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News: Press Releases
Here you will find the latest information, feature stories, plus comprehensive articles in the latest treatment options and research at UPMC Altoona.

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PRESS RELEASES 2016

2/3/16 - Scholarships Assist Students Seeking Careers in Health Professions
1/26/16 - Local Women Honor Relatives Who Have Heart Disease
1/22/16 - UPMC Altoona Offers Support Groups/Clinics in February
1/20/16 - UPMC Altoona's Healthy Living Club Sets Programs, Classes for February
1/18/16 - Orthopaedic Surgeon Earns Recertification
1/15/16 - Intersocietal Accreditation Commission Accredits UPMC Altoona Echocardiology Department
1/14/16 - Altoona Newborns Drool Black and Gold
1/14/16 - UPMC Altoona Foundation Hosts a Sweet Celebration and Recognizes Health Care Honors Recipients
1/8/16 - Nurse Case Managers Receive Certifications

PRESS RELEASES 2015

12/31/15 - UPMC Altoona Foundation Honors Four for Contribution to Health Care, Community
12/30/15 - Contact Information for First Baby of New Year
12/23/15 - UPMC Altoona Medical Staff Welcomes Madhavi Kandel, M.D.
12/23/15 - UPMC Altoona Employee Retires With 25 Years of Service
12/22/15 - UPMC Altoona Registered Nurse Retires With 27 Years of Service
12/21/15 - UPMC Altoona Offers Support Groups/Clinics in January
12/21/15 - Johnstown Neurologist Joins UPMC Altoona Regional Health Services
12/10/15 - Friends of Altoona Hospital Elects New Officers
12/10/15 - Hospital Auxiliary Awards $1,000 in Scholarships
12/07/15 - UPMC Altoona Blair Medical Associates Podiatrist Presents at National Conference
12/03/15 - UPMC Altoona Hosts Menorah Lighting Monday
11/23/15 - UPMC Altoona Medical Staff Welcomes Aneta Kular, M.D.
11/19/15 - UPMC Altoona Foundation Hosts 'Winter Splendor - A Sweet Celebration'
11/18/15 - UPMC Altoona's Healthy Living Club Sets Programs, Classes for December
11/18/15 - UPMC Altoona Offers Support Groups/Clinics in December
11/18/15 - UPMC Altoona Medical Staff Welcomes Hospitalist
11/16/15 - TelePsychiatry Links UPMC Altoona Inpatients with Mental Health Specialists in Pittsburgh
11/12/15 - New Affiliation Consolidates Strengths to Benefit Patients
11/11/15 - UPMC Altoona Invites Public to Memorial Service November 12
10/28/15 - Daylight Savings Time Change Offers Opportunity to Improve Sleep Habits
10/27/15 - UPMC Altoona Launches Multiple Telemedicine Services


October 28, 2015 - Daylight Savings Time Change Offers Opportunity to Improve Sleep Habits


Pennsylvania 'Falls Back' November 1

ALTOONA, Pa., Oct. 28, 2015 — Gaining an hour of sleep November 1 sounds great, but for infants, children and adults with sleep sensitivities, the change can be disruptive.

"If you're the parent of a baby who is getting up at 6 a.m., it means he will now awake at 5 a.m.," says Mehrdad Ghaffari, M.D., a sleep expert with UPMC Altoona Sleep Center in the Station Medical Center. "A child isn't like a clock that you can instantaneously change. However, the transition can be made easier with good sleep hygiene and some adjustments to the family schedule in the days preceding and following the switch."

For some children an earlier start time also disrupts their nap and bed times. One way to help a child transition is to move his daily sleep schedule ahead a half hour before the time change. So instead of waking the child at 6 a.m., change to 6:30 a.m. Be sure to change feeding and nap times, too, he says. This way when the clocks "fall back" it will feel like 5:30 a.m. Then, allow the infant or child to play quietly until 6 a.m. after the change.

"For less adaptable babies, the time change carries a greater impact," Dr. Ghaffari says. "For other children and adults, the consequences are minor. The time change is a great opportunity to examine your family's sleeping areas to make it more conducive to sleep and look at your activities prior to bedtime so falling asleep is easier."

Here are some ways to enhance sleep quality, from the National Sleep Foundation and the UPMC Altoona Sleep Center:
  • A dark cool, noise-free room. Ideal sleeping temperature is 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit. Use room-darkening shades/curtains and eliminate lights from electronics, such as a digital display from a radio, clock or other device. If traffic or household noise disturbs sleep, try a white noise machine to mask those annoying sounds.
  • Keep to a consistent bedtime and wake up time, even on weekends.
  • Avoid heavy meals, caffeine, alcohol and cigarettes as these may disrupt sleep.
  • Create a soothing bedtime ritual. Avoid computer and cell phone use and TV viewing as the bright light from these devices can be disruptive. Many people find reading relaxing.
  • Exercise daily, but avoid it immediately prior to bedtime.
  • Avoid day time napping, if you have trouble sleeping.






October 27, 2015 - UPMC Altoona Launches Multiple Telemedicine Services


ALTOONA, Pa., Oct. 27, 2015UPMC Altoona announces the launch of the new Teleconsult Center, expanding clinical specialty services via telemedicine and connecting world-class obstetric (OB) and gynecologic specialists with the UPMC Altoona community. Historically, women in central Pennsylvania who encounter medical conditions during pregnancy and those who are struggling with infertility often face the cost and logistical inconvenience of frequent travel to Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC in Pittsburgh. UPMC Altoona, in collaboration with Magee, is working to change that with four new telemedicine service lines.

"The launch of these telemedicine services highlights the availability of new models of care, bringing specialty physicians from Pittsburgh closer to home by live, audio- and video-enabled teleconferencing technology," explains Debra Pike, M.D., chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UPMC Altoona. "The patient and the expert physician in Pittsburgh can see and hear each other during the consultation, and our medical staff at UPMC Altoona can perform an exam and share their findings in real time with the Pittsburgh physician."
  • Maternal-Fetal Medicine (MFM) Outpatient Consultation: State-of-the-art HIPAA-secure teleconferencing technology connects patients in Altoona with Magee's Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialists in Pittsburgh, who address serious health conditions related to high-risk pregnancies. The MFM telemedicine service launched September 14, 2015.
  • Diabetes Education for Obstetrics: A woman who has diabetes and becomes pregnant or who develops diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes) has special needs and concerns regarding her own health and that of her developing baby. The diabetes education telemedicine service connects patients directly to experts at Magee, offering patients unparalleled access to expert specialty care in diabetes education. Nutritional counseling and blood glucose meter education for gestational diabetes is available through telemedicine classes and one-on-one consults are available for patients with type I or type II diabetes. The diabetes education telemedicine service began September 17, 2015.
  • Obstetric (OB) Ultrasound: Often, specialized obstetricians are not available 24/7 in rural health care settings, but UPMC's OB ultrasound program connects local providers to ultrasound experts at Magee. Advanced technology is used to transmit images from UPMC Altoona to Magee to be read and interpreted by board certified MFM physicians. The OB ultrasound program also offers tele-ultrasound services for ultrasound technician guidance, real time visualization of the imaging and interactive patient discussion of results. The OB ultrasound program launch occurred on September 1, 2015 and tele-ultrasound services are scheduled to begin October 1, 2015.
  • Center for Fertility and Reproductive Endocrinology (CFRE): CFRE telemedicine services provide patients with personalized reproductive health care, including evaluation, diagnosis and treatment, and access to Magee's in vitro fertilization techniques, Early Embryo Viability Assessment (Eeva), fertility preservation and preimplantation genetic screening and diagnosis. The CFRE telemedicine services launched September 14, 2015.
"We are pleased to bring the expertise of our MFM specialists to the UPMC Altoona community. Extending world-class care to patients close to home is a big part of UPMC's mission in all of the regions we serve. We expect that this program will help optimize pregnancy care in the community," says Hyagriv N. Simhan, M.D., professor and chief, Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine and vice-chair, Obstetrical Services for the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

"We are looking forward to providing state-of-the-art fertility services directly to couples in the Altoona area who want to build a family," explained Scott Kauma, M.D., clinical director of the fertility preservation program at Magee. "The comfort and care of our patients is our top priority and the benefit of being able to remain close to family and friends cannot be underestimated for these women."








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