Friday, November 15, 2013

Babies Receive Advanced Care Sooner Through Fauquier Hospital, UVA Health System Partnership

Dr. Karen Rheuban, director of the Center of Telehealth at the University of Virginia, enjoys the ribbon cutting with Liz Daniels, RN, who was instrumental in bringing the UVA-Fauquier Health partnership to fruition.

Dr. Maria Juanpere, medical director of the Mars Family Special Care Nursery at Fauquier Hospital, watches the University of Virginia portion of Wednesday’s ribbon cutting ceremony. The celebration was held at UVA and in the Family Birthing Center at the same time, and shared via the new telemedicine technology. The program allows neonatal nurse practitioners and physicians at Fauquier Hospital to consult in real time with the expert neonatologists at the University of Virginia.

Senator Jill Holtzman Vogel, center, a strong proponent of the UVA-Fauquier Health Neonatal Telemedicine program, was a special guest at the November 13 ribbon cutting. Sen. Vogel gave birth to four children at Fauquier Health’s Family Birthing Center, and was pleased to be a part of the celebration.

Babies born at Fauquier Hospital can now quickly receive advanced, one-on-one evaluation and care from specialists at University of Virginia Health System(UVA) through a new telemedicine partnership.

The innovative program was celebrated on Wednesday, November 13, at 2 p.m. The ceremony will be held simultaneously at Fauquier Hospital’s Family Birthing Center and UVA’s Center for Telehealth, and connected via the new telemedicine technology. Speakers included: Neonatologist Robert Sinkin, MD, MPH, lead neonatologist in the UVA - Fauquier NICU Telemedicine Program; Linda Sharkey, RN, Fauquier Hospital’s vice president for Patient Care Services, Senator Jill Holtzman Vogel; Karen Rheuban, MD, director of the UVA Center of Telehealth, medical director of the Office of Telemedicine, and associate dean for Continuing Medical Education; and James Nataro, MD, PhD, MBA, chairman of the UVA Department of Pediatrics.

Supported by UVA’s Center for Telehealth, the first neonatal telemedicine program in Virginia provides secure video, audio and data links between Fauquier Hospital’s Family Birthing Center and UVA’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). With the telemedicine program, Fauquier Hospital newborns and clinicians now have around-the-clock access to board-certified UVA neonatologists who specialize in caring for very small or ill infants.

“For infants born at Fauquier Hospital who need advanced care, this partnership will ensure they are evaluated and treated as soon as possible,” said Linda Sharkey, Fauquier Health’s vice president for patient care.

The telemedicine program will also help UVA neonatologists more quickly determine which infants need to be transferred to UVA’s 45-bed NICU and which newborns can be cared for at Fauquier.

“We know how important it is for parents and newborns to remain close to home whenever possible,” said Robert Sinkin, M.D., division head of neonatology at UVA. “This will help newborns and their families in the Warrenton area get as much of their care as possible near home while providing them with easy access to the specialized care we provide at UVA.”

Fauquier Hospital joins UVA Center for Telehealth’s network of more than 85 telemedicine sites across Virginia that help thousands of Virginians access specialty care not available in their home communities. “We’re pleased to help expand access to neonatology care in the Warrenton area,” said Karen Rheuban, MD, director of the UVA Center for Telehealth.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Fauquier Health Joins LifePoint Hospitals

The Fauquier Health Board of Directors and LifePoint Hospitals® have finalized their joint venture agreement to share ownership and operation of Fauquier Health. The joint venture will bring $52.8 million in capital investments to Fauquier Health over the next 10 years and provide more than $100 million to fund a charitable foundation to support crucial community needs. 

“Fauquier Health is delighted to finalize this joint venture agreement and become part of the LifePoint family,” said Marshall Doeller, chairman of the Fauquier Health Board. “As part of LifePoint, our health system will gain access to resources and support that will help us thrive in the changing healthcare environment. We look forward to working with the LifePoint team to expand our services and explore ways we can better serve our communities.”

As part of the final agreement, LifePoint will own 80 percent of the newly formed joint venture, and Fauquier Health and the Warrenton community will retain 20 percent ownership. Governance of Fauquier Health will be equally shared between Fauquier Health and LifePoint, and a board with equal representation from both entities is being established to ensure that the community has an active voice in Fauquier Health’s future.

“Fauquier Health has been a vital part of the healthcare infrastructure in Northern Virginia for more than 85 years,” said LifePoint chairman and CEO William F. Carpenter III. “We see a very bright future for Fauquier Health. We are proud to welcome the system to LifePoint and excited to work with its team to find ways that we can enhance healthcare in Warrenton and the surrounding region for generations to come.”

Over the next decade, the joint venture will make significant investments in technology, equipment and other improvements at Fauquier’s facilities.  Fauquier Health’s retained assets and the proceeds from the transaction have eliminated the health system’s debt, and the remaining assets of more than $100 million are being used to create a locally governed charitable foundation to benefit the community. 

“The finalization of this joint venture is an exciting milestone for our employees, physicians, volunteers, patients and community,” said Rodger Baker, Fauquier Health President and CEO. “Together with LifePoint, we have a great opportunity to make our community healthier. We can strengthen Fauquier Health for the future and make our system an even better place to work, practice and receive care. 

Fauquier Health is LifePoint’s sixth hospital in Virginia.  Its other facilities in the Commonwealth include Clinch Valley Medical Center in Richlands, Danville Regional Medical Center in Danville, Memorial Hospital of Martinsville, Twin County Regional Healthcare in Galax (a Duke LifePoint hospital) and Wythe County Community Hospital in Wytheville.  

Friday, September 27, 2013

Fauquier Hospital's Annual Holiday Fair Set for November 22


Fauquier Hospital will hold its annual Holiday Fair from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, November 22, in the conference center of the hospital, in the Bistro and outside the Bistro entrance.
   The event is a community favorite and will feature vendors selling everything from homemade holiday crafts and decorations, to paintings and photographs, to jewelry. Area crafters will be well represented, selling specialty soaps, toys and colorfully stitched quilts, scarves and baby blankets.
   It’s a great opportunity to pick up some unique holiday gifts.
   Vendor tables must be reserved by November 8, and may be arranged by calling Brenda Bohon at 540-316-3852 or Nis Russell at 540-316-5900. Spaces are limited.

Hosptialist Dr. Yemisrach Mulugeta Gives Back to Her Native Country Ethiopia

Dr. Yemisrach Mulugeta
   From the early days of Dr. Yemisrach Mulugeta’s medical career -- after leaving her native Ethiopia, working and living in Scotland, then in the U.S., she knew she would one day be in a position to improve the way health care is delivered in Ethiopia. As a physician at a Warrenton, Virginia hospital, she knew the time had come.
     “It was always in the back of my mind,” she said. “I am at a point in my life now where I could look beyond and reach out to others in need.”
    She explained, “Ethiopia is a developing nation and resources are very limited. Maternal and child health is an area that needs a lot of focus and attention. The childhood mortality is high compared to other nations.”
    The 2013 progress report, compiled by the UN Children’s Fund UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the World Bank Group, showed Ethiopia has reduced child deaths under the age of five by 67% compared with 1990 figures.
   However, an increasing number of the remaining child deaths in Ethiopia are attributed to newborn deaths. The neonatal mortality rate in Ethiopia is 3.9% of babies born alive, compared to .004% of babies in the U.S.
    Dr. Mulugeta, a Fauquier Health hospitalist, was invited to join some of her Ethiopian colleagues living in the U.S. to help form a non-profit organization dedicated to saving infants’ lives born in Ethiopia.
   Horn of Africa Neonatal Services (H.A.N.D.S) was formed with a mission to help existing neonatal facilities in the country by providing basic medical supplies and skilled clinical training to the local hospitals.
  “We organize medical teams consisting of a doctor, a nurse and a respiratory therapist, who volunteer one to two weeks of their time to work with the clinical staff in Ethiopia.”
    Although she is not able to travel back to her homeland herself, Dr. Mulugeta facilitates the efforts by coordinating shipments of donated medical supplies and equipment to Ethiopia, and increasing awareness through social media outlets, quarterly e-Newsletters and fund-raising events.
    The hospitals in Ethiopia are in dire need of basic supplies. Infections that could be prevented by simple hand washing and use of hand sanitizers are widespread. There are times when there is no running water, sanitizing lotion or even gloves in some facilities. Basic medical equipment such as, stethoscopes, diapers, measuring tapes, pulse oximeters, and other monitoring devices are very scarce. Medications, vaccines, IV fluids and infant food are also in short supply. The lives of infants are so often cut short because of lack of medical supplies and equipment. In November of 2012, H.A.N.D.S. shipped 450 pounds of supplies to a hospital in Ethiopia, and in May of this year, and followed that with a 550-pound shipment.
    One respiratory therapist who traveled on a medical mission trip this year described her experience in Ethiopia: “The staff and students there were gracious and eager to learn. They are educated, but lacked the resources and equipment to improve their hospital outcomes.
    “There was no running water for eight of the 14 days we were there. The hospital fills barrels with water when they are able... They heat water for infant baths in an old coffee pot.........Seven infants expired in two weeks. Two would have passed in any country, but the other five were preventable deaths.”
  Dr. Mulugeta said, “I have been so inspired by the clinicians and nursing staff who traveled to Ethiopia on the mission trips. They were able to come up with objective solutions to some of the needs identified. We will continue to make a difference, one infant at a time.”
  For further details, visit the H.A.N.D.S. website (

Monday, September 23, 2013

Fauquier Hospital’s Bistro Takes Home Cooks on Culinary Visit to Asia

Natalie Ramos, director of Food and Nutrition Services, Fauquier Hospital

Fauquier Health’s Bistro on the Hill will offer its first Cooking Well class on Saturday, October 19.  The hands-on class will be held in the Bistro’s kitchens, from 9 a.m. until 12 noon. Class size will be limited to twelve aspiring chefs.

Chef Natalie Ramos, director of Food and Nutrition at Fauquier Hospital, will take participants on a culinary journey to Asia. Together they will explore the different regions of the Far East, experimenting with the aromas and tastes of lemongrass, ginger and coconut milk. Among the dishes that will be prepared by students will be Thai Green Curry Chicken and Vietnamese Summer Rolls.

The Bistro on the Hill is located at Fauquier Hosptial, a Northern Virginia hospital. The cost for the class is $45. Register by calling 540-316-3588 or by going online at