Thursday, April 30, 2009

Swine Flu Hotline Established

The Virginia Department of Health has set up a toll-free number that residents can call with their questions about swine flu. The swine flu hotline number is: 1-877-ASK VDH 3 (1-877-275-8343).

Guidelines from the Fauquier Hospital Emergency Department

Dr. Joseph Servideo, chairman of the Fauquier Hospital Emergency Department, emphasizes that at this time the swine influenza cases have been mild. In the U.S., only a handful of cases have required hospitalization.

Dr. Servideo recommends that residents who experience any of the following warning signs should seek immediate medical attention:

• Fast breathing or trouble breathing
• Bluish skin color
• Not drinking enough fluids
• Not waking up or not interacting
• Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
• Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
• Fever with a rash

• Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
• Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
• Sudden dizziness
• Confusion
• Severe or persistent vomiting

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Fauquier Health Adresses Threat of Swine Flu

The news on swine flu cases in Mexico, the U.S. and around the world changes hourly, it seems.

Although there is still much about the disease and its potentially dangerous ramifications that is unknown, Fauquier Health officials are taking a pro-active approach to swine flu cases that have surfaced in Mexico and in other states in the U.S. Rodger Baker, president and CEO of Fauquier Health, said “The hospital is working with federal authorities, the Virginia Health Department (Rappahannock-Rapidan Health District) and local physicians to ensure that we are receiving the most up-to-date information and response guidelines. We also are working diligently with local and state public-health authorities to coordinate our approach, report suspected cases, perform specific diagnostic tests (when indicated), and report updated information as it becomes available.

“As a region and at our hospital we have plans that address many of the issues related to a communicable infectious disease. These plans include access to assets that can be mobilized should this event expand in scope, including access to the necessary medicines needed for treatment of influenza, and available stocks of personal protective equipment to protect our staff and our patients.”

Persons with swine flu are contagious for up to seven days after the onset of illness and possibly longer if they continue to have symptoms. Although there are some suspected cases of swine flu in Virginia, as of Thursday afternoon, there were no confirmed cases in the state.

The Centers for Disease Control is recommending that residents who have symptoms of the flu – fever with nasal congestion, sore throat, or cough – call their primary care doctor’s office to determine whether or not they should be seen. Those whose symptoms are mild should stay home from work or school to avoid infecting anyone else.

According to the CDC, those who develop influenza-like illness should be strongly encouraged to stay at home for seven days after the onset of illness, or at least 24 hours after symptoms have resolved, whichever is longer.

The CDC recommends that those who are in contact with a person who has symptoms consistent with swine influenza should: “remain home at the earliest sign of illness; minimize contact in the community to the extent possible; designate a single household family member as the ill person’s caregiver to minimize interactions with asymptomatic persons.”

Mild symptoms do not necessarily require medication. So far, most of the incidents in the U.S. have been classified as mild.

Dr. Tam Ly, of Fauquier Health Infectious Diseases, emphasized that, “Anyone who is experiencing severe symptoms – difficulty breathing, a fever higher than 100.4 degrees, or is not able to drink fluids -- particularly those who have visited Mexico in the last week or have been in contact with someone who has, may be instructed by their primary care doctor to go to the Fauquier Hospital Emergency Department. Fauquier Hospital will work with the local Virginia Department of Health to submit appropriate viral specimens to the state laboratory for testing.”

The ED staff will place potential flu patients in the ED’s negative air pressure rooms, which prevent the spread of contagions, and will take all possible infection-control precautions.

Baker said that visitors to Fauquier Hospital will see signs at entrances that ask them to refrain from visiting patients if they have nasal congestion, sore throat, cough or fever. If they do have any of these symptoms but need to come into the hospital, they will be asked to put on surgical masks as a precaution. Visitors will also be asked to wash their hands with a waterless hand sanitizer at the reception desks. Hand washing is the single most effective method to avoid the spread of infection. There is no vaccine available specifically for the swine flu.

Monday, April 27, 2009

What's Cooking?

To celebrate National Nutrition Month, Fauquier Health’s dietitians sponsored a healthy recipe contest at the end of March. The top four recipes were chosen on the basis of their nutrition value and created by the Bistro on the Hill staff for the judges. All four recipes are here. (There was a tie for second place.)

First Place Recipe
Spicy Asian Noodles
with Shrimp Submitted by Yvonne Mitchell

1 pound large shrimp (uncooked and peeled)
4 large cloves garlic (chopped very small)
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 pinch hot red pepper flakes (or more if you love it spicy!)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste -- just a pinch of both
1/2 pound Japanese Udon Noodles
Topping (optional): grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Cook noodles according to the directions. (Note: The noodles in this dish take the longest to cook - you will want to start this first.) While noodles are cooking, heat oil in large skillet. Medium/high heat is just fine. Add shrimp and garlic, hot red pepper flakes and saute two minutes. Add wine and turn heat up to high for high additional minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and add cilantro, lemon juice and lemon zest along with salt and pepper.
Drain noodles and pour shrimp and sauce down over noodles. You can add just a bit of Parmesan cheese if you like.

Second Place Recipe
Don’s Creole Chicken
Submitted by Shelby Forgacs

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into one-inch pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons of water
1 15-ounce can of chopped tomatoes
1 can large pitted olives, sliced into halves
1 large green pepper cut into one-inch pieces
1 teaspoon of Creole seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups of brown rice, cooked to directions on package

Cook chicken in a large skillet in olive oil and water. Brown chicken completely. Add tomatoes, olives, peppers and seasoning. Serve over rice and garnish with Parmesan cheese.

Second Place Recipe
Turkey Spinach Meatloaf
Submitted by Elizabeth Henrickson

1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
2 egg whites
1 cup bread crumbs
1 green onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Worcestershire
1 teaspoon oregano
10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

Combine all ingredients one by one, kneading as you go along. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

Third Place Recipe
Submitted by Tiffany Black

1 onion
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
4 cloves of garlic, chopped to
personal taste
2 cups water
1 cup quinoa
Teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 cup of fresh corn, steamed slightly
and cut off of the cob
1 15-ounce can of black beans, rinsed.
About cup of cilantro finely chopped

Dressing Ingredients
3 teaspoons olive oil
The juice and zest from one lime
1 tablespoon chili paste
1 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
1 tablespoon honey (optional)

Saute first four ingredients. Add second four ingredients and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until all the water is gone. Add the corn, black beans and cilantro. Whisk together ingredients for dressing. Just before serving, add one avocado, chopped into one-half inch cubes.

Fauquier Health Volunteers Are Honored

Fauquier Health hosted a special luncheon last week for its many dedicated volunteers. These folks spend hundreds of hours each year manning the phones, answering patient questions, pitching in with paperwork and in general, offering comfort and aid to staffers and patients.

They are responsible for the popular dog therapy program and the new volunteer concierge program. They may be found at the bedsides of the very ill and creating quilts for the hospital's pediatric patients. Fauquier Hospital's employees are grateful for the gifts our volunteers offer so generously.

The luncheon was a great chance for these fine folks to gather at the Fauquier Springs Club and enjoy one another's company. Here are some photos of the joyful event.

The Auxiliary “In the Bag” Sale

The Fauquier Hospital Auxiliary will host its yearly handbag sale May 5 and 6 in the Sycamore room of the hospital. There will be great prices on select name brand bags in all kinds of styles. Open to the public, this sale is
always a hit, and with Mother’s Day right around the corner, the timing is perfect.

Fauquier Health Receives American Red Cross Award

Fauquier Health was presented with the Healthcare Hero Award at the annual American Red Cross sponsor celebration held on April 3 in Fredricksburg. This recognition is made possible by all of the hostital's faithful blood donors and Auxiliary volunteers who provide enthusiastic support of the blood program.

Our blood drives collected a total of 305 pints. Considering that each pint can help three people, Fauquier Health donors and volunteers provided lifesaving blood for 915 people during 2008.

Here are some kind words from Tammy Berfield, supervisor of donor recruiters, Central Virginia, Mid-Atlantic region. “Fauquier Health has been active in the blood program for many years. However, this year, the health system reached outside its doors and assisted us in pulling together local churches with a strong African American congregation to get a blood drive started. This was not only successful in collecting blood, but also helped raise awareness within
this segment of the community.”

She added, “When I came to Fauquier Health and explained how we were going to adjust our focus so that we could have more type O available for hospitals to use, they agreed to add a type O only drive. We were able to attract not only a new group of donors, but ones that have type O blood… not an easy thing to do.

“We have done this drive twice, and each time collected 24 type O pints, with no affect on the regular drives. Fauquier Health has grown its blood program from six drives a year to eight. Fauquier Health made a conscious decision to have a direct impact on the blood collected in their community and is truly a health care hero.”

New Art Exhibit at Fauquier Hospital

Members of the Artists of Windmore will have their art on display at Fauquier Hospital through May 22. The exhibit features a variety of different medium.

The Artists of Windmore Group is identified with the
Windmore Foundation for the Arts, based in Culpeper, Virginia. The group consists of about 40 artists who gather weekly to interact and encourage each other in the development of their artistic skills and aspirations.

Many members of the group are natives of Virginia, but others have come to the Piedmont area from all over the country. These artists represent a wide variety of media choices.

Visit from the Easter Bunny

Karla Kenefake-Hymans, director of Fauquier Health's Medical Imaging Department, gets a hug from the Easter Bunny (Chris Kelleher, also of the Medical Imaging Department) as they – with lots of help – distributed Easter baskets to residents at Fauquier Health Rehabilitation & Nursing Center.

Dr. Larry Heath Brings Wealth of Experience to Gainesville Practice

In an age of ever-increasing health care specialization, Dr. Larry Heath of Fauquier Health Internal Medicine at Lake Manassas is a renaissance man. Rather than focusing on a narrow specialty, he tries to get a broader sense of each of his patients. This holistic approach is a result of long experience and diverse training in internal medicine, emergency room care, urgent care and infectious diseases.

He said, “My medical background is simple: taking care of patients. I like to see a spread of different types of cases and people.”

In a single day, Dr. Heath may see a senior citizen with diabetes, a working mother with abdominal pain and a young man with persistent headaches. How is he able to diagnose and treat such a variety of people and problems?
“That’s what makes internal medicine so exciting and challenging. You handle so many different issues. You really need a breadth of experience.

“Outpatient care is all about problem-solving,” said Dr. Heath. “If you listen, your patients will always tell you what the problem is. Even if what they say sounds confused, there are clues there.”

When asked about doctors not having enough time to listen and talk to patients, he shrugged and offered an upbeat smile, “They’re right. There isn’t enough time. But you do it anyway. Empathy is the greatest word in the English language. You use your own experience to understand where they’re coming from.”

Dr. Heath is pleased to be working in Gainesville. “People in this community are great. They listen, they engage, they want the help. As an internist, I like to deliver a high percentage of services myself, without referring out to specialists any more than necessary.”

Dr. Heath is not just a well-rounded physician, he’s a well-rounded citizen. He has not only served on, chaired and directed various medical boards and committees, but he has also served as a trustee for retirement plans, a town board supervisor, a town economic growth committee member, and a youth hockey association board member. For Dr. Heath, it’s not just about medicine, it’s about the whole person and the whole community.

Dr. Heath earned his bachelor’s degree in biological sciences at Stanford University and his doctor of medicine degree at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine. Before joining the new practice in Gainesville, he had varied and interesting experiences in healthcare. He did emergency room work and was the director of Emergency Services for the San Joaquin General Hospital near Stockton, California. During that time, he also had a consultative practice in infectious diseases and taught clinical medicine at the hospital. He has spent time with Care-Medico in Kabul, Afghanistan working as a volunteer specialist at Jamhouriat Hospital.

He then went into private practice in Lodi, California for 12 years before moving his family to Wisconsin where he worked for almost 17 years at the Marshfield Clinic.

Dr. Heath has also had a long interest in teaching. He was an adjunct professor of Clinical Pharmacology at the University of the Pacific, Stockton, California; clinical instructor for the Family Practice Program, University of California (Davis) School of Medicine; attending ward physician for the Internal Medicine Resident
Teaching Service at the Marshfield Clinic, Marshfield, Wisconsin; and director of the Transitional Resident Program in Urgent Care at the Marshfield Clinic.

Continuing his volunteer work, Dr. Heath has worked at the Fauquier Free Clinic on a regular basis since he moved to Virginia last year. “I saw about a dozen patients just this morning. There are a lot of sick people who can’t afford health care. It’s sort of like a mini-war zone in the health care system.”

In Wisconsin, Dr. Heath and his wife, Jeanette, created a foundation at the Marshfield Clinic to help fund treatment for people from third-world countries who need specialized care. “It was something that grew out of my travels to other countries, where many kinds of potentially curative medical interventions are just not available to people.”

Larry Heath, M.D.
Internal Medicine
Fauquier Health Internal Medicine at Lake Manassas
7915 Lake Manassas Drive, Suite 101
Gainesville, Virginia 20155