Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fauquier Health's Family Wellness Fair

More than 200 residents arrived at the Fauquier County Fairgrounds on Saturday (some before the opening time of 9 a.m.) to take advantage of free health screenings and education during Fauquier Health's Family Wellness Fair.

Free cholesterol checks were very popular, as were blood pressure checks and Zumba and other exericise demonstrations. Children learned the best way to wash their hands, how to deal with asthma symptoms and enjoyed the Moon Bounce.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Events at Fauquier Health for October

For a complete listing of classes and events, and to register, go

Saturday, October 2
Diabetes Product Fair
Where: Fauquier Health LIFE Center
When: 1 to 4 p.m.

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

Tuesday, October 5
New Mom’s Support Group
Where: Fauquier Hospital Family Birthing Center
When: 11a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Friday, October 8
Your Childbirth Experience
Where: Fauquier Hospital Family Birthing Center
When: Weekend classes, October 8 and 9; 6 to 9 p.m.
Cost: $120
Register: 540-316-3588

Saturday, October 9
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

Tuesday, October 12
Breastfeeding Made Simple
Where: Fauquier Hospital Family Birthing Center
When: 7 to 9 p.m.
Cost: $25
Register: 540-316-3588

Wednesday, October 13
Free Blood Pressure Screenings
Where: Fauquier Hospital main lobby
When: noon to 2 p.m.

Sunday, October 17
Big Brother/Big Sister
Where: Fauquier Hospital Family Birthing Center
When: 4 to 5:30 p.m.
Cost: $10
Details: For expectant brothers and sisters, ages 3-10

Tuesday, October 19
New Mom’s Support Group
Where: Fauquier Hospital Family Birthing Center
When: 11a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Thursday, October 21
Baby Care Essentials
Where: Fauquier Hospital Family Birthing Center
When: 6:30 to 9 p.m.
Cost: $25
Register: 540-316-3588

Medicare and Medicaid Counseling
Where: Fauquier Hospital Chestnut room
When: 1 to 3 p.m.

Saturday, October 23
Babysitter Training
Where: Fauquier Hospital Sycamore rooms
When: 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Cost: $40
Register: 540-316-3588

Friday, October 29
American Red Cross Blood Drive
Where: Fauquier Health Sycamore rooms
When: 1 to 5 p.m.

Friday, September 17, 2010

A Stunning Debut for The Villa at Suffield Meadows

It was another fabulous, star-studded red carpet opening for Fauquier Health. After more than a year of hard hat construction and behind-the-scenes toil, The Villa at Suffield Meadows -- Fauquier Health’s simply fabulous assisted-living facility -- held its premiere September 13.

Sarah Pearson, administrator of the facility, took the red carpet by storm Monday, decked out in a big smile to greet the first residents. “We’re going to have a champagne celebration,” she beamed. “It will be fun-filled and fabulous. Around five o’clock,” she added, “since most of our seniors like to eat a little earlier…”

One of the first celebrities spotted on the red carpet was Julian Caballero and his sidekick Boz (pronounced “Boss”), canine star of the show. Mr. Caballero, a former CIA satellite expert, said he was delighted to be moving into The Villa. “It’s very nice here,” he said, as Boz capered around his new two-bedroom apartment.
Mr. Caballero’s family spent some time helping to decide which photographs to hang on the walls. Laid out to consider were prestigious awards and numerous photographs of Mr. Caballero shaking hands with past presidents. Mr. Caballero seemed unimpressed with his own awards, however. “I don’t need all of them up on the wall,” he shrugged. “It’s just what I did.”

Family friend Carol Kohler, who recommended The Villa to Mr. Caballero, said that The Villa staff has been great helping residents get settled. “Everyone has been so nice. We’ve called every day with questions, and they’ve been there to help with anything we needed.”

Why The Villa? Mr. Caballero looked down at the ball of fluffy white fur sniffing out his new surroundings. “If I hadn’t been able to bring Boz, I wouldn’t be here,” he said. He explained, “I have been living in a big house. Now I don’t have to bother about taking care of the house, doing the laundry or getting meals.”

Next on the red carpet parade was George Nevins, who turned 100 in July. “I can’t wait for the exercise room to be open,” he said eagerly. His daughter, Diane Keen, laughed and said, “Dad has always been very healthy. He’s always been a walker.” Mr. Nevins exercises in the morning and in the afternoon, and exercises his sunny smile all day long.
Mr. Nevins was a world traveler in his day, and continued globe trotting until about two years ago, when his wife of 68 years passed away. He believes, “If you want to see ancient history, go to Europe. If you want to see beautiful landscapes, they are here in the U.S.”

Now Mr. Nevin’s daughter and her husband plan to spend some time traveling. “I know he’ll be looked after here, and his granddaughter lives only a few minutes away. They are very close. This is such a beautiful place, and everyone has been so nice and so friendly.”

As with any major production, it’s the behind-the-scenes crew that deserves kudos for making sure everything runs smoothly and the stars are happy. In the case of The Villa, many dozens of supporting players made it all possible. From the construction crews and decorators, to the nurses and clinical staff, to the administrators and their support staff, it’s been a tremendous undertaking.

The results? Oscar-worthy.

Fauquier Hospital Awarded Designation as Patient-Centered Hospital

Fauquier Hospital has been formally designated by Planetree, Inc. as a “Planetree designated patient-centered hospital” for the second time in three years. This designation recognizes Fauquier Hospital’s achievement and innovation in fostering a culture within the hospital in which professional caregivers partner with patients and families, and where patient comfort, dignity, empowerment and well-being are prioritized with providing top-quality clinical care.

To become a designated Planetree patient-centered hospital, Fauquier Hospital was asked to demonstrate that specific patient-centered policies have been sustained over time. Designation status further requires the hospital to meet or exceed national performance benchmarks for quality and patient satisfaction.

Three years ago, Fauquier Hospital was among the first five hospitals nationwide to achieve the designation (which is awarded for a three-year term). This re-designation recognizes Fauquier Hospital’s sustained excellence in patient-centered care. Today, Fauquier remains the only designated patient-centered hospital in Virginia, and one of only eleven in all of North America.

Rodger Baker, president and CEO of Fauquier Hospital was delighted about the designation. “It was a long and enlightening journey to achieve Planetree designation in 2007. It required a complete culture change in every department. Our next challenge was to maintain that culture and continue to innovate and improve our patients’ experience. This Planetree designation offers affirmation that we are delivering on the challenge.”

The designation criteria are based largely on direct patient feedback, in which patients across the country shared what is most important to them during hospitalization. The criteria cover both quality of care and the ways in which that care is delivered, addressing patient-provider interactions, access to information, family involvement, the physical environment, food and nutrition, spirituality, arts and entertainment and integrative therapies. In addition, the criteria focus on how the hospital is supporting its staff, opportunities for staff to have a voice in the way care is delivered, and the ways that the hospital is reaching beyond its walls to care for its community.

Guided by these core components of a patient-centered culture, over the past eleven years Fauquier Hospital has implemented a substantial number of initiatives and practices designed to enhance both the patient and staff experience. When Fauquier Hospital was renovated in 2001, it was designed with Planetree principles in mind. The use of space, light and design taken directly from nature resulted in a beautiful facility that is more reminiscent of an elegant hotel than a traditional hospital. Artwork on the walls and soothing music in the hallways welcome visitors; smiling and friendly staff and volunteers offer support at every turn.

Other Planetree features and programs include:
• Single-patient rooms allow patients to heal in quiet privacy. Visitors can stay overnight on in-room beds. Open visiting hours allow loved ones to visit anytime the patient would like.
• An open-chart policy encourages patients to understand and take part in their own care. Patients are encouraged to enlist a care partner who can help and support the healing process.
• Alternative therapies are available for those who would like them – Reiki energy therapy and massage, for instance.
• A patient advocate/concierge visits each patient within 24 hours of admission to offer support and address any concerns.
• Trained pet therapy dogs visit patients who welcome a furry visitor.
• Special attention is paid to the nutritional needs of patients. They order delicious meals from a menu, and food is delivered according to the patients’ needs, not on a rigid schedule. Visitors may also order “room service” from our Bistro restaurant.
• Spiritual needs are addressed through a network of volunteer chaplains, who pray for patients who request this comfort and visit with patients who would like company.
• A VIPeds program (Very Important Pediatrics) addresses the needs of our youngest patients, providing comfort and fun distractions for children in the hospital.
• Planetree “retreats” held regularly for staff support patient-centered concepts. These ideas are taught during the staff orientation process and are continually reinforced. Employees who embody Planetree ideals are recognized and rewarded frequently for their efforts.
• Managers and supervisors enlist the input of staff on decisions that affect their work. Many in-hospital committees are staff-run.
• In its efforts to restore, promote and maintain the health of the community, Fauquier Health has contributed more than $11.8 million in education, charity care and free health screenings to the community.

“Planetree is very pleased to award Fauquier Hospital this designation,” said Susan Frampton, Ph.D., Planetree’s president. “This recognition differentiates Fauquier as a hospital firmly committed to ensuring that its patients, staff and visitors feel cared for, supported, listened to and empowered as partners in the healthcare experience.”

Planetree is a not-for-profit organization that has been at the forefront of the movement to transform healthcare from the perspective of the patient for more than 30 years. Today, the Planetree membership network is a global community of more than 250 acute care hospitals, continuing care facilities, outpatient clinics and consumer health libraries.

Family Birthing Center Welcomes 95 Babies in August

During the month of August, Fauquier Hospital's Family Birthing Center welcomed 95 newborns into our community. This is the second highest month on record.

The staff is eargerly awaiting October, wondering what -- or who -- will be the result of the snowstorm in February...

Fauquier Hospital Thrift Shop Thrives on Main Street

This guest entry is by Connie Lyons, a Fauquier Health volunteer and freelance writer. Photo is by Peggy Cybrowski, also a hospital volunteer.

“The day we change the window display is a major event in Warrenton,” said Pat Miller, window designer for the Fauquier Hospital Auxiliary-run Warrenton Thrift Shop. “We almost have car wrecks on the street,” she said, grinning widely.

Pat and store manager Brenda Connally have been decorating the shop’s windows for 18 years; volunteer Martha McNichol also lends a hand at times. Pat said, “We tend to have theme-related windows, holidays, back-to-school, Father’s Day, things like that. Brenda is wonderful about sorting items into the relevant categories, numbering and pricing them and assisting with placing items in the window.”

The window display is changed every two weeks, except during the Christmas season, when it is changed weekly. On most window days, Pat wears a special pair of baggy overalls with lots of pockets. “They’re 15 years old,” she said, looking worried. “I’m going to have to replace them, and they’re not easy to find. Since I’m doing a lot of bending in full view of the passers-by, I have to be, shall we say… ‘selective’ about what I wear.

“The Christmas windows are especially enjoyable to do,” said Pat. “We get a huge number of Christmas items – enough for windows with angel themes, snowman themes and animated themes (like animated seals and flashing lights). We have to look at what we use with a creative spirit. It’s really fun making a ‘silk purse out of a sow’s ear.’ ”

Items displayed in the window can be purchased, but not removed until the window is changed; buyers get a receipt and claim their goods when the window is changed. “This sometimes makes it frustrating for the buyers, and in the case of out-of-towners it can be problematic,” said Martha. “But we have to preserve the look of the windows.”
Pat started as a volunteer behind the cash register, helping part time with the window displays. A native of Alabama, she moved to Warrenton when her husband was transferred to the area. While raising three daughters, she worked in the reading labs at Bradley Elementary School and Taylor Middle School and at Poplar Street, a local clothing boutique. A passionate devotee of square dancing, she has traveled as far as Wisconsin and Ohio to attend festivals. “It’s huge fun, and you get to meet people from all over the world.”

Pat said, “I love working on the windows. It’s good to feel like I’m helping people and the hospital. We get lots of regular customers; some of them need to save and some just love thrift shops. You get to know people, and it makes you feel like you’re part of the community.”
Past chairwoman of the Thrift Shop, Martha McNichol also square danced for a number of years. She is a Master Gardener, and does the gardening for St. John’s Catholic Church. Thirty-five years ago she moved here from Montana when, like Miller, her husband was transferred to the area. She worked as an aide at P. B. Smith Elementary and in JoAnn’s Fabric Shop. She works at the Thrift Shop front desk, helps price fabric, assists Pat and is responsible for the plants outside the store.

“The store is a thriving concern, thanks largely to the hard work of our volunteers,” said manager Brenda Connally. “Every year we donate between $20,000 to $30,000 to the hospital.”
The store has close to 70 volunteers, including those who fill in when needed. Brenda is the only paid employee.

“I do this because I love it,” she said. “It keeps me active. The volunteers are great and the customers are fun. It is hard to get away and take a vacation, and sometimes I have to come in on Saturdays if no one else is available. I work out at the LIFE Center so I can keep going up and down the stairs.”
Brenda’s domain is an attic space, jam-packed with treasures in the process of being discovered by the store’s eager patrons. She sorts things out and prices them, with the aid of volunteers.
Once in a while, the store gets some really unique items. “For a long time, we had a doctor’s wife who wore her clothes for one season and then donated the whole wardrobe to us. And sometimes we get some good jewelry and silver donated by estates that are being closed out.”
Sandra Brown, a member of the hospital’s Auxiliary Board, serves as chairman of the Thrift Shop. She has been volunteering at the Thrift Shop for more than nine years, since retiring from SunTrust Bank. Before starting her career in banking in 1985, she was employed by the Fauquier County school system, as an accompanist for the music departments at Taylor Junior High and Warrenton Junior High. She also taught choral music at Warrenton Middle School for a short time.
“I love it,” Sandra said of her work at the Thrift Shop. “As Thrift Shop chairwoman, I work closely with the manager. I volunteer at least one day a week at the shop. I also fill in when we’re short-handed and serve as a back-up for Brenda when she needs to be away from the shop. One of my favorite duties is training our new volunteers.

“Serving our customers is always a pleasure. Over the years you get to know the regular customers and talk with them about their lives,” she said. “Occasionally, a customer will come into the shop needing immediate help. One time we had a lady come in who had to make a court appearance. She was dressed in shorts and a tank top. So we all got together and coordinated an outfit for her. She looked great! We get a lot of people from out of town who are impressed with the cleanliness and order of the shop.”

Sandra added, “We’d be extremely happy to get young people involved in volunteering here. Sometimes we get students who are required by their schools to do volunteer service. They like to help with clearing out. Our volunteers are of varying ages. For some, working here is what gets them up and going in the morning and provides them with a sense of purpose.
“All of us connected in various capacities with the Thrift Shop are proud of our shop, proud of the service we provide and most of all, proud of the money we have raised over the years. That money in turn has been passed along to the hospital – thereby helping our community as well.”

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Villa Welcomes Residents Monday

The Villa at Suffield Meadows, Fauquier Health's new assisted living facility north of Warrenton, will greet residents on Monday. Here are a couple of photos.

See the Fauquier Health Facebook page to see the whole album.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Physicians Lecture on Joint Replacement, Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma

As part of an ongoing physician seminar series, Fauquier Hospital will present two lectures in September; one on joint replacement on September 16 at 6 p.m., and another on Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma on September 29 at 7 p.m. Both classes will be held in the Sycamore rooms at the hospital.

The lecture on joint replacement will be given by one of the Blue Ridge Orthopaedic group surgeons. This lecture will be particularly interesting to those considering a knee or hip replacement. The discussion will cover the entire process — from the initial physician’s consultation through postsurgical rehabilitation. Participants will also learn about nonsurgical alternatives and treatment options for arthritis.

The lecture about coping with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma will be given by oncologist Syed Salman Ali, M.D. Dr. Ali is new to Fauquier Hospital. His practice, Fauquier Health Hematology/Oncology, is located in the hospital and is the only one of its kind in Fauquier County.

These lectures are part of a year-round series of physician lectures that Fauquier Health offers to the public free of charge. Fauquier Health is committed to educating the public about issues that are important to their health. Other lecture topics include childbirth, breast cancer, chronic pain, etc.

For more information about these lectures, call 540-316-3588 or log on to

Friday, September 3, 2010

Heartfelt Goodbye to Doug Dunkle

Fauquier Health employees were shocked and saddened recently when Director of Facilities Doug Dunkle passed away suddenly. Doug was an employee of Fauquier Health for 16 years; those who worked most closely with Doug spoke of him with fondness and great respect.

Bruce Williams, a maintenance mechanic, has been with Fauquier Health since 1988. He stated emphatically, “Doug was just the best boss ever. He came across as rough sometimes, but
he was a very kind person, he had a very big heart.”

Bruce added, “His memory was incredible. He’d remember the name of a vendor we used eight years ago, and he’d be able to tell you where the folder was with the paperwork from that job.

“He could be in the middle of a crisis and if you went to him with even the smallest problem, he’d come down out of crisis mode, deal with it, then ramp back up to solve the crisis.”

Del Clarambeau, a 10-year veteran of Fauquier Health, said, “It took me a long time to know what to think about Doug. In the morning when you’d say hello, sometimes he’d just grunt at you. But Irealized that Doug’s mind was always working. He had a lot on his shoulders. But if you had a problem, he’d put down whatever he was doing and listen.”

Doug’s staff agreed that he had been the consummate team player, and very much a hands-on director. Bruce said, “Doug would talk to me about a job. I’d say that I needed a second person to get it done and he’d say, ‘I’ll help you.’ ”

Shino Kurian, maintenance mechanic, nodded in agreement. “Doug never stood back and told others what to do. He wanted to be involved. I remember one day a few weeks ago,
when he was leaving for the day. He had his coffee cup in hand and was headed out the door. A truck pulled up with two pallets. Doug put down his coffee cup and stayed another 30-45 minutes helping me, to make sure it all got done.”

Shino said, “In the last five years, I had to call him after work about three times. No matter what time it was -- it could be the middle of the night -- he’d be ready with the answer. He was always ready to back us up.”

Nis Russell, administrative assistant, remembered that whenever there was a new project on the table, Doug would spend a lot of time researching what other hospitals were doing. “He was very innovative. He liked us to be ahead of everyone else.”

The Snowstorm of 2010
Several of Doug’s co-workers broke into knowing smiles when talk turned to the big snowstorm in February. Jerry Hansel, director of Environmental Services, said, “Doug managed to wrangle the last front end loader in the area to use for removing snow. Doug was defi - nitely in his glory driving that around."

Bruce said, “He’d be out in the storm for hours, then come in for a two-hour nap and head back out.”
Nis laughed, remembering. “Doug was exhausted, but he loved it!”

The snowstorm will go down in legend and song, apparently. Del remembered with a chuckle, “Doug camped out here for days. At one point he was so tired, he brushed his teeth with Icy
Hot. He said he couldn’t spit enough.”

Doug was popular in his neighborhood, too. Del said, “He was always telling us what this or that neighbor wanted him to do for them. He acted like it was a pain in the neck, but he loved it. It was like that with his wife’s dog. He would complain about it, but he loved that dog.”

What else did Doug love? That was easy, said his friends: M&Ms, chocolate doughnuts and … most of all, his 9-year-old granddaughter. Shino said, “No matter how busy or stressed Doug was, all you had to do was mention her name, and his face would light up.”

Laura Nicely, supervisor of biomedical engineering, said, “I knew Doug for 14 years. I didn’t like him every minute, but I loved him. Here in Facilities we called him ‘Dad.’ When his wife called me to tell me of his death, she said she wanted to call me personally, because Doug cared so much about me.
I didn’t know that.”

Del said, “The last couple of years, I realized how much Doug cared about us. He referred to everything in the hospital as ‘his’ -- his boilers, his sterilizers... Greg Bengston told us after Doug
died that he always referred to us as ‘his guys.’ I never knew that.

“In the heat of a busy day, you don’t realize how close you are as a group. I never realized what a big presence Doug was. I realize it now.”

Fauquier Health Brushes up on Community Service

Fauquier Health staffers Marvin Sheldon, Mary Beth Waldeck, Tracy Turman, Jennie Lockhart, Barbara Crierie, Elizabeth Henrickson and Greg Bengston for participated in the United Way Day of Caring on August 20. Together the team painted the inside of a townhouse at Vint Hill Transitional Housing.

Feeling Sleepy? Wake Up to a Program on Sleep Apnea

On Thursday, September 9, a Fauquier Health respiratory therapist will present a lecture on
sleep apnea at Fauquier Health’s Diabetes Support Group.
When: 6 to 7 p.m.
Where: LIFE Fitness Center
More info: e-mail Aren Dodge at or call her
at ext. 2644.

August Blood Drive a Success

The American Red Cross Blood Drive held on August 27 was a huge success. August has
traditionally been a very diffi cult month for blood collection. Fauquier Health, along with the community, responded to the need.

Sixty pints of blood were collected, which surpassed our goal of 50 for the drive. This generosity will help 180 people.

Special thanks to the following Fauquier Hospital Auxiliary volunteers who handled registration and canteen duties: Gerald Giocondi, Sally McGovern, Bernice Pearson, Becky Pinkerton, Catherine Sutphin and Dorothy Sutphin.

Society of 1954 Hosts Reception

In 1954, Tom Frost and a group of community-minded members raised more than $100,000 in less than two months to purchase Physicians Hospital, which later became Fauquier Hospital.

The Society of 1954 was formed to pay tribute to those who took the lead 55 years ago and set a firm foundation for the hospital. Today, the Fauquier Health Foundation recognizes the select group of individuals, employees and businesses who donate $1,000 or more to Fauquier Health each year. An annual reception is hosted by a Society member to honor their
fellow members.

This year’s reception will be hosted by Peter Schwartz and Anna Moser at their home in Delaplane on September 25. With your gift of $1,000 or more, you can become a member (if you’re not already).
For more information about the Society of 1954, please contact Missy Good at 540-316-2610.