Monday, April 27, 2015

Fauquier Health Collects Unwanted Medication and Sharps

Fauquier Health holds a collection of unwanted medication and sharps about twice a year. We've been doing it long enough now that residents save up their unused medications so that they can dispose of them safely -- and keep them out of the landfill and/or the water supply.

People are very gracious when they drop off their medications. They really seem to appreciate a way  to dispose of their medications. Most of the visitors are from nearby, but we had some from Culpeper this past Saturday, April 25. 

The effort requires a half dozen or so volunteers to collect the items as visitors drive-through. Students of the Shenandoah School of Pharmacy collect, count and catalog the medications, with oversight from experts from the Fauquier Health Pharmacy. Two officers from the Warrenton Town Police were there too, since prescription medicines are a target for theft.

Here's a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to collect these medications.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Fauquier Health Experts Provide Insight into Therapies for Children with Autism

In recognition of Autism Awareness Month in April, specialists from FauquierHealth’s Outpatient Pediatric Clinic have provided information on therapeutic techniques for children with autism. Christina Sink, MS, CCC-SLP, a speech language pathologist; Courtney Albrecht PT, DPT, a physical therapist; and Sherrie Beres MOT/L, an occupational therapist will also give a talk on this information on Wednesday, April 8 at 7 p.m. in Fauquier Hospital’s Sycamore Room.

The three have devised a program that demonstrates how children with autism can greatly benefit from a combination of pediatric physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. This team approach addresses balance, coordination, strength, self-regulation, and self-care skills, including dressing/feeding independence, sensory skills, language and social interaction.

Autism is a serious neurodevelopmental disorder where a child’s ability to communicate and interact with others is impaired. In addition, the child can exhibit repetitive behaviors, and limited interests and activities. All of this may lead to significant impairment in social interaction, mobility, function and quality of life. The Centers for Disease Control states that one in 68 American children are on the autism spectrum, and Mayo Clinic states the number of children diagnosed with autism is rising.

“The use of the word ‘spectrum’ means that some children are low functioning and others are high functioning; every child presents differently,” explains Albrecht. “Early therapy intervention is very important in assisting with many of the child’s symptoms that interfere with daily functioning.”

Many children may present with poor balance and coordination, and may display decreased strength and endurance, which makes it difficult for them to perform daily tasks. Other potential concerns may include poor muscle tone, toe walking, flat feet and posture problems. The Fauquier Health therapists recommend a good physical therapy and exercise program that promotes higher muscle function and a combination of body movements. For infants, rolling, sitting up, crawling and walking are appropriate, and for toddlers, running, jumping and riding a tricycle are good muscle-building activities. For older children, stair climbing, jumping jacks, hopscotch, skipping and ball skills can help develop strength and coordination.

The therapists have found that anything that makes the activities fun helps to keep children interested and engaged. They also caution that parents may not see results or engagement right away. “It often takes a lot of daily repetition before these children begin to respond,” added Albrecht. For children with severe low muscle tone or weakness, water activities are very good and aquatic-based physical therapy may be beneficial — in water that is a warm therapeutic temperature.

Community activities are also highly recommended for children with autism — horseback riding, ballet, swimming, soccer, Special Olympics and karate are all programs that offer big benefits. In addition to physical therapy, occupational therapy can help children with coordination (motor skills) as well as daily functions (dressing, bathing, feeding) and play skills. Working on hand-eye coordination can help promote legible handwriting. Anything that keeps lessons interesting and fun can be useful -- picture games (finding hidden pictures, connecting the dots, etc.), the use of clay, chalk, or changes in paper textures or designs (using graph paper for math or simplified writing paper).

Opening containers and finding items inside, or using buttons, zippers and snaps to open and close containers helps to keep kids interested and learning how to cope in the world. “When you have a child with autism, you have to be very creative and keep them engaged,” said Beres. “These children struggle with things that we do day-to-day. To teach them, you have to break through with interesting, different and fun approaches.”

Even eating can be a fun activity. Many children with autism are extremely sensitive to textures; they may like apples, for instance, but turn up their noses at apple sauce. The therapists suggest that when trying a new food, some children will respond positively if they touch it first, then practice licking it, then practice holding it in their mouth before chewing and swallowing. When children hear positive praise for each of these steps, they will eventually be able to eat a greater variety of fruits, vegetables and protein that are crunchy, chewy and pureed.

Children with autism often react positively to different sensory stimulation: auditory sounds like classical music; visuals such as a fish tank or lava lamp; and different movements such as running or doing a “wheelbarrow walk” (holding child’s ankles while he/she walks his/her hands along the ground). If they have this sensory stimulation throughout their daily routines they may feel calm throughout the day.

For situations that cause sensory overload (such as the noise of the vacuum cleaner), parents can try providing a gradual tolerance. For example, try doing a pleasant activity while the vacuum is running on a different floor of the house, then in the room two doors down, then in the next room, and eventually in the same room with the child. As another example, if a child is sensitive to sirens, a parent could find pictures of fire trucks to color. If the parent were to make the sound of a siren at home and find books on police cars and fire trucks, it may encourage the child to react to sirens in a positive way.

Lastly, speech therapy can help a child with autism better communicate with those around him or her. Sink recommends using a variety of methods to maintain attention and listening so that information can be processed. Children with autism often have difficulty following directions and responding to questions appropriately, and they are often very literal. It is best to avoid using figurative language, metaphors, and similes (i.e. it is raining cats and dogs, time is money, light as a feather). Therapy may address teaching specific metaphors and similes so they can understand what they mean.

Putting thoughts into words and logical sentences to communicate wants, needs and feelings can be very difficult for children with autism. Learning verbal and nonverbal communication skills will help both parents and children. Sign language, or using a Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) may be helpful for many children, as is working on body language -- eye contact, facial expressions and gestures.

The best option for children with autism is to get them into a program as soon as possible that provides physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. The National Research Council reports that children in intensive intervention before the age of 3 have better success than those beginning after age 5.

For more information or to schedule an evaluation, contact one of Fauquier Health’s Pediatric

Rehabilitation Clinics at 540-316-2770 (Warrenton, Va.) or 703-743-7350 (Gainesville, Va.). For more information on the programs at Fauquier Health, visit

Urologist Speaks on Common Diagnoses April 15

Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, urologist

UrologistKathryn Sullivan, M.D., will host a lecture at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 15 in FauquierHospital’s Sycamore Room. The subject for her talk will be “Diagnosing and Treating Urology Symptoms.”

Dr. Sullivan said, “Urological symptoms are often ignored or minimized. A urologist can help you address hematuria (blood in the urine), urinary incontinence and overactive bladder, as well as bladder, prostate and kidney cancers.” Dr. Sullivan, with Fauquier Health Urology, will go over the signs and symptoms of urological disorders, along with treatment options.

A FREE prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening will be available after the lecture. Register by calling 540-316-3588 or going to

Dispose of Unused Medications and Sharps on April 25

To help residents dispose of medications in an environmentally safe way, Fauquier Health will hold an unused medication and sharps (needles and other sharp instruments) collection day from 9 a.m. to 12 noon on Saturday, April 25. The collection will be held at the Medical Office Building on Hospital Hill, at 253 Veterans Drive in Warrenton.

Unused medicine should be in its original packaging, if possible, and personal information should be
blacked out with a marker.

For the safety of Pharmacy workers, sharps must be in rigid plastic or metal containers (no soft-sided plastic that sharps can penetrate). Medication and sharps from businesses or doctors’ offices cannot be accepted.

The event is sponsored by Fauquier Health and the Warrenton Police Department. Call 540-316-3588 for more information.

Fauquier Hospital Hosts Conversation on the Ethics of Communicable Diseases

Contagious diseases – from measles to Ebola – are prominent in the news, nationwide. Fauquier Hospital, along with every other healthcare facility in the U.S., must consider the welfare of healthcare workers as well as the safety of patients and their families.

A panel of experts will examine “The Ethics of Care in the Face of Communicable Diseases,” from 12 noon to 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 15, in Fauquier Hospital’s Sycamore Room. The public is invited to attend the discussion.

Dr. Elizabeth Martin, chairman of the Bioethics Committee at Fauquier Health, will discuss the

ethical issues involved. Dr. Cee Ann Davis, former director of the Rappahannock-Rapidan Health District of the Virginia Department of Health, will address questions surrounding communicable diseases.

Lunch will be served. Please contact Kim Vest at 316-4730 or to reserve your space.

Dr. Robert Redmon to Speak on Snoring

Dr. Robert Redmon, M.D.

 Local otolaryngologist Robert Redmon, M.D., will speak on  “Snoring: What it Means for Your Health,” at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 27 in Fauquier Hospital’s Sycamore Room.

Snoring is a common problem among all ages and both genders, and it affects approximately 90 million American adults. It usually becomes more serious as people age, and can be linked to
common adverse health issues such as heart disease.

During this presentation, Dr. Redmon will discuss the factors that facilitate snoring and
what you can do to minimize or eliminate snoring altogether. Register for the discussion by calling 540-316-3588 or by going to

April Events at Fauquier Hospital

There is lots happening at Fauquier Health in April. Here's the scoop.

Thursday, April 2
Breastfeeding Support Group
Where: Fauquier Hospital Family Birthing Center
When: 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.
Details: This support group meets every Thursday

Wednesday, April 8
Free Blood Pressure Screening
Where: Fauquier Hospital main lobby
When: 12 noon to 2 p.m.

Community Lecture
Where: Fauquier Hospital Sycamore Room
When: 7 p.m.
Details: “Therapeutic Techniques for Children with Autism,” with Christina Sink, MS, CCC-SLP, Speech Language Pathologist, Courtney Albrecht PT, DPT, Physical Therapist, Sherrie Beres MOT/L, Occupational Therapist
Register: 540-316-3588

Friday, April 10 and Saturday, April 11
Your Childbirth Experience
Where: Fauquier Hospital Family Birthing Center
When: Friday, 6 to 9 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.           
Cost: $120 per couple
Register: 540-316-3588

Saturday, April 11
Safe Sitter Babysitter’s Training
Where: Fauquier Hospital Sycamore Room
When: 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Cost: $60
Register: 540-316-3588

Junior Chef Program
Where: Fauquier Hospital Bistro on the Hill restaurant
When: 9 a.m. to 12 noon
Cost: $45
Register: 540-316-3588

MS Support Group
Where: Fauquier Hospital Chestnut Room
When: 10:30 a.m.
Call 540-349-2826 for more information

Monday, April 13
Look Good…Feel Better
Where: Fauquier Hospital Chestnut Room
When: 10 a.m.
Register: Christina Ballard at 240-994-2863

Cancer Support Group
Where: Fauquier Hospital Sycamore Room
When: 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Contact: Richard Shrout at 540-316-CARE (2273)

Wednesday, April 15
Community Lecture
Where: Fauquier Hospital Sycamore Room
When: 7 p.m.
Details: “Diagnosing and Treating Urology Symptoms,” with Kathryn Sullivan, M.D., urology
Register: 540-316-3588

A Conversation in Ethics
Ethics of Care in the Face of Communicable Diseases
Where: Fauquier Health Sycamore Room
When: 12 noon to 1:30 p.m.
Details: Dr. Elizabeth Martin, chairman of the Bioethics Committee at Fauquier Health, will discuss the ethical issues. Dr. Cee Ann Davis, director of the Rappahannock-Rapidan Health District of the Virginia Department of Health, will address issues surrounding communicable disease. Lunch will be served.
Register: Contact Kim Vest at 540-316-4730 or

Thursday, April 16
Baby Care Essentials
Where: Fauquier Hospital Family Birthing Center
When: 6 to 8:30 p.m.
Cost: $25
Register: 540-316-3588

Saturday, April 18
Breastfeeding Made Simple
Where: Fauquier Hospital Family Birthing Center
When: 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Cost: $25
Register: 540-316-3588

First Aid/CPR/AED (Adult/ Infant and Child)
American Heart Association
Where: Medical Office Building, Hospital Hill campus (253 Veterans Drive, Warrenton)
When: 9 5 p.m.
Cost: $85
Register: 540-316-3588

Monday, April 20
Bereavement Support Group
Where: Fauquier Hospital Chestnut Room
When: 1 p.m.
Register: Contact Roxanne Woodward at 703-957-1800

Tuesday, April 21
Epilepsy Support Group
Where: Fauquier Hospital Sycamore Room
When: 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Contact: Carina Richard-Wheat at 540-222-9024 or by email at

Wednesday, April 22
Alzheimer’s and Dementia-Related Illness Support Group
Where: The Villa at Suffield Meadows
When: 4 to 5:30 p.m.
Register: 540-316-3800

Friday, April 24
American Red Cross Blood Drive
Where: Fauquier Hospital Sycamore Room
When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Saturday, April 25
Medication and Sharps Collection
Where: Medical Office Building, Hospital Hill campus (253 Veterans Drive in Warrenton)
When: 9 a.m. to 12 noon
Information: 540-316-3588

Wednesday, April 29
Complimentary Reiki Sessions
Where: Fauquier Health Wellness Center
When: 6 to 8 p.m.
Details: Appointments required
Register: 540-316-2640

Community Lecture
Where: Fauquier Hospital Sycamore Room
When: 7 p.m.
Details: “Snoring: What it Means for Your Health,” with Robert Redmon, M.D., otolaryngology
Register: 540-316-3588