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A New Year, a New You: Healthy Weight Loss Resolutions

By: Sonya Bullock, PA-C

Every year as the ball drops and a new year begins, millions of Americans promise themselves they are going to lead healthy lives and

lose weight. It is a resolution that often lasts only a few weeks or possibly a couple of months, but it won’t be destined for failure if you follow a few pointers.

Exercise:Performing regular physical activity helps control your weight by using excess calories that would otherwise be stored as fat. Doing a combined number of physical activities, like the ones below, for just thirty minutes a day can greatly improve your physical condition as well as the general state of your health. Consider the health benefits of making a minor adjustment in your everyday habits when you:

  • walk the dog or enjoy conversation with a friend over a long stroll;
  • do simple yard work;
  • park your car farther away and walk further to work or the store;
  • take the stairs instead of the elevator.

After steadily increasing your daily activity, you may start to notice a moderate increase in your overall stamina. You may consider joining a gym and taking part in some planned physical, aerobic activity. A physical trainer and physician can help put together an exercise plan that is right for your body. The key is finding an activity you enjoy so you are more likely to do it several times a week.

Dieting: Instead of thinking about how you should cut back, focus on what you can add to your diet. Make sure you are getting the recommended five to nine servings of fruit and vegetables every day. Plan your meals and snacks in advance, and you will be less likely to let your stomach make poor decisions for you.

Don’t Skip Meals: Research shows that on average those who eat breakfast weigh less than those who skip out on the meal. Ironically, eating fewer than three meals a day usually leads to the intake ofmore calories throughout the day.

Avoid Liquid Calories: A recent study shows that more than 20 percent of Americans’ caloric intake comes from beverages. You may forget to consider your caloric intake from drinking when planning your diet. To avoid excess weight gain, only drink alcohol, sugary coffee drinks and regular soda in moderation, and consider substituting water, light alcoholic drinks and diet sodas to eliminate excess calories.

Re-think Your Goals: This year make your goal more specific than just trying to lose weight. For example, plan to:

  • go to the gym three days a week;
  • only eat out twice a week;
  • walk thirty minutes a day;
  • or only consume one glass of alcohol a week.

With specific guidelines to follow you’ll find your resolution easier to stick with on a daily basis. More importantly, pick a weight goal that is healthy for your body type and don’t expect to see results immediately. Instead, celebrate small milestones along the way as you work towards a healthier you. 

This information was provided by Sonya Bullock, a Certified Physician Assistant with Southern Virginia Medical Group (SVMG) located at 511 Belfield Drive in Emporia.  For more information on services offered by Ms. Bullock or to schedule an appointment, contact SVMG at 434-348-4680.


There’s still time to sign up for health insurance coverage and southern virginia regional medical center can help

If you’re uninsured, there’s still time to sign up for health insurance on the Health Insurance Marketplace and avoid the penalty.

The Affordable Care Act required that most Americans obtain health insurance by 2014 or pay a tax penalty. The penalty is applied to annual taxable income for each month without health insurance after February 15, 2015, the last day to enroll.

Based on household income and dependents, health insurance coverage may be available at no cost through Medicaid. For those who do not qualify for Medicaid, coverage may be available on the Health Insurance Marketplace.

That is where Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) can help!  The applications counselors at SVRMC can assist individuals and their families evaluate the available health plans and determine eligibility for Medicaid or other insurance options, as well as assist with the enrollment process

Enrollment counselors are available Monday – Friday 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM by appointment by calling 434-348-4406.  Beginning January 6th, SVRMC will hold Enrollment Fairs in the Registration Department every Tuesday from 2:00 PM – 6:30 PM throughout the open enrollment period (enrollment fairs will end on 2/10/15).  During this time enrollment counselors will be on hand to answer questions and assist with the enrollment process.  Those interested should bring proof of residency or a driver’s license, proof of income (pay stub or W2) for all family members applying, and the social security number of anyone who is applying.

For more information regarding qualifying for any type of health insurance coverage, contact Nicole Mitchell at 434-348-4406.


Emporia, VA – In the spirit of the holiday season, the staff of Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) participated in four dress-down, denim days throughout November and December to raise money for the Christmas Happiness Fund.  For these events, employees purchased the right to wear their favorite jeans to work for a donation of $5.00.  Through these efforts, SVRMC staff is pleased to donate a total of $820.00 to this year’s Christmas Happiness Fund.



(EMPORIA, VA) – Barbara Finch has been named the Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) Employee of the Month for November 2014.  Ms. Finch, who has been employed at SVRMC since March 1983, is a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) in the Emergency Department (ED). 

Employees are nominated for demonstrating excellence in one of ten Standards of Behavior highlighted during that month.  The highlighted Standard of the Month for November is Attitude.  Ms. Finch was nominated from an SVRMC manager outside her department who wrote, “Barbara is always welcoming and kind to everyone.  She has a positive attitude, treats everyone like family, especially patients, and uses AIDET. She is the sweetest, most kind hearted person in the ED and deserves recognition.”

As SVRMC’s November Employee of the Month, Ms. Finch received a certificate, balloons, cookies to share with her co-workers in the ED, a cash prize and a chance to be selected as SVRMC’s 2015 Employee of the Year.



(EMPORIA, VA) – The employees and staff of Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) recently participated in their annual food drive and competition.  Departments within the hospital compete against one another to see which department can collect the most donations in pounds per person.  The competition winner was decided by dividing the total weight of the donations from each individual department by the number of employees in that department to arrive at an average weight of the food donated per employee.  The winning department was the Quality Department(which included Data Abstraction, Infection Control, Medical Staff Credentialing, Patient Care Coordinators, and Risk Management)  166 lbs. of food, and equates to 23.7 lbs. of food donated by each employee in those departments.  The total weight of all donations collected totaled 1,340.4 lbs.  This year’s food drive will benefit the local Improvement Association.  


Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center Nationally Recognized as Top Performer for the Second Time List Published by The Joint Commission Honors Exemplary Care

Emporia, VA – Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC)  has been named a 2013 Top Performer on Key Quality Measures®by The Joint Commission, the nation’s leading accreditor of health care organizations. The honor recognizes hospitals that excel at meeting the Commission’s stringent measurements for exemplary patient care. Hospitals receiving this distinction have exceled in implementing clinical processes that have shown to improve care for certain conditions, including heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, surgical care, children’s asthma, stroke, venous thromboembolism, perinatal care, inpatient psychiatric services and immunizations. SVRMC has been specifically recognized for the excellent care we provided in the areas of heart failure, pneumonia and surgical care. This is the secondtime SVRMC hasearned the designation.

Only 1,224 – or approximately one-third – of eligible United States hospitals achieved this distinction for attaining and sustaining excellence in certain clinical measures. The prestigious annual list was released today in the Commission’s 2014 annual report, “America’s Hospitals: Improving Quality and Safety.”

“This honor means that our community can turn toSVRMC with confidence, knowing that we strive to provide excellent care every day,” said Joseph D. Wilkins, SVRMC’s InterimChief Executive Officer. “Following evidence-based clinical protocols close to 100 percent of the time is not an easy goal to reach, but one that has been achieved through the dedication of our physicians, nurses and other caregivers.”

Top Performersare recognized each year for improving performance on evidence-based interventions that increase the chances of healthy outcomes for patients with certain conditions, including heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, surgical care, children’s asthma, stroke, venous thromboembolism, perinatal care, inpatient psychiatric services and immunizations.

SVRMCis one of just 712hospitals to have achieved this accomplishment for twoconsecutive years. It was recognized in 2012for its performance on accountability measure data for heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, and surgical care.

“We are proud of our physicians and clinical staff for their hard work to provide safe, effective care across the hospital,” said Rakesh Sood, MD, SVRMC’s Chief of Staff. “The Joint Commission’s recognition of our efforts is very gratifying for our entire team.”

To be a 2013 Top Performer, hospitals had to meet three performance criteria based on 2013 accountability measure data, including:

  • Achieving cumulative performance of 95 percent or above across all reported accountability measures;
  • Achieving performance of 95 percent or above on each and every reported accountability measure where there were at least 30 denominator cases; and
  • Having at least one core measure set that had a composite rate of 95 percent or above, and (within that measure set) all applicable individual accountability measures had a performance rate of 95 percent or above.

“Delivering the right treatment in the right way at the right time is a cornerstone of high-quality health care,” said Mark R. Chassin, M.D., FACP, M.P.P., M.P.H., president and CEO, The Joint Commission. “I commend the efforts of Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center for their excellent performance on the use of evidence-based interventions.”

For more information about the Top Performers program, please visit



(EMPORIA, VA) – Doris Cooper has been named the Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) Employee of the Month for October 2014.  Ms. Cooper, who has been employed at SVRMC since September 1979, is a cook in the SVRMC Nutritional Services Department.



Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) recently announced the winners of the Employee of the Year, Clinical Manager of the Year and Non-clinical Manager of the Year for 2014. Given annually, these awards recognize and honor the chosen employee and managers as being crucial to the success of the hospital.

SVRMC staff selects the Employee of the Year from the winners of the Employee of the Month.  The Employee of the Year for 2014 is Shauna Boone. Employed at SVRMC since April 2013, Ms. Boone is a registered nurse (RN) who also holds the position of Clinical Coordinator of the SVRMC Acute Care Unit (ACU). As an RN, Ms. Boone is responsible for the nursing care of the patients she is assigned, and she often functions as the ACU charge nurse delegating nursing assignments, troubleshooting issues as they arise and mentoring coworkers and other staff.   In her role as the ACU Clinical Coordinator, Ms. Boone assists the Acute Care/Intensive Care Director in planning, organizing, directing and controlling the operations of the ACU.  It was in this capacity that Ms. Boone truly excelled in 2014 earning her the Employee of the Month honor.  After only one month in the Clinical Coordinator position, Ms. Boone was asked to assume the leadership role for her unit during her Director’s leave of absence.  She graciously accepted, and never missed a beat!  During this time, Ms. Boone worked tirelessly to ensure that all aspects of managing the unit were thoroughly and accurately completed in a timely manner.  She built relationships with her staff, physicians, and others managers throughout the organization all while maintaining a calm, professional demeanor and making patient satisfaction and safety a priority.    Known to be kind, compassionate, soft spoken and dependable, Ms. Boone is a tremendous resource for the ACU and SVRMC. In addition to her professional commitments, Ms. Boone is a member of the Nurse Ministry and a volunteer for their Anointed Movement of Praise for her church and she serves on the SVRMC Chest Pain Accreditation Task Force.    She and her husband are the proud parents of two daughters and a son. 

As the SVRMC Employee of the Year, Ms. Boone and a guest will be treated to an all-expense paid weekend at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center in Nashville, TN. During the trip, Ms. Boone, along with the Employee of the Year winners from each of more than 200 Community Health Systems hospitals nationwide, will be recognized at the Employee of the Year Banquet. Each of the Employee of the Year winners will receive a commemorative plaque and cash award.

The 2014 Clinical Manager of the Year honor went to Peggy Dunn, RN, Director of Surgical Services for the second year in a row, and the third time in four years.  Employed with the hospital since 1986, Ms. Dunn has been in her current role since 2010, although she has served in many different capacities in her long tenure with SVRMC, and while working her way through nursing school.  As the Director of Surgical Services, Ms. Dunn is responsible for the day to day workings of the Operating Room, Recovery, Outpatient Services, Oncology and Central Sterile Supply.   in addition to serving on numerous hospital committees and work groups.  A team player who is always willing to pitch in to do whatever is needed to get the job done, Ms. Dunn serves on the hospital’s Patient Safety, Quality Improvement, Environment of Care, Disaster Preparedness, and Mortality Review Committees, and in 2014, she was instrumental in the establishment of SVRMC’s new support group for cancer patients and their families, Cancer Connection.  Respected by staff, physicians and her peers, Ms. Dunn is a well-rounded, clinical manager who handles the challenges of running multiple units in a cost effective manner, volunteers to spearhead new projects in her areas and throughout the hospital, and assumes the role of house supervisor as needed.  Ms. Dunn’s dedication and commitment is also evident in the organizations she serves outside her professional duties.  She is a member of the Association of Operating Registered Nurses, the Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Inc., a volunteer for the local Boys and Girls Club and the President of her church’s Nurse and Children’s Ministries.  In addition to being a three time winner of the Clinical Manager of the Year award, Ms. Dunn was named SVRMC Employee of the Month in February of 2000 and the Emporia/Greensville Boys and Girls Club Volunteer of the Year in 2002. 

Rick McClenny was chosen as the 2014 SVRMC Non-clinical Manager of the Year. Employed by the organization since April of 2012 as Risk Manager, Mr. McClenny has willingly taken on numerous additional responsibilities including Facility Compliance Officer, Patient Safety Officer Quality Coordinator, High Reliability and Safety Champion, Safety Coach Co-Champion and he serves on a number of other working committees throughout the organization.  In his role as High Reliability and Safety Champion, Mr. McClenny spear-headed the High Reliability project at SVRMC.  By ensuring that safety was always a priority and a major focus of every meeting and event, Mr. McClenny led the organization on a 307 day run without a serious safety event in 2014.   His commitment to patient safety was further demonstrated when he accepted the challenge of piloting a Safety Coach Program at SVRMC, and acting as the programs Co-Chair.  Since the successful implementation of SVRMC’s Safety Coach Program, Mr. McClenny has shared his knowledge with peers from sister facilities across the company to help ensure success in their own Safety Coach Programs.  As Risk Manager, he was instrumental in the development of a fall risk prevention program that includes the use fall mats and bed alarms.  To help staff evaluate the reason that falls occur, and prevent similar fall situations in the future, Mr. McClenny implemented the facilities CODE AUTUMN process that includes a post fall huddle to ensure that every precaution was in place to reduce the fall risk.  He also identified the need for a patient elopement policy and as a result instituted SVRMC’s CODE GREEN protocol and policy.  In his “spare” time, Mr. McClenny, who is an RN and also holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, is pursuing a Masters of Healthcare Administration degree in hopes of one day advancing to the administrative management level in a healthcare setting.  Outside of his professional aspirations, Mr. McClenny is very active in his church serving as bassist/vocalist for his worship team, youth leader and children’s church teacher, and as a member of the youth music ministry.        

The Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center Clinical and Non-clinical Managers of the Year compete regionally against other Clinical and Non-clinical Managers of the Year for the titles of Divisional Clinical and Divisional Non-clinical Manager of the Year. Managers selected as Divisional Managers of the Year are invited to attend the Employee of the Year Banquet in Nashville, TN along with the Employees of the Year from each facility and the other Divisional Clinical and Non-Clinical Divisional Managers of the Year.



Emporia, VA  - Beginning November 15, Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC)  will help area residents learn about and enroll in health insurance options on the Health Insurance Marketplace.

The Health Insurance Marketplace provides U.S. citizens access to affordable health insurance coverage. All health plans on the Marketplace must offer a comprehensive set of benefits including, preventive care and wellness services, doctor visits, prescription drugs, hospital and emergency department care, lab services and pediatric services, and coverage cannot be denied based on a pre-existing condition. Depending on household income, some individuals may qualify for financial assistance from the government, or subsidies, towards the cost of the premium.

As part of the Affordable Care Act, most U.S. citizens are required to have health insurance beginning in 2014. During the first enrollment wave, which began last October and ended in March, nearly 10 million uninsured individuals enrolled in a Marketplace plan. Yet, approximately 30 million Americans remain uninsured.

“This is where SVRMC can help,” said Joe Wilkins, SVRMC’s Interim CEO.  “As a primary health provider in the area, we want to help educate residents on the health plan options available through the Marketplace and assist with eligibility determination for Medicaid or financial help to lower the cost of health insurance premiums.  Although this is a major function of, SVRMC application counselors can perform the same analysis and help with the sign-up process.”

Beginning in 2015, individuals who can afford health insurance but don’t sign up, may have to pay a penalty of $325 per adult and $162.50 per child – up to $975/family or 2% of family income, whichever is higher. And, without insurance, you will be financially responsible for all of your medical costs.

In all states, Medicaid provides health coverage for some low-income people, families and children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with disabilities. In some states, the program also covers adults who fall below a certain income level. 

“While Virginiahas chosen not to expand Medicaid, there are still many individuals in the community who qualify for Medicaid coverage,” explained Wilkins.“We can help screen these individuals and if they qualify, we can enroll them at any time, with health coverage beginning immediately.”

Open enrollment runs November 15, 2014 – February 15, 2015.  If you would like to make an appointment to speak with an SVRMC application counselor, call 434-348-4406



Emporia, VA – In recognition of National Healthcare Facilities and Engineering Week, October 19 – 25, 2014, Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) would like to thank the Engineering Department staff for the important role they play in keeping the hospital safe and operational. 

A vital part of the healthcare team, the engineering staff at SVRMC work in all areas of the hospital including building and grounds, plant operations, design and construction, safety, security and clinical engineering.  In addition to keeping the facility efficient and operational, they make sure there is power, running water and a safe and comfortable healing environment for patients, physicians, visitors and staff.  Without this dedicated team, it would be impossible to provide for the health needs of the community.

National Healthcare Facilities and Engineering Week, which is observed annually during the fourth week in October, is sponsored by the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) of the American Hospital Association.  For more information on ASHE, go to



EMPORIA, VA - According to the National Cancer Institute, the five year survival rate of breast cancer patients is 98% when detected early, and in the localized stage.  The best method of detecting breast cancer in these earliest stages - Mammography.  Although there has been some controversy surrounding the use of mammography in recent years, it remains the best method for detecting breast cancer in its earliest stages, and before it is large enough to feel through clinical or self-breast exams.

The importance of making people aware of breast cancer and breast cancer screening through mammography, is in the statistics.  It is estimated that 1 out of every 8 women in the United States will develop invasive breast cancer in her lifetime.  Although much less common, in men, approximately 2000 men are diagnosed with breast cancer annually.  The good news, death rates attributed to breast cancer has been on a steady decline since 1991.  This decline is thought to be in response to increased breast cancer awareness, early detections through mammography screening, and advances in the treatment of breast cancer.   

The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends that all women begin getting yearly mammograms and clinical breast exams at age 40 (earlier if the woman is considered at high risk of developing breast cancer).   ACS also recommends that women between the ages of 20 and 39 have clinical breast exams every 2 – 3 years, and all women over the age of 20 are encouraged to perform monthly self breast examinations.

National Mammography Day was designated as the third Friday in October by President Bill Clinton as a one day recognition during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month for encouraging women to schedule an annual mammogram.  In recognition of National Mammography Day and National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) had a “Go Pink & Denim Day” to promote breast health awareness on Friday, October 17th. For a $5.00 donation, participating employees were allowed to show their support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and wear their favorite jeans to work. Other staff not participating in the Denim Day also wore pink to raise awareness of the importance of mammography, and made donations to support this worthy cause.  An additional donation was made by the SVRMC Cardiac Rehab Nurse who contributed $5.00 on behalf of each of her patients who participated in the Go Pink fun.  Through these efforts, SVRMC staff raised a total of $400.00 that they donated to Susan G. Komen for the Cure®.     

For more information on breast cancer or the benefits of mammography, contact your primary care provider or Betty Lou Robinson, SVRMC Mammography Technologist, at 434-348-4836.



(EMPORIA, VA) – Paige Morgan, LPN has been named the Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) Employee of the Month for September 2014.  Ms. Morgan, who has been employed at SVRMC since August 2005, is the Central Scheduler for SVRMC.



EMPORIA, VA —When you’re experiencing a healthcare emergency, the last thing you need to do is wait. Emergency medicine is about three things: compassion, skilled care and speed. Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) knows the importance of prompt service – especially in the emergency room (ER). “That’s why SVRMC is launching a 30-Minutes-or-Less ER Service Pledge – to assure patients we’re dedicated not only to offering quality care, but also providing that care as efficiently and quickly as possible,” said Linda Burnette, CNO/Interim CEO. 

When a patient enters the ER at SVRMC, the arrival time is noted. The 30-Minute ER Service Pledge begins the minute a patient checks in at the ER desk. “Our pledge is that a clinical professional will work diligently to initially see each patient within 30 minutes or less of their arrival to begin evaluation and treatment. When the patient is seen by a clinical professional -- a physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner -- the time is logged on the patient’s chart, so we can track our performance in keeping our pledge of short ER wait times,” said Burnette.

The hospital records and monitors many ER indicators as part of its ongoing quality improvement efforts.  “One of the items we track is patient wait times in the ER to determine how efficiently we triage patients and get them to a  clinical professional for initial evaluation and treatment,” said Burnette.   “While the goal of SVRMC’s ER pledge is to work diligently to  initially see every patient within 30 minutes of their arrival, the most critical health emergencies will always receive top priority at triage.  I’m pleased to report that the majority of patients at SVRMC’s ER were already being seen within 30 minutes of their arrival time,” she said.

The hospital will launch the 30-Minutes-or-Less ER Service Pledge in October 1, 2014. “We believe this service pledge will distinguish us from other health care providers in the area, and underline our commitment to the patients we serve,” said Burnette.  

“Though we’re committed to prompt and appropriate care for our ER patients, the 30-Minutes-or-Less ER pledge should not be misinterpreted as an effort to rush patients though the ER,” she added. “Our process improvements focus on getting ER patients into a treatment room as quickly as possible, enabling our clinical professionals to see a patient and begin diagnosis and treatment in a timely manner.”

For more information on the 30-Minutes-or-Less ER Service Pledge at SVRMC, contact Sandy Webb, Director of Marketing and Physician Recruitment.


National Healthcare Environmental Services and Housekeeping Week OBSERVED AT SOUTHERN VIRGINIA REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER

Emporia, VA – National Healthcare Environmental Services and Housekeeping Week is observed annually in September.  During this week, Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) would like to recognize their environmental services staff for the important role they play in maintaining a clean, safe and healthy environment for our patients, visitors, physicians and staff.    

“Environmental services staff are essential to the overall healthcare delivery process at SVRMC,” said Linda Burnette, Chief Nursing Officer and Interim Chief Executive Officer.  “Too often seen in the background, our environmental services staff are called upon to provide a wide range of services.  While daily duties consist of empting trash and general cleaning, what is not as widely known is the vitally important role they play in preventing infections in a complex medical environment.  Our staff consistently provide a high quality service as is evident from our recent patient satisfaction scores which rank cleanliness in the 97th percentile nationwide and fourth overall company-wide out of 206 hospitals,” she said.

Front row L – R:  Mary Jane Lucas, Wanda Phillips, Sharon Brown, Erica Brown; Back row L – R:  Eric Drake, Randy Newsome, Daniel Jenkins - Environmental Services Director, Stephanie Jefferson; Not pictured – Gloria Gary, Timmy Harris, Timothy Owens, Leroy Smith, Marlin Stallings, Avis Taylor, Virginia Worrell



EMPORIA, VA – During World War II, our nation called on the Red Cross to develop a system that would supply lifesaving blood for the men and women of the United States armed forces injured in combat.  This large scale, desperate need led to the establishment of the American Red Cross Blood Donor Service. Recognizing that there was also a need for blood and blood products in times of peace, the Red Cross introduced the first nationwide civilian blood program after the war.  Today, the American Red Cross is the single largest supplier of blood and blood products in the United States, collecting and processing approximately 15.7 million units each year.   This accounts for more than 40 percent of all blood supplied to patients in hospitals across the country.   


As one of more than 2,700 hospitals nationwide who depend on the American Red Cross (ARC) for blood and blood products for our patients, and in keeping with the mission of the ARC, to ensure a safe and adequate blood supply through voluntary donations, SVRMC recently hosted their annual end of summer blood drive with a goal of 19 units.  Throughout the 4 hour event, SVRMC staff and individuals from the community generously donated 20 units to surpass the goal set for this drive.

For more information on the American Red Cross or to locate a collection event near you log on to

In the top photo, Donna Munden anxiously awaits the ARC technician for her first donation in many years.

In the lower photo, Troy Watson plays it cool while donating at the SVRMC Annual Summer Blood Drive.




EMPORIA, VA) – Shauna Boone has been named the Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) Employee of the Month for August 2014.  Ms. Boone, who has been employed with the hospital since April 2013, is a registered nurse (RN) and the Clinical Coordinator on the Acute Care Unit.



Blood Drive Today!

EMPORIA, VA – According to the American Red Cross (ARC), there has been a recent increase in the number of donors answering the call to donate at blood drives across the country.  Despite this increase, blood products are currently being distributed to hospitals as quickly as donations are coming in, leaving an urgent need for blood and platelet donations to meet the needs of patients requiring this life saving gift.  It is estimated that someone needs a blood transfusion in the United States every two seconds, which adds up to about 41,000 units of blood that are needed to meet the daily demand. 

To help prevent a shortage and ensure an adequate blood supply for patients in need, Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) is please to host an ARC Blood Drive on Thursday, August 28th from 2:00 PM - 6:00 PM in the SVRMC Classrooms.   Whether veteran or first time donor, the process is quick (usually about an hour from start to finish), easy and each donation could save up to three lives.  Donors are required to provide two forms of identification, be at least 17 years of age, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in generally good health to be eligible to donate. 

For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Sandy Webb, Director of Marketing and Physician Recruitment at 434-348-4447.



EMPORIA, VA – Earlier this year, the oncology staff at Southern Virginia Regional Medical (SVRMC) established a support group, Cancer Connection, for oncology patients and caregivers.  After taking off the summer months, the group is ready to “fall” back into their regularly scheduled meetings beginning in September.  

Cancer Connection meets on the second Wednesday of each month at 5:00 PM in the SVRMC Classrooms.  The first 20 minutes of each meeting will be a combined session for patient and caregivers together, followed by breakout sessions comprised of patients only or caregivers only.  Each month there will be a program on different topics related to living with or caring for someone with cancer.  This group meeting is FREE and open to all cancer patients and caregivers.

The September meeting of Cancer Connection will be held on Wednesday, September 10th at 5:00 PM in the SVRMC Classrooms.  Reservations for this meeting are not required.  For additional information, contact Cancer Connection Coordinators, Peggy Dunn, RN at 434-348-4625 or Robin Harris, RN at 434-348-4644.



(EMPORIA, VA) – Erica Brown has been named the Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) Employee of the Month for July 2014.  Ms. Brown, who has been employed with the hospital since November 2008, is an Environmental Services Aid in the Environmental Services department.



 (EMPORIA, VA) – Eric Lachance, CEO of Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC), announced this week that he has resigned from his position as SVRMC’s CEO.  In a statement to staff, he indicated that he had accepted a position as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at Munroe Regional Medical Center, a 421-bed CHS-affiliated hospital located in Ocala, Florida.

While members of the board, medical staff and administration work to identify candidates to permanently fill the role of CEO, Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) Linda Burnette will serve as interim CEO.


Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center Partners with EmCare for Hospitalist Services

Emporia, VA– Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) is partnering with EmCare®, a leading national provider of physician practice management services, beginning August 1st for management and physician staffing of the SVRMC’s new Hospital Medicine Service.

Hospital Medicine is a newer medical specialty in which physicians, sometimes called hospitalists, focus on caring for patients who have been admitted to the hospital either through the Emergency Department (ED) or directly from the primary care provider’s office.  Hospitalist physicians devote themselves entirely to patients who have been the hospital, and they coordinate the patient care throughout their inpatient stay with other medical specialist and ancillary departments such as laboratory, radiology and rehab services. As the patient readies for discharge, the hospitalists works closely with case management, the patient’s primary care physician and the patient’s family to ensure that the transition from inpatient care goes smoothly.  Once discharged, the patient resumes the relationship with his/her primary care provider.

“We are pleased to expand the services available to patients of Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center.” said Eric Lachance, SVRMC’s Chief Executive Officer, “The hospitalists will partner with the patient’s primary care physician, making certain that the patient’s doctor receives prompt and appropriate communication regarding the care being provided. This way, there is a seamless transition once the patient is discharged from the hospital, assuring continuity of care.”

For more information on the hospitalist program at Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center, contact Sandy Webb, Director of Marketing and Physician Recruitment at 434-348-4447.



(EMPORIA, VA) – Sarah Wright has been named the Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) Employee of the Month for June 2014.  Ms. Wright, who has been employed with the hospital since April 2007, is an Emergency Technician in the Emergency Department.



(EMPORIA, VA) – Eight young ladies recently completed Safe Sitter® training at Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC).  The two day course, held on July 10th   and 11th, culminated with a graduation ceremony during which each participant received a certificate of completion for the Safe Sitter® course, and a certification from the American Heart Association for successful completion of Heartsaver Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CRP).  Following the graduation ceremony, the students and their guests were treated to refreshments. 

Safe Sitter® is a medically accurate program that teaches boys and girls ages 11 to 13 nurturing child care techniques, behavior management skills and appropriate responses to medical emergencies when caring for children.  Specifically, the Safe Sitter learns:  what to do when a child chokes, safety for the sitter, how to call for emergency help, babysitting business skills, basic child care skills (diapering, feeding, etc.), and how to entertain children and keep them safe.  In addition, Safe Sitter parents are given tips for helping their Safe Sitter to stay safe and make the most out of their babysitting experiences.  Since it’s inception in 1980, more than 400,000 young people in the United States and England have graduated from the program. 

Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center is proud to be a training site for Safe Sitter®.  If you would like to be put on a list for the next Safe Sitter® course or for additional information on the program, contact Cynthia Mason-Kemp, RN, SVRMC Safe Sitter® Site Coordinator at 434-348-4456.

Front Row, L – R:  Tamar Jeter, Emily Lachance, Olivia Ulch, Erica Lachance, Cynthia Mason-Kemp, Safe Sitter Site Coordinator.

Back Row, L – R:  Queen Daniels, Safe Sitter Instructor, Destini Boone, Rachel Rego, Sarah-Paige Fajna, Cassie Robinson, Karen Kemp-Bynum, Safe Sitter Instructor



(EMPORIA, VA) – Frank Greenway has been named the Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) Employee of the Month for May 2014.  Mr. Greenway, who has been employed with the hospital since April 2006, is a Radiology Technologist (RT) in the Radiology Services Department.



EMPORIA, VA – Each year in May for more than 75 years, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) has celebrated Better Hearing and Speech Month.  This month is not designated to recognize Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists, but to raise public awareness of the 40 million Americans who suffer with developmental disorders related to hearing, speech, language and/or voice, or those who have acquired such a disorder as a result of illness or injury.  Fortunately, when detected early most people with communication disorders can be helped with proper treatment.

Recently, the ASHA launched a nationwide public awareness campaign, Identify the Signs, to encourage parents, teachers, caregivers and others to educate themselves about the early warning signs of speech, language, and hearing disorders.  According to an ASHA membership survey, 45% of respondents reported lack of awareness as the number one barrier to early detection of communication disorders.

With the nationwide launch of the new public awareness campaign by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center’s speech-language pathologist Stacy Eubanks encourages parents, caregivers, and others to familiarize themselves with the signs of communication disorders. In children from birth to four years of age these signs may include: words are not understandable and/or saying only a few sounds, words, or gestures (18 months to 2 years of age); doesn’t combine words into phrases (starting at 2 years); doesn’t interact socially (infancy and beyond); struggles to say sounds or words (3 to 4 years); and doesn’t follow or understand what you say (starting at 1 year). In adults signs of a communication disorder may include: struggles to say sounds or words; repetition of words or parts of words; speaks in short, fragmented phrases; says words in the wrong order; struggles with both using words and understanding others; difficulty imitating speech sounds, inconsistent errors, slow rate of speech; and slurred speech.  

Results of a recent survey of ASHA’s membership revealed that research has shown that early detection is critical to treating—and oftentimes reversing—communication disorders. Delayed treatment can result in isolation, poor academic or career performance, and delayed development.

“As a certified speech-language pathologist, I see how delayed intervention impacts the people of our community every single day,” Stacy says. “ASHA’s campaign has great potential to help the public identify and act on the early warning signs of communication disorders, allowing people to get the most effective treatment for the best chance at improved quality of life.”

ASHA’s campaign consists of English and Spanish television, radio, and print public service announcements disseminated to outlets across the country. In addition, the effort includes an online banner ad and features a campaign website highlighting the early warning signs of speech, language, and hearing disorders, as well as consumer resources for treatment and help.

“Far too many people in Emporia—and across the country—suffer from communication disorders. This campaign has the ability to reduce that number by helping people to identify the first signs of these disorders and seek professional help immediately,” Stacy says.

For more information, visit



Emporia, VA – Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) is accepting applications for the 2014 Summer Teen Volunteer Program.  Under the supervision of SVRMC’s Human Resources Director, Becky Parrish, 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 13th.

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, provide a parental consent form to participate, parental consent for drug screen and TB skin test, a photo ID and social security number (for drug screen), and $20.00 to cover the cost of the test.

Applications may be picked-up at the SVRMC hostess desk.  For additional information on the 2014 Summer Teen Volunteer Program contact Vicky Powell, Human Resources Assistant at 434-348-4486.  Deadline for applications is Friday, June 13, 2014.



EMPORIA, VA – Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) honored employees with milestone years of service in 2013 at the annual Service Awards Luncheon held during National Hospital Week.  “This was a great opportunity for us to thank our employees,” said Eric Lachance, CEO of SVRMC.  “Our dedicated and passionate employees set Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center apart from other healthcare providers,” he said. 

As a part of the celebration, staff were invited to a special luncheon where they were recognized for their years of service with a certificate and a gift.  Employees with twenty, twenty-five, thirty, and thirty-five years of service were also presented with flowers and the respective manager spoke to the group about the contributions of these long term employees.  Thirty-seven employees reached milestone years of service in 2013 representing a total of 480 years of experience.


5 Year Awards – Photo Above Left
Front L- R :  Bonnie Cummings, Jakai Barnes, Troy Watson, Erica Brown, Donna Taylor
Back L – R:  Kelly Byers, Lauren Barnes, Dora Smith-Person, Leroy Smith, Rhonda Robinson, Telisha Seward
Not Pictured:  Linda Allen, Alberta Babaran, Catherine Clary, Ronchetta Jackson, Ashley Page
10 Year AwardsPhoto Above Right
Front L – R:  Terry Joyner, Ruby Etters
Back L – R:  Alison Phillips, Bonnie Anderson, Stephanie Speller, Stacy Atkins


15 Year Awards – Photo Above Left
L – R:   Shelby Wyatt, Kandy Poarch, Linda Thompson – Not Pictured:  Penny Powell
20 Year Awards – Photo Above Right
L – R:  Virginia Worrell, Wendy Durham, Lisa Wiant


25 Year Awards – Photo Above Left
Gladys Bowser – Not Pictured:  Arleatha Young
30 Year Awards – Photo Above Right
Barbara Finch – Not Pictured:  Lorenze Dennis

35 Year Awards
Helen Wilson, Chris Avent, Vickie Michael



Emporia, VA – Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) joined with hospitals across the nation in celebration of National Hospital Week May 12-16. Dating back to 1921, National Hospital Week celebrates hospitals and the men and women who support the health of their communities through compassionate care, constant innovation and unwavering, unmatched dedication to the patients they serve.

SVRMC kicked off their Hospital Week celebration on Monday with a $1.00 lunch special in the cafeteria followed by an ice cream social that afternoon.  Other activities included BINGO in the cafeteria and an afternoon candy cart, the annual services awards luncheon, and afternoon wings and things snack attack, and SVRMC casino games and a seafood buffet in the cafeteria.  The celebration at SVRMC culminated on Friday with a cookout featuring hot dog, hamburgers, grilled chicken and bratwursts with all the trimmings. 

Each year, staff participate in fund raisers leading up to and throughout Hospital Week to benefit the Emporia/Greensville Relay for Life. On the Friday prior to Hospital Week, staff participated in an SVRMC Denim Day, collecting $5.00 from staff who wore their favorite jeans to work.  During Hospital Week, all proceeds from the $1.00 lunch special were added to the collection and raffle tickets were sold throughout the week for prize drawings to be held following the Hospital Week picnic.  When all was said and done on the final day of the celebration, staff had raised a total of $1,057.00 that they donated to the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.  

Susan Mitchell and Brenda Pultz, Co-Chairs of the Emporia Greensville Relay for Life accept the donation raise by staff during National Hospital Week from SVRMC Chief Executive Officer, Eric Lachance.


EMPORIA, VA – A national recognition day for nursing professionals was first signed by President Ronald Reagan in 1982 proclaiming "National Recognition Day for Nurses" to be May 6th of that year.  In 1990, the American Nurses Association expanded the recognition of nurses into a week-long celebration each year May 6 – 12.  The first annual National Nurses’ Week was celebrated in May 1991 and has continued every year thereafter.  The purpose of National Nurses Week is to raise public awareness of the integral role nurses play in the delivery of healthcare national wide. 

Nurse leaders from Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) organized events for nursing staff throughout the National Nurses’ Week.  Some of the events included Nursing Superlatives for each unit voted on by that staff, handing out of Lifesavers to staff, and candy baskets delivered to each unit.  The week culminated, on Friday, May 9th when SVRMC nurse leaders hosted a reception for nursing staff and nurses from other organizations throughout the community.  During this event, Mary Person, Mayor of the City of Emporia, presented a proclamation proclaiming May 6 – 12 as National Nurses Week in the City of Emporia.  

In the above photo, CNO, Linda Burnette and Peggy Dunn, Director of Surgical Services look on as Mary Person, Mayor of the City of Emporia, reads the Nurses’ Week Proclamation.  The photo at the top of the story were the  Nurses attending the reception  along with the Nurses’ Week Proclamation and  Mayor Mary Person.


Nurses Week

May 6, 2014 through May 12, 2014

Whereas, nurses are knowledgeable health care professionals who are leaders in the management and delivery of health care services; and

Whereas,  nurses are striving  to meet the challenges of an ever evolving health care system while continuing to provide safe, dependable, and conscientious care for each of us; and

Whereas, professional nursing has been demonstrated to be an indispensable component in the safety and quality of care for patients; and

Whereas, there is an urgent need, not only to recruit well-qualified candidates into the profession, but also to retain nurses in the workplace; and

Whereas,the week of May 6, 2014 through May 12, 2014 has been declared throughout the United States as National Nurses Week with the theme "Nurses: Leading the Way" in celebration of the ways in which nurses strive to provide safe and high quality patient care.

Now, Therefore,I,Mary L. Person,by virtue of the authority vested in me as Mayor of the City of Emporia, Virginia do hereby proclaim May6, 2014 through May 12, 2014 as Nurses Week in the City of Emporia, Virginia and ask all residents of the community to join me in honoring all nurses for their significant contributions to patient care and to our health care system.

Done this 9th day of May, 2014.


(EMPORIA, VA) – Patsy Rose has been named the Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) Employee of the Month for April 2014.  Ms. Rose, who has been employed with the hospital since March 1984, is an a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)  in the Behavioral Health Unit.


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