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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.
12/29/08 - VOLUNTEER MANAGER RETIRES WITH 37 YEARS OF SERVICE
12/29/08 - NUCLEAR MEDICINE TECHNOLOGIST PASSES BOARD CERTIFICATION
12/29/08 - ALTOONA REGIONAL NAMES DEVELOPMENT/COMMUNICATIONS ASSOCIATE
12/29/08 - ALTOONA WOMAN DONATES KNITTED BABY CAPS TO ALTOONA REGIONAL MATERNITY DEPARTMENT
12/22/08 - ANTHONY J. BARTKOWIAK JR., M.D., RECEIVES BOARD RECERTIFICATION
12/15/08 - NONINVASIVE LABORATORY EARNS ACCREDITATION
12/01/08 - CPI ASSOCIATE RETIRES WITH 43 YEARS OF SERVICE
11/24/08 - SCOTT D. MARLOWE, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF
11/24/08 - IRINI M. YOUSSEF, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF
11/13/08 - ALTOONA REGIONAL RECEIVES AWARDS FROM VHA INC. FOR CLINICAL EXCELLENCE
11/13/08 - HOLIDAY CAMPAIGN CONTINUES AT ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM
11/12/08 - KIRSTYN D. CALDWELL, DPM, JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF
11/12/08 - NICOLE L. ROSSMAN-CLAPPER, D.O., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF
11/07/08 - ARPIT SALUJA, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF
11/03/08 - ELEMENTARY STUDENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM SUCCESSFULLY IMPLEMENTED; LOCAL TEAM PROVIDES TRAINING TO SCHOOL DISTRICTS
10/27/08 - TWO COMMUNITY DENTAL CLINICS RENAMED TO HONOR RETIRING PRESIDENT/CEO JAMES W. BARNER
10/16/08 - HUNTER HEALTH AND SAFETY FAIR OFFERED NOVEMBER 1
10/22/08 - CARDIAC REHABILITATION DEPARTMENT MEETS HIGH NATIONAL STANDARDS, EARNS SECOND RECERTIFICATION
10/17/08 - ALTOONA REGIONAL FOUNDATION FOR LIFE RAISES $400,000 THROUGH HEALTH CARE HONORS EVENT
10/15/08 - MEDIA ADVISORY - The Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life will hold its inaugural charitable event — Health Care Honors
10/13/08 - FRIENDS OF ALTOONA REGIONAL MAKES DONATION TO ALTOONA REGIONAL FOUNDATION FOR LIFE
10/9/08 - MAGED M. ZAKY, M.D., FACP, JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF
10/6/08 - FRIENDS OF ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM AWARDS SCHOLARSHIPS
10/2/08 - $100,000 TITLE SPONSOR ANNOUNCED FOR ALTOONA REGIONAL FOUNDATION FOR LIFE SPECIAL EVENT
10/1/08 - ALTOONA REGIONAL INTRODUCES FREE HEARTAWARE PROGRAM
9/22/08 - EDMOND J. BOU ASSAF, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF
9/22/08 - MEHRDAD GHAFFARI, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF
9/19/08 - JERRY MURRAY NAMED ACTING PRESIDENT/CEO of ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM
9/18/08 - Blair/Bedford Builders Association donates $2,500 to Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life
9/09/08 - CLINICAL SUPERVISOR RETIRES FROM FAMILY RESIDENCY PROGRAM
9/04/08 - FAMILY DAY: DINNER MAKES A DIFFERENCE
9/04/08 - VOLUNTEERS, EMPLOYEES JOIN FORCES TO BENEFIT CANCER PATIENTS
9/04/08 - SAFE KIDS BLAIR COUNTY OFFERS CAR SEAT INSPECTIONS ON NATIONAL SEAT CHECK SATURDAY
9/04/08 - Bob Perks Cancer Assistance Fund makes donation to improve comfort for cancer patients
8/26/08 - ALTOONA FAMILY PHYSICIANS RESIDENTS GRADUATE
8/21/08 - ALTOONA COUPLE DONATES TO MEDICAL CLINIC
8/21/08 - TWO NUCLEAR MEDICINE INTERNS COMPLETE EIGHT-MONTH INTERNSHIP
8/21/08 - SYSTEM NAMES NEW NIGHT CLINICAL MANAGER FOR ICU
8/21/08 - PRINTER RETIRES WITH 21.5 YEARS OF SERVICE
8/21/08 - Lemonade stand raises funds for Altoona Regional Cancer Center
8/18/08 - STEVEN M. CARTUN, M.D., JOINS MEDICAL STAFF
8/18/08 - HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS SEPTEMBER PROGRAMS
8/08/08 - ALTOONA REGIONAL RECEIVES AMERICAN STROKE ASSOCIATION'S GET WITH THE GUIDELINES BRONZE PERFORMANCE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
8/04/08 - Friends of Altoona Regional nets nearly $10,000 for Maternity security system
7/29/08 - TERESA S. DOLAN, M.D., JOINS MEDICAL STAFF
7/29/08 - GREGORY J. FULCHIERO JR., M.D., JOINS MEDICAL STAFF
7/28/08 - DOCTOR JOINS MEDICAL STAFF
7/11/08 - ALTOONAN APPOINTED SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT/CHIEF NURSING OFFICER
7/10/08 - TRAUMA REGISTRAR SELECTED FOR STATE AWARD BY PA EMERGENCY NURSES ASSOCIATION
7/10/08 - BOILER OPERATOR RETIRES
6/27/08 - ALTOONA REGIONAL RECEIVES APEX AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN PATIENT CARE FROM VHA INC.
6/26/08 - STATE ENGINEERING SOCIETY NAMES JAMES DESTEFANO TO BOARD
6/20/08 - JOHN P. KENNEDY, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF
6/18/08 - Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life announces board of directors
6/16/08 - ALTOONA REGIONAL INFECTION PREVENTION PROGRAM WINS HAP AWARD
6/16/08 - HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS VISIT PEDIATRICS UNIT
6/16/08 - HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS JULY PROGRAMS
6/13/08 - SEVEN EMPLOYEES HONORED FOR 40-PLUS YEARS OF SERVICE
5/31/08 - ALTOONA REGIONAL INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY DEPARTMENT RESTRUCTURES
5/30/08 - MEDICAL DIRECTOR OF TRAUMA/CRITICAL CARE SERVICES APPOINTED TO STATE TRAUMA COMMITTEE
5/30/08 - ALTOONA REGIONAL NURSE PUBLISHES REVIEW IN PROFESSIONAL JOURNAL
5/30/08 - ALTOONA REGIONAL NAMES NURSE MANAGER OF INTENSIVE CARE UNIT
5/15/08 - CLINICAL LABORATORY SCIENCE/MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY SCHOOL RECEIVES FOURTH CONSECUTIVE, SEVEN-YEAR ACCREDITATION
5/14/08 - DEBRA S. PIKE JOINS MEDICAL STAFF
5/9/08 - MAY IS MENTAL HEALTH MONTH: 'TREATMENT: WELL WORTH YOUR WHILE' THEME FOR EVENING'S PROGRAM
5/7/08 - ORONDE A. SMITH JOINS MEDICAL STAFF
5/2/08 - GOLF TOURNAMENT BENEFITS ALTOONA REGIONAL PEDIATRICS UNIT
5/1/08 - Altoona Regional Foundation for Life and Friends of Altoona Regional raise nearly $30,000 through holiday fund-raisers
5/1/08 - HEPATITIS C SCREENING SCHEDULED MAY 20; MANY PEOPLE MAY BE IN AN AT-RISK GROUP
4/29/08 - HEALTH SYSTEM'S MAGAZINE WINS NATIONAL AWARD
4/25/08 - Accidental injury death rate of children 14 and under down by 45 percent since 1987, says Safe Kids USA 20th anniversary report
4/21/08 - SAFE KIDS BLAIR COUNTY PARTICIPATES IN UNITED WAY EVENT
4/15/08 - WEIGHT-LOSS SURGERY EDUCATION SESSION SET FOR TUESDAY, MAY 27
4/16/08 - VOLUNTEERS GIVE BACK TO COMMUNITY THROUGH HOSPITAL SERVICE
4/07/08 - 28TH ANNUAL SENIOR HEALTH FAIR SET FOR WEDNESDAY, APRIL 9
4/04/08 - JOINT STATEMENT WITH SEIU
4/04/08 - PATTON MAN HIRED AS PATIENT ACCESS SUPERVISOR
4/04/08 - TWO NUTRITION SERVICES DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEES PROMOTED
4/04/08 - ANNUAL REPORT HIGHLIGHTS HEALTH SYSTEM'S COMMUNITY IMPACT
3/21/08 - HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS APRIL PROGRAMS
3/20/08 - ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES EMPLOYEE RETIRES WITH 18 YEARS OF SERVICE
3/20/08 - SUPPLY CLERK RETIRES WITH 18 YEARS OF SERVICE
3/14/08 - BRYAN J. FUNARI, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF
3/12/08 - THREE ALTOONA REGIONAL PHYSICIANS EARN BOARD CERTIFICATIONS
3/11/08 - ORTHOPEDIC SURGEON USES NEW DISC REPLACEMENT PROCEDURE FOR NECK PAIN PATIENTS
3/11/08 - ADAM M. BUDNY, D.P.M., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF
3/10/08 - PATRICK D. RICE, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF
3/05/08 - TO NAP OR NOT TO NAP?
2/21/08 - ALTOONA REGIONAL NURSE EARNS DEGREE, CERTIFICATION
2/21/08 - ALTOONA REGIONAL REGISTERED NURSE EARNS BACHELOR'S DEGREE
2/21/08 - TWO MEDICAL STAFF EMPLOYEES ACHIEVE RECERTIFICATION IN MEDICAL STAFF SERVICES/CREDENTIALING
2/21/08 - FOUR RESPIRATORY THERAPISTS PASS NATIONAL REGISTRY EXAMINATION
2/12/08 - WEATHER CANCELS EVENING EVENTS TONIGHT
2/11/08 - HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS MARCH PROGRAMS
1/24/08 - ADDICTIONS COUNSELOR PROMOTED TO SUPERVISORY POSITION WITHIN ALTOONA REGIONAL CENTER FOR BEHAVIORAL HEALTH DRUG AND ALCOHOL PROGRAM
1/18/08 - ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM PRESIDENT/CEO ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT
1/10/08 - ALTOONA REGIONAL EMPLOYEE GRADUATES FROM UNIVERSITY OF FINDLAY NUCLEAR MEDICINE PROGRAM
1/10/08 - ALTOONA PIPE & STEEL DONATES CPR TEACHING EQUIPMENT, AUTOMATED DEFIBRILLATOR
1/7/08 - ASHISH BEHL, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF
1/7/08 - HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS JANUARY/FEBRUARY PROGRAMS
1/3/08 - FIRST BLAIR COUNTY BABY OF NEW YEAR BORN AT ALTOONA REGIONAL




December 29, 2008 - VOLUNTEER MANAGER RETIRES WITH 37 YEARS OF SERVICE

Cindy Skupien
Cindy Skupien, manager of the Volunteer Services department, retired Dec. 19 with 37 years of service. She was hired as the secretary for the volunteers and pastoral care departments of Altoona Hospital on April 21, 1971, and promoted to manager of the department in 1979. She received the Employee of the Month award during her years of service.

Cindy resides in Gallitzin with her son, Tom, and mother-in-law Ruth.






December 29, 2008 - NUCLEAR MEDICINE TECHNOLOGIST PASSES BOARD CERTIFICATION

Teresa Clingerman
Teresa Clingerman of Hollidaysburg, a nuclear medicine technologist on the Bon Secours Hospital Campus of Altoona Regional Health System, recently passed her national certification boards.

The Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board Inc., administers a standardized test that measures knowledge of nuclear medicine procedures and standards of patient care. The standards include educational requirements, practical experience and successful completion of an appropriate competency-based examination.

Clingerman was hired in 1993 as an x-ray technologist and crossed trained to work in nuclear medicine. She has worked in nuclear medicine full time for the past five years.






December 29, 2008 - ALTOONA REGIONAL NAMES DEVELOPMENT/COMMUNICATIONS ASSOCIATE

Anne Stoltz, M.B.A.
Anne Stoltz, M.B.A., of Patton, was recently promoted to the position of development/communications associate. In her new role, Anne will have responsibilities in both the Foundation for Life and Marketing and Communications offices, including oversight of database-related functions, fund-raising initiatives, volunteers and staff.

Anne started her career in Marketing and Communications in 2005 as a Web site coordinator/writing assistant. She received her bachelor's in public relations from the Pennsylvania State University, University Park, and her master's in business administration from Saint Francis University.






December 29, 2008 - ALTOONA WOMAN DONATES KNITTED BABY CAPS TO ALTOONA REGIONAL MATERNITY DEPARTMENT

Baby Cap Donation

Mary G. Mauk (left), of Altoona, recently donated 38 knitted baby caps to Altoona Regional's Maternity Department. Since February 2006, Mary has made more than 650 caps for our local little ones. Accepting the holiday-themed and pink and blue caps was Valerie L. Brumbaugh, president, Altoona Regional Foundation for Life.






December 22, 2008 - ANTHONY J. BARTKOWIAK JR., M.D., RECEIVES BOARD RECERTIFICATION

Anthony J. Bartkowiak Jr., M.D.

Anthony J. Bartkowiak Jr., M.D., a member of the Altoona Regional medical staff, has been recertified by the American Board of Internal Medicine through Dec. 31, 2018. He practices with Blair Medical Associates, 1414 Ninth Ave., Altoona.






December 15, 2008 - NONINVASIVE LABORATORY EARNS ACCREDITATION

The Noninvasive Laboratory of Altoona Regional Health System has attained recognition for its commitment to providing a high level of patient care and quality testing for the diagnosis of vascular disease by achieving accreditation by the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Vascular Laboratories (ICAVL).

Early detection of life-threatening cardiovascular diseases such as disorders of the heart, blood vessels and brain is possible through the use of noninvasive vascular testing techniques performed with vascular laboratories. For example, stroke, a disorder of the blood supply of the brain, is the third leading cause of death and disability in this country, with 500,000 new strokes occurring annually.

Altoona Regional's Noninvasive Laboratory is one of a select number of vascular laboratories in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico to meet or exceed the ICAVL standards for noninvasive vascular testing. During the accreditation process, every aspect of the lab's daily operations and its impact on the quality of health care provided to patients is assessed and reviewed. While completing the application, laboratories are required to identify and correct potential problems, revising protocols and validating quality assurance programs.

Participation in the accreditation process demonstrates the laboratory's attention to a high level of patient care and quality testing. ICAVL accreditation is valid for three years.

The ICAVL is a nonprofit organization established with the support of 11 medical societies, including physicians, technologists and sonographers, that represent medical specialties of cardiology, neurology, radiology, vascular medicine, vascular surgery, neurosurgery, internal medicine and biology.

Altoona Regional is a nonprofit community health care provider. Two acute-care hospitals anchor the 497-bed system, which includes more than 20 affiliated health care companies. Altoona Regional offers centers of excellence in cancer care, heart care, neurosciences, behavioral health, vascular and wound care and much more. Its Regional Trauma Center serves more than 20 counties in Central Pennsylvania. The mission of Altoona Regional Health System is for exceptional people to provide exceptional health care.




December 1, 2008 - CPI ASSOCIATE RETIRES WITH 43 YEARS OF SERVICE Joyce A. Stoehr, LPN II, CPI

Joyce A. Stoehr, LPN II, CPI associate in the Systems Improvement department, recently retired after 43 years of service.

She was hired by Mercy Hospital on Aug. 2, 1965, as an LPN in the intensive care unit. She then served on a medical-surgical floor and the pharmacy from 1978-86. She was the first pharmacy tech. She transferred in 1986 to the emergency room/outpatient clinic, where she worked for eight years as an LPN before transferring to Quality Management/Utilization Review as an LPN/CPI Associate.

After the merger of Altoona Hospital and Bon Secours-Holy Family Hospital, she transferred to Systems Improvement on the Altoona Hospital Campus.

Joyce and her husband, Vincent, live in Altoona. They have a son, Matthew; a daughter-in-law, Rachel, and two granddaughters, Chloe, 3, and Bailey, 8 1/2 months.




November 24, 2008 - SCOTT D. MARLOWE, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF MEDICAL STAFF SCOTT D. MARLOWE, M.D.

Scott D. Marlowe, M.D., recently joined the Altoona Regional Health System Imaging Services department (Radiology).

Dr. Marlowe is board certified in diagnostic radiology. He received his medical degree and did his residency at the Medical College of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. He then received fellowship training in body imaging at Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh. He was previously at Bon Secours-Holy Family Hospital.






November 24, 2008 - IRINI M. YOUSSEF, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF MEDICAL STAFF IRINI M. YOUSSEF, M.D.

Irini M. Youssef, M.D., recently joined the Altoona Regional Medical Staff in the Imaging Services department (Radiology).

She has been board certified by the American Board of Nuclear Medicine since 2004 and became certified by the American Board of Radiology earlier this year.

She received her medical degree from Alexandria University Hospitals, Egypt. She did her residency training in diagnostic radiology at Alexandria University Hospitals. In 2001-02, she did a general surgery residency at St. Vincent's Hospital of Manhattan in New York. From 2002-04, she completed a residency program in nuclear medicine at St. Vincent's. In 2004-05, she received fellowship training in PET-CT at Mount Sinai Hospital, New York. And, from 2005-08 she completed a diagnostic radiology residency program at St. Vincent's.






November 13, 2008 - Altoona Regional Receives Awards from VHA Inc. for Clinical Excellence

Altoona Regional Health System has received three Achieving Patient Care Excellence (APEX) Awards from VHA Pennsylvania, the regional arm of VHA Inc., the national health care alliance. Altoona Regional won the awards for its work to:
  • Improve care for patients who have suffered from a heart attack, the leading cause of death for adults;
  • Prevent and reduce the incidence of bloodstream infections, and
  • Prevent and reduce the incidence of MRSA infections in hospitalized patients — a growing and highly-publicized concern for hospitals across the nation.
The awards recognize Altoona Regional for meeting or exceeding national standards for care in these areas. VHA Pennsylvania recently hosted a luncheon to celebrate the achievements of member hospitals that received APEX Awards this past year at Bedford Springs Resort.

"These awards recognize the high quality of care for 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."

Sandra Kozielec, director of Quality Management said, "Receiving these awards validates our commitment to excellence. Our physicians and our nurses continue to work with other staff in our continuous performance improvement process to improve the quality of care provided to our patients."

Steve Johnson, chief executive officer of Susquehanna Health and VHA Pennsylvania board chair, said, "VHA works with dozens of hospitals across Pennsylvania, and our mission is to help them become leading performers. We're proud to say that many members have certainly demonstrated clinical excellence. VHA supports hospitals as they work to improve clinical care by providing Web tools to help them assess their current performance and clinical blueprints that guide better performance."

Altoona Regional is a nonprofit community health care provider. Two acute-care hospitals anchor the 497-bed system, which includes more than 20 affiliated health care companies. Altoona Regional offers centers of excellence in cancer care, heart care, neurosciences, behavioral health, vascular and wound care and much more. Its Regional Trauma Center serves more than 20 counties in Central Pennsylvania. The mission of Altoona Regional Health System is for exceptional people to provide exceptional health care.

ALTOONA REGIONAL Receives Awards from VHA Inc.
for Clinical Excellence

Photo: VHA Pennsylvania recently hosted a luncheon to celebrate the achievements of member hospitals that received APEX Awards this past year at Bedford Springs Resort. Attending from Altoona Regional Health System were (from left): seated — registered nurse Carole Roman, supervisor for quality documentation nurses; standing — James Robuck, director, Systems Improvement; David L. Cowger, M.D., senior vice president, Quality/Medical Affairs, and Sandra Kozielec, director, Quality Management.






November 13, 2008 - HOLIDAY CAMPAIGN CONTINUES AT ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM

The Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life and Friends of Altoona Regional remind the community that their annual Revealing the Angels Holiday Campaign is under way. It provides an opportunity to recognize a special "angel" and simultaneously support the charitable works of the Partnering for Health Services free medical clinic, which provides care to the working uninsured of our community.

For a $10 donation or higher, a paper ornament is placed on a holiday tree at either hospital campus in honor of, or in memory of, a special "angel" who deserves recognition.

In addition to the generous contributions of individuals, the clinic receives significant support from Friends. Each holiday season, Friends, in conjunction with the Foundation for Life, conducts its Revealing the Angels Holiday Campaign in the community, which last year raised $19,677.50. Friends' matching program will generously match dollar-for-dollar funds raised up to $5,000.

"The support we receive from Friends allows us to continue providing important services to patients who cannot afford needed medical care," said Zane Gates, M.D., clinic medical director. "Delaying or not receiving treatment can lead to more serious illnesses and even hospitalization for conditions that could have been avoided had the patient received preventive care."

A ceremonial tree lighting and honor board will recognize all "angels." Donations received by Nov. 20 will be placed on the holiday tree in time for the lighting. Donations for the campaign in general may be given until Dec. 31. The Bon Secours Hospital Campus, 2500 7th Ave., will conduct its tree lighting at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 3, and the Altoona Hospital Campus, 620 Howard Ave., will conduct its ceremony at 10 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 4. The public is invited to attend.

The Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life is a private, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which exists to inspire gifts from individuals, foundations, corporations and other entities to support the preservation of health care for the well-being of community members in Central Pennsylvania. As a qualified charitable organization, donations to the Foundation for Life are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.






November 12, 2008 - KIRSTYN D. CALDWELL, DPM, JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF MEDICAL STAFF KIRSTYN D. CALDWELL, DPM

Kirstyn D. Caldwell, DPM, recently joined the Altoona Regional Health System Medical staff in the Department of Orthopedics, Clinical Service of Podiatry. She is affiliated with Central PA Podiatry Associates, 2727 Beale Ave., Altoona.

Dr. Caldwell received her medical degree from the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine, Cleveland, and did her residency at UPMC Southside. She is board eligible in foot surgery and reconstructive rearfoot/ankle.






November 12, 2008 - NICOLE L. ROSSMAN-CLAPPER, D.O., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF NICOLE L. ROSSMAN-CLAPPER, D.O.

Nicole L. Rossman-Clapper, D.O., recently joined the Altoona Regional Health System medical staff in the department of Family Medicine. She is affiliated with Glendale Area Medical Associates, 850 Main St., Coalport.

She is board eligible for certification in Family Medicine.

She received her medical degree from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Rossman-Clapper did her internship and residency with Altoona Family Physicians.






November 11, 2008 - ARPIT SALUJA, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF ARPIT SALUJA, M.D.

Arpit Saluja, M.D., recently joined the medical staff of Altoona Regional Health System in the department of Family Medicine. He is in practice with Lexington Hospitalists, 620 Howard Ave., Altoona.

He received his medical degree from the University of Delhi, India. He did an internship at the University of Delhi and at UPMC-Shadyside, Pittsburgh. He also completed his residency at UPMC-Shadyside. He is board eligible in Family Medicine.






November 3, 2008 - ELEMENTARY STUDENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM SUCCESSFULLY IMPLEMENTED; LOCAL TEAM PROVIDES TRAINING TO SCHOOL DISTRICTS

Elementary students at risk for bullying, anxiety and depression issues, as well as behavioral concerns in the classroom and attendance issues, have greater access to help thanks to the establishment of Elementary Student Assistance Programs (ESAP) in seven Blair County school districts made possible through the work of Altoona Regional Behavioral Health Services.

The Altoona Area, Bellwood, Claysburg-Kimmel, Hollidaysburg Area, Spring Cove and Williamsburg Community school districts have established Elementary Student Assistance Programs to provide appropriate counseling and support services for students who are experiencing difficulties in school, as mandated by the state. It offers a variety of assistance to students and families when problems arise that may negatively impact the student's overall academic experience.

The Tyrone Area School District piloted ESAP approximately seven years ago and continues to implement the program.

Student participation in the program is confidential and voluntary, and parental permission is required. The initial set-up of the program was paid for through a state grant, but the programs are then self-sustaining.

ESAP teams are professionally trained. Altoona Regional Health System also provides the necessary training to school district teachers, principals, nurses, counselors, school psychologists and representatives from local human service agencies, said Kathy Muller, Drug and Alcohol Prevention specialist and lead trainer. Other team members include consultants Evelyn Madison and Coleen Heim, along with staff members Sherry Gioiosa and Jennifer Hilyer.

In ESAP's first year, 114 students received services, according to Altoona Regional's Leslie Turner, outpatient drug and alcohol therapist. Students may be referred for services by teachers or other school personnel, parents, friends or themselves. Plans for the student may include services and interventions from school and/or one or more drug/alcohol or mental health professionals. The Home Nursing Agency, Children's Behavioral Health, provides mental health outpatient services.

Services may also include referral to a support group, mentoring program and/or assessment by a drug/alcohol or mental health professional. ESAP is a support service for the student and his/her family, and parental involvement is a key component.

Altoona Regional is a nonprofit community health care provider. Two acute-care hospitals anchor the 497-bed system, which includes more than 20 affiliated health care companies. Altoona Regional offers centers of excellence in cancer care, heart care, neurosciences, behavioral health, vascular and wound care and much more. Its Regional Trauma Center serves more than 20 counties in Central Pennsylvania. The mission of Altoona Regional Health System is for exceptional people to provide exceptional health care.






October 27, 2008 - TWO COMMUNITY DENTAL CLINICS RENAMED TO HONOR RETIRING PRESIDENT/CEO JAMES W. BARNER

The Altoona Regional Partnership for a Healthy Community's Partnering for Dental Services two dental clinics have been renamed in honor of outgoing Altoona Regional President/CEO Jim Barner. The clinics will now be called the James W. Barner Community Dental Clinics.

Founded in October 2000, the clinics provide a full-range of dental services for low-income children and adults who lack access to dental care. In the most recent fiscal year, there were 2,431 visits at the adult clinic, and 786 at the children's clinic.

"The Partnership for a Healthy Community Board of Directors has worked side by side with Jim Barner over these many years to increase access to dental care for our area's less fortunate children and adults. It is our privilege to bestow this honor upon him as a measure of our gratitude," Bill Wallen, chairman of the board, said.

"I'm surprised and humbled by this honor," said Barner. "The dentists and the dedicated staff are the ones who are the real heroes here and really deserve all the credit for making this endeavor work so well. It's been my pleasure to work with such a fine group of community-minded people."

The mission of the clinics is to provide oral health care to area children and adults who cannot obtain services. This area is designated a dental health professional shortage area.






October 16, 2008 - HUNTER HEALTH AND SAFETY FAIR OFFERED NOVEMBER 1

A Hunter Health and Safety Fair is set for Saturday, Nov. 1, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Logan Township United Fire Department, Grandview Road.

Call the Healthy Living Club at 889-2630 for more information or just show up anytime from 1 to 4 p.m.

This is a health and safety fair designed just for hunters! It will include screenings for peripheral vascular disease, blood pressure, respiratory health and body fat analysis. Attendees can also receive emergency first aid tips, vision screening by Dr. Veronica Wolf, foot and ankle screening and information from Dr. Chad Rappaport of Blair Orthopedic Associates, pen-and-paper cardiac risk assessment, information on handling and preparing game meat, healthy heart information and much more!

Also, register at the fair for a $5 fasting cholesterol and blood glucose screening to be held at Altoona Hospital Campus lab the week of Nov. 3-7.

Altoona Regional is a nonprofit community health care provider. Two acute-care hospitals anchor the 497-bed system, which includes more than 20 affiliated health care companies. Altoona Regional offers centers of excellence in cancer care, heart care, neurosciences, behavioral health, vascular and wound care and much more. Its Regional Trauma Center serves more than 20 counties in Central Pennsylvania. The mission of Altoona Regional Health System is for exceptional people to provide exceptional health care.






October 22, 2008 - CARDIAC REHABILITATION DEPARTMENT MEETS HIGH NATIONAL STANDARDS, EARNS SECOND RECERTIFICATION
Members of the Cardiac Rehabilitation department
The Cardiac Rehabilitation department of Altoona Regional Health System has been awarded its second recertification from the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation, a national association promoting strict standards for cardiac rehabilitation programs.

These standards include smoking cessation, blood pressure control, lipid management, dietary intervention, diabetic control, weight management and promotion of regular exercise. The recertification is in effect until 2011.

Photo: Members of the Cardiac Rehabilitation department are (from left): Front — Donna Detwiler, R.N., Michelle L. Stoudt, D.O., and Shannon Borelli, R.N.; Back - Kathy McGarvey, R.N., Rosemary Kristofco, R.N., Sharon Ciccarella, R.N., administrative director, and Monica Morroni-McMahon, R.N., BSN. Other members are R.N.s Betina Marcaurelle, Gloria Minori, Lisa DeGol and Deborah Gaston and secretary Donna Smolko.

Founded in 1985, Cardiac Rehabilitation's lone staff member was Betina Marcaurelle, R.N., who helped establish the program. Since then, the department has grown to nine nurses and a secretary. The nurses are responsible for outpatient and inpatient cardiac rehab, as well as assisting in cardiology with various tests, including stress and tilt-table tests.

Patients with the following diagnoses are appropriate referrals for cardiac rehab: myocardial infarctions (heart attacks), coronary artery bypass, valve repairs or replacements, angioplasty with or without stents and heart transplant.

The cardiac rehabilitation program promotes healthier lifestyles by encouraging risk factor modification and regular exercise. It also provides feedback to physicians concerning blood pressure, glucose levels and compliance with medical regimens.

Altoona Regional is a nonprofit community health care provider. Two acute-care hospitals anchor the 497-bed system, which includes more than 20 affiliated health care companies. Altoona Regional offers centers of excellence in cancer care, heart care, neurosciences, behavioral health, vascular and wound care and much more. Its Regional Trauma Center serves more than 20 counties in Central Pennsylvania. The mission of Altoona Regional Health System is for exceptional people to provide exceptional health care.






October 17, 2008 - Altoona Regional Foundation for Life raises $400,000 through Health Care Honors event
Altoona Regional Foundation for Life President, Valerie L. Brumbaugh (right), presents James W. Barner, retiring president/CEO, with the Health Care Honors Award.

The Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life is pleased to announce that its inaugural charitable event, Health Care Honors, held Thursday, Oct. 16, at the Blair County Convention Center, drew more than 400 guests and raised over $400,000 in support of important programs and services for Altoona Regional patients and their families.

Photo: Altoona Regional Foundation for Life President, Valerie L. Brumbaugh (right), presents James W. Barner, retiring president/CEO, with the Health Care Honors Award.

"We are so very pleased with the support we have received from private donors and corporate sponsors who realize how important it is to have high quality health care services in our own community," said Ann Benzel, chair, Foundation for Life Board of Directors. "Their generosity speaks volumes in regard to Altoona Regional's significance to our families, friends and neighbors in this region."

The Foundation for Life presented its 2008 Health Care Honors Award to James W. Barner of Altoona Regional Health System in honor of his dedication to the preservation and advancement of health care for Central Pennsylvania for the past 30 years, including the last 16 as president and CEO.

Guests were treated to the humorous Tom Ryan, a comedian who has appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman.

M&T Bank was the event's title sponsor, pledging $100,000 of support.

Steve Foreman, M&T Bank's regional executive for Western Pennsylvania, said the partnership between Altoona Regional, the Foundation for Life and M&T Bank is an investment that will benefit the community for years to come.

"Our contribution to the Foundation for Life marks M&T Bank's commitment to our community and to the vision of James Barner for improving health care for local residents," he said.

Other sponsors included several community members and more than 60 local businesses, including $25,000 platinum sponsors Blair Companies and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield.

"We are proud to support the Foundation for Life because it is a way to help each and every person in the community," said Donald Devorris, president of Blair Companies. "The positive effects of the Foundation's work will touch all of us for years to come."

"Highmark's sponsorship of Health Care Honors is aligned with our mission to provide access to affordable, quality health care enabling individuals to live longer, healthier lives," said Mary Anne Papale, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield community affairs director. "We are proud to support their efforts to improve care for individuals in the Altoona region."

The Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life is a private, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which exists to inspire gifts from individuals, foundations, corporations and other entities to support the preservation of health care for the well-being of community members in Central Pennsylvania. As a qualified charitable organization, donations to the Foundation for Life are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.






October 15, 2008 - MEDIA ADVISORY - The Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life will hold its inaugural charitable event — Health Care Honors Thursday, Oct. 16, 2008, at the Blair County Convention Center

The Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life will hold its inaugural charitable event — Health Care Honors — on Thursday, Oct. 16, 2008, at the Blair County Convention Center. Media representatives are invited to attend anytime between 5:30 and 6:15 p.m.

Representatives from more than 60 local businesses and foundations, as well as several community members, will be in attendance in support of important programs and services that benefit Altoona Regional patients and their families.

The Foundation for Life will present the 2008 Health Care Honors Award to James W. Barner, president and CEO of Altoona Regional Health System, in honor of his dedication to the preservation and advancement of health care for Central Pennsylvania.

Please call Anne Stoltz at 889.6405 if you plan to attend or if you require further information about the event. An informational release will be provided at the event.






October 13, 2008 - FRIENDS OF ALTOONA REGIONAL MAKES DONATION TO ALTOONA REGIONAL FOUNDATION FOR LIFE Friends of ARHS makes donation

Friends of Altoona Regional Health System recently made its first of four donations in the amount of $21,604.50 to Altoona Regional's Foundation for Life in support of the purchase of a new security system for the Maternity department.

The new system costs approximately $80,000 and Friends has pledged to undertake this very worthy project.

"Taking a lead role in financially supporting the maternity security system purchase is an honor for the leadership and the members of Friends," said Vicki Baughman, president of Friends. "While the current security system on Maternity is functional, the technology needs to be upgraded. Friends is happy to be able to help."

"For over 100 years, the auxiliary, now known as Friends, has provided significant financial aid to the health system," said Valerie L. Brumbaugh, president, Altoona Regional Foundation for Life. "On behalf of the Foundation for Life, I want to thank Friends for once again extending their generosity and support to the health system."

The Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life is a private, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which exists to inspire gifts from individuals, foundations, corporations and other entities to support the preservation of health care for the well-being of community members in Blair and surrounding counties. As a qualified charitable organization, donations to the Foundation for Life are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

Photo: Vicki Baughman (center), president, Friends of Altoona Regional, presents a check for $21,604.50 to Valerie L. Brumbaugh, left, president, Altoona Regional Foundation for Life, and James W. Barner, president/CEO, Altoona Regional Health System.






October 9, 2008 - MAGED M. ZAKY, M.D., FACP, JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF Maged M. Zaky, M.D., FACP

Maged M. Zaky, M.D., FACP, recently joined the Altoona Regional Medical Staff in the clinical service of Internal Medicine. He is affiliated with Blair Medical Associates, 1414 Ninth Ave., Altoona.

Dr. Zaky has been board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine since 2004.

He received his medical degree from Alexandria Medical School, Egypt, in 1984. He completed his internship at Alexandria University Hospitals, Egypt. He did residency training at Ras Elteen Hospital and AlGomhouria Community Hospital, Egypt, and Saint Joseph's Regional Medical Center, Mount Sinai, N.J.






October 6, 2008 - FRIENDS OF ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM AWARDS SCHOLARSHIPS Nicole Heverly, Amanda Lafferty and Adam Mills receive scholarship awards

Nicole Heverly, Amanda Lafferty and Adam Mills, all students of the 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.

Nicole, daughter of Frederick and Corinne Heverly of Glasgow, is a student at Slippery Rock University.

Amanda is the daughter of James and Karen Lafferty of Philippi, West Virginia. She graduated from North Carolina State University.

Adam, son of Rodney and Barbara Mills of St. Marys, is a student at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Photo: During a Sept. 23 event at Bon Secours Hospital Campus, (from left): first row - Altoona Regional School of Medical Technology/Clinical Laboratory Science student Amanda Lafferty was presented one of three scholarships from Friends of Altoona Regional representative Kathi Terlinsky; second row - students Nicole Heverly and Adam Mills also received Friends scholarships from Kathi, and all were accompanied by School of Medical Technology/Clinical Laboratory Science program director Joe Noel.






October 2, 2008 - $100,000 TITLE SPONSOR ANNOUNCED FOR ALTOONA REGIONAL FOUNDATION FOR LIFE SPECIAL EVENT M&T Bank recently pledged a $100,000 title sponsorship for the Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life's Health Care Honors event

The Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life is pleased to announce that M&T Bank is the Title Sponsor for its inaugural charitable event — Health Care Honors — scheduled for October 16.

As the Title Sponsor, M&T Bank has generously pledged $100,000 in support of important programs and services that benefit Altoona Regional patients and their families.

"Altoona Regional remains committed to meeting community health care needs without regard to level of payment, and to expanding health care access, reducing its disparities and helping those who face obstacles in their daily lives," said Ann Benzel, chair, Foundation for Life Board of Directors. "Through this title sponsorship, M&T Bank enables our newly-formed foundation to aid the health system in providing meaningful and lifesaving benefits to the community through services like cardiology, cancer care, the free medical clinic and renal dialysis, to name a few." "The partnership between Altoona Regional, the foundation, and M&T Bank is an investment that will benefit the community for years to come," said Steve Foreman, M&T Bank's regional executive for Western Pennsylvania. "Our contribution to the Foundation for Life marks M&T Bank's commitment to our community and to the vision of James Barner for improving health care for local residents."

Representatives from more than 60 local businesses and foundations, as well as several community members, are expected to attend this special event. The Foundation for Life will present the 2008 Health Care Honors Award to James W. Barner, president and CEO of Altoona Regional Health System, in honor of his dedication to the preservation and advancement of health care for Central Pennsylvania.

Platinum sponsors for Health Care Honors include Blair Companies and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield.

For more information about Health Care Honors or the Altoona Regional Foundation for Life, call 814.889.6406.

The Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life is a private, 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization which exists to inspire gifts from individuals, foundations, corporations and other entities to support the preservation of health care for the well-being of community members in Central Pennsylvania. As a qualified charitable organization, donations to the Foundation for Life are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

M&T Bank is recognized for its financial strength and sound management. Founded in 1856, M&T Bank Corporation is one of the 20 largest U.S. bank holding companies with $65 billion in assets, and more than 700 branches and 1,600 ATMs in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington D.C., Virginia, New York, West Virginia, and Delaware. M&T Bank employs nearly 2,500 workers in Pennsylvania, and has 227 full-service branches and more than 600 ATMs in the commonwealth.






October 1, 2008 - ALTOONA REGIONAL INTRODUCES FREE HEARTAWARE PROGRAM

Altoona Regional Health System is providing a new, free service called HeartAware that will tell people without symptoms if they are at risk for heart disease and help them avoid a potentially fatal attack.

Cardiovascular disease is the single largest cause of death in the United States, affecting nearly one million Americans. Heart attack or sudden death is the first symptom of heart disease for 62 percent of men and 46 percent of women.

HeartAware prescreens people for heart disease using an online risk assessment. The assessment can be accessed via Altoona Regional's Web site at www.altoonaregional.org.

To launch the assessment, click on the "HeartAware" icon on the homepage and follow a series of simple steps. It only takes about seven minutes to complete, and results are kept completely confidential.

The assessment asks questions about such risk factors as weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, family history and smoking habits. Participants immediately receive a report detailing their risk for heart disease, as well as recommendations to reduce those risks.

People who meet the clinical criteria for being at risk for heart disease have the option of receiving a free consultation with a nurse practitioner at Altoona Regional. The consultation includes a blood pressure test, a painless blood draw to measure cholesterol, a brief physical exam and recommendations for risk factor reduction.

"Altoona Regional is committed to offering the highest level of cardiac care," said Sharon Ciccarella, R.N., director of Cardiology. "HeartAware allows us to identify people at risk, without symptoms, and intervene before an event occurs. They may feel healthy on the outside, but inside, many are ticking time bombs."

Persons interested in taking part in HeartAware are encouraged to visit Altoona Regional's Web site at www.altoonaregional.org. and click on the HeartAware icon.

For more information about HeartAware, call Altoona Regional's Vascular Institute at 889.2005.






September 22, 2008 - EDMOND J. BOU ASSAF, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF

Edmond J. Bou Assaf, M.D. Edmond J. Bou Assaf, M.D., recently joined the Altoona Regional Medical Staff in the department of Internal Medicine and the clinical service of Gastroenterology. He is affiliated with Blair Gastroenterology Associates, 810 Valley View Blvd., Altoona.

He has been board certified in Internal Medicine since 2003.

He received his medical degree from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, where he also did an internship. He also did an internship and residency at Staten Island University Hospital, New York. He received fellowship training at the State University of New York Health Science Center at Brooklyn.






September 22, 2008 - MEHRDAD GHAFFARI, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF

Mehrdad Ghaffari, M.D. Mehrdad Ghaffari, M.D., has recently joined the Medical Staff at Altoona Regional Health System in the clinical service of Pulmonology. He is affiliated with Blair Medical Associates-Pulmonology, 1414 Ninth Ave., Altoona.

He has been board certified in Internal Medicine and Pulmonary Disease since 2005 and 2007 respectively. His special interests are Critical Care Medicine and Sleep Medicine.

He received his medical degree from Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Iran. He received his residency training in Internal Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, and Sinai-Grace Hospital (formerly Sinai Hospital), Detroit, Mich. He received his fellowship training in Pulmonology/Critical Care Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.






September 19, 2008 - Jerry Murray named acting president/CEO of Altoona Regional Health System

After a diligent search involving more than 20 candidates and scores of hours of research and interviews, the CEO Search Committee of the Board of Directors has recommended to the full Board that Jerry Murray be named acting president and CEO of Altoona Regional Health System, effective Nov. 1, 2008. This appointment followed the planned retirement of James W. Barner, effective Oct. 31, 2008, who has served the organization for 30 plus years, and for the past 16 years as president/chief executive officer.

The full Board has accepted the recommendation unanimously. Health system owners Central Pennsylvania Health Services Corporation and Bon Secours Health System, Inc. have approved.

"After an extensive and rigorous process, Jerry emerged as the candidate with the most appropriate experience and credentials to lead Altoona Regional through its many challenges facing today's health care institutions," said Robert Montler, chairman of the Search Committee.

Montler said Murray will be given specific goals to achieve in his role as acting president and CEO, and his appointment will be reviewed after an appropriate time period. "At that review, the Board will determine whether to make the appointment permanent based on Jerry's performance," Montler said. "Also, Jerry will have that time to evaluate whether the position is a good fit for him long-term."

Murray, 54, has been senior vice president at Altoona Regional for the past four years; and, prior to that, he was in various leadership positions at Mercy/Bon Secours Holy Family Hospital for 19 years.

"I am honored to be chosen and excited about the opportunity," Jerry said. "I believe strongly in the mission and goals of Altoona Regional and look forward to helping us achieve our vision of becoming a world-class health care system."






September 18, 2008 - Blair/Bedford Builders Association donates $2,500 to Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life

Jim Brown, Kathy Hileman, Valerie Brumbaugh and Jan Grove The Blair/Bedford Builders Association recently donated $2,500 of proceeds from their "Builders for Kids" Golf Tournament to Altoona Regional's Foundation for Life for the purchase of two pulse oximeters for the Pediatrics Unit.

Staff use pulse oximeters on infants and children admitted with apnea, asthma or other respiratory infections. The oximeters constantly monitor the oxygen level and alarms if it drops below a set level.

The Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life is a private, 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization which exists to inspire gifts from individuals, foundations, corporations and other entities to support the preservation of health care for the well-being of community members in Central Pennsylvania. As a qualified charitable organization, donations to the Foundation for Life are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

Photo: Those in attendance for the Blair/Bedford Builders Association check presentation were (from left to right): Jim Brown, president, Blair/Bedford Builders Association; Kathy Hileman, secretary, Blair/Bedford Builders Association; Valerie Brumbaugh, president, Altoona Regional Foundation for Life, and Jan Grove, nurse manager, Altoona Regional Pediatrics Unit.






September 9, 2008 - CLINICAL SUPERVISOR RETIRES FROM FAMILY RESIDENCY PROGRAM

Colleen Becker, R.N.,C of Altoona Colleen Becker, R.N.,C, of Altoona retired Aug. 29 from Altoona Family Physicians, the family practice residency program of Altoona Regional Health System, with 34 years of service.

Becker was hired Aug. 13, 1974, as a clinical supervisor at the former Family Health Center of Altoona Hospital.

A native of Flint, Mich., she is a graduate of the University of Michigan with an associate degree in nursing.

She received Employee of the Month honors in October 1992, the Gallup Organization Management Skills and Concepts Award in April 1996 and the residency programís In Appreciation for Excellence in Resident Teaching Award in June 1999. She was twice certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center in Gerontological Nursing and Community Health Nursing. She maintains these certifications through continuing education.






September 4, 2008 - FAMILY DAY: DINNER MAKES A DIFFERENCE

FAMILY DAY — A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Family on September 22, 2008.


Launched by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA) in 2001, Family Day — A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Family on September 22, 2008 — is a national initiative that encourages parents to frequently eat dinner with their kids and be involved in their children's lives.

Research consistently shows that the more often children eat dinner with their families, the less likely they are to smoke, drink or use drugs. Family Day helps remind busy families of the invaluable role that parental involvement plays in steering children and teens away from substance abuse and other risky behaviors. This is an activity that anyone, anywhere, of any age, race, gender, ethnicity or socioeconomic status can participate in — having dinner with your family.

Locally, the eighth annual Family Day is sponsored by Altoona Regional Health System, Family Resource Center, Blair County Communities That Care, United Way of Blair County, Blair Countians for Drug Free Communities, Lamar Advertising, 2nd Avenue United Methodist Church and the Ecumenical Conference of Greater Altoona.

"America's drug problem is not going to be solved in courtrooms or legislative hearing rooms by judges and politicians. It will be solved in living rooms and dining rooms and across kitchen tables — by parents and families," says Joseph A. Califano Jr., chairman and president of CASA. "You are the most potent and underutilized tool to prevent your children from using substances and engaging in risky behavior."

Join us for a free family dinner on Monday, Sept. 22, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the 2nd Avenue United Methodist Church, 130 2nd Ave., Altoona. For reservations, call Becky Mingle at (814) 693-3112 by Sept. 16.

Also, watch for discounts from participating area restaurants on this evening!

Research indicates that children and teens who have frequent family dinners are:
  • At 70 percent lower risk for substance abuse
  • Half as likely to try cigarettes or marijuana
  • A third less likely to try alcohol
  • Almost 40 percent likelier to say future drug use will NEVER HAPPEN
  • Likelier to get better grades in school
  • Likelier to have parents who take responsibility for teen drug use.
For additional information about Family Day, visit www.CASAFamilyDay.org






September 4, 2008 - VOLUNTEERS, EMPLOYEES JOIN FORCES TO BENEFIT CANCER PATIENTS

Altoona Regional volunteers and Center for Cancer Care employees have joined forces to benefit cancer patients through a unique partnership to see that a tradition of creating turbans continues.

Beverly McKee, Janice Snowberger, Rose Price, Jane Litavish, Cindy Skupien For several years, Altoona Regional volunteers have sewn turbans for cancer patients and paid for material out of their own pockets. However, recent price increases in the costs of material have made the program cost prohibitive. When Cancer Center employees heard the program was in need of financial support, they donated money that ensures temporary continuation of the turban supply. Further donations would be welcome to ensure a future supply.

In the photo, Beverly McKee (left) of Altoona and Janice Snowberger of Duncansville present turbans to registered radiation therapists Rose Price (left) and Jane Litavish (center). Joining them is Cindy Skupien, manager, Volunteer Services, who helped coordinate the donation along with the Altoona Regional Foundation for Life.

The Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life is a private, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which exists to inspire gifts from individuals, foundations, corporations and other entities to support the preservation of health care for the well-being of community members in Central Pennsylvania. As a qualified charitable organization, donations to the Foundation for Life are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.






September 4, 2008 - SAFE KIDS BLAIR COUNTY OFFERS CAR SEAT INSPECTIONS ON NATIONAL SEAT CHECK SATURDAY

Event Kicks Off Child Passenger Safety Week


Safe Kids Blair County urges parents and caregivers to make sure their child safety seats are properly installed in their vehicles at the Second Annual National Seat Check Saturday on Sept. 20.

Certified child passenger safety technicians will be available to provide hands-on instruction on installing child safety seats at AAA Travel Agency, 1634 Valley View Blvd., from 10 a.m. to noon. Another checkup event will be held the same day at Wal-Mart in Altoona, from 3-8 p.m.

"It's the responsibility of every parent and caregiver to make sure their children are safely restrained — every trip, every time," said Sherry Turchetta, coordinator. "We are urging everyone to get their child safety seats inspected. When it comes to the safety of a child, there is no room for mistakes."

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) research, 8,325 lives of children under age 5 have been saved by the proper use of child restraints during the past 30 years. In 2006, among children under 5, an estimated 425 lives were saved by child restraint use.

Safe Kids coalitions around the country are joining NHTSA in National Seat Check Saturday activities to kick off Child Passenger Safety Week, which runs from Sept. 21 through 27. Safe Kids Buckle Up, the child passenger safety program of Safe Kids USA in partnership with General Motors and Chevrolet, holds child safety seat checkups and other vehicle safety events throughout the year. Nationwide, the Safe Kids Buckle Up program has reached more than 17 million people and has inspected 1 million car seats.

According to Turchetta, parents and caregivers should follow a few basic guidelines for determining which restraint system is best suited to protect their children in a vehicle:

1. For the best possible protection, keep infants in a back seat, in rear-facing child safety seats, as long as possible — up to the height or weight limit of the particular seat. At a minimum, keep infants rear-facing until at least age 1 and at least 20 pounds.

2. When children outgrow their rear-facing seats, they should ride in forward-facing child safety seats, in a back seat, until they reach the upper weight or height limit of the particular seat (usually around age 4 and 40 to 80 pounds).

3. Once children outgrow their forward-facing seats, they should ride in booster seats, in a back seat, until the vehicle seat belts fit properly. Seat belts fit properly when the lap belt lays across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt rests on the shoulder or collar bone (usually when the child is between 8 and 12 years old, approximately 4'9" tall and 80 to 100 pounds).

4. After children fully outgrow their booster seats, they should use the adult seat belts in a back seat. The lap belt should lay across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt rests on the shoulder or collar bone.

Safe Kids Blair County works to prevent accidental childhood injury, the leading killer of children ages 2-14. Its members include PennDOT District 9-0, Altoona Regional Trauma Center, Altoona Area School District, American Academy of Pediatrics, Pennsylvania State Police, Respiratory Disease Society, State Farm Insurance, Fiore Buick and Pontiac, Sheetz Inc. and Kiwanis.

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 1992 and is led by Altoona Regional Health System.






September 4, 2008 - Bob Perks Cancer Assistance Fund makes donation to improve comfort for cancer patients

The Bob Perks Cancer Assistance Fund recently donated $553.50 to Altoona Regional Health System's Foundation for Life for the purchase of four Fisher's Heating Comfort Paks to be used in the Radiation Oncology department. The Paks help reduce the "cool shock" for cancer patients with bare skin areas during treatment.

Valerie L. Brumbaugh, Alison Harclerode and Doreen Perks The Bob Perks Cancer Assistance Fund is a registered nonprofit organization that was established to provide financial support for basic necessities to individuals and families dealing with cancer.

The Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life is a private, 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization which exists to inspire gifts from individuals, foundations, corporations and other entities to support the preservation of health care for the well-being of community members in Central Pennsylvania. As a qualified charitable organization, donations to the Foundation for Life are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

Photo: Valerie L. Brumbaugh (left), president of Altoona Regional's Foundation for Life, and Alison Harclerode of Radiation Oncology (holding one of the Fisher's Heating Comfort Paks) were on hand to thank Doreen Perks of the Bob Perks Cancer Assistance Fund during her visit to the department.






August 26, 2008 - ALTOONA FAMILY PHYSICIANS RESIDENTS GRADUATE

Altoona Family Physicians (AFP) residents Fred Matthew Heaton, D.O., chief resident, and Peter S. Oh, D.O., recently graduated, having fulfilled the requirement of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, the American Board of Family Medicine and the American Osteopathic Association for a three-year residency training program in the specialty of Family Medicine.

Dr. Heaton remains in the area, practicing as Heaton Family Medicine in Roaring Spring.

Also, AFP residents Kochumol Thomas, M.D., and Michelle Lynn Cowden, M.D., fulfilled the requirements of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and the American Board of Family Medicine for a three-year residency training program in Family Medicine.






August 21, 2008 - ALTOONA COUPLE DONATES TO MEDICAL CLINIC

Altoona couple John and Sherry Forney of Forney Financial Solutions, LLC, has recently made a $4,000 donation to Altoona Regional Partnering for Health Services, the medical clinic for the working uninsured. The medical clinic is located at 501 Howard Ave., B Building, Room 204, across from the Altoona Hospital Campus of Altoona Regional Health System. It is staffed by physicians and other support personnel who volunteer their services. Joined by (from left) John Forney and Maggie D., R.N., Paula K., office manager accepts the check from Sherry Forney. Clinic staff's last names are withheld for reasons of professional privacy.

John and Sherry Forney of Forney Financial Solutions, LLC







August 21, 2008 - TWO NUCLEAR MEDICINE INTERNS COMPLETE EIGHT-MONTH INTERNSHIP

John Schwartz, Drew Appleman and Glauber Cabral
John Schwartz of Wellsboro, Pa., and Glauber Cabral of Clarkston, Mich., completed an eight-month internship at Altoona Regional Health System and graduated from the University of Findlay's Nuclear Medicine program earlier this month.

Schwartz is the son of Philip and Jerrie Schwartz of Wellsboro and a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nuclear Medicine.

Cabral is the son of Kleber and Glaucia Cabral, formerly of Brazil and now of Clarkston, and a graduate of Oakland University, Rochester, Mich., with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nuclear Medicine Technology.

The two comprise the third class of interns to participate in the cooperative program between Altoona Regional and Findlay, said Drew Appleman, supervisor, Nuclear Medicine Services.

The interns rotate between both the Altoona and Bon Secours hospital campuses. They are instructed in nuclear medicine radiopharmacy, imaging procedures, quality procedures, quality assurance, equipment, patient customer relations, diagnostic and therapeutic dosimetry, radiation safety procedures, federal and state regulations and interactions with other departments.

In late July, the internship program at Altoona Regional received reaccreditation when it was inspected by an independent organization, a representative from the Harvard School of Nuclear Medicine, Appleman said.






August 21, 2008 - SYSTEM NAMES NEW NIGHT CLINICAL MANAGER FOR ICU

Nicole (Harpster) Malicky, RN Nicole (Harpster) Malicky, RN, of Altoona has been promoted to clinical manager of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) on the Altoona Hospital Campus for the 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift.

Before her promotion, Nicole served as a staff nurse on the unit.

She was hired as a staff nurse in the ICU of Bon Secours-Holy Family Hospital in 1999 and transferred to Altoona Regional's Altoona Hospital Campus in January 2006.

Nicole graduated from the Altoona Hospital School of Nursing in 1994.

She recently married Kevin Malicky, RN, who works in the Altoona Hospital Campus ER and flies for Stat MedEvac.






August 21, 2008 - PRINTER RETIRES WITH 21.5 YEARS OF SERVICE

John Fornwalt John Fornwalt, a printer with Printing Services within the Supply Chain department at Altoona Regional Health System, recently retired with 21.5 years of service.

Fornwalt of Altoona began his career with Altoona Hospital as an Environmental Services assistant on Jan. 13, 1986. He transferred into Printing Services as a printer in June 1987. He received Employee of the Month honors in July 1992.

Before joining the hospital, Fornwalt was hired by the Mirror Printing Co. as a janitor in early 1965. In 1966, he began a six-year apprenticeship as a pressman in the pressroom. He worked there as a pressman until April 1985.

Fornwalt and his wife Cheryl have two children, Steven and Laura.






August 21, 2008 - Lemonade stand raises funds for Altoona Regional Cancer Center

Steven M. Cartun, M.D. Photo right: Lili Benzel (left) and Drake Patel present their donation to Jack D. Schocker, M.D., board member, Altoona Regional's Foundation for Life.

On June 13 and 14, Lili Benzel, 9, and Drake Patel, 10, took it upon themselves to help others by selling lemonade outside Benzel's Bretzel Bakery. In just two days, the pair raised $840. As additional donors came forward in the days that followed, they saw their efforts increase to $1,003.60, an amount Lili called "awesome."

"We met our goal," she said. "With that amount, I knew we could help more than just one person."

Drake was just as pleased.

"I'm excited the lemonade stand was a success," she said. "It was a hard two days of work, but it was worth it!"

The girls chose to direct their lemonade stand proceeds to Altoona Regional's Foundation for Life in support of the system's Center for Cancer Care.

"When an adolescent receives treatment or a child accompanies their parent or grandparent to treatment, it can be very frightening, even confusing," said Jack D. Schocker, M.D. "My staff and I are grateful for the opportunity to use the donated funds to purchase toys and educational items as a means of comfort, relaxation and entertainment during very confusing and worrisome times."

The Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life is a private, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which exists to inspire gifts from individuals, foundations, corporations and other entities to support the preservation of health care for the well-being of community members in Central Pennsylvania. As a qualified charitable organization, donations to the Foundation for Life are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.






August 18, 2008 - STEVEN M. CARTUN, M.D., JOINS MEDICAL STAFF

Steven M. Cartun, M.D. Steven M. Cartun, M.D., has joined the medical staff at Altoona Regional Health System in the department of Psychiatry and the clinical service of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health.

He is in practice with the Center for Behavioral Health Services at Altoona Regional.

Dr. Cartun has been board certified in both psychiatry and neurology since 1997.

He received his medical degree from the University of Missouri, Columbia. He did his residency in Laboratory Medicine at Yale University, New Haven, Conn., and his psychiatry training at Yale and the Institute of Living Hospital, Hartford, Conn.






August 18, 2008 - HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS SEPTEMBER PROGRAMS

The Healthy Living Club has scheduled its September programs:

A sign language beginners class, 12-week course, will be offered Wednesdays, Sept. 3 through Nov. 19 inclusive, 7-8:30 p.m. at Bon Secours Hospital Campus Education Center, Trzeciak Conference Suite, 2621 8th Ave. There is a $25 fee. Registration required. Class limited to 30. Register by calling 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

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.

Women, find out if you are at risk for osteoporosis Friday, Sept. 5, 12:30-3 p.m., by appointment only, in the Allegheny Room, Outpatient Center, third floor, Altoona Hospital Campus, 620 Howard Ave., Altoona. This bone mineral density screen is a noninvasive, painless tool that can help determine bone health and your risk for fractures. It can also monitor your response to various osteoporosis treatments. To make your appointment, call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

Join Sharon Rydbom as she guides you in making two adorable fall towels featuring a painted scarecrow and pumpkin to welcome the fall season. The craft class is Sept. 5 at 6:30 p.m. in the Trzeciak Conference Suite, Education Center, Bon Secours Hospital Campus. Cost: $6 if you have fabric paint brush. If not, $9 will provide fabric paint brush and Identi-Pen. Class will take approximately two hours.

Register by calling 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665. Class size limited to 25.

A Child Safety Seat Checkup Station will be offered Friday, Sept. 12, 9:30-11 a.m., Altoona Hospital Campus parking garage, Blue Level. Look for the Safe Kids van. No fee. By appointment only. Call Safe Kids Blair County at 889.7802.

Conflict causes emotional wounds and pain that need to be healed, not just managed. Healing brings wholeness, peace, restoration and good health. Dr. Mlen-Too Wesley, a conflict management specialist, faculty member at Penn State Altoona and member of the Altoona Regional Pastoral Care team, will help people with healing and building healthy interpersonal relationships during a six-week series Mondays, Sept. 8 through Oct. 13 inclusive, 6-7:30 p.m. at the Bon Secours Hospital Campus Education Center, Trzeciak Conference Suite. Fee $35. Registration required. Class size is limited. Register by calling 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

The AARP Driver Safety Program will be offered Tuesday, Sept. 9, and Wednesday, Sept. 10. This four-hour, two-night classroom refresher course starts at 6 p.m. and 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 classes are held in the Logan Room, 6th floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. Fee $10. Registration required. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

Join Dr. Arthur DeMarsico, board certified vascular surgeon and medical director of Altoona Regional's Vascular Institute, as he discusses the signs and symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), an often undiagnosed medical condition, Wednesday, Sept. 17, 6:30-8 p.m., Rotunda, 6th floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. No fee. Register by calling 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665. Healthy snacks will be provided.

The PAD program will be followed by an optional screening by appointment only. No fee. Limited space available. Must be registered for Dr. DeMarsico's program.

Call the Altoona Regional Health System Vascular Institute at 889.2005 to register for this screening. Kay Adams, Vascular Institute nurse manager, will perform an ABI (ankle-brachial index) screen, a painless screening in which blood pressure is measured in legs and arms to determine blood flow. Please be prepared to remove shoes and socks.

Altoona Regional is a nonprofit community health care provider. Two acute-care hospitals anchor the 497-bed system, which includes more than 20 affiliated health care companies. Altoona Regional offers centers of excellence in cancer care, heart care, neurosciences, behavioral health, vascular and wound care and much more. Its Regional Trauma Center serves more than 20 counties in Central Pennsylvania. The mission of Altoona Regional Health System is for exceptional people to provide exceptional health care.






August 8, 2008 - ALTOONA REGIONAL RECEIVES AMERICAN STROKE ASSOCIATION'S GET WITH THE GUIDELINES BRONZE PERFORMANCE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Altoona Regional Health System's Neuroscience Department Altoona Regional Health System's Neuroscience Department, which includes its Primary Stroke Center Program, has received the American Stroke Association's Get With The GuidelinesSM -Stroke (GWTG-Stroke) Bronze Performance Achievement Award. The award recognizes Altoona Regional's commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of stroke care by ensuring that stroke patients receive treatment according to nationally accepted standards and recommendations.

"With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and the GWTG-Stroke Bronze Performance Achievement Award addresses the important element of time," said Janet Ashurst, R.N., B.S.N., C.C.R.N., neuroscience clinical coordinator. Altoona Regional has developed a comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients admitted to the emergency department. This includes always being equipped to provide brain imaging scans, having neurologists available to conduct patient evaluations and using clot-busting medications when appropriate.

Photo above: Stroke team members include (from left): Front - Debbie Fornwalt, Janet Ashurst and Mark E. Lipitz, D.O.; Second row - Joseph D. Clark, M.D., James P. Burke, M.D., Ph.D., Steve Dentel, and Zhenui Steve Li, M.D. Sandra Lazor, PA-C, is also a team member.

To receive the GWTG-Stroke Bronze Performance Achievement Award, Altoona Regional consistently followed the treatment guidelines in the GWTG-Stroke program for 90 days. These include aggressive use of medications like r-tPA (the only drug approved by the FDA for stroke patients who are candidates for it), antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, DVT prophylaxis, cholesterol reducing drugs, and smoking cessation. The 90-day evaluation period is the first in an ongoing self-evaluation by the hospital to continually reach the 85 percent compliance level needed to sustain this award.

GWTG-Stroke Bronze Performance Achievement Award "The American Stroke Association commends Altoona Regional for its success in implementing standards of care and protocols," said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., national Get With The Guidelines Steering Committee Member and director of the acute stroke services at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. "The full implementation of acute care and secondary prevention recommendations and guidelines is a critical step in saving the lives and improving outcomes of stroke patients."

GWTG-Stroke uses the "teachable moment," the time soon after a patient has had a stroke, when they are most likely to listen to and follow their healthcare professionals' guidance. Studies demonstrate that patients who are taught how to manage their risk factors while still in the hospital reduce their risk of a second stroke. Through GWTG-Stroke, customized patient education materials are made available at the point of discharge, based on patients' individual risk profiles. The take-away materials are written in an easy-to-understand format and are available in English and Spanish. In addition, the GWTG Patient Management Tool provides access to up-to-date cardiovascular and stroke science at the point of care.

"The time is right for Altoona Regional to be focused on improving the quality of stroke care by implementing GWTG-Stroke. The number of acute ischemic stroke patients eligible for treatment is expected to grow over the next decade due to increasing stroke incidence and a large aging population," said Janet Ashurst.

According to the American Stroke Association, each year approximately 700,000 people suffer a stroke — 500,000 are first attacks and 200,000 are recurrent attacks. Of stroke survivors, 21 percent of men and 24 percent of women die within a year, and for those aged 65 and older, the percentage is even higher.

Altoona Regional is a nonprofit community health care provider. Two acute-care hospitals anchor the 497-bed system, which includes more than 20 affiliated health care companies. Altoona Regional offers centers of excellence in cancer care, heart care, neurosciences, behavioral health, vascular and wound care and much more. Its Regional Trauma Center serves more than 20 counties in Central Pennsylvania. The mission of Altoona Regional Health System is for exceptional people to provide exceptional health care.






August 4, 2008 - Friends of Altoona Regional nets nearly $10,000 for Maternity security system

Friends of Altoona Regional held its root beer float and basket raffle on July 11. A total of 40 baskets were entered — 31 baskets at Altoona Hospital Campus (AHC) and 9 at Bon Secours Hospital Campus (BSHC).

Friends raised $9,784 and proceeds will help offset the cost of a new security system for the Maternity department.

In honor of receiving the most tickets cast, root beer float 1st place trophies were awarded to "Christmas in July," donated by Supply Chain at AHC, and to the Preanesthesia Evaluation Unit at BSHC for "Gas X."

The most original basket honors went to Imaging Services at AHC for "Campfire Fun" and the Preanesthesia Evaluation Unit at BSHC for "Gas X."

The Maternity department is on the Altoona Hospital Campus, one of two acute care hospitals that anchor the 497-bed system. Altoona Regional is a nonprofit community health care provider. The system also includes more than 20 affiliated health care companies. Altoona Regional offers centers of excellence in cancer care, heart care, neurosciences, behavioral health, vascular and wound care and much more. Its Regional Trauma Center serves more than 20 counties in Central Pennsylvania. The mission of Altoona Regional Health System is for exceptional people to provide exceptional health care.

Friends of Altoona RegionalFriends of Altoona Regional
Friends of Altoona President Vicki Baughman (second from left) presents the Altoona Hospital Campus traveling root beer float trophy to Supply Chain employees Theresa Keefer, Donna Evangelisto and Cathy Ditosti.Employees from the Preanesthesia Evaluation Unit accept the Bon Secours Hospital Campus traveling root beer float trophy from Vicki Baughman, president, Friends of Altoona Regional. Pictured from left are (front row) Georgia Gampe, Phyllis Russo, Paula Vansickel, Beth Solensky, (back row) Cheryl Hileman, Vicki Baughman and Sue Barry.







July 29, 2008 - TERESA S. DOLAN, M.D., JOINS MEDICAL STAFF

Teresa S. Dolan, M.D. Teresa S. Dolan, M.D., recently joined the medical staff at Altoona Regional Health System in the department of Emergency Medicine. She has been board certified in Emergency Medicine since 2003.

She received her medical degree from Thomas Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, and did her residency training at George Washington University, Washington, D.C., and Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Ga.






July 29, 2008 - GREGORY J. FULCHIERO JR., M.D., JOINS MEDICAL STAFF

Gregory J. Fulchiero Jr., M.D. Gregory J. Fulchiero Jr., M.D., recently joined the medical staff of Altoona Regional Health System in the clinical service of Internal Medicine (Dermatology) with privileges in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

He is affiliated with Keystone Dermatology & Center for Skin Surgery, 2525 9th Ave, Suite 2A, Altoona.

Dr. Fulchiero Jr. has been board certified in Dermatology since 2007.

He received his medical degree from Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, and a master's degree in bio-engineering from The University of Pittsburgh. He did his internship in Internal Medicine and his residency in Dermatology at Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Hershey. He is fellowship trained in dermatologic surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas.

Dr. Fulchiero's special interests are skin cancer surgery, Mohs micrographic surgery and laser and cosmetic surgery.






July 28, 2008 - DOCTOR JOINS MEDICAL STAFF

Anuradha M. Dharbhamulla, M.D. Anuradha M. Dharbhamulla, M.D., recently joined the Altoona Regional Health System medical staff in the Laboratory Services department.

Dr. Dharbhamulla is board certified by the American Board of Pathology and Cytopathology.

d She graduated from Lady Harding Medical College, India, where she also did her internship and residency. She has a master's degree in clinical cytopathology from London University, United Kingdom. She also did a residency at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center, Johnstown. She has a special interest in cytopathology and received fellowship training in it at Magee-Women's Hospital, Pittsburgh.






July 11, 2008 - ALTOONAN APPOINTED SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT/CHIEF NURSING OFFICER

Chris Rickens of Altoona Chris Rickens of Altoona has been appointed to the position of senior vice president/chief nursing officer, responsible for the direction and management of the health system's nursing divisions.

Rickens had been serving as acting chief nursing officer since March 2007. Prior to serving as acting CNO, Chris served as surgical services director.

"Chris has held top nursing leadership positions in the past and brings much experience and skill to the position," Chief Operating Officer Ron McConnell said.

Rickens began his career as a certified surgical technologist at Mercy Hospital in 1983. He has held various positions of increasing responsibility through the years, including operating room charge nurse, nurse manager of surgical services, and director of surgical services.

Rickens received his associate's and bachelor's degrees in nursing, and his master's degree in health and human services administration from Mount Aloysius College.

He and his wife, Karen, have two children, Damon, 12, and Shaelyn, 11.

Chris is also a PIAA basketball official, coaches several of his children's teams and volunteers at events/fundraisers for his church and children's school.

Altoona Regional is a nonprofit community health care provider. Two acute-care hospitals anchor the 497-bed system, which includes more than 20 affiliated health care companies. Altoona Regional offers centers of excellence in cancer care, heart care, neurosciences, behavioral health, vascular and wound care and much more. Its Regional Trauma Center serves more than 20 counties in Central Pennsylvania. The mission of Altoona Regional Health System is for exceptional people to provide exceptional health care.






July 10, 2008 - TRAUMA REGISTRAR SELECTED FOR STATE AWARD BY PA EMERGENCY NURSES ASSOCIATION

Merlann Malloy, R.N., B.S.N., C.E.N. The Pennsylvania Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) has named Merlann Malloy, R.N., B.S.N., C.E.N., trauma registrar with the Altoona Regional Health System Trauma Service, as the recipient of the annual Leadership Award. The award is given to one of the organization's 1,620 members who "mentors new members, coaches and supports fellow peers at the local, state and national levels."

A member of the organization since becoming an emergency room nurse in 1979, Merlann has served on the local, state and national levels in a variety of capacities. Locally, she has served the offices of chapter president and as secretary several times. At the state level she has been secretary and served as a director on the board several times, serving also as the chairperson of both the trauma and nursing practice committees, each for several years.

She has also worked on the bylaws revision committees of both the state and local chapters. Merlann has attended the yearly ENA national general assembly as one of Pennsylvania's delegates missing only one national meeting since becoming a member.

Merlann also taught ENA's trauma course and as a result also became a course director and faculty member for the association's courses. She also coordinated local testing sites for the certification exam for emergency nurses.

She lives in Patton.






July 10, 2008 - BOILER OPERATOR RETIRES

Thomas L. Basinger Thomas L. Basinger, a boiler operator with the Engineering department, recently retired with four years and three months of service.

He first worked for the hospital for three months in 1999 during the building of the Trauma Center. He was rehired June 1, 2004.

He was previously a corrections officer with Rockview State Penitentiary for 25 years. He also served in the military for 21 years and six months: 11 years of active duty in the Air Force and 10 years, six months in the Army National Guard in Lock Haven.

He plans to enjoy his grandchildren, hunting and fishing in his retirement.

Tom lives in Irvona. He has four daughters, a son and seven grandchildren.






June 27, 2008 - ALTOONA REGIONAL RECEIVES APEX AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN PATIENT CARE FROM VHA INC.

The Pittsburgh office of VHA Inc., the national health care alliance, has recognized Altoona Regional Health System for demonstrating excellence in patient care. Altoona Regional is one of a few qualifying VHA member hospitals to receive VHA Pennsylvania's Achieving Patient Care Excellence (APEX) award.

Altoona Regional received the award for demonstrating extraordinary levels of clinical performance in treating patients who were experiencing acute myocardial infarctions (AMIs) or heart attacks. It is for the period July through September 2007.

"Receiving such an award from VHA validates our commitment to excellence," said Sandra Kozielec, director of Quality Management. "Our physicians and our nurses continue to work with other staff in our continuous performance improvement process to improve the quality of care provided to our patients. One way we are doing this is through compliance with national standards of excellent care."

For AMIs, this includes the administration of aspirin and beta blockers upon arrival and discharge, smoking counseling at a 100 percent rate 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."

Altoona Regional is a nonprofit community health care provider. Two acute-care hospitals anchor the 497-bed system, which includes more than 20 affiliated health care companies. Altoona Regional offers centers of excellence in cancer care, heart care, neurosciences, behavioral health, vascular and wound care and much more. Its Regional Trauma Center serves more than 20 counties in Central Pennsylvania. The mission of Altoona Regional Health System is for exceptional people to provide exceptional health care.






June 26, 2008 - STATE ENGINEERING SOCIETY NAMES JAMES DESTEFANO TO BOARD

James DeStefano, Altoona Regional director of Construction and Design The Pennsylvania Society for Health Facility Engineering has named James DeStefano, Altoona Regional director of Construction & Design, to its board of directors. DeStefano comes to the society with 21 years of experience in the health care industry, 17 with Altoona Regional.

DeStefano has also been a member of the American Society of Healthcare Engineering and National Fire Protection Association for over 10 years. He has sat on the City of Altoona BOCA Appeals Board for seven years and is on a committee of the City Planning Commission revising the planning code.






June 20, 2008 - JOHN P. KENNEDY, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF

John P. Kennedy, M.D., recently joined the Altoona Regional Medical Staff in the Obstetrics and Gynecology department.

Dr. Kennedy is affiliated with Altoona OB/GYN Associates 1701 12th Ave., Bldg. A, Altoona. He has been board certified since 2003.

He received his medical degree from Michigan State University, College of Human Medicine, East Lansing. He did his internship and residency at Miami Valley Hospital, Dayton, Ohio. His special interests are pelvic reconstruction, incontinence and vaginal surgery, and he "loves to deliver babies."






June 18, 2008 - Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life announces board of directors

Foundation for Life board of directors


Photo: Community members generously accepting seats on the Foundation for Life board are (from left): Seated — Nancy Devorris; Thomas C. Martin; Ann M. Benzel, chair; Joseph L. Antonowicz, M.D., and Nancy P. Campbell, secretary/treasurer; standing — Neil Port, vice chair; Michael A. Fiore; Valerie L. Brumbaugh, president; John A. Freas; Sherry L. DelGrosso; William G. Wallen; James P. Burke, M.D., Ph.D., and Jack D. Schocker, M.D.

Altoona Regional Health System's Foundation for Life recently unveiled the members of its inaugural board of directors.

Community members generously volunteering to serve are: Ann M. Benzel, chair; Neil Port, vice chair; Nancy P. Campbell, secretary/treasurer; Joseph L. Antonowicz, M.D.; James P. Burke, M.D., Ph.D.; Sherry L. DelGrosso; Nancy Devorris; Michael A. Fiore; John A. Freas; Thomas C. Martin; Jack D. Schocker, M.D., and William G. Wallen.

James W. Barner, president/CEO, Altoona Regional, admires the board's commitment to and passion for community health care.

"These special people are giving their valuable time to this health system and this community to help preserve high quality health care in Central Pennsylvania," he said. "I know they join me in viewing Altoona Regional as a community treasure, and they will work diligently to help us deal with the current economic climate to ensure we can continue to provide programs and services."

As the nonprofit fund-raising arm of Altoona Regional, the Foundation for Life was established to inspire gifts from individuals, foundations, corporations and other entities in support of the health system. The board of directors is charged with determining how best to allocate those funds when need arises within the system.

"Community support and philanthropy play a vital role in supporting Altoona Regional's vision of becoming a world-class health care organization," said Ann. "Our goal is to obtain the necessary funds to keep Altoona Regional moving in the right direction. No monetary gift is too small when it comes to impacting the health of our family and friends."

Valerie L. Brumbaugh, director of Development at Altoona Regional and president of the Foundation for Life, agrees.

"Grateful patients and their families exist throughout our community and have for countless years," she said. "From the early days of both hospital campuses, people have understood the importance of giving back to the community hospital, whether it is in the form of a monetary donation or a contribution of supplies and materials for day-to-day operations.

"I can only hope that our board's enthusiasm and commitment to the health system becomes contagious, and inspires others to make a difference for Altoona Regional patients by supporting the Foundation for Life."

Valerie suggests making an unrestricted gift, which allows your support to have the greatest impact. Recent gifts have included, but are not limited to, appreciated stocks, bequests, cash and in-kind donations.

For more information on how the Foundation for Life can help you fulfill your philanthropic wishes while supporting and preserving community health care, call 889.6406. As a qualified charitable organization, donations to the Foundation for Life are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.






June 16, 2008 - ALTOONA REGIONAL INFECTION PREVENTION PROGRAM WINS HAP AWARD

HAP Award Team

PHOTO: Employees who lead the Prevent Central Line Infections Central Line Associated Bacteremia (CLAB) project are: (front row, from left): Jacquie Rizzo, MSN, RN, CCRN, administrative director, Critical Care Services; Anita Grimes, MSN, RN, administrative director, Medical Surgical Services; Karma Darnell, RN, BS, Infection Prevention and Control nurse; Emma Weakland, RN, BSN, staff nurse, Quality Management; (second row, from left) Jennifer Bopp, RN, MSN, CNOR, clinical educator, Surgical Services; Douglas Stern, D.O., chair, Emergency Medicine, and Jim Noel, RN, MSN, CCRN, ATCN, nurse manager, CTICU/STICU.

Altoona Regional Health System has been recognized for its commitment to improving patient safety and eliminating patient injury and harm related to central line infections by The Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) and The Pennsylvania Institute for Healthcare Improvement Node Partners (IHI).

The health system implemented interventions under the auspices of the Pennsylvania Institute of 5 Million Lives Campaign. IHI's 5 Million Lives Campaign involves a membership network where health care organizations come together to achieve dramatic improvement results in clinical outcomes, patient and provider satisfaction, and financial performance with the goal of positively impacting 5 million lives.

The project, Prevent Central Line Infections Central Line Associated Bacteremia (CLAB), has resulted in an 89.7 reduction in the occurrence of these infections across the entire organization since implementation. No instances of CLAB have occurred in more than eight months.

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement provided Altoona Regional with a grant to support and recognize this work being undertaken related to the 5 Million Lives Campaign. Using the existing HAP Achievement Awards submission process, Altoona Regional was one of 11 organizations that submitted superior entries related to any of the campaign topics. These organizations were awarded a scholarship to attend the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Symposium April 14 and 15 in Gettysburg.






June 16, 2008 - HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS VISIT PEDIATRICS UNIT

Pediatric unit visit
Newborn Lilie Kroft and her dad, Bill, of James Creek received a visit from Huntingdon Area High School seniors (from left) Stephanie Miller, Amidia Frederick and Brittany McNeal, who visited children and their families in the Altoona Regional Health System Pediatrics unit in May to distribute gift bags. The gift bags contained crayons, coloring books and teddy bears as part of a National Honor Society hospital benefit project. The students also cleaned and organized the unit's playroom. They also offered to read to any of the children and their families.






June 16, 2008 - HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS JULY PROGRAMS

On Tuesday, July 8, the AARP Driver Safety Program presents a one-night only certificate renewal class only for those who have completed the class in the last three years. Renew your certification in just four hours, starting at 6 p.m. in the Logan Room, 6th Floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus, 620 Howard Ave. You must provide certificate of completion from the previous class or a letter from your insurance company. Fee is $10. Registration is required. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

Child Safety Seat Checkup Station is scheduled for 9:30 to 11 a.m., Friday, July 11, Altoona Hospital Campus parking garage, Blue Level. Look for the Safe Kids van. No fee. By appointment only. Call Safe Kids Blair County at 889.7802. Find out if your child's safety seat is installed properly. Your child's life may depend on it.

A Safe Sitter Class will be offered Monday, July 14, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Bon Secours Hospital Campus Education Center, Trzeciak Conference Suite, 2621 8th Ave. The $25 fee includes materials, snacks and lunch. Registration required. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665. Class size limited. 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. Participants will learn basic child-care and first-aid skills, keeping a house secure, how to prevent accidents and recognize common signs of illness, and how to rescue a choking child or infant.

"Hypertension: What's All the Hype?" will be presented Friday, July 18. Lunch begins 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.

Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to kidney failure, coronary artery disease and more. Dr. Ryan Ridenour of Blair Medical Associates will discuss the importance of controlling your blood pressure and the causes, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of this serious medical problem.






June 13, 2008 - SEVEN EMPLOYEES HONORED FOR 40-PLUS YEARS OF SERVICE

SEVEN EMPLOYEES HONORED FOR 40-PLUS YEARS OF SERVICE
The following employees were honored during National Hospital Week for 40-plus years of service to Altoona Regional Health System: M. Eileen Civiello, Ella Glass, Carol Laird, Michele Love, Darlene Newman, Virginia Pellegrino and Cheryl White.

Photo: Celebrating 40 years of service were (from left): Michele Love, Virginia Pellegrino, President and CEO Jim Barner who celebrated 30 years of service; Darlene Newman, Ella Glass and Cheryl White. Unable to be in the photo were M. Eileen Civiello, Anne Gehret and Carol Laird.

M. Eileen Civiello, R.N., of Altoona graduated from the Mercy Hospital School of Nursing in August 1967 and started her career at Mercy Hospital in October 1967 as a staff nurse on the orthopedics floor for six years. For the next several years, she worked on various medical surgical floors and the outpatient department clinics. In 1983, she transferred to Same Day Surgery where she continues to work today.

Ella Glass of Altoona was hired in September 1967 as a licensed practical nurse on 3B of the former Altoona Hospital. During her tenure, she has worked on 7E, Tower 12, Tower 14 and in Ambulatory Care and Progressive Care. She currently works on Tower 10.

Carol Laird of Altoona started her career in Medical Records, now called Health Information Management, with the former Altoona Hospital, in August 1967 as a medical records assistant. She has worked in various areas of the department and currently works in the physicians' area.

Michele Love of Bellwood began her employment with Altoona Hospital in September 1967 as a new graduate of Altoona Hospital School of Nursing. She worked as a staff nurse in various medical-surgical departments until 1990 when she transferred to Utilization Review, now the Case Management department, where she continues to work as a case manager.

Darlene Newman of Altoona, a native of Tyrone, was hired as a licensed practical nurse in March 1968. She completed nurses training at Centre Community Vocational School. She worked as an LPN before she transferred to the Health Information Management (HIM) department in 1978 to assume the position of historian. Since that time, she has remained within the HIM department, but has worked doing data entry and has received additional training as an atlas abstractor, which is her current position. As an atlas abstractor, she has maintained a 95 percent or greater accuracy on all data quality reviews, a requirement for this position.

Virginia Pellegrino of Altoona started with Altoona Hospital in March 1968 as a licensed practical nurse on 7-E. She then transferred to Tower 14 fifteen years later. In 1988, she transferred to T-11, where she continues to work today.

Cheryl White of Williamsburg was hired in August 1967 as a licensed practical nurse on Maternity at the former Altoona Hospital. She returned to school and graduated from Mount Aloysius College, Cresson, in 1971. Since then she has worked as a registered nurse in the intensive care unit, the recovery room, cardiothoracic-intensive care unit and catheterization lab. In 1982, she became a certified critical care registered nurse, and in 1984, she received her bachelor of science in Health Services from Elizabethtown University. She currently works in the Case Management department.






May 31, 2008 - ALTOONA REGIONAL INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY DEPARTMENT RESTRUCTURES

Dale Fuller
Dale Fuller has been hired by Altoona Regional Health System as chief information officer, and Keith Glaros has been appointed the new site executive by Siemens Health Services, the IT consultant for the health system.

Fuller's responsibilities will span the entire Information Technology spectrum as he will lead the overall strategy for the health care system. He has extensive knowledge in the IT field having served for many years as the CIO at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Beaufort, S.C. He also served in the past as the vice president of administration at the U.S. Naval Clinics in London and as the COO at the Naval Medical Clinic, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Keith Glaros
Glaros, of Youngstown, Ohio, previously served as the Siemens applications manager at Altoona Regional. This promotion makes him responsible for all contracted Siemens Information Technology services with Altoona Regional and he is now in charge of day-to-day operations in this area.

Altoona Regional is a nonprofit community health care provider. Two acute-care hospitals anchor the 497-bed system, which includes more than 20 affiliated health care companies. Altoona Regional offers centers of excellence in cancer care, heart care, neurosciences, behavioral health, vascular and wound care and much more. Its Regional Trauma Center serves more than 20 counties in Central Pennsylvania. The mission of Altoona Regional Health System is for exceptional people to provide exceptional health care.






May 30, 2008 - MEDICAL DIRECTOR OF TRAUMA/CRITICAL CARE SERVICES APPOINTED TO STATE TRAUMA COMMITTEE

Simon D. Lampard, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Simon D. Lampard, M.D., F.A.C.S., medical director of Trauma/Critical Care Services at Altoona Regional Health System, has been appointed vice chairman of the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American College of Surgeons/Committee on Trauma.

The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational association of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to improve the quality of care for the surgical patient by setting high standards for surgical education and practice. The College has over 70,000 members, making it the largest organization of surgeons in the world.

Dr. Lampard said he is honored to have this opportunity to represent trauma surgeons from Pennsylvania for the state chapter of the Committee on Trauma. He has been a member of the Pennsylvania Committee on Trauma (PACOT) since 2001 and previously was a member of the Florida Committee on Trauma.

"As medical director of Trauma/Critical Care Services, Dr. Lampard is committed to providing exceptional trauma care in Central Pennsylvania," said James W. Barner, president and CEO of Altoona Regional. "His hard work and dedication have been recognized by this prestigious appointment."

Through its Committee on Trauma, The American College of Surgeons works to improve the care of injured and critically ill patients — before, en route to, and during hospitalization. It conducts training courses in emergency care for ambulance personnel; sponsors courses for the management and prevention of injuries for trauma specialists as well as for physicians who do not treat trauma victims on a regular basis; and works to encourage hospitals to upgrade their trauma care capabilities.






May 30, 2008 - ALTOONA REGIONAL NURSE PUBLISHES REVIEW IN PROFESSIONAL JOURNAL

Jennifer Bopp, R.N., M.S.N., C.N.O.R.
Jennifer Bopp, R.N., M.S.N., C.N.O.R., a clinical educator for Surgical Services with the Education department at Altoona Regional, had a review of "Berry and Kohnís Operating Room Technique," edited by Nancymarie Phillips, published in the AORN Journal. The AORN Journal is the official publication of the Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses, an organization for nurses who work in, and in areas associated with, the operating room. Bopp lives in Summerhill.






May 30, 2008 - ALTOONA REGIONAL NAMES NURSE MANAGER OF INTENSIVE CARE UNIT

Irene M. Rubus, M.S.N., R.N., C.C.R.N.
Irene M. Rubus, M.S.N., R.N., C.C.R.N., of Hastings has been promoted to nurse manager of the Medical Intensive Care Unit, Altoona Hospital Campus.

Rubus started her career with Altoona Hospital as an LPN in 1977. Upon graduation from the nursing program at Altoona Hospital in 1981, she started as a medical surgical float registered nurse. Two years later, she moved to Medical Progressive Care as a staff registered nurse. After working in Medical Progressive for four years and as the evening shift charge nurse for three years, she transferred to the Coronary Care Unit, where she worked for 12 years. She then moved to Medical Intensive Care where she worked for seven years prior to her most recent promotion.

She received her bachelorís degree in nursing from the University of Pittsburgh and a masterís in nursing from the University of Phoenix. She is a dual member of Sigma Theta Tau International in the Eta and Omicron Delta branches. She is certified in critical care nursing.






May 15, 2008 - CLINICAL LABORATORY SCIENCE/MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY SCHOOL RECEIVES FOURTH CONSECUTIVE, SEVEN-YEAR ACCREDITATION

The National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) has awarded the Altoona Regional Clinical Laboratory Science/Medical Technology School its fourth consecutive, seven-year accreditation following a deficiency-free on-site inspection.

NAACLS is an independent nonprofit accrediting agency ensuring the quality and integrity of educational programs that prepare professionals to work in the laboratory. Through its voluntary accrediting and approval processes, it contributes to the improvement of the public's health.

The agency develops standards against which programs are evaluated, monitors their progress toward improvement and provides consultation and training to ensure entry level professional outcomes. The work of the agency is carried out by three review committees, a board of directors, executive office staff and hundreds of volunteers.

A seven-year accreditation may be awarded to a program that has: no full citations or marginal citations in the current review cycle; no full citations and up to two marginal citations in the previous review cycle, and no period of inactivity or probationary status during the last period of accreditation. No citations or recommendations were made during the site visit at Altoona Regional.

"The laboratory at Altoona Regional has been fortunate over the years to hire 56 of the school's graduates," said Director Joseph Pufka. "Many of those graduates still remain with us. This inspection confirms what we know — we have a high quality school."

The school has graduated 246 students in its 33-year history. The program is affiliated with Clarion University of Pennsylvania, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Juniata College in Huntingdon, Lock Haven University, Shippensburg University, Slippery Rock University, Saint Francis University in Loretto and Seton Hill University in Greensburg. These institutions grant a baccalaureate degree upon successful completion of the clinical year. Altoona Regional awards the graduate with a diploma and pin.

A clinical laboratory scientist, also known as a medical technologist, is a vital member of the health care team and provides precise laboratory test data necessary for the proper diagnosis and treatment of disease.

A clinical laboratory scientist must be able to use highly sophisticated analytical instruments, computers and sound judgment in the process of performing analysis on blood and other body fluids and tissues. A good deal of manual dexterity as well as integrity, reliability and accuracy are the trademarks of a successful clinical laboratory scientist.

In the laboratory, the clinical laboratory scientist may work as a generalist in all areas or specialize in an area such as blood bank, chemistry, hematology, immunology, microbiology or urinalysis. Employment opportunities are also available in related health care areas, in industrial and research labs, with medical supply companies, and in sales, service or technical development.






May 14, 2008 - DEBRA S. PIKE JOINS MEDICAL STAFF

Debra S. Pike, M.D.
Debra S. Pike, M.D., recently joined the Altoona Regional Health System medical staff in the department of Obstetrics & Gynecology. Dr. Pike practices with Blair Medical Associates OB/GYN, Station Medical Center, 1414 9th Ave., Altoona.

Dr. Pike is board certified by the American Board of Obstetrics & Gynecology. She received her medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh. She did her internship and residency at Western Pennsylvania Hospital.






May 9, 2008 - MAY IS MENTAL HEALTH MONTH: 'TREATMENT: WELL WORTH YOUR WHILE' THEME FOR EVENING'S PROGRAM

Discover how various programs and services in Blair County help individuals and families cope with mental health issues and drug and alcohol addictions by attending a free program at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 15, at the Ramada Altoona.

The free program, called "Treatment: Well Worth Your While," is the highlight of an evening designed to increase awareness of mental health and addiction treatment issues. May is national Mental Health Awareness Month. The local event is sponsored by Altoona Regional Health System, Community Behavioral Health Provider network of PA, Home Nursing Agency, Blair County MH/MR/D&A, National Association of Mentally Ill Blair County and Penn State Altoona Health & Wellness Center.

Doors open at 6 p.m., and various community service providers will have educational displays and free handouts available. No registration is required. For information, call 889-2706.

In the opening remarks, Joseph Antonowicz, M.D., medical director of Altoona Regional Behavioral Health Services, will explain the benefits of seeking treatment for various mental health and addiction issues and what treatment options exist.

Additionally, hear the inspirational stories of people who have overcome these issues and the benefits of seeking help:
  • A grandmother who experienced family-based services.
  • A mother whose son received autistic support services.
  • A high school student who receives support through the Student Assistance Program and private counseling.
  • A former TV personality whose experience with self-injury led her to author a book.
  • A man who benefited from drug and alcohol services.
The evening concludes with an inspirational candle lighting ceremony from the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill of Blair County.






May 7, 2008 - ORONDE A. SMITH JOINS MEDICAL STAFF

Oronde A. Smith, M.D. Oronde A. Smith, M.D., recently joined the Altoona Regional Health System medical staff in the department of Emergency Medicine.

Dr. Smith is board certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He received his medical degree from New York University School of Medicine and did his residency at Bellevue Hospital, New York.

He has special interests in EMS and disaster preparedness.






May 2, 2008 - GOLF TOURNAMENT BENEFITS ALTOONA REGIONAL PEDIATRICS UNIT

The Blair/Bedford Builders' "Builders for Kids" Golf Tournament to benefit Altoona Regional Health System Pediatrics Unit will be held Thursday, May 22 at Iron Masters Country Club in Roaring Spring.

The event will feature Hole in One and Closest to the Pin competitions and a complimentary beverage cart and dinner. Registration begins at 11 a.m. with a noon shot gun start. If the outing is cancelled due to inclement weather, all prizes will be awarded by drawing. Interested golfers or sponsors should contact golf committee chair, Galen Grimes at 330-4266 or call the Blair Bedford Builders Association office at 693-9710.

A portion of the net proceeds will be directed to the Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life and used to purchase vital signs and oxygen monitoring equipment for the Pediatrics Unit.

As a newly incorporated entity established as the fund-raising arm of Altoona Regional Health System, The Foundation for Life is a private, 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization which exists to inspire gifts from individuals, foundations, corporations and other entities to support the preservation of health care for the well-being of community members in Blair and surrounding counties. As a qualified charitable organization, donations to the Foundation for Life are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

The Pediatrics Unit is on the Altoona Hospital Campus, one of two acute care hospitals that anchor the 497-bed system. Altoona Regional is a nonprofit community health care provider. The system also includes more than 20 affiliated health care companies. Altoona Regional offers centers of excellence in cancer care, heart care, neurosciences, behavioral health, vascular and wound care and much more. Its Regional Trauma Center serves more than 20 counties in Central Pennsylvania. The mission of Altoona Regional Health System is for exceptional people to provide exceptional health care.






May 1, 2008 - Altoona Regional Foundation for Life and Friends of Altoona Regional raise nearly $30,000 through holiday fund-raisers

During the 2007 holiday season, Altoona Regional's Foundation for Life and Friends of Altoona Regional co-organized two events and raised $29,866.50 in support of Altoona Regional's Partnering for Health Services' Free Medical Clinic, which provides free health care to thousands of our working neighbors who are uninsured.

The first-ever Holiday Tree Shopping Spree Raffle, held at both hospital campuses in mid-November, raised $10,189. Over 40 health system departments participated by decorating a 3-foot holiday tree with ornaments and gifts to be raffled. Regional's Partnering for Health Services' Free Medical Clinic, which provides free health care to thousands of our working neighbors who are uninsured.

The annual Revealing the Angels Holiday Campaign, which included a bake sale, raised $9,677.50. For a $10 donation or higher, a paper ornament was placed on a holiday tree at a hospital campus in honor of or in memory of a special "Angel" who deserves recognition. Friends also delivered on its promise to match donations with a contribution of $10,000. Regional's Partnering for Health Services' Free Medical Clinic, which provides free health care to thousands of our working neighbors who are uninsured.

"In addition to touching the lives of thousands in need, the campaign reinforces the critical role that Altoona Regional plays in ensuring access to health care for all in our region," said Valerie L. Brumbaugh, president of Altoona Regional's Foundation for Life. Regional's Partnering for Health Services' Free Medical Clinic, which provides free health care to thousands of our working neighbors who are uninsured.

The Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life is a private, 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization which exists to inspire gifts from individuals, foundations, corporations and other entities to support the preservation of health care for the well-being of community members in Blair and surrounding counties. As a qualified charitable organization, donations to the Foundation for Life are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

Fund-raiser raises nearly $30,000


Photo: Vicki Baughman, president, Friends of Altoona Regional, presents a check for $29,866.50 to Zane Gates, M.D., left, medical director, Partnering for Health Services, Altoona Regional's free medical clinic, and William Wallen, chairman of the Board, Altoona Regional Partnership for a Healthy Community. Valerie L. Brumbaugh, president, Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life, was absent from photo.






May 1, 2008 - HEPATITIS C SCREENING SCHEDULED MAY 20; MANY PEOPLE MAY BE IN AN AT-RISK GROUP

A free Hepatitis C blood screening will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 20, at 501 Howard Ave., Altoona (across from Altoona Regional's Altoona Hospital Campus), B-Building, Room 204. The screening is free and confidential. Pre-registration is preferred but walk-ins will be accommodated as time permits. Participants must be age 18 or older. Call 889-6111 to pre-register or for information.

The screening is sponsored by Altoona Regional Health System, Altoona Regional Partnering for Health Services, Blair County Drug & Alcohol Services and Blair Gastroenterology Associates.

Hepatitis C is a virus that attacks the liver, causing cirrhosis or scarring, liver failure and liver cancer, and is most often contracted through high-risk behaviors such as intravenous drug use, tattoos and body piercing, and sharing needles or razors with someone who is infected.

Other situations in which exposure can occur include dialysis, blood transfusions or solid organ transplants before 1992. Also, health care workers or individuals who work with blood have an increased risk of exposure — two of every 100 will contract the disease.

Hepatitis C is known by nicknames like "the ghost virus" and "the silent killer" for its ability to evade widespread media attention and even medical diagnosis despite being one of the most prevalent causes of chronic liver disease in the United States.

By the year 2014, Hepatitis C will be a pandemic, affecting an extraordinarily high number of people over a large geographic area, including Altoona and much of Blair County.






April 29, 2008 - HEALTH SYSTEM'S MAGAZINE WINS NATIONAL AWARD

Altoona Regional's Healthy Living Magazine has won another merit award in the 25th Annual Healthcare Advertising Awards sponsored by Healthcare Marketing Report.

This is the third merit award for Healthy Living Magazine. The free publication is produced by the health system's marketing department and mailed to Healthy Living Club members four times a year. Altoona Regional's marketing department has also earned two gold awards in this competition.

This year's award comes in the category of Publication/External, competing against health care systems nationwide with revenue exceeding $300 million. Other winners in the same category included DeKalb Medical in Georgia and The Methodist Hospital System in Texas.

More than 4,400 entries were received this year, making the awards the largest health care advertising awards competition. A national panel of judges reviewed all entries based on creativity, quality, message effectiveness, consumer appeal, graphic design and overall impact.

The Healthcare Advertising Awards is the oldest, largest and most widely respected health care advertising awards competition. The awards are sponsored by Healthcare Marketing Report, the leading publication covering all aspects of health care marketing, advertising and strategic business development.

Altoona Regional is a nonprofit community health care provider. Two acute-care hospitals anchor the 497-bed system, which includes more than 20 affiliated health care companies. Altoona Regional offers centers of excellence in cancer care, heart care, neurosciences, behavioral health, vascular and wound care and much more. Its Regional Trauma Center serves more than 20 counties in Central Pennsylvania. The mission of Altoona Regional Health System is for exceptional people to provide exceptional health care.






April 25, 2008 - Accidental injury death rate of children 14 and under down by 45 percent since 1987, says Safe Kids USA 20th anniversary report

But accidental injury remains No. 1 killer of kids

Many deaths can be prevented; join Safe Kids Blair County to learn how


The accidental injury death rate of children 14 and under has declined by 45 percent in the United States since 1987, yet accidental injury remains the nation's leading killer of kids, according to a new national report release by Safe Kids USA in conjunction with National Safe Kids Week.

"We're losing too many children to an epidemic that can be prevented," said Mitch Stoller, president and chief executive officer of Safe Kids USA. "The 45 percent drop demonstrates tremendous progress, but we can't lose sight that accidental injury remains the leading killer of our nation's kids and that many of these injuries can be prevented."

"The drop in childrenís accidental deaths gives us thousands of reasons to celebrate — one for every single child that was saved from a serious or fatal injury," said Sherry Turchetta, local Safe Kids coordinator and Altoona Regional educator. "But weíre still losing too many kids in this country, which is why Safe Kids Blair County joins the national efforts to make child injury prevention a priority."

In celebration of National Safe Kids Week, Safe Kids Blair County will conduct a child safety seat check Thursday, May 1, from 2-4 p.m. at North American Communications, Duncansville.

National report findings
The comprehensive national report was undertaken by Safe Kids USA in celebration of the 20th anniversary of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations whose mission is to prevent accidental childhood injury. Entitled Report to the Nation: Trends in Unintentional Childhood Injury Mortality and Parental Views on Child Safety, the report examines accidental injury in the United States and its impact on children by age, gender and race, and reviews the changes in accidental childhood injury death rates in areas such as motor vehicle occupant injuries, drownings, suffocation (which includes strangulation and choking) and more. The report also compares current data to data from 1987 and 1997.

The report unveils many findings, including:
  • Only 58 percent of parents with children 14 and under report their child being involved in a serious accident or getting seriously injured as a major concern — a seven percentage-point drop since 1987.
  • There is little change from 1987 to 2007 in the amount done by parents to ensure their child's safety — due to reasons varying from parents actually feeling the chance of their child being seriously injured is slim (especially fathers); to reporting that taking all the necessary steps are a hassle; to 20 percent of low income families (household income levels under $25,000) saying many safety devices such as fire extinguishers and bike helmets cost too much.
  • Yet when parents do take action, they are not always taking the right steps every time their child is at risk of injury. For example, 31 percent of households with children 14 and under do not consistently ensure their children ride in the back seat of a car all the time; 24 percent do not consistently supervise their children around the water all the time and 18 percent do not always ensure their children (under 10 years of age) are with an adult when crossing the street.
In addition, the report demonstrates that among children 14 and under, accidental death rates are declining except for the childhood suffocation death rate which has increased by 21 percent. (This is partly due to a re-categorization of deaths previously attributable to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.)

The injuries examined in the report are serious, many resulting in death or permanent disabilities. Many children survive, but live with significant physical and emotional health consequences for a lifetime. The stress on the children, their families and the health care system cannot be underestimated. In 2000 in the U.S., injuries to children 14 and under cost society approximately $58 billion in medical bills and lost wages of the children's caregivers.

"The great strides made over the past 20 years in reducing accidental childhood injuries by Safe Kids USA, the American injury prevention community, parents and governments is reason for optimism," Ms. Turchetta said. "Yet all of us can do more to create a safer environment for the children of Blair County."

What parents can do
The four leading causes of death from accidental injuries to children 14 and under are suffocation (19 percent), motor vehicle occupant injuries (16 percent), drownings (16 percent) and pedestrian incidents (11 percent). Here are 10 steps Safe Kids Blair County recommends to parents that could have a major impact on their children's safety:
  1. Properly secure your children under age 13 in a back seat every time they ride in a car.
  2. Keep your children in the right type of car or booster seat until adult lap and shoulder belts fit them correctly.
  3. Make sure your children wear a helmet and other protective gear every time they bike, skate, skateboard or ride a scooter.
  4. Teach your children to cross streets at corners and look left, right and left again before crossing. Make sure children younger than 10 always cross the street with an adult.
  5. Always keep your eyes on your children when they are playing in or near water.
  6. Always make sure your children wear life jackets when riding on boats or playing in or near open bodies of water.
  7. Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors on every level of your home and outside of every sleeping area. Change the batteries once a year, and test them monthly.
  8. Do not place blankets, pillows or other soft items in a baby's crib. Keep small items such as toy parts, coins, buttons and beads away from children under age three.
  9. Keep poisonous items, such as medicines and cleaners, locked away and out of reach of children.
  10. Do not let your children play on stairs, furniture, balconies, roofs, or in driveways, streets or parking lots.
What government can do
"Our nation needs a coordinated strategy on children's injury prevention that allows us to turn research into safety strategies that save lives," says Martin R. Eichelberger, M.D., founder and director of Safe Kids Worldwide and chief of Trauma and Burn Services, Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. "From Capitol Hill to our local communities — we need to act together to make our neighborhoods and homes safer places for children to live, learn, travel and play."

Safe Kids Bair County joins Safe Kids USA in calling on national and state governmental leaders to recognize that accidental injury is the #1 threat to Pennsylvania's children, and in response, to marshal a multi-faceted effort (similar to what the nation has done to address drunk driving and smoking cessation) to eliminate this serious public health threat.

Some of their specific calls to action to government include:
  1. Congress continuing its efforts to modernize the operations and authority of the U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission so that it can better fulfill its critical mission of protecting consumers, especially children, from dangerous products.
  2. The President and Congress providing sufficient federal budget support for the other federal agencies charged with promoting child safety. Those agencies include the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the United States Fire Administration and the Centers for Disease Control (National Center for Injury Prevention).
  3. State legislators addressing specific risk areas — such as motor vehicle collisions by passing or improving laws that require all children to be appropriately buckled in a child safety seat (infant seat, forward facing child safety seat or booster seat) or seat belt in the back seat of motor vehicles.
National Safe Kids Week
National Safe Kids Week has been held annually for 20 years. This year's theme is Twenty Years of Preventing Accidental Injury and is supported by Safe Kids Worldwide's founding sponsor, Johnson & Johnson. In addition, Johnson & Johnson is sponsoring a Safe Kids USA public service advertising campaign with Nickelodeon and distributing safety information at retail locations. Academy Award-winning actress Marcia Gay Harden joined Safe Kids USA on April 28, 2008, to unveil a new report tracking the accidental childhood injury death rate in the United States since 1987. Some of the report's startling statistics demonstrate that in 2005 accidental injury claimed the lives of 5,162 children, ages 14 and under, and in 2006 there were more than 6.2 million children's emergency room visits for accidental injuries in this age group.

For more information or for a copy of the Report to the Nation: Trends in Unintentional Childhood Injury Mortality and Parental Views on Child Safety please visit www.usa.safekids.org. The report was funded by an educational grant from Johnson & Johnson.

Safe Kids Blair County works to prevent accidental childhood injury, the leading killer of children 14 and under. 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 1992 and is led by Altoona Regional Health System.

Safe Kids Blair County has local experts available for interviews.

All data in this news release is included in the Safe Kids USA Report to the Nation Trends in Unintentional Childhood Injury Mortality and Parental Views on Child Safety, April 2008

i[1] Ted Miller et al, "The Cost of Child and Adolescent Injuries and the Savings from Prevention," Injury Prevention for Children and Adolescents: Research Practice and Advocacy, 15-64, American Public Health Association, 2005






April 21, 2008 - SAFE KIDS BLAIR COUNTY PARTICIPATES IN UNITED WAY EVENT

In celebration of National Safe Kids Week, Safe Kids Blair County is holding an event featuring children's activities from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 26, at Penn State Altoona's Adler gym in cooperation with the United Way of Blair County's Week of the Young Child Celebration.

National Safe Kids Week is April 26 through May 3 and has been held annually for 20 years. This year's theme is Twenty Years of Preventing Accidental Injury and is supported by Safe Kids Worldwide's founding sponsor Johnson & Johnson. In addition, Johnson & Johnson is sponsoring a Safe Kids USA public service advertising campaign with Nickelodeon and distributing safety information at retail locations.

Academy Award-winning actress Marcia Gay Harden will join Safe Kids USA on April 28 to unveil a new report tracking the accidental childhood injury death rate in the United States since 1987.

Safe Kids Blair County works to prevent accidental childhood injury, the leading killer of children 14 and under. 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 1992 and is led by Altoona Regional Health System.






April 15, 2008 - Weight-loss surgery education session set for Tuesday, May 27

Are you considering weight-loss surgery? Plan to attend an important education session at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 27, in the Juniata Room, 6th floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. Join Bariatric Coordinator Paula Kustenbauder, MSN, RN, as she discusses available options for weight-loss surgery. Get the facts about medical, dietary and insurance-related requirements, and learn what to expect after surgery. Ample time will be allotted for your questions. No fee. Registration required. Call Altoona Regional's Bariatric Clinic at 889.3219.






April 16, 2008 - VOLUNTEERS GIVE BACK TO COMMUNITY THROUGH HOSPITAL SERVICE

During National Volunteer Recognition Week, April 27-May 3, Altoona Regional Health System salutes its 690 volunteers who contributed 114,544 hours to the health system in 2007.

Volunteering is an activity Bertie Raia does to give back to the community.

"To be able to give of oneself in your senior years and know that it does make a difference is truly a gift. Every return smile and thank-you make for a good day," she said.

For Dick Carothers, front desk greeter, volunteering is important, and volunteering at Altoona Regional is an "opportunity to help others, which gives you a feeling of self-satisfaction and accomplishment."

Ty Clouser, R.N., clinical manager of Same Day Surgery Unit/Post-Anesthesia Care Unit on the Bon Secours Hospital Campus, knows the value of volunteers.

"We have a number of very dedicated volunteers," he said. "They help out in so many different ways; for example, greeting patients and families, making up all our charts for daily admissions, and providing prayer services to help everyone feel at ease for their procedure that day. Volunteers play a very intricate part in the daily functions of this unit, which is the recipe for a smooth, fluent flow."

Diane Harris, director of Health Information Management, also uses volunteers in her department.

"Our volunteers are very important to our department," she said. "We value the time and dedication they provide to all of us. We certainly hope that they enjoy their time with us as much as we enjoy working with them."

"We truly appreciate each volunteer," said Cindy Skupien, Volunteer Services department manager. "My hat is off to all volunteers for the excellent service they provide. They are truly the heart of the community."

Altoona Regional is a nonprofit community health care provider. Two acute-care hospitals anchor the 497-bed system, which includes more than 20 affiliated health care companies. Altoona Regional offers centers of excellence in cancer care, heart care, neurosciences, behavioral health, vascular and wound care and much more. Its Regional Trauma Center serves more than 20 counties in Central Pennsylvania. The mission of Altoona Regional Health System is for exceptional people to provide exceptional health care.

Please note: A video/interview opportunity exists 11:30 a.m. to noon Thursday, May 1 at the Jaffa Mosque when we honor our volunteers with a luncheon.






April 7, 2008 - 28TH ANNUAL SENIOR HEALTH FAIR SET FOR WEDNESDAY, APRIL 9

WHAT: A health fair for ages 60 and older

WHERE: Jaffa Mosque, Broad Avenue & 22nd St., Altoona

WHEN: 8-11 a.m., Wednesday, April 9

WHY: Opportunity to promote health prevention messages on prostate cancer, coronary disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, liver and kidney disease, anemia and others.

Great video and interview opportunities. At the event, ask for Robin Beck of Blair Senior Services to direct you to sources.

Sponsored by Blair Senior Services Incorporated and Altoona Regional Health System






April 4, 2008 - JOINT STATEMENT WITH SEIU FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

We are pleased to report that after over eight hours of bargaining extending from Thursday to Friday, SEIU and Altoona Regional representatives made significant progress toward what we hope will be a tentative labor agreement, subject to ratification by the SEIU Negotiating Committee and its members and the Altoona Regional Board of Directors.






April 4, 2008 - PATTON MAN HIRED AS PATIENT ACCESS SUPERVISOR

Mike Means Mike Means of Patton, formerly of Baltimore, Md., and Altoona, was recently hired as a supervisor of the Patient Access department. His duties as supervisor on second shift include the supervision of six to nine employees, status transfers of patients, and verification of patients' insurance information, which is extremely important for reimbursement from both the government and private insurance companies.

Before coming to Altoona Regional, Means served as a health care financial consultant with McBee Associates of Columbia, Md.

Means earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Policy and Administration from the Pennsylvania State University, University Park.






April 4, 2008 - TWO NUTRITION SERVICES DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEES PROMOTED

Two Altoona Regional Nutrition Services department food service supervisors, Julie Lingafelt and Debbie Yoder, have been promoted to certified dietary managers.

They will be responsible for supervising the activities of all employees engaged in food service on two hospital campuses. This involves all food service for patients, employees, visitors and special functions; sanitation and food safety; food purchasing, proper receiving and storage. They also will be responsible for making sure all foods are prepared in accordance with prescribed diets, menus and standards.

Julie Lingafelt
Lingafelt, of Altoona, started her career in Nutrition Services in 1981 as a sanitation and food transportation and cold food worker at Altoona Hospital. She moved to Mercy Hospital as a dietetic tech, a position she held until January 1996 when she became a food service supervisor. Lingafelt has her Bachelor of Science degree in nutrition from Pennsylvania State University.

She has two sons, Matthew and Tyler.


Debbie Yoder Yoder was hired in March 1998 as a food service supervisor in Nutrition Services at Altoona Hospital. Formerly from Johnstown, she worked for Laurelwood Nursing Home as a dietary supervisor and as a customer service representative for Crown American Hotels.

Yoder has her Bachelor of Science degree in dietetics from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a concentration in hotel/restaurant management. She is a certified dietary manager and a certified food protection professional through the Dietary Managers Association. She is Servsafe certified through the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.

She lives in Altoona with her son, Aydan.






April 4, 2008 - ANNUAL REPORT HIGHLIGHTS HEALTH SYSTEM'S COMMUNITY IMPACT

In fiscal year 2007, Altoona Regional Health System provided in excess of $29 million in community benefit — beyond the health care services provided every day.

This tangible assistance is detailed in the latest Community Benefit Annual Report, which is available free to the public by calling 814.889.2271 and is on our Web site www.altoonaregional.org

Here are a few highlights from the report:

Altoona Regional provided free and discounted care (charity care) to the poor and people with no insurance. As a nonprofit community health care system, Altoona Regional's mission is to care for everyone. We offer charity care according to a patient's ability to pay. Community benefit: $825,431

Altoona Regional provides health care under government programs even though they pay less than what the care costs. Very often, care for low-income and uninsured or underinsured people covered by programs like Medicaid (Medical Assistance) and the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) is more expensive to give than the payment received from the government. The health system receives no payment for the difference but remains committed to caring for anyone in need. Community benefit: $9,541,916

Altoona Regional provides the community with critical services despite a financial loss. The community has specialized health care needs that only the health system provides. They include services such as trauma and emergency care, women's health care, renal dialysis, transitional care and behavioral health. Community benefit: $3,249,646

"Through the report, we seek to ensure the community that Altoona Regional is dedicated to a nonprofit quality and service ethic that guarantees help for all those who need it," said Jim Barner, President/CEO. "We remain committed to meeting community health care needs without regard to level of payment. We will expand health care access, reduce its disparities and help those who face obstacles in their daily lives."

Altoona Regional is a nonprofit community health care provider. Two acute-care hospitals anchor the 497-bed system, which includes more than 20 affiliated health care companies. Altoona Regional offers centers of excellence in cancer care, heart care, neurosciences, behavioral health, vascular and wound care and much more. Its Regional Trauma Center serves more than 20 counties in Central Pennsylvania. The mission of Altoona Regional Health System is for exceptional people to provide exceptional health care.






March 21, 2008 - HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS APRIL PROGRAMS

Find out if you are at risk for osteoporosis on Friday, April 4, 12:30-3 p.m. An osteoporosis screening (free heel scans) will be offered by appointment only in the Kaufman Dining Room, Bon Secours Hospital Campus. This bone mineral density screen is a noninvasive, painless tool that can help determine bone health and your risk for fractures. It can also monitor your response to various osteoporosis treatments. It's available for men and women. For an appointment, call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

An AARP Driver Safety Program will be offered 6 to 10 p.m., Tuesday, April 8, and Wednesday, April 9, in the Logan Room, 6th floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. The fee is $10. Registration required. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

This classroom refresher course 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.

Plan to attend the 28th Annual Senior Health Fair sponsored by Blair Senior Services and Altoona Regional Health System on Wednesday, April 9, at the Jaffa Shrine Facility. While there, join Altoona Regional recreational therapists Geoff Geesey and Jennifer Helsley for a presentation entitled, "The Attitude of Fitness," at 9:30 a.m., featuring ways to manage stress, plan time, use community resources and problem-solve to improve your well-being and satisfaction. Also get a 15- to 20-minute lesson on progressive muscle relaxation to start you on your way to a better life. No fee. Registration required for program only. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

A Child Safety Seat Checkup Station is scheduled for Friday, April 11, 9:30-11 a.m., in the Altoona Hospital Campus parking garage, Blue level. Look for the Safe Kids van. No fee. By appointment only. Call Safe Kids Blair County at 889.7802. Find out if your child's safety seat is installed properly. Your child's life may depend on it!

Getting pregnant can be as simple as withholding contraception. Yet, for some, it is an emotional, physical and financial burden. Join Dr. John Paulson, M.D., of Blair Medical Associates as he discusses prevention, diagnosis, myths and treatment options for infertility in his program, "Infertility: Are You at Risk?" at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 16. The program takes place in the Rotunda, 6th floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. There is no fee. Register by calling 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665. Class size is limited. Healthy refreshments will be served.

Is it a cold or allergies? Why do some people have allergies and others don't? How can they be prevented or avoided? How are allergies treated? What are the different types of allergies? Join Dr. Rakesh Verma, allergist and immunologist, Thursday, April 24, at Bon Secours Hospital Campus Education Center, Trzeciak Conference Suite, 2621 8th Ave., as he discusses and answers these questions and more for his presentation "Wage War on Your Allergies." Lunch is served at 11 a.m. followed by the program until 1 p.m. There is no fee. Registration required. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

Most of the 8 million to 12 million Americas who suffer from PAD (peripheral arterial disease) are unaware they have it. Join Dr. Arthur DeMarsico, board-certified vascular surgeon and medical director of Altoona Regional's Vascular Institute, on Tuesday, April 29, as he discusses the signs and symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of this often undiagnosed medical condition. 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.

There is no fee. Registration required. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665. Our last program was so popular, we decided to repeat it (please do not register if you attended in February).

In addition, if you make an appointment, Kay Adams, Vascular Institute nurse manager, will perform an ABI (ankle-brachial index) screen, a painless screening in which blood pressure is measured in legs and arms to determine blood flow. Please be prepared to remove shoes and socks. There is no fee, but space is limited. You must be registered for Dr. DeMarsico's program. Call the Vascular Institute at 889.2005 to register for this screening.

Gail Murphy, registered instructor in Hatha yoga, leads a seven-week program, which offers mind/body exercise, breath control, stretching and strengthening to promote mental, physical and spiritual well-being. Classes run Tuesdays, April 29 through June 17 (no class June 3). Fee $35. A class for beginners is offered from 5:30-6:40 p.m., and for those at the intermediate level from 6:50-8 p.m., in the Rotunda, 6th floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. Register now as class is limited to 25. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.






March 20, 2008 - ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES EMPLOYEE RETIRES WITH 18 YEARS OF SERVICE

Elaine Claar

Elaine Claar of Altoona recently retired from the Bon Secours Hospital Campus with 18 years of service. She was hired as an environmental services aide on Feb. 19, 1990, with the former Bon Secours-Holy Family Hospital.






March 20, 2008 - SUPPLY CLERK RETIRES WITH 18 YEARS OF SERVICE

Agnes Kirsch

Supply clerk Agnes Kirsch of Altoona recently retired from Altoona Regional Health System with 18 years of service.

Kirsch started her career in the Marketing Department Jan. 30, 1990, as a medical photographer where she worked until July 1994. She then worked for six months in Nutrition Services before transferring into the Nursing Services department as a supply clerk on the 8th floor, a position she held until her retirement.






March 14, 2008 - BRYAN J. FUNARI, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF

BRYAN J. FUNARI, M.D.

Bryan J. Funari, M.D., recently joined the Altoona Regional medical staff in the clinical service of Pediatric Cardiology, Department of Pediatrics and Newborns. He is in practice with Children's Hospital Heart Center, Pittsburgh.

He earned his medical degree from West Virginia University School of Medicine. He completed his residency at the University of Kentucky-Chandler Hospital and a fellowship at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. He is board eligible in Pediatrics.






March 12, 2008 - THREE ALTOONA REGIONAL PHYSICIANS EARN BOARD CERTIFICATIONS

Three Altoona Regional Health System physicians have earned certifications in their respective specialties:

Andrew W. Gurman, M.D., recently passed examinations in general orthopedics and surgery of the hand for recertification in both areas by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery through 2018.

Todd A. Sponsler, M.D., completed the requirements for maintenance of certification and is recertified by the American Board of Ophthalmology through 2017.

Ryan M. Zlupko, M.D., is a diplomate of the American Board of Obstetrics & Gynecology, certified for the period 2007 through 2013.

Andrew W. Gurman, M.D. Todd A. Sponsler, M.D. Ryan M. Zlupko, M.D.
Andrew W. Gurman, M.D. Todd A. Sponsler, M.D. Ryan M. Zlupko, M.D.







March 11, 2008 - ORTHOPEDIC SURGEON USES NEW DISC REPLACEMENT PROCEDURE FOR NECK PAIN PATIENTS

Charles J. Harvey, D.O., of Blair Orthopedic Associates & Sports Medicine performed a new cervical disc replacement procedure Feb. 18 at Altoona Regional Health System using the first artificial disc approved for this use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The new artificial disc, called the Prestige ® Cervical Disc Replacement, is inserted into the neck using a similar procedure that surgeons use when performing a spinal fusion. However, the Prestige disc, used in a procedure called "cervical disc arthroplasty," showed superior neurological and overall successful outcomes in recently concluded clinical trials that compared it to cervical discectomy and fusion (spinal fusion) procedures.

"What excites me the most about the Prestige Cervical Disc is that my patients who want to maintain motion in their necks have this new option," said Dr. Harvey. "This disc may revolutionize treatment options for surgical patients who normally would have only the option of a motion-restricting process of spinal fusion."

In spinal fusion, patients receive a cervical spine diskectomy and fusion using bone graft and a plate. A disc replacement eliminates the need for both the bone grafting and the plate, and motion is maintained.

In the U.S. clinical trial of Prestige, patients who received the disc showed improved neurological success at 24 months and improved overall success. The clinical trial is the largest completed, prospective, randomized controlled study of its kind regarding the cervical spine, enrolling 541 patients.






March 11, 2008 - ADAM M. BUDNY, D.P.M., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF

Adam M. Budny, D.P.M.

Adam M. Budny, D.P.M., has joined the Altoona Regional medical staff in the clinical service of Podiatry, department of Orthopedics. He is affiliated with Bert J. Altmanshofer, D.P.M., 1798 Old Route 220 North, Suite 201, Duncansville.

He received his medical degree from Des Moines University, College of Podiatric Medicine & Surgery, Des Moines, Iowa, and did his residency at St. Vincent Charity Hospital, Case Western Reserve, Ohio.

He is board eligible with the American Board of Podiatric Surgery.






March 10, 2008 - PATRICK D. RICE, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF

Patrick D. Rice, M.D.

Patrick D. Rice, M.D., recently joined the medical staff of Altoona Regional Health System in the Family Medicine department.

Dr. Rice is affiliated with Altoona Family Physicians, 501 Howard Ave., Suite F-2, Altoona.

He has been board certified in Family Medicine since 1995 and earned his medical degree from Loma Linda University School of Medicine in Calif. He completed an internship and residency at Altoona Hospital. His special interests are hospice and palliative care.






March 5, 2008 - TO NAP OR NOT TO NAP?

Would you ever think that Thomas Edison, Napoleon Bonaparte, Salvador Dali, Winston Churchill and Presidents Kennedy and Reagan had something in common? In fact, each of them enjoyed a regular nap.

Many people find that a 20- to 30-minute nap is restorative, especially during the normal afternoon circadian "dip" that usually occurs between 2 and 5 p.m. Napping can help maintain or even increase alertness and performance, sharpen memory and reduce symptoms of fatigue, especially during long periods of being awake. A nap can also help people adjust to the hour of sleep lost when Daylight Saving Time returns, at 2 a.m. Sunday, March 9.

However, napping, in general, is no substitute for a good night's sleep, says the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) and Altoona Regional Institute for Sleep Medicine.

"Naps can help people boost their alertness and performance — IF they are healthy and usually get sufficient sleep at night. But naps will not reverse total sleep debt and shouldn't be thought of as a substitute for a good night's sleep," says Mark Rosekind, Ph.D. "If you get sufficient sleep at night on a regular basis, you should not need a regular daytime nap." Dr. Rosekind is president and chief scientist of Alertness Solutions in Cupertino, Calif., which specializes in fatigue management issues.

While napping isn't a widespread occurrence at U.S. workplaces, one-third of respondents in NSF's 2000 Sleep in America poll said they would nap at work if it was allowed. NSF's 2005 poll found that more than one-third of America's adults take two or more naps a week, and these last an average of 50 minutes.

Timothy Lucas, M.D., medical director of the Altoona Regional Institute for Sleep Medicine, recommends a nap of around 30 minutes. "Even a shorter nap can take the edge off of sleepiness, but you want to avoid getting into a deep sleep, which can occur after a longer nap of around an hour, causing you to awake groggy instead of feeling refreshed," he said.

This sleep inertia or grogginess and disorientation that can occur when you awake from a deep sleep usually disappears in 10 to 15 minutes, but the accompanying lack of alertness can be critical at the workplace or when engaged in other activities such as driving.

If and when you nap, Dr. Lucas and the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) offer the following tips:
  • Determine an optimal nap time. Try not to nap too late in the day, which can disrupt your nighttime sleep. If you are having difficulty sleeping at night, don't nap during the day.
  • Find the right environment. Make the most out of your nap time and avoid surrounding distractions. Find a quiet place, block out light and noise; use an eye mask and/or ear plugs if necessary.
  • Be sure to make a good night's sleep a regular daily activity — on average, between seven and nine hours are recommended for most adults. Establishing this regular sleep habit may help you kick a nap habit. Do you know your real sleep need? Try to determine how many hours of nightly sleep you need to be alert and at your best performance throughout the day, then establish a nightly routine and make time for your needed sleep.
Here are some additional tips to help adjust to the return of Daylight Saving Time:
  • Try to sleep a bit more than usual a few nights prior to and immediately following the time change to help reduce any sleep debt you may be carrying.
  • Take a nap in the afternoon on Sunday if you need it, but not within a few hours of your regular bedtime. Remember, napping too close to bedtime can disrupt nighttime sleep.
NSF is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to improving public health and safety by achieving understanding of sleep and sleep disorders, and by supporting sleep-related education, research and advocacy.

Altoona Regional Institute for Sleep is an NSF Community Sleep Awareness Partner® working with NSF to help raise awareness about the importance of sleep.






February 21, 2008 - ALTOONA REGIONAL NURSE EARNS DEGREE, CERTIFICATION

Robin deKoning, RN, BSN, CEN, CFRN, PHRN, LNC

Robin deKoning, RN, BSN, CEN, CFRN, PHRN, LNC, of Altoona, who works in Nursing Administration and the Emergency Department at Altoona Regional's Bon Secours Hospital Campus, has earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Mount Aloysius College, Cresson. She also received a Nursing Management Certificate through Penn State Altoona in 2007. Additionally, deKoning serves as secretary for the local Emergency Nurses Association Chapter representing Altoona Regional. She is also a nurse with Geisinger Life Flight.

She and her husband, Chris, have a son, Cody.






February 21, 2008 - ALTOONA REGIONAL REGISTERED NURSE EARNS BACHELOR'S DEGREE

Chris deKoning, RN, BSN

Chris deKoning, RN, BSN, of Altoona, who works in the cardiac catheterization laboratory at Altoona Regional Health System, has earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Mount Aloysius College, Cresson.

He and his wife, Robin, have a son, Cody.






February 21, 2008 - TWO MEDICAL STAFF EMPLOYEES ACHIEVE RECERTIFICATION IN MEDICAL STAFF SERVICES/CREDENTIALING

Altoona Regional Medical Staff Administrative Director Kathy Vincent, RHIT, CPMSM, CPCS, and Credentialing/IT Coordinator Georgia Ray, CPMSM, CPCS, have been recertified by the Certification Commission of the National Association of Medical Staff Services.

Fulfilling the recertification requirements demonstrates that they are keeping current with the vital and ever-changing area of the medical services/credentialing profession. The recertification is effective Jan. 1, 2008, through Dec. 31, 2010.
Kathy Vincent, RHIT, CPMSM, CPCSGeorgia Ray, CPMSM, CPCS
Kathy Vincent, RHIT, CPMSM, CPCSGeorgia Ray, CPMSM, CPCS







February 21, 2008 - FOUR RESPIRATORY THERAPISTS PASS NATIONAL REGISTRY EXAMINATION

Four respiratory therapists at Altoona Regional have passed a national registry examination administered by the National Board of Respiratory Care. Passing this examination shows they have attained the highest level of proficiency in the field by passing written and clinical simulation tests. They are Misty Bauman of Claysburg, Jessica Hmel of Cresson, Lisa McDannell of Alum Bank and Chris Schrum of Bedford. It earns them the title of Registered Respiratory Therapist. Health consumers should look for the initials R.R.T., following a therapist's name to see if he or she has attained this level of proficiency.

Misty BaumanJessica Hmel Lisa McDannell Chris Schrum
Misty BaumanJessica Hmel Lisa McDannell Chris Schrum







February 12, 2008 - WEATHER CANCELS EVENING EVENTS TONIGHT

The following events have been canceled tonight at the Altoona Hospital Campus:

The Lap Band Support Group

Yoga classes

55 Alive Driver Training Classes. Rescheduled for March 11 and 12.






February 11, 2008 - HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS MARCH PROGRAMS

"Long-Term Living Services: What are the Options? Who pays?"

Join Melissa Raley, R.N., director of Long-Term Living Services with Blair Senior Services Inc., and Patti Defibaugh, Long-Term Living supervisor, Blair County Board of Assistance, as they discuss Blair County services and resources for long-term care (both in-home care and long-term care facility) Friday, March 28. Lunch at 11 a.m. followed by program until 1 p.m.

The program is 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

A conversational, sign language course for beginners will be offered for 12 weeks on Tuesdays, March 4 through May 20 inclusive, from 7-8:30 p.m. at Bon Secours Hospital Campus Education Center, Trzeciak Conference Suite, 2621 8th Ave.

Pastor Robert Smith of the Altoona Regional Pastoral Care department will teach this course. There will be assignments with the lessons, and a certificate will be given upon completion. You will need a three-ring binder.

The cost is $25. Registration required. Class limited to 30. Register by calling 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

Learn about the benefits of healing conflict in relationships with a six-week workshop offered Mondays, March 10 through April 14 inclusive, 6-7:30 p.m. at the Bon Secours Hospital Campus Education Center, Trzeciak Conference Suite, 2621 8th Ave.

This six-week workshop will help you understand that conflict needs to be healed and not just managed. Dr. Mlen-Too Wesley, a conflict management specialist, faculty member at Penn State Altoona and member of the Altoona Regional Pastoral Care team, will conduct this workshop with the purpose of helping people experience healing when conflict occurs and to build healthy interpersonal relationships and improve their lives.

The cost is $30. Registration required. Register by calling 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.






January 24, 2008 - ADDICTIONS COUNSELOR PROMOTED TO SUPERVISORY POSITION WITHIN ALTOONA REGIONAL CENTER FOR BEHAVIORAL HEALTH DRUG AND ALCOHOL PROGRAM

Gina Smithbower-Zabrosky, M.A., C.C.D.P.

Altoona Regional Addictions Counselor Gina Smithbower-Zabrosky, M.A., C.C.D.P., has been promoted to drug and alcohol clinical supervisor and will oversee the outpatient drug and alcohol program that includes both hospital — and school-based treatment programs and the Intensive Case Management/ Resource Coordination Substance Abuse program.

She began at the health system in 2004 as an addictions counselor. From then until her promotion took effect in mid-October, she worked as the clinical supervisor. In addition to her supervisory responsibilities on the Altoona Hospital Campus, she provides counseling services to middle school and high school students in the Bellwood-Antis School District.

Smithbower-Zabrosky earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Behavioral Science from Mt. Aloysius College and a Master of Arts degree in Human Services/Marriage and Family Therapy from Liberty University, Lynchburg, Va. She is also a certified co-occurring disorder professional.

Smithbower-Zabrosky resides in Gallitzin RD with her husband, John, and their son, Nathan.






January 18, 2008 - ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM PRESIDENT/CEO ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT

James W. Barner will retire October 31; board begins CEO search


ALTOONA, Pa. — James W. Barner, President/CEO of Altoona Regional Health System (ARHS), will retire October 31, 2008 after more than 16 years as President/CEO, and more than 30 years as an administrator with the healthcare system.

The Altoona Regional Health System Board of Directors accepted Barner's resignation "with regret," at its regular board meeting Thursday, January 17, said board member Robert W. Montler, chairman of Lee Industries. The board's executive search committee, led by Montler, immediately engaged the respected Witt/Kieffer executive search firm to begin a comprehensive national search for Barner's successor.

"When Jim became CEO in 1992, Altoona Hospital was a community hospital," said Dr. Robert E. Wertz, board chairperson. "During his years leading the organization, we've become a regional health system with world-class services in many medical and surgical subspecialties, including cardiothoracic surgery, neurosurgery and vascular surgery, and we became a Level II trauma center in 2001."

"Jim's greatest achievement as CEO was being the architect of the merger between Central Pennsylvania Health Services Corporation/Altoona Hospital and Bon Secours Holy Family Hospital (formerly Mercy Hospital), combining the staff, services and traditions of both organizations in 2004. As a result, we are today building a healthcare system for our community's future, eliminating the duplication of services and resulting in savings of healthcare dollars," said Don Devorris, board member of ARHS and prior Board member of both the Altoona and Mercy Hospitals.

"It's hard to consider the accomplishments of our healthcare system over the last few decades without considering Jim's role in all these milestones," Montler said. "His leadership has created a strong, innovative healthcare system that provides a remarkable range of services to people in the region. Jim will be missed."

"I'm grateful to the board, the medical staff, our employees, our organization, and to the entire community for giving me the opportunity to work and serve our community healthcare institution as a leader," Barner said.

"I have worked in healthcare administration my entire career of 38 years with 30+ years at Altoona. Over the years, the Board, Medical Staff, entire management team and our employees have worked hard in laying the foundation for ARHS to provide and sustain high quality healthcare to our region, and it is now time for me to move on to the next phase of my life. Approaching age 62 at retirement, I'll look forward to spending more time with my wife, my children and my new grandson," Barner added.

Barner's retirement announcement is in keeping with a plan approved by the board committee over two years ago in November 2005, Montler said. At that time, following the completion of the first year of the Altoona Hospital-Bon Secours Hospital merger, Barner expressed a desire to retire, but the board committee asked him to stay on for another three years, to assure the transition to a fully integrated regional healthcare system. Barner agreed.

On October 31, 2007, Barner told the board's executive search committee that he would follow through on his plan to retire on October 31, 2008. Thursday's board action begins the process of identifying a new CEO for the healthcare system.

Witt/Kieffer is familiar with Altoona Regional Health System; the board retained the firm when the health system's chief operating officer position opened in 2006.

Witt/Kieffer's role will be to support the executive search committee in coordinating a national recruitment process by identifying and assessing prospective candidates. The committee will begin by having Witt/Kieffer gain input from a variety of stakeholders concerning the skills and characteristics they believe the new CEO should possess. The selection process will involve external candidates nationwide, and will also include any interested internal or regional candidates that may emerge.

"This is one of the most important leadership roles within the health system, at the largest employer and one of the most prominent community institutions in the region," Montler said. "We owe it to the community to make this search as thorough and as comprehensive as possible. The board, our employees and the community expect nothing less."






January 10, 2008 - ALTOONA PIPE & STEEL DONATES CPR TEACHING EQUIPMENT, AUTOMATED DEFIBRILLATOR

Altoona Pipe & Steel Supply Co. donates teaching equipment

Altoona Pipe & Steel Supply Co. recently donated an automated external defibrillator and three cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) dummies for use in various training classes at Altoona Regional Health System. Altoona Pipe & Steel President Joel Hollander (center) presented the equipment to Doug Stern, D.O., (second from left) medical director of Emergency Medicine at Altoona Regional. Joining them for the presentation are Altoona Pipe & Steel employees (from left) Terry Mock, Tim Harris and Nick Rebar.






January 10, 2008 - ALTOONA REGIONAL EMPLOYEE GRADUATES FROM UNIVERSITY OF FINDLAY NUCLEAR MEDICINE PROGRAM

Mark Paris - X-ray technician Mark Paris of Claysburg, RT(R), an X-ray technician in the Imaging Services department of Altoona Regional Health System, graduated from The University of Findlay's Nuclear Medicine program after completing an eight-month internship at Altoona Regional.

The course consists of instruction in nuclear medicine radiopharmacy, imaging procedures, quality assurance, equipment, patient and customer relations, diagnostic and therapeutic dosimetry, radiation safety procedures, federal and state regulations and interactions with other departments. Completion of the program makes him eligible for the registry exam in nuclear medicine.






January 7, 2008 - ASHISH BEHL, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF

Ashish Behl, M.D. Ashish Behl, M.D., has joined the Altoona Regional Health System medical staff in the Internal Medicine department.

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

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

He graduated from the Government Medical College, India. He did his internship and residency at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.






January 7, 2008 - HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS JANUARY/FEBRUARY PROGRAMS

Altoona Regional's Healthy Living Club, in conjunction with Safe Kids Blair County, offers a Child Safety Seat Installation Checkup Station Friday, Jan. 11, in the Altoona Hospital Campus parking garage, Blue Level. Look for the Safe Kids van. No fee. By appointment only. Call Safe Kids Blair County at 889.7802. Find out if your child's safety seat is installed properly. Your child's life may depend on it.

Join Gail Murphy, registered instructor, for Hatha Yoga, which offers mind/body exercise, breath control, stretching and strengthening to promote mental, physical and spiritual well-being. Three different classes are being offered for a six-week series:

Tuesdays, Jan.15 through Feb. 19 in the Rotunda, 6th floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. Fee $30 (both beginner and intermediate classes).

Beginners: 5:30-6:40 p.m. Intermediate: 6:50-8 p.m.

Another Beginners class will meet 5-6:10 p.m. Thursdays, Jan. 17 through Feb. 21, Altoona Hospital Campus, School of Nursing auditorium (behind helicopter pad). Fee $30. Register now as classes are limited to 25. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

Need a healthy energy boost? Join Dona Baughman, R.D., LDN, clinical nutrition manager at Altoona Regional, as she explains how best to maintain a healthy diet through the doldrums of winter and what foods may boost energy levels. "Winter Eating for Energy" will be presented Monday, Jan. 21, 6:30-8 p.m. in the Rotunda, 6th floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. No fee. Register by calling 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665. Class size is limited. Healthy refreshments will be served.

A new year is upon us. If one of your resolutions is to take better care of yourself, please join family physician and hospitalist Dr. Ryan Ridenour of Blair Medical Associates as he discusses important steps you can take toward your good health in 2008! "Off to the Right Start" will be presented Friday, Jan. 25. Lunch is served at 11 a.m. followed by program until 1 p.m. in 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.

Find out if you are at risk for osteoporosis with a free osteoporosis heel scan by appointment only on Friday, Feb. 1, 12:30-3 p.m. Outpatient Center, 6th floor, Allegheny Room, Altoona Hospital Campus. This bone mineral density screen for women only is a noninvasive, painless tool that can help determine bone health and your risk for fractures. It can also monitor your response to various osteoporosis treatments. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

Join Sharon Rydbom, Altoona Regional's own craft diva, as she guides you in making a cute St. Patrick's Day wreath to welcome guests and family into your homes! Wreath-making takes place Friday, Feb. 1, 6:30-8 p.m. at the Bon Secours Hospital Campus Education Center, Trzeciak Conference Suite, 2621 8th Ave. The cost is $14. Materials needed include scissors, glue gun and glue sticks (don't special purchase), foil or paper plate to rest your glue gun on, two paper towels, Styrofoam plate or tray for paint, 15-inch piece of waxed paper and 6- to 8-inch brown paper bag. Register by calling 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665. Class size limited to 25.

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women. "Be Heart Smart" and learn more about the risks women have for this sometimes silent killer. Joseph Gattuso Jr., M.D., Cardiology Associates of Altoona, will address this very important topic Monday, Feb. 4, 6:30-8 p.m., in the Rotunda, 6th floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. February is Heart Health Awareness Month, and this is an opportune time to learn the latest prevention and treatment options to keep your heart healthy! No fee. Register by calling 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665. Class size is limited. Healthy refreshments will be served.

An AARP Driver Safety Program classroom refresher course will be offered 6-10 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12, and Wednesday, Feb. 13, in the Logan Room, 6th floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. The course 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. Fee $10. Registration required. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

Most of the 8 million to 12 million Americans who suffer from Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) are unaware they have it. On Friday, Feb. 29, join Dr. Arthur DeMarsico, board-certified vascular surgeon and medical director of Altoona Regional's Vascular Institute, as he discusses the signs and symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of this often undiagnosed medical condition. Ample time will be allotted for questions. Lunch will be 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. The program will be followed by an optional free screening by appointment only. You must attend Dr. DeMarsico's program to receive the screening.

The free PAD screening will be offered by appointment only on Friday, Feb. 29, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in the Oak Room (one flight up from Trzeciak) by Kay Adams, Vascular Institute nurse manager. She will perform an ABI (ankle-brachial index) screen, a painless screening in which blood pressure is measured in legs and arms to determine blood flow. Please be prepared to remove shoes and socks. No fee. Registration required. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665. You must attend Dr. DeMarsico's program to register for the screening.

Learn to be a healthier, more savvy grocery shopper with "Don't Put It on the Table Until You Read the Label: Giant Eagle Store Tour" on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2-3:30 p.m. Giant Eagle Grocery Store, Logan Towne Center, Altoona. "Light...low fat...no cholesterol." These terms bombard us while we do our grocery shopping.. What do they really mean? Which are the healthiest foods to buy? If you've made the decision to eat right and take better care of yourself in 2008, join Randy Grabill, Altoona Regional clinical dietitian, as he shows you how to understand nutrition information on labels and choose healthy and nutritious foods. No fee. Registration required. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.






January 3, 2008 - FIRST BLAIR COUNTY BABY OF NEW YEAR BORN AT ALTOONA REGIONAL

First baby of 2008 born at ARHS


Photo: Altoona Regional Chief Operating Officer Ron McConnell (right) welcomes the first Blair County baby of the new year, Noah DiVentura, and congratulates his parents Shena Long and Chris DiVentura of Altoona.

The first Blair County baby of 2008 was born at 8:02 a.m. Jan. 1 in Altoona Regional Health System's Maternity department to an Altoona couple.

Noah DiVentura was born to Shena Long and Chris DiVentura. He weighed 8 pounds, 14 1/4 ounces and was 21 inches long. Grandparents are Katie and Robert DiVentura, and Christina Frederick and Timothy Shoup, all of Altoona.

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 and a $25 gift certificate from Target
Fathers: $25 gift certificate from Target
Babies: $75 savings bond
Newborn picture taken at the hospital at no charge.








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