Monday, August 21, 2017

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Augusta Health Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Augusta Health, has announced the names of its Campaign Steering Committee for the Moments Matter Campaign that will support the expansion of the Emergency Department. The team is led by Chair Jim Perkins, PhD, who served as president of Blue Ridge Community College for 20 years, and has been a member of the Augusta Health Foundation Board since 2014. Perkins is a resident of Waynesboro.

The Campaign Steering Committee comprises community leaders from Staunton, Augusta County and Waynesboro and includes: Perkins, Mick Anderson, MD, Augusta County; Judy Burtner, Staunton; Robin Crowder, EdD, Waynesboro; David Fosnocht, MD, Augusta County; Homer Hite, Augusta County; Robert Kyler, MD, Staunton; Chris Little, Staunton; Mary Mannix, FACHE, Augusta Health CEO; Cheri Moran, Staunton; John Peterson, Staunton; Leonard Pittman, Augusta County; Art Schlappi, Waynesboro; as well as Tami Radecke, Vice President and Foundation Executive Director and Sherri Heishman, Foundation Philanthropy Manager. The Steering Committee will provide oversight and support for the Moments Matter Campaign.

Dr. Perkins generously shares his personal experiences of having loved ones in the Emergency Room and the difficulty experienced due to lack of space and privacy. “Augusta Health physicians and caregivers are treating 62,000 patients in space that was constructed in 1994 to care for 35,000 patients,” said Perkins. He also notes that the silent-phase of the Moments Matter Campaign began in March and has been going extremely well. “People in the community understand what a critical resource the hospital is and how important it is to have advanced emergency care close by,” said Perkins.

The Quiet Phase of the Moments Matter Campaign will continue through December 31 when the Public Phase of the Campaign begins.

Because Augusta Health provides for all the operating costs of the Foundation, 100% of all donations to the Moments Matter campaign will benefit the Emergency Room expansion. Those considering a pledge or a gift to Moments Matter can contact Augusta Health Foundation staff for information and details at 540.332.5174.

The mission of the Augusta Health Foundation is to inspire community ownership through charitable giving to advance health and wellness in our region. The Foundation is the charitable arm of Augusta Health and supports essential patient care programs and services at Augusta Health, including Augusta Health Hospice of the Shenandoah. For more information about Augusta Health Foundation, please visit the website,


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  • Augusta Health Holds Information Session on Resources for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community

    Over the past several months, Augusta Health has worked with members of the deaf and Hard-of-Hearing community (and their families) to improve communication with this population of patients.  This Information Session will present a summary of the resources available, as well as provide demonstrations of some of them.  Demonstrations will include:

    • Video Remote Interpreting System
    • iPad Tablet Interpreting
    • Live Interpretation by Civic Access, our 24/7 partner in interpreting
    • The patient registration system accommodations
    • The Employee Education module on Disability Awareness 

    Where:                 Augusta Health

    Augusta Community Care Building Meeting Room #3

    When:                  Thursday, July 27, 2017

                                    5:30 pm – 6: 30 pm                                                                                      

    Visual:                  Demonstrations

                                    Interviews with Augusta Health staff, Civic Access Interpreters, and member of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing community who are in attendance.


    Augusta Health’s School of Clinical Lab Sciences Class of 2017 graduated on June 30, 2017.  The graduates, pictured left to right are:  Jianbo Yang, Nidah Rizvi, Elena Liu, Kim Lewis, Brian Hassett, Kristy Curtis and Joe Bijesse. 

    Augusta Health’s School of Clinical Laboratory Sciences began as the King's Daughters' School of Medical Technology in 1955. Today, the program is one-year long and enrolls up to eight students annually. It is a rigorous course of study that includes more than 1500 hours of instruction, the equivalent of 40 semester-credit hours. Students are trained as generalists in Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science through a combination of classroom, student lab, and clinical practicum experiences. The classroom and student lab instruction takes place at Augusta Health in Fishersville, VA for all enrolled students; the clinical practicum experiences take place at Augusta Health and the University of Virginia Medical Laboratories in Charlottesville, VA with students spending time at each location.  The program prepares its graduates to sit for the national certification exam.

    The School of Clinical Laboratory Science is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) and is certified to operate as an institution of postsecondary education by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV).


    Displaying Lab School Graduation.jpg

  • Are “E-cigarettes” a healthy alternative to regular cigarettes?

    No, e-cigarettes are not a healthy alternative to regular cigarettes.

    E-cigarettes are devices that heat a liquid into an aerosol to be inhaled. The liquid contains nicotine, flavorings and other additives. These e-liquids are produced and sold without regulations for manufacturing, purity standards or labeling.

    There are many unhealthy risks to e-cigarettes. Extracting nicotine from tobacco may produce harmful impurities like nitrosamines; the flavorings in e-liquids may be safe for ingestion, but not inhalation; e-cigarettes produce high doses of fine particles that can cause lung diseases; and hazardous compounds and carcinogens have been detected in e-liquids, including formaldehyde, benzene and lead.

    A 2016 report by the Surgeon General stated that “e-cigarette use among US youth and young adults is now a major public health concern.” In youth, exposure to the nicotine in e-cigarettes can disrupt the parts of the brain that control attention and learning, lower impulse control and increase mood disorders.

    Unfortunately, the marketing of e-cigarettes has led consumers to believe they are a healthy alternative. More research is needed to understand the health consequences of e-liquids and e-cigarettes. 

    Dana H. Breeding, RN, BSN, CTTS
    RN Health Educator and Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist
    Augusta Health
    Fishersville | 540.332.4988


    The Augusta Health Stroke Program has received the Get with the Guidelines—Stroke Gold Plus Achievement Award with Target Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus recognition from the American Heart Association. The recognition is for achieving an aggressive set of quality goals for stroke patients—those goals are the ‘guidelines’—for 12 consecutive months.

    The Gold Plus Quality designation signifies that the Augusta Health Stroke Team achieved 85% or higher adherence to all indicators for at least 24 months and has 75% or higher compliance with five additional quality measures. To qualify as a Target Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus hospital, Augusta Health met a separate set of quality measures that specifically reduce the time between a patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the ‘clot busting’ drug, tPA, tissue plasminogen activator. If given intravenously within the specified time period after the start of stroke symptoms, tPA can significantly reduce the effects of stroke and lessens the chance of permanent disability.
    The goal of the quality measures is to help hospital teams like Augusta Health’s to follow the most current, evidence-based guidelines to speed recovery and reduce death and disability for stroke patients.
    During the most recent Community Health Needs Assessment conducted by Augusta Health in 2016, 3% of local residents indicated they had experienced a stroke. This is a higher reported rate than state-wide (2.8%) or nationally (2.6%).

    “A stroke patient loses 1.9 million neurons each minute stroke treatment is delayed,” said Amy Markham, RN, Stroke Team Coordinator at Augusta Health. “This recognition from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association demonstrates our commitment to delivering advanced stroke treatments to our patients quickly and safely. We are always working toward excellence in treatment of our patients, and are very pleased to receive this acknowledgement of our team’s hard work and efforts.”

    Augusta Health is an independent, community-owned, not-for-profit hospital whose mission is to promote the health and well-being of its community through access to excellent care. Named one of the 100 Top Hospitals in America by Thomson Reuters/Truven in both 2011 and 2012, Augusta Health has also been nationally recognized by HealthGrades as one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals for clinical excellence and patient safety for three consecutive years. For more information about Augusta Health, its programs or its services, please visit the website,


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