Friday, March 26, 2010

Haiti Rescuers in Action

Dr. William Barker, Emergency Department physician at Fauquier Hospital, told the story about his rescue efforts in Haiti in the last post. Today he sent me links to a couple of awesome videos that tell the story better than words can.

The videos show some of the work accomplished by the Virginia Task Force 1, Urban Search and Rescue, sponsored by Fairfax County Fire and Rescue.

Click here:

And here:

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Fauquier ED Doc Is a First Responder After Earthquake

Thirty-eight minutes after the earthquake hit Haiti, U.S. rescue teams were preparing to leave for the devastated country. Dr. William Barker, a physician in Fauquier Hospital’s Emergency Department, was one of those first responders. He is a member of the Virginia Task Force 1, Urban Search and Rescue. The team, which is sponsored by Fairfax County Fire and Rescue, left the U.S. on January 12 and remained in Haiti for16 days.

Working heavy concrete rescue, the team pulled victims from the rubble and treated survivors for crush injuries and dehydration. The days and nights full of hard work and too little sleep were wearing, but rewarding. Dr. Barker said, “Our team got two guys out of an elevator by climbing down the shaft and cutting through the elevator. Fortunately, they weren’t seriously hurt. The Fairfax Board of Supervisors held a little ceremony for our team recently. One woman got up to say that her sister was not a widow because of us, her sister’s kids had a dad because of us. One of the guys in that elevator was her brother-in-law. That made me tear up some.”

Dr. Barker has traveled to disaster areas before. Among them: two earthquakes in Turkey in 1999; the tsunami that devastated Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, and Thailand in 2004; Hurricane Ophelia; and the Pentagon in 2001. On this most recent trip, he said, “Our team was credited with more rescues than ever, 16 official rescues. One woman took us 30 hours to get out.”

Especially during the first chaotic days, the situation in Haiti was catastrophic. “There isn’t much infrastructure. It was very difficult to get personnel or supplies into the country. The hospitals were all destroyed. There are no CT scans or X-rays. You are forced to rely more on your clinical abilities.

“The Israelis got a field hospital up on day three or four. And when the Navy ship the Comfort came in, with Project Hope, that was great.”

Dr. Barker expressed nothing but admiration for the Haitian people. “When we asked them to be quiet so we could hear, it was as silent as if there was no one for miles. They did everything we asked, and they were grateful for the help. They are so resilient. Some would be under rubble without food or water for four days. We’d give them a few bottles of water and it was like they had never been trapped.”

Dr. Barker also talked with enthusiasm about the highly trained, dedicated rescue workers he works alongside. “I’ve said it before, if someone is on the other side of a concrete wall and you take their tools away, these guys would chew through concrete to get to them.

“When I first started in 1999, I know the rescue guys were skeptical of the physicians, but after a while they saw how we worked, that we could fit in and do what needed to be done. When there wasn’t medical work to do, we carried rubble and cleaned toilets.

“We rely on each other. To know that they are there, it takes some of the fear away. I’m a little claustrophobic. But when we’re going in to help, I forget that I’m in a confined area with an unstable building over me.”

What pushes thousands of rescue workers to put themselves in harm’s way? Or to endure two weeks of sleeping on the floor and eating ready-to-eat meals out of a bag? Dr. Barker had his own answer: “The looks on the faces of the survivors and their families – that’s why I do it.” He added, “I really appreciate the support of the hospital and the whole community – and especially the support of my partners, who cover for me so I can do this.”

Friday, March 19, 2010

Al Maxey’s Ten Tips to Successful Weight Loss

For everyone who read the last post wants to know how Al did it, here are his ideas:

1. Mix up your exercise routines. Your body will adjust to doing the same thing over and over and find a way to preserve your body fat. Mix in high-intensity cardio with lower-intensity cardio and weight training.

2. Drink lots of water and watch your
sodium intake. Water is vital to metabolism and you will often eat more food if your body doesn’t have enough water.

3. Have a support system. Get the whole
family involved in choosing foods, cooking, reading food labels and exercising.

4. Track calories consumed and burned. It is encouraging to see how many calories you burn, and if you track your food you can “make up for it” with exercise. The website has a great tool for tracking both food and exercise.

5. Eat early and often. A balanced, healthy diet actually provides quite a lot of food. Small meals and snacks spread over the day will help you burn more calories and stay fueled all day.

6. Step on the scale every day. I find that good or bad – I am motivated by knowing where I stand each and every day. Do it at the same time every day, preferably first thing in the morning. It is a big part of getting to know your body.

7. Measure your success. Body measurements are vital to measuring the success of your program. Because new activity will build muscle, sometimes the scale will not reflect your success right away.

8. Monitor your heart rate. Using a heart rate monitor while exercising will not only give you an indication of the intensity of the exercise, it will show you how quickly your cardiovascular health is improving.

9. Until you lose the weight, use it to your advantage. The bigger you are, the more calories you burn doing any activity. Choose activities that will burn more calories because of your body weight -- like walking, running, cycling and group exercises.

10. Eat dinner earlier. Try to eat about three hours before bedtime and forego the late night calories. Yes, beer and wine have calories … lots of them … so drink water after dinnertime.

11. (Bonus) Plan ahead. Have a good idea what you will have for lunch and snacks at least a day in advance so you don’t find yourself searching the vending machine for food.

Fauquier Health Cyclist Sheds 50 Pounds on Way to Bike Tour

Al Maxey is a lesser man than he was when he began working at Fauquier Health a year and a half ago – 50 pounds lesser.

Thirty-five of those pounds have melted away in the last couple of months, after he and his family made some big lifestyle changes. Healthy eating habits and lots more exercise are now standard at the Maxey home in Catlett. In fact, Al is in serious training for the 100-mile Tour de Cure Hampton Roads bike ride on April 17. He’ll be raising money for the American Diabetes Association, a cause near and dear to his heart.

Al said, “There is a lot of diabetes in my family. My uncle lost both his legs and eventually, his life to diabetes. My doctors have been warning me for years about the dangers. My numbers were getting close; I was near to being classified pre-diabetic. Since the beginning of this year, I’ve been working hard at eating right and exercising. My last blood work came back looking great.”

As if his genetics weren’t enough motivation, Al said he’s doing it for his family. He and his wife Paula have three daughters, ages 4, 9 and 11. “I want to set a good example for my kids. I didn’t want to be one of those fathers who tells his kids to go out and exercise – while he sits on the couch with the remote.”

About three times a week Al goes with his two oldest daughters to the LIFE Center. Al works out on the treadmill or uses the free weights, while his wife and girls take a Zumba class (exercising with a Latin beat). “They love it,” he said. “They know all the routines and which songs they like best. I know they are looking forward to today because John (John Ferguson, Zumba instructor) has some new songs for them.”

In addition to the LIFE Center workouts, Al has put in a lot of time on his bike. Last weekend he logged 30 miles – his house to the hospital – and he has ridden with the Warrenton Cycling Center. Of course, 30 miles in a weekend is a long way from 100 miles in a day. Al smiled and said, “I still have six weeks before the ride.”

Al’s oldest daughter rides with him some. “She rode with me last year in the Rappahannock Rough Ride. So many hills. It was the longest 12 miles of my life.

“It was tough, but I was hooked after that. And besides, you never see an overweight cyclist, right? It’s a low-impact sport and it burns a lot of calories.”

Exercise is only one part of the new regime for the Maxey family. “We have cut out almost all fast food. It’s toughwith three kids and a busy schedule, but we do it – mostly. We try to eat fresh foods whenever we can, lots of fresh vegetables, beans and grilled chicken, no processed foods.”

Al is a systems analyst for Fauquier Health, so he goes with his strengths. “I’m a numbers person. I’ve got to be able to measure everything. I count every calorie that goes in my mouth. I also use as a resource for tracking calories and activity. It has been a big part of this whole journey. Since I’m a technical person, I use the iPhone app as well as the website to track my calories consumed and burned, and I use a bike computer and spreadsheets to track my progress. The technology and numbers are all very important to me. If I can’t measure it – I can’t manage it.”
Since beginning work at Fauquier Health, Al said he has been more aware of his health and the health of his family. He participates in the health system’s Make One Change program for employees and is an enthusiastic participant in the twice-a-week Walk and Talk group on Hospital Hill.

Long-term goals? “I want to finish strong in the 100-mile ride next month. My goal is to end up in the middle of the pack. I don’t want to be last!”

Al would like to take off another 40 pounds and perhaps even finish a triathlon. But for now, he is enjoying the very tangible benefits he has realized already. “My blood pressure is down, and my cardiovascular health is much better. All of us have more energy, and we don’t feel lethargic during the day. My kids say they don’t feel yucky anymore. I’d like to say I’m sleeping better … but we have a 4 year old.”

Fauquier Health Hosts Autism Fair

Fauquier Health will sponsor an Autism Family Fair for parents of children with autism on Wednesday, April 14. It will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Sycamore rooms at Fauquier Hospital.

Parents will gain insight into planning for the financial future, and find resources and programs available in the community.

A seminar on estate planning and trust funds for disabled children will begin at 7 p.m. At 8 p.m., there will be a seminar on Medicaid waivers. Vendor booths will open at 6 p.m.

Fauquier Health's Aren Dodge Shares Diabetes, Nutrition Expertise Through the Airwaves

Aren Dodge, certified diabetes educator with the Fauquier Health LIFE Center, will appear on WJLA/News Channel 8 on March 22 at 11 a.m. Aren will be a guest on the program talking about nutrition for children.

On March 23, Aren will also appear on Health Matters, with host Dr. Webster. Aren will be on a panel of three certified diabetes educators beginning at about 2:15 p.m. The show will be aired on a cable channel of the University of the District of Columbia.

Fauquier Health Auxiliary Hosts Health Spa & Candle Fair

The Fauquier Hospital’s Auxiliary Board will sponsor a Health Spa & Candle Fair on Monday, March 22 and Tuesday, 23 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Fauquier Hospital Sycamore rooms to benefit the hosptial’s cardiopulmonary unit.

Items for purchase include soy candles, oil lamps, herbal wraps, salt treatments, Riley Roos children’s shoes. These items and more can be viewed at Cash or credit will be accepted.

Free massages will be offered at the event.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Fauquier Hosptial Calendar of Events

Here is the Fauquier Hospital Calendar of Events for April. A couple of special events of note:

The Family Autism Fair is scheduled for Wednesday, April 14, in the
Fauquier Hospital Sycamore rooms. Speakers will address concerns of families with autistic children from 7 to 9 p.m. and resource booths will open at 6 p.m. Register at 540-316-3588.

Those who have medications that they did not finish or don't need may bring them to the Unused Medications and Sharps Collection Day at the Medical Office Building on the Fauquier Health's Hospital Hill campus on April 24 from 9 a.m. to noon so they may be disposed of safely. Used sharps (needles) may also be brought to the MOB. The effort will keep pharmacueticals out of landfills and drinking water.

Calendar of Events for April 2010

Monday, April 5
Your Childbirth Experience
Where: Fauquier Hospital Family Birthing Center
When: 7 to 9 p.m.
Details: 4 sessions; April 4, 11, 18, 25
Cost: $120
Register: 540-316-3588

Tuesday, April 6
New Mom’s Support Group
Where: Fauquier Hospital Family Birthing Center
When: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Details: Free

Thursday, April 8
Diabetes Support Group
Where: Fauquier Health LIFE Center
When: 6 to 7 p.m.
Details: “Maximizing Your Insulin Pump for Exercise” with Rick Philbin, M. Ed.
Register: 540-316-2652

Saturday, April 10
First Aid/Adult/Infant & Child CPR/AED
Where: Fauquier Hospital Sycamore rooms
When: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: $65
Register: 540-316-3588

MS Support Group
Where: Fauquier Hospital Sycamore rooms
When: 1 to 3 p.m.
Register: 800-344-4867

Tuesday, April 13
Breastfeeding Made Simple
Where: Fauquier Hospital Family Birthing Center
When: 7 to 9 p.m.
Cost: $25
Register: 540-316-3588

Wednesday, April 14
Family Autism Fair
Where: Fauquier Hospital Sycamore rooms
When: 7 to 9 p.m.
Note: Resource booths open at 6 p.m.
Cost: Free
Register: 540-316-3588

Blood Pressure Screening
Where: Fauquier Hospital main lobby
When: noon to 1 p.m.
Details: Free

Thursday, April 15
Baby Care Essentials
Where: Fauquier Hospital Family Birthing Center
When: 6:30 to 9 p.m.
Cost: $25

Medicare and Medicaid Benefits Counseling
Where: Fauquier Hospital Chestnut room
When: 1 to 3 p.m.
Details: Free
Register: 540-316-3588

Saturday, April 17
Big Brother, Big Sister
Where: Fauquier Hospital Family Birthing Center
When: 4 to 5:30 p.m.
Cost: $10
Register: 540-316-3588

Your Childbirth Experience
Where: Fauquier Hospital Family Birthing Center
When: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 17 and 18
Details: Weekend class
Cost: $120
Register: 540-316-3588

Tuesday, April 20
New Mom’s Support Group
Where: Fauquier Hospital Family Birthing Center
When: 11a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Details: Free

Look Good…Feel Better
Where: Fauquier Hospital Chestnut room
When: 6 p.m.
Register: 540-878-2136

Thursday, April 22
American Red Cross Blood Drive
Where: Fauquier Hospital Sycamore rooms
When: 10 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Saturday, April 24
Babysitter Training
Where: Fauquier Hospital Sycamore rooms
When: 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Cost: $40
Register: 540-316-3588

Unused Medications and Sharps Collection Day
Where: Medical Office Building, Fauquier Health, 253 Veterans Drive, Warrenton
When: 9 a.m. to noon

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Fauquier Hospital Blood Drive Will Help 183 People

Barbara Crierie, of Fauquier Health's Community Outreach Department, wants to thank everyone who donated blood at the hospital on February 23. Sixty-four people came in to donate blood at the American Red Cross blood drive, and 61 pints were collected. These 61 pints of blood will help 183 people.

Barbara said, "Because of our loyal donors and faithful Auxiliary voluteers, Fauquier Health is able to hold six regular blood drives and one Type O blood drive a year."

Thanks to the following volunteers for handling registration and handing out snacks to the donors: Grace Andrea, Eulalie Graham, Marianne Hines, Catherine Sutphin and Dorothy Sutphin.
Mark your calendars for the next blood drive on Thursday, April 22.

Voice of America Films Health Care Reform Story at Fauquier Hospital

A reporter from Voice of America visited Fauquier Hospital last week to talk to CEO and president Rodger Baker about health care reform.
The story by Jeff Swicord is below. To see the video, go to Fauquier Health's new website and look toward the bottom of the page for videos.

US Hospitals Say They Need Government Action

As Republican and Democratic Party lawmakers met in Washington for a White House summit on healthcare reform, VOA looked at what reform could mean for American hospitals. Many are in deep financial trouble. About half are currently operating at a deficit. The CEO of a hospital in one small town, Warrenton, Virginia, discussed the problems he faces and the fixes he would like to see.

Roger Baker is president of Fauquier Hospital, a small facility about an hour from Washington. Like many hospital CEO's across the country, Baker says revenues are declining while operating costs are rising. He wants Washington to come up with a solution. "I think that we and many others really want meaningful reform. The system I think in the long run is not sustainable," he said.

Fauquier Hospital serves the residents of Warrenton, Virginia and surrounding Fauquier County.

The area has weathered the recession better than other parts of the country, but the community is feeling the pinch.

Although Fauquier Hospital is non-profit, it relies on earnings over and above operating costs to maintain its facilities. It earned 2.6 percent over costs last year, a figure Baker says is unsustainable. "You needed about a five percent operating margin in order to stay in business over the long haul, especially if you are in a community like this that is growing and you have to invest in new facilities from time to time, recruit new physicians to the area and hire staff," he said.

Baker says the economy is part of the problem. People are putting off non-essential procedures.

The number of procedures at the hospital is down ten percent so far this year.

But the number of uninsured patients is also rising, currently at eight percent of all patients. That costs the hospital about 6 million dollars a year. "And the way that we make up the difference for what those uninsured patients cost in terms of the cost of their care, is that we have to utilize the excess of revenues over expenses or the profits we generate from patients who have insurance," Baker said.

And that causes a chain reaction, with fees rising for insured patients and insurance companies raising premiums on those they cover.

Fauquier Hospital is also bracing for cuts in payments from Medicaid, a government program that funds healthcare for the poor.

The proposed cuts could mean another five percent in revenue lost or about $5 million a year. "Well we would have to curtail services somehow. We have to figure out is there a service that we can shut down," he said.

Baker say the federal government can help hospitals like Fauquier by ensuring that as many people as possible are insured. That, he says, will bring down the cost of care. "There are other countries that are providing similar outcomes without spending as much money. And I think that our challenge and the country's challenge is to get to the point where we can afford the healthcare system that we have in our country," he said.

President Obama's current proposal calls for insuring 30 million more Americans at a cost of about $1 trillion over ten years. Republicans have a plan to insure three million more Americans at cost of $60 billion for the same period.