Health Matters for MORE - Augusta Health

Health Matters for MORE - Augusta Health

You asked,

we answered

ouR speCialists take on

youR questions

Winter 2009

Health Matters

More ways to make a difference in your life

Check our


Find the class

you need

Rest easier!

Visit our new

Sleep Center


our cover!

See page 2

Plucking the heartstrings!

About our cover

As the gentle sounds of “AmAzing grAce” filled the

AugustA heAlth Atrium on a recent Friday morning, 86-year-old

cover girl Elsie Harper fulfilled a long-standing wish. Elsie, who

was recovering at Augusta Health from a fractured thighbone,

was thrilled to hear Jimmy Fortune, award-winning songwriter

and former member of the Statler Brothers, perform along with

songwriters Robin and Linda Williams. Songwriter Kenny Beard

and performer Aly Cutter also entertained patients and staff.

The performers were kicking off their seventh annual

Fortune Williams Music Festival, held at the Frontier Culture

Museum in Staunton on September 25 and 26. It’s become a mean-

ingful tradition for the songwriters to begin their festival with

a rousing performance held in Augusta Health’s beautiful atrium.

“I can remember listening to the Statler Brothers’ records as

a child,” says Elsie’s daughter, Augusta Health infection control

Professional on-location photography on the cover and throughout this issue by Kevin Blackburn of Kevin Blackburn Photography in Waynesboro, Va.

Health Matters Winter 2009

songWriter jiMMY fortune

And friends PerforM for tHe

AugustA HeAltH Audience.

nurse Carolyn Palmer, R.N. “Mom has been a fan of the Statlers

since they first started performing.” As for Elsie, the event

exceeded her expectations. “Never in my wildest dreams did

I think I would meet and have my picture taken with Jimmy

Fortune,” she says. Adds Palmer: “To be swept away from the

concerns of illness meant so much to everyone there.”

More for the community

deAr friends,

Now that winter is on our doorstep, I’d like to share with you

some important news from Augusta Health.

Because your health is our top priority, we’ve added a

number of new physicians in various specialties ranging from

cardiology to urogynecology and much more. It’s notable that

while the United States has been facing a shortage of primary

care physicians, Augusta Health is pleased to open two new

primary care locations for our community in Crozet and

Lexington. Turn to pages 10 and 11 to learn more about the

physicians we’ve added to our staff since this summer, and see

page 12 for more about our new primary care services.

Besides providing you and your family with an expert medical

staff, Augusta Health also serves you with advanced specialized

care. We’re proud to be recognized for meeting the high standards

of care necessary to be named an Accredited

Chest Pain Center and to be given the American

Heart Association’s Bronze Performance Award for stroke care.

Read more about our advanced care below and on the back page

of this issue.

Finally, please don’t forget to get your seasonal and H1N1 flu

vaccines, if you haven’t already gotten them. And in the meantime,

brush up on flu prevention on page 16.

Stay healthy!

Experts in stroke care

stroke is A leAding cAuse of serious long-term disAbility

And the third leAding cAuse of deAth in the United States,

according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If you or a loved one suffers a stroke, the amount of time

that passes before diagnosis and treatment is of the utmost

importance in recovery. So, it’s nice to know that expert care

is available close to home at Augusta Health.

Our commitment to stroke care was recently rewarded with

the American Heart Association’s (AHA’s) Bronze Performance

Award for compliance with its

Get With The Guidelines—

Stroke Recognition Program.

Augusta Health’s Stroke

Program Medical Director,

neurologist Robert McMahon,

M.D., accepted the honor

on October 13. The award

eric WAlker (left) of tHe AHA

And robert McMAHon, M.d.

mary n. mannix, fAche

President and Chief Executive Officer

Augusta Health


MArY n. MAnnix, fAcHe

Augusta Health is recognized

for excellence

signifies that we’ve demonstrated compliance with the AHA/

American Stroke Association’s best practice performance

measures as recommended by experts in the field.

“We have a team of physicians, nurses, therapists and other

healthcare professionals who work together to provide the

highest quality, most efficient stroke care available to our

patients,” says Patra Reed, M.S.N., R.N., Director of Clinical

Support for Augusta Health’s stroke program. “We’re committed

to improving the quality and access to care for stroke patients

throughout the communities we serve.”

Get stRoke suppoRt!

the shenandoah Valley stroke club is a support

group for those who’ve suffered a stroke and their

family members. to learn what the club offers, call

coordinator shelley Payne, ctrs, at (540) -4047

or (540) 9 -4047.



Augusta Health: Healing patients at home and overseas

When WilliAm fAulkenberry, m.d., generAl surgeon;

William Cohee, Pharm.D., a clinical pharmacy specialist

and Clinical Supervisor of the Pharmacy Department; and

emergency physician Kevin Kollar, M.D., traveled to Honduras

earlier this year, they had to pack light to accommodate the

3,000 pounds of medicine brought by the Global Medical

Brigades (GMB). The three healthcare professionals at Augusta

Health were part of a GMB medical mission trip. They teamed

up with nurses, nursing students, physicians and the Eastern

Virginia Medical School on the trip. “Our goal was to bring care

to people who have no underlying healthcare system,” says

Dr. Faulkenberry. “We distributed the medicine throughout four

days, seeing 400 to 850 patients each day.” This was the third

mission for Dr. Faulkenberry.

GMB, an international, student-run volunteer organization,

provides healthcare services to underserved communities through-

out the world. This nonprofit network of more than 50 university

clubs and volunteer groups currently focuses on Honduras. Each

year, nearly 1,000 volunteers provide healthcare services to

40 Honduran rural communities by setting up temporary clinics

where adults and children can receive free medical treatment.

tWo HondurAn cHildren PAtientlY WAit

for MedicAl Attention.

4 Health Matters Winter 2009

classrooms as clinics

GMB volunteers flew to the Honduras capital of Tegucigalpa

and rode buses to villages throughout the area. Once the

volunteers arrived at their bases, they used classrooms in

government-built schools to set up clinics with exam rooms,

surgical suites and pharmacies. They worked swiftly to gather

patient information, determine each person’s symptoms,

provide treatment at triage stations and prescribe medicine,

while explaining to patients what the medications were for

and when to take them.

A PHYsiciAn sHAres soMe fun bubble-bloWing WitH

tHe villAge cHildren.

“Possibly the most important patients were the infants

who had seriously infected skin problems like lice or insect

bites and intestinal parasites, which were treated with

antibiotics,” explains Dr. Kollar. “In these communities, young

children actually die from such problems because there is

no consistent medical care, good hygiene isn’t possible and

antibiotics [along with other important medications] are only

available when a mission comes through every three months

or so.” (During the mission, if a patient comes in with a condi-

tion that the physicians can’t treat on the spot, GMB provides

referrals for free healthcare at one of GMB’s partner clinics.)

A HondurAn fAtHer And son trAveled A

distAnce to seek MedicAl cAre.

eMergencY PHYsiciAn kevin kollAr, M.d., treAts

A PAtient WitH HelP froM A nursing student.

four days, hundreds of patients

Most of the patients had to walk two to five hours—then wait

another three to four hours—to be seen for minor problems

that could’ve been treated easily with better hygiene resources,

such as soap and water, and with medicines any American

can pick up at the local drugstore. “But they don’t have

drugstores—these missions are their only access to medicine,”

says Dr. Kollar.

Among the most needed medicines GMB volunteers

brought to Honduras were antibiotics and over-the-counter

aspirin, Motrin, Tylenol, inhalers, earwax removers, antifungal

ointments, antacids, eye drops, lice treatments and vitamins.

“We were able to provide a year’s supply of prenatal vitamins

for pregnant women and offer treatment for those with chronic

conditions, such as arthritis, diabetes and high blood pressure,

by giving them enough medicine until the next group came in,”

says Dr. Cohee.

tHe croWd of Men, WoMen And cHildren line uP for tHeir AssessMent

And treAtMent bY tHe globAl MedicAl brigAdes volunteers.

WilliAM coHee, PHArM.d., HelPs cleAr A PAtH for

buses HeAded to tHe clinic.

Thanks to support from various donations, university fund-

raisers and generous Augusta Health contributions of medicine, a

blood glucose machine, test strips and surgical supplies, the bri-

gade was able to treat more than 1,500 people in this mission alone.

bringing the message home

“The Honduran people are so appreciative of everyone who goes

down to help them,” says Dr. Faulkenberry. “Despite the circum-

stances that they live in, they still have joy in their lives. We can

help somewhat and they are grateful and very glad to receive

healthcare. Caring for the folks in Honduras reminds me why I

went into medicine in the first place. I am renewed and energized

to carry on here.”

generAl surgeon WilliAM fAulkenberrY, M.d.,

PerforMs Minor surgerY.

“Many physicians on staff at Augusta Health provide care

to local free clinics or travel overseas to help on missions,” says

Dr. Kollar. “We all certainly feel moved by our experience, which

reminds us that our job is to always function at the highest level

possible. And all of us can contribute to the betterment of our

global community with any talents and skills that we have.”

“In the Augusta Health area, there is a real sense of commu-

nity,” Dr. Faulkenberry says. “People here are kind and they care

for their neighbors, friends and folks at church. They should feel

very comfortable knowing that their physicians care as well.”

Want to make a diffeRenCe in

youR Community?

many different volunteer opportunities are

available here at Augusta health. Visit www. or contact Volunteer

services at (540) -4740 to learn more.


Need more ZZZs?

Come to our new Sleep Center

AugustA heAlth is excited to Announce our neW sleeP

center, Which combines the sleeP clinic And sleeP lAb in a

convenient, more comfortable facility. “The bedroom environ-

ment for sleeping and testing is more conducive to a good

night’s sleep,” says Evan Wenger, M.D., a neurologist at Augusta

Health and Medical Director of the Sleep Center. “There’s more

space in the sleep lab away from the noise of the hospital.”

the comfort and attention you deserve

The full-service center also includes a sleep medicine office

where Dr. Wenger and his team will evaluate patients. “If you

have concerns about your sleep habits,” he says, “the first thing

to do is talk with your family doctor or primary care physician;

then, you can be referred to me for evaluation or directly to

the sleep lab.” The sleep lab has four beds and new computers

that conform to new American Academy of Sleep Medicine

standards. “The new lab provides a more homelike or bed-

and-breakfast type atmosphere,” says Sleep Lab Technologist

Lowell Wenger (no relation to Dr. Wenger). “We’ve paid atten-

tion to soundproofing, and there are individual climate controls

for each of the bedrooms.” From the moment patients arrive,

they’re treated with personalized care to ensure their comfort.

6 Health Matters Winter 2009

top-notch convenience and care

The new Sleep Center is fully equipped to handle any sleep

disorder or concern you may have. “My staff and I address exces-

sive sleepiness; sleep apnea; sleep-wake cycle disturbances;

parasomnias such as sleep walking, talking and restless legs syn-

drome; seizures; and a range of other disorders,” says Dr. Wenger.

“Now we’re putting our services all under one roof, making

it easier to work together and provide the best care possible,”

Dr. Wenger says. “It’s an advantage for the patients and the staff,”

adds Lowell Wenger. “People who come to the clinic will eventually

have a sleep study done at the same location.”

The team at the new Augusta Health Sleep Center aims

to provide patients with excellent individualized care and the

quality treatment they deserve, in an environment that caters to

their every need.

Rest easy!

to make an appointment or learn more about the

Augusta health sleep center, call (540) -4169 or


the new sleep center is located at 221 medical

center circle in fishersville.

tHe HoMelike AtMosPHere of our sleeP

center HelPs WelcoMe PAtients.

Ask the physician

Augusta Health physicians answer your questions


Yes, psychiatrists are physicians in every sense of the word.

They’re trained in assessing both the physical and mental

aspects of psychological disorders. After they complete

medical school and earn their M.D., they complete four

years of residency training in mental health, typically at a

hospital. Some go on to get additional training in specialty

areas including pediatric or geriatric psychiatry.

Psychologists don’t attend medical school, but they

do study for five to seven years to obtain their doctorate

degree in psychology and are specially trained in therapeutic

approaches to psychological illnesses. In most states, psy-

chologists are unable to prescribe medications. Psychiatrists

and psychologists often work together to treat patients with

psychological disorders.

MelissA r.

robinson, d.o.


Are psychiatrists real doctors? What about


melissa r. robinson, d.o., psychiatrist with

Augusta Health Psychiatry. Dr. Robinson is

currently accepting new patients by referral. Call

(540) 245-7030 or (540) 221-7030 to make an

appointment. Dr. Robinson is located at Augusta

Health, 70 Medical Center Circle, Suite 201.

i think i have the flu. how do i find out if

it’s swine flu?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes

that as of September, nearly all cases of the circulating flu

viruses in the United States were 2009 H1N1 (also known as

swine flu). So, if you think you have the flu, and your physician

agrees, you could have H1N1. The CDC notes that most people

don’t need to be tested for H1N1 because the treatment is gener-

ally the same as the treatment for the seasonal flu. The symptoms

of H1N1 flu are also mostly the same as the symptoms of seasonal

flu, including fever, cough, chills and body aches. See your physi-

cian to determine your best course of treatment.


PAsZkoWiAk, M.d.


reneitA v.

ross, M.d.

barbara Paszkowiak, m.d., internist with

Augusta Health Internal Medicine, is currently

accepting new patients. Call (540) 332-5900

or (540) 932-5900 to make an appointment.

The office is located at 70 Medical Center

Circle, Suite 301.

i’m a 65-year-old woman, and i sometimes

have a hard time controlling my bladder.

is this just a normal part of aging?

No. Although urinary incontinence is more common in older

adults and nearly twice as common in women as in men, you

shouldn’t accept it as a downside of aging. Leaking urine could

be a symptom of infection, low levels of female hormone,

diabetes, multiple sclerosis or several other conditions. Even if it

isn’t due to a medical condition, bothersome leaking can still be

treated. Your first step should be to see a physician for a proper

diagnosis and then to discuss your treatment options.

reneita V. ross, m.d., urogynecologist with

Augusta Health Urogynecology & Pelvic

Reconstructive Surgery. Dr. Ross is currently

accepting new patients. Call (540) 245-7045

or (540) 221-7045 to make an appointment.

Dr. Ross is located at Augusta Health,

70 Medical Center Circle, Suite 202.


expert cardiac care, close to home

at Augusta Health-Cardiology

most of us tAke our heArt heAlth for grAnted. We forget

thAt coronAry heArt diseAse is the single leading cause

of death in the United States, and that for many, the first sign

of heart disease is sudden death. If you or your loved one is

diagnosed with heart problems, what you need is right here at

Augusta Health.

We’re proud to announce the arrival of cardiologist Morton

E. Kalus, M.D., FACC (Fellow of the American College of Cardi-

ology), to our recently opened Augusta Health-Cardiology

practice. “We’re fortunate to have creative thinkers and excellent

clinicians joining this practice,” says L. Courtenay Beebe, M.D.,

FACS (Fellow of the American College of Surgeons). Dr. Beebe is

the Executive Director of all Augusta Health physician practices,

including more than 40 physicians.

“At Augusta Health, we look for opportunities to improve

overall patient care,” says Dr. Beebe. “I live here, too. When I get

sick, I come to Augusta Health. When my family gets sick, they

come to Augusta Health. The creation of a community-based

cardiology program means that our physicians’ only mission is

our patients, in our community. We’re pleased to welcome

Dr. Kalus, a highly qualified and experienced cardiologist, to

serve our community.”

Morton e.

kAlus, M.d.

Meet dr. kalus

Health Matters Winter 2009

Dr. Kalus joined Augusta Health-Cardiology

in September 2009, bringing with him more

than 20 years of cardiology experience.

Dr. Kalus is a noninvasive cardiologist with

specialized and advanced training in nuclear

cardiology (using radioisotopes to image the

heart). His clinical interests focus on patient care. “It’s one thing

to diagnose a problem like high blood pressure or elevated cho-

lesterol, but what many patients need is long-term follow-up and

management to prevent serious consequences,” he says.

Dr. Kalus graduated from Princeton University in Princeton,

N.J., and earned his medical degree at Johns Hopkins University

School of Medicine in Baltimore, Md. He completed his internal

AugustA HeAltH cArdiologist Morton e. kAlus, M.d., fAcc, exPlAins

tHe results of A HeArt iMAging studY to A PAtient.

We’ve added to the team!

Cardiologist John Yang, M.D., joined Augusta Health-

Cardiology in late November. Look for the next issue

of Health Matters for MORE exciting news about our

cardiology program.

stay heaRt-healthy!

call Augusta health-cardiology at (540) -haRt

to schedule your heart-healthy appointment. We’re

located at 70 medical center circle, suite 304, in


medicine residency and cardiology and nuclear medicine

fellowships at the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann

Arbor, Mich. He was also on the teaching faculty at both Johns

Hopkins and Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

In addition to the professional opportunities his new position

provides, Dr. Kalus is happy living in the Fishersville area. “I’ve

lived in Northern Virginia for much of the past 20 years,” he says.

“I like living in the country, yet still being close to cultural and

sporting events.”

A new weapon in the

fight against breast cancer

As A certified breAst cAre nurse, meg shrAder, r.n., knoWs About the clinicAl

side of breAst cAncer. And as a cancer survivor, she’s well aware of the personal

side of the disease.

Shrader’s been through mammograms, biopsies, a mastectomy, chemo-

therapy and breast reconstruction following the discovery of two tumors in one of

her breasts in 2005. She knows how breast exams, cancer treatments and picking

the right oncologist can be overwhelming and stressful. So it’s fitting that she’s

Augusta Health’s first breast health navigator, a position created in July. Shrader’s

services are available to patients with physician referrals or by self-referral.

the role of breast health navigator

As a breast health navigator, Shrader’s mission is to support patients with and without

cancer and help them navigate the complex healthcare system. This may entail calming

a nervous mother of three about to have her first mammogram or getting a terminally ill

schoolteacher the resources she needs to make appropriate end-of-life decisions. Shrader

is clear about her role: “It’s your job to ask the question, it’s my job to answer it.”

Shrader is available to help both women and men, and her job is driven by what the

patient needs and wants. “If you want, I’ll go to physician appointments and take notes for

you so you can actively listen and understand what your physician is saying,” Shrader says.

She helps patients coordinate care among the multitude of healthcare professionals—

primary care physicians, radiologists, general surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists,

plastic surgeons, nutritionists and social workers—who may be involved in cancer care.

She’ll also visit patients on surgery day to make sure they know exactly what’s going on and

keep friends and family up to date. Post-surgery and during treatment, she’s there to offer advice

on where to get a particular bra or buy a wig, and can give information about pain medications.

And for those who may not want her services, Shrader simply hands them a card and lets them

know if they need her, she’ll be there.

disCuss youR


for more information about

breast health, or to schedule

an appointment with meg

shrader, r.n., call (540)

-507 .

be proactive!

Meg sHrAder, r.n., breAst HeAltH nAvigAtor

Certified breast health nurse Meg Shrader, R.N., advises women

to get a yearly breast exam by their physician and to do monthly

breast self-exams so they know their own breasts. “Early detection

is your best protection,” she says. Visit the American Cancer

Society at for tips on how to do a self-exam.

Be sure to discuss with your physician whether it’s time for your

mammogram. He or she can provide you with a referral for this important

diagnostic test. 9

neW PHYsiciAns

At Augusta Health, recruiting experienced,

dedicated physicians for your healthcare

is one of our top priorities. These general-

ists and specialists can help keep you and

your family healthy. We’d like to introduce

you to our new medical staff members.

dAvid e. fosnocHt, M.d.

emergency medicine Physician

with Augusta emergency


medical education: University of

Pennsylvania, 1991

residency: University of Pittsburgh, 1994

HenrY c. Ho, M.d.

internist/hospitalist with

Augusta health hospitalists

medical education: UMDNJ-Robert

Wood Johnson Medical School, 2006

internship: University of Virginia, 2007

residency: University of Virginia, 2009

MAttHeW W.

HuffMAn, M.d.

internist/hospitalist with

Augusta health hospitalists

medical education: University of

Virginia, 2006

internship: University of Virginia, 2007

residency: University of Virginia, 2009

10 Health Matters Winter 2009

Morton e. kAlus, M.d.

cardiologist with Augusta health


medical education: Johns Hopkins

University School of Medicine, 1981

residency: University of Michigan Health Systems,


fellowship: University of Michigan Health

Systems, Cardiology, 1988

fellowship: University of Michigan Health

Systems, Nuclear Medicine, 1989

WAlter c. kerscHl, M.d.

internist with Augusta health

internal medicine-lexington

medical education: Dartmouth

Medical School, 1993

internship: University of Virginia, 1994

residency: University of Virginia, 1996

vAnessA d. lee, M.d.

internist/gastroenterologist with

Augusta health gastroenterology

medical education: Jefferson

Medical College, 2003

internship: University of Virginia, 2004

residency: University of Virginia, 2006

fellowship: University of Virginia, 2009


our highly trained physicians

and staff use state-of-the-art

technology to provide the best care

with warmth and compassion.


cHristoPHer A.

novotnY, M.d.

Pathologist with blue ridge


medical education: Wake Forest

University, 2002

internship: Eastern Virginia Medical School, 2003

residency: University of Tennessee, 2007

sArAH b. PuMPHreY, M.d.

Pediatrician with Augusta


medical education: University

of Virginia, 2005

internship: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, 2006

residency: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, 2008

MelissA r. robinson, d.o.

Psychiatrist with Augusta health


medical education: Kirksville

College of Osteopathic

Medicine, 2000

internship: University of Missouri-Columbia, 2001

residency: University of Virginia, 2005

reneitA v. ross, M.d.


with Augusta health

medical education: University of

Wisconsin-Madison, 2001

internship: Sinai Hospital, 2001

residency: University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2005

fellowship: Emory Hospital, 2007

tiMotHY d. sPencer, M.d.

general/Vascular surgeon,

medical director of Augusta

health Wound care clinic

medical education: Medical

College of Virginia, 1978

internship: University of Washington, 1979

residency: University of Washington, 1983

fellowship: Medical College of Virginia, 1984

joAn stAlZer fArris, M.d.

internist/hospitalist with

Augusta health hospitalists

medical education: University

of Virginia, 1995

internship: University of Maryland, 1996

residency: Strong Memorial Hospital, University

of Rochester, 1998

brYAn l. vAsko, M.d.

internist with Augusta health

internal medicine

medical education: Medical College

of Georgia, 1992

internship: Medical College of Georgia, 1993

residency: Medical College of Georgia, 1995

fellowship: Medical College of Georgia, 1996

find the physiCian you need!

if you or a family member needs a

primary care or specialty physician, visit and click on

“find a Physician.” 11

Primary care expands

New offices in Crozet and Lexington

While the country fAces A shortAge of PrimAry cAre

PhysiciAns, Augusta Health Internal Medicine is meeting the

community’s demands by adding two primary care locations in

Crozet and Lexington. Headed up by Shelley Snodgrass, M.D.,

and Walter Kerschl, M.D., these sites join the existing Waynes-

boro and Fishersville offices.

Primary care providers like Drs. Snodgrass and Kerschl are

the foundation of healthcare, offering preventive care, helping

patients manage multiple ailments, providing referrals to spe-

cialists, ordering lab tests and health screenings and being the

sources for patients’ complete health histories.

our crozet location

Dr. Snodgrass comes from Waynesboro to head up the Crozet

location, which opened October 19 to serve western Albemarle

County. Dr. Snodgrass joined Augusta Health in 2006, impressed

by its commitment to the community and its patients. “Since I

provide outpatient care for my patients, it was important to join a

team that had knowledgeable and talented hospitalists available

when my patients needed admission to the hospital,” she says.

Hospitalists are healthcare providers trained to coordinate care

when a patient is admitted.

Dr. Snodgrass sees patients ages 18 and older, focusing on

primary and preventive care. “I tell my patients that the choices

they make today are important. A healthy lifestyle with good food

choices, regular exercise and routine health screenings can help

them avoid developing diseases or complications of diseases as

they age,” she says.

our lexington location

Dr. Kerschl, who serves as Augusta Health Southern Tier Medical

the CaRe you need is RiGht heRe

to make an appointment at our crozet office at

1005 heathercroft circle, suite 400, call (4 4) -

7 96. for an appointment at our lexington office

at 55 comfort Way, suite 1, call (540) 46 - 1.

1 Health Matters Winter 2009

Director, and his Lexington practice, Patient

Choice, Inc., partnered with Augusta in August.

The Lexington practice features in-house lab

testing and bone-density and lung-function

testing, among other services, for patients ages

18 and older.

In addition to his primary care duties,

Dr. Kerschl is heading up the charge to fully

incorporate electronic health records at

Augusta Health. This will not only lighten the

paperwork for healthcare providers but also

allow them to access 10 years of lab results,

X-rays and consults. The system is fully encrypted


snodgrAss, M.d.

and password protected, Dr. Kerschl says. He’s also working on

setting up a Web portal allowing patients to review lab results, see

comments from their physicians, pay bills and make appointments.

Dr. Kerschl recommends healthy patients see him once a year

to help build a solid relationship. “You get the best care that way,”

he says.

lexington locAtion

croZet locAtion


kerscHl, M.d.

Healing help

Wound clinic opens

A Wound thAt Won’t go AWAy is more thAn A

nuisAnce—it’s also a hazard to your health.

Nonhealing wounds, such as those that haven’t cleared

up within a month, leave you open to complications such

as infections and limb loss, says Dianne Moody,

R.N., a certified wound and ostomy nurse and

Director of Augusta Health’s new Wound

Healing Clinic.

The clinic, which opened in August,

has been met with overwhelming demand:

It received more than 200 visitors during

its first month and a half. “This is a unique

service for a community hospital,” says

Moody. Before, patients had to travel more

than 50 miles to get similar treatment. The ma-

jority of these patients have diseases such as diabetes,

she says, which makes the healing of wounds difficult. Patients

may be referred to the clinic by their physician or seek help on

their own.

common wounds

Some of the most common types of wounds seen at the

Augusta Health Wound Healing Clinic include:

» diabetic ulcers

» MRSA-infected wounds

» pressure ulcers from staying in one position too long

(for example, being bedridden or in a wheelchair)

» radiation therapy wounds

» traumatic wounds

» venous ulcers (from reversed blood flow in the leg


We heal heRe!

the Wound healing clinic is located on the second

floor of Augusta health’s cancer center. call

(540) 45-7 0 for an appointment.

clinic director diAnne MoodY, r.n., And MedicAl

director tiMotHY sPencer, M.d.

The clinic’s staff is trained in advanced wound care healing,

which means they can quickly and expertly assess and recog-

nize various types of wounds, and work with a patient’s medical

team to get the wound healed within four months. “There’s no

Neosporin, no Band-Aids here,” Moody says. Treatments such as

off-loading (taking pressure off the injured area), long-lasting

dressings, debridement (removal of dead tissue), synthetic skin

grafts or other special treatments may be used. Hyperbaric

therapy, or the use of oxygen to treat wounds, will be used in

the clinic starting in the upcoming year, says Medical Director

Timothy Spencer, M.D. Dr. Spencer, a board-certified vascular

surgeon, works full time treating wounds.

treating more than the wound

Underlying medical conditions that contribute to slow wound

healing can also be addressed at the Wound Healing Clinic. For

example, if a patient has a nutritional deficiency, he or she will

be referred to a nutritionist.

For some patients, wound healing isn’t possible. Circulation

may be too poor, or the person may be too sick. In these cases,

Dr. Spencer says, the goal is to keep the wound from getting worse.

“The earlier we see patients, the better,” he adds. “Still, we’ve

had patients who received seven or eight months of treatment

elsewhere and we’ve gotten them healed within five weeks.” 1

ye-bye, back pain

Get relief with spinal stabilization at Augusta Health

is spinal stabilization

right for you?

Patients who’ve tried standard treatments without

success may be candidates for this procedure. “This

system can be used for younger active patients but is

also available for older patients who have good bone

quality,” says orthopedic surgeon George Godette,

M.D., FAAOS. Stabilization can help patients who


» degenerative disk disease, or deterioration

of the disks

» spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spine

that causes pressure on the nerves and

spinal cord

» spondylolisthesis, a condition in which

“slipped disks” move onto the bones below

» dynamic nerve root impingement, or dried-up

disk space that causes joints to move abnormally

14 Health Matters Winter 2009

more thAn 65 million AmericAns suffer from bAck PAin. At

some Point during our liVes, 80 percent of us will experience

this discomfort. Fortunately, Augusta Health now offers a revolu-

tionary spinal stabilization procedure using the Dynesys® Spinal

System to treat patients with nagging back pain.

Back pain often results from disk damage that pinches

nerves, also causing loss of motion or leg numbness. Nonsurgical

methods, such as anti-inflammatory medications, steroid injec-

tions and physical therapy, are generally used first to treat these

symptoms. If these methods don’t provide relief, the standard

solution has been to perform lumbar fusion surgery to remove

the problem disk or disks and fuse the bones together. However,

fused bones can’t move naturally, limiting the spine’s flexibility.

“By stabilizing the disks, we aim to avoid a lumbar

fusion and any loss of motion,” explains George Godette,

M.D., FAAOS, an orthopedic surgeon at Augusta Health.

“This procedure stabilizes the disk at risk rather than

removing it. It protects the disks above and below by

shouldering some of the stress.”

less pain, faster recovery

Spinal stabilization saves the damaged disk, providing support

while protecting neighboring disks from further wear and tear.

Flexible spacers and cords keep the bones from moving too

far apart or too close together. This push-pull action allows the

spine to bend, straighten and twist with ease. “Once the spine

is fused, you can’t go back. This procedure doesn’t burn any

bridges,” says Dr. Godette. “The Dynesys System can always be

changed to a standard fusion later, if need be.”

The minimally invasive Dynesys technique allows patients

to get back to their usual activities more quickly. “There’s no

waiting time, no bracing and no painful bone graft from the

patient’s hip,” says Dr. Godette.

back at work

forMer AugustA HeAltH PAtient scott Wood cAn noW enjoY

PlAYground tiMe WitH His grAndsons, tHAnks to sPinAl

stAbiliZAtion surgerY PerforMed bY dr. godette.

One patient who can testify to the quick and pain-relieving results

of the procedure is 49-year-old Scott Wood. Three years ago, while

at work testing industrial air conditioners, Scott felt a sharp pain

in his lower back. A few days later, he had terrible pain when he

tried to get up from bed and while he was sitting. Scott went

to see Dr. Godette and found out that two of the bones in his

vertebrae were touching, forcing the disks to herniate (protrude).

“I had a lot of pain and was out of work for 15 months,” says Scott.

“At home, I had to roll out of bed and grab onto something to

pull myself up. I couldn’t sit for very long without my back feeling

this procedure stabilizes the disk at risk rather

than removing it. it protects the disks above

and below by shouldering some of the stress. ❞

like it had locked up. The worst part is that I couldn’t play with my

grandkids because the pain was so bad.”

After anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy and

cortisone injections failed to provide relief, Scott opted for spinal

stabilization surgery. “Today, I can move and bend over like I was

never injured or had surgery,” says Scott. “I’m so relieved to be

back at work. But mostly, I’m happy that I can run around with

my grandchildren again.”

surgical success

—george godette, M.d., fAAos

Last year, while lifting heavy metal pans and loading them into

boxes at her factory job, Melissa Campbell, now 39, started to

feel an uncomfortable ache in her back. Over time, the pain

became worse and she was forced to leave her job. After suffer-

ing for several months, Melissa visited Dr. Godette to get some

help. “I couldn’t do regular household chores because it was too

painful to move,” says Melissa. “Simple things like tying my shoes

and walking around the grocery store became impossible.”

A scan showed that a degenerative disk was causing pain

in Melissa’s lower back and down her right leg. She tried anti-

inflammatories, heat and ice therapy and stretching exercises,

but the pain wouldn’t go away. Melissa’s visit with Dr. Godette

convinced her that spinal stabilization was her best option.

After her surgery, Melissa experienced nearly immediate

relief. “I felt better almost instantly,” says Melissa. “I was up and

walking around right away. Within two weeks, I was back to my

regular routine. Now I can walk with my teenage daughter to

the library without any pain. We go all the time now, since walk-

ing doesn’t bother me at all. I’m pain free and I’m so grateful.”

Get Relief!

if you’re having back pain, first discuss your

symptoms with your primary care physician to

determine whether you need to see an orthopedic

specialist. Visit

for a list of our primary care and specialist

physicians. 15

H1n1 flu

What you need to know

While the initiAl PAnic oVer h1n1 flu (commonly

referred to As sWine flu) hAs subsided, the topic is

still near the top of the list of our nation’s health con-

cerns. Before you lock yourself in the house this flu season,

read on for answers to common questions about H1N1.


What is 2009 h1n1 flu?

H1N1 flu is a respiratory disease caused by a type A

influenza virus. The virus is causing illness in people and is

spreading person-to-person worldwide.


how does it spread?

H1N1 flu is spread the same way as the seasonal flu: by

coughing, sneezing or even touching a door handle,

elevator button, computer keyboard or other object that

has the virus on it and then touching your mouth, eyes or

nose. People with the virus could be contagious from one

day before they have symptoms until seven days later.


What are the symptoms?

They’re similar to those of the regular flu—fever, cough,

sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache,

chills and fatigue. Some people also experience diarrhea

and vomiting.


Are there medicines to treat h1n1 flu?

Yes. The prescription antiviral medicines Tamiflu and

Relenza can prevent infection, and if you do get sick,

they can make your illness milder and make you feel

better faster. They may also prevent serious complications.

But not everyone needs these drugs—many of the first

people in the United States with lab-confirmed H1N1 flu

16 Health Matters Winter 2009

got better without treatment. Check with your physician

to see if these antivirals may help you.


is there an h1n1 vaccine?

Yes, it was approved in mid-September. It’s intended to

be used alongside the seasonal flu vaccine.


What can i do to protect myself?

• Washing your hands for at least 15 to 20 seconds is the

best way to protect against germs. (No soap and water?

Use alcohol-based hand cleaners.)

• Avoid close contact with sick people.


What should i do if i get sick?

If you have flu like symptoms, stay home to keep

the infection from spreading. Still not feeling well?

Contact your physician to find out if you need testing

or treatment.

link to leaRn!

Visit our home page at www.augustahealth.

com or go to to learn more

about the h1n1 flu.

gastroenterology services expand

AugustA heAlth is Proud to Announce A neW serVice for

our PAtients: endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatog-

raphy (ERCP), a gastroenterologic procedure that examines

the liver, gallbladder, bile ducts and pancreas. “ERCP is used to

diagnose and treat many conditions ,” says Augusta Health gastro-

enterologist Vanessa Lee, M.D. (See “We can see clearly now.”)

“We’re happy to be able to provide patients with

this important service right here on campus.”

A simple procedure

From preparation to recovery, our gastroen-

terologists provide you with the special care

needed for your ERCP. “Preparation requires

that you don’t eat for six to eight hours before

the procedure,” says Dr. Lee. “We team up with

anesthesiologists to provide sedation, such

as general anesthesia, during your procedure.

You shouldn’t feel any discomfort, but you’ll be

groggy for a few hours afterward, so be sure to

have someone available to drive you home.”

For the exam itself, you’ll lie on your back

and an endoscope will be inserted through

your mouth and passed along your esopha-

gus and stomach until it reaches the part of

the small intestine called the duodenum. A

special dye will be injected and X-rays will be

taken to help your physician see stones, tumors or narrowing

of the ducts. Certain procedures can also be performed during

the ERCP, such as removing or crushing gallstones. “The entire

procedure takes anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours,” says

Dr. Lee. “While you may experience slight discomfort, the recov-

ery is very mild and, for the most part, painless. You should be

able to return home, eat and recover within an hour or two of

your exam.” Recovery may take longer if any procedures were

performed during the ERCP.

Expert care, right here at home

vAnessA lee, M.d.

treatment within reach

ERCP is just another example of Augusta Health’s ever-expanding

range of top-quality services. “We aim to make procedures as

convenient as possible,” says Dr. Lee. “Previously, patients had to

travel quite a distance to receive this test. Now it can be done in

the comfort of our own facility.”

Get help foR Gi disoRdeRs

if you’re having gastroenterological (gi) problems,

see your physician for a referral. call Augusta

health gastroenterology at (540) 9 -5756 or

(540) 949-71 1 to make an appointment. the

practice of Vanessa lee, m.d., stephen howlett,

m.d., and Javier Pou, m.d., is located at 1305 13th

st., unit A-2, in Waynesboro.

We can see clearly now

ERCP can help diagnose:

» bile duct strictures

» bile duct tumors

» chronic pancreatitis

» gallstones

» primary sclerosing


» pancreatic pseudocysts

» pancreatic strictures

» pancreatic tumors

(including pancreatic

cancer) 17






Augusta health lifetime

fitness group classes

Nonmembers may purchase a 10-class

pass for $100. Classes run on an ongoing

basis. Other classes not listed here can

be found on our Web site at www.

fitness. For more information, call

Sharon Stiteler of Lifetime Fitness at

(540) 332-5571.

YogA clAsses

basic: Mondays, 5:30 p.m. and

Tuesdays, 9 a.m.

intermediate: Thursdays, 9 a.m.

flow/Advanced: Thursdays, 5:30 p.m.

vinyasa: Fridays, 12:15 p.m.

Ms Adaptive Yoga: Mondays, 4:30 p.m.

(extra fee, class pass excluded)

tAi cHi

cancer recovery: Tuesdays, 6:30 p.m.

Free to cancer recovery patients, sponsored

by Augusta Health Cancer Center.

Arthritis and diabetes: Tuesdays,

11:15 a.m.

beginner: Wednesdays, 11:15 a.m.

intermediate: Thursdays, 11:15 a.m.

Advanced: Tuesdays, 7:30 p.m.

cHi kung

intermediate: Tuesdays, 10:15 a.m.

Advanced: Thursdays, 10:15 a.m.

les Mills bodY coMbAt

Mondays, 4:30 p.m.; Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m.;

Wednesdays, noon; Thursdays, 10 a.m.;

Fridays, 5:30 a.m.


at Augusta Health

Calendar of classes and groups

MArtiAl Arts

Extra fee, class passes excluded

beginner: Mondays and Wednesdays,

7–8 p.m.

intermediate: Mondays and

Wednesdays, 8–9 p.m.

cost: $55 a month for members,

$90 for nonmembers

AquAtic clAsses

Aqua Power: Mondays, Tuesdays and

Fridays, 7:45 a.m.; Tuesdays and Fridays,

9 a.m.; Mondays, 4:45 p.m. (Fitness Pool)

Aqua jogging: Mondays and

Thursdays, 9 a.m. (Fitness Pool)


AquAtic clAsses

Aqua lite: Mondays–Fridays, 9 a.m. and

10 a.m. (Therapy Pool)

range of Motion (roM): Mondays,

Wednesdays and Fridays, 11 a.m.

(Therapy Pool)

Aqua running: Mondays, 5:30 a.m.;

Wednesdays, 5 p.m. (Therapy Pool)

oncology support


For more information about any cancer

group, call Danette Moore, LCSW, at

(540) 245-7105 or (540) 221-7105.

friends listening to

friends grouP

For newly diagnosed cancer patients

who have fears, questions or concerns.

This class also addresses life after cancer


When: Mondays, 3:30–4:30 p.m.

Where: Augusta Health Cancer Center

Conference Room

suPPorting ArMs grouP

For cancer patients dealing with cancer

recurrence or chronic symptoms related

to living with cancer.

When: Thursdays, 3:30–4:30 p.m.

Where: Augusta Health Cancer Center

Conference Room

leAn on Me cAregiver

suPPort grouP

This group helps support caregivers

with the struggles they face. The group

is open to anyone in the caregiver role

who wishes to meet and receive support

from fellow caregivers. Call for details.

stroke support

sHenAndoAH vAlleY

stroke club

Sponsored by the Recreation Therapy

Department at Augusta Health, the

Stroke Club is a support group for those

who have suffered a stroke, their family

members, care partners and friends.

Members enjoy many activities, including

educational meetings, arts and

crafts, outdoor recreation for those with

disabilities and physical challenges, musical

entertainment, bowling and bingo.

The club has traveled to the National

Aquarium in Baltimore, gone on three

cruises, relaxed at the Riverside Dinner

Theater and enjoyed weekend getaways

to Virginia Beach and Lancaster, Pa.

When: At noon on the first Friday of

every month (Dec. 4, Jan. 8, Feb. 5,

March 5, April 2, May 7, June 4, July 2,

Aug. 6, Sept. 3, Oct. 1, Nov. 5, Dec. 3).

call: Shelley Payne at (540) 332-4047

or (540) 932-4047

1 Health Matters Winter 2009







community Wellness

gAin indePendence froM


This proven six-session smoking and

smokeless tobacco cessation program

will help you examine how and why you

use tobacco and create an individual

quit plan. Nicotine replacement therapy

and pharmacological aids for cessation

are examined so that each person can

choose if he or she needs this help.

One-on-one assistance is available

upon request.

When: Starting the first week in January,

6–8:30 p.m. Day to be determined.

call: (540) 332-4988 for more


cHronic diseAse


In this series of workshops, those with

chronic illnesses such as arthritis, diabetes

and heart disease learn methods

to self-manage their condition and take

charge of their life.

call: (540) 332-4192, (540) 932-4192,

(540) 332-4988 or (540) 932-4988

for details

ostomy support group

AugustA HeAltH diversions—

Assisting You folloWing

ostoMY surgerY

In this group meeting, you’ll share

ideas and improve your quality of life

following ostomy surgery.

When: Every other month

Where: Augusta Health Community

Care building

call: (540) 332-4346 for details

Augusta health

lifetime fitness tennis

Program schedule

MuncHkin tennis

Beginner, ages 4–6

When: Saturdays, 9–9:45 a.m.

session iii: Jan. 9–Feb. 20

session iv: March 6–April 10

cost: $54

future stArs

Beginner and intermediate, ages 7–11

When: Saturdays, 9:45–11 a.m.

session iii: Jan. 9–Feb. 20

session iv: March 6–April 10

cost: $90

rising stArs

Beginner and intermediate, ages 12-17

When: Saturdays, 11 a.m.–12:15 p.m.

session iii: Jan. 9–Feb. 20

session iv: March 6–April 10

cost: $90


Advanced and competitive, ages 12–17

When: Saturdays, 12:15–1:45 p.m.

session iii: Jan. 9–Feb. 20

session iv: March 6–April 10

cost: $108

circuit Aces

Advanced and competitive, ages 12–17

When: Tuesdays and Thursdays,

4:30–6 p.m.

session iii: Jan. 5–Feb. 11

cost: $216

rookie tennis for Adults

Beginner, ages 18 and older

When: Thursdays, 6–7:30 p.m.

jan. session: Jan. 7–28

feb./March session: Feb. 11–March 4

cost: $72

Adult cArdio tennis

Ages 18 and older

When: Mondays, 6:15–7:15 p.m.

dec./jan. session: Dec. 21–Jan. 25

feb./March session: Feb. 8–March 15

cost: $60

When: Wednesdays, 10:15–11:15 a.m.

dec./jan. session: Dec. 23–Jan. 27

feb./March session: Feb. 10–March 17

cost: $60

Session dates, times and fees are subject to

change. For more information about

tennis programming, call Chad Reed,

tennis coordinator/pro, at (540) 332-5280

or e-mail 19


Augusta Health Matters is published by Augusta health.

the articles in this publication should not be considered

specific medical advice, as each individual circumstance

is different. entire publication © Augusta health 2009.

All rights reserved. for more information or to be removed

from or added to this mailing list, please call (540) -

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Augusta Health:

keeping the beat

Chest Pain Center receives


if you’re hAVing A heArt AttAck, getting high-QuAlity

treAtment Quickly can make all the difference. That’s why

Augusta Health has worked successfully toward becoming an

Accredited Chest Pain Center as designated by the Society of

Chest Pain Centers. The society sets high standards to assure

that proper patient care protocols are followed, producing the

best possible results.

What does this accreditation say about Augusta Health’s

cardiovascular program? “It proves to our patients that their

hospital has taken its heart program to a new level,” says Donna

Hurst, R.N., B.S.N., Emergency Department (ED) Clinical Resource

Nurse and Chest Pain Coordinator for Augusta Health. “We

ensure that patients who arrive with cardiac-related symptoms

are immediately assessed and that treatment is initiated to

prevent as much damage to the heart as possible.”

benefits of accreditation

Chest pain center accreditation is granted to hospitals that have

the resources and are committed to providing quality cardiac

care to patients, including:

• a vascular laboratory

• cardiac catheterizations

• cardiac event monitoring

• cardiac rehabilitation

• echocardiography

• electrocardiogram interpretation



P.O. BOX 1000


• exercise stress testing

• healthy heart education

• Holter monitoring

To receive chest pain center accreditation, Augusta Health

has also demonstrated expertise in:

• working effectively with local emergency medical services

• quickly assessing, diagnosing and treating patients

• effectively handling patients at low risk for acute coronary syndrome

• functional facility design and equipment

• personnel competencies and training

• organizational structure and commitment

• process-improvement orientation

• community outreach

Augusta Health is dedicated to maintaining this quality

standard of care for chest pain patients,” says Hurst. “The Society

of Chest Pain Centers’ accreditation is an assurance that our patients

will experience reduced treatment times, receive a timely, accurate

diagnosis and have better overall outcomes.”

have a healthy heaRt!

Non-Profit Organization



Lebanon Junction, KY

Permit No. 115

(l-r) ceciliA cArPenter, r.n., AsHleY

cook, ed tecHniciAn, And donnA

Hurst, r.n., b.s.n.

if you’re concerned about the health of your heart,

call fishersville’s Accredited chest Pain center at

Augusta health at (540) -41 7 or (540) 9 -

41 7 for an appointment today.

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