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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 Altoona Regional Health System.
12/31/07 - WILLIAM J. COCHRAN, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF
12/31/07 - NEW FISCAL SUPERVISOR APPOINTED FOR ALTOONA REGIONAL CENTER FOR BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SERVICES
12/31/07 - ALTOONA REGIONAL NAMES TRANSITIONAL CARE UNIT ADMINISTRATOR
12/27/07 - ALTOONA REGIONAL BOILER OPERATOR/MAINTENANCE MECHANIC RETIRES WITH 34 YEARS OF SERVICE
12/20/07 - EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT ENTRANCE REOPENS
12/18/07 - CHURCH GROUP DONATES TOYS FOR HOSPITALIZED CHILDREN
12/14/07 - ALTOONA REGIONAL RECOGNIZED FOR ORGAN PROCUREMENT RATE
12/13/07 - FIVE ALTOONA REGONAL PHYSICIANS PASS NATIONAL RECERTIFICATION EXAMS
12/13/07 - ALTOONA REGIONAL NAMES DIRECTOR OF SERVICE AND ORGANIZATIONAL EXCELLENCE
12/7/07 - ALTOONA REGIONAL PHYSICIAN DESIGNATED AS DIPLOMATE CERTIFIED IN PEDIATRICS
12/6/07 - JOHN ANASTASI, M.D., COMPLETES CONTINUING MEDICAL EDUCATION IN ATRIAL FIBRILLATION TREATMENT
12/3/07 - SURGICAL PRETESTING DEPARTMENT RELOCATES TO BON SECOURS HOSPITAL CAMPUS
12/3/07 - CENTRAL POINT OF ACCESS SUPERVISOR APPOINTED
12/3/07 - RESEARCH COORDINATOR COMPLETES A DUAL MASTER'S DEGREE
11/30/07 - ALTOONA REGIONAL NURSE EARNS MASTER OF SCIENCE DEGREE
11/30/07 - ALTOONA REGIONAL TRAUMA CENTER REACCREDITED THROUGH 2008
11/29/07 - ALTOONA REGIONAL'S NEW MEDICATION ADMINISTRATION SYSTEM REDUCES LIKELIHOOD OF ERRORS
11/28/07 - CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING, ANGELS REVEALED THURSDAY
11/26/07 - Media Advisory - NEW MEDICATION ADMINISTRATION SYSTEM TO BE UNVEILED
11/26/07 - ALTOONA REGIONAL RECEIVES APEX AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN PATIENT CARE FROM VHA INC.
11/21/07 - JORGE GONZALEZ-CRUZ, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF
11/16/07 - PASTOR PUBLISHED IN INTERNATIONAL PUBLICATION
11/15/07 - Environmental Services Manager Receives Promotion
11/5/07 - NEW MRI TECHNOLOGY INCREASES PATIENT COMFORT, IMPROVES DISEASE DIAGNOSIS
10/26/07 - DROWSY DRIVING PREVENTION WEEK CAMPAIGN SEEKS TO TEACH YOUNG DRIVERS HOW TO DRIVE ALERT AND ARRIVE ALIVE
10/25/07 - HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS NOVEMBER PROGRAMS
10/19/07 - MENTAL HEALTH SUPERVISOR PROMOTED AS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF ALTOONA REGIONAL CENTER FOR BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SERVICES
10/16/07 - BUILDING COMMUNITY: TAKING ACTION
10/12/07 - RADIATION ONCOLOGY WAITING AREA RECEIVES FACELIFT
10/10/07 - MICHAEL A. PEDONE, D.O., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF
10/10/07 - TANYA L. HOLSOPPLE, D.O., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF
10/10/07 - HASSAN Y. ZAMMAM, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF
10/8/07 - Safe Kids Blair County Gives Smoke Detectors to Families During Fire Prevention Week
10/4/07 - CARDIAC CATHETERIZATION LAB SPECIALIST RETIRES WITH 43 YEARS OF SERVICE
10/4/07 - PENNSYLVANIA PATIENT SAFETY AUTHORITY BOARD OF DIRECTORS NAMES LOCAL NURSE TO INFECTION ADVISORY PANEL
10/3/07 - FRIENDS OF ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM AWARDS SCHOLARSHIPS
10/3/07 - Safe Kids Blair County to Participate in Fire Prevention Week Oct. 7-13
10/1/07 - ALTOONA REGIONAL NOW PROVIDES A SOFTER MAMMOGRAM
9/20/07 - Mental Illness Awareness Week Set for Oct. 14-20
9/18/07 - Child Safety Seat Checkup Event Set for Thursday
9/14/07 - ALTOONA PHYSICIAN WILL GIVE KEYNOTE ADDRESS AT NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FREE CLINICS SUMMIT
9/11/07 - NURSE EARNS MASTER OF SCIENCE DEGREE IN NURSING
9/11/07 - CASE MANAGER EARNS RECERTIFICATION
9/11/07 - Altoona Regional Employee Promoted
9/11/07 - CLINICAL COORDINATOR ACCEPTS PROMOTION
9/7/07 - HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS PROGRAMS FOR OCTOBER
8/30/07 - ALTOONA REGIONAL CARPENTER RETIRES WITH 38 YEARS OF SERVICE
8/30/07 - TWO NUCLEAR MEDICINE INTERNS COMPLETE PROGRAM
8/28/07 - ALTOONA REGIONAL NAMES NEW MANAGER FOR GIFT SHOPS
8/28/07 - SYSTEM ASSISTS COMMUNITY WITH BIOTERRORISM READINESS
8/28/07 - PHYSICAL THERAPIST COMPLETES ADVANCED TRAINING IN PRIMAL REFLEX RELEASE TECHNIQUES
8/15/07 - ALTOONA REGIONAL RECEIVES DONATION FROM BLAIR/BEDFORD BUILDERS ASSOCIATION
8/9/07 - ALTOONA REGIONAL HIRES PHARMACIST
8/9/07 - COVERSATIONAL SIGN LANGUAGE CLASS HOLDS GRADUATION
8/7/07 - HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS SEPTEMBER PROGRAM SCHEDULE
8/7/07 - ALTOONA REGIONAL NURSE MANAGER ACCEPTS CLINICAL RECRUITER POSITION
8/1/07 - Safe Kids Blair County Offers Car Seat Inspections
7/26/07 - CLINICAL LABORATORY SCIENCE SCHOOL WELCOMES TWO NEW STUDENTS
7/25/07 - ALTOONA REGIONAL ANNOUNCES DECISION CONCERNING TYRONE HOSPITAL SITUATION
7/12/07 - HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS AUGUST PROGRAMS
7/11/07 - CHILD SAFETY SEAT CHECKUP EVENT SET FOR AUG. 10
7/2/07 - PHYSICIAN'S BOOK EASES SURGERY FEARS
6/25/07 - MRS. PENNSYLVANIA USA VISITS ALTOONA REGIONAL PATIENTS
6/21/07 - INGESTED MAGNETS POSE SERIOUS HEALTH RISK
6/14/07 - ALTOONA REGIONAL EMPLOYEE PROMOTED
6/14/07 - CLINICAL MANAGER ACCEPTS PROMOTION, COMPLETES DEGREE
6/11/07 - NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION FINDS NO VIOLATIONS OR DEFICIENCIES DURING SURPRISE INSPECTION
6/6/07 - Child Safety Seat Check-Up Event Set for June 13
6/4/07 - ALTOONA REGIONAL REPLACES MATTRESSES TO IMPROVE PATIENT CARE
6/4/07 - HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS JULY PROGRAMS
5/23/07 - ALTOONA REGIONAL IMPLEMENTS SYSTEM TO INCREASE SAFETY FOR YOUNGEST PATIENTS
5/23/07 - VASCULAR INSTITUTE TO PROVIDE PHYSICIANS, STAFF WITH SIMULATION TRAINING ON CAROTID STENTING
5/22/07 - ALTOONA REGIONAL FINANCE EMPLOYEE RETIRES WITH 35 YEARS OF SERVICE
5/18/07 - TWO MEDIA EVENTS, ONE TRIP WEDNESDAY MAY 23, 2007
5/9/07 - HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS JUNE PROGRAMS
5/8/07 - ALTOONA REGIONAL CELEBRATES VOLUNTEER WEEK
5/7/07 - ALTOONA REGIONAL FRIENDS RAISES MORE THAN $2,500 THROUGH WOMEN'S NIGHT OUT JEWELRY FUND-RAISER
5/4/07 - INTERVIEW/VIDEO/PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES THURSDAY, MAY 10
5/3/07 - ALTOONA REGIONAL SAYS THANKS DURING NATIONAL HOSPITAL WEEK
5/3/07 - SAFE KIDS BLAIR COUNTY RECEIVES STATE AWARD
5/1/07 - ALTOONA REGIONAL LEASES FORMER ALTOONA CENTER SITE FROM STATE
4/30/07 - First-Ever Summer Child Safety Report: Vermont Leads the Nation, Pennsylvania Ranks Ninth
4/27/07 - FIRST-EVER CHILDHOOD SUMMER SAFETY REPORT SHOWS HUGE DIFFERENCES ACROSS NATION: STATES RANKED BY CHILDREN'S ACCIDENTAL INJURY DEATHS DURING SUMMER, A DEADLY TIME FOR KIDS
4/19/07 - FREE SCREENING FOR KIDNEY DISEASE SET FOR MAY 11
4/19/07 - ULTRASOUND SUPERVISOR RETIRES FROM ALTOONA REGIONAL WITH 33 YEARS OF SERVICE
4/19/07 - ALTOONA REGIONAL THERAPIST EARNS PROBLEM GAMBLING CERTIFICATION
4/19/07 - BLOOD BANK EARNS THIRD CONSECUTIVE ON-SITE INSPECTION FROM AABB WITH NO DEFICIENCIES
4/17/07 - HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS MAY PROGRAMS
4/17/07 - SAFE KIDS KICKS OFF NATIONAL SAFE KIDS WEEK AT 'WEEK OF THE YOUNG CHILD' EVENT
4/05/07 - Altoona Regional Health System, 620 Howard Ave., has been named a Blue Distinction CenterSM for Cardiac Care for 2007.
4/05/07 - SMOKING CESSATION CLASS OFFERED IN APRIL
4/04/07 - COPING IN TODAY'S WORLD: SURVIVING INCREASED SOCIETAL STRESS
3/26/07 - "PLANNING FOR CHANGE: BOTH FINANCIALLY AND EMOTIONALLY" THEME FOR GERIATRIC INTEREST NETWORK CAREGIVERS' CONFERENCE SET MAY 4
3/23/07 - NEW CT SCANNER OFFERS INCREDIBLE SPEED, CLARITY
3/22/07 - BEAUTY SUPPLY COMPANY DONATES TO ALTOONA REGIONAL PEDIATRICS
3/22/07 - ALTOONA REGIONAL BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SERVICES PRESENTS DARRELL NIXDORF AWARD
3/2/07 - HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS APRIL PROGRAMS
2/26/07 - NEW SAFE SITTER INSTRUCTORS CERTIFIED AT ALTOONA REGIONAL
2/23/07 - HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS MARCH PROGRAMS
2/23/07 - ALTOONA REGIONAL RECEIVES DONATION FROM QUILTERS
2/23/07 - ALTOONA REGIONAL EMPLOYEE PROMOTED
2/22/07 - JOHN D. PAULSON, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF
2/22/07 - ALTOONA REGIONAL OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST ACHIEVES CERTIFICATION
2/8/07 - ALTOONA REGIONAL RECEIVES DONATION OF FOOTBALL HELMETS FROM ALTOONA AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT
1/29/07 - SAFEKIDS BLAIR COUNTY SPONSORS SEAT INSPECTIONS DURING CHILD PASSENGER SAFETY WEEK FEBRUARY 11-17
1/15/07 - JAMES H. GAROFALO, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF
1/12/07 - SETH A. KEARNEY, D.P.M., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF
1/11/07 - DAVID W. BUNDY, D.O., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF
1/10/07 - ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS FEBRUARY PROGRAMS
1/3/07 - ALTOONA REGIONAL NURSES EARN DEGREES
1/2/07 - FIRST BLAIR COUNTY BABY OF NEW YEAR BORN AT ALTOONA REGIONAL




December 31, 2007 - WILLIAM J. COCHRAN, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF

William J. Cochran, M.D. William J. Cochran, M.D., has joined the Altoona Regional Health System medical staff in the clinical service of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Pediatrics & Newborn department.

He is affiliated with Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, Pa.

Dr. Cochran is board certified in Pediatrics & Newborn, Pediatric Gastroenterology, Nutrition, and as a Physician Nutrition Specialist.

He graduated from the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, Pa., and did his residency and internship training at Strong Memorial Hospital of the University of Rochester, N.Y. He did two fellowships in Pediatric Gastroenterology/Nutrition, one at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, and the other at Strong Memorial Hospital of the University of Rochester.






December 31, 2007 - NEW FISCAL SUPERVISOR APPOINTED FOR ALTOONA REGIONAL CENTER FOR BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SERVICES

Sherri Sell Sherri Sell was recently promoted to the new position of fiscal supervisor of Altoona Regional's Center for Behavioral Health Services. Her responsibilities include the supervision of fiscal clerks and oversight of department finances. She began her career with Altoona Hospital as a fiscal specialist in the department. She has a bachelor's degree in accounting from Penn State University, University Park. She and her husband Brian of Bedford have two sons.






December 31, 2007 - ALTOONA REGIONAL NAMES TRANSITIONAL CARE UNIT ADMINISTRATOR

Alice M. Hershberger, B.BA., M.H.A.C. Alice M. Hershberger, B.BA., M.H.A.C., recently joined Altoona Regional Health System as the nursing home administrator of the Transitional Care Unit.

Previously a surgical services administrative coordinator at Hanover Hospital in Hanover, Pa. Hershberger earned her bachelor's degree in Business Administration and Pennsylvania Nursing Home Administrator's license at Mount Aloysius College, Cresson. She also completed her master's degree in Healthcare Administration at the University of Phoenix, Arizona.

She resides in Duncansville with her family and has five adult children.






December 27, 2007 - ALTOONA REGIONAL BOILER OPERATOR/MAINTENANCE MECHANIC RETIRES WITH 34 YEARS OF SERVICE

Eugene Smith Eugene "Gene" Smith of Saxton, a boiler operator/maintenance mechanic in the Environment of Care department at Altoona Regional Health System, recently retired with 34 years of service. He began his career June 18, 1973, as a mechanic in the Maintenance department with Mercy Hospital in Altoona. Seven years later, he became a boiler plant operator/maintenance mechanic, a position he held for the remainder of his career.






December 20, 2007 - EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT ENTRANCE REOPENS

The main entrance to the Altoona Hospital Campus Emergency department has reopened to patients and vehicle traffic following a fire service line break Saturday.

Patients were diverted to a different entrance and a temporary waiting area was established due to minor flooding caused by the break, but at no time was patient care or fire protection interrupted. A back up system provided protection until the line was repaired.






December 18, 2007 - CHURCH GROUP DONATES TOYS FOR HOSPITALIZED CHILDREN

Michael and Andrea Miller started Playful Heals, a church group collecting donated toys for hospitalized children, after their daughter, Jasmyn, was a patient in the Pediatrics Unit at Altoona Regional Health System in April.

Donations of new, easily washable toys were made by families of the Calvary and Pinecroft United Methodist and Bread of Life churches, the Pioneer Club of Calvary and Pinecroft U.M.C., and the Altoona Wal-Mart.

"Our hope is that, although a toy will not heal their illness, it may make dealing with their stay a little easier," Andrea said.

For more information, or to make a donation, call the Calvary and Pinecroft United Methodist churches in Bellwood at 742-7695.

medals awarded for organ procurement rate


Photo: Attending the toy donation on the Pediatrics Unit are (from left): Amy Kowalski, R.N., Pastor Donna Vaux, Jasmyn Miller, Andrea Miller, Ashley Holiday, R.N., and Heather Van Klaveren, R.N.






December 14, 2007 - ALTOONA REGIONAL RECOGNIZED FOR ORGAN PROCUREMENT RATE

For the third consecutive year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has recognized Altoona Regional Health System and the Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) for success in achieving increased organ donation rates.

National Organ Donation Medals of Honor were presented by Cynthia Tomaro, professional liaison for CORE, to system representatives. Altoona Regional was only one of seven hospitals in Pennsylvania to achieve a 75 percent or higher organ donation consent rate in a 12-month cycle. Altoona Regional's donation consent rate is about 80 percent compared to a 50 percent donation consent rate three years ago when the program started, according to Simon Lampard, M.D., F.A.C.S., medical director of Trauma Service. He also serves as a member of a committee charged with improving the organ donation process within the system.

"We've achieved this improvement by following national standards through a large, cooperative effort among trauma, the emergency department, nursing, the intensive care unit, the operating room and the assistance of CORE," Dr. Lampard said.

The higher procurement rates benefit those residents of the region who are awaiting transplants, Tomaro said, by increasing their chances for transplantation.

CORE is a regional not-for-profit agency that is the primary call center and intermediary for the organ recovery and allocation process that serves 156 hospitals and more than 6 million people in Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Chemung County in New York. CORE has helped to pioneer organ procurement allocation and recovery for this region since it was founded in 1977 as the Pittsburgh Transplant Foundation..

medals awarded for organ procurement rate


Photo: Cynthia Tomaro(second from right), professional liaison for CORE, presents the National Organ Donation Medals of Honor to Simon Lampard, M.D., F.A.C.S., (second from left) medical director of Altoona Regional Trauma Service. Looking on are (from left) Chris Rickens, acting chief nursing officer, Kathryn Terlinsky, director of Education, Jacquie Rizzo, administrative director of Critical Care Services, and Denise Gdula, administrative director of Trauma Service. All are members of the Donor Advisory Committee, a committee which works to improve the organ donation process, at Altoona Regional.






December 13, 2007 - FIVE ALTOONA REGONAL PHYSICIANS PASS NATIONAL RECERTIFICATION EXAMS

The following members of the Altoona Regional Medical Staff have been recertified in their respective specialties:

Janelle L. Brumbaugh, D.O., is recertified as a diplomate by the American Board of Family Medicine through Dec. 31, 2014. She practices with Blair Medical Associates, 721 N. Juniata St., Hollidaysburg, and 1400 Pennsylvania Ave., Tyrone.

Mark M. Keating, M.D., met the requirements for recertification in Medical Oncology and Hematology by the American Board of Internal Medicine and is recertified through Dec. 13, 2017. He practices with Blair Medical Associates Oncology, 620 Howard Ave., Altoona.

Timothy A. Lucas, M.D., met the requirements for recertification in Internal Medicine by the American Board of Internal Medicine through Dec. 31, 2017. He practices with Altoona Lung Specialists, 801 Howard Ave., Altoona.

Thomas M. Mextorf, D.O., is recertified in Geriatric Medicine by the American Osteopathic Board of Family Physicians through Dec.. 31, 2017. He practices with Blair Medical Associates, 1400 Pennsylvania Ave., Tyrone, and 1414 9th Ave., Altoona.

Peter M. Smolarczyk, M.D., board certified anesthesiologist, is recertified in Internal Medicine by the American Board of Internal Medicine through Dec. 31, 2016. He is also certified in Perioperative Transesophageal Echocardiography by the National Board of Echocardiography until June 30, 2013. He practices with Blair County Anesthesia, 1701 12th Ave., Altoona.

Janelle L. Brumbaugh, D.O. Mark M. Keating, M.D. Timothy A. Lucas, M.D.
Janelle L. Brumbaugh, D.O.Mark M. Keating, M.D.Timothy A. Lucas, M.D.







December 13, 2007 - ALTOONA REGIONAL NAMES DIRECTOR OF SERVICE AND ORGANIZATIONAL EXCELLENCE

Bob Strawser
Bob Strawser has been named director of Service and Organizational Excellence for Altoona Regional Health System.

This newly created position will allow him to develop and implement the health system's service excellence initiative by coordinating methods to enhance and sustain patient and employee satisfaction. Strawser hopes to create an atmosphere at Altoona Regional where patients want to receive care, employees want to work, and physicians want to practice medicine. He will also be responsible for training new and existing employees and physicians to better meet the needs of customers.

Strawser earned his bachelor's degree from Susquehanna University in sociology and his master's from Penn State University in health administration.

He began his work in the behavioral health department at Lewistown Hospital. He also worked for the Huntingdon, Mifflin and Juniata Tri-County in behavioral health administration.

In November 1999 he was named director of customer service at Bon Secours-Holy Family Regional Health System. Upon formation of Altoona Regional in 2004, he became director of customer service for the new health system.






December 7, 2007 - ALTOONA REGIONAL PHYSICIAN DESIGNATED AS DIPLOMATE CERTIFIED IN PEDIATRICS

Rebecca L. Delbaggio, M.D.
Rebecca L. Delbaggio, M.D., a member of the Altoona Regional Medical Staff, has been recertified as a diplomate in pediatrics through Dec. 31, 2014, by the American Board of Pediatrics. Dr. Delbaggio practices with Blair Medical Associates Pediatrics, which has offices at Station Medical Center, 1414 9th Ave., Altoona, and 111 Deville Dr., Duncansville.






December 6, 2007 - JOHN ANASTASI, M.D., COMPLETES CONTINUING MEDICAL EDUCATION IN ATRIAL FIBRILLATION TREATMENT

Heart surgeon John Anastasi, M.D.
Heart surgeon John Anastasi, M.D., recently completed continuing medical education credits in the treatment of atrial fibrillation through Inova Health System, Falls Church, Va. He was awarded 6.35 AMA PRA Category 1 credits through his participation in "Twenty Years of Innovations in the Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation: An Integrated Surgical and Electrophysiology Summit." Dr. Anastasi is chairman of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery of Altoona Inc., 620 Howard Ave.






December 3, 2007 - SURGICAL PRETESTING DEPARTMENT RELOCATES TO BON SECOURS HOSPITAL CAMPUS

The Surgical Pretesting department is relocating to the Bon Secours Hospital Campus from the Altoona Hospital Campus effective Monday, Dec. 10. All surgical pretesting patients should continue to report to the Altoona Hospital Campus through Dec. 6. The department will be closed Friday, Dec. 7, while making the move.

Once the move is complete on Dec. 10, the department will also have a new name: the Pre-Anesthesia Evaluation Unit. The new phone number will be 889.7603, new fax number will be 889.3838, and to reach Anesthesia, call 889.3830.

Surgical Pretesting will occupy the former maternity area, which has been closed since 2003. Pretesting evaluates all patients who need anesthesia services.

The move will provide patients with easier access when they come for evaluations, and the large increase in space will reduce patient waiting times, said Dr. Domenico Falcone, chairman/chief of Anesthesia. The department will ensure greater patient safety and higher quality and avoid unnecessary delays and cancellations. The new location will have eight times the space — 8,600 square feet — and eight exam rooms.

Staff includes seven registered nurses, two secretaries, two physician assistants and a certified registered nurse practitioner. All work in collaboration with the surgeons, primary care physicians, specialists and anesthesiologists.

Approximately 70 patients a day are triaged by the nursing staff either by phone or in person, with an average of 30-35 being evaluated by the PA-C or CRNP.

Frederick is a licensed professional counselor. He received his bachelor's degree in Rehabilitation Education from Penn State and a master's degree in Counseling from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va.

He lives in Altoona with his wife Bonnie and their four children.






December 3, 2007 - CENTRAL POINT OF ACCESS SUPERVISOR APPOINTED

Mark R. Frederick Mark R. Frederick has been promoted to central point of access supervisor for Altoona Regional Behavioral Health Services.

He will provide supervision and oversight for the Access Center, where Blair County residents come for services for their mental health or drug and alcohol treatment. Frederick previously served as the liaison/coordinator for the Student Assistance Program for 15 years. He started his career with Altoona Hospital 22 years ago as a crisis center counselor.

Frederick is a licensed professional counselor. He received his bachelor's degree in Rehabilitation Education from Penn State and a master's degree in Counseling from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va.

He lives in Altoona with his wife Bonnie and their four children.






December 3, 2007 - RESEARCH COORDINATOR COMPLETES A DUAL MASTER'S DEGREE

Kim Corle, RN, CCRN, MSN, MHA Kim Corle, RN, CCRN, MSN, MHA, research coordinator in the department of Quality Management, recently completed a dual master's degree in the science of nursing and health administration at the University of Phoenix, Arizona. She graduated with honors.

Corle resides in Martinsburg. She was hired as a staff nurse in a medical-surgical unit with Altoona Hospital in 1987 and has worked as a staff nurse and a manager, most recently in Quality Management.






November 30, 2007 - ALTOONA REGIONAL NURSE EARNS MASTER OF SCIENCE DEGREE

Cindy Keith, M.S.N., R.N., C.W.O.C.N. Cindy Keith, M.S.N., R.N., C.W.O.C.N.., with the Altoona Regional Health System Ostomy and Wound Care Program, recently earned her Master of Science degree in Nursing, with a focus in education, from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Prior to completing the two-year requirement, Cindy received her undergraduate degree in nursing from Temple University, Philadelphia. She worked at Home Nursing Agency for 26 years and at Altoona Regional for the past five years. Cindy and her husband John, of Entriken, have three children.






November 30, 2007 - ALTOONA REGIONAL TRAUMA CENTER REACCREDITED THROUGH 2008

The Altoona Regional Trauma Center was one of 27 Pennsylvania hospitals granted accreditation through September 2008 by the Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Foundation. Altoona Regional has maintained accreditation since its opening in 2001.

Trauma center accreditation means Altoona Regional has resources immediately available to provide efficient surgical intervention to reduce the likelihood of death or permanent disability. Accredited trauma centers like Altoona Regional are continuously prepared to treat the most serious life-threatening and disabling injuries.






November 29, 2007 - ALTOONA REGIONAL'S NEW MEDICATION ADMINISTRATION SYSTEM REDUCES LIKELIHOOD OF ERRORS

MAK System for patient safety A new medication administration system at Altoona Regional Health System increases patient safety and reduces the possibility of medication errors through a series of electronic safeguards which back up a nurse's bedside expertise.

Called the Medication Administration Check System — or MAK — it helps nurses with the five R's to administer the right drug at the right time in the right dose by the right route to the right patient.

The system uses bar coding technology — the same principles used at your local grocery store to properly identify products and their prices. In the hospital setting, each drug is packaged with a unique bar code. The patient wears a unique identification band that has a bar code. And, the nurse's identification band also has a bar code.

When it's time to administer medication to a patient, the nurse's identification badge is scanned, the patient's wristband is scanned and the medication is scanned using a handheld scanner. The computer determines if the patient's information matches the medical record and drug safety information and then provides a screen prompt on whether it is advisable to administer the medication.

"Only 10 percent of the hospitals in the nation have these systems in place so we're cutting edge," said R. Thomas Zeek, director of nursing information. "And, it's all for patient safety."

Photo above right: Altoona Regional Staff Nurses Lynda Weber (left) and Cindy Bartlett demonstrate the Medication Administration Check System.






November 28, 2007 - CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING, ANGELS REVEALED THURSDAY

The annual Christmas tree lighting and the unveiling of the Revealing the Angels Holiday Campaign honor board take place at 10 a..m. Thursday, Nov. 29, in the atrium of the Altoona Hospital Campus and at 9 a.m. Friday, Nov. 30, in the 7th Avenue lobby/cafeteria of the Bon Secours Hospital Campus.

The Revealing the Angels campaign funds the system's free medical clinic, which provides free health care to thousands of our working neighbors who are uninsured. Friends of Altoona Regional Health System will match up to $10,000 in donations.

For more information, or a contribution envelope, please call Volunteer Services at 889.2151.






November 26, 2007 - NEW MEDICATION ADMINISTRATION SYSTEM TO BE UNVEILED

WHAT: Medication Administration Check System — or MAK — A new medication administration system that increases patient safety and reduces the margin for medication errors through integrated electronic safeguards which back up a nurse's expertise.

WHEN: Wednesday, November 28 at 10 a.m.

WHERE: Altoona Hospital Campus, Board Room (Meet in the lobby for an escort.)

WHO: Altoona Regional senior leadership, nursing and information technology staff

WHY: A significant undertaking and investment to safeguard patients and increase quality of care.






November 26, 2007 - ALTOONA REGIONAL RECEIVES APEX AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN PATIENT CARE FROM VHA INC.

Altoona Regional Health System has been recognized by VHA Pennsylvania, part of a national alliance of hospitals, for demonstrating excellence in patient care.

Altoona Regional received the award for demonstrating extraordinary levels of clinical performance in treating patients with heart attacks.

"This award means that through our continuous performance improvement process, working with our physicians and nurses, we are continuing to improve the quality of care we provide to our patients," said James Robuck, who served as interim director of Quality Management during the award time frame, January through March 2007. "Receiving such an award from the VHA validates our commitment to excellence."

Sandy Kozielec, present director of Quality Management, said, "Altoona Regional is continuing its pursuit of excellence in health care, which is evidenced through continued compliance with national standards."

Some of the national standards of excellent care are the administration of aspirin and beta blockers upon arrival and discharge, smoking counseling for every patient who smokes, and proper discharge medications, said registered nurse Carole Roman, supervisor for quality documentation nurses.

"This award recognizes the high quality of care for heart attack patients that our staff provides," said David L. Cowger, M.D., senior vice president, Quality/Medical Affairs. "Members of the community can be reassured knowing they are receiving a nationally recognized standard of care."

"We are pleased to present Altoona Regional with this award," said Marilyn Rudolph, R.N., BSN, MBA, vice president of performance improvement. "VHA is working with hospitals across the nation to help them improve clinical performance. This award validates their commitment, as well as ours, to improve clinical quality and patient care."






November 21, 2007 - JORGE GONZALEZ-CRUZ, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF

Jorge Gonzalez-Cruz, M.D. Jorge Gonzalez-Cruz, M.D., has joined the medical staff in the clinical service of Neurosurgery, Specialized Surgery department.

He is affiliated with Allegheny Brain & Spine Surgeons, 501 Howard Ave. Bldg. F-3, Altoona.

He graduated from Ignacio S. Santos Medical School, I.T.E.S.M., Mexico, performed his internship training at the University of Hawaii, and his residency in neurosurgery at Louisiana State University Hospital, Shreveport. His special interests are brain tumors and spine surgery.






November 16, 2007 - PASTOR PUBLISHED IN INTERNATIONAL PUBLICATION

Rev. Ronald Khoury The Rev. Ronald Khoury of the Pastoral Care department, Altoona Hospital Campus, will have an article he's written published in an upcoming issue of VOICE magazine. VOICE is the international publication for the Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship, which promotes the Gospel through personal testimonials. Khoury resides in Altoona.






November 15, 2007 - Environmental Services Manager Receives Promotion

Tonya Smarsh Tonya Smarsh of Morrisdale was recently promoted to environmental services manager. Tonya began working with Bon Secours Holy Family Hospital as an environmental services supervisor in November 2002. She is married to Robert Smarsh. They have two daughters and one grandson.






November 5, 2007 - NEW MRI TECHNOLOGY INCREASES PATIENT COMFORT, IMPROVES DISEASE DIAGNOSIS

The Imaging Services Department of Altoona Regional Health System has introduced a new, state-of-the-art magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner enhancement that shortens the test and makes it more comfortable for patients. The new technology is a breakthrough tool for the diagnosis of disease.

The new system — known as Signa® Infinity with EXCITE™ — is from GE Medical Systems, one of the world's leading MRI manufacturers. Capable of acquiring diagnostic information significantly faster than other MR systems, the scanner will enable doctors at both Altoona Regional hospitals to improve the diagnosis of a wide range of conditions, including cardiac and vascular disease, stroke, abdominal and brain disorders, and musculoskeletal conditions in the knee, shoulder and other joints. It will also permit the offering of enhanced services, such as breast MRIs for cancer patients.

"In essence, we now have the ability to capture diagnostic images at the speed of light," said Richard Wertz, M.D., medical director of Imaging Services. "This scanner reduces the length of MRI exams while improving the quality of the anatomical information. It will also make MRI exams more comfortable for patients, especially those who have difficulty holding their breath during certain procedures."

MRI uses computers and magnetic fields, rather than radiation, to provide safe and noninvasive images of the human anatomy. It is estimated that more than 20 million MRI exams are performed each year in the United States.

"Our continuing ability to provide the most advanced care to our patients requires leading-edge technologies," Wertz said. "This system opens the door to new imaging applications that will improve the diagnosis of disease throughout the human body, from head to toe."

The new technology was installed on both existing Altoona Regional MRI scanners at a cost of approximately $1 million. This is at a significant cost-savings over purchasing a new scanner, according to Michael Corso, administrative director of Imaging Services. The upgrade to both machines means that both MRIs are mirror images of one another and patients receive the same quality MRI images at either hospital campus. Imaging Services performs nearly 10,000 MRIs annually.






October 26, 2007 - DROWSY DRIVING PREVENTION WEEK CAMPAIGN SEEKS TO TEACH YOUNG DRIVERS HOW TO DRIVE ALERT AND ARRIVE ALIVE

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) announces the launch of Drowsy Driving Prevention Week™, a national campaign to save the lives of young drivers by raising awareness of the dangers of drowsy driving and providing resources for advocacy at the state level. The first annual Drowsy Driving Prevention Week™ will take place Nov. 5-11, following the change back from Daylight Saving Time.

The dangers of drowsy driving hit locally when an 18-year-old Centre County man fell asleep behind the wheel of his SUV, drove into the oncoming lane of traffic and hit a dump truck Oct. 19. Both drivers were injured, according to news reports.

"Most teens and college students have been educated about the dangers of driving while intoxicated, but many are woefully unaware that driving while tired can be just as dangerous," says NSF CEO Richard Gelula, MSW. "According to NSF's 2006 Sleep in America poll, only one in five adolescents (20 percent) gets an optimal amount of sleep during the week, and more than half (51 percent) report having driven drowsy in the past year. Other research shows us that young people under the age of 25 are by far the largest at-risk group for these types of crashes."

Car crashes are the number one killer of teens in the United States. Alcohol is often a factor in fatal crashes involving young people, but sleepiness also plays a significant role, Timothy A. Lucas, medical director of the Institute for Sleep Medicine at Altoona Regional Health System, said. "Like alcohol, sleepiness slows reaction time and impairs judgment. Unlike alcohol, a person who falls asleep while driving has no control of the vehicle and cannot take measures to avoid a crash." For this reason, drowsy driving crashes are often very serious or fatal and are recognized by the lack of skid marks at the crash scene.

Young people need more sleep than older adults, yet most do not get nearly enough. The combination of sleepiness, inexperience and lifestyle choices, including a tendency to drive at night and in the early morning hours when there is a strong urge to sleep, put teens and young adults at high risk for drowsy driving and sleep-related crashes.

Additionally, sufficient sleep time for young drivers is continually challenged by ongoing pressures, including academic workload, extracurricular activities and early school start times (for both high school and college-age students).

In addition to teens, NSF's Drowsy Driving Prevention Week™ will target other groups at high risk of drowsy driving, including commercial drivers, shift workers and people with untreated sleep disorders. The goal of the campaign is not only to educate the public about drowsy driving, but to provide them with the tools to prevent fatigue-related crashes in the future.

NSF's Drowsy Driving Prevention Week™ campaign includes:
  • A re-launch of NSF's www.drowsydriving.org. The newly redesigned site will offer extensive resources about drowsy driving, including public policy, fact sheets, human interest stories, news features and online communities.
  • NSF's Drowsy Driving Memorial www.drowsydriving.org will include a memorial page where friends and family members can post photos and/or messages about loved ones lost in drowsy driving crashes.
  • A drowsy driving toolkit that includes online educational resources to teach young drivers, parents and educators about the risk factors and warning signs of drowsy driving as well as tips for preventing a sleep-related crash.
  • NSF's Parent/Teen Safe Driver Contract, an agreement between young drivers and their parents to practice safe driving by not driving recklessly or while intoxicated or drowsy.
  • Resources and communications to build a national grassroots network of advocates working to prevent drowsy driving in their communities through education and legislative efforts.







October 25, 2007 - HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS NOVEMBER PROGRAMS

A free osteoporosis screening for women only will be conducted on Friday, Nov. 2, from 12:30 to 3 p.m. in the Allegheny Room, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus, 620 Howard Ave. You must call for an appointment. No fee. For more information or to schedule, call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

Drivers age 55 and older are invited to participate in the AARP Driver Safety Program, a classroom refresher course that covers age-related physical changes, perceptual skills, rules of the road and more. All automobile insurance companies in Pennsylvania provide a premium discount to graduates age 55 and older. Most require that both spouses insured under the same policy take the class to receive a discount.

The class is offered Tuesday, Nov. 6, and Wednesday, Nov. 7, in the Logan Room, 6-10 p.m., 6th floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus, 620 Howard Ave. The fee is $10. Registration required. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

A Child Safety Seat Installation Checkup Station will be held Friday, Nov. 9, in the Altoona Hospital Campus parking garage, Blue Level. The inspections take place from 9:30-11 a.m. You must make an appointment. Call Safe Kids Blair County at 889.7802.

"Pain-Free Rehabilitation?" Join Ken Kozminski, Altoona Regional physical therapist, as he discusses the benefits of a unique and effective water therapy Tuesday, Nov. 6, at 6:30 p.m. in the Rotunda, 6th floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. No fee. Class size is limited. Register by calling 889.2630 or 1.888. 313.4665.

The average person experiences several episodes of conflict in a day yet never heals the emotional wounds and pain that result. Join Dr. Mien-Too Wesley for "Conflict: Healing the Emotional Wounds and Pain" Friday, Nov. 16. Lunch is served at 11 a.m. followed by the program until 1 p.m. at the Bon Secours Hospital Campus Education Center, Trzeciak Conference Suite, 2621 8th Ave. No fee. Registration required. Register by calling 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

A six-week series of intermediate yoga will be offered Nov. 27 through Dec. 18. Gail Murphy, registered instructor in Hatha yoga, leads this program, which offers mind/body exercise, breath control, stretching and strengthening to promote mental, physical and spiritual well-being. Intermediate class 6:50-8 p.m. in the Rotunda, 6th floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. Fee is $30. Class size is limited. Register by calling 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.






October 19, 2007 - MENTAL HEALTH SUPERVISOR PROMOTED AS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF ALTOONA REGIONAL CENTER FOR BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SERVICES

Mark J. Chuff, L.P.C. Mark J. Chuff, L.P.C., of Hollidaysburg has been named executive director of Altoona Regional's Center for Behavioral Health Services.

"Mark has many years of behavioral health experience and will be a great asset both to the health system and to the community in this leadership role," Jerry Murray, senior vice president/clinical services, said.

Chuff began his career in Altoona in 1985 with Altoona Hospital Center for Mental Health Services. He most recently has served as supervisor of the Access and Utilization Center, Drug and Alcohol Case Management and the Forensic Program.

He previously worked as a senior therapist for Jefferson County Mental Health in Steubenville, Ohio, and Community Mental Health Center, Latrobe Area Hospital. In addition, Chuff worked in all phases of personnel management during the early 1980s.

Chuff earned his Master of Science degree in Counseling Education from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, and his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a minor in Industrial Relations from Saint Vincent College, Latrobe. He is a licensed Professional Counselor and a National Certified Counselor.

Altoona Regional's Center for Behavioral Health Services provides mental health and drug addiction-related services to the community through various community, county and school-based programs.






October 16, 2007 - BUILDING COMMUNITY: TAKING ACTION

WHAT: Focusing on the stigma associated with mental illness

WHEN: 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18, as part of Mental Illness Awareness Week now through Oct. 20.

WHO: Keynote speaker Suzanne Vogel-Scibilia, M.D., clinical psychiatrist, who has had bipolar disorder since age 15. Founder and operator of an independent mental health clinic in Western Pa. With guest speaker NAMI representative Leonard Alwine, who tells how NAMI helps those affected by the stigma associated with a loved one's mental illness.

WHERE: Ramada, Altoona

SPONSORED BY: Altoona Regional Health System, Blair County MH/MR/D&A Program, Community Behavioral Health Provider Network of PA, Home Nursing Agency, National Association of Mentally Ill Blair County (NAMI), Penn State Altoona Health & Wellness Center.






October 12, 2007 - RADIATION ONCOLOGY WAITING AREA RECEIVES FACELIFT

Jack D. Schocker, M.D., Chuck Navasky (left) and John Guthridge With the support of the Navasky Foundation for Life, Altoona Regional's Radiation Oncology Unit was able to renovate and refurnish its patient reception area.

On hand recently to witness the unveiling of the renovations were Radiation Oncology staff, Altoona Regional board members, and administrators, and family and friends of the foundation.

The Navasky Foundation, based in Philipsburg, was started by Chuck Navasky and his wife, Jaye. Through concerts, CD sales, speaking engagements, and fund raising events, they have generated substantial funding for cancer research centers in Pennsylvania. Locally, the Navasky Foundation partners with the Altoona Curve each January on the Curve's Hot Stove Banquet event and has used the proceeds as donations to the Altoona Regional cancer center in the amount of $50,000 for the past two years.

In the photo, Jack D. Schocker, M.D., medical director, Altoona Regional Center for Cancer Care (center), with Chuck Navasky (left) and John Guthridge, representatives of the Navasky Foundation for Life, at the unveiling of the renovations of the center's patient reception area.






October 10, 2007 - MICHAEL A. PEDONE, D.O., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF

Michael A. Pedone, D.O. Michael A. Pedone, D.O., has joined the medical staff of Altoona Regional Health System in the Family Medicine department.

He is affiliated with Mainline Medical Associates, 1400 9th Ave., Altoona.

Dr. Pedone is board certified by the American Osteopathic Board of Family Physicians.

He received his medical degree from the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, Erie. He did his residency at Altoona Family Physicians.






October 10, 2007 - TANYA L. HOLSOPPLE, D.O., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF

Tanya L, Holsopple, D.O. Tanya L, Holsopple, D.O., has joined the medical staff of Altoona Regional Health System in the Family Medicine department.

She is affiliated with Mainline Medical Associates, 1400 9th Ave., Altoona.

Dr. Holsopple is board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine.

She received her medical degree from the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, Erie. She did her residency at Altoona Family Physicians.






October 10, 2007 - HASSAN Y. ZAMMAM, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF

Hassan Y. Zamman, M.D. Hassan Y. Zamman, M.D., has joined the medical staff of Altoona Regional Health System in the Internal Medicine department.

He is affiliated with Lexington Hospitalists, 620 Howard Ave., Altoona.

Dr. Zamman is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine.

He received his medical degree from Damascus University, Syria. He did his residency training at Damascus University Hospital, Syria, and Bon Secours Hospital, Grosse Pointe, Mich. He also did a fellowship at Allegheny University of the Health Sciences.






October 10, 2007 - Safe Kids Blair County Gives Smoke Detectors to Families During Fire Prevention Week

Smoke detector awarded to  new mom Anne Steele Altoona — Safe Kids Blair County, whose lead agency is Altoona Regional Health System, provided a new smoke detector to families who welcomed a newborn into their home during Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 7-13, to help reduce the risk of fire injury in Blair County.

"Safe Kids Blair County hopes the presentation of new smoke detectors to families with newborns emphasizes the important message of having a working smoke detector with fresh batteries in the home," Sherry Turchetta, coordinator of Safe Kids Blair County, said. "We encourage everyone in Blair County, especially families, to check their smoke detectors and make sure they are working properly and have fresh batteries."

Tips for protecting your family
A small fire can grow into a deadly one within minutes. To help prevent a tragedy, closely inspect your home to eliminate potential hazards. Prepare your home for an emergency, and teach your family about the dangers of fire and how to escape. If a child is coached properly ahead of time, he or she will have a better chance of surviving. Also, test/check your smoke detector each month, and replace the battery each year. Eliminate potential hazards:
  • Keep matches, lighters and other heat sources out of children's reach. Playing with matches and lighters is the leading cause of fire deaths for children ages 5 and under.
  • Keep flammable items such as clothing, furniture, newspapers or magazines away from the fireplace, heater or radiator.
  • Keep all portable heaters out of children's reach.
  • Avoid plugging several appliance cords into the same electrical socket.
  • Replace old or frayed electrical wires and appliance cords, and keep them on top of, not beneath, rugs.
  • Store all flammable liquids, such as gasoline, outside the home.
Safe Kids Blair County is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing accidental injury. Safe Kids Blair County was founded in 1991.

Photo: Safe Kids Blair County, whose lead agency is Altoona Regional Health System, in cooperation with Altoona Fire Department provided a new smoke detector to families who welcomed a newborn into their home. New mother Ann Steele (left) of Altoona receives a smoke detector from Blair County Safe Kids Coordinator Sherry Turchetta. Fire officials attending were (from left) Altoona Fire Department fire marshal Randy Isenberg, Captain Scott Douglas, firefighter Matt Kennedy and firefighter Paul Cunningham.






October 4, 2007 - CARDIAC CATHETERIZATION LAB SPECIALIST RETIRES WITH 43 YEARS OF SERVICE

Gail M. Murphy Gail M. Murphy, RT, (R), (CV), a cardiac catheterization lab specialist in the Cardiac Catheterization Lab, Altoona Hospital and Bon Secours Hospital campuses, retired Aug. 28 with 43 years of service. She began her career with Altoona Hospital in the Radiology department as a registered radiologic technologist and a cardiovascular intervention technologist. She is a graduate of the Altoona Hospital School of Radiology. She transferred to the catheterization lab in 1992. Murphy also teaches yoga for the system's Healthy Living Club. She is married to John A. Murphy and they live in Altoona.






October 4, 2007 - PENNSYLVANIA PATIENT SAFETY AUTHORITY BOARD OF DIRECTORS NAMES LOCAL NURSE TO INFECTION ADVISORY PANEL

Linda Winston The Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority's Board of Directors named Altoona Regional Health System nurse and infection control specialist Linda Winston to a state Infection Advisory Panel.

The 13-member panel of infection control experts is to help implement Act 52 of 2007. The act was signed into law by Gov. Ed Rendell in July to help reduce and eliminate health care-associated infections in Pennsylvania's hospitals and nursing homes. Such infections include pneumonias, urinary tract infections, surgical site infections and those that are resistant to multiple drugs.

Winston, infection control officer at Altoona Regional and nurse manager of the Infection Prevention and Control department, has her master's degree in nursing and is certified in infection control.

She is a member of The Association of Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology. She was nominated to the panel as a rural hospital representative.

Winston lives in Dysart with her husband, James Winston. They have three children and eight grandchildren.






October 3, 2007 - FRIENDS OF ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM AWARDS SCHOLARSHIPS

Scholarship Award Winners Jenna Cowan and Justin Longnecker of Altoona, both students of Altoona Regional Health System School of Medical Technology/Clinical Laboratory Science, have received scholarship awards.

Each $500 scholarship is given annually by Friends of Altoona Regional Health System, the system's auxiliary.

Cowan is the daughter of Joseph and Lisa Cowan of Altoona. She graduated in December from Mount Aloysius College with a Bachelor of Science degree in General Science. Her extracurricular activities during college included volunteer projects based in the Mercy Tradition.

Longnecker is the son of Nelson and Shirley Longnecker of Altoona. He is a graduate of Penn State University, where he majored in biology with a focus on vertebrate physiology. Longnecker's interests include biochemistry, genetics, histology, infectious diseases, field biology and taxonomy. He was also involved with three research projects while at Penn State and was awarded a $2,500 research grant for his work.

Photo: Cindy Skupien (left) and Jack Freas (right) of Friends of Altoona Regional Health System presented scholarships to Jenna Cowan (second from left) and Justin Longnecker (second from right), students at Altoona Regional Health System School of Medical Technology/Clinical Laboratory Science, represented by Joseph Noel, program director.






October 3, 2007 - Safe Kids Blair County to Participate in Fire Prevention Week Oct. 7-13

Safe Kids Blair County logo Altoona — Safe Kids Blair County, whose lead agency is Altoona Regional Health System, is providing a new smoke detector to families who welcome a newborn into their home during Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 7-13, to help reduce the risk of fire injury in Blair County.

Tips for protecting your family
A small fire can grow into a deadly one within minutes. To help prevent a tragedy, closely inspect your home to eliminate potential hazards. Prepare your home for an emergency, and teach your family about the dangers of fire and how to escape. If a child is coached properly ahead of time, he or she will have a better chance of surviving. Also, test/check your smoke detector each month, and replace the battery each year. Eliminate potential hazards:
  • Keep matches, lighters and other heat sources out of children's reach. Playing with matches and lighters is the leading cause of fire deaths for children ages 5 and under.
  • Keep flammable items such as clothing, furniture, newspapers or magazines away from the fireplace, heater or radiator.
  • Keep all portable heaters out of children's reach.
  • Avoid plugging several appliance cords into the same electrical socket.
  • Replace old or frayed electrical wires and appliance cords, and keep them on top of, not beneath, rugs.
  • Store all flammable liquids, such as gasoline, outside the home.
Safe Kids Blair County is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing accidental injury. Safe Kids Blair County was founded in 1991.






October 1, 2007 - ALTOONA REGIONAL NOW PROVIDES A SOFTER MAMMOGRAM

Altoona Regional Health System now provides a new product that dramatically eases the discomfort many women feel when they get a mammogram. The FDA-cleared foam cushion, called MammoPad®, creates a softer, warmer mammogram.

Altoona Regional is a certified Softer Mammogram Provider® hoping to increase the number of area women who follow recommendations for regular screenings.

"The discomfort many women feel during mammography compression is widely known to be a reason that some don't get regular screenings," said Richard A. Wertz, M.D., medical director of Imaging Services at Altoona Regional.

In addition to compression, the cold surfaces and hard edges of the mammography device make the experience uncomfortable for some patients.

"The breast cushion answers these complaints by providing a soft, warm cushion for the breast during mammography," Dr. Wertz said. "And because women are more relaxed during the exam, it makes it even easier for our mammography technologists to get the best possible image."

The single-use, adhesive-backed foam cushion attaches to the compression plates of the mammography device. It was developed by Stanford University breast surgeon Gale Lebovic, M.D., who understood mammography discomfort from both a physician and patient's point of view.

The breast cushion is "invisible" to X-rays and does not interfere with the image quality of the mammogram.

"We try to create the best possible experience for our patients," said Dr. Wertz. "We're pleased to be able to offer our patients this important enhancement."

The American Cancer Society reports women can greatly reduce their risk of death from breast cancer if they receive regular mammography screenings. For this reason, both the society and the American College of Radiology recommend that women 40 and older receive mammograms yearly.

Yet despite the urgency of this message, nearly 40 percent of American women don't get regular recommended mammograms. Studies have shown mammography pain is a major reason some women do not return for annual screening.

The new foam cushion could help reverse this trend. MammoPad has been clinically studied in both the U.S. and Sweden, where evaluations in more than 1,300 patients found approximately 70 percent experienced a significant reduction in pain when the cushion was used, Dr. Wertz noted.

"Early detection of breast cancer can make the crucial difference between life and death," Dr. Wertz said. "Mammograms identify lumps that a woman's self-exam wouldn't find until an average of 1.7 years later. That is why regular mammograms are the only scientifically proven way to reduce breast cancer mortality. This breast cushion removes a major barrier to women receiving this important procedure."

To schedule a softer mammogram at Altoona Regional, call Imaging Services at 889.6623.






September 20, 2007 - Mental Illness Awareness Week Set for Oct. 14-20

The week of Oct. 14-20 marks Mental Illness Awareness Week. The theme this year is "Building Community. Taking Action." A free community event will be held in honor and remembrance of individuals and families affected by mental illness at The Ramada Altoona, off I-99 Plank Road Exit, on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2007.

At 7 p.m., keynote speaker Suzanne Vogel-Scibilia, M.D., will discuss "Beating the Stigma of Mental Illness." Suzanne is a clinical psychiatrist who has had bipolar disorder since the age of 15. She has founded and operates an independent mental health clinic in Western Pennsylvania.

Also speaking will be Leonard Alwine, a representative of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Blair County. He will discuss how NAMI assists those affected by the stigma associated with a loved one's mental illness.

At the conclusion of the evening, an interactive candle lighting ceremony that incorporates powerful imagery will pay respects and admiration to those affected by mental illness. The service will be led by the Rev. Terryann Talbot-Moses, director of the Pastoral Care department at Altoona Regional Health System.

Doors open at 6 p.m. and registration is not required. Refreshments will be available at 6:30 p.m. and the program will begin at 7. Call 814.889.2706 for more information on this free public event sponsored by Altoona Regional Health System, Blair County MH/MR/D&A, Community Behavioral Health Provider Network of Pennsylvania, Home Nursing Agency, NAMI of Blair County and Penn State Altoona Health & Wellness Center.






September 18, 2007 - Child Safety Seat CheckUp Event Set for Thursday

Safe Kids Blair County logo K-Mart in Altoona, PennDOT District 9, the Pennsylvania Chapter Academy of Pediatrics and Safe Kids Blair County will conduct a free child safety seat checkup event Thursday, Sept. 20, from 10 a.m. to noon at K-Mart, 528 West Plank Road, Altoona.

In celebration of National Child Passenger Safety Week, now through Sept. 22, child passenger safety advocates take this opportunity to remind parents and caregivers of the importance of properly buckling up every passenger safely and securely for every ride.

Certified child passenger technicians will offer car seat inspections and assistance with proper installation. An evaluation of each seat for possible recalls will be conducted. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to attend with their children, car seats and vehicles.






September 14, 2007 - ALTOONA PHYSICIAN WILL GIVE KEYNOTE ADDRESS AT NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FREE CLINICS SUMMIT

Zane Gates, M.D. Altoona physician Zane Gates, M.D., medical director of Partnering for Health Services a free medical clinic operated by Altoona Regional Health System, will be the keynote speaker at the National Association of Free Clinics national summit Friday, Sept. 21, in Dallas, Texas.

The National Association of Free Clinics (NAFC) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to support, strengthen and advocate for free clinics and the communities they serve. The organization has 310 member clinics. Dr. Gates is expected to present to nearly 300 conference attendees.

Dr. Gates founded Partnering for Health Services in 1999 shortly after he founded the first free medical clinic in Blair County in August 1998 under the name Operation Safety Net-Altoona. In February 2006, the two clinics merged and now operate under the name Partnering for Health Services. The merger was made possible by the merger of Altoona Hospital and Bon Secours-Holy Family Regional Health System.

The clinic serves uninsured and under-insured adults aged 18 to 64 years who meet the clinic's financial eligibility guidelines. The patients are the community's "working poor." Last year the clinic saw 258 new patients. In fiscal year 2005-06, Altoona Regional provided over $602,000 in free care to the clinic's patients. Since opening nine years ago, the clinic has treated more than 6,000 patients.

Partnering for Health Services is dependent upon community donations and contributions, public and private grants and Altoona Regional for operational funding.






September 11, 2007 - NURSE EARNS MASTER OF SCIENCE DEGREE IN NURSING

Nicole Corle Nicole Corle, R.N., B.S.N., of Martinsburg recently received her Master of Science degree in Nursing from the University of Phoenix. She graduated with honors and is a member of the nursing honor society, Sigma Theta Tau International.

Corle works in the intensive care unit at Altoona Regional Health System and has been employed by the system for six years. She is also a clinical instructor for the associate degree program at Penn State Altoona. Corle obtained her associate and bachelor's degrees in nursing from Penn State Altoona.






September 11, 2007 - CASE MANAGER EARNS RECERTIFICATION

Kathleen L. Lenhart Kathleen L. Lenhart, nurse manager of HealthForce, the occupational health department of Altoona Regional Health System, recently met the renewal requirements for case manager certification from the Commission for Case Manager Certification. She started at Mercy Hospital in 1980 and has worked in employee health and occupational medicine since 1993. Lenhart, of Altoona, is married to Robert Lenhart. They have three children and two grandchildren.






September 11, 2007 - Altoona Regional Employee Promoted

Christel Grazier Christel Grazier, R.N., B.S.N., C.N.O.R., of Tyrone has accepted the position of director of Surgical Services at Altoona Regional Health System. Grazier has been a member of the Surgical Services staff for 21 years. Prior to her appointment, she served as nurse manager of the operating room at Altoona Hospital Campus. Grazier, who also spent four years working in maternity, is pursuing her master's in Health and Human Service Administration.






September 11, 2007 - CLINICAL COORDINATOR ACCEPTS PROMOTION

Christi Wimer Christi Wimer, R.N., B.S.N., C.E.N., C.N.R.N., of Hollidaysburg, recently accepted the administrative director position for the Department of Emergency Medicine at Altoona Regional Health System. Wimer has many years of emergency nursing experience and most recently served as the clinical coordinator of the system's Regional Stroke Center.






September 9, 2007 - HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS PROGRAMS FOR OCTOBER

A free osteoporosis screening for men and women will be conducted on Friday, Oct. 5, from 12:30 to 3 p.m. in the Kaufman Dining Room, Bon Secours Hospital Campus, 2500 7th Ave. You must call for an appointment. No fee. For more information or to schedule, call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

Drivers age 55 and older are invited to participate in the AARP Driver Safety Program, a classroom refresher course that covers age-related physical changes, perceptual skills, rules of the road and more. All automobile insurance companies in Pennsylvania provide a premium discount to graduates age 55 and older. Most require that both spouses insured under the same policy take the class to receive a discount.

The class is offered Tuesday, Oct. 9, and Wednesday, Oct. 10, in the Logan Room, 6-10 p.m., 6th floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus, 620 Howard Ave. The fee is $10. Registration required. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

A Child Safety Seat Installation Checkup Station will be held Friday, Oct. 12, in the Altoona Hospital Campus parking garage, Blue Level. The inspections take place from 9:30-11 a.m. You must make an appointment. Call Safe Kids Blair County at 889.7802.

A six-week series of yoga will be offered Oct. 9 through Nov. 13. Gail Murphy, registered instructor in Hatha yoga, leads this program, which offers mind/body exercise, breath control, stretching and strengthening to promote mental, physical and spiritual well-being. Beginners class 5:30-6:40 p.m., Intermediate 6:50-8 p.m., both in the Rotunda, 6th floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. Fee is $30. Class size is limited. Register by calling 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

Join representatives from Altoona Regional Women's Health and Wellness Center and the American Cancer Society who will be on hand to discuss their services Friday, Oct. 19 in the Education Center, Trzeciak Conference Suite, 2621 8th Ave.

Learn about the Healthy Woman Program and the Mammogram Voucher Program. Lunch begins at 11 a.m. followed by the program until 1 p.m. No fee. Registration required by calling 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

On Friday, Oct. 26, join Sharon Rydbom to make an adorable scarecrow wall or door decoration from an Indian corncob to welcome fall into your home. Class takes place in the Juniata Room, 6th floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus, 6:30 to 8 p.m. Materials needed include scissors, glue gun and glue sticks (don't special purchase) and a black marker. This is a great project to do with "tweeners" as it is an easy craft to complete. Class size is limited to 25. Fee $7. Register by calling 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

Is cosmetic surgery for you? Ever consider changing something about your appearance? Join Dr. Roberto Gonzalez from Blair Plastic Surgery Inc. as he discusses the most common reconstructive and cosmetic surgeries for men and women Wednesday, Oct. 24, at 6:30 p.m. in the Rotunda, 6th floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus.






August 30, 2007 - ALTOONA REGIONAL CARPENTER RETIRES WITH 38 YEARS OF SERVICE

Ellis Alderman Altoona Regional Health System employee Ellis Alderman, a carpenter with the Environment of Care department, Bon Secours Hospital Campus, retired recently with 38 years of service. He began his career June 28, 1968, with Mercy Hospital in the Engineering Department. In 2003, Alderman earned Bon Secours-Holy Family Hospital's Distinguished Service Award, presented to the employee who most supports and contributes to the mission of Bon Secours Health System Inc.






August 30, 2007 - TWO NUCLEAR MEDICINE INTERNS COMPLETE PROGRAM

Intern Lacey Appenzellar (left), Supervisor Drew Appleman and Megan Berkstresser

Photo right: Intern Lacey Appenzellar (left), Supervisor Drew Appleman and Megan Berkstresser. Lacey Appenzellar and Megan Berkstresser graduated Aug. 13 from The University of Findlay's Nuclear Medicine program after completing an eight-month internship at Altoona Regional Health System.

Appenzellar, of Chambersburg, Pa., and Berkstresser, of McConnellsburg, Pa., are graduates of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, each earning a bachelor's degree in Science and completion of Findlay's nuclear medicine program makes them eligible for the registry exam in nuclear medicine.

Drew Appleman, RNMT, supervisor, nuclear medicine services, said both interns were instructed in nuclear medicine radiopharmacy; imaging procedures, equipment, quality assurance, equipment, patient and customer relations, diagnostic and therapeutic dosimetry, radiation safety procedures, federal and state regulations and interactions with other departments. They also attended various radiation safety meetings and outside educational forums.

Appenzellar is the daughter of Linda Hartman and Terry Appenzellar, both also of Chambersburg. She is a graduate of Chambersburg Area High School.

Berkstresser is the daughter of Cathy Souders of Wells Tannery and Ralph Berkstresser of Chambersburg. She is a graduate of McConnellsburg High School.

Altoona Regional was approved as an affiliate site with The University of Findlay, Ohio, in December 2005. It is one of 20 sites nationwide. Seven students applied for the two positions available, Appleman said. The year-long nuclear medicine program consists of a 49-credit didactic program and the 24-credit, eight-month internship in the hospital setting.

The Imaging Services department thanks staff from both campuses, as well as all the ancillary departments, for helping to instruct these interns.






August 30, 2007 - ALTOONA REGIONAL NAMES NEW MANAGER FOR GIFT SHOPS

Trina Benzel Trina Benzel has assumed the duties of manager of Altoona Regional Health System's two gift shops — the Gift Shop at Altoona Hospital Campus and the Window Box at Bon Secours Hospital Campus.

Benzel is a native of Cambridge Springs, Pa., and the daughter of James and Nancy Hosey of Reno, Pa. She is a graduate of Rocky Grove High School in Franklin, Pa., and earned associate degrees in accounting and bookkeeping from Gannon University, Pa., and in business management from Greater Altoona Technology Center. She is married to Richard Benzel and they have two children.






August 30, 2007 - SYSTEM ASSISTS COMMUNITY WITH BIOTERRORISM READINESS

Ron McConnell presents checks to fire departments Ron McConnell, chief operating officer, recently presented three $1,000 checks to area fire departments as part of a collaborative agreement for bioterrorism preparedness. Attending the presentation were (from left): Ron McConnell; Altoona City Fire Department assistant chief Greg Epple; Lakemont Volunteer Fire Company chief Tom Sral, and Newburg Volunteer Fire Department chief Robert M. Dennis Jr.

Other departments receiving checks but unable to attend the presentation included Logan Township United Fire Department, Greenwood Volunteer Fire Company and the Kittanning Trail Volunteer Fire Company.






August 28, 2007 - PHYSICAL THERAPIST COMPLETES ADVANCED TRAINING IN PRIMAL REFLEX RELEASE TECHNIQUES

Physical Therapist Phil Kanar Physical Therapist Phil Kanar with the Duncansville Clinic of the Altoona Regional Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation department recently completed intermediate and advanced courses in Primal Reflex Release Techniques.

These techniques are based on the interaction between activated reflexes (painful regions) to obtain pain relief. The treatment is gentle and helps 70-80 percent of patients. It is least effective for individuals who have structural problems. It works on both acute and chronic conditions.

Kanar received his basic training from Ernie Quinlisk, P.T., from Boulder, Colo. He subsequently studied the intermediate and advanced courses in Poway, Calif., under John Iams, P.T., the developer of the technique.






August 15, 2007 - ALTOONA REGIONAL RECEIVES DONATION FROM BLAIR/BEDFORD BUILDERS ASSOCIATION

BLAIR/BEDFORD BUILDERS ASSOCIATION DONATION Altoona Regional Health System recently received a $2,500 donation from the Blair/Bedford Builders Association. The donation was a portion of the proceeds from the association's May 2007 Golf Outing and was used to purchase a pediatric blood pressure monitor.

The monitor meets the unique needs of the pediatric patient by providing multiple, size-appropriate cuffs for individualized care.

Photo: Scott Rhine (left), vice president, and Brian Durbin (second from left), president, of the Blair/Bedford Builders Association, present a check for $2,500 to Altoona Regional Chief Operating Officer Ron McConnell and Registered Nurse Jan Grove. The donation was used to purchase a pediatric blood pressure monitor.






July 26, 2007 - ALTOONA REGIONAL HIRES PHARMACIST

Jessica J. Noel Jessica J. Noel of Tipton was recently hired as a staff pharmacist at Altoona Regional Health System.

She was awarded her Pharm D degree from the University of Pittsburgh April 29.

During her final year, Ms. Noel traveled to Palermo, Italy, for a four-week rotation at I.S.M.E.T.T. Hospital, a branch of UPMC Hospital, Pittsburgh. She also undertook a four-week rotation at Wolf Point Indian Reservation, Montana.

While in pharmacy school for the past three years, Ms. Noel served as an intern in the Pharmacy department at Altoona Regional.

Ms. Noel also received a bachelor's degree in biology from Shippensburg University, cum laude. She is a 2000 graduate of Bellwood-Antis High School, Bellwood.

She is the daughter of Joseph R. Noel of Tipton and the late Johanna Noel.






July 26, 2007 - CONVERSATIONAL SIGN LANGUAGE CLASS HOLDS GRADUATION

SIGN LANGUAGE CLASS


The Altoona Regional Healthy Living Club recently offered a conversational sign language class. The Rev. Robert Smith of the Pastoral Care Dept. taught the participants. Graduates include: (first row, from left) Mellissa Eilenberger, Dot Sloter, Jessica Shade, Susan Jolley, Linda Crowell, Lori Stauffer, Clara Ferguson, Rachel Brumbaugh; (second row, from left) Carol Isenberg, Karen Reed, Alicia Schmouder; (third row, from left) Rev. Smith, Gary Slogenhop, Gerri Wilt, Nicki Brenneman, Bonni Lindberg, Roseanna Shumskas, Bobby Jo Rodgers and Barry Houser.






August 7, 2007 - HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS SEPTEMBER PROGRAM SCHEDULE

A 12-week beginners sign language course will be offered Tuesdays, Sept. 4 through Nov. 20 inclusive, 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Juniata Room, 6th floor, Outpatient Center,, Altoona Hospital Campus, 620 Howard Ave., Altoona. Pastor Robert Smith of the Pastoral Care department of Altoona Regional will teach this course in conversational sign language. There will be assignments with the lessons and a certificate will be given upon completion. A three-ring binder will be needed. There is a $25 fee. Registration required. Class limited to 30. Register by calling 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

Is shoulder pain limiting your activities? Join Dr. Joshua Port of Blair Orthopedics and Sports Medicine as he discusses a new surgical procedure — "reverse" shoulder replacement — on Thursday, Sept. 6, at 6:30 p.m. in the Rotunda, 6th floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. This technique typically will not only help with pain but also restore greater function to the shoulder joint in appropriate patients. Registration required by calling 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

A free osteoporosis screening for women only will be held Friday, Sept. 7, 12:30 to 3 p.m., in the Allegheny Room, 6th floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. You must call for an appointment. No fee. For more information or to schedule, call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

Drivers age 55 and older are invited to participate in the AARP Driver Safety Program, a classroom refresher course that covers age-related physical changes, perceptual skills, rules of the road and more. All automobile insurance companies in Pennsylvania provide a premium discount to graduates age 55 and older. Most require both spouses insured under the same policy to take the class to receive a discount.

The class is offered Tuesday, Sept. 11, and Wednesday, Sept. 12, in the Logan Room, 6-10 p.m., 6th floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus, 620 Howard Ave., Altoona. The fee is $10. Registration required. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

It's back! The Disease Fighting Diet program was so popular when offered in June we are repeating it Wednesday, Sept. 26, at 6:30 p.m. in the Rotunda, 6th floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. If you want to learn how to protect your heart, lower your cholesterol and help prevent cancer, join our ever-popular Randy Grabill, clinical dietitian at Altoona Regional, as he discusses and explains the Disease-Fighting Diet and how you can incorporate these foods into your daily meal planning.

Community hospitals, businesses, agencies and emergency medical personnel are all in the process of preparing for the possibility of a large-scale disaster, such as a flu pandemic, weather emergency or chemical spill. How would such an emergency affect you and your family? How can you prepare? On Friday, Sept. 28, Sue Wertz, Altoona Regional's safety officer and chairperson of a regional emergency management group, will discuss what you can do to prepare for any emergency that may disrupt daily life as we know it. Lunch is at 11 a.m. followed by the program until 1 p.m. in the Bon Secours Hospital Campus Education Center, Trzeciak Conference Suite, 2621 8th Ave., Altoona. No fee. Registration required. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.






August 7, 2007 - ALTOONA REGIONAL NURSE MANAGER ACCEPTS CLINICAL RECRUITER POSITION

Monica Liebal, R.N., B.S.N., has accepted the newly created position of clinical recruiter in the Human Resources department of Altoona Regional Health System. Liebal has served as a registered nurse for the past 15 years and most recently worked as a nurse manager in Anesthesia Services. Her new responsibilities will include the recruitment of clinicians to Altoona Regional and to the health profession in general.

Liebal resides in Roaring Spring with her husband and their four children.






August 1, 2007 - Safe Kids Blair County Offers Car Seat Inspections

Celebrates 10 Years of Safety


ALTOONA, PA. - Safe Kids Blair County is holding child seat inspections on Saturday, Aug. 11, at Stocker Chevrolet in State College. This day marks the 10th anniversary of Safe Kids Buckle-Up.

Across the country, certified Child Passenger Safety technicians will teach parents and caregivers to install and adjust their child seats properly. State and local police and volunteers from various county agencies are expected to join Safe Kids Blair County at the event.

Stocker Chevrolet is at 701 Benner Pike. Inspections will be held from 10 a.m. to noon on a drop-in basis.

Safe Kids Blair County is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing accidental injury. Safe Kids Blair County was founded in 1991 and is led by Altoona Regional Health System.






July 26, 2007 - CLINICAL LABORATORY SCIENCE SCHOOL WELCOMES TWO NEW STUDENTS

Justin Longnecker and Jenna Cowan Two Altoona residents comprise the 33rd class of the Altoona Regional School of Medical Technology/Clinical Laboratory Science.

Photo right: Justin Longnecker and Jenna Cowan comprise the 33rd class of the Altoona Regional School of Medical Technology/Clinical Laboratory Science.

Jenna Cowan is the daughter of Joe and Lisa Cowan of Altoona. She graduated cum laude from Mount Aloysius College in December 2006 with a bachelor's degree in science. Jenna graduated with honors from Bellwood-Antis High School in 2002 and was a member of the National Honor Society and Student Council. She also participated in many extra-curricular activities such as marching and concert band, chorus and softball.

The second student is Justin Longnecker, son of Nelson and Shirley Longnecker of Altoona. Justin graduated from Penn State Altoona with a bachelor's degree in biology with a focus in vertebrate physiology. Many of his research areas were in microbiology, an area of study which holds a special interest for him.

The clinical internship is a 32-credit program of study that prepares the students for a career in Clinical Laboratory Science (Medical Technology). Laboratory tests performed to aid physicians in their diagnosis and treatment of patients are done under the direction of clinical laboratory scientists (Medical technologists). They work in a hospital, clinic, research laboratory, physician's office or in a public health lab setting.






July 25, 2007 - ALTOONA REGIONAL ANNOUNCES DECISION CONCERNING TYRONE HOSPITAL SITUATION

Over the past several months, Altoona Regional Health System has explored several partnering options with Tyrone Hospital. The goal was to find an opportunity that would benefit the people of the Tyrone community while assisting Tyrone Hospital with its financial challenges.

After much discussion and research, the most promising option was determined to be an Altoona Regional Health System partnership with University Orthopedics Center to create an orthopedic center of excellence while maintaining current general acute care services. However, following a thorough assessment of operational and financial factors, including the use of an outside consultant, it was concluded that this was not a viable option.

James W. Barner, Altoona Regional president and CEO, and David Davies, CEO of University Orthopedics, released a statement saying: "We regret that we could not find a realistic way to collaborate in Tyrone. Based on the projected patient activity available to support the investment required to upgrade the current facility and establish a center of excellence, it was determined that the project was not feasible."

Barner added, "Altoona Regional is not pursuing any further integration options but will offer any operational support as Tyrone Hospital plans to work out of its bankruptcy situation."

(Please note that we cannot provide any information beyond what is in this release and will not grant interviews. Thank you.)






July 12, 2007 - HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS AUGUST PROGRAMS

A free osteoporosis screening for men and women will be held Friday, Aug. 10, 12:30 to 3 p.m., in the Kaufman Dining Room, Bon Secours Hospital Campus, 2500 7th Ave., Altoona. You must call for an appointment. No fee. For more information or to schedule, call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

Drivers age 55 and older are invited to participate in the AARP Driver Safety Program, a classroom refresher course that covers age-related physical changes, perceptual skills, rules of the road and more. All automobile insurance companies in Pennsylvania provide a premium discount to graduates age 55 and older. Most require both spouses insured under the same policy to take the class to receive a discount.

The class is offered Tuesday, Aug. 14, and Wednesday, Aug. 15, in the Logan Room, 6-10 p.m., sixth floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus, 620 Howard Ave., Altoona. The fee is $10. Registration required. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

Some women don't talk much about their bladder problems. Often, they think they have to live with them. Not true, says Dr. John Paulson of Blair Medical Associates OB/GYN. With proper diagnosis, medications and interventions can help. Join Dr. Paulson as he discusses some of the more common female bladder dysfunction and pelvic floor problems, their causes, diagnosis and treatment Friday, Aug. 17. Lunch is at 11 a.m. followed by the program until 1 p.m. at the Bon Secours Hospital Campus Education Center, Trzeciak Conference Suite, 2621 8th Ave., Altoona, No fee. Registration required. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

Certified Safe Sitter instructors will prepare adolescents ages 11 to 13 to baby-sit infants and young children in a safe, responsible and competent manner. The class is conducted from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Aug. 20, in the Trzeciak Conference Suite of the Education Center on the Bon Secours Hospital Campus, 2621 8th Ave., Altoona. Participants will learn basic child-care skills; how to keep a house secure; how to take precautions to prevent accidents; basic first-aid skills; how to recognize common signs of illness, and possible interventions; how to treat or reduce discomfort and how to rescue a choking child or infant. The fee is $25 and includes materials, snacks and lunch. Registration required. Class size limited. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

A six-week series of yoga will be offered Aug. 21 through Sept. 25. Gail Murphy, instructor in Hatha Yoga, leads this program, which offers mind/body exercise, breath control, stretching and strengthening to promote mental, physical and spiritual well-being. Beginners class 5:30-6:40 p.m., Intermediate, 6:50-8 p.m., in the Rotunda, sixth floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. Fee is $30. Class size is limited to 25. Register by calling 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

Did you know that on average someone suffers a stroke every 45 seconds? We live in an area where stroke risk factors are prevalent. On Wednesday, Aug. 22, join Dr. Arthur DeMarsico, board certified vascular surgeon, as he discusses the warning signs of stroke, what you should do if you or a loved one has a stroke, and, most important, how to prevent this silent killer. The program begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Rotunda, 6th floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. No fee. Register by calling 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.






July 11, 2007 - CHILD SAFETY SEAT CHECKUP EVENT SET FOR AUG. 10

Safekids logo Safe Kids Blair County and the WIC office of the Home Nursing Agency will conduct a FREE Child Safety Seat Checkup event Friday, Aug. 10. In response to many families traveling this summer, child passenger safety advocates take this opportunity to remind parents and caregivers of the importance of properly buckling up every passenger safely and securely for every ride. The checkup event will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. at Home Nursing Agency, Lawruk Plaza, 206 West Plank Road.

Certified Child Passenger Technicians will offer car seat inspections and assistance with proper installation. An evaluation of each seat for possible recalls will be conducted. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to attend with their children, car seats and vehicles. For more information, call Safe Kids Blair County at 889-7802.






July 2, 2007 - PHYSICIAN'S BOOK EASES SURGERY FEARS

Dr. Johannes Dr. Johannes "Joop" Schokker, general and trauma surgeon at Altoona Regional Health System, has written a book entitled "The Compassionate Surgeon," as both a memoir of his experiences as a surgeon and a guide for patients and their families during the surgery process.

In the book, Dr. Schokker stresses the importance of communication between the surgeon and the patient.

"Patients need to trust the stranger cutting into them," Dr. Schokker says. "Many surgeons don't take the time to talk with their patients."

The surgeon must develop a skill in determining what patients know, what they want to know and how detailed they want to be in the process of what is going on in their body, he said.

"Patients heal better if they understand what is going on and trust their surgeons," he adds. "Healing is a process that starts with the mind."

Dr. Schokker wrote his book over the period of a year and is considering writing another book to inform patients about the issues surrounding cancer surgery.

Dr. Schokker graduated from the Medical School of the University of Michigan in 1966 and spent the next five years in a surgical internship and residency at the University of Missouri Medical Center in Columbia. By July 1970, he was chief resident.

In July 1971, he started a solo practice in surgery in Jefferson City, Mo., and in July 2000 he started his current position as general and trauma surgeon at Altoona Regional Trauma Center.

"The Compassionate Surgeon" is available at www.dandelionbooks.net and at www.amazon.com






June 25, 2007 - MRS. PENNSYLVANIA USA VISITS ALTOONA REGIONAL PATIENTS

Mrs. Pennsylvania USA, Rebekah Foringer Mrs. Pennsylvania USA, Rebekah Foringer, cheered pediatric trauma patients at Altoona Regional Health System, Altoona Hospital Campus, during a visit June 22. As a result of her work as a technology education, or "shop," teacher, she decided to promote "a positive self-image in youth and adults" as Mrs. Pennsylvania USA. In the photo, she visits with patient Shapre Ranson of Harrisburg.






June 21, 2007 - INGESTED MAGNETS POSE SERIOUS HEALTH RISK

Contact: Sherry Turchetta, 889-7802

Small magnets like those found in magnetic building sets and other toys can kill children if two or more are swallowed. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is aware of at least 33 cases of children being injured from ingesting magnets.

A 20-month-old died and at least 19 other children from 10 months to 11 years old required surgery to remove ingested magnets. In many cases, magnets had fallen out of larger components of toys. Some children swallowed intact toy components containing magnets, according to the CPSC.

Safe Kids Blair County warns parents about this little-known safety hazard, coordinator Sherry Turchetta said. "The CPSC has issued several magnet toy recalls. We urge parents to go to the Web site to see if any toys they own are affected. The Web site is www.cpsc.gov."

If two or more magnets or magnetic components or a magnet and another metal object (such as a small ball) are swallowed separately, they can attract to one another through intestinal walls. This traps the magnets in place and can cause holes, twisting and/or blockage of the intestines, infection, blood poisoning and death. When multiple magnets are ingested, surgery is required to remove the magnets, and sometimes sections of the intestines need to be removed.

CPSC cautions the public that small magnets found in other non-toy products may present the same hazard.

To help prevent serious magnet ingestion injuries:
  • Seek immediate medical attention if you suspect your child may have swallowed a magnet.
  • Look for nonspecific abdominal symptoms — abdominal pains, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
  • Objects in X-rays may appear as a single object that could actually be multiple magnetic pieces separated by trapped intestinal walls
  • Keep small magnets and small pieces containing magnets away from young children Look out for loose magnetic pieces — regularly inspect toys and play areas for missing or dislodged magnets.
  • Check to make sure your children's magnetic toys are not recalled.







June 14, 2007 - ALTOONA REGIONAL EMPLOYEE PROMOTED

Darlene Shields Altoona Regional Health System employee Darlene Shields has accepted the position of supply chain assistant information services coordinator in the Purchasing Department. Ms. Shields has worked as a buyer in the department for five years. Her new responsibilities will include the coordination and management of all capital budget-related requests and procurement.






June 14, 2007 - CLINICAL MANAGER ACCEPTS PROMOTION, COMPLETES DEGREE

Robert Fox, R.N. Robert Fox, R.N., of Duncansville, recently accepted the nursing supervisor position for the night shift in Nursing Administration at Altoona Regional Health System. Fox, previously a clinical manager, also completed the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program at the University of Phoenix.






June 11, 2007 - NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION FINDS NO VIOLATIONS OR DEFICIENCIES DURING SURPRISE INSPECTION

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) recently conducted a surprise compliance inspection of Altoona Regional Health System. The purpose of the inspection was to ensure that the Altoona Hospital and Bon Secours campuses are adhering to all federal regulations regarding the safe use of radioactive materials.

The NRC found no violations or deficiencies, said Michael Vince, Ph.D., senior medical physicist and radiation safety officer for the health system.

"It is unusual for an NRC-licensed institution not to receive at least one or two citations for minor infractions of the regulations. A few institutions are found with more serious violations and are fined thousands of dollars," he said. "This is the second consecutive violation-free inspection since the merger of the two institutions. This continues the impeccable records the institutions established prior to the merger. Individually, it is the sixth consecutive, violation-free inspection for the Altoona Hospital Campus and the Bon Secours Hospital Campus.

"In my opinion, the outstanding record is due to the high level of cooperation of the personnel in the Radiation Oncology and Nuclear Medicine departments. I especially wish to acknowledge Drew Appleman, supervisor of Nuclear Medicine, and his staff of nuclear medicine technologists."






June 6, 2007 - Child Safety Seat Check-Up Event Set for June 13

K-Mart in Altoona and Safe Kids Blair County will conduct a free Child Safety Seat Check-Up event. In response to many families traveling this summer, child passenger safety advocates take this opportunity to remind parents and caregivers the importance of properly buckling up every passenger safely and securely for every ride.

The check-up event will take place 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 13, at K-Mart located at 528 West Plank Road, Altoona.

Certified child passenger technicians will offer car seat inspections and assistance with proper installation. An evaluation of each seat for possible recalls will be conducted. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to attend with their children, car seats and vehicles.






June 4, 2007 - ALTOONA REGIONAL REPLACES MATTRESSES TO IMPROVE PATIENT CARE

Altoona Regional Health System is replacing 350 mattresses on various nursing units on the Altoona Hospital and Bon Secours Hospital campuses with the AtmosAir 9000 Mattress Replacement System, a state-of-the-art mattress designed to reduce the potential for bedsores.

Mattresses are being replaced on Tower 14, Tower 12, Tower, 11, Tower 10, Tower 8, Surgical Progressive Care Unit, and 5E on the Altoona Hospital Campus and the Intensive Care, Telemetry, Transitional Care, B3 and B4 units on the Bon Secours Campus.

The new mattress helps to maximize body weight displacement by automatically reacting to body movement, altitude and temperature by adjusting the internal air pressure. It helps to transfer weight off of the delicate heel and onto the calf and thigh area of the leg. Reducing the potential for bedsores is a national patient safety goal.

The mattresses which are being replaced are being donated to a charity called Food for the Poor through the local mattress vendor, KCI of Ebensburg.






June 4, 2007 - HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS JULY PROGRAMS

A Child Safety Seat Installation Checkup Station will be held Friday, July 13, in the Altoona Hospital Campus parking garage, Blue Level. The inspections take place from 9:30-11 a.m. You must make an appointment. Call Safe Kids Blair County at 889.7802.

Drivers age 55 and older are invited to participate in the AARP Driver Safety Program, a classroom refresher course that covers age-related physical changes, perceptual skills, rules of the road and more. All automobile insurance companies in Pennsylvania provide a premium discount to graduates age 55 and older. Most require both spouses insured under the same policy to take the class to receive a discount.

The class is offered 6-10 p.m. Tuesday, July 10, and Wednesday, July 11, in the Logan Room, sixth floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus, 620 Howard Ave. The fee is $10. Registration required. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

Telehealth, also called telemedicine, is a rapidly advancing technology making health care in the home more effective and specialized. Find out more Friday, July 20, with Dotty Fazenbaker, R.N., manager of Telehealth at Home Nursing Agency. Dotty will demonstrate and explain how this technology helps patients take an active role in managing their health conditions while working hand in hand with their health care providers. Lunch is at 11 a.m. followed by the program until 1 p.m. at the Bon Secours Hospital Campus Education Center, Trzeciak Conference Suite, 2621 8th Ave. No fee. Registration required. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.






May 23, 2007 - ALTOONA REGIONAL IMPLEMENTS SYSTEM TO INCREASE SAFETY FOR YOUNGEST PATIENTS

Altoona Regional is the first health system in the country to implement The Color Coding Kids Hospital System, a standardized therapeutic system whose goal is to increase safety, efficiency and comfort level whenever and wherever children receive medical treatment.

The new system will become operational in the Emergency Department starting in June and will be phased in throughout the hospital. It is an extension and enhancement of the "Broselow Tape," which is now widely used in the treatment of pediatric emergencies. The Broselow Tape consists of color-coded weight ranges based on height that provides doses/equipment sizes for resuscitation situations.

Dr. Jim Broselow, developer of the Broselow Tape and The Color Coding Kids Hospital System, was at Altoona Regional's Altoona Hospital Campus Wednesday to train physicians and staff in the Color Coding Kids System.

The essence of the new system has been the development of color-coded zones, which aid in the selection of appropriately sized equipment and "zone dosing" for medications. These zones are accessed by patient weight when available, but they can also be accessed by patient length when accurate weights are not known, such as in emergencies.

When an adult comes into the emergency room, he is often given a standard dose of medication. When a child comes into the emergency room, however, doctors and nurses must quickly figure out his weight in order to determine the proper dose to administer.

The Color Coding Kids Hospital System is designed to make the calculation of medication for any child under 12 years of age quick and easy. The color code-based system allows medical personnel to determine the weight of a child nearly instantaneously and in turn give them the proper amount of medication.

"This system reduces medication errors and increases flow for those not used to working with pediatric patients," said Matthew P. Bouchard, M.D., an Altoona Regional physician who worked with Dr. Broselow of Hickory, N.C., co-developer of the system.

Dr. Broselow, a board certified physician in family and emergency medicine, developed Color Coding Kids with Dr. Bob Luten, a professor of pediatrics and emergency medicine at the University of Florida.

The purchase of the Color Coding Kids system is made possible through a $12,000 donation by Friends of Altoona Regional Health System, the system's auxiliary.






May 23, 2007 - VASCULAR INSTITUTE TO PROVIDE PHYSICIANS, STAFF WITH SIMULATION TRAINING ON CAROTID STENTING

New procedure anticipated at Altoona Regional Health System


ALTOONA - Altoona Regional Health System will host the Boston Scientific Mobile Simulation Training Unit on May 23 to provide state-of-the-art, hands-on training for its physicians and staff in carotid stenting.

The traditional treatment for blocked carotid arteries - the leading cause of stroke - is a surgical procedure that requires an incision in the neck through which plaque is removed. In certain patients for whom surgery poses a high risk, carotid artery disease may now be treated with an innovative, less-invasive method that requires only a small incision in the groin, arm or wrist through which a stent is fed and placed at the site of the blockage.

The Mobile Simulation Training Unit enables practitioners to "perform" carotid stenting using the latest devices and techniques in a risk-free environment before treating actual patients in a real-world setting.

"The Mobile Simulation Training Unit is an innovative tool that helps our physicians and staff gain proficiency with the latest techniques and technologies for the treatment of blocked carotid arteries and strokes without putting real patients at risk," said Ronald J. McConnell, chief operating officer. "We are pleased that Altoona Regional is able to offer this exciting, advanced training, and we are confident that it will help us to enhance the high quality of care we provide to this community."

Simulation training offers physicians a hands-on experience with a simulated patient so it is entirely risk-free. It allows physicians to practice a procedure repeatedly in a short period of time, potentially reducing errors and procedural time during real-life cases.

"This kind of simulation training not only gives us a unique opportunity to learn new approaches to challenging cases, but also allows us to hone our skills and technique," said Arthur J. DeMarsico, medical director, Vascular Institute. "Boston Scientific's simulator makes hands-on training convenient and accessible, and brings the latest treatment methods right to our door."

A simulated patient can be programmed to have common co-existing conditions - such as high blood pressure - that physicians need to monitor and treat during a procedure. Simulation training also provides practitioners with the opportunity to manage complications that they do not frequently encounter in their day-to-day practice, allowing participants to hone decision-making skills. Even for experienced practitioners, simulation can be a tool to help them refine techniques, practice on challenging anatomy or to learn new protocols for managing specific situations.

The Boston Scientific Mobile Training Unit is a 35-foot bus, complete with a preprocedure patient briefing area, an area for performing interventions on a dummy patient named Simantha® and post-procedure care and evaluation stations. Participants will simulate a procedure on a patient with blocked carotid arteries, which supply the brain with blood.

Boston Scientific is a worldwide developer, manufacturer and marketer of medical devices whose products are used in a broad range of interventional medical specialties. For more information, please visit: www.bostonscientific.com

Simantha is a trademark of Medical Simulation Corporation.

Simulation Training Fact Sheet

What is simulation training?
Simulation training enables practitioners to "perform" complex, challenging procedures in a risk-free environment using the latest treatment devices and techniques before treating actual patients. Simulation training is being used throughout medical education, making it possible to learn new technologies and procedures faster and more safely.

There are different types of simulation training available today. Some companies have stationary training sites; others have mobile simulators that can come directly to a hospital or free-standing lab, eliminating travel time and expense for physicians and staff. Boston Scientific has partnered with Medical Simulation Corporation to develop training courses available for use at stationary sites as well as mobile simulation training units.

What are the benefits of simulation training?
Simulation training offers advantages not found in classroom training or demonstration cases, including:
  • Simulation training offers physicians a hands-on experience with a simulated patient providing the "virtual reality" of a real case, so it is entirely risk-free.
  • It allows physicians to practice a procedure repeatedly in a short period of time, reducing errors and procedural time during real-life cases.
  • The simulated patient can be programmed to have common co-existing conditions - such as high blood pressure - that physicians need to monitor and treat during a procedure.
  • Simulation training provides physicians with the opportunity to encounter and manage complications that are not frequently seen in their day-to-day practice, allowing them to hone decision-making skills.
  • Even for experienced physicians, simulation can help them refine techniques, practice on challenging anatomy or learn new protocols for managing specific situations.
What is the Boston Scientific Mobile Simulation Training Unit?
The Boston Scientific Mobile Simulation Training Unit is a simulated catheterization lab offering practitioners the opportunity to work with state-of-the-art, advanced diagnostic and treatment devices in a convenient, risk-free environment. The Mobile Training Units are two 35-foot buses that contain:
  • A pre-procedure practitioner briefing area.
  • An area for performing interventional procedures on simulated patient Simantha®, with fluoro projection screens, hemodynamic monitors, device and drug selection units.
  • A post-procedure metric evaluation computer station.
What happens inside the Mobile Simulation Training Unit?
Participants use simulation technology to explore medical solutions, and "perform" procedures on a simulated patient, using real patient images and case scenarios. The experience begins with background information on the treatment device or procedure as well as the simulation technology. After viewing introductory materials, the physician chooses a case scenario, and a virtual referring doctor reviews the patient history. When ready, the participant begins the procedure simulation, which enables a realistic, hands-on experience with the selected scenario. During the simulation, participants can stop to consult with the Boston Scientific representative and the Medical Simulation Corporation Clinical Specialist as they consider various treatment options. At the conclusion of the case, a quick follow-up assesses results.

Simantha is a trademark of Medical Simulation Corporation.






May 22, 2007 - ALTOONA REGIONAL FINANCE EMPLOYEE RETIRES WITH 35 YEARS OF SERVICE

Sally Young Altoona Regional Health System employee Sally Young recently retired with 35 years of service. Mrs. Young spent 34 of those years in the Finance Department.

Mrs. Young began her employment with Altoona Hospital in May of 1972 in the Data Processing Department. She then moved to the position of Accounts Payable Clerk in September 1973 and was promoted to Accounts Payable Supervisor in January 1997.

Mrs. Young lives in Altoona. She was married to the late Norman Young Sr. She has nine children and 15 grandchildren.






May 18, 2007 - TWO MEDIA EVENTS, ONE TRIP WEDNESDAY MAY 23, 2007

COLOR CODING KIDS SYSTEM INCREASES SAFETY FOR YOUNGEST PATIENTS

WHEN: Wednesday, May 23, 2007

TIME: 1 to 2 p.m.

WHERE:
Board Room, Tower 5, Altoona Hospital Campus, Altoona Regional Health System, 620 Howard Ave.

WHAT: Altoona Regional will be among the first hospital systems in the country to implement The Color Coding Kids Hospital System, a standardized therapeutic system whose goal is to increase safety, efficiency and comfort level whenever and wherever children receive medical treatment.

WHO: Dr. Jim Broselow, co-developer of the system, and Altoona Regional physician Matthew Bouchard, who assisted Dr. Broselow, will be available for interviews.

Please RSVP by calling Patt Frank at 889-2622.




VASCULAR INSTITUTE TO PROVIDE PHYSICIANS, STAFF WITH SIMULATION TRAINING ON CAROTID STENTING

New procedure anticipated at Altoona Regional Health System


WHEN: Wednesday, May 23, 2007

TIME: 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

WHERE:
3E/Outpatient Behavioral Health parking lot, Altoona Hospital Campus, Altoona Regional Health System, 620 Howard Ave.

WHAT: Media Day in which press members can:
  • Tour state-of-the-art Boston Scientific Mobile Simulation Training Unit for risk-free advanced training in the latest treatments for carotid artery disease, the leading cause of stroke.
  • See demonstrations of sophisticated training and treatment technology.
  • Learn from clinical and hospital experts; one-on-one interviews available.
The traditional treatment for blocked carotid arteries - the leading cause of stroke - is a surgical procedure that requires an incision in the neck through which plaque is removed. In certain patients for whom surgery poses a high risk, carotid artery disease may now be treated with an innovative, less-invasive method that requires only a small incision in the groin, arm or wrist through which a stent is fed and placed at the site of the blockage.

WHY: To ensure that Altoona Regional remains at the forefront of medical technology, the hospital will use the Boston Scientific Mobile Simulation Training Unit to provide state-of-the-art simulation training for its physicians and staff.

Please RSVP by calling Anne Stoltz at 889-6405.






May 9, 2007 - ALTOONA REGIONAL CELEBRATES VOLUNTEER WEEK

Atrial fibrillation is the second most common heart problem, affecting 2.5 million Americans. Symptoms include dizziness, fatigue, congestive heart failure and a "fluttering" heart. Treatment has traditionally included regular drug therapy, such as the medication coumadin, which requires regular lab work. Join Dr. John Anastasi of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery of Altoona Inc. as he discusses atrial fibrillation, the new Mini-Maze procedure to cure it, and the procedure's benefits Tuesday, June 5. Due to popular demand, Dr. Anastasi is repeating this program for those who couldn't be accommodated in the May program. Lunch is served at 11 a.m. followed by the program until 1 p.m. in the Bon Secours Hospital Campus Education Center, Trzeciak Conference Suite, 2621 8th Ave., Altoona. No fee. Registration required. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

Ever wonder about making a trip to the ER for an injury or illness? You're just not sure if it's a real emergency. Dr. Doug Stern, chairman, Emergency Medicine, will tell you what questions to ask that might help make the decision a little easier in a program at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 6, in the Rotunda, sixth floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. No fee. Class size limited. Register by calling 889.2630 or toll-free 1.888.313.4665.

A Child Safety Seat Installation Checkup Station will be held Friday, June 8, in the Altoona Hospital Campus parking garage, Blue Level. The inspections take place from 9:30-11 a.m. You must make an appointment. Call Safe Kids Blair County at 889.7802.

Certified Safe Sitter instructors will prepare adolescents ages 11 to 13 to baby-sit infants and young children in a safe, responsible and competent manner Monday, June 11, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Participants will learn basic child-care skills; how to keep a house secure; how to take precautions to prevent accidents; basic first-aid skills; how to recognize common signs of illness, and possible interventions; how to treat or reduce discomfort, and how to rescue a choking child or infant. The program will be held in the Bon Secours Hospital Campus Education Center, Trzeciak Conference Suite, 2621 8th Ave. Fee $20, includes materials, snacks and lunch. Registration required. Class size is limited. Register by calling 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

Drivers age 55 and older are invited to participate in the AARP Driver Safety Program, a classroom refresher course that covers age-related physical changes, perceptual skills, rules of the road and more. All automobile insurance companies in Pennsylvania provide a premium discount to graduates age 55 and older. Most require both spouses insured under the same policy to take the class to receive a discount.

The class is offered Tuesday, June 12, in the Cambria Room, and Wednesday, June 13, in the Logan Room, 6-10 p.m., sixth floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. The fee is $10. Registration required. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.






May 8, 2007 - ALTOONA REGIONAL CELEBRATES VOLUNTEER WEEK

Baby Volunteer Altoona Regional Health System recently celebrated National Volunteer Recognition Week with the theme, "Volunteers: Priceless Treasures," with various recognitions held for volunteers throughout the system.

More than 600 people, ranging in age from 14 to 94 and representing many diverse backgrounds, play an integral part in Altoona Regional's journey to service and organizational excellence, Cindy Skupien, Volunteer Services manager, said. In 2006, 671 volunteers donated 108,433 hours.

If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering at either the Altoona Hospital Campus, 620 Howard Ave., or the Bon Secours Hospital Campus, 2500 7th Ave., Altoona, call 889-2151.

Photo: New mother Julie Heckman of Altoona and her daughter, Johanna, born April 16, are escorted from Altoona Hospital Campus by Julie's grandmother (Johanna's great grandmother) Jean Lucas, a Customer Service volunteer, during National Volunteer Week. New father Shane Heckman is not pictured because he was videotaping the discharge.






May 7, 2007 - ALTOONA REGIONAL FRIENDS RAISES MORE THAN $2,500 THROUGH WOMEN'S NIGHT OUT JEWELRY FUND-RAISER

More than 700 women attended Altoona Regional Health System's Women's Night Out on April 26 and helped Friends of Altoona Regional, the system's auxiliary, raise more than $2,500 to benefit families who suffer a neonatal loss.

Williamsburg-area resident Julie Woodling spoke of her family's tragic loss two years ago of son Daniel Mark, who was stillborn. Julie movingly spoke of how the bereavement boxes supplied by the Maternity department offered a tangible way to remember Daniel. The box contains a lock of hair, footprints, hospital identification bracelet and the outfit he would have worn home from the hospital among other mementos.

Women's Night Out Winner Friends of Altoona Regional organized a jewelry fund-raiser to benefit the Neonatal Bereavement Fund, which buys the boxes for Maternity. Deb Dambeck of Altoona won the grand prize in the jewelry prize drawing: a ladies 14-carat, white gold, oval ruby and round-brilliant diamond pendant. Devin Mullen of Your Jewelry Box of Altoona donated nearly $5,000 worth of jewelry to the event.

The annual Women's Night Out featured nationally known humorist Karen Vadino, who explored the impact of humor on one's self-concept, relationships, work, stress management and health.

If you wish to make a donation for the Neonatal Bereavement Fund, please send it to: Altoona Regional Health System, Foundation for Life, 620 Howard Ave., Altoona, PA 16601.

PHOTO: Vicki Baughman (left), treasurer of Friends of Altoona Regional, jewelry grand prize winner Deb Dambeck of Altoona, and Devin Mullen of Your Jewelry Box of Altoona.






May 4, 2007 - INTERVIEW/VIDEO/PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES THURSDAY, MAY 10

Daniel Wilshire, Ph.D., a consultation and education specialist with Altoona Regional Center for Behavioral Health Services, is the featured speaker for "Coping in Today's World: Decrease Your Stress, Increase Your Awareness, Know Your Resources" at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 10, at the Ramada Altoona. Doors open at 6 p.m. Alternative relaxation therapies, such as massage therapists, will be providing free demonstrations.

The event is in recognition of May as Mental Health Month, sponsored by Altoona Regional, Blair County MH/MR/D&A, Home Nursing Agency, Penn State Altoona Health & Wellness Center and NAMI of Blair County.

The keynote speaker for the evening is Joseph Antonowicz, M.D., medical director of Altoona Regional Center for Behavioral Health Services. He will provide an introduction to the physiological and psychological aspects of stress.

Also, a local panel of experts on the criminal justice system, schools, the elderly, faith communities and others will present a brief overview of stress from their perspectives and what resources are available. Panelists include: Lester Weiss, LCSW, from the James Van Zandt VA Medical Center; Patricia Antesberger, director, Options Services, Blair Senior Services Inc.; the Rev. Terryann Talbot-Moses, director, Pastoral Care, Altoona Regional Health System; Anthony Sassano, Blair County Drug Task Force coordinator, Pa. Office of Attorney General, Bureau of Narcotics, Investigation and Drug Control; Mary Ann Burger, Blair County Children & Youth Services, and Coleen Heim, Blair County school programs consultant.






May 3, 2007 - ALTOONA REGIONAL SAYS THANKS DURING NATIONAL HOSPITAL WEEK

Altoona Regional Health System will celebrate National Hospital Week May 6-12 by honoring employees, volunteers, auxiliary members and medical staff members at both hospitals.

"We want to express our appreciation to those groups for the outstanding contribution they make to the system and, more importantly, to the patients we serve," said President and CEO Jim Barner.

A total of 317 employees with 5,570 years of service will be honored. Four employees will celebrate 40 years of service, 14 with 35, 45 with 30, 29 with 25, 60 with 20, 61 with 15, 42 with 10, and 62 with 5 years of service.

[***Best opportunity for photographs/video and interviews.]

SUNDAY, MAY 6
Sunday's Altoona Mirror will feature an ad placement acknowledging all employees who are being recognized for their years of service, in five-year increments, to Altoona Regional Health System.

MONDAY, MAY 7, 2007
***Employees who are being honored for their years of service will receive free coffee, hot tea or fruit juices in the cafeteria on both campuses all week when wearing their award ribbons.

Patients will be apprised of Hospital Week by means of a special treat (large decorated sugar cookie with "Happy Hospital Week") on their meal trays at lunch time. New admissions throughout the week will receive the decorated sugar cookie on their meal trays.

TUESDAY, MAY 8, 2007
An employee awards recognition breakfast, luncheon and dinner will be held on Tuesday, May 8. Three different meal options are being offered to accommodate the service award recipients.

Breakfast will be offered in the cafeteria of the Bon Secours Campus at 7:30 a.m.
***Lunch will be offered in the cafeteria of the Altoona Hospital Campus at 1 p.m.
Dinner will be offered in the cafeteria of the Altoona Hospital Campus at 6 p.m.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 9, 2007
Wednesday's Altoona Mirror will feature an advertisement acknowledging our active medical staff members.

THURSDAY, MAY 10, 2007
All employees, volunteers, clergy visiting patients and visitors on the Altoona Hospital Campus will be recognized on Thursday, May 10. Break-treats will be served between 2 and 5 p.m. (first and second shifts) in the cafeteria, and 1-2 a.m. (third shift, Friday, May 11) in the cafeteria. All employees, volunteers, clergy visiting patients and visitors are welcome to help themselves to coffee, beverages and the treat table.

All employees, volunteers, clergy visiting patients and visitors on the Bon Secours Campus will also be recognized on Thursday, May 10. Break-treats will be served between the hours of 2 and 5 p.m. (first and second shifts) in the cafeteria, and will be delivered to the units starting at 11 p.m. for third shift employees. All employees, volunteers, clergy visiting patients and visitors are welcome to help themselves to coffee, beverages and the treat table.






May 3, 2007 - SAFE KIDS BLAIR COUNTY RECEIVES STATE AWARD

Safe Kids PA recently awarded Safe Kids Blair County the 2007 Resource Sharing Award at the annual Safe Kids PA retreat in Harrisburg. The award is given to the Safe Kids coalition that gives generously of its materials and/or manpower to other coalitions. Altoona Regional Health System is the lead agency for Safe Kids Blair County.






May 1, 2007 - ALTOONA REGIONAL LEASES FORMER ALTOONA CENTER SITE FROM STATE

Altoona Regional Health System has agreed to lease the former Altoona Center building and property at 1515 4th St. from the state.

The agreement between the health system and the state Department of General Services, which serves as the commonwealth's real estate agent, was signed today.

Altoona Regional President and CEO James W. Barner said the health system is exploring various uses for the facility and property.

"As we continue to study options for expanding and updating our infrastructure on the Altoona Hospital Campus, this makes a lot of sense," Mr. Barner said. "Although we remain undecided on our specific plans, we are sure we can and will utilize the property over the short and long term."

Mr. Barner said the health system may open the facility's parking areas to employees, which will free spaces near the Altoona Hospital Campus for patient parking.

The transaction between the Department of General Services and Altoona Regional is a lease agreement with the option to purchase. The lease is for five years at $25,000 per year. Altoona Regional may purchase the property at any time for a total price of $250,000. Any lease payments made are applied to the purchase price at settlement.

The property includes 2.7 acres of land and a four-story building with 141,164 gross square feet above grade.






April 30, 2007 - First-Ever Summer Child Safety Report: Vermont Leads the Nation, Pennsylvania Ranks Ninth

States ranked according to children's accidental injury deaths in summer - a deadly time of year for children

(Altoona) - According to The Safe Kids U.S. Summer Safety Ranking Report, a new study released today by Safe Kids Worldwide, Pennsylvania ranks ninth out of all 50 states and the District of Columbia according to children's accidental injury deaths in summer - a deadly time of year for children.

Vermont led the nation with 1.63 children per 100,000 dying from accidental injury during the summer, below the national average of 3.67 per 100,000, and a 60.3 percent reduction in the summer rate over a five-year period. Wyoming scored last, 8.27 children per 100,000 dying from accidental injury during the summer and an 82.5 percent increase in that rate over a five-year period.

"We're encouraged that Pennsylvania ranks below the national average on its children's accidental injury deaths during the summer, but every child killed by a preventable injury is one too many," said Sherry Turchetta, coordinator of Safe Kids Blair County. "We don't want parents, caregivers or policymakers to become complacent." Altoona Regional Health System is the lead agency for Safe Kids Blair County.

Release of this study coincides with the kick-off of National Safe Kids Week in the United States, April 28 to May 6, 2007, and the start of summer, known by emergency personnel as "trauma season" since preventable accidental deaths and serious injuries to children increase dramatically.

The five highest-ranking states were all found in the Northeast - Vermont (#1), New Jersey (#2), the District of Columbia (#3), New York (#4) and Delaware (#5). The five lowest-ranking states were Wyoming (#51), Alaska (#50), South Dakota (#49), West Virginia (#48) and Nebraska (#47).

The study reports that an average of 17 children a day, or 2,143 children in total, died from May to August in 2004 due to injuries, many of which could have been prevented. Also in 2004, 2.4 million children made emergency room visits due to accidental injuries, many of which resulted in paralysis, brain damage and other serious disabilities.

All 50 states and the District of Columbia were ranked according to the number of summertime accidental injury deaths per 100,000 children (ages 0 to 14) in their state, and the change in that rate over a five-year period (the average annual death rate for 1997-1999 vs. the average annual death rate for 2002-2004).

Underwritten by an educational grant from Johnson & Johnson, founding sponsor of Safe Kids Worldwide, the study was conducted by The Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation in collaboration with an expert advisory panel.

Previous Safe Kids Worldwide research indicates that five of the most common causes of children's accidental injury deaths in summer are:
  • Drowning (increases 89 percent in the summer over the annual monthly average)
  • Biking (increases 45 percent)
  • Falls (increases 21 percent)
  • Motor vehicle passenger injuries (increases 20 percent)
  • Pedestrian injuries (increases 16 percent).
In fact, almost 60 percent of total children's accidental injury deaths from May to August from 2001 to 2004 came from these risk areas. The report also demonstrates a 17.6 percent drop in children's accidental injury deaths in summer across the nation (comparing data from 1997-1999 to 2002-2004), yet children's accidental injury deaths continue to spike in the summer.

"The results should be a wake-up call to the states and the nation," said Martin Eichelberger, M.D., chairman of Safe Kids Worldwide and director, Emergency and Burn Services at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. "When a child dies every few hours from an accidental summer injury, many of which can be prevented, we have our work cut out for us."

Safe Kids Blair County recommends the following steps to reduce accidental injury and death to children during the summer months:
  • Enact child safety legislation such as four-sided fencing around home pools and booster seat requirements;
  • Educate adults and children about the right precautions to take (for example, a properly-fitted helmet has proven to reduce the risk of brain injury by as much as 88 percent);
  • Use safety devices, such as installing window guards on each window above the first floor to reduce the risk of falls, and
  • Strengthen the enforcement of existing child safety laws.
National Safe Kids Week has been held annually for 14 years. This year's theme is Make It A Safe Kids Summer and is supported by Safe Kids Worldwide's founding sponsor, Johnson & Johnson. Safe Kids Week events are taking place in more than 300 communities across the nation to educate parents and communities about how to keep kids safe during the summer. In addition, Johnson & Johnson is sponsoring an advertising campaign with Turner Broadcasting and distributing safety information at retail locations.

For more information, please visit www.usa.safekids.org






April 27, 2007 - FIRST-EVER CHILDHOOD SUMMER SAFETY REPORT SHOWS HUGE DIFFERENCES ACROSS NATION: STATES RANKED BY CHILDREN'S ACCIDENTAL INJURY DEATHS DURING SUMMER, A DEADLY TIME FOR KIDS

The first-ever U.S. report ranking each state according to its children's accidental injury deaths will be released showing Pennsylvania and its ranking Monday, April 30 (after 10:30 a.m.) via a press conference in Washington, D.C.

The release of this study coincides with the kick-off of National Safe Kids Week, April 28 to May 6, 2007, and the beginning of summer, known by emergency personnel as "trauma season," because it is the time of year when accidental deaths and serious injuries of children increase dramatically.

Each year between May and August approximately 2000 children die as a result of trauma - an average of 17 children each day.

To find out more about the results of this new study, including how Pennsylvania ranked, Safe Kids Blair County Coordinator Sherry Turchetta and Safe Kids Blair County Member Patty Ross, who also serves as Blair County coroner, will be available for interviews. To schedule an interview contact Patt Frank at 889-2622.






April 19, 2007 - FREE SCREENING FOR KIDNEY DISEASE SET FOR MAY 11

A free, comprehensive kidney health screening is set for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, May 11 at the Jaffa Mosque, Broad Avenue and 22nd Street, Altoona.

The Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP) is sponsored by the National Kidney Foundation of Western Pennsylvania and Altoona Regional Health System. KEEP is a community-based early detection and intervention program that targets people who are at increased risk for developing chronic kidney disease due to diabetes, hypertension and/or those who have first-degree relatives with these conditions or kidney failure. To register for the free screening, contact the foundation at 1-800-261-4115, ext. 19.

Diabetes and hypertension are the two leading causes of kidney failure. "We know that if we start early with education, detection and, if necessary, medical intervention, we can often postpone the onset of kidney disease or kidney failure and in some cases, even prevent it from ever developing," says Deborah Hartman, CEO of the National Kidney Foundation of Western Pennsylvania.

Participants will have their blood pressure and weight taken and medical professionals will administer the following: a blood test for creatinine level (how well the kidneys are filtering blood), a lipid panel (cholesterol), and a urine test for protein (a marker of possible kidney disease). The entire screening takes approximately 40 minutes. A physician or other medical professional is on-site to review results with participants.

All KEEP participants will be mailed their complete test results in about four to six weeks, with additional follow-up by phone or mail for those whose results indicated they are at increased risk for chronic kidney disease. They will be encouraged to take measures to prevent or delay the onset of kidney disease through education and disease management. All screening participants receive educational material about preventing and treating kidney disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

One in nine Americans - more than 20 million people - has chronic kidney disease and most don't know it. Another 20 million more are at risk for developing this disease. More than 430,000 Americans are being treated for end-stage renal disease, a condition that requires dialysis or a kidney transplant for patient survival, and 100,000 Americans die each year from chronic kidney failure. Nearly 62,000 of the more than 88,000 people who are waiting for an organ transplant in this country are waiting for a kidney.

KEEP is funded through an educational grant from Abbott and Ortho Biotech. Additional sponsors include Bayer Health Care, Novartis, Lifescan Inc. and Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc.

The National Kidney Foundation is dedicated to preventing kidney and urinary tract diseases, improving the health and well being of individuals and families affected by these diseases, and increasing the availability of all organs for transplantation.






April 19, 2007 - ULTRASOUND SUPERVISOR RETIRES FROM ALTOONA REGIONAL WITH 33 YEARS OF SERVICE

Mary Hoover, ultrasound supervisor at Altoona Regional Health System, retired March 30 with 33 years of service.

Ms. Hoover graduated from the Altoona Hospital Radiology Technology Program in 1971. She began her career at Altoona Hospital in 1973 as a staff nuclear medicine technologist. In 1975, she obtained her board certification as a registered nuclear medicine technologist from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. She subsequently became a registered diagnostic medical sonographer with a specialty in obstetrics and gynecology from the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers in 1983. In 1997, she accepted the position as supervisor of the Ultrasound department.

During her years of service, Ms. Hoover also served as a part-time clinical instructor to students from ultrasound programs at Community College of Allegheny County (Boyce Campus), South Hills School of Business and Technology and Thomas Jefferson University.

Ms. Hoover was a driving force in obtaining the Ultrasound department's OB/GYN American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) accreditation. AIUM is an association dedicated to promoting the safe and effective use of ultrasound. Receiving this accreditation means the department has met nationally accepted standards and has demonstrated consistent excellence in patient care. Initial accreditation was received in 1999.

Ms. Hoover resides in Ashville with her husband, Mark. They have a son, Eric, who lives in Bend, Ore.






April 19, 2007 - ALTOONA REGIONAL THERAPIST EARNS PROBLEM GAMBLING CERTIFICATION

Larry D. Hanelly Larry D. Hanelly, M.Ed., C.A.C., L.P.C., recently earned a Certificate of Competency in Problem Gambling from the Pennsylvania Certification Board and is in the process of being certified through the National Council on Problem Gambling. He is accepting new patients. For more information, call 889-2141.






April 19, 2007 - BLOOD BANK EARNS THIRD CONSECUTIVE ON-SITE INSPECTION FROM AABB WITH NO DEFICIENCIES

The Altoona Regional Health System Blood Bank, Altoona Hospital Campus, recently earned its third consecutive on-site inspection from AABB with no deficiencies.

AABB, formerly the American Association of Blood Banks, is an international association representing institutions and individuals involved in activities related to transfusion and cellular therapies. AABB member facilities are responsible for collecting virtually all of the nation's blood supply and transfusing more than 80 percent of all blood and blood components used in the United States.

"To receive no deficiencies and no recommendations from a single inspection is extremely rare," said Joseph Pufka, administrative director of Laboratory Services of Altoona Regional. "To achieve this since 2003 is simply phenomenal. Blood Bank Supervisor Verla Oakley and her nine-member staff are to be commended for their outstanding work."

Accreditation from AABB is voluntary with extremely high quality and safety standards of operations. While all blood banks are required by law to be inspected by the College of American Pathologists, AABB provides the public with an extra layer of quality assurance, Oakley said. During the unannounced eight-hour visit, the inspector investigates all aspects of the blood bank operations. The inspector follows all processes out on the nursing floor as well as in the blood bank itself. For instance, he/she observes the actual transfusion of blood given to a patient on the nursing floor to make sure all protocols are followed.

At Altoona Regional, per month:
  • About 1,200 units of red blood cells are cross-matched for possible use.
  • More than 200 units of fresh frozen plasma are used.
  • 50 doses of platelets are transfused.
  • The number of blood products used totals 1,200.







April 17, 2007 - HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS MAY PROGRAMS

A Child Safety Seat Installation Checkup Station will be held Friday, May 11, in the Altoona Hospital Campus parking garage, Blue Level. The inspections take place from 9:30-11 a.m. You must make an appointment. Call Safe Kids Blair County at 889.7802.

A free osteoporosis screening for women only will be held Friday, May 4, 12:30 to 3 p.m., in the Allegheny Room, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus, 620 Howard Ave., Altoona. You must call for an appointment. For more information or to schedule, call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

Drivers age 55 and older are invited to participate in the AARP Driver Safety Program, a classroom refresher course that covers age-related physical changes, perceptual skills, rules of the road and more. All automobile insurance companies in Pennsylvania provide a premium discount to graduates age 55 and older. Most require both spouses insured under the same policy to take the class to receive a discount.

The class is offered Tuesday, May 8, in the Cambria Room, and Wednesday, May 9, in the Juniata Room, 6-10 p.m., sixth floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. The fee is $10. Registration required. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

Join Dr. Norman Neches of Blair Medical Associates Obstetrics & Gynecology as he discusses "Cervical Cancer: What's New?" on Wednesday, May 9, at 6:30 p.m. This deadly yet preventable disease kills nearly 4,000 women a year. It is the second most common cancer in the United States. Learn about Gardasil, a new vaccine that protects against the root of most cervical cancer. The program will be held in the Rotunda, sixth floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. Class size is limited. No fee. Register by calling 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

A seven-week series of yoga will be offered May 1 through June 19 (no class June 5). Gail Murphy, instructor in Hatha Yoga, leads this program, which offers mind/body exercise, breath control, stretching and strengthening to promote mental, physical and spiritual well-being. Beginners class 5:30-6:40 p.m., Intermediate, 6:50-8 p.m., both in the Rotunda, sixth floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. Fee is $35. Class size is limited. Register by calling 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

Join Sharon Rydbom, craft diva, as she provides guidance in making an adorable watermelon hat door decoration at 6:30 p.m. Friday, May 11, in the Juniata Room, sixth floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. Fee is $12. Materials needed include one Styrofoam plate for paint, four paper towels, scissors and a paint shirt, if desired. This is a great project to do with "tweeners" as it is an easy craft to complete. Class size is limited to 25. Register by calling 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

Dr. Joseph Clark, neurologist, presents "Migraine Types, Causes, Treatment and Prevention" at 6:30 p.m. Monday, May 14, in the Rotunda, sixth floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. Do you know the difference between a migraine headache and a "regular" headache? Learn about the diagnosis of migraine headaches and the latest treatments. Class size is limited. No fee. Register by calling 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

Learning how to communicate effectively with your physician is critical in today's health-conscious world. Do you know the correct questions to ask? Join Dr. Kathleen Sweeney, associate director and director of Osteopathic Education at Altoona Family Physicians, as she explores the key points in getting the most from your doctor/patient relationship at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 29, in Magee Lecture Hall, sixth floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. Class size is limited. No fee. Register by calling 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.






April 17, 2007 - SAFE KIDS KICKS OFF NATIONAL SAFE KIDS WEEK AT 'WEEK OF THE YOUNG CHILD' EVENT

Safe Kids Blair County will kick off a celebration of National Safe Kids week by participating in the "Week of the Young Child" with United Way of Blair County at Penn State Altoona on Saturday, April 28, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

United Way is coordinating and Penn State is hosting a "Week of the Young Child" celebration. The purpose is to focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families.

Safe Kids of Blair County will provide safety information and an interactive game for children with a special focus on fall prevention and child passenger safety. National Safe Kids Week begins April 28 and ends May 5.






April 5, 2007 - Altoona Regional Health System, 620 Howard Ave., has been named a Blue Distinction CenterSM for Cardiac Care for 2007.

Blue Distinction Center Blue Distinction is the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association's (BCBSA) nationwide program that will create an unprecedented level of quality. This is accomplished by achieving two goals: enabling consumers to make more informed health care decisions and collaborating with physicians and hospitals to improve quality outcomes and affordability. A key component of Blue Distinction is a specialty center program that offers the best practices and standards of care in cardiac care.

The process used to select Blue Distinction CentersSM is based on clinical data supplied by hospitals. Each facility's structure, processes and care outcomes are rigorously evaluated. The criteria for designation include nationally endorsed quality measures, developed in collaboration with medical experts and professional organizations, placing great value on research and evidence-based health and medical information.

"Altoona Regional is pleased that Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association has chosen to recognize our high quality cardiac care program," said Altoona Regional President and CEO Jim Barner." We were the first to bring open-heart surgery to the area and continue to lead by providing cutting-edge techniques close to home."

The Blue Distinction program demonstrates the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association's commitment to working with doctors and hospitals in communities across the country to identify leading institutions that meet clinically validated quality standards and deliver better outcomes in patient care.

Altoona Regional has met the following criteria for becoming a Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac CareSM
  • Is a full-service accredited inpatient hospital facility.
  • Performs a required volume of percutaneous coronary interventions and coronary artery bypass graft surgeries and provides a full range of services, including inpatient cardiac care and cardiac rehabilitation.
  • Retains a sub-specialty board certification for its cardiac team.
  • Demonstrates ongoing quality management and improvement programs.
  • Tracks cardiac care processes and outcomes for acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, percutaneous coronary interventions and coronary artery bypass graft surgery, including evaluation of complication and mortality rates.
For more information about cardiac care at Altoona Regional, call 814.889.2011 or visit us at www.altoonaregional.org. For more information about Blue Distinction Centers, visit the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association Web site at www.bcbs.com.






April 5, 2007 - SMOKING CESSATION CLASS OFFERED IN APRIL

Freedom from Smoking, an eight-week program for people who want to quit smoking, will be offered at Altoona Regional Health System, Blair Medical Center, Building C., 501 Howard Ave., beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 19.

Learn how to cope with quitting with Lori Schultz, prevention specialist, and Jack Jubala, Ph.D., who will cover replacement therapies, withdrawal symptoms, weight gain and support systems. For more information, call 889-7799.






April 4, 2007 - COPING IN TODAY'S WORLD: SURVIVING INCREASED SOCIETAL STRESS

Rising crime rates, high divorce rates and depression among the elderly all cause stress, according to a local expert in stress management. Daniel Wilshire, Ph.D., a consultation and education specialist with Altoona Regional Center for Behavioral Health Services, is the featured speaker for a free program at 7 p.m., Thursday, May 10, at the Ramada Altoona.

"Coping in Today's World: Decrease Your Stress, Increase Your Awareness, Know Your Resources" is the topic in recognition of May as Mental Health Month, sponsored by Altoona Regional, Blair County MH/MR/D&A, Home Nursing Agency, Penn State Altoona Health & Wellness Center and NAMI of Blair County.

Wilshire will talk about sources of stress in our local society, why it exists and how to cope with it.

The keynote speaker for the evening is Joseph Antonowicz, M.D., medical director of Altoona Regional Center for Behavioral Health Services. He will provide an introduction to the physiological and psychological aspects of stress.

Also, a local panel of experts on the criminal justice system, schools, the elderly, faith communities and others will present a brief overview of stress from their perspectives and what resources are available.

Doors open at 6 p.m. with free information available from various community service providers. Alternative relaxation therapies, such as massage therapists, will be providing free demonstrations. Free refreshments. No registration required. For more information, call 889-2706.






March 26, 2007 - "PLANNING FOR CHANGE: BOTH FINANCIALLY AND EMOTIONALLY" THEME FOR GERIATRIC INTEREST NETWORK CAREGIVERS' CONFERENCE SET MAY 4

The Geriatric Interest Network of the Blair County Region (GIN) will conduct its fifth annual Caregivers' Conference Friday, May 4, at HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Altoona.

This year's theme is "Planning for Change: Both Financially and Emotionally." The conference is an effort to assist informal (unpaid) caregivers in the daily task of caring for their loved ones. There is no fee for this event.
The speakers and their topics are:

Melissa Raley, R.N., director, Long Term Living Services, Blair Senior Services Inc., and Patti Defibaugh, supervisor, Long Term Living, Blair County Board of Assistance, "Long Term Living Services: How to Choose & How Is It Paid For?"

Michael Smith, operations specialist, Blair Senior Services Inc., "Understanding Medicare, Part D, PACE & PACENET"

Brenda Williams, case manager, HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital, "Acquisition and Payment of Durable Medical Equipment"

Rev. TM Talbot-Moses, M. DIV., BCETS, BCCC, SPC, GPI, director of Pastoral Care, Altoona Regional Health System, "Coping With and Accepting Loss, Change and Grief"

Amy Orr Rosensteel, attorney, Evey, Black, Dorezas, Magee, Levine, Rosensteel & Mauk, LLP, "Powers of Attorney and Advance Directives, including 2007 Changes to Pennsylvania's Advance Directive Law."

Space is limited and is open to caregivers of older adults on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration is due by April 20 and may be made by calling Dana Shade at 889.3123. Should your loved one need assistance on the day of the conference, contact Allegheny Lutheran Social Ministries' Senior Daily Living Center at (814) 946.4693 for information regarding day care services. There is no fee for this service.








March 23, 2007 - NEW CT SCANNER OFFERS INCREDIBLE SPEED, CLARITY

Altoona Regional Health System's new GE Healthcare LightSpeed Volume CT scanner produces more-detailed images in a shorter time with a lower radiation dosage.

The clarity and detail of the pictures are due to the thinness of the "slices" the $1.2 million machine takes. Imagine an organ being scanned as a slice of bread. Each picture slice provides the physician with information. The thinner the slice, the more detail. The new scanner slices images as thin as 1.2 millimeters, compared to 7 millimeters on older machines.

The scanner doesn't sacrifice speed. A scan of the entire body for injuries takes just 10 seconds. A scan of one organ - a single second.

"In trauma patients and acutely ill patients, it's an advantage to do a body scan very rapidly. The full scan takes place within one breath-hold," E.R. Karunaratne, M.D., medical director of Imaging Services (Radiology). "Plus, we can get the results right away. It's a tremendous advance in patient care. Because we get the results so fast, the patient can get diagnosed and cared for more rapidly."

The LightSpeed CT scanner performs angiography studies, an examination of the body's blood vessels, from heart to heel, replacing the much more invasive and painful angiogram. In angiography, the vessels show up in color in three dimensions, compared to black and white in two dimensions on older machines.

Another critical application is finding the source of chest pain. What previously required three separate tests is now accomplished using a single LightSpeed CT scan, which can determine whether the pain is caused by coronary artery disease, a tear in the lining of the aorta, or a blood clot in the lung.

The LightSpeed CT has two other uses, which will be available later this year: cardiac risk assessment and colonography, a less invasive alternative to a colonography.








March 22, 2007 - BEAUTY SUPPLY COMPANY DONATES TO ALTOONA REGIONAL PEDIATRICS

Schoeneman Donates Altoona Regional Health System's Pediatrics department received a variety of items, including much-needed PlayStation 2 games from Schoeneman Beauty Supply of 415 Orchard Ave., Altoona. The distributor for beauty supplies to the hair dressing community serves Blair and surrounding counties. They conducted a fund-raiser to benefit a local charity. Presenting the gift basket are Tammy Proudfit (left, front) and Debee Goller (left, rear) from Schoeneman Beauty Supply. Patient Bridget Pearson accepts the basket on behalf of all pediatrics patients, along with her mother Naomi Metz (right, front) and Registered Nurse Teresa Miller of the Pediatrics department at Altoona Regional.








March 22, 2007 - ALTOONA REGIONAL BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SERVICES PRESENTS DARRELL NIXDORF AWARD

Altoona Regional Behavioral Health Services recently presented the Darrell Nixdorf Award to Mark Schimminger, community service treatment coordinator.

The Nixdorf Award is given to the staff member who goes above and beyond the scope of his or her duties in the field of behavioral health to improve services or advocate for consumers. The staff member embodies the qualities of Nixdorf, a long-time Blair County MH/MR/D&A administrator who implemented many positive changes during his tenure.

Schimminger has been an employee for 16 years. He determines the most appropriate work site for persons with community service obligations. Nominations are made by the staff and then reviewed by a committee, which makes the selection. The $300 award is to be used for continuing education.

Darrell Nixdorf Award


Photo: Joseph Antonowicz, M.D., (left) medical director of Altoona Regional Behavioral Health Services, presents the Darrell Nixdorf Award to Mark Schimminger, community treatment coordinator, for his outstanding contributions to his field.






March 2, 2007 - HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS APRIL PROGRAMS

A Child Safety Seat Installation Checkup Station will be held Friday, April 13, in the Altoona Hospital Campus parking garage, Blue Level. The inspections take place from 9:30-11 a.m. You must make an appointment. Call Safe Kids Blair County at 889.7802.

A free osteoporosis screening for men and women will be held Friday, April 3, 12:30 to 3 p.m., in the Kaufman Dining Room, Bon Secours Hospital Campus, 2500 7th Ave., Altoona. You must call for an appointment. For more information or to schedule, call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

Drivers age 55 and older are invited to participate in the AARP Driver Safety Program, a classroom refresher course that covers age-related physical changes, perceptual skills, rules of the road and more. All automobile insurance companies in Pennsylvania provide a premium discount to graduates age 55 and older. Most require both spouses insured under the same policy to take the class to receive a discount.

The class is offered Tuesday, April 10, and Wednesday, April 11, 6-10 p.m. in the Juniata Room, sixth floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. The fee is $10. Registration required. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

Certified Safe Sitter instructors will prepare adolescents ages 11 to 13 to baby-sit infants and young children in a safe, responsible and competent manner Monday, April 9. The class is conducted from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Trzeciak Conference Suite of the Education Center on the Bon Secours Hospital Campus, 2621 8th Ave., Altoona. Participants will learn basic child-care skills; how to keep a house secure; how to take precautions to prevent accidents; basic first-aid skills; how to recognize common signs of illness, and possible interventions; how to treat or reduce discomfort and how to rescue a choking child or infant. The fee is $25 and includes materials, snacks and lunch. Registration required. Class size limited. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

LightSpeed volume CT scanners, high tech PET/CT scanners, PACS technology... These are just a few examples of the world-class medical technology available to you right here in Altoona. Earlier diagnosis and precise treatment and monitoring are just a few of the advantages. Join Michael Corso, director of Imaging Services, Friday, April 13, as he explains how this new technology will improve care for you. Lunch is served at 11 a.m. followed by the program until 1 p.m. in the Trzeciak Conference Suite in the Education Center on the Bon Secours Hospital Campus. Registration required. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.






February 26, 2007 - NEW SAFE SITTER INSTRUCTORS CERTIFIED AT ALTOONA REGIONAL
Florence Eberhart
Supervisor, Pre-Hospital
Sherry Turchetta
Registered nurse C.C.E.


Altoona Regional Health System employees Florence Eberhart, supervisor, Pre-Hospital, and registered nurse Sherry Turchetta, C.C.E., were recently certified as Safe Sitter instructors. The national Safe Sitter® baby-sitting program is sponsored locally by Altoona Regional Health System and provides adolescents ages 11-13 the confidence and skills required to care for a child.






February 23, 2007 - HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS MARCH PROGRAMS

A Child Safety Seat Installation Checkup Station will be held Friday, March 9, in the Altoona Hospital Campus parking garage, Blue Level. The inspections take place from 9:30-11 a.m. You must make an appointment. Call Safe Kids Blair County at 889.7802.

A free osteoporosis screening for women only will be held Friday, March 2, 12:30 to 3 p.m., in the Allegheny Room, sixth floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus, 620 Howard Ave., Altoona. You must call for an appointment. For more information or to schedule, call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

Drivers age 55 and older are invited to participate in the AARP Driver Safety Program, a classroom refresher course that covers age-related physical changes, perceptual skills, rules of the road and more. All automobile insurance companies in Pennsylvania provide a premium discount to graduates age 55 and older. Most require both spouses insured under the same policy to take the class to receive a discount.

The class is offered Tuesday, March 13, and Wednesday, March 14, 6-10 p.m. in the Cambria Room, sixth floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. The fee is $10. Registration required. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

Two sessions of yoga will be offered Tuesdays, March 6 through April 9; beginners from 5:30-6:40 p.m. and intermediate from 6:50-8 p.m. The fee is $30. Class is held in the Rotunda, sixth floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. Register early as class is limited to 30 participants. Gaily Murphy, Hatha yoga instructor, leads this program, which offers mind/body exercise, breath control, stretching and strengthening to promote mental, physical and spiritual well-being. For more information, call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

A recent national sleep study indicated that 75 percent of all adults report a sleep problem. Are you one of them? Dr. Timothy Lucas of Altoona Lung Specialists, medical director of Altoona Regional's Institute for Sleep Medicine, will talk about some of the reasons our sleep is disturbed Wednesday, March 21, at 6:30 p.m. in the Rotunda, sixth floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. Are sleep aids a help or hindrance? Dr. Lucas will address questions and provide tips for getting a good night's sleep. For more information, call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

When Altoona and Bon Secours hospitals merged in November 2004 to become Altoona Regional Health System, it set forth a vision to become a world-class health care organization. On Friday, March 23, Ron McConnell, chief operating officer, and others will discuss initiatives, plans and the vision to move Altoona Regional toward becoming a world-class health care system with new services and the latest technology. The program will be held in the Bon Secours Hospital Campus Education Center, 2621 8th Ave. Lunch is at 11 a.m. followed by the program until 1 p.m. Ample time will be allotted for questions. For more information, call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

"Light," "low fat," "no cholesterol." These terms and more bombard us while we do our grocery shopping. What do they really mean? Which are the healthiest foods to buy? Join Randy Grabill, Altoona Regional clinical dietitian, as he shows how to read and understand food labels during a tour of the Giant Eagle Grocery Store, Logan Town Centre, at 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 28. No fee. Registration required. For more information, call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.






February 23, 2007 - ALTOONA REGIONAL RECEIVES DONATION FROM QUILTERS


The Calico Quilters of Blair County recently donated 43 quilts to Altoona Regional Health System. The quilts were made for patients in the Maternity, Behavioral Health and Pediatrics areas.

In the photo, Janice Snoberger, left, chairwoman of Community Service Projects for the Calico Quilters, presents a quilt to Cindy Skupien, manager of Volunteer Services for Altoona Regional.






February 23, 2007 - ALTOONA REGIONAL EMPLOYEE PROMOTED

Altoona Regional employee Ellen Smith was recently promoted to Supply Chain Information Systems Support Manager. She was previously a Staff Buyer with the Purchasing department. Smith has been employed by the health system for 17 years, four years in the Purchasing department. Smith previously worked in the Pharmacy department for three years and nursing Tower 14 Surgical for 10 years.






February 22, 2007 - JOHN D. PAULSON, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF

John D. Paulson, M.D., has joined the Altoona Regional Health System medical staff in the Obstetrics & Gynecology department.

He is affiliated with Blair Medical Associates, 1414 9th Ave., Altoona.

Dr. Paulson is board certified by the American Board of Obstetrics & Gynecology.
He graduated from medical school at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. He did his residency training at Barnes Jewish Hospital, St. Louis, Mo., and his fellowship training there in reproductive endocrinology. He has been head of urogynecology and chief of reproduction at various universities and programs.






February 22, 2007 - ALTOONA REGIONAL OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST ACHIEVES CERTIFICATION

Nancy Forshey, OTR/L, CHT, a member of Altoona Regional Health System's Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation department, has achieved certification as a hand therapist by the Hand Therapy Certification Commission of Sacramento, Calif. Nancy is one of three certified hand therapists in Altoona and 221 in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

This credential offers assurance to the public that the therapist has achieved the highest level of competency in the profession and stays up-to-date with the practice within the field. A certified hand therapist is an occupational therapist or physical therapist who has a minimum of five years of clinical experience, including 4,000 hours or more in direct practice in hand therapy.

Hand therapists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of injuries related to the hand, arm and upper extremity. They also assist with rehabilitation after surgery. Hand therapists use a variety of techniques and skills to maximize function of the arms and hands in the performance of daily tasks. Therapists work with patients of all ages and from all walks of life.






February 8, 2007 - ALTOONA REGIONAL RECEIVES DONATION OF FOOTBALL HELMETS FROM ALTOONA AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT

Altoona Regional Health System's Intensive Care Unit solved a patient care dilemma with an assist from the Altoona Area School District Athletic Department and its donation of six football helmets.

A helmet is used to stabilize a device that is placed down a patient's throat to control bleeding. The device is a tube with a balloon that is inflated to control massive bleeding from enlarged blood vessels that have ruptured due to liver problems. The tube is taped to the face guard of the helmet to prevent it from moving.

"We are extremely grateful to the Altoona Area School District for their donation," said registered nurse Janet Ashurst, Intensive Care Unit nurse manager. "Repeated attempts to purchase helmets locally proved to be costly, if we could find them at all. And, since we can't predict when such a need will arise, it's best to have a helmet on hand."

Photo: Steve Reimer (center), athletic trainer/equipment manager for the Altoona Area School District Athletic Department, presents football helmets to Altoona Regional registered nurse Janet Ashurst, Intensive Care Unit nurse manager, and registered nurse Hank Williams, Intensive Care Unit clinical manager. The helmets have a unique use in patient care: a device used to control bleeding in the throat is stabilized by taping it to the helmet's face guard.






January 29, 2007 - SAFEKIDS BLAIR COUNTY SPONSORS SEAT INSPECTIONS DURING CHILD PASSENGER SAFETY WEEK FEBRUARY 11-17

Despite ongoing efforts to better protect child passengers in cars, motor vehicle crashes remain the number one cause of accidental injury-related death among children ages 14 and under.

In recognition of Child Passenger Safety Week 2007, February 11 through 17, Safe Kids Blair County will be calling attention to the need for correct booster seat use; helping parents and caregivers understand when it is safe for children to graduate to an adult-sized safety belt; and teaching children important messages to address safety both in and outside the vehicle.

Safe Kids Blair County has planned two car seat inspections in an effort to educate families about the importance of properly restraining their children on each and every ride.

On February 16, a child seat check will be held at Dean Patterson Chevrolet from 2 to 5 p.m. And on February 17, a child seat event will be held at Stocker Chevrolet in State College from 10-2 p.m. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to attend with their children, child seat and vehicles. Child safety seats and safety belts, when installed and used correctly, can prevent injuries and save lives.

The local events are part of Safe Kids USA and its nationwide coalition network, with the support of sponsors General Motors and Chevrolet. Organizers will be training parents and caregivers to install and adjust their car seats properly as well as holding educational events to teach children how to be safe in and around cars.

In 2003, motor vehicle crashes claimed more than 1,500 child passengers and resulted in an estimated 220,000 injuries; and children riding unrestrained are at the greatest risk for death and injury among child occupants of motor vehicles. Only 19 percent of children who should be restrained in belt-positioning booster seats actually use them.

Children can also be injured in non-traffic-related incidents in and around cars, such as being left unattended in a motor vehicle, being injured by a vehicle back-over; or being entrapped in car's trunk.






January 15, 2007 - JAMES H. GAROFALO, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF

JAMES H. GAROFALO, M.D.
James H. Garofalo, M.D., has joined the Altoona Regional Health System medical staff in the Anesthesiology department.

He is affiliated with Blair County Anesthesia, PC, Altoona Regional Health System, 620 Howard Ave., Altoona.

Dr. Garofalo is board eligible by the American Board of Anesthesiology. He received his anesthesiology training at the University of South Florida, Tampa, his training in general surgery from East Carolina University, Greenville, N.C., and his medical degree from Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia.






January 12, 2007 - SETH A. KEARNEY, D.P.M., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF

SETH A. KEARNEY, D.P.M.
Seth A. Kearney, D.P.M., has joined the Altoona Regional Health System medical staff in the Orthopedics/Podiatry department.

He is affiliated with Central Pa. Podiatry Associates, 2727 Beale Ave., Altoona.

Dr. Kearney is board qualified by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery.

He received his residency training from Botsford General Hospital, Farmington Hills, Mich., and graduated from Barry University School of Podiatric Medicine, Miami, Fla.






January 11, 2007 - DAVID W. BUNDY, D.O., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF

David W. Bundy, D.O.
David W. Bundy, D.O., has joined the Altoona Regional Health System medical staff in the department of Family Medicine.

He is affiliated with Blair Medical Associates, Urgent Care Center, 3000 Ivyside Park, Altoona.

Dr. Bundy is board eligible with the American Osteopathic Board of Family Medicine.

He received his internship training at Triple Army Medical Center, Honolulu, Hawaii, his residency training at Altoona Family Physicians, and graduated from Kansas City University of Medicine and Bioscience in Missouri.






January 10, 2007 - ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS FEBRUARY PROGRAMS

A Child Safety Seat Installation Checkup Station will be held Friday, Feb. 9, in the Altoona Hospital Campus parking garage, Blue Level. The inspections take place from 9:30-11 a.m. You must make an appointment. Call Safe Kids Blair County at 889-7802.

A free osteoporosis screening for men and women will be held Friday, Feb. 9, 12:30 to 3 p.m., in the Kaufman Dining Room, Bon Secours Hospital Campus, 2500 7th Ave. You must call for an appointment. For more information, call 889-2630 or 1-888-313-4665.

Drivers age 55 and older are invited to participate in the AARP Driver Safety Program, a classroom refresher course that covers age-related physical changes, perceptual skills, rules of the road and more. All automobile insurance companies in Pennsylvania provide a premium discount to graduates age 55 and older. Most require both spouses insured under the same policy to take the class to receive a discount.

The class is offered Tuesday, Feb. 13, and Wednesday, Feb. 14, 6-10 p.m. in the Logan Room, sixth floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. The fee is $10. Registration required. Call 889-2630 or 1-888-313-4665.

Stroke Alert! Did you know that on average, someone suffers a stroke every 45 seconds? We live in an area where stroke risk factors are prevalent. Join Dr. Arthur DeMarsico, board certified vascular surgeon, Wednesday, Feb. 7, at 6:30 p.m. as he discusses the warning signs of stroke, what you should do if you or a loved one has a stroke, and, most important, how to reduce your risk factors. This program is offered in the Rotunda, sixth floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus, 620 Howard, Ave., Altoona. No fee. Register by calling 889-2630 or 1-888-313-4665.

Telehealth: What Is It? How Does It Work? Is It for You? Find out about telemedicine with Registered Nurse Dotty Fazenbaker, manager of Telehealth at Home Nursing Agency, on Friday, Feb. 16. Lunch at 11 a.m. followed by the program until 1 p.m. She'll demonstrate how this technology helps patients take an active role in managing their health conditions while working hand-in-hand with their health care provider. This program will be held at the Bon Secours Hospital Campus Education Center, 2621 8th Ave. No fee. Registration required. To register, call 889-2630 or 1-888-313-4665.








January 3, 2007 - ALTOONA REGIONAL NURSES EARN DEGREES

Three Altoona Regional Health System registered nurses recently completed degree requirements and earned Master of Science degrees in Nursing. Patty Cox, nursing supervisor, Irene Rubus and Michelle Moore, of the intensive care unit, graduated from the University of Phoenix, Arizona.

"I am impressed by the quality of work by the students in this online program," said Paula McNulty, R.N. "Over the years, I have mentored dozens of nurses pursuing degrees from all of the local colleges and universities. "This program surprised me in its curriculum and intensity. Congratulations to the new graduates for a job well-done!"


Patty Cox, Nursing Supervisor

Irene Rubus

Michelle Moore







January 2, 2007 - FIRST BLAIR COUNTY BABY OF NEW YEAR BORN AT ALTOONA REGIONAL

The first Blair County baby of 2007 was born at 5:33 a.m. Jan. 1 in Altoona Regional Health System's Maternity department to an Altoona couple.

William Ross Sankey was born to Susan and Shawn Sankey. He weighed 7 pounds, 4 3/4 ounces and was 19 1/2 inches long. He has a big brother, John Patrick McGinley, 10.

Baby of New Year As the first baby born at Altoona Regional, the family receives the following gifts:
Mother: a dozen red roses and a $50 gift certificate from Target
Father: a $50 gift certificate from Target
Baby: a $200 savings bond
        A newborn picture taken at the hospital at no charge.

There were two other babies born here Jan. 1. Their families received the following:
Mothers: 1/2 dozen red roses
        $25 gift certificate from Target
Fathers: $25 gift certificate from Target
Babies: $75 savings bond
Newborn picture taken at the hospital at no charge.

Photo: Altoona Regional Chief Operating Officer Ron McConnell welcomes the first Blair County baby of the new year, William Ross Sankey, and congratulates his mother Susan Sankey of Altoona.


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