Heart Attack Survivor Gets New Lease on Life


Heart Attack Survivor Gets New Lease on Life
Fall 2015
Heart Attack
Survivor Gets
New Lease on Life
T he Pow er of
T he Da rk Truth
Are Yo u A ging
Too Quickly?
PAGES 4- 5
Suffe ring fro m Musc le Pain
or Tensio n? N e w T herapy
Te c hnique C ould Help!
Changes in the Hospital
Environment Throughout the Past
Quarter Century … What’s Next?
As you may know, I am retiring from Southwest General at the end of this year.
My retirement will conclude eight years at Southwest General and nearly a quarter
century of leading hospitals in Greater Cleveland. During this time, I have had a frontrow seat to observe, and to participate in, the evolution of hospitals and health systems
in Northeast Ohio.
When I became the chief executive officer
(CEO) of Parma Hospital in 1991, we were one
of about thirty hospitals in the region. Health
system consolidation began in 1995 when the
Cleveland Clinic (CCF) acquired nine community
hospitals in three years. Among them was the
Meridia Health System—a group of four east side
community hospitals. In 2003, I was recruited
by CCF to become CEO of the Meridia Health
System, and I left Parma Hospital after serving
twelve years as its chief executive. Then, in 2007,
I had the great opportunity to become CEO of
Thomas A. Selden, FACHE,
Southwest General.
President and
Chief Executive Officer
Mergers, acquisitions and closures of hospitals
since 1991 have been driven by economic
situations resulting from market dynamics, such
as consolidation of the power of insurance
companies and creation of economies of scale to achieve financial stability and even
better service for patients. While Southwest General did not merge with a larger partner,
in 1997, we entered into a contractual relationship with University Hospitals, providing
the benefits of scale without a change of ownership.
For patients, some of the benefits of financial stability include local access to
advanced technology and state-of-the-art facilities. For example, our da Vinci® Surgical
System features advanced robotic technology. It allows surgeons to operate inside the
body through an incision not much bigger than the diameter of a pencil. As a result,
patients recover more quickly and return to the comfort of home sooner—sometimes
the same day. For patients who need hospitalization, our new Pandrangi Tower, opened
in 2014, offers 96 private patient rooms and provides a quiet, comfortable and peaceful
environment for optimal healing.
As the government works to drive down the cost of health care nationwide, you
can expect many changes into the future. Hospitals will respond with technological
advances that offer greater health care options. You, as a health care consumer, will
have access to more information about health care providers to help you choose your
source of care.
Whether Southwest General chooses to remain independent into the future or
chooses to merge to become part of something larger, remember that Southwest
General is your community hospital. As in the past, we can commit to you that
high-quality, award-winning care will continue in your community.
Fall 2015
In This Issue
3 Seeing Pink—
The Power of Detection
4-5 Heart Attack Survivor Gets
New Lease on Life
6-7 The Place to Be for
8-9 The Dark Truth
10 A Winning Combination
11 Southwest General News
12 Shoo Flu! Don’t Bother Me!
13 Tell Me Doctor
14- Education, Screenings and
15 Support Groups
Back Cover: Suffering from
Muscle Pain or Tension? New
Therapy Technique Could Help
Seeing Pink
Breast health is a concern for every woman—whether
it’s as simple as an annual screening or as serious as breast
cancer treatment.
Southwest General is dedicated to providing a full range
of services for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of breast
health issues, including breast cancer. Our Breast Center
focuses on making it as convenient and comfortable as
possible for women to seek preventive care for optimal breast
health. We offer state-of-the-art technology, highly skilled staff
members and an environment designed with your comfort,
safety and privacy in mind.
“With so many women being affected by breast cancer
every year, it’s an issue that we all should take serious,” says
Tejas Samaroo, MD, a board-certified radiologist on the Medical
Staff at Southwest General. “Getting
a regular mammogram, knowing
the risk factors of breast cancer,
being able to identify the signs of a
possible tumor and talking to your
doctor about your concerns are
all important parts of prevention,
detection and overall breast health.”
Early detection is key to
Tejas Samaroo, MD
successful treatment of breast
cancer, and mammography plays a
vital role in early detection. Southwest General introduced digital
Breast Tomosynthesis (3D mammography) at the Breast Center
on its Main Campus more than three years ago—shortly after
converting all its locations to digital mammography. Research
has shown that 3D mammography, in combination with digital
mammography, may further improve cancer detection while
reducing false positives.
However, mammography does not find all cancers. A
combination of mammography, breast self-examination and
clinical breast exams by a physician offers the best chance to
detect cancer early, when it is most treatable.
In the event of an abnormal or questionable finding
during a breast exam or in a breast image, additional testing
may be done such as breast ultrasound or a breast MRI. If
needed for further evaluation, a biopsy may be performed.
Biopsies help physicians accurately diagnose breast conditions,
such as breast cancer, and determine the appropriate course
of treatment. Typically, biopsies are ordered after an initial
If a breast cancer diagnosis is found, Southwest General’s
Breast Center team works together with medical professionals
from University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center at Southwest
General to support and empower patients during the treatment
and recovery process.
This includes helping breast cancer patients and their
families through the many decisions that must be made during
the patients’ care. Southwest General’s goal is to help patients
achieve the best possible outcomes, and we are committed
to providing state-of-the-art care and individual support for
patients before, during and after treatment.
For additional information regarding the
Breast Center, call Health Connection
at 440-816-5050.
Mammography Saves Lives ...
According to breastcancer.org, in 2015, an estimated 231,840 new cases
of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the
U.S. Mammography plays a vital role in maintaining breast health and in
diagnosing breast cancer and other breast-health issues early, when they
are most treatable. Join us today by encouraging a family member, friend
or loved one to schedule a mammogram.
A physician’s prescription is required for mammography services. To
schedule an appointment, call Southwest General’s Central Scheduling
Department at 440-816-8605.
Fall 2015
Heart Attack Survivor Gets
For more information
on Southwest
General’s Heart &
Vascular Institute
services, call
(794-2328), a FREE
24-hour critical care
nurse support line.
Val Chapman is an active, 63-year-old
grandfather who used to referee high school
soccer matches where he ran for an hour or
more on the field.
Even though that was more than 20 years
ago, he still keeps fit through regular yardwork,
outdoor activities and a job that requires him to
walk a lot during customer site visits.
So, when Val went into sudden cardiac arrest,
no one was more surprised than he was.
“I wasn’t having any heart problems nor was
I experiencing high blood pressure,” says Val.
“There may have potentially been some silent
indicators but nothing that I knew of.”
Val’s only health concern was one that
affects many people—at five feet, 11 inches tall
and 195 pounds, he was considered overweight.
No Warning Signs
On average, Val felt fine. That is, until this
past February when he had a type of heart
attack that stopped his heart suddenly—typically
referred to as a “widow maker.” A widow maker
may occur suddenly and often kills victims
swiftly—unless they receive quick treatment.
The condition is caused by a blockage in the left
anterior descending (LAD) artery, which provides
45 to 55 percent of the blood supply to the
heart. Both men and women are susceptible to
LAD blockage.
The days leading up to Val’s cardiac arrest
were uneventful. He and his wife, Rita, spent the
weekend relaxing after a busy workweek—they
watched the snow fall and worked on chores
inside their home. On Sunday afternoon, Val
shoveled the drive while Rita made dinner.
Afterward, they watched TV before heading
to bed.
After sleeping for a while, Val awoke feeling
uncomfortable and was experiencing some
pain. Thinking the pain was either heartburn or
indigestion, he got up, drank some milk, took an
antacid and tried to go back to sleep. However,
the discomfort continued, so he woke Rita,
asking for an aspirin.
Groggy and confused, she went to the
kitchen and rummaged for the medicine. Finally,
she woke up enough to really get a look at Val.
“He looked awful,” she says. “I asked him
what was wrong and he said, ‘I’m having chest
pain.’ I immediately said, ‘We need to go to the
Emergency Room (ER). Get dressed.’”
“I planned to drive him,” says Rita, recalling
that night. “Then I remembered my daughter’s
words after Val’s vertigo attack last September
when I drove him to the ER. My daughter had
placed her hands on my shoulders, looked me
in the eyes like I was a kindergartner and said,
‘Mom, next time this happens, call 9-1-1.’”
The 9-1-1 Call
A lot of times, people hesitate to call for an
ambulance. They think a condition isn’t lifethreatening or they don’t want the neighbors to
be concerned. Worried about the symptoms Val
was experiencing, Rita didn’t wait. She called
9-1-1 immediately, and in less than five minutes
the Strongsville Fire Department rescue squad,
from Station 4, under the medical direction of
Southwest General, responded.
Fall 2015
New Lease on Life
Southwest General’s exemplary care of stroke and heart failure patients continues to receive national
Most recently, the hospital has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s
Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award and has been recognized
on the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll-Elite.
These awards recognize the hospital’s sustained commitment and success in ensuring that stroke
patients receive the most effective treatments available.
Additionally, the hospital has received the American College of Cardiology’s Platinum Performance
Achievement Award. The award, given to only 319 hospitals nationwide, recognizes high standards
in heart attack care and the ability of Southwest General to reach the aggressive clinical guidelines and
recommendations as outlined by the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association.
As certified health care professionals, the Strongsville
paramedics are trained to handle medical emergencies. When they
arrived, they checked Val’s vital signs. For a few minutes, everything
was calm. Then Val passed out.
Rita remembers how quickly the paramedics reacted and the
life support they provided.
“I heard, ‘Clear. Clear. Clear.’ as they put the paddles on him,”
she says about the defibrillation Val received as paramedics tried
to restart his heart using electrical energy. “I heard them say, ‘He’s
going again,’ and they would shock him again.”
A second ambulance arrived at the Chapman’s home. One
paramedic helped calm Rita, and instructed her to meet them
at the hospital. Within minutes, Val was in the ambulance and
speeding toward Southwest General. En route, paramedics
continued to treat Val, using the defibrillator two more times. To
prepare the ER physicians and staff, an electrocardiogram (EKG)
was performed and sent remotely to the ER prior to Val’s arrival.
Lifesaving Care
Upon arrival at Southwest General, Val was quickly assessed
in the ER, where a variety of tests were done. He was treated by
Mark Harris, MD, a board-certified emergency medicine physician
on the Medical Staff at Southwest General, and Trilok Sharma, MD,
a board-certified cardiologist on the Medical Staff at Southwest
General. Dr. Sharma reviewed Val’s EKG and
his medical record and was able to diagnose Val’s condition.
“Dr. Sharma saw the blockage in my heart and took me to the
Catheterization (Cath) Lab right away. He completed an angioplasty
and placed a stent in my artery to open it,” comments Val about the
procedure done. “I was awake during the entire process—they only
use local anesthesia—so that Dr. Sharma could ask questions and
make sure I was okay.”
“He really put me at ease,” Val continues. “He was very
During his recovery in the Coronary Care Unit, health care
professionals from Southwest General’s Cardiac Rehabilitation
Program educated Val and Rita about lifestyle changes, which
would help reduce his risk of having future coronary events.
Additionally, they met with a dietitian who explained how to
incorporate a heart-healthy diet into their busy lifestlye and with
a physical therapist to discuss regular aerobic exercise.
The Road to Recovery
The expert advice from professionals at Southwest General is
helping both the Chapmans.
“My wife has taken the cooking suggestions to heart,” Val says.
“Gone are the heavy meat-and-potato meals and pre-packaged
foods. Instead, we use fresher ingredients and replace red meat
with fish and vegetables often.”
“Apparently it’s working,” Rita says. “In six months, Val has lost
more than 15 pounds, and I’ve lost more than eight pounds.”
Additionally, Val enrolled in a continuously monitored exercise
program offered at Southwest General. There are several phases
to the program with each phase lasting 12 weeks. Val participated
three days a week in the exercise program, which is designed to
strengthen his heart. He wore a portable monitor during the onehour sessions, and the data was then downloaded to a computer.
Regular reports were forwarded to Dr. Sharma as well as to Val’s
primary care physician, Brian Zelis, MD, a board-certified family
medicine physician on the Medical Staff at Southwest General.
“It’s true that a heart attack doesn’t give you a warning that
it’s coming that day,” Val says. “Considering what happened to me,
I’m a very lucky person.
The entire staff at Southwest General extended extraordinary
and compassionate care and attention to me. I’m grateful for the
care I received at Southwest General. From the paramedics to the
doctors and health care professionals I met, none of them made
me feel like just another patient.”
Fall 2015
The Place to Be For Moms-to-Be
A “girlfriend relationship.” That’s how Mary Jo Alverson, a certified nurse midwife who practices at
Southwest General, describes the bond she shares with her patients.
“A midwife is there to support and advocate for her patients before, during and after their deliveries,”
explains Mary Jo, who delivers 10 to 15 babies every month. “Our job is to provide safe care for our
patients and then do whatever they choose to do during the birthing process, whether they want a
natural birth, a water birth or an epidural.”
Today, an increasing number of expectant moms are seeking a more natural, less clinical
environment for childbirth—focusing on fewer technological and invasive interventions, says William K.
Hahn, Jr., MD, a board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist on the Medical Staff at Southwest General.
Many of these women may choose to see a midwife for a more holistic approach to their delivery.
Southwest General responded to this growing demand by establishing a midwifery program at the
hospital more than two years ago. Certified nurse midwives are master’s-degree prepared, advanced
practice registered nurses, who specialize in the care of women.
“Except for complicated procedures, such as a cesarean section, we can do everything a physician
can do,” Mary Jo insists. “In addition to deliveries, we provide prenatal and postpartum care as well as
annual examinations. We see women throughout their lives.”
Midwifery care is just one of the many benefits of delivering at Southwest General.
“The health care providers in our Maternity Unit are skilled and provide top quality, personalized
care,” notes Dr. Hahn. “Unlike many hospitals, Southwest General provides every mother with her own
personal nurse throughout labor and delivery. That provides more interaction and emotional support
and allows the delivering mother to be better prepared for what she is experiencing.”
Additionally, Southwest General’s Maternity Unit features private suites with all the comforts of
Fall 2015
William K. Hahn,
Jr., MD
Mary Jo Alverson,
home—from cozy couches for dad or guests to private
bathrooms. Soft, soothing colors and warm oak tones help
new and expectant parents feel relaxed and comfortable.
Earlier this year, Southwest General added two birthing tub
suites to its Maternity Unit.
“Water births are a wonderful option for women with low-risk
pregnancies,” Mary Jo explains. “Hydrotherapy and water births
can provide increased mobility, comfort and energy for the
delivering mom, while offering relaxation and pain relief.”
“Southwest General provides a home-like atmosphere in
a hospital setting,” continues Mary Jo. “Yet, just down the
hall from our birthing tubs, we have all of the latest high-tech
equipment available in case of an emergency.”
To learn more about Southwest General’s Maternity
Services—including how to schedule a tour—call Health
Connection at 440-816-5050.
Water births are a wonderful
option for moms-to-be.
Should You Have
an Epidural?
You may be among the increasing number of
expectant moms who are considering a natural—
or at least a less invasive—delivery. But once the
contractions begin, you may decide that relief
suddenly seems like a good idea.
Should you have an epidural? Here is some
information from Dr. William Hahn to help guide
your decision:
• An epidural is an injection of pain-blocking
medication inserted into the epidural space of
the spinal cord
• It can provide the most effective level of pain
control throughout mom’s labor and delivery
• An epidural can result in less fetal exposure
to medication than narcotics administered
• There is evidence that an epidural may slow
labor progress and add as long as two hours
to the process
• There is inconsistent evidence that epidural use
may increase the risk of cesarean section
If you are interested in learning more about your
options for pain relief during delivery, call Health
Connection at 440-816-5050.
Pictured is one of Southwest
General’s newly renovated
water birth suites.
Fall 2015
The Dark Truth
The world can be a dark and
lonely place for teens who live in an
unstable home environment or who
are victims of bullying. Many numb
the emotional pain with alcohol or
other drugs. In many cases, they
can become addicted to those
substances, says Kristin Fox, a
licensed independent social worker
and manager of Outpatient Programs
for Southwest General’s Oakview
Behavioral Health Services.
“Without help, addicted
adolescents can become addicted
adults, who could end up in jail or
even worse,” Kristin warns.
But it doesn’t have to happen,
she insists.
“Oakview offers a variety of
adolescent mental health and
addiction programs to help these
kids,” she says. “Our counselors are
specially trained to work with youth,
and they all have backgrounds in
mental health issues.”
Today, the most common causes
of stress and anxiety for adolescents
are dysfunction within their families—
such as divorce or limited or strained
contact with a parent—and alienation
from their peer groups.
“It isn’t just bullying,” Kristin says.
“It involves socialization problems in
general. Technology has made a lot
of existing social problems worse by
giving kids the ability to say things
instantly and anonymously to a large
group of people that they might not
say in person. That can alienate
adolescents more than ever before.”
Many troubled teens, she says,
self-medicate with drugs and alcohol,
or may start using them as a way to
fit in with a group of peers who are
Common signs of emotional
problems or possible addiction can
include unexplained decline in school
performance, truancy, breaking laws
and isolation or withdrawal from
friends and family members.
“Our treatment starts with an
assessment of a patient’s family,
medical, school and mental health
issues,” Kristin explains. “Then,
we match the appropriate clinical
Oakview Behavioral Health Center
Southwest General’s Oakview Behavioral Health Center serves the
Greater Cleveland area. It is a state-of-the-art treatment center focused
on providing care with compassion, dignity and respect. Oakview staff
employs a variety of treatment programs to help you or your loved one
achieve relief from the suffering associated with mental health disorders
and chemical addiction. Services offered through Oakview include:
• Behavioral Health and Dependency Assessment Services
• Mental Health Services for Adults (aged 18+) and Adolescents
(aged 13-18)
• Addiction Recovery Services for Adults (aged 18+) and Adolescents
(aged 13-18)
For more information about Oakview Behavioral Health Services,
call Health Connection at 440-816-5050.
Fall 2015
Southwest General’s Oakview Behavioral Health Services can help adolescents
and adults face some of life’s most challenging problems. The following letter
from a former patient is a powerful testimonial to the care provided through the
hospital’s Adolescent Addiction Recovery Program.
services to what the patient
needs. We work with the
patient as well as his or her
family or whoever is in the
patient’s support system.”
This summer, Charles
Luther, MD, a boardcertified psychiatrist with an
expertise in treating drug
addiction, joined Southwest
General’s Medical Staff
as medical director of
Oakview Behavioral Health
Services. After receiving his
medical degree from Case
Western Reserve School
of Medicine, Dr. Luther
practiced for more than
14 years in New York
City—most recently at
Lenox Hill Hospital.
“Parents who have
concerns about a possible
mental health or addiction
issue can always give us a
call to discuss the issue,”
Dr. Luther says. “We’ll walk
them through the treatment
process and explain the
options. It’s better to find
out whether treatment can
help than to assume that
an adolescent will grow out
of his or her problem.”
Learning to Cope
In 2012, I was referred to Southwest General’s Oakview Behavioral
Health Services for their Adolescent Addiction Recovery Program. My use
of prescription pain medication and alcohol had become too much. Alcohol
and pills were my way of “coping” with life. Also, I was not taking care of
my depression, which only made my struggle worse. The idea of “opening
up” about how I felt wasn’t appealing to me when I thought pills and alcohol
would fix everything.
A family friend had already worked through Oakview’s program and
spoke highly of it. The groups with kids my age who also suffered from
addiction helped me feel like I wasn’t alone. The counselors were able to
educate me in a way that the information stuck.
The family group sessions also were beneficial, as my parents were able
to be educated among a group of individuals whose children also were
addicts. It provided them with the counseling needed to give them the tools
to deal with everything going on. Also, it gave them a forum to have an
honest dialogue about my addiction.
Getting sober wasn’t easy. I relapsed multiple times, was hospitalized
three times for being suicidal and struggled to stay sober. However, I was
never made to feel ashamed in group when I opened up, and was offered
support on how to learn from these situations.
Jim Drozda, my counselor, was very helpful when it came to these
issues. He was not only understanding of my mental health issues but also
made sure to point me in the right direction to best help myself. There
were times where he would stay late to walk me through issues that were
bothersome—which meant a lot.
I had taken many pain killers the last time I used, which, subsequently,
landed me in the Emergency Room. The way I acted toward the people
trying to help was a wakeup call. When I finally hit that moment of
surrender, I saw that the things I had been retaining from group started to
make sense. I started to see that asking for help is crucial in the process to
stay sober.
I, personally, can’t say enough about Oakview. I have been sober since
Jan. 10, 2013. The program gave me the tools to build a solid foundation of
No road to sobriety is easy, but with the right guidance, I am now able
to work at becoming the person I’m meant to be. Today, I am a student at
Cleveland State University pursuing a degree in psychology with the goal
of becoming a counselor one day. Also, I am happy to say that the hopeless
and helpless feelings that once plagued me have now been replaced with
ambition and happiness. NONE of this would have been possible without the
counselors in the Adolescent Addiction Recovery Program.
(The patient’s identity, for confidentiality reasons, has been removed from the content of this letter)
Charles Luther, MD
Fall 2015
A Winning Combination
As a self-described fitness fiend, Robyn Spencer
works hard at staying in shape. The physical release she
gets from Jazzercise or running helps Robyn balance her
busy life as a wife, mom and employee. Plus, exercise
helps her set—and achieve—personal goals.
One of Robyn’s goals included running in the
Brunswick Blue Pride Race on April 26, 2014. A seemingly
normal day, it turned out to be anything but routine.
“My friend said she saw me grab a cup of water and
give her a thumb up,” shares Robyn. “Then, I collapsed.”
Robyn, 42, doesn’t remember any of that or having a
grand mal seizure and losing consciousness.
On Sunday, April 26, 2015, Robyn, along with “Robyn’s Warriors,”
completed the annual Brunswick Blue Pride Race.
An Unexpected Disease
As she lay on the ground unconscious, race
personnel called an ambulance to take Robyn to the
nearest emergency care center—Southwest General’s
Brunswick Medical Center & 24-hour Emergency Room
(ER). Once there, physicians discovered that Robyn had
a slow-growing brain tumor, which would need to be
surgically removed.
Robyn was transported to University Hospitals for a
craniotomy, where she remained comatose for several
days until medication would calm her ongoing seizures.
Because the tumor was intertwined within her brain,
surgery was complicated, but neurosurgeons were able
to remove 95 percent of the tumor, which was benign.
Creating a Special Bond
After surgery, Robyn was partially paralyzed on her right
side and needed inpatient rehabilitation therapy to regain her
movement and balance, and to relearn self-care skills, such as
dressing, grooming and eating.
“I chose to go to the Acute Rehab Unit at Southwest
General,” she says. “I have a relationship with the hospital.
Three of my four kids were born there and their pediatricians
are there. I felt comfortable at Southwest General.”
Robyn’s tie to Southwest General grew stronger in
Acute Rehab—where she worked closely with Kim Holzinger,
physical therapist, and Linda Weiss-DuChossois, occupational
therapy assistant, for at least three hours each day.
Southwest General’s Acute Rehab Unit is under the medical
direction of Usharani Tandra, MD, a board-certified physical
medicine and rehabilitation specialist on the Medical Staff at
Southwest General. Dr. Tandra carefully monitored Robyn’s
therapy and progress, and after four weeks of intensive physical,
occupational and speech therapy, Robyn returned home.
“I cried because I was leaving,” she says. “Kim and Linda
were like my second family. They inspired me to go the
extra mile.”
Fall 2015
As the first
anniversary of the discovery of her brain tumor approached,
Robyn’s former therapists and nurses decided to band
together for Robyn. Many of them knew how important
finishing the 5K race was to her, so they became “Robyn’s
Warriors” and attended the 2015 Brunswick Blue Pride Race
with her.
“They all wore orange shirts, which is my favorite color,”
says Robyn, recalling the day. “About 80 people showed up—
individuals from Southwest General as well as Kim and Linda,
and my Jazzercise friends—to help me finish the race.
“They said they did it to support me … truly, they’re the
ones who help me stay upbeat,” she continues. “Even though
my recovery will take time, my friends and family, along with
the staff at the Acute Rehab Unit, continue to help me remain
determined and do what is needed to get better.”
Patients and their family members are encouraged to call to
discuss Acute Rehab therapy services or to arrange a tour. For
more information, call Health Connection at 440-816-5050.
Excellence in
Patient Safety
Southwest General Continues to be a
Top Place of Employment
Southwest General recently was named a NorthCoast 99 award recipient for the
12th time. This designation, given by the Employer’s Resource Council (ERC), recognizes
the 99 best places to work in Northeast Ohio—from Sandusky to Ashtabula.
To achieve this recognition, businesses must meet stringent criteria in a variety of areas,
including staffing and workforce planning, development and training, compensation and rewards,
organizational culture and organizational innovation, success and performance.
Additionally, in June 2015, The Cleveland Plain Dealer announced “The Plain Dealer
Top Workplaces”—a list of the best places to work in Northeast Ohio. We are pleased
to share that Southwest General was named to this list for the sixth consecutive year!
Top Workplaces leads the way in measuring the health of U.S. companies based on employee
opinions. To be named a Top Workplace 2015, employees were sent a short, confidential
24-question survey asking their opinions on six areas of the workplace, including: direction,
execution, connection, career, work, managers, pay and benefits and engagement.
Southwest General is extremely proud of the dedication and commitment of its employees
and grateful to have earned these distinctions.
In the spring of 2015,
Southwest General again was
recognized as a “Grade A”
institution by the Leapfrog Group
in its biannual Hospital Safety
Score Report.
Designed to rate how well
hospitals protect patients from
accidents, errors, injuries and
infections, the Hospital Safety
Score Report is compiled under
the guidance of the nation’s
leading experts on patient safety.
Health Connection—Southwest General’s Physician Referral
and Health Information Phone Line
Find the right doctor, get answers to your non-emergency medical questions and connect with
hospital and community resources—all through Southwest General’s Health Connection.
Our staff of registered nurses is available to help guide you through the health care maze and
answer any questions along the way. If you need to find a physician, have a non-emergency medical
question, can’t reach your doctor and/or you’re just not sure if you have a problem, give us a call.
To reach Health Connection, call 440-816-5050, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Wellness Clinic Sites
Southwest General’s Community Nurse Program offers a variety of health and wellness programs
in local communities throughout the year. This includes screenings such as blood pressure, body fat,
cholesterol, glucose, hearing, osteoporosis and more. To learn more about these programs and/or to
register, visit swgeneral.com/events-education-screenings or call 440-816-4037.
Berea Recreation Center
451 Front Street
Blood Pressure & Glucose Screening
1st Tuesday each month, 7:30–8:30 a.m.
3rd Monday each month, 8 a.m.–noon
Berea Senior Center
St. Paul Lutheran Church, 276 Bagley Road
Blood Pressure & Glucose Screening
2nd Tuesday each month, 12:30-2 p.m.
John A. Poloyne Community Center (Brook Park)
17400 Holland Road
Blood Pressure & Glucose Screening
1st Tuesday each month, 9 a.m.–noon
3rd Wednesday each month, 8–9:30 a.m.
Brunswick Community Recreation
& Fitness Center
3637 Center Road
Blood Pressure & Glucose Screening
2nd & 4th Wednesday each month,
8 a.m.–noon
Brunswick Library
3649 Center Road
Blood Pressure & Glucose Screening
4th Tuesday each month, 9–11 a.m.
Ehrnfelt Recreation Center
18100 Royalton Road
Blood Pressure & Glucose Screening
1st Monday each month, 7–9:30 a.m.
Ehrnfelt Senior Center
18100 Royalton Road
Blood Pressure & Glucose Screening
1st Monday each month, 9:30–11 a.m.
3rd Tuesday each month, 10:30 a.m.–1 p.m.
LifeWorks of Southwest General
7390 Old Oak Boulevard
Blood Pressure & Glucose Screening
1st Monday each month, 5–7 p.m.
2nd Monday each month, 9 a.m.–noon
Middleburg Heights Community Center
16000 Bagley Road
Blood Pressure & Glucose Screening
2nd Monday each month, 7–8:30 a.m.
2nd Tuesday each month, 8 a.m.–noon
SouthPark Mall
500 SouthPark Center
SouthPark Mall—Upper Food Court
Blood Pressure Screening
3rd Tuesday each month, 9–10 a.m.
SouthwestToday Fall 2015
A Holiday Tradition—
Southwest General’s
Annual Festival of Lights
Don’t Bother Me!
Are you sick and tired of
getting the flu?
Protect yourself by receiving a flu
shot at the Southwest Community
Pharmacy, located in the Main
Lobby of the hospital, at:
18697 Bagley Rd.
Middleburg Hts., OH 44130
Save the date for the 30th annual Festival of Lights on
Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, at 5:30 p.m., in Southwest General’s
Main Lobby.
After entertainment and a few words from hospital
representatives, all the trees lining Old Oak Boulevard will be lit for
the holiday season. Refreshments will follow the tree lighting.
Individuals may make a $20 donation in tribute to, or in memory
of, family, friends or other loved ones. Corporations may make a
donation of $50.
All honorees will have his/her name included in the Festival
of Lights book, displayed throughout the year in the Main Lobby
as well as on the Foundation’s Special Events page, located at
Checks can be made payable to Southwest Community Health
Foundation before Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015, and mailed to:
Southwest Community Health Foundation
18697 Bagley Rd., C-105
Middleburg Hts., OH 44130
This year’s proceeds benefit The Thomas P. Perciak Family
Residential Hospice. For more information, call the Foundation
Office at 440-816-6713.
You must be 18 years or older
to receive a flu shot.
Most insurances, including
Medicare Part B, are accepted.
No appointment necessary.
Available while supplies last.
For more information, call Health
Connection at 440-816-5050.
Flu Shots Available
10 a.m.–5 p.m., Monday–Friday
10 a.m.– noon, Saturday
Don’t Make the
Ladder a Matter
Attention all gutter cleaners, holiday light stringers
and other “ladderists!”
Did you know that Southwest General’s
Emergency Room sees hundreds of patients each
year who have fallen from a ladder? Or that there is
a higher incidence of falls during Oct. and Nov. when
individuals are cleaning gutters and stringing holiday
lights? The majority of these falls result from the
ladder slipping out from underneath people due to
improper use.
Take a minute to be safe during the upcoming
season by viewing the “Watch Your Step” video,
courtesy of Safety.com, at
Are You Aging Too Quickly?
Q. How Do I Know If I’m Aging Too Quickly?
A. No two people age the same way. Older patients who are experiencing various
degrees of memory loss or physical problems are often concerned about whether
these things are normal or whether they are aging faster than they should be.
There is no single, universal path of aging. We all age differently, and in terms of
development, individuals 65 and older show much greater variance than younger
groups. It is genes, lifestyle and disease processes that determine a difference in
aging. A program, such as Southwest General’s Geriatric Assessment Program, can
help seniors and their caregivers understand the senior’s physical and mental health.
It can be a valuable part of delivering medical care, helping primary care physicians
care for their frail, elderly patients with complex health care needs.
Q. What Is The Geriatric Assessment Program?
A. The Geriatric Assessment Program at Southwest General offers a comprehensive
look at an individual’s health, living environment and support needs. During an
initial visit, a multidisciplinary team provides a detailed assessment of an individual’s
overall health, physical abilities, home situation, eating habits, medications and
sleep. If needed, additional evaluations can be done. Additionally, we work with
board-certified neuropsychologists and provide a more in-depth examination of
brain function, when required. A geriatric assessment can be a key factor in staying
healthy for seniors.
Q. What Do I Do With My Results?
A. To help seniors and their caregivers use the assessment results to plan for care,
Southwest General offers the support of a social worker and a nurse specializing
in geriatrics. Our goal is to help seniors stay healthy and remain independent for
as long as possible. This includes finding ways to help seniors stay physically and
mentally active, get outside and keep up with scheduled screenings and exams.
Q. How Can I Learn More?
A. For more information on Geriatric Services at Southwest General, or to schedule
a Geriatric Assessment, call Health Connection at 440-816-5050.
Tell Me Doctor
Southwest General’s Geriatric Assessment Program helps evaluate where seniors
stand on their physical and mental health. Monika Demko, MD, a board-certified
internal medicine physician, and geriatric medicine specialist, on the Medical Staff
at Southwest General, explains this program and how it can help older patients and
their families.
The Geriatric Assessment Program at Southwest General, led
by Dr. Monika Demko and her multidisciplinary team of medical
professionals, can help older adults understand their own aging
Monika Demko, MD
Along with the Geriatric Assessment Program, Southwest General
provides a variety of services and programs designed for the special
needs of the older adult population and their caregivers. This
includes the Geriatric Behavioral Health Unit at Southwest General,
educational activities for seniors provided by community nurses,
and Home Health Services, providing in-home nursing services
and physical therapy. To learn more, call Health Connection at
Fall 2015
Education, Screenings
and Support Groups
EMS Programs
Health and Nutrition
C.E.R.T. – Community Emergency
Response Team
Contact your city rep for upcoming classes.
A Matter of Balance:.................. 440-816-8036 Managing Concerns About Falls
Berea.............................. [email protected]
Diabetes Education Program...... 440-816-5728
Brook Park.......... [email protected]
Hospice Volunteer Training.......... 440-816-5967
Brunswick [email protected]
Individualized Nutrition............... 440-816-8605 Counseling
Columbia Station.............. [email protected]
The following is a listing of Southwest
General’s educational opportunities,
screenings and free support groups.
Hinckley Township............. [email protected]
Middleburg [email protected]
Diabetes Basics......................... 440-816-5728
Life Support Programs—
Olmsted [email protected]
Health Care Provider CPR........... 440-816-8036
Strongsville....... [email protected]
Health Care Provider Renewal..... 440-816-8036
For complete details (date,
location, registration, etc.), visit
Cleveland Hopkins Airport
........................... [email protected] Heartsaver CPR and AED............ 440-816-8036
Searching this web page is easy
and quick! To ensure a place in the
class/program of your choice, register
as soon as possible by calling the
number listed. Payment at the time
of registration will guarantee your
placement into the class. Please
note, no refunds are offered.
First Responder......................... 440-816-4553 Location
Most classes meet at Southwest
General, 18697 Bagley Road in
Middleburg Heights.
When you call to register, you will be
told the location of your class. Some
classes are held outside the hospital.
To register for a class, call the phone
number listed next to each class title.
Emergency Medical Technician
EMT Paramedic Refresher.......... 440-816-4553 American Heart Courses
Heartsaver/First Aid.................... 440-816-4553
Pediatric Advanced Life.............. 440-816-4553
Support (PALS) Advanced Cardiac Life............... 440-816-4553
Support (ACLS)
International Trauma............... 440-816-4553
Life Support (ITLS)
Prenatal & Family Life
Now that You’re Pregnant
Boot Camp for New Dads........... 440-816-8036
Breastfeeding............................ 440-816-8036
Maternity Unit Tour..................... 440-816-8036
Infant Massage & Happiest ........ 440-816-8036
Baby on the Block
Infant Care................................ 440-816-8036
Prepared Childbirth.................... 440-816-8036
Grandparenting.......................... 440-816-8036
For Children
Sibling Preparation..................... 440-816-8036
Safe SitterTM.............................. 440-816-8036
Fall 2015
First Aid..................................... 440-816-8036
Family and Friends CPR............. 440-816-8036
The American Heart Association strongly promotes
knowledge and proficiency in BLS, ACLS and PALS and
has developed instructional materials for this purpose.
Use of these materials in an educational course does
not represent course sponsorship by the American Heart
Association. Any fees charged for such a course, except
for a portion of fees needed for AHA course material, do
not represent income to the Association.
Physician Presentations
Free community talks ................ 440-816-8446
Recovery Programs
Arthritis Exercise Program.......... 440-816-8036
(formerly P.A.C.E.)
Cardiac Rehabilitation................ 440-816-5772
—Phase II
Cardiac Rehabilitation................ 440-816-5772
—Phase III Heart Failure Education.............. 440-816-5772
Look Good ... Feel Better........ 1-888-227-6446
option 2
Moving On Aquatics................... 440-816-8019
Pulmonary Rehabilitation II......... 440-816-8982
Pulmonary Rehabilitation III......... 440-816-8982
Speaking On.............................. 440-816-8010
Education, Screenings
and Support Groups
Free Women’s
Health Membership
A Six-Week Series (reg. required)
Heartwise Education/................. 440-816-5772
Support Group
Sign up for Southwest General’s FREE Women’s
Health Membership Program, Season’s of a
Woman’s Life. You’ll enjoy the many benefits such
as monthly informational e-blasts, invitations to fun
events and so much more. Contact Robyn Harker at
440-816-5395 or [email protected]
Free Support Groups
Amputation Support Group.....1-877-SWG-BEAT
Breastfeeding Mothers’.............. 440-816-5018
Support Group
“Out of the Valley”: .................... 440-816-5019
A Grief Support Group
For complete details
about the listings, visit
Caregiver Support Group............ 440-816-5018
and Resource Center
Domestic Violence....... 216-651-8484, ext. 311
Support Group
Healthy Grief Class .................... 440-816-5019
A Premier Health and Fitness Center
7390 Old Oak Boulevard
Middleburg Heights, OH 44130
LifeWorks of Southwest General is a medically integrated health and fitness
center owned by Southwest General. At LifeWorks, we believe that everyone
has the potential to live their best life. We are here to help you create and
maintain a healthy lifestyle.
A LifeWorks fitness membership includes:
- Complimentary fitness coaching (including health and fitness assessment,
functional movement screening)
- More than 100 weekly group exercise programs, such as Spinning,
Zumba, Yoga, Aqua Tabata and Warm Water Arthritis
- Deluxe locker rooms, each with a hot tub, dry sauna and steam room
- Towel service and digital locks
- A team of caring fitness professionals
Special programs for both members and nonmembers of LifeWorks include:
- Tai Chi
- Small group and team
- Massage therapy
- Rx for Health – a
physician referred
exercise program
- Pilates reformer
- Pre-op hip/knee
replacement program
- Post physical therapy
- Meditation
For more information, visit www.lifeworksfitness.net, or contact program
specialist, Kelly Jones, at 440-816-4303 or [email protected]
Check us out on Facebook!
Visit www.facebook.com and search
“LifeWorks of Southwest General Hospital.”
50% off
Enrollment Fee
Receive 50% OFF the
enrollment fee when
you join LifeWorks now
through Dec. 31, 2015.
To learn more, contact our
Membership Department
at 440-816-4214 or
[email protected]
One Free
Guest Visit
Valid on first visit only.
Must present coupon at time of sign
up. Certain restrictions apply. Must be
aged 18 or older. Cannot be combined
with other promotions/specials. Valid
through 12-31-15. Month-to-month
membership options are available.
Guests must be 18 years of age or
older and present a valid photo ID.
Guests are limited to three visits per
calendar year. Certain restrictions
apply. Offer expires 12-31-15 SWT.
Fall 2015
Non-Profit Org.
Greenfield, OH
Permit No. 771
Southwest General Health Center
18697 Bagley Road
Middleburg Heights, Ohio 44130-3497
Thomas A. Selden, FACHE
President & CEO
Published by the Marketing Department
Suffering from Muscle Pain or Tension?
New Therapy Technique Could Help
Trigger Point Dry Needling (TDN) is a new service
offered through Southwest General’s Physical
Medicine & Rehabilitation (PM&R) Department. TDN
is an emerging physical therapy technique used to
treat a variety of musculoskeletal and neuromuscular
conditions such as neck, back and shoulder pain,
migraine headaches, muscle spasms and carpal
tunnel syndrome.
The technique is similar to acupuncture. It uses
ultra-thin needles, which are inserted into various
“trigger points” in a patient’s body, depending upon
where he or she is feeling pain. This triggers a “twitch
response,” or a brief contraction of the muscle,
followed by an immediate relaxation.
Dry needling is used in tandem with other physical
therapy treatments and exercise routines you may
already be doing.
Benefits of dry needling include, but are not
limited to:
• Longer lasting pain relief
• Eliminating tension
• Releasing tight or knotted muscles
• Healing muscles after an injury
• Accelerating healing time
• Increasing range of motion
Not all therapists are trained to perform dry
needling. However, therapists at Southwest General
have advanced training and have been certified
through Dr. Ma’s Integrative Dry Needling Institute
LLC, an internationally recognized and respected
authority on this technique.
As a recognized physical therapy treatment, dry
needling is covered by most major insurance plans.
To learn more about dry needling, call Health
Connection at 440-816-5050.