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Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center

GREENSVILLE/EMPORIA DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES

LOCAL BOARD MEETING

The Greensville/Emporia Department of Social Services Administrative Board will hold its regular meeting Thursday, July 18, 2019, at 3:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Greensville/Emporia Department of Social Services located at 1748 East Atlantic Street.

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How a Speech-Language Pathologist Can Help

Speech therapists (also known as speech-language pathologists) evaluate, diagnose and treat patients with a wide variety of conditions that affect oral motor skills, swallowing, and speech and language abilities. The speech therapists at Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) work closely with neurologists, ENT (ear, nose and throat) doctors and other specialists to treat a variety of conditions. Voice therapy is personalized to each individual through techniques for improving vocal care and hygiene as well as training strategies and exercises for improved vocal quality.

Concerns regarding voice problems should first be evaluated by an ENT doctor, also known as an otolaryngologist. Referral to a speech-language pathologist should be made for voice therapy when appropriate. Speech therapy helps regain speech loss due to diseases that affect the voice or following treatment for certain diseases such as cancer.

Who Might Need Treatment?

  • Individuals with chronic reflux
  • Individuals with phonotrauma/laryngeal trauma
  • Individuals with vocal abuse/misuse behaviors
  • Individuals with neurological disease (Parkinson’s)
  • Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia
  • Following laryngeal cancer treatment
  • Smokers
  • Individuals with difficulties swallowing or communicating

“Speech therapists at SVRMC are experienced in helping patients with short-term and long-term memory disorders. They work with patients who are struggling with impaired memory and having difficulty finding words,” says Richard M. Alexander, PT, DPT, Director of Rehabilitation Therapy Services at SVRMC.

According to the American Speech-Language Pathology and Hearing Association, cognitive-communication disorders often happen as a result of a stroke, traumatic brain injury or dementia. Consult your doctor if you notice a sudden change in you or someone you know in cognitive communication including:

Symptoms

  • Difficulty organizing thoughts
  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Difficulty remembering
  • Difficulty planning
  • Difficulty problem solving

Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center offers speech pathology services for all ages, from children to seniors. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call (434) 348-4871.

SVRMC Celebrates Men’s Health Month

Emporia, VA – To celebrate Men’s Health Month, Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) along with Men’s Health Network, the Congressional Men’s Health Caucus, and hundreds of other local and national organizations will be focusing on men’s health awareness.

The goal: Educate the public about the many preventable health problems that affect men and boys, and empower them and their loved ones to move towards a healthier, happier life. Men die five years younger than women, on average, and die at higher rates for nine of the Top Ten causes of death. Men are the majority of workplace injuries, less likely to be insured, and far less likely to see a doctor for preventive care. All of this impacts their ability to be an involved father, supportive husband, and engaged member of their community.

“We recommend men complete an annual physical with their primary care provider to ensure they are in their best health,” says Spencer Feldmann, Jr., M.D. “It is important to make sure they are getting age-appropriate screenings.”

“This year continues to be a pivotal one for men’s health—new guidance on prostate cancer screenings and the declining mortality rates for large groups of men means awareness and education is paramount,” says Ana Fadich, Vice President at Men’s Health Network.

You can find more information on a variety of health issues at the Men’s Health Resource Center: www.MensHealthResourceCenter. Visit SouthsidePhysicians.com to make an appointment with a primary care provider or call (434) 348-4680 and health profiles of men and boys in each state can be founstateshealth.com.

Life-Saving Diagnostic Technology at Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center

Emporia, VA – The imaging department at Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) has Computed Tomography (CT), a diagnostic imaging test used to create detailed images of internal organs, bones, soft tissue and blood vessels. CT scanning is often the best method for detecting disease since the images allow radiologists to confirm the presence of abnormalities and determine size and location. CT is fast, painless, noninvasive and accurate. It is important that emergency rooms have access to CT because it can reveal internal injuries and bleeding quickly enough to help save lives.

Amanda Lynch, RTR (M)(CT), is a CT Tech that has worked at SVRMC for 15 years. When asked about her favorite part of the job, she says, “I enjoy knowing that I can make a difference in my patients’ well-being. I like working with the physicians as part of a team to provide our patients with quality care.” Lynch is currently working towards her Bachelor’s degree in Health Care Management.

    

SVRMC offers CT scans 24/7, 365 days a year. The most widely used procedure is a head CT to rule out a stroke, but CT is also used to diagnose pulmonary embolism, all forms of cancer and kidney stones. Recently, they had a patient that had been experiencing headaches for some time. The patient visited their primary care physician several times and finally decided to come to the emergency room.  The Emergency room physician ordered a CT of the head and the patient was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor that needed to be removed immediately. The patient has undergone the surgery and is doing well. Lynch explains, “This kind of situation happens more often than you would think. A routine CT can be lifesaving, because it can catch things we just can’t see from the outside.”

To make an appointment have your physician fax an order to (434) 348-4964. To find a provider near you, visit our physician directory at SVRMC.com.

Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center The Benefits of Volunteering

Emporia, VA – Compassionate, generous, giving; these words reflect what it means to be a volunteer, and in the health care system, volunteers are an invaluable part of the team. Such is the case with Jean Newsome who has dedicated the last 36 years to volunteering. Like others, she helps support the hospital’s mission to provide exceptional patient care. Ms. Newsome is passionate and loves interacting with people. Whether it is performing clerical duties, escorting patients, delivering flowers, or ensuring the comfort of patients by providing a warm blanket, pillow or water, Ms. Newsome makes a difference in the lives around her. Her joy and love for people exemplifies the true meaning of what a volunteer is. Senior Circle Advisor and Volunteer Coordinator Tracy Mitchell at Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) shared, “Ms. Newsome has been a volunteer in our Auxiliary department since 1983 and is still going strong! She runs errands for anyone who needs it and delivers the complimentary local newspaper to patients and visitors in the waiting areas. Recently she was in my office looking for pencils for a patient to complete her crossword puzzles. She is a true advocate for our patients and our hospital.”

Being a volunteer can transform a life from the connections volunteers create with people to the joy of giving back to the community. The rewards speak for themselves. Ms. Newsome joyfully shared, “I have truly enjoyed my work over the last 36 years and those with whom I have had the pleasure of working. Helping not only patients but employees is a blessing. We have a good group of people and a good organization.”

To become a volunteer, visit SVRMC.com and click on About: Volunteer Opportunities to download a volunteer application. Contact the volunteer coordinator with any questions at (434) 348-4455.

Physical Therapists Can Keep You Moving Forward

Emporia, VA – The majority of Americans who die from opioid overdoses do so after using these medications to treat legitimate pain. Sadly, many of these conditions could be prevented or managed with positive lifestyle changes, and a better understanding of body mechanics learned through physical therapy.

“Rural areas need quality care, especially for rehabilitation.  Our clinic is fully equipped to meet all therapy needs of the people of Emporia and the surrounding areas; we are the only full service clinic in the area,” says Richard M. Alexander, PT, DPT, “We treat everything from heart attacks and strokes to joint replacements, sports medicine, neck and back pain, balance disorders and vertigo.”

Physical therapists are movement specialists. They are licensed professionals with graduate-level degrees, who have advanced clinical knowledge of the human muscular and skeletal systems. Over the past decade, physical therapy has increasingly focused on prevention rather than treatment. Physical therapy techniques can help those with arthritis, sports injuries, environmental or workplace pain, and sleep disturbances, providing a number of benefits.

  • Avoiding Surgery. Meniscal or rotator cuff tears, spinal stenosis and degenerative disk disease often experience significant improvement through physical therapy. Given the cost and recovery time involved with surgical procedures, it’s worth a try.
  • Avoiding Opioids. Chronic joint and nerve pain are the most common reasons people seek over-the-counter and prescription pain medications. Exhausting all possible therapy and body-management tactics for pain reduction should always be a priority before opting for opioids.
  • Managing the Work Environment. A PT can provide you with tools and exercises to prevent pain and loss of mobility, whether you sit for a living, stand in one place, use your hands repetitively, or lift heavy objects all day. Recognizing the risks involved in your daily work life and being proactive about them can save pain, costs, and lost productivity.
  • Preventing Headaches.  Many chronic headache conditions are caused by increased time in front of computers and mobile devices. Pressure on the thoracic and cervical spine can lead to disk degeneration and nerve damage, and result in fierce and frequent headaches. Learning to use and position your body can lead to a significant reduction in pain.

Arthritis is a fact of life for most people, though the extent and nature of its impact on our lives can vary widely. We all know those folks who still look spry and confident at age 82. It’s unlikely that they have no arthritis – the difference is in how they “manage” their bodies. Physical therapists provide benefits for arthritis patients in three different areas:

  1. Prevent and manage chronic pain. A PT will help strengthen the associated muscle groups and teach you to move your body properly, while decreasing impact on the affected joint.
  2. Create and maintain maximum flexibility and mobility. Physical therapy is a holistic practice of medicine, and good therapists factor in your social, emotional and physical factors when creating a treatment plan.
  3. Support good sleep. Much of the physical decline associated with arthritis can be attributed to poor sleep mechanics. A therapist will help with tips and tools for proper sleep health.

Physical therapy benefits those with and without existing physical ailments. When you meet with a physical therapist, give them an accurate picture of your current lifestyle and paint a picture of what you’d like to accomplish. The benefits won’t be realized overnight, but much of what you learn, you can continue yourself at home.

The way we hold, operate and rest our bodies is closely tied to levels of happiness, disease prevention and longevity, and the practice of it is not to be underestimated. If you need assistance locating a qualified physical therapist, ask your primary care doctor for a recommendation or contact SVRMC Rehabilitation Services at 434-348-4871.

 

Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center’s Denim Days Donations

Emporia, VA – Wearing comfy clothes to work is always a perk, but when it helps charitable causes in the community it’s truly a pleasure. Throughout the months of March and April, the staff of Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) participated in Denim Days.  By donating $5.00, hospital staff was able to wear jeans on Fridays.

In recognition of National Nutrition Month, all proceeds raised during the month of March were donated to the Main Street Baptist Church Food Bank. The staff at SVRMC made a donation that totaled more than $200 and included dry goods.

Helping celebrate Healthy Kids Day, the staff of SVRMC raised $175 during April Denim Days and donated to the Emporia-Greensville YMCA. It’s no surprise the idea of summer is a highly anticipated time for both kids and adults. Unfortunately, health and well-being sometimes gets forgotten during the summer months. In an effort to bring awareness to families in the community and to encourage the development of healthy habits at home, YMCAs across the country, including the Emporia-Greensville YMCA, celebrated Health Kids Day on April 26. The staff at SVRMC was excited to help contribute to a wonderful cause.

 

 

March Denim Days supported the Main Street Baptist Church Food Bank in recognition of National Nutrition Month.

Southern Virginia Regional Medical - Here for Emporia

Emporia, VA – Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) is committed to serving our community. Every year, our medical staff, nurses and ancillary personnel provide quality care to thousands of people in Emporia and our surrounding communities. We employ more than 200 staff members, making us one of the largest employers in the area, and our direct impact to the local economy totaled more than $16 million in 2018.

 

We are a strong and evolving provider. SVRMC is focused on growing and supporting our four (4) primary nursing departments – Emergency Medicine, Surgical Services, Medical/Surgical and Behavioral Health. The community need for our services is evidenced by the 100% increase in surgical cases in the last six (6) months. All hospital nursing units have seen increased numbers of patients.

 

Over the past several years SVRMC and Southside Physicians Network (SPN) have recruited 12 new specialists to the area.

Breast Surgery – Dr. Espino

Colorectal Surgery and General Surgery – Dr. Akbari

Ear, Nose and Throat – Dr. Ditto

Ear, Nose and Throat – Dr. Raval

Gastroenterology – Dr. Gilliam

Nephrology – Dr. Lalani

Obstetrics & Gynecology – Dr. Akinsanya

Obstetrics & Gynecology – PA-C Andrews

Obstetrics & Gynecology – Dr. Meyers

Ophthalmology – Dr. Parikh

Orthopedic Surgery – Dr. Patel

Vascular Surgery – Dr. Jun

During the month of May we celebrate National Nurses Week, National Hospital Week and National EMS Week. We thank our associates, medical staff, EMS organizations and many others for their hard work to meet the health needs of our friends and neighbors in Emporia and our surrounding communities. We also thank the patients who put their trust in us every day. SVRMC will be here when you need us the most for years to come.

SOUTHERN VIRGINIA REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR 2019 SUMMER TEEN VOLUNTEER PROGRAM

Emporia, VA – Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) is accepting applications for the 2019 Summer Teen Volunteer Program. The Teen Volunteer Program offers opportunities for career exposure in the healthcare profession.  To be considered for the Teen Volunteer Program, one must be between 14 – 17 years of age and return a completed application for volunteer services, along with a letter of recommendation, by Friday, June 14th.

The number of participants for the program is limited, and applicants will be selected based on the student’s interview, his/her interests and the volunteer needs of the hospital.  Those selected will be required to attend a mandatory orientation session, provide a parental consent form to participate, parental consent for drug screen and TB skin test and  a photo ID and social security number (for drug screen)

Applications may be picked-up at the SVRMC hostess desk.   For additional information on the 2019 Summer Teen Volunteer Program or to request an e-mailed copy of the Teen Volunteer Application, contact Tracy Mitchell, Volunteer Services Coordinator at 434-348-4455 or tracy_mitchell@chs.net.  Deadline for applications is Friday, June 14, 2019.

From Farm Life to Healthcare: Dr. Richard Alexander’s Passion for Physical Therapy Began on His Family Farm

Emporia, VA - Richard M. Alexander PT, DPT, is the director of Rehabilitation Therapy Services (RTS) at Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) and a first generation healthcare provider in his family.  He grew up in agriculture, working long summer hours raising tobacco, peanuts, and grain on his family’s farm in northeast North Carolina – a farm that has been in his family for 5 generations. Farm life taught him his strong work ethic and the value of hard work. It was also where he developed an appreciation for mechanical operations, something which he applies to the human body in his practice at SVRMC. Dr. Alexander says, “The body is the ultimate machine.  I love understanding the relationship between the moving parts and being able to use that knowledge to repair system failures and restore optimal performance.”

Dr. Alexander’s passion for healthcare and physical therapy can be pinpointed back to a moment in his life that sparked his drive to help people recover from injury. He explains, “My grandfather was involved in a severe car accident when I was a child and his unique injuries required unique solutions to restore his mobility.  Although I always gravitated towards healthcare, this was my first encounter with physical therapy and watching how they engineered and tailored specific interventions to his complex problems. This stuck with me from that point forward.”

Dr. Alexander brings his hometown service to the Emporia, VA, community. He is passionate about bringing top quality care to Emporia, VA; the difference, he says, is that it is delivered with small-town values and a customer service centered focus.

Dr. Alexander says the average patient is typically treated by therapy services 2-3 times per week for 6 weeks.  Unfortunately, he says, specialty healthcare services all too often gravitate towards bigger cities serving metropolitan populations; it becomes unfeasible for the average patient to make such trips with that frequency.  Dr. Alexander says, “It’s not enough for us to strive to be as good as clinics in larger areas, we must be better.” 

Rehabilitations Therapy Services at SVRMC cares for the full spectrum of rehab patients, utilizing the latest treatment techniques and equipment.This program offers a full array of therapy services including physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and cardiac rehabilitation. The clinic is fully equipped to meet all therapy needs of Emporia and the surrounding areas. It is the only full service clinic in the area able to offer all of the aforementioned services in one place.

Physical therapy treats patients with diverse conditions, everything from heart attacks and strokes to joint replacements, sports medicine, neck and back pain, balance disorders and vertigo. For more information on how Dr. Alexander can assist you with recovery from injury, cardiac surgery, or pain management, contact Rehabilitation Therapy Services at SVRMC at 434-348-4871.

Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center and the Family YMCA of Emporia – Greensville Partner to Provide FREE Health Fair for Community

Emporia, VA – On Tuesday, May 21, Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) employees will be volunteering their expertise and medical services to the YMCA for a health fair from 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Nurses and hospital staff will be offering health screenings and have information and refreshments.

The health fair will be inside the YMCA located at 212 Weaver Ave in Emporia in Group Fitness Studio 2. This event is free and open to the public.

Cancer Care in Emporia

By E. Brent Perkins, M.D., Ph.D., hematologist-oncologist at VCU Massey Cancer Center

More than 20 years ago, VCU Massey Cancer Center founded the Rural Cancer Outreach Program to provide state-of-the-art oncology care in areas of rural Virginia identified by high cancer rates and with limited resources and poor access to oncology care. In Emporia, Massey’s Rural Cancer Outreach Program partnered with the community hospital, Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC), to staff a cancer clinic.

For the last two decades, one or two doctors and one nurse traveled once per week from Massey in Richmond to SVRMC in Emporia. Most recently, that has been nurse practitioner Kevin Brigle and me. We evaluated patients with new diagnoses of cancer, provided follow-up to patients on treatment, made referrals for radiation therapy where appropriate and consulted with local physicians about the care of their patients.

The program was designed to enable the primary doctors to care for their patients when the outreach doctors were back in Richmond. The outreach clinic operated daily, administering chemotherapy, transfusions and monitoring pain under the supervision of the local physicians and nurses.

The goals of the program were to provide as much care as possible within the community; teach physicians and nurses living and serving in this community about the care of cancer patients; and bring advanced treatment through clinical trials.

VCU Massey Cancer Center’s (MCV Associated Physicians’) lease at Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) has since expired, and Massey was not offered the option to renew it. I regret to share that as of April 19, 2019, Massey will no longer practice at SVRMC.

While Massey would like to remain in Emporia as a cancer care provider, resources are not available to ensure a sustainable model for patient care that is independent from SVRMC. The Outreach Program was designed to operate in partnership with them.

To continue cancer care with Massey, we can offer local patients an appointment with another Massey provider at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital (CMH) in South Hill. Oncology physicians at VCU Health CMH are part of Massey Cancer Center, are well qualified and compassionate and will be able to continue to provide Emporia-area patients with high-quality cancer care. A fully operational clinic is offered five days a week there with hematology, medical and radiation oncology care. Additionally, Massey is assessing the transportation needs of existing Emporia-area patients and will work with them individually to assist them with their transition of care.

Our providers at Massey’s clinics in the Richmond area are available for referrals and appointments as well. Southside Regional Medical Center, which is not affiliated with VCU Massey, also offers high-quality cancer care in Petersburg that patients may find convenient.

Furthermore, Massey Cancer Center will continue to serve the Emporia and surrounding communities with health education, screening and prevention programs through our Cancer Research and Resource Center in Lawrenceville.

It has been my sincere pleasure to serve this community and to get to know many of you. I will miss spending time in Emporia each week. If my team and I can be of assistance to you, please call us at (804) 628-1918. 

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