose and treat all basic health needs, including physicals, immunizations, health screenings and disease prevention. Screenings enable early issue detection and early detection can be lifesaving. This chart is a quick guide for when certain screenings are appropriate for adults*:
Height and weight
Colorectal Cancer (colonoscopy)
Diabetes (if history or symptoms)
Lung Cancer (for high risk patients)
Pap smear (women)
Breast Cancer (mammogram)
Prostate exam – men
Because wellness can look different for each person, Adena is here to help. Adena health care professionals are experienced, skilled and caring. They are committed guides in your journey to wellness. If you are due for an annual well-check, or have health questions or concerns, call us to connect you to, or help you find a doctor at 740-779-FIND (3463). At Adena.org, you can find a physician, schedule an appointment and visit the Adena online Wellness Library to or find more wellness tips and information.
Posted January 19, 2021
(image) On January 4, 2021, the Adena Family Medicine - Jackson Walk-In Clinic will become the latest Adena Urgent Care location! The new Jackson Urgent Care will provide extended hours seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., giving patients more convenient access to the Adena services and health care professionals they trust.
The Urgent Care is located at the Adena Health Center – Jackson, 1000 Veterans Drive. The newly converted Urgent Care will be open 12 hours daily for your urgent health needs. They will treat patients with a wide range of issues including sudden pain, rashes, sinus infections, bronchitis, flu, asthma, burns, fractured bones, sprain/strains, cuts/lacerations, bites, earaches, UTI, sports physicals, flu vaccines, lab tests, imaging services COVID testing and more! *The onsite lab support provides physicians and patients with convenient in-house access and the ability to review results quickly. The Adena Urgent Care - Jackson professionals will continue delivering the quality care that patients know and expect and that has been supporting the Jackson community for years.
To make your visit as efficient as possible, you can walk-in or reserve your appointment online to minimize your wait time.
For even more convenience, your visit and results will link into your Adena medical records. Your Adena Primary Care physician and Adena health care team can easily access your records for secure continuity of care.
The Adena Urgent Care - Jackson caregivers are committed to get you in, treated and back to life as quickly as possible. And now, they can do that with expanded hours and comprehensive care.
Visit the Adena Urgent Care - Jackson -- when your medical needs can’t wait.
Adena Urgent Care - Jackson
1000 Veterans Drive
Jackson, OH 45640
*IMPORTANT FOR PATIENTS WITH COVID-19 SYMPTOMS: If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, including fever, cough, headaches, please do not visit our urgent care facility. If you, or your family member, have symptoms related to COVID-19, please call our Adena COVID-19 Hotline at 740-542-SAFE (7233). Our 24-hour hotline representatives can help guide your next steps.Read More
Posted January 18, 2021
Xequiel Hernandez, MD has been with Adena Family Medicine – Washington Courthouse for three years. He enjoys working in family medicine and wants to help patients understand some of the ins and outs of managing this unusual cold & flu season. Dr. Hernandez is also dedicated to giving back to the community through two regional substance abuse programs that provide local help to those in need.
The Ins and Outs of Upper Respiratory Infections (URIs)
Although upper respiratory infections (URIs) occur year round, they occur more commonly in colder months during the fall and winter. URIs include nasal obstruction, a common cold, sore throat (including strep throat), influenza (flu), tonsillitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, pharyngitis, laryngitis, sinusitis and ear infections. For adults and children, a cold is the most common upper respiratory infection. It’s usually indicated by congestion, runny nose, sneezing, and possibly a sore throat and fever. Right now, as the world battles the coronavirus (COVID-19), it’s not always easy to know if your URI symptoms might be a cold or coronavirus? This chart of typical symptoms can help you compare:
Presents in COVID-19
Presents in Common Cold
Sometimes (due to stuffy nose)
Short on Breath? Could be Bronchitis
Bronchitis is a common URI caused by a virus or by breathing in something that irritates the lungs such as tobacco smoke, fumes, dust and air pollution. The irritation causes inflammation of the bronchial tubes—the major airways into your lungs – and often results in forming a thick mucus. The inflammation and mucus can limit air exchange in the lungs. It can often be confused for coronavirus. “Signs of bronchitis might be excessive coughing, back pain, chest tightness, low fever or fatigue from poor breathing,” says Dr. Hernandez. “When a patient calls our office with symptoms, we have a thorough question-based screening process to distinguish their URI cause.” Once a patient comes into the office and it’s determined they have bronchitis, they are generally treated with anti-inflammatory drugs and analgesics and required rest and fluids. With proper care, cases usually subside after a few weeks. More chronic cases, such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), may require oxygen, bronchodilator medications, pulmonary rehabilitation, antibiotics, steroids, vaccines, or in severe cases, surgery.
Signs of Sinusitis
Sinusitis, or sinus infection, is another common URI that occurs when your nasal cavities become infected, swollen and inflamed. A sinus infection is usually caused by a virus or bacteria and often persists even after other upper respiratory symptoms are gone. Symptoms of a sinusitis include headache, facial pain, runny nose, bad breath, fatigue, congestion and a reduced sense of smell and taste. Some of these symptoms may lead to its confusion with coronavirus. Again, proper screening and patient history review can help determine if the patient should come into see their Adena Primary Care Provider or call the Adena COVID-19 Hotline at 740-542-SAFE (7233). An acute sinus infection can often run its course in around 10 days without treatment. Patients can take over the counter decongestants, penicillin, cough medicine, antihistamines, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or analgesics to help alleviate pain and pressure. If your pain is severe or your sinus infection lasts longer than 10 days, patients should schedule an appointment with their Adena Primary Care Provider or Adena ENT. Chronic sinus infections can last over three months and should be treated with antibiotics. If a patient has more than four sinus infections in a year, they need to see their Adena provider to check into any underlying cause.
Behind the Screen
“Our phone and pre-visit screening process is proven to be effective in determining how best to direct our patients,” says Dr. Hernandez. “Although there is some gray area in these different URI symptoms, we are always cautious, meaning we advise patients to get a COVID-19 test if there is any question.” Dr. Hernandez explains his office can order a COVID-19 test for patients to visit an Adena Urgent Care or other testing location. Patients can also call the Adena COVID-19 Hotline at 740-542-SAFE (7233) any time if they have any questions. “Our priority is to keep our patients safe and take the best approach in guiding them back to good health as soon as possible,” says Dr. Hernandez.
If you have URI symptoms and would like to speak to an Adena health care provider near you, call 740-779-FIND (3463) or visit Adena.org.Read More
Posted January 18, 2021
(image) Reggina W. Yandila, DO is a Primary Care Provider with Adena Internal Medicine who wears many hats. She has been with Adena Health System for almost 15 years. While she still sees patients, she also connects with the greater community by serving as a member on the Adena Board of Trustees and serving as the Adena Central Regional Medical Director. As Medical Director, Dr. Yandila meets with Adena colleagues to constantly improve patient care using education, technology and feedback from the communities they serve, such as the ECF (Extended Care Facility) Coalition – a group dedicated to elder & long-term care patients and reducing their hospital admissions. Through her many roles, Dr. Yandila helps bring the Adena mission of serving our communities to life.
Push, Don’t Lift
According to the National Safety Council, roughly 100 people die each year from shoveling snow with an average of 11,500 injuries that occur and require a trip to the emergency room. People need to be thoughtful and take precautions when going out to shovel their driveway. “Don’t just ‘get it done’,” says Dr. Yandila, “there are things to consider before exerting yourself out in the cold weather.” The cold causes your blood vessels to constrict, this can lead to decreased oxygen to the heart. When you are out shoveling the snow or using a handy snow blower, this can cause your blood pressure and heart rate to suddenly increase. This action can cause clots to form and clog up vessels of your heart. So, what can you do? Take steps to best adapt and prepare for winter snow shoveling:
- Stretch for 10 minutes before going outside – this increases blood flow and breathing and warms up the muscles before doing the hard work of shoveling.
- Dress appropriately – wear shoes/boots with good traction, hats, gloves and dress in layers.
- Plan breaks – don’t try to do the work all at one time. Take your time and plan small breaks where you can come inside, warm-up and drink some water.
- Stay hydrated – drink water before, during and after your time shoveling snow.
- Push snow versus lifting it – this will help by not putting extra strain on you back, neck and arms. Using a snow blower or a neighborhood teen is even better.
- Tell someone what you are doing – so they can periodically check on your wellbeing while you’re shoveling.
- Pay attention to your body – are you experiencing tightness in your chest, heart racing, shortness of breath, abnormal cold sweat or sharp pain, dizziness? Don’t overdo it. Listen to the signals your body may be sending and stop or take a break if something is not right.
Winter Fashion Do’s
Dressing appropriately for cold weather doesn’t mean being fashionable, it’s all about keeping you safe. “Most of us probably remember as kids our parents or an adult telling us to wear a hat when we went outside – and there’s really something too that,” says Dr. Yandila. “The truth is you can lose heat from other areas of your body, it is just sometimes we forget to cover our heads. “Body heat rises and escapes from your head -- wearing a hat reduces that heat loss. It is also a good idea to cover your nose and mouth when you are outside in the cold to help you breathe in warm air and decrease the chances of irritating your nasal passages and lungs.” Dr. Yandila explains that layering your clothes is a good idea so that if you do start to get hot, you can peel off outer layers so you can remain comfortable. Wearing a moisture wicking underlayer can help keep you dry and reduce the risk of feeling chilled from damp material against your skin. If you have sensitive eyes, you may want to consider investing in a good pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes from the glare of the snow. And of course, it’s always a good idea to have warm gloves, socks and boots. Your extremities (hands and feet) are where frostbite can initially occur so it’s important to keep them warm. Hand and foot warmers can be a great addition for times of extended outdoor exposure.
It’s often best to stay in during bad winter weather, but if you need to venture out, here are a few precautionary tips to keep your travels safe. First, try to give yourself plenty of time to get where you’re going. Slippery streets and potential black ice already make for extra hazardous driving, so don’t be in a rush. Try to keep your gas tank close to full. It adds a little weight for stability, and should you get delayed in traffic, you can stay warm and keep your car running. You should always keep a car emergency kit in your vehicle, but it can be especially important in the wintertime. “Another good idea is to pack extra blankets in your car,” says Dr. Yandila, “just in case you get stranded. And we always tell folks to make sure they have their medical information with them should they happen to get into an accident.”
Watch for ice getting in and out of the car and wear shoes/boots with good traction to help keep you upright.
Although winter weather can be challenging, by taking extra precautions, it can also be beautiful, enjoyable and safe. Folks age 55 and older, should listen to their bodies and not overdo it. If you do experience pain or injury, contact your Adena Primary Care Provider, an Adena Urgent Care or the Adena Emergency Department for the appropriate treatment.Read More
Posted January 17, 2021
Adena Health System, along with other statewide partners, will begin offering COVID-19 vaccinations to the public this week as part of the state’s Phase 1B vaccination program. At this time, Ohioans age 80 and older are the first group eligible.
The Health System is set to receive 300 doses of the Pfizer vaccine early this week in preparation to begin administration on Wednesday, January 20 at the PACCAR Medical Education Center located on the campus of Adena Regional Medical Center in Chillicothe.
Adena’s vaccination administration will be by appointment only. The Health System has begun contacting its patients that meet the eligibility requirements to set appointments. Vaccination appointments can also be made by eligible non-Adena patients by calling Adena’s COVID-19 Hotline at (740) 542-SAFE (7233). Those who cannot get an appointment can be placed on a wait list by visiting www.adena.org/COVIDvaccine. At this time, Adena is offering the vaccine at no cost.
PACCAR Medical Education Center
446 Hospital Rd
Chillicothe, OH 45601
Wednesday, Jan 20, 12–5 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 21, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 22, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Individuals with appointments to receive their vaccination through Adena are asked to bring photo identification and be prepared to wait approximately 15-30 minutes following their shot for monitoring. All vaccination recipients will be asked to schedule and receive their second of the two doses required from the same location at the appropriate time.
In the early stages of COVID-19 vaccine distribution, doses will be available in limited supply for specific critical populations as a part of phased approach. As supply increases, COVID-19 vaccines will be available to all Ohioans who choose to be vaccinated.
The Ohio Department of Health has launched a tool on coronavirus.ohio.gov where Ohioans can select their county or ZIP code to see a list of providers that received the vaccine. Community members are encouraged to check the state’s website for additional vaccine administration locations. In most counties, vaccines are being made available through area health systems, hospitals, county health districts, local pharmacies and other locations. Each provider manages its own schedules and appointments. Due to the limited supply of vaccines at this time, please do not make appointments at multiple locations.Read More
Posted January 14, 2021
(image) For months, the approval of vaccines to stop the spread of the Coronavirus has been seen as a critical next step in the eventual return to normalcy. As approval of two vaccines thus far – produced by Pfizer and Moderna – has become reality and administration of initial doses has begun, it continues to be met with questions and uncertainty among some as they consider whether to take the vaccinations once they become generally available.
Whether their hesitance has been brought on by the uncharacteristic speed at which the vaccine was developed and approved, worries about potential side effects, misinformation circulating on social media or simply a desire to wait and see how others handle the vaccinations before agreeing to take the two-shot dosage, it has become apparent that clear communication regarding the vaccine is a must.
Adena board-certified allergists and immunologists Dr. Rekha Raveendran and Dr. Dana Esham – both having already taken the first dose of the Moderna vaccine and heartily encouraging others to do so when it becomes available to them -- have been doing extensive research on the various COVID-19 vaccines. Recently, they took some time to address many of the questions surrounding the Moderna vaccine.
SPEED OF VACCINE DEVELOPMENT
While vaccines traditionally are years in the making, there have been several factors that have contributed to the shorter time frame with this virus, including the fact that earlier last year, scientists received the genetic makeup of COVID-19, which made vaccine development easier. This circumstance, coupled with the fact that mRNA vaccines have been in development over the past decade in response to other viral diseases, have also helped speed the process along, as did the amount of funding made available to push COVID-19 vaccine development and manufacturing forward.
HOW THE VACCINE WORKS
One of the common concerns Dr. Esham hears from patients is that it will have a negative impact on their genetic makeup, which is not the case. The vaccine utilizes a small piece of mRNA that is picked up by the cells in the body to create the spike protein contained on the outside of the COVID-19 virus. The body’s immune system then recognizes the spike protein as an intrusion and destroys the cell while creating antibodies against that protein. Those antibodies will then attack the virus immediately if exposed to it in real life before illness can set in.
Addressing another related concern the two physicians have heard, a person cannot contract COVID-19 through the vaccine because there is no active virus within the vaccine.
“When you get the vaccine, you are getting mRNA that encodes for just a piece of the virus (the spike protein),” Dr. Raveendran said. “By getting this information, your body can make very specific antibodies to the spike protein which can neutralize the virus and protect you should you come in contact with it.”
In clinical trials, Moderna’s vaccine was shown to be 94.5% effective in preventing COVID-19 infection seven weeks after trial participants received the second dose, with just five people out of 13,934 who received the actual vaccine contracting COVID-19 versus 90 out of the 13,883 participants who were given a placebo. In the trials, the vaccine was 100% effective in the 65-and-older demographic and 93.4% effective in the 18-to-64 demographic, as well as 100% effective against severe infections. The trials also revealed that it can be administered to immunocompromised patients, but its effectiveness may be diminished for them, as well as for any patients who take the first dose but fail to receive the second.
Dr. Esham said those who receive the first dose are, at best, 50 percent protected – making that second dose essential to reach that 94.5% effectiveness. Additionally, it may take 10 to 14 days after the first shot to reach even that 50 percent protection as the body reacts to the vaccine.
She added that even after taking the second dose, people still need to take public safety precautions such as mask wearing and social distancing until enough people take the vaccine to build up more of a herd immunity.
While there have been no significant side effects or allergic reactions reported out of the Moderna trials, Dr. Esham and Dr. Raveendran have fielded questions about the few reported serious allergic reactions being investigated from the Pfizer vaccine – the ingredient polyethylene glycol (PEG) is being looked at as the most likely trigger for those reactions but further investigation is still being done into the cause of those reactions. Both vaccines contain the ingredient, but the allergists noted serious allergies to it are fairly rare and that PEG can be found in many everyday products including laxatives, lubricants, toothpaste, lotions and other items. As such, they indicated those who have PEG allergies may already be aware that they have a reaction to PEG and should consult with an allergist when considering whether to take the vaccine.
The most common side effects, however, are those similar to flu shots – some pain at the injection site following the first dose and headache, fatigue, chills and some aching joints reported by some trial participants from the second dose. Those side effects typically last anywhere from two to three days and are more common following the second dose.
VACCINATIONS WITH OTHER ALLERGIES, CONDITIONS
Dr. Esham shares the story of a patient with asthma and medication allergies who didn’t think she could take the vaccine. The fact she had those conditions – particularly for a virus with breathing difficulties as a major symptom – was exactly why she should take the vaccine, Dr. Esham said.
In fact, the doctors noted, those with common food, medication, insect or seasonal allergies are no more at risk of an allergic reaction to the vaccine than those without those conditions. Those with a known history of severe allergic reactions to PEG, however, will likely be advised to avoid the vaccine.
While there’s no long-term data available as yet regarding the length of the vaccine’s protection, there is 90-day data from about three dozen people showing the titers showing protection are still there. As time passes, more data continues to be collected.
“The initial data did show that the vaccinated patients have better antibody response,” Dr. Esham said. “I think that’s an important distinction for people to know.”
While getting infections naturally can lead to immunity, this is not always the case. There have been reports of patients getting COVID-19 more than once, as well as patients not having evidence of neutralizing antibodies even after severe COVID-19 infections.
With vaccines, the goal is targeted immune response to a part of an infectious agent, in this case the spike protein. By being able to target a specific response to a specific part of the virus, the vaccine can provide a better and more specific antibody response in the majority of recipients.
The most recent unknown comes in the form of reports of a mutated strain of COVID-19 originally coming out of the United Kingdom and now being found in some states. Both doctors said it is too early to tell what impact that may have on the effectiveness of the vaccine, but that it shouldn’t be a factor in deciding whether to take the vaccine.
“I still think if it’s between getting the vaccine and not getting the vaccine, I would certainly get the vaccine,” Dr. Esham said. “If a new strain becomes an issue and they have to change the vaccine just like they do with the flu vaccine, then we do that.”
Dr. Raveendran added that, on occasion, the flu vaccine doesn’t always match up exactly with the predominant strain of the virus, but that it still provides enough protection to lessen the effects on those who contract the flu. The hope, she said, is that would be the same situation with any mutated strains of COVID-19.
Moderna recently released a statement expressing confidence its vaccine will be effective against variant strains of the virus, saying the company will continue with testing against those strains.
THE RECOMMENDATION: TAKE THE VACCINE
Both Dr. Esham and Dr. Raveendran enthusiastically encourage taking the vaccine, asking those making up their minds to consider the tragic deaths, long-term health issues, social distancing, economic impact and daily struggles we all continue to experience. They also stress that those who do take it cannot let their guard down in the near future and must continue practicing socially responsible behavior regarding the virus.
“I want people to be excited, because I think this is the first step to getting our lives back, but we need to take a cautious step because we’re not going to be back to normal life by June,” Dr. Esham said, noting the speed with which other companies get approval for their vaccines and increase the available supply across the country could impact timelines.
Both doctors say they welcome patients to reach out to them with any questions about the vaccine that may make their decision about taking it a bit easier.Read More
Posted January 14, 2021
(image) Meet Madison Francis, a float pool nurse who works throughout Adena Health System and has treated COVID-19 patients, also doing post-mortem work. She said that while performing that latter role, it was not uncommon to see a patient pass of Coronavirus on any given shift.
Here, she shares some thoughts from the front lines for members of the community to consider when deciding whether to mask, social distance, practice vigorous handwashing and avoid large gatherings.
On beliefs held by some that COVID-19 is just a bad flu and only impacts the elderly:
“There’s 50-year-old men and women passing. These are not grandmas and grandpas at the end of their life, these are 45, 50 year olds. These are not the elderly. I think a lot of people don’t take it seriously if they are 45 and healthy and they might just have asthma or hypertension or something along those lines. I take care of patients who were working a 9-to-5 job last week and now are in the hospital requiring 10 liters of oxygen.”
On beliefs held by some that masks weaken the immune system:
“Some people who argue it weakens their immune system by wearing a mask, honestly, it really makes me laugh because I’ve worked 16-plus hour shifts. Since March, I’ve worked anywhere from 40 to 72 hours a week in either a N95 mask or respirator and I’m healthy, so I don’t understand how that would weaken anyone’s immune system. One thing we do know for sure to stop the spread is to social distance, wear masks or facial coverings and practice good hand hygiene.”
On communicating with patient families:
“I’m critically care trained, so I know that when a patient comes in and they can’t breathe on their own – not intubated but they’re on high-flow oxygen therapy or a Bipap – we know what that means. Those patients are still alert and oriented and still talking and still want to communicate with their families, so I make it a point during my shift to communicate with families. I always offer using FaceTime so they can see their family member. … It is so hard to communicate (a patient’s critical condition) to (family members), or they’ll call and say, ‘I want to talk to Dad,’ but he’s on a bipap machine and can’t talk to you on the phone. I can take the FaceTime in there, but he cannot hold a phone and talk because of the machine. … We also try to make it a point to have one person who can call the rest of the family members. It takes so much time just to be on the phone and talk to the families and do FaceTime, and you’re trying to care for these people. It’s a lot, actually.”
On protecting her own family:
“Originally, with all of the uncertainties, I was going to isolate from them. Now that we know more about the virus, after each shift I change my clothes, I shower at the hospital and then I go home. I put my scrubs in a special bag and I wash them as soon as I get home. I make sure my shoes are wiped down. I actually have more fear of getting it at the grocery store than I do of getting it at the hospital now.”
On whether hospital staff are burned out:
“I really think people think our frustration is burnout. We’re not burned out. I will take care of COVID patients every single day, it’s a privilege to be able to take care of our community that way. I see that as I am there for that person.”
To hear more about the experiences of some of Adena’s frontline workers in the COVID-19 crisis, please see the story “COVID-19 toll intense on Adena frontline healthcare workers.”Read More
Posted January 05, 2021
Adena Health System announced today that it will be transitioning its electronic medical records (EMR) to Epic, the most widely-used and comprehensive health record system in the country. The move to a new EMR platform is one of the key outcomes of Adena’s recent expanded affiliation with The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
Through this partnership, Adena can serve as an Epic Community Connect Partner with Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. This extends Ohio State Wexner Medical Center’s electronic medical records to respective independent partners allowing Adena to leverage the expertise and resources Ohio State Wexner Medical Center invests into optimizing its own EMR platform for the sake of patient care quality. Ohio State Wexner Medical Center will assist Adena in the installation, training and utilization of its new EMR.
“Epic is the gold standard in electronic medical records and we are committed to meeting the unique needs of our region through improved clinical efficiency, health care administration and patient care," said Adena President and CEO Jeff Graham. “When I came back to Adena, I heard loud and clear from our patients and community members that our billing needed fixed. I have also heard from our Adena providers and caregivers that our current two-system EMR is cumbersome and not ideal. That is why I am excited we will be moving to a solution that will be significantly felt by our patients and staff.”
For Adena, Epic improves care coordination by providing an integrated, single source to access and seamlessly share health information with providers, improving clinical efficiency, safety and quality, productivity and satisfaction. Enhancements to other operational areas will be significantly impacted as well where patients will benefit from improved scheduling and registration.
“We are excited to have Adena join our Epic Community Connect program and look forward to the substantial benefits patients will experience through the shared EMR,” said Phyllis Teater, chief information officer at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. “Now both facilities can share patient records with their complete medical history to aid in better care, better referrals and better population health management. It helps keep patient care local whenever possible and provides our partners with more affordable access to a state-of the art EMR system.”
Patients will benefit from Epic’s intuitive one-stop patient portal for mobile, tablet and desktop applications. The robust system offers patients access to all their medical records, including lab tests, medical imaging, prescriptions, vaccinations, physician referrals, and more in one convenient location. The EMR system also leverages the medical center’s referral network and allows both organizations to share best practices for improved patient care and outcomes.
Adena’s EMR implementation will take approximately 18-24 months, with go-live in 2022.Read More
Posted January 05, 2021
(image) Meet Jennifer Lower, a respiratory therapist with Adena Health System working closely with COVID-19 patients daily, performing their breathing treatments, intubating patients and trying to keep them from having to go on ventilators. She has been involved with Coronavirus patients since the beginning of the pandemic, and like many of her colleagues regularly battles mental and physical exhaustion while remaining upbeat and supportive towards her patients.
Here, she shares some thoughts from the front lines for members of the community to consider when deciding whether to mask, social distance, practice vigorous handwashing and avoid large gatherings.
On the emotional toll:
“It’s hard looking into the faces of these patients who know that they’re dying and they know that they don’t have their family there and you can see it in their face. While we sit there and we hold those patients, you try to tell them it’s going to be OK, but you know it’s not. I think that sticks with me the most. We won’t be able to get some of these memories out of our heads. … I don’t know that we’ll ever forget this, ever. There are some images that are etched into your brain that we’re never going to get rid of, and we all feel the same way.”
On the patients:
“Some of these patients come in and, overall, they’re healthy. Then, within a matter of hours or days, you’re literally fighting to keep them alive. … It is literally like your own family member laying there, and it’s every single patient because we’re with them every single day, and that’s what I wish people could understand. This is so physically and mentally draining, and to see people not wanting to wear a mask – if they could only see what this really does. It doesn’t discriminate – healthy or not healthy, it can treat you the same way. You can be healthy and you can still die from the virus, and we see that. They really need to understand it can get to you, too, and we don’t want to be in there holding your hand, we want you to wear a mask and do the right things to keep yourself healthy and keep your family healthy.”
On her colleagues:
“We’ve all come together, we help each other out, if we see each other crying in the hallway – because that does happen – we’re hugging each other. … I know the community can’t see it, but in here, we feel isolated, but we are fighting this for them. We want to be here for them and we don’t want to get sick, and that’s another reason why it’s important for them to just follow the guidelines.”
On protecting their own families:
“I think all of us have concerns about our families, that’s why we try to take the proper precautions when we’re at work. We change our clothes when we get here and we change them after, and even changing right when we get home – going straight to the shower. I don’t go home and hug my kids, and that’s hard for my youngest one to understand, but even if I change my clothes and take those precautions, I’m still scared to death because I do see what it can do.”
Advice to the community:
“If you’re not going to wear a mask for yourself, at least wear it for the person next to you for whom the virus may be deadly or for somebody who has a child at home who has an autoimmune disorder that could potentially be fatal. If you’re not going to do it for yourself, do it for your front line workers who are tired and need this to end, too.”
To hear more about the experiences of some of Adena’s frontline workers in the COVID-19 crisis, please see the story “COVID-19 toll intense on Adena frontline healthcare workers.”
Posted January 02, 2021
(image) The birth of a baby has always been a symbol of new beginnings and fresh hope – and following what has been an unprecedented 2020, no year has probably been more in need of a positive start than 2021.
So when Cassandra and Charlie Dalton, Pike County natives who now live in Chillicothe, welcomed their new son, Rylan, as Adena Health System’s first baby of the New Year, it was a cause for excitement and optimism for the future.
“Hopefully he’s a good luck charm and makes this year better,” said Cassandra.
Rylan, at 9 pounds, 15 ounces and 22 inches long, entered the world at 3:41 a.m. New Year’s Day. He joins the couple’s four- and five-year-old daughters in the family, both of whom Cassandra said were more than ready to meet their new brother.
“They were so excited, they can’t wait for us to get home,” Cassandra said Friday evening.
Cassandra is looking forward to the return home as well and what the next few months have in store as they adjust to being a family of five.
“I’m looking forward to just spending time with my kids and my husband and seeing my babies grow up,” she said.
Per tradition, the New Year’s Baby was presented with a basket of baby items, clothes and other gifts, donated by the Adena Women’s Board.
Congratulations to the family.Read More
Posted December 30, 2020
The year 2020 has been unlike any other, with a global pandemic taking hold just a few months in, disrupting life as we knew it and leaving everyone adjusting and searching for what is considered the new normal. The year for Adena Health System was no different, but the physicians, advanced practice providers and caregivers across the nine-county region that Adena serves learned to adapt, innovate and strive in the face of ever-changing conditions brought on by coronavirus.
Across the country, the health care industry was pushed to its limits financially, balancing the care needs of those with the virus and those without while maintaining the physical and mental well-being of the health care heroes along the frontlines. Elective surgeries and procedures were even temporarily shut down at one point by the Governor to preserve valuable personal protective equipment and staffing resources.
Despite all these challenges and demands, Adena persevered. The Health System not only kept its promise to safely care for patients across south central and southern Ohio, but it also grew its presence in local communities, expanded its technology to meet the new needs of patients and built upon existing partnerships to bring more specialized care closer to home for patients and their families.
“This has definitely been an unprecedented year, one that none of us have seen in all our years in healthcare,” said Adena President & CEO Jeff Graham. “Adena’s mission is ‘called to serve our communities’ and I am so proud of the way our providers and caregivers have answered that calling. They not only have responded, but proactively met the challenges of this virus every day to safely provide care our region can trust. It is the strengths and talents of every person who calls themselves an Adena caregiver that we are in the position we are today. We can look towards 2021, not only with hope and promise, but with a foundation of clinical and operational excellence that will lead us for years to come.”
Adena continued to enhance how it delivers care to patients throughout the region, achieving numerous industry accolades and announcing additional growth. These included:
- Adena Regional Medical Center (ARMC), for a second consecutive year, being named one of America’s 250 Best Hospitals for 2020 by Healthgrades®;
- The Health System being named a Gallup Exceptional Workplace. Now a five-time winner, Adena was one of just 38 organizations in the world to receive this distinction in 2020;
- ARMC’s Maternity Program being named to Newsweek’s 2020 list of Best Maternity Care Hospitals;
- ARMC being awarded an ‘A’ in the Spring 2020 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade;
- Adena Health Center - Woodlands and Adena Community Pharmacy - Woodlands opening to make care more accessible for Chillicothe’s downtown and east end residents;
- Expanding care in Pickaway County, with the opening of Adena Urgent Care - Circleville;
- Adena Family Medicine - Ironmen Clinic opening to the public to provide more localized care in Jackson County;
- Adena and Nationwide Children’s Hospital expanding an ongoing partnership to now include 24/7 newborn and pediatric inpatient coverage and other expanded specialty services at ARMC;
- Continuing construction of the new Adena Orthopedic and Spine Institute, scheduled to open on the campus of ARMC in summer 2021;
- Adena Health System receiving positive news from several nationwide credit rating agencies with Moody’s Investors Service affirming the Health System’s A3 rating with a stable outlook and S&P Global assigning its A- rating with a stable outlook; and
- The addition of 29 new physicians and advance practice providers across multiple service lines delivering even more options for comprehensive care.
“These, and so many other accomplishments over the past year, are keeping care accessible and close-to-home for our patients and families,” added Graham. “While COVID-19 created unique challenges for safe care delivery, I am so proud of our Health System’s response to this virus and many of the initiatives we have implemented as a result, such as telehealth services; curbside labs and testing; expanded specialty services and use of our critical access hospitals in Greenfield and Waverly. These moves, and more, will have lasting positive impacts beyond the pandemic as we continue to be a trusted healthcare partner for our region.”Read More
Posted December 30, 2020
(image) Amy Maggard, DO is a Pediatric Specialist who grew up in Athens, Ohio. She has been working in outpatient pediatrics for over two and a half years and is currently taking new patients at Adena Health Center - Waverly. She realized her passion for pediatrics in her third year of medical school. Since then, she has enjoyed treating children and making office visits fun.
Resolve to Engage Jr.
Each new year, people resolve to make improvements in their lives. Whether it’s losing weight, eating better, completing an overdue house project, the new year gives many adults a fresh perspective on life. But have children experienced enough life to create resolutions? Maybe, maybe not. It’s difficult enough for adults to stick to their self-promises, so it might be more difficult for children and adolescents whose worlds are constantly evolving with new trends, technology and social media influences.
What would happen if you resolve to engage your child or children about their health? Show them by example that it’s important to eat healthy, exercise, get good rest, balance obligations and go to regular wellness check-ups. Together, you can work to improve aspects of your health, even if they are just small changes. The benefits would be three-fold: improving your health, helping your child/children and possibly spouse improve their health, and having a shared experience where you can celebrate wins help keep each other on track.
Pediatric Well-Checks – the Foundation of Good Health
As part of your New Year’s promise, help your child or children understand the importance of well-checks. Annual well-checks are needed to gauge and maintain good health, especially during the current times of the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re hearing that some parents are concerned or worried about bringing their children in for non-essential check-ups due to coronavirus,” says Dr. Maggard. “But we feel it’s more important than ever for kids to have their well-checks.”
Well-checks are important because they enable prevention, and prevention is the key to staying healthy. Well-checks also serve as checkpoints for growth, weight, diet, dental health, screenings, physical and emotional health. They help pediatricians monitor kids’ progress and intervene if adjustments should be made. Getting well-checks also teaches children that annual doctor visits are part of maintaining good health.
Important to Immunize
For children, well-checks often include a vaccination/immunization. Let your children know that this vital medicine keeps them from getting really sick and helps them to achieve good health.
For parents of infants 0-24 months, they know it is essential for their baby’s development to follow the prescribed guidance on infant well-checks. Babies receive a number of protective immunizations in just the first 15 months of life. Immunizations protect children from birth through 18-years of age from deadly diseases like diphtheria, measles and whooping cough (the last two having made a comeback in recent years). Due to the easy transmission of these diseases, it is considered essential to get your children immunized to help protect them and others. Especially during this time of COVID-19, an outbreak of whooping cough could leave children particularly vulnerable to respiratory infection.
Now More Than Ever
With the isolation we’ve all experienced due to the impact of coronavirus, it’s important to let your children know that their well-check is also a check-up for how they are feeling. Studies have shown a rise in stress, anxiety and depression in children and adolescents since the onset of COVID-19. “We see kids feeling more isolated,” says Dr. Maggard. “The routine of sports, classes, social gatherings and daily structure have all changed. We’ve seen kids lose sleep, not eat, become depressed, retreat and display signs of chronic fatigue just because they are having difficulty adjusting to this forced ‘new normal’.”
Well-checks can help identify problems children may be having and spot potential instances of stress and feelings of depression. “If parents have concerns or we see issues in a child’s behavior, we can work with the parent and the child in discovering triggers and trying to eliminate or minimize causes of stress and isolation,” says Dr. Maggard. If a child shows signs of stress and anxiety, Adena Pediatric Physicians are well equipped to help. Parents might be asked to limit a child’s exposure to daily news reports, or encouraged to have open conversations with their child about what’s going on in the world and with the pandemic. The Adena Pediatric staff can also refer patients to one of our many Adena counsellors for additional help.
Dr. Maggard says to help children cope with the changes brought on by the coronavirus, she suggests getting kids active and helping them develop some type of routine. Physical activities such as walking, running, online exercise, etc., can help reduce stress. In addition to getting active, reducing the time in front of the TV or on social media can also help reduce some feelings of inadequacy or feeling alone. “Plan routine family time,” says Dr. Maggard. “Game night or movie night togethercan really help a child’s perspective.”
One thing is certain, we are all in this together, so let your children know the importance of good health. Scheduling and ensuring your child’s well-checks and screenings is just one more way to help keep them structured, healthy and well-balanced in a time of uncertainty. Adena Pediatrics is here to be your partner. Call (740) 779-4300 or visit Adena.org to schedule your child’s well-check appointment today.Read More
Posted December 23, 2020
Nurses, others plead with public to observe safety recommendations
The casualties of COVID-19 extend beyond the patients themselves.
Their families, unable to be in the hospital room to offer comfort, suffer. So, too, do those frontline healthcare workers who are in the room, fully invested in trying to provide what’s missing for the patient.
“The best way to describe it, we are the family for these people,” said Adena respiratory therapist Jennifer Lower. “Their families can’t come in, can’t hold their hand, can’t tell them they’re going to be OK. So we put on a brave face, we go in and tell them those things, we hug them, we cry with them. When we walk out, we have to have our moment, too. We find a room and we cry. We get so close to these patients and we have to tell them goodbye sometimes. We are who they have.”
Lower, like many others with shared experiences working with COVID-19 patients at Adena Health System, expressed frustrations the Coronavirus has produced on so many fronts. Frustration for families who can’t be with loved ones sometimes fighting for their lives. Frustration brought on by physical and emotional exhaustion. Frustration over trying not to take the mental toll of the work or the virus itself home to their own families. Most importantly, frustration when seeing those in public not wearing masks, not social distancing, not practicing good hand hygiene and choosing to attend large gatherings.
Registered nurse Madison Francis is among those sharing in those frustrations. When she reports for work, she first has to brace for the reality that someone is likely to die at some point during her shift, courtesy of the Coronavirus.
“I would say before COVID-19, I had not dealt with patient death as much because we have a palliative floor, so usually end-of-life is sent to that unit,” Francis said. “I’m a float pool nurse, so I go everywhere in the health system, but unless it was something tragic, like a code where we lost a patient, I never really dealt with death that much.
“Since the pandemic hit, I do post-mortem care and I much more regularly have seen a patient pass during several of my shifts.”
As a float pool nurse, Francis has the opportunity to work shifts away from the COVID-19 unit. She knows, however, that those assigned to that unit permanently don’t have many opportunities to get away, and she doesn’t know how they deal with the daily stress while performing their jobs at the high level needed by patients. That stress is now being shared by other healthcare providers within Adena Regional Medical Center in Chillicothe, Adena Greenfield Medical Center and Adena Pike Medical Center in Waverly as the volume of COVID-19 patients has required their placement to be distributed throughout the Health System.
The same story is being played out in hospitals across the state, and while it may not seem possible, the ongoing holiday season may push that stress even higher as those fatigued by ten months of pandemic living and those who don’t believe the virus is as serious as it is being portrayed decide to ignore repeated public safety guidance. The result: The largest surge of new cases and hospitalizations since the pandemic began.
Nurses and physicians – often thought of when one mentions “front-line workers” – are not the only Adena Health System employees feeling COVID’s impact. Consider:
- Phlebotomist Crystal Greene, who is among those who draw blood for testing. Maintaining the optimism that “together we are stronger than the virus,” she nevertheless feels numb and exhausted and doesn’t want to talk when she goes home after trying to be that friendly face patients need to face another rough day or night. “When I took my position in this field, I knew there would be times I would have to give more than just my 100 percent and I was prepared for that – or so you think you are. You become more than just a caregiver, you’re now someone’s ‘person’ because their loved one can’t be in the room with them due to restrictions. You go above and beyond your position because sometimes other caregivers need a helping hand, too.”
- April Thomas, a central processor in the lab at Adena Regional Medical Center. Saying she and many of her co-workers are beyond stressed and tired, Thomas notes they have been processing COVID-19 tests since the start of the pandemic – which can include anywhere from 100 to 200 specimens daily – in addition to normal daily specimen processing. The volume over such an extended period of time, and with testing only continuing to rise as cases are surging, is draining. “I don’t know if I am coming or going anymore,” Thomas said. “There have been a lot of days here lately that I sit on the edge of my bed and contemplate if I should come to work because I’m tired and stressed out, but I put on my big girl pants and come because I know that patients need my help.”
- Nichole Dailey, a phlebotomist who says working during the pandemic is one of the most stressful and frightening things she and her family have ever been through, especially as she’s seen several of her fellow phlebotomists test positive for the virus. “I worry every single day when I am working the COVID unit that I will get it or that I chance bringing it home to my fiancé and my three young boys,” she said.
Nurse Practitioner Laura Arnett can sympathize with concerns about family transmission. Pregnant with her second child, Arnett was working in the emergency room around the time she contracted COVID-19 in October and attempted to quarantine herself in her home’s basement to protect her husband and baby – noting how heart-wrenching it was to hear her child crying and not being able to respond. Despite her efforts, they both caught the virus anyway, and while they can all count themselves among the “recovered”, she still experienced dizziness and shortness of breath a month into her recovery.
Arnett’s mother-in-law, Valerie Arnett, babysits Laura’s son. She, too, experienced a fever, shortness of breath, cough and headache for about 10 days before being admitted to the hospital on Halloween. After her discharge, she was right back in the hospital two days later when her oxygen levels dipped dramatically. She learned she not only had COVID issues, but pneumonia as well, and began what would become a five-day stay without the ability to have family with her due to visitor restrictions.
Being left alone with her thoughts only compounded her stress, she said.
“I was petrified, I was in tears,” she recalled. “It’s like you know you have it but it’s eye opening because there’s people dying of this and you have it. I had visions of a ventilator in my head – you do that, you go there. It was really scary.”
About a month removed from her hospital stay, she still has bouts with dropping oxygen levels and any exertion – just climbing some stairs or carrying her grandson, “things we take for granted” – leaves her trying to find her breath.
These are the faces not represented in the oft-reported Coronavirus numbers, the lives impacted by the decisions made by friends, family and strangers around them. They share a frustration over those who choose to ignore safety precautions, tell them masks don’t work or even deny the existence of the disease – until it’s too late.
“I had a guy who was passing – he was a do not intubate and could not breathe on his own anymore so he decided on comfort care,” Francis recalled. “So we give medications to make him comfortable so he’s not gasping for breath and he told me he did not believe in this virus – he did now, at that point – but he said he just couldn’t believe he didn’t believe in it until now.”
Francis says like many of the nurses, she does everything she can to keep a patient’s outlook positive and hope alive – a difficult task for the several who come in asking “I’m not going to make it, am I?” That effort, especially in situations in which she recognizes the odds facing a patient are pretty long, can be mentally taxing on healthcare staff who get to know COVID-19 patients pretty well because of hospital stays that can stretch over weeks.
Losing those patients can take its toll, and trying to prepare the patient’s family members before allowing them into the room in an end-of-life situation requires additional strength.
“A lot of times when the family comes, we all walk back with them because the family is able to be there when we withdraw care,” Francis said. “While we gown them up, we tell them stories about our interactions with their loved one before they were intubated or before they weren’t able to talk anymore.”
Francis, who tries to protect her own family by making sure she changes clothes and showers before leaving the hospital then putting her scrubs in a special bag and washing them as soon as she gets home, says it didn’t have to be this way but that misinformation has led some people to disregard suggested safety protocols. It’s not just a disease impacting the elderly population, masks don’t weaken the immune system, those dying don’t necessarily have a number of underlying conditions, she said, addressing just a few of those misinformation items widely circulating on social media.
Laura Arnett agrees, and urges people to consider the toll it’s going to take on their family if a loved one needs to be isolated in the hospital due to a Coronavirus diagnosis. Valerie Arnett, speaking from experience, said people should also ask themselves how they would feel if they were the one isolated facing an uncertain future.
“You think about a lot of things – your priorities and how you want to handle things,” she said. “It’s really scary, and you don’t know if you’re going to die, you really don’t.”
Posted December 21, 2020
(image) Adena Health System President and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Graham has been re-elected to the Ohio Hospital Association’s (OHA) Board of Trustees. OHA President and CEO Mike Abrams recently announced Graham was among three members of the board re-elected for a new three-year term beginning Jan. 1, 2021.
“In this unprecedented time, Ohio hospitals are leading Ohio’s health care response to the global pandemic while navigating significant hardships, straining workforce, financial and supply resources,” said Abrams. “We look forward to working with our board to continue leading important patient safety, economic and advocacy strategies to support our mission of collaborating with member hospitals and health systems to ensure a healthy Ohio.”
The OHA Board of Trustees sets policy and strategic direction for matters affecting hospitals throughout Ohio. The board includes representatives from small and large hospitals, urban and rural hospitals, teaching facilities and independent facilities and health care systems. The board consists of four officers, the OHA president and CEO and 13 trustees-at-large.
“I am honored for the opportunity to continue my service on the OHA Board of Trustees and lend a voice for rural health care across south central and southern Ohio,” said Graham. “Adena Health System’s vision is to be our regions’ most trusted partner in health care and now more than ever our patients and community members need strong health care services that are close to home and there for them when they need us most. As an advocate for our physicians, advanced practice providers and caregivers as well, I will continue to support our health care heroes in their tireless efforts to safely care for our communities.”
Established in 1915, the Ohio Hospital Association represents 240 hospitals and 13 health systems throughout Ohio that employ 260,000 Ohioans and contribute $31.4 billion to Ohio’s economy along with $6.8 billion in net community benefit. OHA is the nation’s first state hospital association and is recognized nationally for our patient safety and health care quality initiatives and environmental sustainability programs. Guided by a mission to collaborate with member hospitals and health systems to ensure a healthy Ohio, the work of OHA centers on three strategic initiatives: advocacy, economic sustainability, and patient safety and quality.Read More
Posted December 18, 2020
(image) Continuing to build on safety and convenience initiatives for patients utilizing Adena’s testing services, new structures outside Adena Urgent Care - Western Avenue and Adena Wellness Center - West, both in Chillicothe, have been pressed into use for the winter months to keep curbside testing going.
The structures, known as ootBoxes, resemble a small office measuring only about 10 feet by 8 feet, but what they bring in terms of convenience for patients and staff far exceeds their size.
“It just makes it a true drive-up service where, right now, our caregivers have been going out in the elements and having to locate the patient’s car—make, model and color,” said Jessica Matheny, Adena Service Line Director for Urgent Care & Occupational Health. “This allows for a more organized and centralized area to provide these curbside types of services.’”
Adena Urgent Care - Western Avenue, located at 55 Centennial Boulevard, recently began operating out of two of the structures, one to handle curbside lab draws and the second to deal with all curbside COVID-19 and point-of-care tests that are presented to the Urgent Care.
Taneka Willis, who manages Adena Urgent Care - Western Avenue, said 15 parking spots have been designated for lab work and Urgent Care needs through the ootBoxes, but if those spots are filled, patients can use any of the other parking spaces in the lot. From their parked car, patients will call to register for lab draws or any other outpatient services. During the call, they will be asked if they would like to come inside the main building for service or if they would prefer a curbside option.
Those choosing a curbside option will complete the registration process over the phone and their information will be sent electronically to the appropriate ootBox. When the lab technician has the patient as being next on the list, the patient will be called and asked to pull up to the ootBox for the blood draw. The phlebotomist would then go through the usual identity and order verifications, draw blood and send the patient on their way.
Willis said the process should help with patient flow at a Western Avenue location that this year has regularly experienced daily patient counts far higher than prior to the pandemic, with its peak hitting over 150 patients in a single day for just its Urgent Care services. When lab and other ancillary services are included, the Western Avenue location is serving an average of between 350 to 375 patients daily.
“When we started curbside draws earlier this year, we were lined up all the way down the street,” Willis said. “Now using the curbside parking spots, we can have people parked in those spots and can move pretty quickly having two phlebotomists inside the ootBox ordering (labs) or drawing (blood).”A similar process is being used for other Urgent Care services as well. Patients can visit www.adena.org/urgentcareto find estimated wait times at each location. They also can then click to reserve an arrival time at their chosen Urgent Care to help with scheduling, similar to putting your name on a wait list at a restaurant.
Upon arrival, patients will park and call the number on the sign. If they haven’t pre-scheduled a time online, they will be added to the queue at that time. Patients will then be registered and, when nurses are ready for the patient, a phone call will be made to the patient with instructions to pull up to the ootBox for their testing needs.Read More
Posted December 17, 2020
Open Your Mouth and Say, “Ahhh!
Chad Keller, DO is an otolaryngologist (more commonly referred to as ENT or Ear, Nose and Throat doctor) at Adena Regional Medical Center. He grew up in nearby Hocking Hills and went to college, medical school and residency right here in Ohio. Dr. Keller loves his work and sees both adult and pediatric patients.
Why Tonsils (and Adenoids)?
“One of the most common reasons we see pediatric patient's is due to concern for issues relating to the tonsils and adenoids. So it is important to know that pediatric patients’ can have treatment for these conditions locally," says Dr. Keller.
Tonsils are part of the body's immune system. They are located in the back of the mouth on each side of throat and help stop germs from entering the body. The adenoids are like the tonsils, but are located in the back of the nose. Both contain different kinds of white blood cells which are responsible for killing germs. Once a child reaches 12-18 months, other tissues help take over the immune process and tonsils and adenoids tend to shrink over time. When tonsils do not shrink over time, they may lead to infection or become enlarged.
Tonsils In or Tonsils Out?
It’s often a question, is it better to remove a patient’s tonsils, or not? The answer? It’s really a patient-by-patient determination. “We always recommend what we feel is best for the patient which means we don’t always recommend surgery.” says Dr. Keller.
While there are many reasons to remove the tonsils (tonsillectomy) or adenoids (adenoidectomy), there are two main reasons why a child would have their tonsils or adenoids removed, 1) they have repeated infections, called adenoiditis and tonsillitis or 2) they have enlarged tonsils which can cause issues in breathing properly during sleep called Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB). Because the tonsils and adenoid are so alike, they are often removed together at the same time.
Sleep Disorder Breathing is the medical term for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) in children. SDB is different than Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) that occurs in adults. In children, Sleep Disorder Breathing is most often caused by enlarged tonsils and/or adenoids. “Sleep Disorder Breathing, that’s really one of the biggest reasons we take tonsils out,” says Dr. Keller. Left untreated, enlarged tonsils and adenoids can lead to sleep deprivation in children, causing issues such as hyperactivity, bed-wetting, and “failure to thrive.” Symptoms of Sleep Disorder Breathing could be any of the previously named issues along with:
- Pauses in breathing during sleep
- Restless sleep or sleeping in unusual position
- Snorting, coughing or choking
- Chronic mouth breathing
What’s Trending - Less Pain, Lower Risk
“At Adena ENT, we offer a procedure called intracapsular tonsillectomy,” says Dr. Keller. “It’s become more popular over the last couple of years because it generally means less bleeding, less pain, less dehydration and quicker recovery time for the patient than a traditional tonsillectomy.”
Intracapsular tonsillectomy removes almost all of the tonsil tissue, but leaves a very thin layer of tonsil tissue in place to protect the sides of the throat which offers the benefits Dr. Keller mentioned above.
Intracapsular tonsillectomies are often performed when the tonsils/adenoids are enlarged; when the tonsils/adenoids are incurring high rates of infection, a traditional tonsillectomy is recommended. Both procedures offer a fairly smooth post-operative recovery, with “less than 5% of traditional tonsillectomy patients experiencing post-operative bleeding and around 1% or less post-operative bleeding in patients who receive the intracapsular tonsillectomy,” say Dr. Keller.
Where’s My Ice Cream?
Typically, tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy procedures are either a same day (patients come and go on the same day of surgery), or more often for younger patients, an overnight stay. “We like to observe our younger patients, to made sure they are recovering well,” says Dr. Keller. After surgery, patients are restricted to light activity for two weeks. This helps prevent strain and the potential for bleeding. Patients are also required to drink plenty of fluids and stay hydrated which helps keeps the throat moist and prevents it from feeling dry and sore. And yes, ice cream is allowed. “I tell parents and patients that after a tonsillectomy, they can generally eat or drink whatever they choose.” says Dr. Keller.
Dr. Keller and the Adena ENT staff are highly skilled and experienced along with their teams of nurses, anesthesiologists, and other health care assistants. They have years of experiences with kids and adults, so should you or a loved one need a tonsillectomy, you know you are in good hands with Adena ENT.
If you feel you or someone you know maybe suffering from continued strep, sore throats, ear infections, or has issues with disrupted sleep due to enlarged tonsils or adenoids, contact your Adena primary care provider for a referral or click here for guidance on what location and provider might work best for you.
Posted December 16, 2020
Adena Health System and Nationwide Children’s Hospital have expanded an ongoing partnership to now include expert, family-centered clinical care for newborns and children requiring hospitalization at Adena Regional Medical Center in Chillicothe.
Nationwide Children’s hospitalists will begin caring for children who are hospitalized at Adena Regional Medical Center (ARMC) beginning January 1, 2021. Adena and Nationwide Children’s have been working together in helping to care for the region’s children since 2011.
Adena President and CEO Jeff Graham today praised the plan that will keep families together when a child is hospitalized for illness or recovering from a procedure. “Parents understand the stress and fear that comes with having a child in the hospital,” he said. “Adding an hour drive – each way – to spend time with the child adds another layer to that overall stress. It is our hope that by incorporating Nationwide Children’s hospitalists to the care of Adena’s newborns and pediatric inpatients will give parents and families peace of mind, knowing there are now more opportunities for them to be close to their home and family as their child recovers.”
Expansion of the current partnership comes from Adena and Nationwide Children’s common goal, to give children and families in the south central and southern Ohio region greater access to close-to-home, advanced pediatric care. ARMC will now have 24/7 in-house newborn and pediatric inpatient coverage and care as well as Nationwide Children’s hospitalists rounding in the special care and well-baby nursery.
“We look forward to working with Adena to expand the quality of pediatric specialty care in the region, and increasing access to pediatric care in and around Ross County,” said Kristyn Wasylik, interim director of regional development at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “Together, we are expanding the quality of care, and meeting our common goal to keep children and their families closer to home as much as we can.”
Other accomplishments related to the existing Adena/Nationwide Children’s partnership include:
- Onsite pediatric cardiology, hematology, oncology, and gastroenterology;
- Neonatal and Emergency Department consulting, ambassador support, and training for Adena’s Level II nursery;
- Partners for Kids, an Accountable Care Organization collaborating with Adena Pediatrics to ensure quality of care for children enrolled in Medicaid Managed Care;
- Education programs for Adena providers and staff;
- Direct connect lines for transport of newborn/nursery and Emergency Department services; and
- Pediatric patient education materials.
Posted December 14, 2020
As Adena Health System continues looking for creative ways to manage current and potential surges in COVID-19 patient volumes, a new program that may have relevance for patient care even beyond the pandemic launched last week.
Adena at Home is utilizing patient navigators and home health nurses, coupled with remote patient telemonitoring, to provide an option for moving recovering Coronavirus patients transitioning to less severe symptoms out of much-needed COVID unit beds at Adena Regional Medical Center and into their own homes.
“This program is geared towards expanding our expertise beyond the four walls of the hospital and managing COVID-19 patients as much as possible in their own home environment,” said Dr. Jashanpreet Singh, Chief of Inpatient Operations. “Our goal is to pull some of the patients from that unit into this program and send them home a little earlier than they would have eventually gone, but having a dedicated care team of remote patient monitoring nurses and a team of clinicians led by (Chief Clinical Officer) Dr. Kirk Tucker and Julie Stone NP who are going to be following these patients in their home environment.”
Last Tuesday’s launch of the program is the latest in an effort to decompress bed demand in the COVID unit at ARMC at a time patient surges are more frequently reaching or exceeding unit capacity. A few weeks ago, Adena Greenfield Medical Center created an eight-room unit to accept COVID-19 patients who are recovering but not yet ready to care for themselves at home, and just recently Adena Pike Medical Center also began accepting COVID-19 patients.
Adena at Home plays off that same philosophy, but designates those same types of patients to recuperate at home. It also builds off the foundation of existing Home Health and Population Health care coordination efforts.
The program is being implemented in phases. The first phase would focus on patients currently recuperating in the COVID unit on a clear path to recovery. Upon discharge, patients would be provided with a kit containing such things an iPad with video and messaging capability, pulse oximeter, blood pressure cuff, thermometer and tools for monitoring symptoms such as a shortness of breath stoplight tool, anxiety tool and COVID symptom tracker form. Educational materials tackling such topics as how to isolate at home and managing symptoms at home will be part of the packet.
With those tools, patients can provide necessary information for nurses and clinicians monitoring their condition. They will get daily registered nurse phone or video status call checks for seven to 10 days depending on symptoms, as well as daily virtual rounds led by Dr. Tucker and Stone to discuss whether any changes in the treatment protocol or medication need to be made and to just speak with the patient about their condition. Patients will also have access to 24/7 support from a Population Health or Adena Home Health nurse in case they have questions or concerns overnight.
After the seven- to 10-day period, care of the patient will transition back to the patient’s primary care provider with updated clinical notes and medication information.
Patients will not be required to take part in the Adena at Home option, and their families will be included in the decision-making process. As of Monday, 12 patients had been enrolled.
“One of the criteria is the patient’s and family members’ willingness to be part of the program,” Dr. Singh said. “Willingness and engagement are very important. Consider this as a very important step in patient-centered medical care because you are really engaging the patient and their family into the decision-making in their health and recovery process.”
The second phase of the program would involve patients presenting with symptoms at Urgent Cares or the Emergency Department. If they are determined not to require hospitalization but are showing serious enough symptoms to require home monitoring, they would be sent home with a treatment protocol kit and access to the same remote nursing and clinical care as those in phase one.
The third phase would create the same situation for patients presenting with symptoms at primary care offices. Expansion to the second and third phases will be determined by the severity of existing pandemic conditions.
Dr. Singh and Bambi Huffman, vice president of care coordination, said there are several advantages to an approach that has enjoyed success at other health systems that have tried it, including the psycho-social advantages to the patient being able to finish their recovery in a familiar home environment.
The program shows great potential for outlasting the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I think from a strategic vision standpoint, COVID has shown us that even though right now we are operating under a surge umbrella, this modality and pathway of treatment for our patients– is going to be the wave of the future,” Dr. Singh said. “Once COVID is under control and we are out of the pandemic, we can really build on these programs in the future and promote them toward patients with chronic conditions like heart failure, helping us reduce re-admissions and manage them better in their own home with patient-centered decision making .”Read More
Posted December 10, 2020
Dire circumstances often require creative responses. That’s certainly been the case for Adena Health System in the midst of its largest COVID-19 patient surge since the pandemic began in the spring.
In addition to challenges created by recent rapid and marked increases in COVID positive patient volumes, mounting hospitalizations across the region also have virtually eliminated the possibility of being able to transfer patients to other health systems when Coronavirus surge numbers exceed Adena Regional Medical Center’s (ARMC) 30-bed COVID cohort unit’s capacity.
In order to continue providing the most comprehensive care, not only for its COVID-19 patients but those utilizing other medical services in the communities served by Adena, the Health System has turned to several new initiatives and solutions for meeting the challenges presented by COVID-19.
“When we were for preparing for COVID-19 back in March, our focus was around understanding the virus and securing the proper amounts of personal protective equipment required to safely care for patients and protect our staff. Fast forward to today and it is vastly different,” said Adena President & CEO Jeff Graham. “We continue to see record numbers daily of COVID patients, as well as care for record numbers of patients through our urgent care locations. I cannot express enough my gratitude for our providers and caregivers during this time, as we have been able to safely care for the communities across our nine-county service region while also keeping a focus on tomorrow. Our ability to anticipate the challenges ahead and put creativity and innovation at the forefront to implement strategies quickly and effectively has allowed us to stay strong and provide care for the patients and families counting on us.”
Here’s a brief rundown of those efforts and what they mean to patients and their families:
- Critical Access Hospitals: As patient surges in the COVID-19 unit at ARMC began to more frequently push toward capacity slightly less than a month ago, Adena Greenfield Medical Center (AGMC) and Adena Pike Medical Center (APMC) began working toward creating space in their hospitals for COVID-19 patients on the road to recovery who were not quite healthy enough to be sent home. The idea was to free up beds and staffing in the COVID-19 unit at Adena Regional Medical Center for the most serious Coronavirus patients. AGMC prepared an eight-room wing separate from the remainder of the hospital, outfitting it to safely handle the needs of Coronavirus patients, and opened it to its first patients a couple weeks ago. With the surge in hospitalizations, the unit most days is operating at or near capacity. Adena Pike Medical Center in Waverly, meanwhile, began accepting COVID-19 patients with a similar approach to that of AGMC last week.
- Adena at Home: In another effort to ease the crunch on bed space and staffing, an Adena at Home initiative began this week. Using a telemedicine and tele-monitoring approach, the program identifies COVID-19 patients recovering in the COVID units who are able to care for themselves at home but still have symptoms significant enough to require monitoring. Those patients can now be sent home with self-monitoring equipment such as an iPad with messaging and video capabilities, blood pressure cuffs and pulse oximeters to take readings they can share with medical staff who check in daily on their condition and answer questions or make any needed adjustments to medications. The initiative also offers 24/7 remote nursing support should a patient or their families experience something unexpected overnight. The program may be expanded over time to include patients who are showing symptoms at the Emergency Department or Urgent Cares that may not be serious enough to require admittance as an inpatient. Primary care offices may become part of a third phase of implementing the Adena at Home program should it become necessary. Patients will not be required to take part in the Adena at Home option, and their families will be included in the decision-making process as well as receive education on how they can help monitor the patient and what to do should an emergency arise.
- Use of PACCAR Medical Education Center: As a way to help determine the best course of action for patients related to the COVID-19 surge, the PACCAR Medical Education Center on the Adena Regional Medical Center campus is being pressed into service the middle of this month as a respiratory surge center. Patients arriving at the Emergency Department or referred by their primary care physician with symptoms that could suggest COVID-19 will be directed to the facility for a full evaluation and possible period of monitoring to determine the best options for their care.
- Blended and expanded staffing: Adena is aggressively pursuing additional nursing staff to help meet increasing needs brought about by the COVID-19 patient surge. In addition to conducting a recent recruitment and hiring fair to boost permanent staffing, the health system has contracted with a rapid staffing firm specializing in providing medical staff in disaster relief situations to temporarily help bolster staff levels. Many among the Health System and Adena Medical Group staff also have either volunteered to take extra shifts or to tackle other duties in order to meet staffing needs to best serve patients.
- COVID Inpatient Placements: Adena Regional Medical Center has begun placing COVID and non-COVID patients on the same inpatient units in some trial areas. This type of blended patient placement allows for flexibility with nursing assignments and room availability, and offers more ability to match patient’s needs with provider and staff resources and skill sets throughout the system. Care teams on these units are skilled in managing a variety of other infectious disease processes such as MRSA and C-Diff in safely meeting the care needs for these patients.
As it has been from the start, the situation surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic continues to be a fluid one. Adena officials will continue monitoring the latest in vaccine development and availability and making any other operational changes that should become necessary in the coming months in order to see that our communities navigate the crisis as effectively and safety as possible.
Meanwhile, every individual in the community plays a role in reducing COVID-19 patient surges. Please observe well-publicized public safety protocols, including wearing masks, maintaining at least six feet of social distancing, practicing frequent and rigorous hand washing for at least 20 seconds at a time and avoiding large gatherings.
Graham concluded, “Our healthcare heroes need your help. Our caregivers have been treating COVID-19 patients for over 10 months – and they are exhausted. We cannot pick and choose when we follow these safety guidelines. We have to follow them every single day if we want to beat this virus. We are all in this together.”Read More
Posted November 23, 2020
(image) Kerry Bellew, DO, is a Primary Care Physician with Adena Chillicothe Family Physicians. He’s had years of experience in Chillicothe and treating patients for hypertension, also known as high blood pressure.
High Blood Pressure Can Be Serious!
Hypertension typically occurs in adults over 30, although it’s becoming a more common occurrence for younger adults. According to the American Heart Association, nearly half of all adults in the United States suffer from high blood pressure. It is typically more prevalent in men than it is women until about the age of 65. “Hypertension is a chronic condition,” explains Dr. Bellew, “we often see it in people who are overweight or obese, smoke, have diabetes, high stress levels, have a family history of high blood pressure, or have a high intake of sodium, fat and/or cholesterol in their diet.” There are two types of hypertension: primary hypertension and secondary hypertension. Primary, often called essential hypertension, is the most common. It is usually attributed to a number of possible factors including age, family history, race, weight, diet, alcohol consumption and lack of exercise. Secondary hypertension is usually the result of another pre-existing condition such as kidney disease, sleep apnea, thyroid or adrenal gland issues or as a medication side effect.
By the Numbers
Typically, any blood pressure measurement that is over 130/80 is considered high blood pressure. But what do the numbers mean? The top number is the systolic measurement, the maximum pressure exerting from the heart while it is beating. The bottom number is the diastolic pressure and represents the pressure in your arteries between beats. When these numbers are elevated beyond 130/80, it means your heart is working much harder than normal to pump blood through your arteries. Over time, the increased pressure can lead to other health issues such as heart disease, stroke, aneurisms, kidney failure and more. Dr. Bellew comments that according to the Mayo clinic, “Every extra pound of weight we carry, we add 5 miles worth of blood vessels. If your heart beats 100,000 times a day, it has to travel 500,000 miles a day for one pound of fat.” That means your heart has to work much harder to get blood pumping through your body and why being overweight often leads to high blood pressure.
Silent but Deadly
Dr. Bellew recommends that anyone 18 or older should get an annual blood pressure reading – more if they have increased risk factors like being overweight, smoking, lack of exercise, or a family history of hypertension. “The trouble is, hypertension symptoms are often silent,” says Dr. Bellew. Often if people are having symptoms such as blurry vision, headaches or general fatigue they could be in a hypertensive urgency state (high blood pressure not yet in danger of critically impacting organs), or a hypertensive emergency state (high blood pressure with the danger of damaging organs). “If any of these symptoms occur repeatedly, patients should contact their physician immediately,” says Dr. Bellew.
The good news is hypertension can be controlled on several levels. First, just simple lifestyle changes, like losing 10 pounds, can make a difference advises Dr. Bellew. Changing your diet by reducing sodium, fat and cholesterol can also help. “There are a ton of foods with high sodium content,” comments Dr. Bellew. “By reducing the times people eat out, or eat frozen or canned foods, that can make a difference because they often contain a lot of sodium.” If improved diet and exercise aren’t working, there are a number of effective medications that can help patients control their blood pressure. At Adena, our health care teams work with patients to make shared decisions on what might work best to control their hypertension. “There’s not always one set treatment path,” says Dr. Bellew, “but there are a number of trusted options to help patients gain control of their blood pressure.”
If you suffer from hypertension, have risk factors or haven’t had your blood pressure taken in the past year, contact Adena at 740-779-FIND (3463) or click here for guidance on what location and provider might work best for you.Read More
Posted November 20, 2020
Adena Health System announced today that it will be tightening its visitor restrictions on Monday, November 23, 2020 in an effort to help limit the spread of Coronavirus and other respiratory illnesses, as inpatient volumes at its hospitals and COVID-19 positive cases across the region continue to rise.
“One third of all confirmed positive Coronavirus cases in Ohio since February have occurred in the last two weeks,” said Chief Clinical Officer Kirk Tucker, MD. “That shows you the magnitude of this current surge. It is trends like this that our clinical and operations teams examine closely and make decisions that are in the best interest for our patients, visitors, physicians and staff.”
He added, “This is why Adena is moving back to a tightening of our visitor restrictions. It is important to know that we were unanimous in our plan not to go to a zero visitor policy at this time. Having zero visitors is bad for patient morale, but also creates challenges with staff coordinating patient discharge plans with family members or support persons not present.”
Effective Nov. 23, 2020, at Adena Regional Medical Center in Chillicothe, Adena Greenfield Medical Center in Greenfield and Adena Pike Medical Center in Waverly, visitor access will be limited to:
- One named visitor on Non-COVID Inpatient Units per day during limited visiting hours;
- One named visitor in Emergency Departments for non-COVID suspected or confirmed patients;
- One named visitor for Inpatient Maternity/Labor & Delivery/Pediatrics COVID patients per patient including minor patients and one visitor for non-COVID patient with exception of minor patients who will be allowed one parent in addition to one named visitor;
- No visitation with the exception of end of life for Confirmed or Suspected Inpatient COVID patients;
- No visitors in ICU without clinical team approval;
- Up to two visitors limited to immediate family for any End-of-Life Situations;
- One visitor for Elective Surgery patients going home after the procedure;
- No visitors on the Inpatient Behavioral Health Unit;
- No visitors for Outpatient/Ambulatory Clinic visits and testing unless the following exceptions;
- Minor patients (under 18) – two visitors, limited to only parents or guardians
- OB and Pediatric clinics: new mothers with lifting restrictions
- OB Clinic: no visitors
- Pulmonary Clinic: one visitor for patients struggling with ambulatory issues
- One visitor/support person for patients with significant physical or mental disabilities
- Support person required for care planning or to support of disease management (i.e., cancer diagnosis) – must be approved by provider in advance
- Patient brought in by transport
- No visitors under age 18;
- One named visitor acting in the role of a Caretaker for non-COVID patient will be allowed access if meet requirements set by clinical team;
- Inpatients may have one in-person Spiritual Support visit by their own clergy for brief spiritual support if requested by patient and family;
- Due to space limitations in relation to social distancing, waiting room areas are closed to visitors; and
- Visitors are not to be loitering in the hospital and must remain in patient room at all times.
Hospital visiting hours will be limited to 2 - 7 p.m., seven days a week. Adena’s Visitor Policy is available to view at www.adena.org/VisitorPolicy. To assure a safe environment, all visitors are required to participate in the COVID-19 screening process at entrances, maintain social distancing, follow hand hygiene guidelines, and must wear a mask or face covering throughout their visit including while inside of the patient room.Read More
Posted November 18, 2020
BreatheWell Ross and the Partners for a Healthier Ross County, join the American Cancer Society in promoting the 45th Great American Smokeout, an annual event the third Thursday in November each year, to encourage smokers to make a plan to quit smoking.
In both their 2016 and 2019 community health needs assessments conducted by Partners for a Healthier Ross County, smoking was linked to three of the top five leading causes of death in the community, including heart disease, lung cancer and other respiratory issues like COPD.
“Not only is smoking and other tobacco use contributing to early death of Ross County citizens, but it also is occurring at higher rates than in other parts of the state and country,” said Kim Jones of Adena Health System and co-chair of Partners for a Healthier Ross County. The 2019 assessment survey determined that more than 25% of Ross County citizens use tobacco, which is almost 10% higher than the rest of the nation. These statistics enabled the Ross County Health District to obtain a grant from the Ohio Department of Health in 2018, and coordinate BreatheWell Ross, a sub-committee of Partners for a Healthier Ross County that educates the community on the dangers of smoking and vaping, as well as promotes the options smokers have locally to help them quit.
Kim Hardesty, coordinator of BreatheWell said, “There are accessible options for cessation such as the Ohio Tobacco Quit Line. By dialing 1-800-QUIT-NOW, you get telephonic support, access to free nicotine replacement therapy, and a cessation counselor to help you develop your plan to quit and follow up.” Other options within the community include the Adena Quit Clinic, which provides in-person counseling and support, or talking to your primary care provider.
Although smoking continues to be the leading preventable cause of disease, disability and death in the United States, Hardesty noted that smokers can and do quit smoking, and we can continue to see more former smokers than current smokers if the community works together to encourage cessation and provide the support needed to quit.
For more information on smoking and vaping cessation, contact Kim Hardesty at the Ross County Health District, at 740-779-9652 or firstname.lastname@example.org.Read More
Posted November 13, 2020
(image) Dr. Jeffrey Rose, MD is an experienced oncologist at the Adena Cancer Center. During his 11 years in practice, Dr. Rose has helped his patients manage every type of cancer, with emphasis on lung, breast and colorectal – the three most common cancer types. His key advice to patients, “Screening is of the utmost importance.”
The Factors in Risk
There are several factors which could increase your risk of getting cancer explains Dr. Rose. One is genetic. You could have a higher risk factor if your family has a history of cancer. Another is your health behavior. If you smoke or are exposed to secondhand smoke, are overweight, have an unhealthy diet, lack exercise or have possible radon exposure*, you could be at greater risk for cancer. Additionally, if you aren’t getting age appropriate screenings for cancer, you increase your risk of late-stage detection. This could lead to a fatal cancer diagnosis.
Dr. Rose says there are potential warning signs for cancer. A patient should consult their physician if they are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- Abnormal lumps or thickening under the skin
- Sores or cuts that don’t heal
- Unexplained weight loss
- Shortness of breath
- Unusual bleeding or discharge from any part of the body
- Blood in urine
- Change in bowel habits, black, tar-like stools, or bright blood per rectum
- Persistent cough or hoarseness
- Difficulty swallowing or persistent indigestion
- Change in warts or moles
Screening is Believing
A screening test is used to look for a disease when a person doesn’t have symptoms. (When a patient does have symptoms, tests are considered diagnostic.) The most common cancers Lung, Breast, Colorectal and Prostate, all have advanced screening tests that are recommended at key target ages.
Guide for Cancer Screening
Type of Cancer
Age / Parameters for Screening
The Right Approach
“Advancements in cancer treatment have come a long way in the last five to ten years with new medicines and medical approaches,” explains Dr. Rose. Based on the type and stage of cancer, the Adena Cancer team works together with primary care and other specialists to determine what treatment option, or combination of treatment options might work best for a patient. “Sometimes we can provide surgical options and avoid more intensive treatments like chemotherapy,” says Dr. Rose. In other cases, the team may use chemotherapy before or after surgery to improve outcomes. Treatment is designed around each specific patient. “Our Adena care teams work together. We hold weekly tumor conferences to discuss each patient’s needs and treatment responses.”
Adena offers genetic counselling for patients. If a patient has a certain genetic mutation, we work with genetic teams at The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center to help understand, screen, counsel and evaluate the patient and the patient’s family. This helps determine the best pathway to care.
Through a collaboration with the Columbus Community Clinical Oncology Research Program (NCORP), Adena patients also have potential access to clinical trials for leading-edge cancer treatments.
“The key is age-appropriate screenings for early cancer detection,” says Dr. Rose. “With advanced technologies and medications, cancer patients have more opportunities than ever to beat cancer, but they need to have regular screenings to detect any issues early.”
Patients can also evaluate their potential cancer risk with the Adena online Heath Risk Assessment tools. Knowing your risk, sharing your results with your doctor and regular screening can be some of the best tools to fight cancer.
* Radon is a naturally-occurring radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer. It comes from a combination of elements in the soil which occurs with some frequency in southern Ohio. It is can often emanate from cracks in basement floors and walls.
Posted November 12, 2020
Adena Health System is searching for new and experienced Medical Assistants (MAs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) with a passion for caring for others. During its hiring event, Adena will accept applications and host open interviews for nurses at all stages of their career.
Opportunities are waiting for both MAs and LPNs.
When: Thursday, November 19, 2020
4 to 6 p.m.
Where: Adena PACCAR Medical Education Center
446 Hospital Rd.
Chillicothe, OH 45601
Instructions for the event:
- Complete the online application in advance of the event
- Medical Assistant applicants must currently be registered or certified in the state of Ohio or have the ability to obtain their certificate within 90 days of hire.
- LPN applicants must be licensed in Ohio or have the ability to obtain their license within 90 days of hire.
All interested MAs and LPNs are encouraged to attend this hiring event. Sign-on bonuses of $1,500 for MAs and $2,000 for LPNs are available. Opportunity for the sign-on bonus will be active for those who apply through November 30, 2020.
During the event, all state and local health guidelines for social distancing and masking and enhanced safety measures will be strictly followed to ensure everyone’s health and well-being.
Posted November 09, 2020
Lung Cancer Screening Event Saturday, Nov. 21
Never smoking or quitting smoking have been proven to reduce the incidence of lung cancer, but the greatest chance to survive lung cancer is by catching it early. This can be accomplished with a simple lung cancer screening.
Entering its sixth year, Adena Health System’s free lung cancer screening program has become a national model for excellence – and is saving lives. Since it began in 2014, Adena has screened over 3,000 people for lung cancer, diagnosing nearly 100 confirmed lung cancer cases and finding a range of other critical conditions including breast cancer, heart aneurysms, tumors and other conditions they may not have found without the benefit of the free CT scan.
Many people may not experience symptoms linked to lung cancer, especially in the early stages. This is why a lung cancer screening is so important. The no-cost lung cancer screening is a simple, painless, low dose, non-invasive CT scan that can identify tumors or lesions potentially needing further medical attention.
Those eligible for the free screening are:
- Between 55-74 years old;
- Have 30 or more “pack years” of smoking in their past (a pack year = 1 pack a day for 30 years, 2 packs a day for 15 years, 3 packs a day for 10 years, etc.); and
- Are a current smoker, or someone who has quit smoking in the past 15 years
If you or a loved one meet these criteria, please consider setting up a free lung cancer screening. People in the above groups are recommended to have a lung screen each year for the greatest chance of survival in the event of a lung cancer diagnosis.
Adena’s free lung cancer screenings are available year round, but the Health System will be holding a special screening event, in recognition of Lung Cancer Awareness Month.
Adena Free Lung Cancer Screening Event
Saturday, November 21, 2020
8 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Adena Regional Medical Center
272 Hospital Road
Chillicothe, OH 45601
Patients meeting the screening criteria may schedule an appointment for this specific event, or a future lung cancer screening by calling (740) 542-LUNG (5864).Read More
Posted November 05, 2020
As you prepare to leave home and stare at that mask on the dresser -- deciding whether you want to put it on -- spend a minute thinking about those who may be impacted by your decision.
Think about the people who have contracted the Coronavirus and seen it negatively impact or even end their lives. Think about children fearful of getting too close to parents in self-quarantine or families with empty chairs at the dinner table. Think about those physicians, nurses and other hospital staff members putting themselves and their families in harm’s way to care for yours -- battling exhaustion and much worse in the process.
Then put yourself in their place.
“I’ve had so many one-on-one conversations with the nurses working the COVID unit and I’ve been completely humbled by their experiences because it’s not so much about the workload, but it’s about the emotional piece of it – not just what’s happening in their 12-hour shift, but how it’s impacting them personally,” said Lometa Smith, Director of Nursing at Adena Health System. “We’re dealing with a group of nurses that typically, prior to (the Coronavirus), rarely saw a death on that unit. Now, it’s something that they have had to learn to deal with.”
Think about that for a moment. They’ve had to learn to deal with it -- learn to deal with the deaths of people they’ve provided care for and gotten to know over days and weeks in the hospital.
Could you do that?
Unfortunately, in the communities served by Adena, not everyone is thinking about their decisions in those terms. Whether due to COVID fatigue, claims masks are uncomfortable or infringe upon personal freedoms or simply accepting the virus as a “new normal,” area residents who generally wore face coverings in public early in the pandemic have been moving away from the practice, even while more counties move into the Ohio Department of Health’s orange and red zones indicating a high incidence of the virus.
COVID-19 hospitalizations across southern Ohio and the rest of the state are experiencing a fresh surge, putting strains on hospital beds, ventilators, ICU beds and hospital staffing. More than 40 of Ohio’s 88 counties – including Ross, Pike, Highland and Fayette – are listed as red on the Ohio Department of Health’s Public Health Advisory System, the third of four levels of public emergency indicating high exposure and spread with a recommendation for residents to limit activity as much as possible. Many of those counties, including the four mentioned above, also were labeled as having a high incidence of cases – putting them just one step below a Level 4 purple designation carrying a recommendation that residents only leave home for supplies and needed services.
While the health care services provided by Adena have spent the first seven months of the pandemic preparing to handle case surges, the size of those surges -- which can be limited by following simple preventative measures such as universal face masking, social distancing and good hand-washing practices – is a critical factor in that response. Recent peaks in hospitalizations in Adena’s COVID unit have created a strain both within the unit and elsewhere. To help handle the load, Adena moved some of its acute care patients to its critical access hospitals in Greenfield and Waverly offering the same quality of care. The Health System also reached an agreement with the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center to have OSU take Coronavirus patients should Adena’s unit reach its patient limit. In another example of health systems looking out for each other in times of crisis, Holzer Medical Center in Jackson also offered to take COVID patients if necessary.
According to the Ohio Hospital Association, hospitals have been working locally, regionally and statewide on preparedness through data collection, modeling and planning coordination in an effort to prepare for worst-case scenarios of pandemic spread. Individually, hospitals, clinics and physician offices are ensuring patient safety by actively cleaning areas and surfaces, limiting the number of visitors, screening visitors for signs of Coronavirus and following other protocols so that Ohioans can keep up with their preventative and routine health care that is also essential to have addressed.
The OHA recently launched a $1 million public awareness campaign, “Do the Right Thing,” to encourage actions that can limit the spread of the virus and to showcase the efforts of healthcare workers on the front line of the fight against it.
The toll of surges on front-line healthcare workers is significant. Besides the mental strain of regularly putting themselves at risk of exposure to the virus, they often find themselves spending more time away from their own families, working long hours, covering shifts for co-workers and sometimes taking on additional tasks beyond their own job descriptions when patient loads increase dramatically.
The recent case surges come at a critical time. Months of colder weather loom close on the horizon, which will limit people’s activities and force them indoors where air is recirculated through enclosed spaces. The traditional cold and flu season is in its early stages. The approaching Thanksgiving through New Year’s holiday season will have scores of people weary from COVID fatigue desperate to gather with friends and family.
As much as they may want to forget the pandemic for a little while, it’s going to become more important than ever for people to recognize the situation for what it is and to take the actions each individual has available to them to fight back.
“When you look at the numbers, they’re real,” said Rhett Holland, Adena Vice President of Quality and Safety. “COVID is still a deadly virus and the one thing it needs more than anything else is us. It needs us to spread. It needs us to survive.”
It’s time, therefore, for each of us to take back the power that will ensure that businesses stay open, our economy rebounds, our health care system remains fully functional and our children can continue to stay involved in sports and other activities. It’s time to take a stand to protect yourselves, your neighbors, your loved ones and those you pass in a grocery store aisle or stand next to in line at the post office.
That power is simple to summon. Wear a mask. Practice frequent and vigorous handwashing. Stay at least six feet apart from others. Avoid large gatherings of people.
The power to help end all of this exists. Ultimately, it rests with you.Read More
Posted October 29, 2020
(image) Jill Hopkins is a Registered Licensed Dietician who has counselled many new and existing diabetic patients. She has been serving Adena patients for over 35 years. Her passion is teaching patients that diabetes is manageable, and how they can continue to live happy, healthy and long-lasting lives.
Answer to Diabetes? You Bet There Is
“When I consult a patient for the first time who has received a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes, I let them know right away that they can control diabetes, it doesn’t have to control them. And, if they take care of themselves, they can live a long and healthy life,” says Hopkins. Many people think that long-term diabetes complications like losing a foot, blindness or dialysis are inevitable outcomes, but Hopkins strongly reinforces this is not the case. Adena has many resources, like Hopkins and her team of dieticians, Adena physicians and certified diabetes educators who work together with patients to help them best face and manage the challenges of diabetes.
Pause for The Cause
Diabetes is a disease that affects how your body uses blood sugar (glucose). Glucose provides energy to your cells, tissue, muscles and brain and is regulated by insulin. People with diabetes are not able to produce insulin as they should. This impacts the amount of glucose that remains in their bloodstream, causing high blood sugar levels which can lead to more serious health issues over time. Symptoms of diabetes are increased tiredness or fatigue, increased hunger or thirst, unexpected weight loss, frequent urination, blurred vision and slow healing cuts, bruises or skin infections.
What’s Your Type?
There are three types of diabetes – Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational.
Most frequently occurs in children or adolescents
Body produces very little or no insulin
More common in adults, but is increasingly seen in children with the rise of childhood obesity, inactivity and unhealthy diets
Patient’s body does not make good use of the insulin that it produces, causing blood glucose levels to keep rising
Occurs in pregnant women
Blood sugar levels become high during pregnancy
According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), over 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year; 90 percent of which are patients with Type 2 diabetes.
Old Habits, New Tricks
“Many of the patients we see with Type 2 diabetes have unhealthy lifestyles which lead to them to being overweight or possibly obese and subsequently their diagnosis,” says Hopkins. She works with the Adena medical staff to interview patients and set an individualized course in how to approach their health and diabetes management. With many of the Type 2 patients being 65 and over (nearly 29%), it can often be challenging to help people change lifelong habits. But Hopkins and the Adena teams work with patients to make incremental changes to the patient’s lifestyle and not get discouraged. “At first, we identify just a few small things they can change to help improve their diet and health, like eliminating soda, energy drinks or sweet tea, or by choosing an apple over a cookie,” says Hopkins. “Initially we shoot to have a person lose 5-10 percent of their body weight which can make a big impact in their health and how they feel.” The team continues guiding and counselling the patient in a reasonable step-by-step process so that old habits can be replaced with new, healthier behaviors.
A1c is the Key
A1c stands for glycated hemoglobin and represents a percentage of how much sugar is attached to the blood's hemoglobin protein. The A1c test measures of how well your body has controlled the amount of sugar in the blood over the past two to three months. Monitoring your A1c is critical for diabetes management and health improvement. The following chart gives guidance on A1c levels, but patient’s A1c goals may be determined more by their health and other medical conditions. A1c testing is not a replacement for blood sugar testing which for most diabetics should be tested at least 2-3 times a day.
5.7% to 6.4%
6.5% or above
Tips, Tools & Tech
Hopkins and the Nutrition Services team are very experienced in training patients in diabetes management and control. They use tools like plastic food models and properly proportioned plates, cups and bowls to instill healthy food choices and portion control in patients. They advise new patients to bring a family member or loved one who can help encourage and support a patient with their new diet choices and health journey. Patients can utilize the convenience of telehealth visits to make regular check-ins. And there are also a number of technology applications (apps) that can help monitor blood sugar, food intake, sleep and exercise. Helping a patient gain control of their life is how they gain control over diabetes. “There are many tools and technology that can help patients today,” says Hopkins. “We want patients to know that they are not alone and that Adena is here to help them take control of their diabetes and their overall health.”Read More
Posted October 28, 2020
Adena Health System is expanding its care for patients with the addition of three specialty providers, across multiple service lines. These incoming physicians and advanced practice providers are delivering even more options for comprehensive, close-to-home care for our patients throughout the region.
Adena is pleased to welcome:
Jennifer Davis, Audiologist, is now serving patients at Adena Audiology in Chillicothe. Davis returns to southern Ohio following five years of practice in Georgia. She earned her Clinical Doctorate of Audiology from Ohio University.
Gowtam Ravipati, MD joins the growing group of specialists with Adena Cardiology. A board-certified cardiologist, Dr. Ravipati earned his medical degree from the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara in Guadalajara, Mexico. He is currently accepting new patients in Chillicothe and Waverly.
Rekha Raveendra, MD, comes to Adena Allergy and Immunology adding needed services to the region. Dr. Raveendra earned her medical degree from Northeast Ohio Medical University in Rootstown, OH. She is currently accepting new patients in Chillicothe.Read More
Posted October 28, 2020
(image) When Adena Cancer Center opened in 2012, it promised cancer patients, their friends and families quality, comprehensive cancer care close to home.
Within that promise, the word comprehensive is key because a cancer diagnosis creates turmoil inside a patient beyond the obvious physical challenges. Uncertainty over future prospects, whether anything could have been done to prevent it, how family will respond to the diagnosis, whether it will be fatal – all are among questions that patients grapple with and family members struggle to answer without having a shared understanding of what their loved one is going through.
That’s where healthcare providers such as oncologist Dr. Shylaja Mani, who believes providing critical emotional support is almost as important as the physical care she delivers, come into play.
“I know empathy is the biggest thing for these patients, just listening to their problems and trying to address their problems, whether it’s physical or emotional or psychological, whatever it takes to get them through these treatments because breast cancer is a multi-disciplinary treatment – it involves surgery, radiation, hormone therapy and chemotherapy sometimes,” Dr. Mani said. “The treatment itself lasts six to nine months – it’s a long time to go through treatment for your cancer. My approach to them is to be empathetic and be a listener to their problems.”
That need may be even greater in the age of COVID-19, as restrictions put in place to limit the spread of the virus also have limited patients to just one family member accompanying them on visits to the Cancer Center. Dr. Mani, who has been an oncologist for five years and is in her second year with Adena, said the emotional support role was among the factors that led her into cancer treatment.
“Sometimes (cancer) strikes you all of a sudden and the devastating news forms a deep bond (with those providing care),” Dr. Mani said. “We become their family member and hold their hands through to the end (of treatment) and it gives you a lot of job satisfaction.”
That satisfaction does come with a risk. Since she develops an almost familial connection with her patients, Dr. Mani says “it really hits you hard” if something goes wrong, especially if the downturn is unexpected.
Dr. Mani is quick to point out that physicians are far from the only ones who step up to provide the various levels of support cancer patients need. Everyone from the social workers and financial counselors, who deal with any transportation or financial hardships that may impact patient treatment, to nurse navigators like Holly Hooks and Carrie North, who follow patients from diagnosis through the end of treatment, help bring hope and relief to patients.
“We have a comprehensive (breast cancer) program in our cancer center,” Dr. Mani said. “When they get their mammogram and are diagnosed with breast cancer, their care starts at that point. The nurse navigators are involved from the very beginning and make sure the patients get their appointments with the different specialists they’re supposed to see.”
The Cancer Center also utilizes a multidisciplinary tumor board conference that provides a comprehensive evaluation of patients with a new diagnosis of breast cancer to make sure the course of treatment is in line with what the most current guidelines recommended. That way, if a patient is facing significant challenges, more than one person will be involved in making decisions about what is best for that patient.
Hooks, a nurse for 28 years – the last 25 of which have been spent at Adena – is an integral part of the patient care process. Immediately prior to becoming a nurse navigator for the Cancer Center, she was working as a nurse navigator with patients primarily over the telephone. She realized through that experience how badly she missed the direct personal contact with patients and the accompanying bonds that form from that contact.
“I usually will call the patients and touch base with them on their diagnosis, so I feel like we connect right at that moment that we tell them they have breast cancer,” she said. “I tell them I’m there to listen, that I’m here to help them. I identify any barriers that might inhibit their care and I’m here to help break those walls down.”
Hooks is thankful for her opportunity to work with breast cancer patients because the number of different treatment options when compared with other types of cancer give her the opportunity to provide them with one of the greatest needs of all – hope.
The relationships formed between patient and provider generally don’t end with the completion of a treatment program. It’s not uncommon for patients to surpass the five-year mark with no recurrence, which Dr. Mani said constitutes being “cured,” and then to keep following up with their physician for the next 10, 15 or 20 years.
“They’ve developed that bond with us and they feel in a safe place that the oncologist is kind of watching over things for them,” Dr. Mani said. “They’re doing their part getting their annual mammogram, which is all it takes to monitor (their progress), but just seeing us and meeting with us that once a year makes them feel secure and safe. We also screen and treat for long-term complications from their cancer therapy. Even though it’s been a long time since I’ve treated them, I still remember how remarkable their journey was – how strong they were, what the hardships were, how they somehow got through all that.
“I do share some of these experiences without revealing any personal information with my patients who are currently being treated and have challenges. To know that somebody else was in the same boat as them instills more hope and confidence and a light at the end of the tunnel.”
At the end of the day, it’s that endurance and hope that are important, she concluded. Those traits, coupled with promising discoveries and remarkable treatment advances in the field of breast cancer, should result in growing numbers of women making the transition from cancer patient to cancer survivor.
The Adena Cancer Center holds accreditations from the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer and American College of Radiology – the latter for its radiation oncology work -- demonstrating that it is truly providing comprehensive care for patients and their families in the community.
Adena Collaborates with Ross County, City and School Partners to Meet Community COVID-19 Testing Needs
Posted October 26, 2020
Adena Health System, the Ross County Commissioners, the City of Chillicothe, Ross County Health District and Chillicothe City School District have joined forces to assist qualified Ross County residents in gaining free access to COVID-19 testing. Qualifications for this testing include: the person must be experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or if asymptomatic, must have been in contact with a person identified as carrying the Novel Coronavirus.
The Ross County Commissioners have allocated Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to cover the cost of testing for any qualified resident of Ross County who needs a test. Adena Health System will execute the testing program through its multiple COVID-19 testing facilities, after the person contacts the Adena COVID-19 Hotline at 740-542-SAFE (7233).
“Ross County was fortunate to be awarded funds from the CARES Act,” said Commissioner Steve Neal. “The costs associated with COVID-19 testing is forcing some families to make a decision to forgo or delay testing when experiencing symptoms of the virus. This collaboration with Adena, the City of Chillicothe, and the Ross County Health District gives us an opportunity to provide testing for qualified Ross County residents at no cost to them, and saving lives.”
If a resident of Ross County - or any county in the south central and southern Ohio region - believes they have symptoms of Coronavirus; or if they are not showing symptoms but have been in contact with someone confirmed to have the virus, they should call the Adena COVID-19 Hotline before seeking care. Once callers access the COVID-19 Hotline, a screener will conduct a brief interview to determine if testing is needed. An appointment will then be set up for the caller at one of Adena’s Urgent Care testing facilities throughout the region.
Patients with COVID-19 symptoms will:
- Be scheduled for a required exam at the testing location; and
- Testing will be administered and sent to Adena’s lab for processing.
Patients not showing symptoms but who have been in contact with a COVID-positive person will:
- Be scheduled for a curbside nasal swab at their nearest testing facility;
- The patient will NOT exit their vehicle; and
- Receive a COVID PCR Test with results provided in two to five days, depending on statewide testing volume.
Because of the virus’ high risk to others, COVID-19 testing is NOT a walk-in service at Adena Urgent Care locations or physician offices. For anyone in need of a test, the first act is to CALL Adena’s COVID-19 Hotline at 542-SAFE to begin the process of setting up an appointment.
Expanding community-wide testing also includes the addition of in-school testing for any Chillicothe City Schools student. This in-school testing is being provided with CARES Act funding that has been awarded to the City of Chillicothe.
“Any Chillicothe City Schools student with COVID-19 symptoms, or who has been identified by the Ross County Health District as being in contact with a COVID-19 positive person can be tested at school, and at no cost to their family,” said Chillicothe Mayor Luke Feeney. “By having in-school access to testing, school personnel can quickly identify and separate students who may be carrying the virus or exposed to it faster and more effectively.”
To be tested at school, a child’s parent or guardian must approve the use of in-school testing. Parents may also request testing for their child if they are symptomatic or if they have been exposed to a person confirmed to have the Novel Coronavirus.
With Chillicothe’s in-school testing program, the Ross County Health District is providing the testing swabs, with samples being collected by the school nurse. Once complete, the swab is taken by courier to Adena’s laboratory for processing and results. Non-symptomatic students will have the COVID PCR Test, which could take several days for processing, depending on statewide volumes. Symptomatic and asymptomatic students will be dismissed from school to quarantine or isolate – if showing symptoms – at home until they receive Health District clearance to return.
“Thanks to Mayor Feeney and the City of Chillicothe for identifying CARES Act funds to launch this needed testing protocol in our city schools,” said Debbie Swinehart, Superintendent, Chillicothe City Schools. “This assistance will enable us to identify and separate infected students, reducing risk to other students, faculty and staff.”
Testing costs for students attending Ross County area schools will be covered by the Ross County Commissioners CARES Act dollars. Testing is not currently being performed within county schools, but parents/guardians with a symptomatic child/children or a non-symptomatic child should begin the testing process for their child/children by first calling Adena’s COVID-19 HOTLINE at 740-542-SAFE and following the steps outlined above.
“The commitment of our community partners in supporting this specific health care need of individuals, families and children comes at a time when we are seeing more cases of the virus in our hometowns and region,” said Adena President and CEO Jeff Graham. “By making sure no family has to decide if or when to come forward for COVID-19 testing is nothing short of a blessing for many people, and the overall safety of our communities and region.”
To meet growing community need, Adena has doubled the number of staff serving patients through its COVID-19 Hotline, cutting down on-hold time. The Health System has also increased staff in its Urgent Care/Testing locations to meet the increasing number of people in need of COVID-19 testing, as well as treating the patients expected as we enter influenza season. Adena has begun similar talks with other communities in its nine-county service region.
Graham assured, “Despite this long span of providing intense care for patients with COVID-19, and the growing volumes of people entering the testing process, Adena’s dedicated caregivers continue to stand ready to navigate the current spike in cases, and to meet the health care needs of people in our communities.”Read More
Posted October 20, 2020
COVID-related visitor restrictions prompt creative response by Women & Children’s Center for safe baby viewing.
Nobody wants to see their Grandpa Joe climbing a ladder or Aunt Helen perched atop a wobbly chair outside the windows of the Women & Children’s Center trying to get a glimpse of the latest addition to their family.
A version of those scenarios has played out, however, outside the windows of patient rooms where mothers have been bonding with their newborns since precautionary visitor restrictions were imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prior to Coronavirus, an expectant mother could have up to several visitors at a time while in labor and delivery and an unlimited number of visitors once moved into the mother/infant rooms after giving birth. Once the virus became a factor, expectant mothers were permitted one support person – a spouse, significant other or another family member, for instance – during labor and delivery and for the remainder of their hospital stay to prevent the spread of Coronavirus to Adena’s littlest patients.
The change in protocols produced a considerable and concerning outcome as families had to change how they viewed their new baby.
“We were seeing that families were attempting to view babies through the (patient room) windows in maybe not the safest manner because the windows on the outside aren’t level with what’s on the inside – so they would have a chair or a ladder or some other type of item that they would just have in their car and they were trying to stand on it and look in the window,” said Tasha Turner, nurse manager of pediatrics and the nursery. “We were really concerned someone was going to get hurt. (It was happening) almost every day.”
While safety was a critical part of the problem, it wasn’t the only concern. Turner explained that Women & Children’s leadership were concerned that a family member may accidentally look in the wrong window.
The challenge was to find a way for families to safely view their newest loved one without having to enter the ward to do so.
“We discussed how we can allow families to see the new baby because we know that’s important to families, so we started thinking is there another area we can use to make this possible?” Turner said.
Since infant safety is one of the ward’s top priorities, its leadership knew they had to be careful with their decision. They had a few meetings on the issue and walked the unit looking for the best option.
“We found this one area out on Mother/Infant -- it’s a large window facing out toward the parking lot, and we thought if we could do something to make the outside area (leveled) up to the inside area, then we would easily be able to have the family look in at the baby.”
They worked with Jeff Mundhenk, Facilities Director, to develop a plan to achieve this. The result is a newly constructed wooden ramp leading to a platform outside that window just off the northeast corner of the hospital. With signage and guidelines posted, families are able to schedule a time to stand on the platform and look at the new baby resting in a crib by the window. Times will be arranged between the new mothers and their family members, then ward staff will be informed when times are confirmed.
“We want to make sure that we’re keeping an eye on that area to make sure everyone is safe, especially in the beginning,” Turner said.
Staff on the Women & Children’s Unit will assist moms and their support person to make sure babies are being kept safe on the inside as well.
Keeping ward staff in the loop on scheduled times also will help prevent a backlog of families from congregating outside the viewing area during periods in which the ward is handling a large number of births. When multiple families are awaiting a turn on the platform, social distancing will be observed between families and a time limit of 15 minutes at the window will be in place.
With the platform now in use, security will be monitoring activity around it “just so they can check and make sure people are using it safely,” Turner said.
The platform is the latest example of the type of out-of-the-box thinking about patient-centered care – in this case going beyond patients themselves to include their extended families – that helped earn Adena a spot this summer on Newsweek’s 2020 list of Best Maternity Care Hospitals. Only 231 hospitals across 36 states were selected to receive the honor.
Posted October 15, 2020
Adena joins Lifeline of Ohio effort to convert placental material into grafts to speed healing of burns, wounds
Simply put, Makala Baisden likes helping people. (image)
The 23-year-old Jackson resident was registered as an organ donor even before receiving her driver’s license, and some of the experiences she’s had since then have only reinforced her belief in the importance of organ donation programs.
“I’ve had multiple people (I’ve known) that have had malfunctions with their organs and just bodily issues,” Baisden said. “I have grown up with people who have needed skin grafts because of severe burns. If you can help out, if there’s something you can donate in any way, shape or form, you might as well do it. You don’t know who could use it.”
Baisden, then, was the perfect choice to become Adena Health System’s first patient in its latest partnership with Lifeline of Ohio – the relatively new Placenta Donation Program. On Oct. 5, she gave birth, not only to a son to join her four-year-old daughter in the family, but also to a new way for the Health System’s patients to help others.
Adena becomes just the 11thhospital in the state to join Lifeline of Ohio’s Placenta Donation Program. At its very core, the program allows expectant mothers with scheduled Caesarian section deliveries to donate the placenta, umbilical cord and amniotic membrane from the birth to Lifeline of Ohio. The organization then can arrange for the material to be processed into an allograft that can be used to aid in the healing of acute and chronic wounds and other maladies.
Normally, the placenta material is just discarded following a birth. Instead, through the donor program, the grafts created from the material can aid in treatment of burns, skin cancer, scar revisions, venous ulcers, diabetic foot ulcers, pressure ulcers and vascular ulcers, among other conditions, according to Lifeline of Ohio.
Because of their ongoing organ and tissue donation relationship, Lifeline of Ohio reached out to Adena to see if the Health System was interested in participating in the placenta program. According to Jamie Arledge, nurse manager, education regarding the program was made available to OB/GYN providers, labor and delivery staff and OB/GYN surgery schedulers once the decision was made to go forward with it so a smooth process could be put in place.
“The provider educates the patient on the placenta program itself to see if they would be interested in the placenta donation and, if so, then we make the referral to Lifeline of Ohio, who reaches out to the patient and determines if they meet criteria for donation,” Arledge said. “If they do, the Lifeline rep comes here on site that day to collect and do everything they need to do.”
Baisden said that after receiving the initial paperwork on the program, her interest was piqued, but she needed to research a little more before committing. Her desire to help others, coupled with the wide range of applications for the grafts created from the placental material, proved to be the tipping point.
“I think a lot of people should get involved with it because, one, it’s beneficial for multiple people, and two, it’s not like you’re using (the placenta) afterward,” she said. “It’s a win-win.”
According to Lifeline of Ohio, there is no cost to the patient to take part in the donation program and participation does not affect the medical care afforded to mother and baby or the birthing experience. Participation is open to any expectant mother 18 and older without any disqualifying medical conditions who has a Caesarean section delivery scheduled.
The mother will sign a consent form, complete a donor risk assessment interview and respond to a medical history questionnaire several days before the scheduled birth. Bone Bank Allografts, the processor used by Lifeline of Ohio to produce the grafts, said that in addition to the pre-screening qualification process, testing for infectious disease is conducted according to Food and Drug Administration guidelines.
A Lifeline of Ohio coordinator meets briefly with the mother the day of the delivery to double check her identification and answer any lingering questions. The coordinator also will ask an RN to complete a blood draw for the infectious disease testing, which Arledge said is done at the same time as the normal blood draw for Adena’s labs.
Once the placenta is available, it is placed in a sterile basin to be passed off to the Lifeline of Ohio coordinator for packaging and transport. If the provider finds a need to send the placenta to the lab for pathology, that decision would override the donation.
The placenta is then sent by Lifeline of Ohio to Bone Bank Allografts for analysis and creation of the grafts. A single placenta can produce anywhere from 15 to 50 grafts, with the average number coming in around 25.
Lifeline of Ohio says the placenta-derived allograft tissue has a natural biologic role in enhancing natural wound healing by achieving fast-tissue epithelialization -- encouraging epithelial cells to migrate upward to more speedily repair a wounded area. This can help decrease the length of hospital stays and clinic visits for those with ongoing wound treatment.
Arledge said Baisden is the only Adena patient lined up for placental donation at the moment, but she expects others to take part as awareness of the program grows.
“I think when you think about Lifeline of Ohio and what they do for those with needs of organ donation or transplants – the miracles that their program offers – I think it’s amazing that we can offer something (like this),” she said. “This placenta sustained life for her infant, and now she can give – maybe not necessarily the gift of life, but continue a good function with that placenta that otherwise is just done when it’s done its work. Now we can extend it and offer healing for someone else.”
While participating mothers are not paid for their donation – the National Organ Transplant Act having made the buying and selling of organs illegal – they do receive a thank you gift bag from Lifeline and some follow up correspondence from the organization.
More importantly for donors like Baisden, however, they receive the satisfaction of knowing that by giving of themselves – quite literally, in fact – they are improving the quality of life for others.Read More
Posted October 13, 2020
Preventing the Flu Starts with You
Avoiding the flu this season takes one simple step, getting an influenza vaccine. Adena Health System offers many flu shot clinics, making it easy for you and your family to get vaccinated.
Adena is offering flu shots at all of its Urgent Care and Walk-In locations across its nine county service region. Flu vaccinations are also offered by appointment at any of Adena's Family Medicine, Primary Care and Pediatric locations.
“This year, due to the impact of COVID-19, it’s more important than ever for the public to get their flu shot,” said Kirk Tucker, MD, Adena Chief Clinical Officer. “We recommend getting your flu shot as soon as possible in order to prevent strains of the flu which could leave people more susceptible to additional Coronavirus infection and serious illness. A flu shot not only protects the individual, but it protects others by limiting the chances of flu virus contraction and spread. Especially in light of the pandemic if a person were to get the flu and then contract Coronavirus, the combination could be potentially fatal. By pulling together, we can beat this cold and flu season.”
For children over six months and adults, the flu shot can prevent them from getting sick, prevent flu-related hospitalizations and potentially lessen symptoms or length of illness should they get a strain of the flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone six months of age and older, including the elderly and pregnant women, receive an annual flu shot. Flu shots taken by pregnant women can protect their babies from the flu after birth. Most insurance companies cover the cost of a flu shot, but patients may want to check with their insurance provider if they are unsure.
Together, we can protect ourselves and each other against the flu by getting a flu shot today. To schedule a flu shot with Adena, call (740) 779-7500, or skip the wait and reserve your appointment time online at one of Adena’s Urgent Care or Walk-In Clinics. To learn more, visit Adena.org/FluShots.Read More
Posted October 12, 2020
This year, due to the impact of COVID-19, it’s more important than ever to get your flu shot. Adena Health System recommends getting your flu shot as soon as possible in order to prevent strains of the flu which could leave people more susceptible to additional Coronavirus infection and serious illness. A flu shot not only protects you, but it protects others by limiting the chances of flu virus contraction and spread.
For children over six months and adults, the flu shot can prevent them from getting sick, prevent flu-related hospitalizations and potentially lessen symptoms or length of illness should they get a strain of the flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone six months of age and older, including the elderly and pregnant women, receive an annual flu shot. Flu shots taken by pregnant women can protect their babies from the flu after birth.
Adena Chief Clinical Officer Kirk Tucker, MD is also urging community members to get their flu shots as quickly as possible to provide a layer of protection against flu, especially in light of the pandemic. If a person were to get the flu and then contract COVID-19, the combination could be potentially fatal.
Adena is offering flu shots at all of its Urgent Care and Walk-In locations in Chillicothe, Circleville, Hillsboro, Jackson and Waverly – including the Adena Clinic at Walmart in Chillicothe. Flu vaccinations are also offered by appointment at any of Adena's Family Medicine, Primary Care and Pediatric locations. Most insurance companies cover the cost of a flu shot, but patients may want to check with their insurance provider if they are unsure.
Together, we can rally to protect ourselves and each other against the flu by getting a flu shot today. Call Adena at (740) 779-7500, or skip the wait and reserve your appointment time online at one of our Urgent Care or Walk-In Clinics at Adena.org/UrgentCare and get flu shots for yourself and your family. By pulling together, we can beat this cold and flu season.Read More
Posted October 08, 2020
Construction of Adena Health System’s five-story, 111,000 square-foot orthopedic and spine facility has been ongoing for the past year. With one more year of construction expected before its 2021 grand opening, today, Adena leaders announced the name of the building that will house services including: orthopedics, sports medicine, podiatry, neurology, an in-patient unit and a spine center. The building’s official name is the Adena Orthopedic and Spine Institute (AOSI).
The Institute will include clinical space, operating suites, inpatient and outpatient recovery rooms, imaging, physical therapy capabilities, and a three-story parking structure. The building is adjacent to Adena Regional Medical Center, located in Chillicothe. Beyond a brand new facility, patients will experience a new and engaging experience when they enter the building and throughout their stay.
“Safe and quality care is the expectation of every patient, every time they seek treatment,” said James Fleming, Jr., MD, interim medical director of Adena Bone and Joint Center. “While the care we provide is paramount to our patients’ wellbeing, it is also equally important to deliver excellent, concierge service throughout the patient journey. This is where patients of Adena Orthopedic and Spine Institute will notice the most change in their health care experience; and will make AOSI a destination for orthopedic and spine care in our region.”
Adena is also pleased to announce the addition of Neel Patel, MD, to its nationally-accredited orthopedics program. Dr. Patel is an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in total joint reconstruction, which includes general fracture care, and total and partial hip (anterior) and knee replacements and revisions.
Dr. Patel said he came to Adena to help patients regain their quality of life. “Patients in this rural community are resilient and active; and they want to resume their lives without hindrance,” he said. “I put the patient in the forefront of their own care; and with them and their families, we work as a team to optimize their goals for treatment.”
He also speaks highly of his new colleagues who share a unique appreciation for Adena and its patients. Dr. Patel added, “They are truly here to the help our patients and the community. I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure that we achieve the highest level of outcome for our patients.”
Dr. Patel earned his medical degree at Albany Medical College’s School of Medicine. He served his residency at New York Medical College’s Westchester Medical Center, and a performed his fellowship at Joint Implant Surgeons, located in New Albany, OH. Dr. Patel is now seeing patients in Chillicothe. To make an appointment, call 740-779-4598.
The Adena Orthopedic and Spine Institute is scheduled to open in summer 2021.Read More
Posted October 06, 2020
Adena Health System and The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center announced today an expansion of their affiliation in an ongoing effort to make quality health care more available and cost-effective for residents of south central and southern Ohio.
While the two health systems will remain independent, they’ll expand their existing collaboration to develop additional care options for people within Adena’s service area who will benefit from highly-specialized treatment. The agreement also will create new research and educational opportunities for both organizations.
“Our strategy has long been to provide quality, trusted, close-to-home care for patients in our region and, through this expanded partnership with a renowned health care entity such as Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, we can add specialty care benefits for patients while at the same time keeping that care local,” said Adena President and CEO Jeff Graham. “Each organization is deeply committed to providing excellence in quality and safe care for the people in the communities we serve. This partnership will bring a combination of expertise and resources together toward that goal benefiting our patients and our staff.”
The affiliation will allow both health care systems to identify best practices and develop shared strategies to best meet community health needs. It will also expand the ability to implement wellness and preventive care programs to address issues impacting the general health of the overall populations served by Adena and the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. Such general health issues are identified in local Community Health Needs Assessments performed every three years under terms of the Affordable Care Act, with the most recent southern Ohio assessments conducted in 2019 including conditions such as obesity, lung cancer, poor nutrition and addiction.
The partnership will also explore ways to utilize an expanded roster of physician resources, will look to improve the quality and efficiency of both organizations through developments in patient service lines and administrative improvements, and will allow the two organizations to work together in meeting health care industry challenges in population-based health care delivery and payment strategies in both clinical care and public health prevention and awareness efforts.
Among the most significant outcomes with the expanded partnership will be Adena’s ability to work with the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center on the streamlining of its electronic medical records into a single system expected to improve accuracy and simplicity in billing, referrals and other recordkeeping areas.
“We look forward to expanding patient access to the unparalleled level of care academic health centers can provide,” said Dr. Hal Paz, executive vice president and chancellor for Health Affairs at The Ohio State University and CEO of Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. “Through this collaboration with Adena, we have the opportunity to create unique health care solutions that are designed to meet the needs of patients in Chillicothe and other south central Ohio communities.”
One of the nation’s leading academic health centers, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio, offers health care services in virtually every specialty and subspecialty in medicine. Thousands of patients come here each month for treatments and services they can’t find anywhere else. Providing access to health care information is central to its research, education and patient care mission. The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center is dedicated to improving health in Ohio and across the world through innovation in research, education and patient care.Read More
Posted September 29, 2020
(image) Dr. Bryan Borland is a Diagnostic Radiologist who grew up in Chillicothe. His work with Adena patients and clinicians helps determine the best steps for patients who may encounter an abnormal mammogram. His best advice, “Get your mammogram as advised by your doctor. Early detection is key!”
Your Breast Support: #SupporttheGals
At Adena, we are working to remind people about the importance of regular mammograms. Early detection often leads to the successful treatment, remission and eradication of breast cancer. We’re asking our patients, friends and colleagues to use #SupporttheGals to help promote regular mammography screenings. Using #SupporttheGals in social media posts and texts will let your friends and family know you care about them, and that you want them to be proactive in breast cancer screening.
Sizing Things Up
Did you know the Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that only about 66% of women age 40 and older have regular mammograms? “The biggest deterrent in women getting a mammogram is often fear,” says Dr. Borland. “It makes them nervous; they think it’s painful and/or they’ve heard of bad experiences from someone, or on social media.” Although it may cause some brief discomfort, mammograms are nothing to be afraid of, and having regular screenings can help with early cancer detection and treatment. About 12% of U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer in their lifetime. It is also possible for men to get breast cancer. Breast cancer symptoms can include a lump, or lumps in the breast, abnormal thickening or dimpling of the breast skin, redness, nipple inversion or discharge. Many women may not display symptoms, which is why regular mammograms are essential.
The American College of Radiology(ACR)and Society of Breast Imaging (SBI) recommendsannual mammographic screening beginning at age 40 for women of average risk. Screenings should continue annually as long as you are in good health. Higher-risk women should start mammographic screening earlier and may benefit from supplemental screening modalities. Contact your provider to determine your risk of breast cancer.
There are two types of mammograms: screening mammograms for initial breast review, and diagnostic mammograms. Diagnostic mammograms are ordered when the initial screening reveals something abnormal in the breast that requires further inspection by a radiologist.
However, the need for a diagnostic mammogram doesn’t mean cancer. The diagnostic screening is for additional clarity, says Dr. Borland. “We use it to assess tissue anomalies and determine one of three steps forward: one, no action; two, monitor any changes at six month check-ups; or three, biopsy the abnormal tissue to see if it is cancerous.” With any diagnostic screening, Dr. Borland works closely with the patient’s oncologist or primary care physician to provide the patient with complete understanding of the diagnostic test results.
To better serve patients, Adena has invested in the region’s only 3D mammography unit that allows for more accurate breast cancer detection. Also known as tomosynthesis, 3D mammography uses innovative three-dimensional screening technology to help visualize through dense tissues layers. When a patient may be high risk, have dense breasts or previous abnormal screenings, 3D mammography is clinically proven to increase cancer detection by 30-40%.
If women are at high risk, they should consult their physician and begin mammograms as early as 30 years old. Common high risk factors can be:
- A known family history of breast cancer;
- Having the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation, or having a first-degree relative (parent, brother, sister, or child) with the gene (based on genetic testing);
- Getting older;
- Increased hormones – due to early menstrual /late menopause start;
- Having dense breasts; or
- Having previous chest radiation therapy (between ages 10 and 30).
Additional, but avoidable, risk factors for breast cancer are:
- Not exercising or being physically active;
- Being overweight or obese after menopause;
- Taking hormones – usually post menopause;
- Reproductive history; or
- Drinking alcohol – studies show that woman’s risk for breast cancer increases with the more alcohol she consumes.
Knowing What’s Breast
If a patient’s diagnostic mammogram does require a biopsy, Dr. Borland works with the patient and her/his physician to select the most effective biopsy procedure. Typical biopsy procedures are either an image-guided biopsy using ultrasound and a biopsy core needle (standard of care). There is also the stereotactic biopsy, which uses a core needle and mammography imaging to guide the needle. Both biopsies take about 20 minutes to perform, and are regularly done in-office. Stereotactic biopsies are often used when breast tissue contains multiple calcifications. Calcifications are small calcium deposits that form in the tissue and are usually benign.
What’s Best for Your Breasts
Breast cancer can be a daunting disease, but survival rates continue to increase due to improved treatments and early detection. “Sometimes, caregivers are so busy caring for others, they neglect their own health,” says Dr. Borland. “Or, people change jobs and may not have insurance to cover the testing -- we see many reasons as to why women do not have their regular screenings.” If patients don’t have insurance, there are assistance programs to help get essential screenings. If you are in this situation, please call Kendra Pollard, Breast Health and Imaging Navigator at 740-779-8665 to learn about available options.
As we recognize Breast Care Awareness month this October, we hope you will remind friends and loved ones to get their regular mammogram screenings by using #SupporttheGals in your social media posts and texts. It’s a great way to show you care.
U.S. Breast Cancer Statistics, BreastCancer.org [website], https://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/understand_bc/statistics(accessed, 10 September 2020).
Posted September 28, 2020
Curbside Flu Shot Event Sat., Oct. 3
Adena Health Center - Woodlands will soon be home to the new Adena Community Pharmacy. Adena Community Pharmacy - Woodlands, formerly known as Pixelle Family Pharmacy, is expected to open Monday, October 5, 2020. The Health Center and Pharmacy are open to the public and will give patients living and working near downtown and east Chillicothe a new option for coordinated and convenient health care.
Located at 311 Caldwell Street, Adena Community Pharmacy - Woodlands will offer convenient hours, drive-thru window service, and automatic refills for many prescriptions. Adena’s experienced pharmacy staff is also available to help with questions and prescription guidance, as well as offering influenza and Shingles vaccines on a walk-in basis.
Pharmacy hours will be:
Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.;
Saturday 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.; and
To celebrate its opening, Adena Community Pharmacy - Woodlands will host a curbside flu shot event. With flu season right around the corner, you have the power to protect yourself and your family from influenza this year. Stop by to get your flu shot without ever leaving your vehicle.
WHAT: Adena Community Pharmacy - Woodlands
Curbside Flu Shot Event
WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020
8 a.m. – Noon
WHERE: 311 Caldwell Street
Chillicothe, OH 45601
You do not need an appointment for the curbside flu shot event and adults and children can both receive their flu shot during the event. For children over six months and adults, the flu shot can prevent them from getting sick, prevent flu-related hospitalizations and potentially lessen symptoms or length of illness should they get a strain of the flu. Please have your insurance card and an ID ready upon arrival. Most insurance companies will cover the cost of a yearly flu shot. If you do not have insurance, the cost will be $19.99. Due to enhanced safety precautions, only credit cards will be accepted during the event. No cash.
For more information about the Adena Health Center - Woodlands and its community pharmacy, visit Adena.org/woodlands. To speak to a Pharmacy representative to learn how you can transfer your prescriptions, call 740-779-5600.Read More
Posted September 25, 2020
Over the past several months, Adena Health System and Fayette County Memorial Hospital (FCMH) have been engaged in a due diligence phase for FCMH to become a member of Adena Health System. Through the course of due diligence, Adena and its Board of Trustees have determined it is in the organization’s best interest that Adena’s level of engagement with FCMH remain as an affiliate partner. Adena remains committed to its affiliation and strong partnership with FCMH in delivering high quality, specialty care, and supporting FCMH in being an economic driver in the community.
Adena Health System President and CEO Jeff Graham shared this message with the FCMH Board earlier this week, explaining that Adena is not continuing with the acquisition process. Graham explained, “Adena remains steadfast in its commitment to build strong, trusting relationships with communities and the healthcare providers in its nine-county service region.” He further emphasized, “Whether an entity wants to join the Adena network or remain independent, the overall goal is to ensure that patients in south central and southern Ohio have access to the best possible care, close to home. The existing partnership we have with FCMH has been successful for both Fayette and Adena, and more importantly for the patients who don’t have to travel far from home to receive the care they need.”
Adena has been collaborating with FCMH since 2017, with providers delivering a wide range of close-to-home specialty care within FCMH facilities. The two organizations inked a formal partnership affiliation agreement in September 2018, and have expanded the volume of specialty care being offered at the hospital’s Washington Court House campus. These specialty services include: Cardiology, Dermatology, Nephrology, Neurology, Ob/Gyn, Oncology, Orthopedics, Pulmonology and Urology.
Adena currently operates three hospital facilities, located in Chillicothe, Greenfield and Waverly. For more about Adena Health System visit us at adena.org, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter @adenamedical.Read More
Posted September 24, 2020
(image) As an experienced surgeon on Adena’s Cardiothoracic team, Dr. Kevin Radecki knows the devastation that comes with a lung cancer diagnosis. He values working closely with the multidisciplinary team at the Adena Cancer Center, using data from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), to help guide patients through their lung cancer treatment options.
Here’s What You Should Know
Lung cancer is one of the most common types of cancer with more than two million global cases each year. It also has the highest mortality rate, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Symptoms for lung cancer can include excessive coughing that does not go away; coughing up blood; chest pain that worsens with deep breathing; hoarseness when coughing or laughing; loss of appetite; unexplained weight loss; shortness of breath; fatigue; and wheezing. Those at higher risk for lung cancer include people who are older; smokers, former smokers or people using tobacco products; those with a family history of lung cancer; people who are exposed over time to asbestos or pollutants. Patients should get regular check-ups and tell their doctor about any symptoms they may be experiencing. Early detection is the best chance for successful treatment.
The Down Lobe
It might sound unbelievable, but a lobectomy is in an operation to remove diseased tissue by extracting one of the lobes of the lung. The surgery is often performed on patients with lung cancer. The body’s lungs include five sections called lobes. The right lung has three lobes, and the left lung has two lobes. Once the affected lobe is removed, the lung’s remaining healthy tissue can work as normal. A lobectomy can be performed as an open procedure (thoracotomy) or as a minimally-invasive procedure using a surgical robot. Known as VATS (video-assisted thoracic surgery), the procedure is performed making four small incisions to allow for a camera and small, flexible surgical arms.
Could a Robotic Lobectomy Be Right for You?
A robotic lobectomy, or robotic VATS procedure, is thorascopic (using small incisions and cameras) and enables the surgeon to make precise, surgical movements to remove the lobe. The result is typically less pain and a quicker recovery time for the patient. “The latest robot has great dexterity, and is even more advanced than the previous model,” says Dr. Radecki. “By performing the lobectomy thorascopically, there is no need to open the chest, move muscles around and spread ribs apart. This means less stress on the patient, and less pain after surgery.”
Not all patients are candidates for robotic lobectomy. It is usually best if the patient’s lung cancer is classified as Stage 1 or Stage 2, and if a patient’s tumor is smaller than six centimeters in diameter. “It’s very case specific,” adds Dr Radecki. “We work closely with the patient’s oncologist to plan a treatment path where the surgery and any therapy complement each other.” That might mean using chemotherapy or radiation before surgery or after, as a means of making sure the cancer can be completely removed in surgery.
Post My Lobe
The robotic VATS procedure usually takes about two hours and 30 minutes. “Patients are about 80 percent back to their normal routine within two to three weeks after surgery,” says Dr. Radecki. “With an open incision, the recovery time for a thoracotomy is four to six weeks.”
Once the lobectomy is complete, the removed lobe, along with surrounding lymph nodes are sent to Adena Pathology for a thorough review. If cancer cells are found in the lymph nodes or the lobe’s perimeter tissue, the team will likely recommend chemotherapy or radiation therapy to minimize the risk of returning cancer cells. If the tissue and lymph nodes are free of or contain few cancer cells, the patient will likely need to come in for regular screenings every six months.
Prior to surgery, patients must take a pulmonary function test to assess their current lung strength. “There are 18 segments within the lungs,” says Dr. Radecki, “By figuring out how many segments we’re taking out, based on the patient’s pre-op breathing test, we can predict what their post-op breathing will be like after surgery.”
Be Positive, Be Proactive
If you are at risk for lung cancer due to age, family history or smoking, screenings are critical. Adena has a highly successful lung screening program, and was among the first in the nation to begin offering free lung cancer screenings to people meeting specific criteria. “Lung cancer screening can increase your survival chances by 20 percent,” says Dr. Radecki. Detecting cancer early is the best means for successful treatment. With a successful VATS lobectomy, patients can return to daily activities and quality of life relatively quickly, “and that’s really what we want for our patients.” says Dr. Radecki.Read More
Posted September 22, 2020
Adena Health System is expanding its care for patients with the addition of two specialty providers, across multiple service lines. This incoming physician and advanced practice provider are delivering even more options for comprehensive, close-to-home care for our patients throughout the region.
Adena is pleased to welcome:
Ashley Fausnaugh, Certified Nurse Practitioner joins Adena Gastroenterology, expanding the System’s services for digestive system health for patients of all ages. Fausnaugh earned her Family Nurse Practitioner degree from the Chamberlain College of Nursing.
Nicole Rex, MD comes to the Adena Family Medicine - Main Campus Clinic adding primary care services to Chillicothe. Dr. Rex earned her medical degree from the Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine in Pikesville, KY.Read More
Posted September 16, 2020
(image) If you’ve experienced varicose veins in your legs, you know they are not pretty. They can be unsightly, painful, throb, ache, itch, make you feel tired and indicate other more serious health issues. So, why do you get varicose veins? And can you get rid of them?
Varicose veins are caused from pooling in blood vessels that return blood to the heart. Blood gets trapped in blood vessels due to gravity, weakened vein walls and low-performing vein valves. This creates bumpy, purple artery clusters beneath the skin. Contrary to what many may believe, spider veins are not actually varicose veins. Although they are both caused by circulation issues, the small blue, red starburst-looking veins are generally painless and are caused by increased blood pressure in veins and blood vessels.
Varicose veins are largely attributed to heredity, but can also occur during pregnancy or for patients who are overweight. Patients experience an increased risk for varicose veins as they get older, if they sit or stand for long periods or have an inactive lifestyle. There are some measures you can take to help prevent or decrease varicose vein occurrence. Practices such as maintaining a healthy weight, staying active, elevating your feet while sitting, wearing support hose and not sitting or standing for extended periods of time without movement.
While usually not medically urgent, untreated varicose veins can potentially clot and lead to conditions like deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or chronic venous disease – both serious conditions which should be treated right away.
The good news? Adena can help treat your varicose veins and restore your legs’ look and health. And most treatments are relatively quick with a short recovery time. There are procedures to close off the veins, thus removing the excess pressure and pooling. Varicose veins can be sealed using ablation or inter-vein sealant. Veins can also be surgically removed or “tied-off” in a procedure called vein ligation or stripping. Other treatment options may include medication or compression therapy or a combination thereof.
Adena Heart and Vascular offers free vein screenings to help patients assess risk and learn about treatment options. We work with patients to identify a treatment path that works for them. Call our offices at 740-779-4360 and we’ll schedule you into one of our open screening times. Treat your legs, they go the extra mile for you!
Posted September 11, 2020
(image) The Adena Health Foundation is built on its strength of supporters whose generosity enhances health care for people in our region today, tomorrow, and for years to come. One of the many ways the Foundation is able to accomplish this is through scholarship programs for students pursuing degrees in the health care field.
The Foundation recently received over $20,000 from the G. Howard Wood, M.D. Medical and Nursing Student Loan Trust. This gracious amount was presented to the Foundation by its Trustees Bob Hess and Bambi Huffman.
The Trustees determined after nearly 30 years that is was an appropriate time to turn the remaining assets over to the Adena Health Foundation, where the funds will memorialize Dr. G. Howard Wood and be used for outright grants of scholarships to medical and nursing students from Ross County, further fulfilling the original purpose of the Trust.
Dr. G. Howard Wood’s wife, Jane, had set up the Trust in 1991 as a memorial to her late husband. Dr. Wood began the practice of general medicine in Chillicothe in 1947 and retired in 1983.
“The only way that this is even possible, is because of our friends, community partners and supporters,” said H. E. Beau Bowman, III, Executive Director, Adena Health Foundation. “We are all so very thankful to have earned their trust when making philanthropic investments.”
For their generous contribution, Dr. and Mrs. Wood will be added to the Adena Health Foundation’s Legacy Society. This is a special group of friends and supporters who have made a planned gift supporting Adena and the care of our communities.
For more information on the Adena Health Foundation, visit Adena.org/adenafoundation or call 740-779-7528.Read More
Posted September 09, 2020
(image) Have you ever said this, or worse yet, been told this? Excessive snoring could be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Dr. Corey Cheresnick, an Adena ENT surgeon, knows the troublesome impacts of sleep apnea and works closely with the Adena Sleep Center team to deliver surgical solutions for OSA patients.
What’s Up with Apnea?
There are an estimated 22 million Americans who suffer from sleep apnea. Left untreated, it can cause serious health issues. Apnea causes exhaustion, irritability, lack of focus and studies show it can increase the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, heart attacks, dementia, cancer and death. The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea, where soft tissue in the throat/tongue block a patient’s airway. Symptoms include excessive snoring, insomnia, dry mouth or sore throat, abrupt awakenings, morning headaches, chronic fatigue, lack of concentration, mood swings, high blood pressure, weight gain, night sweats and a decrease in libido.
But I’m so Tired!
It might seem weird that patients can’t sleep, or get good sleep, when they are so exhausted. “Imagine being woken up every 1-3 minutes throughout the night,” explains Dr. Cheresnick, “you may not actually wake up, but your brain does from a buildup of excessive carbon dioxide and a lack of oxygen. It’s very disruptive and patients with severe OSA can wake up as often as 30 to 100 times an hour.” This lack of proper oxygen and restfulness can put extreme stress on a person which then causes bodily functions to breakdown.
Don’t Just Rollover
There are a number of treatment options for patients with obstructive sleep apnea. Our experienced Adena Sleep Disorders team is skilled in helping patients navigate treatment options. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy is considered the gold standard of care for OSA. It uses a machine to push mild air pressure into the nose and throat using a facial respirator mask, keeping airways open during sleep. Not all patients are tolerant of using a CPAP device. In those cases, there are other OSA treatment options, including surgery, that can help patients regain normal breathing while they sleep.
Beyond the Mask
While there are several surgical procedures, like the tightening of soft tissue and tongue, that can help to alleviate the causes of sleep apnea, Dr. Cheresnick has found great promise in the Upper Airway Stimulation devices. The device helps keep the patient’s airway open during sleep through mild stimulation. A breathing sensor monitors respiratory effort and sends mild stimulation to a nerve that controls movement of the tongue, opening the airway during sleep. Patients turn the device on and off with a remote and work through fine tuning the device with the Adena Sleep Center team to make sure the stimulation adjustments are effective for the patient. “We work together as a team,” says Dr. Cheresnick. “Using check-ups and monitoring, we deliver coordinated care with the Sleep Center team to make sure the device is working well for the patient.”
Patients must meet certain health requirements to be a good Inspire candidate. Once they meet those criteria, implanting the device typically takes around three hours as an outpatient procedure. “It’s really been a gamechanger for patients,” says Dr. Cheresnick, “the results have been great.”
If you are experiencing obstructive sleep apnea symptoms, or are currently under OSA care and would like to consider alternative sleep apnea treatment options, check with our Adena Sleep Center, 740-779-7286, to see how they can help.
Posted September 09, 2020
For the third year in a row, Adena Health System has been named a Gallup Exceptional Workplace. This is Adena’s fifth Gallup Exceptional Workplace Award, which was formerly known as the Gallup Great Workplace Award.
According to Gallup’s website, they have renamed the award in an effort to, “more fully capture the extraordinary achievement of the winners who meet the rigorous standards set by the most comprehensive workplace study ever conducted.”
Adena President and CEO Jeff Graham said now, more than ever, having an engaged workplace is critical. “Our team stands ready to deliver outstanding quality and safe care during these unprecedented times. We are fortunate to have many talented people contributing to Adena’s mission of caring for those in the communities we serve. Each caregiver is critical in our ability to deliver the best possible care for our patients. Caregivers across the Health System are contributing to these efforts – not only during this pandemic, but every single day.”
Graham acknowledged caregiver engagement has been the driving force in a number of other recent accolades, including Adena Regional Medical Center being named one of America’s 250 Best Hospitals by HealthGrades two years in a row.
According to Gallup, about 15 percent of the world’s workers show up engaged and ready to maximize their performance each day. However, a few exceptional organizations, like Adena, have more than 71 percent of their workforce ready to exceed expectations.
Adena has made a concerted effort in recent years to retain physicians, advanced practice providers and caregivers, with outstanding results. In 2019, Adena retained 94 percent of its physicians. Through its BEST Program, a six- to eight-month experiential program designed to teach Adena’s core leadership philosophy, the Health System retained 85 percent of its emerging leaders since 2014; promoting nearly one third of them as new leaders.
Adena Chief Human Resources Officer Heather Sprague added, “Adena is focused on engaging and developing its workforce as we know that this directly affects the care and compassion our patients receive from us, after all we are called to serve.”
Gallup Exceptional Workplace Award winners represent a wide range of industries and countries, and set a high standard for what the world's employers can achieve. In addition to being a 2020 winner, Adena earned the honor in 2014, 2015, 2018, and 2019.Read More
Posted September 03, 2020
Adena Health System will ease visitor restrictions for inpatient visits, effective Monday, Sept. 7, 2020. A no-visitor restriction went into effect on July 20 when it was determined the number of positive COVID-19 cases were increasing to levels the region had not previously experienced.
“With the summer, we saw significantly more positive COVID-19 cases throughout Adena’s nine-county service region,” said Dr. Kirk Tucker, chief clinical officer for Adena Health. “While we understand the impact these decisions have on our patients, their families and support people, it is necessary for all of us to be flexible when it comes to doing what is necessary to ensure the safety and protection of our staff, patients and communities.” Tucker, added, “The curve has flattened once again, and I believe in most cases, it is safe to allow one visitor where we can.”
Under the single visitor policy, those admitted to Adena, with the exception of specialty or high-risk areas, may have one visitor at a time during visitation hours. The allowance of visitors to specialty and high-risk areas, such as Behavioral Health and COVID-19 cohorts will be determined at the unit and/or provider’s discretion.
Visitor information includes:
- Hospitalized patients may have more than one visitor in a day, but just one visitor at a time;
- ER patients may have one visitor accompany them;
- Maternity patients may have one support person with them throughout labor, delivery and the duration of her stay;
- Maternity patients under age 18 may have one parent or guardian visitor, in addition to the father of the infant;
- Visitors are not permitted in ancillary testing areas, UNLESS the patient has a disability and needs help accessing care;
- Elective surgery patients may have one visitor who will be going home after the procedure;
- Due to space limitations in relation to social distancing in waiting and exam rooms, one person may join a patient for most physician office visits;
- No visitors under age 18 (unless they are the parent of a patient); and
- Patients under age 18 may have two parents or guardians visit, who are not required to leave at close of visiting hours.
Hospital visiting hours are 8 a.m. – 7 p.m., seven days a week. Adena’s Visitor Policy is available to view at adena.org. To assure a safe environment, all visitors are required to participate in the COVID-19 screening process, register upon entry, follow social distancing, hand hygiene guidelines, and must wear a mask or face covering throughout their visit in the hospital or health center.Read More
Posted August 27, 2020
Adena Health System is expanding its care for patients with the addition of five specialty providers, across multiple service lines. These incoming physicians and advanced practice providers are delivering even more options for comprehensive, close-to-home care for our patients throughout the region.
Adena is pleased to welcome:
Amy Bennie, PsyD, is now caring for patients at the Adena Counseling Center. Dr. Bennie is a graduate of Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California, where she earned her doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology.
Jarod Betz, MD joins the growing group of specialists with Adena Cardiology. Dr. Betz earned his medical degree from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Medicine. He is currently accepting new patients in Chillicothe and Circleville.
Cristen Collins, MD, comes to the Adena Counseling Center adding much needed child and adolescent psychiatry services to the region. Dr. Collins earned her medical degree from the University of Toledo College of Medicine.
Phillip Perona, MD, joins Adena Cardiology and is caring for patients in Chillicothe and Greenfield. A board-certified cardiologist, Dr. Perona earned his medical degree from the University of Arkansas.
Kristen White, MD, joins Adena Pediatrics after earning her medical degree from Wright State University’s Boonshoft School of Medicine, located in Dayton, OH. Dr. White returns to Adena after having worked at Adena Regional Medical Center before pursuing medical school.Read More
Posted August 19, 2020
(image) Orthopedic Specialist Dr. Oludare Ogunsola (known by his patients as Dr. O) is driven to give patients relief from injuries and joint pain. Here are some of his insights into current treatment options for arthritis and other orthopedic issues.
A Pain in the Neck… or back, knee, hip, shoulder, hand, foot, etc.
There are two main types of joint pain: acute pain, which is usually due to an injury; and chronic pain, most often tied to arthritis or joint disease. At Adena Bone and Joint Center, we most often see and treat osteoarthritis that occurs from years of wear and tear. Osteoarthritis typically affects patients over the age of 30 and is characterized by dull, achy pain produced with activity. Adena’s Bone and Joint team is a multispecialty group that can treat all forms of arthritis to help improve, lessen or even mitigate symptoms – and get people back to living their lives.
Our Joint Approach
At Adena, we take a holistic approach to treatment of joint pain. We assess a patient’s degree of arthritis through exams and testing, then work with the patient to choose the treatment plan that works best for them. “I would say 90% or more of our patients do not need surgery and can be treated in the office,” says Dr. O. Factors causing joint pain could be a patient’s daily activities, sedentary lifestyle, diet and weight -- all things that can be adjusted to help minimize joint impact. Working with a patient’s primary care provider and possibly a dietician, Dr. O and the Adena Bone and Joint team work to help patients achieve their best health and then continue to access bone and joint needs from there.
Not Your Grandparents Joint Treatment
When treatment requires medications or injections, there are many options to help patients. For chronic arthritis pain or orthopedic injuries, Adena orthopedic providers often use orthobiologics to treat diseased or damaged cells, using the patient’s own healthy cells. One of these treatments is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) used to regenerate and heal injured tendons or muscle. With PRP, a patient’s platelets are “super charged” through a centrifuge and injected back into the damaged tissue area to aid healing and re-growth. The PRP treatment has shown a high rate of effectiveness for qualifying patients. An orthobiologic treatment for arthritis is stem cell harvesting. This uses a mix of bone marrow and fluid from a patient’s hip. The healthy cells are then processed and injected into the arthritic area. “This treatment for arthritis maybe an alternative to total joint replacement and will be the gold standard of the future,” says, Dr. O. “It takes about one hour and is an in-office procedure. There are few to no side-effects, and the treatment has been delivering very promising results.”
Grin and Bear it?
If joint pain is a regular part of your life, or is limiting your quality of life, call the Adena Bone & Joint Center. “There’s no need for patients to suffer joint pain, especially with all the advancements in medications and treatment options available,” says Dr. O. “There are things we can do to prevent excess wear and tear on patients’ joints.” Changing diet, weight and exercise can all help reduce joint pain.
If a patient is not a candidate for injections, or is still experiencing chronic joint pain after running the course of treatments and therapies, joint replacement is an option. Adena Orthopedics has an excellent team of orthopedic surgeons who are experienced in the joint replacement of hips, knees and shoulders, using advanced surgical and robotic techniques. “Surgery is generally our last resort, but sometimes it is the best answer for patients who are experiencing chronic pain due to bone on bone friction or joint degradation,” says Dr. O. “We try to avoid surgery at too young an age, and we have an optimization program that helps patients meet healthy requirements before going into surgery.” Meeting these requirements helps to avoid potential complications and prepares patients for optimal outcomes.
Orthopedics is a hands-on, in-person practice, but we can offer consultations and perform patient check-ups using Virtual Visits. Patients should call the Adena Bone & Joint Centerto see what will work best for their circumstances. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Adena Health System has been taking extra precautionsto ensure the safety of our patients and staff with extra cleaning, sanitizing and maintaining safe distances during a visit to our facilities. We work with patients to make their visits meaningful and productive. “We know that it’s not always easy, missing work or time with family for an appointment, and we value our patients’ time,” says. Dr. O. “We work diligently in providing our patients the best experience with each office visit.”
Posted August 19, 2020
(image) You might be shocked to learn your heart is older or younger than you are. That’s because it all comes down to the stress and strain it takes throughout your lifetime. See what factors go into your heart’s age, and what you can do to stay young at heart!
When You Were a Kid
We don’t think of children as having heart issues, but your lifestyle as a youth can have an impact on your older self. From a young age, people can build up plaque (fatty deposits) in their arteries through poor diets and lack of regular exercise. It is important (and never too late) to build a healthy lifestyle -- even if you didn’t do this in your early years. Healthy foods that are high in fiber and low in fat are ideal for your heart health. This includes foods like fruits and vegetables. Eating moderate portions at regular mealtimes is also advised, as is avoiding in between meal snacks. In today’s busy world, focusing on our heart health is not always easy. However, building good eating habits, along with getting at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous movement a day will help your heart health. It’s never too late to recapture the kid in you.
Know Your Numbers
Remember the saying, “A pound of prevention is worth an ounce of cure?” This means that it is better to proactively work toward your best health, versus having to be treated for an ailment that you might have been able to prevent. Regular check-ups and screenings are the first step in prevention. Adena Heart and Vascular offers this handy guide to help patients know at what age they should get important screenings. In addition, Adena Heart and Vascular is providing a guide to knowing signs of a heart attack or stroke. These guides may help you test for and recognize heart-related symptoms that could save your life.
At the Heart of it All
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the #1 cause of death in the United States. Often, those who die from CVD, which includes heart attack and stroke, had no prior symptoms. It is important to know each of your CVD risk factors; and how you can reduce those risk factors in your life. Risk factors include age, gender, related health issues, family history, smoking, diet, weight, exercise, cholesterol and stress.
Complete the What Age is Your Heart online assessment tool to understand your heart health, and your risk for heart disease. The assessment tool will generate a report you can share with your physician or an Adena cardiologist. They can help you make the right lifestyle changes to reduce your CVD risk. Call Adena Heart and Vascularat 740-779-4570, so we can help you achieve your best heart health.Read More
Posted August 19, 2020
Social distancing, self-isolation, and quarantine. We have heard these terms used endlessly over the past five months as ways to protect ourselves and others from the spread of Coronavirus. If you or someone you know have tested positive for COVID-19 or been exposed, you have probably been instructed to follow these guidelines.
But what does each mean? And why are they effective? Understanding these self-protection measures and following the guidelines recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), your local health department and Adena Health System can play a big role in keeping you and your loved ones safe in this critical time.
Social Distancing - Keep a safe distance to slow the spread
Social distancing, also called “physical distancing,” means keeping a safe space between yourself and others who are not from your household. To practice social or physical distancing, stay at least six feet, about two arms’ length away, from other people who do not live with you. It is important to maintain social distancing in both indoor and outdoor spaces.
Social distancing should be practiced in combination with other everyday preventive actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19. These include wearing a face covering, avoiding touching your face with unwashed hands, and frequently washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Self-Isolation -Separate yourself from others if you have COVID-19
Self-isolation is used to separate infected individuals with the virus from people who are not infected. Self-isolation is used for two groups of individuals: (1) people with COVID-19 symptoms and are able to recover at home, and (2) people who have no symptoms, are asymptomatic, but have tested positive for COVID-19. People in isolation should stay home until it’s safe for them to be around others. In the home, anyone sick or infected should separate themselves from others by staying in a specific “sick room” or area and should use a separate bathroom, if available. They shouldavoid contact with other members of the household and pets, not share personal household items, like cups, towels, and utensils, and if using a common bathroom should clean and disinfect all surfaces every time. Sick individuals should also wear a cloth face covering when around other people in their home and should not go to public places.
When self-isolation ends and it is safe to be around others depends on various factors and situations. The CDC recommends individuals self-isolate for at least 10 days from the onset of symptoms, symptoms have improved and have experienced at least 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medication.
Quarantine - Stay home if you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19
Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms. People in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others, monitor their health, and follow directions from their state or local health department.
Why are Following These Guidelines so Important?
Positive cases for COVID-19 have been increasing recently across the state, and locally in Adena’s nine-county service region. From the onset of this global pandemic, the best methods to limiting the community spread of this deadly virus is by following the recommended guidelines for social distancing, self-isolation and quarantine. If you have been asked by your health care provider or local health district to self-isolate or quarantine due to testing positive or being exposed to COVID-19, it is of the utmost importance to follow all instructions to safely recover and limit further exposure among others.
Why does Self-Isolation and Quarantine last 14 Days? What If I Feel Better Sooner
Fourteen days is the overall length of time between exposure and the appearance of signs or symptoms. After this time period, the risk of passing the virus to someone else is very low or nonexistent. While you may not feel sick, and these safety measures may be an inconvenience in your daily life, eliminating the virus depends on people being responsible in avoiding the spread of COVID-19. Be mindful of members of your family and others in our communities who are more vulnerable to COVID-19, who could become seriously ill or even die. We are all in this together.
Should I Get Tested for COVID-19? What is the Cost?
Adena follows the Ohio Department of Health’s (ODH) criteria for testing people for Coronavirus. If your symptoms and/or condition do not meet the testing criteria set by the ODH, there may be a charge for COVID-19 testing. It is recommended that that people look at the current ODH testing criteria, and should check with their health care carrier or insurance provider to understand any associated testing costs.
If an individual is ill and believes they have some COVID-19 symptoms, but not all listed by ODH, they may not meet the ODH testing criteria. Some symptoms of Coronavirus can be similar to a cold, flu or other common viral illnesses. As with any illness, if symptoms are not severe you should stay home and treat your illness as you normally would. You may also call Adena’s COVID-19 Hotline at 740-542-SAFE (7233) for a phone screening. However, if you have chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, a severe headache or other potentially life-threatening problems, go to the nearest emergency department or call 911. Please notify the 911 dispatcher or the emergency department of your COVID symptoms PRIOR to arrival.
For more ways to protect yourself and others from Coronavirus, visit adena.org/togetherwecanstayhealthy.
Because this is a new virus, information about COVID-19 is constantly evolving. For the latest information, the following websites are available with the most up-to-date information:
- CDC - cdc.gov/coronavirus
- Ohio Department of Health - coronavirus.ohio.gov
- Adena Health System - adena.org/COVD19
- Ross County Health District - rosscountyhealth.org
Posted August 18, 2020
Adena Health System announced today that it will donating close to 500 face masks as part of its support of Chillicothe Mayor Luke Feeney’s COVID-19 Community Response Team and #RossCountyCares campaign.
“Over the past several months, Adena has been successful in building its personal protective equipment stock through our vendors, and has also benefited from gracious mask donations by individuals, area businesses and other supporters,” said Jeff Graham, Adena President & CEO. “We appreciate these gestures and the support that has been shown to our health care heroes at a time of critical need. As our medical supply inventories and demand have leveled, we are able to protect patients and staff and to extend these protection efforts to our community. By sharing some of our mask supply, we want to give people in our region the resources they need to safely protect themselves, and to slow the spread of COVID-19.”
The COVID-19 Community Response Team, which includes Adena Health System, the Ross County Health District, United Way of Ross County, Chillicothe and Ross County Public Libraries, City of Chillicothe and Ross County Commissioners, has been working together since the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic on community issues in the areas of housing, food and financial concerns. Recognizing a need to help decrease the community spread of the Coronavirus among residents, the Response Team developed a strategy to provide free masks for community members who need this valuable personal protection.
Free masks are available at multiple locations on a first come, first served basis. These Chillicothe locations are offering free masks during their current business hours, with most townships throughout the county also offering free masks in communities located outside of city limits.
- Chillicothe & Ross County Public Library, Main Library, 140 S. Paint Street, Chillicothe; or the Northside Library location at 550 Buckeye Street, Chillicothe
- Ross County Community Action, 250 Woodbridge Avenue, Chillicothe
- United Way of Ross County, 69 E. Water Street, Chillicothe
For a complete, up-to-date list of mask pick-up locations, visit rosscountyhealth.org.
Adena Health System remains under a universal masking requirement for all patients, visitors and staff. Face coverings are required to enter any hospital, health center or clinic location. Visitors may wear in a mask from home, or one will be provided upon facility entry.
“Adena fully supports the recommendations of our state and local leaders that everyone wear a face covering during this time. By wearing a mask in all public areas, you are doing your part to protect yourself and others from this serious virus,” Graham added.
For more ways on how we can stay healthy together, visit adena.org/togetherwecanstayhealthy.
Posted August 13, 2020
Adena Regional Medical Center (ARMC) has been named to Newsweek’s 2020 list of Best Maternity Care Hospitals. The distinction recognizes facilities that have excelled in providing care to mothers, newborns and their families, as verified by the 2019 Leapfrog Hospital Survey. ARMC is one of only 231 hospitals in 36 states to be awarded this honor.
Hospitals named as a Best Maternity Care Hospital have fully met The Leapfrog Group’s standards for maternity care on evidence-based, nationally standardized metrics. This includes compliance with process measures, including newborn bilirubin screening prior to discharge and blood clot prevention techniques for mothers delivering via C-section; as well as lower rates of early elective delivery, Nulliparous, Term, Singleton, Vertex (NTSV) C-section, and episiotomy.
“Adena Women and Children’s Center is dedicated to providing close-to-home pre- and post-natal care that is among the nation’s highest standards for safety and quality,” said Dr. Richard Villarreal, medical director for Adena Women’s Health. “To be recognized by Newsweek is a testament to the extraordinary level of care and service by our physicians, advanced practice providers, midwives and staff. We strive to deliver the latest in safe and most comprehensive care for mothers and babies at every stage of pregnancy, labor, delivery and post-partum care.”
The number of deliveries at ARMC continues to grow annually. In 2019, there were just over 1,000 births at the hospital.
“Best Maternity Care Hospitals showcases an elite group of hospitals from across the country. These facilities stand out for the care they provide to women and families, and for giving babies a strong start to life,” said Nancy Cooper, global editor in chief of Newsweek. “Particularly in these uncertain times, we are honored to share this list of top-ranked facilities with Newsweek’s readership.”
The Newsweek award continues a string of safety and quality recognitions for Adena Regional Medical Center and its Women and Children’s Center. Within the last nine months, ARMC was again named a Top 250 Hospital by Healthgrades™, and received an ‘A’ Hospital Safety Grade from The Leapfrog Group for overall hospital quality and safety. Adena’s Women and Children’s Center also earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Perinatal Care.
For more information, or to schedule an appointment with Adena Women and Children’s Center, visit www.adena.org/obstetricsprenatalcare.Read More
Posted August 11, 2020
Now more than ever, our health and that of our loved ones is a top priority. When it comes to receiving health care, how do you choose where to go? Do you get all of your health care from one source – or do you mix it up based on your illness or issue?
Whether you are a current patient of Adena Health System or not, we want to hear from you. To participate in the System’s 2020 Consumer Health Care Survey, participants must be 18 years or older, and currently live in one of the following counties: Fayette, Highland, Hocking, Jackson, Pickaway, Pike, Ross, Scioto or Vinton.
“Committed to our patients, and everyone living in south central and southern Ohio, Adena is always looking at how we can continuously improve,” said Adena’s Vice President of Brand and Marketing Susan Wollebeck. “Through the current survey, we hope to learn what is important to people when making health care choices for themselves and their loved ones. With this important input, who hope to gain a better understanding of how we can best serve our patients, based on what they like and need.”
The consumer survey will remain open through Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020. Anyone meeting the above criteria, who is interested in participating in the survey can access it by going to https://www.adena.org/inside/page.dT/2020-survey. Those who complete the survey will be able to claim a free First Aid kit.
Posted August 05, 2020
Adena Health System is expanding its care for patients with the addition of six providers across multiple service lines. The additional physicians and advanced practice providers will offer even more options for comprehensive, close-to-home care.
Adena is pleased to welcome:
Laura Arnett, Certified Nurse Practitioner, has been with Adena since 2015. She has served in various roles within Adena Regional Medical Center’s Emergency Department. A graduate of the University of Cincinnati, Arnett has earned a Master’s degree in Nursing. She joins Adena Podiatry, now seeing patients in Chillicothe and Circleville.
Jean Ekwenbie, MD, joins the growing group of specialists with Adena Cardiology. A board-certified, non-invasive cardiologist, Dr. Ekwenbie earned her medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, located in Houston, TX. She is currently accepting new patients in Chillicothe and Jackson.
Rachel Fulwider, Certified Nurse Practitioner, is now serving patients at Adena Urgent Cares in Chillicothe and Circleville. Prior to coming to Adena, she worked for 10 years as a registered nurse at a Columbus, Ohio Emergency Department. Fulwider earned a Family Practice Nursing degree from the Chamberlain College of Nursing.
Alok Singla, MD, comes to Adena Neurology,adding pediatric neurology services to the region seeing patients in Chillicothe and Circleville. Dr. Singlaearned his medical degree from the Himalayan Institute of Medical Science in Dehradun, India, and completed his residency and fellowship in Buffalo, NY.
Marcus Richardson, DPM, is now accepting new patients with Adena Podiatry, seeing patients in Chillicothe and Greenfield. Dr. Richardson earned his medical degree from the Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine in Philadelphia, PA. He completed his residency in Columbus, OH.
Bennie Upchurch, MD, joins Adena Gastroenterology, expanding the System’s services for digestive system health for patients of all ages. Dr. Upchurch earned his medical degree from the University of Iowa College of Medicine, located in Iowa City, IA. Certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, Dr. Upchurch comes to Adena after having practiced privately and with urban and rural health care organizations throughout central Ohio.Read More
Posted August 03, 2020
Registration for the Scioto Valley Golf Classic is now open. The annual event is sponsored by the Adena Health Foundation and will take place Friday, August 21 at Crown Hill Golf Club, located in Williamsport.
Proceeds from the 2020 Golf Classic will benefit the Adena Health Foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund. The Fund was established to provide emergency assistance in support of Adena Health System facilities and the health care heroes, the physicians and caregivers who are continuing to deliver care for those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
WHAT: 2020 Scioto Valley Golf Classic
WHERE: Crown Hill Golf Club
Williamsport, OH 43164
WHEN: Friday, August 21
Shotgun start at 9 a.m.
Along with fun and fellowship, the top priority for this year’s event will be the safety of all participants and organizers. All state and local health guidelines for social distancing and enhanced safety measures will be strictly followed to ensure everyone’s health and well-being. Participants may register as an individual or foursome. Five different sponsorship levels are also available.
For more information or to register, visit adena.org/golf2020 or call 740-542-GIVE (4483).Read More
Posted July 30, 2020
Adena Health System Sports Medicine is proud to announce its 2019-2020 male and female Athletes of the Year scholarship recipients. Adena’s Athlete of the Month Program is open to all high school senior athletes in Adams, Fayette, Gallia, Highland, Hocking, Jackson, Pickaway, Pike, Ross, Scioto and Vinton counties. The outstanding student athletes are recognized for making a considerable effort to maintain a higher grade point average and perform community service, while reaching high levels of athletic accomplishment. Monthly winners are then eligible for the Athlete of the Year scholarship.
Adena Sports Medicine High School Male Athletes of the Year:
- Noah Donley, Oak Hill High School
- Nate Keiser, Unioto High School
Adena Sports Medicine High School Female Athletes of the Year:
- Rylee Fee, Vinton County High School
- Abigail Meldick, Oak Hill High School
- Hannah Stark, Adena High School
“The 2020 graduating class faced many challenges and adversities due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Melissa Richendollar, Adena’s Director of Rehabilitation Services. “Adena Sports Medicine felt it was only fitting that we celebrate multiple winners this year, and to recognize these outstanding young men and women for their achievements both on the field and in the classroom.”
The Adena Sports Medicine Athlete of the Year Scholarship is funded through activities conducted by Adena’s Sports Medicine Team, in conjunction with the Adena Health Foundation.
Congratulations to our winners and to all our 2019-2020 Adena Athletes of the Month recipients. For more information about the Adena Athlete of the Month program, visit www.adena.org/athlete.Read More
Posted July 28, 2020
(image) In a special ceremony held earlier today on the campus of Adena Regional Medical Center, construction crews lifted the final steel beam into place signifying the completion of the steel framing for Adena Health System’s new orthopedic destination facility.
The eight-foot beam, which was adorned with caregivers’ signatures, was accompanied atop the structure with a pine tree - a construction tradition. The tree, known as a “topping tree” celebrates the completion of the skeleton of a building structure and for many builders, the tree stands as a symbol for good luck and prosperity for the future occupants of the building.
“It’s almost hard to remember how this looked just 10 months ago when we broke ground on this project to see where we are today,” said Jeff Graham, Adena President & CEO. “The skill and expertise of our clinical and surgical team is the primary reason patients come to us. Through the growth of our services, which include this new facility, we have an opportunity to expand on our patient care and regional partnerships; to be top of mind and the region’s first choice for care.”
Graham added, “No one wants to travel far from home to have surgery or to receive care for their conditions. Along with the latest clinical spaces and operating rooms, we want every patient that comes to us at this facility to receive not only exceptional health care, but to experience a concierge service approach to every step of their journey. We want to make this type of patient experience the most positive it can be, and it’s what our patients ultimately deserve.”
Orthopedic Surgeon Brian Cohen, MD shared those sentiments, “Since I arrived nearly 20 years ago, we have built an orthopedic program at Adena that has been extremely successful, and has outgrown its current space. This new facility will give us the space we need to provide our patients with the best surgical and care experience possible. It will also allow us to deliver that care, including: surgery, imaging, recovery and inpatient rehab all within a single location. Our commitment to excellence, safety and quality doesn’t change with a new building; but it will grow, and we will continue to give our patients everything they need – without having to leave the region.”
The five-story 111,000 square-foot facility will house Adena’s nationally-accredited orthopedics program. The building will also be home to the Adena Spine Center, sports medicine, neurology, podiatry and other orthopedic specialties. Construction is expected to be complete in summer 2021.Read More
Posted July 22, 2020
Depression/Anxiety Reported as a Top Health Issue in Ross Co.
Results of the 2019 Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA), performed by Partners for a Healthier Ross County, reveals that income status continues to lead to poorer health outcomes and health behaviors. In Ross County, 18 percent of residents live at or below the U.S. poverty level.
“The Community Health Needs Assessment gives us a regular opportunity to hear directly from the people we serve, and to understand the factors that contribute to their overall health,” said Kim Jones, Adena Community Health and Development director. “Working together, Partners for a Healthier Ross County, evaluates data and develops strategies and programs that address the needs of our community’s most vulnerable, and increase access to the care and services they need to achieve optimal health and wellbeing.”
According to the Ohio Department of Health’s 2019 County Health Rankings, Ross County continues to have a lower life expectancy rate at 75.1 years. This is more than two years fewer than Ohio’s average of 77.2 years old, and more than three-and-a-half years below the U.S. average of 78.8 years old. In some cases, life expectancy can vary by nearly 11 years from one Ross County neighborhood to another.
“Through the assessment, our community partners work together to improve health outcomes for Ross Countians,” said Kelly Dennis, Director of Health Promotion at the Ross County Health District. “As we use the data and community input gathered in the assessment, our major focus is on addressing the root causes that lead to poor health outcomes. It is critical that we drive our responses and actions to improve health outcomes in Ross County.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists leading causes of death (rate per 100k) in Ross County to be:
1. Heart disease 206
2. Cancer 196
3. Chronic Lower Respiratory diseases 74
4. Accidents 76
5. Stroke 43
6. Diabetes 34
Mental Health: Depression/anxiety continues to be a top health issue in the community. Nearly 38 percent of CHNA survey respondents admit to being depressed or anxious, though most do not seek regular treatment for it. Just 10.2 percent say they have visited a mental health specialist, despite Ross County having a higher patient to provider ratio (340:1) than the state average (470:1).
Substance use: Drug overdose deaths continue to be the leading accidental death cause, according to Ross County death records. Those responding to the CHNA survey show that 61 percent of those who use alcohol earn more than $25k a year, and 35 percent earn less than $25k. People who admit to smoking or using some form of tobacco flip in terms of income, with nearly 42 percent of those earning less than $25k per year saying they regularly use tobacco, compared to 17 percent in the above $25k a year income group.
Obesity, Heart Health, Diabetes: Physical activity and nutrition play a role in our overall health and wellbeing and are proven to reduce the risk of obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Nearly half (49.6%) of all Ross Co CHNA respondents say they eat one serving or less of fruits and vegetables each day; and about 26 percent say they get less than 30 minutes of exercise a week.
Those surveyed self-reported their heart health to be as follows:
· High Blood Pressure 39.6%
· Overweight or obese 32.5%
· High cholesterol 26.2%
· Diabetes 18.0%
· Heart disease diagnoses 5.1%
The CHNA survey was available last fall and earlier this year for residents of communities served by Adena Regional Medical Center. It focused on the respondent’s perception of the health issues facing our communities, as well as their own overall health and conditions. The CHNA must be conducted every three years by all 501(c)(3) hospitals, as required by the Affordable Care Act of 2010.
To view the complete results of the Adena and Partners for a Healthier Ross County 2019 Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) visit www.adena.org/chna.
Posted July 20, 2020
Do you ever feel gassy or bloated and wonder if it’s something to be concerned about? In a recent discussion with Dr. Bennie R. Upchurch, Gastroenterology Specialist with Adena Health System, we explore common digestive issues and identify when you should check in with your health care provider. We also provide informative tips in helping avoid digestive pain and discomfort.
Feel the “burn”?
At Adena Gastroenterology, we most commonly treat patients for frequent heartburn, or gastroesophageal reflux (GERD). Gastroesophageal reflux is when there is a backward flow of stomach acid into the esophagus, or throat. It can cause an uncomfortable burning sensation in the chest, but is usually treatable with changes in diet and eating habits. Fatty foods, alcohol and tobacco can all contribute to heartburn. If heartburn occurs for patients more than 2-3 times a week, or they have other symptoms such as vomiting after meals, difficultly swallowing, coughing, wheezing or frequent chest pain, a patient’s condition may have progressed to gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. If they are experiencing any of these symptoms, they should contact their primary care physician or contact Adena Gastroenterologyfor the best treatment options.
We also treat patients for other common issues such as incontinence, ulcers, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), nausea, vomiting and more. Not all of these issues are serious, but if they are frequently reoccurring for patients, we advise them to come see us a soon as possible. Typically, all these issues are treatable and there is no reason anyone should suffer through uncomfortable symptoms.
Digestive Battle of the Sexes
We see almost an equal number of men and women for digestive issues, but some conditions seem more prevalent in one versus the other – basically, men’s and women’s digestive systems are not exactly the same. Men tend to have more issues with stomach acid and ulcers then women. And women tend to have more issues with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) than men. That doesn’t mean that men can’t have IBS or women can’t have Acid Reflux, but because of how their digestive systems work a little differently, some digestive issues do tend to appear more commonly based on a person’s sex.
Why Can’t I Eat as I Used to?
As you get older, your gut composition changes. Typically, patients will notice a difference in the impacts of food starting somewhere in their 50s-60s. Some changes can be triggered by changes in diet as we get older, or just a change in biology. It’s recommended as patients age, that they drink at least eight glasses of water a day and get plenty of dietary fiber, such as oatmeal, beans, nuts, and fruits such as apples, berries, citrus fruits, and pears.
It is not uncommon as patients get older that they become lactose intolerant; meaning their stomach can become highly agitated by dairy products, including milk, ice cream, cheese, etc. This is due to a decline in lactase, an enzyme in the small intestine responsible for breaking down the sugars in dairy and turning them into energy. It is not understood why this happens as some people get older, but it could be as simple as developing an intolerance, or it could be signaling the potential for some other digestive disorder like Crohn’s Disease, bacterial overgrowth or Celiac disease – all digestive issues where patients should seek their doctor’s help for treatment and guidance on relief. Like most digestive issues, some help can be gained through altering one’s diet and eating habits, and there are also helpful medications that may relieve some digestive pain and discomfort. Either way, it’s best to get it checked out by your health care provider or by making an appointment at with Adena Gastroenterology Department.
When Should You be Concerned?
Patients should be concerned if they see any significant change in their digestive process. Trouble swallowing, excessive heartburn, chest pain, nausea or frequent vomiting could all be indicators that something is off balance in the digestive system and patients should check with their primary care provider or Adena Gastroenterologyon how best to be treated. Similarly, if a patient is experiencing changes in their bowel, frequent diarrhea, incontinence, constipation, abdominal pain, frequent fevers or bleeding from the rectum -- bright red blood can mean there is an issue such as internal hemorrhoids – they should consult a physician as soon as possible. Although many issues can be treated with diet, early diagnosis is generally always better for digestive issues and solutions.
When Should You Not be Concerned?
Our body goes through changes as we age and that includes our gut and digestive system. Bloating and gas often become more frequent, but are not generally indicators of illness. Try changing some things in your diet that might seem to cause these discomforts like reducing certain vegetables or dairy. Paying attention and knowing how your body responds is very helpful should things change and you feel you’ve developed a more concerning symptom.
Can I Believe What I See on the Internet?
There are tons of ads on the internet promoting diets and digestive supplements. Pre- and probiotics have become more popular than ever. The reality is, while some patients may feel better taking these products, there is no evidence they make a great impact on the digestive system. In some cases, they may help cleanse or “reset” to make a healthy gut flora, but they won’t have much, if any, impact if there is a greater digestive issue at play. If patients are experiencing anything that seems more than out of the ordinary, they should consult with their health care provider or Adena Gastroenterology.Read More
Posted July 20, 2020
(image) Have you ever felt like that – where, if you laugh, you might “have an accident”? Do you not always make it on time? Get the inside track on issues of incontinence (urological leaking) and the treatment options available. Dr. Stephen Johnson has been a Urologist at Adena Health System for over ten years and is passionate about making significant improvements in his patients’ quality of life.
The Download on Incontinence
Urinary incontinence, or bladder leakage, occurs when the muscles and nerves around the bladder experience control issues in retaining urine. It is often associated with pregnancy, childbirth, pelvic surgery or menopause, but actually, urinary incontinence is common for both men and women – especially as they get older.
There are two main types of incontinence: urge and stress incontinence. With urge incontinence, patients experience a strong, sudden urge “to go” and often their bladder contracts and urine starts without control. This is a condition seen in both men and women. With stress incontinence, patients are predominantly women and experience leakage due to weakened muscles often from childbirth or certain surgeries.
There is a third, less common type of incontinence, called overflow incontinence. It occurs in men and women when their bladder gets so full it can no longer hold the urine in. If this occurs with any frequency, patients need to consult with their physician or our Adena Urology Departmentsince this type of incontinence could lead to other health issues, including kidney damage.
No matter the symptoms, patients should consult a physician if they are experiencing any incontinence. “I always stress to patients that although incontinence is common, it is not normal. There are a range of treatment options to help improve a patient’ issues,” says Dr. Johnson.
Surgery? Probably Not
At Adena, we take a conservative approach to incontinence treatment, working through the least invasive options to more progressive options, only if needed. First, we assess the patient. Although we often like to see patients in person, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have become very skilled at virtual visits.
Once we understand the patient’s condition, we initially look at their diet and behavioral habits to see if making changes can help alleviate their incontinence. We often recommend patients see a pelvic floor health therapist to work with them on improving pelvic and bladder strength. Through exercise and behavior modification, therapists help patients retrain their bladder, increase core and pelvic strength, and eliminate dietary irritants that can factor into incontinence.
If a patient needs further help, there are medications we can prescribe that are very effective. Many of the newer medications have little or no side effects. And then, if needed, there are procedural options – some in-office and some require surgery.
Mainly, we want patients to realize there are many treatment options and that Adena Urology works with patients to tailor an individual treatment path for them. Incontinence left untreated can be terrible for patients. We’re here to help.
Yes. Diet, behavior changes and exercise can all help. For diet, if people eliminate or avoid bladder irritants such as pop, tea, coffee, carbonated drinks, alcohol, sugary, fruit flavored or caffeinated drinks that’s a good start. Energy drinks are generally the worst of all of these and should be avoided if a person is experiencing leakage. Foods to avoid would be spicy foods, chocolate, tomato-based items, and citrus, like oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes. Also, drinking plenty of water can help dilute urine and toxins in urine that might agitate the bladder.
Kegel exercises can help build strength in the pelvic floor. There are a number of guides and devices online. Just make sure you are doing the exercises correctly with reputable equipment. If a patient has questions, they can call our office.
Behavior changes beyond diet can also help. Training yourself to go at regular times and not hold your urine can be helpful.
Not Just Part of Getting Older
“We always tell our patients, although incontinence is very common, it is not normal and any signs of beginning or continual leaking should be checked out by a physician,” says Dr. Johnson. Some incontinence is normal after pregnancy (especially after vaginal delivery). This is often temporary and pelvic floor strengthening is important. Any significant or profound incontinence should always be evaluated as it could indicate an injury to the urethral sphincter (intrinsic sphincter deficiency). This is a rare complication in the United States, but more common in 3rd world countries.
If you’re experiencing regular incontinence, for either men or women, don’t just “sweep it under the rug,” thinking it’s part of aging. Call your primary health physician or call our Adena Urology Department. Incontinence can be treated and there’s no reason to live with the worry and discomfort incontinence can bring.Read More
Posted July 20, 2020
Adena Health System announced today that it is making a return to full visitor restrictions to help limit the spread of the Coronavirus.
“Given the recent surge in positive cases both statewide and locally, we are implementing the strictest measures to ensure the health, safety and protection of Adena’s patients and staff,” said Chief Clinical Officer Kirk Tucker, MD. “We are seeing outbreaks throughout our communities and an increase in patients to our COVID-19 unit. This indicates we have a high probability to experience a large surge over the next four weeks.”
He added, “From the onset of this pandemic, we have learned to be proactive and nimble in our decision-making to safely protect those coming to us for care or working in our facilities. For the safety and well-being of everyone, we will continue to monitor state and local health data and will make adjustments to our visitor policies when appropriate.”
Effective immediately, at Adena Regional Medical Center in Chillicothe, visitor access will be limited to:
- No visitors in clinical care areas, inpatient units and the Emergency Department.
- Visitor exceptions will be for the following:
- “End of life” situations – requires approval of the patient’s provider;
- Labor and delivery – includes the infant’s mother and one support person;
- Minor patients (under 18) – two visitors, limited to only parents or guardians;
- Patients having major surgery – one support person on the day of and day after surgery; and
- Patients with significant physical disabilities – one support person.
- Visitors are not permitted for patients confirmed or suspected of COVID-19.
- Visitor expectations during this phase also include:
- Visitors under age 13 are not permitted;
- All visitors require an Adena caregiver escort to and from the unit they are visiting;
- All visitor waiting areas are closed;
- Visitors are not to be loitering in the hospital.
Visitor restrictions remain at Adena’s two critical-access hospitals - Adena Greenfield Medical Center and Adena Pike Medical Center - Adena Cancer Center and all urgent care and walk-in clinic locations. No visitors are allowed in clinical care areas unless deemed “absolutely necessary” by the patient’s care team.
Patients, staff and visitors are required to be screened at entrances and must follow Adena’s universal masking requirement throughout the course of their visit or shift. People should also maintain social distancing guidelines while on premises.
Current visitor policy information can always be found on Adena’s website by visiting adena.org/VisitorPolicy.Read More
Posted July 14, 2020
(image) Adena Health System Chief Clinical Officer (CCO) Kirk Tucker, MD has been on the frontlines of the system’s Coronavirus efforts from Day One, helping to safely build and sustain a COVID-19 care delivery model across south central and southern Ohio. Four months after the region’s first cases, the numbers of people testing positive for COVID-19 is trending up both nationally and locally, and Dr. Tucker advises everyone to keep working to protect themselves and others in our communities.
“This has been a very long haul,” Tucker said. “It is understandable that people are wearing down from the stress, fatigue and challenges this pandemic has caused in our daily lives. If there is anything I can stress to my patients and people in our communities, it is ‘don’t stop now.’ We need to continue to safely protect ourselves and those around us just as hard, and with the same commitment that we did four months ago.”
With a close eye on federal, state and local health data, Tucker believes the current increase in positives cases may be the last. Following a 60-day course of events, trends on positive cases should begin to decline.
“My hope is based on evidence we are watching that indicates by fall we could be on the tail end of this curve; and Coronavirus will become more of a thing in our past than our present,” he added. “That is why it is so important for us to stay focused in our efforts to wear a face mask, wash our hands and follow proper social distancing guidelines. I understand we all want to return to what our lives looked like before this pandemic. But we can’t be in a rush to return where it sets us back in the progress we have made.”
Tucker, an Internal Medicine physician, is encouraged that patients across the region have been returning to seek care at Adena’s hospitals, health centers, and clinics, while helping to limit the spread of the virus.
“Adena has been extremely safe and thoughtful in its reopening of services; and from the beginning has put the health and well-being of our patients, visitors and staff as the top priority with enhanced safety and cleaning measures,” he said. “Adena has also made testing for COVID-19 more accessible for patients in the region with availability at all Urgent Care locations and a number of walk-in clinics. For us to remain on top of this health crisis, we encourage anyone who believes they have symptoms, or have been exposed to a person confirmed to have COVID-19 to call the COVID-19 Screening Hotline at 740-542-SAFE (7233).”
“Having practiced at Adena for 17 years, one thing I know about this community is we pull together, support one another and overcome any obstacle,” said Tucker. “That is what we need to do now – it is what we have seen to this point and what will get us to the finish.”
Join us for the next edition of Living Well with Adena, where our infection prevention experts will break down the rhetoric around the effectiveness of masks and other face coverings, by offering science-based facts on the topic. They will also provide an update on COVID-19’s resurgence in our communities, and discuss how to protect ourselves and others, as we battle this pandemic together. Participate in the discussion by tuning in on Thursday, July 16 at Noon on Adena’s Facebook Live and YouTube Live feeds. For more information or to access any previous Living Well with Adena, visit adena.org/livingwell.Read More