On Wellness in WV

Labor Day Water Safety Tips

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – The 2013 Labor Day Weekend is upon us and the Huntington District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would like to remind you of some water safety tips at the traditional close of the summer season.
Knowing some of the facts about drowning may help save your life or the life of someone you love. According to Corps statistics, the majority of people, 89 percent, who drown are male, 39 percent are 18-35 years old, 24 percent are 36-53 years old and 89 percent of the people who die in water-related accidents were not wearing a life jacket. More than 90 percent of the people who die in boating-related accidents had not taken a boating safety course.
TIP: Are You Next? Expect the Unexpected and Wear Your Life Jacket! You could be the next person to drown if you don’t play it safe. Your best defense against the unexpected is a life jacket. Wear your life jacket and encourage those you love to wear one too.
TIP: Learn to swim well and swim with a buddy. It only takes an average of 20 seconds for a child to drown and 60 seconds for an adult. Never let your children swim by themselves. Adult supervision is a must to ensure you don’t lose the ones you love. Swimming ability decreases with age, so even if you are a strong swimmer, wear your life jacket especially in open water conditions.
TIP: Many people who drown never intended to enter the water and they drown within 10-30 feet of safety. Sixty percent of the time people who drown were either witnessed by someone or there were people in the area that could have helped save them.
TIP: Learn to identify the four signs of a person who is drowning. The drowning signs are head back, mouth open, no sound and arms slapping the water in an up and down motion.
TIP: The proper ways to rescue someone in the water that is in distress are to reach, throw, row and don’t go. Reach something out to the person without endangering yourself, throw them something that floats, row your boat close to the person with the motor off. Never attempt an in-water rescue unless you are trained to do so. Instead, go for help or send someone else for help. Oftentimes a double-drowning occurs when someone enters the water to attempt a rescue because a person fighting for their life is extremely strong and in order to stay afloat they will hold the person who is trying to help them underwater.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that approximately 480,000 West Virginians suffer from arthritis, the most common cause of disability in the U.S. New research out of the West Virginia University School of Medicine may eventually lead to new drugs that could help relieve arthritis sufferers’ pain and joint damage.

David Siderovski, Ph.D., the E.J. Van Liere Endowed Professor and Chair of the WVU Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, is the senior author on a National Institutes of Health-funded study published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology titled “G protein-coupled receptor kinase-3 deficient mice exhibit WHIM syndrome features and attenuated inflammatory responses.” WHIM syndrome (Warts, Hypogammaglobulinemia, Infections and Myelokathexis syndrome) is a rare, congenital disease of the immune system.

Dr. Siderovski and his research colleagues found that a mouse strain with similar genetic problems to patients with WHIM syndrome had a built-in protection against arthritis development because a particular gene – GRK3 – was missing. As a result, Siderovski believes that developing a drug to inhibit GRK3 could help decrease arthritis in humans.

For full release: http://wvuhealthcare.com/wvuh/Content/Media/News-Releases/2013/AUG/WVU-research-could-lead-to-new-arthritis-treatment

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Christopher Adams, M.D., a cardiology fellow with the department of cardiology, Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, recently received the James Willerson Clinical Award Competition for Residents and Fellows from the International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences (IACS).  The award was established to promote, encourage and recognize young talents in cardiovascular science, medicine and surgery.

The award is named in honor of James T. Willerson, M.D., president and medical director of the Texas Heart Institute in Houston and current president of IACS.

Adams was recognized for his research, “Perivascular Fat Relation to Hypertension:  WV-Appalachian Heart Study,” which he has been conducting for several years with faculty members Paulette Wehner, M.D., a professor of cardiology and senior associate dean for graduate medical education, and Nalini Santanam, Ph.D., M.P.H., a professor in the department of pharmacology, physiology and toxicology.

“Dr. Santanam and I are very fortunate to collaborate with Dr. Adams,” Wehner said.  “The award is particularly important because Dr. Adams started the Appalachian Heart project as a medical student and has continued the work through his sixth year of post-graduate training.”

Wehner continued, “The work was partially funded through a translational research grant awarded by Marshall Health to promote research within our institution.  According to a recent Gallup Healthcare poll, the residents of the Huntington-Ashland Metropolitan area are twice as likely to suffer from a heart attack as the national average.  We are hopeful that our research may help identify why we are having such a higher incidence of heart attacks in our area.”

Adams presented the findings at the Cardiovascular Forum for Promoting Centers of Excellence and Young Investigators meeting earlier this month in Louisville, Ky. He was one of five international applicants invited to participate.

Adams is a graduate of the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and completed a residency in Internal Medicine at Marshall as well.  His future plans include an interventional and structural heart disease fellowship next year at the University of Kentucky.

With the arrival of Labor Day and the unofficial end to summer, the American Red Cross encourages eligible donors to roll up a sleeve and give blood to help ensure sufficient supplies over the holiday weekend.

Those who present to donate from August 26 through September 9 could win one of five $1,000 American Express gift cards, and all donors will walk away with the instant gratification that they may be helping to save more than one life.

“The summer may be coming to an end, but the work of the Red Cross is far from over,” said John Hagins, CEO of the Red Cross Greater Alleghenies Blood Services Region. “As you make plans for this Labor Day holiday, please also make time to give blood and help patients who depend on your lifesaving donation.”

While thousands of people answered the call for blood donations issued by the Red Cross earlier this summer, an urgent need remains for types O negative, A negative and B negative blood. The summer months can be especially difficult to collect enough blood donations to keep pace with patient needs.

“Patients in local hospitals often can’t take a break to enjoy the holiday,” Hagins said. “But blood donors can give these patients a chance to enjoy this time with family and friends – simply by rolling up a sleeve.”

To help spur additional donations over the Labor Day weekend, all presenting blood donors from August 30 through September 2 will also receive a complimentary Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last. Live a story. Give a story. Donate blood. Call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org/summer for more information and to make an appointment to help save lives.

How to donate blood

Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Monday, August 26, 2013

**2RBC**  Grayson, KY: 1 to 6 p.m., First Church of Christ, 287 Pomeroy Street

**2RBC**  Nitro, WV: 2 to 7 p.m., Nitro Moose Lodge 565, 101 1st Avenue

**2RBC**  Oak Hill, OH: 1 to 7 p.m., Oak Hill Presbyterian Church, 205 East Cross Street


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Huntington, WV: 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., American Red Cross, 1111 Veterans Memorial Boulevard

**2RBC**  Morehead, KY: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Carl D. Perkins Community Center, Flemingsburg Road

**2RBC**  Parkersburg, WV: 1 to 6 p.m., Broadway Church of the Nazarene, 901 Broadway Avenue

**2RBC**  Portsmouth, OH: Noon to 6 p.m., All Saints Episcopal Church, 610 4th Street

**2RBC**  South Charleston, WV: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thomas Memorial Hospital, 4605 MacCorkle Avenue SW


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

**2RBC**  Charleston, WV: 7 a.m. to Noon, American Electric Power, 404 29th Street West

**2RBC**  Charleston, WV: 1 to 7 p.m., St. Matthews Episcopal Mathes Hall, 36 Norwood Road

**2RBC**  Pomeroy, OH: 1 to 6 p.m., Mulberry Community Center, 260 Mulberry Avenue


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Charleston, WV: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., CAMC Women & Childrens, 800 Pennsylvania Avenue

**2RBC**  Huntington, WV: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Marshall University Memorial Student Center, Room 2W40, One John Marshall Drive

**2RBC**  Huntington, WV: Noon to 6 p.m., American Red Cross, 1111 Veterans Memorial Boulevard

**2RBC**  Jackson, OH: Noon to 6 p.m., First Church of the Nazarene, 251 Powell Drive


Friday, August 30, 2013

**2RBC**  Franklin Furnace, OH: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Big Sandy Superstore Distribution Center, 8375 Gallia Pike

**2RBC**  Owingsville, KY: 2 to 8 p.m., Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 1954 E. Highway 36

**2RBC**  Parkersburg, WV: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., American Red Cross, 3210 Dudley Avenue


Saturday, August 31, 2013

**2RBC**  Rarden, OH: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Rarden Community Center, 1663 Main Street


Monday, September 2, 2013

**2RBC**  Crown City, OH: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Providence Missionary Baptist Church, 3570 Teens Run Road

**2RBC**  Parkersburg, WV: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Parkersburg Blood Donation Center, 3210 Dudley Avenue

**2RBC**  Vienna, WV: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wayside United Methodist Church Fellowship Center, 3001 Grand Central Avenue


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

**2RBC**  Huntington, WV: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Cabell Huntington Hospital, 1340 Hal Greer Boulevard

**2RBC**  Huntington, WV: 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., American Red Cross, 1111 Veterans Memorial Boulevard


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Portsmouth, OH: 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Southern Ohio Medical Center, 1805 27th Street

**2RBC**  Rush, KY: 2 to 7 p.m., Kilgore United Methodist Church, 14630 St. Rt. 854

**2RBC**  Vienna, WV: 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Ohio Valley University, 1 Campus View Drive


Thursday, September 5, 2013

**2RBC**  Charleston, WV: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Charleston Newspapers, 1001 Virginia Street East

**2RBC**  Hurricane, WV: 2 to 7 p.m., First Baptist Church Family Life Center, 2635 Main Street

**2RBC**  Seth, WV: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sherman High School, 10008 Coal River Road


Friday, September 6, 2013

**2RBC**  Ashland, KY: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Central Fire Station, 1021 Carter Avenue

**2RBC**  Chapmanville, WV: Noon to 6 p.m., Town of Chapmanville Town Hall, 329 W. Tiger Lane

**2RBC**  Parkersburg, WV: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., American Red Cross, 3210 Dudley Avenue


Monday, September 9, 2013

**2RBC**  Charleston, WV: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., State Government Workers  Building 7, 1900 Kanawha Boulevard East

**2RBC**  New Boston, OH: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Daymar College, 3879 Rhodes Avenue

Charleston, W Va. – New moms and moms-to-be are invited to UniCare’s 6th Annual Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby Shower on Friday, August 23. The event will be held from 11:00 a.m. –1:00 p.m. at the Charleston Civic Center – doors will open at 10:30 a.m.

The baby shower is sponsored by UniCare Health Plan of West Virginia, Inc. (UniCare) and is free to new moms and moms-to-be. Door prizes including car seats and baby monitors will be provided by many of the participating organizations.

“We want to make local moms feel special, but we also want to make sure they leave with plenty of information they can use before their babies arrive and when they bring their babies home,” said Billie Moore, senior health promotion consultant for UniCare.  “We know that moms-to-be have many questions about their pregnancies and how they take care of themselves plays an important role in helping to ensure they have healthy babies.”

The event will feature more than ten community-based organizations that will provide educational exhibits and presentations including:

  • Our Babies: Safe & Sound
  • Valley Health – Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
  • WV Birth to Three
  • Project Linus

UniCare holds baby showers around the state as part of its statewide effort to educate families, and mothers in particular, about the important choices they make on a daily basis and how those choices impact the health of their families.

UniCare Health Plan of West Virginia, Inc. is a subsidiary of WellPoint, Inc. For more information, visit UniCare at www.unicare.com. ® Registered mark of WellPoint, Inc.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Gail VanVoorhis, M.S.N., has many years of experience with simulated healthcare education, whether using a potato to practice dressing a bloody wound or employing a manikin to simulate the birth process. Now, that knowledge has earned her a job training healthcare professionals in Rwanda.

VanVoorhis, a teaching assistant professor, clinical instructor and clinical practice lab director with the West Virginia University School of Nursing, will depart Thursday for the Republic of Rwanda, an African country still trying to rebuild after the 1994 genocide.

She will be working with the Human Resources for Health (HRH) Program, an initiative launched in July 2012 by the government of Rwanda, through the Ministry of Health. Committed to meeting the health needs of its citizens by 2020, the HRH Program aims to build Rwanda’s healthcare education infrastructure and workforce to create a high quality, sustainable healthcare system by addressing the country’s most challenging healthcare obstacles.

For full release: http://wvuhealthcare.com/wvuh/Content/Media/News-Releases/2013/JULY/WVU-School-of-Nursing-professor-to-train-healthcar

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Charles D. Ponte, Pharm.D., professor in the West Virginia University School of Pharmacy Department of Clinical Pharmacy and the WVU School of Medicine Department of Family Medicine, was recognized for his commitment to helping educate healthcare professionals and patients about diabetes and diabetes management by being selected as a fellow of the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE).

The AADE Fellows Program recognizes “diabetes educator leaders who have made outstanding contributions to diabetes education and care through clinical practice, research, education or health policy, including the development and implementation of mentorship programs for diabetes educators.”

Dr. Ponte is one of nine pharmacists who have been selected to receive AADE fellow status since the program was established in 2008.

For full release: http://wvuhealthcare.com/wvuh/Content/Media/News-Releases/2013/AUG/Ponte-selected-as-American-Association-of-Diabetes

HSTA celebrates 20 years of success

WVU education program helps nearly 2,000 high school students

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Health Sciences and Technology Academy (HSTA) at West Virginia University has wrapped up its 20th annual camp, a summer institution at WVU. HSTA serves high school students throughout the state by easing the transition into college and encouraging them to explore careers in science and health.

“Twenty summers is such an incredible achievement for this WVU community partnership,” Ann Chester, Ph.D., HSTA program director and vice-president for education partnerships at the WVU Health Sciences Center, said. “HSTA has helped nearly 2,000 of the best high school students in West Virginia be successful in college and their careers.”

HSTA encourages rural 9th through 12th graders to pursue higher education. The program not only helps educate underserved populations but also serves to recruit more scientists and healthcare providers in West Virginia’s medically underserved communities. HSTA students who complete the program earn tuition waivers for West Virginia state-run colleges. These waivers may be used from undergraduate work through professional school in certain majors. More than half the time, HSTA students choose to pursue health-related careers.

The camp offers participants a chance to learn the research process in a way that’s meaningful to them. Students choose a health or science research project they find interesting that is also relevant to their communities. After completing the project, HSTA students present their findings to their home communities, teaching as they learn.

“I keep hearing how these students surpass all expectations from academics to compassion and resilience and dedication to West Virginia,” Dr. Chester said.

Impressively, 92 percent of HSTA students go on to graduate from college, where one-third of non-HSTA students discontinue studies in their first year. While still in high school, HSTA students have been shown to have better grades overall and routinely score better on annual standardized tests.

“HSTA students are ‘knowledge brokers’ for better healthier lifestyles, taking what they learn in the program and acting as role models for their families and friends,” Chester said. “Their research projects on health issues help them make decisions about what they eat and drink, how they exercise, how much sleep they need and what behaviors will help them stay out of trouble.  As they grow through the HSTA program, these students become true leaders in their communities.”

Last year, HSTA received a renewed pledge of major funding made possible by a Science Education Partnership Award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The five-year, $1.3 million NIH grant, “Teaching to Learn,” supports HSTA’s mission while encouraging health promotion in rural areas.

For more information about HSTA, visit www.wv-hsta.org.

For full release: http://wvuhealthcare.com/wvuh/Content/Media/News-Releases/2013/AUG/HSTA-celebrates-20-years-of-success

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Kimberly R. Becher, M.D., a family medicine resident in the Department of Family and Community Health at Marshall University’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, was recently elected to serve as the National Congress of Family Medicine Residents representative to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).

Becher was elected to the national post by her peers at the AAFP’S National Conference of Family Residents and Medical Students last month. She will serve as the sole resident member on the AAFP’s board of directors representing more than 3,000 family medicine residents nationwide.

“Dr. Becher is the quintessential family doctor.  She is engaged with her patients, cares about her community and is always looking for ways to improve medicine,” said Dr. John Walden, chair of the Department of Family and Community Health. “I cannot speak highly enough of her dedication to improve the health care outcomes of West Virginians and others in the Appalachian region.  She is an outstanding ambassador for our school and our state. ”

Becher, who grew up in West Virginia and graduated from the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine in 2011, is in her third and final year of residency and serves as one of the department’s chief residents.   Highly interested in health policy and reform advocacy, Becher also serves as one of Marshall’s Paul Ambrose Health Policy Fellows.

Following residency, Becher plans on working in Clay County for Community Care of West Virginia.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – A woman with a migraine headache that lasted for more than a month came to see Kendra Unger, M.D., for medical acupuncture at the WVU Clark K. Sleeth Family Medicine Center after seeing several other doctors and being told there was nothing they could do except write her a prescription.

“I found the muscle spasm that was causing her pain, and two hours after a 15-minute acupuncture treatment, her headache broke. She’s now down to maintenance appointments every two months,” Dr. Unger said.

As a general practitioner, Unger often saw patients for chronic pain who were on three or four different medications. She was inspired to become a medical acupuncturist through the Helms Medical Institute in Berkeley, Calif., to try to help people feel holistically better without needing more medication. Board certified in medical acupuncture, Unger uses acupuncture in conjunction with her medical training from the WVU School of Medicine. She holds a weekly acupuncture clinic at the Sleeth Family Medicine Center.

For full WVU release: http://wvuhealthcare.com/wvuh/Content/Media/News-Releases/2013/JULY/Medical-acupuncture-at-WVU-Family-Medicine-Center