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News: 2004 Archived Press Releases
Here you will find the latest information, feature stories, plus comprehensive articles in the latest treatment options and research at Altoona Regional Health System.
12/27/04 - Media Advisory
12/17/04 - Altoona Regional, Blair County Safe Kids, Replace Damaged Car Seats Ruined by Crash

December 27, 2004 - Media Advisory

For your convenience, here is an updated contacts list for Altoona Regional Health System and some information on referring to the system and its components. Please retain for future reference.

b> Contact List:
Ron McConnell - Spokesperson
Jay Knarr and Patt Frank - For expert medical sources for news and features
Sheri Simpson - For patient condition reports

Please call (814) 946-2271 to reach any of these individuals. Thank you.

Organization name: Altoona Regional Health System
On second reference, Altoona Regional

Proper terminology for identifying the two hospitals is as follows:
Altoona Regional Health System, Altoona Hospital Campus
Altoona Regional Health System, Bon Secours Hospital Campus
Unless there is some compelling reason for specifying the campus, "Altoona Regional Health System" suffices.

When referring to the trauma center, please use Altoona Regional Health System Trauma Center. There is no need to identify the particular campus since there is only one trauma center.

December 17, 2004 - Altoona Regional, Blair County Safe Kids, Replace Damaged Car Seats Ruined by Crash

Photo right: Abdul Pearson, 6, son of Tiffeny Newman of Altoona, uses his new car seat for the first time. He and his 17-month-old sister Mia Nelson received new car seats courtesy of the Blair County Safe Kids Coalition. An unusual set of circumstances enabled the coalition to donate the car seats.

When the sound of shattering glass and twisting metal awoke Tiffeny Newman from her sleep at 3 a.m. December 4, she ran to her front door, looked out and found a pickup truck sitting atop her parked car. Inside her demolished vehicle were her two children's car seats. Thankfully, the seats were empty as her children were safely tucked in bed.

Ms. Newman faced finding new car seats because once a car seat has been involved in a crash it is unsafe to use, says Blair County Safe Kids Coordinator Sherry Turchetta, R.N., CCE. Ms. Newman is relying on her mother to provide transportation for her family.

"Safe Kids strongly advocates the proper use of car seats for each and every ride during this busy holiday travel season," Mrs. Turchetta says. "Unfortunately, we are not able to provide car seats to everyone who inquires and is in need. However, when Ms. Newman called us, we had just completed an event and had two car seats left over. There must have been some Christmas magic floating in the air because that rarely happens. Plus, her children and the car seats needed to be compatible."

Mia Nelson, 17 months, and Abdul Pearson, 6 years, were all smiles as the car seat straps were properly adjusted at the permanent fitting station at the Pennsylvania State Police Barracks in Hollidaysburg Thursday, December 16, 2004.

"I am very grateful for the car seats. It really helps us out," Ms. Newman says. "Thank you so very much."

Altoona Regional Health System and Blair County Safe Kids provides a monthly inspection station on the second Friday of each month by appointment. The inspection station is located on the blue level of the Altoona Hospital Campus parking garage. Campus. For more information, contact Sherry Turchetta by calling 814.889.7802.

The Pennsylvania State Police at Hollidaysburg offers car seat inspections at their permanent inspection station on the third Thursday of every month, from 3 to 6 p.m. Please call 814.696.6100.


Name chosen is Altoona Regional Health System CEO tells community: "We move forward with confidence and optimism."

ALTOONA, Pa. - The merger of Altoona Hospital and Bon Secours-Holy Family Hospital became official today as the two began operating as Altoona Regional Health System.

James W. Barner, president and chief executive officer of Altoona Regional, addressed local residents this morning via the Altoona Public Access television channel. He emphasized that from the time the hospitals began talking nearly two years ago, the overriding mandate was that the good of the community came first.

"We promised a new, strong system that would enhance quality, identify and meet community health care needs, offer new services when appropriate and feasible, eliminate waste and duplication, and provide greater access and choice," Mr. Barner said. "Today we begin the process of delivering on those promises."

Mr. Barner also had a message for community residents worried about their health insurance.

"The vast majority of callers to our community information line asked whether their health insurance would still be accepted after the hospitals came together," he said. "As long as the insurance was previously accepted by either hospital, it will be accepted now by Altoona Regional."

Another frequent question has been about physicians. "I am here to tell you the good news that as the hospital medical staffs come together, your choice of doctors is being expanded. More access to these highly qualified experts is undoubtedly a good thing," Mr. Barner said.

Mr. Barner also promised that Altoona Regional will use its combined resources to enhance the quality of every existing medical program, even those that are already widely recognized for excellence - from primary care to trauma care, from cardiac care to behavioral medicine, from home care to cancer treatment, from wound care to neurosciences, and from advanced diagnostic medicine to all our medical and surgical sub-specialties.

"I can also tell you that because Altoona Regional is a not-for-profit health care system, we will continue to provide medical care to our residents who genuinely cannot afford health insurance and do not have the financial ability to pay for their care," he said.

Last year alone, Altoona and Bon Secours-Holy Family hospitals provided over $12 million in free care to our community. Altoona Regional also plans to start a new foundation that will serve as a fund-raising catalyst for those in need of care, while also strengthening existing services.

He also said Altoona Regional will stay on the cutting edge of technology, so that fewer and fewer people will need to leave the community for their care.

Mr. Barner said the new health care system is committed to building a cohesive culture of customer service that consistently exceeds the expectations of patients and families.

"Altoona Regional Health System incorporates the best of both Altoona Hospital and Bon Secours-Holy Family Hospital," Mr. Barner said. "Accordingly, we will reach into the rich pasts of both institutions for wisdom as we move forward into the future with confidence and optimism."

Also this morning, the members of the new health system's board of directors held their first meeting. They and the system's new leadership team were introduced on the cable access program.

The Most Rev. Joseph V. Adamec, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, offered a prayer of blessing and guidance for the new health system, its leadership, physicians, nurses and all employees.

Sister Anne Lutz, a Sister of Bon Secours and a senior vice president for mission for Bon Secours Health System Inc., addressed the community about the Bon Secours commitment to Catholic health care and to the needs of the people in this region.

The rest of the day included get-acquainted receptions at both hospital campuses for employees to meet the new leaders.

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