VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital

VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital receives Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award

The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association recognizes VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital’s commitment to quality stroke care. 

VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital has received the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence. 

VCU Health CMH earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period. These measures include evaluation of the proper use of medications and other stroke treatments aligned with the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. Before discharge, patients should also receive education on managing their health, get a follow-up visit scheduled, as well as other care transition interventions 

“VCU Health CMH is dedicated to improving the quality of care for our stroke patients by implementing the American Heart/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke initiative,” said Lisa Smith, RN, BSN, CICU, Stroke Program Coordinator at VCU Health Community Memorial “The tools and resources provided help us track and measure our success in meeting evidenced-based clinical guidelines developed to improve patient outcomes.”  

VCU Health CMH additionally received the Association’s Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll award. To qualify for this recognition, hospitals must meet quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke  

Further, VCU Health CMH received the Association’s Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll award. To qualify for this recognition, hospitals must meet quality measures developed with more than 90 % of compliance for 12 consecutive months for the “Overall Diabetes Cardiovascular Initiative Composite Score.” 

“We are pleased to recognize VCU Health CMH for their commitment to stroke care,” said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., national chairperson of the Quality Oversight Committee and Executive Vice Chair of Neurology, Director of Acute Stroke Services, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts. “Research has shown that hospitals adhering to clinical measures through the Get With The Guidelines quality improvement initiative can often see fewer readmissions and lower mortality rates.” 

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke every 40 seconds and nearly 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

VCU Health CMH Presents 2020 Nursing Awards

Milagros Silverman, the Dee McMillan Nurse Care Partner Award recipient; Erin Truman, RN, the Alice Tudor Professional Nurse Award recipient; and Gloria Grinan, LPN, the Carol Love Licensed Practical Nurse Award recipient.

The Professional Development Council of VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital recently recognized three extraordinary people.  One of the council’s goals is to offer recognition to nurses and nurse care partners for their continual commitment to excellence.

VCU Health CMH first gave out these awards on Nurses’ Day, May 6, 2009 and this tradition has continued and grown stronger each year.  This year the Professional Development Council of VCU Health CMH received numerous nominations, a testament to the many dedicated professionals among the hospital’s staff.  This year’s awards were given to three incredible individuals, whose impact and contributions to nursing at VCU Health CMH have been tremendous.   

The three original awards were named after three special people, Dee McMillan, Carol Love and Alice Tudor. These women embodied the values that are respected in nursing: hard work, diligence, kindheartedness, compassion, knowledge, loyalty and support.      

The Dee McMillan Nurse Care Partner Award is named after the late Dee McMillan, who was a true nurse partner for many nurses and nursing staff at VCU Health CMH. She was a person who wore many hats when she worked within the organization. Dee demonstrated commitment in her work and a kindhearted attitude toward everyone she met. This award is presented each year in her memory as the Dee McMillan Nurse Care Partner Award.

This year’s recipient of the Dee McMillan Care Partner Award is Milagros Silverman.  Milagros has been employed at VCU Health CMH for nine years.  She leads the way for others and always makes sure that patients are safe throughout her shift. If she knows that a patient is on fall risk, she is often seen watching the patient closely and ready to assist right away if the at risk patient tries to get out of bed. Milagros strives to be her best and wants everyone in the unit to do the same. She never complains and always has a smile on her face. She is a preceptor and trains other Care Partners in a professional and welcoming manner. She goes above and beyond without hesitation to assist her peers, the patients, family members, and others in any way that she can. Milagros demonstrates relationship based care every day with her caring attitude and always puts the patient first.

Carol Love, LPN, was awarded the first LPN Award from the Professional Development Council of VCU Health CMH in 2009 for her leadership, commitment, caring attitude, demonstration of professionalism, and contribution to the Practical Nursing Program.  Thereafter, the award was named the Carol Love Licensed Practical Nurse Award in her honor, and is given each year to an LPN, for their exemplary contribution to nursing at VCU Health CMH.

The recipient of this year’s Carol Love Licensed Practical Nurse Award is Gloria Grinan, LPN.  Gloria has been employed at VCU Health CMH for thirty years.  She is described as a team player and will jump in and help out whenever needed. She willingly shares her expertise with other team members. She is an educator to team members and shares her tricks of the trade. Gloria treats her patients as if they were her own family with her quiet caring attitude. She always exhibits integrity in her nursing practice and is dressed to impress each day, uniform always pressed, presenting herself in a very professional manner. Her professionalism is evident in her community with her church involvement and assistance with health fairs. Gloria is an inspiration to team members, patients and families, the community, and her church family. At VCU Health CMH, she is well respected and treats everyone as if they are her family. She is always willing to go the extra mile and help anyone in need.

The Alice Tudor Professional Nursing Award is named after Ms. Alice Tudor, a CMH professional registered nurse. Ms. Tudor always presented with a professional appearance at work, her demeanor was an example of how a professional registered nurse should behave around their co-workers, patients and families. For more than 50 years, nurses looked up to Ms. Tudor and what she stood for as a professional nurse. This award is presented to a Registered Nurse each year in her honor as the Alice Tudor Professional Nurse Award.

The recipient of this year’s Alice Tudor Professional Nurse Award is Erin Truman, RN.  Erin has been employed by VCU Health CMH for four years. She is a role model for Relationship Based Care. Through her actions, Erin exemplifies positive relationships with our patients and our team that generate a positive work environment.  Erin is respected by her team and has emerged as a leader serving as a Preceptor and in other leadership roles. She has a professional, friendly demeanor that facilitates communication with team members. She has a strong relationship with our provider team who look at her as partner in care delivery to our patients. They respect her opinions and work together collegially to obtain the best outcome possible for the patients. Erin promotes professional growth and contribution to change by continuing to be open to learning and taking on new challenges, all while being a role model for others. She represents her unit by serving on several hospital-wide committees such as the Patient Experience Committee. She also takes pride in her own professional growth as she is continuing her education and has obtained a Medical Surgical Nurse Certification.  Erin is a professional nurse with a caring spirit.

All 2020 Nursing Award recipients were nominated by their peers or their manager. Each one has demonstrated care and compassion to patients and families and exemplifies excellence in nursing practice and leadership.

Letter to the Editor from W. Scott Burnette, CEO of VCU Community Memorial Health

 

I want to take this opportunity to let this community know how proud they should be of the health care team at Community Memorial Hospital as they have faced the challenge of dealing with COVID-19.  Over the last five plus months, the CMH team has shown true dedication to caring for patients in what could easily be called the worst of times, other than that of a war zone perhaps.  However, for all intents and purposes, they have been engaged in a war with an invisible, yet very deadly disease.  Highly infectious patients may not even display any symptoms of illness, yet can transmit the virus simply by being close to others and not wearing a mask.  The act of speaking, a sneeze or a simple cough can send droplets containing the virus that can then be absorbed through the mouth, nose or eyes of another person.

Since COVID-19 arrived, the CMH team transformed a 70 bed community hospital into a multi-hospital complex capable of housing at least 225 acute care and critical care patients.  This transition was accomplished within the first three weeks after the declaration of a state of emergency and was made possible by our ability to repurpose the original Community Memorial Hospital facility.  The amount of effort that was necessary to accomplish this was extraordinary and speaks volumes to the caliber of individuals who make up the CMH team.

We have had to change how we operate all of our clinics and our patient care services.  Our direct care teams have had to adapt to more strict levels of infection prevention protocols and daily put aside their fears of working in an environment that exists to treat all illnesses and injuries, but is also ready to face this new world-wide pandemic.  This requires an enormous amount of dedication and resilience and it is something that will carry them through these many months yet to come until an effective vaccine can be developed.  I also want to thank the community for adapting to our stricter visitor guidelines that are necessary to ensure everyone’s safety at our facilities.  I realize they have been an inconvenience; but, cooperation overall has been great and it is much appreciated. 

While we all seem to have adapted a bit more to this “world of COVID-19”, I wanted everyone to know how awesome the CMH team of health care professionals is and how proud I am to be their CEO.  I also want to thank this community for the many expressions of support and encouragement that have been offered to the staff at the hospital and all of our patient care divisions of CMH.  It means a lot for them to know that their willingness to face the daily risk to their personal health is appreciated.  This same dedication is demonstrated by our EMS partners in this region who have worked tirelessly to make sure all patients receive whatever care is needed and I want to thank them as well.

We are not out of the woods with COVID-19 yet, but the teams at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital and VCU Medical Center in Richmond stand ready to face this challenge as they have done so well throughout our histories.

No words are adequate to express my appreciation to the CMH team, so I will simply end this letter by saying “Thank You.”

Sincerely,

W. Scott Burnette

Chief Executive Officer

(Editor's Note: Your letters may not always reflect the views of Emporia News. Letters to the Editor may be sent to news@emporianews.com and must include your name. Letters that may be considered inflamitory in nature will not be published. Do not include profanity, racial ephitets, lewd, demeaning or disparaging comments. Letters may be edited for space, clarity and/or grammar.)

Ladies of the Lake Donate to Cancer Care

Committed, caring and fun. That’s the way Ken Kurz, Director of Marketing and Development for VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital, described a group of women who are continually making a difference for cancer patients at the Hendrick Cancer & Rehab Center in South Hill.

“They just bring a smile to everyone’s face when they stop by,” he said. “It doesn’t hurt that they always bring a check to benefit our Cancer Care Fund, but their smiles are infectious and they work so hard to help us care for our patients.”

The group presented a $1,000 check to Kurz and Teresa Collins, Director of the Radiation and Medical Oncology Department at CMH, recently for the fund.

“These ladies have enriched the lives of our cancer patients, through their selfless acts of kindness. Their commitment and dedication to our cancer population is phenomenal! When I think of these ladies, the following quote by Brene Brown comes to mind, "Compassion is not a virtue -- it is a commitment. It's not something we have or don't have-- It is something that we choose to practice," said Collins.

The VCU Health CMH Cancer Care Fund was started by the CMH Foundation and generous donors to help patients in our community who are dealing with cancer.

According to Collins, often during treatment, many patients may lose their insurance or face other financial toxicity issues like being unable to work, which makes nausea and pain medications very difficult to afford.

The Cancer Care Fund is designed to help offset the cost of these medications.

As patients visit the Hendrick Cancer Center/Solari Radiation Therapy Center daily for chemotherapy and/or radiation services the distance a patient travels can become costly; this fund can also assist with these travel expenses.

Each case is thoroughly evaluated by the cancer care team, to determine exactly what assistance is needed, and if the Cancer Patient Care Fund is an appropriate resource.

Support for the Cancer Care Fund can give these patients a hand, and also give them peace of mind, knowing that the inability to cover these costs will not stand in the way of their treatment.

When a need is identified, patients are carefully screened by the oncology social worker and Director of Oncology to determine need and to assure that these funds are used in the way donors intended.  Our oncology social worker does extensive research to identify grants or other resources which may be available for the patient on top of looking at the Cancer Care Fund. 

If you are interested in donating to the VCU Health CMH Cancer Care Fund you can call (434) 447-0857 or visit vcu-cmh.org.

VCU Health CMH Team Member of the Month for July 2020

Being nice is a habit that comes naturally to Ashton Carter, cardiac monitor tech at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital.

And when people say nice people finish last, just tell them they are wrong. Ashton finished first in voting for the July STAR Service Team Member of the Month at CMH.

Ashton was nominated by April Hayes and Tracy Evans in Acute Care for her kindness and professionalism.

A co-worker of Ashton said, “I was sitting one on one with a patient and she (Ashton) was the only person who checked on me and relieved me. She is always smiling and eager to help. If it’s a task she can do, she does it, or will find someone to help. She is a perfect representation of CMH.”

Mellisa A. Black DNP, RN, MS, CCRN, NE-BC, said, “Ashton is a role model for STAR Service. She is always ready to do whatever it takes to make sure our team and patients get the best care.”

Ashton moved from the CMH Family Dental Clinic to her current position as a cardiac monitor tech.  She made this move to pursue more education to reach her goal one day, which is to be a respiratory therapist.

“It is easier to work my class schedule around three 12-hour shifts,” she said with her ever-present smile. “But it (the new job) also proved to me that what I wanted to be really is a respiratory therapist.”

Originally from Buffalo Junction, Ashton has been at CMH for nearly two years. She and husband, Nick, are expecting a son in December.

Besides her STAR pin and award, Ashton gets a special parking tag that allows her to park wherever she chooses for the month of August and a $40 gift card.

Others nominated in July were Dr. Indu Shivaram from Pulmonology and Lyda Ingram, an Emergency Department tech.

Lee Recognized for Service on VCU Health CMH Board of Directors

John Lee (right) is pictured here receiving a plaque from W. Scott Burnette, CEO, VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital, in appreciation for his nine years on the CMH Board of Directors.

VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital recently acknowledged John Lee’s three terms of service on the hospital’s board of directors, including the past year as board chairman. The hospital’s bylaws limit service on the Board to three consecutive terms and each term is for a three-year period.  W. Scott Burnette, CEO, VCU Health CMH, recognized Lee for volunteering his service to the organization and presented him with a commemorative crystal award at the board’s June meeting.

"As a member of the CMH Board of Directors, John has been a vital part of the many positive changes that have occurred at CMH over the past nine years.  From chairing the committee that led to our affiliation with VCU Health, to building a new hospital; John, among other dedicated members of the board, has helped lead the board through these grand achievements of our hospital.  We are fortunate to have people like John, that volunteer their time, and put tremendous effort into making our community a better place," said W. Scott Burnette, CEO, VCU Health CMH.

Lee commented on his tenure on the board, stating, “Serving on the VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital board of directors has been a highly gratifying and educational experience, and I am very proud to have been a part of the hospital’s considerable accomplishments in the past nine years. Our affiliation with VCU Health was a game changer for our hospital and the quality of care offered to this region, and the board’s efforts to seek out and secure an affiliate was challenging work, but in the end incredibly gratifying, especially now after they have proven themselves to be worthy partners, time and time again.”

VCU Health CMH is a community-owned nonprofit hospital providing health services for the south-central region of Virginia and portions of northern North Carolina, offering quality, state-of-the-art health care in a safe, convenient, patient friendly environment. Since 1954, the hospital’s employees, physicians, volunteers and board of directors have supported the organization’s mission of providing excellence in the delivery of health care.

Today, VCU Health CMH has a new hospital with 70 private patient rooms and a long term care facility with an additional 140 beds, providing a wide array of in-patient services, including acute care and long-term care along with many outpatient programs such as home health, hospice and many others. Since its inception, the hospital has grown to be one of the area’s largest employers with more than 800 employees, more than 100 volunteers and 177 providers, representing 26 medical specialties, on staff.

“It’s been and honor and privilege to serve on the board and to work with my fellow directors and Scott and his capable team at the hospital. All of them are highly dedicated and work diligently to provide high quality health care, with desirable options, at a contemporary, state of the art facility…I’d say we’re doing all that successfully. Serving our community on the VCU Health CMH board has been a great opportunity for me to give back to my community, and I wish them continued success,” Lee added.

Lee is President and CEO of Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative and EMPOWER Broadband, Inc. in Chase City. Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative (MEC) proudly powers over 31,000 homes, farms and businesses in the counties of Brunswick, Charlotte, Greensville, Halifax, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Pittsylvania, Southampton, and Sussex in Virginia and portions of Granville, Northampton, Person, Vance, and Warren counties in North Carolina.  It is headquartered in Chase City and has district offices in Chase City, VA, Emporia, VA, Gretna, VA, and Bracey, VA.

VCU Health CMH Announces New Board Directors & Officers

    

Cindy Pecht  (left) was first appointed to the CMH Board in 2002.  She is a past Vice-Chairman and past Treasurer of the Board, and serves on a number of hospital committees, including three at VCU Health System in Richmond.  Cindy resides in Lawrenceville, VA, where she is a fourth-generation beer wholesaler and owner of Pecht Distributors, Inc.  Pecht currently serves as Chairman of the Lawrenceville Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals.  She is also active in the Lawrenceville Rotary Club and Brunswick Chamber of Commerce.

Dr. Cathy Palmer (below left)is a Pathologist and since 2003 has been the Laboratory Medical Director at CMH.  She joined the Pathology Department at VCU as Assistant Professor in 2016.  She attended medical school at The George Washington University School of Medicine and did her Anatomic and Clinical Pathology residency at VCU, finishing in 2000.  She has previously held the position as the Director of Medical Affairs at CMH and is currently involved in leadership of the medical staff at CMH including work with Medical Staff Quality Improvement, Grand Rounds (Continuing Medical Education), Tumor Board (Multidisciplinary Cancer Conference), and as Chair of CMH Credentials Committee.  Outside of VCU Health CMH, she is the Regional Commissioner, and Virginia Assigning Commissioner for the College of American Pathologists, for laboratory accreditation.  

Don Bright (below right) is the President at Meherrin River Forest Products in Alberta Virginia.  He has held this position since 2011.  He is also a graduate of Virginia Tech University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill is pleased to announce the newest members of the CMH Board of Directors. Governed by 10 citizens of its service area and four representatives of VCU Health, the 14-member board of directors is comprised of both medical and non-medical individuals representing a wide array of businesses and professions. These dedicated volunteers along with VCU Health and CMH Administration share a fundamental belief that local communities are in the best position to identify and meet local health care needs.  

The CMH Board of Directors represent our service areas of Brunswick, Lunenburg, and Mecklenburg counties.  In general, each member serves three consecutive three-year terms; however, there is a provision for them to serve longer when necessary.  The Board sets policy, oversees the financial well being of the hospital and is responsible for long-range planning.  In addition and most importantly, the Board is responsible for oversight of the quality, safety and service levels that patients receive at CMH and for approving the appointment of physicians and other licensed providers as members of the Medical Staff.   

New members joining the Board during the June meeting were:  Dr. Cathy Palmer, Pathologist and Laboratory Medical Director at VCU Health CMH and Don Bright, President at Meherrin River Forest Products.    

The officers of the CMH Board of Directors for this year are:  Chairman, Ms. Cindy H. Pecht representing Brunswick; Vice-Chairman, Mr. William E. “Billy” Wells, Jr. representing Mecklenburg; Treasurer, Mr. Jay Stafford representing Lunenburg, and Secretary, Mr. Paul Neimeyer with VCU Health. 

“The Board is committed to continuing and expanding the availability of quality health care services in the region.  We deeply appreciate the wonderful people who make VCU Health CMH a great hospital, and we are grateful for the strong support CMH receives from the VCU Health System in Richmond.,” said Chairman Pecht. 

Other Board Members include: Clint Clary representing Brunswick; Cecil Shell representing Lunenburg; Kendele Underwood and Billy Wilkinson representing Mecklenburg; and Mr. Ron Clark, Dr. David Chelmow, Ms. Melinda Hancock and Dr. Tom Yackel representing VCU Health.  Legal Counsel is provided by Mr. Paul Neimeyer with VCU Health; Dr. Desi Rimon represents the CMH medical staff as the Chief of Staff and Kenny Pitts represents the CMH Auxiliary as the Auxiliary President. 

The CMH Board of Directors volunteer their time and expertise to assure that our community, nonprofit hospital remains on a strong course for the future.  These Directors generously give of themselves, their time, experience and skills and in turn to their community to ensure that VCU Health CMH continues to enhance the health and well-being of the citizens of Southside Virginia and Northern North Carolina. 

Pecht also stated, “We are in the midst of what is certainly one of the most challenging times in our hospital’s 66-year history.  It is truly awe-inspiring to see the dedication and bravery shown by the medical staff, senior leadership team, and each and every employee of VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital as they protect and provide care for the community during a pandemic.  I am humbled to serve as Chairman of the Board of this extraordinary organization.”

Dr. Darrell Brown Joins VCU Health CMH

Darrell Brown, MD, FACOG

South Hill – VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill would like to welcome Dr. Darrell Brown to our family of health care providers.  Dr. Brown specializes in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Dr. Brown is a Board Certified OB/GYN who has devoted his career to providing the best and most complete OB/GYN care for his patients for more than 28 years. He earned a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree from St. Georges University School of Medicine, located in Grenada, West Indies and completed his residency training at multiple locations including Jersey City Medical Center located in Jersey City, New Jersey; Sinai Samaritan Medical Center located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and The Stamford Hospital located in Stamford, Connecticut. 

Dr. Brown most recently worked as an OB/GYN for Ashley Women’s Services in Crossett, Arkansas and at the Northern Hospital of Surry County in Mount Airy, North Carolina.  He also has many years of teaching experience, the last two years as an Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor at NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University.

Dr. Brown is currently working at CMH Women’s Health Services located inside the new C.A.R.E. Building, 1755 N. Mecklenburg Avenue in South Hill.  He is accepting new patients; to schedule an appointment call (434) 584-2273 (CARE).

Dr. Brown joins Dr. Ramesh Seeras, OB/GYN and Terry Wooten, Certified Nurse-Midwife, to provide a complete range of personalized and preventive gynecologic care to women at every stage of life.  Throughout pregnancy, you’ll receive excellent prenatal care from this team of providers.  To view a full list of services visit:  VCU-CMH.org

Therapy Dog Program Seeking Volunteers

VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital is seeking volunteers with friendly and well-behaved dogs to participate in a program that aims to bring cheer to hospital patients, visitors and staff.

The Dogs On Call Therapy Dog Program provides complementary therapy to enhance the well-being of patients, staff, and students through canine-assisted interventions.  The dog and handler would visit patients that requested to have a visit and visit hospital departments to lift spirits of staff.

If you have a dog that would be a good fit for this program and would like to learn more about volunteering as a Dogs On Call team, please call 434-584-5411.

VCU Health CMH Team Member of the Month for May 2020

Photo Caption: (Left to Right) W. Scott Burnette, CEO, VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital presented Dr. Indu Shivaram, the VCU Health CMH STAR Service Team Member of the Month Award for May.  There to congratulate Dr. Shivaram was Dr. Ikenna Ibe, Vice President of Medical Affairs & Chief Medical Officer and Dr. Brenda Palmore, Vice President of Practice Management & Business Development.

Dr. Shivaram has been employed at VCU Health CMH for two years.  As VCU Health CMH's pulmonologist she helps patients with various pulmonary issues and is a vital part of the CMH family of physicians.  The nomination form submitted on her behalf by Mellisa Black, Director of Acute Care Nursing, stated, “Since COVID-19 began, Dr. Shivaram has shown the ICU how much she cares about our team and our patients through her words and actions.  She has consistently provided us with current, evolving information and guidance on caring for our COVID patients.  This has encouraged us to work together as a team to achieve optimal patient outcomes, which is our optimal goal.”

When asked what words of wisdom she would give other employees, Dr. Shivaram stated, “When working as a team, always be there for one another.”  She also said, "I'm proud to provide care to patients here at VCU Health CMH.  We have a small well ran hospital offering some of the best treatment options in a rural setting."  

In addition to the “star” award, Dr. Shivaram received a STAR Service lapel pin, letter of commendation from Administration, a $40 gift certificate, and a parking place of her choice for the month.

Dr. Shivaram currently resides in South Hill, VA.

Surviving COVID-19

Bonnie and Donald Johnston, photographed together on the front porch of their home in La Crosse, Virginia.

In early March, many Americans started hearing more about a novel Coronavirus also known as COVID-19 that was spreading like wildfire across our nation.  Most people didn’t know a lot about this virus and wondered if it would even reach the local people of rural Southside Virginia. 

On March 23rd, VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital admitted the hospital’s first COVID-19 patient; and that patient was La Crosse resident Donald Johnston.  Donald had been fighting a high fever for a few days and decided to make a trip to his primary care physician to get checked out.  During his check-up he was instructed to go to the VCU Health CMH emergency room and get tested for COVID-19; that test would come back positive.

In an interview with Donald, he stated that at this point he didn’t know how sick he really was or the fight he was about to begin.  That fight, would be a fight for his life.

Donald was transported and quarantined in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) where CMH doctors and nurses cared for him.  Because of the COVID-19 restrictions, Donald was not allowed any visitors, not even his wife, Bonnie. 

“Every day I felt helpless as I wasn’t able to see him.  We tried to talk on the phone, but Donnie could hardly breathe,” said Bonnie.  “On the 10th of April, my daughter Crystal and I had a video chat with Donnie’s doctor in the ICU.  We were told to prepare for the worst.  I remember that night, not being able to sleep as I kept thinking what am I going to write for Donnie’s obituary.”

Donald would spend 14 days in the ICU. “I don’t remember much about being there.  But I do know that if it wasn’t for the doctors and nurses in the ICU, I wouldn’t be here today.  The doctors and nurses along with God saved my life.”

After leaving the ICU, Donald would be transported to a regular patient room as he was still recovering. Bonnie said, “At this point it was still hard to talk to Donnie, his doctors and nurses were my lifeline to him.  They would call me and keep me updated on how he was doing.  The communication was as good as I could have asked.  The hospital staff was truly wonderful to us.”

On the path to recovery, Donald would spend six more days in his patient room.  He had finally reached the point where he was COVID negative and could be transported to an isolation wing of the Hundley Center where he would start rehab.  Donald didn’t know that the CMH staff had a surprise for him as he exited the hospital.

“When I came out of my room into the main hallway there were doctors and nurses lined all the way down cheering and clapping as I was being transported.  As I got further down the hallway I saw my wife for the first time in weeks.  It lit me right up; I was smiling from ear to ear, but she couldn’t see it because I was wearing a mask.  That was a memorable experience,” Donald said.

Donald would spend the next 24 days in an isolation wing of the Hundley Center.  His goal was to continue to recover and get stronger.  He worked with Hundley Center therapists on a set schedule to rehab his body since his illness had caused him to lose about 30 pounds since entering the hospital.  Donald said, “The Hundley Center staff was very professional.  I really looked forward to my time with the therapists and really enjoyed that experience, they were the best.”  Donald put in the rehab work needed to get stronger and now was finally healthy enough to go home and see his wife.

Donald said, “I had previously told the CMH staff while I was in the main hospital that I’m going to get home to my wife, I’m not dying here, I’m walking out of here.”  After a total of seven and a half weeks in the hospital and Hundley Center, that’s exactly what he did.

“I was discharged from the Hundley Center on May 14th at 11:30 AM.  I remember walking through the doors of the glass window corridor and everyone cheering as I walked down toward the exit.  I turned to the exit door and my wife was right there.  I know I hugged her for at least two minutes.  It’s something I will never forget,” said Donald.

Bonnie said, “It is truly a miracle that Donnie’s still here with me.  I hope the CMH doctors and nurses know how appreciative we are for saving his life.  I don’t think he could have been in a better place than CMH.”

“I’m feeling good and getting better day by day,” Donnie said. “I work in the yard and stay as active as I can.  To survive COVID at the age of 79, I thank Jesus every day.”

CMH Family Dental Clinic Update

In-person clinic visits are now an option again at the CMH Family Dental Clinic of VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital.  Established patients are welcomed back for all their routine dental care to include dental x-rays, six month check ups and cleanings, fillings, root canals, crowns and surgical procedures.  The dental clinic will begin to welcome new patients as well.

To ensure your safety, appointment times and schedules have been modified to allow dental clinic staff to follow infection control practices recommended by the CDC and State Medical and Dental authorities.  Some of these modifications include:  allowing more time for cleaning in between patients; more detailed patient screening; social distancing practices; more frequent hand washing; and wearing masks. 

There is a temporary hold on procedures that create air mist and aerosols, and the dental clinic is using only hand instruments and avoiding any motorized instruments. 

CMH Family Dental Clinic dentist, Dr. Natasha Grover stated, "While we appreciate everybody's patience while waiting to get scheduled, our established patients are the highest priority for scheduling. We encourage any existing patient to call us if they feel they need to be seen and we will move up their appointment so that their needs are met. We are following strict infection control and personal protective equipment (PPE) recommendations and will introduce more safety protocols as they become available to us."

The dental clinic has been open through this pandemic and remains available for all urgent care and emergent care for anyone, especially if they have severe dental pain, swelling or dental abscess. The clinic's goal is to make sure that patients receive definitive treatment rather than have multiple visits to the Emergency Department.

"As always, we hope that everybody is safe and healthy and recommend regular daily home oral hygiene practices of flossing and brushing (adding the use of a Waterpik if you have the time) as the best means of preventing any new dental disease from forming or any existing dental disease from getting any worse," added Dr. Grover.

If you have any questions you can reach the CMH Family Dental Clinic by calling (434) 584-5590. 

VCU Health CMH Team Members of the Month for March and April 2020

VCU Health CMH Star Service Team Member of the Month for March - Molly Hatchel

It hasn’t taken Molly Hatchel long to find a home in the Intensive Care Unit at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital.

She has been there since last July, but already calls the ICU home and her fellow team members as family. Molly has been named the Star Service March Team Member of the Month for her work in the ICU.

A patient nominated Molly saying, “I was admitted on Tuesday, March 10th for being in A-fib (an irregular, often rapid heart rate that commonly causes poor blood flow) with a very high heart rate and facing a cardioversion (a medical procedure by which an abnormally fast heart rate or other cardiac arrhythmia is converted to a normal rhythm using electricity or drugs). Molly’s sweet bedside manner and super patient helpfulness made a scary situation almost “fun”. One of the nicest nurses I have ever had and her simple explanation of procedures made them much less frightening.”

Mellisa Black, Nurse Manager for Critical Care, said, “Molly is a great example of a STAR Performer. She always gives great patient care combining the art and science of nursing. She was spot on in assessing what these patients needed and went above and beyond to give that special care.”

Molly is a graduate of Southside Virginia Community College’s nursing program and is currently working on her bachelor’s degree in nursing.   Originally from California, Molly lived in La Crosse since she was six years old before moving with her husband of one and a half years, David Bradley, to South Hill. Molly and David are expecting a little girl, Callie Mae Hatchel, later this year.

Molly said, “I did my internship here and it feels like coming home coming to work here. CMH is a big family. It feels great to feel appreciated and noticed for my work.”

Other team members nominated in March were: Kayla Franck, Nickey Powell and Hillary Tackett from the ICU; Sue Gayce from Registration; Rose Walker and John Watson from Physical Therapy; Vickie Kwasny of FANS and Dr. Ingrid Vaughan of Anesthesiology.

For being named a Team Member of the Month, Molly will get a special parking permit allowing her to park in certain places closer to the building and a $40 Amazon Gift Card.

VCU Health CMH Star Service Team Member of the Month for April - Dr. Seeras

Going above and beyond is pretty much the definition of being a STAR Performer at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital.

Evidently Dr. Ramesh Seeras has been studying the dictionary his entire career.

Dr. Seeras was nominated by the Garland Birthing Center labor and delivery nurses for Star Service Team Member of the Month and is the April winner.

In their nomination, the nursing staff said, “Dr. Seeras has handled the stress of the recent high demands of our unit with grace and charisma. No matter the circumstances, he is always a gentleman to the staff and patients. For example, a procedure needed to be done for an infant before discharge, there was not a provider on call to perform this procedure.  Having the infant come back as an outpatient would increase the risks for exposure during this pandemic. A nurse called Dr. Seeras to advocate for this patient. He responded with positivity even though he was not on call. He came in with a smile and did what was in the best interest for the patient. He always goes above and beyond for patient safety and satisfaction.”

On being chosen at Team Member of the Month, Dr. Seeras said, “I am very happy to be named the Team Member of the month. It is always good to feel appreciated. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everybody for entrusting me with their medical needs.”

What Dr. Seeras likes most about CMH is:  “CMH functions as a big happy family of which I am proud to belong. I find that the level and quality of care provided in this institution is as good as if not better than many larger institutions that I have been affiliated with ( and there were many).

He continued, “At CMH we always strive to be the best advocate for our patients and their families. My wife and I have also received care at this institution and we are very appreciative of the friendly, safe and high level of care we received.”

Dr. Seeras is a Board-Certified OB/GYN who has devoted his career to providing the best and most complete OB/GYN care for his patients for more than 27 years. He earned a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree from the University of Saskatchewan in Canada and completed his residency training in obstetrics and gynecology also at the University of Saskatchewan. 

 Dr. Seeras came to South Hill from Illinois, where he has been in private practice since 1998 and served as Chief of the Department of OB/GYN at MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn, Ill. He is skilled in minimally invasive surgery including outpatient hysterectomy, pelvic prolapse and abnormal bleeding problems.  He also provides complete care for pregnant women including high risk prenatal care and delivery.

Others nominated in April were: Milagros Silverman from Acute Care and Christy Vaughn from EVS.

For being named a Team Member of the Month, Dr. Seeras will get a special parking permit allowing him to park in certain places closer to the building and a $40 Amazon Gift Card.

VCU Health CMH CEO 2020 National Hospital Week Message

To The Editor:

It is with great pride that I want to wish all the team members at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital a happy National Hospital Week. The staff at CMH have been on the front lines of this war on COVID-19. They have tirelessly provided care to members of the communities we serve. Our employees have repeatedly demonstrated their strong commitment to their profession and their care and compassion for our patients has been evident throughout this crisis.

I want to recognize them for all they have been doing and are prepared to do in the future as we work to provide the excellent health care our communities need and deserve. This has been a uniquely challenging time for all of us, but as we celebrate National Hospital Week 2020, I want to publicly thank them for their countless hours of vital and fantastic health care during this crisis.

I am proud to be part of the family that is CMH strong!

Sincerely,

W. Scott Burnette

CEO

VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital, South Hill, Virginia

 

(Editor's Note: Your letters may not always reflect the views of Emporia News. Letters to the Editor may be sent to news@emporianews.com and must include your name. Letters that may be considered inflamitory in nature will not be published. Do not include profanity, racial ephitets, lewd, demeaning or disparaging comments. Letters may be edited for space, clarity and/or grammar.)

VCU Health CMH to Resume Elective Procedures and Clinic Visits

During this unprecedented time we have been caring for emergent patients daily and now we are prepared to slowly phase in elective procedures again as well as in-person clinic visits,” said W. Scott Burnette, CEO, VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital.

We've taken these steps to keep you safe   

  • We are testing every patient for COVID-19 before undergoing surgery, so our teams can take the proper safety measures to care for them and keep others safe. In addition, we are testing all patients before admission to the hospital.  

  • We continue using telehealth for patient appointments and to communicate with patients both before and after their surgery.   

  • We screen everyone for coronavirus symptoms at our entrances and encourage everyone who enters our facilities to wear a mask. If you do not have one, we will provide one.  

  • We have extra hand-washing stations, robust cleaning and disinfecting protocols for our rooms and equipment, and protocols for treating patients with coronavirus symptoms in designated areas to minimize the spread of COVID-19. 

Some postponed surgeries already taking place 

We are already performing select surgeries and procedures for cancer and infection that were delayed due to COVID-19 and are urgently needed.

Our hospitals and emergency rooms are clean and safe -- don't postpone care 

Emergency rooms across the United States are seeing a decrease in visits due to fears of the virus. Paralleling a national trend, from March 20 - April 20, VCU Medical Center saw a 37% decline in patients seeking emergency care for stroke compared to the same time last year. Delaying care can put you at risk of further damaging your health.

“When we resume elective surgeries and postponed procedures, we want safety as our top priority. Therefore, we will be re-introducing those services gradually,” said Dr. Ike Ibe, Vice President of Medical Affairs at VCU Health CMH.

 

“We want to assure our patients and their families that it is safe to come to the hospital, and we ask them not to ignore health symptoms that can become major health issues if left unchecked,” Ibe added.

Gift of Special Bags Brings a Smile

Cancer doesn’t care one little bit about COVID-19, so treatment goes on and Penny, Shep & Jonathon Evans, as well as a host of friends, wanted to make that treatment process a little nicer and received a lot of help making that possible.

Penny Evans has held an event for each of the past several years to benefit cancer patients. She owns Thirty-One Gifts and asked customers and friends to donate so cancer patients at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital’s Hendrick Cancer & Rehab Center could be blessed with a special bag of goodies.

Teresa R. Collins, RN, BSN, OCN, Director of Radiation and Medical Oncology at the Solari Radiation Center/Hendrick Cancer Center, said, “A cancer diagnosis is scary and overwhelming for patients, these care bags are a true blessing and provide joy during such a horrible time. The bags provide our patients with a centralized location to keep appointments, information packets, goodies, and personal belongings as they are coming into the center for treatment. Our patients have voiced multiple times how honored they feel to have so many members of the community supporting them through their journey. As caregivers it is extremely heartwarming to see the smiles that these bags bring to their face. Penny and her team of angels are amazing and we are extremely grateful for her continued support of our cancer program through the years.”

Thanks to generous donors listed below, Evans was able to donate 319 Chemo/Radiation Care Bags to CMH.  “This community is known for its support, especially for cancer patients,” Penny said. “They really did a wonderful job in providing bags for our community.”

Penny wanted to give special thanks to Touchstone Bank, First Citizens Bank and Dance It Out Dancers for providing some of the contents to fill the bags. Also to all those who donated to make this project a reality are listed below.

Platinum Donors (10+ bags sponsored)

  • First Christian School 2/6/20 Chapel Collection - In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients Airtec -Judy & Jimmy Newman- In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Bill & Sylvia Solari - In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Fleet & Dennis Roberts - In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Michael & Donna Gregory- In Honor of Donna, my Mom, and Donna's Mom
  • The Pointe Realty Group - In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Lindsey and Jason Dawson - In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients

Gold Donors (5-9 bags sponsored)

  • Karobway Furniture, Robert Smith-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Michael and Katie Cieslinski-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Michelle & Scott Edmonds -In Honor of Louise Ogburn, Rebecca Laben, Scott Edmonds, & Michelle
  • Edmonds. In Memory of Michelle Roberts Sasser.
  • Marcia, JC, & Jaicee Clary-In Memory of Robert H. Reed, Nancy W. Reed, Hazel Luton, Everette Jones and In Honor of Sandra Stephenson
  • Rozier Termite & Pest Control -In Memory of Aunt Virginia Flinn
  • John & Patty Evans-In Honor of Shelia Paynter

Silver Donors (2-4 bags sponsored)

  • Pam & Terry McDaniel-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Rosser & Carleen Wells-In Memory of Ann & Donnie Wells and All Cancer Patients
  • Chris & Rebecca Bulluck-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Joyce & Charles Taylor-In Honor and Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Tiffany & Mike Dotti-In Honor of Nana Mabel Pulley and in Memory of Sam Bottoms and Lizzie Bottoms Kathy Sims-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Vera Primm-In Honor of Elizabeth, Tara, and Pops
  • Melinda Walker-In Honor of all survivors. In Memory of those we have lost. In honor of friends /family of Cancer Patients. #NoOneFightsAlone
  • Harold Vaughan-In Memory of Phyllis G. Vaughan
  • Judy & Ed Carroll-In Honor of Ernestine Evans and Sandi Taylor -In Memory of Carolyn Roberts
  • Sharon & Alvin Johnson-In Honor of Shelia Paynter
  • Debbie Moore-In Honor of Shelia Paynter
  • Lynn & Daven Lucy-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Margaret Luongo -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Chad Vaughan & Gavin Honeycutt -In Memory of Phyllis G. Vaughan and James G. Honeycutt
  • Mary Hardin-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • The Carpenter's House-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Brian's Mechanical, Brian & Tonja Pearce -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Susan and Steve Creed le-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Sarah Hutson-In Honor of Barbara Moore-Cancer Survivor
  • Tiffany & Jeremy Lynch-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Tim & Sandra Ittner-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Lori Kirkland-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Sybil McFarland-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Mary & Wayne Rawlings-In Memory of Ruth Rawlings
  • Judy Cleaton-In Honor of Mary Carol Kallam
  • Amanda & Brian Calhoun-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Jenny Davis-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Carolyn & Randy Carter-In Memory of Minnie R. Edmonds &Honor of Cha Ion Swanson
  • Exit Town and Lake Realty-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • New To You Consignment, Mary Edmonds-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients Ashley & Adam Lipscomb-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Sheryl & Ricky Thomason-In Memory of Michelle Roberts Sasser & In Honor of Penny Glenn Jean Bagley-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Brittany and Henry Edmonds-In Memory of Joyce Hodges
  • Sheri & Mike Sparkman-In Memory of Nancy Haggerty and Jim Libhart
  • Lynn & Linda Roberts-In Memory of Wanda Jones Beville and Jau Roberts
  • Jannon & Chad Coley-In Memory of Robert Higgins
  • Glenn & Linda Barbour-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Betty & Warren Edwards-In Memory of Marilyn Hudson
  • Angie & Lyn Mills-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Virginia Hall-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Martha & Bobby Overton -In Memory of Carolyn Roberts & In Honor of Sandi Taylor
  • Susan & Mike Moody-In Memory of Charles Hudson & In Honor of Shelia Paynter
  • Jasmine & Todd Cage -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Niki Shingleton -In Memory of Jennie Spielman & Angie Hepner
  • Candy McAvoy-In Honor of All Cancer Warriors
  • Shannon Crutchfield & Joseph Curtis -In Honor of Aunt Diane Kleis and Sylvia Jones
  • Lisa and Mike Pugh -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Lisa Graham -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • CiCi and Robbie Carroll -In Honor of Melinda Walker & Ernestine Evans
  • Terry Daniels -For Robert Lewis Daniels
  • Tanya Baskerville -Memory of Wendy Boyter Jackson & George Baskerville
  • Holly Fadool Painter -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Jennie Inge -In Memory of Earl Newman & Connie King
  • Dr. Desidero & Genevieve Rimon-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Marianne & Chris Early -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Ashley and Shawn Hardee -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Alexa Jackson -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Susan & Bitty Freeman -In Memory of Eddie Allen & Lois Taylor
  • Jessica & Austin Lafoon -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Danny Mason -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients

Bronze Donors (1 bag sponsored)

  • Nancy & Kell Fleshood-In Honor of Sandy Adcock Taylor
  • Kaye Bagley-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Charles & Ann Butts-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Teri & Troy Walker -In Honor Ernestine Evans
  • Crystal & Chris Murphy-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Tammy & Steve White-In Honor of Eli Newcomb
  • Jane & Mike Allen-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Stacy & Wade Archer-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Tammy and John Manning-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Katherine Crutchfield-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Mitzi and Tracy Powell-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Peggie and Robert Powell-In Memory of "Jack"Burns
  • Todd Jackson -In Memory of Wendy Boyter Jackson
  • Beth & Mickey Smith-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Alicia & Guy Short-In Memory of Michelle Roberts Sasser & In Honor of Sandi Taylor Brenda Curtis-In Memory of Alice Dawson
  • Judy & Chuck Martin-In Memory of Bobby Garrett
  • Jennifer Allman-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Holly & Chris McFarland -In Memory of Earl and Shirley Sasser
  • Candi, Atlas, & Reid Allen-In Memory of Dallas Allen
  • Kris & Scott Walker-In Honor of Our Moms
  • Barbara Moore-In Honor of Sisters-Cancer Survivors Judi Newman & Betsy Quicke Thelma Baird-In Honor of Jimmy Vaughan
  • Ernestine & Billy Evans-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Beverly Edwards-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Janice & Ken Currin -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Karen Myers-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Carol Ann Chapman-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Kim & Keith Corum-In Memory of Stephanie Kennedy Wilbur
  • Debbie Douglas-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Carri lee Spence-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Patricia Rogers-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Kim & Brent Evans -In Honor of Ernestine Evans
  • Robin & Tim Newton-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Miki Baird-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Terry & Shep Moss -In Memory of William Henry Wilson
  • Bonnie Jackson -In Memory of Nancy Lucille Thomas
  • Billy and Kathy Coffee -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Shelley & Chuck Mayer-In Honor of Shelia Paynter
  • Denny & Cathy Hardee-In Memory of David Hawkins, who lost his battle with cancer on 2/9/20
  • Stacy Farrar -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Lynn and Everette Gibson -In Memory of Lavenia Gibson
  • Nancy Jacobs -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Shelia and Calvin Paynter -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Johnna Maurice -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Tammy Parker -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Hope & Tommy Zincone -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Rita & Alvin Parham -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Susan Lucy-In Memory of Lavenia Gibson
  • Gloria & Carrol Roberts -In Memory of Michelle Roberts Sasser
  • Janet Hayes -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Carol Barker-In Honor of Shelia Paynter
  • Rose Towell -In Memory of John Towell
  • Sandi & Mark Kidd -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Lindsey Smith -In Memory of Michelle Roberts Sasser
  • Tina Wells -In Memory of Louise Horne
  • Scott, Devon, Kaisley, & Kyndall -In Memory of Pleas Jackson & Michelle Roberts Sasser & In Honor of Elaine Clary
  • Anita Kallam -In Memory of Greg Upton
  • Helen Gordon -In Memory of Polly Gordon
  • Timi Garcia -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Donna Wall -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Elma Wilkinson -In Memory of Terry Callahan & Rusty Callahan
  • Becky Barnes Lewis -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Betsy & Jimmy Clayton-In Honor of Joyce M. Perkinson
  • Diane & Larry Parker -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Dottie Collins -In Honor of Teresa Collins and the CMH Oncology Dept.
  • Diana Crowder -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Kris & Patricia Reed -In Memory of Faye Moseley
  • Debbie Piercy-In Memory Michelle Sasser
  • Vanessa Rudd -In Honor of Shelia Paynter
  • Elaine & Sherman Maitland -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Aileen Lewis -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Carrie Poythress -In Memory of Sandy Hamer
  • Crissy Carter -In Memory of Mama, Virginia Clark
  • Joy Hofler -In Honor of Shelia Paynter
  • Candice, Jason, Zoey, & Allie Riggan -In Honor of Mama/Gammy, Shelia Paynter
  • Wendy Pheil -In Honor of JCH
  • Maria Ford - In Honor of Lounell Stallings
  • Angie & Bryant Thomas - In Memory of Maude Thomas
  • Gwen & Steve Hinzman -In Honor of Susan Wilfong
  • Shannon Cunningham- In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Jeanie Troup - In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Jennifer Ellington - In Honor of Laura "Faye" Kniceley
  • Carol & James Johnson - In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Michelle Tanner- In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Debra & Spencer Crowder- In Memory of Bob Hoover
  • Kathryn & Raymond Bokesch - In Memory of Sandy Hamer & Heidi Semivan
  • Carolyn Saylor - In Honor of Shelia Paynter
  • Kim & Chris Brown - In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Brenda Crafton - In Honor of Shelia Paynter
  • Cynthia Oakley- In Honor of Shelia Paynter
  • Sandra Pearce - In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Lindsey Satterwhite, Paynter & Paschal -In Honor of Sherry Orman
  • South Hill Volunteer Fire Dept. Ladies Aux. - In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients Eileen & John Bigley - In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Marjorie Lawson- In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • JoAnn Wells- In Honor of Shelia Paynter
  • Michelle Crowder-In Honor of Melinda Matthews Walker
  • Kristy Hooper- In Honor of Shelia Paynter
  • Joyce Perkinson - In Honor of Shelia Paynter
  • Diane Nichols - In Honor of Shelia Paynter
  • Nichole & David Powell- In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Cheryl Abernathy- In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients

Prep continues at old hospital site, precautions a constant at CMH

Editor’s Note: In an effort to inform our communities about changes at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital, we are releasing this additional information about the stand up of the old hospital building on Buena Vista Circle and precautions taken routinely by CMH in dealing with infectious diseases.

“As VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital continues to prep the old CMH on Buena Vista to possibly accept patients, we felt it was important to let the community know about precautions we at the hospital take daily to help control the spread of this virus and other infectious diseases and to protect our patients, staff and the community as a whole,” said Scott Burnette, CEO of CMH. 

He explained, “At CMH we have taken extensive precautions through the years to protect everyone from the spread of infectious diseases. That was true in 1954and it is true today, although medical research has provided us with many more tools over the years. There are important steps each and every employee takes to reduce the possibility of spreading a disease to patients, other staff members and the community.”

“We practice a strict regimen in what is called donning and doffing of personal protective equipment (PPE). Every employee who works in direct patient care has been specifically trained in this thorough procedure that protects everyone,” he said. 

This protective equipment includes disposable gowns, gloves, masks and eye protection. Further, as staff members put on (don) or take off (doff) the PPE, an observer is to be present to make sure the procedure is followed correctly.

“When infectious diseases are present and those diseases have an airborne component like COVID-19, patients are placed in what is called a negative pressure room or can be managed by leaving the patient room door closed to the hallway at all times,” he added. 

Negative pressure rooms bring in air from the hallway outside the room at all times and then the air in the room is exhausted through the roof at CMH where it dissipates and is no longer an issue. 

Burnette explained that if a COVID positive patient is in a negative pressure room, the airborne virus cannot escape the room except being expelled harmlessly through the roof.

Employees remove their PPE in a very specific manner at the door of the negative pressure room before exiting the room and wash their hands during each step of removing their equipment. This keeps those staff members and others safe from contact with the airborne virus.

Burnette explained that this procedure is utilized at hospitals across the country and is the accepted practice of the World Health Organization and the Centers For Disease Control with the federal government.

But he added that everyone has a responsibility to help slow or stop the spread of infectious diseases.

“The most important thing everyone can do is practice social distancing.  Six feet is the magic number.  Staying six feet away from people, being careful what you touch, avoid touching your face and washing your hands often with soap and water or sanitizer is the best way to slow or stop the progression of this virus,” Burnette said. 

Burnette said that the decision to prepare the old hospital to possibly receive patients was appropriate and necessary.

"Preparing the old hospital for COVID-19 patients is a precautionary step to make sure we have the capacity to handle any and all patients who present at CMH.  If precautions are not put into motion right now there could be a scenario where people in our community, our friends or family, could be in need of health care and CMH would not have room for them.  Having the CMH facility on Buena Vista Circle available as an option is a way to prevent this horrible scenario from taking place.  We are in the business of providing the best possible care for our patients and having this facility available to us will give us the best chance to do just that."  

If anyone has questions about COVID-19 they should visit the CDC website at: cdc.gov.

VCU Health CMH Visitation Changes

For our patients — your safety is our top concern.

(March 30, 2020) The health and safety of our patients, team members, and visitors are critical at all times. Our patient care philosophy depends greatly on engaging family and friends to be part of the healing process. We continue to identify public health practices that reduce the risks of transmitting COVID-19, including restricting visitation within VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital and clinics.

Effective Monday, March 30 at 5:00 p.m., we are instituting a temporary full visitor restriction policy to keep our team members, patients, and communities safe. In this difficult and unprecedented time, we know showing love and care is of the utmost importance, and our teams are committed to providing safe and compassionate care.  All who enter the hospital or the CARE Building will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms.

For inpatients this means: We are suspending all in-person visits to hospitalized patients for the duration of the pandemic. Exceptions include:

• Labor and Delivery unit: One (1) adult visitor, 18 years or older, permitted per patient
• Pediatric patients in all units: One (1) adult visitor, 18 years or older, permitted per patient
• Patients who are at the end of life: The number of visitors are determined by the patients’ care team.

To reach a patient, please dial (434) 584, followed by the four digits of the patient's room number.

For outpatients this means: For those with appointments, we are instituting the following temporary outpatient appointment policy:

• Only patients with verified appointments may enter our hospitals and clinics. Appointments will be verified at entry screening stations.
• For pediatric patients with verified appointments: Two (2) accompanying adults, 18 years or older, permitted per patient

The restrictions also apply to people entering the Emergency Department.

As of last Friday, March 27, 2020 virtual appointments are now possible with all VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital provider offices.

The patient should contact the practice using the telephone number of that practice to get the process started. This is for established patients only, no new patients can be added to this process unless they are requesting appointments directly related to COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Once the appointment has been made, the patient should:

1. Check their email for a Zoom meeting invite.

2. Write down Meeting ID in case needed while joining meeting

3. To join meeting, click on the link below “Join Zoom Meeting”. The provider must have initiated meeting in order for patient to join in.  If not, the patient will not be able to join in until the provider starts meeting.  Patient may have to try and re-join after a couple of minutes.

4. Patient needs to select “Join with Video”

5. Then join with “Call using Internet Audio” or “Dial in” – will need Meeting ID if dialing in

6. Leave meeting by clicking “End Meeting”

Additional precautions:

- We ask everyone to take extra steps to ensure good handwashing.  Ten handwashing stations have been placed outside the entrances to the following locations and we ask that everyone please wash their hands before entering buildings:  main hospital, Emergency Department, C.A.R.E. Building, Leggett Center, Cancer Center – Medical and Radiation Oncology, Chase City Primary Care, Clarksville Primary Care and VCU Health at Tanglewood.

- Visitors who are required to wear a mask to enter a patient room will be provided with only one mask per day, to be used in the patient room.

We understand this is a difficult time for our patients and visitors, and we appreciate your help keeping our loved ones and our community safe. Working together, we are confident that these measures will help us succeed with managing the spread of COVID-19 within our facilities while balancing the visitation needs of our patients.

The Hundley Center

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has taken action to aggressively respond to the Coronavirus (COVID-19).  In order to comply with CMS mandates, nursing homes nationwide implemented restrictions and The Hundley Center at VCU Health CMH complied by suspending all visitation.  Residents have access to a private phone in their rooms.  To reach a resident, please dial (434) 584, followed by the number 4 and the three digits of the resident’s room number.  Our goal of protecting the health of each resident is of the utmost importance during this unprecedented situation.

VCU Health CMH is closely monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. For an official case count in Virginia (and locations of cases), please visit the Virginia Department of Health at www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/.

For more information about COVID-19, please visit:  vcuhealth.org/covid-19

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has a call line established for COVID-19 questions, the number is 877-ASK-VDH3.   (877-275-8343)

VCU Health CMH Team Member of the Month for February 2020

(Left to Right) W. Scott Burnette, CEO, VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital presented Nickey Powell, RN in ICU, the VCU Health CMH STAR Service Team Member of the Month Award for February.  There to congratulate Nickey was Mellissa Black, Acute Care Nursing Director and Mary Hardin, Vice President of Patient Care Services.

If you are sick or injured, you want someone fighting for you and that’s what you have in Nickey Powell, RN in the Intensive Care Unit.  Nickey was named the VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital Star Service Team Member of the Month for February.

Mellisa Black DNP, RN, MS, CCRN, NE-BC, and Director of Acute Care Services, described Nickey as “a wonderful nurse, who is never afraid to say something to benefit the patient.”

Nickey was nominated by the husband of one of her patients.  He said, “Nickey had such a pleasant attitude and genuine concern for my wife’s health and she went above and beyond to make my wife and I as comfortable as could be. She’s truly a blessing!”

Mellisa said, “The patient and her husband came by my office to express their gratitude for the excellent care they received from Nickey.  Nickey is a wonderful example of great relationship-based care.

Nickey has a Bachelor’s degree in nursing from East Carolina University and is originally from Elizabeth City, NC and now resides in Norlina, NC.

She’s been with VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital for the past five years and likes CMH because “it just feels like home.”  “We are such a family in the unit. I feel like I know everyone who works here.”

Nickey and husband, Tony, have three daughters, Claire, 7, Harper, 5, and Ella who turns three in March.

VCU Health CMH Update For our patients — your safety is our top concern

(March 20, 2020) “We are an acute care hospital and dealing with infectious diseases is something we are prepared to do every day,” said Scott Burnette, CEO of VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital.

Because of the magnitude of this world-wide pandemic, we are taking extra precautions with COVID-19 (Coronavirus).  Our staff is fully prepared to care for patients at all times and have expertise in dealing with illnesses of all kinds.

At VCU Health CMH patients are screened and those who meet the appropriate criteria for testing are then tested for the Coronavirus.  Once the swabs are collected they sent to either the Virginia Department of Health or Lab Corp, which are the only two labs approved in Virginia to run the tests.  Work is currently under way for hospital labs to get approved for analyzing the samples collected.

“I want everyone to know that we are taking all the necessary precautions to help slow the spread of the Coronavirus, but we also want people to understand that with proper precautions most people have a low risk of contracting COVID-19,” he added.

He continued, “We are asking people to practice social distancing – as in do not interact with others closely unless absolutely necessary. It is recommended that people keep at least six feet of distance from others to provide additional safeguards against the Corona (COVID) virus. Washing your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds is also vital in combating the virus.”

Burnette said many precautions have been implemented to make sure VCU Health CMH is doing everything possible to confront the challenges the Corona virus presents. Among those changes are a large number of temporary restrictions and closures, all done to prevent the spread of the virus, not because the virus is rampant in Southside Virginia and Northern North Carolina.

Among those changes are:

All non-urgent appointments that were scheduled with CMH providers will be rescheduled with consultation with our patients. CMH Family Care, Chase City Primary Care and Clarksville Primary Care will continue to be open as a resource of primary care physicians that can be contacted for guidance on appropriate care for people that are having symptoms related to COVID-19 or other serious illnesses.  The Emergency Department is open as usual for emergency cases.  In addition, elective surgeries that can be postponed will be, again in consultation with the patients.

Routine visitation is suspended until the transmission of COVID-19 is no longer a threat to our patients, visitors and team members.  For everyone’s safety, no visitors will be allowed who:

  1. Have any symptoms of fever, cough, sore throat or difficulty breathing
  2. Have returned from any of the COVID-19 high-risk countries or regions within the last 14 days
  3. Have been exposed to COVID-19
  4. Are children under 16 years of age

Other visitor restrictions: We recognize that there are times when having a visitor present is crucial. In these cases, visitors will be allowed based on the exceptions listed below provided they are not already excluded by the symptoms, age or exposure restrictions identified above. In general, visitors should limit visits to common waiting areas and maintain social distance to prevent sick individuals from coming in close contact with healthy individuals, in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations.

1.       Visitation is between the hours of 7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. effective Saturday, March 21st.   

2.       Adult patients: Only one visitor per day.  All others will be asked to wait for updates outside of the medical facility. Patients at the end of life may have two visitors after discussion with the patient care team.

3.       Pediatric patients: 2 visitors per day.

4.       Obstetrical patients: 1 visitor per day.

5.       Patients undergoing surgery, procedures, or other testing: 1 visitor per day.

6.       ER patients are limited to one visitor.

7.       Visitation to patients with suspected and/or confirmed COVID-19 will be through telecommunication.

Additional precautions:

  1. We ask everyone to take extra steps to ensure good handwashing.  Ten handwashing stations have been placed outside the entrances to the following locations and we ask that everyone please wash their hands before entering buildings:  main hospital, Emergency Department, C.A.R.E. Building, Leggett Center, Cancer Center – Medical and Radiation Oncology, Chase City Primary Care, Clarksville Primary Care and VCU Health at Tanglewood.
  2. Visitors who are required to wear a mask to enter a patient room will be provided with only one mask per day, to be used in the patient room.

“We understand this is a difficult time for our patients and visitors, and we appreciate your help keeping our loved ones and our community safe. Working together, we are confident that these measures will help us succeed with managing the spread of COVID-19 while balancing the visitation needs of our patients,” Burnette continued.

The Hundley Center

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has taken action to aggressively respond to the Coronavirus (COVID-19).  In order to comply with CMS mandates, nursing homes nationwide implemented restrictions and The Hundley Center at VCU Health CMH complied by suspending all visitation.  Residents have access to a private phone in their rooms.  To reach a resident, please dial (434) 584, followed by the number 4 and the three digits of the resident’s room number.  Our goal of protecting the health of each resident is of the utmost importance during this unprecedented situation.

Programs/Services Closure Updates:

CMH Family Dental Clinic, CMH Medical Fitness Center, Screenings & Support Groups

The CMH Family Dental Clinic closed March 18 and will tentatively reopen on March 30 for urgent and emergency visits only.

The CMH Medical Fitness Center will close Saturday, March 21 at 11 a.m. and a determination on when it reopens will be made at a later date.  Services affected by this closing include both aquatic and land-based fitness classes (The Matter of Balance Classes have been rescheduled beginning in August 2020). The cancer rehab services that operate within the center have been suspended.  Outpatient physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy services will remain open at this time, but with restrictions.  The cardiac rehab and pulmonary rehab programs that operate within the C.A.R.E. Building are still open, but also with restrictions.

All blood pressure clinic screenings, support groups, and scheduled public education events have been cancelled until further notice.

VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital is closely monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.  As of today (March 20, 2020) there is one confirmed case of COVID-19 in Mecklenburg County.  For an official case count in Virginia (and locations of cases), please visit the Virginia Department of Health at www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/.

For more information on our preparations, please visit:  vcuhealth.org/covid-19

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has a call line established for COVID-19 questions, the number is 877-ASK-VDH3.   (877-275-8343)

Pain Management Class

Community Out-Reach Education

South Hill – VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital will be hosting a free class on managing pain.  This course is designed for those experiencing consistent pain for three months or longer and/or have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.  If you are interested in learning more about how pain actually works and helpful strategies to better manage pain then you should attend.

This FREE class will be on Tuesday, February 18th at 11:00 a.m. in the Healthy Body Fitness Studio located inside the Thomas W. Leggett Center at 300 East Ferrell Street in South Hill.

Brandon Poen, PT, DPT, Cert DN, CF-L1, CMP will be the speaker for the program.  Brandon received his Bachelor’s Degree in Health Sciences and a Doctorate Degree in Physical Therapy from Northern Illinois University. He also obtained a Minor in Spanish from Northern Illinois University. He has completed numerous continuing education courses within orthopedics and sports physical therapy.  He is Mulligan trained in treatment of extremity and spinal pain conditions, certified in LSVT-BIG for Parkinson’s Disease, has gone through special training in persistent pain as well as running and weightlifting movement assessment and rehabilitation.

This class is limited to only 30 participants.  For more information or to register to attend, please call (434) 447-0895.

 

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VCU Health CMH Team Member of the Month for October 2019

W. Scott Burnette, CEO, VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital presented Jessica Carter, Care Partner in Acute Care, the VCU Health CMH STAR Service Team Member of the Month Award for October.  There to congratulate Jessica was Mary Hardin, Vice President of Patient Care Services and Melissa Black, Acute Care Nursing Director.

Providing assistance seems to be second nature to Jessica Carter, a Care Partner in Acute Care. Her giving attitude has earned her the VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital Star Service Team Member of the Month Award for October.

Jessica was nominated two times in the month, which speaks highly for her efforts at work.

In nominating her, a patient’s family member said, “While checking on my uncle and needing assistance, I went to the nurse’s station to ask for assistance. Jessica Carter came and assisted immediately and even offered more items of comfort I hadn’t event thought of. When leaving I found out he was not in her patient assignment. Not once while helping me did she suggest I ask for his RN or Care Partner – but rather helped even though he wasn’t her patient.”

Her second nomination came from Dr. Rani Reddy, a CMH Hospitalist, who said, “Jessica is a hard working team player who takes great care of my patients.”

Mellisa Black, Director of Acute Care Services, added, “Jessica always takes the time and puts forth extra effort to make her patients feel special. She innately knows the needs of her patients and team members and goes above and beyond to exceed their needs.”

Jessica enjoys her job because of the interaction with co-workers and patients. She has been with VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital for nearly four years and believes in the old adage of treating others like she wants to be treated.

She and her husband, Benjamin, have two children, five-year-old Skarlett and three-year-old Ember. Jessica is from Brodnax, VA.

In addition to the award certificate, Jessica received a STAR Service lapel pin, letter of commendation from Administration, a $40 gift certificate, and a parking place of her choice for the month.

Other employees nominated in October were Linda Allen, Food and Nutrition Services; Ashton Carter, Acute Care; Jessica Chapman, Orthopedics; Molly Hatchell, Intensive Care Unit; Jaimee Newcomb, Acute Care; Lucero Vasquez, Outpatient Rehab; and John Watson, Acute Rehab.

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VCU Health CMH Heart Walk set for Sept. 21st

SOUTH HILL, VA– VCU Health has partnered with the American Heart Association (AHA) to have a heart walk at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill, VA on Saturday, September 21st.  Activities will begin at 10:00AM and the one mile walk (two laps) around the hospital will begin at 10:30AM. There are plans to have snow cones, games, music, blood pressure checks, health information and an appearance by Rodney the Ram at the event.  T-shirts will also be available for a $25.00 donation.  A new feature for this year’s walk is you can receive a personalized shirt (up to 15 characters) with a separate payment of a one-time $20 screening fee per team name and a $5 imprint fee per shirt.  The t-shirt vendor, River City Logo in Richmond, will donate $10 from each screening fee to the AHA.  All personalized shirt orders must be placed by Tuesday, September 10.  If you would like to make a donation and receive a t-shirt before the event please call, (434) 447-0917.

If you are interested in participating, please sign-up at:  www.RichmondVAHeartWalk.org

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VCU Health CMH Team Member of the Month for July 2019

W. Scott Burnette, CEO, VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital presented Lynn Holt, Long Term Care Social Worker, the VCU Health CMH STAR Service Team Member of the Month Award for July.  There to congratulate Lynn was Tammy Trent House, Director of Social Work, Care Management and Chaplain Services, and Ken Libby, Vice President of Finance.

Lynn has been employed at VCU Health CMH for 11 years.  Her dedication and work ethic are just two of the qualities that make her a wonderful asset to VCU Health CMH.  The nomination form submitted on her behalf stated, “Lynn went above and beyond her normal work hours when asked to help the staff.  Her willingness to give up her personal time to meet the needs of her department demonstrates her professionalism and true teamwork philosophy.  She also exhibited a positive attitude through this usually busy period.  She performs thoughtful acts of kindness to other team members and is always well respected by her coworkers.  She constantly exhibits qualities of the Star Service Program and is a valuable asset to The Hundley Center.”

Lynn has been married to her husband for 50 years, has two sons, and two grandchildren.  When asked what words of wisdom she would give other employees, she stated, “Work hard and keep your sense of humor!”

In addition to the award, Lynn received a STAR Service lapel pin, letter of commendation from Administration, a $40 gift certificate, and a parking place of her choice for the month.

Lynn resides in Union Level, VA.

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Ladies of Antioch UMC Donate to VCU Health CMH Garland Birthing Center

Antioch UMW  Seated: Nannie Sue Dawson Standing (left to right): Susan Moseley, Shirley Hite, Barbara Callis, Anne Day, Nancy Turner, Dawn Bacon, Ginny Arthur  

The ladies of Antioch United Methodist Women (Lunenburg Charge) held a program, inviting Terry Wootten, Nurse Midwife, to come and speak about Maternal and Child Health. In conjunction with the informative and enlightening program, they had a Baby Shower for "Anybody's Baby" and invited members of their congregation to join in the cause. Many useful items were collected, including clothing, blankets, socks, diapers, Vitron-C iron supplements, Latch Assist, and more. These items benefit underprivileged babies and mothers at the Garland Birthing Center of VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital. The employees and medical staff at the hospital are grateful for these donations and would also like to thank Providence United Methodist Church and Trinity United Methodist Church for their previous support.

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Elizabeth T. Moseley Scholarship Winners

Kenneth Pitts, Auxiliary President; Mary Anne Carter, Auxiliary Member; Jessica Johnson, RN; Jennifer Weston, Acute Care Cardiac Monitor Tech; W. Scott Burnette, Chief Executive Officer; and Darlene Ferguson, Auxiliary Member.

The VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital’s Auxiliary recognized the Elizabeth T. Moseley Scholarship Fund Winners Jessica Johnson, RN, and Jennifer Weston, Acute Care Cardiac Monitor Tech.

Applicants for the scholarship, funded by donations to the “Tree of Love,” had to pursue a degree or certification that would enhance the employee’s capabilities in a position at the hospital. Both Jessica and Jennifer were selected after the committee evaluated each applicant’s required essay on how “receiving the scholarship would enhance your life.”

As part of Jennifer’s essay, she revealed how an organ transplant saved her life.

“I would love the opportunity to be present when others receive this life saving gift and to help take care of them,” she said. Jennifer is in the RN program at Southside Virginia Community College.

Jessica Johnson stated how much the scholarship would help offset the cost of books and supplies in her continued education being “13 months away from the completion of my post masters certificate in Pediatric Nurse Practitioner.” Jessica attends Maryville University online.

W. Scott Burnette, Chief Executive Officer and members of the Auxiliary were on hand to congratulate the winners and present the award.

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Our Future Health Care Providers

Career Scene Investigators - 1st row left to right: Abbie Long, Mary Katelyn Hite, Meredith Graham, Drew Jones, Claire Williams, Jayla Whitehead. 2nd row left to right: Hazel Willis, Education Manager and Camp Coordinator,  Kailey Smith, Alease Cleaton, Tristan Buchanan, Cassidy Smith, Lexi Weaver, Grace Howell, Yyetta Carter, Theresa Griles, RN Educator

Submitted by Hazel Willis, RN, BSN

CSI (Career Scene Investigators) returned to VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital, not to investigate crime scenes, but to explore the suspects of health care. VCU Health CMH offered a week camp to seventh and eighth graders from local middle schools July 29th thru August 2nd.  Thirteen students from Mecklenburg, Lunenburg, and Brunswick County Middle Schools participated in the camp. The focus of the camp was to give students an opportunity to learn about the many exciting careers available in health care. The camp offered a variety of activities that allowed the students to observe and interact with health care professionals in their work environment.  The campers rotated through various departments getting hands on experience with simulated activities that health care professionals perform daily.         

The middle school years are the ideal time to introduce students to the various career opportunities in health care. It attributes to the selective science, math, and or English courses that they may include into their curriculum as they choose their classes throughout their high school years. By the end of the week some of the campers want to be doctors, nurses, and physical, speech or occupational therapists; while others want to become engineers, computer technologists or marine biologists.  We are excited that some of our campers from previous years chose health care careers; have graduated from college; and are currently employed here at VCU Health CMH as registered nurses, certified nursing assistants and exercise physiologists.   

VCU Health CMH is pleased that they can offer this excellent opportunity to area students to learn about the world of health care.  Southside Virginia Community College in Alberta participates and supports the camp each year with the provision of activities and a pizza lunch. Southside Virginia Rescue and VCU Health Med-Evac also participate in the activities for the campers. According to the students, it was a fun week and they learned what health care professionals do daily to help and provide care to others. 

We encourage other middle school students to apply to attend the CSI Camp next summer. The information and the application for the camp will be delivered to the local schools in the Spring of 2020 and it will also be available on VCU-CMH.org.

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Yasir Al-Khalili, MD Joins VCU Health CMH

South Hill – VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill would like to welcome Neurologist Dr. Yasir Al-Kahalili to our family of health care providers.  Dr. Al-Kahalili specializes in Neuro Science.

Dr. Al-Kahalili earned his MD with honors for excellence in research from St. George’s University, School of Medicine in Grenada, West Indies. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Ecology and Environmental Science from Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in Biotechnology and Genetics from Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.

Dr. Al-Kahalili received the Golden Apple Award in 2018 by Drexel University College of Medicine, making him nationally recognized for teaching in medicine. He completed his residency from the Drexel Neurosciences Institute at the Drexel University College of Medicine.

Dr. Al-Kahalili is joining Dr. Carlos A. Williams at VCU Health Commonwealth Neuro Specialists, located at 501 Lombardy Street in South Hill, VA. To schedule an appointment, call (434) 447-9033.

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Breast Health Educational Workshops

Women of all ages are invited to attend these free educational workshops on breast health, offered by VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital Health & Wellness at multiple times and locations this summer.July 10 (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.),
  • R.T. Arnold Library, 110 E. Danville St., South Hill, VA

  • July 24 (10 a.m. – 12 noon), Brunswick Co. Public Library, 133 W. Hicks St., Lawrenceville, VA

  • August 7 (10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.), Clarksville Public Library, Virginia Ave., Clarksville, VA

  • August 28 (10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.), Warren Co. Memorial Library, 1119 S. Front St., Littleton, NC

In addition to participants will receive a free blood pressure and sugar screening, they will learn about breast health education and breast cancer awareness, self-awareness breast massages, intervention and early detection, who is at risk for breast cancer, how often to have a mammogram, and education on colon cancer.

For more information, call VCU Health CMH Health & Wellness at 434-774-2541.

These workshops are funded through a grant from Susan G. Komen Central Virginia and in collaboration with VCU Massey Center’s Health Information & Advocacy @ Your Library.

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VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital receives Get With The Guidelines Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award

American Heart Association Award recognizes VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital commitment to quality stroke care

VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period. These measures include evaluation of the proper use of medications and other stroke treatments aligned with the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. Before discharge, patients should also receive education on managing their health, get a follow-up visit scheduled, as well as other care transition interventions.

“VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital is dedicated to improving the quality of care for our stroke patients by implementing the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke initiative,” said Vickey Morgan, RN, BSN, SCRN, Stroke Program Coordinator at VCU Health Community Memorial. “The tools and resources provided help us track and measure our success in meeting evidenced-based clinical guidelines developed to improve patient outcomes.”

VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital additionally received the association’s Target: StrokeSM Elite Plus award. To qualify for this recognition, hospitals must meet quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke.

“We are pleased to recognize VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital for their commitment to stroke care,” said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., national chairperson of the Quality Oversight Committee and Executive Vice Chair of Neurology, Director of Acute Stroke Services, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts. “Research has shown that hospitals adhering to clinical measures through the Get With The Guidelines quality improvement initiative can often see fewer readmissions and lower mortality rates.”

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke every 40 seconds and nearly 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital achieved the recognition of Advanced Primary Stroke Center Disease Specific Certification from the Joint Commission in 2016 and again in 2018. Toward continuing to receive this recognition every two years, VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital follows the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association guidelines to achieve the Target Stroke awards: In 2016 the Target Stroke Silver Plus Quality Award; in 2017, the Gold Plus Target Stroke Elite Quality Achievement Award; and now the highest achievable award the Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award.

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