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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.


12/29/09 - THRIVENT FINANCIAL FOR LUTHERANS DONATES TO ALTOONA REGIONAL’S FOUNDATION FOR LIFE
12/29/09 - CONTACT INFO FOR FIRST BABY OF NEW YEAR
12/28/09 - NEW SIGNAGE RAISES STROKE CENTER AWARENESS
12/28/09 - ALTOONA REGIONAL EMPLOYEES PARTICIPATE IN PROJECT SANTA
12/28/09 - JOSEPH L. ANTONOWICZ, M.D., CERTIFIED BY AMERICAN BOARD OF ADDICTION MEDICINE
12/28/09 - NURSE MANAGER ASSUMES PATIENT RELATIONS ASSOCIATE POSITION
12/28/09 - ALTOONA REGIONAL’S EFFECTIVE HOSPITAL INFECTION PREVENTION MANAGEMENT LAUDED BY UNISON HEALTH PLAN OF PA; RECIPIENT OF GOLD STAR QUALITY AWARD
12/23/09 - ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SCHEDULES JANUARY PROGRAMS
12/22/09 - ALTOONA REGIONAL BEGINS SIGNAGE CHANGES
12/22/09 - Friends’ Holiday Tree Shopping Spree nets more than $9,000
12/18/09 - ALTOONA REGIONAL OFFERS SUPPORT GROUPS/CLINICS IN JANUARY
12/11/09 - MEDIA ADVISORY
12/11/09 - PRAYER PARTNER PROGRAM REINTRODUCED: VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
12/10/09 - Blair County Antique Auto Club donates to Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life
12/10/09 - ALTOONA REGIONAL RECEIVES ‘GET WITH THE GUIDELINES’ SILVER PLUS PERFORMANCE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
12/1/09 - CEREMONIAL TREE LIGHTING FRIDAY
11/30/09 - ALTOONA REGIONAL MEETS STATE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION INSPECTION REQUIREMENTS
11/30/09 - NURSE MANAGER ACCEPTS POSITION
11/25/09 - SUBWAY DONATES $2,000 TO FOUNDATION FOR LIFE
11/25/09 - ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM FOUNDATION FOR LIFE RECEIVES INSTALLMENT DONATION FROM M&T BANK
11/20/09 - BARBARA M. LABBAN, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF
11/16/09 - ALTOONA REGIONAL OFFERS SUPPORT GROUPS/CLINICS IN DECEMBER
11/13/09 - DECEASED PATIENT AT ALTOONA REGIONAL WAS POSITIVE FOR A-H1N1 VIRUS
11/13/09 - HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS DECEMBER PROGRAMS
11/12/09 - CASE MANAGER PROMOTED TO NURSE MANAGER OF MATERNITY AND NURSERY DEPARTMENT
11/12/09 - ALTOONA CITY FIRE DEPARTMENT RAISES $4,200 FOR ALTOONA REGIONAL FOUNDATION FOR LIFE’S TEAM PINK
11/10/09 - RICHARD P. KONSTANCE II, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF
11/09/09 - ALTOONA REGIONAL MODIFIES VISITING GUIDELINES
11/06/09 - ALTOONA REGIONAL NAMES NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF MISSION/CUSTOMER SERVICE; ANNOUNCES CHANGES IN PASTORAL CARE
11/09/09 - JEEVITH I. KUMARESAN, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF
11/05/09 - MEDIA ADVISORY
11/05/09 - REVEALING THE ANGELS HOLIDAY FUND-RAISER UNDER WAY; FESTIVITIES SET FOR DEC. 4 AT EACH HOSPITAL CAMPUS
11/05/09 - ALTERNATIVES TO HOSPITAL VISITATION: OTHER WAYS TO SHOW YOU CARE
11/04/09 - Altoona Regional Health System modifies visiting guidelines on both hospital campuses
11/03/09 - NEW PROCEDURE TO TREAT AORTIC DISEASES INTRODUCED AT ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM
10/30/09 - Friends of Altoona Regional Health System makes second donation for Maternity security system
10/30/09 - Friends of Altoona Regional Health System awards scholarships
10/28/09 - DEPRESSION SUPPORT GROUP MEETING CANCELED
10/27/09 - 2010 DAFFODIL DAYS KICKS OFF NOV. 18
10/26/09 - HOLIDAY SPLENDOR SET FOR NOVEMBER 13 AT CALVIN HOUSE
10/23/09 - PAWAN K. GUPTA ELECTED A FELLOW OF AMERICAN COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS
10/20/09 - ALTOONA REGIONAL ISSUES REMINDER TO VISITORS:
10/20/09 - ATTORNEY TO SPEAK AT ALZHEIMER'S SUPPORT GROUP
10/15/09 - ALTOONA COUPLE DONATES KNITTED BABY CAPS TO ALTOONA REGIONAL MATERNITY DEPARTMENT
10/14/09 - ALTOONA REGIONAL OFFERS SUPPORT GROUPS/CLINICS IN NOVEMBER
10/13/09 - THE HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS NOVEMBER PROGRAMS
10/09/09 - ALTOONA REGIONAL OFFERS GIFTS FOR WOMEN GETTING MAMMOGRAMS
10/07/09 - AREA FEMALE ATHLETES JOIN TEAM PINK TO RAISE BREAST CANCER AWARENESS AND GARNER SUPPORT FOR FOUNDATION FOR LIFE'S TEAM PINK DIGITAL MAMMOGRAPHY
10/06/09 - ALTOONA HOSPITAL SCHOOL OF NURSING ALUMNI DONATE TO TEAM PINK
10/05/09 - CLINICAL AND REHABILITATION PSYCHOLOGIST RETIRES WITH 20 YEARS OF SERVICE
10/05/09 - NEW GREETER COORDINATOR NAMED AT ALTOONA REGIONAL
10/05/09 - ALTOONA REGIONAL UNVEILS NEW ONLINE JOB APPLICATION SYSTEM
9/17/09 - PEDIATRIC DENTAL CLINIC RECEIVES $1,500 DONATION FROM SAM'S CLUB
9/17/09 - DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATE HIRED AT ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM FOUNDATION FOR LIFE
9/14/09 - THE HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS OCTOBER PROGRAMS
9/11/09 - ALAN J. KANOUFF, D.O., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF
9/11/09 - MARSHA L. HALEY, M.D., JOINS RADIATION ONCOLOGY STAFF
9/08/09 - ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM FOUNDATION FOR LIFE RECEIVES $10,000 DONATION FROM WEIS MARKETS INC.
9/03/09 - GREETER COORDINATOR RETIRES WITH 33 YEARS OF SERVICE
8/20/09 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
8/14/09 - ALTOONA REGIONAL OFFERS SUPPORT GROUPS/CLINICS IN SEPTEMBER
8/14/09 - HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS SEPTEMBER PROGRAMS
8/6/09 - ALTOONA REGIONAL PRESENTS FIRE DEPARTMENTS WITH FUNDS FOR PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCIES
8/4/09 - FRIENDS' ROOT BEER FLOAT SALE/BASKET RAFFLE NETS OVER $10,000
7/23/09 - NUCLEAR MEDICINE INTERNS GRADUATE FROM PROGRAM
7/14/09 - NEW ADMINISTRATIVE DIRECTOR NAMED FOR DEPARTMENT OF EMERGENCY MEDICINE
7/13/09 - HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS AUGUST PROGRAMS
7/9/09 - Altoona Regional Recreational Therapist Receives Professional Service Award
7/9/09 - Altoona Regional Health System School of Medical Technology/Clinical Laboratory Science Conducts 34th Annual Graduation Exercises
6/25/09 - PRIMAL REFLEX RELEASE TECHNIQUES HELP RESOLVE PAIN
6/22/09 - PARTNERSHIP FORMED TO ENHANCE SECTION OF CITY; VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR UPCOMING PHASE
6/19/09 - NEWS CONFERENCE ADVISORY
6/17/09 - HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS JULY PROGRAMS
6/15/09 - ALTOONA REGIONAL VALET OPERATIONS MANAGER WINS NATIONAL AWARD
6/12/09 - Local auxilians elected to state board of directors
6/11/09 - ALTOONA REGIONAL OFFERS SUPPORT GROUPS/CLINICS IN JULY
6/4/09 - 11 EMPLOYEES REACH 40-YEAR SERVICE MILESTONE
6/2/09 - DEPARTMENT OF EMERGENCY MEDICINE APPOINTMENTS ANNOUNCED
5/29/09 - SPECT/CT PROVIDES LATEST IN NUCLEAR IMAGING
5/22/09 - ALTOONA REGIONAL RECEIVES NATIONAL RECOGNITION FOR ORGAN DONATION RATES
5/22/09 - NEW SUPPORT GROUP STARTING FOR WOMEN WITH PELVIC PAIN
5/22/09 - NEWS CONFERENCE WEDNESDAY, MAY 27, AT 3 P.M.
5/21/09 - Altoona Regional's Elekta Synergy® S Radiation Treatment System Arrives
5/15/09 - ALTOONA REGIONAL EDUCATION DEPARTMENT ASSISTS WITH SKIN CANCER PREVENTION PROGRAMS IN SCHOOLS
5/14/09 - ANNUAL REPORT HIGHLIGHTS HEALTH SYSTEM'S COMMUNITY IMPACT
5/14/09 - ALTOONA REGIONAL DIALYSIS UNIT RECEIVES DONATION FROM CHRIS' HALLMARK SHOP OF ALTOONA
5/12/09 - ALTOONA REGIONAL OFFERS SUPPORT GROUPS/CLINICS IN JUNE
5/12/09 - HEALTHY LIVING CLUB ANNOUNCES JUNE PROGRAMS
5/07/09 - KISHOR D. PATEL, M.D., RECEIVES RECERTIFICATION BY AMERICAN BOARD OF PEDIATRICS
5/05/09 - Mount Aloysius students organize book drive to benefit Altoona Regional Health System
5/04/09 - INFLUENZA CASES AT ALTOONA REGIONAL NOT CAUSED BY H1N1 VIRUS
4/23/09 - HEPATITIS C SCREENING SCHEDULED MAY 19; MANY PEOPLE MAY BE IN AN AT-RISK GROUP
4/23/09 - GOLF TOURNAMENT BENEFITS ALTOONA REGIONAL PEDIATRICS UNIT
4/22/09 - National Safe Kids Week Kicks Off with a First-Time Safety Report Linking Research on Unintentional Injury and a Child's Development
4/16/09 - SURGERY CENTER NURSE RETIRES
4/16/09 - TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR ALTOONA REGIONAL'S WOMEN'S NIGHT OUT MAY 7
4/10/09 - Laura Hindinger Hired as Risk Manager
4/10/09 - MAY PROGRAMS SET FOR ALTOONA REGIONAL'S HEALTHY LIVING CLUB
4/8/09 - ALTOONA REGIONAL OFFERS SUPPORT GROUPS/CLINICS IN MAY
4/7/09 - SUICIDE PREVENTION TOPIC FOR MAY IS MENTAL HEALTH MONTH PROGRAM
4/7/09 - REGISTRATIONS BEING ACCEPTED NOW FOR AMBUCS BLOOD SCREENING PROGRAM SET FOR MAY 9
4/3/09 - Altoona Regional Orders Elekta Synergy® S Radiation Treatment System
4/2/09 - ALTOONA REGIONAL RECEIVES AMERICAN STROKE ASSOCIATION'S GET WITH THE GUIDELINES SILVER PERFORMANCE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
4/2/09 - ALTOONA HOSPITAL CAMPUS LAB RECEIVES ACCREDITATION FROM COLLEGE OF AMERICAN PATHOLOGISTS
4/2/09 - Altoona Regional's Foundation for Life and Friends of Altoona Regional co-organized two events and raised $24,660
3/30/09 - VOLUNTEER RECOGNITION SET FOR WEEK OF APRIL 19
3/25/09 - ASHA L. SWAIN, M.D., OBTAINS CERTIFICATE OF ADDED QUALIFICATIONS IN GERIATRIC MEDICINE
3/16/09 - Bob Perks Cancer Assistance Fund donates $929 to Altoona Regional Foundation for Life
3/6/09 - TWO BEHAVIORAL HEALTH NURSES RETIRE
3/5/09 - ALTOONA REGIONAL AWARDED ACCREDITATION FROM THE JOINT COMMISSION
2/24/09 - CENTER FOR BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SHARES NO. 1 RANKING
2/12/09 - THREE STUDENTS COMPLETE DEGREES DURING NUCLEAR MEDICINE INTERNSHIPS
2/09/09 - NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF PARTNERSHIP APPOINTED
1/28/09 - WILLIAM J. WIEDEMER, DPM, JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF
1/22/09 - LAMONT COUPLE MAKES DONATION TO ALTOONA REGIONAL PEDIATRICS UNIT
1/22/09 - JOEL A. TORRETTI, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF
1/15/09 - KELLY A. KANE, D.O., RECERTIFIED BY AMERICAN BOARD OF PEDIATRICS
1/13/09 - NEW MANAGER OF VOLUNTEER SERVICES NAMED
1/13/09 - DONALD J. BETAR JR., DMD, JOINS MEDICAL STAFF
1/09/09 - RALPH MCKIBBIN, M.D., FACP, HONORED WITH THE CANCER LIAISON PHYSICIAN OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE AWARD
1/09/09 - ALTOONA REGIONAL PEDIATRICS UNIT RECEIVES ADDITIONAL DONATIONS
1/08/09 - ALTOONA REGIONAL PEDIATRICS UNIT RECEIVES DONATION FROM INDEPENDENT AVON REPRESENTATIVE
1/07/09 - DIRECTOR OF ENVIRONMENT OF CARE NAMED

December 28, 2009 - THRIVENT FINANCIAL FOR LUTHERANS DONATES TO ALTOONA REGIONAL’S FOUNDATION FOR LIFE

Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life has received a $100 donation from the North Blair County Chapter of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans


Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life has received a $100 donation from the North Blair County Chapter of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans in support of TEAM Pink, the Foundation’s efforts to help bring digital mammography technology to the area.

Thrivent Financial members belong to a local chapter that provides a way for them to give back to their communities, congregations and causes they care about through charitable activities, as well as connect with one another for social and educational events.

“We are greatly appreciative of Thrivent’s commitment to community service,” said Valerie Brumbaugh, Foundation president. “It is especially significant to note that Thrivent Financial for Lutherans is itself a nonprofit entity, but is committed to the local community and understands the need to make digital mammography technology a reality for this area.”

To make a donation to TEAM Pink online, go to www.altoonaregional.org/gift_giving

Photo: Attending the check presentation were (from left): seated — Peggy Thatcher, Olivia Day and Betty Wilkinson; standing — Valerie Brumbaugh, Andrea Paul-Day, Lois Gutshall, Thrivent President Ed Partner, Chris Beaver, Karen Hansen, Vonda Goertz, Gary Thomas and Angie Fink.






December 28, 2009 - CONTACT INFO FOR FIRST BABY OF NEW YEAR

To set up interviews and video opportunities regarding first baby of the New Year coverage, contact Anne Stoltz at 814.934.1799 by 10 a.m. Jan. 1, 2010.

Altoona Regional Health System will provide gifts for the first baby born in 2010 and the last baby born in 2009. For your convenience, here is the list of gifts:

The family of the first baby born at Altoona Regional receives the following gifts:
  • Mother: a dozen red roses and a $50 gift certificate from Target
  • Father: $50 gift certificate from Target
  • Baby: $200 savings bond
  • A newborn picture taken at the hospital at no charge.
The families of other babies born here Jan. 1 receive:
  • Mother(s): ½ dozen red roses
    $25 gift certificate from Target
  • Father(s): $25 gift certificate from Target
  • Baby(ies): $75 savings bond
  • A newborn picture taken at the hospital at no charge.
The last baby born in 2009 at Altoona Regional receives:
  • Mother: a dozen red roses
    $50 gift certificate from Target
  • Father: $50 gift certificate from Target
  • Baby: $100 savings bond
  • A newborn picture taken at the hospital at no charge.







December 28, 2009 - NEW SIGNAGE RAISES STROKE CENTER AWARENESS

Workers from Blair Sign Company of Altoona will change the blue “Regional Trauma Center” sign on the Altoona Hospital Campus Trauma Center building to read “Regional Trauma and Stroke Center” in red, illuminated letters starting today. The work is expected to be completed Wednesday.

“The new sign will raise awareness that Altoona Regional Health System is accredited with a disease specific certification as a primary stroke center through the Joint Commission,” said Janet Ashurst, BSN, CCRN, neuroscience clinical coordinator. “This means a dedicated stroke steam of trained professionals is available to provide emergent evaluation and treatment to halt the progression of brain damage from stroke or impending stroke to area residents. The stroke team evaluates a patient through NIH stroke scale assessment, CT scanning, EKG and lab testing. It's available 24 hours daily.”

Stroke is the number three leading cause of death in the U.S. and the number one cause of functional disability.

Research has shown that compared to patients who received care in general medical units, patients on dedicated stroke units had: a 17 percent reduction in death; a 7 percent increase in discharge to home; an 8 percent decrease in the length of stay and the reception of a clot-busting drug rose from 2 to 10 percent.

In addition to the Stroke Center, the signage also promotes the Altoona Regional Trauma Center, accredited in 2001. As an Adult Level II trauma center, it serves more than 20 counties in Central Pennsylvania. It receives an average of 1,150 critically injured patients each year.

“Many of our patient's families are from out of town and the new signage will assist them in locating the trauma center,” said Simon Lampard, M.D. F.A.C.S., medical director of the Trauma Center. “It definitely makes the center more visible.”






December 28, 2009 - ALTOONA REGIONAL EMPLOYEES PARTICIPATE IN PROJECT SANTA

Altoona Regional employees adopted nine families with 40 children as part of “Project Santa” — a means of giving back to the community during the Christmas season.

ALTOONA REGIONAL EMPLOYEES PARTICIPATE IN PROJECT SANTA
Project Santa coordinator Dana Shade, Community Education coordinator with the Community Education Department at Altoona Regional, said employees always respond very generously and this year was no exception. “Individuals are screened by Catholic Charities and their 'wish lists' of gift ideas are given to us,” Shade said. “Employees select a Project Santa envelope marked for 'Santa's Elves' from our employee Christmas tree during our annual tree lighting ceremony. Written on the envelope is the age and gender of a child in need this holiday season. Inside the envelope are suggestions for gifts the child needs or wants.”

Gifts are given to the children in the family, although several grocery store gift cards were received for some of the families.

Photo: Chelsea Mock, trainer/Q/A Coordinator for Patient Access and Amy Ronzo, Patient Access representative, drop off the Patient Access department's gifts for Project Santa. The gifts from both hospital campuses filled a box truck.






December 28, 2009 - JOSEPH L. ANTONOWICZ, M.D., CERTIFIED BY AMERICAN BOARD OF ADDICTION MEDICINE

JOSEPH L. ANTONOWICZ, M.D. Joseph L. Antonowicz, M.D., medical director of the Altoona Regional Center for Behavioral Health, has been certified by American Board of Addiction Medicine. He is the only physician in Blair County certified in Addiction Medicine.

He is also board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and in Geriatric Psychiatry. Dr. Antonowicz received his medical degree from the University of Rochester, New York. He did his internship at Chestnut Hill Hospital, Philadelphia, and his residency at Chestnut Hill Hospital and Temple University Hospital, Philadelphia.






December 28, 2009 - NURSE MANAGER ASSUMES PATIENT RELATIONS ASSOCIATE POSITION

Carla Gregory-Beckton, RN Carla Gregory-Beckton, RN, of Altoona has accepted the position of patient relations associate in the Customer Service department.

She was hired as a registered nurse on the Medical Progressive Care Unit night shift in June 2002, then transferred to Tower 10 night shift and later accepted the third shift clinical manager position in June 2005. In November 2006, she assumed the responsibilities of the nurse manager of Tower 10, the position she held until her current move to Customer Service.

As patient relations associate, Gregory-Beckton handles questions and concerns from patients, patients’ families, patient surveys and other correspondence. She is responsible for the investigation of these concerns as well as tracking them through a database.

Gregory-Beckton received her nursing degree and a nursing management certificate from Penn State Altoona. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing.






December 28, 2009 - ALTOONA REGIONAL'S EFFECTIVE HOSPITAL INFECTION PREVENTION MANAGEMENT LAUDED BY UNISON HEALTH PLAN OF PA; RECIPIENT OF GOLD STAR QUALITY AWARD

Altoona Regional Health System’s low rate of hospital-acquired infections has captured the Unison Health Plan of Pennsylvania’s Gold Star II award, a pay for performance quality program that was developed to recognize and reward health care providers administering the highest level of quality care to its members. Unison Health Plan representatives recently visited Altoona

“Altoona Regional is the only hospital in Blair County qualified to receive such recognition,” said Jennifer Kessler, president of Americhoice/Unison Health Plan of Pennsylvania. “To recognize and reward this great accomplishment, the hospital has been awarded $50,000.” The award program is available to any hospital provider that qualifies by meeting the required measurements and goals.

Unison recognizes effective hospital infection prevention management as measured by the percentage decrease in the number of hospital-acquired infections documented annually by the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4). Hospital providers reporting rates lower than the state average have improved the quality of patient care by continuing to reduce the health system’s overall hospital-acquired infection rate. Specific areas of improvement noted by Unison are the prevention of bloodstream, urinary tract, surgical site, pneumonia, and multiple infections.

"Unison Health Plan takes an active role in the quality achievements of our member hospitals and physicians," Kessler said. "When we identify hospitals such as Altoona Regional, which exceed quality indicators in specific clinical areas, we think it’s very important to recognize them for their efforts in setting their facilities apart from others."

David Cowger, M.D., Altoona Regional’s chief medical officer, said, “Such strides in the quality of care as evidenced by the reduction in hospital-acquired infection rates are only possible thanks to the dedicated efforts of many, many people within our system. All of our employees place patient safety as our highest priority. A special thanks goes to our dedicated nurses and medical staff whose daily efforts on behalf of their patients make our health system and our community very proud.”

Photo: Unison Health Plan representatives recently visited Altoona to present a $50,000 bonus reward and a Gold Star II plaque in recognition of Altoona Regional staff’s outstanding achievement. Seated: Sandra Kozielec, director, Quality Management, Robin Milanak, provider relations field representative, Unison Health Plan of Pennsylvania; standing: Jacquie Strawser, administrative director, Critical Care Services; David Cowger, M.D., chief medical Officer, Jennifer Kessler, president, Health Choice/Unison Health Plan of Pennsylvania and Joseph F. Sheridan, D.O., chief medical officer, Health Choice/Unison Health Plan of Pennsylvania.

Unison Health Plan of Pennsylvania operates public-sector health care plans in Delaware, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Washington, D.C. As of September 2008, Unison serves more than 440,000 members and about 32,000 providers, such as practitioners and pharmacies.






December 23, 2009 - ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SCHEDULES JANUARY PROGRAMS

The Healthy Living Club has scheduled the following educational programs and screenings for January as a community service. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665 to make an appointment or to register. The Altoona Hospital Campus is at 620 Howard Ave.; the Bon Secours Hospital Campus is at 2500 7th Ave., and the Education Center is at 2621 8th Ave.

A Child Safety Seat Checkup Station will be conducted Friday, Jan. 8, 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.

A free Osteoporosis Screening (heel scan) is available for men and women by appointment only on Friday, Jan. 8, from 12:30-3 p.m. in the Kaufman Dining Room, Bon Secours Hospital Campus.

No fee. Call 889.2630 to schedule your appointment. Osteoporosis is often called the “silent disease” because bone loss happens without symptoms. Osteoporosis occurs when, over time, bone loss causes bones to become porous, brittle and more likely to break. This painless screening takes just a few minutes and assesses bone density in the heel (a good indicator of bone health and fracture risk) by using ultrasound. Please be prepared to remove shoes and socks.

A seven-week series entitled, "Freedom from Tobacco: Paths to a Tobacco-Free Future," is offered 5:30-6:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Jan. 12 through Feb. 23, Kaufman Dining Room, Bon Secours Hospital Campus. No fee. Registration required. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665. Join Machel Drahnak, certified tobacco treatment specialist, as she helps participants learn steps to become tobacco-free. Using materials from the Mayo Clinic Nicotine Dependence Center for smokers and smokeless tobacco users, Drahnak will provide you with steps to understand tobacco addiction, create a quit plan, change behavior and thinking about using tobacco, manage stress and weight, and prevent relapse. Approximately a six-week supply of free nicotine patches, gum or lozenges is available with a physician’s permission. Seating is limited.

AARP Driver Safety Program Refresher Course will be offered Tuesday, Jan. 12. This four-hour refresher course is for anyone who has taken the eight-hour course and is offered from 6-10 p.m. in the Logan Room, 6th floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. Fee: $12 for AARP members (AARP identification required); $14 for non-AARP members. Registration required. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

This classroom 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.

A Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) screening will be offered by appointment only 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 14, at the Vascular Institute, Altoona Hospital Campus, 3rd floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. No fee. Call 889.2005 or 1.877.855.8152 to schedule your appointment. Peripheral Artery Disease occurs when plaque clogs leg arteries or vessels and restricts blood flow. Untreated PAD can not only make walking difficult but may increase your risk of heart attack or stroke. Kay Adams, nurse practitioner and manager of Central Pa. Cardiovascular Associates, will check for PAD with an ABI (ankle-brachial index) screen, a painless process in which blood pressure is measured in legs and arms to determine blood flow. Please be prepared to remove shoes and socks.

A six-week series of Yoga will be offered Tuesdays, Jan. 19 through Feb. 23, in the auditorium of the School of Nursing (building behind helicopter pad), Altoona Hospital Campus. Fee $30 for either beginner or intermediate classes. Beginners: 5:30-6:40 p.m., Intermediate: 6:50-8 p.m. Register now as class is limited to 25. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665. Yoga mat is needed for all classes.

Gail Murphy, registered instructor in Hatha yoga, leads this program, which offers mind/body exercise, breath control, stretching and strengthening to promote mental, physical and spiritual well-being.

Join Sgt. Christopher Cohn of University Police, Penn State Altoona, for "Scams, Schemes and Cons: Don’t Be a Victim," Friday, Jan. 22. 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. What are the signs of being conned? How to avoid being a victim of fraud and scams? What to do if a victim?

The ever-popular "Don’t Put It on the Table Until You Read the Label: Get a Jump on the New Year! Giant Eagle Store Tour" returns with Randy Grabill, Altoona Regional clinical dietitian, 7-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 27, Giant Eagle Grocery Store, Logan Town Centre, Altoona. No fee. Registration required. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665. “Light,” “low fat,” “no cholesterol.” Find out what these terms mean. Which are the healthiest foods to buy? Grabill shows how to read and understand food labels and choose healthy and nutritious foods.






December 22, 2009 - ALTOONA REGIONAL BEGINS SIGNAGE CHANGES

Altoona Regional Health System has begun some preliminary consolidation efforts by installing new illuminated rooftop signage on the Tower building of its Altoona Hospital Campus.

“This historic and symbolic signage change reflects a visual beginning of our movement to one hospital campus that has begun and is planned to be complete in late 2010,” Ron McConnell, chief operating officer, said.

The sign manufacturer and installer is Sekula Sign from Dubois.

The planned closing of the Bon Secours Hospital Campus in late 2010 requires the expansion of the inpatient bed and emergency room capacity on the Altoona Hospital Campus, movement of many outpatient services to the Station Medical Center, and the reopening of the former Altoona Center building located adjacent to the Altoona Hospital Campus.

For inpatients on the Altoona Hospital Campus, plans include eight new ICU beds, two telemetry observation units totaling approximately 50 beds, and approximately 38 new or newly staffed telemetry beds. These beds will replace an average daily census of 50 inpatients on the Bon Secours Hospital Campus.

The new emergency room on the Altoona Hospital Campus, when completely renovated, will include approximately 52 treatment bays (an increase of 14 bays vs. what is now available on both hospital campuses). The expanded ER will take space vacated by Radiology, which will move its outpatient services to Station Medical Center.

“The consolidation/expansion comes with significant expectations from the community to reduce waiting times and provide truly exceptional service,” McConnell said. “We intend to accomplish that by redesigning our processes to increase patient flow in the ER. Currently, we have teams working to redesign patient flows to exceed the expectations of the community for emergency care. “

The former Altoona Center building will become a critical component for health care delivery following consolidation. The building, which will be linked to the Altoona Hospital Campus with an enclosed walkway, will house inpatient and outpatient behavioral health, wound care, information technology and data center, charge integrity, central scheduling and classroom space.

Finally, the Station Medical Center complex will become the hub for many outpatient services provided by Altoona Regional. The following departments will move to this new center located conveniently along 17th Street in Altoona.
  • A new outpatient imaging center – This full-service center will include two MRIs, two CT scanners (one of which will be a PET-CT), three digital mammography machines, five ultrasound rooms, two fluoroscopy rooms, two general radiology rooms, a chest X-ray room, a bone density room and a nuclear medicine camera.
  • Six-bed sleep lab
  • Neurology testing
  • Blood / lab draw stations
  • Occupational medicine
  • Physical medicine
  • Cardiac rehabilitation
  • Surgical pre-testing







December 22, 2009 - Friends’ Holiday Tree Shopping Spree nets more than $9,000

Gregg Weise, Friends ambassador, with Nina Ramsey, nurse manager, Vickie Gallardy and Cindy Mueller of the Surgery Center

Photo:: Gregg Weise, Friends ambassador, with Nina Ramsey, nurse manager, Vickie Gallardy and Cindy Mueller of the Surgery Center.


Friends of Altoona Regional held its annual Holiday Tree Shopping Spree on Nov. 20, raising $9,282 to support health system patients and their families.

In honor of receiving the most tickets/votes cast for their trees, traveling trophies were awarded to the Surgery Center at Altoona Hospital Campus and to the OR, PACU, Holding Room, Anesthesia and Recovery at Bon Secours Hospital Campus.

Friends of Altoona Regional is a voluntary auxiliary that raises funds in support of programs and services provided by Altoona Regional Health System. Annual membership fees are nominal. For more information, phone 889.7826. Membership applications are available online at www.altoonaregional.org/volunteers_friendsapp.htm.

Gregg Weise with Jerilyn McManigal, Eric Caldwell, Ashley Zendek and Sami Gallaher of the OR, PACU, Holding Room, Anesthesia and Recovery departments

Photo:: Gregg Weise with Jerilyn McManigal, Eric Caldwell, Ashley Zendek and Sami Gallaher of the OR, PACU, Holding Room, Anesthesia and Recovery departments.







December 18, 2009 - ALTOONA REGIONAL OFFERS SUPPORT GROUPS/CLINICS IN JANUARY

Altoona Regional Health System offers the following support group meetings and patient clinics in January as a public service to the community. They are listed alphabetically according to the campus on which they are conducted.

Support groups meeting on the Altoona Hospital Campus use the Allegheny and Bedford rooms and the Rotunda on the 6th floor of the Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus, 620 Howard Ave., Altoona. Dining Room B is adjacent to the main cafeteria. The 4F Conference Room is in the Behavioral Health Center, 5th Street and Willow Avenue.

The Bariatric Support Group meets at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 6, in the Juniata Room. Please call 943-7040 for information.

The Breastfeeding Support Group meets at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 27. Please call 889-2310 for room information.

The Caregivers Corner Support Group meets at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 7, at Hoss’s in Duncansville. For information, call 889-3123.

The Depression and Bipolar Support Group meets at 7 p.m. Wednesdays in Dining Room B., Fourth Floor, Tower. Call 889-2141 for information.

Diabetes Outpatient Education is available by individual appointment and group sessions. A referral by a physician is required. Call 889-2487 for information.

The Lap Band Support Group meets at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 6, in the Bedford Room. Call 943-7040 for information.

The Parkinson’s Support Group meets at 11 a.m. Monday, Jan. 25, at Hoss’s Restaurant, Altoona. Call 889-2141 for information.

The Support Group for Those Who Have Lost a Loved One to Suicide meets at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 20, in the 4F Conference Room. Call 889-2141 for information.

The following support groups and clinics meet at the Bon Secours Hospital Campus, 2500 7th Ave. The Trzeciak Conference Suite is in the Education Center at 2621 8th Ave. For Kaufman Dining Room, Sleep Medicine and fourth floor waiting room, please use the 7th Avenue entrance.

Alcoholics Anonymous meets at 8 p.m. every Monday in the Kaufman Dining Room. For information, call 946-9002.

The Breast Cancer Support Group meets at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 7, in the Trzeciak Conference Suite. For information, call 886-6458.

The Faith-based Bereavement/Grief Support Group meets at 6 p.m. Wednesdays, Jan. 6 and 20, in the fourth floor waiting room. For information, call 889-3323.

The Stroke Support Group meets at noon Tuesday, Jan. 12, in the Kaufman Dining Room. For information, call 889-4463.

A Wheelchair Clinic will be held at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 12, in the second floor Physical Medicine gym. Physician referral required. Call for information and appointment, 889-4463.






December 11, 2009 - MEDIA ADVISORY

When: 4:45 p.m. Monday, December 14, 2009

What: Menorah lighting ceremony

Where: Altoona Hospital Campus, Atrium

Why: A celebration of Hanukkah

Who: Hazzan Michael Horwitz, spiritual leader from Agudath Achim Congregation, along with children from the Congregation's Hebrew School






December 11, 2009 - PRAYER PARTNER PROGRAM REINTRODUCED: VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

Altoona Regional Health System's Pastoral Care department is looking for volunteers to serve in its Prayer Partner Program. This specialized ministry is seeking caring persons who are able to offer a gentle and compassionate presence, listening ear, and prayer to patients and families of all faith traditions in several outpatient areas.

Informational sessions for those who would like to explore this ministry will be offered on Wednesday, January 13, 2010, at 10 a.m. in the All Faiths Chapel at the Altoona Hospital Campus, and again on Thursday, January 14, 2010, at 10 a.m. in the Holy Family Chapel at the Bon Secours Hospital Campus. Specialized training will be provided for those entering the program, and the hours are flexible. For more information or to RSVP for one of the information sessions, please contact Tony Conrad, associate director, at 889-4323.

"We are looking for folks who love the Lord and have particular gifts that enable them to offer a gentle and compassionate presence, a listening ear and prayer to our patients of all faith traditions," Conrad said.







December 10, 2009 - Blair County Antique Auto Club donates to Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life

Blair County Antique Auto Club donates to Altoona Regional Foundation for Life's Team Pink campaign The Blair County Antique Auto Club recently made a $600 donation to the Altoona Regional Foundation for Life’s Team Pink campaign.

Team Pink has raised more than $100,000 from Altoona Regional employees, physicians and volunteers, as well as the community, to support bringing lifesaving digital mammography to our community.

To join Team Pink and make a donation, contact the Foundation for Life at 814.889.6406.

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 Central Pennsylvania. As a qualified charitable organization, donations to the Foundation for Life are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

Photo: At the check presentation were (from left): Drew Appleman, supervisor, Altoona Regional Nuclear Medicine, and club co-chairman; Valerie Brumbaugh, president, Foundation for Life, and Ron Reeder, club president.







December 10, 2009 - ALTOONA REGIONAL RECEIVES ‘GET WITH THE GUIDELINES’ SILVER PLUS PERFORMANCE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Award demonstrates Altoona Regional's commitment to quality care for stroke patients


Members of Stroke Team Altoona Regional Health System has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Silver Plus 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.

To receive the Get With The Guidelines Stroke Silver Plus Performance Achievement Award, Altoona Regional achieved at least 12 consecutive months of 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Performance Achievement indicators and achieved at least 75 percent or higher compliance with six of 10 Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Quality Measures during that same period of time. All are reporting initiatives to measure quality of care.

These measures include aggressive use of medications, such as tPA, antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, DVT prophylaxis, cholesterol reducing drugs and smoking cessation — all aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.

"With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and the Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Silver Plus Performance Achievement Award demonstrates that our staff is committed to providing care that has been shown in scientific literature to quickly and efficiently treat stroke patients with evidence-based protocols," said Janet Ashurst, neuroscience clinical coordinator, Altoona Regional Stroke Program.

"Altoona Regional is to be commended for its commitment to implementing standards of care and protocols for treating stroke patients," said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., chair of the Get With The Guidelines® National Steering Committee and director of the TeleStroke and 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."

Get With The Guidelines® 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 health care professional’s 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 heart attack or stroke. Through Get With The Guidelines® Stroke, customized patient education materials are made available at the point of discharge, based on patients’ individual risk profiles. The takeaway materials are written in an easy-to-understand format and are available in English and Spanish. In addition, the Get With The Guidelines® 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 Get With The Guidelines® 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 Ashurst. According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States and a leading cause of serious, long-term disability. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 45 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every three minutes, and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

For more information on Get With The Guidelines®, visit www.americanheart.org/getwiththeguidelines.

Photo: Members of the Stroke team are (from left): Sandra Lazor, PA, Janet Ashurst, Stroke Coordinator, neurologist Joseph Clark, M.D.; (second row, from left) Deb Fornwalt-Beiswenger, Steve Dentel, American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, Sharon Ciccarella, Director, and Christine Dively. Dentel presented the team with the Silver Plus Award. Altoona Regional is only the second stroke center in the state to receive it as of Nov. 24. Missing from the photo are neurologists Dr. Steve Li and Dr. Mark Lipitz.







December 1, 2009 - CEREMONIAL TREE LIGHTING FRIDAY

WHAT: Revealing the Angels Holiday Campaign ceremonial tree lighting and revealing of the “angels” honor/memorial board on both campuses.

WHEN and WHERE: 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 4, Altoona Hospital Campus lobby; 2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, Bon Secours Hospital Campus 7th Avenue lobby.

WHY: This year, the campaign helps support the Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life’s Team Pink effort to bring lifesaving digital mammography to the region.







November 30, 2009 - ALTOONA REGIONAL MEETS STATE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION INSPECTION REQUIREMENTS

Altoona Regional Health System’s departments of Radiation Oncology and Nuclear Medicine recently passed with no deficiencies an unannounced inspection by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

The inspection of equipment, facilities and licenses is to make sure Altoona Regional personnel are handling radioactive material in a medically safe way. The inspection also ascertains that employees and the public are protected through the use of safe handling practices.

Radioactive material is used in both diagnostic and therapeutic settings.







November 30, 2009 - NURSE MANAGER ACCEPTS POSITION

Joyce Haney, R.N., B.S.N. Joyce Haney, R.N., B.S.N., of Duncansville has accepted the position of nurse manager of Tower 10, a medical/surgical patient care floor on the Altoona Hospital Campus.

Haney was hired in 1985 as a staff nurse. In 2005, she became the nurse manager of B3, an orthopedics and medical/surgical floor, on the Bon Secours Hospital Campus.

She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Mount Aloysius College, Cresson.







November 25, 2009 - SUBWAY DONATES $2,000 TO FOUNDATION FOR LIFE

Nick Bennett, Debbie Finochio, Ann Benzel, Jared Fogle and the SUBWAY Mascot


The Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life recently received a $2,000 donation from SUBWAY Restaurants — a donation delivered by Jared Fogle, famed SUBWAY spokesman.

Jared met with fans at the recently opened restaurant in the lobby of the Altoona Hospital Campus after the check presentation. The money will be used for health education and health-related programming.

Accepting the check were (from left): Nick Bennett, SUBWAY franchise developer; Debbie Finochio, director of Altoona Regional Nutrition Services; Ann Benzel, chair, Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life, Jared Fogle and the SUBWAY Mascot.







November 25, 2009 - ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM FOUNDATION FOR LIFE RECEIVES INSTALLMENT DONATION FROM M&T BANK

Bob Bilger, Steve Foreman, Valerie L. Brumbaugh, Jerry Murray, Ann Benzel


M&T Bank recently made its second of five donations in the amount of $20,000 to the Altoona Regional Foundation for Life.

As the Title Sponsor of the Foundation’s October 2008 Health Care Honors event, M&T Bank generously pledged $100,000 in support of important programs and services that benefit health system patients and their families.

Representatives from more than 60 local businesses and foundations, as well as several community members, attended this charitable event. For more information on the Foundation for Life and its fund-raising activities, call 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.

Photo: At the check presentation were (from left): Bob Bilger, senior relationship manager, M&T Bank; Steve Foreman, regional executive, M&T Bank; Valerie L. Brumbaugh, president, Foundation for Life; Jerry Murray, president/CEO, Altoona Regional, and Ann Benzel, chair, Foundation for Life.







November 20, 2009 - BARBARA M. LABBAN, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF

Barbara M. Labban, M.D. Barbara M. Labban, M.D., recently joined the Altoona Regional Medical Staff in the Department of Internal Medicine, Clinical Service of Nephrology, Dialysis and Plasmapheresis. She is affiliated with Blair Renal Associates, 501 Howard Ave., Suite D204, Altoona.

She has been board certified in Internal Medicine since 2007.

Dr. Labban received her medical degree from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, where she also did an internship in Internal Medicine. She did her residency at the Staten Island University Hospital, New York, in Internal Medicine, and a fellowship in Nephrology at Columbia University, New York Presbyterian Hospital.







November 16, 2009 - ALTOONA REGIONAL OFFERS SUPPORT GROUPS/CLINICS IN DECEMBER

Altoona Regional Health System offers the following support group meetings and patient clinics in November as a public service to the community. They are listed alphabetically according to the campus on which they are conducted.

Support groups meeting on the Altoona Hospital Campus use the Allegheny, Juniata and Logan rooms. These rooms are on the 6th floor of the Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus, 620 Howard Ave., Altoona. The 3F Conference Room is in the Behavioral Health Center, 5th Street and Willow Avenue.

The Bariatric Support Group meets at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 2, in the Juniata Room. Please call 889-2350 for information.

The Breastfeeding Support Group meets at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 23. Please call 889-2310 for room information.

The Caregivers Corner Support Group meets at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 3, at Hoss’s in Duncansville. For information, call 889-3123.

The Depression and Bipolar Support Group meets at 7 p.m. Wednesdays in the Allegheny Room. Call 889-2141 for information.

Diabetes Outpatient Education is available by individual appointment and group sessions. A referral by a physician is required. Call 889-2487 for information.

The Lap Band Support Group meets at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 2, in the Logan Room. Call 889-2350 for information.

The Parkinson's Support Group meets at 11 a.m. Monday, Dec. 28, at Hoss’s Restaurant, Altoona. Call 889-2141 for information.

The Stroke Support Group meets at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10, in the Allegheny Room. Call 889-3155 for information.

The Support Group for Those Who Have Lost a Loved One to Suicide meets at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 16, in the 3F Conference Room. Call 889-2141 for information.

The following support groups and clinics meet at the Bon Secours Hospital Campus, 2500 7th Ave. The Trzeciak Conference Suite is in the Education Center at 2621 8th Ave. For Kaufman Dining Room, Rehabilitation, Sleep Medicine and fourth floor waiting room, please use the 7th Avenue entrance.

Alcoholics Anonymous meets at 8 p.m. every Monday in the Kaufman Dining Room. For information, call 946-9002.

The Amputee Clinic is conducted at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 16, in the Rehabilitation department. For information, call 889-4463.

The Breast Cancer Support Group meets at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3, in the Trzeciak Conference Suite. For information, call 886-6458.

The Faith-based Bereavement/Grief Support Group meets at 6 p.m. Wednesdays, Dec. 2 and 16, in the fourth floor waiting room. For information, call 889-3323.

The Stroke Support Group meets at noon Tuesday, Dec. 8, in the Kaufman Dining Room. For information, call 889-4463.

A Wheelchair Clinic will be held at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 8, in the Rehabilitation department. Physician referral required. Call for information and appointment, 889-4463.







November 13, 2009 - DECEASED PATIENT AT ALTOONA REGIONAL WAS POSITIVE FOR A-H1N1 VIRUS

A patient at Altoona Regional Health System who tested positive for the influenza A-H1N1 virus has died. The A-H1N1 diagnosis has been confirmed by the state Department of Health.

The patient was 22 years old and had multiple other medical problems.

The health system has seen an increased number of cases of A-H1N1 in recent weeks and has responded appropriately, following all protocols established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the state Department of Health.

In addition, visiting guidelines have been modified to protect patients, visitors and staff from the spread of the virus.

"Deaths occur every year from the flu," said Dr. David Cowger, the health system's chief medical officer. "This should not cause undue alarm but should serve as a reminder to people to take the recommended precautions against infection."

Dr. Cowger encouraged people to check with their health care provider regarding immunization against both seasonal and A-H1N1 influenzas.

The health system’s Infection Control department encourages people to continue to follow the precautions everyone should take during any flu season. They include:
  • Good respiratory / cough etiquette: Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw your tissue in the trash. Perform hand hygiene afterward.
  • Good hand hygiene: Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
Flu-like symptoms can include fever, body aches, runny nose, sore throat, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea. If you are ill with these symptoms, and you have recently traveled to areas where influenza A-H1N1, or swine flu, has been identified, you may want to contact your health care provider so he or she can determine if you need testing or treatment.

If you become ill and experience any of the following warning signs, you should seek medical care:

In children:
  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Flu-like symptoms improved but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Fever with a rash
In adults:
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting








November 13, 2009 - HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS DECEMBER PROGRAMS

The Healthy Living Club has scheduled the following educational programs and screenings for December as a community service. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665 to make an appointment or to register. The Altoona Hospital Campus is at 620 Howard Ave.; the Bon Secours Hospital Campus is at 2500 7th Ave., and the Education Center is at 2621 8th Ave.

"Radiation Oncology: High Tech, High Touch" will be presented Friday, Dec 4. Lunch at 11 a.m. followed by program until 1 p.m. Bon Secours Hospital Campus Education Center, Trzeciak Conference Suite, 2621 8th Ave. Meet and welcome Dr. Marsha Haley, radiation oncologist and the newest member of Altoona Regional's cancer care team. Dr. Haley will discuss the “high touch” and high tech aspects of cancer services, as well as explain the significant advantages of a new cancer fighting tool offered at Altoona Regional. Ample time for questions. No fee. Registration required. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

A Child Safety Seat Checkup Station will be conducted Friday, Dec. 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.

AARP Driver Safety Program will be offered Tuesday, Dec. 8; four-hour refresher course for anyone who has taken the eight-hour course from 6-10 p.m. in the Logan Room, 6th floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. Fee: $12 for AARP members (AARP identification required); $14 for non-AARP members. Registration required. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

This classroom 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.

A Safe Sitter Class will be offered Tuesday, Dec. 29, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. 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.

Class will be at the Bon Secours Hospital Campus Education Center, Trzeciak Conference Suite, 2621 8th Ave. The fee is $25 for materials, snacks and lunch. Registration required. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665. Class size limited.

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.







November 12, 2009 - CASE MANAGER PROMOTED TO NURSE MANAGER OF MATERNITY AND NURSERY DEPARTMENT

Julie A. Vitko, R.N.C. Julie A. Vitko, R.N.C., of Bellwood has been promoted to nurse manager of the Maternity and Nursery department at Altoona Regional Health System.

Vitko previously served as a nurse case manager in the Case Management department. She has worked in the health system for the past 17 years in both casual and full-time capacities. She began her career in maternity, then transferred to surgical trauma intensive care before moving into case management.

She has an associate degree from Mount Aloysis College and is enrolled in their R.N. to B.S.N. program.

Her new responsibilities include the day-to-day management and budget of the unit, clinical nursing responsibilities of patients, and the reporting of health screenings and testings of newborns to physicians and the state Department of Health.







November 12, 2009 - ALTOONA CITY FIRE DEPARTMENT RAISES $4,200 FOR ALTOONA REGIONAL FOUNDATION FOR LIFE’S TEAM PINK

Check presentation from City of Altoona Fire Department to Foundation for Life's Team Pink campaign


In observance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the City of Altoona Fire Department sold special pink T-shirts and raised $4,200 for the Foundation for Life’s Team Pink campaign for digital mammography.

On Oct. 27 and 30, on-duty members of the fire department wore the pink T-shirts and went into the community to raise breast cancer awareness.

Team Pink has raised more than $100,000 from Altoona Regional employees, physicians and volunteers, as well as the community, to support bringing lifesaving digital mammography to our community.

To join Team Pink and make a donation, contact the Foundation for Life at 814.889.6406.

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 Central Pennsylvania. As a qualified charitable organization, donations to the Foundation for Life are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

Photo: At the check presentation were: front row — Lindsey Hileman, Penn State Altoona intern for fire marshal’s office; back (from left) — Randy Isenberg, fire marshal; Renny Santone, fire chief; Steve Shilling, president, IAFF Firefighters Local 299; Jerry Murray, president/CEO, Altoona Regional; Valerie Brumbaugh, president, Foundation for Life, and Ann Benzel, chair, Foundation for Life.







November 10, 2009 - RICHARD P. KONSTANCE II, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF

Richard P. Konstance II, M.D. Richard P. Konstance II, M.D., recently joined the Altoona Regional Health System Medical Staff in the Department of Internal Medicine and the Clinical Service of Cardiology. He is affiliated with Cardiology Associates of Altoona, 1321 11th Ave., Altoona.

He has several board certifications: Internal Medicine since 2002; Cardiovascular Disease since 2005, and Interventional Cardiology since 2007. In addition he received a certification by the Board of Nuclear Cardiology in 2006 and, this year, became certified as a registered physician in vascular interpretation (ARDMS).

Dr. Konstance received his medical degree from the MCP Hahnemann University in Philadelphia and did his residency training at Duke University, Durham, N.C. Additionally, he completed fellowships in Cardiovascular Disease and Interventional Cardiology at Duke.







November 9, 2009 - ALTOONA REGIONAL MODIFIES VISITING GUIDELINES

Altoona Regional’s visiting guidelines have been modified to protect patients, health care providers and the public during this influenza season.
  • Until further notice, all visitors must be at least 18 years old.
  • No more than two visitors at a patient’s bedside at one time.
  • We recommend visits only by a member of the patient's immediate family or a caregiver for the patient.
  • All Maternity visitors must abide by these guidelines and must wear a mask.
As always, anyone feeling ill, especially with signs or symptoms of a cold or the flu, should not visit a hospital patient. The public's cooperation is important and appreciated.







November 6, 2009 - ALTOONA REGIONAL NAMES NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF MISSION/CUSTOMER SERVICE; ANNOUNCES CHANGES IN PASTORAL CARE

Bob StrawserPastor Terryann Talbot-Moses, ACMC-III, BCCC, FAAETS, DAPA Tony Conrad
Bob StrawserPastor Terryann Talbot-Moses,
ACMC-III, BCCC, FAAETS, DAPA
Tony Conrad


Bob Strawser of Altoona has been named executive director of Mission/Customer Service at Altoona Regional Health System.

"Bob has accepted these additional responsibilities of Mission as it is a natural fit with his current responsibilities of service excellence and customer service," announced Jerry Murray, president and CEO.

Also, Pastor Terryann Talbot-Moses, ACMC-III, BCCC, FAAETS, DAPA, of Tyrone will work with Strawser as the director of Outreach Services. She most recently served as director of Pastoral Care.

"Pastor Talbot-Moses' experience in Pastoral Care and in long-term care will be a great resource in reaching out to the community, and she will also continue to serve on various hospital committees and work internally with our staff," Murray said. "We thank both Bob and Pastor T-M for their past contributions to Altoona Regional and our patients and for undertaking these new responsibilities."

Additionally, Tony Conrad of Altoona, who formerly served as director of Pastoral Care at Bon Secours-Holy Family Hospital and at the onset of the merged Altoona Regional, has accepted the position of associate director of Pastoral Care.

Conrad has been serving as the system director of pastoral care at the Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, Md., and his experience will assist the Pastoral Care department in continuing its caring spiritual services to our patients/families and staff. Pastor Talbot-Moses will work with Conrad initially to ensure a smooth transition in the leadership of the department.







November 5, 2009 - JEEVITH I. KUMARESAN, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF

Jeevith I. Kumaresan, M.D. Jeevith I. Kumaresan, M.D., recently joined the Altoona Regional Health System Medical Staff in the Department of Pediatrics and Newborns. She practices with Pediatric Healthcare Associates, 615 6th Ave., Altoona.

Dr. Kumaresan is board eligible.

She earned her medical degree and completed an internship at the Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institution, India. She completed her residency at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, Paterson, N.J.







November 5, 2009 - MEDIA ADVISORY

Jared of Subway fame is visiting Altoona Regional. He will be presenting a check from Subway to the Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life tomorrow (Friday) November 6, at 4:15 p.m. in the Outpatient Center, first floor, where our new Subway opened earlier this week.







November 5, 2009 - REVEALING THE ANGELS HOLIDAY FUND-RAISER UNDER WAY; FESTIVITIES SET FOR DEC. 4 AT EACH HOSPITAL CAMPUS

The Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life reminds the community that the annual Revealing the Angels Holiday Campaign is under way. This year, the campaign helps support the Foundation’s Team Pink effort to bring lifesaving digital mammography to the region.

For a $25 donation or higher, a paper ornament is placed on a holiday tree at the hospital campus of the donor’s choice in honor of, or in memory of, a special “angel” who deserves recognition.

A ceremonial tree lighting and honor board will recognize all “angels.” The Altoona Hospital Campus, 620 Howard Ave., will conduct its ceremony at 10 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 4, and the Bon Secours Hospital Campus, 2500 7th Ave., will conduct its tree lighting at 2 p.m. the same day, Dec. 4. The public is invited to attend.

Donations are welcome through Dec. 31, but only donations received by Nov. 20 will be acknowledged on the holiday tree in time for lighting.

For donor envelopes or more information about the campaign, call the Foundation for Life at 889-6406.







November 5, 2009 - ALTERNATIVES TO HOSPITAL VISITATION: OTHER WAYS TO SHOW YOU CARE

Area hospitals, including Altoona Regional, have restricted hospital visitation due to the seasonal and H1N1 flu viruses, but there are other ways to show support for patients.

From our Pastoral Care department, here are some alternative ways to help when someone you know is hospitalized and you can't visit:
  • Call Pastoral Care at 889-2132 and arrange a visit by a hospital chaplain to your friend or family member to express your love and concern on your behalf.
  • Call your loved one on the phone.
  • Send a supportive, cheery card.
  • Put on your house of worship’s prayer list.
  • Prepare a meal for the family.
  • If you don’t cook, send a gift card to a local restaurant.
  • Send a gasoline gift card to help with travel expenses to the hospital.
  • Offer to make phone calls to people who are concerned, especially if the sick person's family lives out of town.
  • Run errands.
  • If it snows, shovel their sidewalk.
  • Pick up their mail and newspaper.
  • Stock up on groceries so their pantry is full.
  • Offer to change bed linens and freshly clean their house before they come home.
"With visiting now restricted, patients will understand if you cannot come to see them in the hospital," said Tony Conrad, director of Pastoral Care. "You can show that you care by helping them or their family in so many other ways at a time when they surely need it."







November 4, 2009 - Altoona Regional Health System modifies visiting guidelines on both hospital campuses

Altoona Regional Health System is modifying visiting guidelines on both of its hospital campuses to protect patients, health care providers and the public during the current influenza season.

Effective immediately, all visitors must be at least 18 years of age and a member of the patient's immediate family or a caregiver for the patient. The guidelines also apply to anyone visiting newborns.

As always, anyone feeling ill should not visit a hospital patient, especially if they have signs or symptoms of a cold or the flu.

The decision to restrict visiting was made with input from infection prevention specialists due to an upswing in seasonal and H1N1 flu cases, according to Dr. David Cowger, chief medical officer.

Exceptions can be made for critical cases, and Dr. Cowger said the health system will work with families in those situations.

He said the restrictions are temporary but are in effect until further notice and will change as the situation warrants.

Altoona Regional's Infection Control department encourages people to continue to follow the precautions everyone should take during flu season. They include:
  • Good respiratory / cough etiquette: Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw your tissue in the trash. Perform hand hygiene afterward.
  • Good hand hygiene: Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
Flu-like symptoms can include fever, body aches, runny nose, sore throat and cough, and rarely nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.







November 3, 2009 - NEW PROCEDURE TO TREAT AORTIC DISEASES INTRODUCED AT ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM

Medtronic Endovascular Innovations, along with Medical Simulation Corp. and Altoona Regional Health System, is demonstrating Thoracic Endovascular Aneurysm Repair, also known as TEVAR, in Altoona today.

TEVAR is a new alternative procedure that is less invasive than open surgical repair for thoracic aortic aneurysms (TAAs). A TAA is a blood-filled bulge or ballooning of the thoracic aorta, the artery that carries blood away from the heart to the lower part of the body. Aortic aneurysms are the third-leading cause of death in men over 60.

This procedure avoids surgical opening of the aorta. Instead, the surgeon places a synthetic fabric tube (graft) supported by a metal scaffold (stent) inside the aneurysm. Because endovascular aneurysm repair is less invasive than open surgery, hospital stays can be shorter, typically lasting two to four days versus seven to 10 days for open repair.

Research has shown that TEVAR with the Talent Thoracic Stent Graft is a safe and effective alternative to open surgery in patients with thoracic aortic aneurysms who were considered candidates for open surgical repair. When in place, the stent graft creates a new path for blood flow, reducing the pressure on the weakened segment of aorta and reducing the risk of rupture, an emergency situation that could result in death.

The exact causes of aortic aneurysms remain unknown. The bulge or ballooning may be caused by a weakness in the wall of the aorta where it has become inflamed. Some doctors believe that this inflammation may be due to clogged arteries, but it may also be related to heredity, injury or diseases. An aneurysm may occur in one of two areas: abdominal or thoracic.

Symptoms
An aneurysm is known as a silent killer because many people have no symptoms. Often, aneurysms grow slowly and go unnoticed. Some aneurysms may never reach the point of bursting, while others may enlarge quickly and rupture without warning. People who do experience symptoms often describe them as:
  • A pulsing feeling in the abdomen
  • Unexplained, severe pain in the lower back
  • Tenderness in the chest
Only 10 to 25 percent of patients who had a previously, undiagnosed aortic aneurysm that ruptures survive until hospital discharge. Each year, more than 200,000 people are diagnosed with an aortic aneurysm. However, more than 95 percent can be treated if detected early.

An ultrasound screen is able to detect most aortic aneurysms. This painless procedure usually takes just a few minutes, and the images help the doctor "see" inside the aorta to determine if an aneurysm is present.

An estimated 60,000 U.S. residents have a thoracic aortic aneurysm, but only about half are ever diagnosed due to lack of symptoms. More common among smokers, the condition often results from hardening of the arteries, hypertension or congenital disorders such as Marfan's syndrome. Preventive measures include smoking cessation, controlling blood pressure and blood lipid levels, and routine exercise.

Anyone who wants more information can call the Altoona Regional Vascular Institute and the Central PA Cardiovascular Associates at 814-889-2005.







October 30, 2009 - Friends of Altoona Regional Health System makes second donation for Maternity security system

Ann Benzel, chair, Foundation for Life; Valerie Brumbaugh, president, Foundation for Life; Vicki Baughman, president, Friends of Altoona Regional; Jerry Murray, president/CEO, Altoona Regional, and Ron McConnell, COO, Altoona Regional

Friends of Altoona Regional recently made its second of four donations in the amount of $21,604.50 to the Altoona Regional Foundation for Life in support of a new security system for the Maternity Unit at Altoona Hospital Campus.

Friends of Altoona Regional is a voluntary auxiliary that raises funds in support of programs and services provided by Altoona Regional Health System. Annual membership fees are nominal. For more information, phone 889.7826. Membership applications are available online at www.altoonaregional.org/volunteers_friendsapp.htm.

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 Central Pennsylvania. As a qualified charitable organization, donations to the Foundation for Life are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

Photo: At the check presentation were (from left): Ann Benzel, chair, Foundation for Life; Valerie Brumbaugh, president, Foundation for Life; Vicki Baughman, president, Friends of Altoona Regional; Jerry Murray, president/CEO, Altoona Regional, and Ron McConnell, COO, Altoona Regional.







October 30, 2009 - Friends of Altoona Regional Health System awards scholarships

Andrea Link and Joshua Krug receive scholarship awards from Kathi Terlinsky and Joseph Noel
Andrea Link and Joshua Krug, both 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.

Andrea graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s of science in biology. She is married to Joseph Link of McKean.

Joshua is a student at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Krug of Loretto.

Photo: At the Sept. 22 awards ceremony were (from left): front row — student Andrea Link, Friends of Altoona Regional representative Kathi Terlinsky and student Joshua Krug; back — Joseph Noel, School of Medical Technology/Clinical Laboratory Science program director.







October 28, 2009 - DEPRESSION SUPPORT GROUP MEETING CANCELED

The Depression and Bipolar Support Group meeting for November 4 has been canceled. The next meeting is scheduled for Nov. 11 in the Allegheny Room on the sixth floor of the Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus.







October 27, 2009 - 2010 DAFFODIL DAYS KICKS OFF NOV. 18

It's time to start planning for the American Cancer Society's Daffodil Days with a kickoff event Wednesday, Nov. 18, from 6-8 p.m. at The Casino in Lakemont.

Commit to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by finding out how you can help others by coordinating the sale of daffodils in your environment. The event features heavy hors d’oeuvres, awards for last year’s presale coordinators, and basket raffles, featuring a diamond pendant set.

Tickets for the event cost $10 and are limited. To purchase tickets or for more information, call the American Cancer Society at 695-9232.







October 26, 2009 - HOLIDAY SPLENDOR SET FOR NOVEMBER 13 AT CALVIN HOUSE

The Holiday Splendor Gala and Auction is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 13, at the Calvin House in Duncansville. All proceeds go toward bringing lifesaving digital mammography technology to the community.

Holiday Splendor, sponsored by the Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life, is a unique fund-raiser that features holiday and non-holiday gift items, baskets and decorated Christmas trees. All are donated by area businesses and organizations as well as employees and departments of the health system. They are sold at the gala during a spirited live auction as well as a silent auction.

For ticket information and information on sponsorship packages, please call Shirley Hoyne, Holiday Splendor coordinator, at (814) 889-7673.

Altoona Regional plans to bring digital mammography to Blair County at a total project cost of $1.2 million. A landmark breast cancer screening trial showed that digital mammography detected more cancers - up to 28 percent more - than screen film mammography in women 50 and younger, premenopausal and perimenopausal women, and women with dense breasts.

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 23, 2009 - PAWAN K. GUPTA ELECTED A FELLOW OF AMERICAN COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS

Dr. Pawan K. Gupta

Dr. Pawan K. Gupta has been elected as a fellow of the American College of Physicians. Dr. Gupta is a member of the Altoona Regional Health System Medical Staff. He practices at 2613 8th Avenue, Suite 4B, Altoona. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Nephrology and specializes in kidney diseases.

The American College of Physicians (ACP) is a national organization of internists - physicians who specialize in the prevention, detection and treatment of illnesses in adults. ACP is the largest medical-specialty organization and second-largest physician group in the United States. Its membership of 129,000 includes internists, internal medicine subspecialists and medical students, residents and fellows. The ACP's mission is to enhance the quality and effectiveness of health care by fostering excellence and professionalism in the practice of medicine.







October 20, 2009 - ALTOONA REGIONAL ISSUES REMINDER TO VISITORS:

Altoona Regional Health System today issued a reminder that anyone who is feeling ill should not visit someone in the hospital unless absolutely necessary.

"This is especially true now that flu season is upon us," said Dr. David Cowger, chief medical officer.

Dr. Cowger added that, under certain circumstances, visitors will be asked to comply with specific precautions for everyone's protection, like wearing a mask to prevent the spread of illness.

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 20, 2009 - ATTORNEY TO SPEAK AT ALZHEIMER’S SUPPORT GROUP

Hollidaysburg attorney Robert Rea of the firm Rea, Rea & Lashinsky will discuss legal issues regarding people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia at the Alzheimer's Support Group meeting Tuesday, Oct. 27, at 6:30 p.m. in the Allegheny Room, Outpatient Center, 6th floor, Altoona Hospital Campus.

The Alzheimer’s Support Group is for family members and caregivers of those suffering from Alzheimer's disease. The group is co-facilitated by Les Weis and Jean Reighard and meets the last Tuesday of each month. For information, call 889-2141.







October 15, 2009 - ALTOONA COUPLE DONATES KNITTED BABY CAPS TO ALTOONA REGIONAL MATERNITY DEPARTMENT

Carol and Merwyn Trexler of Altoona

Carol and Merwyn Trexler, of Altoona, recently donated 170 knitted baby caps to Altoona Regional's Maternity Department. Accepting the donation from the Trexlers was Pam Adler (far left) of the Maternity Department.







October 14, 2009 - ALTOONA REGIONAL OFFERS SUPPORT GROUPS/CLINICS IN NOVEMBER

Altoona Regional Health System offers the following support group meetings and patient clinics in November as a public service to the community. They are listed alphabetically according to the campus on which they are conducted.

Support groups meeting on the Altoona Hospital Campus use the Allegheny, Juniata and Logan rooms. These rooms are on the 6th floor of the Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus, 620 Howard Ave., Altoona. The 3F Conference Room is in the Behavioral Health Center, 5th Street and Willow Avenue.

The Alzheimer’s Support Group meets at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 24, in the Allegheny Room. Please call 889-2141 for information.

The Bariatric Support Group meets at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 4, in the Juniata Room. Please call 889-2350 for information.

The Breastfeeding Support Group meets at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 25. Please call 889-2310 for room information.

The Caregivers Corner Support Group meets at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 5, at Hoss’s in Duncansville. For information, call 889-3123.

The Central Pa. Ostomy Society meets at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 15, in the Juniata Room. Call 944-2766 for information.

The Depression and Bipolar Support Group meets at 7 p.m. Wednesdays in the Allegheny Room. Call 889-2141 for information.

Diabetes Outpatient Education is available by individual appointment and group sessions. A referral by a physician is required. Call 889-2487 for information.

The Lap Band Support Group meets at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 4, in the Logan Room. Call 889-2350 for information.

The Parkinson's Support Group meets at 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 23, at Hoss’s Restaurant, Altoona. Call 889-2141 for information.

The Stroke Support Group meets at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 12, in the Allegheny Room. Call 889-3155 for information.

The Support Group for Those Who Have Lost a Loved One to Suicide meets at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18, in the 3F Conference Room. Call 889-2141 for information.

The following support groups and clinics meet at the Bon Secours Hospital Campus, 2500 7th Ave. The Trzeciak Conference Suite is in the Education Center at 2621 8th Ave. For Kaufman Dining Room, Rehabilitation, Sleep Medicine and fourth floor waiting room, please use the 7th Avenue entrance.

Alcoholics Anonymous meets at 8 p.m. every Monday in the Kaufman Dining Room. For information, call 946-9002.

The Alert, Well and Keeping Energetic (A.W.A.K.E) Support Group meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 24, in the Institute for Sleep Medicine waiting room on the fourth floor. This is an educational support group for people who have problems with snoring and sleep apnea. Refreshments provided. Call 889.4466 for more information.

The Amputee Clinic is conducted at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18, in the Rehabilitation department. For information, call 889-4463.

The Breast Cancer Support Group meets at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 5, in the Trzeciak Conference Suite. For information, call 886-6458.

The Faith-based Bereavement/Grief Support Group meets at 6 p.m. Wednesdays, Nov. 4 and 18, in the fourth floor waiting room. For information, call 889-3323.

The Stroke Support Group meets at noon Tuesday, Nov. 10, in the Kaufman Dining Room. For information, call 889-4463.

A Wheelchair Clinic will be held at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 10, in the Rehabilitation department. Physician referral required. Call for information and appointment, 889-4463.

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 13, 2009 - THE HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS NOVEMBER PROGRAMS

The Healthy Living Club has scheduled the following educational programs and screenings for November as a community service. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665 to make an appointment or to register. The Altoona Hospital Campus is at 620 Howard Ave.; the Bon Secours Hospital Campus is at 2500 7th Ave., and the Education Center is at 2621 8th Ave.

A free osteoporosis screening will be held by appointment only between 12:30 and -3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6. Osteoporosis is often called the “silent disease” because bone loss happens without symptoms. Osteoporosis occurs when, over time, bone loss causes bones to become porous, brittle and more likely to break. This painless screening takes just a few minutes and assesses bone density in the heel bone (a good indicator of bone health and fracture risk) by using ultrasound. Please be prepared to remove shoes and socks. It’s for men and women. It will be held in Kaufman Dining Room, Bon Secours Hospital Campus. There is no fee. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665 to schedule your appointment.

Join Sharon Rydbom, our own craft diva, as she will guides us you in making our fall craft: an adorable kitchen towel set for the holidays. The craft session takes place Sunday, Nov. 8, 6:30-8 p.m. Bon Secours Hospital Campus Education Center, Trzeciak Conference Suite, 2621 8th Ave.

Materials needed include two pieces of cardboard at least 7x7 inches covered with aluminum foil and waxed paper, five paper towels, masking tape, large Styrofoam plate and paint shirt (optional). Fee: $7 if you have fabric paint brush and Identi-pen, $12 if not. Registration required. Call 889.2630 or toll-free 1.888.313.4665. Class size limited to 14.

Please join Christopher McClellan, D.O., from University Orthopedics as he discusses the causes, symptoms and, most important, the interventions, both surgical and nonsurgical, for knee discomfort on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 6:30-8 p.m., Rotunda, 6th floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. No fee. Registration required. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665. Class size limited.

A Child Safety Seat Checkup Station will be conducted Friday, Nov. 13, 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.

AARP Driver Safety Program will be offered Tuesday, Nov. 10, and Wednesday, Nov. 11, from 6-10 p.m. in the Logan Room, 6th floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. Fee: $12 for AARP members (AARP identification required); $14 for non-AARP members. Registration required. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665. This classroom 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.

Gail Murphy, registered instructor in Hatha yoga, leads a four- week series Tuesdays, Nov. 17 through Dec. 15 (no class 11-Nov. 24). Fee $20. Yoga offers mind/body exercise, breath control, stretching and strengthening to promote mental, physical and spiritual well-being. Location: Rotunda, 6th floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. Register now as class is limited to 25. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

"Straight Talk About Aneurysms," will be presented Friday, Nov. 20, by Dr. Arthur DeMarsico, medical director of Central Pa. Cardiovascular Associates and board certified vascular surgeon with Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery of Altoona Inc.

Aneurysms are weak bulges in blood vessels similar to a bulge in an inner tube or thin balloon. They tend to form where an artery divides or branches off. What are the different types of aneurysms and what causes them? Who is at risk for an aneurysm? How are they detected and treated? Can they be prevented?

Lunch is at 11 a.m., followed by Dr. DeMarsico’s 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.

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 9, 2009 - ALTOONA REGIONAL OFFERS GIFTS FOR WOMEN GETTING MAMMOGRAMS

The Altoona Regional Health System Imaging Services (Radiology) Department is noting Breast Cancer Awareness month by providing women who get their annual mammograms during October with a 2010 monthly planner with wellness tips.

“This token of appreciation is meant to encourage and remind women to obtain their annual mammogram,” said Michael Corso, administrative director of Imaging Services. The department performs an estimated 1,200 mammograms per month.

The planner features information about performing a self-breast exam, the importance of obtaining a clinical breast exam by a health care professional annually, and mammograms. Additional information is included on osteoporosis, weight loss, exercise, heart disease and cancer prevention and weight management.

For information on Imaging Services at Altoona Regional, call 889-2836.

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 7, 2009 - AREA FEMALE ATHLETES JOIN TEAM PINK TO RAISE BREAST CANCER AWARENESS AND GARNER SUPPORT FOR FOUNDATION FOR LIFE'S TEAM PINK DIGITAL MAMMOGRAPHY

Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life invites the community to become members of Team Pink as a community effort to bring digital mammography technology to the region.

Athletes from Altoona Area High School (AAHS) and Bishop Guilfoyle (BG) High School girls volleyball teams are raising money in support of the cause and will present their Team Pink contributions the night of their match Monday, Oct. 19, at the AAHS Fieldhouse.

Pink donation cards are available in the amount of $1, $5 or $10 (sizes vary according to the donation amount) and will be sold at all Altoona home games prior to and the night of the match with Bishop Guilfoyle. Cards are also available from the athletes.

Those who donate will have their cards hung on the wall at the AAHS Fieldhouse.

“Cancer has touched the lives of just about everybody, whether it is themselves, a family member, a friend or someone they know,” said Coach Karan Price of the AAHS girls volleyball team. “We're happy we can do something to help raise money to aid in the early detection of this devastating disease. It's nice to know these funds will be used right here in Altoona to help our friends, family and neighbors.”

“Anything we can do to promote breast cancer awareness, then we want to do it,” said Bob Kasun, BG volleyball coach. “It's important for our girls, even though they are only in high school, to be aware of this devastating disease.”

For more information, call the Foundation for Life at 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.









October 6, 2009 - ALTOONA HOSPITAL SCHOOL OF NURSING ALUMNI DONATE TO TEAM PINK

Altoona Hospital Nurse's Alumni Association

The Altoona Hospital Nurse's Alumni Association will meet at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13, at the Blair Tower Community Room, 1600 8th Ave. The afternoon features a full-course turkey dinner. The speaker will be Leslie Wilson from the Home Nursing Agency. To attend, you must be an alumna of the Altoona Hospital School of Nursing. Please make a reservation by Tuesday, Oct. 9, by calling Lois Gutshall at 942-7334. The association is accepting new members.

At the association's meeting Aug. 4, Valerie Brumbaugh, president of the Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life, made a presentation on Team Pink and accepted a donation from the association. Team Pink is a fund-raising campaign to raise funding for lifesaving digital mammography equipment.

Attendees at the last meeting were: (first row) Patsy Mattern, Pat Landis, Eleanor Thomas, Mary Jane Rhoades, Pat Pine; (second row) Shirley Hippo, Faye Baughman, Janet Gibbons, Donna Myers, Connie Donaldson, Eileen LaCompte, Reba Decker, Annetta Walters, Norma Knouse, Norma Shanholtz, Lois Gutshall.

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 5, 2009 -CLINICAL AND REHABILITATION PSYCHOLOGIST RETIRES WITH 20 YEARS OF SERVICE

John A. Jubala, Ph.D., of Altoona John A. Jubala, Ph.D., of Altoona, a clinical and rehabilitation psychologist with Altoona Regional Health System retired Oct. 1 with 20 years of service.

Dr. Jubala was hired as the first full-time psychologist at Mercy Hospital on July 5, 1989, to initially provide services to the inpatient Rehabilitation Unit. His duties quickly expanded to acute care consultations and then to outpatient services.

Career highlights include creating clinical ties with area nursing homes; working on the formation of the 16-bed geropsychiatric unit from conceptual stage to completion; chairing the Medical Ethics Committee for five terms and successfully working to combine services with the larger Behavioral Health Department at Altoona Hospital after the merger. He also served on the Supervisor’s Committee and the Education and Training Committee. He devoted much time to public speaking and to staff development and education.

Dr. Jubala received his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Clinical Psychology from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, and his Master of Arts degree in Psychology, also from Duquesne. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Benedictine University, Lisle, Ill.







October 5, 2009 - NEW GREETER COORDINATOR NAMED AT ALTOONA REGIONAL

Michael J. Walton of Duncansville Michael J. Walton of Duncansville has been named as the new Greeter Coordinator at Altoona Regional Health System. Walton has been with the health system for 18 years as a patient access representative in the Patient Access Department.

His new responsibilities include greeting customers, disseminating patient room information, directing and assisting customers with outpatient registration, assisting with wheelchair transport, arranging for transportation needs, escorting customers throughout the hospital, and many other duties.

"Michael brings excellent customer service skills and a detailed knowledge of the health system to this position," said Bob Strawser, director, Customer Service department.







October 5, 2009 - ALTOONA REGIONAL UNVEILS NEW ONLINE JOB APPLICATION SYSTEM

Altoona Regional has improved its job application process with a new system called Candidate Manager, which is accessed via the Internet. Potential and current employees can view job openings and apply for them more conveniently.

Visit www.altoonaregional.org and click on "Employment." Follow the instructions to view open positions and apply online via Candidate Manager. The applications will go to the recruiter's e-mail inbox immediately. This is the only way applications will now be accepted.

Resumes can be attached to applications. Once an application is submitted, the applicant will receive an e-mail notification serving as a thank-you for and receipt of the application.

With the adoption of this paperless process, applications and resumes will no longer be accepted in person at Human Resources, nor should they be mailed to the office.

"This new program and job application process will make it more convenient and user-friendly for potential and current employees," said Patricia Geesey, employment coordinator.

"It reflects today's 24-hour lifestyle and streamlines the application process in one leap forward," added Monica Liebal, clinical recruiter.

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.







September 17, 2009 - PEDIATRIC DENTAL CLINIC RECEIVES $1,500 DONATION FROM SAM'S CLUB

$1,500 donation from Sam's Club of Altoona The James W. Barner Community Dental Clinics' pediatric clinic recently received a $1,500 donation from Sam's Club of Altoona.

The clinic is managed by Altoona Regional’s Partnership for a Healthy Community, which also operates a family dental clinic and a free medical clinic.

Both dental clinics are dedicated to improving the dental health of patients with Medical Assistance and low-income families who meet the criteria and financial guidelines.

At the check presentation were (from left): Donald J. Betar Jr., D.M.D., dental director, Altoona Regional Partnership for a Healthy Community; Lanny Ross, Ph.D., executive director, Greater Altoona Career and Technology Center; Jerry Harpster, manager, Sam’s Club, and Cloyd R. Beers, executive director, Altoona Regional Partnership for a Healthy Community.









September 17, 2009 - DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATE HIRED AT ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM FOUNDATION FOR LIFE

Stacey Martilotta, development associate The Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life has hired State College native Stacey Martilotta as a development associate.

Martilotta, who has worked most recently as an independent development consultant in New York and Los Angeles, has also worked as a research manager for the Los Angeles Philharmonic and a database administrator for the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in New York City.

In her position as development associate, Martilotta will assist with the implementation and development of fund-raising initiatives for the Foundation for Life, including the Team Pink campaign — an effort to raise much-needed funding for lifesaving digital mammography equipment.









September 14, 2009 - THE HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS OCTOBER PROGRAMS

The Healthy Living Club has scheduled the following educational programs and screenings for October as a community service. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665 to make an appointment or to register. The Altoona Hospital Campus is at 620 Howard Ave.; the Bon Secours Hospital Campus is at 2500 7th Ave., and the Education Center is at 2621 8th Ave.

A free heel scan will be held by appointment only between 12:30-3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2, to check for osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is often called the "silent disease" because bone loss happens without symptoms. Osteoporosis occurs when, over time, bone loss causes bones to become porous, brittle and more likely to break. This painless screening takes just a few minutes and assesses bone density in the heel bone (a good indicator of bone health and fracture risk) by using ultrasound. Please be prepared to remove shoes and socks. It's for men and women. It will be held in Kaufman Dining Room, Bon Secours Hospital Campus. There is no fee. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665 to schedule your appointment.

Hatha yoga will be offered Tuesdays, Oct. 6 through Nov. 10. Gail Murphy, registered instructor in Hatha yoga, leads this program, which offers mind/body exercise, breath control, stretching and strengthening to promote mental, physical and spiritual well-being. Fee $30 for the six-week series for either beginner or intermediate class. Beginners: 5:30-6:40 p.m. Intermediate: 6:50-8 p.m. Class meets 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.

A Child Safety Seat Checkup Station will be conducted Friday, Oct. 9, 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.

A peripheral artery disease (PAD) screening will be offered by appointment only Tuesday, Oct. 13, 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m., in the Vascular Institute, 3rd floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. No fee. Call 889.2005 to schedule your appointment. Peripheral artery disease occurs when plaque clogs leg arteries or vessels and restricts blood flow. Untreated PAD can not only make walking difficult but may increase your risk of heart attack or stroke. Kay Adams, nurse practitioner and manager of Central Pa. Cardiovascular Associates, will screen for PAD by performing an ABI (ankle-brachial index) screen - a painless process in which blood pressure is measured in legs and arms to determine blood flow. Please be prepared to remove shoes and socks.

During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Altoona Regional is holding a Women’s Health and Wellness Fair at each hospital campus. The fairs will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 14, in the main lobby on the Altoona Hospital Campus, and on Wednesday, Oct. 21, in the main lobby of the Bon Secours Hospital Campus. The fairs will feature information on various women’s health issues, women’s services, screenings, door prizes and more. Please drop by on either date and pick up valuable information.

Wouldn't it be great to get answers to your most common gynecological questions in one sitting? That's what this program is about! Join Dr. Debra Pike, Blair Medical Associates Obstetrics and Gynecology, on Wednesday, Oct. 28, 6:30-8 p.m. for "A Woman's Top 10 Questions" as she addresses common questions that women of all ages have! Ample time for questions. The program will be held in the Rotunda, 6th floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. No fee. Registration required. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665. Class size limited.

Gather together the women in your circle and join this “think pink” lunch and learn: "Evolving Technology: The Future of Altoona Regional Imaging Services," on Friday, Oct. 30. Lunch is at 11 a.m. followed by the program until 1 p.m. at the Bon Secours Hospital Campus Education Center, Trzeciak Conference Suite. Join Sue Guinard, RPA, who will discuss the latest in breast health and breast care, including how new technologies such as digital mammography and breast MRI are helping to detect breast cancer in its earliest stages and improve outcomes. Sue will discuss some of the highlights of the new Altoona Regional Imaging Services Center, which is scheduled to open next fall in the Station Medical Center. Ample time for questions. No fee. Registration required. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

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.







September 11, 2009 - ALAN J. KANOUFF, D.O., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF

Alan J. Kanouff, D.O. Alan J. Kanouff, D.O., has joined the Altoona Regional Medical Staff in the clinical service of pulmonary medicine. He is affiliated with Altoona Lung Specialists, 801 Howard Ave., Altoona.

Dr. Kanouff is board certified in internal medicine and pulmonary medicine.

He received his medical school training at the Philadelphia School of Osteopathic Medicine. He did his internship and residency training at Conemaugh Valley Memorial Hospital. Dr. Kanouff did a fellowship in pulmonary/critical care at Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh.







September 11, 2009 - MARSHA L. HALEY, M.D., JOINS RADIATION ONCOLOGY STAFF

Marsha L. Haley, M.D. Marsha L. Haley, M.D., has joined the Medical Staff of Altoona Regional Health System in the Department of Radiation Oncology, Center for Cancer Care.

Dr. Haley has joined the practice of Jack Schocker, M.D., also known as Radiation Oncology Group, PC.

She is a graduate of the University of Virginia Medical School, Charlottesville. She performed her internship in General Surgery at the University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, Va., and her residency in Radiation Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, where she was chief resident. Dr. Haley is trained in image-guided radiation therapy and radiosurgery.

She is board eligible.







September 8, 2009 - ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM FOUNDATION FOR LIFE RECEIVES $10,000 DONATION FROM WEIS MARKETS INC.

Weis Markets Inc.
Weis Markets Inc. contributed $10,000 to Altoona Regional Health System Foundation for Life's Team Pink, which is raising money for three new digital mammography machines the health system is purchasing. They will be offered at a new women's breast care center in an outpatient imaging facility at the Station Medical Center. The service is expected by next fall.

Team Pink started as an employee, physician and volunteer appeal. In just a few short weeks, it raised almost $100,000.

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 Central Pennsylvania. As a qualified charitable organization, donations to the Foundation for Life are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

PHOTO: At the check presentation were (from left): Ann Benzel, chair, Foundation for Life; Ron Amigh, front end manager, Weis Market, Pleasant Valley Boulevard, and Valerie Brumbaugh, president, Foundation for Life.







September 3, 2009 - GREETER COORDINATOR RETIRES WITH 33 YEARS OF SERVICE

Janet K. Ellis of Altoona
The Janet K. Ellis, greeter coordinator, department of Customer Service, retired Aug. 31 with 33 years of service.

Janet was hired Feb. 2, 1976, as secretary/registrar for the School of Nursing. She served in that position for nine years and then transferred as a secretary/receptionist to Central Pennsylvania Health Services, the parent corporation of Altoona Hospital, where she worked for nine years. From October 1994 until her retirement, Janet served in the Outpatient Center as the greeter coordinator.

She is married to Stephen Ellis, and they live in Altoona.







August 20, 2009 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Jan Grove, Michele Weimer, James Cook, Valerie L. Brumbaugh
In memory of Tracy Foster, family and friends recently donated 100 new teddy bears to Altoona Regional's pediatrics Unit. At the presentation were (from left): Jan Grove, R.N., nurse manager, Pediatrics; Michele Weimer, friend of Tracy; James Cook, brother of Tracy, and Valerie L. Brumbaugh, president, Altoona Regional Foundation for Life.







August 14, 2009 - ALTOONA REGIONAL OFFERS SUPPORT GROUPS/CLINICS IN SEPTEMBER


Altoona Regional Health System offers the following support group meetings and patient clinics in September as a public service to the community. They are listed alphabetically according to the campus on which they are conducted.

Support groups meeting on the Altoona Hospital Campus meet in the Allegheny, Juniata and Logan rooms. These rooms are located on the sixth floor of the Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus, 620 Howard Ave., Altoona.

The Alzheimer's Support Group meets at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 25, in the Allegheny Room. Please call 889-2141 for information.

The Bariatric Support Group meets at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 2, in the Juniata Room. Please call 889-2350 for information.

The Breastfeeding Support Group meets at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 23. Please call 889-2310 for room information.

The Caregivers Corner Support Group meets at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 3. For information and location, call 889-3123.

The Central PA Ostomy Society meets at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 20, in the Juniata Room. Call 944-2766 for information.

The Depression and Bipolar Support Group meets at 7 p.m. every Wednesday in the Allegheny Room. Call 889-2141 for information.

Diabetes Outpatient Education is available by individual appointment and group sessions. A referral by a physician is required. Call 889-2487 for information.

The Lap Band Support Group meets at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 2, in the Logan Room. Call 889-2350 for information.

The Parkinson's Support Group meets at 11 a.m. Monday, Sept. 28, at Hoss’s Restaurant, Altoona. Call 889-2141 for information.

The Stroke Support Group meets at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10, in the Allegheny Room. Call 889-3155 for information.

The following support groups and clinics meet at the Bon Secours Hospital Campus, 2500 7th Ave. The Trzeciak Conference Suite is in the Education Center at 2621 8th Ave. For Kaufman Dining Room, Rehabilitation, Sleep Medicine and Fourth Floor waiting room, please use the 7th Avenue entrance.

Alcoholics Anonymous meets at 8 p.m. every Monday in the Kaufman Dining Room. For information, call 946-9002.

The Alert, Well and Keeping Energetic (A.W.A.K.E) Support Group meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 22, in the Institute for Sleep Medicine waiting room on the fourth floor. This is an educational support group for people who have problems with snoring and sleep apnea. Refreshments provided. Call 889.4466 for more information.

The Amputee Clinic is conducted at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16, in the Rehabilitation department. For information, call 889-4463.

The Breast Cancer Support Group meets at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 3, in the Trzeciak Conference Suite. For information, call 886-6458.

The Faith-based Bereavement/Grief Support Group meets at 6 p.m. Wednesdays, Sept. 2 and 16, in the fourth floor waiting room. For information, call 889-3323.

The Stroke Support Group meets at noon Tuesday, Sept. 8, in the Kaufman Dining Room. For information, call 889-4463.

A Wheelchair Clinic will be held at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 8, in the Rehabilitation department. Physician referral required. Call for information and appointment, 889-4463.

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 14, 2009 - HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS SEPTEMBER PROGRAMS


The Healthy Living Club has scheduled the following educational programs and screenings for September as a community service. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665 to make an appointment or to register. The Altoona Hospital Campus is at 620 Howard Ave.; the Bon Secours Hospital Campus is at 2500 7th Ave., and the Education Center is at 2621 8th Ave.

A sign language class will be conducted Wednesdays starting Sept. 2 through Nov. 18. This beginner class will run from 7-8:30 p.m. Call 889-2630 or 1-888-313-4665 to register and there is a $25 fee. The class will be limited to 30.

This class is taught by Pastor Robert Smith of the Pastoral Care department of Altoona Regional. The course will be taught in conversational sign language. There will be assignments with the lessons and a certificate upon completion. A three-ring binder will be needed.

A free osteoporosis screening for men and women will be held by appointment only from 12:30-3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 4, on the Bon Secours Hospital Campus in the Kaufman Dining Room. No fee. Please call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665 to make your appointment. Osteoporosis is often called the "silent disease" because bone loss happens without symptoms. Osteoporosis occurs when, over time, bone loss causes bones to become porous, brittle and more likely to break. This painless screening takes just a few minutes and assesses bone density in the heel bone (a good indicator of bone health and fracture risk) by using ultrasound. Please be prepared to remove shoes and socks.

An AARP Driver Safety Refresher Class will be held from 6-10 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 8, in the Logan Room, 6th floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. The four-hour refresher course is for anyone who has taken the eight-hour course. Fee: $12 for AARP members (AARP identification required); $14 for non-AARP members. 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.

Join Randy Grabill, clinical dietitian at Altoona Regional, for "Food Tips to Keep You Healthy and Happy" on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 6:30-8 p.m. Rotunda, the 6th floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. No fee. Registration required. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665. Whether one of your goals is to lose weight or just maintain a healthy diet, start by making sensible choices in the grocery aisle. Should it be high protein, low carb, gluten free, high fiber? Learn what foods are best for optimal body metabolism.

On Friday, Sept. 18, join Linda Dunmire, physical therapist and assistant director of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Altoona Regional, for "Staying Healthy: Exercise and Aging," as she discusses the benefits of exercise and shows you how to stay healthy and maintain independence. Exercise and physical activity have a lot to do with healthy aging. Lunch at 11 a.m. followed by program until 1 p.m. Bon Secours Hospital Campus Education Center, Trzeciak Conference Suite. No fee. Registration required. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665. Ample time will be allotted for questions.

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 6, 2009 - ALTOONA REGIONAL PRESENTS FIRE DEPARTMENTS WITH FUNDS FOR PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCIES
John Hawksworth, Jeff Blake, Carl Long, David DelGrosso, Chief Renny Santone, Sue Wertz

Altoona Regional Health System recently presented six local fire departments with $2,000 each to assist with decontamination coverage, bioterrorism and other public health emergencies.

"Altoona Regional provided the money in the event of a hazardous material incident for 2008 and 2009. The money comes from a grant received from the state Department of Health, Health Resources and Services Administration for Hospital Preparedness for bioterrorism and other public health emergencies," said Sue Wertz, safety officer.

In the photo, from left: John Hawksworth, director, Altoona Regional Safety and Police; Jeff Blake, Logan Township United Volunteer Fire Dept.; Carl Long, Lakemont Volunteer Fire Dept.; David DelGrosso, Kittanning Trail Volunteer Fire Dept.; Chief Renny Santone, City of Altoona Fire Department; Sue Wertz, safety officer, Altoona Regional.

Missing from the picture: Newburg and Greenwood volunteer fire departments.







August 4, 2009 - FRIENDS' ROOT BEER FLOAT SALE/BASKET RAFFLE NETS OVER $10,000
Ruth Slippey, John Rizzo, and Gary Zuckerman
Friends of Altoona Regional held its root beer float sale and basket raffle on July 10, raising $10,865 to support health system patients and their families.

Each year, a traveling trophy is awarded to the basket that garners the most “votes” during the basket raffle on each campus. The traveling trophy winners were: Altoona Hospital Campus, Tower 11, "Christmas in July," and Bon Secours Hospital Campus, Patient Financial Services, "In Memory of Friends and Family Who Lost the Battle with Cancer."

Friends thanks area merchants for in-kind donations, celebrity scoopers, volunteers, all departments that donated baskets, the Nutrition Services, Environment of Care (both environmental services and engineering staff) and Marketing and Communications departments and all others from both campuses who helped in any way with the event.

In the photo, from left: Ruth Slippey, volunteer; John Rizzo, director, Purchasing and Contracting, and Gary Zuckerman, vice president, Supply Chain, serve root beer floats at the Altoona Hospital Campus.

Friends of Altoona Regional is a voluntary auxiliary that raises funds in support of programs and services provided by Altoona Regional Health System. Annual membership fees are nominal. For more information, phone 889-7826. Membership applications are available online at www.altoonaregional.org/volunteers_friendsapp.htm.







July 23, 2009 - NUCLEAR MEDICINE INTERNS GRADUATE FROM PROGRAM
Drew Appleman, Katheryn Conn, Katie Farrell and Jenny Conn


Photo: Completing their internships at Altoona Regional were: Indiana University of Pennsylvania students (from left) Katheryn Conn, Katie Farrell and Jenny Conn. With the students is Nuclear Medicine Supervisor Drew Appleman.

Three Indiana University of Pennsylvania students recently completed an eight-month internship with the Nuclear Medicine department at Altoona Regional Health System to complete their degrees.

Twin sisters Jenny and Katheryn Conn are the daughters of Larry and Jean Conn of Fort Hill, Pa. Katie Farrell is the daughter of Mark and Colleen Farrell of Northern Cambria.

All three were nuclear medicine majors at IUP and participated in University of Findlay’s nuclear medicine internship program to complete their graduation requirements.

The interns received instruction in nuclear medicine, radio-pharmacy, imaging procedures, quality procedures, patient customer relations, diagnostic and therapeutic dosimetry, radiation safety procedures, federal and state regulations and interactions with other departments.

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 14, 2009 - NEW ADMINISTRATIVE DIRECTOR NAMED FOR DEPARTMENT OF EMERGENCY MEDICINE
Jeff Guyer, R.N., of Altoona
Jeff Guyer, R.N., of Altoona has been promoted to administrative director of the department of Emergency Medicine at Altoona Regional Health System.

In his new role, Guyer will be responsible for the overall administrative and daily operations of the Emergency departments at both hospital campuses. He will also be instrumental in the upcoming consolidation project.

Prior to his appointment, Guyer served as a nursing supervisor at Bon Secours Hospital Campus for four years. He formerly served as director of Critical Care Services (including the Emergency department) for four years at Bon Secours-Holy Family Hospital and for seven years as the director of Critical Care Services (including the Emergency department) at J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital in Huntingdon. For 13 years, he was a nurse in the Emergency department at Mercy Hospital.







July 13, 2009 - HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS AUGUST PROGRAMS

The Healthy Living Club has scheduled the following educational programs and screenings for August as a community service. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665 to make an appointment or to register. The Altoona Hospital Campus is at 620 Howard Ave.; the Bon Secours Hospital Campus Education Center is at 2621 8th Ave

Free osteoporosis screenings (heel scans) for men and women will be conducted by appointment only on Friday, Aug. 7, 12:30-3 p.m., at the Bon Secours Hospital Campus Kaufman Dining Room, 2500 7th Ave. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665 to make an appointment.

An AARP Driver Safety Program will be presented Tuesday, Aug. 11, and Wednesday, Aug. 12, from 6-10 p.m., Logan Room, 6th floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. Fee: $12 for AARP members (AARP identification required); $14 for non-AARP members. 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.

A Safe Sitter Class will be offered Friday, Aug. 14, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at Bon Secours Hospital Campus Education Center, Trzeciak Conference Suite, 2621 8th Ave. Fee $25, 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.

Join Jessica Lippert, APPRISE regional coordinator with Blair Senior Services, who will present "Understanding Medicare and Medicare Advantage Plans" on Friday, Aug. 21. Lunch at 11 a.m. followed by program until 1 p.m. at the Bon Secours Hospital Campus Education Center, Trzeciak Conference Suite, 2621 8th Ave. Jessica will explain Medicare, its "parts" and "plans," how they work and what they are supposed to do. No fee. Registration required. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

Gail Murphy, registered instructor in Hatha Yoga, leads a six-week series of yoga Tuesdays, Aug. 18 through Sept. 22. Hatha Yoga offers mind/body exercise, breath control, stretching and strengthening to promote mental, physical and spiritual well-being. The classes are held in the Rotunda, 6th floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. Fee $30 for both beginner and intermediate class. Beginners: 5:30-6:40 p.m. Intermediate: 6:50-8 p.m. Another beginner class will be held Thursdays, Aug. 20 through Sept. 24, 5-6:10 p.m. Fee $30. Register now as class is limited to 25. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

Join endocrinologist Dr. Michael Humphrey, Blair Medical Associates, for "Discussing Diabetes" as he addresses current research and treatment options at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 26. What are the differences between Type I and Type II, and why is this disease so prevalent in our area? Join Dr. Humphrey as he answers these and many other questions about diabetes. Ample time will be allotted for questions. Healthy snacks will be served. The program will be held in the Rotunda, 6th floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. No fee. Registration required. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665. Class size limited.

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 9, 2009 - Altoona Regional Recreational Therapist Receives Professional Service Award
Roy
Roy "Geoff" Geesey, chief therapeutic recreation therapist at Altoona Regional Health System, received "The Professional Service Award" from the Pennsylvania Therapeutic Recreation Society.

Therapeutic Recreation provides opportunities to manage time, reduce tension, manage stress, learn new skills, and focus on goals to promote health and wellness. The overall goal is improved functioning and healthy behaviors after discharge from the hospital.

During his 23-year tenure at Altoona Regional, Geesey, who has served in his current capacity for the past five years, has been an active and committed member to the therapeutic recreational team. He has coordinated a scholarship in 2002, 2006 and 2008.

"Geoff has consistently demonstrated an exemplary service to Altoona Regional," said Paul Tryninewski, administrative director, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. "He is an example of a true professional. He is compassionate and dedicated to those patients and the facility he serves.

"Geoff is well-respected by the medical staff, interdisciplinary team and above all by the patients. He is a valued asset to the organization."

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 9, 2009 - Altoona Regional Health System School of Medical Technology/Clinical Laboratory Science Conducts 34th Annual Graduation Exercises
Four graduates honored at the 34th Annual graduation exercises at ARHS School of Medical Technology/Clinical Laboratory Science


Photo: Front row, from left: Nicole A. Heverly, Amanda J. Lafferty, and back row, from left, Adam R. Mills and Eric T. Walker.

Three area students were among four graduates honored at the 34th Annual graduation exercises of the Altoona Regional Health System School of Medical Technology/Clinical Laboratory Science conducted Friday, June 26, at the Outpatient Center.

The area graduates are: Nicole A. Heverly, daughter of Frederick and Corinne Heverly of Glasgow, Clearfield County, Eric T. Walker, son of Timothy and Donna Walker of Woodland, Clearfield County and Adam R. Mills, son of Rodney and Barbara Mills of Saint Marys, Elk County. The other graduate was Amanda J. Lafferty, daughter of James and Karen Lafferty of Clarksburg, W.Va.

Dale Fuller, vice president, Chief Information Officer of Altoona Regional Health System, offered a welcome to the family of the graduates, honored guests, faculty and graduates. Joseph Pufka, administrative director of the Laboratory, presented the Most Outstanding Student Award to Adam R. Mills.

Carolyn S. Steglich, PhD, Director, Paramedical Committee, Slippery Rock University, was the guest speaker for the occasion. Americo B. Anton, M.D., director of the Laboratory, and Joseph R. Noel, school program director, presented the diplomas and pins.

Clinical Laboratory Science (Medical Technology) is an interesting, challenging and rewarding profession. Laboratory tests performed to aid physicians in their diagnosis and treatment of patients are done under the direction of clinical laboratory scientists (Medical Technologists).

Working in a hospital, clinic, research laboratory, physician's office or in a public health laboratory, they are responsible for a variety of chemical, hematological, immunological, microbiological, serologic and other laboratory procedures. Such determinations contribute to patient care and provide important diagnostic data. The clinical laboratory scientist is also responsible for the quality control of the laboratory and supervision of other laboratory personnel. Since laboratory tests deal directly with life and death matters, the trained clinical laboratory scientist occupies a responsible key position.

As in other medical professions, the practice of clinical laboratory science is regulated both from within the profession, and in some states, by law. Completion of the Program at Altoona Regional Health System culminates in a Bachelor Degree in Medical Technology/Clinical Laboratory Science.

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 25, 2009 - PRIMAL REFLEX RELEASE TECHNIQUES HELP RESOLVE PAIN

(Editors: Please note patients are available for interviews/photographs/videotaping.)

Physical therapist Phil Kanar uses Primal Reflex Release Techniques to help resolve pain in patients who typically suffer from myofascial (muscle and the tissue that surrounds it) pain, versus individuals with actual structural problems.

Initially thought to be only beneficial for acute injuries, these techniques are now used to help chronic pain sufferers. The techniques are based on resolving primitive reflexes that become triggered when any form of pain is experienced. The techniques are gentle and done manually. There is typically no flare-up of the condition. Length of treatment depends upon the condition. If no relief occurs after four or five treatments, this approach is most likely not going to help. In general, 70 percent of patients receive some relief.

A physical therapist with 30 years of experience who practices at Altoona Regional's Duncansville physical therapy office, Kanar has found this approach the most beneficial treatment since he began using it in conjunction with other physical therapy treatments.

A physician referral is required.

For more information, call Kanar at 693-7684 or visit www.theprrt.com.

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 22, 2009 - PARTNERSHIP FORMED TO ENHANCE SECTION OF CITY; VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR UPCOMING PHASE

A local partnership has formed and is working with the City of Altoona to enhance a key section of the city to reduce drugs and crime; improve housing, neighborhood aesthetics and activities, and spur economic development in the area.

The partnership includes the City of Altoona, Operation Our Town, Altoona Regional Health System, the Nehemiah Project of the Pleasant Valley Assembly of God Church, Altoona Blair County Development Corporation (ABCD), Wright Elementary School, Greater Altoona Redevelopment Authority, Blair County Community Action Agency, Penn State Altoona, local business leaders and volunteers, and the offices of U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, state Sen. John Eichelberger and state Rep. Rick Geist.

The group's long-term target is an area of the city that runs from Chestnut to 21st Avenue and from 1st to 11th Street. The purpose of the partnership is to help the City of Altoona facilitate a coordinated long-term vision and action strategy for this section of Altoona. According to partnership Chairman Ron McConnell, "We are well on our way to that coordinated effort. Many ideas are on the table, many strategies are being discussed, and real progress is being made."

While the partnership is focused on positive improvements to the entire area, it is now supporting the City of Altoona's 4th Street Gateway Enhancement Project. This Gateway project, from Chestnut to 21st Avenue between 3rd and 5th streets, looks to improve the 4th Street corridor by helping homeowners with city code violations, tearing down blight and removing drugs and crime, and improving sidewalks and curbs and adding trees.

The first leg of this Gateway project, extending from Chestnut to Cherry Avenue between 3rd and 5th streets, is ready to kick off. The city completed a code sweep of the area and found 21 owner-occupied homes in need of repair.

The partnership is seeking community-minded volunteers to help the city assist needy homeowners in the Gateway project area in sprucing up their properties and fixing code violations. Volunteers need to be at least 18 years old and will be doing everything from painting and light fix-up and repairs to installing siding and replacing soffit and fascia.

Anyone interested in volunteering should call Mary Ann Pellegrine in the city's Planning and Community Development Department at 949-2476 as soon as possible.

The partnership has raised $36,000 to help the city get started, with significant contributions from Operation Our Town and the Greater Altoona Economic Development Corporation (GADEC).

Burgmeier Hauling is coordinating a cleanup for the area in the fall.

The partnership's members are involved for various reasons. Operation Our Town has donated money to fight blight, illegal drug use and crime in the area. Altoona Regional Health System is consolidating acute care on its Altoona Hospital Campus and wants to ensure the best possible environment for its patients, employees, physicians and volunteers.

ABCD Corp. has an interest in the community and business development planned along Chestnut Avenue and other areas. The Nehemiah Project brings experience and energy from its rehabilitation and ministry work in lower Fairview where Wright school is located. Blair County Community Action is working to assist residents in this area with support and resources as this effort moves forward.

And Penn State Altoona sees 4th Street as one of main travel corridors to the college and a connector between the college and its downtown facilities. Our elected officials have all been supportive and enthusiastic about this positive community project, stated Chairman McConnell.







June 19, 2009 - NEWS CONFERENCE ADVISORY

The local collaborative spearheading the 4th Street Gateway Enhancement Program will hold a news conference at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, June 22, at the former Altoona Center on 4th Street between Howard and Willow avenues.

The news conference introduces the collaborative and launches the campaign to recruit volunteers to help needy homeowners in the 4th Street corridor spruce up their properties and fix code violations.

Please enter the Altoona Center's upper parking lot from either Howard or Willow avenues. The news conference will be held outside, under the picnic pavilion.

Representatives from the project's collaborative groups are expected to attend. The groups include the City of Altoona, Operation Our Town, Altoona Regional Health System, the Nehemiah Project of the Pleasant Valley Assembly of God Church, ABCD Corp., Wright Elementary School, Altoona Redevelopment Authority, Blair County Community Action Agency and Penn State Altoona, as well as the offices of U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, state Sen. John Eichelberger and state Rep. Rick Geist.







June 17, 2009 - HEALTHY LIVING CLUB SETS JULY PROGRAMS

The Healthy Living Club has scheduled the following educational programs and screenings for July as a community service. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665 to make an appointment or to register. The Altoona Hospital Campus is at 620 Howard Ave.; the Bon Secours Hospital Campus is at 2621 8th Ave.

A Child Safety Seat Checkup Station is scheduled for Friday, July 10, 9:30-11 a.m. at 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.

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) screening will be offered by appointment only Tuesday, July 14, 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. For an appointment, call 889-2630 or call1.888.313.4665. Peripheral artery disease occurs when plaque clogs leg arteries or vessels and restricts blood flow. Untreated PAD can not only make walking difficult but may increase your risk of heart attack or stroke. Kay Adams, nurse practitioner and manager of the Vascular Institute, will check for PAD by performing an ABI (ankle-brachial index) screen, a painless procedure in which blood pressure is measured in the legs and arms. Please be prepared to remove shoes and socks.

Join Dr. Ryan Ridenour of Blair Medical Associates and Lexington Hospitalists as he discusses some of the more common health problems faced by men and provides the tools to fight them off, stay strong and maintain overall good health in "Men's Health Tips:

Good Information You Can Live With," Friday, July 24. Lunch is at 11 a.m. followed by 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. This program is for men and the women who love them. Ample time will be allotted for questions.

An AARP Driver Safety Program will be presented Tuesday, July 7, and Wednesday, July 8, from 6-10 p.m., Logan Room, 6th floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. Fee: $12 for AARP members (AARP identification required); $14 for non-AARP members. 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.







June 15, 2009 - ALTOONA REGIONAL VALET OPERATIONS MANAGER WINS NATIONAL AWARD

Gary Carl of Hollidaysburg HealthCare Parking Systems of Tampa, Fla., has named Gary Carl of Hollidaysburg "Manager of the Year" for 2009. He is operations manager of valet parking at Altoona Regional Health System, Altoona Hospital Campus.

Altoona Regional is one of 300 hospitals in HealthCare Parking Systems network. Carl is one of 350 managers for the company. He and his team will be featured in corporate training manuals as part of the honor of being named "Manager of the Year."







June 12, 2009 - Local auxilians elected to state board of directors

The 59th annual meeting of the Pennsylvania Association of Healthcare Auxiliaries (PAHA) was held May 12-14 in Harrisburg. Louise Berry and Jack Freas, both of Altoona, were elected to the Executive Committee State Board of Directors. Berry and Freas will serve as PAHA secretary/treasurer and gift shop chairman respectively for the 2009-2011 term.

Berry and Freas are both past presidents of Friends of Altoona Regional, the health care system's auxiliary. Berry has served on the Friends board of directors for the past 16 years.

Vicki Baughman, current president of Friends of Altoona Regional, accompanied Berry and Freas, and was among the more than 150 auxilians in attendance. The conference, "Believe It and Achieve It," featured speakers and educational workshops geared to providing members of hospital auxiliaries the material needed to best serve their hospitals and stay current with today's changing health care environment.






June 11, 2009 - ALTOONA REGIONAL OFFERS SUPPORT GROUPS/CLINICS IN JULY

Altoona Regional Health System offers the following support group meetings and patient clinics in July as a public service to the community. They are listed alphabetically according to the campus on which they are conducted.

Support groups meeting on the Altoona Hospital Campus meet in the Allegheny, Blair, Juniata and Logan rooms. These rooms are located on the sixth floor of the Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus, 620 Howard Ave., Altoona.

The Alzheimer's Support Group meets at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 28, in the Allegheny Room. Please call 889-2141 for information.

The Bariatric Support Group meets at 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 1, in the Juniata Room. Please call 889-2350 for information.

The Breastfeeding Support Group meets at 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 22. Please call 889-2310 for room information.

The Caregivers Corner Support Group meets at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, July 2, at Hoss's, Duncansville. For information, call 889-3123.

The Depression and Bipolar Support Group meets at 7 p.m. every Wednesday in the Allegheny Room. Call 889-2141 for information.

Diabetes Outpatient Education is available by individual appointment and group sessions. A referral by a physician is required. Call 889-2487 for information.

I Can Cope Support Group meets at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 2. Please call 889-2731 for the location and information.

The Lap Band Support Group meets at 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 1, in the Logan Room. Call 889-2350 for information.

The Parkinson's Support Group meets at 11 a.m. Monday, July 27, at Hoss's Restaurant, Altoona. Call 889-2141 for information.

The Stroke Support Group meets at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, July 9, in the Allegheny Room. Call 889-3155 for information.

Support Group for Those Who Have Lost a Loved One through Suicide meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 21, in the Blair Room. Call 889-2141 for information.

The following support groups and clinics meet at the Bon Secours Hospital Campus, 2500 7th Ave. The Trzeciak Conference Suite is in the Education Center at 2621 8th Ave. For Kaufman Dining Room, Rehabilitation, Sleep Medicine and Fourth Floor waiting room please use the 7th Avenue entrance.

Alcoholics Anonymous meets at 8 p.m. every Monday in the Kaufman Dining Room. For information, call 946-9002.

The Amputee Clinic is conducted at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 15, in the Rehabilitation department. For information, call 889-4463.

The A.W.A.K.E. (Alert, Well and Keeping Energetic) educational support group for people who have problems with snoring and sleep apnea meets 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 28, in the Institute for Sleep Medicine waiting room on the 4th floor. For information, call 889.4466.

The Breast Cancer Support Group meets at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 2, in the Trzeciak Conference Suite. For information, call 886-6458.

The Faith-based Bereavement/Grief Support Group meets at 6 p.m. Wednesdays, July 1 and 15, in the fourth floor waiting room. For information, call 889-3323.

The Stroke Support Group meets at noon Tuesday, July 14, in the Kaufman Dining Room. For information, call 889-4463.

A Wheelchair Clinic will be held at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 14, in the Rehabilitation department. Physician referral required. Call for information and appointment, 889-4463.

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 4, 2009 - 11 EMPLOYEES REACH 40-YEAR SERVICE MILESTONE

The following 11 employees reached 40 years of service in health care and were recently honored during National Hospital Week: Dennis Albright of Roaring Spring, Patient Access; Drew Appleman, Altoona, Nuclear Medicine; Rita Green, Altoona, Radiology (CT); Jean Jones, Spruce Creek, Maternity; Patricia Keppler, Duncansville, Case Management; Samuel McClure, Hollidaysburg, Pulmonary Services; Robert Neff, Altoona, Environment of Care; Debra Sadler, Wound Care and Ostomy Program; Bonnie Sultage, Bellwood, Systems Improvement; Ruth Westley, Altoona, Case Management, and R. Thomas Zeek, Hollidaysburg, Nursing Administration.






June 2, 2009 - DEPARTMENT OF EMERGENCY MEDICINE APPOINTMENTS ANNOUNCED

Matthew Bouchard, M.D. Dr. Sullivan Dolan
Matthew Bouchard, M.D., has been appointed chair/medical director, Emergency Medicine, and Teresa Sullivan Dolan, M.D., has been appointed assistant medical director, Emergency Medicine, effective June 1.

Dr. Bouchard has been employed at Altoona Regional since 2000 in the Emergency department, and for most of that time served as the assistant medical director. Dr. Bouchard completed his medical school training at the University of Pennsylvania and his residency at the Medical College of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Sullivan Dolan has been employed at Altoona Regional since July 2007 and has previously assisted with a number of administrative functions within the Emergency department. Dr. Sullivan Dolan received her medical degree from Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, and completed her residency in Emergency Medicine at George Washington University, Washington, D.C.






May 29, 2009 - SPECT/CT PROVIDES LATEST IN NUCLEAR IMAGING

SPECT/CT, or Single-Photon Emission Computed Tomography/Computed Tomography scan Altoona Regional patients requiring nuclear medicine imaging now have access to the latest in hybrid technology: SPECT/CT, or Single-Photon Emission Computed Tomography/Computed Tomography scan.

The GE Hawkeye Afinia in Nuclear Medicine provides improved detection, diagnosis and therapy planning for cardiology, oncology, neurology and nephrology diseases, according to supervisor Drew Appleman. It is used to aid in the diagnosis of coronary artery disease, inflammatory diseases, tumors, bone diseases and renal diseases.

It is the only SPECT/CT available in Blair County. The new machine is helpful for obese patients weighing up to 400 pounds, he said. The previous machine had a 350-pound limit.

Photo: The GE Hawkeye Afinia SPECT/CT is positioned to perform a cardiac scan.

The SPECT/CT performs adjunct tests to stress EKGs, for example. "It doesn't replace any existing tests, but provides more comprehensive results. It improves the quality of the image and focuses on organ function," Appleman said.

By combining a gamma camera with a CT scan, Radiologist Irini M. Youssef, M.D., said, anatomic landmarks are added to the physiologic information a typical nuclear medicine study. This helps the radiologists localize disease. Also, by combining a gamma camera with a CT scan, through a process called attenuation correction, attenuation artifacts found in a typical nuclear cardiac stress scan can be eliminated.

Seventy percent of the nuclear medicine imaging being done is for cardiac scans, Dr. Youssef said. The second most common type of scans performed are renal scans, followed by neurological scans. Scans are also performed to pinpoint the source of infections - to differentiate between a bone infection or a soft tissue infection.

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 27, 2009 - ALTOONA REGIONAL RECEIVES NATIONAL RECOGNITION FOR ORGAN DONATION RATES

The Altoona Regional Health System and the Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) were nationally recognized for their success in achieving increased organ donation rates.

The National Medal of Honor awards were originally presented by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) during the Fourth National Learning Congress, Oct. 22-24th, Nashville, Tennessee.

The medals of honor recognize hospitals and organ procurement organizations, such as CORE, that attain organ donation consent conversion rates of at least 75 percent within a 12 month cycle. The conversion rate is calculated by the number of actual organ donors out of the number of potential organ donors. Altoona Regional was one of nine hospitals in Pennsylvania to accomplish this national goal.

Altoona Regional earned this esteemed honor for achieving a 92.9 organ donation consent rate.

"I wish to express my thanks to the Altoona Regional Donor Advisory Committee, which spearheads all organ donation efforts, Nursing Administration and Chief Nursing Officer Chris Rickens for sending such a strong message of support for organ donation throughout the organization," said Murray.

"CORE is very proud of Altoona Regional for earning this high honor," said CORE President & CEO Susan Stuart. "As we work collaboratively to save the lives of thousands of Pennsylvanians awaiting transplant, it is of utmost importance that we continually strive for excellence in donation."

Currently there are over 101,000 patients on the list awaiting an organ transplant, the majority waiting for a kidney transplant. Each day, 18 to 20 patients die while waiting for an organ transplant, and yet every organ donor can help save or enhance the lives of up to 50 individuals.

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 22, 2009 - NEW SUPPORT GROUP STARTING FOR WOMEN WITH PELVIC PAIN

A new support group is forming for women who suffer from pelvic pain. The first meeting of the Women's Support Group for Pelvic Pain meets at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 18, in the Allegheny Room, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus, Altoona Regional Health System, 620 Howard Ave.

Pelvic pain can come from many sources, including endometriosis, interstitial cystitis, pelvic floor dysfunction, adhesions, vulvodynia, low back pain and more.






May 22, 2009 -NEWS CONFERENCE WEDNESDAY, MAY 27, AT 3 P.M.

WHAT: Altoona Regional and Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) were nationally recognized for their success in achieving increased organ donation rates. CORE will present Altoona Regional with the "National Medal of Honor."

WHEN: 3 p.m. Wednesday, May 27

WHERE: Altoona Hospital Campus, Atrium

WHY: Altoona Regional earned the honor for achieving 75 percent organ donation consent rate - one of only nine hospitals in Pennsylvania to accomplish this goal.

WHO: Speakers include: Jerry Murray, acting President/CEO of Altoona Regional; CORE representatives, and Malinda Sherid of Greensburg, mother of an organ donor.

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 21, 2009 - ALTOONA REGIONAL'S Elekta Synergy® S Radiation Treatment System ARRIVES

New System to Provide Greater Accuracy, Effectiveness in Treating Cancer


Elekta Synergy® S, a radiation treatment system with an integrated 3D imaging system that allows physicians to more precisely target tumors with radiation beams, arrived at Altoona Regional Health System May 16. Altoona Regional's Center for Cancer Care expects to begin treating patients with Elekta Synergy S in August.

This $3.2 million project signals its commitment to providing the highest levels of quality cancer care. Altoona Regional will be the first in the state to offer Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT), an advanced treatment technique that enables faster and more accurate treatment for many types of tumors.

With Elekta Synergy® S, Altoona Regional will provide access to one of the most innovative and advanced cancer treatment therapies available. Elekta Synergy S is an image-guided robotic linear accelerator that combines integrated software-driven imaging with powerful high-resolution radiation delivery.

"It offers more precise treatment with less impact on healthy tissue. It's better for our patients," Jack D. Schocker, M.D., oncology department chair, said.

The 12-hour delivery day involved the skill of a dozen people and heavy equipment to move approximately 40 crates of equipment weighing between several hundred pounds per piece to 5,000 pounds.

The physical installation will take six weeks, followed by an intense period of testing by the manufacturer and by the hospital to demonstrate that the machine is performing to strict standards. Staff is then trained in all aspects of the new equipment's performance.

The linear accelerator's ability to perform high quality, 3D imaging at the time of treatment provides clinicians with a solution to two of the most persistent and significant problems in radiation therapy: internal organ motion and errors in patient set-up. Elekta Synergy S provides unmatched clinical confidence to more aggressively treat tumors, while minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissue.

A new approach to radiation therapy
Elekta Synergy S integrates high-resolution beam shaping, precise target localization, organ motion control and 3D imaging into one package, taking stereotactic radiosurgery and radiotherapy to a new level. Physicians using Elekta Synergy S are able to obtain low-dose cone beam CT images of patients at the time of treatment, allowing more precise targeting of the tumor with radiation beams.

Traditional radiotherapy calls for imaging studies to be done several days before treatment. Elekta Synergy® S enables radiation oncologists like Dr. Schocker to obtain images just before treatment with the patient in the exact position he or she will be treated in. This not only reduces the chance for errors in tumor targeting and patient positioning, but also allows an increase in the dose to the tumor by virtue of more certainty of the tumor's location.

Since organs may shift naturally - during breathing, for example - affecting the exact location of the tumor or target, Elekta Synergy S allows clinicians to make immediate adjustments in the patient's position to ensure that the radiation dose hits its precise target. The ability to make necessary changes at the time of treatment is also an advantage because the tumor may have changed shape or size since a previous treatment. Many patients who were not candidates for older methods of radiation therapy can be treated with Elekta Synergy S because of its precision.

In addition to improving accuracy, Elekta Synergy S reduces or eliminates the need for implanting markers, as clinicians can visualize soft tissue detail using Elekta Synergy VolumeView™. This low-dose imaging capability helps minimize the side effects of radiation therapy by reducing the margins previously set to account for uncertainties of target dimensions, location and movement. In addition, clinicians have the confidence that a 3D plan will be delivered as an accurately targeted 3D treatment.

About Altoona Regional
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.

About Elekta
Elekta is a human care company pioneering significant innovations and clinical solutions for treating cancer and brain disorders. The company develops sophisticated state of the art tools and treatment planning systems for radiation therapy and radiosurgery, as well as workflow enhancing software systems across the spectrum of cancer care. For more information about Elekta, please visit www.elekta.com.






May 15, 2009 - ALTOONA REGIONAL EDUCATION DEPARTMENT ASSISTS WITH SKIN CANCER PREVENTION PROGRAMS IN SCHOOLS

 Nursing students participating in the skin cancer prevention program


Photo: Nursing students participating in the skin cancer prevention program are (from left): front row - Laurie Walker, Anna Cerully, Patricia Deyo Kozerski, Becky Diehl, Renae Foor, Kirstin Hawksworth and Myra DeLuca; second row - Della Werner, Kristin Devlin, Jennifer Hassen, Jessica Adamoski, Thad Neidrick and Carol Pritt. Altoona Regional's Education department teamed with the American Cancer Society (ACS) to provide skin cancer prevention programs to third graders.

Cathy Dillen, R.N., Altoona Regional's cancer community outreach coordinator, along with several Penn State Altoona nursing students from Dr. Nedra Farcus' class, traveled to 20 local elementary schools to educate young children about the importance of skin cancer prevention. The hour-long program includes a video, an education session, an activity period and a post test.

"The information presented during the program is extremely important as 80 percent of skin cancer is preventable if we follow simple rules to limit our exposure to the sun," said Cathy. "Our goal is not to scare the children, but empower them to make good choices when dressing for the sun, and choosing the time to be outside."

The children are given information packets and coloring pages to take home, along with a letter to their parents or guardian explaining what the children learned during the program.






May 14, 2009 - ANNUAL REPORT HIGHLIGHTS HEALTH SYSTEM'S COMMUNITY IMPACT

In fiscal year 2008 Altoona Regional Health System provided in excess of $33 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 $1.2 million in 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.

Altoona Regional provides health care under government programs that pay less than what the care costs. Very often, care for low-income people and those 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 received $11.5 less than the cost of the care provided under these programs.

Altoona Regional also provides the community with critical services despite a financial loss. The community has specialized health care needs that only the health system meets. They include services such as trauma and emergency care, women's health care, renal dialysis, transitional care and behavioral health — at a cost of $3.4 million.

"We are a nonprofit health care organization with a commitment to providing tangible community benefit that includes increasing health care access, reducing disparities in the health care system and being a champion for those who face obstacles in their daily lives," said Jerry Murray, acting president and CEO.

"We believe we have an obligation to reach beyond our walls with our tremendous people and resources to meet the needs of those we serve. And we serve everyone, regardless of their ability to pay. Altoona Regional is 'community-owned' health care with a strong quality and service ethic. This report demonstrates how we embrace that ethic."

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 14, 2009 - ALTOONA REGIONAL DIALYSIS UNIT RECEIVES DONATION FROM CHRIS' HALLMARK SHOP OF ALTOONA

Chris' Hallmark shop of Altoona donated 50 gift bags


Chris' Hallmark shop of Altoona recently donated 60 gift bags for dialysis unit patients, along with a tray of cookies for dialysis unit staff. At the presentation were: Kathy Fundack (seated), dialysis patient; Sally Gardner (left), sales associate; Bonnie Bartley, R.N., dialysis unit; Valerie Brumbaugh, president, Foundation for Life, and Esther Myers, Hallmark store manager.





May 12, 2009 - ALTOONA REGIONAL OFFERS SUPPORT GROUPS/CLINICS IN JUNE

Altoona Regional Health System offers the following support group meetings and patient clinics in April as a public service to the community. They are listed alphabetically according to the campus on which they are conducted.

Support groups meeting on the Altoona Hospital Campus meet in the Allegheny, Blair, Juniata and Logan rooms. These rooms are located on the sixth floor of the Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus, 620 Howard Ave., Altoona.

The Alzheimer's Support Group meets at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 30, in the Allegheny Room. Please call 889-2141 for information.

The Bariatric Support Group meets at 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 3, in the Juniata Room. Please call 889-2350 for information.

The Breastfeeding Support Group meets at 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 24. Please call 889-2310 for room information.

The Caregivers Corner Support Group meets at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, June 4, at Hoss's, Duncansville. For information, call 889-3123.

The Depression and Bipolar Support Group meets at 7 p.m. every Wednesday in the Allegheny Room. Call 889-2141 for information.

Diabetes Outpatient Education is available by individual appointment and group sessions. A referral by a physician is required. Call 889-2487 for information.

I Can Cope Support Group meets at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 11. Please call 889-2731 for the location and information.

The Lap Band Support Group meets at 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 3, in the Logan Room. Call 889-2350 for information.

The Parkinson's Support Group meets at 11 a.m. Monday, June 22, at Hoss's Restaurant, Altoona. Call 889-2141 for information.

The Stroke Support Group meets at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, June 11, in the Allegheny Room. Call 889-3155 for information.

Support Group for Those Who Have Lost a Loved One through Suicide meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 16, in the Blair Room. Call 889-2141 for information.

The following support groups and clinics meet at the Bon Secours Hospital Campus, 2500 7th Ave. The Trzeciak Conference Suite is in the Education Center at 2621 8th Ave. For Kaufman Dining Room, Rehabilitation and Fourth Floor waiting room please use the 7th Avenue entrance.

Alcoholics Anonymous meets at 8 p.m. every Monday in the Kaufman Dining Room. For information, call 946-9002.

The Amputee Clinic is conducted at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 17, in the Rehabilitation department. For information, call 889-4463.

The Breast Cancer Support Group meets at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 4, in the Trzeciak Conference Suite. For information, call 886-6458.

The Faith-based Bereavement/Grief Support Group meets at 6 p.m. Wednesdays, June 3 and 17, in the fourth floor waiting room. For information, call 889-3323.

The Stroke Support Group meets at noon Tuesday, June 9, in the Kaufman Dining Room. For information, call 889-4463.

A Wheelchair Clinic will be held at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 9, in the Rehabilitation department. Physician referral required. Call for information and appointment, 889-4463.

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 12, 2009 - HEALTHY LIVING CLUB ANNOUNCES JUNE PROGRAMS

Altoona Regional's Healthy Living Club will provide the following educational programs and screenings during June as a community service. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665 to make an appointment or to register. The Altoona Hospital Campus is at 620 Howard Ave.; the Bon Secours Hospital Campus is at 2621 8th Ave

Free osteoporosis screenings (heel scans) for men and women will be conducted by appointment only on Friday, June 5, 12:30-3 p.m., at the Bon Secours Hospital Campus Education Center, in the Trzeciak Conference Suite, 2621 8th Ave. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665 to make an appointment.

Join Sharon Rydbom for a spring craft "Bloomin' Daisy Hat" 6:30-8 p.m. Friday, June 5.

Bon Secours Hospital Campus Education Center, Trzeciak Conference Suite, 2621 8th Ave. The cost is $12. Registration required. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665. Class size limited to 14. She will provide guidance in making a cheery daisy hat decoration with birds, bees and flowers to brighten your day! Materials needed include scissors, ruler, glue gun and glue sticks, two Styrofoam plates and two straight pins. You must pick up supplies in the Community Education office (Altoona Hospital Campus, Tower 5) the week before class.

An AARP Driver Safety Program class will be presented 6-10 p.m. Tuesday, June 9, and Wednesday, June 10, in the Logan Room, 6th floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. Fee: $12 for AARP members (AARP ID required); $14 for non-AARP members.

Registration required. 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.

A Child Safety Seat Checkup Station is scheduled for Friday, June 12, 9:30-11 a.m. at 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.

Exhaustion from chronic illness or its treatment can last for days, weeks or even months. Join Cathy Dillen, R.N., of Altoona Regional's Center for Cancer Care for "Fatigue and Chronic Illness" Friday, June 19. She will discuss fatigue as it relates to chronic illness; its causes, effects and treatment; strategies for coping, and energy conservation and restoration. Lunch at 11 a.m. followed by program until 1 p.m. Bon Secours Hospital Campus Education Center, Trzeciak Conference Suite, 2621 8th Ave. Ample time will be allotted for your questions. No fee. Registration required. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665.

A Safe Sitter Class will be offered Friday, June 26, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at Bon Secours Hospital Campus Education Center, Trzeciak Conference Suite, 2621 8th Ave. Fee $25, 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.

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 7, 2009 - KISHOR D. PATEL, M.D., RECEIVES RECERTIFICATION BY AMERICAN BOARD OF PEDIATRICS

Kishor D. Patel, M.D.


Kishor D. Patel, M.D., of Tyrone Medical Associates, a member of the Altoona Regional Medical Staff, was recently recertified as a diplomate by The American Board of Pediatrics through Dec. 31, 2014.

The American Board of Pediatrics is a certification board that establishes qualifications, conducts examinations and certifies as diplomates those it finds qualified as specialists in pediatrics. Certification includes initial specialty certification and maintenance of certification throughout the physician's career.






May 5, 2009 - Mount Aloysius students organize book drive to benefit Altoona Regional Health System

Mount Aloysius students organize book drive


Mount Aloysius students Christine Durbin (left) of Gallitzin and Ashley Madden (right) of Altoona collected 190 and 39 assorted children's books respectively as part of a class project. The books will be distributed to younger patients during their visit to Altoona Regional's Surgery Center and Pediatrics Unit. Joining Christine and Ashley are Valerie L. Brumbaugh (second from left), president, Altoona Regional Foundation for Life, and Nina Ramsey, R.N., BSN, manager, Altoona Regional Surgery Center.






May 4, 2009 - INFLUENZA CASES AT ALTOONA REGIONAL NOT CAUSED BY H1N1 VIRUS

Altoona Regional Health System was informed this afternoon by the Department of Health (DOH) that all specimens forwarded to the state for testing were negative for the influenza A-H1N1 virus, also called swine flu.

In all, the state requested and tested eight specimens from Altoona Regional. All were negative and no further testing is necessary.

Altoona Regional continues to follow all protocols established by the Centers for Disease Control and the state Department of Health.

The health system's Infection Control department encourages people to continue to follow the precautions everyone should take during any flu season. They include:
  • Good respiratory / cough etiquette: Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw your tissue in the trash. Perform hand hygiene afterward.
  • Good hand hygiene: Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
Flu-like symptoms can include fever, body aches, runny nose, sore throat, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea. If you are ill with these symptoms, and you have recently traveled to areas where influenza A-H1N1, or swine flu, has been identified, you may want to contact your health care provider so he or she can determine if you need testing or treatment.

If you become ill and experience any of the following warning signs, you should seek medical care:

In children:
  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Flu-like symptoms improved but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Fever with a rash
In adults:
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting





April 23, 2009 - HEPATITIS C SCREENING SCHEDULED MAY 19; 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 19, in the School of Nursing Auditorium, Altoona Hospital Campus, 620 Howard Ave., Altoona.

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 Gastroenterology Associates, Roche Laboratories and Abbott Diagnostics.

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 could occur include dialysis, solid organ transplants or blood transfusions before 1992. Also, health care workers or others 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.






April 23, 2009 - 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 28, 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 shotgun start. If the outing is canceled due to inclement weather, all prizes will be awarded by drawing. Interested golfers should contact golf committee chair Jim Beauchamp at 814-329-1427 or jbeauchamp1@atlanticbb.net. Calls are also being accepted by 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 in direct support of enhancements to the Pediatrics Unit.

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 Central Pennsylvania. 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.






April 22, 2009 - National Safe Kids Week Kicks Off with a First-Time Safety Report Linking Research on Unintentional Injury and a Child's Development

Safe Kids Blair County Offers Age-Appropriate Tips to Help Keep Children Safe
(Editors: Sherry Turchetta is available for interviews April 27)


Tickets are available for Women's Night Out, sponsored by Altoona Regional's Healthy Living Club, Thursday, May 7, at the Jaffa Shrine, Broad Avenue and 22nd Street, Altoona. Join humorist Sandy Queen for "Wit and Wisdom of Women." The evening includes dinner at 6:45 p.m. with doors opening at 5:45 p.m.

National Safe Kids Week kicks off Saturday, April 25, with a Child Safety Seat Check by Safe Kids Blair County from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Tyrone High School for the Annual Family Fun Blast.

Altoona Regional Health System is the lead agency for Safe Kids Blair County, bringing the organization’s lifesaving programs to our area.

Traditionally, Safe Kids Week marks the beginning of summer, known by emergency personnel as "trauma season" because it is the time of year when serious injuries to children increase dramatically.

In 2007, there were more than 6 million unintentional injuries to children ages 14 and under in the U.S., which translates to 12 injuries per minute that required treatment in an emergency room.

National Safe Kids Week, April 26 to May 3, coincides with the release of the first-ever safety report to combine specific age-appropriate safety tips with research on children's cognitive, behavioral and physical abilities and limitations to support why certain safety precautions are critical. The report, Raising Safe Kids: One Stage at a Time, will be released by Safe Kids USA on Monday, April 27, at 8 a.m. (EST) and will be available at www.usa.safekids.org.

The new report analyzes research of the five leading unintentional injury risks to children in the U.S. (falls, bicycle-related injuries, motor vehicle occupancy injuries, fire and burns, and poisonings) across the four stages of a child's physical, behavioral and cognitive development: Infancy (0 to 12 months), Early Childhood (1 to 4 years), Middle

Childhood (5 to 9 years) and Early Adolescence (10 to 14 years).

Interviews about the report are available beginning April 27 with Sherry Turchetta, coordinator, she can answer questions on:
  • What is happening to a child cognitively, behaviorally and physically as they age
  • The most important safety tips for each age group
  • Facts and statistics on unintentional childhood injury in Pennsylvania and in the U.S.
For more information about Safe Kids Week, call 814-889-7802 or visit www.usa.safekids.org.

Safe Kids Blair County works to prevent unintentional 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 unintentional injury. Safe Kids Blair County was founded in 1992 and is led by Altoona Regional Health System.






April 16, 2009 - SURGERY CENTER NURSE RETIRES

Kathleen "Kathy" Holes, R.N., C.N.O.R., of Coalport retired March 13 with 26 years of service. She was hired March 13, 1983, as a registered nurse in the operating room at Altoona Hospital. She transferred to the Surgery Center when it opened in October 2003.

She is married to Richard Holes and they have two sons.






April 16, 2009 - TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR ALTOONA REGIONAL'S WOMEN'S NIGHT OUT MAY 7

Tickets are available for Women's Night Out, sponsored by Altoona Regional's Healthy Living Club, Thursday, May 7, at the Jaffa Shrine, Broad Avenue and 22nd Street, Altoona. Join humorist Sandy Queen for "Wit and Wisdom of Women." The evening includes dinner at 6:45 p.m. with doors opening at 5:45 p.m.

It's a night of fun entertainment featuring Sandy's philosophy of "Lighten up! This is the only life you have," and her humor finds laughter in the common experiences of all women. Her unique ability to use humor even for serious topics has earned her a widespread reputation for helping women take a look at their lives, attitudes and feelings and find places to "lighten up" both professionally and personally.

The evening also features a unique jewelry fund-raiser sponsored by Friends of Altoona Regional, the health system auxiliary. Attendees will have the opportunity to purchase chances on jewelry donated by Your Jewelry Box, 908 Logan Blvd., Altoona.

Several jewelry items will be available, including a unique grand prize - a custom-designed "American Woman" necklace. Made of 14-carat white gold, it contains only gemstones mined and cut in the United States. It is designed and crafted by Your Jewelry Box and manufactured in Altoona.

All money raised will benefit the neonatal bereavement program at Altoona Regional. Proceeds will be used to purchase memory boxes for families in the Maternity unit who experience a neonatal loss.

So gather a group of friends and come prepared to laugh together. Tickets for an evening of dinner and entertainment are $35 per person. Registration is required. For reservation information, call 1-888-313-4665 or 814-889-2630.

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 10, 2009 - Laura Hindinger Hired as Risk Manager

Laura Hindinger, R.N., of Hollidaysburg Laura Hindinger, R.N., of Hollidaysburg recently joined the Risk Management department at Altoona Regional Health System as a risk manager. Hindinger obtained her nursing diploma from Orange Memorial Hospital School of Nursing, which is affiliated with Montclair State College, Montclair, N.J.

Hindinger brings 21 years of service and varied nursing experience to the role, having worked in the Intensive Care Unit, Obstetrics, Case Management, Post-Anesthesia Care Unit, and most recently Altoona Regional Nursing Administration as a night-shift nursing supervisor. She has two grown sons who live in Pittsburgh.






April 10, 2009 - MAY PROGRAMS SET FOR ALTOONA REGIONAL'S HEALTHY LIVING CLUB

Altoona Regional's Healthy Living Club will provide the following educational programs and screenings during May as a community service. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665 to make an appointment or to register. The Altoona Hospital Campus is at 620 Howard Ave.; the Bon Secours Hospital Campus is at 2621 8th Ave.

"The Importance of Advance Directives" will be presented Friday, May 1, by Vicki Wertz, attorney and Altoona Regional Ethics Committee chairperson. Lunch is at 11 a.m. followed by the program until 1 p.m. in the Bon Secours Hospital Campus Education Center, Trzeciak Conference Suite, 2621 8th Ave. No fee. Registration required. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665. Learn the importance of making your health care wishes known to your loved ones; what considerations are involved, and how to go about executing an advance directive. Both health care power of attorney and living wills will be discussed. Sample forms will be available.

Free osteoporosis screenings (heel scans) for men and women will be conducted by appointment only on Friday, May 1, 12:30-3 p.m., in the Kaufman Dining Room, Bon Secours Hospital Campus. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665 to make an appointment.

A Child Safety Seat Checkup Station is scheduled for Friday, May 8, 9:30-11 a.m. at 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.

An AARP Driver Safety Program class will be presented 6-10 p.m. Tuesday, May 12, and Wednesday, May 13, in the Logan Room, 6th floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. Fee: $12 for AARP members (AARP ID required); $14 for non-AARP members. Registration required. 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. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665 to register.

Join Dr. Bert Altmanshofer, podiatrist, for "My Feet Are Killing Me!" Friday, May 15. Lunch at 11 a.m. followed by program until 1 p.m. Bon Secours Hospital Campus Education Center, Trzeciak Conference Suite, 2621 8th Ave. No fee. Registration required. It is said "when your feet hurt, you hurt all over." Dr. Altmanshofer will discuss the common foot problems of older adults, causes, nonsurgical and surgical treatment options, prevention and proper foot care. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665 to register.

Join master gardener Dee Martin-Spallone, PSU Extension, for "Get Ready for Planting: How Does Your Garden Grow?" Wednesday, May 27, 6:30-8 p.m., Rotunda, 6th floor, Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus. She will guide you from preparing the soil to selecting and planting your plants. No fee. Registration required. Class size limited. Call 889.2630 or 1.888.313.4665 to register.

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 8, 2009 - ALTOONA REGIONAL OFFERS SUPPORT GROUPS/CLINICS IN MAY

Altoona Regional Health System offers the following support group meetings and patient clinics in April as a public service to the community. They are listed alphabetically according to the campus on which they are conducted.

Support groups meeting on the Altoona Hospital Campus meet in the Allegheny, Blair, Cambria and Juniata rooms. These rooms are located on the sixth floor of the Outpatient Center, Altoona Hospital Campus, 620 Howard Ave., Altoona.

The Alzheimer's Support Group meets at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 26, in the Allegheny Room. Please call 889-2141 for information.

The Bariatric Support Group meets at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 6, in the Juniata Room. Please call 889-3219 for information.

The Breastfeeding Support Group meets at 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 27. Please call 889-2310 for room information.

The Caregivers Corner Support Group meets at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, May 7, at Hoss's, Duncansville. For information, call 889-3123.

The Central PA Ostomy Society meets at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 17, in the Juniata Room. Please call 944-2766.

The Depression and Bipolar Support Group meets at 7 p.m. every Wednesday in the Allegheny Room. Call 889-2141 for information.

Diabetes Outpatient Education is available by individual appointment and group sessions. A referral by a physician is required. Call 889-2487 for information.

I Can Cope Support Group meets at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 14. Please call 889-2731 for the location and information.

The Lap Band Support Group meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 12, in the Cambria Room. Call 889-3219 for information.

The Parkinson's Support Group meets at 11 a.m. Monday, May 25, at Hoss's Restaurant, Altoona. Call 889-2141 for information.

The Stroke Support Group meets at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 14, in the Allegheny Room. Call 889-3155 for information.

Support Group for Those Who Have Lost a Loved One through Suicide meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 19, in the Blair Room. Call 889-2141 for information.

The following support groups and clinics meet at the Bon Secours Hospital Campus, 2500 7th Ave. The Trzeciak Conference Suite is in the Education Center at 2621 8th Ave. For Kaufman Dining Room, Rehabilitation and Fourth Floor waiting room please use the 7th Avenue entrance.

Alcoholics Anonymous meets at 8 p.m. every Monday in the Kaufman Dining Room. For information, call 946-9002.

The Amputee Clinic is conducted at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 20, in the Rehabilitation department. For information, call 889-4463.

The A.W.A.K.E. (Alert, Well and Keeping Energetic) Support Group for people who have problems with snoring and sleep apnea meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 26, in the Institute for Sleep Medicine waiting room on the 4th Floor. For information, call 889-4466.

The Breast Cancer Support Group meets at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 7, in the Trzeciak Conference Suite. For information, call 886-6458.

The Faith-based Bereavement/Grief Support Group meets at 6 p.m. Wednesdays, May 6 and 20, in the fourth floor waiting room. For information, call 889-3323.

The Stroke Support Group meets at noon Tuesday, May 12, in the Kaufman Dining Room. For information, call 889-4463.

A Wheelchair Clinic will be held at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 12, in the Rehabilitation department. Physician referral required. Call for information and appointment, 889-4463.

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 7, 2009 - SUICIDE PREVENTION TOPIC FOR MAY IS MENTAL HEALTH MONTH PROGRAM

A presentation and panel discussion on suicide prevention efforts in Blair County will be presented at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 5, in conjunction with May Is Mental Health Month at Penn State Altoona's Paul R. and Margery Wolf Kuhn Theatre of the Misciagna Family Center for Performing Arts.

Doors open at 6 p.m. with various informational displays from local community organizations. Refreshments will be served at 6:30 p.m. The program, "Perspectives on Suicide Prevention," is sponsored by Altoona Regional Health System, Blair County Mental Health/Mental Retardation/Drug and Alcohol Services Office, Community Behavioral HealthCare Network of Pennsylvania, Home Nursing Agency, Lytle EAP Partners, National Alliance on Mental Illness of Blair County, and Penn State Altoona Health & Wellness Center.

Joseph Antonowicz, M.D., medical director of Altoona Regional Center for Behavioral Health, will discuss the clinical aspects of suicide. This will be followed by a panel discussion, which will provide various perspectives on suicide prevention.

Panelists include: Cindy Estep, the mother of a suicide victim who runs a local support group; Deb Vladic, Altoona Regional Student Assistance Program liaison; Donna Cruse, Lytle EAP Partners, and Joy Himmel, Psy. D., director of the Penn State Altoona Health and Wellness Center.

Pastor Eli Hess, representing NAMI, will provide an inspirational ceremony to conclude the evening.

The goal of the evening is to increase the public's awareness of the signs and symptoms of people at risk of suicide, how to help people thinking of suicide, and to increase knowledge of the many community resources available to those suffering from mental illness.






April 7, 2009 - REGISTRATIONS BEING ACCEPTED NOW FOR AMBUCS BLOOD SCREENING PROGRAM SET FOR MAY 9

Registrations are now being taken for the AMBUCS blood screening program set for 6:30 to 9:30 a.m. Saturday, May 9, in the First Energy Auditorium, 405 West Plank Road, Altoona.

The program is designed in cooperation with Altoona Regional Health System to include tests which assist in the early detection of the leading health risks in our region, including coronary heart disease, glucose intolerance and diabetes, kidney and liver disease and anemia.

You may register by calling Altoona Regional at 889-4222.

The 36-test blood screening requires a 12-hour fast and costs $40. It checks for coronary artery disease (tests include cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, cholesterol/HDL ratio, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol); anemia (red blood cell indices, hemoglobin, hematocrit, red blood cell count, white blood cell count, serum iron); kidney disease (blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, BUN/creatinine ratio); liver disease (albumin, globulin, albumin/globulin ratio, GGT, SGOT, SGPT, total bilirubin, total protein, alkaline phosphotase); diabetes (glucose), and other problems (calcium, chloride, phosphate, potassium sodium, thyroid stimulating hormone, uric acid).

Optional tests for fecal occult blood, prostate specific antigen (PSA) and high sensitivity C - reactive protein for evaluating cardiac inflammation will also be available.

In accordance with state law, please be prepared at the time of registration to provide the name of a physician or to choose a doctor to receive and interpret your test results.






April 3, 2009 - ALTOONA REGIONAL Orders Elekta Synergy® S Radiation Treatment System

New System to Provide Greater Accuracy, Effectiveness in Treating Cancer


Signaling its commitment to providing the highest levels of quality cancer care, Altoona Regional Health System Center for Cancer Care has ordered Elekta Synergy® S, a radiation treatment system with an integrated 3D imaging system that allows physicians to more precisely target tumors with radiation beams. Altoona Regional's Radiation Oncology Department expects to begin treating patients with Elekta Synergy S in August.

With Elekta Synergy® S, Altoona Regional will provide access to one of the most innovative and advanced cancer treatment therapies available. Elekta Synergy S is an image-guided robotic linear accelerator that combines integrated software-driven imaging with powerful high-resolution radiation delivery.

"This innovative technology provides a leap forward in radiation therapy," Jack D. Schocker, M.D., department chair, said. "It offers more precise treatment with less impact on healthy tissue. It's better for our patients."

Since its opening in 1995, the Radiation Oncology Department has cared for more patients than any other facility in the region. The department is staffed with board certified radiation oncologists, two board certified medical physicists, two certified medical dosimetrists, seven certified radiation therapists, four oncology certified nurses, a licensed practical nurse, other support personnel and secretarial staff.

The ability to perform high quality, 3D imaging at the time of treatment provides clinicians with a solution to two of the most persistent and significant problems in radiation therapy: internal organ motion and errors in patient set-up. Elekta Synergy S provides unmatched clinical confidence to more aggressively treat tumors, while minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissue.

A new approach to radiation therapy
Elekta Synergy S integrates high-resolution beam shaping, precise target localization, organ motion control and 3D imaging into one package, taking stereotactic radiosurgery and radiotherapy to a new level. Physicians using Elekta Synergy S are able to obtain low-dose cone beam CT images of patients at the time of treatment, allowing more precise targeting of the tumor with radiation beams.

Traditional radiotherapy calls for imaging studies to be done several days before treatment. Elekta Synergy® S enables radiation oncologists to obtain images just before treatment with the patient in the exact position he or she will be treated in. This not only lessens the chance for errors in tumor targeting and patient positioning, but also allows an increase in the dose to the tumor by virtue of more certainty in the tumor's location.

Since organs may shift naturally — during breathing, for example - affecting the exact location of the tumor or target, Elekta Synergy S allows clinicians to make immediate adjustments in the patient's position to ensure that the radiation dose hits its precise target. The ability to make necessary changes at the time of treatment is also an advantage because the tumor may have changed shape or size since a previous treatment. Many patients who were not candidates for older methods of radiation therapy can be treated with Elekta Synergy S because of its precision.

In addition to improving accuracy, Elekta Synergy S reduces or eliminates the need for implanting markers, as clinicians can visualize soft tissue detail using Elekta Synergy VolumeView. This low-dose imaging capability helps minimize the side effects of radiation therapy by reducing the margins previously set to account for uncertainties of target dimensions, location and movement. In addition, clinicians have the confidence that a 3D plan will be delivered as an accurately targeted 3D treatment.

About Altoona Regional
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.

About Elekta
Elekta is a human care company pioneering significant innovations and clinical solutions for treating cancer and brain disorders. The company develops sophisticated state of the art tools and treatment planning systems for radiation therapy and radiosurgery, as well as workflow enhancing software systems across the spectrum of cancer care. For more information about Elekta, please visit www.elekta.com.






April 2, 2009 - ALTOONA REGIONAL RECEIVES AMERICAN STROKE ASSOCIATION'S GET WITH THE GUIDELINES SILVER PERFORMANCE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Altoona Regional Health System has received the American Stroke Association's Get With The GuidelinesSM-Stroke (GWTG-Stroke) Silver 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 Silver Performance Achievement Award addresses the important element of time," Janet Ashurst, R.N., BSN, CCRN, Neuroscience Clinical Coordinator, said.

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.

To receive the GWTG-Stroke Silver Performance Achievement Award, Altoona Regional consistently complied for at least one year with the requirements in the GWTG-Stroke program. These include aggressive use of medications like tPA, antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, DVT prophylaxis, cholesterol reducing drugs, and smoking cessation. This 12-month evaluation period is the second in an ongoing self-evaluation by the hospital to continually reach the 85 percent compliance level needed to sustain this 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 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 health care 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 heart attack or 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 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. 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.






April 2, 2009 - ALTOONA HOSPITAL CAMPUS LAB RECEIVES ACCREDITATION FROM COLLEGE OF AMERICAN PATHOLOGISTS

The Altoona Hospital Campus Department of Laboratory Services has earned accreditation by the Commission on Laboratory Accreditation of the College of American Pathologists (CAP), based on the results of a recent onsite inspection.

Laboratory Director Joseph M. Pufka was advised by CAP of this national recognition and congratulated for "the excellence of services being provided." The department is one of the more than 6,000 CAP-accredited laboratories nationwide. The accreditation is for two years.

The CAP laboratory accreditation program, begun in the early 1960s, is recognized by the federal government as being equal to or more stringent than the government's own inspection program.
v During the CAP accreditation process, inspectors examine the laboratory's records and quality control procedures for the preceding two years. CAP inspectors also examine the entire staff's qualifications, the lab's equipment, facilities, safety program and record, as well as the overall management of the lab. This stringent inspection program is designed to specifically ensure the highest standard of care for the laboratory's patients.

The College of American Pathologists is a medical society serving nearly 16,000 physician members and the laboratory community throughout the world. It is the world's largest association composed exclusively of pathologists and is widely considered the leader in laboratory quality assurance. The CAP is an advocate for high quality and cost-effective medical 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.






April 2, 2009 - Altoona Regional's Foundation for Life and Friends of Altoona Regional co-organized two events and raised $24,660

Altoona Regional's Foundation for Life and Friends of Altoona Regional co-organized two events and raised $24,660


During the 2008 holiday season, Altoona Regional's Foundation for Life and Friends of Altoona Regional co-organized two events and raised $24,660 in support of Altoona Regional's Partnering for Health Services' Free Medical Clinic. At the check presentation were (from left): Valerie L. Brumbaugh, president, Altoona Regional Foundation for Life; Vicki Baughman, president, Friends of Altoona Regional; Zane Gates, M.D., medical director, Partnering for Health Services, and Cloyd Beers, executive director, Altoona Regional Partnership for a Healthy Community.






March 30, 2009 - VOLUNTEER RECOGNITION SET FOR WEEK OF APRIL 19

The administration, employees and medical staff of Altoona Regional Health System will salute the 711 volunteers who served more than 108,000 hours in approximately 50 different departments on both hospital campuses in 2008 during National Volunteer Week, April 19-25.

The national theme for the week this year is "Volunteers...Hands that Serve, Hearts that Care."

"Our volunteers illustrate the sentiment behind this theme daily as they go about selflessly serving others in so many ways," said Debbie McClellan, volunteer manager.

Easily recognizable in their blue jackets, hospital volunteers help direct visitors to where they need to go, keep magazine racks filled, and transport specimens to the lab. They also tackle bigger tasks. For example in January, customer service volunteers, those called by staff when a discharge or miscellaneous errand is needed, performed:
  • 841 discharges
  • 327 Nutrition Services runs and
  • 535 chart transports for Health Information Management (Medical Records)
Other volunteers assembled:
  • 800 charts for the Surgery Center
  • 800 anesthesia packets for Same Day Surgery, and
  • 1,580 surgery folders for surgeons
Area residents decide to volunteer for many reasons, McClellan said. "I've heard comments from volunteers that this type of service keeps their minds active and young and that it offers the retired an opportunity to continue to meet people and socialize," she said. "Volunteering gives you a sense of satisfaction   the sense of satisfaction that you have helped someone - and volunteering is a meaningful, rewarding way to share your time."

Volunteer opportunities exist in many areas, including the Altoona Hospital Campus Gift Shop, operated by Friends of Altoona Regional, the hospital auxiliary. Proceeds from the gift shop benefit hospital patients. Gift shop volunteers are responsible for a variety of tasks, such as cashier duties, setting up displays and assisting customers.

For more information about volunteer opportunities at Altoona Regional, contact Debbie McClellan at 889-2151.

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 25, 2009 - ASHA L. SWAIN, M.D., OBTAINS CERTIFICATE OF ADDED QUALIFICATIONS IN GERIATRIC MEDICINE

Asha L. Swain, M.D., of Hollidaysburg The American Board of Family Medicine recently announced that Asha L. Swain, M.D., of Hollidaysburg has successfully completed its Certificate of Added Qualifications in Geriatric Medicine. This certificate is valid until Dec. 31, 2018. She practices at 1200 11th St., Altoona.

This certification confers a standard of excellence in knowledge and practice to physicians who not only certify via the examination process, but who also work diligently on the maintenance of these skills during the 10-year cycle between examinations.

The diplomate must possess a full and unrestricted license to practice medicine in the United States and successfully complete a one-day written examination of cognitive knowledge and problem-solving abilities. This examination covers the disciplines of the specialty, including but not limited to diseases in the elderly, geriatric syndromes, geropharmacology, caring for elderly patients, geriatric psychology, gerontology, functional assessment and rehabilitation.






March 16, 2009 - Bob Perks Cancer Assistance Fund donates $929 to Altoona Regional Foundation for Life

The Bob Perks Cancer Assistance Fund (BPCAF) recently donated $929 to Altoona Regional Health System's Foundation for Life The Bob Perks Cancer Assistance Fund (BPCAF) recently donated $929 to Altoona Regional Health System's Foundation for Life for the purchase of an accessible laptop to provide important cancer information and resources to patients and their families on Tower 14 at Altoona Hospital Campus. The laptop's installation is part of the "Quality of Life Research Project" at Altoona Regional Health System.

"Our goal is to provide a sense of control during a time when many may perceive they have minimal control," said Kim Corle, R.N., research coordinator at Altoona Regional. "Through the laptop, we can give patients and their families immediate access to cancer-related Web sites and resources."

BPCAF is a registered nonprofit organization that was established to provide financial support for basic necessities to individuals and families dealing with cancer. For more information, call 231.2692.

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. For more information on the Foundation for Life, call 889.6406.

Photo From left: Cathy Dillen, R.N., Tower 14, joins Doreen Perks of the Bob Perks Cancer Assistance Fund, who presents a check for the purchase of an educational laptop to Valerie L. Brumbaugh, president of Altoona Regional's Foundation for Life, and Kim Corle, R.N., research coordinator.






March 6, 2009 - TWO BEHAVIORAL HEALTH NURSES RETIRE

Iris Rhoades, R.N.C., of Bellwood recently retired with 19 years of service. Rhoades was hired May 21, 1990, as a Coronary Care Unit nurse and transferred in July 1991 to the Behavioral Health Services inpatient unit. She continues to work there on a casual basis.

Kristen Davis, R.N.C., of Martinsburg retired Feb. 1 with 19 years of service on the Behavioral Health Services inpatient unit, where she was hired Dec. 30, 1989. She continues to work there on a casual basis.






March 5, 2009 - ALTOONA REGIONAL AWARDED ACCREDITATION FROM THE JOINT COMMISSION

By demonstrating compliance with The Joint Commission's national standards for health care quality and safety, Altoona Regional Health System has earned The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval.

Founded in 1951, the Joint Commission is dedicated to continuously improving the safety and quality of the nation's health care through voluntary accreditation. The Joint Commission's onsite survey of Altoona Regional occurred Nov. 17-21, 2008, and the accreditation is valid for 39 months effective Nov. 22, 2008.

"Above all, the national standards are intended to stimulate continuous, systematic and organization-wide improvement in an organization's performance and the outcomes of care," says Mark Pelletier, RN, M.S., executive director, Hospital Programs, Accreditation and Certification Services, The Joint Commission. "The community should be proud that Altoona Regional is focusing on the most challenging goal — to continually raise quality and safety to higher levels."

Jerry Murray, acting president/CEO of Altoona Regional, spoke of his pride in a staff whose members welcome what needs to be done for Joint Commission accreditation: "In addition, they appreciate the educational aspect of the survey and the opportunity to interact with the team of surveyors."

He called the accreditation "proof of an organization-wide commitment to provide quality care on an ongoing basis."

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.






February 24, 2009 - CENTER FOR BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SHARES NO. 1 RANKING

Community Behavioral HealthCare Network of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, the managed care company for Medical Assistance clients, recently conducted its annual treatment record documentation review of mental health outpatient services for this region. Altoona Regional Center for Behavioral Health Services shared top honors when compared to other mental health providers in the North Central Region.

The quality review of treatment records is based on the applicable regulations governing this level of care and current mental health initiatives promoted by Pennsylvania. The indicators include the adequacy of documentation in treatment plans, progress notes, intake assessments, discharge planning and continuity and coordination of care.

CBHNP's Quality Improvement Committee set a performance benchmark goal for all North Central Regional providers of 70 percent compliance with the indicators. The overall network compliance scores were 64 percent, 6 percentage points under the required target of 70 percent. Altoona Regional tied for number one at 81 percent - 11 percent above the benchmark.

"We're pleased and proud to have this acknowledgement of our hard work over this past year. It is a tribute to the men and women at Behavioral Health Services to be recognized in this way," Joseph Antonowicz, M.D., medical director, said.

"Our number one ranking achievement is due to our organization's commitment to clinical excellence," Mark Chuff, executive director, said. "This commitment extends from our acting President/CEO Jerry Murray, Dr. Antonowicz and through all the clinical and support staff of Behavioral Health and is hard-wired into our system."

Chuff said special recognition needs to be given to outpatient supervisor Denis Navarro, and nursing manager Rhoda Garlick for their pivotal roles in providing service excellence in outpatient behavioral health.

"Due to the large number of patients seen and limited resources, this is a very challenging task," Chuff said. "However, we look forward to meeting that challenge and continuing to provide behavioral health services to our community while working to exceed expectations."

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.






February 12, 2009 - THREE STUDENTS COMPLETE DEGREES DURING NUCLEAR MEDICINE INTERNSHIPS

Jenny Conn, Katheryn Conn and Katie Farrell. Photo: Left to right: Jenny Conn, Katheryn Conn and Katie Farrell.

Three Indiana University of Pennsylvania students recently began eight-month internships in the Nuclear Medicine department of Altoona Regional Health System.

Twin sisters Jenny and Katheryn Conn are the daughters of Larry and Jean Conn of Fort Hill, Pa. Katie Farrell is the daughter of Mark and Colleen Farrell of Northern Cambria.

All three are nuclear medicine majors at IUP and are participating in University of Findlay's nuclear medicine internship program that completes their graduation requirements.

The interns receive instruction in nuclear medicine radiopharmacy, imaging procedures, quality procedures, patient customer relations, diagnostic and therapeutic dosimetry, radiation safety procedures, federal and state regulations and interactions with other departments.

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.






February 9, 2009 - NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF PARTNERSHIP APPOINTED

Cloyd R. Beers The board of directors of the Altoona Regional Partnership for a Healthy Community has announced the appointment of Cloyd R. Beers of Altoona as its new executive director. Beers will assist the board in developing the partnership as a community resource to provide dental, medical and pharmaceutical care to the uninsured and underinsured in Blair County and surrounding areas.

Beers will remain in his current position as director of Patient Financial Services at Altoona Regional Health System, where he is responsible for the capture, management and collection of patient service revenue totaling in excess of $300 million.

Beers is a graduate of the State University of New York, Albany, with a Bachelor of Science degree as a board certified medical technologist.

Beers is also a captain in the U.S. Navy where he serves as director for administration of the Headquarters Detachment, Operational Health Support Unit, National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Md. His assignment includes responsibilities for more than 500 medical and dental reservists from 20 detachments in over seven states.

He and his wife, Theresa, have two sons, Jeremy and Ben.






January 28, 2009 - WILLIAM J. WIEDEMER, DPM, JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF

WILLIAM J. WIEDEMER, DPM
William J. Wiedemer, DPM, recently joined the Altoona Regional Medical Staff in the Orthopedics department, clinical service of Podiatry. He is associated with Advanced Regional Center for Foot and Ankle Care, 711 Logan Blvd., Altoona.

He is board qualified and is eligible for board certification through the American Board of Podiatric Surgery.

Dr. Wiedemer graduated from Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine, Philadelphia, and did his residency at St. Francis Medical Center, Pittsburgh.






January 22, 2009 - LAMONT COUPLE MAKES DONATION TO ALTOONA REGIONAL PEDIATRICS UNIT

Alton Cabar (second from left) and his wife, Danna (third from left), of Lamont, recently donated an assortment of toys and board games to Altoona Regional's Pediatrics unit. Accepting the donation was Altoona Regional Foundation for Life President Valerie L. Brumbaugh (far left) and Cindy Trimarco, R.N., of the Pediatrics unit.

Alton Cabar and Danna Cabar donated toys to ARHS








January 22, 2009 - JOEL A. TORRETTI, M.D., JOINS ALTOONA REGIONAL MEDICAL STAFF

Joel A. Torretti, M.D.
Joel A. Torretti, M.D., has joined the Altoona Regional Medical Staff in the department of Orthopedics. He is associated with University Orthopedics Center, 476 Rolling Ridge Drive, State College.

He is board eligible for certification by the American Board of Orthopedics. He has a special interest in orthopedic spine issues.

Dr. Torretti received his medical degree from the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine. He did his internship and residency at Pennsylvania State University, Hershey Medical Center. He received fellowship training on the spine at University of Bern, Switzerland, and Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, N.H.






January 15, 2009 - KELLY A. KANE, D.O., RECERTIFIED BY AMERICAN BOARD OF PEDIATRICS

Kelly A. Kane, D.O.
Kelly A. Kane, D.O., who serves on the Medical Staff of Altoona Regional Health System, has been recertified by the American Board of Pediatrics through Dec. 31, 2015. She practices with Blair Medical Associates, with offices at the Station Medical Center, 1414 9th Ave., Altoona, and 111 Deville Drive, Duncansville.






January 13, 2009 - NEW MANAGER OF VOLUNTEER SERVICES NAMED

Debbie McClellan
Debbie McClellan of Bellwood has been named manager of the Volunteer Services department. McClellan was hired in 1991 as assistant manager/secretary for the department. She has also worked in the Glover Memorial Library and the Medical Staff office. She succeeds Cindy Skupien, who has retired.

She is married to Mike McClellan and they have three children.






January 13, 2009 - DONALD J. BETAR JR., DMD, JOINS MEDICAL STAFF

Donald J. Betar Jr., DMD
Donald J. Betar Jr., DMD, recently joined the Altoona Regional Medical Staff in the Department of Specialized Surgery, Clinical Service of Dentistry (Oral Surgery/General Dentistry). He is in private practice at 2217 7th Ave., Altoona.

Dr. Betar is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, School of Dental Medicine.






January 9, 2009 - RALPH MCKIBBIN, M.D., FACP, HONORED WITH THE CANCER LIAISON PHYSICIAN OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE AWARD

Ralph McKibbin, M.D., FACP, of Altoona has received the Commission on Cancer's Liaison Physician Outstanding Performance Award - one of just 55 physicians nationwide to receive such recognition.

McKibbin is on the medical staff of Altoona Regional Health System, 620 Howard Ave., Altoona, and practices with Blair Gastroenterology Associates, 810 Valley View Blvd., Altoona.

McKibbin was nominated by the Altoona Regional Cancer Committee for his work with the system's cancer patients.

"This award recognizes physicians who go above and beyond expectations to improve and provide direction to their cancer program. (McKibbin) exhibited qualities that the Commission deems critical to facilities' success in the Commission on Cancer (CoC) Approvals Program and providing high-quality cancer care," stated Jon M. Greif, D.O., FACS, chairman of the Committee on Cancer Liaison.






January 9, 2009 - ALTOONA REGIONAL PEDIATRICS UNIT RECEIVES ADDITIONAL DONATIONS

Local toy donation to ARHS Pediatrics Unit
Nurse Manager Jan Grove (far left), of the Altoona Regional Pediatrics unit, and Anne Stoltz (far right), development/communications associate, recently accepted a donation of holiday gifts consisting of assorted toys, board games and coloring books from Jarrod and Colleen Sward; Daniel and Donna Frailey; Tina and Gerald Bonsell; Gwen and Barry Sward and Don and Stacie Fronk. Presenting the gifts were Colleen Sward (second from left) and Tina Bonsell, both of Tyrone.






January 8, 2009 - ALTOONA REGIONAL PEDIATRICS UNIT RECEIVES DONATION FROM INDEPENDENT AVON REPRESENTATIVE

Pamela Gearhart donates bear to patient Michael Davis, 6
Pamela Gearhart (standing, right) presents patient Michael Davis, 6, with one of the 38 Avon "Bentley the Bears" that she recently donated to Altoona Regional's Pediatrics unit. Also pictured are Registered Nurse Cindy Trimarco of the Pediatrics unit and Altoona Regional Foundation for Life President Valerie L. Brumbaugh.






January 7, 2009 - DIRECTOR OF ENVIRONMENT OF CARE NAMED

Jesse Ehredt
Jesse Ehredt has been named director, Environment of Care, at Altoona Regional Health System. His new title reflects the expansion of his responsibilities to include Maintenance & Engineering and Building & Grounds, in addition to his current responsibilities as director of Environmental Services & Biomedical Engineering. Approximately 138 hospital team members, which are needed to effectively operate those departments, report to Ehredt.

Ehredt began his career in May 2002 with Bon Secours-Holy Family Hospital as director of Facilities. His responsibilities then included Maintenance & Engineering, Environmental Services, Biomedical Engineering and Security & Safety. The merger of Bon Secours with Altoona Hospital in 2004 brought a realignment of duties and has culminated in the current position.

He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Resource Management from Pennsylvania State University, University Park, and his Master of Arts degree in Labor/Management Relations from St. Francis, Loretto.

Ehredt resides in Altoona with his wife Joan of 32 years. They have two children and two grandchildren.




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