The heart of the matter – ACH to hold ‘Go Red’ event

The following article appeared in today’s Alliance Review.

Published by: Shannon Harsh, Alliance Review

February 12, 2014 at 3:00 AM

ACH to hold ‘Go Red’ event as part of American Hearth Month

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women

(Left to right) Teresa Lattanzi, Dr. Debra Lehrer, Senior VP Planetree Leadership, and Susan Lucas, Director of Public Relations/Foundation at ACH, hold signs representing the one in three women who die each year in the United States due to heart disease.

ACH After Hours Care Recently Opens in Alliance

On Monday, February 10th, ACH After Hours Care began providing urgent care services to Alliance and surrounding communities. The facility, located at 2461 W. State Street, Suite A, is a walk-in medical clinic which specializes in the prompt and efficient delivery of healthcare services for the treatment of minor injuries and illness.

Urgent care should be used when an individual (adult or child) is sick and his or her primary physician is not available or when the condition is not serious enough to visit the Emergency Room. ACH After Hours Care is a low cost alternative to an ER visit and offers patients immediate access to care at a local facility.

“Alliance Community Hospital is proud to offer this new option for healthcare to our city,” said Susan Lucas, Director of Public Relations/Foundation at ACH.

ACH After Hours Care will be open Monday through Friday from 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM, with weekend hours coming soon.

“The hours and location are a great convenience to those in our community who need medical care when their primary care physician is not available,” said Lucas.

The new facility will offer medical care for conditions that require immediate medical attention, but are not life or limb threatening, including:

  • Minor burns and lacerations
  • Sprains and strains
  • Cough, colds and sore throats
  • Ear and sinus infections
  • Allergic and non-life threatening allergic reactions
  • Fever and flu
  • Skin irritations and rashes
  • Insect bites and stings
  • Animal bites
  • Broken bones (not complicated or life threatening)
  • Urinary tract infections, etc.
  • Sports and limited work physicals
  • Initial treatment of work-place injury (non-life threatening)

Individuals should seek treatment in the Emergency Room when their symptoms are life threatening such as: fainting or unconsciousness, difficulty breathing, chest pain, sudden accident with serious injuries, changes in vision, confusion or changes in mental status, any sudden or severe pain, uncontrolled bleeding, severe or persistent vomiting or diarrhea, coughing or vomiting blood, suicidal feelings or difficulty speaking.

“We are listening to our community,” said Lori Dipanfilo, Director of ACH After Hours Care. “It is the goal of ACH After Hours Care to provide high quality healthcare that is convenient for our community.”

ACH Volunteers sponsor “Have a Heart” food dive

As Valentine’s Day approaches, many will search for ways to show loved ones they are cared about. This year, the Alliance Community Hospital (ACH) volunteers are asking for your help to shower the community with love.

In recognition of Heart Month, the ACH volunteers will be sponsoring the “Have a Heart” food drive to benefit the Alliance Community Pantry, which assists in helping meet the needs of those struggling in our community.

“Our volunteers, who range in age from 16 to 93, open their hearts to help those in our community who are in need through a variety of activities throughout the year,” said Michele Quinn, Coordinator of Volunteer Services. “Helping others isn’t just part of what these wonderful individuals do on a daily basis, it’s part of who they are.”

While many donations are made to the pantry during the holiday season, those donations have already been used. Community donations are important throughout the year as they provide a variety of items that are typically not available to the individuals who benefit from the services of the pantry.

In 2013, 2,624 local families visited the Alliance Community Pantry a total of 18,154 times – an increase of 4% since 2012.  Of those families, 9,005 individuals benefited from the food they received. Last year the pantry gave away 931,000 pounds of food – an increase of 37% since 2012.

The “Have a Heart” food drive will take place from February 1st – February 15th. Community members wishing to donate are being asked to place donations of nonperishable foods and paper products in the box inside the hospital café. Please call the Volunteer Department at 330-596-7821 or 330-596-7822 for more information.

“Where there is a need, our volunteers are there, ready to help anyway they can,” said Quinn.

For more information about Alliance Community Hospital please go to www.achosp.org or visit the hospital’s Facebook page.

(Left to right): ACH volunteers Barb Morgan and Eleanor Carver, along with Michele Quinn, Coordinator of Volunteer Services and Wendy Tabellion hold some of the food donations that have been collected thus far.

(Left to right): ACH volunteers Barb Morgan and Eleanor Carver, along with Michele Quinn, Coordinator of Volunteer Services and Wendy Tabellion hold some of the food donations that have been collected thus far.

Spreading Christmas Cheer at ACH Community Care Center

Alliance, Ohio – Christmas came five days early at Alliance Community Hospital’s (ACH) Community Care Center (CCC).

On Friday, December 20th, CCC residents, patients and family members filled the dining room for the annual CCC Christmas Party! Musical entertainment was provided by John King, who performed covers of modern country songs, as residents and staff danced. While it was not the traditional Christmas party many would expect, the atmosphere was energized and fun for all in attendance. Holiday refreshments were prepared by the ACH Nutritional Services Department.

The festivities were made even more special when Santa Claus made a surprise guest appearance! He spread holiday cheer and good wishes for the New Year as he greeted each party-goer. All of the children were invited to share their Christmas wishes with Santa and had the opportunity to have their picture taken. Then Santa presented each child with some early Christmas presents.

But the children weren’t the only ones on Santa’s nice list this year! With help from the CCC staff, Santa handed out presents to each of the residents and patients.

“The staff members of the Community Care Center and Alliance Community Hospital are so kind and generous to our residents; they provide the majority of the presents Santa handed out,” said Lori Underwood, CCC Activity Director. “Every resident and patient at CCC received several gifts. This truly is the most wonderful time of the year!”

The CommunityCareCenter is a 68-bed, extended-care facility that provides a home-like atmosphere and a competent and caring staff to its patients and residents. For more information about the services available at The Community Care Center or Alliance Community Hospital go to www.achosp.org , like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel to learn more about the true stories of extraordinary, compassionate care that make Alliance Community Hospital the most patient-centered facility in the state of Ohio.

Lori Underwood, CCC Activity Director, hands Santa a present for one of the CCC residents during the party.

Lori Underwood, CCC Activity Director, hands Santa a present for one of the CCC residents during the party.

ACh Auxiliary holds annual Memory Tree of Lights event

Have you seen the Auxiliary Memory Tree in our lobby? Learn more about the significance and tradition of the tree in this article, which appeared in today’s Alliance Review.

Alliance Community Hospital Auxiliary holds annual Memory Tree of Lights event

Alliance Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice takes care of one of its own

Alliance Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice

Kay Bravis, center, is surrounded by Hospice nurses Doria Kisling, left, and Jan Fugate. Hospice has helped Bravis remain in her home despite her terminal cancer diagnosis.

 The following article appeared in today’s Alliance Review:

 Alliance Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice takes care of one of its own

Alliance Visiting Nurse Association

Bravis holds a photo of her Marine grandson, David. The AVNAH and Hospice “Dream Team” helped make Bravis’ wish come true by providing her with the funds to make
 the trip to see her grandson graduate from boot camp.

For Your Health: Heat-related Illnesses

Dr. Kelly TomasicBy Kelly Tomasic, M.D. Family Physician,

Alliance Community Medical Foundation, LLC

It’s finally here, the summer weather we longed for during the dead of winter. Flip flops and shorts have made their yearly reappearance, along with swimsuits and sun screen. Beaches are once again littered with sun-worshipers and family barbecues. While we may love basking in the heat, too much exposure to extreme temperatures can produce disastrous and sometimes deadly results.

Heat-related illnesses are a result of an individual’s inability to regulate his or her body temperature in hot weather. Heat exhaustion and Heat stroke are among the most common. Individuals at greatest risk of developing Heat exhaustion or Heat stroke include: infants and children up to 4 years old, people 65 and older, and individuals who over-exert during work or exercise, are overweight, ill or on certain medications.

Heat exhaustion may occur after an individual has developed dehydration (a loss of electrolytes due to excessive perspiration and insufficient fluid intake) and to being exposed to high temperatures for several continuous days.  Heat exhaustion is also associated with a high heat index, a measurement of how hot we feel when humidity levels and air temperature are combined. Individuals who live in urban areas may be at a greater risk of developing heat exhaustion during a prolonged heat wave, especially if there is a high heat index and poor air quality. This is known as the “heat island effect,” a process in which asphalt and concrete store heat during the day and only slowly release it at night, thus causing higher nighttime temperatures.

There are two main causes of Heat exhaustion: water depletion, which may cause an individual to have excessive thirst, weakness, headache, or loss of consciousness, and salt depletion, in which an individual may experience vomiting, frequent muscle cramps, or dizziness.

The most common signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion include: confusion, dark-colored urine (an indication of dehydration), dizziness, fainting, fatigue, headache, muscle cramps, nausea, pale skin, excessive sweating and a rapid heartbeat.

If an individual is suffering from heat exhaustion, it is vital to get him or her out of the heat immediately. If it is not possible to go inside, move the individual to the nearest cool and shady place so he or she can rest. Other recommended treatments include: having the individual drink plenty of non-caffeinated and non-alcoholic beverages, removing tight or unnecessary clothing, taking a cool shower or bath, and using fans or ice towels to cool down the body. If the individual is still suffering after 30 minutes, contact a doctor as untreated heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke, which may damage the brain and other vital organs, and in some cases, cause death.

Heat stroke is a result of prolonged exposure to high temperatures. Dehydration may also be a contributing factor. Heat stroke causes an individual’s body temperature controlling system to fail. It commonly affects infants and children up to age 4, adults over age 65 and individuals with chronic health conditions, but may also cause problems among healthy young athletes. Other groups at risk include: people of any age who don’t drink enough water and people who drink excessive amounts of alcohol.

The most characteristic symptom of heat stroke is a core body temperature above 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Other symptoms include: throbbing headache, dizziness and light-headedness, lack of sweating despite the heat, red, hot, and dry skin, muscle weakness or cramps, nausea and vomiting, rapid heartbeat, which may be either strong or weak, rapid, shallow breathing, confusion, disorientation, staggering, seizures, and unconsciousness.

If an individual is suffering from Heat stroke, immediately call 911 or transport him or her to a hospital. As with Heat exhaustion, move the individual to an air-conditioned environment or a cool, shady area and remove any unnecessary clothing. Focus your attention on cooling down his or her body temperature. This can be accomplished by fanning air over the patient while wetting his or her skin with water or by applying ice packs to armpits, groin, neck, and back. These areas are rich with blood vessels close to the surface of the skin and may aid in reducing the individual’s body temperature faster. If it is possible, immerse the patient in a shower or tub of cool ice water. If emergency response is delayed, call the hospital emergency room for additional instructions. Untreated Heat stroke may progress to coma or heat-related deaths due to kidney failure, heart failure or heat-induced brain damage.

Heat-related Illnesses signs and symptoms

When temperatures reach record highs, finding ways to stay cool are your best defenses against Heat exhaustion, Heat Stroke and other heat-related illnesses. Simple lifestyle changes may help to make the summer months more bearable.

Medicincenet.com offers the following tips for staying cool during the summer:

  • Alter your pattern of outdoor exercise to take advantage of cooler times (early morning or late evening)
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing, preferably of a light color. Cotton clothing will keep you cooler than many synthetics. Also protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.
  • Avoid sunburn. Stay in the shade and use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.
  • Keep your home cool. Open windows, close shades, use an air conditioner.
  • Fill a spray bottle with water and keep it in the refrigerator for a quick refreshing spray to your face after being outdoors.
  • Fans can help circulate air and make you feel cooler even in an air-conditioned house. Applying cool water mist or wet towels before sitting in front of a fan is a quick way to cool off.
  • Try storing lotions or cosmetic toners in the refrigerator to use on hot, overtired feet.
  • Keep plastic bottles of water in the freezer; grab one when you’re ready to go outside. As the ice melts, you’ll have a supply of cold water with you.
  • Pour a bit of ice cold water into a hat and then quickly place it on your head.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol as these will promote dehydration. Drink cool, non-alcoholic beverages (water, sports drinks or other sources of electrolytes); don’t wait until you are thirsty.
  • Try lighter, more frequent small meals or snacks containing cold fruit or low fat dairy products. As an added benefit, you won’t have to cook next to a hot stove. Or try grilling outdoors.
  • If you don’t have air-conditioning, arrange to spend parts of the day in a shopping mall, public library, Movie Theater, or other public space that is cool.
  • Use public water parks, pools or take a cool bath or shower.
  • If the heat is intolerable, stay indoors when you can and avoid activities in direct sunlight or on hot asphalt surfaces.
  • Check on family, friends, and neighbors who do not have air conditioning and who spend much of their time alone. Also pay special attention to the elderly, infants, and anyone with a chronic illness, as they may dehydrate easily and be more susceptible to heat-related illnesses.
  • Don’t forget about Fido! Pets need protection from dehydration and heat-related illnesses, too.
  • Never leave children or pets alone in a parked car.

*Sources: Kelly Tomasic, M.D, webmd.com, Ohio Department of Health, medicinenet.com, MayoClinic.com

ACH Offers Diabetes Prevention Program

The Group Lifestyle Balance program (GLB) will be offered at Alliance Community Hospital. This is a year-long diabetes prevention program geared toward lifestyle changes to promote weight loss. The curriculum was developed by the University of Pittsburgh Diabetes Prevention Program.

The class will meet weekly for the first 3 months, bimonthly for the next 3 months, and weekly for the remaining 6 months. The program for 2013 is scheduled to kick off in February and continue through December 2013.

Participants must be willing to commit to changes in their diet and physical activity. Daily food intake and exercise must be monitored, while weight measurements will be taken each meeting.

In order to register for GLB, please follow this procedure for securing a place in class:

  1. Physician completes Group Lifestyle Balance Program Referral Form and signs. Please include pertinent lab work on the form. The participant is given the completed referral form and must contact the Educational Services Department at Alliance Community Hospital at 330-596-7888 to register. (Completed referral form must be turned in prior to Class 1 on February 5,2013). Class size will be limited to the first 20 eligible participants.
  2. The participant will receive a phone call from a GLB coach to confirm registration and answer any questions they may have. 
  3. There will be a minimal charge ($50) for the course in order to cover materials. Payment is due by February 5.

 Please call ACH’s Educational Services Department at 330-596-7888 for eligibility information.