comprehensive cancer care here in Fishersville



comprehensive cancer care here in Fishersville
Winter 2011 ››
It’s all
about you
at augusta health
New Urgent
Care to open
cancer care
Here in Fishersville
Learn more on page 26
our new
see page 24 ››
Find beauty and wellness
at Augusta Health.
Please call for an appointment with our Director,
Dr. Kristen L. Savola, Board Certified Cosmetic
150 OFF
Fraxel Restore, Fraxel Repair CO2, Thermage
Coupon valid thru 4/30/12
Cannot be combined with any other specials - no cash value
Augusta Health welcomes
Sara Hawken, A.N.P.
Sara Hawken is a Nurse Practitioner
with over 10 years of clinical nursing
experience. She has a bachelor’s
in nursing from Miami University,
Oxford, Ohio and a certification from
the American Nurses Credentialing
Center in Medical-Surgical Nursing.
Following graduation she served
five years as a commissioned officer
in the United States Air Force Nurse
Corps and was awarded a Medal of
Sara received her Master’s degree in Nursing from the University of
Alabama at Birmingham with a certification as an Adult Health Nurse
Practitioner and was awarded the Outstanding Graduate. She is a
member of Sigma Theta Tau and the American Academy of Nurse
Sara brings much expertise and knowledge to us from both a medical
and surgical perspective. Her background and past experience in
surgery, family practice, women’s health and as a Procedure Nurse
will be an asset in treating her patients.
Sara is new to Charlottesville, where she lives with her husband and
three sons. We are very excited that she has joined us at Augusta
Health La Vie Laser and Cosmetic Dermatology. She is accepting new
medical and surgical dermatology patients.
(540) 941-2531 Waynesboro | Find us on Facebook
in this issue
›› winter 2011
4It’s all about you!
A letter from Mary N. Mannix, FACHE
How Augusta Health benefits our community
6 Here’s to your heart health!
Commitment to community = construction
for cardiac care
10 Tips to toughen up your immune system
11 New Urgent Care to open in Staunton
12 Gallbladder removal just got easier
Augusta Health surgeon offers less-invasive surgery
rology care for the Shenandoah Valley
A son comes home
16 Dealing with addiction
You’re not alone
18Ask the physician
Augusta Health physicians answer your questions
20Happenings at Augusta Health
Calendar of classes and groups
24 New healthcare providers
26 Augusta health cancer center
and duke medicine
A collaborative relationship—
working together for quality care
convenient, urgent, emergency!
What’s the difference?
30 Slow motion
Low-impact exercise can help improve
joint conditions
32 It’s that time again
Flu season is back!
It’s all about you!
dear friends,
Th e M a g a z i n e o f A u g u s ta H e a lt h
Serving Staunton, Waynesboro and Augusta counties
and surrounding communities
A u g u s t a H e a l t h B o a r d o f Di r e c t o r s
R e v. J o h n C . Pe te r s o n , C h air man
Without a community for which to care and serve, Augusta Health would have
no reason for being. We keep that in mind not only each day, but also when it
comes time to plan for long-term growth to meet your healthcare needs.
You’ll see the evidence of this commitment when you drive by our facilities
and view the flurry of activity outside the building. We’re proud to have broken
ground for our new Heart & Vascular Center (see the artist’s rendering of the
C h a r l e s “M i c k ” An d e r s e n , MD
St u a r t Crow
J o h n B. D av i s
Wi l l i a m Fa u l k e n b e r r y, MD
R o b e r t G . K n ow l e s
L a u re l L a n d e s
M a r y N . M a n n i x , FAC HE
J o h n “ R o b” M a r s h , M D
An n D. M c Ph e r s o n
B e ve r l y S . “C h e r i ” M o ran
Wi l l i a m L . P fo s t
center’s placement on our grounds on page 9) just this September. When the
Joseph Ranzini, MD
facility is completed by the first quarter of 2013, all of Augusta Health’s cardiac
Vi c to r M . S a nto s
and vascular services will be housed in the 67,500-square-foot addition. It will
A u g u s ta H e a lt h F o u n d at i o n B o a r d
offer you and your loved ones both comprehensive and advanced services and
technology, expertly trained healthcare providers and greater convenience in
beautiful surroundings. Read more about the Center starting on page 6 of this
Aro n a E. R i c h a rd
Aro n a E. R i c h a rd, C h a ir
D e b ra S . Ca l l i s o n
Ed wa rd C l y m o re
D av i d E. Co h ro n
St u a r t Crow
R o n a l d W. D e n n e y
Ku r t G o t t s c h a l k
issue of Health Matters.
L a u re l L a n d e s
I’m also pleased to tell you about our new facility, opening in February 2012,
offering care for minor emergencies, with laboratory and radiology services
available onsite: Augusta Health Urgent Care, located in Staunton (see page 11).
If you’re not sure whether your health issue needs emergency, urgent or simply
convenient care, read our article starting on page 28 to help you sort out your
M a r y N . M a n n i x , FAC HE
J o h n “ R o b” M a r s h , M D
B e ve r l y S . “C h e r i ” M o ran
Wi l l i a m L . P fo s t
Jeanne K. Russell
A u g u s ta H e a lt h H o s p i ta l S ta f f
President and CEO Mary N. Mannix, FACHE
Chief Medical Officer Fred Castello, MD
Chief Financial Officer John Heider
Chief Information Officer Bruce Hall
Executive Director AMG L. Courtenay Beebe, MD
V.P. Support Services David E. Deering
Partners in care
V.P. Planning and Development Kathleen Heatwole
In addition to the advanced care patients with cancer already receive from
the Augusta Health medical staff, we’ve entered into an agreement with Duke
Medicine to become an affiliate of the Duke Oncology Network (read more on
page 26). That means our patients now have access to all of Duke’s advanced
research programs and treatments, even allowing our patients to participate in
clinical trials right here at home. It all adds up to the best care possible for our
community. Keep Augusta Health in mind for all your healthcare needs; you’re
at the top of our list of concerns!
Best regards,
V.P. Medical Administration Jan Mangun
V.P. Chief Nursing Officer Lisa Cline
V.P. Professional Services Karen Clark
V.P. Human Resources Sue Krzastek
V.P. AMG Administration Ann Rubino
For more information about services at Augusta Health,
please contact Lisa Schwenk, Director of
Communications and Public Relations, at
[email protected] or (540) 245-7329.
Health Matters is published by
Augusta Health, 78 Medical Center Drive,
Fishersville, VA 22939. All rights reserved.
The information contained herein is not a substitute for
professional medical care or advice. If you have medical
concerns, seek the guidance of a healthcare professional.
Health Matters is aimed at connecting the community
with healthcare experts within Augusta Health to learn more
about issues that may be affecting your health.
If you are not receiving Health Matters,
you can view it online or request to be added to the
mailing list at
Editor/ Director of Marketing: Vicki Kirby
Mary N. Mannix, FACHE
President and Chief Executive Officer
Augusta Health
HealthMatters Winter 2011
Webmaster: Brian McGill
Professional Photography by:
Kevin Blackburn Photography, Waynesboro, VA
How Augusta
Health benefits
our community
Almost $1.3 million—that’s the amount Augusta Health
gave to our community in benefits last year.
“Our hospital board of directors is committed to
remaining a community hospital,” says Linda Gail Johnson,
executive director of the Augusta Health Foundation and
director of Augusta Health Community Wellness. “They’re
committed to the health and wellness of this community, and
to providing the best care and services.”
From holding free glucose and skin cancer screenings to
donating money for supplies to local emergency responders,
the hospital is doing its part to support the community and
make quality healthcare accessible and affordable for all.
According to Johnson, Augusta Health subsidizes such
services as skilled nursing, rehabilitation and psychiatric units,
and transportation to and from the hospital for those who
can’t afford it. (Subsidizing means any reimbursement the
hospital sees is not enough to cover its costs.) In addition,
Augusta Health gives back to the community through:
• Charity care. The hospital sees no or minimal reimbursement
for services rendered to those unable to pay.
• The Augusta Health Foundation. The Foundation provides
direct monetary assistance in the form of grants to nonprofit
community agencies.
• Department-donated services. Various department
employees throughout the hospital donate their time
to provide free health screenings and education to the
community at schools, senior citizen centers and more.
Images on pages 3, 5, 6, 13, 16, 19, 20, 23, 32 © 2011 Thinkstock
Augusta Health started tracking these benefits in 2010.
In the coming years, the amount of valuable services donated
Community benefits
In 2010, Augusta Health provided almost
$1.3 million in community benefits. Here are just
some of the programs funded over the year:
Hospital expenses
Support of community groups
Free lab testing for Augusta
Regional Free Clinic patients
Free prescriptions at the
outpatient pharmacy for
qualifying patients
Transportation for needy patients
to and from the hospital
Benefits paid for Augusta
Regional Free Clinic employees
Oxygen gas donated to local
rescue squads
School of Clinical Laboratory
Science (Allied Health Professions)
Flu vaccines (community and
work sites)
Chronic disease self-management
WOW Fitness Nights
to the community “is only going to grow,” says Sarah
Hash-Rodgers, director of accounting at Augusta Health.
Johnson says hospital board members have considered,
“Do we continue to fund services we lose money on?” And
the answer has always been a resounding “Yes,” she says. As
long as there are people who need these services, Augusta
Health will be right here, ready to provide them. “It’s our
Support your hospital!
Let’s work hand in hand to care for the community that
cares for us all. To learn more about how you can help,
call (540) 332-4191 or visit
duty,” Johnson says.
Here’s to
your heart health!
Commitment to community = construction for cardiac care
HealthMatters Winter 2011
A testament to Augusta Health’s unwavering
Improving imaging
commitment to the community’s heart health
has begun to take shape.
With work well under way at the Heart & Vascular Center,
Augusta Health’s imaging department will also get a boost.
“There will be better patient access, facilities, registration
and privacy, including the addition of patient dressing rooms,”
says Karen Clark, vice president of professional services at
Augusta Health.
These improvements join the improved technology that
has come to Augusta Health, including the latest open-bore
magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) equipment, which provides
patients with more breathing room once inside the machine.
This has allowed claustrophobic and larger patients to receive
MRI services in a more comfortable setting.
With legislators, city and county representatives
and hospital leadership in attendance, Augusta Health
officially broke ground on its $30.6 million Heart & Vascular
Center on Sept. 30. When completed by the first quarter
of 2013, the four-story, 67,500-square-foot addition will
house the hospital’s cardiac and vascular services in
one location.
“This is our opportunity to offer convenient access to
services and pleasant surroundings, while expanding our
interventional services and meeting the growing needs
of the community,” says Karen Clark, vice president of
professional services at Augusta Health.
The imaging department, which will be the connecting
point between the existing hospital and the new center, will
by hospital reserves, there is opportunity for community
also be renovated.
support for this project, Heatwole says. Both firms have
extensive heart center design experience. Recognizing the
Inside the center
importance of supporting its community, Augusta Health
“It’s going to be a beautiful building,” sums up Kathleen
selected many well-qualified local subcontractors to work
Heatwole, Augusta Health’s vice president for planning and
on the project.
Inside the center, patients can expect to find a wide
After a very competitive selection process, architects
array of nationally accredited services, Clark says. That
Kahler Slater and construction management firm Whiting-
includes a state-of-the-art cardiac catheterization lab with
Turner were selected. Although the project is being funded
all new imaging equipment (the hospital is requesting state
Continued on page 8 »
a view from above the
construction site
Heavy equipment begins
the expansion work
Sep 14, 2011 09:59am
Continued from page 7
approval for a second cath lab), vascular ultrasound rooms,
stress testing, echocardiograms and nuclear medicine
Here’s to your heart health!
Haris Turalic, MD; Masood
Ahmed, MD; Raj Pillai, MD; and
john yang, MD, break ground
for the new augusta health
Heart and vascular center
. 137
Site Plan
Copyright © 2011 Kahler Slater, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
“We’re constantly hiring,” Heatwole says. “We’re in growth
cardiac rehabilitation unit—increased from its current size
mode, which is very fortunate for our patients.” Other features
Date: 9/30/11
Project #: 209179.00
patients will find are a Issue
Heart & Vascular Center
Sheet #: AS1.10
entrance and parking. While the center will be attached to the
of 800 square feet to 5,000 square feet—featuring the latest
hospital, “It definitely will have its own identity,” she says.
featuring a new nuclear camera. There will also be a large
in exercise equipment; support services such as nutritional
counseling and diabetes education; and offices for specialists
Raising the bar
such as cardiologists and pulmonologists.
Augusta Health has worked hard to improve the heart health
“It’s very convenient. Patients will be able to visit their
of its community. Just over the past few years, the hospital
cardiologist and undergo cardiac procedures in the same
has more than halved the time it takes for heart attack
place,” Heatwole says. The hospital will also explore adding
patients to be treated—called “door-to-balloon” time—from
new services while expanding existing ones, she says, as well
135 minutes when patients were transferred to other facilities
as hiring additional physicians, such as cardiologists and
to now just 43 minutes, well below the American Heart
interventional cardiologists.
Association/American College of Cardiology recommended
HealthMatters Winter 2011
P03: 40 SPACES
: 74
Groundbreaking Celebration
guideline of 90 minutes. It’s also received recognition from
The Joint Commission for its performance in caring for heart
attack and heart failure patients.
“We already have a strong heart program,” Clark says.
“But this new center provides patients with more organized
Get updates here
For more information, including construction
updates, visit and click
on “Augusta Health Heart & Vascular Center.”
• 209179.
September 30, 2011
Pardon our appearance
Major construction projects are tricky no matter
where they occur, but rest assured that Augusta
Health is doing its part to minimize any impact to
patients. According to Karen Clark, vice president
of professional services at Augusta Health, noise
and other construction issues won’t be a problem
for most of the hospital because of the location
of the Heart & Vascular Center addition. The most
noticeable change will be that the loop roadway that
runs around the hospital will be closed. Detour signs
will direct patients and staff where to go.
Tips to toughen up your immune system
To ward off disease, keep your immune system—a network
of blood cells, chemicals and organs that work
together—functioning in peak condition. Follow these
strategies to help your immune system deliver its knockout
Eat a nutritious diet. Poor nutrition prevents your body
from building enough immune cells. A well-balanced diet
supplies nutrients to fight the free radicals that suppress your
immune system and contribute to disease.
Get regular exercise. Knock off unwanted pounds,
reduce stress and improve cholesterol levels.
Get adequate rest. Lack of adequate sleep can put you
at risk for obesity and depression, which can take a toll on
your immune system.
Reduce stress. To quiet your mind, try meditation, yoga
or tai chi. Petting your dog or cat or taking a nature walk
can help, too.
HealthMatters Winter 2011
Don’t smoke. Smoking makes it harder for you to fight
infection and inflicts damage on your entire body.
Drink alcohol moderately, if at all. Drinking excessively
is toxic to your body, putting you at risk for liver and
pancreas damage as well as cancer.
Lose excess pounds. Overweight people with high
cholesterol who exercise and eat a low-fat, low-calorie
diet not only slim down and reduce their total cholesterol, but
boost their immune system, too.
Get immunized. Ask your physician about vaccinations
you may need.
Get your vitamins. Food is the best source when it
comes to supplying your body with disease-fighting
nutrients. But a daily multivitamin can be a smart backup.
Laugh. Laughter reduces stress hormones and causes
the part of your nervous system that regulates heart
rate, blood pressure, digestion and other functions to relax.
New Urgent
Care to open
in Staunton
What Urgent Care treats
a ccidents and injuries such as sprains, strains and
broken bones
adult and pediatric illnesses
fevers, respiratory infections, colds and flu
lacerations and contusions
minor emergencies
work-related injuries
Convenient medical care will be getting a whole lot
closer to home. In February, Augusta Health will open its
newest Urgent Care to serve the Staunton and Waynesboro
communities. Located at 851 Statler Blvd. in Staunton, this
Urgent Care has a twist: When your condition is not life
threatening but needs immediate attention, an urgent care
clinic can offer high-quality healthcare for minor emergencies,
while a full-service laboratory and radiology services—including
digital mammography and ultrasound—will also be available.
“It’s such a huge plus having all these services under one
Here when you need us!
Augusta Health Urgent Care and Diagnostic Center
will be located at 851 Statler Blvd. in Staunton, and
will be open 365 days a year, including holidays and
weekends. Hours will be Monday through Friday from
10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and on weekends from 10 a.m. to
6 p.m. Walk-ins will be welcome and no appointments
will be needed.
roof,” says Phillip Worrell, who oversaw the development of this
Urgent Care and Diagnostic Center as Augusta Health project
hospital’s Convenient Care Clinics, which offer care for less urgent
manager along with Jim Wilson, assistant vice president of
conditions, in Staunton and Waynesboro (read more on page 28).
facilities, who is also serving as the general contractor.
Worrell says offering varying levels of service allows Augusta
How so? Well, picture this: Your son hurts his leg snowboarding and you take him to Urgent Care. There, he’s seen by
Health to meet all the healthcare needs of the community.
While the Urgent Care and Diagnostic Center will provide
one of Augusta Health’s board-certified emergency medicine
many of the same services that are available through your
physicians. To ensure that his injury isn’t more serious, the
primary care physician, it doesn’t replace him or her, says David
physician can quickly have your son’s leg X-rayed without leaving
Serle, practice administrator for the Convenient Care Clinics
the building. “You’re in, you’re out, and it’s affordable,” Worrell says.
at Augusta Health. “The Urgent Care Center is not designed to
provide continuity of care,” he says. “Patients are referred back
Care for all
to their primary care providers for follow-up.” If a patient doesn’t
Medical staff at the Urgent Care and Diagnostic Center treat
have a primary care provider, a list of all such providers in the
patients of all ages in five exam rooms, tackling everything from
area—not just those with Augusta Health—is provided. “This is
sore throats and bronchitis to bladder and kidney infections. The
really about providing better access and more affordable care to
center joins Augusta Health’s Urgent Care in Weyers Cave and the
a population that needs these services,” Serle says.
Coming soon...
Gallbladder removal
just got easier
Augusta Health surgeon offers less-invasive surgery
Through an incision no bigger than 2 centimeters in
The SILS benefit
length, that problematic gallbladder that’s caused you
Traditionally, the gallbladder is removed through a
so much discomfort is removed. Just a few weeks later,
minimally invasive outpatient procedure called laparoscopic
there’s very little in the way of a visible scar to remind you that
cholecystectomy, which involves making four small incisions
you even had surgery.
in the abdominal area. A small camera is inserted into one
Welcome to the world of single-incision laparoscopic
surgery (SILS), now being performed at Augusta Health.
of the incisions, while the other incisions serve as ports of
entry for surgical instruments and an exit for the gallbladder.
Like with most minimally invasive procedures, blood loss is
minimal, there’s less pain and recovery time is quicker.
The new SILS procedure maintains all of these
advantages, with one added benefit: a better cosmetic
result. “The scar is hidden in the confines of the bellybutton,”
says Blake McKibbin, MD, a general surgeon at Augusta
Health who received special training in SILS. With the
exception of the number of incisions, “It’s the exact same
operation as traditional laparoscopic cholecystectomy and
just as safe,” Dr. McKibbin says. Potential complications of
SILS are the same as with laparoscopic cholecystectomy,
including bleeding, infection and injury to the common bile
duct. And both operations take about the same time: a little
more than an hour.
Find a surgeon here!
Visit us at
find-a-physician to find the general or
specialized surgeon you need.
HealthMatters Winter 2011
McKibbin, MD
The feedback from patients
who’ve had the new
single-incision laparoscopic
surgery (SILS) for gallbladder
removal has been excellent.
“My patients are amazed,”
Dr. McKibbin says. “They
love it.❞
What are the symptoms
of gallbladder problems?
The right patient
As a general surgeon, Dr. McKibbin estimates that about
20 percent of his cases are cholecystectomies. “It’s the most
common operation we do,” he says. That’s part of the reason
he decided to be trained in the SILS procedure. “I wanted to
have the ability to offer my patients an alternative,” he says.
Like any medical procedure, though, SILS is not for
everyone. Morbidly obese patients and those who would see
no cosmetic benefit from the procedure (such as those with
scarring from prior abdominal procedures) would be better
candidates for laparoscopic cholecystectomy.
But from those patients who’ve had the new procedure,
the feedback has been excellent. “My patients are amazed,”
Gallbladder problems are more likely to occur if you
have something blocking the flow of bile through the
bile ducts. That “something” is usually a gallstone, which
forms from hardened substances in bile. You’re more
apt to have gallstones if you are a woman, are older or
obese, have high cholesterol, are being treated with
estrogen medications, have gone through rapid weight
loss, have diabetes or are pregnant.
Symptoms usually come on shortly after eating.
The first one you might notice is a sudden pain in your
upper-right stomach area, in the middle of your back or
under your right arm. Other possible symptoms include
milder pain, nausea and vomiting. If you experience any
of these symptoms, be sure to see your physician.
Dr. McKibbin says. “They love it.”
What’s a gallbladder?
You’ve heard of it. You know some people have it removed. So what is this mysterious organ that’s not required
for survival?
The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ located under your liver. Its purpose is to store bile, which is manufactured
by the liver and helps digest fat. As your stomach and intestines work to digest your food, your gallbladder releases bile
through a tube called the common bile duct. This duct connects your gallbladder and liver to your small intestine.
If your gallbladder is removed, bile flows directly from your liver into your small intestine—no gallbladder assistance
needed—which is why you can live without this organ.
care for the
A son comes home
Sam graham sr., md,
with son sam graham jr., md
HealthMatters Winter 2011
When Sam Graham Sr., MD, started his Staunton urology
practice back in July 1953, he was the only such specialist in
the county. ”I practiced for 20 years by myself,” recalls
Dr. Graham Sr., who’s now 90 years old. “I was on call every night
and only got one week of vacation a year.” Back then, King’s
Daughters was the local hospital.
Times have changed, of course—Augusta Health is now
serving the needs of local residents and there are several
urologists on staff. But things do have a way of coming full
circle. In fact, patients at Augusta Health will now see a
familiar name on staff: Sam Graham Jr., MD. He’s one of two
of Dr. Graham Sr.’s children who became a urologist. He’s
returned to the area where he grew up, to the very practice
his father started and retired from 26 years ago.
Coming home
Dr. Graham Jr. left Augusta County and the Shenandoah
Valley in 1967 to attend the University of Virginia in
Charlottesville. His medical career would take him to places
like Duke University in North Carolina, the University of
Rochester in New York and Emory University in Atlanta,
and into positions that included academic research. But
Staunton and working one-on-one with patients always
Services we offer
Patients at Augusta Health can expect comprehensive
services from our urology department, including:
adult circumcision
bladder tumor treatment
collagen implants
extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL)
holmium laser lithotripsy
hypospadias repair
pediatric circumcision
pubovaginal fascial sling
reimplantation of ureter
ureteroscopic calculi management
uretero/nephro lithotomy
beckoned. “I’m thrilled to be coming back to the valley,”
says the former Boy Scout and 1967 graduate of Robert E.
Lee High School. “It’s the prettiest place in the world—the
mountains, the rolling hills, the farmland.”
He spent the past five years at Thomas Johns Cancer
Hospital in Richmond, serving as medical director.
Don’t travel for surgery!
To learn more about the surgical services offered
at Augusta Health, visit www.augustahealth.
Dr. Graham Jr.’s specialty in treating cancer comes from a
deeply personal place: When he was a mere 20 years old and
a student at the University of Virginia, he was diagnosed
His father is happy to see his son return to where it
with bladder cancer—highly unusual for someone that
all began for the Grahams. From his son’s perspective, the
young. “It was a life-changing event,” Dr. Graham Jr. says.
move fits in with his desire to work at a smaller practice
Ambitions of being a cardiologist were shelved in favor of
and be able to focus more on the personal side of patient
urology, with a focus on cancer.
Beth Negron, RN, COHN, worked as Dr. Graham Sr.’s
surgical nurse for many years and recalls meeting his son
on several occasions. “He had the same type of demeanor
care. That dedication is evidenced in the fact that some
of his patients will be following him from Richmond to
Augusta Health.
“He’s one of the top urologists specializing in cancer
as his father,” Negron says. “Dedicated to his profession and
in the United States,” Dr. Graham Sr. says. “Augusta Health is
dedicated to the patients.”
getting someone with real expertise.”
Helpless—it’s the way you feel as you watch your loved
one being overcome by alcohol or drug addiction. He or
she may deny there’s a problem or push you away as you
try to reach out to help.
In that way, addiction can be a lot harder on
family and friends than it is on the addicted,
says John Savides, CSAC, program director
of Augusta Health’s Recovery Choice.
“People who are addicted are numbed to
their problems by the drug,” Savides says.
John Savides, CSAC
“But addiction is a progressive illness that
people suffer silently—including the families.” Loved ones are
left to find ways of coping with the problem themselves and the
heartbreaking knowledge that addiction—so often thought of as
a problem of the stereotypical “skid row” alcohol abuser or IV drug
user—has hit home. That’s where Recovery Choice can help.
Help close to home
Provided through the Augusta Behavioral Health Clinic,
Recovery Choice offers alcohol- and other drug-dependent
individuals an intensive day or evening outpatient treatment
You’re not alone
program to disrupt their lives as little as possible. “This allows
people to stay at home and continue to work,” Savides says,
noting that this program format, led by an experienced
treatment team, has been very successful.
Participants meet regularly in small groups, where they
establish a support system among members and learn such
skills as identifying dangerous triggers—including stress—and
how to handle them, and working through problems that
can arise as a result of addiction, such as employment and
relationship issues. One day a week, family members are invited
to participate in the program. For those with mental health
disorders, additional treatment and referrals also are available.
Other services Recovery Choice offers include:
• family support and education
• individual counseling and couples therapy, when necessary
• referrals for community support groups such as Alcoholics
Anonymous (AA) and Al-Anon
• substance abuse assessments to help determine appropriate
care and for medical and social detox referrals
Much like never picking up another cigarette can be
a battle for a former smoker, never taking another drink is
a promise that a person recovering from alcohol addiction
must make to themselves for the long haul. “This is a lifelong
commitment,” Savides says.
HealthMatters Winter 2011
Taking the first step
Now that you know help is out there, how exactly do you
get your loved one to seek it? Savides offers these tips for
confronting your loved one and for helping yourself as well:
• Seek advice from a substance abuse professional before
you start.
• Involve other concerned people who are willing to
participate in the discussion.
• If possible, don’t talk to the person when he or she is
drinking or impaired.
• Be gentle and loving—avoid a confrontational style. Express
your concern with respect.
• Avoid the words “alcoholic” or “drug addict.”
• Be direct and specific with your facts.
• Talk about the effect that the drinking/drug use is having
on what matters most to the person (for example, health,
reputation, relationships, work and financial security).
• Ask for a promise to seek help if the problem drinker’s selfhelp efforts fail, and tell him or her that you’re prepared to
assist with that whenever he or she is ready.
• Get educated. Learn all you can about alcohol abuse and
alcoholism—browse the self-help section of the bookstore,
attend Al-Anon and read their literature and attend open AA
meetings. Understand that addiction is an illness. Learn to
The varying degrees
of alcoholism
Alcohol addiction can range from mild to severe.
Symptoms include:
ild: The frequency and amount of drinking
increases. There may be occasional episodes of
very heavy drinking resulting in embarrassing or
obnoxious behavior.
Family response to the addiction: denial,
rationalizing, calm discussion, acceptance of the
drinker’s apologies and promises to do better
oderate: Problems controlling drinking are more
obvious, resulting in increasing family, work, legal or
behavior problems.
Family response to the addiction: anger,
confrontations, active attempts to control or eliminate
the person’s drinking, growing depression and isolation
evere: Continuous daily drinking or uncontrollable
binges that result in unemployment, incarceration,
financial ruin or major health problems.
Family response to the addiction: resignation,
hopelessness, estrangement, divorce
“separate the person you love from the disease you hate.”
• Consider seeing a therapist who understands alcoholism: Learn
about “codependency” and how to recover yourself.
Even if your loved one says he or she can kick the habit
without any help, the reality is that “willpower is rarely
Get help today!
Visit us at and look for “Recovery Choice.”
enough,” Savides says.
11 warning signs of prescription drug abuse
Drug addiction isn’t just about street drugs or alcohol. For some people, addiction lurks at the pharmacy counter. Here are some
common signs that a loved one is abusing prescription drugs:
(1) excessive worry about whether the
drugs are “really working”
(2) complaints that the drug has lost
its effectiveness over time (increase in
(3) worrying about having enough pills
(4) other activities revolve around the
drug dosing schedule
(5) continuing to use even when the
condition for which the drug was
prescribed should have improved
(6) resisting physician advice to stop or
decrease use of the drug
(7) supplementing prescribed drugs with
similar over-the-counter medications
(8) hiding pills
(9) dishonesty with physicians or family
members about extent and frequency
of use
(10) “doctor hopping” to seek more
(11) frequent visits to hospital
emergency departments with complaints
of anxiety or pain
Ask the physician
Augusta Health physicians answer your questions
I’ve heard a lot about strokes, but I
don’t know how to identify one. What
are the signs?
My physician recommended I
have a cardiac catheterization.
Can you explain what’s involved?
It’s important to act quickly if someone is experiencing
Cardiac catheterization is a procedure used to
a stroke, which is why we use the F.A.S.T. acronym to help
diagnose and treat some heart problems. During
people remember the warning signs:
the procedure, which causes little to no pain, a
F is for face: Does the face look uneven or one side of the
face droop?
long, thin, flexible tube (the catheter) is inserted
into a blood vessel in your arm, upper thigh or neck
A is for arms: When both arms are raised, does one arm
drift down?
and threaded to your heart.
Once the catheter is in place, your physician
S is for speech: Is the person’s speech slurred or strange?
will be able to perform diagnostic tests. For
T is for time: Call 911 if you notice any of these signs.
example, by using a special dye, your physician
Rapid medical care can help reduce the risk of brain
can determine if any of your heart arteries have
damage from stroke. Physicians treat patients with a clot-
become narrowed or blocked as a result of plaque.
busting drug that can help protect the brain against
The procedure may also be used to take samples
permanent damage, but the drug usually must be given within
of blood and heart muscle or to do minor heart
three hours of the stroke’s onset. If someone is experiencing
stroke symptoms, call 911. Even if only one sign is present or
Recovery time for a cardiac catheterization
symptoms pass, call 911 or get to the hospital quickly. It’s best
is short, and the procedure rarely causes
to be checked out and given a clean bill of health.
Robert W. McMahon Jr., MD, is a graduate
Masood Ahmed, MD, is an
of the University of Virginia School of
interventional cardiologist with
Medicine. He performed his residency at
Augusta Health Cardiologists.
the National Naval Medical Center (now
He’s board certified in cardiology,
Bethesda Naval Hospital) and is a fellow
Robert W.
McMahon Jr., MD
of the American Academy of Neurology.
He’s co-medical director of the Inpatient
Rehabilitation Unit at Augusta Health and the medical director
of the Augusta Health Stroke Program.
HealthMatters Winter 2011
echocardiography, internal
Ahmed, MD
medicine, interventional
cardiology and nuclear
Does my teen need any vaccines?
What about my preteen?
As kids get older, the vaccines they had as children
start to lose their effectiveness. They’re also at risk for
certain infections as they reach the preteen and teen years.
The Tdap vaccine (which replaces the former “tetanus
booster”), for instance, protects against tetanus, diphtheria
and pertussis (or whooping cough). Kids ages 11 or 12
I have sciatica. Is it time to look
for a spine surgeon?
should get a single dose of Tdap, while teens ages 13
through 18 who haven’t yet gotten the vaccine should get
a single dose as soon as possible.
Another important vaccine is the meningococcal
conjugate, which helps prevent meningococcal meningitis,
Because sciatica—pain from your back that
a life-threatening infection that causes swelling in the
runs down your buttock and leg—is a symptom,
tissues around the brain and spinal cord. Preteens should
not a disorder itself, treatment depends on what’s
get the vaccine at age 11 or 12 and a booster at age 16.
causing your pain. The condition often results from a
Teens who didn’t get the vaccine should get it as soon as
herniated disk in your lower back. Gel from inside the
possible, especially those who plan to move into a college
disk seeps out and presses on a nerve root, causing
dorm or military barracks. Depending on when a teen first
pain. Other conditions, like spinal stenosis, spinal
receives this vaccine, a booster may be necessary.
tumors and trauma, can also cause sciatica.
For most people, sciatica responds well to
(HPV) that cause cervical cancer, physicians recommend
physical therapy and medications. If these measures
the HPV vaccine for 11- and 12-year-old girls. Parents
don’t ease your pain within a few months, it may be
may also choose to vaccinate boys of the same age for
time to consult a spinal surgeon, who can tell you
protection against the types of HPV that cause anal cancer
whether surgery is an option for you as well as the
and genital warts.
pros and cons of specific procedures.
To protect against the types of human papillomavirus
Finally, teens should get a flu vaccine in the fall or as
soon as it becomes available. Some people should not get
certain vaccines, though, so talk with your child’s physician
about what’s right for your preteen or teen.
Matthew Pollard, MD, is a
graduate of the University of
Pollard, MD
South Carolina School of Medicine.
Lia Bruner, MD, is a graduate of
He performed his residency in
Harvard Medical School. She practices
orthopaedic surgery at Atlanta
family medicine with a special interest
Medical Center and his fellowship
in caring for the pediatric population.
She’s also a volunteer at Rockbridge
in spine surgery at New England
Baptist Hospital in Boston. He’s board certified
Lia Bruner, MD
Area Free Clinic, a chairperson for the
with the American Board of Spine Surgery and the
Lexington City Schools Health Advisory Board and a
American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. Dr. Pollard
member of “Let’s Move, Lexington!”—the Mayor’s Task
specializes in spine surgery at Augusta Health.
Force on Healthy Living.
Continued on page 23
at Augusta Health
Calendar of classes and groups
Augusta Health Lifetime
Fitness Group Classes
and Screenings
Nonmembers may purchase a 10-class
pass for $100. Classes run on an
ongoing basis. Other classes not listed
here can be found on our website at
For more information, call Sharon Stiteler
of Lifetime Fitness at (540) 332-5571.
Basic: Mondays, 5:30 p.m., and
Tuesdays, 9 a.m.
Intermediate: Thursdays, 8:45 a.m.
Fitness Yoga: Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m.
Cancer Recovery: Tuesdays, 6:45 p.m.
Free to cancer recovery patients;
sponsored by Augusta Health
Cancer Center
Arthritis and Diabetes: Tuesdays,
11:15 a.m.
Beginner: Wednesdays, 11:15 a.m.
Intermediate: Thursdays, 11:15 a.m.
Advanced: Tuesdays, 7:30 p.m.
Intermediate: Tuesdays, 10:15 a.m.
Advanced: Thursdays, 10:15 a.m.
Mondays, 5:30 p.m.; Tuesdays, 4:30 p.m.;
Wednesdays, 9 a.m.; Fridays, 5:15 a.m.
Extra fee, class passes excluded
Beginner: Mondays and Wednesdays,
7–8 p.m.
HealthMatters Winter 2011
Intermediate: Mondays and
Wednesdays, 8–9 p.m.
Cost: $55 a month for members,
$90 for nonmembers
Aqua Power: Mondays, Tuesdays and
Fridays, 7:45 a.m.; Tuesdays and Fridays,
9 a.m.; Mondays, 4:45 p.m. (Fitness Pool)
Aqua Express: Thursdays,
4:45–5:30 p.m. (Fitness Pool)
Aqua Jogging: Mondays and
Thursdays, 9 a.m. (Fitness Pool)
Aqua Lite: Mondays–Fridays, 9 a.m. and
10 a.m.; Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9 a.m.
and 10 a.m.; Wednesdays, 4:45 p.m.
(Therapy Pool)
Range of Motion (ROM): Mondays and
Fridays, 11 a.m. (Therapy Pool)
Mondays, 9:15 a.m.; Tuesdays, 3:45 p.m.;
Wednesdays, 5:30 p.m.; Thursdays,
12:15 p.m.; Fridays, 7:45 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Mondays and Wednesdays, 9 a.m.;
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 5:30 a.m. and
5:30 p.m.
Call: Sharon Stiteler at (540) 332-5571 or
e-mail [email protected]
for more details; more classes may be
Total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, TC/HDL
ratio, glucose and triglyceride levels are
tested; results can be kept on file and
sent to your physician. This is a great
tool to monitor your health!
When: Monthly, Wednesday, Jan. 11;
Tuesday, Feb. 14; Thursday, March 15;
Wednesday, April 11
Cost: $25 for members, $30 for
Call: For more information, call Angela
Kaltenborn, exercise physiologist,
at (540) 332-5527 or e-mail
[email protected]
Oncology Support
For more information about any
cancer group, call Leigh Anderson at
(540) 245-7105.
For newly diagnosed cancer patients
who have fears, questions or concerns.
This group also addresses life after
cancer treatments.
When: Wednesdays, 4–5 p.m.
Where: Augusta Health Cancer Center
Conference Room
While you‘re taking care of your
loved one, don’t forget to take care of
When: Mondays, 4–5 p.m.
Where: Augusta Health Cancer Center
Conference Room
Stroke Support
This support group is for those who
have suffered a stroke and their family
members, care partners and friends.
When: First Friday of every month
(Jan. 6, Feb. 3), noon
Call: Shelley Payne at (540) 332-4047
or (540) 932-4047
Community Wellness
This proven six-session smoking and
smokeless tobacco cessation program will
help you examine why you use tobacco
and create an individual quit plan.
When: Winter classes begin Thursday,
Jan. 12, 6–7:30 p.m. Spring classes are
scheduled to begin Monday, April 9,
6–7:30 p.m.
Call: (540) 332-4988 for more
This series of workshops helps people
who suffer with chronic illnesses learn
ways to self-manage their condition and
take charge of their life.
When: Winter sessions begin Tuesday,
Jan. 10; choose either 1–3:30 p.m. or
6–8:30 p.m.
Call: (540) 332-4192 or (540) 332-4988
for more information
Classes focus on healthy eating, practical
exercise, pain and fatigue management,
appropriate use of medications and
much more.
When: Winter sessions begin Tuesday,
Feb. 28; choose either 1–3:30 p.m. or
6–8:30 p.m.
Call: (540) 332-4192 or (540) 332-4988
for more information
This babysitting class for adolescents
ages 12 and older includes infant and
child care. First aid and family and friends
CPR are also covered.
When: Next class is tentatively scheduled
for Thursday, June 14, 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Call: (540) 332-4190
This two-session program helps
participants learn sign and symptom
management of heart failure, medication
management and much more. It’s for
people with and at risk for heart failure
and their caregivers and loved ones.
When: First and third Wednesday of
every month, 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Call: (540) 332-4190
Augusta Health Dietitians
Group meetings feature free samples of
gluten-free foods, recipes from support
group members, visits from food-service
providers and a wealth of practical tips.
When: Third Tuesday of every other
month; Jan. 17, March 20, 5–7 p.m.
Where: Augusta Health Community
Care Building, rooms 1 and 2
Call: Laura Johnson, RD, at (540) 932-5034
Augusta Health Hospice
of the Shenandoah
Are you interested in becoming a hospice
volunteer and making a difference?
Call: For more information, contact
Lori Showalter, hospice volunteer
coordinator, at (540) 932-4904 or
[email protected]
If someone you love has died and you’d
like the “heart to heart” support of others
who’ve also lost someone, we invite
you to attend our support group. We
understand this is a very difficult time in
your life. Talking and sharing with others
going through a similar experience can
provide tremendous support and be
extremely helpful in learning how to
cope and live with your grief. Support
groups are open to the community and
provided free of charge.
When: Beginning in March
Where: Augusta Health Community
Care Building
Call: For more information and starting
date, contact Debbie Brown, Hospice
of the Shenandoah bereavement
coordinator, at (540) 932-4911 or e-mail
[email protected]
Sleep Disorders
Representatives from The Sleep Center and
Care Home Medical will answer questions
about sleep and common sleep disorders.
When: The third Monday on a quarterly basis
Where: Augusta Health Community
Care Building
Call: (540) 932-4169 for more
Diabetes Education
No charge, open to the public.
When: First Thursday of every month,
6–7 p.m.
Where: Augusta Health Community Care
Call: (540) 213-2537 or (540) 941-2537
for more information
Have questions about diabetes and need
answers? Learn and share with other
people with diabetes. Topics will be
centered around learning to manage your
diabetes. No charge, open to the public.
When: Fourth Monday of most months,
5:30–6:30 p.m.
Where: Augusta Health Community Care
Call: (540) 213-2537 or (540) 941-2537
for more information
A monthly three-class series recognized
by the American Diabetes Association
will help with your daily management
of type 2 diabetes. Topics include
prevention steps, meal planning and
medications. Classes are offered at
various times and days of the week.
Call: (540) 213-2537 or (540) 941-2537
for more information
Continued on page 22
Happenings at Augusta Health
Continued from page 21
This class is for those diagnosed with prediabetes. The focus is on how to slow the
progression to type 2 diabetes by making
healthy lifestyle changes.
Call: (540) 213-2537 or (540) 941-2537
for information on class dates and times
Ostomy Support Group
In this group meeting, you’ll share ideas
and improve your quality of life after
ostomy surgery.
Where: Augusta Health Community
Care Building
Call: (540) 332-4346 for details
Augusta Health Lifetime
Fitness Tennis Program
Learn how to play, improve skills and
practice. Ages 18 and older.
When: Thursdays, 6–7:30 p.m.
Cost: $76.50
HealthMatters Winter 2011
Sessions: Jan. 5–26, Feb. 9–March 1,
March 15–April 5, April 19–May 10
This “workout” tennis program is sure to
leave you energized. Ages 18 and older.
When: Mondays, 6:15–7:15 p.m.;
Wednesdays, 10:15–11:15 a.m.
Cost: $60
Monday sessions: Jan. 2.–Feb. 6,
Feb. 20–March 26, April 9–May 14
Wednesday sessions: Jan. 4–Feb. 8,
Feb. 22–March 28, April 11–May 16
Ages 10 and under tennis format.
Beginner, ages 4–6.
When: Saturdays, 9–9:45 a.m.
Cost: $57.50
Sessions: Jan. 7–Feb. 18 (no class
Jan. 14), March 3–April 7, April 21–May 26
Ages 10 and under tennis format.
Beginner and intermediate, ages 7–10.
When: Saturdays, 9:45–11 a.m.
Cost: $95.62
Sessions: Jan. 7–Feb. 18 (no class Jan. 14),
March 3–April 7, April 21–May 26
Learn to play through competitive drills
and games. Beginner and intermediate,
ages 11–17.
When: Saturdays,11 a.m.–12:15 p.m.
Cost: $95.62
Sessions: Jan. 7–Feb. 18 (no class Jan. 14),
March 3–April 7, April 21–May 26
Advanced and competitive, ages 12–17.
When: Saturdays, 12:15–1:45 p.m.
Cost: $114.75
Sessions: Jan. 7–Feb. 18 (no class Jan. 14),
March 3–April 7, April 21–May 26
Advanced and competitive, ages 12–17.
When: Tuesdays and Thursdays,
4:30–6 p.m.
Cost: $229.50
Sessions: Jan. 3–Feb. 9, Feb. 21–March 29,
April 10–May 24
Times and fees are subject to change. For
more information, call Chad Reed,
Tennis Coordinator/Pro, at (540) 332-5280
or e-mail [email protected]
Ask the physician
Continued from page 19
I’m 48 years old and I’ve
been experiencing severe
mood swings, irritability,
sleeplessness and trouble
with concentration and focus.
Could menopause be causing
these symptoms?
I like to drink coffee in the morning. Can
caffeine have a negative effect on my
blood pressure?
It’s possible. Menopause often causes sleep
disturbances and mood swings. Have you had
irregular periods? Have you experienced any
other symptoms of menopause, like hot flashes,
vaginal dryness, increased abdominal fat,
thinning hair and loss of breast fullness?
Some studies have shown that caffeine may cause a short but
Because your symptoms aren’t specific only
dramatic increase in your blood pressure—even in people who
to menopause—for instance, depression or a
don’t have high blood pressure normally. Drinking two to three
sleep disorder could also cause the symptoms
cups of coffee, for instance, has been shown to increase systolic
you report—it’s important to schedule an
blood pressure (the top number in your blood pressure reading)
appointment with your physician to get checked
by 3 to 14 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) and diastolic pressure
out. He or she will review your medical history
(the bottom number) by 4 to 13 mm Hg.
and ask you additional questions about how
As for long-term effects, the findings aren’t clear. Some
you feel, when your symptoms occur and if you
people who regularly drink caffeinated beverages have a higher
have any other symptoms. Your physician will
blood pressure on average than those who don’t. Other people
likely perform a physical exam and may order
who drink caffeinated beverages regularly develop a tolerance
additional tests to help determine the cause of
to its effects. For those people, caffeine doesn’t have a long-term
your symptoms.
effect on their blood pressure.
If you have high blood pressure already, it’s best to limit your
caffeine intake to 200 milligrams a day, or about the amount in
two 12-ounce cups of coffee. Avoid caffeine before activities that
Melinda L. Ferguson, MD,
naturally increase your blood pressure, like exercise.
graduated from the University
of Texas Medical Branch at
Galveston. She also attended
the University of Virginia.
Shelley Snodgrass, MD, is a graduate of the
University of Maryland School of Medicine.
Snodgrass, MD
Melinda L.
Ferguson, MD
She’s board certified by the
American Board of Obstetrics
She’s board certified in internal medicine
and Gynecology and a fellow of the American
and specializes in the prevention, diagnosis
Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
and management of adult health problems.
and the American College of Surgeons. She has
Dr. Snodgrass has special interests in cardiac
special interests in well-woman care, menopause
disorders and diabetes.
management and gynecologic surgery.
New healthcare providers
t Augusta Health, recruiting experienced, dedicated providers for your healthcare is one of our
top priorities. These generalists and specialists can help keep you and your family healthy.
We’d like to introduce you to our new physicians and allied health professionals.
Masood Ahmed, MD
Michael Gwaltney, MD
Interventional Cardiology
Medical school: Allama Iqbal
Medical College, Lahore, Pakistan
Residency: Saint Barnabas Medical
Center, N.J.
Fellowships: Yale University
School of Medicine, Cardiology
Research, Nuclear Cardiology; Sinai
Medical Center, St. Luke’s Medical
Center, Milwaukee University of
Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Cardiology;
Tulane University Heart and
Vascular Institute, Interventional
Medical school: The Brody School
of Medicine at East Carolina
Residency: East Carolina University,
Pitt County Memorial Hospital
Sarah L. Knievel, MD
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation,
Interventional Pain Management
Medical school: University of Colorado
Health Sciences
Residency: Mayo Clinic
Fellowship: Mayo Clinic
Adam Belsches, MD
Emergency Medicine
Medical school: University of
Residency: Eastern Virginia
Medical School
Augustus E. Mealor, MD
Brian J. Fangman, DDS
Glen E. Michael, MD
Oral/Maxillofacial Surgery
Medical school: The Ohio State
University College of Dentistry
Residency: Nassau University
Medical Center
Emergency Medicine
Medical school: University of California
Residency: University of Virginia
HealthMatters Winter 2011
Medical school: University of Tennessee
Residency: University of Virginia
Our highly trained physicians
and staff use state-of-the-art
technology to provide
the best care with warmth
and compassion.
find the right physician!
If you or a family member needs a primary care
or specialty physician, visit www.augustahealth.
com and click on “Find a Physician.”
Elizabeth E. Nicholas, MD
Heather Camp, FNP-C
Emergency Medicine
Medical school: SUNY Upstate
Medical University
Residency: Temple University
Family Nurse Practitioner,
Emergency Medicine
Undergraduate education: Blue
Ridge Community College
Graduate education: James
Madison University
Nathan Ostheimer, MD
Medical school: University of
Residency: University of Utah
Mark K. Robbins, MD
Pulmonology/Critical Care
Medical school: University of North
Carolina School of Medicine
Residency: Penn State University,
Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
Fellowship: University of North
Carolina School of Medicine
Amy Taylor, MD
Emergency Medicine
Medical school: University of Iowa
Carver College of Medicine
Residency: University of Rochester
Sara Hawken, ANP
Adult Nurse Practitioner,
Undergraduate education: Miami
Graduate education: University of
Kevin S. Iseman, PA-C
Physician Assistant, Hospitalist
Undergraduate education:
Brigham Young University
Graduate education: AldersonBroaddus College
Sarah McGill, NP-C
Nurse Practitioner, Emergency
Undergraduate education: Eastern
Mennonite University
Graduate education: University of
Augusta Health Cancer Center
and Duke Medicine
A collaborative relationship­—working together for quality care
The patients. They are at the heart of the Augusta Health
“Our relationship with Augusta Health is collaborative and
Cancer Center. The theme of patient-centered care is a core
collegial, as we build toward cancer care for tomorrow,” says
value that underlies all the care provided at the Augusta
Linda Sutton, MD, Medical Director of the Duke Oncology
Health Cancer Center. While quality and professionalism are
Network. “Duke and Augusta Health share common values
always emphasized, the approach guiding every treatment
in our approach to cancer care: We both want to ensure that
plan developed, every therapy provided and every encounter
patients receive the best care possible, and that they receive
with a patient or family is this: What is best for the patient?
it in their local communities where they are surrounded by
This patient-centered focus led to not one, but two
affiliations between the Augusta Health Cancer Center and
Duke Medicine in 2011. First, in April, Augusta Health Cancer
family, friends and all things familiar and comforting at times
of stress.”
Together, the Augusta Health Cancer Center and
Center became a Research Affiliate of Duke Medicine—
Duke Medicine focus on three areas—patient care, quality
providing patients with access to oncology clinical trials, a key
improvement and education—and take a comprehensive,
component of the most advanced comprehensive care. Then,
multi-disciplinary approach to care. Benefits to Augusta
in September, the relationship expanded when Augusta Health
Health’s patients include access to new treatments and
Cancer Center became a full Program Development Affiliate
research; expert care, close to home; access to national
within the Duke Oncology Network.
cooperative group clinical trials and Duke-investigator
HealthMatters Winter 2011
members of the augusta health
duke medicine steering committee,
including representatives from
augusta health medical staff
administration and duke
initiated trials; and the assurance of high-quality care that includes
protocols and standards of care developed by Duke Medicine.
“Duke’s selection of Augusta Health as an affiliate is based
in part on the high-quality care patients were already receiving
at Augusta Health. We now hope to work in partnership with the
Augusta Health staff to identify opportunities to expand cancer
services and meet the challenges for improvement and quality
that will define the care of patients in the future. We do that by
helping the physicians identify the best resources for their patients,
providing opportunities for education at Duke, and helping to build
the clinical resources and research structure needed to support a
top oncology program,” adds Dr. Sutton.
Karen Clark, vice president of professional services at Augusta
Health concludes, “We began working with Duke Medicine in
April, and have been impressed with the progress we’ve made
to bring the expertise of the Duke Cancer Institute’s clinical
research and cancer treatment protocols to our community.
We are inspired by their vision to bring state-of-the-art,
nationally ranked cancer care into local communities—including
All about the Duke
Cancer Institute
T he Duke Cancer Institute was one of the
original eight cancer centers funded by the
National Cancer Act of 1971.
Duke received National Cancer Institute (NCI)
designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center
in 1973.
There are no NCI-designated Comprehensive
Cancer Centers in Virginia.
Duke University Medical Center was ranked
the No. 11 cancer program in the nation and
the top cancer program in the Southeast in
the 2011 ranking of the nation’s hospitals by
U.S. News & World Report.
ours—through the Duke Oncology Network. Their specialized
knowledge in research, clinical practice, program development
and continuing medical education lead to improved cancer care
all over the Southeast, but specifically here in Augusta County.
This successful relationship allows Augusta Health to provide our
cancer patients with the highest quality care while remaining a
link to learn more!
To learn more about the Augusta Health
Cancer Center, visit our website at
community-owned hospital.”
What’s the difference?
Augusta Health, of those non-emergency cases that end up in
the ED. Plus, an ED visit will cost a lot more than treatment in
a non-emergency setting.
Augusta Health offers three levels of quality care to
treat its community’s emergent and not-so-emergent needs:
emergency care, urgent care and convenient care. All will take
your insurance and will try to get you in and out as quickly as
possible. The best choice for you depends on the treatment
you need:
When in doubt, check it out—that’s the old saying when
• Emergency care is provided by
it comes to your health. After all, how else will you be
physicians and ED staff in the
certain that muscle pain is nothing more than a strain?
hospital’s ED for those cases
But with so many options out there, figuring out where
where not receiving immediate
to go to get “checked out” isn’t always so clear, especially on
treatment could result in a loss of
a weekend or late at night. And that can lead some people
life or other complications—for
to go with their first (and not always best) instinct: the
example, conditions such as stroke, heart attack or poisoning.
emergency department (ED). “If you go to the emergency
department, you’re going to be there a long time,” says David
• Urgent care is designed to
Serle, practice administrator for the Convenient Care Clinics at
handle those less serious medical
conditions that still require
onvenient Care Clinics (Walmart Supercenter,
1028 Richmond Ave., Staunton; Walmart Supercenter,
116 Lucy Lane, Waynesboro) are open Monday through
Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and
Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. No appointments are necessary.
rgent Care Clinics (1140 Keezletown Road, Weyers
Cave; opening February 2012, 851 Statler Blvd., Staunton)
are open 365 days a year, including weekends and
holidays, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.,
and on weekends from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Walk-ins are
welcome; no appointments are needed.
immediate treatment but aren’t
life-threatening. A fever, bronchitis
or a cut that looks like it could
require stitches can all be handled at Augusta Health Urgent
Care, with locations in Weyers Cave and Staunton (which will
also provide full-service laboratory and radiology services).
Urgent Care sees patients of all ages and is staffed by boardcertified emergency medicine physicians. (See page 11.)
• Convenient care tackles the
most minor of cases, such as ear
infections and sore throats, as
well as work and school physicals.
Convenient Care Clinics are
available in the Waynesboro and
Need a primary care physician?
Keep in mind, many primary care physicians can
schedule timely visits in their offices for urgent
care or convenient needs. If you don’t have a
primary care physician, you can find one near
you by visiting, and
clicking on “Find a Physician.”
Staunton Walmarts, staffed by nurse practitioners and
treating patients older than age 6.
Serle stresses that the services offered at Urgent Care and
Convenient Care aren’t meant to replace those of your primary
care physician. “This is really for those people who can’t get in
to see their physician,” he says. “These services are convenient,
take walk-ins and are a much faster alternative to the ED.”
HealthMatters Winter 2011
Augusta health emergency
department staff work
with ems to ready a patient
for prompt treatment.
Be prepared for an
basic choking rescue techniques, such as the
Heimlich maneuver.
Take a CPR class.
Cover burns with cool (not cold) wet cloths. Never apply
home remedies (butter, ice, petroleum jelly). Never break
blisters or remove burned skin.
Never move a person with a back or neck injury.
Know how to stop a wound from bleeding—a first-aid
class can help.
Post emergency numbers by your phone.
Keep individual medical history information handy.
Visit Augusta Health Urgent
Care for these needs:
and injuries such as sprains, strains and broken
acute illnesses such as fevers, respiratory infections,
colds and flu
adult and pediatric care
employment physicals
flu shots
in-office labs and X-rays
lacerations and contusions
work-related injuries
Go to the Augusta Health
ED for these health
a bdominal pain
any injury to the head,
neck, chest, back or
bleeding that isn’t easily
controlled with pressure
chest pain
loss of consciousness
sudden loss of vision or
blurred vision
sudden weakness of an
arm or leg or difficulty
Access Augusta Health
Convenient Care for these
except for severe reactions
animal and insect bites
coughs, colds and sore throats
ear infections
fever and flulike symptoms
minor burns and rashes
preventive care such as routine exams for adults and children
older than age 6, including school and sports physicals
skin and soft tissue infections
skin issues
urinary tract infections
Low-impact exercise can help improve joint conditions
If you suffer from arthritis or are recovering from joint
replacement surgery, exercise may seem like the last
thing you want to do. In fact, it should be the first thing on
your to-do list for feeling better.
Not just any exercise, though. Slow, steady, low-impact
movements are the best way to build weak muscles and
bones without putting extra pressure on damaged joints.
explains why.
Sharon Stiteler, group fitness coordinator for Lifetime Fitness,
both men and women enjoy the
low-impact workout they get
at a lifetime fitness therapy
pool aqua class.
Why would exercise be good for joint pain or
A: Exercise strengthens the muscles and ligaments around
the joint, maintains bone strength and helps you have more
What treatments do you recommend?
A: For those with joint pain and stiffness, I
energy throughout the day and sleep better at night. It also
recommend low-impact movements. At Lifetime Fitness, we
aids in weight control, which relieves pressure on the joints.
feature a Therapy Pool Aqua class. Exercise is easier in
Many joint pain sufferers think that exercise will
water because there’s no pounding on a hard surface.
aggravate pain, but that’s not the case. Keeping muscles and
Your natural buoyancy helps you achieve a fuller range of
other soft tissues strong is crucial. Not exercising weakens
motion. Plus, water is 12 times more resistant than air, so the
muscles and actually worsens pain and stiffness.
movements help build strength while they relieve stiffness.
And we keep the water warm, at 90 degrees, which also
What else can exercise do for people with joint
helps relieve pain and soothe achy joints.
Our Aqua Lite class starts with some aerobic
A: Having chronic pain and limited mobility increases the risk
components and then goes into strength exercises. We also
of becoming isolated and depressed. A Harvard Medical School
have a Range of Motion class that teaches slower and more
study showed that those with chronic pain are three times more
controlled movements. The aim is to build balance and
likely to become depressed than those not in pain.
range of motion—without cardio.
There’s a direct connection between the mind and the
I also tell people to try tai chi. This ancient Chinese
body. I remember reading somewhere, “Hurting bodies and
practice teaches slow, gentle, fluid movements. It’s relaxed
suffering minds often require the same treatment.” I believe that.
and flowing—there’s no jerking or jumping. Tai chi improves
HealthMatters Winter 2011
Fun fact:
range of motion, flexibility and posture by teaching you to pull
your shoulders back and strengthening your core.
Did you know that one hour of moderate to intense water
exercise can burn 292 calories (if you weigh 160 pounds) to
436 calories (if you’re 240 pounds)?
These movements are combined with deep, slow breathing
exercises. Breathing helps reduce stress and pain—it’s kind of like
Try us—for free!
Lamaze breathing during childbirth. You can use these breathing
techniques throughout the day, whenever you feel pain.
What types of exercise can fight osteoporosis or
Check out our fitness programs. You can try them
for free with our 14-day trial membership. Visit and click on “Lifetime
Fitness” to view our classes and programs.
A: Bones respond to resistance training, and we have classes
that use strength training. Our Body Sculpt class works every
large muscle group using light weights, kettle balls and other
resistance tools. Our Rep Reebok class is similar but more
choreographed to music.
At Lifetime Fitness, you won’t feel intimidated. We create a
nonthreatening atmosphere in which you do what you can, take
breaks when you need to and come back when you’re ready. You
don’t have to keep up with anyone.
How do I begin?
A: First, see your physician before starting any new
exercise program. When he or she clears you for exercise, our
exercise physiologist can work with your physician to make
sure you’re in the right class for your needs.
Most people start to feel better within the first two
weeks, so we hope to see you soon.
Augusta Health
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P.O. Box 1000
Fishersville, VA 22939
Non-Profit Organization
Lebanon Junction, KY
Permit No. 115
Augusta Health Matters is published by Augusta Health.
The articles in this publication should not be considered
specific medical advice, as each individual circumstance
is different. Entire publication © 2011 Augusta Health.
All rights reserved. For more information or to be
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It’s that time again
Flu season is back!
Winter can bring many happy things—but the flu isn’t one of them. No one
wants the aches, fever, chills, cough and general misery the influenza virus inflicts.
More than that, flu can be downright dangerous. It causes about 3,000 to 49,000
deaths a year, mostly to the very young and very old, and sends hundreds of
thousands to the hospital.
The flu virus changes from year to year. What will this year’s model be like?
Experts predict that the circulating strains will be the same as last year’s, though it’s
difficult to predict the impact it will have on the community. “We’re never sure,” says
Carolyn Palmer, infection prevention and control coordinator at Augusta Health.
“Will it be mild or severe? We just don’t know.”
She does know the best way to prevent the flu—with the flu vaccine. This
year’s vaccine contains strains of three different flu bugs, including H1N1. The
vaccine can be given as an injection, or healthy individuals ages 2 to 49 may choose
to get the vaccine through a nasal spray. The best time to get vaccinated is in the
fall, but you can still be vaccinated later in the year. “The flu season usually doesn’t
end until April,” she says.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone older than
age 6 months get vaccinated this flu season. (Children younger than age 9 may need a
booster shot as well.) Though the vaccine is the same as last year’s, it’s important to get
vaccinated again since the level of immunity decreases through the year. “The vaccine
is safe for almost everyone,” says Allison Baroco, MD, with Augusta Health Infectious
Diseases. “Exceptions are those with a severe chicken egg allergy, a severe reaction to the
Is it really the flu?
Common flu symptoms include fever—
“one of the hallmarks of flu compared
to other viral infections,” says Allison
Baroco, MD—cough, runny nose, body
aches, fatigue and headache. Diarrhea
can be seen in children, she says, but socalled “stomach flu” is not really influenza.
Other viruses cause gastroenteritis—the
medical name for stomach flu, she says.
vaccine in the past or a history of Guillain-Barre syndrome related to a previous influenza
vaccination. It’s also important to know that the flu vaccine doesn’t cause the flu.”
Besides the flu shot, other ways you can help prevent catching or spreading
the flu include:
• washing your hands often
• using a tissue or your sleeve when you cough or sneeze
• staying home from work or school if you have the flu
Get vaccinated!
Schedule a visit to your primary
care physician or visit one of our
Convenient Care Clinics to get your
flu vaccine today.

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